Mission Chef Phillippe Parola Provides Louisiana’s Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser a Tasty Solution to the Invasive Asian Carp Crisis
Asian Carp are invading America’s waters exponentially putting our native fisheries and generational fishing communities at risk. Chef Parola is on a mission and he has a solution.
At Mission Chefs, we talk about collaboration a lot to overcome challenges. Mission Chefs was founded on that basis to help those in need tackle their challenges, be it at-risk opportunity youth or the homeless, too many of whom are Veterans. With Chef Parola, we found a unique collaboration that creates a win win.
A National Issue
Today, America faces a major crisis that’s impacting fisheries and fishing communities from Simmesport, Louisiana to St. Louis Missouri all the way to the Great Lakes. In Louisiana alone, fishermen in the lower Atchafalaya Basin are reporting areas where their crawfish production and blue crab production numbers are significantly off and in some areas have come to a halt. The main change is the very apparent influx of Asian Carp reported by fishermen in those areas.
Asian Carp grow to be fifty pounds plus and can eat their weight in plankton a day; therein lies the challenge. These fish are disrupting the natural food chains of our native species of fish up and down the Mississippi River putting six and seven generations of fishing communities at risk of extinction themselves, along with our native fisheries. The problem grows exponentially every day as the female carps spawn 3 times a year, up to two million eggs at a time, of which 70% mature.
Mission Chef Parola Has Made an Impact…
30 Years ago Chef Parolla left France to make Louisiana his home bringing his unique culinary skills with him. The Louisiana outdoor life has kept him in Louisiana. Along the way, Chef Parola has spent a good part of his career mentoring some of America’s best chefs from John Folse to John Besh to Tim Creehan influencing the way we all eat. Case in point, as an avid outdoorsman, he also made a name for himself helping Louisiana to introduce the world to alligator meat, which has now become a delicacy around the world.
Chef Parola also has a big passion for helping at risk youth and those in need that is rivaled by his passion to help preserve our native fisheries and fishing communities across the united States. His solution to both is unique and tasty.
Six years ago, Chef Parola began a quest to help address the Asian Carp crisis whose negative impacts are becoming more and more evident every month. It’s so serious, to date, the federal government has spent in excess of $300 million dollars to address the issue with minimal impacts. The Government literally has plans that are in the billions of dollars to help keep the fish out of the Great Lakes.
A Better Solution
Chef’s approach is to build a market for these fish creating thousands of fishing and processing jobs turning a problem into a solution and a delicacy. With Chef Parola’s background, his motto is, “If you can’t beat em, eat em.” With his French culinary heritage, he has proven just how tasty these fish can be creating interest nationally and internationally.
The United States government has recognized that his solution has real merit starting with a grant from NOAA Fisheries. Today, as a result of Chef’s Parola’s work, the fish are now officially named by the Department of Fisheries Silver Fin to help build the markets across the United State and globally over time.
Two Fish with One Hook? A WIN WIN…
Chef Parola understands the power of PR to help solve a challenge by raising awareness (a core function of Mission Chefs). Not only is he lending his voice becoming an official Mission Chef to help at risk youth and those in need, Mission Chef Phillippe Parola is committing a portion of the sale of each Silver Fin fish sold as the markets develop to go back and fund Mission Chefs.
Collaboration Is Key…
All this comes back to how Mission Chefs was formed in the first place – collaboration to help others. See Our Story here. Regarding collaboration, Mission Chef Phillippe Parola and his Chef friends Tim Creehan, Jean-Luc Albin, Vincent Marino and Gino Marino most recently presented to the Secretary of Wildlife and Fisheries, Charlie Melancon, and the Louisiana Natural Resource Committee at the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association.
“It was the best dinner they have ever had at their committee meetings.” Don Briggs, President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, said “This Asian Carp is so delicious, we need to call it the new Louisiana Jewel Fish.”