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Snakeheads On The Menu At Eastport Restaurant

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By PAMELA WOOD

The Capital of Annapolis

EASTPORT, Md. (AP) — Coming soon to a dinner plate near you: Snakeheads.

A celebrity chef snakehead dinner is in the works for Tuesday night at the Rockfish restaurant in Easport.

Nine chefs have committed to cooking up the toothy, invasive fish at the event.

You may recall when snakeheads first arrived in Maryland — back in 2002, one was caught in a pond behind a shopping center in Crofton. Upon closer inspection, so many more were found in the pond that the state had to kill everything in it to get rid of the snakeheads.

Native to Asia, snakeheads are top-line predators that have an uncanny ability to slither on land for short distances and to briefly live out of water.

Since 2002, snakeheads have been found in other waterways, including the Potomac River, where they’ve become established.

Anglers are advised to kill them on sight. But some are having a little fun with the snakeheads, sponsoring fishing tournaments and getting chefs to put them on menus.

The chefs who will be taking on the snakehead challenge on Tuesday include Jimmy McCarthy of the Rockfish and Michael Stavlas of Hellas Restaurant in Millersville.

Washington, D.C.-based chefs include author and National Geographic fellow Barton Seaver, Scott Drewno of The Source by Wolfgang Puck, Kyle Bailey of Birch & Barley, Victor Albisu of BLT Steak and Dennis Marron of Poste Moderne Brasserie.

Two chefs will be coming down from Baltimore, Chad Wells from Alewife and Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen.

In addition to the food, the event will feature guest speakers: Steve Vilnit, who does commercial fisheries marketing for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources; Austin Murphy, organizer of the Potomac snakehead tournament; Stephan Abel of the Oyster Recovery Partnership; and Greg Casten and John Rorapaugh from ProFish, a seafood wholesaler.

The event will raise money for the Oyster Recovery Partnership, the Annapolis-based nonprofit group that coordinates most oyster restoration projects in Maryland.

Tickets are $100 each or $300 for a table of four.

Information from: The Capital of Annapolis, Md., http://www.hometownannapolis.com/

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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