Pimping the Shrimp


Louisiana Shrimp
photo courtesy of whitebootbrigade.org

I’m not sure why there hasn’t been more flap about this around town, because here’s something worth talking about: The White Boot Brigade is touring the Bay Area. Never heard of them? It’s OK—they’re new to me, too. The WBB is a “traveling shrimpers road show, hell-bent of sustainable shrimp harvests, cultural preservation and business innovation.” In other words, it’s a collection of New Orleans-based shrimpers who are struggling to reestablish their businesses in the wake of Hurricane Katrina—and they’re committed to shrimping in a sustainable way. I hate to break it to all of you shrimp cocktail lovers out there, but most shrimp are raised and harvested in decidedly unsustainable arrangements, often hailing from farms in Southeast Asia. So, (stepping off the soapbox) this is an effort we should really get behind.

And it’s easy, because it involves eating lots and lots of fresh Louisiana shrimp! This weekend, you have a couple opportunities to get in on the action. On Saturday, June 9th, catch up with the Brigade at the Williams-Sonoma in Union Square from 1-3pm. There will be cooking demonstrations and New Orleans chef Corbin Evans will be on hand, along with some of the shrimpers. The following night, June 10th, a Sunday Supper Shrimp Blowout will be held at Pizzaiolo in Oakland. In addition to copious amounts of shrimp and local beer, there will also be live music. The event is sponsored by Slow Food Berkeley and you need a ticket ($25 for Slow Food members, $30 for general public), which you can buy here.

For more information about the White Boot Brigade, visit their website, www.whitebootbrigade.org. The site is loaded with information, including a source for the signature white rubber boots worn by shrimpers the world over.
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