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Cobia - On the Menu and on TV

by Ellen Hardy
16 January 2008, at 12:00am

MAINE - The first and only Cobia being raised at inland facilities in the US was featured on a recent episode of Food Networks Iron Chef America series.

The farm-raised Cobia, developed through a joint venture of MariCal of Portland, Maine and Blue Ridge Aquaculture of Martinsville, Virginia, was selected by Food Network to be the “secret ingredient” on the Iron Chef America episode where British chef Jamie Oliver competed against series regular Iron Chef Mario Batali in Kitchen Stadium.

Cobia, a saltwater species in its natural environment, is usually found in warm equatorial waters including the Eastern shores of Virginia and North Carolina as well as the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. But beginning in May 2007, the delicious Cobia have been grown and harvested in landlocked Saltville, Virginia by the joint venture company Virginia Cobia Farms, owned by MariCal and Blue Ridge Aquaculture.

Fresh Cobia fillets were supplied to the show, as well as a variety of live fish to swim in a tank near the chefs as they worked.

Versatile

According to H. William Harris, MariCal’s President and Chief Scientific Officer of Virginia Cobia Farms, Cobia is an ideal fish for this type of demanding culinary competition.

"It’s versatile enough to be featured in a multitude of recipes because its fine flavor profile complements a wide array of cooking alternatives, sauces, and seasonings. It’s also an incredibly healthy fish that’s high in Omega-3 fatty acids and that’s produced under strictly controlled, contaminate-free, and sustainable methods,” he explained.

Mario Batali was the ultimate winner of the competition, as he skillfully prepared the Cobia in a full range of dishes - from sushi, to fish & chips, and everything in between!

Ellen Hardy