August 1, 2012 8:29:16 AM
While members of Team USA are in London for the Summer 2012 Olympic Games, chefs from the Gulf Coast states are gearing up as well -- to host the "Spirit of the Gulf," a showcase of Gulf Coast seafood and music. Mississippi is represented by Chef Chris Poplin of IP Casino and Chef Calvin Coleman of Naomi's Catering.
"Spirit of the Gulf" is presented by BP as part of the company's ongoing partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee. The company is hosting a series of events for Team USA, their families and visitors during the games. These events highlight the spirit and culture of each Gulf Coast state and will encourage people to visit and experience fresh, wild-caught seafood.
In London, Chef Chris Poplin will serve up classic Mississippi fare with his signature dish: Southern barbecued shrimp with smoked sausage, green onion and goat cheese grits. Chef Poplin received the "Maitre de Gout, Master of Taste Award" by the Chefs in America Awards Foundation in 2006. He also won the Casino Cook-Off championship in 2011.
Chef Calvin Coleman will prepare Gulf seafood and gator sausage gumbo for his signature recipe. Chef Coleman is a second-generation owner of Naomi's Catering in Gulfport. He has served members of the White House team, as well as the White House Press Corps, and is a member of the International Catering Association, the Mississippi Hospitality & Restaurant Association and the Gulf Coast Business Council.
"Mississippi is thrilled and honored to be a part of the 2012 Olympic Games," said Irvin Jackson, director of the Mississippi Seafood Marketing Program. "It is so important that we continue to share the message that our seafood is raised by Mother Nature, caught by our fishermen and is the highest quality, premium product on the market today."
According to Crystal Ashby, BP vice president of government and public affairs, "BP is proud to use the power of the London 2012 Olympic Games as another way to promote the Gulf Coast, draw new visitors to the region and demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the community."
Fresh, wild Mississippi seafood from the nutrient-rich waters of the Gulf of Mexico has supported many generations of fishermen and is a sustainable, domestic resource helping to preserve the American economy.