Twins reel in cooking prizes

February 10, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

CLEAR SPRING - Anyone attending the Junior Rockfish Cooking Contest two years in a row probably thought they were seeing double when the winner in the 7-to-12-year-old category was announced in January.

This year's champ was Eric Yetter of Clear Spring. Last year his twin brother, Ryan Yetter, took the top honors. The 12-year-old boys are the sons of Ed and Bonnie Yetter.

"Both boys are outdoorsy, and enjoy hunting and fishing," said their father. "They fish for rockfish a couple of times a year. There is already a fishing trip planned for May."

Their dad confessed the boys are also interested in the cash prizes.

The smells of gourmet cooking welcomed visitors to the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Md., on Jan. 24 as 10 young chefs sliced, diced and sauted a wide range of ingredients for the contest.


The second annual contest, held as part of the East Coast Commercial Fishermen's and Aquaculture Trade Expo, featured girls and boys from Maryland and Delaware competing in two age categories: 7 to 12 and 13 to 17.

Contestants came prepared with all the ingredients, pans and utensils necessary to make their original recipes, which followed a wide range of culinary influences, from traditional Eastern Shore fare to Asian and Tex-Mex-inspired dishes.

Each contestant was provided with two pounds of rockfish. Start times were staggered to allow judges ample time to savor the dishes.

Judges included a chef, two food writers and a Maryland Sea Grant representative. Each dish was evaluated in the privacy of a curtained booth, where it was scored on originality, taste, attractiveness and predominance of rockfish.

Eric won for his Eastern Shore Rockfish recipe, which featured a hometown rub from Ernst Market in Clear Spring, combined with Old Bay seasoning, lemon pepper and olive oil.

"It's a special rub that a spice company in Pennsylvania mixes up special for our store," Greg Ernst said.

Winners were awarded cash prizes and plaques, and all contestants received chef aprons, pins, cookbooks and certificates.

The contest was sponsored by the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, Maryland Sea Grant College and Maryland Seafood Marketing Program.

"The Junior Rockfish Cooking Contest was a success," said Doris Hicks, an organizer of the event and seafood specialist for Delaware Sea Grant. "The chefs were amazing young people - they had great poise; they were courteous and efficient; and all of their dishes tasted wonderful."

Eastern Shore Rockfish Special
(Eric Yetter's winning recipe)

2 pounds rockfish fillets
1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Montreal Steak and Burger Rub by Ernst Market in Clear Spring
Few pinches of Old Bay seasoning
Few pinches of lemon pepper
Approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil

Mix about 1 1/2 tablespoons of Montreal Steak and Burger Rub with the mayonnaise. Coat the rockfish fillets with the mixture.

Heat oil in pan and cook rockfish on medium to low heat until cooked.

Use remaining 1/2 teaspoon of seasoning to fill in where fish needs more seasoning; add pinches of Old Bay seasoning and lemon pepper while cooking. Serve on a bed of lettuce and garnish with cherry tomatoes if they are in season.

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