Let’s talk catfish in a restaurant setting: what are some reasons why catfish becoming more popular in restaurants and among professional chefs? We chatted with Chef Jason Goodenough to get his thoughts.
While catfish is often served fried, there are many other ways to prepare it. A benefit to using U.S. farm-raised catfish is its huge versatility, according to Chef Goodenough, owner and chef at Carrollton Market in New Orleans. Goodenough says catfish “has a flavor profile that lends itself to a lot of different cuisines and accompanying ingredients.”
“Heartland catfish is a fantastic, fresh ingredient that can be used at the highest level of gastronomy all the way down to a fish fry before a Saints game on a Sunday afternoon,” Goodenough says. Catfish can be dressed up or down, making it appropriate at a high-end restaurant all the way to a family fish fry. The many ways it can be prepared make it easy to use frequently and in a variety of ways.
As a restaurant owner, Goodenough recognizes the value of quality as well as sustainability. Unlike imported catfish, U.S. farm-raised catfish is raised in man-made ponds with every step of production controlled and facilities strictly regulated for quality control. “Being sustainable also has to do with the carbon footprint that you, as a business, are putting on the planet,” Goodenough says.
Viking Cooking School, a partner of Heartland Catfish Company, incorporates local meat and produce products in their recipes to promote Mississippi Delta agricultural businesses. Loren Leflore, kitchen manager and head chief instructor at Viking, understands the value of buying local and supporting the community. Leflore says, “We love using their catfish in our classes and promoting our neighbors.”
If you want to see why catfish is so great firsthand, check out the recipes below. We have plenty of ideas for catfish that is baked, pan-seared, grilled and more!
Not in the mood to cook? No problem! We love this article from Southern Living on the 10 Best Catfish Joints in the South 2020.