Whether it’s blackened, baked, sautéed or deep-fried, Alabama catfish lovers have the chance to brag about their favorite restaurant that serves the Southern specialty.
Alabama Catfish Producers, a division of the Alabama Farmers Federation, is sponsoring the Catfish Restaurant Challenge to recognize delicious catfish dishes. The contest will highlight and reward Alabama restaurants known for serving tasty and nutritious U.S. farm-raised catfish.
“We’re excited about promoting the wholesome, great-tasting fish grown by American farmers, including many right here in our state,” said Alabama Catfish Producers Chairman Will Pearce of Dallas County. “Most consumers eat catfish in restaurants, and we believe the best restaurants serve only U.S. farm-raised catfish. As a way to recognize those restaurants, we’re asking customers to nominate their favorite restaurant and to tell us why it’s the best in Alabama.”
From the nominations, four finalists will be selected for the official Catfish Restaurant Challenge. A team of judges, including an Alabama catfish farmer, will visit the finalists and present each restaurant owner a plaque. While there, the judges will sample the nominated dish as part of the final round of competition.
The winner of Alabama’s Best Catfish Restaurant will be announced in August, which is National Catfish Month.
According to Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance (ARHA), there are 9,000 restaurants in Alabama, many that serve catfish in a variety of ways.
“Catfish is a signature dish for many restaurants in Alabama,” said Mindy Hanan, ARHA president and CEO. “We’re excited about catfish farmers sponsoring a contest to encourage families to enjoy dining at Alabama restaurants.”
The contest offers more than bragging rights about great-tasting food. The winning restaurant will receive a trophy, a cash prize and will be featured in Neighbors magazine. The person nominating the winning restaurant also will receive prizes from the Alabama Catfish Producers.
Visit AlabamaCatfish.org for a complete list of rules and the nomination form.
The deadline for nominations is July 7.