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Vol. 10, issuE 35, JunE 2011

Co-Publishers Craig and ViCtoria Munt rogers 361-548-6804 •


EstablishEd in 2001 FoundEr & Editor - Victoria Munt rogers 361-548-6804 • victoria@gulfscapes.coM PhotograPhy Editor - craig rogers 361-548-6804 • craig@gulfscapes.coM salEs - 361-548-6804 victoria.gulfscapes@gMail.coM

onlinE Editor - info@gulfscapes.coM www.gulfscapes.coM subscriPtion QuEstions: 361-548-6804 subscribe@gulfscapes.coM gulFscaPEs MagazinE c/o subscription p.o. box 863 port aransas, tx 78373 $5.95 singlE issuE coVEr PricE $16.95 for one Year (4 issues) $28 for two Years (8 issues) $36 for three Years (12 issues) Mail subscription address changes to: gulfscapes, c/o address change, p.o. box 863, port aransas, tx 78373 or e-Mail to change@gulfscapes.coM vol. 10, issue 35, June 2011 gulfscapes Magazine is published by craig and victoria Munt rogers, p.o. box 863, port aransas, tx 78373. subscription price is $16.95 for a one year subscription in continental united states. unsolicited manuscripts without return postage will not be returned. postMaster, send address changes to address above. disclaiMer: advertisements in this publication do not constitute an offer for sale in states where prohibited or restricted by law. copYright 2001-10 craig and victoria Munt rogers. no part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publishers. usage fees are available upon request by calling 361-548-6804.

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Above the Rest: Stilts & Pilings Up we go! Beautiful houses built on pilings. The Gulf Coast requires a different building technique to accommodate our weather and tides. Here’s a look at how and why we build our houses in the air.


JUNE 2011

Delicious Dining 85

f e a t u re s 17


did it MaKE you sMilE?

Baseball by the Beach The Boys of Summer are back and playing at stadiums up and down the Gulf Coast. First, meet Tommy Manzella. Next take a look at our ultimate baseball guide of all Major League & Minor League teams that play ball in our coastal humidity– includes fun tips about each stadium. Hungry– learn all there is to know about mustard & hotdogs.


Adventure Travel in NW Florida It’s zip lines, kayaks and kite surfing! Here’s how to get up and get active in the Northwest part of the Sunshine State. Airport guide page 53.


The State of the Gulf How are we doing after the oil spill? The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies issues its one year anniversary update.


History of Gulf Coast Shrimping We’ve been pulling those tasty shrimp out of the Gulf waters for centuries. We interview marine archaeologist Laura Landry about how the industry developed and the equipment that was used to build shrimp empires.

Above, – Shrimp & fried green tomato stack. A local favorite at The Fish House in Pensacola, FL, Photo by Shelley Yates Cover, Celebration of Shrimp. Photo ©iStockphoto.com/Robert Lopshire New CD from Kelly McGuire pg. 14


10 publishers’ letter... See what’s new in this issue 12 recurrents... Catch up since our last publication 13 spotlight... Gulf Coast aviation celebrates 100th anniversary 40 highlights... See our picks for best Gulf Coast baseball logos 43 discovery... Take a trip to Cedar Key, FL and discover its quiet charm 48 masterpiece... WaterColor Inn & Resort is a canvas of family fun 51 unique finds... Henderson Park Inn a stylish Inn with a palapa bar? 54 romance... Lee House Bed & Breakfast is a couple’s treat 57 weddings... Museums, Riverboats & Schooners– get married in MS 53,58 directory... Travel info for Gulf Coast vacations including airports



JUNE 2011



Coastal Art


Seaside Art & Galleries


Sailing the Gulf Family sails around the Keys


An Ace Awakened Diving the Texas Clipper with Jesse Cancelmo


the Hook

Bob Shirley updates us on fishing tournaments & the Fly Fishing Expo May 6




70 56


64 59

68 conservation... Save the bull sharks ... meet Dr. Greg Stunz 74 reflections... History of the Gulf Coast shrimping industry 80 celebrations.. 2011 Shrimp festivals and Blessings schedule 84 preparations... Chef Rob Stinson gives cookings tips for shrimp 85 dining guide... Food & dining that brings a smile to your face

NEW–Destination Sailing! Our old-fashion, family vacation to the Florida Keys! pg. 59

90 foodie travel... Miami– the perfect backdrop for a food excursion 94 hollywood beach... Old Floridian style found at The Desoto



AND MAKE IT INTERCONTINENTAL. Enjoy local favorites with an intercontinental flair at the InterContinental New Orleans. Our Sunday Jazz Brunch at the Veranda, coffee at the Sweet Car or drinks after work at Pete’s have become long-standing traditions downtown. For 25 years, we have been at the center of fun in New Orleans. Come find out why.



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postcard from paradise

Summer’s here! It’s time to pack up the kids and head to the coast for vacation. Need some inspiration? We’ll give you 100 inspirations. This issue is jam-packed with 100 reasons to vacation on the Gulf Coast. That should jump start vacation planning! And for those of us who live on the Gulf Coast, we’ve got an adventure travel guide to Northwest Florida. It’s time we got out of our beach chairs and into some outdoor recreation, from kayaking to fishing to zip-lining. It’ll get your blood flowing! Speaking of outdoor blood flowing, we also investigate the investigators who are studying bull sharks along the Texas coast. No, they aren’t studying shark attacks, they’re studying why sharks rarely ever attack along the middle Texas coast. The researchers will also tell you why our Gulf shark population has plummeted. We’ll tell you why you should care!

did it MaKE you sMilE?

We’ll also look at why that iconic profession of the Gulf Coast, shrimping, is in danger of disappearing. Imagine a Gulf Coast without the humble shrimp boat, nets hanging by its side, seagulls following it like a pied piper. Not a pretty picture. We explain what has happened and what you can do to try to preserve this classic piece of Gulf Coast culture. We even tell you the history of Gulf Coast shrimping, what kinds of shrimp are swimming along your shoreline, and which ones you’re likely to eat.

Eating? Did we say eating? We introduce a new feature in this issue, our first ever Delicious Dining Guide. From South Padre Island to Key West, we search for restaurants that make us smile, so you can get your smile on, too! And we include a mini-culinary tour of Miami, where we grabbed some of the best food in the country. Why were we in Miami? The South Beach Wine and Food Festival, that’s why. We were a sponsor of that wonderful event this year and had a spectacular time attending the kind of South Beach parties that made the area famous. We never realized that just being around Emeril and Guy Fieri makes you hungry! As we made our way around the Gulf to South Florida, we got a good look at a variety of waterfront homes built on pilings. The modern pier homes are a world away from the old stilt houses built over the water as fishing shacks. These are modern architectural marvels designed to withstand our Gulf Coast weather. Why they’re built this way and how are the subject of our attention. There’s still enough activity, research and concern over the BP oil spill’s effects to get our attention. We continue our Gulf Coast Updates with the Harte Research Institute, which issued a “State of the Gulf ” report for the one year anniversary of the blowout. Things aren’t nearly as bad as they could have been, but we aren’t out of the woods yet. We may not be out of the woods, but we are out of time, at least for this issue. We’ll be back with more exciting things along the Gulf Coast in July. Until then, hop in the car, head to the Coast, and enjoy the summer!

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GAidO’S TUrnS 100 YEArS OLd Gaido’s, the venerable Galveston landmark, is turning 100. Since Gaido’s first opened the doors in 1911, the restaurant has been family owned and operated. With that much family history here, and that many satisfied customers, Gaido’s plays a large part in Galveston’s storied past. Through hurricanes, depressions and world wars, Gaido’s has continued to serve only the freshest seafood and delivered nothing short of exceptional service. And after a hundred years, you know they’ve accumulated a library’s worth of recipes. But they’ve never published a cookbook. Until now. For the 100th anniversary, they decided it was finally time. Gaido's Famous Seafood Restaurant, A Cookbook Celebrating 100 Years is a compilation of not only a hundred years worth of recipes, it’s filled with photos and nostalgic stories of family, guests and staff that cover most of Galveston’s history. Some of the recipes have been closely guarded family secrets for generations. With the cookbook, the family invites everyone to “join in the celebration of a restaurant that is proud to have a century of history and recipes to share.” 3828 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, TX, 800-5250064, www.gaidos.com Commemorative Book Released for Hotel Galvez’s Centennial Galveston’s Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand® Hotel has graced the Texas beachfront since 1911. For its 100th anniversary celebration in 2011, Hotel Galvez has released a commemorative book, entitled Hotel Galvez: Queen of the Gulf by Gary Cartwright, which will document and honor the historic Galveston landmark. This 131-page, hardcover coffee-table book features both current and historic photos of the hotel and the town of Galveston, as well as a variety of historic postcards. Cartwright’s entertaining tale tells the story of Hotel Galvez and its significant role in Galveston’s eclectic history. The new book includes a foreword by Peter H. Brink, former executive director of the Galveston Historical Foundation, and new


color photography by nationally-known architectural photographer Carol Highsmith. In addition to Cartwright’s narrative, the commemorative book includes numerous personal stories and photos from former guests and residents as well as the sought-after recipe for the hotel’s award-winning gumbo. “Hotel Galvez is truly a treasure in Galveston and along the Texan Gulf Coast,” says Cartwright. “It’s been a pleasure to be associated

recurrents The national Museum of naval Aviation in Pensacola is celebrating the 100th anniversary of naval aviation. On 8 May 1911, Captain Washington Chambers prepared the requisition form for the navy's first aircraft, the Curtiss A–1 Triad. That day is now celebrated as the official birthday of U.S. naval Aviation. The Museum will honor the birthday with a variety of special events throughout the year.

with this project to commemorate this centennial and to pay homage to a piece of living history.” Cartwright is also the author of Galveston – A History of the Island (1991) as well as seven other books. His writing has appeared in national publications such as Harper’s, Life, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and New York Times Magazine. Cartwright recently retired from Texas Monthly, where he had worked as a staff member since 1982. I Heard That! August 4-14, 2011 The Grand 1894 Opera House 2020 Postoffice Street Galveston, TX 77550 409.765.1894 www.thegrand.com From the gentlemen who gave you “Greater Tuna” and its wonderful sequels, comes a new comedy, “I Heard That!”. Written by Tony Award- nominee Joe Sears, Jaston Williams and Ed Howard, “I Heard That!” serves as the target for their outrageously-satiric comedy, and Sears and Williams once again portray over twenty different characters. Ranging from such situations as testy marriages gone postal, beekeepers in search of a buzz, political hacks desperate for the next crazy issue, totalitarian dictators maxing out their credit cards, and Civil War re-enactments gone bad, to that out-sourced guy in India who can't help you with your problem, you won’t want to miss finding out for yourself why critics have called Sears and Williams "living treasures of the American Theatre."

63rd Annual Shrimporee June 10-12, 2011 Johnson Community Park Aransas Pass, TX Get ready for the largest shrimp festival in Texas! Shrimporee kicks off its 63rd year with a parade, carnival, live music, dancing and, of course, plenty of tasty Texas shrimp. The festival gets going on Friday, June 10, at 6 P.M. The parade kicks off Saturday, June 11, at 10:00 A.M. at the intersection of East Maddox Ave. and Commercial Street. Festival-goers can watch culinary events, the obligatory Shrimp Eating Contest, the Miss Shrimporee Pageant, the Great Outhouse Race (best to watch it upwind), the Men's Sexy Leg Contest, and the always popular Women’s Sexy Leg Contest. There’s a Kidz Korner for the young-uns, a white tiger exhibit (for misbehaving young-uns), a Shrimp Peeling Contest, comedy and magic shows, and arts and craft displays. If you can’t get your fill of shrimp at the Shrimporee, you’re part Redfish. Crawfish Festivals and Great Zydeco Music still available in May There is still time to get your fill of Crawfish at these fun festivals ... Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, Breaux Bridge, LA, May 6-8, 2011, www.bbcrawfest.com; The Crawfish Festival, Spring, TX, May 13-15 & 20-22, 2011, www.texascrawfishfestival.com; and the Gulf Coast Zydeco Music & Crawfish Festival, Daphne, AL, May 20-22, 2011, (251) 626.5300, www.gulfcoastzydecomusicfestival.com. Remember eating Gulf Coast seafood makes you more attractive!


King Penquin hatches at Moody Gardens®

Live it. Fish it. Love it. F








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No guarantee is made that the proposed features will be constructed, or that if constructed, will be of the number and type described. These materials shall not constitute an offer in any state where prior registration is required. Void where prohibited by law. For unimproved lots at The Boardwalk at St. Charles Bay, obtain the property report required by federal law and read it before signing anything. No federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of these properties. Warning: The California Department of Real Estate has not inspected, examined, or qualified this offering.

Just Announced– Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant on Back Bay in Biloxi The Buffett empire continues to grow! This time, he’s bringing it to his birth state, Mississippi. The Margaritaville Casino and Restaurant in Biloxi got the go ahead from the Mississippi Gaming Commission in April. Tentative opening day is March 15, 2012. The casino will be located on the Back Bay, off 5th Street. In addition to the casino and restaurant, the complex will offer a marina, retail store, and events center, but no hotel. A Phase II is also in plans for the future, which will feature a musician’s museum. Wonder if it will include the golf shoes JB wore while walking on Buford “Walking Tall” Pusser’s car?


Moody Gardens announced the birth of a new King penguin in the Aquarium Pyramid this week, making it the only King penguin expected this breeding cycle. The chick hatched March 13, weighing 170 grams. “King penguin chicks are different from our other species because they are born with a very thin covering of down and look naked,” said Diane Olsen, assistant curator at Moody Gardens. “It looks kind of like an alien, but it will get fluffier in the next few weeks.” Olsen said that like all other chicks, the new King penguin will only be on display with its parents for a limited time. Although adult penguins are expert swimmers, babies must be kept safely away from the exhibit waters until they become water savvy. The gender of the young chick is still unknown because penguins are not sexually dimorphic, meaning it is impossible to tell male and female penguins apart based solely on looks. While away from the exhibit, blood tests will be done to determine the sex of the hatchling.

SOBE A GREAT SUCCESS, the W Hotel on South Beach was host to the Original MOOnSHinE® presents SHinE & SWinE hosted by Master BBQ Chef Adam Perry Lang. The pool was hopping and the BBQ was hot. (right) The South Beach Wine and Food Festival featured events all over Miami Beach. This flexible young lady was pouring champagne while hanging from her feet at the "Let Them Eat Cake" event, hosted by Emeril and Martha Stewart. it took place on the 7th floor of the parking garage at 1111 Lincoln road. Yes, a parking garage, but not just any parking garage. it was the most famous and beautiful parking garage in the world, created by the same architects who gave London its Tate Modern museum. (Middle) This spectacular cake was constructed, er baked, by Patti Schmidt (The dessert Lady, Orlando, FL) for the "Let Them Eat Cake" event at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, hosted by Emeril and Martha Stewart.

King of the Island, Kelly McGuire Redfish Island Records Our old friend Kelly McGuire (2008 Texas Music Album of the Year for “Boat in Belize”), featured in our Spring 2010 issue, is back with a new CD that picks up right where he left off. Kelly is back with new songs about the beach, lost love, the ocean, Belize, good friends and, with a clever nod to critics, the Buffetts, both Warren and Jimmy. As usual, Kelly’s new collection of songs are a nice mix of uplifting, nostalgic, heartfelt and funny. The album lifts you up, brings you down, but always leaves you feeling good. Just like a old friend. It’s available at www.redfishisland.com

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South Beach Food and Wine Festival’s 10th Anniversary a Hit The tenth annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine, February 24–27, 2011, captured, in more than 40 events across four days, all the excitement and fun the Festival has been known for since it launched in 2002. More than 53,000 guests attended the event and approximately $2.2 million was

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raised for the Florida International University School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center. "It was an extraordinary Festival – a celebration truly fitting for this milestone year,” said Festival Founder and Director Lee Brian Schrager, who also serves as Vice President of Corporate Communications & National Events at Southern Wine & Spirits of America, which hosts the Festival. Highlights of the Festival The American Express Grand Tasting tents, boasting approximately 95 wine and spirits exhibitors and 40 amazing local restaurants each day. The tents allowed attendees to sample a huge variety of food and drink, and offered performances by the nation’s top chefs. Perrier-Jouët BubbleQ presented by Allen Brothers, hosted by Bobby Flay, which paired champagne and barbeque. SOBE CONTINUED ON PAGE 30


photo courtesY pearson pilings

SpECiAl SECTiOn: pilingS & STilTS




Above grade foundations built with Pearson Fiberglass Pilings are built to last Considering the significant cost of a new waterfront home or beach house, it doesn’t make economic sense to build it on foundation pilings that begin to deteriorate the moment they are driven. Pearson Fiberglass Pilings have a product life cycle of 100 years or more, and they are stronger than wood, steel or concrete. Using a proprietary, three-dimensional glass fabric that has exceptional shear, stiffness and strength properties, Pearson Fiberglass Pilings will better withstand the forces of high storm surges and hurricane force winds. Because they are “friction” pilings, they provide greater resistance to the soil, whether sand or soft mud. And thanks to a specially engineered attachment system, the chance of a catastrophic separation of the piling from the house’s structure during severe weather conditions is drastically reduced. Best of all, because Pearson Pilings will never rot, rust or crumble like wood, steel or concrete, you won’t have to face the exorbitant expense of replacing the pilings under your home. Pearson Pilings are not only the strongest, longest lasting pilings you can buy, they are environmentally friendly, too. They contain no harmful coatings or preservatives that can leach into the soil or water. Their attractive finish also protects them from UV radiation and abrasion. Most important, Pearson Pilings have been time tested. In 1996 the San Diego Port Authority installed prototype designs as part of a test program. These pilings are in service today with no sign of needing replacement. Today, more and more architects, structural engineers and quality homebuilders are discovering the benefits of building above grade foundations with Pearson Fiberglass Pilings. For more info about these sustainable building materials and improved construction techniques. Pearson Pilings 846 Airport Road Fall River, MA 02720 508-675-0594 www.pearsonpilings.com


elevated building


Homes in Beachtown, a Galveston, TX beachfront development, are built on concrete pilings. www.beachtowngalveston.com

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elevated building

Gun Barrel pilings from Building Products Plus provide strong & long-lasting building pilings Beautiful and uniform in size and appearance, Gun Barrel pilings from Building Products Plus are stronger and longer-lasting than comparably-sized square pilings. According to engineers, Gun Barrel pilings have a bending moment 60% higher than square pilings of comparable size and, with a resistance factor 20% lower than square pilings, storm surge waters flow more easily around them relieving your home's structure of thousands of pounds of devastating force. Properly treated Gun Barrel pilings from Building Products Plus are expected to last 30 or more years in water and much longer when used on land structures. Learn more at www.GunBarrelPiling.com (800) 460-8627


For more information about Beachtown, visit www.beachtown.com or call Nader Shirazi, Beachtown developer, at 409-762-2222

Story By Katherine Adams

Special thanks from Gulfscapes to www.mcdanielbuilders.com

Beachtown: A Throwback to Old Galveston If there were such things as time machines, and we could travel back to Galveston in the late 1800’s, we’d see a thriving, elegant port city bustling with commerce, filled with ornate, beautifully designed Victorian homes, and a playground for the highest number of millionaires per square mile in the country. A peek at 1900 would reveal the results of the deadliest hurricane in our recorded history, and a glimpse at 1902 would show that same devastated island on stilts, as the elevation on the entire island was raised by up to twelve feet in one of the most complicated feats of engineering in history. Galveston residents slogged through three years of knee-deep mud, constant noise, and every possible inconvenience, but the time machine would show the dramatic drop in the number of lives claimed by subsequent hurricanes. Another look through the time machine would show Galveston today— still inescapably in the path of hurricanes, but still clearly celebrating its Victorian heritage through its love of the water and its beautiful

and enduring architecture. Despite the fact that Beachtown is a very newly constructed area on the east end of Galveston, the influence of Galveston’s Victorian past is clear. Mark McDaniel, senior designer at the family owned McDaniel Construction Company, which has built some homes in Beachtown, said they kept in mind that Galveston has the second-highest concentration of Victorian homes this side of the Mississippi. “The design elements of Galveston’s most famous architects, like Nicholas Clayton, are ingrained in us,” said McDaniel. “We’ve built these homes using a lot of the methods that those architects used. Those elements worked then, and they still work now.” If a time traveler were to walk through the small community with the spectacular ocean views, he’d see a familiar sight: houses on stilts. “These houses are not behind the protection of the (Gulf facing) Seawall, so they are fortified,” said McDaniel. “They are all built to a new code. There is a base flood

elevation requirement, and each of these homes is built above that,” he said. “The pilings are bigger and there’s metal strapping from the top down—ridge to floor. And just as the Victorian homes did, these homes have lots of tall windows, because we know that people come here for the view.” Turn-of-the-century Galvestonians lived near each other in communities closely contained. Not only did residents enjoy the contact with neighbors, but after the Great Storm of 1900, it made sense to rebuild homes very close together. “Beachtown uses the same idea here,” said McDaniel. “Back then, people would go out on their porch and see their neighbors. A sense of a close neighborhood and a feel for a tightlyknit community was important to people in their daily lives. You would want to be near your neighbors. But more significantly, packing together helps with wind sheer during STILTS CONTINUED ON PAGE 28





ier-built homes in the Gulf Region have survived the likes of Hurricane Ivan (2004) due to their building techniques. Homes and condos with traditional building styles have faired better when protected with Roll-a-way™ rolling shutters, accordions, bahamas, or colonials. Storm surges from Ivan blew out windows and doors left unprotected, while Roll-a-way protected openings allowed only a trickle of water inside. Impact glass is no match for storm surges and high wind pressures as the glass may stay intact, but the whole frames are pushed or pulled out of the building. Roll-a-way Distinctive Products helped the Pier Build project in Gulf Shores, AL receive a Fortified Plus Insurance Standard. Even though the home was built with impact windows and doors, additional hurricane protection by Roll-away was required to achieve this standard.

The architect knew impact glass is only a minimum protection level, and that a home without shutters will suffer severe water damage as windows and doors will leak due to the enormous wind pressures hurricanes generate. Studies show most hurricane damage is from water infiltration and not wind projectiles. This Gulf Shores’ home is able to have regular insurance since receiving Fortified Plus. Special wind and hurricane riders were not required. Beyond the savings in insurance costs, the homeowners will receive energy savings and peace of mind knowing their home is secure from strong storms, intruders, and sun protection. Roll-a-way has eight authorized dealers serving the Gulf Region providing hurricane protection products with installation. Call 866-980-1739 for a local dealer or visit www.roll-a-way.com.


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PILING HOME FAST FACTS In the last 30 years, piling homes, also known as stilt homes or pier homes, have been built inverted, meaning the living area is located on the top floor, with bedrooms on middle floors. This gives advantages to the living area of increasing its ventilation, decreasing flying insects, increasing the view, and increasing ceiling height. In addition to protection from flooding, piling homes also decrease animal intruders and make it easier to detect and prevent termites. The space beneath piling homes can be used for parking, non-essential storage or a variety of other purposes. Heights of homes on pilings range from a few feet to 25 feet, depending on local conditions. The pilings can be made from several different kinds of materials - wood, composites, steel or concrete - and range in length from 20 to 60 feet. The length of piling needed is determined by local soil and erosion conditions; the pilings must be driven in deep enough to maintain their strength against both horizonal (pushing) and vertical (lifting) forces from waves. Two main factors found from post-storm investigations that effected the ability of piling homes to resist storms: depth of piling and quality of attachment of frame to piling. Piling homes have been around for centuries; some have been dated as far back as the Bronze Age. GULFSCAPES.COM jUnE 2011 | 27


a hurricane.” In keeping with the small-community feel, a commercial center with a post office, a grocery store, and other shops are under construction in the center of Beachtown. This way, neighbors get to meet and see each other as they walk through the area, running their daily errands and doing their normal business, just as islanders did over a century ago. Each of the custom-designed McDaniel homes has an airy, beachfront cottage feel and as in days past, the generous porches and decks keep the breezes coming through. “We were trying to go back and retrieve the structural integrity of the old homes,” continued McDaniel. “The high ceilings are back, as well as the high doors. We use the same style of shutters, because they worked really well back then to protect the windows, and they still do. The window pane styles are the same as well, and we’ve got the curved archways you’ll find in the old Victorian homes, and of course, the real wood floors.” The result is a modern, luxurious beachfront cottage-style house with a definite nod to Galveston’s Victorian roots. A time traveler would be amazed at all Galveston has lost, rebuilt, and managed to preserve. He’d know that it may look different today, but even the new areas have enough early 19th-century hints, that he would certainly know he was home.

For more information about Beachtown, visit www.beachtown.com or call Nader Shirazi, Beachtown developer, at 409-762-2222 Special thanks from Gulfscapes to www.mcdanielbuilders.com 28 | june 2011 GuLFSCAPeS.COM

RESOuRcE GuiDE 508-675-0594 www.pearsonpilings.com

Buildllc OnisA the Foundation Pearson Pilings, brainchild of comWill Stand The Test Of Time. positesThat pioneer, everett pearson. recipient of the • Fiberglass compositesfrom have Pearson Fiberglass Composite pilings are stronger and more 2002 lifetime achievement award the a lifespan of 100+ years durable than wood, steel or concrete pilings. Over time, they won’t rot, rust or crumble, and they’re environmentally • Specially engineered composites association, pearson is friendly. Before you build your fabricators new beachfront home, attachment points can consider these facts: withstand the often referred toyearsasof experience the “father better of production fiberforces of wind and water • The Pearson family has over 50 in the composites industry Ask your architect or builder glass boatbuilding.” to specify Pearson Pilings, • Pearson Pilings are stronger than wood, steel or and build your home on a concrete foundation designed to last. formed in 2004 and headquartered in a For more information, visit pearsonpilings.com. 37,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in fall river, Massachusetts, the company manufactures fiberglass pilings for use in the construction of docks, piers and home foundations. everett pearson’s son, Mark, joined the company in 2005 to run the day-to-day operations and serves as the company president. both pearsons see a major opportunity to change the way high quality docks, piers and home foundations are constructed. “not only are our pilings sustainable because of their 100-year + life cycle, but they are stronger than conventional pilings,” comments Mark pearson. “they are also void of any harmful preservatives or coatings that leach into the water or soil.” changing an entire industry is nothing new to the pearsons. over 50-years ago everett pearson introduced the use of fiberglass in production boat manufacturing, forever changing the way the majority of boats are built. “if you look around the waterways today, you’ll see mostly fiberglass boats because they last virtually forever, ” says everett pearson. “someday, the same will be said about fiberglass pilings.” for more detailed product information, including technical specifications and independent engineering test reports, please contact Mark pearson at (508) 675-0594 or visit the company’s website: www.pearsonpilings.com

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The Grand Tasting Tents at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival were directly on the beach.

The Festival’s 10th Year Anniversary Party, Moët Hennessy “Let Them Eat Cake”, hosted by Emeril Lagasse and Martha Stewart, which transformed the seventh floor of the architecturally-striking 1111 Lincoln Road parking garage into a decadent sweets soirée. The Amstel Light Burger Bash presented by Allen Brothers hosted by Rachael Ray, which had Michael Symon (B Spot, Cleveland, Ohio) winning for his second year in a row by virtue of a decadent burger topped with fried salami. The Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate at the Beach,” where Food Network and Cooking Channel talent showcased their favorite items from around the globe. It was a spectacular hit with the Grammy awardwinning sounds of KC and the Sunshine Band on the sand at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach. Wine + Dine + Design, part of The New York Times Dinner Series, a multi-course roaming dinner party, took guests from one culinary hotspot to another in the Miami Design District with stops at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, SRA. Martinez, and Fratelli Lyon. A closing night party in true South Beach style, hosted by Food Network chef and rockstar Guy Fieri, with hundreds partying on the private beach behind the Gansevoort South on South Beach, feasting on delicious bites and sipping custom cocktails, ocean-side. Mark your calendars: Dates for the Festival’s 11th year are set for Thursday, February 23 through Sunday, February 26, 2012. SPECIAL NOTE: See our Miami Dining Foodie feature page 90.




new Orleans’ White Linen night held first Saturday of August

Artist, Billy Solitario, top, "Horn island", 36" x 60", oil on canvas and bottom, "Tumbling Oysters", 30" x 30", oil on canvas. www.lemieuxgalleries.com

Before air conditioning in homes and vehicles, new Orleanians did a number of things to lessen the effects of the summer heat. One of them was wearing white linen clothing. The white linen tradition is revisited every summer in the city’s Warehouse Arts district on the first Saturday night in August. Participants wear white outfits and white hats as they leisurely stroll through the art galleries along julia Street and adjacent side streets. Galleries and vendors provide participants with complimentary hand-held fans to cool themselves during the evening. new Orleans’ world-famous cuisine is available from local restaurants and cool drinks are available in the galleries. Live entertainment is provided on stages and along the street by local musicians. The official post party is at the Contemporary Arts Center where guest will enjoy more art, live music and festivities. For more information call CACnO at (504) 528-3805 or visit www.cacno.org.


Artist Eric Ehlenberger works in neon, metal and glass in new Orleans. www.Ehlenberger.com Above, the jellyfish sculptures vary in size from 16" x 16" x 36", handblown glass, and neon.



rom Texas to Florida, the natural beauty of the Gulf Coast is in such abundance that the area could be considered a work of art all by itself. It makes perfect sense then that

there are a bevy of art events held each year all along the beaches and the bays. Gulfscapes has found a few art festivals that are certainly worth a visit this summer and into the early fall.


Digital Graffiti, June 11, 2011, Alys Beach, Florida 866-732-1760, www.digitalgraffiti.com At Alys Beach, white is the hue of choice. Clean and crisp, it’s found on most of the buildings and beach homes in the town. But in June, during the Digital Graffiti event, the white walls will come alive with movement and dramatic color as artists use digital projection to cast their vivid works onto almost every vertical surface. Digital Graffiti is actually the world’s first outdoor projection art festival. “Our town literally becomes the artists’ blank canvas,”

arts&entertainment Edith Moseley, The island, Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30 inches, www.octaviaartgallery.com

said Kelli Arnold, Alys Beach’s Events Coordinator. “Last year we had a few interactive pieces, but we’ll be expanding that aspect this year, and there will be some true ‘wow’ features.” 42nd Annual Rockport Art Festival July 2 & 3, 2011 Rockport Center for the Arts, Rockport, Texas 361-729-5519, www.rockportartcenter.com Catch a cool breeze coming off the water while perusing a wide variety of art at this annual celebration of all things creative. Over 120 artists, including potters, painters, wood carvers and more, will be showing their work bayside across from the Rockport Center for the Arts. The Rockport Center for the Arts was started in the 19th century when informal groups of Rockport artists gathered to share their interests. Today, the Center boasts a state-of-the-art main gallery as well as two parlor galleries that are dedicated entirely to the works of the Center’s member artists. In addition to art, at the festival visitors will find food, music,

a kids’ activity tent and more. With so much to see and do, the event is a definite “can’t miss” for families. Another plus? The large food tent is air conditioned, providing a welcome escape from July’s heat. Ocean Springs Art Walk, September 3, 2011 Downtown Ocean Springs, Mississippi 228-875-4424, www.oceanspringschamber.com For two decades, visitors and residents alike have been shopping, socializing and soaking up culture in downtown Ocean Springs during its annual Art Walk. This charming coastal community welcomes painters, gold carvers, potters, sculptors and other artists each September, encouraging them to share their process and their finished works. The Downtown Merchants Association of Ocean Springs hosts the free event, with each merchant sponsoring an artist who sets up on the sidewalk in front of the business or shop. There were over 100 artists at last year’s event.


Art for Art’s Sake is October 1 in the Warehouse district in new Orleans on Magazine Street. www.cacno.org

Art Expo, September 2-4, 2011 The Village of Baytowne Wharf, Sandestin, Florida 850-267-8000, www.baytownewharf.com It may be near its end, but summer isn’t completely over yet in early September, and The Village of Baytowne Wharf is celebrating the last stretch of the season while welcoming the coming fall with an entire weekend of artistic expression at its annual Art Expo. World-class artists from galleries all over the Southeast will join with live music and other activities for this three-day festival featuring the best of the best in the world of art. 23nd Annual Jubilee Festival September 24 & 25, 2011 Olde Towne in Daphne, Alabama 251-621-8222, www.eschamber.com Put on by the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce for over 20 years, the Jubilee Festival promises over 85 regional artists and craftsmen with a juried art show. Classic festival foods only add to this event’s allure, as does live music and other entertainment throughout the weekend. And Kids Art will be back, giving children the chance to express their creativity with hands-on art activities, including the popular “fish print.” 34 | jUnE 2011 GULFSCAPES.COM

Art for Art’s Sake, October 1, 2011 New Orleans, Louisiana, 504-528-3805, www.cacno.org In a town that knows how to celebrate (think Mardi Gras) comes an art party that’s taking arts events to a whole new level. Hundreds of Big Easy galleries and shops in the Warehouse District and on famous Magazine Street stay open for a festival in the streets that highlights all kinds of art every autumn. Over 30,000 art lovers gallery hopped and shopped at last year’s event. 14th annual ARToberFEST October 15 & 16, 2011, Downtown Galveston, Texas www.artoberfest.com Thousands gather amid the relaxing charm of historic downtown Galveston for this weekend of exquisite art each year. This juried fine arts festival will feature over 125 artists with a wide array of original works, as well as music and food, all in the great outdoors. But this event isn’t just about beautiful pieces of art. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the AIDS Coalition of Coastal Texas and the Galveston Island Humane Society. The festival also offers booth space to student artists at no charge, allowing them to gain experience in marketing and selling their works.


robin renee Hix, one of the many Galveston artist who participate at ArToberFEST, www.robinreneehix.com


D'Arte Centre Gallery, a not-for-profit gallery owned and operated by artists in the rio Grande valley. dedicated to great original art and art education, d'Arte Centre Gallery & the Harlingen Art Forum are open Tues - Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm. 115 E jackson, Harlingen, TX (956) 425-4030 www.harlingenartforum.com Painting by Audrey Cisneros.

22nd Annual Hyde Park Village Art Fair October 29-30, 2011, Hyde Park Village, Tampa, Florida www.artfestival.com Over 150 artists and arts exhibitors will converge on Hyde Park Village in Tampa with works ranging from massive sculptures to delicate jewelry and everything in between during the Art Fair. Visitors will also enjoy live entertainment, shopping and delicious food. The Fair is a juried show, which means each participating artist is hand-selected from hundreds of applicants to ensure only the highest quality, original artwork is on display. You also have the opportunity to interact with the artists. All of the work is available for purchase, and with prices ranging from $15 earrings and $50 prints to $20,000 sculptures, there’s something to fit any budget.

nancy S. Mueller, a long time SCUBA diver, has spent countless hours and 1,100 dives down to a depth of 80 feet, recording underwater beauty with her camera. She has been thrilled by the complexity and diversity of marine life in the world’s oceans. As she delights in the marine creatures of the ocean depths, she strongly advocates for their protection through the development of public awareness and support of organizations devoted to their preservation. nancy is the founder of nancy’s Specialty Foods, a gourmet frozen food business that began in her California kitchen and expanded into a multi-million dollar corporation. With her business sold, after twenty-four years of concentrated effort, nancy began a new “career” in 2002, traveling the world in her custom yacht. Local St. George island, Florida residents, Michaelin and dave Watts, founders of Bring Me A Book Franklin, have been guests of nancy aboard “Andiamo” in vanuatu in the far reaches of the South Pacific. Apalachicola Museum of Art, Exhibit on display through July 10, apalachicolamuseumofart.org


position: shortstop organization: houston astros born: chalmette, la, 1983 high school: archbishop hannan high, Meraux, la college: tulane, new orleans, la bats/throws: r/r


Tommy Manzella


When you are born along the Gulf Coast, play high school baseball along the Gulf Coast, play your college ball along the Gulf Coast, play in the minor leagues along the Gulf Coast (at AA Houston affiliate Corpus Christi), and play in the major leagues along the Gulf Coast, it’s safe to label you a Gulf Coast ballplayer. Tommy Manzella is a Gulf Coast ballplayer. How Gulf Coast is Tommy? His high school got destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. His parents had to move from Chalmette, LA to Hammond, LA due to Katrina. He ticks off his favorite New Orleans eateries without a thought. He quickly names the Mardi Gras parades he doesn’t want to miss. That’s Gulf Coast. Tommy lives Uptown in New Orleans during the offseason, and plans on staying in New Orleans after his career is over. He embraces New Orleans like an old friend. So we asked Tommy about his favorite things about New Orleans, and about some of his other favorite things about the Gulf Coast. favorite new orleans restaurants: irene’s cuisine - “i always get the oysters irene” clancy’s - for smoked duck Jacques-imo's - “My favorite is the blackened redfish. and they’ve got the best cornbread you’ll ever have!”

favorite Mardi gras parades: “the sunday before Mardi gras is the best day, from 11am till midnite. i try not to miss the thoth and the bacchus parades.” he’s not a member of a krewe, but might join after he’s through with his baseball career.

favorite Music: “i like going to the house of blues. seeing better than ezra there is great.” favorite thing about new orleans: “the people, the culture. it’s unlike any other. the people make you feel at home.the strong culture and strong will of the people got us through Katrina. i think a lot of other towns would have folded, but our people got us through.” favorite houston restaurants: damien’s cucina italiana - “they’re very good to the ballplayers. they treat us well and will stay open late after games.” tony Mandola’s - “it has a new orleans feel to it. there’s a lot of seafood. it reminds me of home.” vic and anthony’s - “always good.” favorite food in corpus christi: “in the minor leagues, players don’t have a lot of time to do anything. it’s hectic. but i remember there’s a great Mexican food place downtown called la bahia. we used to get a great breakfast there every day before a game.”

BASEBALL BY THE BEACH Gulf Coast Baseball Preview It’s that time of year, again. The grass is green, the air is warm, and the sound of bats hitting balls is in the air. For both the casual and diehard fans, Gulf Coast baseball brings a unique perspective to our national pastime. We have two major league teams to root for, the Astros and the Rays (they’ll always be the Devil Rays to me, even though they shortened the name a couple of years ago for fear of offending someone). The Rays made the playoffs last year and could be a contender again this year. The Astros, well, they have a nice ballpark. Houston is rebuilding this year, but has several young, exciting players to watch. And you never know when a team will catch fire, so go out and support those kids, Astros fans! Even if they lose, a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day almost anywhere else. We’ve got a bushel of minor league teams around the Gulf and their stadiums offer many unique attractions. From the great views in Corpus Christi of the oil tankers sailing up the ship channel, to visiting the childhood home of Henry Aaron in Mobile, to sitting in the Tiki Bar in Clearwater, there are fun times to be had at the minor league games. Several minor league parks are located on the water. These special parks offer views of the Gulf that you can’t get many places. The air at

waterfront parks tends to be cooler, too, which is a plus during August. There are also certain challenges presented by a ballpark on the water. It can be more windy than inland parks. Humidity is a bit more than visiting teams are used to. And seagulls are always present - and they swarm aggressively if someone throws them food. And boy, do opposing players look scared when they see a french fry land at their feet. And speaking of animals that attack, do we have some mascots along the Coast! Bay Bears, Stone Crabs, Rusty Hooks (pretty fishy, huh?), Sharks and even Miracles. How can you not have fun rooting for the Miracles? Many of the ballparks offer regional food and beverage favorites, so dining can be exciting (reference french fries above). All the parks have giveaways and promotions every single game (or so it seems). Fireworks on the weekends are also popular, so you can get your fireworks fix without waiting for July 4. Kid’s zones are also pretty popular at the parks, so you can properly indoctrinate the young-uns into our national game without fear that they’ll get bored. So grab your glove and cap and head down to your local ballpark. It’s a 9 inning vacation.

Whataburger Field

BASEBALL On THE GULF COAST Houston Astros Stadium: Minute Maid Park 501 Crawford Street Houston, TX 77002 Phone: (713) 259-8000 Capacity: 40,950 League: National League Central Division Website: astros.com, astrosdehouston.com Players to watch: Brett Myers, P; Hunter Pence, RF; Michael Bourn, CF Fun at the ballpark: Retractable roof; Crawford Boxes in left field are great place to catch home runs; train atop left field wall chugs down its track when Astroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s homer Ticket prices: $7-$56 Tampa Bay Rays Stadium: Tropicana Field One Tropicana Drive St. Petersburg, FL 33705 Phone: (727) 825-3137 Capacity: 45,000 League: American League East Website: raysbaseball.com, raysbeisbol.com Players to watch: David Price, P; Evan Longoria, 3B; B.J. Upton, CF Fun at the ballpark: Cownose rays in tank in right field area can be petted; catwalks above field can cause fly balls to ricochet around; Cuesta-Rey Cigar Bar Ticket prices: $9-$300


New Orleans Zephyrs Stadium: Zephyr Field 6000 Airline Dr. Metairie, LA 70003 Phone: (504) 734-5155 Capacity: 11,000 League: Pacific Coast League Website: zephyrsbaseball.com Fun at the ballpark: two hot tubs in right field; Coors Light Party Shack in right-field corner; Metairie Bank Home Run Porch in left field; New Orleans style food: Po-Boys, Jambalaya, pigskin nachos Ticket prices: $8-$10 Affiliation: Florida Marlins, AAA Tropicana Field

Zephyr Field

Corpus Christi Hooks Stadium: Whataburger Field 734 East Port Avenue Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Phone: (361) 561-4665 Capacity: over 7100 League: Texas League, South Division Website: cchooks.com Fun at the ballpark: twice voted as best minor league ballpark by the Minor League News; Port of Corpus Christi ship channel is just beyond outfield fence and huge oil tankers can be seen steaming by during games; The USS Lexington aircraft carrier and the towering Bay Bridge are seen in the background. Best views in all of baseball. Ticket prices: $5-$14 Affiliation: Houston Astros, AA

Mobile Bay Bears Stadium: Hank Aaron Stadium 755 Bolling Brothers Blvd Mobile, AL 36606 Phone: (251) 479-2327 Capacity: 6000 League: Southern League Website: www.mobilebaybears.com Fun at the ballpark: Next door to the park is the Hank Aaron Childhood Home and Museum, open to the public, with great memorabilia; Concession stands are named for historic ballparks. Ticket prices: $7-$15 Affiliation: Arizona Diamondbacks, AA Dunedin Blue Jays Stadium: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium 373 Douglas Ave. Dunedin, FL 34698 Phone: (727) 733-9302 Capacity: 5,500 League: Florida State League Website: www.dunedinbluejays.com Fun at the ballpark: Listed by Sports Illustrated in 2002 as one of the top 5 places to watch Spring Training games; Seats are really close to the field, for a very comfy, nostalgic feel. Ticket prices: $6 Affiliation: Toronto Blue Jays, Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers Stadium: Bright House Field 601 N. Old coachman Rd. Clearwater, FL 33765 Phone: (727) 712-4300 Capacity: 8,500 League: Florida State League Website: threshersbaseball.com Fun at the ballpark: Frenchy’s Tiki hut in left field offers fun adult libations; Left field corner of the concourse offers a special kids area with playground and kid’s concession stand named “Shortstop Snacks”; Berm seating in outfield. Ticket prices: $5-$9 Affiliation: Philadelphia Phillies, Class A Advanced Tampa Yankees Stadium: George M. Steinbrenner Field 3802 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. Tampa, Florida 33614 Phone: (813) 875-7753 Capacity: 11,000 plus League: Florida State League Website: www.steinbrennerfield.com Fun at the ballpark: Field dimensions are identical to Yankee Stadium; Tampa Tribune party deck offers 5 tiered entertainment area; Monument Park displays plaques honoring Yankee greats. Ticket prices: $4-$6 Affiliation: New York Yankees, Class A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs Stadium: Charlotte Sports Park 2300 El Jobean Rd Port Charlotte, FL 33948 Phone: (941) 206-4487 Capacity: 6800 League: Florida State League Website: Stonecrabsbaseball.com Fun at the ballpark: Take a walk along the Baseball Boardwalk, a 19,000 square foot wooden walkway around the outfield; While you’re out there, stop by and have a drink at the tiki bar; Beer battered grouper sandwiches are a regional favorite; Kid’s Clubhouse in right field. Ticket prices: $7-$11 Affiliation: Tampa Bay Rays, Class A Advanced

Hank Aaron Stadium

Florida Auto Exchange Stadium

Bright House Field

The teams listed to the left are in full season leagues, starting in April and playing until September. There is also an abbreviated season league in south Florida called the Gulf Coast League, which plays from late June into late August and is a rookie league, with younger, less experienced players. The team names are just the names of their parent club, for example the GCL Astros. Here are the Major League teams with Gulf Coast League affiliates along the Gulf Coast side of Florida, along with contact info: baltimore orioles ed smith stadium 2700 12th street sarasota, fl 34237 telephone: (941) 923-1996 boston red sox red sox complex 4301 edison avenue fort Myers, fl 33916 telephone: (239) 334-4799

Bradenton Mauraders Stadium: McKechnie Field 1611 9th Street West Bradenton, FL 34205 Phone: (941) 747-3031 Capacity: 6600 League: Florida State League Website: www.bradentonmarauders.com Fun at the ballpark: Great Spanish Mission style architecture; Local eateries offer concessions; Pittsburgh-area beers are offered in the Pitt Stop. Ticket prices: $5-$7 Affiliation: Pittsburgh Pirates, Class A Advanced

Minnesota twins lee county complex 14200 6 Mile cypress parkway fort Myers, fl 33912 telephone: (239) 768-4280 new York Yankees himes complex 3102 n. himes avenue tampa, fl 33607 telephone: (813) 875-7569 philadelphia phillies carpenter complex 651 n. old coachman road clearwater, fl 33765 telephone: (727) 712-4352

Ft. Myers Miracle Stadium: Hammond Stadium 14100 Six Mile Cypress Parkway Fort Myers, FL 33912 Phone: (239) 768-4210 Capacity: 8000 League: Florida State League Website: www.miraclebaseball.com Fun at the ballpark: Beer Garden; Picnic Pavilion; Waterfall fountain near front entrance; Kid Zone; Architecture reminds of Churchill Downs. Ticket prices: $6.50-$9.50 Affiliation: Minnesota Twins, Class A Advanced

tampa bay rays charlotte sports park 2300 el Jobean road pt. charlotte, fl 33948 telephone: (941) 235-5040

Pensacola coming in 2012! The Southern League’s Carolina Mudcats, AA Club of the Cincinnati Reds, will be moving to Pensacola in 2012. The as-yet-unnamed team will play at the new Community Maritime Park, which should have great views of the bay.

toronto blue Jays Mattick training center 1700 solon avenue dunedin, fl 34698 telephone: (727) 734-8007

pittsburgh pirates pirate city 1701 - 27th street e. bradenton, fl 34208 telephone: (941) 747-3031


Best Gulf Coast Baseball Logos



Bradenton Mauraders


aseball season is here and when you go to that first game of the year, once you get in the gate and buy a program it hits you! The smell! The undeniable, awesome, mouth-watering smell that says baseball season! Peanuts, popcorn, beer, pizza, HOT DOGS! Now we are going to get to the hot dogs, but first a little background information on that favorite condiment for hot dogs and pretzels – mustard. Mustard is a member of the Brassica family of plants, which has not only tasty greens but tiny round edible seed. The name mustard is a derivative of must, which is unfermented juice of wine grapes. The French crushed the spicy hot seed and mixed them with the grape juice and called it mustard. Mustard was considered a medicinal plant long before it became a culinary one. In the sixth century B.C. Greek scientist Pythagoras used mustard as a remedy for scorpion stings. Hippocrates used mustard in poultices to cure toothaches. The ancient Greeks believed Asclepius, the god of healing, created mustard as a gift to mankind. The early Romans ground the seeds and thinned them with wine, making a paste much like the mustard we know today. The Chinese have been preparing mustard for two thousand years, and it was so popular in Europe that King Louis XI traveled with his own mustard pot in case his hosts didn’t serve the condiment. Pope John XXII was so fond of mustard that he created a new Vatican position – grand moutardier du pape, or mustard maker to the pope. Today mustard is made by combining whole, cracked, or bruised white, brown or black mustard seeds with water, vinegar or other liquids along with flavorings and spices. While most mustard is cooked or ground by high speed technology, Raye’s in Eastport Maine maintains the last traditional cold grinding process in the world. There are hundreds of local mustards with their own recipes and special flavorings and you can even make your own. Recipes and equipment abound on the internet. If you are visiting Wisconsin, don’t forget to visit the National Mustard Museum in Middleton. If you aren’t planning a trip, then visit them at www.mustardmuseum.com where you can learn, shop and laugh! You might also plan a trip to the Napa Valley Mustard Festival for the worldwide competition. Check out the schedule on www.mustardfestival.org. Each year we consume over 400 million pounds of mustard worldwide. Potato salad, barbecue sauce, beans, fish, sandwiches, corned beef – there’s almost nothing that isn’t perked up by a little of your favorite mustard. But nothing says mustard like hot dogs! Americans eat 7 billion hot dogs during peak season from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Eighty-eight percent of Americans will eat at least one hot dog at a sporting event each year. Thirty million hot dogs will be sold at baseball parks during this year’s season. Visit www.hot-dog.org for every bit of trivia and statistics you ever wanted to know about hot dogs. First, when and where did hot dogs originate? Frankfort, Germany, in the 17th century or maybe it was in 1487 before Christopher Columbus set sail for the new world? Perhaps it was in Chicago at the Colombian Exposition in 1893 or was it twenty years earlier on Coney Island in NYC. Were hot dogs consumed at ballparks before the turn of the twentieth century or was it at the World’s Fair in St. Louis? How is a hot dog served? In New York, you’ll get steamed onions and pale deli mustard. In Chicago, the dog is layered with mustard, green relish, chopped raw onion, tomato slices and a sprinkle of celery salt. Buy a hot dog in the South and they will “drag it through the garden” which means you’ll get coleslaw atop the mustard. In Boston, you’ll get mustard and relish on a boiled hot dog. Then there’s a Texas dog, which has chili, cheese and jalapenos. You can’t eat a hot dog without knowing the proper hot dog etiquette. A hot dog in a bun must be eaten with your hands, and in no more than five bites. All condiments that get on your fingers must be licked off, never wiped or washed. No one over the age of 18 can use catsup on a hot dog. Never serve wine with hotdogs, although Marlene Dietrich once said her favorite all time meal was champagne with hot dogs. I guess you can break the rules if you’re famous! Hebrew National, Thumann, Dietz and Watson, Best’s Provision, Boar’s Head, Abeles, and Heymann win rave reviews nationwide, but local meat markets and butchers have their following. Regionally, hot dogs are spiced differently and there’s also a preference over the casing – natural or not. Easterners eat more all beef hot dogs, while those on the West Coast prefer poultry dogs. Southerners are eating more poultry dogs each year. Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, get in the car and get yourself to a ball park! Hurry, before they’re all sold out!



Kayaker in Florida Bay area. Photo courtesy of Tim donovan.


hen in the presence of the brilliant blue-green waters and sparkling white sand shores found all along Florida’s Northwest coast, it is tempting to do nothing more than sit back and soak up the sun while watching gentle waves roll in. The unmatched beauty and tranquility of this scene entrances almost all who are lucky enough to see it. But with the other offerings for fun so abundant in the area, Gulfscapes invites you to get your bottom out of your beach chair and discover the more active, more adventurous side of the Panhandle. We’ve assembled a sampling, highlighting a few of the myriad activities available, stretching all the way from Apalachicola to Pensacola. St. George Island/Apalachicola At the far eastern end of Florida’s panhandle, the city of Apalachicola and surrounding areas resting on the banks of the Apalachicola River where it meets Apalachicola Bay are often dubbed the state’s “forgotten coast” — and for good reason. The quiet hamlet only 50 miles east of Panama City seems a world away from the hustle

view of St. George island. Photograph courtesy of www.resortvacationproperties.com / See ad pg. 58

and bustle of other coastal destinations. In the minds of many, the name Apalachicola is most often paired with the word “oysters,” as those that come from Apalachicola Bay are highly sought after and savored all over the country. (In fact, the bay annually produces 90 percent of Florida’s oysters.) Yet both the river and bay are teeming with much more than oysters. Life in and around the


st george island lighthouse full Moon climb - sunset/full moon lighthouse climb takes place on May 17 8-9 (sunset at 8:27pm), and June 15 8:15pm-9:15pm (8:42pm). enjoy hors d’oeuvres and a sparkling cider toast to the full moon. cost is $15 for the general public and $10 for sgi lighthouse members. after sunset people are invited to climb to the top of the lighthouse for a spectacular view. cost is $10 for the public and $5 for members. reservations recommended. contact terry Kemp at info@stgeorgelight.org or www.seestgeorgeisland.com

Since 1895, the Crooked river Lighthouse in Carrabelle, FL has guided ships through the pass between dog island and St. George island. in 2001 the City of Carrabelle and the Carrabelle Lighthouse Association rescued the lighthouse from auction, and have preserved the structure, which is listed on the national register of Historic Places. The lighthouse is open Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 p.m. Climbing the lighthouse is $5, while a year pass is only $15. (850) 697-2732, www.crookedriverlighthouse.org 42 | jUnE 2011 GULFSCAPES.COM

waterways is abundant and just waiting to be explored. Get an up-close-and-personal experience with the water via a kayak or canoe trip on part of The Apalachicola Paddling Trail System in the Apalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental Area. The system of various trails is a designated National Recreation Trail, and its 100 miles of scenic waterways were ranked one of the nation’s top 12 paddling destinations by Paddler magazine and the American Canoe Association. You can opt for an outing as short as two miles or embark on a full-day or even multi-day excursion. Primitive camping is allowed with no permits required. The slow-flowing current is liquid bliss, moving you through marshes and cypress-tupelo swamps and allowing you ample opportunities to fish, view all kinds of wildlife including multiple bird species (the Trail is part of the Great Florida Birdwatch Trail) or simply relax. A free, waterproof trail map is available from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. If you prefer to keep your feet (mostly) on dry land, try for some wildlife sightings on a trek through the St. Vincent Wildlife Refuge. This unspoiled barrier island in the Gulf right off Apalachicola proves that amazing things can come in small packages. As National Wildlife Refuges go, St. Vincent is tiny, yet its 12,500 acres are home to a diverse array of plants and animals, including some exotic species. Before it was a wildlife refuge, it was actually a private hunting preserve, and its owners brought several animals from far away lands to the island. Most died out, but today, a thriving population of sambar deer from Southeast Asia is still there. Adult sambar can reach up to 600 pounds. In addition to supporting snakes, birds (including bald eagles), alligators, foxes and native white-tailed deer, St. Vincent is also used as a breeding ground for endangered red wolves. St. Vincent is only accessible by boat, but the main office and visitor center is located in downtown Apalachicola. Here you’ll find maps and guides describing the various kinds of wildlife you might encounter and information on local boat captains who can ferry you to the refuge. One of the most popular active attractions in the Apalachicola area is fishing. It may be here that the phrase “There are plenty of fish in the sea” first originated since it is almost impossible to cast a line into these rich-with-life waters and not at least get a bite. Redfish and speckled trout are the two fish most anglers are after. Several local guides will take you out for a half or full day of fishing. Both friendly and knowledgeable, Captain Brownie Parkman is a great choice for experts and novices alike. Panama City Beach So far, we’ve encouraged you to leave the beach behind and venture into some off-the-beaten path parts of the coast. In Panama City Beach, there is plenty of adventure to be found right on and

cedar Key, floridaâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; above, restaurants over the water cater to tourists, while retaining their 1860sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; eclectic charm. we stayed at tony & shirleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beach front retreat, unit 2-d at the old fenimore Mill complex, (www.abeachfrontretreat.com) this fantastic, pet friendly, furnished, condo had two bedrooms, two baths and a huge balcony (right) that overlooked the gulf of Mexico and a 1000-foot private beach. below, clams are big business in the shallow waters surrounding cedar Key. small boats like this are used to harvest the clams.

Kayakers in backwaters of nW Florida. Photo courtesy of Tim donovan.

CLOSE TO nATUrE right under the waves. If you often feel the need for speed, then kiteboarding, sometimes called kitesurfing, may be for you. This new water sport is simple to learn and provides a thrilling ride. As its name implies, kiteboarding harnesses the power of the wind with a “kite” (that resembles a parasail) to propel a small board across the water’s surface. It takes a little time to find balance on the board, but after you’ve got that down, the rest comes fairly naturally to most. So it’s easy and it’s fun, but it is also “green,” since there’s no engine involved. Several area outfitters rent gear and offer lessons. While trends like kiteboarding add exciting new ways to experience the coast, you can’t forget old favorites like SCUBA diving. Panama City Beach offers some of the best wreck diving anywhere in Florida. Several accessible shipwrecks dot the region, including a 441-foot World War II liberty ship and the famous 465-foot Empire Mica. They, along with over 50 artificial reefs and several natural reefs, provide habitat for a kaleidoscope of creatures including manta and eagle rays, puffer fish, sponges, crabs, sea turtles and more. Thanks to this pastime’s popularity, there are plenty of area dive shops that rent equipment and organize dives.


get an up-close-and-personal experience with the water via a kayak or canoe trip on part of the apalachicola paddling trail system in the apalachicola river wildlife and environmental area. the system of various trails is a designated national recreation trail, and its 100 miles of scenic waterways were ranked one of the nation’s top 12 paddling destinations by paddler magazine and the american canoe association. the slow-flowing current is liquid bliss, moving you through marshes and cypress-tupelo swamps and allowing you ample opportunities to fish, view all kinds of wildlife including multiple bird species (the trail is part of the great florida birdwatch trail) or simply relax. a free, waterproof trail map is available from the florida fish and wildlife conservation commission.

Beaches of South Walton The coastal communities accessed via Florida’s Highway 30-A, known collectively as the Beaches of South Walton, rank as some of the loveliest in the world. Upscale resorts and enclaves emit a sense of laidback luxury that has become a hallmark of the region. Yet for all the fine dining and exquisite shopping options (in addition to near-perfect beaches), the area has some hidden gems too: its coastal dune lakes. These unusual geological features are quite rare, only found in a handful of places in the entire world (including Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar and the north Pacific coast of the United States).

margaritaville Beach Hotel in pensacola Beach fl is one of the best reasons to visit the Gulf Coast. Parrothead or not, all will enjoy the friendly and relaxed atmosphere and beautiful beach. (Top) Landshark Landing is a separate building from the hotel, where guests drink at the bar, bands play & people sleep in hammocks beneath palm trees.(Middle left) The white sand beaches are full of shells the size of your hand. We saw dolphins swimming in front of the hotel every day of our vacation. (Middle right) The hotel lobby is comfortable and provides ample room for playing games and socializing. (Bottom left) Frankie and Lola’s has indoor and outdoor seating. (Bottom right) The pool has clear walls along the beach which provide protection from the wind and a great view.

outdoors Separated from the ocean by sand dunes, these shallow bodies of water were formed by wind-blown sand thousands of years ago. Their size and depth often changes, depending on rain and when/if the surrounding dunes shift and provide an outlet to the sea. Because they sometimes open to the Gulf, they are a mix of salt and fresh water that supports a unique, always-changing ecosystem, unlike anything else on earth. Eleven named dune lakes are scattered across South Walton County, and they have thus far been protected from major development. With a Florida fishing license, you can fish on the lakes and may reel in fresh and saltwater species like bream, bass, redfish, flounder and speckled trout. You can enjoy these natural wonders via paddle or pedal. If you choose paddle, canoeing and kayaking are obvious options. Or consider paddle boarding, usually called YOLO boarding in this area, thanks to YOLO (You Only Live Once) Board Adventures, a local company that introduced the sport to South Walton County. “Yoloing” is a mix of the concepts in surfing and canoeing. You stand up on a board and push yourself through the water using a paddle. Not only are having a good time in the great outdoors, Yoloing also provides an intense workout. (Your tummy will be sore!) There are several sizes and types of boards designed for different skill levels and uses. Guests of the award-winning WaterColor Inn and Resort can take lessons and rent YOLO boards at


the resort’s Boat House, which sits right on the shore of a dune lake. If you’re a pedal pusher, the 30-A Bike Path, also known as the Timpoochee Trail, is a 13-mile paved path that runs the entire length of 30-A and will journey you around the scenic dune lakes, as well as through the area communities. Multiple bike racks make it easy to stop and stroll around on foot whenever the mood strikes. WaterColor also offers bikes to its guests, as well as guided expeditions of dune lakes. Navarre Beach/Milton Nestled between Pensacola Beach and Destin, Navarre Beach has a quiet, calm character. With no crowds and just two restaurants, this short stretch of sand is surrounded by protected coastline, including eight-miles of the undeveloped, unspoiled Gulf Islands National Seashore, the longest continuous stretch of protected beach in Northwest Florida. It would be perfectly proper to relax the day away on the picturesque beach here. But you don’t want to miss out on two other attractive diversions. The newly opened 1,500-foot-long Navarre Beach Fishing Pier is the longest on the Gulf of Mexico and is drawing anglers and other visitors by the thousands. An extended deck is being added to the beach end of the pier, as is a beachside café. The nearby Blackwater River State Park and Blackwater River State

Fishing in nW Florida is always a thrill. Photos courtesy of Tim donovan. Forest are definitely worth a visit. With over 190,000 acres of forests and rivers, Blackwater River State Forest came by the description “canoe capital of Florida” honestly, offering canoeing, kayaking and tubing on three sandy bottom, flat-water rivers flowing through its borders: the Blackwater River, Sweetwater-Juniper Creek and Coldwater Creek. The clear, yet tea-colored currents of these spring-fed beauties meander past sandbars and through stands of longleaf pines and live oaks. Adventures Unlimited, situated on the banks of Coldwater Creek in Milton, Fla., will outfit you with a canoe, a kayak or an inner tube and everything you need for a day on the water and then ferry you (along with the gear) to a put-in spot. Perhaps you’d rather gain a more lofty perspective on the area? Adventures Unlimited also offers zip line tours, giving you a bird’s-eye view of the landscape and its four unique ecosystems as you “zip” over the treetops on a series of lines and sky bridges strung between towers. Pensacola & Pensacola Beach In 2006, the mammoth USS Oriskny aircraft carrier was purposely sunk off the shores of Pensacola Beach to create a 911-foot long artificial reef, currently the world’s largest. This, in addition to many other area dive sites, including live bottom reefs, airplane wrecks and a few

natural and historic shipwrecks, has officially put Pensacola on the map for die-hard divers. Boasting warm waters all year long, the area also hosts a diverse array of marine life. Watch and photograph brightly colored butterfly fish, queen angelfish, French and blue angelfish, damsels and blennies. Swim with barracuda, octopus, slipper and spiny lobster, sea turtles, manta rays, eagle rays and dolphins. Or spearfish for amberjack, red snapper, triggerfish and more. A relaxing sail on the waters around Pensacola and Pensacola Beach afford a great way to glimpse some of the area’s rich history. Its natural deep-water harbor, a necessity for sailing vessels of old, made it the choice of Spanish explorer Don Tristan de Luna in 1559 for the site of the first European settlement in the United States. The city of Pensacola recently celebrated its 450th birthday. Today, you can view the Pensacola Lighthouse, Fort McRee and Fort Pickens. Drop anchor at latter, which was completed in 1834, and hike through Fort Pickens National Park, part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. You can tour on your own and encounter native and migrating birds like least terns and snowy plovers as well as animals like the gopher tortoise, the endangered Perdido Key Beach Mouse and river otters. Or check into the different nature programs led by park rangers each month.


waterColor Inn & Resort 34 Goldenrod Circle Santa rosa Beach, FL 32459 850-534-5000 www.watercolorresort.com

WATErCOLOr iS A rESOrT MASTErPiECE WaterColor Inn & Resort is one of the most celebrated resorts on Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, winning award and recommendations from a host of travel organizations and magazines. Accommodations range from the intimate WaterColor Inn, with the cozy, relaxed feel of a beach home featuring rooms overlooking the pristine sugar white sand and emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, to the resort’s charming vacation homes. Located just a short walk from the beach and scenic Western Lake, WaterColor vacation homes are roomy enough for groups or families to vacation together. WaterColor Inn & Resort caters to guests of all ages, offering numerous amenities including a BeachClub, several swimming pools, tennis center, spa, and Kids Camp. Complimentary bicycles, kayaks and canoes make it easy for guests to ride to the neighboring town of


Seaside, paddle through the Western Lake (a rare coastal dune lake) and hike the resort’s woodland trail system. Golfers have three courses to choose from: the Tom Fazio-designed Camp Creek Golf Club, the Greg Norman-designed Shark’s Tooth Golf Club, and the Origins course designed by Davis Love III for family and short play. The resort’s highly acclaimed Fish Out of Water restaurant overlooks the Gulf of Mexico and features Chef de Cuisine Philip Krajeck’s specialties made from locally sourced and organic ingredients. Throughout the year, WaterColor Inn & Resort hosts special events and retreat packages focusing on fitness, art, culinary and more. Whether you come for a special event, or just for a soothing vacation, you’ll be glad you visited Watercolor.

(Opposite, Top left) Fish Out of Water provides a romantic dining spot overlooking the pristine beaches and Gulf of Mexico. (Top) Watercolor inn sits amongst the sugar white sand dunes. it offers some of the best views on the Gulf to its pampered visitors. (Left) This bridge traverses the 220 acre Western Lake, a rare lake on a barrier island. (Above) Guest rooms at Watercolor inn provide private courtyards/balconies.


Henderson Park Inn 2700 Scenic Hwy 98 destin, FL 32541 hendersonparkinn.com 888-836-1105


Henderson Park inn

new England Charm, Florida Style If someone placed you in front of Henderson Park Inn and then asked you to identify your geographical location, chances are high that you’d guess wrong. This 30-room inn with its Victorian architecture flanked in well-worn cedar shingles and accented with gleaming white woodwork would leave many confidently declaring they were on the coast of Maine or some other spot in New England. But a walk around to the beach right behind the Inn might cause confusion. Maine’s shores are rocky, not flat and covered with sugar-white sand. Its coastal waters dark, not pale mint green. So where are you? Henderson Park Inn is in Destin, Fla., and even though it sits directly on one of the Emerald Coast’s finest beaches, it seems far removed from everything else around it, both in look and feel. Tucked away on the edge of Henderson State Park and its undeveloped beach, Henderson Park Inn offers a charm and tranquility that can be hard to find in some other nearby seaside locales. With nothing for over a mile on one side, and only small lodgings on the other (no towering condos), most often the only sounds you hear are waves breaking against the shore and the occasional seagull cry. One noise you will definitely not hear is that associated with children, as Henderson Park Inn is for adults only. You’ll notice the next difference when you open the door to your casually elegant room. The usual suspects of beach décor are missing (framed palm-tree or seashell prints, pastel or bright-colored fabrics) and replaced with dark wood furnishings, rich gold and jewel-toned bedding and bead board wainscoting. Of course the one element (Opposite page) The new England architecture is evident at the entrance to the Henderson Park inn. (Top) White sand beaches, a palapa bar, and unrivaled service make the Henderson Park inn one of nW Florida’s best vacation spots. (Middle) The balconies offer a splendid spot to beachwatch and enjoy the ocean. (Bottom) A single red rose, grapes and a bottle of wine greet you at the Henderson Park inn.


that’s almost a given at any beachfront accommodations, a balcony, is present, but it’s a little different too. The deep-set balconies of each room are private, spacious and because you can’t see your neighbors, leave you feeling as if you’re the only guest there. Several aspects of the property combine to extend that feeling throughout your entire stay. The easy, yet luxurious, atmosphere and a high level of personal service keep Henderson Park Inn true to the “inn” part of its name. Everyone from the concierge to the cleaning staff is welcoming and both willing and able to meet most special requests. Coffee, soft drinks and snacks are available (at no charge) throughout the day, with lemonade and freshbaked cookies added in the afternoon. A complimentary “happy hour” each evening includes wine and beer. Another special, and quite romantic, touch greets you upon arrival: a tray on your bed topped with a bottle of wine and two glasses, grapes and a single red rose. If you do choose to socialize during your getaway, the wide deck overlooking the Gulf is the perfect perch for mingling with other guests while enjoying a drink and the colorful glow of a sunset. Another plus of this property, making it the natural choice for a relaxing retreat, is the fact that you never need to leave. An ample breakfast—so much more than a few muffins and your choice of cereal box—is included in your room rate, as is lunch. Both are served in the Inn’s lovely dining room, which transforms into the Beach Walk Café for dinner. The space is intimate, yet seems open and airy, thanks to a wall of windows with an amazing view of the water through sea oats and pristine dunes. The vista alone is almost worth the check at the end of the meal, but even it can’t outshine the food. The menu changes with the seasons but consistently features fine dining cuisine that earns rave reviews and draws outside diners in addition to the Inn’s guests. First course selections like spicy smoked tomato and shrimp soup are followed by pepper-crusted yellow fin tuna or specialties like “Grouper Vince.” And the restaurant also operates under the Inn’s “service with a smile” philosophy. The chef accommodates special orders whenever possible. In between eating, drinking and relaxing with a view, you should take at least a few moments to experience the beach. Chairs with umbrellas as well as a few bench swings are set up on the sand. Bikes are also available if you do decide to venture out. Whatever you do, at Henderson Park Inn, you’ll be doing it amid serenity and style.


GULF COAST AIRPORT REFERENCE GUIDE alabaMa dothan regional airport dothan dhn Mobile regional airport Mobile Mob Florida southwest florida international airport fort Myers rsw Key west international airport Key west eYw Miami international airport Miami Mia northwest florida beaches interntl airport panama city beach ecp pensacola gulf coast regional airport pensacola pns charlotte county airport punta gorda pgd sarasota-bradenton international airport sarasota/bradenton srQ st. petersburg-clearwater international airport st. petersburg pie tallahassee regional airport tallahassee tlh tampa international airport tampa tpa northwest florida regional airport valparaiso/ft. walton beach vps louisiana baton rouge Metropolitan airport baton rouge btr lafayette regional airport lafayette lft lake charles regional airport lake charles lch louis armstrong new orleans international airport new orleans MsY


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For more information about Northwest Floridaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beaches st. george island/apalachicola www.apalachicolabay.org myfwc.com www.fws.gov/saintvincent www.apalachicolaguide.com panama city beach visitpanamacitybeach.com


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beaches of south walton www.beachesofsouthwalton.com www.watercolorresort.com/ www.yoloboard.com navarre beach/Milton www.adventuresunlimited.com www.floridabeachestorivers.com pensacola & pensacola beach www.visitpensacolabeach.com www.visitpensacola.com www.nps.gov/guis/planyourvisit/fort-pickens.htm

Eco-Tours of South Mississippi, LLC for anything you want to do on the water! GULFSCAPES.COM jUnE 2011 | 53

(Top left) The dining and sitting area at Lee House are formal and cozy. (Top right) The view of Pensacola Bay from the balcony is splendid. (Middle) Breakfast at Lee House is an exquisite treat. (Bottom right) High ceilings make the guest rooms airy, and french doors open onto the balcony if you need an even airier feel. (Bottom left) Luxury abounds in Lee House, including the baths with oversized tub and walk in shower.

Historic Cha After living and working in the Pensacola area for over thirty years, Patrick and Norma Murray opened Lee House Bed & Breakfast Inn in 2008. The couple’s eight room luxury villa is located on Pensacola Bay, adjacent to Seville Square, and within walking distance to several of the area’s best restaurants. It’s a great location for exploring the many offerings of Pensacola, from Pensacola Beach, to the historic downtown district, to the harbor at Palafox Pier. The downstairs level at Lee House contains the formal sitting area, dining area, and kitchen. Local artwork adorns the walls of the sitting area, and twin leather couches offer a cozy spot in front of the fireplace. A Steinway piano creates an old time parlour feel for relaxing guests. The eight luxury rooms each have a distinct decor and reflect the finest designers in Pensacola. Six of the rooms open onto the spacious wrap-around porch. Each bed is adorned with luxury linens by Pandora de Balthazar. Private baths offer spa robes, premium toiletries and walkin showers. IPad players and wireless internet connections give the


rooms modern accoutrements. The lush Alcaniz Courtyard offers a wonderful outdoor venue, complete with fire pit. It’s a great place for cocktail parties, bar-b-ques or meet and greets. Weddings are a specialty of Lee House. Rehearsal dinners can be catered in the dining room, and the ceremony and reception can take place in the Courtyard. Larger weddings of up to 275 can be accommodated. And of course, the romantic honeymoon suite is available for the lucky bride and groom. Business meetings are also welcomed at Lee House. The downstairs dining room has a full feature A/V system, wireless internet and a private entrance. And the upscale elegance will impress any client or business associate. For old fashioned Southern hospitality, you won’t find a better host than Lee House. Its elegance and sophistication are a perfect match for this historic Gulf Coast town.

weekend get-away

Lee House Bed & Breakfast Inn 400 Bayfront Parkway Pensacola, FL 32502 850-912-8770 www.leehousepensacola.com

arm GULFSCAPES.COM jUnE 2011 | 55

Schooner or Later Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll Need to Find the Perfect Spot!

Meet Me in

Mississippi GettinG Married on the Gulf A romantic breeze blows through the Mississippi coastal communities this time of year. Many a Mississippi couple court connubial bliss by making their wedding celebration as unique as their love. Finding special wedding venues and activities is limited only by your imagination. Here are some suggestions to inspire your creative side. Artistic expression can take almost any form, so why not get artistic with your wedding. No, you don’t need to be an artist. Just take advantage of local art museums or galleries. The decor can’t be beat. Many museums host both weddings and receptions, and are happy to work with you to make special arrangements. In Biloxi, the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art has a wonderful area available that takes advantage of the highly artistic architecture of the buildings. It could provide the finishing touch to your wedding masterpiece. 386 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi, MS 39530, 228.374.5547, www.georgeohr.org. Rivaling the creativity of the artwork at the Ohr-O’Keefe, and just down the road, are the twin schooners of the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum. These 65’, two masted schooners are truly works of art in motion. Dubbed the “White Winged Queens”, the ships are available for weddings and dockside receptions. With white canvas sails billowing, and bow slicing through the Gulf waters, the schooner is a blend of grace and power, and a perfect high seas setting for a most unique and romantic wedding. 115 First Street, Biloxi, MS 39530, 228.435.6320, www.maritimemuseum.org. A natural nautical nuptial option is getting married on a boat on the Pascagoula River, near Gautier, MS. Eco-Tours of South Mississippi will begin offering wedding cruises on June 1, 2011. In addition to boat ceremonies, Eco-Tours offers receptions, catering and plenty of wedding party pre-ceremony fun, with boat tours of the local marshes and swamps, barrier island tours, kayak tours and sunset cruises. For beaming brides-to-be who are both creative and ecology minded, this is the way to stamp your personality onto your big day. Gautier, MS,

Left, one of the Biloxi Schooners. Above, a photo of a wedding on a Schooner. right, The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art set up for a party.

228.297.8687, www.ecotoursofsouthmississippi.com. Take these ideas to heart, or use them as inspiration to form your own unique ideas. It doesn’t matter where the ideas come from, as long as they propel you along the way to a most special wedding. Best wishes!

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www.anaturalescape.com 866-914-2068

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destination sailing

(Top left) it wasn't always just about sailing. Here's half the crew enjoying some time away from the boat. (Top right) Some down time with a good book. note the cover-up for the sun. (Bottom right) The Admiral and crew at a marina on the way south somewhere near Long Key. (Bottom left) Bill Petersen at the helm of Therapy, somewhere off the Florida Keys, 1979.

The Keys to Adventure: Memories of a Father


ack in 1979 in Austin, Texas, we were just like a lot of our friends and neighbors, buying a house and raising a family, while I tried to keep my boss reasonably pleased with my performance. But there was one difference between us and them - I was a sailor and had always had this vague dream of sailing off somewhere. Two things occurred that changed this from a vague dream into something real. My dad and I had always talked about buying an old boat and working on it together as a project. It was always something that we were going to do "someday". Unfortunately, my dad died way too young and we never got the chance. Shortly after his passing, we had a violent hailstorm that the insurance company said "totaled" the roof of our brand new house. I went up and looked at it and couldn't see any real damage, but I remembered the dream and could see that check for $3,500 being converted into something with a mast and running lights. That was how "Therapy" came to be sitting on her trailer in the driveway. Lake Travis provided a great venue for my family to sharpen up our sailing skills and to complete the USCC Safety Course (seven year-old included). Now what we needed was that "somewhere" to sail off to. We looked at a lot of magazines, and talked to people we knew at the lake. The Caribbean would be perfect, but was beyond our reach. South Padre was do-able, but we were hoping for something more exotic. Enter Key West, which fit the bill perfectly, and being able to arrive under sail made it even better. Now all we had to do was find a way to get Therapy


down to South Florida. Our regular car could handle getting the boat to the lake and back, but thousand mile trips were out of the question. So we decided to buy something just for the trip and then resell it when we returned. After a long and arduous search, we settled on a 1975 Mercury Grand Marquis station wagon. "Millie the Merc" turned out to be one of the nicest and most reliable cars we have ever owned - just like a Lincoln Town Car, but with room for all our gear in the back. Big comfy leather seats, and an Eight-Track player. What a perfect car for a road trip! We wanted to avoid the mid-summer heat and bugs, so as soon as the kids got out of school we were off. We left Austin early one Saturday morning, headed east on I-10 and made the Florida Panhandle late that night. We spent the first night somewhere in the Tallahassee area at some totally forgettable location, and just crashed. But on day two, we went into tourist mode with a stop in Orlando at Disney World. Since we had planned on staying on the boat the whole time anyway, we did not see anything wrong with hanging out with the rest of the campers. In those days, the Fort Wilderness Campground was pretty much what the name says, wilderness. We were stuck in a big field along with thousands of other cars, trailers, and tents. In order to give us a visual reference, I hoisted the mast and ran up a flag. We got a few funny looks, but it sure was easy to find our way back to our campsite! After a day and half with Walt and Mickey, we headed south again, all


destination sailing

(Top left) Millie and Therapy, on the way to Florida, summer of '79. (Top right) Snorkeling in the Keys. (Bottom right) Sailboat at camp ground. (Bottom left) reaping some snorkeling rewards - fresh conch for dinner!

A FAMILY vACATION UNDER SAIL the way to Key Largo where I made arrangements to park "Millie the Merc" for a week. The idea was to sail down to Key West on the Gulf side, spend a day or two there, then head back north on the Atlantic side, completing a loop. So with all the new provisions stowed, a fresh set of charts, and jugs of water hanging all over the boat, we set out for our grand adventure. We spent four days getting to Key West. The total distance is less than 100 miles, and can be driven in a couple of hours, but on a small cruising sailboat, it takes a lot longer. We had to do a lot of motoring as the on-shore winds made it a bit dicey to sail AND stay in the channel. Navigation in the Keys is a piece of cake. Just follow the mile markers and you can never get lost. One bit of advice that it took us a while to figure out was that buoys tend to drift to leeward over time. A good rule of thumb would be that if you have the choice, pass just to windward from the prevailing winds on every buoy. That and a shallow draft will keep you out of a lot of trouble. But, as you may have heard, on the Gulf Coast there are only two kinds of sailors - those that are aground and those that are about to go aground! And we certainly did our share of both. One of our grounding adventures occurred when we came to a branch in the channel and had to figure out which way to go, left or right. The chart seemed to indicate we should stay to the left, but we thought that we could


see the next marker off in the haze to the right, so we decided to go right. For a while all went well, but the water was getting shallower and shallower. First the keel came up, then the rudder, and finally the motor had to be tilted up to avoid hitting the prop. Soon, even with a twelve inch draft, we were aground. The alleged mile marker was oh-so-near, but we could not proceed any further "as is". So, I went overboard and grabbed the anchor rode (the anchor line) and proceeded to pull us. I was playing Humphrey Bogart and this was the African Queen! When we finally arrived at what we had thought was the next marker, it turned out to be a bunch of pelicans sitting on a piling. So now what? Continue across what looked like open water to get back to the channel, or double back and correct our original error? We did struggle on for a while, but it quickly became apparent that things were not getting any better. Plus, according to the crew, two new events had transpired. I was trudging along, pulling the boat in water 1 - 4 feet deep, so I did not have good visibility, but they swear we had some visitors. First, Mr. Shark started swimming around the boat. According to our ten year old son, it was a hammerhead, at least twelve feet long. Second, a pod of dolphins appeared several hundred feet behind us in what was left of the channel, seeming to beckon us to follow them. Everyone was yelling at

me to get back in the boat and turn around . . . who was I to argue? So we turned around, ditched the shark, and followed the dolphins back to the fork. From there, we went left like we should have in the first place. Lesson learned always trust your charts. The rest of the trip went pleasantly, with overnights on the hook as well as in campgrounds/marinas. We did lots of snorkeling off the boat, a little bit of fishing, and a lot of watching the shore go by. With a crew made up of a seven and ten year-old, we had to come up with some distractions to keep them occupied. Books and games were always welcome, and since they were both strong swimmers, snorkeling and playing around in the water burned up a lot of calories. Speaking of burning up, Therapy did not have a bimini top, so the only way to find any shade was to go down below, and that was often too hot to be comfortable. So we outfitted the whole crew in white linen "pajamas" and wore them during the day. We never would have survived four days on the water without them! While we were en route, our daughter had her eighth birthday, but we decided to wait a couple of days and celebrate the occasion in Key West. By carefully avoiding any mention of the day or date while we were underway, we were able to pull it off. That is, until we were safely tied up at the visitor's dock at the Key West Yacht Club and some good Samaritan tossed a copy of the morning paper into the cockpit. She read the date and expressed some rather strong opinions as to the wisdom of adjusting her birthday celebration to our cruising schedule instead of the other way around! In spite of the birthday fiasco, we had a great time in Key West. We did the trolley tour, the sunset at Mallory Square, and all the other tourist stuff. Even with the kids in tow, things were so laid back (remember this was 1979) that we were even able to hit a few places on Duval Street. But time had run out, and we regretfully made the decision to cancel the sail back to Key Largo. Bright and early the next day I hitched a ride back to where we had Millie stashed and loaded everything up for the drive back to Key West. The return trip turned out to be totally uneventful. We got home, showered off all the sand, cleaned up the boat, and put Millie up for sale. As it turned out, our only transportation costs (other than gas) turned out to be a tire and a radiator hose. After three-thousand miles, we were able to sell the car for just a little more than we had invested in it. We had a great time and learned a lot about life on the water. Most of all, we learned about being together as a family in close quarters with no other distractions. GULFSCAPES.COM jUnE 2011 | 61



n November of 2007, a ship sank off South Padre Island, Texas. No, it wasn’t swamped by a hurricane, it didn’t suffer a mechanical failure, nor did pirates scuttle it. It quietly slid under the waters, just as planned. The ship was the Texas Clipper, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department intentionally sank her to create an artificial reef 17 miles off the Texas coast. She had been stripped of most of her equipment and rigged so she would settle onto the bottom in 132 feet of water. She lies there today, holding an enticing array of marine life for scuba divers. And she still holds an interesting history. The Texas Clipper began life in Sparrows Point, Maryland in 1944 as the USS Queens, a 470 foot long Windsor-class attack transport. She served in the Pacific campaign during World War II, carrying men and supplies to Iwo Jima, and providing medical care to the wounded of that bloody battle. After the war she was decommissioned and, in 1948, sold to American Export Lines and converted to a luxury passenger cargo liner. She was renamed the Excambion, and became one of four ships owned by American Export that were advertised as the new “4 Aces”, which carried passengers and cargo between New York and the Mediterranean. Before the war, American Export’s original 4 Aces ships were quite popular. When the war broke out, the U.S. Navy took over

the original 4 Aces. During the war, 3 of the 4 Aces were sunk, including the original Excambion. In 1959, she was retired by American Export. In 1965, the U.S. Government, which had repurchased her, loaned the ship to the Texas Maritime Academy in Galveston (now Texas A&M - Galveston), where she was the school’s merchant marine training vessel for 30 years. The Texas Clipper had been out of service for ten years when the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department sank her in her final resting place. She is now laying quietly on her side, as an entirely new marine environment blossoms around her. Dive shops in South Padre Island offer packages to visit the Texas Clipper. Gulfscapes friend and contributor Jesse Cancelmo dove the Clipper last year, and has provided us with these photos and commentary on his exploration. You can see more of Jesse’s wonderful photos on his website, www.cancelmophoto.com, and his excellent book, Texas Coral Reefs, is available at Amazon. above, on september 12, 1944, the uss Queens was launched at sparrows point shipyards in Maryland. she was a windsor class attack transport and took part in the battle of iwo Jima during the last year of world war ii. after the war, she served as an ocean liner before becoming the texas clipper. opposite page, a 1948 magazine ad for the newly launched "4 aces" of american export lines. the texas clipper, then known as the excambion, was one of the aces. GULFSCAPES.COM jUnE 2011 | 63


tim o'leary, of american diving, explores the texas star, laying on her side in 132 feet of water. Jesse cancelmo, noted underwater photographer and author of "texas coral reefs", described their dive: "the 472 foot-long cruiser lies on its port side and as i finned my way to the midship tie-off point at the promenade


deck, i could easily count the four levels above the main deck of this historic wreck. i was impressed by the massive 12-foot wide crack just aft of our tie-off. this quick entry to the boiler room was complements of hurricane ike turmoil in 2008." photo by Jesse cancelmo, www.cancelmophoto.com.


top, the texas clipper was intentionally sunk 17 miles off south padre island, tx in 2007 to create an artificial reef. Jesse cancelmo dove the wreck last year to see how the marine life was progressing and noted, "cocoa damselfish and angelfish flit around the cable winches, empty gun turrets, and life boat davits. black urchins, stick-legged arrow crabs, and delicate tube anemones populate the nooks and crannies." bottom, the owner of american diving, tim o'leary, explores the hulk of the texas star, now a man-made reef off south padre island, tx. photos by Jesse cancelmo, www.cancelmophoto.com.


green waves 2011 SummER fiSHing TOuRnAmEnTS May 5-7, 2011, Marathon International Tarpon Tournament, Marathon, FL , Anglers from around the world fish this all-release event for individuals and two-angler teams. Trophy awards are given to anglers for the most tarpon released, most fish other than tarpon released, most total fish released (including tarpon) and first- and second-place captain. Call Sue Moore at 305-289-2248 or marathonbait@gmail.com. May 7, 2011, Gulf Coast Kayak Fishing Association’s 6th Annual Spring Kayak Fishing Tournament, Gulf Breeze, FL. Kayaks, Canoes, other paddlecraft only – no motors! www.gulfcoastkayakfishing.com May 31-June 5, 2011, Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic, Venice, LA: “Let’s get back to FISHING! We are happy to be going forward with our 2011 Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic, located at Cypress Cove Marina & Lodge. Yes, it has been a very interesting and frustrating summer for most of the Gulf Coast, but, again, together, we will conquer the obstacle and FISH, HAVE FUN, and have our tournament in VENICE!” Note: tournament was cancelled last summer. June 8-12, 2011, Mississippi Billfish Classic, Biloxi, MS: The Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic is one of the premier billfish tournament event in the entire Gulf of Mexico. Going into its fifteenth year, the event is known for its fantastic offshore bite, huge fish, millions in cash payouts, exciting atmosphere and high energy gaming and entertainment at the Isle Casino Hotel. www.mgcbc.com July 7-10, 2011, Deep Sea Roundup, Port Aransas, TX: The 76th Annual Deep Sea Roundup in Port Aransas, TX. The Deep Sea Roundup is the longest running fishing tournament in Texas and is great fun for everyone. Each year, every participant becomes a member of the rich history of the roundup. The Roundup Tournament is conducted by the Port Aransas Boatment, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering higher education for young people. The Deep Sea Roundup includes the offshore division, bay-surf division, junior division, fly fihsing division, and the free piggy perch contest for the little guys and gals. Registration includes all meals and beverage services on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Early registration $80 per person must be received by June 15, 2011. Regular registration is $100 per persion after June 15, 2011. www.deepsearoundup.com July 14 -19, 2011 79th Annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, Dauphin Island, AL: The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, a Project of the Mobile Jaycees, is the oldest and largest multi-species saltwater tournament in the country. Founded in 1929, the fishing rodeo now attracts more than 3,000 anglers and 75,000 spectators. It is located on Dauphin Island, Ala. (N30 15'31, 90" W88 06'47.78). The ADSFR is a 3-day Captain's Choice tournament & a Southern Kingfish Association (SKA) sanctioned event. The total awards package is valued at over $400,000 and anchored by two boat, motor, & trailer packages. The 3-day event features 30 categories with prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place in all categories. One Master Angler is also awarded along with cash prizes for King Mackerel (Open and Recreational), Speckled Trout & Big Game Jackpots. The ADSFR has donated over $150,000 to the University of South Alabama Department of Marine Sciences and annually funds academic scholarships. www.adsfr.com July 6-10, 2011, Bay Point Invitational Billfish Tournament & 40/40 Shootout, Staging areas in Tampa, Panama City, Destin and Perdido Pass, FL: No stranger to Big Fish, the Bay Point Invitational is home to both the first and second place Florida State Record Blue Marlin. Who else can match that? With a well deserved reputation for innovation, the Invitational is once again pushing the envelope with some exciting new changes. Perhaps the most important is the new staggered entry fee, giving you a chance to save big bucks! Enter before July 1st to save $500, and enter before April 1st to save $1,000. www.baypointbillfish.com August 3 - 7, 2011, Texas International Fishing Tournament, Port Isabel, South Padre Island, TX: Originally instituted to promote the Rio Grande Valley as a whole, TIFT has become a family tradition that exemplifies the best the Valley has to offer. More than 1500 contestants vie for prizes. The tournament also awards more than $100,000 in scholarships. www.tift.org



by bob shirley

Fly Fishing Expo May 6-7 in San Antonio, Texas


ne of the top fly fishing events in the Gulf Coast region is happening May 6 & 7, 2011 in San Antonio. The Gulf Coast Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers (gulfcoastfff.org) is putting on a huge fly fishing Expo at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on the Riverwalk. With about 20 member clubs of the Gulf Coast Council (GCC) spread out over Texas south of I-10, all of Louisiana, and Alabama, this will truly be a regional show. The only other FFF event on the Gulf is the Florida Council event next fall, and it isn’t on the Riverwalk in San Antonio! There will be continuous fly tying demonstrations by some of the best tiers anywhere, classes on casting, and talks about fishing destinations and opportunities. Bob Popovics has agreed to participate in this Expo and will share what he knows about tying for and fishing in saltwater. Bob is a well known author, innovative tier, and expert professional fly fisher. Many of the top regional guides will be in attendance ready to book trips or just talk fly fishing. Top fly fishing equipment manufacturers and retailers will have booths where you may see and try the best and newest fly fishing equipment. Friday night at the Expo on the 6th of May, the GCC will have an auction of fly fishing trips, top notch equipment and art objects including a fly plate of flies tied by FFF Buszek Award winners. The FFF only recognizes the best and most innovative tiers with the Buszek Award– this award is so exclusive it is not awarded annually, but only as often as excellence and ability are recognized by long term accomplishments. I am a Life Member of the FFF and serve on the Board of the GCC so you know I’ll be there. After all, the motto of the FFF is “Conserving – Restoring - Educating - through fly fishing” how could I not support an organization like that? In fact, I’ll be at the Membership Booth selling memberships and merchandise for the GCC & FFF. Please, come to the Expo and stop by the Membership Booth, I would love to meet you and talk about fly fishing.

MARINATED GRILLED REDFISH 2 lb. redfish fillets with skin & scales intact



3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce Cayenne pepper Black pepper Salt Chesapeake Bay seafood seasoning Thinly sliced onions & lemons

1/2 tbsp. cooking oil 1 block butter Juice from 1/2 lemon 1/4 tsp. sweet basil 1/4 tsp. chopped parsley 1 oz. Brandy Garlic powder

Cover the fish with onion and lemon slices and add marinade, let set overnight in refrigerator. Grill the fish on a hot barbecue with the skin side down. Baste the fish while grilling.

Grill until meat is flaky or pulls away from the skin. To serve, scoop the grilled fish out of the skin with a spatula. Avoid serving the dark pieces of meat as they have a strong, less desirable flavor.

the harte research institute will host a state of the gulf summit, dec. 4-8, 2011 in houston. the goal of that summit will be to define what a healthy gulf should be, chart a course to that end and prescribe the means to assess progress to that goal. For more information about the summit: www.stateofthegulf.org

HEALTH OF THE GULF UPdATE In our last issue, Dr. Larry McKinney, Executive Director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, gave us a “state of the Gulf ” report on the effects of the BP oil spill. For this issue, we asked Dr. McKinney for an update, and he was kind enough to provide us with an advanced edition of the Institute’s upcoming report, set to be released on April 20, the one year anniversary of the blowout. The Institute’s report analyzes what we know and what we don’t know about the spill’s effects. Much is still not known, but at least we have some idea about where our concerns and efforts should be directed. The report first addresses conflicting reports from scientists, which of course confuses the general public. It recites the old story of three blind men examining an elephant. The blind men are asked to touch just one part of the elephant and guess what it is. The one who grabs the trunk thinks its a water hose, the one who grabs the leg thinks its a tree, etc. The point is the elephant was too big to be identified only by touching one part. So it is with the Gulf. It’s so big, we can’t investigate all of it, and our investigations are limited to a very small area that may not be indicative of other areas. That being said, the report says initial indicators show that economically important species that rely on the northern Gulf wetlands, like shrimp, crab and redfish, will see normal production this year. But the report cautions that it will only be known for sure this summer, when the normal lifecycle of those species take them inland to the wetlands. There is a caveat; portions of the Gulf not affected by the spill may overproduce to make up for the lack of production in affected areas. So there may be portions that see a decrease, but overall, the production should be normal. The effect on offshore species, such as whale sharks and bluefin tuna, are harder to evaluate because our research is pretty much limit-

ed to the adults of the species. We just don’t know very much about their reproduction or their young, so we don’t have a baseline to compare from the year before the spill to the year after. We should be able to evaluate the effect on adults, but not so much on the young. Much of our research in years past has focused on commercially important species. But other, non-commercial species are very important to the environment, and we just don’t have much information on them. We’re kind of blind as to what effect they may be feeling. The area that is most clearly affected is the ocean bottom. The area near the blowout, and areas a significant distance from the blowout appear to still have oil present. Researchers have reported finding oil on coral communities located on the continental slope and in its canyons. These coral can be several thousand years old and are clearly not replaceable. The report warns that scientists don’t know the possible long term effects on oil that was deposited on the continental shelf near the coast. It took five years after the Exxon Valdez for some of these effects to appear in nearshore waters. Tar balls continue to wash up after storms, which is a significant concern to tourist dependent communities and businesses. Some government officials want the oil mats found in nearshore waters removed to stop the tar balls. But scientists warn that cleaning up those areas would cause more ecological damage than letting nature and time break them down. This, of course, causes a conflict between the officials who worry about the effect on tourism and the scientist who worry about the health of the Gulf. So there you have it, the good, the bad and the ugly. There’s still a lot we don’t know, but by the end of the summer, we should at least have a better idea about how the commercial fish were affected. Keep your fingers crossed! GULFSCAPES.COM jUnE 2011 | 67

Save the ... Sharks?! STORY BY CRAIG ROGERS

You can put this under the category “man bites dog”. Or more accurately, “man bites shark”.

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, those voracious predators of the deep are in trouble and need human help. I was in my highly impressionable, developmental years when the horror movie “Jaws” debuted, so my initial reaction to the cry for assistance was to search for a scuba tank and a rifle. After my initial reaction, and after speaking with an expert in the field, I believe I may have over-reacted. The expert is Dr. Greg Stunz, the Endowed Chair of Fisheries and Ocean Health at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies in Corpus Christi. As a professor of Marine Biology, he doesn’t have the same world (or shark) view I do. I suspect it’s because he’s a little younger, so he missed the original 1975 movie, which is far scarier than any of the wimpy sequels he grew up with. So what kind of trouble are sharks in? Dr. Stunz cites several studies that show shark populations have plunged faster than the box office numbers of Jaws 3D. Some species have seen their numbers decline by nearly 90% in the last 30 years. That sounds serious. Even for sharks. What brought about these sharp declines? Humans. According to Dr. Stunz, sharks, especially large ones, have been overfished since the 1980’s, when interest in sharks as a commercial catch skyrocketed.


Sharks are caught far too often by fishing boats towing longlines, which are, well, long lines, sometimes measured in miles, that contain thousands of hooks. The target of longliners is usually swordfish and tuna, but sharks take the bait, too. Sharks are either discarded as by-catch, kept for their meat, or de-finned. Yes, de-finned. Shark fin soup is a delicacy in Asian and the fins are much more valuable than the meat. The fins are in such demand, and so profitable, that some commercial fishermen just cut the fins off the sharks and release them. They don’t swim well without fins. Actually, they don’t swim at all; they sink and die. It’s enough of a worry that the U.S. and Canada have banned finning. I can hear some of you making the mental comparison of sharks to mosquitos. If there were no mosquitos, who would care. Good riddance! All they do is bring pain and disease. I agree on the mosquitos, but Dr. Stunz informs me that sharks are one of the most important parts of the Gulf food chain. “They are apex predators,” he explains, “at the top of the food chain. Not many natural enemies.” You can’t take away a large amount of top predators without consequences. “Look at what happened in Yellowstone Park when they removed the wolves. The elk population soared,” Dr. Stunz points out. It turns out that rays are the elk of the Gulf. Dr. Stunz has also been researching how to increase the number of oyster beds in the Gulf. They’ve been declining for years. Actually, for about as long as the shark OPPOSiTE PAGE (Top) A national Geographic film crew records dr. Stunz and assistant Laura Bivins as they attach a satellite tag to a bull shark on Padre island national Seashore. Photo courtesy of Harte research institute (Bottom left) Seven foot bull shark in a shark lift aboard a nOAA research vessel in the summer of 2010. Tissue samples were collected, the shark was measured and weighed, then tagged with a satellite transmitter and released. Photo by Todd neahr. (Bottom right) dr. Greg Stunz of the Harte research institute with a redfish. Photo by jeff janko. (Middle right) Top is a satellite PAT tag, middle black cylinder is an acoustic tag, bottom is a dart tag. Photo by Craig rogers.


research population has been in free-fall. Where’s the connection? “Large sharks eat large rays. Large rays eat oysters. No large sharks means more large rays eating oysters,” said Dr. Stunz. Connect the dots simple. So what can we do to reverse this trend? NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) sets the fishing rules for federal waters in the Gulf (each Gulf state sets its own limits in state waters), and it is limiting the amount and types of sharks that can be legally harvested, hoping to increase their numbers. Dr. Stunz’s research is helping us to better understand the sharks’ lifestyle and habitat, so NMFS and state agencies can do a better job formulating rules. Dr. Stunz and his researchers are investigating various aspects of the shark lifestyle. One program involves tagging large sharks to track their movements in the Gulf, while another is examining bull sharks that live in waters along Padre Island National Seashore, just south of Corpus Christi. Of particular concern to Dr. Stunz (and myself since I often wade-fish and swim at Padre Island National Seashore) is the large amount of bull sharks that are found in the surf waters. That means really close to land. As in calf-deep water. Insert Jaws theme here. “Bull sharks are some of the most aggressive sharks in the world and are responsible for a large amount of unprovoked attacks on humans,” Dr. Stunz explained, not sensing my fear. “And there are tons of them all up and down the Texas coast,” he eerily continued in spite of my hyperventilation. “But there are very, very few unprovoked bull shark attacks in Texas.” Whew! I can breath again. “Bull sharks attack all over the world, so we want to understand why they don’t attack in Texas.” I say don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. But Dr. Stunz theorizes, and it’s still just a theory, that the relative health of the fishery along the Texas coast may be responsible. If the bull sharks have plenty to eat, then they don’t have to take a chance chomping on something they aren’t certain about, like my leg. To get an idea of where the sharks in the Gulf live and eat, Dr. Stunz’ researchers accompany local shark fishermen down the Seashore and apply tags to big hammerheads, makos and bull sharks. The tags can be as simple as a $1 dart tag, which is merely a barbed piece of metal with a tag attached to it with the Harte Research Institute’s phone number and a request to release the shark if caught and phone in its whereabouts. These dart tags are punched into the shark’s skin with a long applicator handle and remain for the life of the animal. A more sophisticated tagging system involves the use of acoustic tags, which emit high frequency sound. These are surgically implanted in the shark’s abdomen. The Harte Research Institute is creating a network of sonar receiver stations around the Corpus Christi area to track these kind of tags. When a tagged shark swims near a receiver station, the station picks up the unique sonar transmission containing information about the shark, such as its speed and depth, and relays it to the researchers. This type tag costs from $300-$700, depending on the type

and how much info it is programmed to transmit. Each receiver station costs $2000 and can pick up the acoustic signal from half a mile away. The state of the art tagging system is the PAT tag, short for Pop-up Archival Tag. These tags are larger, so they must be implanted in a larger fish. They record a wealth of information, such as the depth of water, water temperature and the location. It steadily records this information and after a set amount of time, the tag detaches from the shark and bobs to the surface. Once there, it starts emitting signals to a satellite, which then emails the information to Dr. Stunz. Yes, these aren’t cheap ($5000 total, $3500 for the tag, $1500 for the satellite link up), but they gather a ton of valuable and otherwise impossible to gain information that the other tags don’t. Once Dr. Stunz gets enough information from tagged sharks, he and his staff will have a better idea of just where it is they go, when they go, and why. All this helps them understand the lifecycle of the sharks so we can better protect them. Dr. Stunz and colleague Dr. Sean Powers at Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama are comparing the current Gulf shark population with the ones from 50 to 70 years ago to note which species have been most affected, and how. Unfortunately, there weren’t any scientific studies done in that earlier time period. All the fancy technology he uses on tagging the sharks won’t help with that. But there are sources of information from that time period. Dr. Stunz just had to go low tech to get. How low tech? How about the records kept by three of the oldest fishing tournaments in the Gulf, the Alabama Deep Sea Rodeo, the Mississippi Deep Sea Rodeo, and the Texas Deep Sea Round-up? These date back 60 to 80 years, and each tournament has a shark category. Their records list the top three sharks caught each year, with their species and their weight. Just compare the results and see the changes. Pretty simple. And pretty surprising. The average weights of the tournament sharks increased until the early 1980’s, then decreased 300%-400% by the late ’80’s. Now that’s a crash diet. And the types of sharks caught changed, too. Until 20 years ago, large tiger and bull sharks constituted most of the winning catches. In the last 20 years, however, much smaller bull, hammerhead and blacktip sharks were the most frequent winners. These changes that started in the ’80’s are dramatic. The large reduction in sharks, especially the big, mature ones, doesn’t bode well for their future. That’s because sharks are very slow when it comes to reproduction. And they don’t have large litters, so they can’t re-populate quickly. It takes them years to reach maturity, with lemon sharks requiring 13-15 years. Of the tiger sharks that have been caught in the Gulf fishing tournaments in the last 20 years, Dr. Stunz says none of them were old enough to reproduce. None. That one statistic should be enough to convince even us “Jaws” traumatized, shark-averse persons that they need help. I mean, they’re not living long enough to have sex. Now that’s a horror show.

OPPOSiTE PAGE (Top left) very large hammerhead sharks caught from the end of the north jetty in Port Aransas in 1961. Kingfish were extremely thick as were marlin and these hammerheads. Bill Weekly is standing, dave Hopkins is seated. Buster noaks operates his tow truck to lift the sharks from Al Mora's dock. The fish were caught at the end of the jetty and someone stayed behind to keep them from drifting away. The anglers ran to the jetty boat dock on St. joe island and got a ride back to Port A. Mike Covington was available to go to the end of the jetty with his boat and pull the sharks back to Mora's dock. (Top right) Shark, in front of Barney's Place in Port Aransas, TX, weighed 760 lbs and was 9'6" long. jerry dennis, Lillian russell and Evelyn Buzza fished on Bill Moore's Boat. Photo courtesy of the Port Aransas Museum, www.portaransasmuseum.org. (Middle right) 1948 photo of shark boat hauling in catch. (Bottom right) Photo taken in 1913, courtesy of the Port Aransas Museum, www.portaransasmuseum.org. (Bottom middle) This photo was taken in 1937 and shows a hammerhead shark hanging on the pier at Barney's Place, Port Aransas, TX. (Bottom left) A shark boat with its catch, circa 1948. (Middle left) The handwritten caption on this 1910 photo describes this as a "baby" shark, caught in Tarpon, TX. Tarpon was a temporary name given to Port Aransas to help market one of the town's big attractions. Photos courtesy of the Port Aransas Museum, www.portaransasmuseum.org.



images of America - Port Aransas, By j. Guthrie Ford and Mark Creighton, Arcadia Publishingâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; This new book tells

the history of Port Aransas, Texas through photos. From hurricanes, civil war, and world wars, to fishing, commerce and tourism, this wonderful collection of vintage photos gives a glimpse into the colorful past of the quaint little Texas fishing village that has become a growing tourist attraction. it gives locals and visitors alike a surprising amount of information in an easy to ready format. And who doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like looking at historic photos?


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Gulf Coast


a r b e l e ... a c hi

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, s n o i t i d a r t f ation o s e t s a t & y r o t is



how it all started ... S


hrimp as a food source has been around for centuries. When you’re studying a subject that has a long history, it’s handy to have an archaeologist around. We’re in luck. Laura Landry, marine archaeologist and President of L. A. Landry & Associates, Inc., has studied the evolution of the shrimp industry and of shrimp boats, and has lent her considerable expertise to Gulfscapes as we explore the Gulf ’s shrimping history. Until the late 1800’s, explains Ms. Landry, shrimping was a mostly local product, sold close to where it was caught, due to its perishable nature. But then, shrimp as an industry got a boost from improved canning technology which allowed shrimp to be shipped far away without spoiling. The next big boost to the industry’s growth was in the early 1900’s with the advent of the ice machine. Ice allowed boats to stay out longer and catch more shrimp per trip. It allowed the shrimp to stay fresh longer in fish markets. It also allowed that fresh caught taste to last longer so people liked it better. It was a game changer. And so was the next big technological leap, which occurred in the 1920’s . . . freezing. Freezing allowed Gulf Coast shrimp to be shipped all over the world. With the increase in its shelf life, demand for shrimp jumped. With more demand came the need for more harvest. That meant bigger boats and catching shrimp not just in the shallow bays, as had been the custom for years, but also offshore in the deeper waters of the Gulf. Ms. Landry explains that initially, shrimping was only done in the shallow waters of coastal bays and bayous. This called for boats with shallow drafts. Draft, in simple terms, is how much water a boat needs to float. Shallow draft boats can navigate in shallower water than deep draft boats. According to Ms. Landry, the early shrimping vessels were sailing boats with wide, flat bottoms that used either centerboards or hinged keels in order to navigate in shallower water. These boats were called luggers, named for the single lugsail it used for propulsion. The original luggers were replaced by modern luggers which have an engine (in place of the sail) and a wheelhouse in the rear of the boat, while the fish hold (where you store the caught

shrimp) is located in the front. They range from 20 to 40 feet. Around 1938, the offshore shrimp boat was introduced to the Gulf. It was the South Atlantic trawler, which until then was used along the deeper waters off the east coast. It was larger, 50-65 feet, had an inboard engine and kept ice in its hold. The wheelhouse was located in the front and the fish hold was in the rear. It had large booms to work its large nets. These trawlers could stay out for weeks, whereas the smaller boats usually didn’t stay out for more than a few days. Modern offshore trawlers range from 40 to 90 feet, with engines making hundreds of horsepower. Construction varies and modern boats can be made from wood, fiberglass or steel. Most have the wheelhouse in the front, with the fish hold in the rear. Large booms with winches are used to raise and lower the nets. The type of nets used to catch shrimp has changed over the years, too, says Ms. Landry. She explains that the early shrimpers used a smaller net with a frame to keep it open, called a butterfly net. These nets were lowered along the side of the boat and held in place while the boat slowly trawled. Butterfly nets are still used by small and recreational shrimpers. Ms. Landry says that from the late 1800’s until 1930, the larger lugger boats used seine nets. The seine nets were long, skinny rectangle shaped nets that had one end attached to the lugger, while small skiffs towed the lead edge of the net away from the lugger and then completed a circle back to the lugger, thereby trapping the shrimp in the net. Larger nets called otter trawls are used on offshore boats. These cone shaped nets have a pair of doors that keep the net open while it is pulled through the water behind the boat. Otter trawls have tickler chains that help weight the net down to the bottom and that also disturb the shrimp on the bottom, causing them to rise up and be caught in the net. Modern offshore shrimp boats usually trawl with four nets, and carry an extra four nets as backups. Inshore, or bay shrimpers, trawl with two nets. When shrimpers pull their nets up, there’s a lot more in there than

OPPOSiTE PAGE (Top left) A schooner sets off for shrimping grounds off Biloxi, MS, circa 1900. Photo courtesy of the Biloxi Maritime & Seafood industry Museum, www.maritimemuseum.org. (Top right) A shrimper checks his nets, Port Arthur, TX, 1959. Photograph provided courtesy of the Museum of the Gulf Coast, Port Arthur, TX, www.museumofthegulfcoast.org. (Upper middle right) Port O'Connor Shrimp Catch, ca. 1920. Photo from the Collection of the Calhoun County Museum, Port Lavaca, TX, www.calhouncountymuseum.org. (Lower middle right) The Four Brothers and the Zainabe docked in Bayou La Batre, AL, 1975. Photo provided by University of South Alabama Archives, www.southalabama.edu/archives. (Bottom right) The Collier Terminal in downtown Ft. Myers, with shrimp boats docked. Photo courtesy of the Southwest Florida Museum of History, Ft. Myers, www.swflmuseumofhistory.com. (Bottom left) Shrimp and fishing boats at Palafax St. docks in Pensacola, FL, 1910. Photo courtesy of Univeristy of West Florida, Pensacola, FL, www.uwf.edu. (Middle left) A shrimp boat tied up at the Collier Terminal in Ft. Myers, FL. Photo courtesy of the Southwest Florida Museum of History, Ft. Myers, www.swflmuseumofhistory.com.




shrimp. Ms. Landry says that some shrimpers will keep crabs and some fish that have value, but most of the “bycatch” in the nets is thrown back, but a large portion doesn’t survive. Over the years, the amount of bycatch in Gulf shrimp nets has declined, from around 10 pounds of bycatch per one pound of shrimp, to 4 pounds of bycatch for 1 pound of shrimp. Worldwide numbers are higher, with around 6 pounds of bycatch to shrimp, on average. This bycatch has caused problems as endangered species like sea turtles have gotten caught in the nets and die before they can be released. This led to turtle exclusion devices (TEDs) being required equipment for Gulf shrimpers. The TEDs are a door-like structure placed in the net that help keep turtles from getting caught. Now, bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) are also required to help reduce all bycatch, a move prompted by the depletion of the red snapper population in the Gulf. Red snapper was a frequent bycatch. These devices are helping turtles and red snapper, which were once threatened by the shrimp industry. The ability of the shrimping industry to absorb these changes for the betterment of other species is a source of pride and accomplishment. But it shouldn’t be surprising. Gulf shrimpers have always been a resilient bunch. With some luck and perseverance, the Gulf shrimp industry will be around another hundred years, and will need an archaeologist like Ms. Landry to explain its history. OPPOSiTE PAGE (Top left) Shrimp boats tied at the dock, Port Arthur, TX, 1952. Photograph courtesy of the Museum of the Gulf Coast, Port Arthur, TX, www.museumofthegulfcoast.org. (Top right) The Bon Soir and the George B. Howell tied up at the docks in Port Arthur, TX, 1959. Photograph provided courtesy of the Museum of the Gulf Coast, Port Arthur, TX, www.museumofthegulfcoast.org. (Middle right) The Blessing of the Fleet, Bayou La Batre, AL, 1973. Photo provided by University of South Alabama Archives, www.southalabama.edu. (Bottom right) Port Arthur, TX, shrimp fleet, 1949. Photo by j. C. Watkins, provided by the Museum of the Gulf Coast, Port Arthur, TX, www.museumofthegulfcoast.org. (Bottom left) Shrimp fleet docked in Apalachicola, FL, 1970. Photo courtesy of Univeristy of West Florida, Pensacola, FL, www.uwf.edu. (Middle left) Port Arthur, TX, 1955. Photograph provided courtesy of the Museum of the Gulf Coast, Port Arthur, TX, www.museumofthegulfcoast.org.

An amazing experience of food, wine, and spirits awaits you in San Antonio, Texas, with this year’s Culinaria – a Wine & Culinary Arts Festival. Five days of events feature something for everyone’s palate starting May 11, 2011.

www.culinariasa.org or call 210-822-9555 GULFSCAPES.COM jUnE 2011 | 77

The safest, most tested seafood around. I’m Johnathan Hillstrand, captain of the Time Bandit. Fishing for Alaskan crab in the Bering Sea is a pretty tough job. We work hard to bring in our catch, and so do commercial fishermen in Florida. For generations, Florida’s hard-working fishing families have taken great pride in their work. Along Florida’s coasts, they harvest over 80 types of fresh, safe and wholesome seafood. Look for Florida seafood when shopping or dining out. It helps local fishermen and local economies.


life on the gulf

SHriMPinG in THE GULF...A vAniSHinG LiFESTYLE “Bubba was from Bayou la Batrie, Alabama, and his mama cooked shrimp. And her mama before her cooked shrimp, and her mama before her mama cooked shrimp, too. Bubba's family knew everything there was to know about the shrimpin' business.” Forrest Gump There’s nothing more symbolic of the traditional Gulf Coast lifestyle than the sight of shrimp boats tied up to the wharfs. And there’s something sweetly nostalgic about driving down to the docks and buying freshly caught shrimp, right off the boat. It’s a Gulf tradition. It’s how we roll. It’s old school. And it’s dying. Shrimping has been a Gulf Coast way of life for as long as anyone can remember. Shrimping families passed on their boats and nets from generation to generation. A whole economy and a whole culture grew from those boats and the hearty men and women who worked them. As far back as 1758, a French historian/explorer named AntoineSimon Le Page du Pratz documented shrimp as a food source in Louisiana. Little did he know that the tiny shrimp would drive the development of one of the biggest economic engines and most significant cultural shapers of the Gulf Coast. Mr. du Pratz was also witness to the beginning of a great cultural change . . . the demise of the Native American tribes. The tribes were driven from positions of power into near extinction due to foreign intervention. The Gulf shrimping industry today finds itself in the same precarious position as it sees cheap foreign shrimp illegally flooding the market. The Gulf shrimping industry, like the Native Americans a century ago, finds its way of life threatened. So what happened? Why did the shrimp industry go from a stable industry to threatened? The quick answer is that illegal dumping of cheap imported farm-raised shrimp drove prices down to artificially low levels. The more detailed answer adds in more factors. One is the increase in production costs to comply with government regulations.

Another is the continuing rise of fuel costs (boats need fuel.) And closer regulation of the shrimping season by government agencies increased competition. You can add in numerous hurricanes that devastated boats and processing warehouses. And most recently, you might recall a certain oil spill that virtually shut down large portions of the Gulf seafood industry. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another. But the greatest threat to the Gulf shrimping industry is unfair competition from foreign producers. The price of shrimp in the U.S. plummeted in the early 2000’s due to unfairly low priced shrimp being “dumped” on the U.S. market. “Dumping” occurs when a company exports its products at a price that is actually lower than what it sells for in its home market. In 2004, the U.S. government determined that shrimp from Brazil, China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam were “dumped” on the U.S. market in violation of fair trade. In response, the U.S. took the dramatic step of imposing anti-dumping duties (tariffs) on shrimp from those countries in an effort to halt the rapidly dropping prices. The prices stabilized, but by that time prices paid to Gulf shrimpers had fallen to 1960’s levels, around 90% of all shrimp sold in the U.S. was foreign, and many U.S. shrimpers had been put out of business. Things were so bad that in 2003, the U.S. Congress declared the Gulf shrimp fishery an economic disaster area. How far did prices decline due to the illegal dumping? Prices for imported shrimp

A modern small shrimp boat tied up at Joe Patti's Seafood Market in Pensacola. GULFSCAPES.COM jUnE 2011 | 79

Photos courtesy of NOAA Fisheries Service.

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meet our Gulf CoaSt Shrimp

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service was kind enough to arrange an educational session for us with Dr. Jim Nance, (pictured) Chief of the NOAA Galveston Laboratory's Fishery Management Branch. Dr. Nance gave us a lesson in Shrimp 101. Here’s the scoop on those tasty Gulf Coast shrimp. There are three main species of commercially captured Gulf shrimp - brown shrimp, white shrimp and pink shrimp. (Yes, you Royal Reds fans, we know there’s a fourth kind, but we’re limiting this to the biggest catches - brown, white and pink shrimp compose more than 99% of the annual shrimp catch. And we like the Reds and don’t really want to let these little-known morsels get more popular for fear we’ll have trouble finding them on our next visit to Pensacola.) Brown shrimp and white shrimp are the most caught, with around 80 million pounds of tails harvested each year. The pink shrimp harvest comes in at 5-10 million pounds of tails. Dr. Nance says all three species grow to Brown shrimp are the most abundant. roughly the same size, and are found in all 5 Gulf Coast states. All species are caught mainly in offshore waters, but there is some bay and shallow water shrimping still taking place. Although bay shrimping has decreased in Texas, Louisiana still has a large inshore shrimp fishery. Brown shrimp are the most abundant. They are caught mainly from Alabama to southern Texas, and mainly offshore up to 60 fathoms. (I love the word fathoms. A fathom is six feet, but really, who wouldn’t prefer to say fathoms rather than feet? It’s so nautical!) During daylight hours, Brown shrimp bury themselves in the mud on the seafloor. They come out at night; hence, shrimpers drag for Brown shrimp after dark. Adult Brown shrimp spawn in the winter, offshore. Their larva migrate to shallow inshore waters February through April, where they congregate around grasses and other vegetation for both food and shelter. In May and June, once they’ve grown a little bigger, they venture back out into the deeper waters of the Gulf to mature. Browns are a


he Gulf is full of shrimp festivals. We’ve got big ones, we’ve got small ones, some are fancy, some are simple. There’s a shrimp festival for everyone!

We have traditional shrimp festivals with lots of booths serving up a variety of cooked shrimp, and offering local bands, arts, crafts and cultural displays, all with a decidedly shrimp influence.

We’ve even got Holy shrimp festivals, better known as the Blessing of the Fleet. A local clergyman, often Catholic, blesses the entire shrimp fleet at the beginning of shrimp season. The Blessings occur at the shrimp docks and the boats are 80 | june 2011 GuLFSCAPeS.COM highly decorated. Fun & festivities follow.

summer shrimp, with their peak season being mid-July through the fall. White shrimp are the next most abundant. They are harvested mostly from Alabama to the upper Texas coast. They are found closer to shore than Brown shrimp and in shallower water, up to 20 fathoms. Unlike Brown White shrimp are more prevalent from shrimp, Whites are found Alabama to the upper Texas coast. and fished in daylight. They spawn later than Browns and have a later season, making them mainly a Fall shrimp that mature August through October. The larva migrate to estuaries in June and July. Pink shrimp are caught mainly off Southwest Florida, mostly around the Dry Tortugas. They seem to spawn year round in the Gulf. Their main season is October through December. Dr. Nance and staff do a “stock assessment” for the Texas and Louisiana Brown shrimp industry every year, which is their prediction of the size of the shrimp crop for the coming summer. They monitor the maturing larval shrimp in Galveston Bay and use an environmental model that considers water temperature, salinity and other factors that affect the shrimp’s growth. Their Pink shrimp spawn year round in the Gulf. predictions are published every June and are accurate to within 5-10%, giving shrimpers a good idea of what kind of season they can expect. We saved the most important question for last: Which species is the best eatin’? Drum roll please . . . and the answer is . . . it depends. Hmm. Dr. Nance says it depends on your taste. Brown and Pink shrimp have a strong, wilder taste, while Whites are milder. Oh well, guess you’ll just have to sample a bunch yourself to find your favorite.

2011 Shrimp CelebrationS around the Gulf CoaSt Bayou la Batre, AL - 62nd Blessing of the Fleet - May 1 www.fleetblessing.org

Aransas Pass, TX - 63rd Annual Shrimporee - June 10-12 www.aransaspass.org

Pascagoula, MS - Pascagoula Blessing of the Fleet - May 21 www.cityofpascagoula.com

Grand Isle, LA - Blessing of the Fleet - Aug. 5-7

Destin, FL - 54th Annual Blessing of the Fleet - June 2 www.iacdestin.org Biloxi, MS - 82nd Annual Biloxi Shrimp Festival & Blessing of the Fleet - June 2-5 www.biloxiblessing.com

Delcambre, LA - Shrimp Festival & Blessing of the Fleet - Aug. 17-21 www.shrimpfestival.net Freeport, TX - Rotary Shrimp Boil Aug. 20 - 979-297-6254 Morgan City, LA - Shrimp & Petroleum Festival - Sept. 1-5 www.shrimp-petrofest.org

Galveston, TX - Wild Texas Shrimp Fest - Sept. 23-25 www.galveston.com/shrimpfestival Gulf Shores, AL - 40th Annual National Shrimp Festival Oct. 13-16 251-968-4237 Apalachicola, FL - 48th Annual Florida Seafood Festival and Blessing of the Fleet - Nov. 4-5 www.floridaseafoodfestival.com Port Isabel, TX - 18th Annual World’s Championship Shrimp Cook-Off - Nov. 6 www.portisabel.org

life on the gulf dropped from $5.12 a pound in 2000 to $3.14 a pound in 2004. That’s a 39% reduction. During that time period, the amount of imported shrimp rose 71%. Prices for U.S. produced shrimp dropped in response; prices paid to shrimpers at the dock for 15-20 count shrimp in 2001 were $5.68 a pound, but just $3.24 in 2009. But isn’t this good news for consumers? Aren’t we able to buy shrimp cheaper now? Sorry, shrimp retail prices haven’t dropped. The SSA cites a study that showed the retail price of shrimp actually went up between 2000 2003. The people who sell consumers shrimp haven’t passed on the savings. That means Gulf shrimpers are getting paid a lot less, but you’re getting charged more. Why was the imported shrimp dumped on the U.S. market? “In 2000, the European Union, which is far better at testing imported seafood for harmful substances than the U.S., aggressively enforced its rules on banned substances in shrimp. This kept many companies from China and other countries from selling their shrimp in the EU countries,” said John Williams, Executive Director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance, an industry group that represents shrimpers in all five Gulf states, plus Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. “Once they couldn’t sell to the EU, they dumped that shrimp in the U.S.,” Williams explained. Why the U.S.? Mr. Williams says the answer is 2%. That’s the percent of imported seafood the U.S. government tests for quality and harmful substances. That means if you import tainted shrimp, you have a 98% chance of not getting caught. The European Union (EU), Canada and Japan test far more than that, some up to 20%, and once a problem is found, they will test 100% of that company’s imports. The U.S. testing doesn’t come close to those numbers. In essence, the foreign shrimp were dumped in the U.S. because they contained banned

antibiotics (or other substances) and couldn’t get past inspectors in Europe. But they could get past inspectors in the U.S. Then, in 2001, the EU raised tariffs sharply on shrimp imported from some Asian countries, making it more profitable for the What you can do to help the gulf Asian shrimp to be shipped to the shrimp industry? buy wild caught gulf shrimp. look at the U.S., adding to the oversupply package in your grocery store for that had already driven prices the country of origin label. if you down. don’t see wild caught gulf The Southern Shrimp shrimp, ask for it. When you eat Alliance has led the battle against out, ask your waiter where the shrimp is from. is it u.s. shrimp the cheap imports. According to or foreign import. tell them you the SSA, several of the offending prefer wild caught gulf shrimp. countries continue to trade unfairly. The SSA claims that several foreign governments give subsidies to their shrimp producers to artificially stimulate shrimp exports beyond market demand. Furthermore, the U.S. government verified that certain countries were falsely labeling their shrimp to avoid paying the anti-dumping duties (for example, Chinese shrimp were labeled as being from Malaysia. Chinese shrimp is charged the duty, Malaysian shrimp is not.) “There are companies in Malaysia that openly advertise that they will repackage Chinese shrimp so it will state that it was grown in Malaysia,” said Mr. Williams, “That’s how blatant it is.” In March 2011, the U.S. government decided to continue the anti-dumping duties for another 5 years because it believed stopping the duties would result in even more harm to the U.S. shrimp industry. The quality of imported shrimp is also questioned by the SSA because hazardous and banned substances continue to be found in


life on the gulf imported farmed shrimp. What kind of substances are used and why? Most of the imported shrimp is farm grown (raised in inland ponds), rather than wild grown in the ocean. Foreign shrimp farmers have strong economic incentives to use chemicals to grow their shrimp as fast and as large as possible. In plain English, some foreign shrimp farmers use banned substances to make more money. In addition, the foreign farm grown shrimp are, according to the SSA, raised in crowded conditions that are susceptible to disease. Because of this, foreign shrimp farmers are afraid that an outbreak of disease could destroy their entire crop, hence they are motivated to use harmful antibiotics and pesticides. How do foreign shrimp producers get their shrimp into the U.S. if they contain banned substances? Go back to the 2% inspection rate. Foreign producers use “Port Shopping”, says Mr. Williams. “They send their shrimp to U.S. ports on the West Coast where there is only a 2% chance of it being inspected. If it does happen to be inspected and found to contain harmful substances, the U.S. Customs Service doesn’t confiscate the shrimp, they give it back to the shipper. They don’t even mark the package as containing tainted shrimp. The EU inspectors destroy the tainted shrimp and send out warnings about it to all other EU nations. We don’t. We give the tainted shrimp back to the shipper. So the shipper just puts the shrimp back on the boat and sails to the next nearest port, where they try to import the shrimp again. And unless their packages are in the 2% inspected, they’ll get in this time,” explained Mr. Williams. To help combat this evasion of food inspection, some states have started their own inspection of foreign seafood. And they find tainted shrimp. Mr. Williams applauds the states for stepping up, but knows the best solution would be for U.S. Customs to step up. Mr. Williams says consumers deserve to know the shrimp they’re eating is safe. He also says Gulf shrimp are the most tested seafood in the world right now. There are some positive developments. “Country of Origin” labels are now required on all raw seafood imports (but not seasoned or prepared seafood.) The COO labels, as they are called, disclose the country where the shrimp were harvested and how they were caught. Concerned consumers can look at the packaging in their grocery stores and see what kind of shrimp they are getting. But most shrimp is sold in restaurants, and restaurants aren’t required to disclose to customers where their shrimp come from. “If you’re sitting in a waterfront restaurant in Louisiana eating shrimp, you assume that you’re eating Louisiana shrimp. But there’s a 90% chance you’re eating imported farm raised shrimp,” explained Mr. Williams.


life on the gulf Another positive development is the rising health awareness of the U.S. consumer. More people are concerned with the quality of the food they eat. Projects such as the Monterrey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood WATCH program list which types of seafood are preferable, from a safety standpoint and a sustainability standpoint. The Seafood WATCH program recommends eating U.S. wild caught and U.S. farm raised shrimp, but advises avoiding most farm raised imports (with the exception of Thailand.) U.S. farmed shrimp is recommended, since it doesn’t have the same quality concerns as the imports. Although the price for shrimp has stabilized, it is still artificially low. That means most shrimpers can’t make it. They’re getting paid for their shrimp in 1960’s prices, but have 2011 expenses. Mr. Williams, who has been in the shrimp business for over 40 years as a boat owner, dock owner and retail seafood seller, says in the last couple of years, he’s had to sell 3 of his 4 boats. In the harbor in Tarpon Springs, Florida, where Mr. Williams works, there used to be 60 shrimp boats. Now, there are only two. In the southern warm water shrimping states, there were around 8000 offshore shrimp boats in operation 15 years ago. Today, there are around 1000. Mr. Williams says prices wouldn’t have gone so low if the foreign shrimp farmers had to follow the rules like everyone else. He points out that the U.S. has shrimp farmers who do follow the rules, but they only make up 5% of the total U.S. shrimp production, evidence that farming shrimp doesn’t necessarily equate with cheaper if done legally. “Gulf shrimpers have proven that we can compete with any nation as long as people play by the same rules. But we can’t survive if people cheat. Right now, the playing field isn’t level,” explained Mr. Williams. “We hear people talk about ‘free trade’. Well, there’s no such thing as ‘free trade’ because someone always suffers. What we need to talk about is ‘fair trade’, and that’s all we want. Otherwise, we’re looking at an entire culture that could be out of existence because of these folks.” Gulf shrimpers can weather the devastation of a hurricane; they can repair their boats and recoup their lost income through hard work. They can even survive an oil spill by extra diligence in their shrimping techniques. But if unfair competition continues to drive the price of shrimp so low that a shrimper can’t even make enough money on a good catch to pay for his fuel, then there’s nothing that can keep him in business. Hard work, smart planning, good decisions . . . all the traits we Americans admire and encourage . . . won’t matter. It would be a crime to see an entire way of life vanish. Just ask a Native American.


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Rob Stinson, Executive Chef and owner of Salute Italian, Back Bay Seafood and Lookout Steakhouse restaurants in Gulfport, MS knows a thing or two about cooking shrimp. He was kind enough to share a few cooking secrets and a yummy recipe. So head on out and buy some wild caught Gulf Coast shrimp and get ready for a seafood feast!


Seafood i p p i s s i s Mis

Tips on Cooking Shrimp

se local shrimp - fresh is best and makes better finished products. At home I find it easy to use a teflon coated saute pan with olive oil to cook in. I take the seasoning that I want to flavor the shrimp (like fresh minced garlic, onion diced, sun-dried tomato, salt and pepper) and cook the shrimp till pink.  The most important point is to get the pan hot before you place the food items in the pan.  Then your food seals and forms a crisp and delicious crust without absorbing the oil.  Cooking on a grill can be a lot of fun and done mainly ahead if you skewer the head and tail of the shrimp on a skewer with vegetables as well (cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, onions as an example) and then marinade the shrimp in your favorite italian dressing from the store.  Place on grill and watch closely because they will cook quickly.  I find both of these great ways to cook shrimp at home.


Back Bay Shrimp Mediterranean Extra Virgin olive oil Fresh caught gulf shrimp artichoke hearts quartered Portabella Mushrooms sliced Kalamata olives capers sun-dried tomatoes garlic White Wine Feta cheese crumbles Mescaline Mix (Mixed greens) Kale lemon Wheel

3 oz 8 oz 4 oz 4 oz 2 oz 2 oz 4 oz 2-4 oz, to taste 2 oz 4 oz 1 bag 2 pieces 2 each

In Italy this dish is cooked sway sway: fast fast. It is flavorful and fun to cook and great for summer dinner or lunch parties where you don't want to waste time or heat-UGH! In skillet, place oil and garlic.  Lightly brown garlic and add shrimp, artichoke, portabella, olives, capers and sun-dried tomatoes.  Deglaze with wine and place on top of mixed greens. Top with feta cheese for a treat. Garnish with kale and lemon and perhaps a slice of grilled bread.  Stop by and say hello to Chef Stinson at the new Lookout Steakhouse, which opened in mid-April. It’s situated on the corner of 26th Ave and 13th Street in the newly revitalized "Downtown District" of Gulfport, MS. Tell him Gulfscapes sent you! 

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D D elicious

did it MaKE you sMilE?

Along the gulf


The Fish House in Pensacola, FL, Signature dish–Grits à Ya Ya. don’t miss–the baked oysters. Photos by Shelley Yates, goodgrits.com

Introducing ...Delicious Dining! In this issue we unveil a new service we’ve been working on for the past year, our Delicious Dining restaurant guide. We’ve been busy researching the best restaurants around the Gulf Coast to see which ones stand out from the crowd. Our criteria are a little different from other guides. Of course, the food has to be good and the service at least polite, but we’ve included another element . . . the smile. If the dining experience didn’t make us smile, it’s a no-go. When we plop down our hard earned money, and in this economy it’s very hard earned, we want to feel better than we did when we walked in. Please note that our choices aren’t pretentious (hey, it’s the Gulf Coast, pretension isn’t encouraged). We don’t care how many diamonds a restaurant has, if we didn’t think the food was good, it isn’t on the list. And if we find a great little dive that’s creating wonderful food, we don’t care how small or informal it is, it’s listed. We will continue to expand and refine our listings. No doubt we’ll add some places and drop others (consistency is the hardest part of running a restaurant). If you happen to dine at one of our Delicious restaurants, please drop us a note and let us know how you fared; be sure to tell us what dishes you tried. And if you know of a wonderful place that isn’t on the list, send us its contact information and what dishes it does well– any Chefs or restaurant owners who feel they should be on the list, tell us. We love investigative dining! Thank you to all the fabulous restaurant folks along the Gulf Coast for helping make us smile! You ARE one of the 100 reasons to visit the Gulf! Until next issue, Happy Eating– Vic & Craig (gulfscapes@gmail.com) GULFSCAPES.COM jUnE 2011 | 85

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Firefly, President Obama selected the new York Strip with Lobster Mac & Cheese on his visit last August. 535 r. jackson Blvd., Panama City Beach, FL, 32407, fireflypcb.com, (850) 249-3359

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Hendrix www.jenniferhendrixphotography.com

southWEst Florida arturo's, 844 bald eagle dr, Marco island, fl, 34145, arturosmarcoisland.com, (239) 642-0550 bagatelle, 115 duval st., Key west, fl, 33040, bagatellekeywest.com, (305) 296-6609 baleen, laplaya beach & golf resort, 9891 gulf shore dr., naples, fl 34108, (239)598-5707 bayfront bistro, 4761 estero blvd., fort Myers beach, fl, 33931, bayfrontbistro.com, (239) 463-3663 bleu provence, 1234 eighth st. s., naples, fl, 34102, bleuprovencenaples.com, (239) 261-8239 blue heaven, 729 thomas st., Key west, fl, 33040, blueheavenkw.com, (305) 296-8666 b.o.'s fish wagon, 801 caroline street, Key west, fl, bosfishwagon.com, (305) 294-9272 café & bar lurcat, 494 fifth ave. s., naples, fl 34102, (239)213-3357 cafe Marquesa, 600 fleming street , Key west, florida 33040, marquesa.com, (305) 292-1919 café solé, 1029 southard st., Key west, fl, 33040, www.cafesole.com, (305) 294-0230 camille's restaurant, 1202 simonton street, Key west, fl 33040, www.camilleskeywest.com, (305) 296-4811


campiello ristorante, 1177 third st. s., naples, fl 34102, (239)435-1166

Michaels restaurant, 532 Margaret street, Key west, fl 33040, michaelskeywest.com, (305) 295-1300

chops city grill, 837 fifth ave. s.. naples, fl 34102, (239)262-4677

naples tomato, 14700 tamiami trail n., naples, fl, 34110, www.naplestomato.com, (239) 598-9800

cote d'azur, 11224 tamiami trl n , naples, fl 34110, cotedazurrestaurant.com, (239) 597-8867

nine one five, 915 duval street, Key west, fl 33040, 915duval.com, (305) 296 0669

the dock restaurant at crayton cove, 845 12th avenue south, naples fl 34102, dockcraytoncove.com, (239)263-9940

the oyster house restaurant, highway 29 south, everglades city, fl, oysterhouserestaurant.com, (239) 695-2073

ellington's Jazz bar & restaurant, 937 e. gulf dr., sanibel, fl 33957, (239)472-0494

the perfect caper, 121 e. Marion ave., punta gorda, fl 33950, (941)505-9009

el siboney, 900 catherine street, Key west, fl 33040, elsiboneyrestaurant.com, (305) 296-4184

pierre's restaurant, 81600 overseas highway, islamorada, fl 33036, pierres-restaurant.com, (305) 664-3225

grand café Key west, 314 duval st., Key west, fl, 33040, grandcafekeywest.com, (305) 292-4740 the grill, 280 vanderbilt beach road, naples, fl, 34108, ritzcarlton.com, (239) 598-6644 hot tin roof, Zero duval st., Key west, fl, 33040, oceankey.com, (305) 296-7701 louie’s backyard, 700 waddell ave., Key west, fl, louiesbackyard.com, (305) 294-1061 Mangia Mangia, 900 southard st., Key west, fl, 33040, mangia-mangia.com, (305) 294-2469

pisces by café des artistes, 1007 simonton st., Key west, fl, 33040, pisceskeywest.com, (305) 294-7100 roof top café, 308 front st., Key west, fl, 33040, rooftopcafekeywest.com, (305) 294-2042 sale e pepe, 480 s. collier blvd., Marco island, fl, 34145, sale-e-pepe.com, (239) 393-1600 st. george & the dragon, 936 fifth ave. s., naples, fl 34102, (239)262-6546 turtle Kraals restaurant & bar, 231 Margaret st., Key west, fl 33040, www.turtlekraals.com, (305) 294-2640

green waves

Bud & Alley's Restaurants, Celebrates its 25th Anniversary May 15 in Seaside, FL, (850)231-5900, budandalleys.com, Photos courtesy of Bud & Alley’s restaurant.

cEntral Florida alpine steakhouse, 4520 s. tamiami trail, sarasota, fl 34231, www.alpinesteak.com, (941) 922-3797

skipper's smokehouse, 910 skipper road, tampa, fl 33613, skipperssmokehouse.com, (813) 971-0666 ted peters famous smoked fish, 1350 pasadena ave, south pasadena, fl 33707, (727) 381-7931

beach bistro, 6600 gulf dr., holmes beach, fl, beachbistro.com, (941)778-6444

vernona, the ritz-carlton, 1111 ritz-carlton drive, sarasota, florida 34236, ritzcarlton.com (941) 309-2000

bern's steak house, 1208 s. howard ave., tampa, fl, bernssteakhouse.com, (813)251-2421

northWEst Florida

bijou café, 1287 first st., sarasota, fl, bijoucafe.net, (941)366-8111 bob heilman's beachcomber restaurant, 447 Mandalay ave., clearwater beach, fl, 33767, bobheilmans.com, (727) 442-4144 cafe ponte, 13505 icot blvd., clearwater, fl, cafeponte.com, (727)538-5768

atlas oyster house, 600 barracks st., pensacola, fl, 32502, goodgrits.com, (850) 470-0003 bud & alley's, 2236 e. county hwy. 30a, seaside, fl 32459 , budandalleys.com, (850) 231-5900 café tango, 14 vicki st., santa rosa beach, fl 32459 , (850)267-0054

alabaMa Mobile the brick pit, 5456 old shell rd., Mobile, al 36608, (251)343-0001 captain's table, 2701 battleship pkwy, Mobile, al 36602, (251)433-3790 dew drop inn restaurant, 1808 old shell rd, Mobile, al 36607, (251) 473-7872 felix's fish camp grill, 1530 battleship pkwy., spanish ft., al, felixsfishcamp.com, (251)626.6710 noja, 6 north Jackson street, Mobile, al 36602, nojamobile.com, (251)433-0377

café thirty-a, 3899 E. scenic hwy. 30a, santa rosa beach, Fl, cafethirtya.com, (850) 231-2166, pg. 89

the trellis room, the battle house renaissance Mobile hotel and spa, 26 north royal street, Mobile, al 36602, (251) 338-5493

capt. anderson's, 5551 n. lagoon drive, panama city beach, fl, 32408, captanderson.com, (850) 234-2225

true, 9 du rhu drive, suite 201, Mobile, al, 36608, www.truedine.com, (251) 344-3334

Firefly, 535 r. Jackson blvd., Panama city beach, Fl, 32407, fireflypcb.com, (850) 249-3359, pg. 86

wintzell's oyster house, 605 dauphin st., Mobile, al 36602, wintzellsoysterhouse.com, (251)432.4605

da giorgio, 5702 Marina dr., holmes beach, dagiorgio.net, (941)779-0220

the Fish house, 600 barracks st., Pensacola, Fl, 32502, goodgrits.com, (850) 470-0003, pg. 85

orange beach

donatello, 232 north dale Mabry highway, tampa, fl, donatellotampa.com, (813) 875-6660

fish out of water, watercolor inn, 34 goldenrod cir., santa rosa beach, fl 32459, (850) 534-5050

guy harvey's island grill, 4851 wharf pkwy ste 116, orange beach, al 36561, guyharveysislandgrill.com, (251)224-8180

euphemia haye, 5540 gulf of Mexico dr., longboat Key, fl, euphemiahaye.com, (941)383-3633

island room restaurant at cedar cove, cedar cove beach & Yacht club, 10 second st., cedar Key, fl 32625, (352) 543-6520

tacky Jacks tavern & grill, 27206 safe harbor dr, orange beach, al 36561, tackyjacks.com, (251) 9814144

Jackson's steakhouse, 400 s. palafox st., pensacola, fl 32502 , goodgrits.com, (850)469-9898

cobalt the restaurant, 28099 perdido beach blvd., orange beach, al, 36561, cobaltrestaurant.net, (251) 923-5300

columbia, 2117 e. seventh ave., tampa, fl, columbiarestaurant.com, (813)248-4961 crow's nest Marina restaurant & tavern, 1968 tarpon center drive, venice, fl 34285, crowsnest-venice.com, (941) 484-9551

Keegan's seafood grille, 1519 gulf blvd, indian rocks beach, fl 33785, keegansseafood.com, (727) 596-2477 la teresita, 7101 66th st., pinellas park, fl 33781, (727)546-5785 Mise en place, 442 west Kennedy boulevard, tampa, fl 33606, miseonline.com, (813) 254-5373 palm court italian grill, tradewinds island grand, 5500 gulf blvd, st. pete beach, fl 33706, tradewindsresort.com, (727)367-6461 shula’s steak house, 4860 west Kennedy boulevard, tampa, fl 33609, donshula.com, (813) 286-4366

the Marlin grill, 9100 baytowne wharf blvd., sandestin, fl, 32550, marlingrill.com, (850)351-1990 poppy's seafood factory, 138 fisherman's cove, destin, fl, 32550, poppysseafoodfactory.com, (850) 351-1996 seagar's restaurant, 4000 sandestin blvd. s., destin, fl, 32550, seagarsdestin.com, (850) 622-1500 verandas wine bar&bistro, 76 Market st., apalachicola, fl, 32320, verandasbistro.com, (850) 653-3210

cosmo's restaurant & bar, 25753 canal road, orange beach, al, 36561,cosmosrestaurantandbar.com, (251) 948-9663 villaggio grille, 4790 wharf parkway, orange beach, al 36561, villaggiogrille.com, (251) 224-6510 gulf shores sunset cork room, 225 e. 16th ave., gulf shores, al, 36542, sunsetcorkroom.com, (251) 967-4773


Capt. Anderson's, this familyowned restaurant celebrates its 44th anniversary this year, 5551 n. Lagoon drive, Panama City Beach, FL, 32408, captanderson.com, (850) 234-2225 fairhope the gumbo shack, 212 & 1/2 fairhope ave., fairhope, al 36532, guysgumbo.com, (251) 928-4100 panini pete's, 42/12 south section st. , fairhope, al, paninipetes.com, (251) 929-0122 daphne Manci's antique club, 1715 Main st., daphne, al 36526, manci.net, (251) 626-9917

MississiPPi the blow fly inn, 1201 washington ave., gulfport, Ms 39507, blowflyinn.com, (228) 896-9812 br prime, 875 beach blvd., biloxi, Ms, 39530, beaurivage.com, (228) 386-7737 darwell's cafe, 127 e. first st., long beach, Ms 39560, www.darwellscafe.com, (228) 868-8946 lb's steakhouse, grand casino biloxi, 280 beach boulevard, biloxi, Ms 39530, grandcasinobiloxi.com, 800-946-2946 Jia, 875 beach blvd., biloxi, Ms, 39530, beaurivage.com, (888) 567-6667 Maisano's by the glass wine bar & bistro, 1634 bienville blvd., ocean springs, Ms, 39564, maisanosfinewine.com, (228) 872-7144

salute italian, 1712 15th st., gulfport, Ms 39501, saluteitalian.com, (228) 864-2500, pg. 84

orleans, la 70112, therooseveltneworleans.com, (504) 648-1200

the shed, 7501 highway 57 , ocean springs, Ms 39565, theshedbbq.com, (228) 875-9590

ralph’s on the park, 900 city park avenue, new orleans, la 70119, ralphsonthepark.com, (504) 4881000

southEast louisiana

cochon butcher, 930 tchoupitoulas, new orleans, la 70130, cochonbutcher.com, 504-588-porK

galatoire's, 209 bourbon street, new orleans, la 70112, galatoires.com, (504) 525-2021

K-paul's louisiana Kitchen, 416 chartres street, new orleans, la 70130, chefpaul.com, (504) 596-2530

bayona, 430 dauphine street, new orleans, la 70112, bayona.com, (504) 525-4455

brennan’s, 417 royal st, new orleans, la, brennansneworleans.com, (504) 525-9711

august, 301 tchoupitoulas street, new orleans, la 70130, restaurantaugust.com, (504) 299-9777

emeril's delmonico, 1300 st. charles ave., new orleans, la 70130, emerils.com, 504-525-4937

acme oyster house, 724 iberville street, new orleans, la 70130, acmeoyster.com, (504) 522-5973

central grocery company, 923 decatur street, new orleans, la 70116, (504) 523-1620

stella!, 1032 chartres street, new orleans, la 70116, restaurantstella.com, (504) 587-0091

dooky chase, 2301 orleans avenue, new orleans, la 70119, (504) 821-0600

brigtsen's, 723 dante street, new orleans, la 70118, brigtsens.com, (504) 861-7610

willie Mae’s scotch house, 2401 saint ann street, new orleans, la 70119, (504) 822-9503

clancy's, 6100 annunciation street, new orleans, la 70118, (504) 895-1111

drago's, 2 poydras street, new orleans, la 70130, dragosrestaurant.com, (504) 584-3911

sazerac restaurant & bar, 123 baronne street, new


Jamila's Mediterranean tunisian cuisine, 7808 Maple street, new orleans, la 70118, (504) 866-4366

nola commander's palace, 1403 washington avenue, new orleans, la 70130, commanderspalace.com, (504) 8998221

green Café Thirty-A, don’t miss their hand-muddled martinis (on special Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30) 3899 E. Scenic Hwy. 30A, Santa rosa Beach, FL 32459 , cafethirtya.com, (850)231-2166


camellia grill, 626 south carrollton avenue, new orleans, la, camelliagrill.net, (504) 309-2679

port of call, 838 esplanade ave., new orleans, la 70116, portofcallnola.com, (504) 523-0120

renee’s cafe and boutique, 1 lakeshore dr # 555, lake charles, la 70629, reneescafe.net, (337) 439-6916

rivershack tavern, 3449 river rd., Jefferson, la 70121, therivershacktavern.com, (504) 834-4938

bacco, 310 chartres st., new orleans, la 70130, bacco.com, (504) 522-2426

southern spice, 3901 ryan street, lake charles, la 70605, mysouthernspice.com, (337) 474-6065

the Joint, 801 poland ave., new orleans, la 70117, alwayssmokin.com, (504) 949-3232

gautreau's, 1728 soniat st., new orleans, la 70115, gautreausrestaurant.com, (504) 899-7397

pat's of henderson, 1500 siebarth drive, lake charles, la 70615, patsofhenderson.com, (337) 439-6618

creole creamery, 4924 prytania, new orleans, la, creolecreamery.com, (504) 894-8680

houMa big al's seafood, 1377 w tunnel blvd, houma, la 70360, bigalsseafood.net, 985-876-4030

bay arEa tEXas

casamento's, 4330 Magazine st., new orleans, la 70115, casamentosrestaurant.com, (504) 895-9761 surrey's cafe and Juice bar, 1418 Magazine st., new orleans, la 70130, surreyscafeandjuicebar.com, (504) 524-3828 tracey's, 2604 Magazine st., new orleans, la 70130, traceysnola.com, (504) 899-2054 Joey K's, 3001 Magazine street, new orleans, la 70115, joeyksrestaurant.com, (504) 891-0997 sammy's food service & deli, 3000 elysian fields, new orleans, la 70122, sammysfood.com, (504) 947-0675 louie and the red head lady, 1851 florida street, Mandeville, la 70448, louieandtheredheadlady.com, (985) 626-8101 l. a. pines cafe, 1061 robert blvd, slidell, la 70458, lapinescafe.com, (985) 641-6196

chalMette rocky & carlo's, 613 w. st. bernard hwy., chalmette, la 70043, rockyandcarlos.com, 504-279-8323 baton rouge Juban's restaurant, 3739 perkins road, baton rouge, la, 70808, jubans.com, (225) 346-8422 galatoire's bistro, 17451 perkins road, baton rouge, la, 70810, galatoires.com, (225) 753-4864 southwest louisiana tsunami, 412 Jefferson street, lafayette, la 70501, servingsushi.com, (337) 234-3474 Miller's cafe, 138 louisiana avenue, lake charles, la 70601, 337-433-9184 steamboat bill's on the lake, 1004 north lakeshore drive, lake charles, la 70601, steamboatbills.com, (337) 494-1070

beauMont bryan's 797, 797 n. fifth st., beaumont, tx, 77701, bryans797.net, (409) 832-3900 galveston luigi's, 2328 strand rear street, galveston, tx 77550, luigisrestaurantgalveston.com, (409) 763-6500 gaido's, 3828 seawall boulevard, galveston, tx 77550, gaidos.com, (409) 762-9625 Mosquito cafe, 628 14th street, galveston, tx 77550, mosquitocafe.com, (409) 763-1010 olympia grill, 21st & harborside, galveston, tx 77550, olympiagrill.net, (409) 765-0021 rudy & paco, 2028 post office st, galveston, tx 77553, (409) 762-3696 saltwater grill, 2017 post office st., galveston, tx 77550, (409)762-3474 DINING CONTINUED ON PAGE 96


Dining around Miami

Crispy hominy with chile & lime, Michael's Genuine Food and drink.

South Florida Foodie Heaven Gulfscapes was a sponsor for this year’s highly successful South Beach Wine and Food Festival. While we were in Miami, we decided to enhance our festival with a small culinary tour. Culinary tours are growing in popularity, as our obsession with food seems to be increasing exponentially. Three Gulf Coast states, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, even have official Culinary Trails on their tourism websites. Our culinary tour consisted of three of the country’s hottest restaurants, Gotham Steak, 1500°, and Michaels’ Genuine Food and Drink. Gotham Steak, in the legendary Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach, is anything but a standard steakhouse. For starters, its atmosphere isn’t the usual dark wood and low light. Rather, the restaurant is open and airy (floor to ceiling windows overlooking the pool), with a decidedly modern look. And seafood takes on a more dominant role on the menu than in most steakhouses. At the helm of Gotham Steak is Alfred Portale, chef and owner of New York’s celebrated Gotham Bar and Grill. On our visit, Chef de Cuisine John Suley served a great mix of dishes that contained some very innovative ideas. For appetizers, the Florida red snapper ceviche was served on a small slice of honeydew melon, topped with a honeydew jalapeno sauce that gave the dish a sassy tropical attitude. Steak Carpaccio was jazzed up wonderfully with black truffle aioli, while the Hamachi Sashimi was paired with asian pear and melted in your mouth. A just-off-the-boat Yellow Fin Tuna Tartar was equally impressive. Creamed corn with manchego cheese and jalapeno was a show stealer, as the local cheese gave the corn a nice boost and the pepper gave just enough of a sharp kick. Our entrees were a 14 oz grilled boneless ribeye and miso marinated


black cod. The ribeye’s subtle smoke flavor enhanced the cut’s tastiness, while the cod was served with a delightful combination of bok choy, shiitake mushrooms and a soy lemongrass ginger sauce. Pastry Chef Josh Gripper left us smiling with a mouth-watering flourless chocolate cake and homemade donuts served with chocolate sauce and raspberry jam.

Homestead strawberry napoleon with kiwi sauce, 1500°.

Just next door to the Fontainebleau is the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach, host to the restaurant 1500°, with executive chef Paula DaSilva. You may remember DaSilva from her appearance on Fox TV’s Hell’s Kitchen, where she was a finalist. 1500°, in case you were wondering,

Top left, Charred baby brussels sprouts, 1500째. Top right, Executive Chef Paula daSilva, 1500째. Middle right, Michael Schwartz. Bottom left, dining room at 1500째. Middle left, Pork belly tacos with homemade kimchee and wonton, 1500째. www.1500degreesmiami.com www.michaelsgenuine.com www.fontainebleau.com (Gotham)


foodie travel

Top, Hedy Goldsmith, Executive Pastry chef, Michael's Genuine Food and drink. Above, Home made pop-tarts, Michael's Genuine Food and drink.

Rooms from

149! Free Golf for $

All Resort Guests! Kids Eat Free! Valid May 27-September 30, 2011. Rates per room, per night, subject to availability. Taxes and resort fees not included. Certain restrictions and cart fees apply. Children ages 5 and under dine free year round (excluding BOURBON STEAK).

  92 | jUnE 2011 GULFSCAPES.COM

is the ideal temperature to grill steak. The setting of 1500° is dark and intimate, and has a very romantic feel. Tufted leather adorns the room’s columns. Vintage metal milk cans filled with fresh flowers, and crates filled with fresh vegetables add a nostalgic touch. Starting off, we tried shishito peppers with salt and lime. We were warned that the shishitos are normally mild, but one in 15 are very hot. Ours were mild, lightly fried and delicious. Locally grown Homestead tomatoes were served with local burrata cheese, which was refreshing. Pork belly tacos with homemade kimchee and wonton made for a very flavorful, crunchy treat. Keeping with the pork theme, we tried what were billed as the best pork chops you’ve ever eaten. They were hickory rubbed and came from a farmer near Okeechobee that raises and processes his own meats. The texture was excellently tender, and the flavor exploded in our mouths. Yes, they were the best pork chops we’d ever eaten. And the charred baby brussels sprouts that accompanied the chops were among the best we’ve eaten also. Next was a 2” thick tenderloin, perfectly grilled so the outer 1/2” was crisp, while the inside was a perfect medium rare. While we

loved the accompanying bearnaise sauce, which was very light and smooth, the steak was so flavorful that it stood on its own. For dessert, we began with Sticky Toffee Cake. The toffee sauce was decadent. Couldn’t quit eating it. Except when the Homestead Strawberry Napoleon arrived. It was drizzled with kiwi sauce and featured a filo dough, brushed with honey, which was razor thin. We were still mesmerized by the pastry’s thinness as we left South Beach. When we inquired about a great spot for Sunday brunch, the recommendation was almost universal - Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink, in the Design District. James Beard award winner Michael Schwartz is the restaurant’s founder and namesake. The restaurant’s style is “unpretentious bistro”, with a large outdoor patio, tall interior ceilings, and eclectic art on the walls. A red spiral staircase is prominent, and large, bright red boxes serve as hanging light covers. It’s a bustling, friendly atmosphere, with an open kitchen and wood burning oven. And the mix of music - blues, classics - was perfect for the setting. Just trying to decide on your order is taxing. The offerings are many, by design. Rather than a

Kids are at the beach. Mom’s at the spa. Dad is on the green in two! There’s something for everyone at Fairmont Turnberry Isle. Two of South Florida’s premier golf courses, Willow Stream Spa, a private Ocean Club, superb dining at Michael Mina’s BOURBON STEAK. And the fun doesn’t end there. Our Laguna Pool is a veritable paradise of good times. Zip down our waterslide. Float along the lazy river. Swim beneath cascading waterfalls. You can even reserve your own private cabana. And should Mom and Dad wish for a little alone time, let our Kids’ Club be your babysitter with supervised activities for ages 5 to 12. So bring the whole family and get ready to have fun! For reservations or more information, please contact your preferred travel professional, call 1 800 441 1414 or visit www.fairmont.com/turnberryisle.

foodie travel buffet style brunch, Schwartz decided on a menu offering many varieties of small plates, all a la carte, so you can mix and match at your whim. The menu is divided into different sections, by the type food. “Savory”, “Sweets”, “Eggs and Things”, and more. Michael’s features numerous house made offerings, including pastries, beverages and meats. We started with a mimosa, but soon had to try the “Sunday Morning Special”, which consists of a tall can of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a Russian Standard Bloody Mary shooter. Did we mention this is an unpretentious place? Crispy hominy with chile and lime was a great match for the spicy bloody mary. The individual kernals were huge, lightly battered and fried, and tangy. Our Ruben omelette was a textural delight, due to the egg on the inside of the omelette being cooked almost crispy, which we enjoyed. The house made pastrami inside the omelette was wonderful, and thousand island dressing and capers added a bold flavor. The homemade breakfast sausage was one of our favorites. Green flecks of spices were visible in the meat, which was almost grease-free. Our next item, Kimchi Benedict, was a surprise hit; sitting atop a crumpet was crispy pork belly, a poached egg, kimchi and kimchi benedict sauce. The kimchi gave the dish a fresh, zesty flavor. Next up was a crispy rice cake. Not your average rice cake. It was topped with chorizo, florida rock shrimp, manchego, spicy tomato aioli and a local egg. The mix of flavors from the sausage, seafood and egg could be addictive and a little spicy kick from the aioli was wonderful. In keeping with the wonderful adjective, Executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith puts out a variety of wonderful creations. Her homemade pop-tarts reminded me of the fried pies my Aunt Myrt made from scratch when I was a kid. They are decadent. Both the nutella (chocolate like) and passionfruit filled pop-tarts were bursting with flavor. Homemade donuts were equally tasty, with either a lemon creme or strawberry filling. The strawberry filling had a wonderful consistency that was a surprising mix of smoothness and grain. Wonderful is also an apt adjective to use to wrap up our brief Miami culinary tour. The restaurants all provide a great dining experience, and each offers several unique tastes and impeccable service. Miami is on the cutting edge of the culinary world and these three restaurants are leading the way. Top, dining room at Gotham Steak. Bottom left, Yellow Fin Tuna Tartar, Gotham Steak. Bottom right, Chef de Cuisine at Gotham Steak, john Suley. GULFSCAPES.COM jUnE 2011 | 93

green waves


(Top) if one word were chosen to describe the desoto, it would have to be "friendly." The entrance way welcomes guests to the quiet, relaxing shade of the courtyard. (Bottom) Social activities at the desoto revolve around its Tiki huts, imported from Bali. The lush landscaping and Tiki huts create a neighborhood feel.


green waves


(Top) The gardens in the courtyard of the desoto are incredibly vibrant and tropical. (Middle) The desoto is right across the street from this beach. (Bottom right) Comfortable and eclectic, the desoto's visitors can make themselves at home, and even borrow a book.

www.thedesoto.com (954) 923.7210 315 Desoto Street, Hollywood Beach, FL 33019



shearn's, seven hope boulevard, galveston, tx 77554, moodygardenshotel.com, (409)741-8484 901 postoffice, 901 postoffice st., galveston, tx 77550, (409)762-1111 the steakhouse, 5222 seawall blvd., galveston, tx, 77551, sanluisresort.com, (409) 744-1500


KeMah t-bone tom's steakhouse, 707 highway 146, Kemah, tx 77565, tbonetoms.com, (281) 334-2133

coastal bEnd tEXas Yardarm restaurant, 4310 ocean drive, corpus christi, tx 78411, (361) 855-8157

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venetian hot plate, 232 beach st, port aransas, tx 78373, venetianhotplate.com, (361) 749-7617 roosevelt’s, 200 east cotter avenue, port aransas, tx 78373-5124, (361) 749-1540

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liberty hall, 103 east cotter avenue, port aransas, tx 78373, (361) 749-1660 water street seafood company, 309 north water st # a, corpus christi, tx 78401, waterstreetrestaurants.com, (361) 882-8683 tango tea room, 505 south water st # 545, corpus christi, tx 78401, tangofandango.com, (361) 883-9123 vietnam, 701 north water street, corpus christi, tx 78401, vietnam-restaurant.com, (361) 853-2682 cheryl’s by the bay, 112 s fulton beach rd, fulton, tx 78382, cherylsbythebay.com, (361) 790-9626


hu-dats, broadway & s fulton beach rd, fulton, tx 78382, (361) 790-7621

Do you live an InterContinental life?

latitude 28° 02’, 105 north austin street, rockport, tx 78382, (361) 727-9009

InterContinental Tampa is set in Westshore, the heart of Tampa

south tEXas

Bay, within walking distance of the city’s renowned shopping and entertainment district. Whether your stay is for business or pleasure, our central location puts you in close proximity to the airport and numerous local attractions, such as Busch Gardens, Raymond James Stadium, the Florida Aquarium, St. Pete Times Forum and the beautiful gulf coast beaches. From modern amenities to undefeated dining options, such as Shula’s Steak House, you’ll find the InterContinental Tampa will far exceed your expectations.

4860 West Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33609 Call 866.402.0758 or visit www.intercontampa.com

©2009 InterContinental Hotels Group. All rights reserved. Owned and managed by Destination Hotels and Resorts.


Moondog seaside eatery, 100 casterline dr., fulton tx, 78358, (361) 729-6200

scampi’s, 206 w aries dr, south padre island, tx 78597, scampisspi.com, (956) 761-1755 wanna wanna, 5100 gulf boulevard, south padre island, tx 78597, wannawanna.com, (956) 761-7677 Marcello's italian restaurant, 110 north tarnava street, port isabel, tx 78578, marcellositalian.com, (956) 9437611 louie's backyard, 2305 laguna boulevard, s padre island, tx 78597, lbyspi.com, (956) 761-6406 palm street pier bar & grill, 204 w palm st, south padre island, tx 78597, palmstreetpier.com, (956) 7727256 sea ranch restaurant, 1 padre boulevard, south padre island, tx 78597, searanchrestaurant.com, (956) 7611314

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Gulf Coast Magazine about food, travel,vacations, places and events along the gulf coast.


Gulf Coast Magazine about food, travel,vacations, places and events along the gulf coast.