Rick Moonen Serves as Guest Chef at the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015



Rick Moonen USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015

Last week, Chef Rick Moonen, an advocate for sustainable fishing and seafood, was invited as a guest chef to the esteemed USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015, the first time that the popular world’s fair has been food-themed, taking place in Milan now through October. Moonen was one of 50 guest chefs selected by the James Beard Foundation to represent the USA’s “Culinary Dream Team.” This remarkable group of chefs are all recognized by the James Beard Foundation, the International Culinary Center,  and are also members of the American Chef Corps, an initiative launched by the U.S. Department of State to elevate the role of culinary engagement in America’s formal and public diplomacy efforts.


To kick off the week, Moonen celebrated World’s Ocean Day (June 8) with Sheila Bowman of Monterey Bay Aquarium and its Seafood Watch program. During a discussion panel and cooking demo event, the duo taught guests how to be stewards of our oceans, and discussed aqua culture and the challenges they face. They also showed participants how to use the Seafood Watch program, so they can make responsible eating decisions to assure an abundant future for our oceans. Following the discussion, Moonen also demonstrated a tea-smoked Alaskan sockeye salmon with cucumbers and horseradish cream for the expo’s own official cookery show, “The Cooking Show – The World on a Plate.”


On Tuesday, June 9 and Wednesday, June 10, Moonen hosted dinner for over 50 guests each night in honor of the expo’s theme, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” The dinners were housed at James Beard American Restaurant in the Penthouse Suite inside the Seven Stars Galleria Hotel, a location with superb views of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and Piazza della Scala. Operating much in the same manner as the James Beard House in New York City, the highly anticipated restaurant opened on May 8 and serves as a special platform for America’s culinary talent during the expo. For Moonen’s dinners, the celebrated chef showed guests how to shuck oysters and prepared a selection of hors d’oeuvres, as well as a four-course menu paired with wine. As Moonen conversed with guests he said, “Connect with our environment, put away our toys, enjoy a good meal, have food for generations to come…the core of what I do.” Highlights from the meal included dishes that showcase Moonen’s passion for sustainable seafood found at Rick Moonen’s rm seafood at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place, such as the brandade cake on fennel with a truffle vinaigrette, New England style cobia chowder, and tea- smoked True North Salmon with cucumbers and horseradish cream, to name a few.


For more information about the USA Pavilion Expo Milano 2015, visit http://www.usapavilion2015.net.


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About Chef Rick Moonen

Chef and cookbook author, Rick Moonen, has been one of the country’s leading advocates for the sustainable seafood movement for more than 25 years, bringing national awareness to this subject near and dear to his heart. His restaurant, Rick Moonen’s rm seafood at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, showcases his commitment to sustainability without foregoing culinary creativity and innovation, and has been critically acclaimed by local and national press alike.  In 2010 Rick made a memorable appearance on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, nearly taking home the title and raising thousands of dollars and national awareness for Three Square food bank in Las Vegas.  In May of 2011 Monterey Bay Aquarium honored Rick as their “Chef of the Year” for his tireless efforts towards sustainability. He’s been featured on CNN, TODAY, Good Morning America, CBS Early Show, Dan Rather Reports, and many more.  Find him on Twitter @RickMoonen, Facebook.com/ChefRickMoonen, on Instagram @ChefMoonen or www.rickmoonen.com.