Warehouse District happy hour sets pace for international 'Slow Food' conference coming to New Orleans next spring _lowres

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - B line snapper was one of several fish featured at a recent happy hour tasting at Carmo, which hosts a similiar event on July 13.

Seafood is the talk of the town during Lent in New Orleans. But when the season rolls around next year, some of those conversations may take on a different tone, or at least center on different flavors as New Orleans plays host to an international gathering called Slow Fish.

A project of Slow Food, the global food advocacy group, Slow Fish encourages the use of neglected species and supports small scale fisheries around the world as they grapple with concerns of sustainability, habitat loss and industrialization. Slow Fish has held biannual fairs in Genoa, Italy, and next year it will meet in New Orleans for the first time.

Planned for March 10-13, Slow Fish will include an international conference at the Old U.S. Mint aimed at fishermen, chefs, researchers, advocates and others and events for the public at the adjacent French Market.

While details of Slow Fish take shape, on July 13 its local organizers will hold a bycatch seafood happy hour, dubbed Fish Tails & Cocktails, as the first in a planned series of events leading to the conference.

The chefs Dana and Christine Honn will host the tasting at their Warehouse District restaurant Carmo, along with guest chefs Alex Harrell of Angeline and Michael Doyle of Maurepas Foods and members of the local Slow Food New Orleans chapter. They’ll prepare dishes using Gulf seafood not commonly found on local menus to showcase the greater diversity available from local waters.

Carmo held a similar event earlier in June, as part of the citywide Eat Local Challenge. Some examples served that night were ceviche made from dense chunks of porgy, nigiri made from blue runner (a rich-tasting, velvety-textured fish that compares well to tuna), raw b line snapper and croquettes made of Gulf squid, a common bycatch in shrimp trawls but a rarity at local markets. The precise menu for the July 13 tasting will depend on the catch leading up the event.

Fish Tails & Cocktails

Where: Carmo, 527 Julia St., (504) 875-4132; www.cafecarmo.com

When: July 13, 6-8 p.m.

Details: sample dishes of a wide variety of Gulf seafood prepared by Carmo and guest chefs Alex Harrell of Angeline and Michael Doyle of Maurepas Foods. Free admission, cash bar and small plates available for purchase.

Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter @IanMcNultyNOLA.