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Chefs to Watch: Georgetown University’s Richard Hetzler dives into seafood education

As part of the Harvest Table Culinary Group’s team at Georgetown University, Richard Hetzler is working on several fascinating food projects, such as making a difference in the region’s aquaculture by serving invasive fish.


Chefs to Watch is a series of video interview with onsite chefs who are making their mark with a unique perspective, fascinating food and more. The chefs in this program are standing out with not just culinary skills, but creativity in hospitality as a whole. Here's the first Chef to Watch – Richard Hetzler of Georgetown University:

If you’ve been following Food Management’s Best Sandwich competition, you might remember Chef Richard Hetzler’s Chesapeake Blue catfish sliders, a winner in the seafood category. This species of blue catfish is causing all sorts of problems by disrupting the ecosystem in the waters around the Chesapeake Bay.

So Hetzler is going with the “if you can’t beat ‘em, eat ‘em” philosophy and making these invasive fish downright delicious, frying them tempura style and serving on a brioche roll with lettuce, tomato and special sauce. The sliders are just the beginning of an introduction to aquaculture for many students passing through the dining halls.

In this video interview, we talk about why this species of catfish has become a problem, working with local fishermen, cooking with catfish (a firm, flaky fish that can go into fish cakes, tacos), putting it on the menu and using it as a teaching opportunity. Plus, we delve into Hetzler’s inspirations, thoughts and plans for the new year ahead at Georgetown.

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