Boston-based Coast Guard cutter hosts Food Network

BOSTON – The Boston-based Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba hosted an episode of the Food Network’s reality TV program “The Next Food Network Star,” Friday while moored in Lower Manhattan, N.Y.

The Escanaba crew offered its galley for food preparation as well as other compartments on the ship for judging and staging areas. Afterwards, 30 Escanaba crewmembers took up the challenge of tasting the various dishes.

Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Pillow, Escanaba’s lead cook, advised the contestants on the operation of some of the galley’s equipment. Filming went smoothly, and when it was over Pillow said that helping was a unique experience for him because very few units ever get the opportunity to work so closely with TV show producers. The show tests contestants’ culinary skills to come up with the most creative yet palatable dishes.

After one day in the spotlight, the Escanaba crew was back to work in the North Atlantic as part of a continuous mission to protect the sustainability of New England’s living marine resources. The event caught the Escanaba crewmembers mid patrol, where they have been busy enforcing laws designed to prevent over fishing by inspecting vessels and checking equipment and catch sizes.

By monitoring and enforcing fishing regulations, the Coast Guard helps protect America’s fish stocks. This less publicized but crucial mission protects the future availability of seafood for the public and cooking programs like “The Next Food Network Star.” This episode is scheduled to air June 2008.

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    Robert Michel