After a statewide search, the Bama’s Best Catfish Restaurant Challenge has reeled in four customer-nominated finalists serving up U.S. farm-raised catfish. The Alabama Catfish Producers sponsored the second annual contest.
Finalists are David’s Catfish House in Atmore, Catfish N Que in Cullman, Orrville Farmer’s Market in Orrville and Swamp John’s in Red Bay. More than 250 nominations were received.
A panel of three judges, including an Alabama catfish farmer, will visit finalists restaurants this week to sample their best dish and present a plaque.
The challenge seeks to reward restaurants for serving tasty U.S. farm-raised catfish, said Alabama Catfish Producers Chairman Sid Nelson.
“Our fish is some of the best on the market, and we’re excited to see our product go from pond to plate,” said Nelson, a Sumter County farmer. “These restaurants dish up a safe, healthy product we’re proud to provide.”
The statewide champion will be named next week, leading up to National Catfish Month in August. They will receive a cash prize, a Bama’s Best Catfish plaque and will be featured in the September Neighbors magazine, a publication of the Alabama Farmers Federation.
One finalist will be named People’s Choice Award winner based on a Facebook vote. Starting July 12, Facebook users may vote for their favorite restaurant by liking the photo in the Federation’s “Bama’s Best Catfish – People’s Choice Award” album. The contest runs through 9 a.m., Tuesday, July 18.
Judges are Hale County catfish farmer and Catfish Farmers of America President Townsend Kyser, the Alabama Farmers Cooperative’s Jim Allen, and Fred Hunter, host of the TV show “Absolutely Alabama.” Nelson will accompany judges as they travel the state visiting the finalists.
For more information, visit AlabamaCatfish.org.