MPT Documentary Eatin’ Blue Catfish: Chesapeake Style Premieres April 20

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Maryland Public Television (MPT) will premiere its original documentary Eatin’ Blue Catfish: Chesapeake Style on Thursday, April 20 at 8 p.m. during its 19th annual Chesapeake Bay Week®. The 30-minute film will debut on MPT-HD and will be available to view live and on-demand using MPT’s livestreamonline video player, and the PBS App.

Eatin’ Blue Catfish: Chesapeake Style features an unwelcome guest in the Chesapeake Bay that has become a welcome addition to menus, grocery stores, and dinner plates across Maryland. It is the fifth installment of MPT’s popular Eatin’ culinary series, which includes programs that have premiered during Chesapeake Bay Week since 2009.

Though Chesapeake cuisine is mostly known for its iconic native species such as blue crabs, oysters, and rockfish, local chefs are now touting the blue catfish as well. Researchers from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Salisbury University uncover the extent to which the population of this invasive species has mushroomed, threatening to upset the biological balance of the bay. Now, a coalition of wildlife managers, seafood marketers, commercial watermen, and recreational fishers have come together to tackle the problem, and they’ve found a solution that is as tasty as it is ecologically beneficial.

Viewers go into the kitchens of Baltimore restaurants such as Heather Smith’s Swill in Pigtown, Zach Mills’ and Pat Hudson’s True Chesapeake Oyster Co. in Hampden, and Nick Schauman’s The Local Oyster in Mount Vernon and Locust Point as they test creative and delicious ways to prepare and serve this savory predator. Chef Billy Kelley, of Davidsonville’s Renditions Golf Course restaurant, gives a sneak peek into his preparation for a blue catfish cooking competition sponsored by the Restaurant Association of Maryland. The Maryland Food Bank and the Frederick Rescue Mission join forces to fill plates with blue catfish for those in need, illustrating how this new culinary movement can benefit the community in numerous ways.

An encore presentation of Eatin’ Blue Catfish: Chesapeake Style will air on MPT-HD at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, the final day of MPT’s 2023 Chesapeake Bay Week observance. For more information, visit

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