Aquaculture Stewardship Council and Laguna Blanca Serve Sizzlingly Sustainable Salmon at 31st Annual Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle

DC Festival Welcomes 20,000, Likely Nation’s Largest Ever One-Time Sampling of ASC-Certified Seafood

Washington, D.C. – Last weekend in the nation’s capital, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and Laguna Blanca Salmon teamed up for one of the nation’s premier outdoor food and music festivals to showcase responsibly certified seafood’s rightful spot at the center of the grill.

ASC is a global nonprofit organization leading the world’s strictest standards for responsibly farmed seafood via its certification and labeling program. Laguna Blanca offers premium salmon, raised without antibiotics, that has been ASC-certified as responsibly raised in the pristine waters of Patagonia, Chile’s Magallanes region.

Together, the two organizations created the sole seafood activation at the 31st Annual Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle, held June 24-25 in the heart of downtown Washington, D.C. ASC and Laguna Blanca served more than 20,000 sizzling salmon samples to festivalgoers in what is likely the nation’s largest ever single sampling event of ASC-certified seafood.

The 2023 Giant Barbecue Battle is a 100% carbon-neutral event celebrating sustainability and spanning six city blocks in DC’s historic Pennsylvania Avenue district. Over 100 brands and exhibitors lit up the neighborhood both Saturday and Sunday, highlighting delicious and unique barbecue flavors, samples from chefs around the world, live music and cooking competitions.

“This month marks an important halfway point for ASC’s major North American marketing campaign,” said Athena Davis, Marketing Manager, ASC North America. “As we reflect on the first half of our second year going deep into key locations across the nation, building awareness of certified seafood and the meaning behind ASC’s sea green label, D.C. has been especially receptive to our mission. That’s why we keep coming back to collaborate with local businesses dedicated to moving the seafood industry toward greater environmental sustainability and social responsibility.”

“The 31st National Capital BBQ Battle was a true testament to teamwork and the fact that we can have a greater impact when we come together,” Davis added. “ASC had the pleasure to work alongside a number of committed sustainability partners, including the event sponsor Giant Food who, along with Ahold Delhaize, uses ASC’s program to help guide their sustainable seafood sourcing policies. It was incredible to be the only seafood presenters among a sea of vendors and to have our certified salmon delivered by our partners at D.C.’s own Congressional Seafood. We wanted to show that salmon, raised the right way, can hold its own against even the best BBQ dishes. Laguna Blanca’s Patagonian salmon did not disappoint, proving to guests that farmed seafood offers a tasty, healthy and planet-friendly option when you shop with our sea green label in mind.”

Barbecue Meets Succulent Seaside Flavors
As musical guests such as DJ Jazzy Jeff brought summertime madness to the main stage, guests of ASC and Laguna Blanca’s tasting tent embarked on a culinary journey combining smoky barbecue goodness with the fresh, succulent flavors of salmon raised in the pristine waters of remote Patagonia. Chef Erik Foxx-Nettnin of DC-based The Polished Foxx created two mouthwatering dishes perfect for the summer season and inspired by international infusions:

  • Grilled Salmon Shawarma with Spiced Tomato Jam combined the delicate and buttery richness of grilled ASC-certified Laguna Blanca salmon with the aromatic spices of a traditional shawarma marinade, elevated by a luscious spiced tomato jam. 
  • Black Garlic & Whiskey Shoyu Lacquered Salmon took grilled ASC-certified Laguna Blanca salmon filets to new heights with a mesmerizing glaze mingling umami flavors of black garlic, whiskey and Japanese shoyu.

While Chef Erik masterfully finessed the art of barbecue with delicate seafood preparation, ASC and Laguna Blanca connected with the thousands of attendees to tell the new aquaculture story, sharing recipes and certified seafood education while hosting an array of contests encouraging guests with a chance to win ASC-branded T-shirts, sunglasses and tote bags, culinary prizes from Laguna Blanca and an Instagram giveaway featuring certified salmon and a brand new Weber grill.

“From Patagonia all the way to Pennsylvania Avenue, the D.C. Barbecue Battle was a fantastic and massive opportunity for us to show the pride we hold for our premium salmon,” said Kathy Liz, Marketing Director, Laguna Blanca. “We were proud to stand alongside these grill masters at this fantastic event to show that our antibiotic- free, ASC-certified salmon is among the most delicious and high-quality proteins you can find nationwide. After a successful weekend with our friends and collaborators at ASC, we can confidently say that Laguna Blanca has gained over 20,000 new fans who have tasted the magic that salmon, farmed with integrity, can bring to the table.”

About the Aquaculture Stewardship Council

Since 2010, ASC has been creating and enforcing the world’s strictest standards in the industry for: 

  • Protecting the environment, workers and communities.
  • Ensuring supply chain integrity from the farm to the store.
  • Providing the most comprehensive transparency through public disclosure.

ASC’s sea green label only appears on seafood from farms that have been independently assessed and certified as environmentally and socially responsible. ASC’s sea green certification label is the best way to ensure the seafood you’re buying is what it claims to be. For more information, visit

About Laguna Blanca

Laguna Blanca is a premium ASC-certified salmon, responsibly raised in remote Chilean Patagonia. Laguna Blanca salmon is raised year-round without the use of any antibiotics, maintaining exceptional flavor and texture. The inclusion of algae oil in our feed formulations boosts EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids for fish health, while helping us meet our sustainability goals by decreasing dependency on wild capture fish.