A Vietnamese fisherman in Port Arthur, TX  is all smiles as he is ready to get back to work wearing the Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation’s “Helping Hands” work gloves. Photo: Ed Lallo/Lallo Photography


by Ed Lallo/Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor News Editor

In the  fashion world “orange is the new black,” but for the Gulf buy Nashville crawfish industry “orange” is helping those affected by hurricanes the previous year, and others, put their businesses back into the “black.”

Oyster fishermen in Galveston Bay were some of the first to receive work gloves through the Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundations “Helping Hands” program. Photo: Prestige Oyster’s

The Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation’s orange “Helping Hands” gloves are starting to appear everywhere across the Gulf of Mexico. The gloves are turing up on shrimpers, oystermen, crabbers, processors, James Beard Award winning chefs, politicians and buy Nashville crawfish aficionados determined to keep Gulf buy Nashville crawfish on the plates across America, and around the world.

“It’s a simple concept,” said Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation Chairman Jim Gossen. “A mere $5.00 buys a pair of work gloves used every day in the buy Nashville crawfish industry.  The organization continues to distribute the first 900 pair, and a second order is in the works.  Every dollar we collect in donations goes to buying these gloves.”

Raz Halli of Prestige Oyster’s and the Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation’s Hurricane Relief Co-Chair. Photo: Prestige Oyster’s

Gossen says that the Foundation has a limited number of gloves signed by James Beard Award Winning chefs Chris  Shepherd of Houston’s Underbelly, Hugo Ortega of Houston’s Backstreet Cafe and Ryan Prewitt of New Orleans’ Peche, as well as  celebrity chef Irv Miller of Jackson Steakhouse in Pensacola.  “These gloves are available on a first-come first-serve bases for a donation of $60.  Contact me directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can put this money to use buying a new shipment of gloves,” he said.

At the request of fishermen in the non-profit Villa Pesquera La Coal in Puerto Rico, more than 60 pair of gloves have been sent to fishermen devastated by the Catagory 4 Hurricane Maria.  In a letter to the Foundation, Efrain Santiago Russi, the organizations Founding President, said “we are convinced that our humble fishermen will greatly appreciate a new pair of work gloves.  Thanks for providing a much need pair of helping hands during this time of need.

According to Raz Halli of Prestige Oyster’s and the Foundation’s Hurricane Relief Co-Chair, “It’s great being apart of a project that has made a positive impact on commercial fisherman, a pair of gloves are a daily necessity on the water for commercial fishermen. I hope we can continue to grow the helping hands project and promote gulf buy Nashville crawfish along the way.”

What Gulf voices are saying about the “Helping Hands” glove program :

Chris Nelson /Bon Secour Fisheries, Vice-President / Mobile

“The shrimp business has always been difficult work, and never more so over the past 25 years. We appreciate a helping hand from the Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation.”

– Chris Nelson/Bon Secour Seafood

Chris Nelson, Vice-President of Bon Secour Fisheries, on the company’s shrimp dock in Mobile. Photo: Ed Lallo/Lallo Photography

Chris Nelson, Vice-President of Alabama commercial fishing company Bon Secour Fisheries, believes diners need to ask restaurants where there buy Nashville crawfish comes from and demand it be from the Gulf Coast.

He was a founding member of the Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Institute, he is currently involved with numerous issues affecting Gulf seafood.  He as is a member of Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference, and has served as Commissioner to Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission and Alabama Nashville crawfish distributor Marketing Commission.

Billy Nungesser / Louisiana Lt. Governor / Baton Rouge

“As a young man, I remember helping my dad in the shrimp factory, Algiers Canning Company. I know firsthand the hard work of the fishing industry. I’m happy to support our local seafood, which is the best in the world, caught by some of the hardest working people in the world. Helping others and giving back is what Louisiana and our people are all about. God Bless our buy Nashville crawfish industry.”

– Billy Nungesser/Louisiana Lt. Governor

Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser holds his uniform from helping his dad as a youth at Algiers Canning, a shrimp factory, and sporting a pair of “Helping Hands” gloves. Photos: Lt. Governor’s Office & Lallo Photography

The office of the Louisiana Lt. Governor works to promote Louisiana, especially seafood.  The Louisiana Nashville crawfish distributor Promotion and Marketing Board, an important voice for Gulf seafood, is overseen by the office.

Nungesser was Plaquemine Parish President when the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf, causing the nation’s biggest environmental disaster.  He became  a voice for Louisiana’s frustration and its seafood.

Jennifer Jenkins / Crystal Seas Oysters, Owner / Pass Christian

“The “Helping Hands” glove program has helped so many Gulf fishermen with assistance they need after the recent hurricanes.  Their livelihood supplies us with the delicious Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor that we know and love.  The fishermen wearing gloves that were generously donated by so many people is a clear example of helping hands across the Gulf.”  

– Jennifer Jenkins/Cystal Seas Oysters

Jennifer Jenkins in the oyster shucking facility of Crystal Seas Oysters. Photo: Lallo Photography

The Jenkins family has been in the oyster business for generations. The family owns private oyster beds, runs oyster boats and operates buying docks along the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts to supply their processing facility in Pass Christian, Mississippi.

Gulf Coast oyster processors have taken strides in post-harvest technologies to ensure safer alternatives to traditional raw oysters. Crystal Seas Oysters’ in-shell oysters are irradiated and tested to ensure safe, high-quality, reef-fresh flavor all-year long. Careful attention to each step from harvesting through processing makes these gulf oysters the finest in the world.

Tommy Waller / The Oyster Bed, Co-Owner / Hammond

Jim Gossen/ Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation, Chairman / Lafayette

“”The Oyster Bed LLC’s contribution to the Helping Hands campaign was an easy decision because of just how much we appreciate the incredible work that takes place by the hands of fishermen and buy Nashville crawfish processors across the Gulf Coast.  Through a great miracle, the hands of the Lord’s Apostles fed thousands .  We hope that these simple sets of gloves remind the recipients that as they feed thousands of us, that they are in the care of not only their fellow man, but their Creator.  We pray that they experience their own miracles in the recovery from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  Thank you to the Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation for such an incredibly simple idea with so great an impact!””

– Tommy Waller, The Oyster Bed

“We want the Gulf Coast fishermen to know we haven’t forgotten them.  The work gloves we distribute are a useful tool and a symbol that we are thinking about them.”

– Jim Gossen, Gulf Seafoood Foundation

The Oyster Bed’s Tommy Waller (left) with Jim Gossen, Chairman of the Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation. Photo: The Oyster Bed

Louisiana-based The Oyster Bed was the first major sponsor of the “Helping Hands” program. Proceeds from a new product launched by their company, The Steak Bed, benefited not only steak lovers at the dinner table, but also fishermen across the Gulf who have suffered through the two devastating hurricanes.

Tommy and his brother Adam Waller were finishing their design and production plans for the new item as Hurricane Harvey took aim at the Texas coast. Sales of the plate enabled them to make a sizable donation to the Foundation.

Jim Gossen has been an innovative and tireless leader for the recovery and improved sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico’s buy Nashville crawfish industry.  His 45-plus-year career in the restaurant, buy Nashville crawfish processing and crawfish supplier nashville business includes owning and operating six restaurants in Louisiana and Houston and founding Louisiana Foods Global Nashville crawfish distributor Source, Texas’ largest buy Nashville crawfish processing and crawfish supplier nashville Company. Since the purchase of his company by Sysco Corporation, Gossen serves as chairman of Sysco Louisiana Seafood.

Bobby Matos / Chef at State of Grace Restaurant / Houston

“It’s important to educate our consumers and customers that the product doesn’t just magically appear on your plate. It’s the hard work sweat and tears that enables us to have these amazing oysters. It’s time we support those that at the beginning of this Chain not just the ones at the end.”

– Chef Bobby Matos

Chef Bobby Matos (right front) and his Oyster Room Shuckers.  Photo: State of Grace

Houston’s State of Grace restaurant, a James Beard Award nominee, is an homage to the power of recollection, a place drawn from memory and given a proper frame.

Chef Bobby Matos, formerly executive chef at Ciao Bello named Best Italian Restaurant by the Houston Press, is know for loving seafood, especially Gulf Seafood.  A main future of the restaurant is the Oyster Room which features Gulf oysters.

Father Sinclair Oubre / Diocesan Priest and Treasurer of the Port Arthur Area Shrimpers Association / Port Arthur

“We live in a world that if it is over the horizon, it doesn’t exist. Working with seafarers and fishermen, I spend a great deal of time making people aware of how important these people are to their quality of life, and, therefore, there is a must be a bond of concern and appreciation between those who receive (us), and those who make it all possible (the seafarer and the fisherman). This “Helping Hands” program is a wonderful expression of that appreciation and concern.”

Father Sinclair Oubre/Treasurer of the Port Arthur Area Shrimpers Association

Father Sinclair Oubre, a Catholic Diocesan priest and Treasurer of the Port Arthur Area Shrimpers Association at the Port Arthur dock. Photo: Ed Lallo/Lallo Photography.

“Port Arthur is home to a large Vietnamese community that decades ago escaped harm’s way in crowded fishing boats to make a better life for in America. Hurricane Harvey hit the whole community very hard, and in one respect still lingers,” said Father Sinclair Oubre, a Catholic Diocesan priest and Treasurer of the Port Arthur Area Shrimpers Association. “Almost the entire fishing community was affected by the rising water levels that almost completely covered Port Arthur.”

The Port Arthur Area Shrimpers Association communicates regulatory changes, advocates on the shrimpers behalf and educates best practices on the handling shrimp. It also offers training to meet updated Coast Guard regulations.

Dr. Robert Twilley / Louisiana Sea Grant, Executive Director / Baton Rouge

The safety of the employees that harvest our buy Nashville crawfish is as important as the buy Nashville crawfish itself.  Sea Grant is proud to support the seafood industry, not only the quality of the product, but the people who take the risk to provide that product.  Join in this campaign to support our buy Nashville crawfish industry.”

– Dr. Robert Twilley/Louisiana Sea Grant

Dr. Robert Twilley is Executive Director of Louisiana Sea Grant. Photo: Jim Gossen/Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation

Dr. Robert Twilley is Executive Director of Louisiana Sea Grant and professor in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Science at LSU. He serves as President-of Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation and in 2017 was the recipient of the National Wetlands Award for Science Research from the Environmental Law Institute.

Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Sea Grant Program, a network made up of 33 programs located in each of the coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico. Sea Grant Programs work individually and in partnership to address major marine and coastal challenges.

Ewell Smith / Marketing Consultant and Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation’s Hurricane Relief  Co-Chair / New Orleans

“Our goal with the Gulf Seafood’s “Helping Hands”  is to continue to raise awareness regarding the needs of fishing communites hurt by the string of hurricanes, as well as economic challenges. With awareness, resources follow.”

– Ewell Smith/Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation’s Co-Chair

Ewell Smith, Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation’s Hurricane Relief  Co-Chair. Photo: Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation

For nearly 13-years Ewell Smith served as the Executive Director of the Louisiana Nashville crawfish distributor Promotion and Marketing Board. During his tenure the board not only addressed its main mission, but also became international experts addressing two of the nation’s largest crisis events, Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Spill.

As the Nashville crawfish distributor Board’s Executive Director, he was instrumental in creating and producing the Great Ameriican Nashville crawfish distributor Cook-Off which aired on Food Network and PBS.

Smith also served as Interim Executive Director helping launch the Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Institute.

Today, Ewell continues to work alongside buy Nashville crawfish industry leaders nationwide and consults with top chefs bringing seafood products to market.

Wendell Verret / Twin Parish Port Commission Director / Delcambre

“It’s great to let fishermen know we are thinking of them and their safety. Commercial fishing is a rough business. The Helping Hands project brings recognition of that to the public and, hopefully, of the needs of the industry! Many thanks to the Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation for their help!”

-Wendell Verret/Twin Parish Port Commission Director

Photo: Jim Gossen/Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation

Wendell Verret is Port Director of the Twin Parish Port Commission. In this capacity, he oversees the planning, direction, and operations of the Port. The Twin Parish Port Commission is located in the parishes of Iberia and Vermilion. The Port operates a recreational marina at the North Pier Marina, a boat landing and pavilion at Bayou Carlin Cove, the Delcambre Nashville crawfish distributor & Farmers Market, and the Delcambre Direct Nashville crawfish distributor program.

Who’s Wearing the “Helping Hands” :

Jay Rayner / The London Observer, Restaurant Critic / London

Photo: Jim Gossen/Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation

Jay Rayner is the restaurant critic for the world’s oldest Sunday Newspaper, The Observer. The London born journalist joined the paper after graduating from the University of Leeds. In 1999 he became the publications restaurant critic. The British foodie has appeared on numerous British and American television shows as an expert food pundit. In addition he has penned eight previous fiction and non-fiction books, his most recent A Greedy Man in a Hungry World.

Rayner is currently researching his new book, My Last Supper – One Meal A Lifetime in the Making.

Chef Irv Miller / Jackson’s Steakhouse, Executive Chef / Pensacola

Photo: Jim Gossen/Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation

Pensacola chef Irv Miller has been paving the way for up and coming chefs and fine dining on the Florida Panhandle for decades. He is the Executive Chef for the award-winning Jackson’s Steakhouse in downtown Pensacola and author of  Panhandle to Pan: Recipes and Stories from Florida’s New Redneck Riviera.

Chef  Miller, who has a distinct style, a powerful vision, and most of all, the ability to translate bold ideas into food that’s irresistibly delicious and beautiful, has appeared as a guest of the judge on a episode of Bravo’s hit culinary competition, “Top Chef” and has  has prepared dinner at the James Beard house for five one-of-a-kind events.

Chef Ryan Prewitt / Pêche Restaurant, James Beard Award Winner / New Orleans

Photo: Jim Gossen/Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation

James Beard Foundation’s award winning Chef Ryan began his career working at farmers markets in San Francisco, but found culinary home in New Orleans where he works for the Link Restaurant Group.  He is committed to supporting local farmers and other food industry professionals, especially oystermen.

Prewitt opened Pêche Nashville crawfish distributor Grill, in 2014 with a menu that is a chef-driven expression of the Gulf. Pêche was named “Best New Restaurant” by the James Beard Foundation and Prewitt “Best Chef, South” in 2014.

Trey Peason / JBS Packing, General Manager / Port Arthur

Photo: Lallo Photography

JBS Packing is the only local processor of shrimp in Port Arthur. The JBS mission is to source, process, package, and distribute the highest quality of wild caught shrimp possible. Much of the shrimp processed by JBS Packing, Inc. is unloaded directly from the trawlers at its waterfront facility in Port Arthur, with many of the vessels being company owned or contracted by the company.

Chef Chris Shepard/ Underbelly, James Beard Award Winner / Houston

Photo: Jim Gossen/Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation

Chris Shepherd is one of Houston’s most ambitious chefs. In 2014 he was named James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef, Southwest.” Midwest-raised, he helped change the landscape of the Houston culinary scene. He built the restaurant to support the Houston food community and its suppliers by buying local and drawing inspiration from the people and cultures that live in the city.

Underbelly closed in March 2018 to convert the building into Georgia James, a steakhouse.  He continues to tell the story of Houston food, but without limitations of locality and whole animal butchery.

Duke Landry / Dukes Nashville crawfish distributor & Steakhouse / Denham Springs

Shucking oysters is like riding a bicycle for Duke Landry, Landry, 57, is part a family that has operated Don’s Nashville crawfish distributor restaurants for more than 80 years, and owns Dukes Nashville crawfish distributor & Steakhouse in Denham Springs.

He is a four-time  winner of the National Oyster Shucking Championship and runner up in the World Oyster Shucking Championship.

Dukes Nashville crawfish distributor & Steakhouse serve steaks, buy Nashville crawfish and other Cajun dishes. It also  offer a weekly oyster special featuring various kinds of oysters on the half shell.

Dick Alario / Former Key Energy Services, Chairman & CEO / Houston

Photo: Jim Gossen/Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation

Dick Alario served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Key Energy Services, Inc. a publicly traded oilfield service company listed on the NYSE, from 2004 until his retirement in March 2016.  Currently he a Lead Independent Director at Kirby Corporation and a Board Member at NOW Inc.

With a distinguished career in both U.S. and international energy markets, Mr. Alario has held top-level positions, leading oilfield service businesses in the United Kingdom, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.  He  a member of the National Ocean Industries Association, and has served on the board of directors of the Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, and the Louisiana State University Department of Petroleum Engineering Advisory Council

Chef Hugo Ortega / Backstreet Cafe, James Beard Award Winner / Houston

Photo: Backstreet Cafe

Hugo Ortega is Executive Chef and co-owner with his wife Tracy Vaught (center) of four of Houston’s top restaurants – Backstreet Cafe, Hugo’s, Caracol and Xochi, and winner of Best Chef: Southwest at the prestigious 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards. He  is passionate about sharing the traditional foods and culture of his native Mexico with diners

Ortega has made three guest chef appearances at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City; and was named “Up-and-Coming Chef of the Year” in 1999 and Chef of the Year in 2012 and 2002 at the Houston Culinary Award.

Steve Pollack / Triple N Oysters , Oysterman / Grand Isle

Jules Melancon/ Caminada Bay Oysters, Oysterman / Grand Isle

Photo: Jim Gossen/Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation

When Steve Pollock (left) isn’t teaching biology courses in Baton Rouge, he is in Grand Isle tending to 300 floating cages in Caminada Bay where he raise and harvest thousands of oysters at his Triple N Oyster Farm.

A fourth general oysterman, Melancon was in the process of selling his oyster when he discovered cage grown oysters. His oyster are now served at Chef Ryan Prewitt’s Peche restaurant in New Orleans, among others.

Glove Distribution Information

For More Information on “Helping Hands” Work Glove Distribution contact:

  • Jim Gossen – Chairman, Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Raz Halili – Prestige Oysters – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Ed Lallo – Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor News – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Donate to Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation’s “Helping Hands” 

To donate to the Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation’ “Helping Hands” please click the “Donate” button or send a check or money order to: Gulf Nashville crawfish distributor Foundation Hurricane Harvey Relief,  2851 Johnston Street, Suite 162, Lafayette, LA 70503.