Alabama’s seafood industry isn’t just a few distinguished individuals keeping things afloat—it’s an all-hands-on-deck type of deal. And, of course, that means thousands of women, many of whom don’t get the credit they deserve.
Seeing as March is Women’s History Month, we thought we’d sing the praises of a handful of women who are making history in our industry every single day. From processors and caterers to chefs and restaurateurs, these ladies are literally putting food on the table for seafood lovers across Alabama and beyond.
Learn more about these women and their businesses.
Kelsey Barnard Clark – Owner/Chef of KBC in Dothan
Kelsey Barnard Clark isn’t just one of the best chefs in Dothan—she’s up there with Alabama’s best. And she proved it in 2019 after winning Season 16 of “Top Chef”. Nowadays, she’s diverted her focus back to KBC, her restaurant and catering service that keeps the Wiregrass region happy with amazing dishes and a beautiful event space.
Lauren Cowan – Processor at Carson & Company in Bayou La Batre
Lauren Cowan’s father started Carson & Company back in 1976, which means Lauren has been around Alabama Gulf Seafood her entire life. As part of the family business, she helps process their daily bounty: wild-caught domestic shrimp, right from the Gulf Coast. And she’s an amazing advocate for local sourcing and seafood sustainability.
Martie Duncan – Lifestyle Expert and “Food Network Star” Alumnus
Martie Duncan isn’t just a local celebrity here in Alabama. She was a fan favorite on the eighth season of “Food Network Star”, and she’s parlayed that success into numerous appearances on TV and at local events. Even better, her website is full of recipes and lifestyle tips, and her most recent cookbook—Alabama Cravings—is full of fresh Gulf seafood.
Allie Henderson – Chef Consultant and Freelance Chef in Mobile
Allie Henderson came up through Mobile's culinary scene as the executive chef of Dauphin's, and The Harbor Room & Fathoms Lounge at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel before that. Nowadays, she's sharing her expertise far and wide as a chef consultant and freelance chef, and you can bet she's always got Alabama Gulf Seafood on the menu.
Wezzie Jemison – Office Manager at J&B Seafood in Bayou La Batre
Wezzie Jemison was born in Bayou La Batre and raised within its San Souci community; it doesn’t get more authentically Alabama Gulf Seafood than that. Wezzie began shucking oysters when she was just 10 years old, and now you’ll find her serving as the office manager at J&B Seafood, where she oversees the finest Gulf oysters and crabs.
Kay Kramer – Co-Owner of Boja’s Foods, Inc. in Bayou La Batre
Kay Kramer may have been born in Washington, but now that she’s been working for Boja’s Foods, Inc. for three decades, she’s part of Alabama’s seafood industry through and through. Her business provides value-added seafood products for the people of the Gulf Coast and beyond, including some delicious crabmeat stuffings.
Christi Wallace – Processor at Fresh Market Seafood in Gulf Shores
Christi Wallace and her husband Hal live and breathe Alabama Gulf Seafood. As she says, “shrimpin’ ain’t easy,” but they put in hard work on their shrimp boats to provide fresh product for the Gulf Coast and beyond. You’ll even find pre-prepared meals-to-go at Fresh Market Seafood, making a fresh home-cooked dinner easier than ever.
Rosa Zirlott – Processor/Co-Owner of Murder Point Oyster Company in Irvington
Rosa Zirlott was one of the first seafood processors in Alabama to get into the farm-raised oyster business, and we’re sure thankful she did. She and her husband were raised in the industry, and now they’re raising a new generation the same way through their Murder Point Oyster Company. Oysters worth killing for indeed.