Executive chef Jason Bangerter of Luma Restaurant, a new Ocean Wise partner in Toronto, says, “It’s in our best interest to choose seafood that is harvested in a sustainable manner. In doing so, we help to ensure seafood stocks remain healthy and abundant.”
In Vancouver and other coastal communities, the ocean and its challenges – such as overfishing – are literally right in front of their eyes. But overfishing impacts not only communities along the coast, but everyone. Leading chefs in the Greater Toronto Area recognize that, and are reshaping the culinary scene through their commitment to seafood sustainability.
On April 26, Toronto-area Ocean Wise chefs joined forces to celebrate a fresh new take on seafood, emphasizing the need to make ocean-friendly choices for the health of our oceans. By taking a bold stance to serve Ocean Wise seafood, Toronto’s leading chefs are helping to ensure the long-term sustainability of our oceans for the future generations of chefs.
Local chefs welcomed new Ocean Wise partner Luma Restaurant to the esteemed group of about 50 Ocean Wise partners in Toronto – a group comprising Toronto’s distinguished chefs who are demonstrating that smart, sustainable seafood choices can be delicious too.
For Ocean Wise restaurants and suppliers, choosing ocean-friendly seafood products is a huge benefit because it decreases the entry of lesser quality seafood, including in size, taste and texture, into the marketplace. Sustainable sourcing helps to provide consumers with quality products that Ocean Wise partners strive to serve.
One example is demonstrated by Chilean seabass. Once a top choice for chefs and consumers in Toronto restaurants, Chilean seabass is no longer a sustainable choice. In fact, the species was harvested to the point where fishermen were forced to sell smaller fish that no longer had the same great texture as its larger counterpart. As such, chefs have moved away from Chilean seabass and are replacing it with more sustainable and tastier choices such as Sablefish.
In April, concerned industry representatives, including celebrated chefs Martin Kouprie, Dan Donovan, and Brad Long, writer and sommelier Jamie Drummond and sustainable food advocate Rebecca LeHeup, formed a new Ocean Wise Advisory Team in Toronto – a team charged with examining the local culinary marketplace and uncovering ways to further engage and educate consumers on the issues surrounding our oceans.
The Ocean Wise Advisory Team will be working closely with the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program to help raise awareness and engage the food industry, from chefs to suppliers to fishermen, on the important changes needed within the seafood industry.
For more information on Ocean Wise and seafood sustainability, please visit the Ocean Wise web site.