The Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise™ program is now part of the curriculum at École Hôtelière des Laurentides, one of Quebec’s top culinary schools. This recent partnership with a culinary school is a first for the Ocean Wise program and marks the beginning of a longstanding commitment to educating today’s youth about the importance of sustainable seafood sourcing in the hospitality industry.

Ocean Wise sustainable seafood

Students here learn about the importance of sustainable seafood.

Located in Saint Adele, Quebec, this school of over 300 students, ranging in age from 16 to 60 years old, offers comprehensive training across various specializations within the hospitality industry.

Sustainable seafood school in Quebec

Peter Dulude, purchasing manager is revising the list of seafood to ensure it is sustainable.

Over the past several months, the Ocean Wise team has been working alongside head purchaser, Peter Dulude (above), chef Robert Cholette (below, left), and the school’s various suppliers to integrate more sustainable seafood sourcing into the curriculum. “We want to train our students to be ambassadors for sustainability. Educating the next generation is key to ensuring that our oceans are healthy now and in the future,” said Andrée Cloutier, director at École Hôtelière des Laurentides. “With Ocean Wise, we wanted to come on board as a partner in a big way. We have made a number of major changes to our programs, the seafood we purchase, and the response from staff has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Ocean Wise sustainable seafood program in Quebec

Chef Robert Cholette works with students on how to prepare delicious and sustainable seafood.

Since discussions began back in April of this year, École Hôtelière des Laurentides has either removed or plans to remove many unsustainable items from its seafood order list, including shark and monkfish. More than 40 per cent of the seafood the school orders is now Ocean Wise recommended and there are plans to continue increasing that number year over year.

Sustainability practices are weaved into this educational institute. École Hôtelière des Laurentides has also been recognized in Quebec as a Brundtland Green Establishment (BGE): a movement of over 800 institutions dedicated to empowering Quebec’s youth and adults to build a more environmentally focused society.

Culinary school training with Ocean Wise Program

Chefs learn how to prepare sustainable oysters at the culinary school.

On top of the extensive revisions already made to the school’s seafood orders, several other changes have been implemented into the curriculum this fall. The practice of using sustainable seafood will be taught in classes and students will learn about the various reasons behind what makes these choices sustainable.

The menu in the student-run restaurant has been updated with Ocean Wise recommended items, features an Ocean Wise dish of the week, and student-made products containing Ocean Wise recommended seafood are labeled and available for purchase within the small student-run store.

Ocean Wise sustainable seafood program

A tasty plate of Ocean Wise chardonniere cod.

École Hôtelière des Laurentides has truly embraced the Ocean Wise program and is taking significant steps to help protect the future health of our lakes, rivers, and oceans. Please join us in welcoming them to the Ocean Wise program!

Blog post by Deirdre Finn, Ocean Wise coordinator.

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