Welcome sign, on laptop, the FishChoice.com site.
With Top Chef Radhika Desai preparing a delicious lunch on state-of-the-art Fisher & Paykel equipment, chefs and culinary students, future fishmongers and conservation activists got together Monday for Teach a Chef to Fish.
Chef Radhika Desai on cooking on the Fisher & Paykel range: "I want to take it home!"
While delicious scents wafted through the gorgeous showroom, an intimate but lively group chatted around the jumbo kitchen island, learning about new sustainable seafood sourcing and education tools. The group included folks from across a broad spectrum of the food service industry including one chef in training whose family also runs aquaculture in the Philippines.
We heard from the Shedd Aquarium’s Kassia Perpich who outlined the five general topic areas we cover in the discussion of sustainable seafood:
- Overfishing - in the US it's estimated that 40% of our fisheries are over-fished, globally the figure is 70-80%.
- By-catch - the by-catch from harvesting one pound of shrimp is often as much as seven pounds of fish wasted.
- Habitat - shrimp trawlers often drag nets across the ocean floor, uprooting and killing aquatic plants, corals and other seafloor life.
- Aquaculture - is thought to be the future of seafood as we have depleted so much of the wild supply. Good aquaculture exists but often gets lumped together with those that pollute, cause disease, destroy delicate mangroves or other environments.
- Illegal, Unregulated, Underreported - buying fish from pirates, or buying species that are technically legal but widely acknowledged to be unregulated - these practices have consequences.
Dirk Fucik, (Dirk’s Seafood), Mary Smith (Plitt Seafood), and Carl Galvan (Supreme Lobster) shared valuable perspectives on how people can expand their sustainable seafood options. Even the topic of working with “red list” seafood suppliers was touched on.
Chef Radhika Desai's Spice Crusted Barramundi
Team Chicago, L to R: Judy Bell, F&P; me; Dirk Fucik, Dirk's Seafood; Kassia Perpich, Shedd Aquarium; Mary Smith, Plitt Seafood; Carl Galvan, Supreme Lobster; Radhika Desai.
Special thanks to sponsors: Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Fishchoice.com, Australis Barramundi.