What is Teach a Man to Fish?

  • Almost 90% of diners say they want restaurants to serve only sustainable seafood, but nearly 75% are unaware which fish are close to extinction.

Well-intentioned chefs who want to source more sustainable seafood have had to rely on a "trust your purveyor" sourcing practice, with mixed results. State-of-the-art resources are available now for culinary professionals. We'll hear from leaders on key sustainable seafood issues, then practice menu makeovers working in small groups to makeove" menu items using the new tools and group input.

Chefs will leave with a sustainable seafood toolkit, and a solid understanding of how to begin building a more sustainable seafood menu - one dish at a time. They’ll also take away discounts from sponsors on various sustainable seafood product, in addition to a solid understanding of the fundamentals of more sustainable sourcing for the professional kitchen.

What are Teach a Man, and Teach a Chef, to Fish?
As the sustainable seafood event, Teach a Man to Fish enters its third year here on my blog, we are adding a live event this year to bring the tools, information and resources directly to chefs. Adding Teach a Chef to Fish to our sustainable seafood events, I'm addressing chefs because they are the ones who introduce us to new foods. Chefs also have more buying power, and impact on the oceans, than a whole kitchen of home cooks.

Teach a Chef to Fish includes live events in three cities and a culinary competition. Here in Boston, in Toronto and in Chicago, the Chefs' Roundtable events will bring experts and chefs together to get an overview of sustainability issues and learn what others have done to take the first steps toward more sustainable sourcing. This is also a working session and we’ll put what we learn into practice.

  • The Fairmont will open with their story of how the resorts integrated sustainability into their practices, starting 20 years ago and how the Battery Wharf property decided to remove Bluefin tuna and Chilean Seabass from the menu.
  • The New England Aquarium will share insights from their sustainable sourcing initiatives and give examples of what innovative companies are doing to help busy culinary professionals adopt sustainable seafood sourcing practices.
  • We’ll hear about sustainable aquaculture from Australis Barramundi, The Better Fish. Not all aquaculture is problematic. We’ll learn why and how this fish is an example of a sustainable aquaculture.
  • We’ll introduce new tools like the joint venture between Blue Ocean Institute and the Chefs Collaborative called Green Chefs, Blue Ocean. We’ll review their seven part online tutorial. We’ll walk through the new sourcing service, FishChoice. Now in Beta, FishChoice aims to give culinary professionals real-time information about sourcing sustainable seafood from a large database of purveyors, many of them already familiar names.
  • Chefs will have the rare opportunity to shape the service by offering feedback. They’ll gain insights into workable solutions to offering the sustainable seafood diners prefer.

The chefs will then work together, using the new tools to apply their creativity to recipe makeovers. They will work through actual menu items together, to take the first steps toward a more sustainable menu.

Other ways to participate:
For students of local culinary schools and their alumni, we’re holding our first annual Teach a Chef to Fish Culinary Competition. Our host for the Teach a Chef to Fish competition is the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts.

For home cooks, chefs, foodies, writers...we are holding the third annual Teach a Man to Fish Blog Event as usual, right here.

Started in 2007, Teach a Man to Fish is the sustainable seafood event that brings together chefs, home cooks, conservationists, food writers, and fishermen to learn from each other how to incorporate more delicious and sustainable seafood choices into our lives.

Who is involved?
So far, we have sponsors including The Fairmont Battery Wharf hosting our Chefs' Roundtable in Boston. Fisher & Paykel is our host in Chicago and Toronto. The Fairmont has had a green policy long before it was popular. The Fairmont Battery Wharf removed Bluefin Tuna and Patagonian Toothfish (Chilean Seabass) from their menu. Fisher & Paykel's state-of-the-art technology to make appliances that are eco-friendly, efficient, and beautiful. Australis Barramundi, The Better Fish, a leader in sustainable aquaculture, will share their expertise and their fish with us.

When are these events taking place?

  • Boston: Teach a Chef to Fish Roundtable: Monday September 28
  • Teach a Man to Fish - blog event - September 21 - October 31
  • Teach a Chef to Fish - Chicago - TBD
  • Teach a Chef to Fish - Toronto - TBD

Cost for the Chefs' Roundtable is $50 half of proceeds will be donated to the NEAQ. Pay and register here

Sponsorship opportunities are available.

About Sponsors:
Fisher & Paykel - Commitment to energy efficiency and preservation of the environment are integral to both corporate guidelines and the culture of Fisher & Paykel Appliances. For over 75 years, Fisher & Paykel have been innovators, envisioning eco-friendly and energy efficient appliances before going green was popular. We’re delighted to have Fisher & Paykel as our first corporate sponsor for Teach a Chef to Fish.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is the first hotel company to formally commit to using sustainable seafood choices in support of a global effort to conserve precious marine species. Fairmont Battery Wharf, one of the brand’s newest properties, is a strong advocate of this mandate; starting with its Executive Chef Brendon Bashford. Chef Bashford, along with his talented and culinary team, continuously assesses where he can make a difference through responsible food purchasing practices.  With Fairmont’s commitment to ocean sustainability, Brendon works with reputable suppliers who purchase fish that are resilient to fishing pressure and harvested in ways that limit damage to marine or aquatic habitats.

The purpose of FishChoice.com is to connect commercial seafood buyers with the most environmentally preferred and sustainable seafood suppliers. Sustainable Seafood is fish and shellfish that is caught or farmed in ways that maintain healthy populations and have minimal impact on the environment. FishChoice is a nonprofit, conservation minded, organization.
FishChoice.com is for Commercial seafood buyers looking for sustainable seafood products.

Australis Aquaculture, Ltd. (ASX: AAQ)
An award-winning provider of healthy, sustainable seafood, marketed under the banner of The Better Fish®, Better Tasting, Better For You, Better For Our Environment. The Company spearheaded the introduction of fresh barramundi as a growing culinary trend in North America, and is expanding its product line to include frozen barramundi and basa fillets for the retail and foodservice markets. Australis is a recognized leader in sustainable aquaculture through its pioneering practices in recirculating technology, and is expanding the supply of is sustainable line via proprietary production and sourcing operations in Southeast Asia.   
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) was created over twenty years ago as a cooperative partnership between the Alaska seafood industry and state government to advance the mutually beneficial goal of a stable seafood industry in Alaska. It is Alaska’s “official seafood marketing agency”, and is established under state law as a public corporation. Alaska has mandated by Constitution since 1959 that “fish...be utilized, developed and maintained on the sustained yield principle.” Alaska’s successful management practices are considered a model of sustainability for the entire world.