Take a moment the next time you visit your local grocer. Stop at the fish counter. Chances are you’ll find a beautiful arrangement of fish and seafood from around the globe. Americans are eating more fish and seafood than ever before and savvy merchants are responding by offering larger assortments to their clientele. It’s interesting to contemplate it all. That fish case surely presents a beautiful assortment now-but what will it look like in a year, or five, or perhaps ten as more and more commercial fishing operations seek to capture the world’s last wild food source? Are there enough fish in the sea to sustain our current level of use of these resources? According to research from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program, perhaps not. Data suggests that today, 85 percent of the world’s fisheries are being harvested at capacity or are in decline. Scientists estimate that we have removed as much as 90 percent of the large predatory fish such as shark, swordfish and cod from the world’s oceans. In 2003, the Pew Oceans Commission warned that the world’s oceans are in a state of “silent collapse.”
“When you see the data it’s hard not to be concerned, ” Doug said. “But instead of hand wringing, I prefer to discover where I can serve as a steward, as well as a chef, and effect some positive change.” Doug has long been concerned about over-fishing, pollution, and ocean and species decline. He explained,
” In 2007 I decided we would adopt sustainable seafood practices at the restaurant. I set out to find accurate sources of information to help us choose the safest, healthiest, and most sustainable fish to serve here at fire. After doing lots of research I found the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program. Currently, I serve as an “ambassador,” for the program. In return for our commitment to serve only sustainable fish and seafood, we receive research and educational opportunities about fish, oceans and the environment. I also participate in their ‘Cooking for Solutions,’ program which brings together chefs from around the country to create strategies for utilizing safe seafood.” Doug is the only chef in Ohio who is a part of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s innovative program. “Over the last five years we have learned so much. We have also discovered that sustainable seafood choices offer us lots of delicious possibilities.,” he commented.
On July 9th we’ll be demonstrating how delicious an environmentally friendly approach to seafood can be. Join us for our first ever celebration of the sustainable bounty of the the sea at our sustainable seafood dinner. Sheila Bowman, Senior Outreach Manager for the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program will be our special guest. Sheila will offer interesting conversation on the future of the world’s fish, and MBA’s cutting edge program to assure a safe future for fish and fish lovers alike .
The menu for the event is a luscious journey through the depth and diversity of the world of sustainable seafood. Chef Doug and Sous Chef Cameron Pishnery have put together an amazing feast of flavor, variety and goodness. Last week as Cameron was tweeking the final preparations he was kind enough to let me snap some photos which you see here. (He was even kinder to let me taste the fantastic Portuguese Fish Stew course which was in a word: PHENOMENAL!)
“Often times we can make small informed choices that can collectively effect big positive changes, ” Doug commented. “That’s what this evening is all about.” We’ll enjoy a fabulous multi-course seafood menu, and we’ll learn how to make good seafood choices. It’s bound to be a evening of great food and great food for thought. We hope you can join us. Please click this link for menu and information. Reservations are required and seating is limited.
Post and photos by Amy Viny