Well, I think that at this point, I’ve given you several bites of ‘food for thought’ in my Sustainable Seafood Series posts. By offering up information regarding events and organizations that support sustainable seafood practices – such as World Oceans Day, SeaChoice and Off The Hook – I’m trying to provide you with simple, accessible ways to get involved.
And what could be easier that going out to eat sustainable seafood in a restaurant? Yes – now the fun begins, as the Sustainable Seafood Series posts move into the restaurant world. Since I was a guest at an incredible meal in the valley a couple of weeks ago with Craig Flinn of Chives Canadian Bistro as the chef, I decided to multi-task, and interview Craig about the use of sustainable seafood at his resto.
Craig confided to me something that is pretty much on everyone’s minds, whether they are a chef or a consumer – that sourcing sustainable seafood is hard. It’s difficult to be assured as to where you fish comes from and what fishing methods were used, which is why chefs – including Craig – must form a trusting relationship with suppliers so that they can be sure that the fishermen are fishing responsibly.
Unfortunately in Halifax, there are only a handful of chefs/restos that make a cautious effort to use sustainable seafood. However, as the crusade for the ‘buy local’ initiative continues to moves forward, others are catching on and will (hopefully) apply their efforts to the seafood industry as well. Craig points out the difficulties associated with serving seafood in a restaurant. He says that some customers may want salmon, but if he can’t find a sustainable supplier, he’ll use sea trout or arctic char instead; two alternative pink fishes with a similar taste and texture. Craig states that the difficulty with a fish such as salmon, is that “There are no wild stocks left. We need to switch to a sustainable practice such as using land-locked pens.” *See Sustainable Seafood post on SeaChoice for a description of harvesting methods.
Craig says that there will always be a debate as to what type of seafood one should purchase, but emphasises that buying first-hand from a local, reputable supplier is key. When shopping for seafood for his menu at Chives, Craig works with some of Nova Scotia’s finest seafood producers, including the Halifax Farmer’s Market’s star fishmonger, Mike McGlone of Mike’s Fish Shop, Indian Point Mussels and ShanDalph Oysters.
Here are a couple of dishes prepared at Chives that use seafood provided by the producers above…Aren’t you craving some seafood now?? Get out and try some at Chives Canadian Bistro!
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