Posts Tagged: Ocean Wise

Apr 13

Wine for Waves

I’m a huge fan of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise programme. I wrote about them for En Route – you can read here why it’s so crucial that we choose our seafood wisely. We’re at a tipping point with many species and if we want to continue feasting on good things from the ocean we have to make smart choices and not fish and eat species into extinction. Restaurants across Canada have signed up to pledge to serve Ocean Wise sustainable seafood on their menus, when you visit Canada, definitely make the effort to support them, after all, we only have this world on loan from the next generation,
it’s really not ours to strip bare.

Cool touch

Cool touch

As well as being the social conscience of the seafood world, those splendid Ocean Wise types from the Aquarium like to have a party, so I headed down to the Four Seasons to join them to toast the Naramata Bench wineries’ first spring releases. I’ve tried hard to immerse myself in BC-only wines and now spring is on its way, I’m excited to have the chance to finally head up to the Okanagan and see where these ambrosial wines come from.

Shh! It's under the seal...

Shh! It’s under the seal…

I’m amused by the sassy names of some of the wineries in the Okanagan; Therapy, Monster, Misconduct – no stiff French formalities here. I tried a decent spread of reds and whites and my favourites from the night were from Red Rooster, Laughing Stock and La Frenz. My pick of the night? A white with a secret, ‘Blind Trust‘, Laughing Stock’s Cynthia Enns explained it to me, “We like doing blends, the idea behind Blind Trust was you have to trust the winemaker so we didn’t tell anyone what the blend was. We wanted to keep it secret but people were crazy to find out, so we hid it on the bottle, so if you have to know you can, but otherwise you can guess what it might be.”

Passionate about sustainable seafood? Just a bit.

Passionate about sustainable seafood? Just a bit.

Of course, all that wine needed something delicious to pair with it; enter Yew’s chef Ned Bell and team with a showstopper of a sustainable seafood display, “We’ve got albacore tuna, our Chef’s Table Society ingredient of the year and in my opinion, the only tuna you should eat,” says Bell, brandishing a crab claw at me, “fresh dungeness crab, prawns, all from our local waters and Effingham oysters from vancouver Island.”

100% sustainable and delicious. Look at that 'Effing oyster!

100% sustainable and delicious. Look at that ‘Effing oyster!

Finally because it’s all about staying Ocean Wise, what’s Ned’s sustainable fish tip for this month? “Right now halibut – it’s in season and everyone is loving it. At Yew, we’re got a wicked halibut burger, halibut ceviche, roasted halibut – it’s a versatile, meaty fish, it’s a sponge, it just loves to soak up flavour.”

Find out more about who’s smart and signed up to Ocean Wise. 

 I attended as a guest of the Aquarium as always – my words are 100% my own, and in this case mostly about how great ‘Effing Oysters‘ are. 

Nov 12

Chowder Chowdown at the Vancouver Aquarium

The only accessory any smart Vancouverite needed tonight was a wooden spoon and voting slip from the Ocean Wise sustainable seafood Chowder Chowdown event at the Aquarium.

Forget designer bags or statement shoes: this spoon is all you need…

Twelve chefs, twelve delicious chowders, all competing for the honour of being voted the People’s Choice at the end of the night. I had such a great time; I hopped on the free old-fashioned trolley bus service that was laid on for the evening and rattled through town towards the Aquarium in Stanley Park. Once there, I was given my wooden spoon and slip and so galloped inside to start tasting.

What goes with chowder? Beer, of course! From the Granville Island Brewing Co.

What crowds! This was a sold-out event. I love that people turned out on a drizzly November evening to find out more about sustainable seafood and celebrate the great food culture of Vancouver. One of the first meals I ever ate in Vancouver, two years ago, was at C restaurant which was where I first read about the Ocean Wise initiative, the brainchild of the Vancouver Aquarium, dedicated to teaching consumers about how to make smart choices when it comes to sustainable seafood.

Better move fast…

In a nutshell this is the idea: overfishing is a huge threat to our oceans. The world’s marine life is quickly being depleted. A recent scientific study predicted a world-wide fisheries collapse by 2048. The only solution is to turn back from the brink, and to begin consuming seafood in a sustainable manner.

Definitely the winners of the best presentation award!

So, when you visit Vancouver, make sure you choose Ocean Wise seafood. It’s guilt-free eating because it fits these criteria:

  1. Abundant and resilient to fishing pressures
  2. Well managed with a comprehensive management plan based on current research
  3. Harvested in a method that ensures limited bycatch on non-target and endangered species
  4. Harvested in ways that limit damage to marine or aquatic habitats and negative interactions with other species.

100% sustainable AND delicious

All the restaurants that took part tonight work within those guidelines. I’ll be doing my best to support them — and so should you. It was a tough choice; I adored the spicy tomato-y flavour of Chef Alex Tung from Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria’s chowder and the amazing citrus foam on Chef Dana Hauser’s chowder from Herons -The Fairmont Waterfront, was superb. But the winner of the People’s Choice was new opening Chef Chris Whittaker for Forage at the Listel Hotel. I will definitely be stopping by to see what else they do… as well as feast on sustainable seafood!

The winners! Forage – whizzing about so fast I couldn’t catch’ em.

Inspired? You should be! Keep Exploring Canada…


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