TORONTO — In celebration of Ocean-Wise month, a five-course sustainable-seafood dinner was held for members of the media at Boehmer Restaurant in Toronto.
Chef David Schwartz of OMAW, chef Hans Vogels of Momofuku Noodle Bar, chef Paul Boehmer and chef Josef Larita of Boehmer Restaurant and chef Ned Bell, culinary director at Ocean Wise, prepared a number of dishes over the course of the evening.
The dishes included Schwartz’s crab chawanmushi with brown butter and fresh herbs; Bell’s roasted arctic char with lentils and parsnips in a vanilla-bean vinaigrette; and Vogel’s fried White Rock chicken with Acadian sturgeon gold caviar and miso cream cheese on a chive crepe.
Boehmer and Larita also served pan-seared pickerel with roasted baby beets in horseradish-Riesling cream sauce and a coconut panna cotta with passionfruit syrup for dessert.
The chefs, along with representatives from Ocean Wise, discussed the importance of working with sustainable-seafood organizations, as well as water farming and the dangers of overfishing.
“Overfishing and climate change are the two largest threats that face our oceans,” said Bell. “When we talk about sustainable seafood and being a conscious consumer, [we have to understand that] 50 per cent of the seafood we consume locally is farmed. By 2035, 65 per cent of the seafood globally will be from aquaculture.”
He added that protecting fisherman, fisheries and sustainable resources will be vital in the fight to save the oceans from overfishing and climate change.
While sustainable-seafood options are more important than ever, Isabella Sulpizio, Ocean Wise coordinator, Eastern Canada, said it’s not about choosing between farm and wild.
“We want to add to the story that it’s not farm versus wild,” Sulpizio says. “There are a lot of great wild and sustainable options out there. It’s just about where they’re coming from. By supporting businesses that are doing it right and making sure they’re sourcing sustainable options, we can make it great for everyone involved.”