Relais & Châteaux have celebrated UN-recognized World Oceans Day for the 3rd year in a row, this year bigger and better than ever before. In partnership with Ethic Ocean, Relais & Châteaux chefs around the world will offer exclusive sustainable seafood menus, paying tribute to the sea and heightening awareness of the important role they play, in a grand celebration called “Exquisite Fish.”
The oceans’ fragile balance is being gradually destroyed: 31% of the planet’s seafood stock is overfished and 58% is fully fished (Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations, 2016). But by choosing sustainable species, promoting ethical fishing methods, contributing to local economic development and offering seasonal menus, Relais & Châteaux chefs aim to protect the oceans’ biodiversity and provide quality products for its guests and future generations. Chefs play a key role in that they set culinary trends and can influence both suppliers and consumers. Indeed, chefs and restaurateurs took an important role and contributed to save Bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean Sea.
It is clear that the impact of climate change also poses new constraints to the food chain. For Philippe Gombert, International President, “Relais & Châteaux properties serve as watchmen, protectors of that which is most precious to the region, pathfinders who open the door to the cuisine of the future with responsibility and commitment.”
Below is a snapshot of activity from the properties worldwide, demonstrating a shared commitment to protecting the biodiversity of the oceans, supporting sustainable fishing, contributing to local economic development and offering healthy dishes teeming with quality.
Ecuador, Zazu Restaurant
Sourcing sustainable seafood all along Ecuador’s coast as well as the Galápagos Islands, chef Wilson Alpala of Zazu is creating a seven-course tasting menu for World Oceans Day that showcases the region’s indigenous clams, oysters and prawns. For the main dish, guests will enjoy a damsel bass, head-to-tail style. A menu as a real introduction to Ecuadorian culinary culture.
France, Maisons de Bricourt
On June 8th, Maisons de Bricourt, guests will taste a five-course lunch menu of clams, cuttlefish, spider crab, oysters and lobster sourced off the coast of Cancale and Saint-Malo in the English Channel. Committed to sustainable seafood, Chef Hugo Roellinger works closely with local fishermen such as Tilly, Orveillon, Minihic, Arbona and ProdHomme to ensure he is preparing high quality products at the restaurant.
Serving one of Poland’s most traditional dishes on World Oceans Day, Chef Marcin Popielarz at Quadrille’s restaurant Biały Królik will offer Baltic herring served in the classic fisherman style with sour cream and apple, but reimagined for modern tastes.
South Africa, Camp Jabulani
Committed to sustainable fishing and preparing beautiful dishes, Camp Jabulani follows the SASSI Chart (Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative). A blog has been launched offering tips on how to use it. Chef Dylan Frost’s commitment on seafood quality has inspired a zero-waste menu composed by yellowtail fillet for the main course with a yellowtail soup as a starter.
Sri Lanka, Wild Coast
Tented Lodge Chef Nandana Jayasekara will serve seafood from the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Lobster will be picked by hand from the Kirinda Sea, ensuring that the fish had ample time to reproduce before harvest.
United Kingdom, Longueville Manor
Over the past 25 years Executive Head Chef Andrew Baird has built up strong relationships with local Jersey fishermen. One of those fishermen, Bob Titterington, hand dives scallops used in Longueville’s kitchen each year. Chef Andrew, a qualified PADI diver himself, fully respects the oceans. And depending on the “catch of the day”, the seafood platter is usually served with Longueville’s own hand dug “Jersey Royals.”
United States of America, Saison
Over the past ten years, the Saison team led by Chef Joshua Skenes, has been obsessed with sourcing the very best products in existence. They have established a close relationship with their fishermen, who have a clear understanding of the standards and specific level of quality and tastes they seek. With changing oceans, finding environmentally sound sources of sea life has become part of their product ethos. Red Abalone once plentiful along the California coast, is now endangered. Through responsible eco-aquaculture carried out by the Monterey Abalone Company, Saison’s guests, along with their aspiring chefs, can experience how special Red Abalone is, while taking into mind the health of the coasts and wild native abalone.
For more information click here