Sustainable Seafood Week, February 15 to 21, 2016

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Sustainable Seafood Week

“Establishing an open and dynamic platform for interested stakeholders to discuss the status, challenges, and awareness for more sustainable seafood in the Philippines, focusing on local solutions for change and reform in the fisheries and aquaculture sector.”

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Fresh Catch of the Day

Let me start this post by saying, and by reiterating that “I don’t really fancy eating fish.” But when you ask chefs from Manila’s top hotels, and chefs from reputable restaurants and establishments, you don’t have any other choice but to really eat fish and seafood with gusto.

The event however, goes beyond the appreciation of seafood made awesomely by the country’s best chefs, but by focusing rather on corporate responsibility, and advocating seafood sustainability.

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Parrot Fish cooked 5-ways by Hyatt City of Dreams Manila

“The urgent need and commitment towards fully traceable, legal, sustainable, and socially responsible seafood cannot be overemphasized.” Christian Schmidradner, General Manager of Meliomar Inc., and organizer of the event.

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Participating Hotel: The Peninsula Manila

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Participating Hotel: Shangri-La Hotel

Now more than ever, restaurants and hotel groups recognize their increasing responsibility to procure from sustainable sources and to educate their consumers about the need for sustainable seafood.

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Dolphin Fish, Fish & Chips, with Mushy Peas, and Sauce Remoulade from Marriot Manila Hotel

“Our commitment is part of a global effort to sustain fisheries resources and protect our oceans, with the recognition that our restaurants and hotels have the responsibility and the power to address this issue from a direct supply chain perspective.” Executive Chef Meik Brammer of Marriot Manila Hotel.

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Tuna and Belt Fish Sashimi from Hyatt City of Dreams Manila

With more than 90% of fish stocks in the Philippines being over-exploited or depleted, and destructive and illegal fishing wreaking havoc on the marine environment, returns per catch effort are at the lowest level ever recorded. Similarly, many aquaculture operations use unsustainable sources of feed and pollute aquatic ecosystems with chemical and antibiotics.

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The Peninsula Manila’s Executive Chef Mike Wehrle preparing his exquisite Twice-Cooked Abalone, with Pumpkin Puree

Personally, I have a misconception on being seafood sustainable. My idea was, the concept pushes people to use unconventional fish varieties over the more popular ones. Yes, it is part of the vision. However, it goes beyond that, Vince Cinches of Greenpeace Philippines explains that sustainable seafood “eases out over-fishing, wasteful fishing, and destructive fishing practices that accidentally catch sharks, and turtles by cleaning up their menu and serve only traceable and sustainable seafood.”

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Chef Mike Wehrle basting this beautiful Abalone with Buerre Noisette

Environmental groups and civil society organizations lauded the historical decision of these major hotels and restaurants for taking the lead, and being part of the global effort to protect our oceans, one menu at a time.

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Chef Mike Wehrle’s Twice-Cooked Abalone, with Pumpkin Puree is my absolute fave from the event

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The Peninsula Manila’s Black Slipper Lobster with Cauliflower Puree

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Disciples Escoffier International Asia and Le Club’s Tuna Taco

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Shangri-La Hotel’s Flying Fish

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Chef Tatung of Alab’s Squid Kinilaw

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One of my faves as well is Chef Tatung of Alab’s White Snapper in Coconut Sauce

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Marriot Manila Hotel’s Seared Tuna Loin

Disclaimer: It was a media event. Everything written here is entirely based on my own opinion, my own biases, and my own insights.

Sustainable Seafood Week

February 15 to 21, 2016

Contact Person: Ms. Claudia Rose Mendez (Meliomar Business Development Officer), rose.mendez@meliomar.com

Participating Establishments:
Fairmont Hotel
Hyatt City of Dreams Manila
Marco Polo Ortigas
Marriott Manila Hotel
The Peninsula Manila
Shangri-La Hotels
Fairmont Raffles
New World Makati
Alab
Le Club
Lulu Hooch
Vask
Disciples Escoffier International Asia

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Vask’s Tuna with Kilawin Sauce and Pickled Lato

Raising consumer awareness and moving the country’s seafood industry towards greater sustainability are urgently required to help reverse fisheries decline.

Stay hungry,

thehungrychef

Nathaniel Uy

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