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Sustainably Caught or Not? Know Where to Enjoy Sustainable Seafood for the Month of March

It’s Sustainable Seafood Week till March 15—our chance to savor sustainable seafood at top hotel restaurants around town until the end of March. But it’s also our chance to learn about our dwindling seafood supply and how the hotel and restaurant industry can help prevent, if not completely alleviate, this dire situation. In partnership with Meliomar, Inc., a purveyor of sustainable seafood in the Philippines, top hotels and restaurants organized workshops, a photo exhibit, a cooking competition, among other activities, to raise awareness about the fresh, delicious seafood we take so much for granted.

During Sustainable Seafood Week, most thrilling was the oyster shucking competition hosted by New World Makati last March 5th. Three other chefs were invited to beat the reigning master shucker, New World’s very own executive chef Robert Davis. The challengers, Chef James Williams of AG New World Manila Bay Hotel, Chef Chad Ogden of Hyatt City of Dreams Manila, and Chef Phillip Goulding of S&L Fine Foods gave their all, sweat and blood included, but Chef Robert was a hard act to beat. He emerged as the 3-peat champion garnering the most number of oysters shucked. As a treat, he willingly showed us the proper and the fastest way to open a fresh oyster.

 

 

This oyster shucking competition was a great way for these chefs—and the hotel and restaurant industry as a whole—to get together to strongly support the use of sustainably-sourced oysters and other seafood in their restaurants. As part of Sustainable Seafood Week, they’ll be serving sustainable seafood in their properties throughout the month of March.

While there’s still a long way to go, Meliomar’s General Manager Christian Schmidradner remains optimistic about moving forward, “Since our first Sustainable Seafood Week in the Philippines in 2015, we achieved a lot. We started with a very low sustainable seafood ratio of the overall purchased seafood in the Manila top hotel market. We need to ensure that we do not bring juvenile fish into our supply chains.”

 

Meliomar’s General Manager with Makati Shangri-La’s executive chef Nicola Canuti and the rest of his champion team

 

Meliomar teaches us the importance of knowing whether the seafood we buy in the market is caught in a way that’s least harmful to the marine environment. For Meliomar, coming up with better techniques to catch nearly extinct classes of fish can give the next generation the chance to continue to appreciate and enjoy seafood. “I think it’s one of the most important things that we should start looking at. If you can actually stop serving shark’s fin in China on weddings, then why can’t we make a movement to change people’s way of catching fish?,” expresses Conrad Hotels and Resorts Executive Chef Daniel Patterson regarding the involvement of hotels in this campaign. For example, Conrad’s parent company, the Hilton Group of Hotels, is looking at the use of a 100% sustainable seafood catch by the year 2022.

 

A boodle feast prepared by the Discovery Leisure Group

 

A proud display of sustainably-caught fish at the center of the Marriott Grand Ballroom?

 

Spring onion dim sum with prawn and cod fish from China Blue at the Conrad Hotel

 

Kushikatsu clams by Mercure Hotel Ortigas