South Africa's top chefs and restaurants, who are committing themselves to the priority of using delectable sustainable seafood dishes, were recently honoured at the SASSI Seafood Circle awards sponsored by Pick n Pay.
Janine Basson manager of WWF-SASSI said, "Our partnerships with chefs are inspired by a love of seafood and a shared commitment to help restore our overexploited seafood species.
"Chefs serve as the gatekeepers for the food and hospitality industry and therefore play a critical role in leading market forces and influencing popular taste. The reality is that chefs who support and promote ocean-friendly seafood can help ensure that there are fish to catch and enjoy tomorrow, and help ensure the health of our oceans for the future."
Recognising and celebrating chefs
Building on the phenomenal success and traction of the "Green, Orange, Red" guide amongst the South African public, the SASSI Seafood Circle recognises and celebrates chefs who are actively championing sustainable seafood practices in their restaurants."
Andre Nel, Pick n Pay's general manager for sustainability pay said. "Pick n Pay was the first retailer in Africa to make clear commitments to stocking only sustainably sourced seafood and is the core funder of WWF's Sustainable Fisheries Programme. Through the Sustainable Fisheries Programme, Pick n Pay has helped to train over 1,000 fishers in responsible fishing practices, while more than one million WWF-SASSI pocket cards have been distributed to South African consumers, giving them the opportunity to make responsible seafood choices.
"We believe that the SASSI Seafood Circle is helping to further both raise awareness and guide more consumers to make sustainable seafood choices."
In the search for South Africa's top trailblazing chefs, an extensive assessment of restaurants nationwide was done on their approach to implementing, supporting, and promoting sustainable seafood practices.
The criteria on which the restaurants and chefs were assessed were:
- The restaurant's seafood sustainability policy;
- The effectiveness of their communication of their seafood sustainability practices to their customers, employees and suppliers;
- Their level of engagement in communicating their seafood sustainability practices to a wider audience (e.g. via social media, TV appearances, etc.);
- The 'Trailblazer factor' i.e. those chefs and restaurants that are going the extra mile in promoting and supporting seafood sustainability.
The eight WWF-SASSI Trailblazers are:
- Ryan Shell (Haute Cabriere Restaurant, Franschhoek)
- Christiaan Campbell (Delaire Graff Estate Restaurant, Stellenbosch)
- Kobus van der Merwe (Oep ve Koep Kitchen, Paternoster)
- Leigh Trout (Birds, Cape Town)
- Christo Pretorius (Twelve Apostles Hotel, Cape Town)
- Gregory Czarnecki (The Restaurant at Waterkloof, Somerset West)
- Geoffrey Murray (Conrad Pezula Resort, Knysna)
- Franck Dangereux (The Food Barn, Noordhoek)