By Jamie Drummond
Since January of 2005 Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise has grown into one of Canada’s leading sustainable seafood programs. With over 3,100 active locations and 450 partners, the growth and scale of current operations have led to the requirement of localized teams to help advise upon the growth and development in Canada’s largest key market of Toronto.
Having been a firm believer in both the philosophies and practices of Ocean Wise since I was first introduced to it by Chefs Tobey Nemeth and Jamie Kennedy, I was delighted and honoured to be invited to sit upon their Ontario Advisory Panel. The panel also includes Chef Martin Kouprie (Pangea Restaurant), Melanie Coates (Fairmont Royal York Hotel), Chef Brad Long (Belong Café), Dan Donovan (Hooked Inc.), and Rebecca Leheup (Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance), all champions of Ocean Wise in the years since its inception.
While it is true that in Ontario Ocean Wise has had to deal with some rather vocal detractors, those who choose to publicly call into question the legitimacy of the project’s execution, I have been delighted to discover that in our province the program now counts over 75 establishments as partners. It is also heartening to read that the greater percentage of our finest restaurants are wholly embracing everything that Ocean Wise stands for through their participation, something that I believe speaks volumes.
When it comes to the concept of sustainable seafood there is so much disinformation out there. With corporations, governments, and individuals pushing there own agendas, it is no wonder that the consumer is so easily confused. In my mind the aim of Ocean Wise is most certainly true, and I have never felt so closely aligned to their core principles as I do today.
I look forward to gaining a greater understanding of both Ocean Wine’s operations and sustainable marine/aquatic food through my inclusion upon this Advisory Panel, and will share my thoughts and findings with Good Food Revolution over the months to follow.
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Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… and he is looking forward to his education.