By Madelyn Kearns, SeafoodSource
Concertgoers attending the upcoming Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will be treated to responsibly-sourced seafood dishes courtesy of Green Gourmet, a culinary event hosted by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program in partnership with The Ocean Foundation’s Conservation Village partners.
The Green Gourmet event, which allows South Florida-based chefs to showcase their culinary skills using responsibly-sourced seafood, will take place during the music festival from 6 to 8 April at Seafood Watch’s tent – one of five within Rock the Ocean’s caravan. Each tent represents one of Rock The Ocean’s five core issues: overfishing, shark conservation, coral reef degradation, marine pollution, and turtle conservation.
Chefs scheduled to cook as a part of Green Gourmet this year include Mano Calimbichis from Big Chef; Michell Sanchez, winner of Red Robin’s Best of the Bash Award at the Amstel Light Burger Bash, from Latin House Grill and MadLove; Adrienne Grenier, winner of the Food Network’s Chopped and executive chef at 3030 Ocean Restaurant; and Lazaro Sanchez from Fresh Florida Fisheries.
Seafood Watch’s business collaborators Sea Delight LLC, Netuno USA, Pride of Bristol Bay, and Wild Planet Foods will be donating the seafood used for the event. Such collaborators play a big part in bringing sustainable seafood to broader consumer markets, according to Seafood Watch Business Engagement Manager Brian Albaum.
“Seafood Watch Industry Collaborators are making it possible for restaurants and retailers to do the right thing,” Albaum said. “Our Collaborators are transparent with sourcing details and Seafood Watch color rating for all the seafood they sell, so their customers know exactly what they are buying. We are excited to be featuring several free seafood samples supplied by these collaborator companies in our tent during the Tortuga Music Festival.”
One collaborator, Netuno USA, looks forward to opportunities such as those offered by Green Gourmet, where the company can support local chefs while also promoting industry sustainability at the same time.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to support local chefs and help promote seafood sustainability within our community,” Netuno USA Sustainability and Compliance Manager Andre Brugger said. “This year we donated our farmed branzino, which is considered a ‘Good Alternative’ by Seafood Watch Program. We look forward to supporting this event next year and we hope that we can add our Caribbean red snapper from Brazil and other products that are also on track to achieve Marine Stewardship Council label for sustainable fisheries.”
An organizer of the event, sustainability advocate and Seafood Ninja founder Adriana Sánchez also noted its resonance among key consumer segments.
“It has truly been a journey that started with promoting seafood sustainability and creating awareness about Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) and the work being done by seafood companies in the fisheries they source from,” Sánchez said. “I am excited to collaborate with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program as they host this year’s Green Gourmet in their tent. In our industry, we always speak to the challenges of connecting consumers to sustainable seafood so having the opportunity to collaborate with organizations such as Rock The Ocean in events like this one, provides us with a larger platform to connect with consumers and have a greater impact.”
Each year at the Tortuga Music Festival, the Rock The Ocean Foundation curates a distinguished list of more than 30 worldwide ocean conservation thought-leaders to create their annual roster of Conservation Village partners. These groups are hand-selected to participate onsite at Tortuga because they are leaders in their field of expertise, Sánchez said.