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FISH UNKNOWN: diversify your plate Relais & Châteaux committed to the protection of marine resources

June 6, 2019 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

For World Oceans Day (United Nations) on June 8, Relais & Châteaux will celebrate this event under the theme Fish Unknown. symphony of the sea’s biodiversity, Fish Unknown will hero underappreciated, lesser-known species on Relais & Châteaux chefs’ menus, cooking classes, events, conferences, and more. As an association of chefs striving to source to sustainable seafood year-round, this is a specific moment where Relais & Châteaux aims to heighten the public’s awareness of species that are abundant and underutilized – as well as delicious – in an effort to stop overfishing those that are threatened and endangered.

Fish Unknown: Diversity Your Plate.

There is more to seafood than noble, popular species like salmon, bass, tuna and shrimp. In partnership with Ethic Ocean, Relais & Châteaux chefs will hero wild species as well as sustainably farmed species that some diners may not have ever eaten before. Since top chefs are tastemakers, they have the power to inspire guests to diversify consumption and look at underutilized products in new ways. Chef Olivier Roellinger, Vice President of Relais & Châteaux, concurs: “Through a creative culinary approach, lesser-known and less noble species can become more fashionable – allowing the overfished to have a break and regain stock levels, and the underutilized to find a voice in top restaurants. Fishes are mainly consumed at restaurants: 55% in the US, 45% in the United Kingdom, 30% in France and 25% in Spain.  This means that chefs’ choices make a considerable impact on the preservation of marine biodiversity.”

Our oceans are overfished by 31%, 60% is fully fished (Food & Agriculture Organization), so sensitivity in sourcing is urgent. Sustainability means taking into account factors such as seasonality, fish population/stock, environmentally respectful catch/farming methods.

If a guest would like to experience a dish, menu or cooking class around the concept of Fish Unknown, they are invited to check Relais & Châteaux’s events website for event schedules, here:

To celebrate the World Oceans Day other events will take such as a celebratory dinner at the acclaimed Beard House in New York City, USA on the 4th of June, or an international conference at UNESCO in Paris, France on 6th June organized by UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO), Ethic Ocean and Relais & Châteaux: Ocean, Science, Environment and Actors of Change: Cooking and Preservation of the Ocean – testimonies from women chefs.

For Philippe Gombert, International President, “Restaurant guests experience the culinary culture and the local terroir of a Relais & Châteaux property via the plate. Through the celebration of Fish Unknown, guests may taste a dish featuring a fish they’ve rarely or have never eaten before.”

Relais & Châteaux chef Jimmy McIntyre from Otahuna Lodge in New Zealand agrees: “If I can inspire an Australia or New Zealand home cook to even once purchase and prepare local, seasonal “unknown” fish like yellow belly flounder instead of industrially-farmed salmon, then ‘mission complete’.”

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