UK - The role of chefs in delivering the sustainable fish message is key, according to Jose Souto, Senior Chef at Westminster Kingsway College, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.
Speaking at the Humber Seafood Summit held in Grimsby 18 September, Mr Souto explained the training that chefs coming to the college undergo and the important sustainability training and message that is passed onto them.
Educating chefs is very important, said Mr Souto, as chefs are in a position where they can transfer the sustainability message down to consumers.
As part of their training, students are tought about sustainable fish, the factors which affect sustainability in fish and how to identify underutilised and alternative species.
They also, through their training, become familiar with different gear types and how to choose the sustainable option.
When consumers taste something they like in a restaurant, they often go to try and find it in the supermarket, said Mr Souta. In this way, chefs can help introduce people to new fish which are a more sustainable alternative to the familiar big five species, and encourage supermarkets to sell a bigger and more alternative range of fish.
Sustainability is also at the heart of the college and sustainable policies are in force.
The college itself can use a very large quantity of fish as part of its lessons. In order tp prevent the same species always being used for each particular lesson, the lecturers now accept the most sustainable fish of the day to be used instead, for example instead of the flatfish lesson always using plaice as it had done previously, species such as lemon sole is used instead. The college also used the Marine Conservation Society to assess which fish can be used.