The eight chefs, acknowledged for actively championing sustainable seafood practices in their restaurants, were recently announced at the Sassi (South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) Trailblazer Awards, which was held at the Harbour House, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.
The eight awarded chefs are:
• Kayla-Ann Osborn of The Chef's Table, Durban
• Ash Heeger of Riverine Rabbit, Cape Town
• Glen Williams of Foxcroft, Cape Town
• James Diack of Coobs, Johannesburg
• Louis van Reenen from Arabella, Kleinmond
• Lucas Carstens of Majeka House, Stellenbosch
• Michael Cooke of Vergelegen, Somerset West
• Xavier Francis of The Hyatt Regency, Johannesburg
Building on the phenomenal success of Sassi's ‘Green, Orange, Red’ guide amongst the South African public, the Sassi Trailblazer Awards recognises and celebrate chefs who lead sustainable seafood practices at their restaurants.
Pavs Pillay, Sassi programme manager at WWF-SA, commented, "Our partnership with chefs is inspired by a commitment to help restore our overexploited seafood species. The chefs we are recognising have gone the extra mile in advocating the sustainability message."
"Chefs serve as the gatekeepers for the food and hospitality industry and therefore play a critical role in leading market forces, influencing popular taste and promoting ocean-friendly seafood," she added.
Awards organiser Clare Mack of Spill Communications said: "It's gratifying to see, in the sixth year of these awards, that many restaurants are adopting sustainable practices in seafood, without any intervention or prompting. Sustainability is now mainstream; it has really caught on."
The criteria for the awards were:
• The restaurant's seafood sustainability policy
• The effectiveness of the 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
• The 'trailblazer factor' (those chefs and restaurants that are going the extra mile in promoting and supporting seafood sustainability)