TORONTO — Ned Bell has cycled nearly halfway across the country to raise awareness for sustainable seafood, and, last night, the executive chef from the Yew Seafood + Bar in the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver made a stop at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto to share his goals for Chefs for Oceans, in partnership with the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program, and SeaChoice.
Bell began his journey June 30 in St. John’s, N.L. and spends up to eight hours a day cycling west, with plans to reach Vancouver Sept. 12. “Considering 70 per cent of the planet is covered by water, it’s a challenging task to undertake,” said Isadore Sharp, founder and chairman of the Toronto-based Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, who took to the stage to share his support. “One person can make a difference when they have the commitment and the belief.”
“Chefs for Oceans was born three years ago at the Canadian Chefs Congress in Halifax. My peers, who were gathered there were having conversations about what sustainability meant to us, and we were talking about it in the community, regionally, provincially, but we weren’t talking about it nationally,” said Bell. “Chefs have a unique ability to spread messages, raise awareness, and it’s our responsibility to concern ourselves — and I know we already do — with how we feed people.”
Since nearly 90 per cent of the ocean’s large, predatory fish have been depleted, Bell hopes to make consumers aware of sustainable seafood choices, such as choosing Alaska halibut and avoiding Atlantic varieties.
Bell hopes to launch a national Sustainable Seafood Day March 18. “My big hairy audacious goal is to have sustainable seafood accessible to Canadians within the next decade,” he said.