Thrive Thursday: Hyatt’s Commitment to Sustainable Seafood Sourcing
Did you know that roughly 3 billion people around the world rely on seafood as their primary source of protein? Or that more than 85 percent of marine fish stocks are considered either fully exploited or overfished, and more than 1 in 5 fisheries has collapsed? With this harsh reality, sustainable management of marine resources is more and more important. Hyatt is working hand-in-hand with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a leading global conservation organization, to enhance our sustainable seafood sourcing and helping us to eliminate the procurement of highly vulnerable species.
So, how will Hyatt make this happen? As a first step, we will aim to responsibly source more than 50 percent of our global seafood purchases by 2018. And, as part of this effort, we will also work toward purchasing more than 15 percent of our seafood supply from fisheries or farms that have been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Aquaculture Steward Council (ASC).
Of course, our chefs and culinary experts are no strangers to responsible choices. Hyatt’s existing food and beverage philosophy “Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served.” focuses on sourcing and providing options that are good for colleagues and guests, good for the planet, and good for local communities.
To learn a little more about sustainable seafood sourcing, we went to Thomas McKeown, executive chef at Grand Hyatt Atlanta. He helped us put our goals into perspective and the best part is… he also shared one of his favorite recipes with us.
Why is sustainable seafood important?
Thomas: Sustainable seafood is one of the most important issues facing our industry today. With environmental changes, over fishing, and poor fishing management practices, our oceans have changed drastically over the last decade. If we continue on this path, we will see a large reduction in fish populations and the near extinction of many of the species we enjoy on our menus today.
Sustainable seafood gives us an opportunity to take action to counteract the damage that has been done to the environment and the seafood population. This will help to reverse and slow down the negative effects on our oceans.
We can do this by ensuring that the fishing practices in both wild caught and farmed fisheries are mandating environmental safeguards like curbing by-catch, reducing dredging and other destructive fishing practices. We need to ensure that farmed fisheries are doing their part to ensure they are not increasing pollution, spreading disease, and causing damage to the coastal ecosystem. We need to make sure that people understand we want them to enjoy the beautiful bounty of the sea today, and for future generations to come.
How is this an extension of Hyatt’s food and beverage philosophy “Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served.”?
Thomas: Seafood sustainability goes hand-in-hand with our philosophy of “Food. Thoughtfully Sourced, Carefully Served.” Thriving ocean ecosystems are important for the health of the entire planet and will ensure we are promoting seafood that is caught and harvested without impacting the environment. It is also a great feeling knowing that we are providing a clean, fresh and tasty product for our guests.
How do you educate your colleagues in the kitchen about the importance of food thoughtfully sourced?
Thomas: There are great tools available to ensure everyone understands the importance of “Food. Thoughtfully Sourced, Carefully Served.” There are great websites for kids developed by the Marine Stewardship Council where children can learn about sustainable seafood. There are apps like “SeafoodWatch” developed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and a great online training class for chefs called “Green Chefs Blue Oceans” developed by Chefs Collaborative.
What’s your favorite seafood recipe?
Thomas: I’ll share it with you!
Caramelized Loch Duart Salmon
Quinoa Pilaf, Organic Local Tomato Ragout
Loch Duart Salmon Filet; 2- 6 ounce (Portions)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil; 1 tbsp.
Shallots, Minced; 1 tsp.
Garlic, Minced; 1 tsp.
Bell Peppers, Fine Dice; 2 tbsp.
White Wine; 1 ounce
Tricolor Quinoa, Cooked; 1 cup
Vegetable Broth; ¼ cup
Salt, Sea Salt (Fresh Cracked0; To Taste
Black Pepper (Fresh Cracked); To Taste
Chives, Chopped; 1/2 tsp.
Local Heirloom Tomatoes; 1 cup
White Wine; 2 ounces
Shallots, Minced; 1 tsp.
Garlic, Minced; 1 tsp.
Basil, Chiffonade; 4 leaves
- Bring the salmon to room temperature 10 minutes before cooking.
- Warm a large nonstick skillet with oil over medium-low heat. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to medium-high. Place the salmon, skin-side up in the pan. Cook until golden brown on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn the fish over with a spatula and cook until it feels firm to the touch about 3 minutes more.
- In a sauté pan sweat the shallots, garlic and peppers in the pan. Deglaze the pan with white wine and add the quinoa and the stock. Cook the quinoa until all the liquid has evaporated. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the chives.
- For the Ragout: Heat up a pan with olive oil, add the tomatoes and allow to caramelize, add the garlic, shallots, and deglaze with white wine. Allow the juice to cook down and fold in the Basil.