On October 16, 2019, Gindara Sablefish debuted at the James Beard House in Manhattan, New York - the home of the James Beard Foundation (JBF). The James Beard Foundation is a non-profit that was initially started in the 1980's as a way to gather the community together and appreciate the talents of chefs both experienced and new. Today JBF holds monthly fundraising dinners at the James Beard House - a historical brownstone in the Chelsea neighbourhood of Manhattan. The dinners are open to members and media, and JBF also organizes conferences, galas, and industry awards. The highly respected foundation is considered the hub of culinary talent in the United States.
This month, the theme of the dinner was Three Cheers for Seafood featuring three sustainable seafood champions: Chef Barton Seaver, Chef Ned Bell and Chef Danielle Leoni. As we started the evening, we were welcomed into the James Beard House via the kitchen where the chefs were cheerfully and expertly preparing the night's seafood. A reception welcomed us in the glass atrium where Gindara Sablefish was served as a crudo with a lemon chili mint dressing. Much to guests' interest, Chef Ned Bell displayed a whole Gindara Sablefish. After all, sustainable dining requires one to think about the origins of one's food, and the audience was keen on seeing their canapes as more than a tasty protein, but also as a fish that was hand-raised to the highest standard in the oceanic waters of Kyuquot Sound in British Columbia, Canada.
As it was time for dinner, we climbed the staircase up to the chamber of the brownstone that used to be the library. Round tables glittered with wine glasses below a framed painting of James Beard himself. Chef Barton Seaver, a famed chef, author and advocate of sustainable seafood opened the dinner with a short speech. Throughout the dinner, it was evident that the chefs had hand-picked some of the best sustainable seafood available. Wild selections were focused on small, abundant forage fish such as mackerel. Aquaculture-raised fish included Gindara Sablefish as well as Creative Salmon - another highly sustainable local British Columbian fish raised in its native waters without the use of chemicals.
Events such as JBF's Three Cheers for Seafood are instrumental in highlighting premium and responsibly-sourced ingredients, prepared by extremely talented chefs. Diners were appreciative and celebrated the beautiful dishes. At Gindara Sablefish, we were grateful for the opportunity to be at the James Beard House, and we hope that diners continue to be discerning in choosing sustainable seafood.