Wave of Bon Appétiters Join Oceana Campaign Against Seafood Fraud

Wild salmon or farmed?

Even eaters and chefs dedicated to sustainable food often find themselves in troubled waters when it comes to seafood. Defining “local” when it comes to fish is a difficult task, as we know from our own new Fish to Fork program, nor is local fish guaranteed to be sustainably raised or caught.

And as if that’s not hard enough, increasingly the fish on your plate may not be what you think it is.

In 2011, Oceana, an international research, education, and advocacy group, released a report that said 25 to 70% of seafood is mislabeled. Recently, the group did extensive testing in LA and found that 55% of the 119 seafood samples they took were labeled incorrectly.  Instead of wild salmon, unethical distributors are passing off cheaper, less desirable farmed salmon, or Nile perch and oilfish for red snapper and Atlantic cod. Not only does such seafood fraud make it impossible for chefs and consumers to choose eco-friendly fish, but it can be a risk to diners’ health (through allergens and undisclosed toxins) and can support illegal fishing operations.

To galvanize the U.S. government to set labeling and inspection standards, Oceana has launched a Stop Seafood Fraud campaign with a letter for chefs and restaurant owners to sign, asking for stricter seafood regulations. The letter was unveiled Monday, May 14, in Washington, DC, in an event featuring “The Office” star Angela Kinsey, a seafood advocate, and renowned sustainable seafood chef Barton Seaver.

Oceana reached out to Bon Appétit to ask for our support, and we’re proud that about a third of the names on Oceana’s list of 300 chefs and restaurant owners (PDF) are Bon Appétit Management Company ones, alongside such culinary leaders as Rick Bayless, Eric Ripert and Michael Symon.Since 2002, we’ve forbidden our chefs from buying (knowingly) any seafood labeled “red” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s esteemed Seafood Watch program. In 2011, we expanded our Farm to Fork program to include “Fish to Fork,” a set of standards that include traceability of seafood, the size of fishing operations, the distance fish can be transported, and the preferred species to be used.

Despite our chefs’ efforts to work with sustainable fishing operations, they must also rely on more mainstream purchasing paths to fill the supply needs of their cafés, so a system enabling them to make informed decisions is vital. When we publicized Oceana’s request companywide, we were overwhelmed by the immediate, enthusiastic response fom all quarters, not just chefs. Here are the more than 100 Bon Appétiters who signed onto the Oceana campaign — you can join them here:

·         Fedele Bauccio, CEO,   Palo Alto, CA
·         Jim Dodge, Director of Specialty Culinary Programs, Palo Alto, CA
·         Allison Albriton, Director of Operations, Northfield, MN
·         Joseph Alfieri, General Manager, Palo Alto, CA
·         Brian Anderson, Sous Chef, San Jose, CA
·         David Anderson, Executive Chef, San Jose, CA
·         Josh Anglin, Cook, Santa Fe, NM
·         David Apthorpe, General Manager, Cleveland, OH
·         Ernest Arroyo, Sous Chef / Production Mgr., Middletown, CT
·         Eric Barnachea, Executive Chef, Santa Clara, CA
·         Joseph Batchelder, Sous Chef, Mountain View, CA
·         Linda Bish, Sous Chef, Grove City, PA
·         Joel D. Blice, Director of Operations, St. Mary’s City, MD
·         Arlene Burnham, Retail Manager, Caldwell, ID
·         Matthew Caldwell, General Manager, Caldwell, ID
·         Theodore L. Canto, Jr, St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD
·         Norman Carreaux, Executive Chef Manager, Norfolk, VA
·         Patrick Cassata, Executive Chef, Wheaton, IL
·         Christian Chemin, Executive Chef, Walla Walla WA,
·         Ken Cheung, Chef, Santa Clara, CA
·         Christopher D. Brunst, Sous Chef II, Oberlin, OH
·         Crystal Daggett, Sous Chef , Walla Walla, WA
·         Brian Dagnall, Executive Chef, Middletown, CT
·         Kiley Davis, Chef/Manager, Salem, OR
·         James J. Delamar III, Executive Sous Chef, Cary, NC
·         Michael Delcambre, Executive Chef, Northfield, MN
·         Christine Delcambre, Director of Catering, Mounds View, MN
·         Kelly Dickson, Executive Chef, Caldwell, ID
·         Joseph Drommer, Executive Chef, Durham, NC
·         Louis J. Ehlinger Jr., Executive Chef, Newberg, OR
·         Terrell Evans, Chef Manager, Santa Clara, CA
·         Eric Foster, Executive Chef, Cary, NC
·         Thom Fox, Chef, San Francisco, CA
·         Steve Ganner, District Manager, CA,
·         Craig Gatewood, Executive Chef, Belmont, CA
·         Michael Grandon, Chef/Manager, San Mateo, CA
·         Allen Gross, Executive Chef, Angola, IN
·         Arturo Guevara, café Chef, Chicago, IL
·         Humberto Guevara, Executive Chef, San Jose, CA
·         Christopher Gumm, Chef Manager, Brooklyn Park, MN
·         Reuben Haag, Executive Chef, Clinton, NY
·         Jennifer Hancox, Zone Manager, Mountain View, CA
·         Mark Harris, Executive Chef, Portland, OR
·         Markus Hartmann, District Manager, San Francisco, CA
·         Matthew Hedrick, Sous Chef, Durham, NC
·         Buzz Hofford, District Manager, Seattle, WA
·         C. Dean Holliday, Executive Chef, Cleveland, OH
·         Travis Huckaba, Sous Chef, Research Triangle Park, NC
·         Richard Jon, Executive Chef, Carmel, IN
·         J. Paul Keiser, Sous Chef, Menomonee Falls, WI
·         Jay Keller, Chef, Washington, DC
·         Bridgeen Keys, District Manager, San Jose, CA
·         John E Klancar, Director of Operations, Oberlin, OH
·         John A. Krissinger, Executive Chef, Saint Mary’s City, MD
·         S. Jeff Krivokopich, Executive Chef, Los Angeles, CA
·         Lisa Kurth, Executive Chef, Los Angeles, CA
·         Guido Lambelet, Executive Chef, Santa Fe, NM
·         Melody Lambelet, General Manager, Santa Fe, NM
·         Victor Lane, Chef Manager, Cleveland, OH
·         Bernard Laskowski, Director of Culinary Operations, Chicago, IL
·         Juana Lemus, Baker, Santa Fe, NM
·         Chris Lenza, Sous Chef, Scottsdale, AZ
·         Bob Lubecky, Resident District Manager, Santa Clara, CA
·         Michael Mahony, General Manager, Durham, NC
·         Thomas Mallari, Sous Chef, Santa Clara, CA
·         Oscar E. Matute, Chef Manager, South San Francisco, CA
·         Emanuel May, Executive Chef, Durham, NC
·         Chadwick Mcwilliams, Chef, Santa Clara, CA
·         Jeffrey A. Merkousko, Chef/Manager, Research Triangle Park, NC
·         Kenneth B. Miller, Sous Chef, Grove City, PA
·         Valentine Mitchell, Sous Chef, Durham NC,
·         Michael Moroni, Director of Residential Operations, Durham, NC
·         David O’Brien, General Manager, Santa Clara, CA
·         Jonathan Michael O’Carroll, Executive Chef, Columbus, OH
·         Kevin O’Connor, Sous Chef, Mountain View, CA
·         John O’Neill, Executive Chef, Boxborough, MA
·         Craig O’Neill, Executive Sous Chef, Baltimore, MD
·         Andrew A. Olson, Chef De Cuisine, Milpitas, CA
·         Richard A. Panfil, Executive Chef Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH
·         Jay Payne, Executive Chef, Seattle, WA
·         Nathan Alan Peterson, Resident District Manager, Durham, NC
·         Sherree J Petrillo, Sous Chef, Grove City, PA
·         Samuel Shearer Phillips, Executive Chef, Portland, OR
·         John Polonye, Chef – Manager, Cleveland, OH
·         Marc R Powers, Executive Chef, Seattle, WA
·         Timothy Ramirez, Exec Chef, Denver, CO
·         Eugene M. Rapone, Executive Chef, Grove City, PA
·         Tim Reinbold, Sous Chef, Caldwell, ID
·         Paul Riley, Executive Chef, Memphis, TN
·         Mary Rippen, Operations Manager, Santa Clara, CA
·         Kerry Riter, General Manager, Cleveland, OH
·         John Rose, Executive Chef, La Mirada, CA
·         Derek Roy, Executive Chef, West Hartford , CT
·         James S. Fujii, Executive Chef, Pleasanton, CA
·         Randy Sarbaugh, Chef De Cuisine, San Jose, CA
·         Sugijant Sastradi, Chef, Santa Clara, CA
·         Nathan G. Shaw, Sous Chef, Lacey, WA
·         David Sherrill, Executive Chef, Seattle, WA
·         Alan Shook, Executive Chef, Appleton, WI
·         Ryan Forest Sides, Executive Sous Chef, Durham, NC
·         Steven P. Singleton, café Manager, Minneapolis, MN
·         Ryan Smith, Executive Chef, San Jose, CA
·         Donna Snyder, Sous Chef, Grove City, PA
·         Mary T. Soto, Executive Chef, Washington, DC
·         Kristina Soyring, Executive Chef, Minneapolis, MN
·         Donald J Stauffer, Executive Chef, Philadelphia, PA
·         Christian Stephenson, Executive Chef, Portland, OR
·         Dan Sullivan, Executive Chef, Seattle, WA
·         Jeff Tachibana, Chef, Milpitas, CA
·         Paul Taylor, Executive Chef, Cleveland, OH
·         Paul Taylor, Executive Chef, Cleveland, OH
·         Philippe Thelier, Executive Chef, Santa Clara, CA
·         Chris Tomboni, Executive Chef, Longview, TX
·         Cristian Torres, Executive Chef , Santa Clara, CA
·         Kimberly Triplett, Regional Operations Support, Towson, MD
·         Jesus Valencia, Chef, Santa Clara, CA
·         Douglas Venditti, Executive Chef, Durham, NC
·         Kristine Vinge, Chef/Manager, San Jose, CA
·         David Viveralli, Director of Operations, Durham, NC
·         Robbie Washington, Chef Manager, Cleveland, OH
·         Derek Whitney, General Manager, Broomfield, CO
·         Shannon Wilson, Executive Chef, Seattle, WA
·         Curtis Wong, Sous Chef, Durham, NC