We are so excited to debut Trace and Trust™ Southern California at the Aquarium’s 8th annual Sea Fare fundraising event this Saturday, October 15, 2011!
Trace and Trust™ is a network of fishermen, distributors, processors, and restaurants committed to providing full seafood supply transparency by telling consumers exactly who caught their seafood, as well as when, where, and how it was caught. The concept was first tested in Rhode Island, where local fishermen and chefs regularly use Trace and Trust. As Chef Beau Vestal of New Rivers Bistro explained in The Providence Journal,
“It has kind of made me wonder, what have I been buying all these years? The advantages as far as quality goes are night and day. Before, I had no sense of when and where it was caught and stored…(Now)…I [am] cutting fish that was in the water eight hours ago. You just kind of pinch yourself. I always tell my young cooks, remember this. There’s no way you’re going to get better quality.”
Chef Michael Poompan of SIP at the Renaissance in Long Beach will be serving fresh caught Uni, supplied by Santa Barbara Fisherwoman Stephanie Mutz, with Anson Mills grits from organic heirloom grains and fresh herbs. The Trace and Trust site featuring Stephanie’s vessel and landing information will be on display at the SIP booth along with the QR code that is also linked to Stephanie’s information on the site.
Trace and Trust was created as a pilot program in 2010 by the Cap Log Group, a small consulting company based in Davis, CA, after many meetings with experienced fishermen and dedicated chefs about how to help the fishermen benefit from the tremendous care and pride they take in landing their products.
Seafood for the Future learned about the program and its great success in Rhode Island and wanted to bring that high quality to chefs, transparency to consumers, and success to the fishermen in Southern California. We feel that this program can reward fishermen with a higher price return, chefs with a fresh, higher quality product, and the consumer for choosing local, sustainable seafood by showing them the men and women their choice is directly supporting.
“I am involved in the Trace and Trust project so I can connect directly with my community. We need to get back to having a relationship with your food harvesters to know where you food comes from and how it is harvested. It also makes me, as a fisherman, more accountable for my product so I consistently get quality product. Knowing first hand how my seafood was prepared and enjoyed, and knowing none of it went to waste is important to me,” agreed fisherwoman Stephanie Mutz, owner of Sea Stephanie Fish and President of her local fishermen’s association Commerical Fishermen of Santa Barbara.
Join us at Sea Fare this weekend to share in the debut of this fantastic program and support our local fishermen!
Sea Fare is the Aquarium of the Pacific’s largest annual fundraising event. Guests enjoy live music, silent and live auctions, the ever-popular “Go Fish” opportunity game, and experience the cuisines of more than 30 restaurants including 11 Seafood for the Future partners. Tickets are $100 and all proceeds benefit the Aquarium and its inhabitants. For tickets to Sea Fare 2011 to: aquariumofpacific.org/seafare