Sustainable Fish is a Reality for Chefs, Importers, Wholesale and Retail!

The first Sustainability Seminar and Fish Chefs Lunch, organised by The Chefs’ Forum, took place on Monday 24th June at the upscale Sexy Fish restaurant in London’s Mayfair. Fifty attendees, including speakers from international fish production, research and fair trade discussed the latest in fish sustainability and enjoyed a lunch created by Sexy Fish Group Restaurant Chef Director, Bjoern Weissgerber in a beautiful setting. The Coral Room at Sexy Fish Mayfair was the perfect venue for this nautical-themed event, with a dedicated bar, illuminated amber onyx floor and two of the largest live coral reef tanks in the world.

Bjoern said

“It was fantastic to welcome fifty top chefs and food industry experts to Sexy Fish. I am extremely grateful to The Chefs’ Forum and Maris for putting this together and I am delighted with the way in which it was organised, from start to finish. I really enjoyed experimenting with new fish species and learning about their provenance. It is really important that we know the carbon impact of ingredients in our menus and fish is a major focus for us at Caprice Holdings, throughout all brand concepts. It was really interesting to hear the talks today and learn more about Fair Trade, welfare and sustainability standards.”

Sustainably-farmed, high-welfare Barramundi, Snow Cod, Tiger Prawns and Tilapia made up the menu of the lunch and each of the producers gave a talk about how their products are meeting global sustainability standards.

Jaqueline Pfyl, Senior Director of Industry Marketing at Fair Trade USA said “Conscious consumers recognise that when they see the Fair Trade Certified label on a product it has met a set of rigorous standards supporting sustainable and responsible consumption and production, making it easier for them to choose items that align with their values. Consumers are looking for brands and certifications that they can trust, and over 60% of the population trusts the Fair Trade Certified label.  They look for the stories behind the items they buy and understand that their purchases make a true difference for people and communities around the world. 86% of consumers want more sustainable and equitable products in the post-pandemic market.”

Andrea Zick, PhD researcher & sustainability expert at Brunel University, said “Putting sustainability on a menu is a delicate balancing act. Consumers and diners want to know where the food they are eating comes from and how its production impacts local communities. Sustainability, at its core, is about making sure that production is harmonious with its surroundings and modern aquaculture is managing to do that whilst also building communities that can grow up around it.”

As each course was presented the producers got the chance to explain their credentials: Talking about barramundi from The Better Fish, Maris Managing Director, Steven Tilston said “Australis sees Fair Trade as a natural component of its mission. They’ve got there by making sure that their Barramundi are prime in quality with high levels of Omega 3 and zero contaminants. That means no detectable levels of mercury, PCBs, antibiotics, hormones, or colorants. It’s great to be here today, celebrating responsible sourcing and processing of Barramundi, a lesser-known species in Europe, which can be likened to Sea Bass. I’m also delighted to welcome Unima, Norcod and Regal springs to this special event, promoting sustainable fish.”

Steve also took the opportunity to introduce the chefs and experts to ‘Greener Grazing’, a research project to farm Asparagopsis Taxiformis seaweed alongside Barramundi, growing it on ropes to make a pleasant habitat for the fish.

This work has the potential to virtually eliminate methane emissions from livestock digestion by introducing seaweed into ruminant diets (Cattle, Sheep and Goat feed), while restoring ocean habitats and revitalising coastal communities

The Barramundi was served in a light and crispy tempura batter with a Yuzu Kosho dip and it went down a storm with the guests.

Will Rash from UNIMA said “We don’t just produce incredible Madagascar Tiger Prawns. Above all, UNIMA is committed to its employees by providing social benefits well above the country’s minimum standard, and continuously contributing to the improvement of employee working conditions and personal development. Employment only begins at 18, employees work 40-hour weeks, receive overtime compensation, have access to a health clinic, health insurance.”

Chef Bjoern grilled the tiger prawns on the charcoal robata grill (a signature way of live fire cooking at Sexy Fish) and served it with Coconut Kakigõri and green papaya – A stunning dish that really brought out the flavour of these beautiful crustaceans.

Christian Riber, CEO of Norcod added: “Through our commitment to people, cod, and nature, we take responsibility for economic, social and environmental sustainability. Norcod is the culmination of a highly ambitious endeavor to raise premium Atlantic Cod sustainably and commercially. Snow Cod is naturally bred in Norwegian fjords, bringing our customers a truly delicious product of consistent first-rate quality, Bjoern and the team at Sexy Fish, really did it justice today and we are delighted with the guests’ feedback.”

The Norweigan Snow Cod was perfectly-caremelised and served with a spicy miso glaze. It was plated in a beautiful white bowl that really gave a beautiful aesthetic to the dish.

Petra Weigl from Regal Springs said ”Sustainability has been at the core of our Tilapia production since the beginning. Moving with the times, we’re dedicated to supporting the growing trend toward the green and blue food movements — accelerating our efforts to build a better planet for all. By responsibly farming Tilapia, we add precious protein to world food supplies without diminishing threatened ocean fish stocks.

We’ve invested in the latest hatchery and genetics technologies to ensure optimal tilapia fish farming conditions, resulting in fresh, flaky, and versatile Tilapia that’s bursting with healthy protein and 100% lake traceable.”

Again, Bjoern and his brigade took to the the robata grill to lightly char the Tilapia and it was finished with brown butter, ponzu and capers; The perfect flavour partners for this delicate, flaky fish. Petra explained that humane UK aquaculture stunning technology is used to minimize suffering and reduce stress before the Tilapia are dispatched, leading to a better eating quality as the meat is far more succulent.

Les Caves de Pyrene kindly sponsored the lunch with three delicious wines to really compliment Bjoern’s excellent menu, showcasing sustainable fish species, a topic that Sexy Fish is extremely passionate about on a global level throughout all of its four sites in Mayfair, Manchester, Miami, with the latest opening imminent in Dubai later this year.

Sustainability has to be a the heart of everything we do in the food industry and events like these bring all of the right people into the room to bring about positive change, through sharing specialist knowledge and best practice.

For more information on Maris Seafoods, sustainability standards or any of the producers featured, please contact

For more information on future sustainability seminars and workshops with The Chefs’ Forum, please contact

For more information on Sexy Fish or The Caprice Group, or holding events in The Coral Room at Sexy Fish, please contact: