Rocket Talks

Terroir, Chefs for Oceans and The Restaurants Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (RANL) hosted a breakfast and round-table forum at Rocket Bakery, in St John’s, on 15 May, 2015. 

Local speakers gave an overview of the past, present and future of the fisheries, helping the chefs, restaurateurs and journalists present to better understand challenges and best practices.

At the table were: Tony Doyle, Bay de Verde Fisherman/Vice President of Inshore Division at FFAW-Unifor; Keith Sullivan, President FFAW-UniforDerek Butler, Association of Seafood Producers; Gordon Slade, Shorefast Foundation; and Chef Roary MacPherson, Executive Chef, Sheraton Hotel, St John’s.

At this discussion—during which our #terroirnl hashtag trended nationally—we spoke about:

  • Distribution-system changes—how can chefs and consumers access Newfoundland and Labrador’s bounty in its freshest state?
  • Lessons in resource protection learned from the Cod Moratorium
  • Sustainable Cod Pot fishing and the Shorefast Foundation's New Ocean Ethic projects
  • Ocean-friendly technologies and sustainable fishing systems
  • The power of chefs to directly influence consumers

Our major goal was to figure out how to work together better at every step. The priorities: maintaining healthy seafood stocks, harvesting responsibly, protecting local processing jobs and workers rights, and distributing seafood in a timely manner, so that local chefs and consumers have access to fresh-off-the-boat product.

The need for legislative change became clear. Chefs, fishers and consumers could all profit from direct sales. With better access to the freshest local and sustainable product, chefs could champion Newfoundland and Labrador seafood and create more local consumer demand.

Newfoundland and Labrador seafood is exported all over the world and internationally celebrated for its superior quality, so we need to make sure that those who live closest to this incredible resource are no longer missing out.

(Photos: Rick O'Brien)