The Fiji Sustainable Seafood Project is an exciting and innovative NZ$2.4million initiative that is being partnered by WWF-New Zealand, WWF South Pacific, Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand Institute and the New Zealand Aid Programme. The primary objectives of this project are to:
- Increase Community support and empowerment to facilitate best practice fisheries management, post-harvest fish handling, and gender-targeted business and household financial management.
- Support the responsible sourcing and marketing of seafood by the hospitality sector.
- Improve mapping and engagement of the Fiji seafood supply chain.
In late September 2015 two of Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand Chefs, Technical Director - Sebastien Lambert and Chef de Cuisine – Francis Motta, along with our Ambassador, award winning television host, writer and Chef - Robert Oliver, travelled to Fiji to aid WWF in training partnered hotel chefs in handling, filleting, storing and portioning specific local species of fish. The Fiji chefs found this very insightful as they have not been accustomed to handling freshly caught whole fish. Our chefs also demonstrated other uses for the less saleable and often underutilized parts of the fish (for instance the bones were used to make stock), ensuring wastage is kept to an absolute minimum. These demonstrations and insights are all part of the initiative to promote “sustainably caught fish” that is handled responsibly. Fiji is and has always been a major tourism destination, boasting a plethora of stunning world class hotels, think The Shangri-La and The Hilton among others. Yet vast amounts of local produce, especially locally line-caught fish haven’t always been available to guests staying in part of the South Pacific’s Island paradise. Times are a changing, as they say!
As part of our contribution to the project, our chefs will continue to assess the hotel processes and systems and make recommendations on how to improve the health and sustainability of fish handling in a cost effective and ethical manner.
Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand is excited and honoured to be part of such a worthy cause. Recently two of Fiji’s best Chefs completed their Basic Cuisine courses at our campus in Wellington – taking back with them classical French Culinary practices and skills, to add to the already exciting Island style cooking.