Last month we supported a trip to Norway by 10 Chartwells Independent Chefs. Their destination was the city of Tromso, at the very top of Norway high in the Arctic Circle.As part of Compass Group, Chartwells Independent are doing lots of work on sustainable fishing practices and there is nowhere better in the world to experience them first hand.
Executive Chef Graham Ogden looked to inspire his team to create new dishes, using traditional methods and of course to try and catch a legendary Skrei cod.“Nothing quite hits home the honesty and quality of their line-caught fish, than when you are stood at minus 15, casting on a boat in a Norwegian Fjord!”
As guests of Seafood Norway the team were then taken to visit local fish packers, organic stock fish drying and even a new company making their version of Italian Bottarga. Back in Tromso a fantastic dinner was served highlighting all the produce the team had seen prepared across the day.
Graham wanted the Chartwells brigade to travel and look like chefs representing Team GB, so partnering with us was the best option by far. “As ever, Oliver Harvey produced bespoke jackets and aprons for me to reflect our theme. For this once in a lifetime experience we had to look the part. Some were even left as samples to local Michelin Starred Chefs who loved the quality” For that Graham, we are incredibly grateful!
Sustainable fishing is of vital importance to our industry, from both an environmental and palate perspective. After all, if all of the best fish are no longer in our oceans, we can’t serve them at our restaurants! At Oliver Harvey we wholeheartedly support Chartwell’s endeavour to raise awareness and develop practices for sustainable fishing and to apply it to their own kitchens and sourcing. Chartwells are in a fantastic position to influence the next generations and we should all follow their lead and be looking at our own practices to ensure we are being as sustainable as possible.
As Graham states “The work we are doing on sustainable fishing is important because as an industry we need to fundamentally change the dishes we serve and varieties used to help maintain stocks. Michelin starred restaurants have turned away from Foie Gras and filet, replacing with humble cuts and even sous-vide tendon! Isn’t it the surrounding flavours and techniques that make it special? We need to do the same with fish.”