Chefs at luxury destination and experience group Spicers Retreats have pledged to no longer serve unsustainable seafood in their restaurants after joining the GoodFish project, the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) can announce.
The chefs at all seven Spicers Retreats restaurants are now part of a community of more than 40 leading Australian restaurants led by GoodFish ambassador and world-renowned chef Ben Shewry, of Attica, Melbourne.
Chef and GoodFish project manager Sascha Rust said: “GoodFish is about bringing the food industry together to create a more sustainable seafood future whether you are a fine dining restaurant or a fish and chip shop.
“Spicers Retreats are an amazing group of retreats in areas that are often hard to source seafood. To have the commitment of their amazing group of forward thinking chefs, shows that regardless of where you are, it is possible to be sustainable.”
Spicers Retreats is a collection of nine retreats, lodges and boutique hotels throughout south-east Queensland and New South Wales with eight onsite restaurants, of which seven are open to the public.
Alice Dahlberg, Spicers Retreats Sustainability Officer, said: “Spicers has earned a reputation not just for the relaxed luxury of their retreats, but also for exceptional dining experiences. Committed to walking the walk of sustainability, Spicers Retreats is proud to partner with the GoodFish project in working towards sourcing and serving sustainable seafood.”
All GoodFish chefs pledge not to serve seafood that is red-listed in AMCS’s trusted Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide.
Matt Ostrenski, Head Chef at Sangoma Restaurant at Spicers Sangoma Retreat, said: “Finding sustainable seafood has allowed me to source fresh, relatively unknown products to showcase in innovative ways on the plate, as well as understanding the environmental and farming techniques behind them.”
Ostrenski held a sustainable seafood month at Sangoma in October 2018 which has now evolved across the entire company.
“Through our involvement with GoodFish we now have more local farms reaching out to the retreat to get their products onto my menu. It is becoming a circular movement. I am hoping that the more chefs that look to become sustainable will help preserve our precious resources for future years to come.”
Dan Jarrett, Head Chef at The Tamarind at Spicers Tamarind Retreat in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, said: “With seafood, I use local as much as possible, and I’ve also started to look at the species itself – fish stocks, how it’s harvested and its interaction with other species. It’s become a new way of thinking for me and a good one. Having the partnership with the Good Fish project is a real asset – it gives us knowledge on sustainability.”
Shayne Mansfield, Head Chef at Restaurant Botanica at Spicers Vineyard Estate in the Hunter Valley, said: “I have noticed a huge change towards sustainability and, especially when it comes to seafood, a lot of awareness from guests and chefs wanting to know where their seafood is from and how it was sourced.”
The ambassador of the GoodFish project is world-renowned Australian chef Ben Shewry, owner of Attica in Melbourne – currently ranked the 20th best restaurant in the world.
Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, which celebrates its 15th birthday in 2019, covers more than 92 per cent of all the seafood consumed by Australians, including locally-produced and imported choices. Rust said the guide remains the most used and trusted source of information for the seafood-loving Australian public.
The fully independent guide has three colour-coded classifications, where consumers and chefs are advised on green-listed “Better Choice” species, and to “Say No” to red-listed species and “Eat Less” from an amber list.
The guide assesses some 160 wild caught and farmed fish choices. There are more than 100 green and amber listed seafood choices available for chefs and consumers.
Rust added: “Our aim here is to bring together a strong community of voices to protect our oceans so they can continue to provide joy, and food, for generations to come.”
Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide is free and available online or in app on IOS and Android. Visit https://goodfish.org.au/
AMCS Media Adviser Graham Readfearn 0406 241 081 or Spicers Retreat’s Stacey Beckingham on 0497 970 859.
Full list of Spicers Retreats restaurants
- Spicers Balfour Hotel – The Balfour Kitchen, New Farm, Brisbane, QLD
- Spicers Clovelly Estate – The Long Apron, Montville, QLD
- Spicers Tamarind Retreat – The Tamarind, Maleny, QLD
- Spicers Peak Lodge – The Peak, Maryvale, QLD
- Spicers Hidden Vale – Homage Restaurant, Grandchester, QLD
- Spicers Sangoma Retreat – Sangoma Restaurant, Blue Mountains, NSW (exclusive restaurant for retreat guests only)
- Spicers Guesthouse – Éremo Restaurant, Hunter Valley, NSW
- Spicers Vineyard estate – Restaurant Botanica, Hunter Valley, NSW