“Chefs are key to driving change, they can engineer wonderful sustainable and deliciously tasting seafood dishes that inspire and create awareness!”

Seafood is a much-loved food among South Africans when eating out – whether at a fine-dining restaurant or a corner fish shop – and SASSI recognises industry-leading chefs that are engaged in promoting sustainable seafood. To this end, SASSI honours the chefs who are standing up for sustainability. With the assistance of SPILL Communications, we created the Seafood Circle awards in 2013 to celebrate Trailblazer Chefs who are taking responsibility for seafood choices in their kitchens. We assessed 70 restaurants across South Africa and looked at their approaches to implementing, supporting and promoting sustainable seafood practices.

These are the factors we used to select the Trailblazer Chefs, and you can find out who made the cut below:

  • The seafood sustainability policy of their restaurant;
  • Their effectiveness in communicating their seafood sustainability practices to their customers, employees and suppliers;
  • Their commitment to communicating their seafood sustainability practices to a wider audience (e.g., via social media, TV appearances, etc.);
  • The ‘Trailblazer factor’, i.e., those chefs and restaurants that are going the extra mile in blazing a way forward for sustainable seafood.
Michael Cooke

Michael Cooke

Camphors Restaurant, Vergelegen – Somerset West

Cooke is a breath of fresh air with a humble and down to earth approach when it comes to creating his ingenious and sublime dishes. He’s worked at Heston Blumenthal’s Michelin-starred The Fat Duck, following that up as head chef at La Colombe and the Greenhouse. So, he is no stranger to the starry world of cheffing. But at the root of everything he does is sustainability and respect for his ingredients. He is insistent that green is the only way.