2017 WWF-SASSI Trailblazers

Seven South African chefs have been named Trailblazers in the 2017 WWF-SASSI Trailblazer Awards held at Harbour House in the V&A Waterfront on Monday 23 October 2017.

They are:

Philip Alcock (SeaBreeze Fish & Shell, Cape Town)
Robert Giljam (Societi Bistro, Cape Town)
Julie Carter (Ocean Jewels, Cape Town)
Giles Edwards (La Tete, Cape Town)
Massimo Orione (Massimo’s, Cape Town)
John McArdle (The Big Mouth, Johannesburg) 
Graham Neilson (9th Ave Bistro, Durban)
Building on the phenomenal success of SASSI’s traffic light guide amongst the South African public, the SASSI Trailblazer Awards recognise and celebrate chefs who are actively championing sustainable seafood practices in their restaurants.

SASSI Programme Manager at WWF-SA Pavitray Pillay commented: “Our partnerships with chefs are inspired by a love of seafood and a shared commitment to help restore our overexploited seafood species. The chefs we are recognising have gone the extra mile in advocating the sustainability message.”

A previously awarded Trailblazer and now mentor Chef Brad Ball saidd: “Chefs serve as the gatekeepers for the food and hospitality industry and therefore play a critical role in leading market forces and influencing popular taste. The reality is that chefs who support and promote ocean-friendly seafood can help ensure that there are fish to catch and enjoy tomorrow. My role is to do this, and to make up-and-coming chefs aware of what’s at stake.”

Awards organiser Clare Mack, of Spill Communications, said: “It’s gratifying to see, in the fifth year of these awards, that many restaurants are adopting sustainable practices in seafood, without any intervention or prompting. Sustainability is now mainstream; it has really caught on.”

The criteria for the rewards were:

·         The restaurant’s seafood sustainability policy;
·         The effectiveness of their communication of their seafood sustainability practices to their customers, employees and suppliers;
·         Their level of engagement in communicating their seafood sustainability practices to a wider audience
·         The ‘Trailblazer factor’ (those chefs and restaurants that are going the extra mile in promoting and supporting seafood sustainability).

The SASSI Media Award for 2017 went to Anna Trapido, a well-known journalist who writes extensively on food and sustainability in South Africa. She has covered sustainable seafood issues in many articles in magazines, print, TV and radio.