Sustainable Seafood Gala | A Successful Kick-Off to Sustainable Seafood Week

March 12, 2013

Sablefish offering from Javier Plascencia of Mision 19
On Thursday March 7th, Sea World San Diego hosted the 28th Annual Sustainable Seafood Gala, an evening of enchanting culinary delight with sustainable seafood dishes prepared by local chefs.  Participants were offered amazing bites from some of the areas most reknowned chefs all while learning about the movement toward using only sustainable seafood, which is defined as "seafood that is harvested and/or produced in a manner that minimizes bycatch and impacts on surrounding ecosystems, while maintaining or creating economic viability for those who depend on the industry."  At the gala, participants imbibed on offerings from Balast Point and Snake Oil cocktails, while chefs used sustainable seafood proteins to create some awe-inspiring dishes to showcase their menus for the current Sustainable Seafood Week

What was intended to be a truly unique experience, tasting food and sipping cocktails while roaming about Sea World, interacting with critters and riding atop the famed Manta roller coaster, was stifled by the ever-evasive threat of rain (which didn't end up falling until later that evening). Argh! The event was moved indoors to the warm, enclosed pavilion, and despite the change in ambiance, it shaped up to be a most enjoyable evening in support of the San Diego Oceans Foundation nonetheless, and there is no better cause than maintaining livelihood in consideration of all ecosystems.

As guests entered, we were led to Sea World's Penguin Encounter exhibit, where we grabbed a glass of wine and watched the penguin party before embarking on the food journey that awaited in the pavilion.  As musical guest Blaise Guld entertained, fundraising commenced with raffles and silent auctions, and hundreds of eager guests strolled, sipping wines provided by Vesper Vineyards (and for a very short while, beers from Ballast point Brewing & Spirits), and indulging in the myriad of eats put forth by some amazing chefs.  A personal favorite was, not surprisingly, by Chef Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room, who prepared a sesame smoked fleur de sel crusted albacore tuna with red quinoa dukkah, yuzu pesto and lemon (pictured right).  Other highlights included the bay scallop tartare from The Farmhouse Cafe, The Fishery's spiced seared yellowtail, and the festive cookie and cinammon roll spread from Baked.

To experience some of these chefs' delectable (and responsible!) creations, dine at participating restaurants during Sustainable Seafood Week, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the San Diego Oceans Foundation.  Make your reservation today at any of the 100 restaurants and support this benevolent foundation...for our future!  Be an eco-conscious consumer! And be sure to mark your calendar for next year's gala.

Every dollar you spend . . . or don't spend . . . is a vote you cast for the world you want.”~L.N. Smith, Sunrise Over Disney

Tender Greens Octopus Salumi

Chef Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room

Uni party!

The dessert spread from Baked

The Fishery's seared yellowtail

Sea Rocket Bistro's chili oysters

Azuki Sushi's offering

Cafe Chloe's Bourride seafood stew 

Chef Andrew Spurgin's Uni slider with Japanese Tamarind Drinking Vinegar

Estancia La Jolla's Lobster Fennel Manicotti