ASC Spotlights Certified Seafood in Sunny SoCal
October 10, 2023
Aquaculture Stewardship Council Caps 2023 “Sea Green. Be Green.” National Tour with Certified Shrimp at Chef Andrew Gruel’s Calico Fish House
ASC kicked off October’s National Seafood Month early by hosting its “Sea Green. Be Green.” dining experience at one of the country’s most noteworthy sustainable seafood restaurants: Chef Andrew Gruel’s flagship Calico Fish House.
ASC was joined by Chef Gruel and Del Pacifico Seafoods – a local producer of ASC-certified, responsibly farmed shrimp – for the collaborative Sept. 26 dinner in Huntington Beach, Calif. More than 75 area media, sustainability advocates, seafood industry members and social media influencers gathered to learn more about modern aquaculture, celebrate responsibly sourced seafood and raise awareness of the meaning behind ASC’s sea green label.
As a food entrepreneur, television personality, founder of Slapfish and now Calico Fish House, Chef Gruel has been a vocal supporter of sustainable seafood, which includes sourcing and serving ASC-certified products like Del Pacifico’s responsibly raised shrimp in his restaurants. A curated menu featured flavorful Shrimp Crostini, Shrimp Skewers with Mint Yogurt, Garlic Shrimp Fried Rice, Shrimp Piri Piri and Shrimp Sliders. The latter offered a sneak peek at Del Pacifico’s brand new, ASC-certified shrimp burgers, arriving at foodservice and grocers this fall.
Seafood at Sunset
Attendees enjoyed Chef Gruel’s crustacean creations, alongside a selection of local craft beer and wine against the backdrop of an early autumn Orange County sunset. Over the patio-perfect evening, leaders from ASC and Del Pacifico Seafoods highlighted the incredible progress being made in the aquaculture industry, including how ASC’s certification and labeling program helps to ensure strict standards are being followed when it comes to farm performance, verification and increased traceability.
Chef Gruel closed the evening by sharing his perspective on aquaculture’s evolution throughout the years, his commitment to responsible sourcing and a belief that well-cared for seafood not only benefits the planet, but results in a better quality product for chefs, diners and shoppers.
“It was a truly special evening for ASC, Chef Andrew Gruel and Del Pacifico Seafoods to come together and advocate for the future of farmed seafood,” said Athena Davis, Marketing Manager, ASC North America. “While our guests were able to taste for themselves, thanks to an expertly crafted menu, it’s important for all seafood eaters to know where their seafood came from, how it was raised and how it got to them. Over half of all seafood we eat in the U.S. comes from farms and that number is only growing. National Seafood Month is an ideal time to be having this conversation. It’s no longer about farmed vs. wild, but about how we can make balanced choices that benefit our own health and the world around us. We believe responsibly farmed seafood offers a tangible solution and plan to continue this dialogue, together with our partners, throughout the month of October.”
ASC’s 2023 Local Market Tour
Sept. 26’s event capped ASC’s 2023 series of local market activations in Southern California, Portland, Ore., and Washington D.C. The year’s activities featured retail partnerships, restaurant collaborations, festival food samplings and other influential initiatives to build awareness, interest and understanding of ASC’s sea green label.
Previous activations saw ASC collaborating with Blue Ocean Mariculture and Portland’s Bamboo Sushi on an educational dining experience throughout Earth Month; serving up 20,000 salmon samples with Laguna Blanca and Congressional Seafood in Washington, D.C.’s Annual June Barbecue Battle food festival; and conducting a 6-week summer dining and retail promotion at Santa Monica Seafood’s Market and Cafés.
ASC’s 7-week retail promotion with New Seasons Market, Portland, Ore., continues through the end of October, in collaboration with Riverence Provisions, Fishwife, Sea Tales, Kvaroy Arctic and other ASC-certified brands.
This marks year two of ASC’s 5-year North American marketing campaign and the organization plans to unveil its 2024 markets by end of year.