Can you imagine what it would be like if you couldn’t go to your favorite restaurant and order your favorite seafood entree? If that fish simply didn’t exist any longer? The idea is devastating to more than just our taste buds.
The food we eat sustains us, but it’s important to source food in a sustainable manner. With attention to sustainable practices, we can continue to enjoy the seafood chowder, grilled trout, and parmesan-crusted sole we love—and our oceans, lakes, and streams will continue to thrive.
“The idea for Smart Catch is simple and powerful: the program provides training and support to chefs so they can serve seafood fished or farmed in environmentally-responsible ways. By becoming a Smart Catch Leader and earning the Smart Catch seal, chefs give consumers a simple way to identify and support their restaurants.”
WildFin American Grill is a Smart Catch Leader.
The standards for this distinction are high. At least three times per year, restaurants must file an application. With the help of a Sustainable Seafood Expert, the James Beard Foundation staff assesses the application and determines whether the restaurant is committed to the Smart Catch program. A Committed restaurant may not meet all the requirements yet, but they have dedicated themselves to improving their menus and creating a more sustainable restaurant by removing unsustainable items. They may seek guidance from the foundation to find alternatives to those menu options.
Committed restaurants may be designated as Smart Catch Leaders when their menus meet certain standards for a certain period of time. They must remove any unsustainable items from the menu and receive a score of 80 percent or higher on two back-to-back assessments. Any items labeled “red” must account for less than eight percent of volume. In determining “red” (unsustainable) items, Smart Catch uses the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch™ program and NOAA Fisheries Stock Sustainability Index (FSSI).
There are currently only 257 Smart Catch Committed and Leader restaurants in 44 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and we are proud to say all of our WildFin locations; Issaquah, Renton, Tacoma, Vancouver, and Beaverton are all Smart Catch Leaders We take our responsibility to be a good steward of the resources we all share seriously and, work hard every day to ensure we do our part. Sustainability isn’t an accident: it’s part of our culture.
We all want to do our part to contribute to sustainable environmental practices, and Smart Catch makes it easier for you to do so. Simply check the list of Smart Catch Leaders and Committed restaurants when choosing where to eat. You can order what you like knowing you’re not consuming an at-risk species, and you’re supporting the chefs and restaurant owners who are committed to doing their part to preserve the environment and the seafood supply for future generations. As the James Beard Foundation says, “Together, chefs and diners can work to take mass extinction off the menu.”
Sustainable, responsible growing and harvesting practices have always been important to us at WildFin American Grill. From our fruits and vegetables to our beef and seafood to our beers and spirits, we strive to serve delicious—and, whenever possible, local—food created with environmental care in mind. Come taste the difference. We look forward to serving you!
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