“So Fresh + So Wise” CarrotMob – Behind the Scenes

On November 28th, Shark Truth organized a CarrotMob dinner event at the Szechuan Chongqing Seafood Restaurant, following a press conference in the afternoon, announcing Ocean Wise’s first Chinese restaurant partner and Shark Truth’s first Fin Free restaurant partner. A full house enjoyed an 8-course seafood dinner prepared by Chongqing’s Michelin Star Chef, Robert Wong while being guided through the traditional symbolism of each dish and the sustainability of the seafood served by host, Miss Canada 2012 Tara Teng. Some highlights of the night:

A Taste of Chinese Traditions

♥ The “Original” Szechuan Chongqing’s Sans Fin Soup

The Shredded Duck Soup, made with duck and a Superior Soup Broth, was served in the beginning as the stimulator for appetite. In Chinese culture, duck is regarded as a symbol of conjugal affection and fidelity, and were often featured in the traditional Chinese paintings. The Superior Soup Broth, which takes two days to make, is the same broth used in Shark Fin Soup, making it a perfect substitute for Shark Fin Soup at banquets.

♥  Steamed Whole Sea Bream

A steamed Sea Bream was served as the last entrée – a custom in the Chinese banquet is to point the fish towards the guest of honour at the table when presented. Fish, also called “yu” (魚) in Chinese, sounds like the word for riches or abundance (餘); therefore eating fish was believed to bring good fortune. This is also why the fish is served whole, symbolizing undivided wealth and prosperity.

♥ Hand-made Peony Pastry Stuffed with Lotus Paste

The Dim Sum plate was decorated with seed-filled treats, which traditionally represented bearing many children, a symbol of prosperous family. Lotus, the main ingredient of the dish, was regarded as purity of the body, speech, and mind as one Chinese Confucian saying described: “I love the lotus because while growing from mud, it is unstained.”

Stories Behind the Sustainable Seafood Dishes

• Spicy Calamari

The squid in the calamari was made from Humboldt squid, also known as the Jumbo squid, which are caught off of the Pacific West Coast, starting from the Gulf of California all the way up to B.C. Humboldts are individually caught by hook and line, which means that there was minimal impact on habitat and bycatch.

• Deep Fried Oysters

Like most farmed shellfish, oysters are a great sustainable seafood option since they are filter feeders and eat plankton, both of which are readily abundant in the oceans and do not require any external feed.

• Emperor Style Chilli Prawns

The whiteleg prawns are farmed in the United States in inland ponds where the water is reused and treated to remove any excess waste or contaminants. With this closed system, there is limited environmental damage.

• Shanghainese Style Smoked Ling-Cod

This lingcod in the smoked dish is caught by the bottom longline method, which targets bottom- dwelling fish that reduces the amount of bycatch produced by this fishery.

• Mussels in Szechuan Bouillabaisse

These mussels were farmed. They were farmed on suspended ropes off the sea floor. This made it easy when it came time to harvest the mussels, as it simply required removing them from the ropes and didn’t impact the surrounding habitat. – Steamed Whole Sea Bream in Ginger & Onions This sea bream served was farmed in Nova Scotia. They are farmed completely on land in contained tanks rather than out in the open ocean. These contained systems are highly controlled and eliminate the risk of escape, or the transfer of disease to wild fish.

 Steamed Whole Sea Bream in Ginger & Onions

This sea bream served was farmed in Nova Scotia. They are farmed completely on land in contained tanks rather than out in the open ocean. These contained systems are highly controlled and eliminate the risk of escape, or the transfer of disease to wild fish.

For more information on sustainable seafood options, visit our partner organization’s website: www.oceanwise.ca. Ocean Wise also has an iPhone app to help you make ocean friendly choices when you don’t see their logo on menus or in stores.

Thank You Shark Lovers!

We felt deeply honoured to be joined by all the guests, including Vancouver City Councilor Kerry Jang, Richmond City Councilor Chak Au, Chef Robert Clark from C Restaurant, Toby Barazzuol from Eclipse Awards who shares our passion for shark conservation and sustainable seafood. Shark Truth is so grateful to see everyone at the CarrotMob event and it is because of everyone’s continued support that we are able to make a difference within the community and now, businesses.

We would like to congratulate our Green Chopsticks partners: Ocean Wise and Szechuan Chongqing Seafood Restaurant for the great success in establishing the first Fin Free and Ocean Wise Chinese restaurant in Canada.

Special thanks to event sponsors: Mission Hill Wines, Vancouver Aquarium, Julian Fok Photography, Devin Karrington Photography, and Steveston Seabreeze Adventures.

A round of applause also goes to our dedicated volunteers for help make this event a success: Vivian Man, Linton Chokie, Vanessa Ding, Sofia Fujiwara, Cecile Yuen, Richard Carroll, Nathan Cheng, Tasli Shaw, Bard Suen, and Jeff Tan.

Thank you again for coming out and sharing this exciting moment with Shark Truth!

[Photo Credits: Julian Fok]