Sustainable Fish City
Cyrus Todiwala, Spice Namaste
Cyrus Rustom Todiwala is Chef and Patron of Café Spice Namaste, a high-quality Indian Restaurant in Prescot Street, East London. Cyrus lives in Hackney, but was originally from India.
Cyrus says: "Sustainable sourcing of fish is the key to preventing the total decline of the marine life we depend upon so much. I have always had a passion for protection of the environment, since I was a child. It is our God Given Duty to ensure that our marine resources are protected and cared for and that we adapt to the needs of the times. Buying sustainable fish will hopefully prevent the seas from bring over-fished and keep some sensible control on pricing. Sustainable fishing guarantees the continuity of species for our future generations. Sustainable fish also brings to the palate and plate a plethora of species and flavours that are commonly found but not common in people's diets."
"We work with other restaurants and chefs, asking them to check out other websites or try other fish or come to a class - whatever it takes! All I can say is that chefs must not be afraid to try the unknown and not be afraid to introduce new species onto their menus and inspire the customer to make more educated choices. The customer can learn a great deal from us we can from our suppliers and this link must be created."
What has Cyrus done to support sustainable fish?
In Cafe Spice Namaste:
"All non-sustainable fish is banned." The restaurant's seafood supplier is under strict instruction not to let any of the chefs have endangered fish, even if they mistakenly ask for it
All seafood used is viewed and reviewed "until we are certain that our friends in the Marine Conservation Society and the Seafood Choices Alliance (Good Catch initiative) would be happy with what we buy"
The menu promotes seasonality: "We do not sell; fish that could be roeing or breeding in that season"
"We have charts stuck to the kitchen wall to remind us"
"We have direct links to the fishermen via suppliers, and we ask suppliers and fishermen to tell us what is in and what will not be in so that we can plan menus accordingly. And we introduce a variety species onto our menus to let our guests access a wider choice"
"We raise money for the Marine Conservation Society by collecting it from a donation via particular dishes sold"
"We conduct training classes to raise money for both the Marine Conservation Society and the industry charity Springboard UK to help promote more education in sustainability"
"We help sustainable suppliers such as M&J Seafoods to spread the message widely to chefs and consumers by doing demos on their road shows Involve the supliers in spreading the message"
Allegra McEvedy MBE, chef, writer and presenter
"To stand by and do nothing, say nothing as we slowly drain the oceans of their livestock is to make one complicit, and that's just not a position with which I was comfortable."
Caroline Bennett, Moshi Moshi
"I am determined to do something about the way we fished the seas. We know the problems, we don’t even need any additional information to know how to fix them: we just have to get on and do it. No excuses."
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Fish Fight
“I have been travelling around the UK meeting fishermen, marine conservationists, politicians, supermarkets bosses, and of course fish-eating members of the public. It has changed the way I think about fish.”
Raymond Blanc OBE, Chef Patron, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
“Good ethics should be part of everyday business. Many restaurants and caterers in this are helping to protect our precious marine resources. They should get rightful recognition and inspire others to do the same.”
Rosie Boycott, London Food Board
"Taking a sustainable approach to fish is critical to the food security of our city. It is shocking to think that within our lifetimes, we could lose some of our favourite species from the seas forever."
Silla Bjerrum, Feng Sushi
"Ensuring the future supply of fish is very important. Eating fish can be a component of a healthy lifestyle. Future generations rely on us to pass on healthy seas and maintain biodiversity."
Tim Hughes, Caprice Holdings
"It’s our duty to impart our knowledge to a wider audience, so everybody realises how important it is to cherish our fish stocks. I will continue to champion lesser-known species in plentiful and sustainable supply."
Sustainable Fish City is a Sustain campaign