Media Contacts:

Gerard Viverito, Director of Culinary Education

(845) 430-7937

Carl Rebstock, Executive Director
(206) 769-1436


Passionfish Culinary Education Director to Speak at Seafood Summit

Education versus Advocacy is Topic of Chef Viverito's Presentation

Sonoma County, Calif - January 16, 2008

Passionfish's Director of Culinary Education Gerard Viverito, CEC, will be speaking at the upcoming "Seafood Summit," a project of SeaWeb's Seafood Choices Alliance. The summit of panel discussions is a taking place in Barcelona, Spain, January 27-29, 2008.

Chef Viverito's talk is entitled "Pressure Cooking: Teaching Sustainability while Sidestepping Advocacy in the Classroom." In addition to managing Passionfish's culinary education programs, Chef Viverito is on the faculty of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York. Joining Chef Viverito on his panel will be Barton Seaver of Hook restaurant in Washington, D.C., and Stephen Potter of the Hastings Borough Council in the U.K.

"I'm pleased to participate as a chef and an educator at the summit," says Chef Viverito. "In both capacities, I believe it is vital to examine sustainability issues from all angles and in depth. This takes more effort and more thought but inevitably reveals actions that can have greater impact than curing symptoms. Panel discussions like this are helpful in learning from one another. It's too easy to develop tunnel vision when one's livelihood hinges on advocating for one point of view."

Professional chefs confront difficult choices in balancing what's best for their business, their clientele, and the environment. It is often simpler for them to adopt what is popular than to make sense of conflicting advice. The cult of the celebrity chef has only turned up the burners on these choices. Even cooks at home feel the heat. This is the "pressure cooker" which Chef Viverito will discuss.

"Both Passionfish and CIA emphasize education and critical thinking: avoiding bias while using the best-available science to make decisions or recommendations," Chef Viverito says. "In other words, we strive for a healthy seafood supply that economically supports our communities while safeguarding our planet's ecosystems, not one without the other."

Passionfish is an independent, all-volunteer, non-partisan non-profit that considers sustainability in its broader context, often called the "triple bottom line" composed of economic, social, and environmental considerations that help ensure societies function well. Passionfish is committed to engaging diverse viewpoints in the belief that enduring solutions to complex problems arise from better understanding one another.

"I don't think anyone wants to do the 'wrong thing' when it comes to ensuring we have plentiful, wholesome seafood for generations to come," he says. "All of us who care about our planet and our society are environmentalists in the truest sense of the word."

For the media and interested public, Chef Viverito's presentation will be summarized on the Passionfish blog in advance of the seafood summit. Also, Passionfish and CIA are joining together to celebrate Passionfish's annual educational fundraiser, "Poisson d'Avril," (April Fish Day). All proceeds generated by CIA students will be donated by Passionfish back to the school. Stay tuned!

Media: For interviews, please contact Gerard Viverito, CEC, Director of Culinary Education at Passionfish and faculty member at The Culinary Institute of America, New York. Click here for Chef Gerard's biography.

About Passionfish:

Passionfish, a project of the Tides Center, is a catalyst for positive change. Passionfish is an innovative non-profit project that promotes sustainable fisheries and aquaculture through public education and stakeholder collaboration.

Founded in 2000, Passionfish helps business and the public grasp the complex issues of seafood sustainability. Its multi-media programs include exhibitions, community education "Get the Dish on Fish" dinners, Poisson d'Avril events, live public forums, its Ocean Commotion blog, and consumer and children's education.

Passionfish believes that everyone shares the same need for healthy global fish populations. We endeavor to bring diverse stakeholders together to troubleshoot and overcome obstacles to ocean sustainability. Our organization promotes unique business-conservation partnerships, builds solutions through productive dialogue, and inspires conservation through a cookbook series coupled with vibrant special events.

As a volunteer-run organization, 100% of proceeds raised go directly to public education programs.

Match your passion with cash--please support Passionfish.