Slow Food Maui’s next education session will celebrate Maui’s love affair with fresh fish and poke. Presenter Don Wakamatsu of Whole Foods Market Maui comes from a long-line of fishermen and fishmongers and will present their sustainable fish program, explaining how to select, clean, and cut whole fish and fillets, and offer samples of his poke.
“The Taste Education Series is a great way to showcase local food producers and agricultural experts,” said Maui Culinary Academy Program Coordinator Chris Speere, a co-education chair at Slow Food Maui. “Presenters like Don Wakamatsu have unique skills and knowledge that have been passed on by family members who have been practicing their craft for generations. This is food culture and tradition at its finest, and it’s one of the reasons Slow Food Maui hosts the series.”
In as much as Taste Education sessions focus on food culture and traditions, they also seek to raise awareness about the important issues centered around the food we eat. A sustainable fish program helps sustain wild, diverse and healthy ocean ecosystems that will exist long into the future.
To help consumers and businesses make choices for healthy oceans, Monterey Bay Aquarium created Seafood Watch, a program that provides consumers with a pocket guide of recommendations that indicate which seafood items are best choices (abundant, well-managed and caught or farmed in environmentally friendly ways), good alternatives (an option, but there are concerns with how they’re caught or farmed, or with the health of their habitat due to other human impacts) and which ones should be avoided for now (as these items are over-fished or caught or farmed in ways that harm other marine life or the environment).
In addition to the national guide, Seafood Watch offers pocket guides specific to regions across the U.S., including the Northeast, Southeast, Central, Southwest, West Coast areas and Hawai‘i.
According to the Seafood Watch Hawai‘ Guide, ‘ahi (yellowfin tuna), aku (skipjack tuna), akule (bigeye scad) and ‘öpelu are listed among the best choices. Mahi mahi, he‘e, ulua and ono make good alternatives. Onaga (ruby snapper) and ‘opakapaka (pink snapper) should be avoided. To see the complete guide, visit www.montereybayaquarium.org.
Chefs on Maui also look to the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership for strategic and technical guidance (sustainablefish.org).
The event will be held on August 31, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the UH Maui College Maui Culinary Academy. Register online at slowfoodmaui.org.