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The Future Of Seafood

Live-streamed On April 3, 2014

What Do Chefs See In The Future Of Seafood?

Vancouver Aquarium was excited to host world-renowned chefs and sustainable seafood ambassadors Rick Moonen of rm seafood in Las Vegas, Ned Bell of Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, and Chef Robert Clark of The Fish Counter, for an engaging evening which discussed the future of seafood, followed by ocean-friendly seafood tastings “of the future.”  As leaders in the restaurant industry, these chefs shared their perspectives on the issues related to sustainable seafood, including:

  • The current state of our seafood stocks, impact on the restaurant industry, and the prognosis for the future of seafood if we don’t take action now.
  • What chefs are doing to move the needle on sustainable seafood and what impact going sustainable would have on the quality of seafood, now and in the future.
  • The impact that chefs, restaurants and consumers can have on the state of sustainable seafood, and what initiatives they are taking to shift the industry towards sustainability and the diversity in the seafood that is served.


Ocean Wise™

Ocean Wise is a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program created to educate and empower consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood. Ocean Wise works directly with local restaurants, markets, food services and suppliers to ensure that they have the most current scientific information and help them make ocean-friendly buying decisions.

Ocean Wise

Chef Rick Moonen

Chef/Owner Rick Moonen’s rm seafood and Rx Boiler Room, Las Vegas 

Chef and cookbook author, Rick Moonen, has been the country’s leading advocate for the sustainable seafood movement for the past 25 years, bringing national awareness to this subject near and dear to his heart. In 2013 USA Today named him one of Earth’s “Power Players” as one of five leaders helping the health of our planet.  He’s been featured on CNN, TODAY, Good Morning America, CBS Early Show, Dan Rather Reports, and many more. 

His flagship restaurant, Rick Moonen’s rm seafood at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, showcases his commitment to sustainability without foregoing culinary creativity and innovation, and has been critically acclaimed by local and national press alike.  In 2010 Rick made a memorable appearance on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, nearly taking home the title and raising thousands of dollars and national awareness for Three Square food bank in Las Vegas. 

In May of 2011 Monterey Bay Aquarium honored Rick as their Chef of the Year for his tireless efforts towards sustainability, and appointed him as one of the top twenty leading culinarians in the aquarium’s Blue Ribbon Task Force in 2014.  He was also named Humanitarian of the Year by the American Culinary Federation in 2013. In June 2013, Chef Moonen transformed rm upstairs into a steampunk-inspired restaurant and lounge named Rx Boiler Room, with décor reminiscent of industrialism during the 19th century Victorian era.

Combining the alchemy of food and drink, Moonen showcases his spin on classic comfort food, offering guests a variety of playful creations in small and large plate portions, ideal for a shared dining experience.  Rx Boiler Room was named Best New Restaurant of 2013 by Desert Companion magazine.

Find him on Twitter @RickMoonen, Instagram @ChefMoonen, facebook.com/ChefRickMoonen, or www.rickmoonen.com

Rick Moonen

Chef Ned Bell

Executive Chef of Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, including YEW seafood + bar

Ned Bell’s cooking philosophy is farm-to-table. He is passionate about creating globally inspired dishes crafted with locally grown ingredients with an emphasis on sustainable seafood.

Much of Ned’s life was spent growing up in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, instilling a lifelong passion for fresh and locally sourced cuisine. His culinary studies began at Dubrulle Culinary School, where instructor Rob Feenie inspired Ned to follow him to Le Crocodile and later to the opening team of Lumiere, a restaurant that put Vancouver on the global culinary map.

Looking to broaden his culinary horizons, Ned moved east to hone his talent at key positions in Toronto and Niagara. A few years later Ned heeded the call of the west and was soon awarded the “Best Overall and Rising Star Award” from WHERE magazine after opening Murrieta’s Grill in Calgary. In 2007, Ned fulfilled a dream and returned to his Okanagan roots to become co-owner and chef at the Kelowna lakeside favourite, Cabana Bar and Grille where he was soon ranked one of Western Living magazine’s “Top 40 Foodie’s Under 40.”

Ned took the helm of the Four Seasons and YEW kitchens when the restaurant launched a new sustainable seafood concept in 2011.  Using his well-known passion, influence and enthusiasm, Ned quickly led the hotel to become 100% Ocean Wise and develop a reputation as a culinary leader making a difference.  Within a year of the new concept launching, Ned was responsible for taking the restaurant into a new era of relevance with customers and media.  Guest covers, restaurant sales and catering revenue grew as much as 30 percent during Ned’s first full year in his role as Executive Chef and continue to do so with the ever-evolving chef and restaurant concept.

When the apron is off, Ned practises what he preaches, naming running, road-biking, dining out and weekends at farmers markets as his rejuvenating activities.  Spending time with his family, however, tops the list of what keeps Ned Bell inspired; you’ll never see him happier than when he’s playing a round of pick up hockey with his boys.

Chef Ned Bell

Chef Robert Clark

Chef, author, and sustainable seafood guru.
Owner of The Fish Counter

Throughout his award winning career Chef Robert Clark has been a champion of sustainable seafood. In 2004, Chef Clark was instrumental in helping the Vancouver Aquarium create the Ocean Wise program and is recognized as a founding partner. As one of Canada’s most heralded chefs, Clark freely donates his time to worthy causes that directly contribute to the conservation of our marine life and aquatic environments and acts as an Ocean Wise ambassador.

Born in Montreal, and raised on the Gaspe Peninsula, Robert Clark's passion for cooking began at a young age in his grandmother's kitchen, where his entire family shared a love for food. While growing up near the salmon rich York River, Clark developed an appreciation for fresh fish and natural ingredients.

At eighteen, Clark began his formal culinary training at Ontario's George Brown College. After graduating in 1982, his determination to learn from the best led him to work in some of Toronto's finest kitchens, including the iconic Three Small Rooms at The Windsor Arms Hotel. This allowed him to apprentice and work with some of Canada's top toques: Jamie Kennedy, Michael Bonaccini, Mark Thuet, John Higgins and Nils Kjelson. In 1990, Clark embarked with his wife on a working sabbatical throughout South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. For eighteen months they traveled, explored and worked in various gastronomic cultures. After arriving back in Canada in 1992, they settled in Vancouver where Clark delivered organic produce with Herb Barbolet from the Glorious Salads Company. This gave Clark an opportunity to peek into some of Vancouver's most progressive restaurants, and landed him on the opening team of Star Anise Restaurant. 

In 1997, Harry Kambolis recruited Clark to join his team at C restaurant as Chef de Cuisine. Within a year, Clark was promoted to the position of Executive Chef. Since then, Clark's leadership in the C restaurant kitchen has been the key to the restaurant's success in becoming an award winning, critically acclaimed dining destination in Canada. 

In 2013 Rob Clark opened The Fish Counter with business partner and marine biologist, Mike McDermid. 

Ever cognizant to the delicate interconnected web of quality, sustainability and market demands that surround the seafood industry, Clark believes the integrity of a product is the foundation on which a chef builds his reputation. To that end, Clark has been instrumental in the creation of the annual Spot Prawn Festival in Vancouver, assisted the Vancouver Aquarium build and launch the Ocean Wise program, and has sat on the board of the B.C. Chefs' Table Society since its inception. In March 2011, Clark was awarded the Seafood Champion Award from SeaWeb for his ocean advocacy work.

Chef Robert Clark

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