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Tutka Bay Lodge, Winterlake Lodge and La Baleine Café join the James Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch program


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Within the Wild Adventure Company’s chefs Kirsten and Mandy Dixon have long been committed to serving sustainable seafood. It’s in their blood as Alaskans. Now their remote adventure lodges and café in Southcentral Alaska are official James Beard Foundation Smart Catch restaurants, helping to make the world’s seafood supply chain more sustainable.

While fortunate to live and cook in Alaska, whose fisheries are a world model for sustainability, the Dixons are aware that more than 90 percent of the world’s fisheries are either fully fished or overfished, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. They’re joining other chefs and restaurant leaders across the nation because preserving marine life and promoting sustainable seafood options to assure stable fishing stocks is more important than ever. 

“Kirsten and Mandy are leaders when it comes to sparking national discussion about the sustainability of our seafood ecosystems as part of the Smart Catch program,” said Katherine Miller, senior director of Food Policy Advocacy and program manager of Smart Catch at the James Beard Foundation. “Through their participation, they are ensuring that future generations will have access to responsibly sourced seafood, while also celebrating and educating the public on the diverse flavors the sea has to offer.”

As part of the Smart Catch pilot program, the Dixons will receive menu consultations, staff training materials, access to an online Seafood Calculator, marketing resources, and guidance in working with their suppliers so they can continue to make smart seafood choices.

Smart Catch’s sustainability criteria are powered by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program and NOAA Fish Stock Sustainability Index. The criteria are based on the health and abundance of fish and seafood stocks, the impacts of commercial fishing and harvesting on habitats and ecosystems, the degree of bycatch, and the effectiveness of fishery management systems.

Smart Catch was created with chefs for chefs to give diners an easy way to choose responsible seafood dishes. The program is just one of the James Beard Foundation’s Impact Programs, which showcase the organization’s commitment to establishing a more sustainable food system through education, advocacy and thought leadership.

“Promoting sustainable Alaska seafood is paramount to us and our company,” said Within the Wild Adventure Company Co-owner and Chef Kirsten Dixon. “Through various partnerships, we hope to continue to push awareness and support of sustainable seafood.”

The Dixons have previously worked with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and the James Beard Foundation to promote sustainable Alaska seafood at home and abroad. In 2016, they served as Culinary Ambassadors of the U.S. State Department American Chef Corps, spending time traveling through Morocco during U.S./Morocco Food Week showcasing sustainable Alaska seafood provided by ASMI. In 2015, they were featured chefs at the James Beard American Restaurant in the USA Pavilion at the Expo Milano in Italy, also giving seafood demonstrations on behalf of ASMI.

 

About the Smart Catch Program
Smart Catch is the James Beard Foundation’s sustainable seafood program created with chefs for chefs, with the purpose of increasing the sustainability of the seafood supply chain. The program provides training and support to chefs and gives consumers a simple way to identify and support restaurants that serve seafood fished or farmed in environmentally responsible ways. With more than 90 percent of the world’s fisheries either fully fished of overfished, preserving marine life to assure stable fishing stocks and promoting sustainable farmed options is more important than ever. 

Created by Paul G. Allen to make change on the water, Smart Catch is part of the James Beard Foundation’s Impact Programs, which aim to establish a more sustainable food system through education, advocacy and thought leadership. For more information and a list of participating restaurants, visit www.jamesbeard.org/smartcatch.

About Within the Wild Adventure Company
Within The Wild Adventure Company is a partnership, in existence since 1983, between Carl and Kirsten Dixon and their daughters, Carly and Mandy Dixon. The family owns and operates Winterlake Lodge; Tutka Bay Lodge; the Cooking School at Tutka Bay; a home goods boutique, RusticWild; and La Baleine Café, all in Southcentral Alaska. Both Kirsten and Mandy are Le Cordon Bleu-trained chefs, who have cooked and studied with chefs as far ranging as Julia Child and Thomas Keller. Carl Dixon is Outside magazine’s “Best Guide: Wilderness” and Carly Dixon, the company’s health and wellness expert, is a certified personal trainer, massage therapist and yoga instructor. For more information on the Within the Wild Adventure Company’s remote wilderness lodges and the Cooking School at Tutka Bay, go to www.withinthewild.com

 

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