Did you know that the Whole Foods Bowery has a Culinary Center? No? How about free dinners? Now I have your attention? Cheapeats was honored to attend their “Feast Of 7 (Sustainable) Fishes” dinner that was open to the public and free! It gathered patrons, store staff and Katherine McLaughlin from Blue Ocean Institute, to feast on a seafood meal and learn about sustainable seafood.
OYSTERS ON A HALF SHELL CRUDITE RUSTIC FLOUNDER AND FARRO SOUP FARFALLE WITH TUNA AND CAPERS BACCALA WITH BROCCOLI RABE MUSSELS MARINA PANNETTONE BREAD PUDDING
The focus on this delicious meal, was to educate us on Whole Foods’ commitment to its sustainable seafood program. Whole Foods supports local fisherman and has owned their own docks in Pigeon Cove for 25 years. To ensure freshness, they deliver their seafood 7 days a week.
The oysters we had, were from Westport, CT, and to perfectly honest, were the best Oysters I’ve ever eaten. So fresh, they tasted like the sea.
Whole Foods has incorporated a color code system — to inform their employees and customers about the sustainability of the fish their buying. Green = Ocean Friendly; Yellow = Medium Abundance; Red = Serious; Gray = No Ranking
As of Earth Day – April 22, 2012, Whole Foods will no longer carry any seafood that has a Red Ranking. (Atlantic Cod & Sole have been extended until Earth Day 2013)
It was the perfect setting to learn about their mission, while feasting on this delicious meal. The Flounder Soup combined with their in-house cheese bread, was a meal in itself. Mussels Marina made this Italian girl proud. The Baccala with Broccoli Rabe and Roasted Tomatoes was to DIE for. Overall, the meal was OUTSTANDING.
Besides enjoying this incredible meal and learning about their seafood program, chatting with the employees for me, was one of the highlights of the evening. Listening to their stories about how working at Whole Foods has changed their lives. One guy told me he never read a food label before in his life, but since working here, he is now more conscious about what he buys and what he eats. It made me smile hearing these kids talk about foods that had tried or recipes they make at home.
I also learned that it’s the company’s mission to educate and elevate their employees. They teach you and give you the tools and opportunities. to grow within the company. One kid started out as a stock boy and within 2years, was promoted to Assistant Mgr of the Seafood Department.
It’s not often that you find a company that not only talks the talk but walks the walk. Whole Foods…I applaud you.
I want to thank Elly Truesdell, Blue Ocean Institute, and the entire staff at Whole Foods for putting together this incredible meal. It was not only delicious but memorable.
Happiness, $25 and under.
P.S. Do you think the Chef will share his recipe for the Flounder Soup & Baccala?