Choose your fish ethically and wisely with the help of SASSI


TO celebrate sustainable fish, the 16-year journey of the WWF Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) programme which has become a popular household name across SA, and the announcement of 2020’s Trailblazer chefs, Eat Play Drink Cape Town was sent a box of ingredients and a recipe to try, one inspired by Rick Stein and adapted by Judi Fourie, who is one of this year’s Trailblazers.

The beautiful hake – still one of my favourites – came from Julie Carter of Ocean Jewel, who is an ardent support of SASSI. This business delivers fish every week in Cape Town and surrounding areas. Funky Ouma seems to be a product range to keep an eye on; various salts have found their way into two or three media drops lately. It’s  a family business and supporter of SASSI.

There has to be wine of course. This came from WWF SA Conservation Champion Spier, which is well known for its support of sustainable initiatives, including the Trailblazer awards.

The recipe is simple and tasty. Find it below the following press release:

The success of SASSI has been achieved by building knowledge about seafood species and collectively working with consumers, chefs, restaurants, retailers/supplier and fisheries to fundamentally shift attitudes towards understanding the complex issue of seafood sustainability and drive informed choices.

Six South African chefs, who play a pivotal role in this journey, have been awarded  WWF-SASSI Trailblazer status for their commitment to the use of sustainable seafood and championing sustainable seafood practices in their restaurants.

Andrew Atkinson: Shalati

Neill Anthony: La Mouette

Judi Fourie: Pilcrow & Cleaver

Jamie Friedberg: Between Us

Christina Semczyszyn: Tjing Tjing

Jess van Dyk: Protégé

The chefs were chosen on the basis of the following factors which has rigorous criteria:

  • The restaurant’s seafood sustainability policy.
  • The effectiveness of their communication of their seafood sustainability practices to their customers, employees and suppliers.
  • Their level of engagement in communicating their seafood sustainability practices to a wider audience.
  • The Trailblazer factor – chefs and restaurants going the extra mile in promoting and supporting seafood sustainability.

Commenting on the awards, Pavs Pillay, manager of the SASSI Programme with WWF-SA, said: “Chefs serve as the gatekeepers for the food and hospitality industry and so play a critical role in leading market forces, influencing popular taste and promoting ocean-friendly seafood. Chefs that lead the way in sustainability are true ocean stewards.

“Our partnership with them is inspired by their commitment to help restore our overexploited seafood species and safeguard our ocean. The chefs we recognise have gone the extra mile in advocating the sustainability message. Congratulations to all the winners!”


Serves 2



4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

3 – 4 shallots thinly sliced

1 Tsp of small capers, wash off salt

1 Tbsp of butter

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Tbsp of a soft herb (parsley or dill or basil)

1 clove of garlic, mashed.

1 lemon


Fry the fish until just cooked.

Warm the oil, vinegar and sliced shallots and garlic.

Add in butter.

Stir to thicken.

Take off heat

Add in capers.

Stir. Add squeeze of lemon

Add salt and freshly ground pepper.

Serve with pan fried hake.

Either spoon warm vinaigrette over the top of fish or serve on the side.

Sprinkle dish with fresh herb of choice.

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