All of our seafood is purchased in accordance with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guidelines for sustainability.
In 2002, when awarded with the food service contract for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we were presented with an internal guide the Aquarium staff had created to steer their seafood choices towards sustainable fisheries and were asked to follow it at the Aquarium’s Portola Café. After becoming aware of the state of our oceans and fisheries, we recognized that serving sustainable seafood is the right thing to do at all our locations, not just at the Portola Café. (As of 2011 we are no longer managing the aquarium's café.) We began a nationwide rollout of the Seafood Watch program in 2002 and made adherence a non-negotiable food standard in 2004.
We have since taken our commitment to promoting sustainable seafood choices beyond the four walls of our cafés. We co-sponsored the making of the Emmy-nominated documentary Farming the Seas, which was shown on PBS stations and at schools and museums around the world. Our partnership with Seafood Watch has also grown. The Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation and the Seafood Watch program were joint recipients of a grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to create the Save Seafood Tour to educate people about the issues surrounding seafood and activate them to make sustainable choices. In addition, for many years we were the lead sponsors of Cooking for Solutions at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, an annual event for celebrity chefs to celebrate sustainable cuisine.
Supporting sustainable seafood has become more than a food standard. It is part of the Bon Appétit culture – part of who we are.