Starting tomorrow Tortuga Music Festival will be taking over Fort Lauderdale. Artists ranging from Grace Potter, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, and G. Love and Special Sauce to Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Avett Brothers, and Kenny Chesney will be playing right smack dab on the beach.
Aside from the obvious music aspect, the festival, hosted by Rock the Oceans, an oceanic conservation organization, is intended to raise awareness about issues affecting, you got it, the oceans.
Undoubtedly, overfishing would fall into that category.
With that, we decided to put together a list of place to find sustainable seafood in South Florida.
5. 32 East
Executive Chef Nick Morfogen draws inspiration from famed farm-to-table pioneer, Alice Waters. So it should come as no surprise that he places a rather large emphasis on local, seasonal, and sustainable products--that's right, seafood included. Although not everything is local all of the time, Morforgen does work with purveyors that work with sustainable seafood.
4. 3030 Ocean
Dean Max is like the father of the Broward farm-to-table movement, focusing on sourcing local products for over a decade. His use of seafood is has always been a huge compent. Just like with his produce, Max focuses on rotation and seasonality of local seafood in all of his restaurants. "If kale were a fish, we'd be concerned right now," said Max, "Things are seasonal. When certain a fish goes out of season, we stop serving it. It's important people watch things from their area."
Regularly working with Slow Foods Glades to Coast, Max's Harvest has firmly placed itself as a leader in South Florida's new generation of farm-to-table establishments. The spot places a huge emphasis on working directly within the frames of the local, sustainable movement. Obviously, on a peninsula seafood is a strong component. The team focuses on sourcing from purveyors who specialize in responsible fishing practices.
2. Market 17
An alumnus of Dean Max, Market 17's Executive Chef Lauren DeShields knows a thing or two about sourcing local, sustainable products. Aiming to place itself firmly in South Florida's farm-to-table arena, the restaurant strives to source as much local, organic, and sustainable product as possible. And while the location--in slow shopping center under the 17th St. Causeway bridge--might seem a bit odd for a high-end restaurant, it's proximity to the port helps the spot to source the freshest seafood possible. Because it's technically in the port, the spot can purchase directly from fishermen, helping Chef DeShields to thoroughly understand what is going on in terms of sustainability and conservation.
1. PB Catch
Located on the island of Palm Beach, this little spot offers wealthy Islanders and seafood aficionados a wide array of sustainably sourced products. While not everything is sourced locally, the restaurant does focus on working with small purveyors who work closely with fishermen. While the entire menu focuses on clean, fresh flavors, restauranteur Thierry Beaud highly suggests the oftentimes controversial Chilean Sea Bass--many fisheries have issues with overfishing. "Our sea bass is outstanding," he said, "Pan roasted, over soy and honey infused brussel sprouts. Simple, neat, bold flavors. And, you can eat it without feeling guilty as it comes from the only certified sustainable sea bass fishery in the world."