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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Celebrity Chef Nobu Moving in the Right Direction

Celebrity restaurant Nobu tells diners not to eat its endangered tuna dish

The renowned restaurant Nobu is warning diners against eating the bluefin tuna dish on its own menu because it is endangered.

Renowned restaurant Nobu is warning diners against eating the bluefin tuna dish on its own menu because it is endangered.

Bluefin tuna is on the brink of extinction. Photo: AFP

The Japanese chain, popular with celebrities including Brad Pitt and Kate Moss, has added advice on menus at its London restaurants warning customers that the fish, served for up to £32 a time, is "environmentally challenged".

It adds: "Please ask your server for an alternative."

The bizarre move follows a five-year campaign against Nobu's refusal to stop stocking the bluefin, which is on the brink of extinction.

Its status as a threatened fish is widely-known and most restaurateurs avoid serving it.

An undercover investigation by Greenpeace last year found waiting staff at Nobu were claiming its tuna dishes were not bluefin but DNA tests proved they did indeed come from the threatened Atlantic tuna.

Giles Bartlett, senior policy officer for WWF, told The Independent: "They shouldn't sell endangered species. They should change their menu to incorporate a fish that's sustainable and not one that's critically endangered."

Nobu's two restaurants in Mayfair, in Berkeley Street and Old Park Lane, serve a variety of bluefin, including sushi and sashimi dinners for £32.50. Toto tartar with caviar is on the menu for £17.50 and seared toro with yuzo miso and jalapeno salsa costs £19.50.

An asterisk by dishes guides diners to the footnote: "Bluefin tuna is an environmentally threatened species – please ask your server for an alternative."

Tom Aikens, the Michelin-starred restaurateur, said bluefin was probably one of Nobu's three best-selling fish and its withdrawal would hit the chain's profits hard. He described its advice to diners as "very peculiar".

Aroma Thyme Bistro Comments:

So this is a start for a celebrity chef to take action towards offering sustainalbe seafood . Well if you call putting a warning on his menu action. I guess it is a start. But why not eliminate these options all together. Now that would be action. Imagine if somebody like Nobu would explian why this tuna, or other fish, was not offered. Is Bluefin tuna really that important part of Nobu's sucess? Well I personally don't think so. In fact I know that Bluefin tuna is not part of my sucess. That is because I have never served it, and I WON'T!!!

Most of the seafood at Aroma Thyme Bistro is considered among the best choices fromt he Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. Click here to view our full menu.

Marcus Guiliano

Aroma Thyme Bistro

Ellenville NY 12428

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We would never expect you to eat this shrimp, nor do we serve farmed Asian shrimp

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