You might consider it odd that I'm featuring Ryan Duffy's, a steakhouse as one of Halifax's prime sustainable seafood restaurants. I'm not disagreeing with you - it is odd - but in a great way. Ryan Duffy's is known for its terrific steak, but in addition to that, the resto is known for its champion chef, Chris Velden. Velden is a Master Chef, having worked in restaurants across the globe for over 25 years.
During his time spent in Vancouver, Velden began working with the Ocean Wise program. Ocean Wise is a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program created to educate and empower consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood. Velden has continued his work since his move to Halifax as their Atlantic Canada Representative.
Velden states that, "the most important thing about sustainable seafood choices is to get informed; read about what is going on in our oceans, check out the Ocean Wise web site, Seachoice and the Monterey Bay Aquarium." He also emphasizes that diners need to be conscious consumers and ask the restaurant's service staff the proper questions: "Where is your fish from? How is it caught? Is it local? etc." Velden encourages you to ask the same questions when you go shopping, and if you don’t like the answer, don’t buy it! One can really start to grasp the seriousess of the situation when Velden adds, "We need to do whatever we can. Otherwise we'll be eating a lot of jelly fish in the near future. "
Velden shares with me his local suppliers, including Nic Budreski for Oysters, Clams, Sea Urchins, harpoon-caught Swordfish, Striped Bass, Sable Fish and Wild Salmon. He also relies on Indian Pointe for Mussels, Scotian Halibut for land based farmed Halibut and Char, and Goldwater Seafood’s for hand-line caught Haddock.
Another indication of this chef's dedication to his craft and principles is his Chef's Blog, whereby Velden shares with his readers news of sustainable seafood deliveries, updates on Ryan Duffy's daily specials. On another sustainable note, and continuing Velden's passion to promote - and produce - local, the chef has created a rooftop garden atop the Radisson Hotel, whereby he is able to grow his own herbs for the resto, as well as keep honey bees to produce all-natural organic honey!