Nathan Outlaw on sustainable seafood: ‘Ask the right questions and buy from the right people'

16 April 2021 by
Nathan Outlaw on sustainable seafood: ‘Ask the right questions and buy from the right people'

Chef Nathan Outlaw has said he believes smaller businesses can serve seafood and still be sustainable by "asking the right questions and buying from the right people".

Speaking at The Caterer's Innovation Webinar yesterday, he highlighted the importance of operators asking questions of their suppliers: "If you haven't got proof of the boat, the fishing method or where it's come from then you've got to question using it… I know what I get and I know where it's coming from."

Last year Outlaw transformed his formerly two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Port Isaac, Cornwall, to the more informal Outlaw's New Road.

He said customers these days expect sustainable sourcing of operators and that his front of house staff were armed with all the information on the restaurant's seafood supply chain.

Discussing recent Netflix documentary Seaspiracy, he said: "Documentaries like that are always created to shock aren't they? And they're always created to bring attention to a subject which is important, and aspects of it are important. There's parts of that show, and I've watched it three or four times now, because I've had a lot of questions about it, are very important. And there's parts of it that are shocking. But there is a massive part of that documentary that doesn't showcase the good people that are doing good things and the other side of it."

Outlaw also spoke about reducing waste in the kitchen, for example, his business does not use clingfilm or vac-pac bags, has swapped non-stick pans for cast iron and he has invested in good quality containers. Changing his concept to one set menu has allowed him to eliminate food waste in the kitchen. He also revealed plans to refurbish the restaurant at the end of the year and open bedrooms at the site, which he and wife Rachel are trying to do as sustainably as possible.

"Because it's my own business, Rachel and I own it, we don't have any backers or investors, it makes complete sense to invest all our money and every profit that we get, into the longevity and the ethical future of our restaurant," he said.

Watch The Caterer's Innovation Webinar here.

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