Before “sustainable seafood” even entered our lexicon, Robert Clark was on a quest for better fish. In the late ’90s, disappointed by the declining quality
of Chilean seabass, he turned to sablefish, a more reliably luscious white fish—which happened to be responsibly harvested.
Clark, then executive chef at C Restaurant in Vancouver, B.C., discovered that thoughtful fishing had big dividends for the cook. “The quality is almost always better,” he says.
He changed his menu accordingly, and in 2005 he helped found the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program to encourage other chefs to do the same. In summer 2013, he’s opening a sustainable seafood market called The Fish Counter with partner Mike McDermid, manager of the Ocean Wise program. “We need to remove barriers that keep people from cooking seafood at home,” says Clark, who plans to share his techniques (including those here) with customers. “A lot of people just want to know, ‘How do you get fish to taste so good?’ ”