Sustainable Seafood Served with Passion

Ocean-friendly tuna at Passionfish restaurant, Pacific Grove, California

Chef Ted Walter and his wife Cindy are passionate about healthy, flavorful food without jeopardizing the environment—land or sea. Together, they created Passionfish, a Pacific Grove, Calif., restaurant that serves fresh, innovative cuisine with a focus on sustainable seafood and organic produce.

To accomplish this, the Walters shop local farmer’s markets for pesticide-free fruits and veggies. They also go to great lengths to buy seafood that’s harvested in a manner that does not deplete fish populations, doesn’t harm ocean habitats (including the water or the ocean floor), and doesn’t result in by-catch of the ocean’s endangered turtles or other marine species.

Seventy percent of all seafood consumed in the United States is served in restaurants. That statistic inspires the Walters to be good ocean and river stewards and to serve only sustainable seafood. At Passionfish, you can dine well knowing that you’ll find no over-fished or threatened fish on the menu.

Portrait of the Perfect Eco-Meal

With an unpretentious and relaxed atmosphere, Passionfish is perfect for those who love food for flavor’s sake. And the prices are extremely reasonable, especially given the quality of the food and the creativity that goes into making it.

On my visit, the baked gorgonzola with golden chutney served on a bed of greens was divine. Who would think of pairing gorgonzola with curry chutney? A genius, that’s who! Chef Walter isn’t just an ocean crusader—he’s a wizard in the kitchen.

The sea scallops served with tomato truffle butter and risotto were inspired and subtle. I found the scallops cooked just right—not overdone and dry, but not gooey either. (Full disclosure: I can’t resist truffles, so this dish goes down in my book as an entrée of a lifetime!)

Those who do not care for seafood should not shun Passionfish. A Lemongrass Chicken with Coconut Rice dish on the evening’s menu was absolutely brilliant, made with free-range organic chicken.

Chef Walter harvests Monterey Bay prawns.

Last but not least, Passionfish’s desserts are truly the way to top off a sublime sustainable meal. The Chocolate Truffle Torte (the other truffle—also a favorite of mine) was to die for. I visited during strawberry season, and the organic strawberries in cabernet syrup served over vanilla ice cream exploded with flavor.

Located just a mile or so from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which champions ocean conservation, you can’t do better than to enjoy an eco-guilt-free dinner at Passionfish.

Laurel Kallenbach, freelance writer and editor

For more on the Seafood Watch program, read my post on the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California and the Local Ocean Seafood restaurant in Newport, Oregon.

Photos courtesy Passionfish

Luxury Beach Resort Has Caribbean Eco-Style

Doing nothing is everything at Carlisle Bay, an eco-minded luxury resort located on a quiet tropical beach on the Caribbean island of Antigua.

Carlisle Bay resort on Antigua is a heavenly Caribbean getaway that makes point-worthy green efforts.

If you want to relax in an unspoiled natural setting, be waited on hand and foot, get pampered in a first-rate natural spa, dine in sophisticated restaurants or under a palm tree on the beach, and make no decision harder than whether to order a rum punch or a piña colada—then Carlisle Bay is the place for you.

Carlisle Bay holds a silver certification by EarthCheck, an organization that validates the carbon claims and sustainability initiatives of tourism operations.

Carlisle Bay’s Ocean Suites give you a cool, Zen-like interior for an elegant stay.

Here there’s luxury with a healthy helping of the outdoors: You’ve got beautifully appointed rooms with comfortable air conditioning, but all you need to do is step onto your private balcony or walk 15 yards to the white-sand beach and you’re surrounded by bird song, exotic flowers, coconut palms, and nonstop views of the bay’s turquoise water.

Do Nothing, Do Lots

For a place where you can perfect the art of flopping on a beach chair under an umbrella, Carlisle Bay offers a surprising number of activities.

There are water sports—as well as yoga classes—at Carlisle Bay beach.

There’s morning yoga and Pilates in a gazebo—or sunset yoga over the water on the pier. You can go sailing, snorkeling, paddle a sea kayak, or take out one of the resort’s Hobie cats. You can hike with a local guide through the rainforest to pick mangos. And there are tennis courts and a tennis pro to coach your backhand.

Blue Spa lets you unwind in simple elegance with an assortment of treatments from body wraps to facials, to excellent massages. The spa uses the all-natural Spanish line of Natura Bissé skincare products.

With all these great, active items to put on your agenda, however, don’t skimp on the sheer joy of doing nothing on one of Antigua’s most remarkable beaches.

Carlisle Bay’s beach attendants bring coolers filled with cold water and serve drinks from the bar, afternoon tea (ask for the fresh-baked shortbread!), and an assortment of salads and sandwiches for lunch.

If you just can’t leave the beach, why not have the staff set up a dinner table under a palm or on the pier?

Luxury for Families, Too

Kids have fun at this family-friendly resort.

Carlisle Bay manages to provide a luxurious location that’s perfect for both romantic getaways and family vacations. They’ve accomplished this by locating most of the family suites at one end of the resort and the Ocean Suites on the other.

The Carlisle Bay’s Crew Blue kids’ program keeps kids occupied with fun, educational activities such as banana picking, limbo dancing, and Hobie cat lessons—letting moms and dads have some quiet time together

Carlisle Bay’s Sustainability Efforts

Social responsibility:

  • hires staff from nearby communities
  • local outreach programs, including donations, to the community

Carlisle Bay resort sits unobtrusively within the natural landscape.

Environmental measures:

  • guests encouraged to place a green sash on their bed when they do not wish to have linens changed
  • use of local, seasonal and sustainably-grown food whenever possible
  • low-flow showerheads and sink faucet aerators
  • dual-flush toilets in some rooms
  • energy-saving CFL lighting
  • motion sensors on outdoor lights (and they’re adding them into bathrooms as well)
  • recycling of bottles, plastic and kitchen waste,
  • rainwater catchment
  • reuse of office supplies
  • biodegradable pesticides to control insects
  • treating sewage water for reuse on landscaping
  • energy-efficient air compressors for air conditioning

Laurel Kallenbach, freelance writer and editor

Photos courtesy Campbell Gray Hotels

The pool at Carlisle Bay