Wed, 05/14/2008 - 17:29
Sunday, September 14 3:00PM—3:20PMSustainable Seafood Business Seminar
BiographyBarton Seaver may be only 29, but his culinary resume reads like a seasoned seafood activist. The Blue Ocean Institute, a national conservation group, recently honored him – along with oceanographer Sylvia A. Earle and filmmaker Alastair Fothergill – for his commitment to preserving the world's seas. "Barton is part of a new “rock star” generation of young chefs who don't just see food as an eating experience, but as a philosophy of relationships that ends, in a sense, in a kind of communion with the land, sea, and seasonal life cycles that come to climax on the plate and palate," said Carl Safina, the institute's president.
Seaver began his professional career working for Ardeo, Felix, and Greenwood in Washington, DC, after which he made his way to the Culinary Institute of America in New York. During his schooling, he spent time in the kitchens of Tru restaurant and The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago under Sarah Stegner. Upon graduating with honors, he took a fellowship at CIA. as a graduate teacher in both the meat and fish classes. Under the guidance of Chef Corky Clark, he learned to appreciate underutilized species of fish and became a proponent of sustainable ocean products.
Seaver’s journeys led him to southern Europe and North Africa, where he participated in Old World traditions of farming and harvesting from the sea. He spent time working in small seaside restaurants and cooking with families in their homes, experiencing simple, market-driven food that greatly affected his personal style of cuisine. Seaver later returned to Washington, DC, to work for Chef José Andres at his flagship restaurant Jaleo, and in early 2005 became executive chef at Café Saint-Ex. In 2006, he oversaw the revamp of the menu at sister restaurant Bar Pilar into Mediterranean-inspired small plates, but always with a focus on local farmers and produce. This philosophy carried over to his next venture, Hook, a sustainable seafood-driven restaurant which Seaver opened in March 2007.
A certified sommelier through the Sommelier Society of America, Seaver is also a member of the Board of Directors of DC Central Kitchen as the culinary force behind the non-profit’s educational programs. He has testified before Congress regarding seafood classifications, and is active with the Chefs Collaborative, the Blue Ocean Institute, the Seafood Choices Alliance, and the National Restaurant Association. He recently left Hook to continue work with all the above, as well as sustainable seafood consulting projects in Ireland and West Africa. His ventures are occasionally documented in the column “A Sustainable Kitchen” on StarChefs.com, which named him a Rising Star in 2006.