A new story from Seattle Kitchen


And listening pleasure and listening pleasure we are joined by Christopher Lofgren is the chef owner of bamboo sushi out of Portland Oregon which is now spreading across the country at a swift pace welcome to the show Seattle can show Christopher's you thank you what's going on I I know that might but I believe that we are looking at a space close to each other over in total like if I'm not mistaken we might be yeah we might actually we can we can talk about that off line but yeah okay yeah totally so very interesting development John Paul who on center cal is a great guy and very passionate about designing full outdoor living spaces yeah exactly malls and things and so I think you did a great job with totem lake and gonna go see it this afternoon actually place that Erica I will now I'm not so I'm having the same engine into with no sauce I am a question sure by the way I just wanna verify I I do work on the rest we develop them but I wouldn't call myself a chef so I'm not the chef so okay I I I you Chris then yeah I just I just I was just to use you guys other serious reputation in terms of sustainability yes and how much you care about the way your product comes from I visited your website they visited many different places where you mentioned it is a pretty impressive amount of data you've got there I could in your carbon footprint and all that yeah it's pretty astonishing how much work is that two for any restaurants to do I think if you're starting out then you were trying to copy exactly what we're doing it would be you know I mean we're we're celebrating our eleventh anniversary this November so it would be you know quite a lot of work to do I think if you want to start with the basics of just becoming certified for your sustainability that you know is maybe a six to eight months under undertaking and you know our our whole focus was when I got into the restaurant business I came from sort of an outside perspective so my background was in in law and in finance and in technology and I was really passion about the environment and I love food like many people get in the restaurant business kind of an accident started with a passion for food I grew up in Los Angeles she's my favorite food when I moved to Oregon I got asked to invest in a sushi restaurant then the investment started going poorly as many novice what is what a shocker right I have never heard of yeah never going never and so as any good investor does I was like well I invested in something I know nothing about it she probably learned about this is a little late I should have done on the up front okay but the more I stepped in and learned about it the more sort of falling in love with the restaurant industry in the more started seeing how you know how many different facets it touches from you know health and wellness to transportation to food and agriculture to climate change and so the more I got involved with the more I realize this is actually really important business and something that I think a lot of people just overlook as it just serves food but it does so much more than that and those of us are in the industry know that I know how complex it is but those people outside I think have kind of maybe a little bit of a provincial view of what it is and so the one thing I did want to do though that was different was I think obviously in a as I mentioned earlier I'm not a formally trained chef and I I have the utmost respect for people who are true chefs but chefs are not scientists generally speaking chefs are creators they're not ordering should join either either tastemakers you know and they're people who have an incredibly important role to play in terms of changing trends and changing perception but not necessarily or maybe too much importance placed on their view of what is sustainable and what is not and so coming from more of a science and data background I said well look there's these incredible organizations out there in the world that spend millions and millions of dollars you're doing research and then take that research and gently put in a filing cabinet somewhere I was back then now I guess the drop into the cloud but none the less those papers and I've not ever seeing the light of day and so I set out to say okay what if you could create a restaurant that was fully sustainable based on the highest level of scientific guidelines working in tandem with these independent auditing organization that would come in and basically pull the business apart and tell you how to be more sustainable and then you would take that information and you would translate that to your chefs and your customers in terms of a fun and exciting ways not doom and gloom but really like here's the most essential standards here's how we're gonna source here's how we're gonna make this work and then tell the customer this is why we're doing it right and that's how we got to that level of sustainability and then from that DNA kind of being baked into the company we just moved on and so something that for me I I moved to Oregon to become an environmental lawyer and so language is really important for me and on the bottom of every menu it used to say back in the day whenever possible we source local sustainable whatever and I always joke that I didn't say that to my wife at our vows it into like whenever possible we'll have to you will have to meet us and we're not gonna whenever possible yeah exactly so you know the idea that you can say that basically negates everything that comes after it and so for me I want to create a restaurant that said we will always do this no matter what and that everything we do is based in the most rigorous science possible not derive derive from our own theories but derived from the world's foremost scientist that's very awesome that's a very serious commitment yeah and so how much would you guess that that limits your a variety of possibilities at your restaurant yeah so with sushi I mean obviously you know if your regular sushi restaurant you can pretty much source anything you want and in general one of the things that is interesting though is that most people only eat as we know is respond hers eight to ten different things all right and then there's all these different things that are really cool and fun and exciting but people are focused on salmon crab albacore tuna shrimp etcetera and so what was cool was that a lot of those more important species were able to be sore sustainably and so we went and found the people doing it to the highest level of people who wanted to replenish stocks are people who wanted to actually change their fishing methods to do something sustainably from unsustainable and then for the things that were sort of on the fringe we wanted to find those cool kind of up and coming fish so to speak up and coming items that chefs really excited about working with but that guests may not know of and so we could change their perspective in a simple one was at the beginning we couldn't serve hamachi how much is farm raised it gently feta genetically modified so a chicken feather diet that is not a miss statement a chicken feathers and chicken by product exactly which is not what the fish is natural eating it's an environment and so it does come out with that kind of battery slimy taste that a lot of how much he has and for us we wanted to source of wild but it can only swims for about two weeks out of the year is generally bi catch product and so we were like what we need something on the menu that you're around and so we found quite a compulsory income parties a Jack fission similar family it has a little bit lighter more mild flavor it was being grown off the Hawaiian coast it was one of the first if it was actually the first major U. S. aquaculture farm that was doing it right way open at Penn other closed up pence I think no they're not open yeah well I fly over him all the time yeah all they look like all those but they're not open meaning the sides are not non close yes so the current go through them yeah well so you wouldn't want to so close generally is on land so close tank circulation generally on land you're you're keeping all the block by product excrement and everything else that comes out of the fish and then you're filtering it through a normal sewage treatment plant out it see if you put them to close to estuaries or things like that obviously British Columbia suffered a lot of issues with this sort of Chile where they put the fish farms to close to either other habitats or human habitat and basically the stock depends with too many fish and so then it was basically over one in that area similar to like if you had a a livestock issue with right cattle no no different right yeah exactly yeah all the all the feces drops you know straight away and create an intense environment rather than especially in Kona where the wave action is really strong if you create a flush environment exactly a so so they're doing in this beautiful title it's about maybe two miles off shore you can see the airport actually from there it's incredible and so the fish are out there in these pens I've actually gotten a chance to swim with them last year and and the pens go up and down there on a hydraulic lift and there's the current to go through them and and then the few drops into them and it's it's a it's a beautiful farm doing a really really good way so that was anywhere a way of us being able to answer Tom's first question of how do we get other products kind of that are sustainable but that might be different from what the the guest really originally wanted all right so they're going to come back and talk about it talk with you next week also no and because I want to talk a little bit about conscious hospitality and some of the things that go along with with being sustainable not just with the seafood but also with your team yeah and all of that sign and your new restaurants in the I mean is it is a very all right so up next we have Britney Marlena she's the pastry chef from.

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