Blog: Carlita the Croc

Meet Chef Robert: Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk


(Photo: Chef Robert)

Meet Chef Robert. He is the Executive Chef and founder of the catered foods department at the Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo. Zoo staff refer to him simply as “Chef.”  If you’ve been to a wedding, brunch, or other banquet at Brookfield Zoo, then you’ve eaten from Chef Robert’s menu. And you know it is good eatin’!


(Photos: Buffet line & Carving station)

But did you also know that Chef talks the talk and walks the walk? What I mean is, as the Executive Chef at a conservation organization, Chef Robert makes sure the ingredients he uses are environmentally friendly. That means meals are made from scratch from locally sourced veggies, grass fed meat, and…wait for it…SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD! I’m his new biggest fan.

Since joining CZS 20 years ago, Chef Robert has been using sustainably sourced seafood under the direction of the society’s then-director Dr. George B. Rabb. Dr. Rabb felt that as a conservation organization, our choices to care for the environment should be follow through all the way to the food we serve during catered events.



Photo: Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. Download a printable guide here.

Chef Robert even visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium early on to learn more about the new Seafood Watch program. Since then, he has used the Seafood Watch Guide (hyperlink: http://www.seafoodwatch.org/) to inspire his seafood dishes, choosing only from the “Best Choices” and “Good Alternatives” list. Chef also makes sure his purchasing chef is up-to-date on the most sustainable choices when it comes to buying ingredients. Chef says when working with clients, he makes sure to explain his seafood choices and the Society’s mission while also adapting to the wishes of his customer. The results are designed to please the eye and the palate. Here’s the evidence:


Cod with almonds


Filet and shrimp


Seafood ceviche


Stuffed trout with crab meat

So what sustainable seafood dish suits the personal taste of an Executive Chef at a conservation organization? “Cod – Spanish style with tomato, clams, and mussels.”

I’ll have the same, sans tomatoes! Did this post make you hungry for sustainable seafood? Tell me about it on Twitter @CandidCroc!

Posted: 12/15/2017 4:36:33 PM by Steve Pine


Carlita the Croc

I'm Carlita the Croc, here to deliver my candid views on various topics, articles, news, and stories in conservation. For the latest news follow me on Twitter, for striking photos follow me on Instagram.

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