Stories / Beard House, Foundation News, Impact

A Better Catch on Your Plate at JBF

Maggie Borden

January 17, 2018


Photo: Megan Swann

Since formally launching the Impact Programs in 2016, the James Beard Foundation has made efforts to not only “talk the talk,” but “walk the walk,” implementing the same standards we advocate for the culinary community in our own events and programming. Last fall, we unveiled our composting pilot at the Beard House, in order to align our more than 200 dinners a year with our focus on reducing food waste. In 2018, we’re pleased to announce the implementation of new sustainable seafood standards, first at the Beard House, and then eventually across all James Beard Foundation events. 

Starting in March, these standards, which were derived from the JBF Smart Catch Program, will apply to all of our Beard House dinners. Chefs serving seafood at these events will be asked not to serve endangered and “red-listed” species, to provide information on sourcing and catch method for the items they choose for their menus, and to work with our Smart Catch team if they desire to serve locally sourced items that are currently unrated by Monterey Bay’s Seafood Watch or NOAA’s Fish Stock Sustainability Index.

In addition, the James Beard Foundation will work in coalition with partners (including NGOs, the fishing community, corporations, and foundations) focused on improving the exchange of information and transparency to ensure the chef community has access to the most up-to-date information about fishery improvement projects, efforts to eliminate slavery and human rights abuses, and campaigns to limit plastics and other waterway contaminants. 

With more than 90 percent of the world's fisheries either fully fished of overfished, preserving marine life to assure stable fishing stocks and promoting sustainably farmed options is more important than ever. Through our events at the Beard House and our thousands of dedicated supporters, we are committed to educating chefs and consumers, and working with the global seafood community to promote sustainable seafood options. 

Get more information about our seafood sourcing criteria.

Learn more about JBF Impact Programs.


Maggie Borden is associate editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Instagram and Twitter.