Glacier 51 toothfish at Bishop Sessa, Surrey Hills

November 21, 2014

This post focuses on one of the earliest supporters of Glacier 51 toothfish, Paul Cooper, head chef at Bishop Sessa, Surrey Hills. Bishop Sessa Bistro & Wine Bar was founded by nose to tail chef Paul Cooper together with industry stalwart Erez Gordon. Its menu showcases some of the best local produce available, with pork from Melanda Park, Swallow Rock Reach (NSW), lamb from Milly Hill, New England (NSW) and organic Wagyu from Gundooee Organics in Dunedoo (NSW). Sides of pig, beef and lamb are aged and butchered on the premises. Sustainable seafood and Cooper’s trademark desserts complete the experience. The wine list includes some fantastic lesser-known varietals and makers, together with big, bold classics and is poured by charming hospitality man about town, Daniel Wooten. The blogger reviewing on this evening of the 24th September 2013 is Lorraine Elliott, from Not Quite Nigella, who ordered the entree Carpaccio of Glacier 51 Patagonian Toothfish, smoked clam, miso, apple, black olive, for $18. bishop-sessa-5-2 Lorraine states: “They explained to us that the Patagonian Toothfish is sustainably fished from Glacier 51 in the sub-Antarctic three months out of the year (not in W.A. barbour outlet milford as the menu suggests but 4,250 kms south of Perth). The prized fish is on the endangered list and is not often seen for sale although it was retailing at $120 a kilo recently. (*Edited to add*: Chef Paul Cooper says: “Here at Bishop Sessa, we take sustainability very seriously, and take a lot of care in sourcing seafood and other products that are both sustainable, friendly to the environment and raised and killed in ethical ways. Shirts When Patagonian Toothfish was listed as MSC certified, I had my doubts, but about 8 months ago after several conversations with various people in the know, I had my opinion swayed. The Glacier 51 Toothfish comes from Heard Island, and the methods employed by this fishery allow the Toothfish in the area sufficient opportunity between trips to allow the fish time to replenish their stock levels. It is highly regulated, and each boat is required to monitor stock levels to avoid over fishing. It is true that this species was once endangered, and some pirate fishing does still occur, but in Australia, all toothfish sold must be documented, so you can be pretty safe ordering it in reputable restaurants.” *edit end*) Here underneath another crispy miso potato and rice wafer, the toothfish it is served with it’s silky white flesh, smoked clam, miso, tiny cubes of apple and dehydrated black olive pieces. Even though the fish itself is delicate, the strong flavours of the black olive, smoked clam and miso never overpower it and it has a luxuriously silky texture and flavour.” We would just like to inform readers that neither Patagonian toothfish nor Antarctic toothfish have ever been on the endangered species list. In the 1990’s, to combat the illegal fishing for toothfish, the legal toothfishing industry, along with environmental groups, lobbied for toothfish to be included on CITES Appendix II (Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival). This proposed listing failed, but the increased profile of the issue meant there was rapid, effective government action, that has today led to the virtual elimination of illegal fishing for toothfish globally (a reduction of 99% for Patagonian toothfish). Jackets casual As it stands, about 50% of the world’s toothfish is certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council and 60% rated as either Best Choice or Good Alternative by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program.