In beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, Inspirato Members stay at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, in a sophisticated suite overlooking the water.

Fairmont Pacific Rim is a wonderful hotel. Amazing views and walking distance to everything in the city. The service at Pacific Rim is as good or better than ANY hotel I have visited. A++ all the way.

Dax C.Inspirato Member

Those serene waters make for more than just a stunning backdrop. They’re also the source of a wide array of fish and other seafood. Vancouver is a leader in the push toward seafood sustainability, a responsible practice that local chefs — including those at the Fairmont — have fully embraced.

Canada’s movement toward sustainable seafood began in Vancouver in the early 2000s when marine advocates and chefs sought solutions to overfishing worldwide. In 2005, the Vancouver Aquarium partnered with local chefs to launch the Ocean Wise conservation program, modeled on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, a guide to sustainable fish consumption.

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Even sushi chefs at major hotels are getting into the game. A native of Japan, Taka Omi worked for several years in Toronto before moving to the Fairmont Pacific Rim. He was drawn by the wide variety of local fish in the coastal city. “So many choices we have,” the sushi chef says, citing albacore tuna, sablefish, scallops and prawns. “I think we have more variety than anybody else.”

At the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s RawBar in the Lobby Lounge, Omi has long had an interest in preserving fish stocks. In 2014, RawBar went from simply featuring responsibly harvested fish to serving only Ocean Wise approved seafood. It became Vancouver’s first sushi restaurant to do so. The Pacific Rim’s executive chef Nathan Brown fully supports Omi’s vision. “If a supplier says, ‘Sorry, it’s not Ocean Wise,’ then I reply, ‘Sorry, then we won’t be buying it.’ It’s as simple as that.”

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The Pacific Rim’s pièce de résistance is the Ocean Wise Roll, the RawBar’s presentation of 15 types of sustainable seafood, says executive chef Brown. “Anything that’s in the sushi window that evening gets put into that roll, even Dungeness crab, then you have a piece of salmon, a piece of steelhead,” and other fresh local specialties.

Sample Vancouver’s sustainable seafood at these fantastic restaurants, all an easy walk or cab ride from the Fairmont Pacific Rim.

  • Blue Water Café – Chef Frank Pabst, who boasts experience in Michelin-starred kitchens and is a founding member of Ocean Wise, is one of Vancouver’s most celebrated seafood restaurants.
  • The Fish Counter – At this neighborhood place, you can get a plate of sizzling fish and chips (try the lingcod) or buy raw halibut to cook at home.
  • YEW – In a gently lit, wood-paneled dining room, The Four Seasons’ flagship restaurant serves a medley of fish. The menu, depending on the season, might include any of the five types of salmon that live of Canada’s west coast.

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Beyond Vancouver, the Inspirato portfolio of vacation options includes dozens of top culinary capitals. From the elaborate restaurants of Paris and New York to rustic locales such as Portugal and Tuscany, there’s a destination for every taste. Explore all of Inspirato’s vacation options and plan a vacation now.

This post is adapted from Go Fish by Michael Shapiro, which originally appeared in the Summer/Fall 2016 issue of Inspirato magazine. The full story won the Culinary Canada Award from the 2016 Explore Canada Awards of Excellence.

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