Leading By Example

BY Ann Wycoff | April 9, 2019 | Feature Features

Native San Diegan, chef Rob Ruiz is an Ocean Award recipient and a James Beard Smart Catch Leader, here's why.

Here’s a big idea. What if San Diego emerged as the global leader in sustainability? With our top scientists, fishermen, aquaculture, technology and forward-thinking chefs like Rob Ruiz, why not? A native San Diegan, Ruiz created an edible rice paper QR code to track a fish’s sustainability, an initiative aimed at making the seafood industry more transparent, traceable and reputable; he has an Ocean Award (think the Oscar of marine conservation) from the Blue Marine Foundation; and recently added the title of James Beard Smart Catch Leader to his sustainability street cred. He’s a “boots on the ground” collaborator with the scientists from Scripps and NOAA, runs a zero-waste kitchen at Land & Water Company with meticulous devotion and has just just announced the ultimate hook-to-fork eatery—Hold Fast, expected to debut this spring at Liberty Public Market, to continue spreading “a culture of conscious cuisine.” Hold Fast is about local organic produce, a daily catch menu and a push to re-examine our roots. “San Diego was built on its fishermen—the Tuna Capitol of the world for decades—and our present-day fishermen are leading the nation with their methods, responsible practices and innovation,” explains Ruiz. “I love San Diego; it’s my home. I want to leave it better than I found it.”

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