In recognition of our dedication to product knowledge, service provision and consistent supply of the very best fish, the Chef's Table Society of British Columbia named Organic Ocean Producer/Supplier of the Year, a significant accolade given the region's reputation as a world class seafood center.
When Steve Johansen created Organic Ocean 10 years ago with lifelong friend Dane Chauval, he began with an age-old idea: quality over quantity. From the start Organic Ocean, a small group of half a dozen independent fishermen, believed in sustainability and dealing directly with their customers.
Johansen, 41, delivers the product himself to the kitchens he supplies (which include C Restaurant, Blue Water Cafe, Raincity Grill, Fuel, Campagnolo, and Vij’s). If chefs have questions or concerns about where or how the product is harvested, he can answer directly: he caught it himself. “Historically, suppliers haven’t been able to answer those questions,” says Robert Clark of C Restaurant, but with Organic Ocean, “I know when, I know where, I know who.” Ditching the derby mentality, whereby fishermen grab as many fish as they can, Johansen and his crew take their time to preserve the quality and freshness of their product. “There’s a lot of pride put into it,” says Johansen, sitting on Fisherman’s Wharf, where his boat Organic Ocean #1 makes its home. “It’s very personal.”
Chauval, meanwhile, spent the past summer in Haida Gwaii with his wife and kids, fishing for salmon, lingcod, and halibut. “The fish up there are so beautiful,” says Johansen. “The whole area is pristine.” And through carefully managed, sustainable practices, the team at Organic Oceans intends to keep it that way.
*The Producer/Supplier of the Year award is voted on by The Chefs’ Table Society of British Columbia, a province-wide nonprofit collaboration of culinary professionals.