Aquaculture for all

Aquaculture publication wins cookbook award

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A farmed aquatic species publication has been named best free culinary book in the world at the 29th Gourmand World Cookbook Awards ceremony in Saudi Arabia.

A woman working in seabass farming on the island of Kefalonia, Greece

The award helps to enhance the social acceptability of aquaculture and reinforces the role of the sector in the production of healthy and sustainable food © FAO-GFCM

The free publication, entitled "Farmed aquatic food for all tastes", which was recently released by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), presents a journey through the Mediterranean and Black Sea aquaculture sector, highlighting its benefits and debunking myths.

Within its pages the region’s gastronomic traditions are showcased, offering details on how to enhance the culinary value of the region’s farmed species. The free publication presents twelve species chosen for their importance and potential in the region and emphasises that farmed aquatic foods can be tasty, healthy and sustainable. Each chapter pairs the story of a successful pioneering producer making waves in the region with an enticing recipe prepared by chefs from Institut Lyfe, in Lyon, France.

Through a combination of text, pictures and recipes, the publication offers a unique guide to the traditions and flavours of the region and features traditional recipes, as well as tips from chefs and ingredient pairings that can be used at home to create new recipes.

Cover of the winning publication, "Farmed aquatic food for all tastes"

Agnès Giboreau, director of the Institut Lyfe Research and Innovation Centre, stated in a press release: “Working with the GFCM has been a wonderful journey leading to the publication of an outstanding book promoting tasty, healthy and sustainable recipes. It was great to combine our chefs' expertise with that of aquaculture producers from the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and to give young talents the opportunity to express their culinary creativity.”

Houssam Hamza, GFCM aquaculture officer, added: “Aquatic foods are a healthy source of protein and their production is a pillar of food security, employment and economic development. With this publication, the GFCM aims to highlight how aquaculture strengthens the region’s culinary heritage, inviting consumers to learn more about farmed species and their gastronomic potential. In this way, the social acceptability of aquaculture is enhanced, a key element to achieving the GFCM strategic objectives and contribute to FAO’s Blue Transformation vision.”

Sector recognition

Since 1995 the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards have been honouring the best gastronomy books, as well as food television productions. Winners are selected in the first place at a country level and then by an international jury that determines the Best in the World winners. Publications from about 70 countries as well as from international publishers and organisations were displayed this year and select nominees in about 150 categories had the opportunity to present their work on stage. The event culminated with an award ceremony in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which honoured the best works in each category.

This recognition of the GFCM publication by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards also calls attention to the 35,000 farms engaged in aquatic food farming operations and the 500,000 people employed in the sector, either directly or indirectly. Aquaculture plays an important role in offering a source of employment and economic growth, allowing to increase aquatic food production and meet the growing demand for quality food and it is therefore crucial to continue working to enhance the sector while ensuring its social, environmental and economic sustainability.

Download the free culinary book from the FAO website.

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