Apr 21

Savoring Sustainability with Chef Rob Ruiz

by Tiffany Froese

For many of us living along a coast, seafood is a staple of our diet.  Yet, our appetites have a major impact on the health of our oceans.  Chef Rob Ruiz believes we can find sustainable solutions and, in some cases, even eat our way to saving the ocean.  Read on to learn more.


Savoring Sustainability with Chef Rob Ruiz

By Paola Richard

Can we Save the Oceans by using knife skills? That’s the question that drives sushi and seafood star Chef Rob Ruiz, owner of The Land & Water, Co., the multi-awarded restaurant in Carlsbad. Rob continues to receive global recognition for his dedication to improving fishing and seafood industry practices. He is the Chef/Restaurateur Winner of 2016 at The Ocean Awards held in London by the Blue Marine Foundation and Boat International, for making the most outstanding commitment to ocean conservation and for his ongoing mission to raise awareness and consumption of environmentally friendly seafood. The San Diego Union-Tribune recently nominated him Chef of the Year 2016.

Oceanside native Chef Rob Ruiz spent a decade honing his craft in Hawaii where he worked with James Beard award winner Chef Alan Wong before earning an apprenticeship under Japanese sushi master chef Etsuji Umezu. Since returning to San Diego and opening his signature restaurant, The Land & Water, Co., in 2014 –where his menu of hyper-local, ethically raised ingredients have put him firmly on the map –he has also focused on the culinary community’s role in saving the endangered Vaquita porpoise and educating consumers.

His latest battle is the effort to eradicate the invasive species of lionfish in the Atlantic using forks and plates. By simply preparing delightful recipes to be served in restaurants around the globe, Rob Ruiz plans to turn lionfish into an International food sensation. He’s now returning from the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda, where he’s been developing the project to raise awareness about the global issue of invasive species, focusing on lionfish. Many top chefs and restaurants are beginning to serve this kind of fish, especially in seriously affected areas, such as Florida, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. Now even grocery chains, such as Whole Foods Market, are beginning to sell lionfish.

Native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans and accidentally introduced in the Atlantic in 1985, lionfish are indiscriminate and voracious predators of commercially, recreationally, and ecologically important species. They have no natural predators in the Atlantic and a single individual can reduce the fish biomass on a reef by 80% in just one month. It is armed with 18 venomous spines, but it’s flavorful and easy to prepare. Why not transform this creature into an appealing meal and help save the oceans?

Chef Rob Ruiz is part of Bella Vita Earth Day Celebration and Fundraiser at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas on April 22nd, where he will prepare a variety of sushi with vegan, gluten free, and cooked assortments.

His dedication to marine sustainability and drive for responsible culinary excellence serve to inspire others in his field and beyond. To visit his restaurant and website please click on https://www.landandwaterco.com

Take a look at Chef Rob Ruiz’s Sustainable Food History Timeline:

2009 Started engaging with NOAA and FishWatch.gov2010 San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival.

2010 San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival.

2011 Local Sushi Chef In Japan during Tahokou Quake near Fukushima nuclear plant.

2012 Invented the edible QR Codes empowering consumers with transparent traceable data scanned onto the customer’s smart phone.

2013 Sustainable Cuisine and demonstration at Aspen Food & Wine Classic – Southern Wine & Spirits Charity Event.

2013 Dedication of NOAA’s new Southwest Fisheries Science Center laboratory; Head chef at San Diego Maritime Alliance reception for 600-700 to showcase the edible species studied at the new facility.

2014 Chef/Owner opened The Land & Water Co. in Carlsbad, CA. 100% sustainable and 100% traceable restaurant.

2015 Ranked top 10 best new restaurants in San Diego.

2015 Best of Carlsbad Voted #1 Restaurant.

2016  Chef/Restaurateur Winner of The Ocean Awards 2016 in London Awarded by Blue Marine Foundation & Boat International.

2016 Ranked one of the 15 Best Romantic Restaurants in Carlsbad.

2016 Ranked #2 Where to Eat in San Diego.

2016 Best of Carlsbad Award in the Restaurant category (Carlsbad Hall of Fame – #1 Restaurant Two Years Consecutively).

2016 San Diego Magazine Best Restaurants – Critic’s Pick Best Sushi.

2016 Winner of Chef Throwdown San Diego – Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

2016 Gogobot Travelers Favorite Awards.

2016 Chef of the Year – “Uncompromising commitment to quality, sustainability, and innovation.” ~ The San Diego Union-Tribune.

  • Posted Under: Blog
  • Post created on: April 21st, 2017