Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Stars Tell Nobu to End Its Line in Bluefin Tuna

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Stars Tell Nobu to End Its Line in Bluefin Tuna

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Kirby

A BATTLE over fish has broken out in London. As other Michelin-starred chefs reject endangered species, celebrity favourite Nobu has been attacked by many of its customers for continuing to sell bluefin tuna.

Model Elle Macpherson, actors Sienna Miller and Stephen Fry and musician Sting are among more than 30 diners who have signed a letter calling on the restaurant to stop selling bluefin tuna so they can "dine with a clear conscience".

An Evening Standard survey of top venues in the capital has found most happy to confirm they would not serve endangered fish. Leading chefs also called on consumers to support sustainable alternatives.

Last week it emerged that the two Michelin-starred Nobu restaurant in Mayfair responded to pressure from a new film by advising customers in a footnote on the menu to avoid ordering bluefin, but they continued to serve the fish. Nobu's restaurants elsewhere in the world also continue to sell bluefin, without the footnote.

Nobu remains defiant, despite mounting pressure from Greenpeace, stressing it took the issue of bluefin tuna "very seriously" but would continue to sell it because of "enormous demand".

The End of The Line, a documentary about overfishing inspired by a book by journalist Charles Clover, has its premiere is on Monday. The protest letter was started by Kate Goldsmith, the Rothschild heiress, after she watched a preview.

Bluefin tuna is celebrated by sushi chefs and fetches astronomically high prices in Japanese markets, but breeding stocks are at an all-time low.

Many chefs are also privately critical of Nobu's policy. "It is a mixed message to say the least -- why buy it in the first place?" said one. Among restaurants and chefs who told the Standard they would not serve bluefin tuna are Gor-doRamsay's group, including Angela Hartnett at Murano and Jason Atherton at Maze; L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Le Gavroche, Giorgio Locatelli's Locanda Locatelli, Hakkasan and Umu.

Achille Checuz, general manager of L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, said: "Why should we import bluefin when we can buy wonderful sustainable fish from inshore boats at Looe in Cornwall? …

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