And the 2019 Smart Catch Award Goes To… Serea!


And the 2019 Smart Catch Award Goes To… Serea!

Serea Becomes One of Only a Few Restaurants to Earn the Smart Catch Award

Many businesses today are taking the initiative to adopt more sustainable practices. This is especially important for the hospitality industry, which has a tremendous impact on farming, fishing, and local economies. Each time we make the decision to support an ecologically ethical business, we’re supporting the earth, as well as local farmers, fishers, and their communities. 

It isn’t always easy to determine which restaurants support sustainable practices, and there are some establishments that claim to follow sustainable guidelines but actually fall short on multiple levels. If investing in businesses with a true commitment to sustainability is a priority for you, it’s important to look for specific designations that indicate a restaurant’s values include supporting sustainable practices, the farmers and fishers that provide food to the restaurant industry, and local communities. 

Serea, an incredible restaurant with a unique, sustainable sea to table concept has made just such a commitment to supporting the environment, communities, and those who make their livelihood by supplying San Diego restaurants with incredible food. 

As an indication of the strength of their commitment, Serea has earned the designation of being an Ocean Friendly Restaurant and has been acknowledged with the prestigious Smart Catch Award

What Are Ocean Friendly Restaurants?

Serea is a certified Ocean Friendly restaurant, which means they have met, and continue to meet, the strict criteria outlined by the Surfrider Foundation. The Surfrider Foundation is a coast to coast network, fueled by the passion of hardworking volunteers, with the mission of supporting and preserving the nation’s beaches and coastal communities. They work on both national and local levels to inspire and encourage businesses and communities to adopt and support sustainable practices. 

The Surfrider Foundation recognizes restaurants that commit to sustainable practices by officially acknowledging them as part of their Ocean Friendly Restaurant program. Participants in this program must be able to demonstrate their commitment to reducing stress and pollution in oceans and lakes throughout the nation. 

Why is this commitment so important? Because, at our current rate of usage and pollution, it’s estimated that by 2050 the weight of plastic that pollutes oceans and lakes will exceed the weight of the fish that call these bodies of water home. 

Chef Jojo Ruiz - Serea Sustainable Seafood - Hotel Del Coronado

Serea’s Sustainable Practices Have Earned them Top Accolades in the Industry

As a member of the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program, Serea must meet five distinct criteria, plus at least 2 more from an optional list. To become an Ocean Friendly Restaurant, Serea has committed to:

  • Not using any expanded polystyrene foam
  • Following proper recycling practices 
  • Using only reusable dining wear on the premises of their restaurant
  • Not offering plastic bags for to go orders, and providing disposable utensils only upon request
  • Providing paper straws to patrons and for to go orders only upon request

In addition to being an Ocean Friendly Restaurant, Serea also has the prestigious designation of being recognized with the James Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch Award.

Serea and the Smart Catch Award

There are currently more than 76,000 restaurants in the state of California. Of them, fewer than twenty are recognized with the James Beard Foundations’ Smart Catch Award. This year, Chef JoJo Ruiz was awarded the prestigious award of being a Smart Catch Leader, making Serea the only restaurant on Coronado Island to claim this shining designation. 

The Smart Catch award is an incredible honor in the restaurant industry, and it’s also one that Chef Ruiz is no stranger to. In addition to receiving the honor for Serea, Chef Ruiz was also recognized a second time as a Smart Catch Leader for Lionfish in San Diego. 

For a restaurant, such as Serea, to be recognized as Smart Catch establishment by the James Beard Foundation, they must be committed to maintaining a majority of sustainable practices and undergo assessments for several years. While only a select handful of restaurants in California have been granted the Smart Catch recognition, two out of three of the restaurants that have been awarded the distinction in San Diego are under the culinary leadership of Chef Ruiz.

Serea, as a restaurant, is still young on the scene. Opening in mid-2019, Serea is a Clique Hospitality venture that finds its home in the iconic Hotel del Coronado, with Chef JoJo Ruiz at the helm. With a commitment to sustainable seafood and a unique sea to table concept, you won’t find another place like it for upscale dining in San Diego. 

Being literally just steps away from the sea, Serea offers an immersive dining experience. With a menu that features a selection of fresh oysters, sashimi, and wood grilled fish that has been sourced from California waters, along with “land” offerings that support local farmers, Serea is a restaurant that inspires your inner culinary adventurer while appealing to your conscience and supporting the local economy in San Diego. 

Serea invites you to enjoy the experience of dining in one of the few California restaurants that have been graced with the distinction of being a Smart Catch Leader. To discover how incredible fresh, sustainable seafood can be, RSVP and make a reservation today to enjoy Serea and a beautiful, sustainable meal by the sea.