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The HSUS Celebrates the 30 James Beard Nominees Who Have Joined the Protect Seals Campaign

WASHINGTON—The Humane Society of the United States congratulates 30 chef-supporters of the Protect Seals campaign who are nominees for James Beard Foundation Awards 2011. The net impact these chefs are having for seals is impressive. They have established seal friendly seafood buying policies in more than 130 of the country’s most celebrated restaurants. 

Chefs who join The HSUS Protect Seals campaign pledge not to purchase some or all Canadian seafood until Canada’s commercial seal slaughter ends.  By shifting seafood purchasing policies, restaurants are giving Canada’s fishing industry a clear message – the small amount of income that fishermen get from killing seals is more than offset by market losses for their main source of earnings.

“We are delighted – but not surprised – that so many of this year’s James Beard Foundation Award nominees are participants in the Protect Seals campaign,” said HSUS Senior Vice President of Wildlife, John Grandy, Ph.D. “I celebrate both their culinary genius and their compassion and thank them for playing an important part in the HSUS campaign to bring Canada’s cruel and needless seal hunt to an end.” 

In addition those nominated for awards this year, a number of other notable chefs participating in this year’s James Beard Foundation Awards celebration are stalwart Protect Seals Campaign participants. Susan Feninger (Border Grill and STREET) is a long-standing Protect Seals participant and is this year’s Gala Co-Chair. Food for the event is being prepared by celebrated Protect Seals chefs including Mario Pagan, Ken Oringer, Luciano Pellegrini and Michael Psilakis.

More than 5,500 restaurants, grocery stores, and hotels in the United States are pledging their support to help end the commercial seal hunt in Canada. Other notable chefs who have joined the campaign include Cat Cora, Mario Batali, Michelle Bernstein, Terrance Brennan, Michele Mazza, Marc Murphy, Roland Passot, Nora Pouillon, Douglas Rodriguez, Michael Romano, Kerry Simon and Joachim Splichal.

Polling in 2010 by research firm Ipsos Reid shows that 50 percent of Newfoundland sealers holding an opinion support a federal industry buyout – a plan in which sealers would be compensated for their licenses, and funds invested in economic alternatives in the communities involved.

Nominees for James Beard Awards who are Part of the Protect Seals Campaign

Outstanding Restaurant Nominees
Boulevard (San Francisco, Calif.), Chef Nancy Oakes, Finalist (On-Going Contender)
Café Juanita (Kirkland, Wash.), Chef Holly Smith
Mélisse (Santa Monica, Calif.), Chef Josiah Citrin

Outstanding Chef Nominees
Lucques (Los Angeles, Calif.), Suzanne Goin, Finalist (On-Going Contender)
Café Juanita (Kirkland, Wash.), Holly Smith

Outstanding Restaurateur Nominees
Legal Sea Foods (Boston, Mass.), Roger Berkowitz

Best New Restaurant Nominees
Prospect (San Francisco, Calif.) Nancy Oakes
Estadio (Washington, D.C.), Haidar Karoum

Rising Star Chef of the Year Nominees
Ubuntu (Napa, Calif.), Aaron London, Finalist (On-Going Contender)
BLT Steak at the Betsy Hotel (Miami Beach, Fla.), Sam Gorenstein
Castagna (Portland, Ore.), Matt Lightner
Bibiana (Washington, DC), Nicholas Stefanelli 

Best Chef: Great Lakes Nominees
Les Nomades (Chicago, Ill.), Chris Nugent
Sprout (Chicago, Ill.), Dale Levitski

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic Nominees
Restaurant Eve (Alexandria, Va.), Cathal Armstrong, Finalist (On-Going Contender)
2941 Restaurant (Falls Church, Va.), Bertrand Chemel
Rasika (Washington, DC..), Vikram Sunderam
The Oval Room (Washington, D.C.), Tony Conte

Best Chef: New York City Nominees
Del Posto (New York, N.Y.), Mark Ladner
Park Avenue (New York, N.Y.), Craig Koketsu

Best Chef: Northeast Nominees
The North Fork Table & Inn (Southold, N.Y.), Gerry Hayden, Finalist (On-Going Contender)

Best Chef: Pacific Nominees
COI (San Francisco, Calif.), Daniel Patterson, Finalist (On-Going Contender)
Mélisse (Santa Monica, Calif.), Josiah Citrin
Wilshire (Santa Monica, Calif.), Andrew Kirschner
Rivera (Los Angeles, Calif.), John Rivera Sedlar

Best Chef: South Nominees
Palme d’Or at the Biltmore (Coral Gables, Fla.), Philippe Ruiz

Best Chef: Southeast Nominees
Restaurant Eugene (Atlanta, Ga.), Linton Hopkins,  Finalist (On-Going Contender)
Cakes & Ale (Decatur, Ga.), Billy Allin
Best Chef: Southwest Nominees
Rioja (Denver, Colo.), Jennifer Jasinski

Outstanding Service Nominees
Les Nomades (Chicago, Ill.)
Marcel’s (Washington, D.C.)
Restaurant Eve (Alexandria, Va.)

Outstanding Wine Service Nominees
Patina (Los Angeles, Calif.) The Biltmore (Coral Gables, Fla.)

In addition to the chefs listed above, pastry chefs from three restaurants participating in the Protect Seals campaign have been nominated for the James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef awards.  They are Dahlia Narvaez from Osteria Mozza (Los Angeles, Calif.), Cynthia Wong from Cakes & Ale (Decatur, Ga.) and Huw Griffiths from the Tabard Inn (Washington, D.C.).


  • Canada's commercial seal kill is the largest slaughter of marine mammals on Earth, with more than 1 million seals killed in the past five years alone.
  • 97 percent of the seals killed are defenseless pups less than 3 months old.
  • The seals are killed primarily for their fur, which is exported for use in international fashion markets.
  • Veterinary experts have concluded Canada's commercial seal hunt is inherently inhumane given the extreme environmental conditions in which the sealers operate and the speed at which the killing must be conducted.


Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching “HumaneTV” in the App Store.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org 


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