Celebrity chefs and the sustainable seafood movement: Smokescreen or a dish to savour?

Polly Bowman, Bryce Donald Stewart

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


Celebrity chefs are a major part of British media culture, with several highly prominent on television and able to amass formidable book sales. Sales of endorsed products often increase subsequent to the release of these cookery books. The ethical leanings of a chef may therefore impact behavioural trends of consumers. This study examined the books of ten celebrity chefs over three time periods; 2005-07, 2009-11 and 2012, with a view to establishing the sustainability of the seafood featured within them. The Marine Conservation Society’s Fishonline website (www.fishonline.org) was used to assess the sustainability of an average gram of seafood in each book. This was combined with a grading of the introduction, recipes and alternative suggested species in each book to produce an overall “sustainability” score. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s books achieved the highest ranking across all three time frames, with an average score of 87%. However, Delia Smith scored consistently low – between 17% and 22%. Raymond Blanc showed the greatest improvement, rising from 22% to 85%, reflecting a general improvement among most chefs over time. Continued promotion of sustainable seafood by celebrity chefs could help improve the management of marine resources, but uptake of the concept is still highly variable between individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationYork
PublisherUniversity of York
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

Publication series

NameMarine Ecosystem Management Report
PublisherUniversity of York


  • sustainable consumption
  • sustainable seafood
  • ecolabelling

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