New Zealand chef puts jellyfish on the menu
An environmentally minded New Zealand chef is selling plates of imported jellyfish after becoming frustrated that the seafood is being wasted in his homeland.
Mass jellyfish landings are an increasingly common occurrence in New Zealand, with scientists saying warming sea temperatures, a decline in predators and nutrientrich oceans are contributing factors.
Jacob Brown, an awardwinning chef from Wellington’s The Larder restaurant first started experimenting with jellyfish a couple of years ago, and says the seafood has ballooned in popularity as diners look for more sustainable proteins in their meals.
Brown now sells around 150 jellyfish meals a week to his customers, and would like to expand his menu to include local possums, wasps, ants and wild Canadian geese.
“Jellyfish is a real issue over here and when I started cooking with it I realised it was also a really good product,” says Brown.
Because of Ministry for Primary Industries restrictions Brown is unable to serve local jellyfish at his restaurant, and has to import it from South Korea. Brown says the MPI restrictions are “crazy” and says on some days he is barely able to swim in Wellington harbour because the ocean is clogged with jellyfish.
“Some people go ‘yuck, no way’ and those are the people I really want to target and change their perception,” Brown said.
Bon appétit … a swarm of moon jellyfish