“What makes a fish valuable? It’s whether or not everyone wants it. I can save the little fish that usually don’t get put on the market. I can draw out value that makes the dish worth more than the sum of its parts. And in doing so, I raise the stock of the ingredients themselves.
“If people start saying, this little fish is delicious, that little fish is worth more to everyone. That, hopefully, will reduce the overfishing of mainstream species, and reduce the wasteful disposal of the unwanted fish who get caught in the nets.”
Hamada says seeing the climate and environment change so dramatically, forced him to act. “I’ve witnessed global warming with my own eyes,” he says. “I visit the mountains [in Japan] the same time every year and I’ve noticed how the temperature has risen over time. Mushrooms and wild plants I’d been able to gather up until last year are now becoming scarce. In fact, last year I couldn’t pick a single mushroom.”
“Now is the time to think critically about this issue. Up until now, we’ve taken as much as we want of the foods we like best, and we can no longer afford to continue down that road. A sustainable food supply as our primary source of food is the only option and that’s what sparked my interest using sustainable food in Hoshinoya’s kitchen.”