I have a love and passion for all things from the ocean.

Halibut, amberjack, tuna, lobster, mussels, clams, and salmon to name a few. This passion started many years ago during family vacations in the Northeast of England, on the beaches of Amble and Cullercoats to be exact. As a family we would spend the summer months exploring Northumberland’s magnificent coastline. Feeling the sand beneath our feet and the refreshing North Sea breeze in our hair. As a child I was drawn to the hustle and bustle, smells and noises of the local fish restaurants off the main streets of Sea Houses or Whitley Bay, always on the lookout for a big bowl of freshly steamed mussels or clams, or staring at the lobsters in their tanks, always knowing that later they would be boiled alive! I was always trying new and interesting sea creatures that would not normally be found in your local food store or local restaurant back home. 

I feel extraordinarily blessed to have had a childhood that was so entwined with seasonal produce from my father’s garden to the fabulous food my mother would prepare and cook at home or when we were traveling. The dinner table at our house was a place where life happened, and to this day I still have the pleasure of cooking for my three boys, at least five nights a week. It’s no wonder so many cultures hold food and the sharing of food in such high regard, and the experiences I’ve had at home (as well as the knowledge I’ve learnt) have helped me forge a career in the world of culinary arts.

When I became a chef at the age of sixteen and started my culinary travels around Europe, and eventually around the world, my passion grew even stronger with more exotic underwater species and combining them with local flavors from each and every country that I visited.  Now with over forty years of experience as a chef, I still eat fish or shellfish twice a week, if not more. These days I try to keep everything simple, using the freshest ingredients possible and maximizing flavor with herbs and spices, either eating the fish raw or lightly cooked. 

For our first recipe here at Forever Oceans, we are making a Thai scented “Ceviche”. People are normally afraid to cook fish, so let’s not use a direct cooking method, such as grilling or roasting. Let’s start with a recipe that turns out perfect every time. The fish cooks slightly with the combination of lime juice and mango to give a beautiful easy to make appetizer you can share with family and friends (see recipe below).

Here’s also 8 reasons why seafood not only tastes amazing, but is good for your health and wellness:

Did you know that eating seafood regularly can significantly improve overall health? Eating two servings per week — as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association and many other leading health organizations — is an easy way to make a positive commitment to your health.

1. Hug your heart! Research has shown that people who eat fatty fish, like tuna and salmon, twice a week have a lower risk of heart disease than those who eat less.

2. Not all fat is bad! Yes, some fat is good for you! Seafood is a natural source of the heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA. These types of fats help reduce triglyceride levels (a fat found in our blood stream that raises the risk of heart disease), appear to reduce inflammation in our blood vessels and may help reduce artery clogging plaque buildup.

3. It can help you manage your weight. Seafood is an excellent lean protein choice. It is a great choice for lunch or dinner, even a light snack that will not fill you up.

4. It’s good for your bones! Vitamin D works with Calcium in building strong bones and fatty fish, like Mackerel and tuna, are one of a few natural sources of Vitamin D. Adults can get up to 20% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin D in a 3oz serving.

5. It is a great substitute for chicken or beef! Fish in general is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than most types of animal protein and has a mild flavor making it a perfect, healthy substitute in many of your favorite dishes.

6. Brain power! The Omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, has been linked to cognitive development in children. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 encourages women who are pregnant to eat 8 – 12oz of fish, including light tuna, weekly to get this important fat in their diets.

7. It helps build healthy habits! Building healthy habits and teaching kids to enjoy healthy foods early in life is really important, but getting kids to try new foods can be challenging. Do as I did, get the kids in the kitchen to help make dinner, and use our educational information to make them aware of sustainability and all things good associated with eating seafood.

8. Go Greek! If you are going to follow any diet, follow the most researched diets in the world – the Mediterranean diet, which is not just a diet it’s a lifestyle! Create meals full of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and seafood. There is nothing better than eating healthy food, exercising and being with family.

Welcome to Forever Oceans – Welcome to healthy eating and enjoying life to full!

Amberjack Ceviche 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

8oz amberjack fillet, skin removed and cut into thin slices

Dressing:

1 mango, peeled and flesh cut into small dice

1 small Thai red chili, seeds removed, flesh roughly chopped

1 tablespoon local honey

1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lime

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

How to make:

Place the thin slices of amberjack onto each serving plate, approx. 4 to 5 slices each plate.

Take a small bowl and add the remaining ingredients together, whisk and spoon over the flesh of the amberjack, allow to marinate for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Recipe:

Mark Allison

Executive chef “Forever Oceans”