Aramark Collegiate Hospitality and Audubon Nature Institute Announce Culinary Partnership for Sustainable Seafood

Nov 1, 2023 12:40 PM ET
person serves fish tacos

PHILADELPHIA, November 1, 2023 /3BL/ - Aramark Collegiate Hospitality is proud to announce a new culinary partnership with Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) sustainable seafood program.

In early 2023, members of Aramark’s Collegiate Hospitality South Region and New Orleans-based Audubon Nature Institute began a culinary partnership pilot program with a goal of understanding sustainable sourcing practices from the Gulf of Mexico. The partnership aims to educate chefs on sustainable seafood and promote the use of sustainably caught species from the Gulf in their culinary creations.

The program targets these important areas for participating chefs:  

  • Understanding Sustainability: Chefs will understand what it means for seafood to be labeled “sustainable” and what efforts the seafood industry makes to maintain healthy fisheries.
  • Identifying Sustainable Species: Chefs will understand what species to look for and how to identify sustainably caught Gulf species and how to source more sustainably in their procurement practices.
  • Flavor Profiles and Preparation: Chefs will learn flavor profiles and how to breakdown, prepare, plate, and menu different sustainable Gulf species including underutilized species.
  • Recipe Development: Chefs will be able to develop regionally and culturally appropriate recipes, incorporating Gulf seafood and unique flavors from their communities.

Aramark chefs visited the docks in South Louisiana where fishing vessels arrive with their catch, as part of their training with Audubon G.U.L.F., who works directly with the fishing industry. Chefs visited Jensen Tuna’s dock in Dulac, Louisiana, and Anna Marie Shrimp in Montegut, Louisiana. Audubon G.U.L.F. will host another session with the Aramark chefs where they will use Gulf fish in a variety of ways for recipe development for catering menus.

“Seafood is a huge part of the culinary landscape and when you look around you begin to realize, as a Chef, just how much of an impact we have on that landscape, on our carbon footprint. Once you dive in, you quickly see the ripple effect of the impact we can make,” said Regional Culinary Director Chef Ben Hernandez. “This partnership with Audubon Nature Institute has opened up doors of education, knowledge, and empowerment to do what’s right for the ecosystem directly around us. Working in a Collegiate Hospitality environment, we have the opportunity to bring this full circle and share this knowledge directly with our students who will soon be the next generation of consumers”.

Additionally, Collegiate Hospitality launched a pilot Limited Time Offer (LTO) event on October 26, 2023, at select colleges and universities in the southeast United States. The dining programs will be sourcing directly from local vendors utilizing white shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico to educate clients and students about the sustainability partnership with Audubon Nature Institute.

Through this partnership, Aramark can support sustainable seafood initiatives in the Gulf of Mexico.  Audubon Nature Institute’s G.U.L.F. program assists the seafood industry with third-party certification and leads Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) in the region to ensure Gulf of Mexico seafood meets the highest market standards of sustainability. Taught by chefs for chefs, Aramark’s culinary team will leave the program with a comprehensive knowledge of how to sustainably source and deliciously prepare wild-caught Gulf of Mexico seafood.

“This partnership is key for chefs to see first-hand the importance of sustainable seafood practices from the dock to the table,” said John Fallon, Director of Sustainability and Coastal Conservation for the Audubon Nature Institute. “The seafood industry generates millions of dollars for Gulf Coast states and is a vital part of our economy and culture. Teaching chefs how to source sustainable seafood helps them deliver the best product to guests and protects the seafood industry for future generations.”

Chefs who complete the program will receive an Audubon G.U.L.F. certificate, which will be a valuable credential for their professional development. Additionally, this program will support research and initiatives related to the seafood industry and educate chefs using science-based facts as the foundation for sound sustainable culinary practices.

Audubon Nature Institute is a New Orleans-based non-profit that operates a family of conservation programs, parks, and attractions including Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium and Audubon Insectarium. Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) program was founded in 2012 from the need for a homegrown champion who understands and can advocate on behalf of Gulf fisheries and industry. For more information, please visit

For more information about this partnership or to learn more about Aramark’s responsible sourcing program, please visit