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Kensington Market’s Fresco’s fish and chips get Ocean Wise seal of approval

A little over a year ago, Michael Fresco took over the Kensington Market fish and chip joint Something’s Fishy. He jazzed up and expanded the menu to include four styles of poutine and crab cakes, perfected the fries (going through about 300 pounds of spuds in his quest) and developed a unique crispy crust courtesy of crushed Miss Vickie’s sea salt and malt vinegar chips. Most impressive of all, however: Fresco’s managed to become the only fish and chips joint in the city to earn a splashy blue Ocean Wise logo for its storefront.

Ocean Wise is in the business of encouraging restaurants and consumers to move from buying the cheapest option to choosing a sustainable one. And the best way to do this, Fresco tells us, is to let restaurateurs take the time they need to transition from a conventional menu to 100 per cent Ocean Wise. “I’m starting with my halibut and salmon,” he says. “Haddock and cod will take a little longer to source and so will the crab and shrimp.” But Ocean Wise keeps tabs on progress and Fresco is obliged to replace one conventional fish with a sustainable substitute every three to six months.

As well as netting the much-coveted Ocean Wise cred, Fresco has other eco tricks up his sleeve—his used oil is picked up by a bio-fuel company, and all containers and utensils are biodegradable.

Fresco’s Fish and Chips, 213 Augusta Ave., 416-546-4557.