Chef Moonen's blend of eco-friendly seafood cuisine

Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:13pm EDT
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Rick Moonen's concern about over fishing nearly matches his reputation for innovative seafood dishes.

The native New Yorker moved to Las Vegas more than four years ago to open RM Seafood at the Mandalay Bay casino. The restaurant's menu and operations adhere to his eco-friendly approach aimed at supporting sustainable fishing.

The 53-year-old chef spoke to Reuters about his early introduction to cooking and what consumers can do to protect fish stocks.

Q: What were your childhood memories about cooking?

A: "I was one of seven children. I'm hyperactive. I was a pain to everybody. It was really unusual for me to have my attention focused. If not, I would probably be disassembling the phonograph machine or playing with the screwdriver."

Q: Why are you so passionate about sustainable fishing?

A: "We need to learn to have a keener sense of how to live in symbiosis with our environment. We have been living this linear mentality of life that we just take, take, take, and we dump what we don't want. Why do people think it's okay to (take) something out of the ecosystem? It's not okay."

Q: How can a consumer support sustainable seafood?   Continued...

<p>Chef Rick Moonen prepares a meal in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/Terrance McCarthy of TMC Photography/Handout</p>