JBF Affiliate Making it His Mission to Protect Endangered Fishermen


Chef Rob Ruiz has been credited for single-handedly making the seafood we consume in the United States more sustainable. In his “free time” he works with leading international organizations to create sustainable initiatives — in 2013 he helped develop edible QR codes used to track where fish come from, and in 2016, he received global recognition for his dedication to improving the seafood industry at the international Ocean Awards in London.

Now in 2019, with the impending launch of his new hand roll bar concept within San Diego’s Liberty Public Market, Chef Ruiz aims to protect another endangered species, San Diego’s local commercial fishermen. And with a nod from the JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION, Rob will soon become the first chef/restaurateur in San Diego to be officially certified by the prestigious organization’s Smart Catch program for his sustainable seafood practices.

Hold Fast:

  • Hold Fast will focus on Chef Ruiz’s signature style of gourmet hand rolls, sashimi and custom small plates.
  •  A daily changing menu will feature fresh catch from the San Diego fishermen who dock within walking distance to Liberty Station.
  • Overall, guests can expect San Diego’s very best ingredients – local seafood from San Diego fishermen and organic produce from San Diego County farmers.
  • Considered to be of utmost importance to Chef Ruiz, the rice used at Hold Fast is a specialized short grain organically grown in California. In alignment with Ruiz’s ardent dedication to zero-waste, all organic materials will be composted.


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