Aki Kaltenbach
Save da Sea, Victoria

When Save da Sea founder Aki Kaltenbach transitioned to a plant-based lifestyle with her partner in 2018, she made it her mission to find the “Beyond” of seafood—both for herself and to serve to customers at her family’s Japanese restaurant in Whistler. The search turned up no viable options—so Kaltenbach decided to create her own recipe. The result: Save da Sea’s now-mainstay carrot-based smoked salmon alternative. “I always wanted to be an entrepreneur,” says Kaltenbach, “and Save da Sea sort of fell into my lap.” Originally intended as a brand that would cater exclusively to restaurants, Save da Sea pivoted to retail during the pandemic and, luckily for us, Kaltenbach hasn’t looked back. While you can still try their products at select restaurants in Vancouver, retail is now the company’s primary outlet, with availability in 200 stores nationwide.

Aki Kaltenbach. Photo by Lillie Louise Major.
Aki Kaltenbach. Photo by Lillie Louise Major.

And in March of this year, Save da Sea launched two new products: a dill and caper version of that carrot lox, and a tuna salad made from jackfruit. According to Kaltenbach, Save da Sea makes “delicious plant-based seafood products that are better for you and our planet.” Many of B.C.’s wild salmon stocks are declining to historic lows. But thanks to Save da Sea, we now have the opportunity to enjoy the same flavours we know and love without harming fish stocks—so we can, well, save the seas.

Food for Thought with Aki

Where would you love to eat once travel is back to normal?

Crossroads Kitchen in Los Angeles. Matthew Kenney is my hero.

What ingredient scares home cooks, but shouldn’t?

I have never understood why anyone would ever buy pre-made salad dressing. All you need is vinegar, oil, mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper and you have the most delicious vinaigrette.

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