(Editor’s note: A joint post by Joyce and Frank. Enjoy!)
With the Olympics backdrop, many events are held in Vancouver to take advantage of that. We had the pleasure to go to an event that showcased the food and wines from Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast. The event was by invitations only. Having the privilege to receive the invitations (as media) was a compliment to the website as well as to anyone who follows us. A few other fellow food bloggers were there too.
The event itself was held at Robson Square. (Joyce: We got to check out the digital gateway at BC Showcase which is currently not accessible to the general public. That was fun!) The Le-La-La Dancers opened for the event. Also mayors and various regional destination marketing organizations were there to promote their municipalities. Food wise, it featured an impressive spread of local shellfish and wines. The Best part? Bob Blumer was there! We both had photos taken with him. How neat! Bob is apparently a big lover of the Vancouver Island – so much that he is willing to scatter his ashes over the island. He introduced a number of chefs from the island and held cooking demonstrations alongside them. Featured shellfish were clams, oysters, scallops, and geoduck. Bob said he never tried geoduck before and tried a piece of geoduck sashimi! Free samples were passed around – oysters with hollandaise sauce, seared scallops on rice cake, clams cooked in sake, as well as geoduck sashimi in a spicy Asian dressing.
Joyce: Geoduck was the highlight of the event. Never tried geoduck before? It’s like a giant clam, but the meat is similar to conch meat but softer in texture. The meat was sweet and the dressing offered a complex flavour. I will admit that I had picked up a second serving, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.
We also chatted with the people from BC Shellfish Growers Association – a trade association that promotes BC shellfish. Throughout the night, we tasted the many varieties of freshly shucked BC oysters and marinated mussels.
Frank: I liked the mussels even better than the oysters… they were marinated in vinegar, oil, shallot, and garlic.
Joyce: I tried all 3 types of oysters there, including Evening Cove and Kusshi. I think I prefer the melon flavour of Kusshi over the light, cucumber taste of Evening Cove.
Beyond food, it was a great opportunity to chat with the different mayors and tourism industry professionals. Simply learning how tourism is continuing to grow as a part of the BC economy is fascinating. It was amazing to see the variety of local shellfish – something that we really need to cherish and promote.