Spot Prawn Tempura

After getting completely trounced in the first round of last week’s Shellfish Festival competition, I’ve been thinking a lot about simplicity. One of my many mistakes during those surreal 45 minutes was going in too many directions at once instead of focusing on a single, well crafted dish. So yeah, fourteen years experience and I still have to go back and work on fundamentals! *laughs*

I’ve still got bags of Calvin’s freshly-caught Spot Prawns in my freezer and the whole family is home today for one reason or another. I think it’s time I channel my fryer days at Wasabiya and bang out some simple, perfect prawn tempura. (more…)

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Spot Prawns!

It was early on a Friday afternoon and despite the breezy grey weather I was soaked to my screaming bones with sweat and cursing Crystal’s Uncle Calvin (who got me into my current situation) under my breath. Brycen (Cal’s son) and I were hauling a very sketchy aluminum rickshaw overflowing with heavy metal crab traps up an impossibly steep gangway. It took both of us to get the beast up and over to Calvin and his new friends; a gang of grizzled old fisherman who did nothing to help us, but sure seem to have opinions on how we’re doing it wrong.

I was trying my very best to look tough in front of this motley collection of bums and pirates, despite my suspicion that there was a better way to go about this whole affair. Of course I was the only one on this particular commercial fishing dock that had no sea legs. Calvin and Brycen both grew up on fishing boats as (I suspect) Cal’s father and maybe even father’s father did. They knew all the moves, the lingo and the unspoken rules of the dock. Me, I was just an extra pair of hands. (more…)

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Miso-Roasted Oysters

Oyster MotoyakiI know it seems like I throw miso in everything – like Jamie Oliver with all that damned rosemary – but if you’re a fan of oysters stay with me. If you have friends and family that are a little oyster-phobic this is the recipe that will turn ’em around. It’s that damned good!

And that’s impressive because there aren’t many things that people eat more polarizing than oysters. Shuck a couple and half the people at your dinner party will gag while the other half dig in with wild abandon.  My wife was one of the former (an unrepentant hater of oysters and most other bivalve mollusks) up until only recently. Now she tolerates a few raw oysters now and then but only if they’re the size of a dime and the larger ones get only scornful looks unless they arrive slathered in miso mayonnaise.

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We Are the Party – Notes From the 2016 BCSGA Shellfish Gala

BannerTwo weeks ago an army of talented local chefs, sous-chefs, servers, sommeliers and a mob of hungry guests converged on the pristine Fillberg Park for a night we’re all still recovering from in one way or another. *laughs* It was time again for the BCSGA Shellfish Gala Dinner, the island’s annual wine-soaked celebration of all the good things that come from the sea! (more…)

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Miso-Marinated Scallops with Kiwi-Yuzu Salad

IMG_3224Massaging fresh Pacific Scallops with white miso and sake is a great way to add an extra savoury-sticky layer of flavour to their already dazzling natural sweetness and a quick sauté in butter takes it over the top. The accompanying salad utilizes flavours I learned back in my Wasabiya days that play well with scallops plus add a much-needed, butter-cutting citrus bite.

Everyone thinks that the scallop/kiwi pairing is weird, but not only is it legit delicious but (according to my former chef and mentor Hiro) it’s a classic way to prepare mollusks in Japan. Try a bit of the vinaigrette with a sliver of raw scallop and you’ll see. (more…)

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