B.C. Shellfish Festival: Chefs’ Dinner

Chefs Philippe Gagne, Takashi Ito, William Tse, Kunal Ghose, Jonathan Frazier, and Tracy Marks: a veritable ‘chowder’ of talent all working their hearts out at the B.C. Shellfish Festival in Comox  that took place June 6-16. Fillburg Park was the perfect venue; sun sparkling on the water and Cortes Islands’ own Marguerite Thompson’s melodious voice playing gently along the shore, beautifully set the stage for the Chefs’ Dinner.

The party started with the slurping of perfectly plump oysters courtesy of hardworking, dedicated farmers from Deep Bay Kusshi, Hollie Wood and Komo Gway Oysters from Baynes Sound. Townsite Brewing brought their refreshing beers, and Hester Creek and Lake Breeze filled sparkling glasses with their wines.


Photos by Kirsten Tyler

The first course out, from chef Philippe from Kingfisher Resort’s Breakwater restaurant, was light, refreshing and clean, tasting of the clear blue sea the oysters were harvested from and paired with the lovely Quails’ Gate Chenin Blanc. Chef Takashi of Aura in Victoria, turned ugly geoduck into three beautiful, delicate preparations and Chef William from Granville Island’s Sandbar cedar-smoked clams and served them with spiced pineapple jam. For me, the sublime spot prawn demi-cream Red Fish Blue Fish‘s chef Kunal took hours to prepare was the highlight of his butter fried halibut dish – and the highlight of the night too. The fifth and sixth courses had Courtenay’s chef Jonathan from Atlas Cafe and chef Tracy from Tria Fine Catering, pairing honey citrus sablefish with bull kelp chutney and a dessert of Denman Island Chocolate artfully transformed into a chocolate stout ganache.

With all this local talent in the house, it was no surprise that the flavours showcased brought out the best in all of our local seafood. All of these wonderful chefs, fishermen and shellfish farmers should be proud of highlighting the best of what our Island has to offer, leaving no ‘shell’ unturned.


Hollie Wood Oysters

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