Written By Guest Writer Events / Okanagan / Places Jul 5, 2013 Spotted in the Okanagan: A Prawn Extravaganza SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestKELOWNA, BCWhen you think of the Okanagan Valley, seafood isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. You probably wouldn’t guess it has been the home of a successful festival centered on an ocean delicacy for the past 3 years.– Topmost photo by Jessica Samuels Each May, Kelowna plays host to the annual Okanagan Spot Prawn Festival. Having grown in size and popularity since its inception, the yearly event culminates in an “Extravaganza” of crustaceous proportions. With Okanagan Lake as the background, Manteo Resort’s Smack Dab restaurant set the stage for this year’s Spot Prawn Extravaganza. Eleven restaurant stations paired with local wineries, each chef vying for the coveted People’s Choice Award for Best Spot Prawn dish. The prawns used for the dishes were caught off the BC Coast between Vancouver and the Queen Charlotte Islands, where they are most abundant. Typically a 6-8 week season, wild spot prawns can be harvested as far south as California and as far north as Alaska. Part of what makes BC’s spot prawn catch so popular is that it is a sustainable harvest; using traps instead of snares and only collecting the female prawns after they have ‘dropped their eggs’ and are at the end of their life cycle. This begins in May of each year and only lasts a few weeks, creating a window in which the sustainable harvest can occur – hence the term ‘Spot Prawn Season’. In the Okanagan, the annual season is celebrated with a variety of events and typically local restaurants will use the fresh catch in featured menu items. At the forefront of the Valley’s annual festival is Kelowna fishmonger and owner of Codfathers Seafood Market, Jon Crofts. He is one of the driving forces behind the Okanagan’s annual celebration of the spot prawn; out on the boats each year for the first catch of the season, ready to bring it back to the Valley.“Really we’re not that far from the coast and the food culture in the Okanagan is to use stuff that is sustainable, in season, is as local as you can possibly get it and then put an Okanagan spin on it.” In true Okanagan fashion, the Extravaganza tasked each restaurant with featuring the delicate prawn in a unique dish and then pairing it with an Okanagan Valley wine. The event’s 150 attendees savoured recipes such as spot prawn ice cream, spot prawn sautéed in Limoncello and Okanagan brut, spot prawn roll (a play on the lobster roll sandwich) and the People’s Choice winner from The Barrel Top Grill at Little Straw Vineyards: prosciutto wrapped, grilled spot prawn stuffed with ice wine infused cream cheese, Okanagan pears and apples. The surprising culinary possibilities were clearly a significant draw to the sold-out event. As an indication of the annual fest’s popularity, 200 lbs of spot prawns, roughly 2000 individual prawns, were brought in for the Manteo event alone. And once the Extravaganza wrapped, not a prawn was left. As the demand for BC spot prawns grows amongst Okanagan chefs and consumers, it proves making the four-hour drive down the Coquihalla to source this ocean delicacy is spot on.ChefsFolksOkanaganspot prawns SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Guest Writer We get many people writing guest articles for us, as well as past contributors. This is the Guest ... Read More You may also like Beer / Beer & Cider / Drink / Events March 2, 2020 Victoria Beer Week March 6 – 14 Victoria Beer Week returns March 6-14 with 19 different events held in venues around Victoria. This 7th annual festival of craft beer offers ... Read More Events / Food & Wine Pairing / Food Events / Places / Victoria February 25, 2020 Pacific Northwest Wine Dinner: Canoe Brewpub & Unsworth Vineyards Multi-award winning Unsworth Vineyards and Canoe’s Chef Kyle Dampsy joined forces on Wednesday, February 19, in Canoe’s upstairs Dining ... Read More Beer / Events / Food Events / Places / Spirits / Victoria February 25, 2020 11th Annual Island Beer and Spirits Festival The Strathcona Hotel has long brought together BC brewers and distillers in its multiple taprooms but rarely is the brewing craft celebrated so much ... Read More Beer & Cider / Events / Food Events / Places / Victoria November 17, 2019 Canoe Brewpub’s Eighth Annual Winterbrau Festival 2019 Beer brewers from across the island and the lower mainland gathered in the lofty wooden halls of Canoe Brewpub over November 9 and 10 for the eighth ... Read More Events October 30, 2019 Eat the Future Victoria’s food community came together this week at Boom + Batten restaurant for Eat the Future, a tasty event to raise money for future chefs ... Read More Drink / Events / Food / Food Events October 30, 2019 Fifth annual Stein and Dine in the Victoria Public Market It's such a festive and fun way to celebrate craft beer and our ... Read More Comments are closed.