Located in the British Columbia’s Comox Valley, the 10th Annual BC Shellfish and Seafood Festival offered 10 days of culinary events, seafood producer tours, galas, seminars, wine dinners, and chef demonstrations. The festival, held June 9 through 19 during BC Seafood month, is the largest of its kind on Canada’s west coast.
An opening reception and dinner highlighting fresh Atlantic lobster kicked off the festival at the Old House Hotel and Spa on June 9. Throughout the festival, guests had opportunities to participate in salmon, oyster, scallop, and geoduck farm tours and learn about aquaculture practices and sustainable farming.
On Sunday, June 12, 40 Knots Vineyard Terrace held a chef’s shellfish showdown gala of eight courses from chefs Jade Berg, Bill Jones, David Lang, and Dave Stewart.
On Friday, June 17, the BC Shellfish Grower’s Association hosted a gala dinner at the historic Fillberg Gardens. The evening began with a raw oyster bar reception where farmers from Little Wing, Stellar Bay, and Fanny Bay shucked and served a variety of oysters. Specialty cocktails were also served.
Chef Jeff Keenliside from the Oak Bay Marine Group in Victoria prepared an uni appetizer; Chef Peter Zambris from Zambris Victoria prepared octopus with clams, squid, and tofu; Chef Matt Macdonald from Berwick by the Sea in Campbell River prepared albacore tuna with preserved lime; Chef Garrett Schack from Vista 18 in Victoria prepared seared scallops with red pepper and basil; Chef John McManus from the Vancouver Fish Company in Vancouver prepared tempura spot prawns; and Chef Ian Riddick from Long Beach Lodge Resort in Tofino prepared smocked oysters and corn panna cotta.
On Saturday, June 19, the Comox by the Sea celebration was held at Fillberg Heritage Lodge and Park. The event included cooking demonstrations by Chef Nathan Fang, Tojo Hedekazu, and Quang Dang; a chowder challenge; an oyster-shucking competition; tasting stations; live entertainment; and an oceanside craft beer and wine garden.
The Festival is supported by numerous BC seafood and aquaculture industry associations, producers, and ministries, in partnership with the Comox Valley Economic Development and Tourism office.