BC Seafood Festival returns to the Comox Valley with a range of chefs and events to celebrate the bounty of our oceans.
By Samantha McLeod
Western Canada’s largest seafood festival is returning to the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island this June with a range of chefs who will be showcasing mouth-watering delights from the bounty of BC’s oceans.
After a pandemic induced hiatus that forced the cancellation of the event over the past two years, the returning and modified BC Seafood Festival will be held on the grounds of the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park, located in the Town of Comox.
“The seafood industry has been impacted as many have through the pandemic, and we would like to do our best to support this sector as it emerges from a difficult time,” said John Watson, a spokesperson for the event organiser.
“It will be a shuckingly good seafood celebration,” he said.
A tradeshow that is normally held alongside the festival and attracts scores of seafood buyers from all over the world, will be held at a later date, said Watson.
According to the BC Government, aquaculture sales from salmon, clams, oysters, mussels, and other species totalled $0.68 billion in 2020, while commercial fishing landed values from salmon, herring, groundfish, shellfish, and other species totalled $0.30 billion.
B.C. led the nation in sales of farmed salmon, wild salmon, crabs, wild clams (including geoducks), hake, wild sablefish, rockfish, tuna, wild sea cucumbers, sea urchins, pacific cod, and lingcod.
This year’s edition of the BC Seafood Festival will kick off with the Pacific Halibut Association Lunch supported by the North Island Chefs Association, followed by the famous Shucked! event sponsored by the BC Shellfish Growers Association and Fanny Bay Oysters.
Key events include:
• The World is Your Oyster MasterClass – Join Shucker Paddy and friends for this hands-on shuck-a-thon to learn the basics of Oysters: The Big 5 Species, understanding their merroir, and more.
• Ceviche & Sparkling MasterClass – This MasterClass will be sure to take your ceviche making skills to the next level.
• Seafood Mystery MasterClass – This Seafood Mystery MasterClass featuring a surprise BC Seafood Chef who will show guests how to roll up their sleeves and create their own delectable BC seafood dish promising much merriment, succulent tastes, and learning.
• Follow Me Cocktails MasterClass – Groups of four per table will work together to create the perfect sip.
• Happy Endings Geoduck MasterClass – Guests will learn how to prepare this delicious seafood delicacy from a top chef while understanding more about the complexities of the fishery by an active geoduck diver.
• Discover Sablefish: The “Wagyu” fish of the Ocean MasterClass – Join Chef Hiroshi as he expertly butchers a fresh, sushi-grade, whole sablefish from nose to tail and demonstrates how to prepare this unique local fish like a pro.
• Get Kelp: Sea Veggie MasterClass – Chef Jade Berg will introduce the ‘Big Two’ that are edible in BC waters: Bull Kelp & Giant Kelp.
• Wholey Halibut –The Wild Pacific Halibut MasterClass – Chefs will demonstrate how to create the most flat-out fantastic dishes all while supporting tip-to-tail meal preparation and a zero-waste kitchen.
The event will also feature an Education Zone, hosted by Ocean Wise, and entertainment by the Whiskeydicks.