Today I was invited down to “Pacific Yacht” to help kick off the launch of BC’s annual Seafood Festival. “Pacific Yacht” is a charter company that allows you to rent and host events and receptions on one of their lovely Yachts. For many, maybe this may be the only chance to get to board such a luxurious sea vessel. They are located on the waterfront, directly in front of the Westin Bayshore Hotel, downtown Vancouver.
This year, the 12th Annual BC Seafood Festival 2018 is being held between June 8th -17th in the Comox Valley. And a handful of media and celebrity chefs, who were participating in the festival, were invited onboard to mix and mingle; surrounded by the bounty of the sea we sat in.
The yacht has three levels, you enter at the first. It is decorated like a parlour with chemise couches, perfectly fluffed up throw pillows; and ritzy decor accents like orchids, acrylic chairs, and faux fur throws. Upon entry, a glass of “Forty Knots” sparking awaits you with a effervescent welcome. From here you are free to explore the vessel and partake in any of the cooking demonstrations or canapés being served.
On the second floor there was a wine tasting table. A collection of whites and reds, carefully curated to pair well with the delicious seafood tastings from Chef Mardy Ra of “Pacific Yacht Charters”.
A Chef from H2 Rotisserie & Bar at The Westin Bayshore was preparing a seafood paella cooking demonstration with a gratuitous amounts of squid, scallops, prawns, clams and chorizo, in a white wine sauce.
On the sky deck (the 3rd and highest floor) “Fanny Bay Oyster Bar” was hosting a demonstration on how to shuck and chuck fresh oysters. First you open the shell, next you slice oyster from said shell, then after a quick swallow, you discard the now empty shells over the side of the yacht with a “chuck”.
All the while, a pletora of food was rotated across levels. Small bites so beautiful and so tasty that you couldn’t believe that they were prepared on board this ship
“Smoked salmon on a black rice pancake with a peppered cream”. It reminded me of a upscale bagel and lox; with luscious fresh fish, a chewy base to house it on, and a cooling cream to help bring the two together.
The “Charred octopus on sous vide tartare” was easy to eat with the use of porcelain spoons in its presentation, and given how tender the octopus slice was.
The “Stuffed shiitake mushroom with cashew cream cheese and candied cashew topping” was the only vegetarian option. Super tasty with some crunch thanks to the well toasted cashew. Although I was surprised that they had vegan friendly offerings, considering that this was a festival created to celebrate the fishing/harvesting, preparation, and eating of sealife.
The “fresh crab wonton cup with a honey caramel miso” was like a deconstructed and elevated crab cake. Creamy shredded crab, served in a vessel that gave it some contrast and crunch.
The “Albacore tuna with cucumber, olive oil, and ground pepper” was like eating sashimi, given the creative presentation, that doubled as an easy eating apparatus. Although flavour wise it was unexpectedly more rich and earthy thanks to the fragrant olive oil. Where as you are expecting light flavours and the true taste of the fish to lead the way.
If this was just a smidgen of what one can expect during the seafood festival weekend, I can only imagine the festivities on the actual days. Once again for its 12th year, the festival will be held in the Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, running from June 8 to 17th, 2018. Thanks to the prestige of those participating, #BCSeafoodFest has been established as the ‘must attend’, largest seafood festival in western Canada!
If you aren’t able to dedicated the whole week to seafood, then consider just attending their “Signature Weekend”. It will feature day long events on June 16 and 17, 2018; including the “biggest line-up of renowned guest Chefs and Chef Demonstrations, new and enhanced competitions, incredible seafood & beverage tasting stations, live entertainment and interactive sea-life touch tanks”. Basically, a bevy of sea related activities for families and friends alike, hosted at the Filberg Heritage Lodge & Park in Comox, BC.
And if you can only do either the 16th or the 17th, you can make your decision by either choosing to attend the “Baked n’ Boiled Kitchen Party” on June 16, or the “Bounty! A Brunch Seafood Cookout” on June 17.
For more information on them as well as how you can purchase tickets for everything else, visit the “BC Seafood Festival” website below. https://bcseafoodfestival.com/. New event details will be announced here weekly.
PACIFIC YACHT CHARTERS
1601 Bayshore Drive, Suite 35, Vancouver BC, V6G 2V4