Sunday, May 9, 2010

4th Annual Spot Prawn Festival, Vancouver BC

Spot Prawn FEVER!!

4th Annual Spot Prawn Festival kicked off yesterday during a gorgeous afternoon at Vancouver's False Creek Fishermen's Wharf.

Spot prawns are the sweetest prawn you'll ever eat, sustainably harvested from local British Columbia waters, available for only a short 6-8 week season every year.

I was introduced to these prized local delicacies during my visit last year and loved them so much
I ate them at least a dozen times! This year, I made sure to time my visit to coincide with the lively season opener.

We arrived 15 minutes before the event began and quickly got in line for the spot prawn tastings:

$10 per plate for 4 spot prawns with 'accompaniments' and a piece of bread:

The food was dished out rather efficiently via assembly line, expertly manned by students from the
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. The spot prawns were prepared very simply this year to showcase their natural sweetness (in prior years, local restaurants set up individual tasting stations which offered more elaborate spot prawn dishes).

Spot prawns simply boiled in saltwater:

Chilled spot prawns, poached in a
court boullion:

3 saucy accompaniments, nam jim Thai sauce, cocktail sauce, and mango salsa:

And delicious pizza bianca bread from
Terra Breads:

YUM! And don't forget to suck the heads!

Afterwards we sampled wines from the Okanagan's
Prospect Winery:

Microbrew tastings from
Granville Island Brewing:

Live entertainment from local blues-rock band,
Terminal Station:

A loud horn announced the much anticipated arrival of the first catch of the season:

Our favorite spot prawn fishermen, Steve Johansen and Frank Keitsch from
Organic Ocean:

For more interesting facts about spot prawns, check out
my post from last season which includes an interview with Steve and Frank and features a 6 course spot prawn tasting menu I had at C Restaurant.

You can purchase live spot prawns from
Organic Ocean at False Creek Fishermen's Wharf after 1pm daily for $12/lb for the duration of spot prawn season.

Every Wednesday during the month of May, the
Dirty Apron Cooking School is offering spot prawn classes featuring Chef Nico Schuermans of Chambar/Cafe Medina. Dishes will include a spot prawn ceviche, spot prawn bisque and spiced butter poached spot prawns.
$145 per person

Dozens of local restaurants will be featuring spot prawns on their menus throughout the season including:

BC Spot Prawn Boil
Every Saturday this month starting May 8th
Early seating: 6 - 8pm
Late seating: 8:30 -10:30pm
$65 per person

Menu will feature
8 Thai-influenced spot prawn dishes throughout the season.

5 course spot prawn tasting menu for one week only! Now thru Sat May 15th.
For the remainder of spot prawn season, a tasting menu may be available on special request (ask when booking your reservation).

Spot prawns featured on the menu all year round.

Spot prawn daily specials throughout the season.

Chef's menu featuring spot prawns

Bouillabaisse Provencal featuring BC spot prawns



KennyT said...

Spot prawns are insane! What an incredible celebration for spot prawn harvests!

Tangled Noodle said...

One of these days, I'll have to plan a trip to Vancouver to coincide with this delicious season! Given the very short time frame that they're available, it's amazing that you can buy spot prawns for only $12/lb - that's the same price here for regular old farmed shrimp. I want some!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Oh I do hope these will still be available when I visit. What a great visit you're having.

Jenn said...

I want some prawns!!!!!!! All the shrimpy goodness. Yum!!

Anonymous said...

How fun! I wish I could taste those spot prawns! Maybe someday!

Heavenly Housewife said...

What a fun event. Looks like a nice day out there. I wonder how many prawns got eaten during the festival. Somewhere there is a bucket with a lot of prawn heads in it LOL.
Glad you are having fun daaaaaahling.
*kisses* HH

Juliana said...

What a great event...loved the pictures...I don't think I ever tried this kind of prawns :-(

Anonymous said...

It was a bust of an event if you ask me. I was expecting quality from the chefs be we got 4 boiled prawns for $10. I picked up a pound of them at T&T for $10 instead.

mira said...

I wish there's something like this here.. :( music n food.. hurm.. nice nice.. i wanttt! :( huhu..

Daily Spud said...

I've never had spot prawns but boy do I want some after reading this! I might just have to come over there and get me some :)

foodhoe said...

wow, I need to mark this down on my calendar... looks fantastic, I love Vancouver and a visit is long overdue!

Justin said...

looks like fun... maybe without the huge line though

Carolyn Jung said...

What a delicious time! And Terra Breads is one of my fondest memories of visiting Vancouver. I loved taking the little water boat to Granville Island to buy their incredible focaccia studded with grapes.