Some days are built for festival hopping. Lovers of sustainable seafood and small batch spirits are in luck this weekend. This Saturday two festivals cater to these two culinary crushes: the Spot Prawn Festival at Granville Island and the BC Distilled festival at the CBC Vancouver studios.
Each May, seafood-lovers seek out our province’s most delectable crustacean – the spotted prawn – in restaurants or on local fishing docks. In fact, spotted prawns are so beloved here they are feted each year during the annual Spot Prawn Festival. The day-long fest happens happens at False Creek Fisherman’s Wharf near Granville Island this Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The family-friendly event is organized by the Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association and the Chefs’ Table Society of BC. and features free entertainment, activities for kids, and free cooking demonstrations from top local chefs on the culinary stage and will be MC’ed by YEW at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver Chef Ned Bell.
Festival goers can take prawns home to cook by purchasing them buy fresh from the folks who caught them or they can nab a ticket to the Prawn Boil. For $15, the Prawn Boil features sample beer, wine and coffee samples to accompany your hot-out-of-the-pot spotted prawns. Those looking to take home prawns for a little DIY cooking action can purchase a Brine and Dine Combo. The $40 ticket includes two Spot Prawn Boil single admissions plus a Chef’s Table Society insulated tote to cart home spoils of the chilly Pacific. Be a prawn star and buy tickets for either here.
If you can’t make it down Granville Island in time for the Spot Prawn Festival, you can also try spot prawns at many local restaurants such as Oru, Campagnolo, Provence and many others.
If you like your local goods in liquid format, then I suggest checking out a spirited festival: BC Distilled. Festival exhibitors are travelling from many corners of BC and even the Yukon to offer their takes on a variety of spirits (think Rosemary Olive Gin from Deep Cove or ‘Field to Flask’ Malt Whiskey from Campbell River or Grappa made from Gray Monk winery grapes in Vernon).
The festival focuses on small scale producers of spirits and takes place at CBC Vancouver from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. BC Distilled provides a wine festival-esque approach to trying out BC’s impressive variety of micro-makers of extracts, whiskey, vodka, gin, and even absinthe.
Vancouver favourites like Odd Society Spirits, Long Table Distillery and Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers will be there. Out-of-towners from Victoria Spirits, Yukon Shine, Shelter Point Distillery and Okanagan Spirits will also display their fine spirits at the fest.
Vancouver restaurants Forage, Grain Tasting Bar, Blackbird Public House & Oyster Bar, The Distillery Bar + Kitchen and Edible Canada will provide accompanying bites. BC Distilled tickets are $49.99 and can be purchased here. Partial ticket sale proceeds will go to the BC Hospitality Foundation which provides financial support for individuals in the hospitality industry who are coping the financial challenges due to illness. Happy sipping.