Unsung Heroes of the Pacific served during 10th annual Vancouver seafood festival

Blue Water Cafe's rendition of sea urchin 2014

Blue Water Cafe’s rendition of sea urchin 2014

Each February, for the last 10 years, Blue Water Cafe chef Frank Pabst expands palates while supporting sustainable seafood.

Dubbed “Unsung Heroes”, Pabst initially created the month-long event to celebrate local and unique seafoods at the same time avoiding over-fished species or species harvested in ways that can damage ocean beds.

I am the Pabst target market: concerned about the environment, slightly hesitant land lubber raised eating the usual ocean suspects: salmon, halibut, crab, and oysters. I must admit when I was invited to a preview event I was a little nervous, I’m an adventurous eater but not entirely familiar with all the weird and wonderful fruits de mer. Luckily Pabst and his friendly and accommodating staff are proud to share their passion for delicious and ocean-friendly seafood at an affordable price (Unsung Heroes dishes range from $9.50 – $12.50).

“Our objective was – and is – to utilize lesser-known ingredients while introducing guests to new experiences and flavours,” says chef Pabst.  “The popularity of the event has increased tremendously and these formerly ‘unsung’ species are now heroes in their own right – they have truly entered the ‘mainstream’ of the public’s consciousness.”  Continue reading:
Unsung Heroes of the Pacific served during 10th annual Vancouver seafood festival

November is Ocean Wise Month: Support Sustainable Seafood

Filleting a Coho salmon. Photo credit: Vancouver Aquarium

November is Ocean Wise month. A briny array Vancouver’s top seafood chefs, fishermen, fishmongers and even a B.C. oyster farmer recently gathered at ORU restaurant at The Fairmont Pacific Rim to celebrate sustainable seafood in coordination with the Vancouver Aquarium.

The event involved seafood prep demonstrations by the experts and, inevitably, eating. The Ocean Wise festivities were an enticing smorgasbord of local, sustainable seafood. Education has never been so tasty.

Rampant overfishing is the greatest threat to our oceans today. So what should we be consuming?  Which Vancouver restaurants serve sustainable seafood choices? Read on to find out. Continue reading:
November is Ocean Wise Month: Support Sustainable Seafood

Raincity Grill Celebrates 20 Years of Local, Sustainable Food

Sloping Hills Confitted Pork Belly at Raincity Grill. Photo: Dana Lynch

If you were on Denman Street or English Bay Beach today, you may have seen the yellow and purple balloons decorating the patios of Raincity Grill, one of Vancouver’s most famous and beloved restaurants. Those balloons were part of Raincity Grill’s anniversary party—the iconic restaurant turned 20 today!

Back in 1992, when Raincity Grill opened, locavore / local food sourcing wasn’t the mainstream trend it is today. As Raincity Grill’s owner, Harry Kambolis, explained to the Vancouver Sun, because he wanted to serve authentic West Coast cuisine, he and his first chef relied on fresh ingredients from the Granville Island Public Market, which in turn led to weekly menu changes (based on those fresh ingredients).  Locally-sourced food and weekly menus were a novelty in 1992, but, as we see today, Kambolis and Raincity Grill were simply ahead of the curve.

Continue reading:
Raincity Grill Celebrates 20 Years of Local, Sustainable Food

Last chance to sample Unsung Heroes menu at Blue Water Cafe

It’s the last few days of Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar’s Unsung Heroes Festival – an eco-foodie initiative by Executive Chef Frank Pabst which started eight years ago and runs February 1-29. The concept is simple: Blue Water champions the neglected underdogs of seafood in order to take the pressure off species that are over fished or fished in ways that damage ocean eco systems.

Eco-minded diners should take advantage of the Unsung Heroes menu at Yaletown’s Blue Water to determine which humble, under-appreciated species and flavours appeal to their swanky, sablefish-sated palates.

Sardines. Periwinkles. Herring. Sea Urchins. Anchovies. All of these long shots make a festival appearance.

After a little taste bud educational session, you may just want to give the unsung heroes of the sea an encore in your home kitchen. Menu details after the jump. Continue reading:
Last chance to sample Unsung Heroes menu at Blue Water Cafe

Free Ocean Wise iPhone App Helps You Support Sustainable Seafood

By now, most Vancouverites know about Ocean Wise, the non-profit organization founded by the Vancouver Aquarium to support and promote sustainable seafood. Most of Vancouver’s top seafood restaurants carry the Ocean Wise seal of approval next to their sustainable seafood menu items, and there are now Ocean Wise restaurants participating in the program across Canada.

To help you find restaurants and markets that use Ocean Wise sustainable seafood, there’s now a free Ocean Wise iPhone App that covers over 3,000 Ocean Wise restaurants, markets and supplier venues from coast to coast, as well as a comprehensive list of ocean-friendly seafood options.

Continue reading:
Free Ocean Wise iPhone App Helps You Support Sustainable Seafood

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