Unique Vancouver Seafood Fest Puts Snails, Barnacles and Jellyfish in the Spotlight: Unsung Heroes 2016

Image from bluewatercafe.net

Image from bluewatercafe.net

Have a craving for some gooseneck barnacles and sturgeon-liver mousse?

You’re in luck. These overlooked and 0ft-snubbed delicacies and others are about to grace the menu of one of Vancouver’s finest restaurants for a most unusual seafood festival.

Unsung Heroes returns to Yaletown’s Blue Water Cafe this February for its 12th annual instalment. The month-long festival puts the spotlight on local, unique seafood that diners often pass on or turn up their noses at. Menus in past years have included everything from red sea urchin trifle to stir-fried jellyfish and poached periwinkle.  Continue reading:
Unique Vancouver Seafood Fest Puts Snails, Barnacles and Jellyfish in the Spotlight: Unsung Heroes 2016

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

Blue Water Cafe Wows With Their 2013 “Unsung Heroes” Sustainable Seafood Menu

Red sea urchin mousse in its crispy shell with ponzu jelly and avocado sauce

Red sea urchin mousse in its crispy shell with ponzu jelly and avocado sauce

Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar, Yaletown’s elegant seafood destination and one of North America’s finest seafood restaurants, is wowing diners with their 2013 Unsung Heroes menu, available now through February 28. The annual Unsung Heroes festival puts the spotlight on underutilized sustainable seafood such as mackerel, herring, jellyfish, red sea urchin – instead of the usual arctic char, sablefish, tuna etc.

Blue Water’s goal? To make diners aware of tasty species we don’t often order. Under the expert care of Chef Frank Pabst, who’s worked at Michelin-starred restaurants throughout Germany and France, oft-overlooked B.C. fish truly shine.

I took my mackerel-loving Norwegian husband along to try the Unsung Heroes sharing plates. Obviously, he was pre-inclined to love the menu. And – HOLY MACKEREL – did he ever. As for me, it was quite possibly the best meal (and certainly one of the most surprising meals) I’ve had in Vancouver to date. I’ll happily sing for yesterday’s supper.

The sharing plates range from $9.50 to $12.50. Delicate white anchovies enhanced roasted red pepper bruschetta with mozzarella. Adventurously, Blue Water paired the bruschetta with Alvear Amontillado sherry – a spot-on choice. I was surprised to get hooked on salty herring roe taramosalata with grilled flatbread paired with Russian Valley brut. Beware Caspian caviar and French bubbly – this is the local, authentic deal.  (Ample food porn after the jump.) Continue reading:
Blue Water Cafe Wows With Their 2013 “Unsung Heroes” Sustainable Seafood Menu

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