Spot On for Spot Prawns

It’s May on the west coast, and that means spot prawns are in season. Held up as an icon of sustainability, the sweet crustacean, and the largest prawn fished on the coast, is a chef and home cook’s darling, a cause celebre of the sea.
Last Sunday, Vancouver Island saw spots in Cowichan Bay for the annual spot prawn festival.
Home to many fisherman, farmers, artists and artisan food producers, and North America’s first Cittaslow community, the historic village was a fitting venue.
While local fishers brought their daily catch to market, chefs set up stands outside of their restaurants and cooked the critters.

A luscious spot prawn quiche was one of the dishes from True Grain Bread.

Hilary Abbott of Hilary’s Cheese and his chef/apprentice cheesemaker were the tag team behind skewered prawns, grilled and served on a grilled tortilla, served with mango salsa.

Robert Clark formerly of Vancouver’s C Restaurant made a guest appearance, and wowed the crowd with a creamy pea and mint soup crowned with a cooked prawn.

Chef Bill Jones officiated at the chef’s demo station, introducing and assisting not only Clark, but chefs from the surrounding area.
J. J. Skidmore of the (now defunct) Terrain Regional Kitchen served up prawn gyozas and gin sauteed prawns over organic quinoa.

People came from far and wide, music played, a little Miss Spot Prawn was crowned and wacky hats were sold.

Live spot prawns were available at $8.50 a pound. Some folks bought 15 pounds at a time, others only a couple. We purchased five and set off home for our own festival. Everyone had a delectably good time.

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