spot-prawn-FESTIVAL The 2013 Spot Prawn season has arrived.  And with it comes the 7th Annual Vancouver Spot Prawn Festival to be held May 11, 2013 at Fisherman’s Wharf, on the west side of False Creek in Vancouver, British Columbia.  With easy transportation to Vancouver via ferry and air, this is a unique way to enjoy food and fun if you are staying at Prancing Horse Retreat on Vancouver Island!

Just a note for those who do not know: do not be put off by the thought of eating this “odd creature.”  In fact, British Columbia Spot Prawns are actually a species of large shrimp that are unique to the Northern Pacific area.  When cooked, these large shellfish retain a firm texture and a pleasantly sweet flavor.

Bluewater Day 6 070It may be surprising to know that until recently, this readily-available crustacean was solely exported to Japan to be enjoyed there!  It wasn’t until 2006 that they were introduced to local palates by none other than Steve Johansen (of Organic Ocean) and noted Chef Robert Clark at the very first Spot Prawn Festival here in the Cowichan Valley, heart of culinary-rich Vancouver.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Now this delicious food is enjoyed by more and more people in Canada and the United States!  Boiled, grilled, sauteed, baked, and broiled, Spot Prawns are enjoyed in an endless variety of dishes.

The Festival benefits The Chefs’ Table Society of British Columbia: a non-profit partnership between local chefs to exchange information, support and promote sustainability for the betterment of our economy, and to uphold a standard of excellence for regional cuisine.

spot prawn fishermenAnd what can you do at the Festival?  You can purchase fresh prawn right off the boats ($12 per pound) and meet the fishermen, watch (and taste) cooking demos by noted local chefs, visit the family/kids’ area with displays of fish and other sea creatures and hands-on activities, listen to music on two stages, try your luck at the Festival Prize Raffle, and get your hands on some great festival swag!

While it is free to attend, tickets are available IN ADVANCE ONLY for the Spot Prawn Boil:

Single Admission for All Ages:  $12.00  (320 remaining as of publish date)

  • Adult Ticket includes:  1 plate from the Spot Prawn Boil (with sides, sauces and Terra Breads), complimentary water, and admission to wine and beer sample tent (additional fees and proof of age may be required).
  • Child’s Ticket includes:  1 plate from the Spot Prawn Boil (with sides, sauces and Terra Breads), complimentary water, and admission to the children’s area, games and activities.

Spot Prawn Chefs2Festival Combo Tickets:  $25.00 (30 remaining as of publish date)
Includes: 1  plate from the Spot Prawn Boil (with sides, sauces and Terra Breads), complimentary water, a festival T-shirt, and a souvenir insulated shopping tote bag.

Even if you don’t make it over to Vancouver for this Festival, you can still enjoy Spot Prawns:  Chef Martin Harrison features these and other locally sourced seafood in the menu at The Masthead Restaurant.  After you have savored our local cuisine, return to our beautiful Vancouver Island Inn with our gorgeous views for a fantastic night’s rest.  Plan your visit today – we look forward to seeing you soon at Prancing Horse Retreat!

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