Food Matters – Salt Spring Tours Goes Locavore!

The salt air of the Salish Sea always gives me a healthy appetite. This week on Food Matters I shared a voyage of culinary discovery, all from the deck of a Salt Spring Island-based cruiser.

Food somehow tastes better in the outdoors. Think about picnics, camping, dining al fresco, and certainly street food, as last week’s contest showed. But this week I wanted to  talk about food on board a boat. Out on the water, the sea spray in your hair, the aromas of curried spot prawns and smoked salmon bisque wafting through the air…
Spot Prawns on the Salty Cat
A couple of weeks ago I was on board the Salty Cat…her proper name is The Pride of Victoria , a 45-foot long catamaran cruiser operated by Salt Spring Tours. The other guests and me were on board for the party launching the first cruise of the year and also the first cruise for the new chef onboard, Richard Verhagen. Richard has cooked and run restaurants on Salt Spring for years, including a stint running the Raven Street Cafe on Salt Spring, where he cooked everything in and on a wood burning oven. Now he has a tiny but well-stocked galley to work out of, he calls it a closet, and a barbecue on the back deck of the Salty Cat he calls his corner office. And what a view! We started the evening with raw, freshly shucked oysters from up island, more about those in a minute, and then Richard served up the rest of the menu: Listen to Richard describe the menu.

The idea is to keep everything local. Listen to Richard’s philosophy.

Also on board for the launch with a cooler full of raw oysters was Rob Tyron of the Effingham Oyster Company. He raises oysters in the waters of Barclay Sound. Two different types that have distinctly different flavours, Pacific Rim Petites and Effingham Inlets. They really were different, and Rob says it’s a lot of fun to try as many different kinds of oysters as you can to discover new flavours: Listen to Rob’s Quote

Rob served the oysters he was shucking alongside a couple of sauces made by Richard Verhagen. You can find his recipe for the wickedly hot citrus sambal sauce here. I switched my version of the recipe a little by cooking 3 carrots in the orange juice and roasting the hot Fresno peppers I used.

I’ll post some more photos of our adventure later.

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