There’s no question that when May rolls around, people in BC are looking forward to many things: the beginning of warm weather, longer days, and wild BC spot prawns. Each year, these delectable and sustainable crustaceans get scooped up by restaurants and the public who find many ways to prepare them. The Chefs’ Table Society of BC started the Spot Prawn Festival in Vancouver almost a decade ago, and it’s become so popular over the years that hundreds of people purchase tickets for the feature event – the spot prawn boil.
For $17.50+tax, you get a delicious plate of fresh-off-the-boat spot prawns and tasty sides that will fill you up for lunch: pickled cucumbers, zesty tomato & avocado salad, lentil salad, grits, and bread from Terra Breads. The spot prawns were sweet and plump, and I let my bread soak up all the prawn juices after separating the tails from the bodies. There was also a drink tent set up to let you sample refreshments from this year’s sponsors: Salt Spring Coffee, R & B Brewing Co., and Summerhill Pyramid Winery. Tickets for the boil were purchased in advance, with 3 designated serving times to ensure that the culinary staff wouldn’t get bombarded by hungry attendees all at once.
If you missed out on buying tickets to the spot prawn boil, you could still check out the rest of the festival. With live musical performances, and a kid’s corner, there was something for everyone. Several booths were set up that featured sustainable seafood, and there was also a cooking stage, where chefs from around the city showed off their spot prawns recipes.
The popular Go Fish! shack was open to serve people who either couldn’t get a ticket to the boil, weren’t otherwise aware of the festival, or were still hungry after their lunch feast.
Although the Spot Prawn Festival only takes place for one day in May, people will continue to flock to False Creek’s Fisherman’s Wharf on the weekends, determined to purchase these freshly-caught spot prawns before they’re all gone. If you don’t want to miss out on these live spot prawns, be sure you arrive between noon and 2pm, and look out for the Organic Ocean and other prawn boats. If you’re looking for a night out, you can bet that restaurants all over town are serving up dishes that feature these seasonal spot prawns. Bon Appétit!