On our second day at Whistler Cornucopia, we attended Seacuterie with Chef Julian Bond. He showed us how to make spot prawn bisque, Dungeness crab dip, petite cold water shrimp cocktail, albacore tuna poke, lion fish, spot prawns, blueberry gravlax, and 22-minute slow cooked salmon with macro-kelp crackers. All these dishes were paired with Cloudy Bay Wines, which sommelier Paul guided us through.

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc was a great standalone wine, it was lean and crisp with tropical fruit and lemon/lime notes, but Te Coco was so great with the food. It had a rich and viscous body, with oak notes – it was just a big bouquet of flavour for a wine. The pinot noir that followed was a good entry level wine. Flavour notes are: black cherry and red berries, along with subtle but well integrated French oak. It has red fruit on the nose, and has a beautiful garnet colour. It felt cool and smooth to drink this wine.

The spot prawn bisque was made from butter and cream, with seaweed on top

The blueberry gravlax was delicious! (It is depicted with the wines above) I learnt from this recipe is it’s good to get sockeye salmon flash frozen, since when it was frozen it retains its nutrients versus the fish you would find on ice at Safeway or Superstore.

Chef Julian mixed blueberries, salt, sugar and star anise with a drizzle of molasses. Once you pour it over the salmon, it marinates for 2 days. When it’s ready, you cut thin and dollop some grass fed yogurt ontop.

He cooked the 22-minute fish, which was just seasoned with salt and pepper. It was topped with kelp, to make macro kelp chips as the fish baked.

Another tip was he said to line a wok with aluminum, put in smoking chips, add brown sugar and rice, put a rag and salmon, and this is how you can smoke at home. The rice gets quite bitter, so the sugar is in this recipe for this reason. He created these delicious salmon chunks for us using this method.

In a shot glass, he put lettuce, cold water shrimp and topped with peanut sauce. There was no seasoning in the shrimp, but it was delicious!

The twisted poke is something I definitely want to make at home. It is made with Organic Ocean’s canned tuna and Poke sauce. Their canned tuna is mostly albacore tuna. Dress the tuna with Organic Ocean’s poke sauce and mix it. You cut up mango and avocado, mango and avocado. You serve with some tostitos and top with roasted sesame.

The next dish was his lion fish dish. I’ve never had lion fish before, so this was a real treat. His pickled onion was made with apple cider vinegar and sugar. For the fish, he put in lemon and turmeric juice, with lime zest and juice, and cilantro. He said we should be eating more of this fish, but one question was why it wasn’t readily available. It is still hand speared to save the coral, but Organic Ocean has this fish for those who want to try it!

His crab cakes were delicious, and I agree with Chef Julian that crab tastes much better than lobster. His recipe called for mayonnaise (3 spoons), Dijon mustard (a tiny bit) and Worchester sauce (half a spoon). He recommends not adding salt to the crab, and to add parsley instead of cilantro, which can overpower the dish.

For the spot prawn dish, Chef Julian went into the history of Organic Ocean. He said it was a smaller company at first, they started grassroots at Fisherman Wharf on Granville Island. Captain Steve is a spot prawn fisherman, and at first Organic Ocean was direct to public; then chefs started to purchase their seafood. Now, 90% of their seafood is being exported. They’re involved in the spot prawn festival as well!

For the recipe itself, he poured boiling water into a Pyrex full of the spot prawns, and let them sit. That’s it!

You can see the exact recipes on Chef’s Tips on Organic Ocean’s website.

Chef Julian was HILARIOUS and we had such a good session. Attending the culinary stage is one of my favourite things at Cornucopia because I always come out with a wealth of knowledge, knowing a new vendor and making friends at the table as we enjoy each sample.