Events got off to a briny start with a good hour of oyster shucking by Slow Foodies Kyle Hunker and Cory Pelan. No oyster lingered on the plate for more than a sea-second before being quaffed with or without the accompanying Gravenstein apple mignonette.
After this, we settled in for a preview of the pleasures to come by chef Oliver Kienast, who had organized a meal ample in local, seasonal, sustainable and Ark of Taste foods. First up were darling little fish-balls made from salt cured lingcod and served with a salad that included miner’s lettuce and other seasonal greens. Then there was halibut, garnished with crab and rhubarb and accompanied by an emmer and wild rice risotto-ish dish and oleracea (brassica) shoots. After a pause, a platter of Fry’s Red Fife wheat bread arrived with a dish of butter, swiftly followed by clams with Whole Beast chorizo and cranberry beans, fermented fennel, sea lettuce and a seafood broth. The sweet cicely biscuits were a suitable finish, after which the silent auction items – including such desirable items as Vancouver Island Salt, a signed copy of Seasonings: Flavours of the Southern Gulf Islands by Andrea & David Spalding, and a stay at Sooke Harbour House – were distributed and we dispersed, slowly and foodily.