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School of Fish Foundation – truly a dining experience

August 26, 2010

            

Recently, I had the honor of tasting some of the dishes from Vancouver’s popular seafood restaurant, C Restaurant.  The interesting thing was, we weren’t seated in C Restaurant.  Instead, we were brought to a floating dining area right outside C.  Yes floating…in the water!  With the great creations of C Restaurant and the most intimate ambience of the floating restaurant, we inevitably had a most memorable evening.            

The idea of this floating restaurant was created by the co-founder of School of Fish Foundation (SOFF), Shannon Ronalds.  I mean, talk about chasing a dream.  And for a good cause too!  Basically, the restaurant was built to raise awareness about plastics in the marine ecosystem but mainly about sustainable seafood.  The boat itself is primarily built with reclaimed pine wood (from Northern BC’s pine trees damaged from the pine beetle) and the boat rests on approximately 1700 2 litre bottles as a floating platform.            

Plastic bottles used to keep restaurant afloat. The visual section of the bottles is situated under the dining table which leaves for a great conversation piece.

 

The platform seats up to 12 people and each guest is spoiled with a 6 course dinner of which all the seafood used is sustainable.  The menu varies each evening as the seafood is based on availability.  Essentially, there are 4 seafood samplers, 1 cheese dish and 1 dessert.  There are also wine pairings with each course.  The wines are mostly provided by local BC wineries and are primarily biodynamic.  Although 6 glasses of wine is more than enough for most people, endless wine is provided to you on request.  But I’m telling you,  anything over 6 glasses will put you in the water!   Amazing food, amazing company, amazing hosts.  That pretty much sums up our 7 hour dining experience.            

Spot Prawn Sunomono Salad-Caught using pods not trawling nets. Caught after spawning season, and at end of life cycle. Served out of season (frozen) to demonstrate frozen can be as good as fresh.

 

Bayne Sound Scallop with assorted mushrooms and dashi sauce. No dredger is used as dredgers damage the seabed. Instead, scallops are suspended in baskets and feed on the naturally occurring food sources drifting by from the current.

 

Regal Springs Tilapia - This company has been working with WWF to establish Tilapia Aquaculture Dialogues (the standards and procedures for farming sustainable Tilapia). These are vegetarian fish so the feed conversion ratios (i.e., essentially, the amount of food eaten compared to their body mass) compared to carnivorous fish is very low.

 

Just because this dish looks so pretty, I posted to pics of it. This tilapia dish has sauteed spinach, sockeye salmon caviar and finished with a lobster saffron cream sauce.

 

Line caught BC Coho salmon with Israeli couscous, Oyama chorizo sausage, smashed peas on the side and finished with an orange mustard sauce. Coho is line caught, and in season.

 

Phyllo bowl full of berries finished with chocolate sauce. What a perfect dessert on a full stomach. Light and fulfilling.

 

Cheese plate

 

Needless to say, we were full.  That is, full of food and wine!  It amazes me how the vision of one man can lead to a creation this unique and inspiring.  Shannon’s goal is to make everyone aware of the importance of seafood sustainability and how we should be more conscious when ordering from restaurants or buying from stores/supermarkets.  The label “Ocean Wise” is very important to take note of when you are ordering off a menu.   Currently, not enough restaurants are serving sustainable seafood, which leads me to Shannon’s biggest mission.  Along with SOFF co-founder, Chef Robert Clark , Shannon intends to develop a sustainable seafood course for culinary schools around the world so that all young chefs who come out will start off with the right intentions.      

From my conversation with Shannon, I reckon he will be doing some really great things for our marine life.  His foundation and floating dining room is already getting so much recognition from around the world.  He has even been asked to take his floating dining room to cities like Sydney, San Francisco, London and The Hamptons.      

If you are interested in this please email Shannon at contact@schooloffishfoundation.org or call him at 778.997.6977.  Tickets are $215 each and it’s actually worth every penny.  If you think about it, you get a seafood dinner, with fine wine galore, and you’re there for at least 4 hours (I reiterate, we stayed for 7 amazing hours!).  At the end of the meal, Shannon and his wife Carolina will sit down with the guests and answer any questions.  And that experience alone is amazing.  They are phenomenal people.  The passion and determination that Shannon has for this project is unfathomable.  He is so dedicated to this that he committed 7 days a week, for 3 months to serve on this floating dining patio along with his wife.  Now THAT is commitment.  Also, please remember that while you are paying a chunk of change, all proceeds do go to support his foundation and cause.   I highly recommend going to this.  Plus, it’s not going to be here much longer.  This truly amazing dining experience ends September 23, 2010 so make your reso’s quick!      

Floating dining room in the after sundown. Even more spectacular in the dark.

 

 All the best to SOFF.  And a special wish for you Shannon!  I know you will make a huge positive change in this world.  Thank you in advance. 

If you go, tell them you heard about them through Soulspiration!

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