Every year, Vancouver's annual B.C. Spot Prawn Festival kicks off B.C. spot prawn season with a free festival at Fisherman's Wharf by Granville Island. Highlights of the Festival include the $15-per-person Spot Prawn Boil, cooking demonstrations with Vancouver celebrity chefs, free entertainment and kids' activities, and a chance to buy your own spot prawns fresh off the boat.
This year, the B.C. Spot Prawn Festival happens Saturday, May 10, 2014, 11am - 3pm.
Events at the B.C. Spot Prawn Festival 2014
Spot Prawn Boil: The main event of the Vancouver Spot Prawn Festival is Canada's largest Spot Prawn Boil, a chance to enjoy fresh-off-the-boat boiled spot prawns, plus sides, sauces and bread from Terra Breads, and a sample tasting of B.C. wine or beer, for $15 per person. Buy tickets for the 2014 Spot Prawn Boil in advance before they sell out: Spot Prawn Boil 2014 tickets.
New for 2014: Brine & Dine Combo: This year, you can choose to a "combo" pack for $40 that includes 2 Spot Prawn Boil tickets ($30 value) plus one "Chefs’ Table Society insulated tote bag–take your live spot prawns home in style."
Vancouver Celebrity Chef Cooking Demos: To inspire your own spot prawn recipes, Vancouver's top chefs will be doing live cooking demonstrations (and offering tastings).
Buy Your Own B.C. Spot Prawns: Get your own spot prawns direct from fishermen for $12 per lb. (Spot prawns will continue to be sold for 6 - 8 weeks post-festival at the same False Creek Fisherman's Wharf; spot prawn boats arrive daily around 1pm.)
History of the Vancouver Spot Prawn FestivalSweet and succulent, B.C. spot prawns are a sustainable seafood (they've earned the Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise seal of approval) and a great way to "eat local." Yet until 2005, B.C. spot prawns were exported to Japan almost exclusively. That changed when Steve Johansen of Organic Ocean teamed up with C Restaurant's Chef Robert Clark to create the first B.C. Spot Prawn Festival in 2006 as a way to keep B.C. spot prawns local. Since then, spot prawns have become a beloved local, seasonal food in Vancouver, and the annual Vancouver Spot Prawn Festival, organized by the Chefs' Table Society, has grown into a must-visit event.
If you love B.C. spot prawns, keep an eye on your favourite Vancouver restaurants after the festival: Many Vancouver restaurants will be adding B.C. spot prawns to their menus through May / early-June. Tojo’s famously makes a divine spot prawn sashimi, while C Restaurant will have multiple spot prawn dishes.