Flagship event of Shellfish Festival goes Saturday

Tickets are still available but going fast for the signature event, Comox by the Sea Shellfish and Seafood Celebration, which gets underway at noon and runs to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 21.

On hand will be several top names in B.C.’s culinary scene: Nathan Fong of Global TV’s Saturday Chefs and Shaw TV’s The Rush, Quang Dang of Vancouver’s West Restaurant, David Sider of Tofino’s Wickaninnish Inn and Don Genova, chef, author and CBC food columnist, who will be showing their incredible talent, tricks and skills in cooking demos throughout the afternoon. The chefs will also be available following their demos to answer questions and share cooking tips along with the judges including food columnist Cinda Chavich and Chef Aaron Rail. Genova’s, Food Artisans of Vancouver Island book, will also be available for the culinary traveller. The book, containing no less than 18 local food producers, is once again on the Vancouver Sun’s Best of BC list.

Two of the most highly anticipated competitions of the festival will also be taking centre stage: Fanny Bay Oyster Shucking Competition and the Annual Chowder Challenge, with notable competitors including Billy D’s Pub, Tee Box Comox, Prime Chophouse, Beez Kneez and Red 22 Tap and Grill.

If watching all that shucking and cooking makes you a little hungry, stop by the Beez Kneez Catering tasting station to get a $5 noodle box with hand-peeled shrimp! Or have some out-of-this-world gluten-free deep fried oysters (supplied by Macs Oysters) from West Coast Mobile’s booth. If you’re looking for a beverage to accent the outstanding seafood check out VI Brewery’s station, which will have a few of their favorite beers on special, including the Beach Comber and the Island Lager, both chosen for their amazing pairing with seafood.

Interactive booths will also provide plenty of hands-on discoveries from the life cycle of west coast indigenous marine species to tours of one of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans marine vessels, touch tanks to face painting.

Sue Medley and The Back Road Band will also be on site performing from her new album, These are the Days, to round out an exciting afternoon.

So come out and watch the chefs, meet the judges, taste the food, touch the creatures, enjoy the great location, and learn more in a few hours about seafood and shellfish than most come to know in their entire lives! With more than 20 sponsors, loads of tasting stations and interactive booths, this day will last in every guest’s memory for a very long time.

Tickets are $15 per person, and children age 10 and under get in free. Food tasting tickets $1 each. Buy tickets online at www.discovercomoxvalley.com or call 1-855-400-2882. The event will be held at Filberg Lodge and Park.

Park & Ride service with Ambassador Shuttle is available between 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. from Galardi Academy School, 1475 Noel Ave., Comox.

Funds raised from the celebration event will go towards the new training initiative called the Aquaculture Technician Program, at North Island College, which supports a holistic approach to aquaculture training.