The Blue Water Cafe's Unsung Heroesis a month-long event to encourage diners to try local and unique seafood so they can avoid over-fished or harvested species.
"We named them the unsung heroes because really these are the seafood that are plentiful in our ocean, that are sustainable, and yet that are not as appreciated as they should be," said Frank Pabst, executive chef at the Blue Water Cafe.
Highlights from the menu include:- jellyfish congee with beef tongue, snow peas, bean sprouts, garlic chips and hoisin dressing
- sturgeon liver mousse served with pickled vegetables and mustard seeds
- whelk served “escargots style,” cooked in seaweed butter with parsley and garlic
- sea urchin mousse in a lettuce wrap, served with calamari crackers and ponzu jelly
- gooseneck barnacles and steamed seaweed with saffron aioli, seaweed and fennel salad with wasabi peas
Originally from Europe, this isn't seafood Pabst grew up with. Similarly, he says the specialty menu items may be unfamiliar to many Western diners.
"Not many people would think these are delicacies," said Pabst. "But they're delicious."
Customers familiar with east Asian cuisine may recognize some of the items. Jellyfish, geoduck and sea cucumbers are often found on the menus in many Chinese restaurants in Vancouver.
The sustainable seafood event has been running for 11 years.
To listen to On the Coast's Lisa Christiansen at the Blue Water Cafe, click on the audio labelled: Lisa Christiansen samples sustainable fish