Prawn Events

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Announced on Monday, April 14, at the 19th Annual Restaurant Awards, held at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel. (18 Apr 2008) Vancouver Magazine

18 April 2008

By Andrew Morrison

Announced on Monday, April 14, at the 19th Annual Restaurant Awards, held at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel.

Over 900,000 tonnes of Tiger prawns are harvested annually, roughly two- thirds coming from warm-water farms that dot the deltas of Southeast Asia. It’s a relatively new and very profitable industry in producer nations like Vietnam, and it has badly wounded the communities that support it. Along with environmental damage have come disease, debt, and dispossession. Despite these sad facts (not to mention that the prawns often feast on antibiotics and growth hormones), the prawns remain an attractive commodity on the global market. Predictable by virtue of their blandness and cheap availability year-round, farmed Tigers will always be an easy sell. Mushy in texture and almost devoid of flavour, they remain manufactured ghosts, shadows of the real thing. (Indeed, if this were a piece on the worst ingredient of the year, farmed prawns would most certainly crack the shortlist.)

The strongest argument against them is that we have always had a superior alternative sourced by fishermen right here at home. Sweet and delicately flavoured, firm on the incisors and succulent on the molars, the B.C. spot prawn—largest of all our local prawns—is one of the finest and best-tasting crustaceans that our oceans surrender. And the fishermen use baited traps on buoy lines, keeping habitat damage and by-catch to a minimum. Supply of the spot prawn has long been ample, but local demand had been minimal. The short season, six- to eight-weeks beginning in May, made it a delicacy overseas and doomed the domestic market. Ninety percent of the catch was whisked to Asia, the remainder going to the few restaurants and markets around B.C. willing to pay a premium price. Enter the Chef’s Table Society. Last May, the local collective of conscientious food lovers, chefs, and restaurateurs helped to develop and promote Vancouver’s first day-boat spot-prawn fishery. To raise public awareness they hosted the 1st Annual Spot Prawn Festival at False Creek’s Fisherman’s Wharf. The event introduced Vancouver chefs and home cooks to the best local ingredient they’d never heard of, and ensured the spot prawn a place on our more forward-thinking menus for years to come.

2nd Annual Spot Prawn Festival: Fisherman’s Wharf, May 2. For more information visit

Source:  Vancouver Magazine

Mia Stainsby, Vancouver Sun
Published: Wednesday, April 23, 2008

PRAWN SPOTTING: Spot prawn season is here and nowhere is it more evident than at False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf where the Second Annual Spot Prawn Festival takes place Saturday, May 3 from noon to 5 p.m., rain or shine. Aurora Bistro, Pear Tree, Wild Rice, Diva at The Met, Vij’s, Chambar, Cru, C Restaurant, Northwest Culinary Academy, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Jericho Tennis Club, Provence, Elixir Bistro and the Moustache Cafe, as well as David Hawksworth from the Georgia Hotel, will have emissary chefs on hand, cooking and serving spot prawn dishes. Go Fish, which is located on the site, will have spot prawn specials. And, for those who want to cook for themselves, fishers will be selling the sustainable seafood at the Wharf (1505 West First Ave.) for $12 a pound. Spot prawns will be available at the Wharf for six to eight weeks between 2 and 6 p.m., daily.

As well, Granville Island Public Market will be featuring spot prawn cooking demonstrations May 3, 4, and 10, at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Chefs at the Market will be Peter Robertson of Raincity Grill, Tojo Hidekazu of Tojo’s, Frank Pabst of Blue Water Cafe, and James Walt from Araxi (Whistler). For further event information, visit