Tasting Our Coastal Cuisine

Fall Flavours Festival highlights three communities with a new event series

From shipbuilding to lobster fishing, seaweed harvesting and lighthouse-keeping, the waters that hug our gorgeous sandbar have profoundly shaped every aspect of Island life. And the coastal communities that were born from the first outposts of PEI’s Acadian and European settlers still remain integral to the Island way of life, our culture, our economy, and, of course, our food.

This year the Fall Flavours Festival is launching a new series dubbed the Taste of Coastal Communities. These events will give foodies the opportunity to get a taste of three mighty seaside communities – Tyne Valley, North Rustico, and Georgetown. Each event pairs local chefs with guest chefs from across Canada, recruited by PEI’s food ambassador, chef Michael Smith.

“The guests chefs will be working in the kitchens, preparing the food. These chefs are at the top of their culinary game, providing guests with the chance to taste food created by some of Canada’s most acclaimed chefs,” said Tracey Singleton of Versatile Management Group, the event management company that oversees the Fall Flavours Festival.

A Taste of Tyne Valley with Chef Jesse Vergen

Submitted Photo

This tiny hamlet in Prince County is no stranger to hosting food-centric events. With 53 years of experience running the Tyne Valley Oyster Festival, the village of 222 souls is well-practiced to host its first ever Fall Flavours event.

“We are excited to showcase the excellent food that Tyne Valley has to offer,” event manager Jeff Noye said.

Tyne Valley Bridge//Photo Credit: Province of Prince Edward Island

The event combines roving tasting stations with a sit-down dinner. Attendees can look forward to a sumptuous dinner featuring local fare from the sea and land, as well as food created by several of the area’s local food purveyors. These include Dillon’s Convenience (chef Will MacLean); the beautifully-renovated Tyne Valley Tea and Company; Valley Pearl Oysters, where Noye, a Guinness World Record-holder, will demonstrate his shucking skills; and Backwoods Burger, a new family-run restaurant.

When asked what he hopes guests will take away from the Taste of Tyne Valley event, Noye doesn’t mince words: “Great food, great hospitality and great music.”

A Taste of North Rustico with Chefs Connie DeSousa and John Jackson

Photo Credit: Jenny Wooldridge

Located in the busy tourism belt of the central PEI’s North Shore, the fishing village of North Rustico continues to retain its charming, peaceful character and unique culture. A testament to the tightly-knit community that includes a healthy number of local entrepreneurs and artists. It’s this authentic taste of North Rustico that event-goers can look forward to – a kitchen party-inspired evening on the wharf filled with seafood, music, and general shenanigans.

“We want to provide an evening where our guests can really let loose and become intertwined in North Rustico’s tradition, culture, and overall atmosphere,” event manager Marley Doucette said. “By [focusing] on North Rustico traditionally-inspired ingredients, namely seafood, but with a modern flare that can only be provided by our local chefs, we anticipate that our menu will leave an lasting impression.”

North Rustico on Canada Day//Photo Credit: Paul Baglole

A Taste of North Rustico will feature several of the area’s beloved restaurants and chefs including The Pearl (chef Cobey Adams), Blue Mussel Café (chef Jamie Power), The Yellow House (chefs Jen and Mike Levy), and Fisherman’s Wharf/Pier 15. Other partners taking part in the event include: Glasgow Glen Farms, Prince Edward Island Charcuterie, Raspberry Point Oysters, and Watermark Theatre.

“We [want] our guests to leave with a greater understanding of the importance of our fishing industry in North Rustico,” Doucette said.

A Taste of Georgetown with Chef Paul Rogalski

Photo Credit: Jenny Wooldridge

The capital of Kings County, Georgetown continues its reign as a formidable coastal community, celebrating its past as a busy ship-building town, while embracing its enduring agricultural and fishing industries.

“This is a first time and unique Fall Flavours event for Georgetown and everyone is thrilled! It is a wonderful opportunity to welcome visitors to our town and offer our down east hospitality,” event chairman Perry Gotell said.

Participants will be treated like royalty at King’s Playhouse where a five-course seated dinner under the shade of outdoor tents will be served. The menu will lean heavily in favour of local seafood.

Chef Paul Rogalski will host, alongside chef Rhonda Brown of the Georgetown Historic Inn and chef Bobby Joe MacLean of Eden’s Gate Restaurant.

Guests can also look forward to local musical entertainment, storytelling by the Four Tellers, and the opportunity to stroll through the town, where beautiful heritage buildings from the Victorian-era remain a fitting tribute to the town’s rich history of fishing and shipbuilding.

Georgetown//Photo Credit: Alex Bruce

PEI’s coastal communities during the Fall Flavours Festival of 2017 by visiting fallflavours.ca for more information and to book your tickets.

About Shannon Courtney

When she’s not writing about food, she’s either cooking, eating, talking, or thinking about it. Her food adventures have included milking a Jersey cow in Australia, almost overdosing on maple syrup in Prince Edward County, and studying local food systems in Vermont as part of her Master’s thesis research. Shannon is also a holistic-nutritionist and strongly believes you CAN make friends with salad.

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