Fall Flavours’ Surf and Turf at the Rodd Crowbush made us sing-literally!

When Salty asked me if I wanted to blog at this Fall Flavours signature event featuring our Island’s beef and its famous bluefin tuna I didn’t hesitate. “Yes, absolutely!”, was my response. I don’t golf and I don’t surf, and I haven’t had the opportunity yet to savour this fabulous local fish. But I had been impressed by celebrity Chef Lynn Crawford’s food and feeling of welcome at her restaurant Ruby Watchco in Toronto before. And Chef Jesse MacDonald of the Rodd Crowbush certainly wasn’t named the ‘Best of Sea’ winner for no reason…so I knew we were in for a treat.

Little did I know that not only our taste buds would sing during this evening where culinary delights from the land and the sea “battled” with each other. The Ultimate Steak Showdown – Island Beef vs. Island Tuna, however, began with an informal round of appetizers inside the Rodd Crowbush featuring five different food stations. I munched my way through these creations all while sampling some refreshments from the Copper Bottom Brewery, watched by an ice-carved bluefin tuna and surrounded by an agreeable crowd of fellow food lovers. At the stations were: Island Lobster & Garden Tomato Chowder, Island Bluefin Tuna Ceviche, Colville Bay Oysters, PEI Mussels and Braised Beef Tacos.

Chef Jesse MacDonald and Chef Lynn Crawford were the hosts of the evening Photo credit:Jessica Fritz

That order is by no means a taste ranking, as they were all delicious and different. Rich, fresh, salty, buttery, or juicy but then all united by one common denominator: all made with local ingredients.

One can say that our bellies were already half full when we ventured into the tent  just outside the hotel for the main part of the evening. Red and white tablecloths on community tables, the ease with which strangers connected, and the hospitality of our host entertainer Michael Pendergast made us truly feel like being right at Chef Lynn and Jesse’s kitchen party. Party goers came from as far as Switzerland, various Canadian provinces, and as close as down the road.

A bluefin tuna ice carving Photo credit: Jessica Fritz

And they weren’t disappointed. Fantastic food kept showing up on our plates served by volunteer helpers from the Culinary Institute. As the first course, a PEI Bluefin Tuna Poke Bowl was tasty and light enough to sink down onto the bed of appetizers already piled up in our stomachs without any effort. The entree of the evening was, as described on the menu, Down East Surf and Turf with Chef Lynn’s PEI Sea Salt Baked New Potatoes & Arugula Butter, Island Roasted Carrots & Salted Grapes with Carrot Top Green Goddess Dressing. Wow, right?!

Surf and Turf-the best of both sea and land Photo credit: Jessica Fritz

Singing “10 Minutes From Here” with Michael Pendergast and his supporting musicians, laughing our butts off watching an Ontario and PEI team battle for the night’s title by shucking oysters, chugging moonshine, and carrying lobster traps, and being included in Chef Lynn’s and Jesse’s down to earth connection with us, their party guests were all part of the night’s festivities. The final course was of course, dessert. MacPhee’s Orchard Apple & Maple Caramel Trifle with Rose Water Cardamom Syrup came to our place settings after these fun breaks and laughter.

No meal is complete without dessert! Photo credit: Jessica Fritz

The night ended with a typical PEI square dance and the realization that no one won the battle but in the end we all had won with an evening of great food and fun.

About Jessica L. Fritz

Jessica is "from away" in the truest sense of its meaning: her roots are in Germany. She immigrated to Toronto, Canada in 2010 and moved to PEI two summers ago. As a passionate home cook Jessica likes to explore different types of cuisines including her native one. "Thinking globally, buying locally" is her foodie mantra, and being able to grow veggies in her own backyard was one of the big drivers for her move to PEI.
Putting words on paper has always been a way to express herself. Hence, writing for Salty combines her love for food and the written word while at the same time discovering PEI's thriving culinary landscape.
And recently, Jessica and her husband launched their own food business: Maritime Marzipan offers hand-made traditional European almond treats inspired by Island living. She is blogging about her adventure here on saltyisland.com or you can find them at maritimemarzipan.com.

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