BERRIES HAVE THE BEST MOUTHFEEL, the way you can feel each one individually in your mouth—like tapioca, or really well-cooked sushi rice. But people have lost some important berry vibe. These days everybody wants them to be sweet. I think they should be sour. That’s what I liked about saskatoons when I first encountered them in Newfoundland, where they call them serviceberries. I also like how the harvest window is so small. They’re not exactly rare. But commercially, you don’t see them that much. The last thing is that they’re really good for you—rich in anti-oxidants and very healthy. —J.C.
At half past nine, out on the west coast of Langara at Lacy Island, after two-and-a-half hours on the water I got my first strike of the day.
And while I was playing that one, on the other side of the boat chef Phil Scarfone got another hit – and we were into a double header. Five minutes later that translated into 26-pounder for me, and a 24 for him. The fishing might be slow, but the results were fine by me.
Back at the Clubhouse, meanwhile, chef Normand Laprise was demonstrating how to prepare a perennial summertime favourite from his bistro, Brasserie T!: confit of salmon with fennel salad. The low-temperature slow cooking method applies perfectly to the lean, fighting-trim flesh of chinook and coho alike – you should try it (click here for the recipe).
A few hours fishing later and it was time for the last supper – well, until next year anyway. Event headliner David Hawksworth got us going with a refreshing summer salad of compressed watermelon and feta, paired winningly with a tip top blanc de blancs (José Dhondt, NV).
Next, succulent roast sablefish in a delicate nage of mint-accented English pea that sommelier Mark Davidson paired to a banner year of his vanity project – a personally selected single barrel bottling of Puilly-Fuissé (2014 Harvey-Davidson Pouily Fuissé “Les Murgers”).
We then veered to wintry fare with a beef cheek bourguignon (albeit paired not with a Burgundy but a Bordeaux, Chateaux Lafon-Rochet 2010).
After a light dessert of summer fruits with meringue and mint, and a nightcap with our able guides, it was time to pack up for the next day’s flights home – and a dinner of our hard-won fresh fish. The first of many, actually – three chinook and a couple of halibut go a long way.
For more information on The West Coast Fishing Club, click here.
Photos: Jeff Vinnick