The Torngat Mountains Base Camp, Labrador
This hauntingly beautiful land where life thrives often in silence. The panoramas are worthy of any Lauren Harris painting — mountains jutting from the deep blue ocean, glaciers spilling down the slopes, meltwater puddling in the valleys and everywhere there’s food in its most natural state.
A major impetus for establishing the Torngat Mountains Base Camp and Research Station was to provide cost-effective, logistical and research support for scientific activities in this remote area. The Research Station offers a wide variety of services, available right in the Park or on the neighbouring Labrador Inuit Lands.
Not only is it an magnificent environment for all types of scientific and research work, it hosts the most adventurous of travellers who love to hike, explore and deeply experience the land and its culinary possibilities. And this is where Chef Eric Hynes enters the picture.
Eric is both a Red Seal Chef and a Red Seal Baker, an ideal combination where culinary resiliency is so important. He brings 25 years of experience in the kitchen and in the classroom at the College of the North Atlantic where his father was also an instructor.
He writes that “Our ingredients are so close locally that our Arctic char is still flicking its tail when it comes into the kitchen, the edible flora is picked just a few 100 meters from our entrance, the shellfish is picked on the beach where our boats dock and the seal (for his burgers) are harvested just a short boat ride away. We have an abundance of world class delicacies…right next to where we eat and sleep.”
He makes jams with partridgeberries (lingonberries) and bakeapples (cloudberries) – the tough fruit of the entire northern region of the planet and has mastered the art of baking panitsiacs or bannock.
The area is also rich in Inuit culinary history. There’s a real art to making pitsik, or dried Arctic char…or cooking it on flat stones heated in an open fire. The hearts of the graceful fish are eaten raw….a northern version of sashimi.
Curiously there is also rhubarb from the original gardens of the Moravian missionaries who came to Labrador in 1752. For more than a century they constituted the only European settlement and left behind some of their food traditions including the rhubarb which grows wild in the abandoned communities in the National Park.
Dining is cafeteria style, all served from a proper industrial kitchen. Everyone eats together – visitors, elders, researchers and staff, an unparalleled opportunity to really begin to understand this spectacular region.
The Base Camp is one of about 250 establishments to celebrate Food Day across Canada.
The Base Campe est l’un des 250 à travers tout le Canada qui participent au Journée des terroirs.
Torngat Mountains Base Camp and Research Station
2-6 Royal StreetP.O. Box 1000,
Stn B.Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL A0P 1E0
T: 1-855-TORNGAT (867-6428)