Alison Bell

What a great evening we had! We started off a little early by harvesting oysters for the chowder. Low tide was at 4 pm. Very convenient!

Our BBQ Event was a blast. My husband and I hosted ten friends on our deck at Savary Island. At 6 pm we started with Salt Spring Island goat’s cheeses and Qualicam Cheesework’s Rathtrevor, which is a little like a Gouda. Lesley Stowe’s made in Vancouver Raincoast Crisps, of course. Everyone brought their favourited BC beers and wines.

Our first course was Grilled Oyster and Corn Chowder. I first grilled diced onions, sliced garlic and peppers in a grill basket and transferred them to the pot with chicken stock. Friends Don Bilodeau and Roy McKenzie (a staunch Cape Bretoner who was a little skeptical of this West Coast Chowder!) grilled the oysters while I grilled the corn. Once the oysters were ready ( about ten minutes) they were removed from the shell- you really don’t need to shuck the oysters when they are grilled as the heat works to sort of self-shuck them. Just be careful as they can spurt hot oyster juice. I would advise not wearing a bikini!

I cut the kernels of grilled corn from the cob and since the oysters were large, diced them roughly and added both to the pot with some evaporated milk (you could use cream) a grind of salt and pepper and some minced fresh chives. It was fabulous! Roy said it tasted just like his mother’s!Alongside the chowder I served grilled bannock. Very simple and delicious.

Our main course was BBQ Sockeye Salmon with a grilled vegetable salad. All of the fresh produce came from “Hatch-a-Bird Farm” in the little community of Wildwood, BC. A lovely certified organic mixed farm, “Hatch-a-Bird” supplied us with peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, lettuce, fresh herbs, eggs and delicious chevre for our dessert course.

I simply grilled apricots and peaches which were brushed with butter, lemon and brown sugar. Once lightly caramelized with a criss-cross design, I served them with a spoon of chevre and drizzled both with local honey. Wow, what a great combo.

Everyone had a terrific time under the stars. Thanks Anita, it was a very memorable event!

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Author: Anita

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