On May 14th, chefs from all over Ontario joined us at the University of Guelph for a day of learning and hands-on workshops at FISHstock 2018.
Held in partnership with Ocean Wise and the University of Guelph, attendees learned what it means to source Ontario lake fish sustainably as well as how to incorporate these types of fish on their menus.
Dr. Kevin Reid wasted no time and began the day by sharing with the group what kinds of lake fish are available to us here in Ontario, their flavour profiles, while also exploring the seasonality and sustainability of each fish.
Once guests had been given the practical knowledge on what they were about to do, it was time to get our hands dirty! Chef Shaun Edmonstone from Feast On certified restaurant Bruce Wine Bar led the hands-on fish butchery workshop in partnership with Ocean Wise Chef Ned Bell. This dynamic duo taught participating chefs how to use a fish from gill to tail while working with Lake Erie Pickerel and Arctic Char farmed in the Alma Aquaculture Research Station.
After lunch we turned to the experts to share a little more with the group on their experiences in the commercial fishing industry. Professor Bruce McAdams led a panel discussion with Chef Ned Bell and Deidre Finn of Ocean Wise, Marvyn Budd of Planet Shrimp, Denise Purvis, Purvis Fisheries and OCFA member, and Ron Caudle, Caudle’s Catch Seafood.
A big part of FISHstock was learning about farmed and wild fish varieties, so to finish off the experience we brought chefs to the Alma Aquaculture Research Station, a facility operated by the University of Guelph. We got the chance to see for ourselves how Arctic Char and Rainbow Trout are farmed and raised while Richard Moccia encouraged us to question our current notions on what we consider to be sustainable.
We know what you’re thinking, how did we fit all of this into one day!? Well, it’s not over yet. After a long day of learning and practicing, we were in serious need of some sustenance. We headed over to The Wooly Pub to celebrate with each other the amazing things that we learned, while enjoying some seriously delicious lake fish.
Prepared for us by the talented team at The Wooly were the same types of fish we had the opportunity to fillet earlier, which we think was the perfect ending to a perfect day and brought all the concepts we had discussed full-circle.
The day would not have been possible without the support of our fantastic partners: Ocean Wise, The University of Guelph, Flanagan’s, The Wooly Pub, Planet Shrimp, The Alma Aquaculture Research Station, Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers, Thornbury Craft, Great Lakes Brewery, and Spearhead Brewing Company.
Up next: WINEstock! Join us June 26th to learn all about Ontario wine and how to successfully integrate locally made wines into your lists.