I have had the pleasure of touring one of Canada’s most beautiful provinces, Prince Edward Island…or PEI as it’s known. I was invited by the PEI Tourism Board to come and experience the Fall Flavours Festival and share my experience with you all. PEI is an incredible island on the East coast of Canada which brings to mind red sand beaches, blue skies and some of the best seafood in the world. Add to this a welcoming, easy-going culture and you’ll begin to get a feel for PEI.
The Fall Flavours Festival is a month-long celebration where you’ll find culinary events taking place in different locations across the island. Each event has a unique theme and acclaimed guest-chefs creating something fabulous for guests to enjoy.
Taste of New Glasgow – PEI
The first event I attended was the Taste of New Glasgow which was hosted by Chef Michael Smith. It was held at PEI Preserve Co in New Glasgow and the setting was simply beautiful. Set on the bank of a river with the sun setting behind the hills, it was a sight to lift my soul.
We were greeted with oysters and beverages, then led into a tent where there were taste stations set up around the perimeter. The flavours were astounding! There were different kinds of local cheeses, chowder, risotto, brisket, oysters and so much more. Chef Michael Smith and his team prepared a stunning duck taco for us over an open fire which simply fit the feel of the event.
Making my way around the event an overall feeling of the evening stood out…relaxation and appreciation. This wasn’t a pretentious culinary event; it was focused upon real food being done well. The chefs were interacting with the guests; strangers becoming friends and just a general feeling of comfortable levity seemed to fill the air.
Taste of New Glasgow left me smiling. It truly was the essence of PEI with its vast array of flavours and local ingredients to the friendliness of everyone at the event. As someone who is “from away” I really did feel like I was from the island for an evening.
Oysters on the Pier – Northport Pier
My next stop on the Fall Flavours Festival was to enjoy Oysters on the Pier at Northport Pier Restaurant. The setting was lovely, we were right on the pier overlooking these gorgeous views.
This event was hosted by the ever-amazing Chef Vikram Vij whom I’ve admired from afar for many years. You know that I had to get a selfie with the man…honestly what kind of girl would I be if I didn’t?
We began the evening with a seafood chowder and some beverages as we walked in. This gave time for people to mingle and let me say that I may have arrived alone but within minutes I was chatting with other attendees as if we were old friends. There’s something about that maritime air…
Chef Vikram Vij greeted us with some inspired words. If you’ve heard this man speak, you’ll know that he gives it straight from the heart. He welcomed us, telling us that food is the binder between people. That wars can and have been settled over food and encouraged us all to BE the most we can in life. WOW, colour me motivated.
We moved into a tent which had different chef stations around the perimeter where we could sample their creations. I’ve never seen so many different variations of seafood flavours in my life. From crab cakes to lobster rolls and fresh oysters…it was all there to enjoy.
This was an evening I’ll never forget; one where I tried many different kinds of culinary delights and also met some fantastic people.
Lobster Party on the Beach – Cedar Dunes Prov Park PEI
The last event on my our of PEI Fall Flavour Festival was a Lobster Party on the Beach at Cedar Dunes Provincial Park where the scenery was stunning.
We were fortunately to be on the beach for the sunset and the light played on the scene so beautifully.
Once again it was Vikram Vij hosting and his welcoming nature had everyone laughing and chatting in no time. The winds were high but we hardly noticed as we enjoyed a taste of his curried seafood chowder.
This event was different than the past two in that it was a sit down family-style meal. I was a table with folks from “away” as well as islanders and it didn’t take long until we all felt like long-time friends. As we enjoyed our meal, we learned from one another. Thankfully there was a kind man at the table who was patient enough to give us all a step-by-step tutorial on cracking the lobster to get ALL of the meat.
Closing the event with the sunset really was the perfect ending. My trip to PEI is summed up with this photo. The warmth of the sun represents the friendliness of the people, the vibrant colours of the landscape is indicative of the freshness of the flavours of the food and the majesty and history of the lighthouse represents that of the province of Prince Edward Island.
Thank you so much to Tourism Prince Edward Island for inviting me to visit, I will be back to this beautiful island where I am feeling called already!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.