Tofino Wild Foods
For this special festive episode of our delicious Food Tastes Better Outside series, we were lucky enough to travel across Vancouver Island to Tofino before this wave of lockdowns. Breathing in the salt air deeply, and revelling in the abundant foods are local coastline offers if you know where to look. Lucky for us, Chef Paul Moran knows exactly that — splitting our day between fishing from the boat and watching him freedive to watery depths before popping up with foraged sea urchins, kelp, and crab.
A festive, winter feast of a different kind. It's inspired us to play with what we serve up on our holiday table, and reminded us how much we'd been missing dining communally with good friends. Scroll down to discover what dish Chef Paul Moran whipped up for us and how to make it yourself.
In British Columbia, we know to always come prepared for a sudden change in the weather, so Paul packed our naturally waterproof Anorak Jacket in Navy. He also tried our new Fisherman Sweater in the men's fit. Merino wool being an instant hit for staying cozy and dry against the elements, topped off with a matching Fisherman Toque. The rest of the team rocked our Merino Toque in varying shades, and the Fisherman Sweater in the women's fit. As if our hopes had been heard, the sun peeked out by the time we sat down to eat, bathing our outdoor festivities in golden mist.
Top Chef Canada Winner
Winner of Top Chef Canada 2019, Chef Paul Moran is no stranger to the camera. An expert local forager, chef, and freediver, we knew there were few people better to give us a foraging-focused tour of our own backyard and what's on offer. Over five generations of gathering wild food means this lifestyle is somewhat of a British Columbian birthright to Paul.
First introduced to the delectable morel mushroom at the ripe age of 12, out in the Okanagan. With a deep respect for the natural environment, his knowledge spans both ocean and forest. Reflected in his work in top restaurants across Canada and internationally, and has even brought to life his very own wild foods business, Wild Origins. A company with a sustainably-minded ethos we're big fans of — from the recyclable packaging to the hard harvesting techniques, and belief in leaving these places in as pristine condition as possible.
It's important if you've never been foraging, to head out with someone who can show you the ropes. Never eat something you can not confidently identify. Take into account the preservation of our wild places and not making food that is key to wildlife scarce.
The best news is, if you're not confident on foraging but are keen to bring wild foods into your kitchen, Paul's business has you covered. Check out the sustainably-sourced, foraged foods from the water to the woods over on Wild Origins. They even offer recipes to help you out if it's your first time, and you'll be fulfilling Paul's hope to see more folks bridging the gap between between wild food and the everyday cook. Even if this isn't your first foray into foraging, Wild Origins can help you with a reliable, local, accessible option for regularly bringing these foods into your kitchen. Scroll down for a special recipe straight from this episode.
Recipe: Forager's Feast by Chef Paul Moran
Sustainably and ethically forage, or buy seasonally from your local supplier like Wild Origins for:
- Sea Urchin
- Dungeness Crab
- Sea Cucumber
- Rock Scallops
- Pine Mushrooms
- Bull Kelp
Served up in our iconic, durable Camp Mug is a Pine Mushroom and Bull Kelp Miso Broth that also contains the Sea Cucumbers.
The Dungeness Crab is then cooked in sea water. The Sea Urchin is served raw, sashimi style. The Rock Scallops are served with their roe.
Be mindful when eating raw or undercooked seafood that it's as fresh as it gets and does not contain bacteria that can be harmful to humans.
If you missed any past episodes of our Food Tastes Better Outside series, head over to our YouTube or check out the other blog posts with Kellie Calender and David Furlonger. Keep your eyes on our Instagram and Facebook for future launches, as well as our bi-weekly e-newsletter for all the insider information first. Happy holidays!