Feb 7, 2015


If you've been to Vancouver's Winter Market at Nat Bailey, you may have had the pleasure of meeting Steve and Linda Pocock of Sawmill Bay Shellfish. I've been lucky enough to get to know them personally and have visited their farm on the waters of the gorgeous Read Island. Located between Quadra and Cortes Islands in the Discoveries, when I close my eyes and think of quintessential Pacific northwest island scenery, Read Island is the dream.
Shellfish farm
Sawmill Bay Shellfish farm, Read Island BC                             Sawmill Bay oysters on the beach
It's no wonder that waters so pristine produce such delicious shellfish. I may be biased because Steve and Linda are so fantastic, but whenever I have shellfish from elsewhere, I find myself measuring them against Sawmill Bay's in every way. The taste test doesn't lie!

For a bit more about Steve, Linda, and Sawmill Bay Shellfish, check out the Almost Spring Issue of Edible Vancouver.

Discovery Islands

Here's an awesome and surprisingly easy mussel recipe (courtesy of Katie Lysakowski) that will give you an excuse to head to the market and pick up some shellfish.

2-3 Tbsp (30-45mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 sweet onion, finely diced
2-3 garlic cloves, smashed
1-2 tsp (5-10mL) salt
1/2 cup (120mL) white wine
4 lbs (2kg) mussels, debearded*
A fresh baguette, warmed and torn into chunks (for serving)

Steamed Mussels

Heat oil in a wide pot over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, and salt, and cook, stirring often, until soft, taking care not to brown (about 5-7 minutes). Add wine, increase the heat, and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Add mussels and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mussels begin to open, taking care not to overcook (discard any that do not open).

Ladle mussels and broth into shallow bowls; serve with bread and a refreshing beverage.

*To debeard a mussel, hold on to its beard and pull up, away from its pointed end.