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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Dining at the Source: New Culinary Experiences to Discover on PEI This Summer

One of the most memorable meals I've ever had as a travel writer was at the Inn at Bay Fortune on Prince Edward Island's western shores. I arrived via kayak, courtesy of a four-day inn-to-inn sea kayaking jaunt; paddled onto the grassy shores and walked across the sloping manicured lawn. After washing the salt and rust colored sand from my body, I arrived for dinner expecting the usual PEI meal of lobster and mussels. Little did I realize that I was in for a culinary epiphany. The first course was pan roasted oysters in a soothing soup, creamy but not overwhelmingly rich like chowder. Then came a splendid salad of mixed greens where the waiter announced matter-of-factly that "everything is grown on the property, including the edible daisy." A seared rainbow trout topped with tomato risotto and black olives was followed by the meat course, a roasted leg of lamb, butchered by the farmer down the road. Dessert was a peach, strawberry, and mint compote, made on premises, of course. 

Before calling for a wheelbarrow to be escorted out of the restaurant (after all, I spent the day paddling 8 miles along the island's fabled red clay cliffs and the night feasting), I had to first meet the talented chef who shrewdly took advantage of all his homegrown goodies. Standing tall in the kitchen was Michael Smith, who at that time was a recent transplant from Manhattan, once sous chef at Bouley and awarded four stars (extraordinary) by the New York Times.  Of course, he would soon move on to his successful television show "The Inn Chef," and release his best-selling cookbook, "Open Kitchen-A Chef's Day at the The Inn at Bay Fortune." 
 
PEI is still home to a bounty of chefs, farmers, and fishermen who make the destination a foodie paradise. This summer, Experience PEI and Culinary Adventure Co. have teamed up to create an Island-focused collection of four culinary adventures. The Bar Clamming Adventure lets guests slip into a wetsuit and snorkeling gear, and wade into the water in search of bar clams, the biggest clams on Prince Edward Island. The Floating Lobster Boil features a sunset cruise around the Charlottetown Harbour, freshly cooked lobster, and stories from a third-generation lobster fisherman.  
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/18/18 at 06:00 AM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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