Prince Edward Island may be Canada’s smallest province (by far!) but the tiny Island province punches away above its size and population when it comes to exciting culinary experiences, and the province has boldly nominated itself as Canada’s Food Island.
“Claiming the “Canada’s Food Island” title is actually very valid for PEI,” says celebrity Chef Michael Smith. “When visitors arrive on the Island they feel they have landed in the middle of one vast farm, where rolling green pastures are bordered by beautiful sandy beaches and salty ocean waves.”
Those fields and bays and ocean waters are the source of some of the world’s highest quality food products including the famed PEI potato, delicious PEI mussels, lobster and oysters, and Island beef.
“The collaboration of our chefs and primary producers is a natural one – allowing our small Island to produce top quality food, – and now we are simply telling our story and ensuring that the world gets to experience PEI’s rich culinary offerings,” said Bertha Campbell, Chair of Food Island Partnership. Canada’s Food Island is an initiative of Food Island Partnership.
Attending one of the Island’s popular fall food festivals is a perfect way to appreciate the best of Canada’s Food Island. Canada’s top chefs are well aware of the quality of Prince Edward Island’s beef, shellfish, and potatoes, and they have been quick to compete in cooking challenges at the PEI International Shellfish Festival, or host celebrity dinners at the annual Fall Flavours Festival. Popular Canadian chefs such as Ned Bell, Check Hughes, Lynn Crawford, and PEI’s own Michael Smith are front and centre at events such as Beef ‘n Blues, Oysters on the Pier, Toe Taps and Taters and the much sought-after Garland Chef’s Challenge title at the Shellfish Festival which comes with a hefty $10,000 cheque for the winner.
Visualize a beautiful Island beach; picture the taste of fresh PEI shellfish; imagine some terrific traditional music in the background, and you have set the scene for just one of about 20 culinary events that are scheduled for September. Add to this, special menus at 30 participating restaurants and the chance to sign up for hands-on culinary adventures, and you have a vacation that is tailor-made for any discerning foodie.
Even if you can’t make it to PEI this fall, you can learn more about the food that makes PEI Canada’s Food Island, and start planning for 2020 when the PEI International Shellfish Festival – now considered one of the world’s greatest shellfish events – celebrates its 25th anniversary.