Event Recap: David Hawksworth & Friends Culinary AdventureJuly 31, 2019 | 1831 Views
Looking Back on the 2019 David Hawksworth & Friends Culinary Adventure
By Don Wells
In every respect, the 13th annual David Hawksworth & Friends Culinary Adventure lived up to its reputation as the marquee special event trip for The West Coast Fishing Club. Unprecedented and unduplicated by any other sport fishing lodge in Canada, this year’s trip provided another superb opportunity for anglers and non-anglers alike to visit beautiful Haida Gwaii in sophisticated comfort, highlighted by daily interactive cooking demonstrations with celebrity guest chefs and the most exquisitely prepared food and drink imaginable.
For those who love to fish, the action on the water was non-stop from start to finish. For those less interested, there were other captivating outdoor activities, including a helicopter tour to a deserted wilderness beach, wildlife viewing on land, sea and in the air, or sipping artisan cocktails alongside like-minded food-lovers on the deck overlooking magnificent Parry Pass.
Guests were greeted on arrival by phenomenal weather, with sunny skies, gentle breezes and calm seas. After a welcome brunch, most headed out onto the water and within minutes experienced the exhilaration of having a chinook salmon on the line. The culinary experience commenced that evening with an Italian-themed dinner prepared under the direction of Adam Pegg, executive chef of Vancouver’s award-winning restaurant, La Quercia, with each of the four courses masterfully paired with vintage Italian wines selected by renowned Australian sommelier, Mark Davidson.
Day two dawned under sunny skies once again, which made for ideal conditions for Nightingale head chef Phil Scarfone to kick off the demos on the back deck, leading the group to prepare the famous Nightingale pizza, which they cooked individually in the wood-fired oven.
In the afternoon, guests were whisked away by helicopter to Beresford Bay for some beachcombing, wine and exploring. Afterwards, the cocktail hour featured sommeliers Mark Davidson and Dino Renaerts, partner and executive chef of Vancouver’s prestigious Bon Vivant Catering Group, teaming up to offer an eclectic mix of internationally inspired flavours and spirits. The weather was again glorious with sun-drenched Parry Pass and the rugged shores of Graham Island serving as a backdrop.
When the dinner bell sounded, event newcomer Marc-Andre Royal of Montreal’s Le St-Urbain took centre stage, where he presented a four-course symphony of land and sea, accompanied by carefully selected wine pairings that highlighted three distinct vineyard regions of Mark Davidson’s native Australia. After dinner, the guests retired to the deck to sip cocktails and wine by the fire under the star-cluster skies of mystical Haida Gwaii.
On day three, event host David Hawksworth led guests through his slow-baked salmon recipe followed by Adam Pegg with his unique version of a tradition Italian crepe. For dinner, it was stations night featuring a casual and convivial atmosphere in which a variety of tapas-sized creations were offered courtesy of Dino Renaerts and Clubhouse executive chef Rob Ratcliffe.
The final full day began with Marc-Andre Royal leading guests through his Halibut Ceviche, which included non-traditional ingredients such as tequila and honey. Several guests kick-started the class with a miniature margarita to help get them into the right frame of mind for the Mexican inspired demonstration. After another afternoon in which several guests returned to the water to test their skills against more chinook and coho salmon and halibut, it was time for the grand finale – a showstopping dinner that featured the immense and combined talents of David Hawksworth and Phil Scarfone.
Once again, diners worked their way through a four-course menu of artfully created dishes, each accompanied by stunning wines, beginning with a brut reserve champagne to accompany a tomato salad that featured truffle “Lady Jane” brie and arugula salsa verde, and finishing with a 2013 vintage Hungarian desert wine to accompany organic strawberries marinated in maple verjus and topped with pink peppercorn Chantilly and bee pollen meringue.
Naturally the evening included toasts and applause for the chefs, with the most appreciative crescendo reserved for Chef Hawksworth, who for each of the past 13 years has assembled rosters of guest chefs from among the most accomplished on the continent to create a gastronomic odyssey never before imagined, and never ever to be forgotten.
The 2020 David Hawksworth & Friends Culinary Adventure is scheduled for July 12-16.