Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre’s pop-up café returns just in time for the highly anticipated B.C. spot prawn season.

On Friday, May 12, Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Executive Chef Ned Bell and The Fish Counter’s Chef Rob Clark will join forces for a new, collaborative event on the eve of the annual Spot Prawn Festival.

The Spot Prawn Pop-Up dinner is a five-course collaboration that will celebrate the popular, delectable, and Ocean Wise recommended shellfish. For one evening only, the Aquarium Café will be transformed into a bustling bistro featuring two of Vancouver’s hottest chefs. 

The night will begin with a cocktail reception, so guests can enjoy the Aquarium’s galleries with a glass of bubbles in hand. Dive deeper into the evening’s theme and pay a visit to spot prawns in the Treasures of the B.C. Coast and the not-to-be-missed Strait of Georgia exhibit, which feature some of the incredible creatures native to B.C.’s waters. 

Moving to the Aquarium Café for a seated dinner, guests will then explore the sweet, delicate flavor of spot prawns, paired perfectly with a selection of B.C. wines to highlight the bounty of our province. Dedicated Ocean Wise ambassadors, Chef Bell and Chef Clark will share their passion for spot prawns – the darlings of local seafood sustainability – while serving up their skillfully crafted dishes. A true showcase of the season, their menu is sure to delight.

Menu for Spot Prawn Pop-Up at Vancouver Aquarium Café Dinner

Chilled Marinated Spot Prawns
Mango and Sweet Pepper Salsa, Spicy Crema
Chef Robert Clark

Spot Prawn and Razor Clam Soup
Brown Butter, Lime, Smoked Vancouver Island Sea Salt
Chef Ned Bell  

Spot Prawn Ravioli
Cowichan Pasta Co, Peas, Asparagus, Ricotta
Shaved Parmesan, Lemon and Olive Oil
Chef Ned Bell

Sake Poached Spot Prawns
Roasted Northern Coho, Spring Radish, Black and White Sauce
Chef Robert Clark

Dessert

‘Sugar Kelp’ Chocolate Mousse
Blood Orange Marmalade
Chef Ned Bell

Both chefs will be cooking up spot prawns caught by Organic Ocean. In 2006, it was Organic Ocean’s Steve Johansen, along with Chef Clark, Ocean Wise, and other members of the Chefs’ Table Society that helped create a groundswell of support for the local spot prawn fishery. Prior to that, almost all spot prawns caught off the coast of B.C. were shipped directly to Asia where they are revered for their sweetness and delicate texture. With local promotion of the spot prawn season, this group of sustainability champions helped generate a wave and launch the annual Spot Prawn Festival. 

The majority of spot prawns are now enjoyed in B.C. and the rest of Canada, making this local, ocean-friendly seafood choice a delicious seasonal ingredient, and helping to reduce the pressure placed on other unsustainable prawn fisheries.  

The Spot Prawn Pop-Up dinner begins at 6 p.m. at Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park. Tickets for this event are limited and cost $155 (inclusive of tax and gratuity). To learn more and to purchase tickets, visit www.vanaqua.org/spotprawnpopup. Proceeds from the event support the Vancouver Aquarium’s ongoing conservation, research, and education programs. 

Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre
The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre is a non-profit society dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life. www.vanaqua.org