Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Big Announcement in Winnipeg Today!

I know lots of people have been waiting for this for a long time so I am happy to report that...... Prairie Oyster Catering has rescheduled their Oysterpalooza Tour and will be attending the BC Shellfish Festival June 17 & 18 in beautiful Comox, BC!

Details to follow but we are also looking forward to touring lots of oyster farms and connecting with local west coast producers so we can source the best product possible for our clients!

Have a great day... PWR

PS - Congrats to Smoke's Poutinerie on their grand opening today... can't wait to try them!
PPS - oh yeah the Jets are coming back to Winnipeg

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Good news.. oysters are good for you and the environment!

The Vancouver Aquarium has a program called Ocean Wise, which is aimed at promoting sustainable seafood in restaurants, markets, and other food service facilities. Ocean Wise works directly with food service companies to select sustainable seafood and actively promote them to the general public. The options are highlighted on participating restaurant menus and display cases with the Ocean Wise symbol, to help consumers make environmentally friendly seafood choices. Today, well over 300 restaurants in Canada are participants in the Ocean Wise program. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouver_Aquarium#Ocean_Wise

Ocean Wise’s recommendations are based on 4 criteria. An Ocean Wise recommended species is:

1.) Abundant and resilient to fishing pressures
2.) Well managed with a comprehensive management plan based on current research
3.) Harvested in a method that ensures limited bycatch on non-target and endangered species
4.) Harvested in ways that limit damage to marine or aquatic habitats and negative interactions with other species.

All farmed oysters are Ocean Wise recommended. http://www.oceanwise.ca/seafood/oysters

Seafood Watch is a program of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and is a partner of SeaWeb's Seafood Choices Alliance. Seafood Watch is one of the best known sustainable seafood advisory lists, and has influenced similar programs around the world. It is a program designed to raise consumer awareness about the importance of buying seafood from sustainable sources.

Oysters, Farmed
Farmed oysters account for 95 percent of the world’s total oyster consumption. Most oyster farming operations are very well managed and produce a sustainable product.

Consumer Note
Farmed oysters are available year-round and can be served raw, smoked, canned or frozen. Oysters are known as kaki when prepared for sushi.

Like clams, mussels and scallops, oysters are filter-feeding shellfish that are extremely well-suited to aquaculture. Farming oysters brings little risk of pollution or escapees, and habitat effects from the farms are minimal.

Unlike some farmed fish, oysters minimally impact marine resources as they don’t rely on wild-caught fish – in the form of fishmeal or fish oil – for food. And, thanks to the oyster’s filter-feeding action, oyster farms can actually benefit the surrounding coastal waters.

With their low habitat impacts, farmed oysters are a “Best Choice.”

Monday, 16 May 2011

bad news...

Oysterpalooza is postponed for a few weeks due to flood conditions in Manitoba... sad to miss the Oyster Festival in Cortes but we will try to make it up to there in a few weeks when things calm down here.

Best of luck to the people in Slave Lake as they battle fires!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

thanksgiving oyster story

a nice blog on an oyster tradition... thanks rodneysTO twitter for the link...


Sneak Peak...

Check out our new logo, contact info and slogan!

Trip postponed?

I'm a bit worried that we may have to postpone Oysterpalooza 2011 for a few weeks. I'm really busy with the flood and may not be able to leave unless things calm down next week. If we have to cancel we will go later this month or early June. I would hate to miss the Cortes Oyster Festival... check out some cool pics here (http://www.anything-sailing.com/showthread.php/1784-The-Cortes-Island-Oyster-Festival)... but we'll see what happens.

Here's another good link on the fest and oysters in general... http://www.mywestworld.com/living/cortes-island-daytripper-shuck-it-up/


PS - this is why I may not be able to go... http://www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/2011flood/potential_controlled_and_uncontrolled.pdf

Saturday, 7 May 2011

interesting oyster facts

Did You Know....
The high iron, copper and zinc content of oysters make these morsels instrumental in the prevention and treatment of anemia, and, because of their iodine content, they have been credited with preventing goiter. Even their shells are considered therapeutic - used in traditional Chinese medicine to relieve hypertension, heart palpitations, insomnia, dizziness, blurred vision, cold sweats and swollen lymph glands.

Oysters not only provide an early warning of contaminated waters along our shores, but studies now show that the mighty mollusk also plays an important role in combating global warming. In much the same way as trees convert carbon into oxygen through the process of photosynthesis, so to do oysters absorb carbon from the sea by secreting calcium carbonate to form its shell. Save our planet - plant a tree -seed an oyster!

The Roman emperor Vitellius was said to have eaten a thousand oysters at a single setting - no orgy was complete without them.

King Henry IV's quota was a paltry four hundred oysters - before dinner!

America's first cookbook contained a recipe for oyster ragout. In 1859, residents of New York City spent more money on oysters than on butcher's meat.

Tabasco sauce - particularly well suited for oysters - was developed in 1868, long before the Mexican state of Tabasco existed.

Thousands of slaves were employed on the shores of the English Channel, gathering oysters for Roman tables. So prized were they that the Romans paid for them by their weight in gold.

In ancient Rome powdered cuttlefish bones and oyster shells were used to cure wounds and ulcers.

The body of the (blue) mussel was placed on the navel of a newborn baby after the umbilical cord had been cut and tied. It was felt that this assisted with the healing of the navel.

Moon snails - The body of the blue top shell, wewek'ali, was pulverized and applied to a boil as a poultice.

In Wales it was believed that pale young women would improve if they were fed oysters.

Oyster rafts produce a vertical community teeming with life, much the same as do tropical reefs.

The Chinese believed that oysters cured freckles.

Do not eat oysters during the months without an "R" in them - fact or fiction? In 1715 American colonists were becoming alarmed by the fact that oysters were being over-harvested, and passed the first oyster law making it illegal for anyone to gather oysters during their spawning season from May to September.

History's greatest lover, Casanova, credited the oyster with enhancing his legendary prowess in the boudoir.

The environmental conditions that make good oysters are those we should strive for. Oyster health is an indication of how well we are looking after the water.

Aside from its ambrosial taste and aphrodisiacal qualities, oysters add years to your life. Raw or cooked, oysters are low in calories, high in vitamins and minerals, and easier to digest than red meat. Oysters are superb sources of calcium, phosphorus, potassium and vitamin A, the antioxidant believed to help prevent cancer and guard against bacterial infection. They are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, believed instrumental in the development and function of the brain, retina of the eye, and sperm.

Source - http://www.cortesshellfish.ca/didyouknow.php

Friday, 6 May 2011

twitter and trip may 2011

2 things to let you know... we are now on twitter... follow us at @prairieoysterca... facebook and website to follow after we meet with Craig @ Guppy Graphic and Design next week to confirm our logo, etc. We saw some preliminary ideas today and they look great!

second... here is our draft itinerary for our trip to the Cortes Oyster Festival May Long weekend (http://www.cortesshellfish.ca/) - we are open to ideas if you have been to the island and can direct us towards adventure!

This is where Cortes Island is located - http://www.coastrealty.com/new/public/office_7.php

Prairie Oyster Catering

Itinerary for the Grand Oyster Tourapolooza of Vancouver Island – May 18-23, 2011

1. Wednesday, May 18, 2011

a. 2:15pm WS 441 Wpg to Vancouver

b. Arrive 3:10pm and pick up rental car

c. Overnight in Vancouver

2. Thursday, May 19, 2011

a. 10:15am or 12:45pm ferry Vancouver to Nanaimo (departing from Horseshoe, 1.5 hr trip)

b. 12:30pm or 2:45pm - Pick up Kaeley in Nanaimo

c. 3pm - Tour Evening Cove Oysters (2-3 hrs)

d. 6pm Dinner

f. Overnight in Black Creek, north of Comox

3. Friday, May 20, 2011

a. 9am - Tour Fanny Bay Oysters

b. 12pm Lunch

c. 1pm – drive to Heriot Bay via Campbell River (1.5 hrs) 3:30pm ferry to Quadra Island from Campbell River (10 mins)

d. 3pm - Tour Sawmill Bay (2hrs) - www.sawmillbay.ca

e. 6:45pm Ferry to Cortes Island

f. Cabin at Cortes http://www.cortesislandboathouse.com/index.html

4. Saturday, May 21, 2011

a. Cortes Oyster Festival - http://www.cortesshellfish.ca/

b. Hotel in Cortes http://www.cortesislandboathouse.com/index.html

5. Sunday, May 22, 2011

a. Cortes to Nanaimo via Quadra Island, Campbell River – 3hrs

b. Option A – drive back to Nanaimo, tour more oyster farms, etc, then head to Vancouver

c. Option B – drive straight back to Vancouver.

d. Option C – go deep sea fishing in Campbell River or somewhere along the drive back, bring back home some salmon

e. Option D - Drive to Victoria for high tea (about 5 hours from Cortes Island)

f. Option E - other ideas?

6. Monday, May 23, 2011

a. 10am brunch in East Van

b. 12:45pm WS 602 to Winnipeg, Arrive 5:19pm

Thursday, 5 May 2011

First Oyster Blog

Hi and welcome to our blog... we are a new catering company in Winnipeg, MB that will be specializing in fresh oysters on the half shell. We are traveling to BC soon to meet some oyster farmers and to attend the Cortes Island Oyster Festival (www.cortesisland.com).

Prairie Oyster Catering was started by Peter Reimer and Marshall Posner while downing some tasty village bay oysters after a doubles squash match. Peter had been talking to Rob Klombies (manager, WSRC) about Oyster Boy restaurant in TO and Rob mentioned that they had got their start by catering until they grew to the point where they could open a restaurant. Peter thought about this later and realized that Winnipeg didn't have an oyster catering company so why not start one here. As with most of Peter's ideas, it sat around and did nothing until he brought it up with Marshall over oysters. Marshall had recently sold his company and was looking for something to do. He was always interested in the food and service industry so the 2 of them decided to make a go of it and Prairie Oyster Catering was born!

Peter and Marshall are heading to Vancouver Island for the May long weekend to tour some farms, meet oyster people, eat oysters, get recipes, learn everything they can about oysters and hopefully set up direct sourcing to Winnipeg from cool, hippy, left coast oyster farmers that they meet on their trip. This blog will try to document the start up of this crazy idea and our escapades along the way.