Menu puts spotlight on sustainable seafood

The Eat ‘em to Beat ‘em dinner series is a new undertaking for Hillside Bistro at Hillside Estate Winery in Naramata

The Eat ‘em to Beat ‘em dinner series is a new undertaking for Hillside Bistro at Hillside Estate Winery in Naramata this year. As a partner in the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Program, Hillside is proud to put the spotlight on sustainable seafood by featuring a three-course invasive seafood dinner.

Executive chef Rob Cordonier explains: “This idea was inspired by my relationship with the Ocean Wise program, and a documentary I watched on the Knowledge Network about the Humbolt squid and their violent northern migration.

“I am committed to the cause of educating people about sustainable seafood choices to ensure the health of our ocean eco-systems. The team at Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program, and Jon Crofts at Codfathers (Seafood Market) were a huge help in seafood selection for this menu. The invasive fish and seafood that we have selected for the dinner are all playing a role in the changing landscape of our ecosystems.”

The goal of this eco-conscious chef and fishmonger is to ensure that the seafood available for sale to restaurants and the community is harvested from sustainable sources and does not harm the habitat from which they were taken.

“My hope in putting on this event is that customers will go away with a greater awareness of the choices they are making when shopping or eating at restaurants,” said Cordonier. “I feel the biggest opportunity though is to teach the chefs of the future about these sustainable options.  When the young cooks from Hillside move on to their own kitchens as chefs, they will take this initiative even further, and share the knowledge with another generation of cooks.”

Bravo chef!

Eat ’em to Beat ’em — A gourmet dinner of invasive fish species — runs from May 4 to 12 from 5-9 p.m. Here’s a sample of the menu (Four-course dinner is $39, with paired wines $54):

Duelling Shellfish: Miyagi oyster with apricot pearls and chili oil; savoury clam and fennel chowder. Wine pairing: Muscat Ottonel.

Butter Basted Yellow Perch: Green beans, almonds, sauce vierge. Wine pairing: Un-oaked Pinot Gris.

Humboldt Squid: Grilled humboldt, watercress, sundried tomato, olives, Tellicherry pepper and port jam. Wine pairing: Pinot Noir

Blackberry Tartlet: White chocolate, lavender cream.

Favourite local musical act Uncorked will play on May 4 and 11. For more information on this event and other upcoming events, visit