Prawn festival gathering steam

The second annual Okanagan Spot Prawn Festival was recently held at The Cove Lakeside Resort in West Kelowna

Jon Crofts

Jon Crofts

The second annual Okanagan Spot Prawn Festival at The Cove Lakeside Resort in West Kelowna was a huge success.

With sunny skies above, the patio was roared with seafood fans roaming the restaurant stations tasting delicious spot prawn-focused bites prepared by local chefs.

The Cove’s Bonfire Grill chef Grant de Montreuil was sautéing spot prawns with a splash of Sambuca, sending tempting aromas through the air while Poppadom’s across the way perfumed the air with exotic Indian spice. Hillside Estate Bistro, Joy Road Catering, Nineteen Grill & Lounge, Ricardo’s Mediterranean Kitchen and The Terrace at Mission Hill Family Estate all had stations set up with beautiful creations to share.

Jon and Anne-Marie Crofts from Kelowna’s Codfathers Seafood were at the centre of it all with live spot prawns on display and for sale. Jon Crofts, the sea-loving gent who spearheaded bringing this coastal celebration home to the interior, made a grueling dash down to the Coast the day before to fetch this live haul direct from the sea.

The venerable chef Robert Clark from Vancouver’s C Restaurant was also set up nearby, offering lucky guests a soupcon of his Spot Prawn Gazpacho (see recipe). Jon describes chef Clark as being “responsible basically for reintroducing spot prawns to the B.C. culinary scene.”

Crofts explains that “previously, 90 per cent of prawns were being exported to Asia, so Rob got together with some progressive local fishermen and decided to change this.

“With the help of the chefs table society, they started the Vancouver Spot Prawn Festival to increase public awareness of the product, and to stimulate local demand in order to get the fishermen the price locally that they could get abroad for the prawns. It became a great success, and has spawned other festivals in the province including our own, so that now our prawns are 80 per cent consumed in Canada.”

As a result of this initiative, Crofts “has seen demand in the Okanagan increase exponentially in the last three years”.

Wild B.C. spot prawns are a delicacy known around the world for their sweet, delicate flavour and firm texture. They are most recognizable for their reddish brown colour, which turns bright pink when cooked, defining white spots on their tail and white horizontal bars on the carapace. Spot prawns are the largest of the seven commercial species of shrimp found on the West Coast of Canada.

For more information about wild B.C. spot prawns, visit



Jennifer Schell  is the editor of B.C. Food and Wine Trails magazine.

Just Posted

James Miller, the managing editor at the Penticton Herald, has been voted in for Jake Kimberley’s vacated council seat. (Submitted)
James Miller elected as Penticton city councillor

Penticton also voted yes to allowing up to 25 years for a Skaha Marina contract

The Eyes of the Tigers on the 2021 Beer Run on June 19. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Beer Runners take trip around local beaches and brews

Over 160 people signed up to come back after the 2020 run was cancelled

There was high voter turnout for the first of three advance voting days for the Penticton city by-election.
Penticton city by-election general voting day is today, June 19

737 voters on June 9 in comparison to 2018 general election, which had 1,001 on first day

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read