I have to admit that I am really getting quite used to this cruising lifestyle and finding myself in a new place (almost) every morning, spending the day meeting terrific people , hearing their stories and eating (and drinking) fantastic meals.
Today was no exception as we arrive in Sydney, Nova Scotia on Cape Breton Island, where I first meet Chef Ardon Mofford at the Governor’s Pub & Eatery, one of the town’s premier Celtic inspired seafood restaurants. Here I have my first ever, “true” lobster roll that the Chef was proud to make for me himself. Big, fresh chunks of delicious lobster blended with homemade mayo, crunchy celery, onions and dill on a tasty homemade roll. Every thing made from scratch and utterly scrumptious. I was given a Nova Scotia Moscato and a few local craft beers to taste along with the roll as well. (Chef Ardon agreed he favored the Moscato.) While chatting about his passion for using only the best of local products, he offered to introduce me to his shellfish provider over on Louisbourg where I was headed anyway to learn all about snow crabs. Before leaving, I was curious to hear about his upcoming project, “Right Some Good” which I learn is the ultimate pop-up dining event taking place on Cape Breton island August 23- Sept 1st. International chefs, master chefs and world class chefs will be preparing one of a kind meals using local ingredients and showing all that is special about the area.
It’s a short and scenic 20 minute or so ride to the small fishing village of Louisbourg and to Louisbourg Seafoods where Chef Ardon introduces me to the plant manager who is to give me my lesson in eating snow crab legs. After an embarrassing first few attempts, I do perfect the technique of getting all the sweet tasty meat out of shells and am glad that it was filmed so I can remember it when I eat them at home. Derrick then brought me (and my camera team) to tour the plant where the crabs are brought in, brined, frozen and prepared for shipping. Suiting up with shower caps and a cover up robe (but, unfortunately, no boots) we headed through the various areas (from the end of the process to the beginning to avoid contamination,) and suddenly we found our feet covered in cool, messy, crabby water that overflowed from the various vats. It was not a pleasant feeling but there was nothing to do but continue and so we did. (Needless to say, those sandals are history although I did try to salvage them.) Anyway, it was all very fascinating to see and I respect those workers a great deal. We even learned a tip about adding a layer of moisture to items you freeze and that will allow you to keep them longer.)
From here it was off to the Fortress of Louisbourg, a national Canadian Historic site where a good portion of the original 18th century French fortress is reconstructed and re-enactments from the time are held. I was taken into the kitchen to try some hot chocolate that was made as it would have been long ago and was a luxurious item for those who could afford it. While there was a lot more to explore at the fortress, it was time to head back to the ship so there will just have to be a visit at another time.
More Nova Scotia tomorrow.
Cheers and all the best,