Enjoyed at The Inn at Bay Fortune
The FireWorks Feast is a wonderful evening of wood-fired food and a lesson of the work required to bring fresh farm ingredients to the kitchen.
Hosted at the Inn at Bay Fortune, Chef Michael Smith and The Fire Brigade have crafted an immersive country dining experience highlighting the best East coast ingredients. Seeing the progression from farm to table, and smelling the delicious aromas from the cooking fires, works up quite an appetite.
So let’s eat!
Before the feast proper, we were given a tour showcasing the vegetables, herbs, and livestock that are grown and raised on site. Following the tour, guests are encouraged to discover the different tasting and cocktail stations which are setup around the property.
First (and repeated) stop was the herb garden sausage pit. Perfect bites of grilled wagyu patty, hot off of cast iron over coals. We were gobbling these up as fast as staff could skewer them for us.
Complimenting the meat were three delicious sauces showcasing the farm’s veg and herbs: strawberry & tarragon chutney, arugula pesto, and a radish flower aioli. The aioli was my personal favorite, with a bright, tangy profile that balanced the fat without sacrificing beef flavor.
One good beef deserves another, and the wagyu heart, tail & tongue tacos from the fire pit station were a feast for the eyes as well.
The two-bite tacos brought a combination punch in flavor profiles: tender grilled beef paired with split pea smear, onion & cabbage slaw, and crimson sauce of strawberry and fennel.
Stepping out of the sun, inside were more great eats featuring spice cured, sustainable smoked salmon on gouda crackers with dill.
There was also some sassy shucking going down at the oyster bar, and Breagh got to try her first one, fresh from Colville Bay!
With a humid heatwave blanketing the island, cocktails offered cool relief and guaranteed an evening filled with laughter. Highlights of the night included a Moscow Mule, Gin & Tonic, and an amazing Caesar bolstered with ingredients from Upstreet and Maritime Madness.
Feast to Remember
We gathered on the front lawn for an entertaining toast to the evening, then made our way inside to long, welcoming tables for the main event.
We started the feast with a loaf of wood oven bread, served on a lovely piece of locally crafted metalwork. Infused butters, cheeses, and paté were available to spread over the soft slices. Maple, lemon, and thyme provided a variety of flavors in early noshing.
Next was the aptly named East Coast Chowder, loaded with tasty treasures from island waters. Muscles, clams, lobster, crab, halibut, and scallops made for an impressive catch on our table. The creamy chowder was rounded out with some bits of ‘Really Good Bacon’ and a few choice vegetables foraged from the beach.
With a taste for the sea, we were treated to seared arctic char over red quinoa, with charred bok choy. Bolstered by an ancho herb cream and strawberry & fennel slaw, the fish was a light but satiating and left a lasting impression that I should trade beef for seafood more often in my meals.
The first part of ‘Our Farm’ showcased the bounty of the garden found below the ground. The ‘Earth Plate’ included baked beet, smoked turnip, roasted carrot, and other tasty ingredients found close to the soil.
The second part of ‘Our Farm’ was a vibrant mix of above ground vegetation in the ‘Harvest Bowl’. Fresh herbs and veg were supported by the shoots, stalks, stems, and flowers of the plants as well. Finally, the a cider vinaigrette with hints of honey and canola oil brought the flora together.
The highlight of the evening, and some of the best pork I’ve ever had. Wood grilled pork loin, smoke house mustard pork belly, steam niseko turnip & kale, wood oven roast parsnip & rutabaga, confit new potato. and a shiitake pork jus. Words can not describe, except to say thanks to the lovely pigs who got plump on apples and made this night possible.
Ending on a sweet note, we were treated to a fanciful dessert of brown butter strawberry cake and haskap ice cream, on top of strawberry chips and a citrus compote. Our bellies were full, but strawberries and ice cream on a hot evening ensured every sweet crumb was enjoyed.
Farm to table has become very popular in the last few years, but for many, working the land and sea to provide is a way of life. The Inn at Bay Fortune takes the spirit of the island, shapes it with culinary skill, cooks it over crackling fires, and shares it through a feast for all of your senses.
When the last bite is finished, there is no denying that Chef Michael Smith and The Fire Brigade deliver an awesome food experience.