How so? Essentially, PEI is a culinary paradise! Its scenic agricultural landscapes rimmed by beaches and surrounded by the ocean are replete with artisans, craftspeople, and small-scale food producers. It’s no wonder that the renowned Chef Michael Smith decided to make this his home base, and harness the ‘Farm to Fork’ experience at Inn at Bay Fortune. Our group was based here during our 5-day tasting journey and island immersion, which provided the perfect setting for learning about ingredients grown, fished, foraged or crafted here.
Here are my top three favourite experiences (aside from the hospitality!) on our PEI East Coast adventure:
1. Eating the fresh food.
There are two lobster seasons on PEI for each of the bodies of water surrounding it: the open Gulf of St. Lawrence in the North (June); and the Northumberland Strait in the South (September). Our tour began in time to enjoy fresh morning hauls of lobster. It may not get any better than that! The island also abounds in farm-fresh vegetables, and has some of the best seafood in the world.
2. Meeting the island’s farmers and fishers.
Aside from spending time with Chef Michael on his Inn at Bay Fortune farm, we visited his suppliers around the island; everyone from oyster farmers to cheese makers, and even distillers. We got to see first-hand where our food comes from whether it’s hauled out of the ocean or grown in the famous iron-rich red soil. We even went aboard a lobster boat to try our hands at deep sea fishing! The warmth and passion from island producers is infectious.
3. Enjoying the beaches and natural landscape.
PEI is home to some of the very best beaches in Canada. You’re never more than ten minutes away from a beach on PEI, and they are all so diverse. You’ll find red sand, white sand, and even ‘singing’ sand! PEI is a photographer’s dream; framed by red sandstone cliffs, rolling sand dunes, adorned with lighthouses, and filled with a patchwork of fields.