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Slow Fish in Action

Slow Fish Nova Scotia

Lia Rinaldo, a film festival director by day and pretty much obsessed with all things food the rest of the time, attended the launch of Slow Fish Nova Scotia and tells us about it. Originally posted at Se7en's a Banquet, 9ine's a Brawl.


Fish are the last great wild food.

They are part of a fragile ecosystem.
So are the fishing communities.
Change the way fish lands on your plate.

Slow Fish Nova Scotia


Good lord. What an opener. I had the distinct pleasure recently of attending the official launch of Slow Fish Nova Scotia. It was a decadent 11-course seafood brunch (they posted it at 9, but the food kept coming, seriously) prepared by Chef Dennis Johnston and the team at Fid Resto.



Slow Fish NS launch crowd. Courtesy of Cherry Pie Photography.


This really is a good news story.


In Nova Scotia we have had a lot of people working hard behind the scenes for some time to put fresh Nova Scotia seafood on our plates. Here. You'd think that it would be obvious, here we are surrounded by the Atlantic ocean, seafood feels plentiful, feels like it's all around us, but honestly most of what is caught here is heading somewhere else, and in most cases, is processed somewhere else. What the? But...


Cut to Dave Adler and the crews at both the Ecology Action Centre and Off the Hook CSF. People who have been working hard setting up personal relationships with the fishermen, divers, small scale fish plants and farmers who catch and grow seafood in Nova Scotia. From what I understand, Dave has been showing up right on the docks, endearing himself to the community and interrupting a high-level foreign food chain that has been happening forever. You have to admire initiative like that.


One of the things most people who have the good fortune to attend Slow Food International‘s Terra Madre conference in Turin will say, is that everyone eventually has their aha! moment. The moment where you are completely overwhelmed by the amount of infomation and people coming at you... and somehow, you are able to process it and invoke action locally. Dave was able to not only attend the event this October, but he became very involved with Slow Fish International. This is definitely Dave's moment and I'm going to follow it... Welcome Slow Fish Nova Scotia.


It was a wonderful afternoon, with a great cast of characters from Beau the rockstar fisherman and his adventures with halibut, to the singing clammer Terry Wilkins, to fellow engaging Slow Food Nova Scotia board member Peter Darnell from Indian Point Farms. Fun, funny, charming... they regaled us with both the good and the bad issues around their individual fisheries. I don't know about you, but I want to be told by people I trust what to do around seafood, where to get it, when to get it and what to try. It's that simple.


In terms of the food itself, Chef Dennis prepared a wonderful, fresh, thoughtful meal-perfectly proportioned-this was key given 11 courses. There's a lightness in his step, as he and wife Monica are getting to ready to close their 13-year institution, Fid Resto on May 19th (my birthday- I may just eat & drink there all day). I don't feel this is a sad day for them, they've worked hard, and like most chefs who have sold their bricks and mortar recently and have moved on, it's downright thrilling. I think we should be excited about what they have in store for us wherever they show up next. I certainly am.


There will be a number of upcoming events this year for Slow Fish Nova Scotia. In the meantime, you can follow their progress and get in on the action here.


The Menu


- Trap Caught Shrimp -
Freshly Poached and Served as our Shrimp "Cocktail"
Chedabucto Bay Trap Caught Shrimp


- Diver Caught Urchins -
Frozen and Grated over a Salad of Freshly Pickled Vegetables
Bay of Fundy Urchin and Scallop Divers


- Bay of Fundy Lobster -
With a Sheet of Fresh Pasta "Fassoletto", Mounted Butter and White Wine.
Off the Hook Community Supported Fishery


- Diver Caught Scallops -
Smoked and Served with a Vinaigrette
Bay of Fundy Urchin and Scallop Divers


- Quahogs with Bacon -
Bacon Dashi, Miso Mayo and Tempura Bits
Shan Daph


- Raw Bar -
Fresh Oysters on the Half Shell Shucked by the Producer
Shan Daph


- Hook and Line Caught Halibut -
Seared on the Unilateral with Fresh Local Spinach
Off the Hook Community Supported Fishery


- Farm Raised Mussels -
Steamed Open with Flavours of the Season
Indian Point Farms


- Land Based Farm Raised Arctic Char -
Two Preparations: Cured & Seared with a Crispy Skin and Pea Shoots
Strickland Farms


The Slow Fish Nova Scotia launch crowd photography is courtesy of Cherry Pie Photography.



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