Foraged Food + Coastal Cooking

Spot prawn are in season, and BC commercial fishermen are harvesting in abundance from 300 foot depths.

Cook acquires a few kilos fresh from the sea by loitering where incoming boats in Port McNeill unload, and cash money disrupts their journey to Asia. Spot Prawns are handsome and they are jumping-jack-flashing in Jupiter’s galley until cook rips off their heads.

Thai style curry of fresh buttery prawns served over rice is a favorite with the crew.

Spot Prawn Curry

Remove heads from the prawns then shell and devein keeping bodies intact. Use shells and heads to make a savory stock by simmering with aromatics for an hour. Strain and clarify, discarding waste.

Sauté chopped onion until golden then add Thai curry paste and equal parts prawn stock and coconut milk to the pan. Stir with a whisk until blended and creamy. Flavor to taste with fish sauce and coconut sugar.

Add chopped fresh vegetables and simmer until just tender. Introduce prawns and continue to cook gently for five more minutes, then ladle over steamed basmati rice. Top with chopped peanuts, orange segments, hot pepper flakes, or other garnishes of choice.

After five years yearning to revisit remote and evocative McMicking Inlet on the Pacific side of Campania Island, Jupiter arrives during fine weather. The inlet is a destination inconvenient for voyagers on a schedule.

Silent Dancer quiet in morning fog at McMicking Inlet

Pleasantly surprised to find another boat here, we anchor up and launch the tender to explore the rocky shoals and fine sand beaches nearby. We are hailed by the occupants of the sailboat sharing the anchorage and delighted by the offer of a fresh side of recently reeled chinook salmon.

Yes, thank you, and please come aboard Jupiter for wine this evening. The neighbors arrive with two Dungeness crabs so large they have to be wedged into our capacious cooler.

Crab Cryotherapy

Surprising sagas ensue, and we find ourselves amidst an accomplished team of enterprising chef-photo-foragers. Deep details are revealed of adventurous procurements and remarkable gastronomic preparations of critters of the land and creatures of the sea.

Merriment ends before sunset which is not until 22:00 hours, and our resourceful culinary friends depart into the blue-light of the evening to build a fire and roast some ferreted eatage on the beach photo-shooting for a certain hungry brand name.

The following morning we lower the crabs into a cauldron of heavily salted boiling water until pink and cooked. After chilling in an ice bath, we crack and pick our way through a Dungeness day, saving the tender knuckle meat for a future brunch.

Crab Stacks

Whip up a handmade mayonnaise starting with one egg yolk, a little salt, a tablespoon of vinegar, a teaspoon of dijon and a dash of paprika in a bowl. Blend these together, then drizzle in ¾ cup olive oil very slowly while whisking vigorously until a thick emulsion forms. Whisk in the juice of half a lemon.

Toast english muffins, then butter and load with crab knuckle meat. Sprinkle with furikake, then add a generous dollop of mayonnaise creating a small nest with the back of a spoon. Soft poach eggs, and nestle atop the crab stack. Garnish with whole seed mustard.

A new concept of farming micro-greens onboard Jupiter is being pioneered this summer. Seeds are soaked, sprouted and grown atop coconut fiber media in trays that support the plants above water. The roots make their way through the matting to drink from below.

Five species of Pacific salmon call British Columbia home for some part of their lifecycle, making the salmon runs here one of the most interesting migrations in the world.

Recent gustatory commentary inspires cook to try a dry-brine on our fine filet of King Salmon in a quest for the elusive crispy skin.

King Salmon with Mango Salsa

Slice portions from the side of salmon. Place atop a clean towel and sprinkle liberally with salt on all sides. Allow the salted fish to sit uncovered in the fridge for eight to twenty-four hours. Pat completely dry and coat very lightly with olive oil.

Heat a pan (not non-stick) over medium heat for at least two minutes then lay in the salmon, skin side down and leave unmoved until the skin crisps and releases easily from the pan. Turn and finish cooking with the flesh side down. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.

Chop a fresh mango, cucumber and red onion into small dice and toss in lime juice, adding red pepper flakes to taste. Top with cilantro micro-greens for garnish. Spoon the salsa over the fish, and serve alongside buttered baby potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts.

Pilot House Galley

Location: Who knows? $$$$$$$
Top Tags: Great Views · Lousy Service · Not Enough Staff · Do your own Dishes

This eatery is difficult to find, has seats for only four diners, does not take reservations and offers only a fixed menu. If you are lucky enough to find a seat be prepared to stand, help set the table, serve, and wash up the kitchen afterwards.

The food is remarkably creative, portions are generous but sometimes include ingredients that have been around for weeks. There is no wine list, but local vintages are served if you are lucky. Drinking water is seshy and always homemade.

The cook specializes in meats from the freezer and seafood fresh from the sea if available. She will give you side-eye for any number of suggestions, comments or complaints.

The price is totally outrageous and somehow based on the cost of diesel fuel.

Reservations: No
Delivery and Take Out: No
Walk-ins: No


  1. Patricia says:

    Given a bit more proximity, I would dine on Jupiter anytime, day or night, and sit anywhere! Even in a corner of the pilot house on the floor! It all sounds so creative, fresh, and delectable! You are culinary geniuses in my humble opinion.
    So glad you are well and enjoying your continuing BC adventures. Sending lots of ooo’s and ahh’s and love!!!

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