Dinner on the Floating Dining Room

As you can imagine I have been to many different types of dinners of the years, some of my most memorable meals had been while I was off travelling. Last night I had one of the most memorable dining experiences ever in my own city, Vancouver.

Shannon Ronalds

There is a back story that takes us back about 4 months or so when Shannnon Ronalds had an idea to start a foundation called School of Fish with its ultimate goal to raise $100,000 with the money to be used to train and educate chefs around the world about sustainability in our oceans. Shannon knew the right people, his friend and former boss Harry Kambolis (owner of C Restaurant and a leader himself in Sustainability) and Chef Robert Clark (Chef at C Restaurant and one of the best chefs in North America also a leader in Sustainability). The foundation was co-founded by Shannon Ronalds & Chef Robert Clark. The idea was born and is an amazing fete, I dined on the Floating Dining Room on opening night on July 24th with Shannon Ronalds leading the way, he was our Sommelier, Server, and Guiding Light to me and my fellow diners (in all we were 12 members of the media guests of Shannon Ronalds for the night).

Eating in the dining room

After we assembled at C Restaurant, we all made our way down the seawall, gangway to the dock and walked to the Floating Dining Room that is somewhat anchored next to the dock. The dining room measures about 20 feet long x 8 feet wide and the floor is made up of 1700 plastic bottles rescued from the ocean, the structure was designed by Matt Kirk-Buss of Loki Ocean and built by Shannon Ronalds and a couple of friends who donated their time to the project. It is constructed entirely of renewable, recycled, reclaimed and/or re-purposed materials, seats only 12 and is a fully outfitted formal dining room complete with fine china, and crystal. Clear walls and ceiling shield patrons from the elements while affording them a very unique perspective on False Creek and the views beyond.

Chef Robert Clark

The 6 courses dinner was paired with 6 wines, the menu for the dinner was created by Chef Robert Clark using sustainable seafood including BC Spot Prawns supplied by Organic Ocean. The wines were selected by Sommelier Shannon Ronalds from many wine tastings to choose the right wines for this dinner pairing.

BC Spot Prawn Sunomono Salad

1st Course
BC Spot Prawn Sunomono Salad paired with the New Zealand Mud House Sauvignon Blanc.

Ultra rare scallop

2nd Course
Ultra rare scallop finished at the table with a dashi broth paired with the Summerhill Pinot Gris.

Farmed Tilapia with a lobster saffron cream

3rd Course
Farmed Tilapia with a lobster saffron cream paired with the Twisted Tree Marsane Rousanne.

Northern BC Wild Coho Salmon

4th Course
Northern BC Wild Coho Salmon paired with the California 2008 Bensinger Chardonnay.

Tiger blue cheese from poplar grove, romala cheese from naramata

5th Course
Tiger blue cheese from poplar grove, romala cheese from naramata with blueberry and apricot compotes + honey paired with the Pacific Breeze “GSM” (or Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre)

Berry Fool with chocolate shavings

6th Course
Berry Fool with chocolate shavings paired with the Tinhorn Creek Late Harvest Kerner 2008 dessert wine.

Our group was fortunate to be able to see the Celebration of Light Fireworks (Spain) over the burrard bridge while enjoying our dessert, it was as magical as it was memorable.

Servers from Northwest Culinary Academy

Started July 24th the floating dining room will host 60 nights of exclusive dining. Each candle-lit dinner includes a six-course sustainable seafood meal prepared by multi-award winning Chef Robert Clark of C Restaurant. Mr. Ronalds, a former sommelier, will carefully choose wines to compliment each course. The price for this once-in-a-lifetime dining experience? There is a discount for ordering early ’ $195 (plus taxes) per person if ordered prior to July 31st (for any date). Starting August 1st the price goes up to $215. Group discounts will also be offered for those who wish to book the entire 12 seats for a private function. Each dinner will be personally presided over by Mr. Ronalds.

Reservations are a must and can be made by calling 778-997-6977 or emailingcontact@schooloffishfoundation.org Dinners proceed rain or shine and all ticket sales are final due to the limited time frame of the experience. If you find you cannot attend, you may transfer your ticket to someone else.

By: Richard Wolak