Cow farmer cooks salmon to defend name

Tom Greenaway will trade in his pitch fork for a real fork at the National Historic Site's salmon cook-off in Fort St. James.

Tom Greenaway of Greenaway farms has entered the National Historic Site's salmon cook-off to defend his name.

Fort St. James — Cooking Salmon is not usually a part of a cow farmer’s day, especially during the summer months.

“Usually I’m busy haying at this time of year, but I’ll take time out this year,” said Tom Greenaway of Greenaway Farms, who also sits on the regional district of Bulkley Nechako as the representative for rural Fort St. James.

This year Mr. Greenaway will trade in his pitchfork for a regular fork during the sixth annual salmon cook-off at the Fort St. James National Historic Site Saturday, July 19. The park will have free-admission all weekend while celebrating it’s Caledonia Days event. The first 100 guests will get the chance to be a judge during the tasting at noon.

Each year up to seven teams compete for the title of best cooked salmon chef in New Caledonia. Having only cooked salmon a few times in his life, Mr. Greenaway is less than a seasoned salmon cooker. Usually, he enters the annual Fort St. James dog sledding race in February which is a sport built more to his liking. He has won the race twice and come in second once, but last year he was unable to attend to defend his title. He has since been antagonized by friends about the weather being too cold as the reason for his absence. Mr. Greenaway has tried to re-affirm that the real reason is because one of his cows was in labour. Continuing to be heckled, he figured he would defend his name by cooking salmon.

Although he doesn’t know a lot about how to cook salmon, Mr. Greenaway does have a secret weapon; a filipino partner.  Ross Ramos, who sits on Mr. Greenaway’s advisory planning committee at work, has cooked salmon many times and plans to have their ingredients imported.

“The rest of it is secret,” said Mr. Greenaway.

The cook-off rule is that each team can bring any secret ingredients they want. Previous years have seen flavours such as sweet chutney, bourbon, honey glaze and maple glaze.

“We get some amazing salmon recipes,” said Rene Leidl, acting product development and visiting experience officer. “It’s also become quite a grudge match against some of the teams so everyone will be defending their name.”

For more information about the salmon cook-off contact Bob Grill at the Fort St. James National Historic Site at 250-996-7191 ext 21.