There were five teams on hand competing for the Best Salmon in New Caledonia title and 200 judges caste their votes.
Sampling the delicious salmon cooked by the five competitors, was a tough job, but the visitors to the Salmon Day events at the Fort St. James National Historic Site were up to the challenge.
The District of Fort St. James, Integris Credit Union, Fort St. James Farmer’s Market, The Soup Wallah (a newly opened cafe in Fort St. James), and Samwiches Catering were all cooking salmon fillets over open fires with their own special recipes to try and woo the crowd of judges and visitors.
All the entries I was able to sample were delicious, and the voting was close once again, with last year being a perfect tie between Mount Milligan’s team and the White Goose Bistro in Prince George.
This year, the winner was the District of Fort St. James team, with two different recipes to choose from: spicy tandoori and sweet and savoury salmon. Both recipes were cooked on a cedar plank and served with some rice and roasted corn.
The runner-up was a fresh and colourful entry by the Fort St. James Farmer’s Market.
There was fresh flat-leafed parsley and fruit with the birch-syrup-marinade salmon, which left a fresh burst of flavour in the mouth.
The Soup Wallah entry was a “garden salmon” served on a bed of delicious locally-grown red-leafed lettuce with a fresh creamy herb dressing.
The Integris entry ran out of salmon before I was able to sample any and the Samwiches Catering lineup was too long to navigate in between photos.
There were plenty of other attractions to take in at the park as well, with visitors from Two Rivers Art Gallery in Prince George offering kids a chance to paint some fish prints on paper.
Roy Argue, from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, was giving fish dissection demonstrations, teaching visitors all about the physiology of fish and what makes them so well-adapted to their environment.
There were also horse wagon-rides on offer from Silver Springs Country Recreation and Wellness, free giveaways from Northern BC Provincial Parks and there was an educational display by BC Hydro’s PowerSmart program as well.
There were also the regular attractions such as trying the ancient hunting technique of atlatl and chicken races.