Wild Caraway Restaurant & Cafe – Wild Foraging Dinner
Happy May! I love this time of year... it's finally starting to feel like spring and I'm excited to get out for a few Nova Scotia road trips. I like to plan my mini-vacations around amazing food, so Wild Caraway Restaurant & Cafe in Advocate Harbour is an annual visit for me. They host a Wild Foraging Dinner each year and it's truly a unique Maritime dining experience.
Owners Sarah Griebel and Andrew Aitken opened Wild Caraway in 2009 and have been doing the foraging dinner since 2010. They gather all the gorgeous wild produce from their own community: sea greens, edible flowers, medicinal herbs, local seafood and meat are combined in unconventional ways to create a tasting menu inspired by nature. It's a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.
Sarah (from Alberta) and Andrew (from Australia) first met at a restaurant in Melbourne where they worked together in a kitchen. A year later, Andrew came to Canada with a work visa. They traveled all over North America and visited Sarah's aunt in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia which led to them running a little restaurant in Spencer's Island. After purchasing their home in Advocate Harbour, they were ready to open their own restaurant.
"We love the sense of community and freedoms that come with rural life. We aren't as bound by trends or what other establishments are doing and there is great creative freedom in that. We have had so much help from community members and friends in getting and keeping going...it's hard to imagine doing this anywhere else!”
I really enjoyed my time spent at Wild Caraway photographing the preparations for the 2017 foraging dinner. They have an awesome team that makes everything possible: Ryan Johnson, Cindy Currie, Laurie Currie and Jake Masson (in the kitchen) Zoe Callison, Maddie Currie, Jill Chambers and Shelby Leopold (front of house).
This year's foraging dinner takes place on June 20th. I can't wait to see what is on the menu!
Rose & Dogwood Sour
Wild Strawberry & Wintergreen Smash
1st Course: Amuse
Jonah crab, sweet cicely pods, sea greens.
Scallop tartar, vinegar gels, spruce tip salt.
Shad spring rolls, scotch lovage, sumac, rosehip gel.
Day lily buds, green garlic mayo.
2nd Course: Soup
Day lily flowers, cattails, chive flower sorbet, red clover vinaigrette.
3rd Course: Welsh Caviar and Eggs
Sea lettuce and dulse, oatmeal, 3-hour eggs, smoked dulse and lovage breadcrumbs, roe sour cream, smoked milt.
4th Course: Pasta
Yard greens and ricotta tortellini, fir tips, fiddleheads, sorrel foam, chickweed, balsam fir oil.
5th Course: Beach Fire
Chorizo stuffed squid, spruce tip sauerkraut, beach peas, oyster leaf, wild caraway, prosciutto, rosehip jus, squid oil.
6th Course: Summer's Here!
Wild chamomile granita, rose and wild strawberry sorbet.
7th Course: The Canteen
Elderflower, spruce tip, blackcurrant leaf ice cream, condiments.
8th Course: Petit Fours
Sweet fern meringue, mint marshmallow, spruce tip cookie dough truffle.