THE CHEF’S SEAL – EPISODE 01: MANITOBA

EPISODE 1: MANITOBA

When we first came up with “The Chef’s Seal” series we had some simple but important goals:

– Introduce seal to a new audience
– Showcase the fantastic chefs and restaurants that have looked past the propaganda to embrace a truly Canadian protein
– Let those who are responsible for choosing the products explain (in their own words) why seal deserves a place on the menu
– Encourage our fellow Canadians to get out and try it for themselves

To help achieve this we turned to the chefs themselves to tell their “Seal Story.” You may notice a theme among these chefs: they are all young, they are all talented, and they have all embraced a “local food” mindset when it comes to selecting product. They don’t settle for items that don’t meet their standards or do not fit into their vision. Everything they use is carefully selected and we are proud they have chosen SeaDNA seal meat for their menus.

Delicious, incredibly nutritious and truly sustainable; seal has been a part of Canada’s story for generations. We believe it is time for seal to take a step forward and for our country to embrace and utilize this gift mother nature has bestowed upon us.

We also wanted folks in Montreal to be able to see this video series and then, most importantly, make plans to go experience seal. So, we will focus on one establishment for a month before moving on to the next. We hope this will allow you at home the time to support the restaurants here in Montreal that are embracing and elevating our unique Canadian food identity.

Please enjoy this video series and share as much as possible!

The Chef: Simon Mathys

Simon Mathys is one of the bright lights on the Montreal culinary scene. A graduate of the École Hôtelière de Laval, Mathys has spent time in kitchens in both Quebec and France including Daniel Vézina’s Laurie-Raphaël, Bar & Boeuf, Racines and Bistro Accords.

Now the head chef at Manitoba, Mathys has been putting his visionary stamp on this great Montreal establishment since January of 2017.

The Dish: Smoked Butter Seal Loin


Chef Mathys: “The dish lends from the history of Indigenous Canadians and how they ate seal. It’s not exactly how they ate it but it’s inspired by it. It is served almost raw,  thinly sliced and it will be sprinkled with a smoked butter to replace the seal fat. Fresh seal fat is hard to get and less accessible, so we use smoked butter. I think that for customers to have a familiar taste, can help make seal easier to tame for the first time.  It is served with a kind of dip, but it’s a dry dip. We use buckwheat and during the summer we have picked a lot of flowers and herbs that are found locally. So we have a summer and winter version. Both are prepared in a similar way and it’s I find – a good way to eat it.”

Ingredients: Seal Tataki, Smoked Butter, Roasted Buckwheat, Wood Sorrel, Daylily, Marigold, Dried Sagebrush, Fleur de Sel

(Click here for recipe details)

The Place: Manitoba

An intimate and sophisticated but casual atmosphere sets the scene for fantastic cuisine focused on local ingredients.

As Manitoba says on their website“We wanted a taste of the forest in our plates, a taste of nature in our glasses, wood, rock, wind. But over all, we wanted to share in the simplicity of eating well, drinking well and having a good laugh together.” 

Mission well accomplished.

Manitoba Restaurant
271 Rue Saint Zotique Ouest

Montreal, QC
(514) 270-8000
restaurantmanitoba.com
Hours:
Mon-Thu: 6 pm-1 pm
Fri & Sat: 6 pm-Midnight

For more information about SeaDNA Seal Products and the seal industry: www.seadna.ca.

SeaDNA Seal Meat is prepared in CFIA/HACCP approved facilities and can be sold in any retail establishment from coast to coast to coast. For inquiries: sales@seadna.ca.

 

SEADNA SEAL JERKY: MAGNESI-YUM

If you’re on the hunt for more magnesium in your diet look no further than our brand-new Maple, Pepper. Chipotle Seal Jerky!

Just one bar can provide a huge dietary boost containing over 50% of your daily requirements of magnesium. The Super Jerky doesn’t stop there though. It has strong quantities of iron, zinc, phosphorus and the oft sought-after protein. It delivers all of this while being virtually fat-free, low in calories and gluten-free.

MAGNESIUM: WHAT DOES IT DO?

Magnesium may not exactly be top of mind for most when it comes to nutrients we need in our diet, but it is essential at promoting proper function of critical internal systems including the cardiovascular, muscular and nervous. It is commonly found in our teeth, bones and red blood cells and is also a part of building our DNA.

To put it simply: human beings really need magnesium. Despite this, studies suggest around 40% of Canadians are deficient. Thankfully simply adding more magnesium to one’s diet is often enough to rectify this.

Did you know magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral we find in our bodies? Among its roles:

– Maintaining bone density
– Nerve function
– Producing platelets
– Muscle function
– Heart rhythm and blood pressure
– Fights depression
And many more…

BOOST ENERGY LEVELS WITH MAGNESIUM

Magnesium is also an important nutrient for those that live an active lifestyle. Scientists in Scotland recently looked at the impact magnesium has in converting food into energy and discovered it plays a critical role. To get the most out of what you put in your body, magnesium is all important.

Help balance health-promoting magnesium levels in a delicious, truly Canadian way with SeaDNA Seal Jerky.

 

SHOP NOW or for more information: seadna.ca


Sources:http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/magnesium http://www.aafp.org/afp/2009/0715/p157.html,  http://www.nature.com/bjc/journal/v113/n11/full/bjc2015382a.html, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1855626,  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16542786, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16846100, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22364157, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9368236 

SEALFEST 2018: PHOQUE YES!!!

When we first put the call out for Seal Fest we were incredibly intrigued to see what the talented chefs in Montreal and Quebec City would whip up. But even we couldn’t have dreamed of what we are now seeing on offer. 

Seal Fest was launched to introduce this great and sustainable Canadian resource to as many people as possible and thanks to these imaginative restaurants there has never been a better time to experience it in Quebec.

Let us promise: all 13 establishments taking part have blown our minds with their creativity and magic in making our taste buds bounce. Seal is sustainable, delicious and wildly nutritious and a true Canadian tradition.

Experience it this week and enjoy it for a lifetime!

See below for a detailed list of the incredible seal creations that awaits you from now until April 1 2018!

For tickets and information on the event: www. sealfest.ca

MONTREAL

NOM NOM CANTEEN


THE DISH:

Seal tataki with sweet potato gratin, coconut and Kafir leaf and red cabbage salad with Ponzu.

SUGGESTED PAIRING:
Glass of red wine – California Merlot Talus

THE PRICE:
$16 (Alcoholic beverage included)

THE PLACE:
Nom Nom Canteen
901 Rue Square Victoria (W Hotel)
Montreal
514-395-3180

 

ITHQ RESTAURANT


THE DISH:

Seal tataki, “Blanc de gris” oyster mushroom, black garlic purée from Quebec, salicorne and dulse.

SUGGESTED PAIRING:
Bloody Ceaser made Radoune gin, salt of algae and mushrooms

THE PRICE:
$ 15 (Alcoholic beverage included)

THE PLACE:
ITHQ Restaurant
3535 Rue Saint-Denis Montreal
(514) 282-5155

 

CARIBOU GOURMAND


THE DISH:

Seal loin, black beer caramel, sea buckthorn berry gel, salt of wild mushrooms, mustard caviar and fried lichen.

SUGGESTED PAIRING:
Red wine or glass of Farnham beer

THE PRICE:
$14 (Alcoholic beverage included)

THE PLACE:
Caribou Gourmand
5308 Boulevard St-Laurent
Montreal
(438) -387 to 6677

 

L’ASSOMMOIR


THE DISH:

Seal croquette, béarnaise sauce with tarragon, spinach salad with berries and salicorne.

SUGGESTED PAIRING:
Selection of wine and beers

THE PRICE:
14$ (Alcoholic beverage included)

THE PLACE:
L’Assommoir
211 Rue Notre-Dame West
Montreal
(514) 272-0777

 

LE LOCAL


THE DISH:

Seal filet rillettes with apple chutney, sea buckthorn berry and salicorne.

SUGGESTED PAIRING:
Homemade cocktail with Quebec Wendigo gin (sea buckthorn gin)

THE PRICE:
$17 (Alcoholic beverage included)

THE PLACE:
Le Local
740 Rue William
Montreal
(514) 397-7737

 

PASTAGA


THE DISH:

Southwest style seal garnished with steak spices + rice, shrimp and ham croquette

SUGGESTED PAIRING:
Yin & yang cinsault-syrah from Ardèche Nature

THE PRICE:
$17 (Alcoholic beverage included)

THE PLACE:
Pastaga
6389 Rue St-Laurent
Montreal
(438) 381-6389

 

GRUMMAN 78

THE DISH:
Tostada of grilled seal, bacon and onion relish, golden raisins, mole

SUGGESTED PAIRING:
House cocktail: “Ô Phoque”  – tequila Cazadores reposado – absinthe Balzac – St-Laurent Gin – mole bitter – agave syrup with spices  

THE PRICE:
$15 (Alcoholic beverage included)

THE PLACE:
Grumman 78
630 Rue de Courcelle
Montreal
(514) 290-5125

 

COMPTOIR RHUBARBE


THE DISH:
Seal loin, Matane shrimp, ricotta, pear and sunflower.

SUGGESTED PAIRING:
Specially selected red wine

THE PRICE:
$15 (Alcoholic beverage included)

THE PLACE:
Comptoir Rhubarbe
5091 Rue De Lanaudière Street
Montreal
(514) 903-3395

 

QUEBEC CITY

CORSAIRE


THE DISH:
Gravlax of seal with rum and heather, creamy parsnip, kimchi with cuttlefish ink, parmesan crumble, horseradish meringue, sea buckthorn berry gel and red cabbage water with dill.

SUGGESTED PAIRING:
Selection of beer

THE PRICE:
$14.25 (Alcoholic beverage included)

THE PLACE:
Corsaire
5955 Rue Saint-Laurent,
Lévis, QC
(418) 380-2505

 

KRAKEN CRU


THE DISH:
Seared seal, squash puree, raw mustard, herb emulsion

SUGGESTED PAIRING:
Blaufränkisch – House Meinklang (Austria)

THE PRICE:
$17 (Alcoholic beverage included)

THE PLACE:
Kraken Cru
190 Rue Saint-Vallier West
Quebec City
(581) 741-9099

 

LE MOINE ECHANSON


THE DISH:
Seal tartare, fresh cheese, fresh cranberries, dulse, vinaigrette, homemade bannock bread

SUGGESTED PAIRING:
Miscela cuvée rose from the Lammidia estate

THE PRICE:
$14 (Alcoholic beverage included)

THE PLACE:
Le Moine Echanson
585 Rue Saint-Jean
Quebec City
(418) 524-7832

 

LE PIED BLEU


THE DISH:
Seal country style pâté wrapped in bacon

SUGGESTED PAIRING:
Calijo – Apple brandy

THE PRICE:
$14 (Alcoholic beverage included)

THE PLACE:
Le Pied Bleu
179 Rue Saint-Vallier West
Quebec City
(418) 914-3554

 

LOUISE


THE DISH:
Seal Tataki, Celeriac Puree with Berries and Blackberry Sorbet

SUGGESTED PAIRING:
Red wine – Cabernet 2013

THE PRICE:
$20 (Alcoholic beverage included)

THE PLACE:
Louise Tavern & Wine Bar
48 Rue Saint-Paul
Quebec City
(418) 780-7255

 

Don’t forget to call the restaurant for your reservation!

For the tickets:  www.sealfest.ca

SEAL FEST LANDS IN QUEBEC

The time has come to celebrate one of our great countries true traditional foods: the amazing seal! 

SEADNA and CARINO, supported by the governments of Newfoundland and Labrador and Québec, are pleased to announce the inaugural “Seal Fest” is right around the corner.

From March 22nd to April 1st restaurants in both Montréal and Québec City will showcase this Canadian Superfood delivering a special culinary experience. Sustainable, delicious and perhaps the most nutritious protein on the planet, seal certainly has a place in Canada’s food culture and this is the perfect occasion to discover it for yourself!

Seal is considered “Smarter Seafood” by Exploramer and a responsible part of marine ecosystem management as Harp and Grey Seal populations have exploded over the last 40 years off the Atlantic Coast. They now number in the millions and are of no concern when it comes to sustainability.

The population growth of the two seal species also continues to impact numerous Atlantic fisheries. According to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans a single adult seal can consume well over a tonne of fish and seafood stocks every year. DFO research has also shown the seal is a major impediment to the recovery of cod in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. The DFO official website states: “Predation by grey seals may account for up to 50 percent of this natural mortality, making them a major factor limiting the recovery of this cod stock.”

For several decades animal activists have railed against the industry despite overwhelmingly successful efforts to ensure a responsible and sustainable harvest. To this day, these groups still use the image of the whitecoat even though it’s been illegal for 30 years for them to be harvested. The truth is Canadian Seal Hunt is one of the most regulated activities in the world. The DFO establishes an annual quota to monitor and regulate the industry in order to preserve this resource.

Utilizing wild animals from the icy waters of the Atlantic the seal industry also has a very low carbon footprint; a major concern for many when it comes to factory farms. Seal Fest aims to change the perception of seal hunting and give attendees the opportunity to discover the value of these Canadian resources.

SEAL: A DELICIOUS AND TRULY CANADIAN RESOURCE!

 

When it comes to cooking seal is very versatile and almost every cut of meat can be transformed into a gourmet dish. Most common is the tenderloin but the flippers, heart, liver and kidneys can all be utilized in delicious ways. The blubber layer also provides an incredible Omega-3 source that is sustainable and 100% Canadian.

To help introduce seal to as many people as possible we have prepared an offer that is more than tantalizing. Each establishment taking part in “Seal Fest” will offer a delicious entrée accompanied by a glass of wine, cocktail or beer carefully chosen by their sommelier and/or mixologist. All of this starts at just $10.

 

SEAL FEST LAUNCH DETAILS:

The official launch for “Seal Fest” will be held on March 22 at 18:00 at the Nom Nom Canteen.  Executive Chef Gregory Faye will take care of the delicious canapés for the event and cocktails will be offered as we celebrate and discover this fantastic local resource.

Where: Nom Nom Canteen

Address: 901 Square Victoria Street, Montreal, QC H2Z 1R1

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Date: March 22 to April 1, 2018

Restaurants Participating: List to be unveiled very soon

Tickets: Starting at $ 10 for One Seal Entree + One Alcoholic Beverage (purchase on www.sealfest.ca)

 

For information regarding seal products and the industry: sales@seadna.ca
Seals and Sealing Network: 
https://sealsandsealing.net/

Canadian Sealers Association: http://www.sealharvest.ca

Office de gestion du phoque de l’Atlantique: https://www.ogpa.ca/blank

CHARCUTER-IFFIC!!!

Who doesn’t love a good charcuterie board?

Meaty, salty, indulgent, delicious. They are a perfect choice for any occasion, especially those special ones that come over the holiday season or during the long winter.

Here in Quebec we sometimes refer to these great products as “Corchonailles.” But it’s time your charcuterie repertoire expands with SeaDNA’s great line of “Phoconailles.”

From the Magdalen Islands, one of the most special places in the province, we are proud to bring to the Quebec mainland an amazing selection of specialty products featuring a great Canadian protein: seal.

Responsibly harvested and prepared with a lifetime of knowledge, it is Boucherie Cote a Cote we turn to for the man who knows how to make seal butchery magic.

Nicolas Beaupré (Co-propriétaire de la Boucherie Côte-à-côte) et Réjean Vigneau (Président de SeaDNA et Co-propriétaire de la Boucherie Côte-à-côte aux Îles-de-la-Madeleine). Crédit photo Dominique Lebel, 2017.

Rejean Vigneau has been working with seal for decades and his effort has helped shape best practices for an entire industry when it comes to processing and utilization. Vigneau and his team’s ability to integrate, understand and create flavours that compliment and improve the already great taste of seal means you are in for something special and wonderful on your table.

Whether it be a traditional pepperete, a terrine, effiloche, salami or smoked seal, SeaDNA seal charcuterie delivers a wild game experience that is incredibly tasty and features a wildly nutritious base.

Seal meat itself is very lean, but thankfully pork is a great compliment to provide both flavour and needed fat to these products. It is for this reason as well that these great charcuterie products can only be sold in Quebec.

Federally a seal is considered a fish. In Quebec however, it is considered a mammal. There are very few, if any, processing facilities in Canada that are approved for both classifications. This means that only here in Quebec we can mix pork with seal and make these amazing things for you. I guess that’s one more reason to consider yourself very lucky to come from this great province!!!

The Canadian seal harvest is quota-based like any wild hunt and is monitored and regulated by the Canadian government. The seal herd in the North Atlantic is completely sustainable and growing annually.


We encourage everyone from Quebec to discover a truly unique and delicious experience.

Discover Phoconailles today at www.seadna.ca

For more information: sales@seadna.ca

 

 

 

 

GOLD MEDAL SEAL

When chef Walid El-Tawel, the force behind Ottawa’s brilliant Fairouz, started his preparation for the prestigious Gold Medal Plates competition in the capital his plan was clear.

“At Fairouz our philosophy and vision has been to marry great Canadian ingredients with Middle Eastern flavours and nuances. So, we embarked on a mission to find what demonstrates Canadian heritage and pays respect to Middle Eastern food culture,” El-Tawel said.

This mission brought El-Tawel to one protein in particular: SeaDNA seal meat, a unique Canadian canvas on which he was able to put his own creative spin.

“Seal came on to my radar a few months ago when Louis Diament brought in a guest from Montreal who did a demonstration at the restaurant for us. It stayed in the back of my mind and followed up that day with lots of research and found that seal is just as a part of Canadian history as maple syrup and foie gras.”

El-Tawel continues: “I embraced the opportunity to celebrate Canada’s rich culinary heritage by celebrating lesser known protein sources because as Chefs it is our job to be educators. Canada 150 played a huge role in how we approached the dish philosophy.  I believe we embodied what it is to be a modern Middle Eastern in Canada and what Fairouz food culture is.”

Gold Medal Plates means hundreds of discerning palates to impress and taste-buds to blow away and El-Tawel was able to fuse his heritages in a way that showcased both his skills and remarkable culinary imagination.

“The dish was Ras al Hanout crusted seal with rose & hibiscus fluid gel and pickled lentils. The Ras al Hanout 21 ingredient spice blend was a marriage between middle eastern ingredients and Canadian ingredients. We used seaweed from the Haida Gwaii, dulse from the East coast to add some nice underlying saltiness to the spice blend.”

Visually stunning and utterly delicious, El-Tawel’s Gold Medal offering earned rave reviews from those in attendance including foodies, Olympians, and critics.

Born and raised in Ottawa, Chef Walid is creating some amazing hometown fare with his Fairouz earning nods such as: Best New Restaurant In Canada – Top 30 (EnRoute), Best Restaurant in Ottawa – Top 10 (Ottawa Magazine) and is listed at #46 in Canada’s top 100 restaurants.

We congratulate Walid for the honour of competing in Gold Medal Plates and salute him for helping showcase one of Canada’s truly great products.

For reservations and more info on Fairouz in Ottawa: https://www.fairouz.ca/

For more information on SeaDNA Seal Meat: http://www.seadna.ca

 

 

Go Wild With Seal

We realize that at first wild game can seem a little intimidating. But each different game has its own flavour characteristics and can be a very rewarding meal. If you have never tried seal, it is similar to beef but carries its own unique and inviting taste.

The hunt to eat healthy has led to more and more Canadians adding wild game to their diet. There are many factors that consumers weight before making this decision. Here are a couple reasons why SeaDNA Seal Meat is a great, healthy choice:

Benefits Of Wild Game Vs. Farm Meats

1. LEANER:

Most farm-raised animals live a much more sedentary lifestyle and often have a higher fat diet designed to increase bulk. Wild game eat a natural diet and are generally much more active. Seal is incredibly lean (2% fat) as the fat layer is separate from the meat of the mammal.

2. NATURALLY RAISED:

SeaDNA Seal Meat is wild caught in the icy waters off the coast of Atlantic Canada. It is free of added hormones or antibiotics.

3. CONTAINS OMEGA-3:

Wild game meat has Omega-3 running through it and seal is no different. Omega-3’s have been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease and can aid in the battle against arthritis among other benefits.

4. MORE NUTRITIOUS:

Game is known for its great nutritional value and seal certainly fits the bill. It is packed with protein, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin B-12. 

 

5. LOW IN FAT AND CALORIES:

When compared to farmed animals such as cows and chickens, SeaDNA seal meat has an average of 2% fat while their domesticated competitors typically have a fat content of 25-30%. Not just any fat either. We’re talking a lot less saturated fat (the bad fat).  Compared to other wild game meat, it is the lowest in calories (100 Kcal/100g).

 

SEAL MEAT (per portion of 100 g)
CALORIES:  1oo
PROTEIN:  23g
FAT: 1g

 

HARP SEAL LOIN

 

 

HARP SEAL FLIPPER

 

 

Seal Meat Cuts

If you’re wondering about the variety of cuts available, seal steaks, seal shoulders (flipper), sausages, merguez, burger are the most common options, and seal sausages is a surprisingly lean choice.

Click here for more information on our seal cuts and seal charcuteries (Phoconailles). 

 

Cooking Seal Meat

When it comes to cooking wild game, you may be interested to know that the guidelines are pretty similar to how you would cook any red meat. There is only one hard-set rule with cooking wild meats: don’t overcook. As previously mentioned, wild game is very lean, which means that if you cook it too long, the meat is sure to dry out big time.

On our website, you can find different seal meat recipes:

 

Where to Buy Seal Meat?

Our seal meat is available in different butcher shops, fish markets and specialty stores and restaurants across the country.  Click here to find out about our most recent update of the locations offering seal meat.   Please note that you might have to call in advance to order your seal meat or to make sure that the restaurant is currently offering seal meat on its menu.

 

The Canadian Seal Harvest

The Canadian seal harvest is no different from any other wild game harvest. The Canadian government sets an annual quota, monitors and regulates the hunt, and ensures that any part of the animal used for human consumption is tested and safe.

You can find more info on the straight seal facts, seal populations, myths and realities on SeaDNA’s website. You can also find a lot of additional information on Seals & Sealing Network website.

 

 

SEAL GNOCCHI POUTINE

Ingredients:

  • Seal merguez
  • Grain cheese (to taste)
  • Kale
  • Marinated pearl onions
  • Veal stock

For sweet potato gnocchi:

  • 500 g of sweet potato puree
  • 250g of mashed potatoes
  • 300g of flour
  • 1 egg
  • Salt

Preparation:

For gnocchi:

  1. Mix all the ingredients
  2. Spread the dough 2 cm thick
  3. Slice strips lengthwise and cut into thumb size pieces
  4. Store in freezer

For the poutine with the merguez:

  1. Preheat the fryer to 350F
  2. Cut the merguez and roast in the skillet
  3. Add the kale with the merguez
  4. Put the gnocchi in the fryer until they go up
  5. Drain and place on a plate
  6. Place merguez, kale, onions and cheese on the gnocchi
  7. Drizzle with veal stock

 

 

Recipe by: Chef Benoit Lenglet