For acclaimed Vancouver chef Karan Suri, a good dish stands out long before it reaches your taste buds.
The Northern India-born chef has worked in some of the most acclaimed kitchens in the world, including India's Leela Palace, and is currently the executive chef of the ARC restaurant at the Fairmont Waterfront.
But on May 13, you won't have to go to a fine dining restaurant to get a taste of his dishes. Suri will be putting his prawn cooking skills to the test at the annual Spot Prawn Festival at the False Creek Fishermen's Wharf.
The annual event celebrates the beginning of the spot prawn harvesting season, and attendees get tasting prawns that are fresh off the boat. The event is hosted by the Chef's Table Society, a collective of culinary professionals committed to sustainable and quality cooking.
"It's local, tastes great, and it's sustainable."
When Suri prepares his prawn dish, he channels his international experience. He said he incorporates North African flavours into his dish, using seasoning paste made from paprika, tomato paste, cumin, fresh tomatoes, and some curry leaves.
The prawns are butter poached.
"We [don't] really cook the spot prawns for too long, so they are still nice and meaty and juicy" he said.
The acclaimed chef marinates the spot prawns with the spice paste, and then places them in a bed of wild greens to brighten up their appearance.
And he takes the aesthetics a step further. He even uses a special culinary turntable on which he places the serving plate, making it easier for him to decorate each dish.
"If you have a turntable at home, you know what to do with it now," Suri joked.
With files from CBC's Our Vancouver