British Columbia

Octopus balls, salmon and fresh-picked chanterelles: a traditional menu for Will and Kate on Haida Gwaii

When Prince William and Kate sit down for lunch in Haida Gwaii, they will get a taste of tradition with a modern touch, according to chef Edi Szasz.

Chef Edi Szasz tapping into local ingredients for Royal lunch in Skidegate

A basket of fresh-picked chanterelle mushrooms, one of the seasonal ingredients that will be served to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they eat lunch in Skidegate on September 30. (Carolina de Ryk/CBC)

When Prince William and Kate sit down for lunch in Haida Gwaii, they will get a taste of tradition, according to chef Edi Szasz.

Szasz runs the Kay Bistro in the Haida Heritage Centre and Museum, where the royal couple will be spending much of September 30 meeting with locals and taking in cultural activities. 

Edi Szasz says he's looking forward to picking up traditional cooking tips from Haida chef Roberta Olsen. (Carolina de Ryk/CBC)

"They're coming in. They're gonna have some lunch. I think they have about a twenty minute window period there," said Szasz. "Roberta Olsen and myself are doing the food for them." 

Szasz says Olsen is "a bit of a Haida legend," who will help him tap into traditional dishes to serve the Duke and Duchess. 

"Seeing her little secrets on how she traditionally prepares her food, I'm looking forward to that," he said.

Szasz is still working on the menu but expects it to include octopus balls, jum (fish and stew), ts'ilkjii (dried candied salmon), sablefish, Haida potatoes and fresh-picked mushrooms including chanterelles and boletes.

"Maybe a little lemon beurre, blanc sauce with it just to keep it kind of classy," Szasz added.

Canoeing, totems also on the menu

A traditional meal with a modern touch is an appropriate menu to accompany the royal couple's time in Haida Gwaii. 

Upon arriving in Skidegate, they will get into a traditional Haida canoe where they will paddle to the Heritage Centre before receiving an official welcome from the Haida Nation, including a performance from local children.

They will also view Haida art both old and new, including totems and weaving and hear words spoken in the Haida language, which is being revived through local education programs.

A taste of the best

Szasz knows the Royal Family is used to the best and is confident Haida Gwaii won't disappoint.

He's hoping he'll be able to get a picture of himself serving the Royal Couple, in order to prove the event really happened but says the nerves of such a high-profile gig haven't yet set in.

"Sitting here and talking about it, you're kind of making me a little nervous," he laughed. "To be honest with you, we have such great ingredients ... so those are gonna speak for themselves."

"As long as I don't mess it up, I guess."

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To listen to Edi Satz take you inside his kitchen, click on the audio labeled: Octopus balls, salmon and fresh-picked chanterelles: a traditional menu for Will and Kate on Haida Gwaii.