British Columbia·Our Vancouver

Founder of Spot Prawn Festival shares recipe

Chef Robert Clark shares a delicious spot prawn recipe and discusses wine pairings.

Festival that features big public prawn boil on the wharf at False Creek enters its 10th year

Vancouver Chef Robert Clark

7 years ago
Duration 4:07
The founder of the Spot Prawn Festival shows us how to prep the prawns

As the Spot Prawn Festival celebrates its 10-year anniversary in Vancouver, chef and creator Robert Clark said he is floored at the growth of the event.

"We are very impressed with how it's evolved, starting from just a few chefs and boiling a few prawns ... to the entire city," Clark told Our Vancouver host Gloria Macarenko.

"Spot Prawn weekend is the weekend you look forward to."

To celebrate the anniversary of the festival, Clark and his colleagues at the Chefs' Table Society are holding events all weekend long from May 13 to 15, ending with the big spot prawn boil at the False Creek Fishermen's Wharf on May 15.

"A couple thousand people come down and top chefs will be there," said Clark. 

"It's gotten bigger and bigger, and it's wonderful. This year because it's the 10th anniversary ... on the Saturday we're having a series of cooking classes at [the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts]."

Another event the chefs are hosting is a gala on Friday, May 13.

"The Vancouver Club has volunteered to host us. We're going to have chefs coming in from across the country and we're just going to celebrate the fact that for ten years we've been able to enjoy spot prawns here in B.C."

Eating local

Clark started the festival to encourage chefs and the rest of the community to eat local and sustainable seafood.

"Before the prawn festival started it was hard to get spot prawns here in Vancouver because they were all exported to Japan and to China," he said.

Chef Clark makes a simple spot prawn salad using herbs, tomatoes and avocado.

"Spot prawns are so sweet and succulent they go with anything," he said.

He suggests adding fresh herbs such as mint, tarragon and chive blossoms to spot prawn dishes because they compliment the prawns perfectly and add a pop of colour.

Clark also recommends enjoying a glass of white wine or bubbly along with the seafood.

In the video above, Clark shows Our Vancouver host Gloria Macarenko how to prepare a delicious spot prawn recipe, and discusses wine pairings.

Note: Images shown on the monitors behind Gloria Macarenko and Robert Clark are courtesy of Chefs' Table Society.

Recipe: Chef Robert Clark's poached B.C. spot prawns

Serves: 4 people


  • 1 lb spot prawn tails.
  • For the salad:
  • 2 whole avocados.
  • 12 whole cherry tomatoes, cut in half.
  • 2 stalks green onions, sliced.
  • 1 tbs fresh tarragon, chopped.
  • 1 tbs fresh mint, torn.
  • 1 tbs fresh basil, torn.
  • 1 tbs chives, chopped.
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil.
  • 2 whole limes, juiced.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.


Cook the spot prawns by poaching in salted water for no more than 30 seconds, then remove them from the hot liquid and cover with ice.

For the salad: Incorporate all the salad ingredients by tossing them gently in a bowl. Adjust seasoning if needed.

Arrange the salad attractively onto four plates. Place the cooked prawns on top, drizzle a bit more extra virgin olive oil if needed.