Indulge in a PEI Experience

Eating food should always bring back a memory or create a new one.

I am paraphrasing Chef Corbin Tomaszeski, and I want him to know that I really took his sentiment to heart.

Hubby and I were invited to a PEI Signature Event with Chef Corbin, which brought the very best of Prince Edward Island food and hospitality to us, right here in Halifax, Nova Scotia.   Not only were we privileged enough to sample tons of delicious food and be entertained by some of the best in the PEI music scene (since Haywire, but again, my age is showing), we got to play with knives!  We were all part of an interactive culinary bootcamp, where Chef Corbin demo’d one lobster recipe (Lobster and Yellow Tomato Gazpacho, what he’s making in the photo above) and then set us free to create two more… using only the ingredients listing and our wits. Luckily no fingers were lost and I can now truthfully say “I like lobster”.

The first canapé we made all on our own were the Lobster and Bearnaise Toasts with Charred Corn Relish.

One of us had the honours of making the Bearnaise sauce for the group and showed us really how simple it is to make.  These bites were sooooo good and so pretty to look at (and photograph).

Lobster and Bearnaise Toasts with Charred Corn Relish

Demo by Chef Corbin Tomaszeski

Corn Relish

  • 1 ear corn, char-broiled
  • 1 oz. red onion, grilled and diced
  • 1 green zucchini, grilled and diced
  • 2 tbsp finely cut chives
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 of a fresh lemon, juiced
  • S&P to taste
  • 1/2 lb cooked lobster, chopped fine
  • 12, 2″ rounds of brioche bread
  • Drizzle of Classic Bearnaise Sauce (recipe to follow)
  • Micro greens to garnish

Combine all the ingredients for the corn relish and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Top each brioche with chopped lobster, spoon 1 tbsp of Bearnaise over and blow torch lightly (as you can see, we didn’t do this step, we just drizzled the Bearnaise on top of the lobster, which was on top of the relish and it was a-okay… this was Chef Corbin’s point, a recipe should be made how YOU envision it), top with 1 tbsp corn relish.

Our second recipe was the Lobster BLT Salad, and the pairing of the lobster with both bacon and avocado is what really convinced me that lobster can indeed be the cat’s meow.

Lobster BLT Salad

Demo By Chef Corbin Tomaszeski

  • 1/2 Tail +1 Claw of  fresh poached lobster, chopped large
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 2 strips chopped, cooked bacon
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 2-3 leaves Iceburg lettuce
  • 2-3tbsp Classic French Dressing (recipe will follow)
  • S&P to taste

Mix together lobster, bacon, tomato and dressing in a bowl.  Arrange large leaves of  iceburg lettuce on plate (or chop it up like I did, because I like it better that way), top with lobster salad mix, and sliced avocado.  Garnish with lobster antennas and fresh herbs.

After sampling our lobster recipes and patting ourselves on the back for a job well done, we went outside and enjoyed the lovely Meaghan Blanchard along with a glass of wine.

As the night went on, so did the music… next up was Charlottetown’s own Paper Lions. The PEI yummies did not end with our lobster dishes though.  Throughout the evening we were treated to so much amazing food including (more) lobster, root-beer braised short ribs (OMG!), mussels (that tasted like pizza, so even I liked them) and ice cream sandwiches made with fresh cookies and filled with Cows Ice Cream, just to name a few.  Sadly, not many photos of the evening were taken as I was just having too much fun (and food).

I did manage to get a quick shot of hubby swiping another bite of short ribs though.

When the food ended, the party continued, in true PEI style.  I know for a fact though, that whenever I eat lobster in the future (which will be more often, thank you very much), I will think of this night and what a great experience it was.  I will also then think of the trips I took to PEI as a child, with my parents and my since-passed Grandparents.  I thank you Chef Corbin and PEI for tying those two memories together for me, so that I can relive them more often… and smile.

Needless to say… plan your PEI vacation now, and don’t forget about the upcoming Fall Flavours Festival.

(I started daydreaming about PEI and forgot to add a couple of recipes before I published… here they are)

Bearnaise Sauce
Yield: 1 cup

  • 2 tbsp tarragon vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup warm clarified butter
  • 1 tbsp finely cut tarragon
  • salt to taste
  • fresh lemon juice to taste

Bring a small pot of water to a boil; reduce to a simmer.  Combine vinegar, white wine, shallots, and black pepper in a small saucepan.  Simmer over medium heat until reduced to 1 tbsp; strain.

Place egg yolks in a medium size bowl and whisk in vinegar reduction.  Place bowl over double boiler and whisk continuously.  As the egg yolks cook, the mixture will thicken.  Once the mixture leaves a whisk trail across the surface, remove the bowl from the double boiler.  Begin slowly adding the warm clarified butter to the egg yolk mixure; whisk continuously creating an emulsion.  Keep whisking until all of the butter has been incorporated.  Fold in tarragon and season with salt and lemon juice.

French Dressing
Yield: 3 cups

  • 1 fresh lemon, juiced
  • 120ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp shallots, chopped
  • 500ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tarragon, chopped
  • 1 tbsp basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chives, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

Blend first 5 ingredients until smooth.  Stir in chopped herbs and adjust seasoning (do not blend herbs).

About Heather Nolan

Heather Nolan lives just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia. She loves her lil' family, her cats, traveling, and creating in the kitchen. Her iPhone is often confused for a conjoined twin.


  1. We were just in PEI last week, I’m jealous!

  2. Wow wow wow! What an event! I’m so envious. I have only visited PEI once – four years ago – but, like a lot of people, I have always adored the charm of the place. I still get to enjoy the beauty of island living, just on the west coast :)
    Thanks for sharing this! I loved reading it.

  3. Wow wow wow! What an event! I’m SO envious. I have only visited PEI once, four years ago, but like so many others I have always adored the charm of the place. I still get the enjoy the beauty of island life, just out here on the west coast :)
    Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed reading this.

  4. This is AMAZING and perfect as a summer dish! I can’t wait to make this!


    RAFFLECOPTER NAME is Anne Taylor

  5. Very interesting recipe!!

  6. Anne Taylor says:

    This is an amazing recipe and one I’ll be making as soon as the corn is ready in the fields! I adore Bernaise! Thanks for this!

  7. amy lovell says:

    theswe recipes look just divine. Looks like a fab night!


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