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July 30, 2018

Adding Value to Canada's Food Island

Photo Credit : Natalie Toombs @nhdtphoto 

 

Island-born Tyler Gallant cultivated innovative ideas as a chef at many fine restaurants over the years – including The Pearl, Mavor’s and Shaw’s in P.E.I. – when he decided to become an employer and “hand someone a pay cheque at the end of the week and say thank you.” He opened Gallant’s Shellfish & Seafood in Stanley Bridge in 2017.

Gallant and his staff, who run a successful community-oriented catering company from their operation as well, can not only provide fresh Island oysters in a take-away box for a summer picnic, but tuck in one of four flavours of Gallant’s Oyster Sauce and a few other goodies, as well. The restaurant serves locally sourced dishes such as lobster quiche and seafood chowder, while the attached retail outlet carries seafood and a variety of his value-added products including Gallant’s Oyster Sauce and his very popular crab cakes. Soon, other delicious food products will be available as well.

“We’ve got a unique situation here on P.E.I. because we’re so close to our food. You can get in your car and ten minutes later be at the source,” Gallant explains. “We spend a lot of our dollars locally and make sure we work with Island products first, if at all possible.”

With the help of partner, Red Seal chef Christine Murnaghan, and his brother Carson, Gallant and organizations such as Food Island Partnership are consistently driving the conversation forward in the food scene on P.E.I. Gallant is part of a number of initiatives to strengthen relationships with farmers, fishers, producers and the community, including Fall Flavours, (where he is the featured local chef at many events); and Forage P.E.I. (he is a founding member) helping foster conversation and innovation among food professionals.  

Gallant credits his food stand at the Charlottetown Farmers Market with helping him launch a foothold here on P.E.I., as well as keeping him grounded. “There’s no barrier between the customer and me,” he says. “I like the community aspect of that experience and being able to serve a broad spectrum of people.”

 By Magner Ink (www.magnerink.com). This is one in a series of articles on the P.E.I. Food Cluster.  

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