Five Fisherman

Visitors to Nova Scotia are never surprised to encounter great seafood. As a food writer from Florida I should have been blithely observant, but maybe a handful of times in a food lover’s life there comes a dish that lives in the memory for a lifetime and if you’re very lucky, in the heart.

My first night in Nova Scotia, I visited the Five Fishermen restaurant in Halifax with a group of other visitors to the area. I had read about the mussel bar as well as glowing reviews of firm, fresh haddock and lobsters which had been click-clacking their claws just moments before being dipped in drawn butter. I expected all of these, but I didn’t expect a gift from the chef which would change how I felt about the scallop forever.

Executive Chef Randy Akey sent each of us a perfectly seared Digby scallop atop a bed of fingerling potatoes with a smoked halibut ragout, house smoked back bacon and basil oil. The chewy, smoky bacon played beautifully with perfectly cooked potatoes highlighting a fresh, creamy scallop with its salty, golden crust. The dish was visually stunning, but the flavor was a study of the fusion between the earth and sea. That interplay was the embodiment of what I took away from my time in Nova Scotia. The province is the result of the harmony that can happen when people truly love their land and sea. That love has passed to me and I am grateful.

– Jodi Kasten writes at