22 August 2018 Posted By : Administrator

Meet PEI’s Seafood Connoisseur and Remarkable Chef.

Jamie Gallant, the founder of Coastline Catering, a successful seafood catering business in Toronto, is a seafood connoisseur, family man, and revered caterer. He prides himself on providing an exceptional seafood experience. As a native of Prince Edward Island, he knows good seafood and the hospitality needed to createthe most memorable event of the year, says the official website of Coastline Catering.

At the age of 13, Jamie Gallant, the founder and leader of Coastline Catering, started his first job working on the local wharf in his small town on Prince Edward Island, where his passion for seafood and hospitality began. His family has always been in the oyster and clam business.

He learned to clean and fillet fish. However, the connection with the tourists after feeding them that days catch was what had the greatest impact on him.

About his passion, Gallant says “Growing up around the local wharf, my connection with the fisherman and tourists was the beginning of my love of hospitality and seafood catering.”

In 1988, he moved from P.E.I. to Toronto to work in the restaurant business, then he spent some years in Vancouver, catering and cooking seafood.

In 2000, he moved back to Toronto. On a report on how he managed to break back into the food industry in Toronto after some years away, the Guardian.pe.ca recounts that he easily found his way back into the restaurant industry there. The chefs in Toronto frequently tracked him down when he worked elsewhere — he said they never lost connection.

In Toronto, during the International Film Festival (TIFF), Gallant met the owners of Roots, Michael Budman and Don Green.

“They met me at a TIFF party late one night, early in the festival”, Gallant said.

Gallant gladly accepted an offer to cater for a TIFF party, which they had planned.

The party was graced by several celebrities.

“Val Kilmer, Denzel Washington, Anthony Hopkins and many other celebrities were at the party,” said Gallant.

Gallant was however disappointed when he read the paper the following day and the catering was attributed to the owners ofRoots instead of him. Gallant said it read “The best party at the TIFF this year was held by the owners of Roots; they had succulent shrimp and plump oysters...”

Gallant quickly called his father back in P.E.I and told him what happened. His father advised him to change his name, but to keep it nautical since he had been coast to coast. Gallant came up with the name ‘Coastline Catering’, the article reports

Now 54, he’s doing the same thing, but the environment has changed.

“We do 65 different types of oysters, fresh fish, smoked fish, shrimp. We go out and rock the parties with the seafood,” Gallant said.

He brings most of his seafood in from the East Coast so he can share a particular culinary experience with diners.

“Ninety-nine per cent of my seafood comes out of the East Coast. Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.”

“We do up to 200 events a year with all the A-list — the Leafs, the Raptors, the movie stars — everyone knows us in Toronto and It’s all about seafood.”

He loves his home and always visits.

“Every month for over 25 years, I speak with my friends and family, like this oyster fisherman, in the seafood business. These relationships help me stay on top of my game and allow me to bring the best product to my customers. All of Coastline’s seafood is fresh and sourced directly from the fisherman, growers, and maritime fish plants.I go to P.E.I. three times a year, my best friend lives in Stratford”.

Gallant is excited going back home in September. It is the first time he will be on the Island for the P.E.I. International Shellfish Festival.

In conclusion, Gallant says “Coastline sources only the best seafood. My extensive knowledge of farming my families’ oyster beds, to my time working with the fisherman on the wharf, has provided me with first-hand knowledge and understanding of seafood and the seafood industry. I will ensure you are served the highest quality seafood available”.

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