Will And Kate Sample Canada's Native Fare

Originally published on July 3, 2011 9:55 am
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SUSAN STAMBERG, Host:

This week, the newlywed Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, AKA Britain's Prince William and the former Kate Middleton, are making their first official state visit as a couple. They began their eight-day tour of Canada in Ottawa. On Friday, they helped celebrate Canada's 144th year of nationhood. Tonight, they head to a quieter corner of the country, Prince Edward Island. At a resort there, they will sample some traditional islander fare. Chef Joerg Soltermann is an instructor at the Culinary Institute of Canada. He is project manager for this royal meal. Chef Joerg joins us from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Hello, chef.

JOERG SOLTERMANN: Good morning.

STAMBERG: In this country, we know Canadian bacon and I wonder if that's part of your traditional Canadian meal, the one that you're going to compare.

SOLTERMANN: We actually have bacon on the menu, however, it's not the Canadian bacon that you might think of in the U.S., which is the pork loin smoked and brined and smoked. We are actually using pork belly. We brined and we smoked 600 pounds of pork belly and the pork belly will then, on Monday, be barbequed out on site.

STAMBERG: Wow. I must say, 600 pounds - those royals have some appetite.

SOLTERMANN: Well, it's for the royal couple, as well as 2,500 invited guests that they're going to be on location for about four - to five - hour period.

STAMBERG: Whoa. It sounds like a very festive day. Tell me, you know that old saw: too many cooks spoil the broth. So, how many chefs are involved in this royal meal?

SOLTERMANN: There's about 85 of us out there.

STAMBERG: Whoa.

SOLTERMANN: Yeah.

STAMBERG: That's a lot of coordination.

SOLTERMANN: Lot of coordination, yes, absolutely.

STAMBERG: Have you done any practice meals just to be sure that everything will go smoothly?

SOLTERMANN: Well, we did hear what's going to happen out there and one thing we had to do twice, which besides that event on the grounds, we're actually doing a royal lunch for the couple in a small cottage, a very intimate, small luncheon - cold. They didn't want anything hot there so it's going to be some really fancy sandwiches type things. And on the beach, when they later on take a tour on the beach, all by themselves - no public allowed there - and we have a clam bake there. We do a clam and lobster bake in the sand, you know, with the hot rocks and the seaweed. And in order to get the timing right so when they arrive that we can unveil this seafood being cooked, we had to do this a couple of times, actually.

STAMBERG: And does everything taste pretty good?

SOLTERMANN: Everything worked out really great, yes. We're pretty happy with it, so.

STAMBERG: Good. Did you have to take any special precautions? I mean, allergies maybe or for security reasons?

SOLTERMANN: In regards to health issues, we obviously have to, from each item, we had to submit samples to the food health inspector here on Prince Edward Island. And this food will be stored in a freezer until the event is over and, you know, should there be any issues then that food can be thawed and will be tested and see if there was a relationship to the incident. But we don't foresee any problems at all.

STAMBERG: Oh my goodness.

SOLTERMANN: But that's normal. That's very normal protocol in an event like that.

STAMBERG: Well, good. Bon apetit to you, chef. Joerg Soltermann at the Culinary Institute of Canada getting ready for a royal visit. Thank you.

SOLTERMANN: Thank you very much, Susan. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.