A marriage of Newfoundland and Cajun cuisine, along with a generous serving of Creole and Asian flavours, is fuelling a growing business at the tip of the Bay de Verde Peninsula.
The source of that fusion, served at Grates Cove Studios, is the marriage between Courtney and Terrence Howell and their shared love of food.
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Courtney, originally from a rural area of Louisiana, met Terrence when they were both teaching English in South Korea. After spending a few years in Louisiana, where they got married and welcomed their daughter, they ditched the southern sun in favour of Newfoundland, where Terrence grew up.
“My background is in anthropology; Terrence’s background is in art. But our entire courtship in South Korea was over food, so starting the restaurant was really getting us back to our first love, and that’s what we do — we just cook together,” she said.
“We cook the kinds of food that we really enjoyed. It’s pretty diverse. We cook some Korean food — we have homemade kimchi on pretty much all the time now. Terrence does some really nice sushi out here. But we also honour our own traditions with food. We do some traditional foods here, or a take on it, and I do a lot of Cajun and Creole foods.”
Having grown up in a rural area where many make their living as fishermen, Courtney is in her element here.
“The seafood is different, but it’s all delicious,” she said. “It works so well with the dishes that I’m used to having that I grew up with, so I still get that comfort.” The restaurateur is looking forward to seeing the fishermen of Grates Cove get back in their boats this summer, as they’re now able to get their fish straight from the wharf. Until provincial regulations were changed in September, restaurateurs like the Howells had to source their seafood from plants.
“We’re really excited that the rules have changed. We can get more access to seafood from fishermen. So this summer — the fishermen will be starting up soon — we’ll be able to get some species of fish that we wouldn’t have had access to before,” she said.
“I think it’ll be great because we’re actually getting more recognized for the seafood dishes, the sushi.”
This story has been updated.
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