Saint John — After “Chop Chop” week earlier this month, the city’s restaurants have been mulling what next to offer hungry Port City foodies by way of fresh cuisine.
All winter, stubborn Saint Johners ignored the signs at Rockwood Park advising against feeding the ducks. Not surprisingly, the ducks — around 200 of them — have refused to vacate the park to fly south for the winter. A few options have surfaced as to what to do with them, including continuing to feed them using the meals that were until recently served to prison detainees, and dropping them off at the local SPCA.
This major problem in the city has become a delicious solution, though, proposed by noted haute-cuisine fanatics Mayor Mel Norton and his brother, Greg Norton. “We didn’t want to tell anyone yet, but … here goes,” giggled Mel. “Greg and I had been sneaking into Rockwood every night this winter and feeding the ducks our leftovers, getting them all fattened up. We knew they wouldn’t leave after that.”
“Yeah, we’ve always had great tastes in fine dining,” Greg agreed. “When we were kids we’d critique mom’s cooking until she couldn’t stand us anymore,” he added, grinning and elbowing Mel in the ribs.
“With Duck Days, which will run from March 2nd to 6th, the city’s best restaurants will take these excess ducks from Rockwood, and create new dishes the likes of which Saint John has never seen,” Mel elaborated. “It’s going to blow Chop Chop out of the pond.”
Lemongrass Thai Fare was the first restaurant to jump on board; they’ll be serving a new duck satay with peanut sauce. Saint John Ale House chefs have concocted a smoky maple-ale duck salad, and Thandi has hinted that they’re putting together a tender duck and pineapple red curry. Foodies who are also wine snobs can make their way to Décimal 81, where slow-cooked duck legs in Port with celeriac gratin will be on offer. These restaurants among others will be competing for the Golden Duck, a prize they can proudly display in their establishment’s window until it’s up for grabs again next year.
“We want Saint John to be known for something other than an evil media empire and a funky smell,” said the mayor. “Duck Days will put us on the map.”