How to eat dinner on the ocean floor

When the tide goes out in the Bay of Fundy, that’s when Dominic Padula and his crew get cooking.

Tables, chairs and stoves sprout on what, minutes before, had been submerged under a metre of ocean. Guests from all over the continent, some of whom had waited more than a year, stream onto the ocean floor to take their seats as the aromas from Padula’s makeshift kitchen begin to mingle with the salt air.

Here, where the largest tides in the world expose the ocean bed at Burntcoat Head Park near the easternmost point of the Bay of Fundy twice a day, Padula’s Food Fantastique caters a one-of-a-kind dinner experience; local foods, local wines and local beer.

“I really want to offer a very unique, high-end experience where people have the chance to discover the beauty of the Bay of Fundy,” says Padula. “It’s a UNESCO site. It’s one of the most beautiful spots in Atlantic Canada. And it’s all about showcasing this incredible wonder.”

Chef Dominic Padula of Food Fantastique prepares the next course during the Dining on the Ocean Floor in Nova Scotia's Burntcoat Head Park on Aug. 7, 2022.

There are a limited number of days when tides, timing and temperatures co-operate, though, so Padula’s Dining on the Ocean Floor events only take place a few times a year — only seven dinners in 2022 between June and September for which the tickets, available in February, sold out in about 20 minutes.

This time-lapse video is made up of more than 8,000 individual still images — more than 250 gigabytes of data — shot over an eight-hour period between the tide going out and coming back in at the park.

Diners enjoy the food and the scenery during the Dining on the Ocean Floor dinner at Burntcoat Head Park in Nova Scotia on Aug. 7, 2022.


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