Happy Holidays From The Island

It’s that time of year…Time to slow down, relax, and Eat & Drink! From our friends on the Island…wishing all of us joyous holidays and to remember to think of our fellow (hu)man especially during the holidays!  xo  Local Food And Wine

TWITTER.COM/LOCALFOODWINE

*LOCAL FOOD AND WINE*

FACEBOOK/LOCALFOODANDWINE

Defending Our Back Yard Food Festival, Vancouver Island

The 3rd Annual ICC LOCAL FOOD FESTIVAL: Defending Our Backyard is one of the highlights of Vancouver Island’s festival year. Chefs from some of the finest restaurants on Vancouver Island are working together to raise public awareness of the importance of local food and supporting local farms. Defending Our Backyard celebrates Island food, farms and flavours at the picturesque Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites in Colwood.

Despite the high overcast and intermittent light drizzle we still had over 1200 people join us at our 3rd annual Island Chefs Collaborative “Defending our Back yard” Food Festival, wow…quite a mouthful in itself…

This is the major fundraiser for our Farmer Grant Program. All proceeds from this event go towards grants for our local farmers. So far we have given 20+ thousand dollars in grants to our local farm community. This year we will be giving away another 10 thousand dollars to deserving farmers, we will be announcing these recipients at our ICC Bastion Square Market on July 1st. - Ken Nakano, Executive Sous Chef, Fairmont Empress

Defending Our Backyard is aimed at the growing audience of people interested in food issues and increasingly seeking local food. In the first year, Defending Our Backyard brought together over 600 people.

They’ve expanded the event to feature more local food, information and activities. Defending Our Backyard focuses on personal experience and, in addition to sampling some tastes of the Island, participants will also learn about growing more of their own food, composting, the ethical harvest of seafood, local wineries and breweries, the work of food-related special interest groups and farmers’ markets.

About the ICC
The Island Chefs’ Collaborative (ICC) is a community based, social profit organization dedicated to supporting sustainable food and agriculture on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Over the last five years, the ICC has provided $22,000 worth of equipment to 16 small farms on Vancouver Island — helping to make those farms more sustainable. The ICC’s inaugural Defending Our Backyard raised funds to provide $9,500 in grants to:

Sooke School District’s WestShore Teaching Garden in Colwood | Haliburton Community Organic Farm in Saanich Silver Cloud Farm in Sooke | Holland Farm in Saanich | Kennego Farm on Salt Spring Island For more information, please visit:
http://www.iccbc.ca

Twitter.com/LocalFoodWine

Okanagan Food And Wine Vancouver Food And  Wine

*Local Food And Wine *

FaceBook/LocalFoodAndWine

Posted via email from Vancouver Food And Wine | Comment »

Tofino Food And Wine Festival

The mission of the Tofino Food and Wine Festival is to promote BC Culinary Tourism while enjoying the company of friends and family of the culinary community. Culinary tourism is an economic driver that helps showcase local restaurants as dining destinations and generates demand for locally grown/raised/caught or processed food and beverage products.


Tofino Food And Wine Festival June 2010

The Tofino Food and Wine Festival began in 2003. It was an idea formed between two foodies who worked in the food and wine industry, at a restaurant set amidst the beautiful Tofino Botanical Gardens.

8th Annual Grazing In The Gardens

Spend a the afternoon wandering the Tofino Botanical Gardens while tasting canapes and wines, all local to beautiful British Columbia! Live music with Dinah D Swingclub from Gabriola Island, DJ Kevin West, silent auction fundraiser, artists in action and more. Outdoor event, rain or shine! Car free event. Shuttle Service provided by Tofino Bus in partnership with the Wickaninnish Inn. Schedule will be posted here, one week before the event. For More INFO »>

This festival provides cultural and educational experiences for food and wine lovers from all over, as well as an opportunity to discover sustainable British Columbia food sources. With a showcase of local culinary talent, the festival also provides networking opportunities for cuisine and tourism establishments to form new business relationships and alliances.

The idea for a festival celebrating the marriage of food and wine in the unique setting of a temperate coastal rainforest was, and still is, strongly supported by the community of Tofino, as well as Vancouver Island purveyors and British Columbia wineries.

Most of all the festival fosters a wonderful weekend for friends and family,  creating a memorable experience in the heart of Tofino.

Local Food And Wine

Vancouver Food And WineOkanagan Food And Wine

Local Food And Wine

Posted via web from Local Food And Wine | Comment »

Victoria’s Secret Tastes - Take Two

 Bengal Room

 Another not so secret Victorian spot is the Bengal Room at the Empress Hotel. Whenever you see a picture of downtown Victoria, invariably it is focused on the Legislative Building and the Empress Hotel, two of Victoria’s most recognizable landmarks.

Tucked inside the Empress is the large leather couched, tapestry-walled, tiger-motiffed Bengal Room that transports you immediately into the Victorian Era upon entrance. They do have mint juleps on the menu, with freshly muddled mint, if you’re there on a warm, summer afternoon. If you’ve popped in for a nightcap, try their “Bengal,” a hot coffee drink with Kahlua, Grand Marnier and Bailey’s (notice the and, not or).

Breakfast At Victoria’s

If you’re up in time for breakfast, you’ll have a big, tough decision to make. Pancakes with fresh, stewed local berry compote accompanied by organic island turkey sausage is one choice at Aura restaurant. You could also go for their in-house made organic granola – so good guests frequently request if it’s available for purchase at the gift shop (not yet).

Aura took its seat in the exquisite Inn at Laurel Point where Chef Brad Horen continues with his “locally-sourced, organic ingredients” philosophy while outdoing himself with his innovative cuisine. Horen blends Japanese and European flavors with local ingredients fresh from Vancouver Island and the west coast. He and Sous-Chef Patrick Gayler both have spots on Culinary Team Canada for the 2011 World Cup in Luxembourg and 2012’s World Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany. Horen is active in the Canadian Culinary Federation and was a mentor on the Food Network’s Next Great Chef.

The view from Aura Restaurant, looking out its floor-to-ceiling window/walls onto Victoria’s Inner Harbor, will prove one of the most memorable of your stay in Victoria. They serve lunch and dinner and host wine tastings, such as the Naramata Bench Spring Releases 2010.

Fresh baked bread from Fol Epi.

Another breakfast – or snack - choice is Fol Epi, a bakery which sports an on-site stone mill and outdoor oven. Artisan baker Cliff Leir bakes his organic, heritage and whole grains into succulent baked goods such as quiche, pastries, pizzas and baguettes. Caffe Fantastico next door serves up aromatic coffees and both offer spectacular views of Victoria’s Inner Harbor. Fol Epi was voted by Eat! Magazine readers as their favorite bakery in Victoria. Both businesses are housed in the developing Dockside Green which is 15-acre mixed use community development that will be the world’s First LEED Platinum community.

Notable: Taste Victoria upcoming this Summer For more info: http://www.victoriataste.com/

Twitter.com/localfoodwine

Okanagan Food And Wine Vancouver Food And  Wine

*Local Food And Wine *

FaceBook/LocalFoodAndWine

Posted via web from Vancouver Food And Wine | Comment »

Hazelwood Herb Farm

When you find yourself in short supply of ginger jelly, cowslip, calendula anti-aging cream, and fresh sprigs of chocolate mint…not to mention Fairy Meadow Tea, make your way to Hazelwood Herb Farm just outside of Ladysmith on Vancouver Island.


Hazelwood Herb Farm, Ladysmith, Vancouver Island

Recently purchased in February of this year by Barbara Stevens and her husband, Hazelwood Herb Farm is a swath of acreage that former proprietor of 23 years, Jacynthe Dugas and her husband, Richard White, cultivated into a thriving business of fresh herbs.


Hazelwood Herb Farms Nursery - A Living Encyclopedia

When you walk the carefully cultivated and manicured grounds, through the outdoor nurseries, and into the nascent/ sprouting nurseries, it is startling to remind yourself that the whole business is based on the cultivation of seeds. Each year, each season, seeds are planted, nurtured, sown, and with these raw stuffs the business owners furnish themselves with the necessary raw materials to produce their other products, the jams, the jellies and chutneys, the face creams, arthritis salves, body balms, teas and tinctures sold in the compact and packed-full Herbal Heaven Gift Shop located on the premises.

Fresh  Herbal Gifts


Hazelwood Herbal Heaven Gift Shop - Only The Freshest Ingredients

“Come Christmas time we are always very busy,” admits Jacynthe, present one afternoon during a tour of the grounds by new owner Barbara and her enthusiastic remedy devotee and herbal novice niece, Sandra.

An uninitiated glance around the gardens as you enter and the grounds appear to be beautifully tidy and trim with planted areas of distinctively varied plants. A more careful and focused gaze and one quickly realizes that what you are seeing is a living encyclopedia of rare, and everyday, herbs, plants and latent remedies.

“What you see here is the best kind of functional beauty there is,” says Sandra, who, according to Barbara, helped talk her and her husband into purchasing the property and business. Barbara admits that she has been preserving her own food and cultivating her own herbal garden at home all her life but had “never thought of it as a business.” She, with the support of her husband, son and extended family acknowledge that it’s a demonstration of faith and courage to step out of their “bureaucratic jobs” and “city lives” and into the shoes that Jacynthe and Richard have fashioned out of soil and seeds for over two decades on this little patch of farmland just south of Nanaimo.


Hazelwood Herb Farm Vinegars

Hazelwood Herb Farm Oils

EconoMuseum

“There are 400-500 varieties of herbs here on Hazelwood Farm,” Jacynthe proudly tells you, “20-30% are culinary. The rest have medicinal or other properties.” Originally from Quebec, Jacynthe now does a variety of things, including teaching soap making to local students who come to the property from Vancouver Island University to learn the art of making soap using the plants picked from the garden.

“I like playing,” says Jacynthe, glancing around her on-site test kitchen as she pours a cup of Fairy Meadow tea, one of her proprietary blends she makes from Hazelwood plants, and pushes a plate of chocolate and mint scones towards you that is made from a mix sold in the Herbal Heaven gift shop in the room next door. She certainly has occupied her time productively “playing,” - the shop is filled to the brim with unique items that range from delicious ingredients for the gourmand, to sweet-smelling and purely natural body balms and body care products to remedies that have medicinal properties that keep people coming back…and ordering online from the farthest reaches of the globe.

In 2006 Hazelwood was nominated for a national business award, the Laureat de la Moyenne Entreprise. Jacynthe herself is all about the notion of “economuseum,” the phrase for learning artisanal ways of doing things, especially when traveling through a distinct region. Her husband, Richard, even shot a 13-part TV series, “At Home With Herbs,” some years ago.

Hopefully all of this inspires you to grow and make your own. As you walk the 5-acre property, Barbara joyfully tells you what every living thing is in her gardens: Greek Oregano (good for nerves or depression), St. John’s Wort (flowers are used for anti-inflammatory property), arnica (for bruising, popular with hockey moms), peppermint, English mint, orange mint and chocolate mint; four types of lavendar in the lavendar gardens including “twickle purple lavendar,” sea-holly everlasting, echinacea, Lily of the Valley, yarrow root (the original “band-aid”), Alpine ladies mantle (very rare)…and that’s just scratching the surface.


Hazelwood Herbs For Teas, Salad Seasonings, Meat Seasonings, Remedies, Tinctures, Balms and More…

In the outdoor nurseries, each plant is carefully labeled by name and most also have their Latin name tagged as well, especially for the traditional medicinal varietals. Hazelwood is a popular shopping spot for naturopaths, many who come over to the Island just to stock up at Hazelwood on their living raw materials. The little plants are sold for a few dollars each. Even the final products sold at Herbal Heaven are extremely reasonable, with few products topping $10 CDN. Hazelwood soaps make especially good gifts and the packaging is so sweetly simple, just a piece of dyed paper, tied with a cord, accented with a dried flower, that you feel like you’ve tucked something even finer and rarer than the finest French-milled soap from Provence, into your own personal “gift and souvenir bag for friends and family” as you linger before leaving Hazelwood Herb Farm.

Plant availability changes with the season. Open year-round but double check during the months of January and February. Www.hazelwoodherbfarm.com 13576 Adshead Road, Ladysmith, B.C.

VancouverIsland.travel Tourism Vancouver Island

Twitter @LocalFoodWine

Vancouver Food And WineOkanagan Food And Wine

Local Food And Wine

Posted via web from Local Food And Wine | Comment »

Tofino Food And Wine Festival

The mission of the Tofino Food and Wine Festival is to promote BC Culinary Tourism while enjoying the company of friends and family of the culinary community. Culinary tourism is an economic driver that helps showcase local restaurants as dining destinations and generates demand for locally grown/raised/caught or processed food and beverage products.


Tofino Food And Wine Festival June 2010

The Tofino Food and Wine Festival began in 2003. It was an idea formed between two foodies who worked in the food and wine industry, at a restaurant set amidst the beautiful Tofino Botanical Gardens.

8th Annual Grazing In The Gardens

Spend a the afternoon wandering the Tofino Botanical Gardens while tasting canapes and wines, all local to beautiful British Columbia! Live music with Dinah D Swingclub from Gabriola Island, DJ Kevin West, silent auction fundraiser, artists in action and more. Outdoor event, rain or shine! Car free event. Shuttle Service provided by Tofino Bus in partnership with the Wickaninnish Inn. Schedule will be posted here, one week before the event. For More INFO »>

This festival provides cultural and educational experiences for food and wine lovers from all over, as well as an opportunity to discover sustainable British Columbia food sources. With a showcase of local culinary talent, the festival also provides networking opportunities for cuisine and tourism establishments to form new business relationships and alliances.

The idea for a festival celebrating the marriage of food and wine in the unique setting of a temperate coastal rainforest was, and still is, strongly supported by the community of Tofino, as well as Vancouver Island purveyors and British Columbia wineries.

Most of all the festival fosters a wonderful weekend for friends and family,  creating a memorable experience in the heart of Tofino.

Local Food And Wine

Vancouver Food And WineOkanagan Food And Wine

Local Food And Wine

Posted via web from Local Food And Wine | Comment »

Culinary Tourism Anyone? Try Vancouver Island

Culinary Tourism makes perfect sense…at least to us!  When you travel for pleasure, at least half your time and itinerary are taken up with decisions like where to eat and what to eat?  When you plan a trip around destinations known for their exquisite culinary offerings and wine pairings, you’ve already done most of the hard work before you’ve ever left home. Then all there is to do once you arrive is…Relax and Enjoy!

Can’t see the VIDEO? CLICK HERE»>

Spring and Summer mean Blooming Gardens in Victoria and all over Vancouver Island…

Can’t see the VIDEO?  CLICK HERE»>

The Comox Valley - also on Vancouver Island - is a Must See, Must Do, Must Eat and Drink and Be Merry kind of destination…

Can’t see the VIDEO?  CLICK HERE»>

Vancouver Food And WineOkanagan Food And Wine

Local Food And Wine

Posted via web from Local Food And Wine | Comment »