Tiffin Project

Mid-Island Food News for March

by Hans Peter Meyer on February 28, 2013

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First the #DineAroundCV update: Through to March 17 you’ll find great 3-course value and flavours at various price points ($17 – $27 – $37 for 3-course menus) at 21 venues in the Comox Valley region. I was part of a preview team in February and am happy to note that local food is being featured in all of the menus I saw at Bisque, Blackfin Pub, Union Street Grill and Grotto, Locals, and Atlas Café.

Lots about seafood
Something I’m very excited about is happening a few blocks away in my neighbourhood: N’usi Seafoods at Prontissima Pasta. Cases of crab. Sidestripe shrimp. You can also find their crab on the #DineAroundCV menu at Locals in Courtenay. See the pic for their 9lb box for $69.

Another local seafood note is K’ómoks First Nation’s expansion of its popular Pentlatch Seafoods aquaculture operations in the Comox Valley, with the purchase of Aquatec Seafoods. The new entity will operate under the name of Salish Sea Foods.

The BC Shellfish Festival wants to see your “best slurp.” Your photo of someone slurping a raw oyster could win you a weekend getaway to the west coast’s “biggest shellfish festival” June 14-15, 2013 in the “Oyster Capital of Canada” – the Comox Valley. FMI: see the Facebook page or send them a tweet. 

Other news
It’s official: my favourite Mexican restaurant has been sold, with new owners taking over at Tita’s at the end of March.

Another big change downtown is the arrival of Chalk Lounge has long been a “late-food” destination for me. Now that Chef Andrew Stigant (formerly doing great things for the region’s fine dining at Crown Isle’s TimberRoom) is holding court in the kitchen at the Westerly Hotel I’m tempted to try the hotel dining room as well.

At the Breakwater Restaurant Chef Phillipe Gagnon is launching his spring menu on March 6. On April 5th he’ll be hosting a wine-pairing Chef’s Table. The focus of both is locally sourced product. Also in March, the Breakwater is sponsoring the March Vancouver Island #localfoodhero promotion. This month we’re asking: Who is your personal #localfoodhero, the person who taught you about the joy of local food?

Chef Chris Thrift recently joined the team at Atlas Café.  He’s a passionate local talent and patrons have been enjoying his nightly fresh sheets for the last couple of months. Expect to see Chef Jonathan Frazier’s new breakfast menu in early April.

The annual Chef’s Association fundraiser will be held at Avenue Bistro on National Pasta Day, Monday April 8.  The four course menu will be served family style, featuring local Prontissima Pasta and local wild salmon. Tickets will be available at the restaurant and at Beyond the Kitchen Door.

In Cumberland I’m hearing and tasting good things at Mars on Main. I’m also hearing fun/tasty things about Lolita’s On-the-Go Grill (even her pic, below, looks fun), but not a lot of details. If you’ve got food truck/cart insider intel, please be in touch. It’s the sign of a healthy food culture when there’s lots of mobile creativity.

Angler’s Dining Room is hosting a winemaker’s dinner series March 29-30 with Fairview Cellars. If you’re too full after 5 courses, Anglers is offering discounted cabin rentals for patrons who choose to stay.

On March 24 Gaetane Palardy from Island Gourmet Trails and Edith Jacob from Key Language Solutions explore the flavours of French Canadian cuisine. For April it’s Paris of course (on the 28th). Each class includes a wine paring and tasting offers by the Blue Moon Winery’s George Ehrler  and a sit down dinner after the class. The regular Island Gourmet Trails season starts with a Saturday Easter Tour on March 30th. Island Joy Rides is now booking seats for its Cycle of Love tour June 14 –16, the BC Shellfish Festival weekend. The summer picnic pic (above) is a sample of how these cylcists dine. And for readers of this column/post, you’re being offered a special discount if you book the tour by March 31. Thanks Island Joy Rides!

Got food news?
Got a favourite stop that I’m not reporting on? Please drop a note via our online news form or comment on our Facebook pages.  Lots there about “good food, local food” on Vancouver Island, including updates on our monthly #localfoodhero and #26Q campaigns.

-hpm
28 February 2013

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