Tiffin Project

Mid-Island Food News for June

by Hans Peter Meyer on May 30, 2013

Lemon Torte at Hot Chocolates / Cakebread Bakery in downtown Courtenay

Tickets go on sale June 1 for the 2nd Annual Flavour Gourmet Picnic, taking place at Coastal Black Estate Winery Sept 15. Tickets available at GourmetPicnic.ca (it sold out 4 weeks early last year…. Note that Flavour is sponsoring the June #localfoodhero promotion. FMI see the launch info online at j.mp/VILFH

June 7 Chef Philippe Gagne hosts his almost-monthly Chef’s Table event at The Breakwater. Watch for lots of fresh, local sea food (Chef Philippe is one of the featured chefs in the BC Shellfish Chefs’ Dinner event – sold out long ago, sorry). Last month’s Breakwater event sold out, and the next one’s not til September 6. You’re warned.

BC Shellfish Festival has a wide range of activities going on June 6-15, with many local restaurants partnering to showcase our abundance of sustainable, healthy food. The free public event on Saturday, June 15 at the Comox Marina Park features a chowder contest, the BC finals for oyster shucking, and lots of cooking demos and things to taste. My focus? I’m judging the annual Best Caesar in Town competition. That’s #CaesarJun6 on Twitter. Watch for it.

Start June 15 with the a food fest celebrating “Early Veggies” at the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market. The Wednesday summer market kickoffs downtown on July 3 (England Ave between 5th and 6th Streets). Note that the Market will move to the Sports Centre (beside Vanier) for July 13 (MusicFest weekend). Watch for a new digital weekly flyer! We’ll be posting to our Facebook page on Friday evenings.

Two baskets full of local food goodness from the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market

Congrats to the Island Joy Rides team: they’ve just been awarded a 2013 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor! They credit their award to all the great producers in the region. They’ve also “tweaked” their popular Wine and Chocolate By Bike tour.

Avenue Bistro is prepping for summer with a June preview of some favourite summer libations paired with special nibbles. Visit between 4-5pm to taste a weekly classic, think Left Bank, Pimms Cup, French 55. Chef Aaron Rail is releasing his summer menu at the end of June.


Freddy’s Left Bank cocktail at Avenue Bistro in Comox

The Zocalo in downtown Courtenay is getting serious about being “more than a coffee shop.” I’ve heard good things about their breakfasts and am keen to try their local-focused lunches and dinners. Coffee House Thursdays feature 3-for-2 tapas and an eclectic mix of musical accompaniements. They’re also offering a Lunch By Bike service.

A summer menu collaboration between Chef Jonathan Frazier and new new right hand man Christopher Thrift is something to look forward to mid-June at Atlas Cafe. Updates to the gluten-free menu and breakfast menu to follow.

You can join Island Gourmet Trails‘ Chef Gaetane Palardy and hostess and French-second-language teacher Édith Jacob for a series of summer gourmet cooking experiences at Blue Moon Winery. The focus is on French regional cuisine, and classes are offered in English as well as French. Dates: June 23, July 10 and 24, August 7 and 21. Great Fathers’ Day gifts for the gourmand in your life.

After a recent first-ever visit I’m looking forward to picnicking at Beaufort Winery. Their summer season has launched, with the tasting room, wine shop, and picnic area open Fridays and Saturdays, May 24-August 16th, 12- 5pm (closed July 12/13). ps. Congrats on the 27th award this year – a Bronze Medal at the London International Invitational!

I’m a big fan of what Thierry Vrain and Chanchal Cabrera do at Innisfree Farm. They grow organic food. They operate a CSA. They grow medicinal herbs. They offer workshops and courses. Now they’ve launched an almost-weekly “dinner and food movie” series that runs the gamut from pleasure to politics. Part of our vibrant local food scene here in the Comox Valley!

Is there food news I’m missing? Please tell me! Your submissions welcomed here: j.mp/FoodNews. And, please, tell us about your Island eating and drinking experiences at our Facebook page!


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