Edible Vancouver Island January/February 2024

edible news + notes worth sharing field notes

New Chapters » We are so sorry to hear about the closing of Niche Grocerant in Victoria, a definite loss for the community, but wish the staff well as they move on to other adventures. In Nanaimo, Picadilly Bistro closed its doors at the end of the 2023 as well, after being a beloved and beautiful dining location on Westwood Lake for the past five years. » But with the closing of some doors, yet others open. In the location previously housing Agrius and Foi Epi in Victoria, comes a new restaurant pop-up from one of the owners of Crust Bakery. Tombo features local, seasonally driven food made from scratch–including salami and fresh bread. » The location previously housing the Very Good Butchers is now the location of Kahuna , which serves one-of-a-kind, Hawaiian-inspired burgers–like The Oahu, created with a ramen noodle bun, a teriyaki chuck patty, pickled ginger and grilled fresh pineapple. Food on the Move

Food News » In Esquimalt, the Kitchen Connect Food Hub has been operating for the past few months as an initiative of the Victoria Community Food Hub Society. It provides peer mentorship and training programs to provide work experience for vulnerable populations and facilitate food and connections within the community.

« In Cobble Hill, Holocene Distilling Project recently opened–and yes, you read that right; the business isn't just a distillery, but a project, with a goal of being carbon-neutral by 2030. They plan to do so by implementing continuous, gradual improvements through careful engineering and thoughtful short-term and long-term planning.

» On Denman Island, a dry, sulphite-free drink is now available from the island's first commercial cidery, Crooked Warden Cider . A long dream in the making, the owner is a Red Seal chef-turned-cidermaster who takes great care in every detail of crafting his small-batch products.

» Once you’ve read our Culinary Science article on comfort food, there’s a high probability you will be craving some hearty, satisfying carbohydrates–in which case, Van Isle Poutinerie in Nanaimo is your perfect carbs-on-wheels (and gluten-free) pitstop.

» Gigi's Oysters is the new hotspot in Comox, brought to the community as a team effort between Gigi's and Boonie's Pizza. The location has limited seating only available on a first-come, first-serve basis, but they do have a licensed waiting area that makes waiting for a seat an enjoyable experience itself.

With recent upgrades to their equipment, they are more than ready to serve you up some gravy-laden fries.

» Speaking of food trucks: the Comox Valley has a brand new, 100% plant-based food truck called Pink Moon Café . Built in the shell of a 1970s trailer and painted in the dreamy pink-and-blue hues of the brand, you’ll find them serving breakfast, handhelds and bowls, as well as taking your calls for catering opportunities. (As is the norm with mobile food businesses, make sure to check their social media and website pages to see which days they’ve rolled up to their various locations!)

We update our Edible News + Notes online monthly. Check ediblevancouverisland.com and follow @EdibleVanIsle on social media


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