Edible Vancouver Island January/February 2024

Animated publication

ISSUE 25 • JAN/FEB 2024

Celebrating Local Food Stories of Vancouver Island & The Gulf Islands

Beacon Law looks forward to serving you in the New Year.

Beacon Law Centre | 250.656.3280 | www.beaconlaw.ca

I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, where the winter skies were blue, the snow was white and fluffy and the whole world was my frozen playground. I loved all things winter: skating, skiing, tobogganing and playing in the snow with friends. So I must confess that winter on the West Coast took me years to embrace. However, I can honestly say that I now love the sound of the rain on my roof, winter walks in the rainforest and time spent in my kitchen making homemade soups or stews to share with friends and family. One of my favourite things to do in January is to host a games night with friends. Sabrina Currie’s article on page 16 has all kinds of fun ideas for hosting a fun games night–which I like to call




Heidi Richter Dominic Hall Matt Wiebe Sabrina Currie Rae-Anne Guenther

“Beat the January Blues Night.” I warn people that there may be dancing and there will definitely be some ABBA playing. I make a big pot of soup (like Chef Nathan Taylor’s recipe on page 6), some extra-cheesy grilled cheese sandwiches and hot drinks (like Daniela Cubelic’s tea toddies on page 38) and plan some fun, silly games that we can all play in front of the fire. Sometimes, we use the evening as an opportunity to try recipes from other places, and after reading Meg Sequeira’s article on South Indian food (page 28) and Gabrielle Plonka’s story on Shanti Chai & Co. (page 32), I am inspired to host a party this year centred around the flavours of India. While I have had to learn to embrace January, February on the Island has always been easy to love–I am enchanted by the hundreds of purple and white snowdrops that pop up everywhere and the daffodils and early cherry blossoms that start to appear. As the new year takes shape, we are honoured to be able to continue to share with you the stories of the chefs, farmers, artisans, fishers, winemakers, craft beer, mead, cider and spirit makers, and all those who contribute to the local food community on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. We hope that 2024 brings you an abundance of joy, love and laughter–and lots of delicious local food. Karen Elgersma


Rose Cowles AD DESIGN Leanne Von Hollen ADVERTISING ediblevancouverisland.com/advertise Peggie Terry Thom Klos Kimberly Johnston CONTACT US 140-4392 West Saanich Road Victoria, BC, V8Z 3E9 editor@ediblevancouverisland.com TO SUBSCRIBE Visit us online at ediblevancouverisland.com Edible Vancouver Island is published six times a year. Subscription rate is $42 CAD annually. LETTERS We welcome your feedback. To write to the editor, use the address above or, for the quickest response, email: editor@ediblevancouverisland.com

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness. –John Steinbeck

We Deliver! Subscribe at ediblevancouverisland.com to have copies delivered right to your door. Check out our website and follow us on social media @EdibleVanIsle for up-to-date events, recipes and news from the food and drink community of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the surrounding areas.

ISSUE 25 • JAN/FEB 2024


Celebrating Local Food Stories of Vancouver Island & The Gulf Islands

On the cover: White Chocolate & Lemon Tiramisu by Heidi Richter

Experience Local. Shop local. Taste local. Support local.


2x 150g pieces Wild BC Sablefish 3 cups dashi broth (or other flavourful stock)

2 cups sliced shitake mushrooms 1/3 pack enoki mushrooms, cut from base 1 Tbsp sesame oil ½ tsp kosher salt 4 green onions, thinly sliced 125g soba noodles

1 Tbsp miso paste 1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp honey 1 Tbsp sambal 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp minced ginger 1 tsp minced garlic

Finest at Sea Shichimi Togarashi, to garnish

• METHOD • Put a medium sauce pot of heavily salted water on to boil for the soba. In another small sauce pot, heat dashi broth over medium heat. Add miso paste, soy sauce, honey, sambal, 1 Tbsp minced ginger and bring to a gentle simmer. Place sablefish in the broth and allow to poach at a gentle simmer for 12-15 minutes (depending on the thickness). While the fish is poaching, sautee shitakes, sesame oil, garlic and remaining ginger in a pan with ½ tsp salt. Set aside when mushrooms are tender. Cook soba noodles in boiling water as per package instructions (usually about 7 minutes). Divide cooked noodles into 2 deep bowls, top with the sablefish and pour broth over top. Garnish with sautéed shitakes, raw enokis, green onions and a sprinkle of togarashi. Enjoy hot with someone you love.


finestatsea.com VICTORIA Seafood Market 250.383.7760 VANCOUVER Seafood Market Grocer + Deli 604.266.1904 • V I S I T U S •


1 welcome letter 4 FIELD NOTES Edible news + notes worth sharing 6 In Season 8 EDIBLE Experience Après Adventure by Matt Wiebe 16 Celebrations Shuffle, Strategize & Socialize by Sabrina Currie 20 Valentine's Gift & experience Guide 22 Current Craving White Chocolate by Heidi Richter 26 our contributors' favourite comfort foods 28 Feature article The Spice of South India by Meg Sequeira 32 Edible Profile Honey-Roasted Chicken Chorizo Soup

34 Culinary Science Comfort in a Dish by Liisa Salo 37 LOCAL LIBATIONS Spiced Tea Toddy by Daniela Cubelic

40 Listicle

5 Years and Counting by Danielle Steiner


10 The Nacho Average Couch Potato Veggie Burger

19 Salmon Bites with Paprika Aioli

24 White Chocolate

and Lemon Tiramisu

31 Potato Masala Stuffing Dosa

38 Spiced Tea Toddy

Shanti Chai & Co. by Gabrielle Plonka

ON THIS PAGE: Salmon Bites with Paprika Aioli. Photo by Sabrina Currie

ediblevancouverisland.com 3

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


No. 76 / SPRING 2023

edible BOZEMAN  Telling the Stories of Local Food & Drink

Issue No. 10 • Fall 2021

Celebrating the Abundance of Local Foods, Season by Season edible

edible BOZEMAN Issue No. 10 Fall 2021

Cape Cod ®


The Kitchen Issue


Member of Edible Communities

fall 2021 1

edible east end Celebrating the Harvest of the Hamptons and North Fork No. 36 High Summer 2012


Member of Edible Communities

Asparagus • Marilyn Schlossbach • Montclair Grape Debate • CSAs • Restaurant Guide Spring Destinations edible J ersey Member of Edible Communities Number 79 Celebrating Local Foods of the Garden State, Season by Season Spring 2023







edible Maritimes

Issue 52 Spring 2022

Celebrating the harvest of Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties, season by season

The future of food

the land ~ the sea ~ the people ~ the food NEW BRUNSWICK - PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND - NOVA SCOTIA Proud Member of Edible Communities


ISSUE FORTY | May/June 2022

edible newfoundland & labrador the land ~ the sea ~ the people ~ the food

Eat . Drink . Think . Explore . | Season by Season

Subscribe to our newsletter! Delivered to your inbox every other Saturday morning and filled with authentic stories and inspired recipes from Edible magazines across the U.S. and Canada. Join us as we celebrate local foods season by season!


NO. 1 SUMMER 2023 Wild Finds

Member of Edible Communities







Get Social! Follow us by scanning the QR code above.

ediblevancouverisland.com 5



RECIPE Chef Nathan Taylor of The Westin Bear Mountain Resort & Spa, Victoria PHOTO DOMINIC HALL Honey-Roasted Chicken CHORIZO SOUP

Honey-roasted chicken chorizo soup is a comforting winter staple in my family’s kitchen. It’s a delightful play on a dish I learned at one of my first jobs. This hearty soup combines the delicate versatility of chicken with the smoky, salty kick of chorizo, creating a harmonious blend of winter flavours. However, what truly sets this dish apart is the addition of locally sourced honey, which introduces a touch of sweetness that adds another layer of depth to the broth. The sweetness of the honey beautifully balances the spiciness and saltiness of the chorizo, creating a warm, satisfying bowl of soup that is perfect for a chilly winter day. SERVES 4

Start by tossing together all the ingredients from Part A in a bowl. Then, transfer ingredients onto a sheet pan and bake at 400°F for 8–10 minutes, or until cooked. Honey should caramelize slightly on the chicken until it reaches a golden-brown colour. Once cooked, remove from oven and let cool. Part B: Sauté carrots, onion, celery and leeks in a large pot until soft. Medium-low heat is recommended to avoid browning the vegetables. Once onions are soft, add chorizo and corn. When chicken has cooled, shred with knife or two forks. Add shredded chicken to pot and any juices from the pan. Then, add potatoes, chicken broth and thyme. Simmer for 25–30 minutes until potatoes are soft. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro, drizzle of honey and serve hot.

Ingredients Part A 4 skinless, boneless

chicken thighs 2 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp parsley, chopped salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients Part B 2 small chorizo sausages, diced (pre-cooked, though uncooked can

also be used if preferred) 1 cup carrots, small diced 1 cup celery, small diced ¾ cup onions, small diced ½ cup leeks, small diced ½ cup frozen corn

1 cup nugget potatoes, quartered 2 litres low-sodium chicken broth 3 sprigs thyme cilantro for garnish

ediblevancouverisland.com 7

Sourdough Pastries.


Fresh Look, Same Great Products

250.898.3304 Courtenay, BC www.honeygrovebakery.ca And Of Course... Always Long Fermentation, 100% Organic Canadian Flour





I t was a pretty cold Christmas Day (okay, it was a record-breaking cold snap), but with beautiful blue skies, heading on an adventure didn't feel unreasonable. After a lovely morning with family, I exchanged a slew of text messages with friends Casey and Laura, where plans soon crystallized to trek deep into the Whistler backcountry to seek holiday cheer in the newly constructed Kees and Claire Hut.

guiding light, the skin track, suddenly faded as we entered the windswept alpine. Donning every extra layer, we pushed on step by step, when the beautiful glow of the glorious mountain refuge finally came into view. We clambered into the gear room entrance, and then shivered with relief knowing that our smooth ascent could have quickly become disastrous with any form of gear or human malfunction.

Entering the main room, we were welcomed by 35 other hut guests, who evidently thought it was better to brave the cold by daylight. After that epic trip in, I sure wasn’t planning on packing out 12 veggie burgers and 12 buns–so it was time to take full advantage of the exceptionally well-equipped kitchen and start churning out burgers to share.

After that epic hike in... it was time to take full advantage of the exceptionally well-equipped kitchen and start churning out burgers.

In the winter, my avalanche safety gear is always meticulously packed and ready to go. So, with the addition of my sleeping bag, a few extra puffy jackets, two headlamps, 12 buns and 12 hand-crafted gourmet veggie burgers (after all, it was Christmas, which requires a feast!), I headed north to Squamish.

Together, the three of us had shared dozens of adventures in a wide range of conditions, so the memory of a team self-rescue from frostbitten toes 10 months earlier had almost started to fade as we began our five-hour hike. We began on the beautiful Singing Pass Trail from Whistler Village, spirits bright and vibes running high, when the deep winter night aggressively descended upon us. Having successfully navigated to the hut at night two weeks prior, I felt somewhat confident of the route ahead. Climbing higher, we pulled out our phones to verify our GPS track, but the low -20°C temps rendered them too cold to use. One by one, headlamps died, while mine hung on by a thread of a lumen. Our final

Now, "veggie burgers on Christmas?" you ask with raised eyebrows. These weren’t just any veggie burgers, but 12 Coastie Craft Burgers–handcrafted, organic veggie burgers made with premium local ingredients. Producing and selling these gourmet burgers was my business at the time, and I was proud to share the abundance with fellow hut-goers. While the business is no more, the burgers live on in memories (and likely buried deep in a few lucky Vancouver freezers).

Born and raised in Burnaby with Island roots, Matt Wiebe is a restaurant manager, mountaineer and twice-attempted food entrepreneur, who loves making feasts for himself, family and friends.

ediblevancouverisland.com 9

The Nacho Average Couch Potato Veggie Burger


Now open in Parksville! 692-694 Primrose Street Qualicum Beach

425 Stanford Avenue E Parksville

This burger recipe was inspired by zesty, cheesy nachos, and created for the not-so-average, part-time couch potatoes living the West Coast adventure lifestyle.

Makes 12 (110g each) veggie burgers

INGREDIENTS 1 small yam (300g) cubed

Method In a large pot, boil the diced carrot, yam, and potato until tender. Drain. Mash into a rough mash. Add ¼ chia seeds and mix well. Cool mixture, then mash the white beans and add into the mixture Sauté onion, jalapeño, and garlic until caramelized; add to mix. In a food processor or blender, pulse the pumpkin seeds. Then pulse the soaked & drained cashews to desired consistency and add all to previous mixture. Add the lemon juice, tomato paste, olive oil, nutritional yeast, paprika, turmeric and salt. Add the potato starch and mix, before finally adding the oats and mixing thoroughly (add more oats if necessary to reach desired consistency). To Serve Enjoy your burger with guac, ranch sauce, salsa, olive tapenade and burger toppings.

1 medium potato (250g) cubed 1 medium carrot (100g) cubed 1 can (500ml) cannellini beans, drained, rinsed 1 large jalapeño (diced) – or two! ½ cup pumpkin seeds, roasted ¾ cup cashews, soaked 30 mins in boiling water and drained ¼ cup chia seeds 6 Tbsp olive oil 1 Tbsp lemon juice 2 Tbsp tomato paste ⅓ cup nutritional yeast 1 medium onion, diced 6 cloves garlic, minced

Home to the Ukee Fried Chicken & French Toast! Brunch | Dinner Patio Seating Events Catering 1682 Peninsula Road Ucluelet, BC www.heartwoodfood.com

1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp paprika ½ tsp cayenne pepper 2 tsp salt ½ cup corn starch (or ¾ cup potato starch) 1 cup quick oats



check out our video

Your story

has the power to connect people to your purpose. Our purpose is to find the most creative, authentic and strategic way to tell your story and share it with others.

Make Cheese Today! ORDER ONLINE cheesemaker.ca


buy local. eat local. support local. hidden gems

MORNINGSTAR COFFEE Discover MorningStar Coffee Roasting Company at The Langford Station. Their specialty coffees, meticulously sourced from premier farms, reflect their commitment to excellence. At MorningStar, they constantly push boundaries, crafting roasts and brews that elevate the coffee experience, unveiling unparalleled and captivating flavours.

TOFINO GALLERY OF CONTEMPORARY ART Represents Canadian contemporary artists whose works in painting, sculpture & photography are beautifully curated in an intimate gallery setting. Complimentary delivery can be arranged between Tofino and Victoria. International shipping is available. Visit TGCA in person or online. 430 Campbell St. (behind Rhino Coffee) IG: @tofinogalleryofcontemporyart tofinogalleryofcontemporaryart.com

THE HOBBYIST | mindfully made in Tofino Discover bliss with the Hobbyist's consciously crafted lines of holistic home and body goods. The collections are mindfully made by a mother-daughter duo and are inspired by Tofino's coastal beauty. Ethically sourced, plant-based, and toxin-free, The Hobbyist small batches help welcome the wilderness back into your daily rituals. Embrace a Tofino-inspired experience that will resonate with your soul. tofino.hobbyist@gmail.com IG: @tofinohobbyist | thehobbyist.ca

720 station Ave., Langford morningstarcoffee.ca

ediblevancouverisland.com 11

Clockwise from upper left: 1) The Crown Mansion in Qualicum Beach offers fine dining and a relaxing stay. 2) Chef Michelle Yasinski prepares dishes for dinner at the Crown Mansion. 3) Q Burger owner and chef Kevin Munroe says having a restaurant in Qualicum Beach provides the perfect work-life balance. 4) The Back 40 Grill in Parksville loves offering customers delicious fish and chips with their housemade sauces. 5) Qualicum Beach Cafe’s chef Todd Bright loves cooking with all the fresh local ingredients that can be sourced on the island.


To be a Chef in Paradise For more info on chefs in Parksville Qualicum Beach, scan the code Chefs in Parksville Qualicum Beach don’t take the region’s beauty or bounty for granted

Surrounded by verdant forest and vast ocean views, the chefs of Parksville Qualicum Beach find themselves immersed in a region of natural beauty that not only captivates the eye but also supplies an abundance of local ingredients. With easy access to fresh produce, seafood and artisanal products, their culinary visions are nurtured by the region's plentiful resources. The area's growth as a culinary destination amplifies their creative drive, providing a platform to showcase their menus to locals and tourists alike. Beyond the professional landscape, the warmth and familiarity of the community make this region more than just a workplace– it becomes a place they are proud to call home, a sentiment that infuses an extra layer of passion into every dish they create. Chef Todd Bright of Nanoose Bay Café has been cooking for 24 years, his career in the kitchen bringing him to Vancouver Island in January 2021 to open the Qualicum Beach Café. One of the biggest things he’s noticed since settling into his life here is the more sustainable work-life balance that exists on the island. “Being in this kind of community that I’m not stuck in the restaurant till two in the morning–that’s really nice,” he notes. He also loves the close connection he makes with his restaurant suppliers–like the fish he gets from the local fishermen or the chicken straight from the abattoir. Forming those intimate bonds and connections with producers, and finding out what inspires them to do what they do, is a big part of how he translates ingredients into a rich menu. “I really like that food can tell a story,” he explains. “From the boat to my restaurant–sI can name the fisherman for you. Same with some of our microgreens grown down in Cobble Hill; it’s a lovely family that have been doing it for years and years. Anything I want or am interested in, I just have to ask and they’ll grow a small sample.” The ability to form close relationships with local suppliers is something Michelle Yasinski of Crown Mansion is thankful for every day. “Being on Vancouver Island and having all these wonderfulmarkets and vendors and everything at our fingertips… I’m overwhelmed by it sometimes, how we’re very, very lucky here,” she says. “I love where I live.” Through collaboration, innovation and a pure love for the region, Yasinski and other chefs in the region are not only crafting exceptional menus, but also etching their stories into the very essence of this coastal haven. And it’s a haven too beautiful to keep secret. Yasinski firmly believes in sharing her love for Parksville Qualicum Beach with others. “It’s my home, and when people come here, I want them to feel like they’re at home,” she explains. That feeling of welcoming hospitality is one she strives to create at her restaurant.

Yasinski describes the dining establishment’s ambiance as one of “casual elegance,” a term brought to her by one of her guests. “They felt like they could come here to this beautiful, elegant place, but feel like they’re coming into my home and being welcomed… where they can be themselves.” Eric Edwards of Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort & Conference Centre also enjoys sharing his love of the region to people who choose Parksville Qualicum Beach as their vacation destination, because he loves being able to offer a menu that carefully marries local island products with international flavours. “We can really have a lot of fun with it,” he says. The resort hosts a lot of weddings as well, and he thrives on being a part of the bride and groom’s perfect day by creating a meal that meets and exceeds all their expectations. “I just love it every day…the joy that you give to so many people,” he says. He also notes that it’s inspiring to work in a region with other chefs as excited about the industry as you are, because it fosters an environment conducive to culinary innovation. “Having the culinary scene (here) changing over the years, I think we've got a lot of different restaurants and hotels that are just bringing up their game. And it's really exciting to see,” Edwards says. Kevin Munroe from Q Burger certainly qualifies as one of the many passionate chefs in the region who is elevating the culinary standards in the region. His love for the island is something he was practically born with. “I’m born and raised here on Vancouver Island. I will never leave; I love it here so much,”he says proudly.“It’s the best place on earth.” And as a chef, there’s nowhere he’d rather work. “I love the abundance of what this island can offer,” he explains. From foraging for berries or harvesting clams and oysters on the beach, the plentiful variety of local, easily accessible ingredients make the region a chef’s dream location to both live and work. It's clear that the chefs of this region are not just cooks; they are storytellers weaving tales of connection and community through each dish. By fostering relationships with local suppliers, they transform ingredients into narratives that celebrate heritage, tradition and growth. As the aroma of carefully prepared meals wafts through the air, it whispers a message of homecoming, inviting both residents and visitors to share in the love of place that is filled in equal measure with vibrant community, abundant nature and inspiring creativity.



ediblevancouverisland.com 13

Things to Do

Start Exploring Spend some time in Parksville

Qualicum Beach and recharge your batteries. Escape the crush of dead lines, traffic jams and overcrowded spaces, and step back in time a little. You will find everything from local arts and crafts, edible products including coffee, chocolates, pre serves, spirits, award winning craft brews and savoury delights. Golf courses with 19th hole eats and everything from French inspired dining and bakeries to seaside fish and chips. See goats on a roof, explore under ground caves, stroll endless sandy beaches at low tide, walk among ancient old growth forests, enjoy the challenge of world-class biking and hiking, and take in local farmers markets, these are just some of the experiences you’ll be able to tell your friends about back home. Welcome to the small-town charm of our communities!

North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre. Image: Lexa Bergen

Horne Lake Caves

Beach Club Resort. Image: @tastereporter



Make it a Special Occasion.

Local halibut, salmon, ling cod and more available in store, as well as live, local crabs and shellfish!

Fresh from the boat to you! F RENCH CREEK SEAFOOD LTD. (250) 248-2888 | frenchcreek.ca Located in French Creek Harbour at 1097 Lee Rd, Parksville

Pickles & preserves for every day and every occasion catieshotdilledbeans.com


Advocating for People & Place

Life is too short for bad coffee

Come see our Jura collection or arrange a demo Jura E8 - Piano White


CERTIFIED GREEN BEAUTY Natural Evolution Hair Studio 885 Island Hwy. W Parksville | 260-954-0096 BOOK @ naturalevolutionhairstudio.ca













#1-177 W. 2nd Ave., Qualicum Beach 250-752-8744

Get Exclusive Discounts with the Parksville Qualicum Beach Savings Pass

Step 2 - Receive Text

Step 1 - Get Your Pass Eat, Play, Stay, Shop

Step 3 - Redeem

No app to download Show your phone to redeem discounts

250.752.0077 | 692 Bennett Rd. Qualicum Beach WILDCULTUREBAKERY.COM


ediblevancouverisland.com 15

Shuffle, Strategize & Socialize Beat the winter blues by hosting an unforgettable board game night


D id you make New Year’s resolutions that involve keeping in touch with friends and family more? Despite our best intentions to keep connected, the cold and dark winter days are less than motivating to do so. But these are the days where staying connected is more important than ever, and I have just the thing to inspire you–games! Not just for kids, games provide an opportunity to connect with friends and family and leave daily stresses behind. Playing games allows for a casual night to let loose, laugh and enjoy drinks and snacks. The games can be chosen for any and all ages and can create

a great backdrop for making new friends too. Plus, hosting your own game night is pretty straightforward: pick a game (or games), invite a few friends and serve up some tasty drinks and snacks! THE GUEST LIST Start by planning your guest list and deciding if you want a small group or a large group. With a large group, you can play one party game that includes everyone or set up different tables and play areas with multiple games on offer. With a small group, one game is likely best. Invite friends who enjoy games so you don’t have a party pooper in the background killing the vibe. Since games are a



Easy finger foods that can be brought to the game table without spilling are best, though make sure to provide lots of napkins.

creative with your theme to make it interesting. Aperitifs (Esquimalt vermouth) and antipasti, sparkling wine (Unsworth, Beaufort, 40 Knots, Blue Grouse) and tapas, beer or kombucha from local breweries paired with pizza, salsa and ceviche with premixed margaritas–pick your favourite snack flavours and go with it. Chips and dip, charcuterie boards, wine and cheese or bowls of nuts, popcorn and candy are all acceptable game night fare too. Easy finger foods that can be brought to the game table without spilling are best, though make sure to provide lots of napkins. (While we’re thinking of spills, nix real candles or fancy flower arrangements; be prepared to see the wild side of your friends!) Finish off the night with a little something sweet. Some homemade cookies or jars of candy with bags that guests can fill are a fun finishing touch. THE FINISH LINE For a memorable ending, give out delicious local food and drinks as prizes that won’t collect dust: a freshly ground bag of Fernwood or Salt Spring Coffee, Forest for Dinner gourmet mushroom powder or infused salts, a jar of golden Island Bees honey, your favourite local wine or cider, Easy Treats chocolates–I could go on. In fact, if you offer local foodie prizes, can you invite me, please?

natural ice breaker, this is a great time to mix in some new friends that may not know each other. THE VIBE Set up a cozy playing area by turning on lamps or electric candles, and press play on your favourite music playlist. Extra throw cushions around your coffee table and throw blankets on the back of chairs will keep your guests comfortable throughout the evening. Fill up a cooler with ice and drinks or set up a DIY soda and cocktail bar on a nearby table for easy refills during play. THE GAMES Next, pick your games. Choose a game based on how many people will play and what their interests are. Strategy games are great for serious gamers, while funny party games are better for settings where you want to visit as well as play. Think about the length of your game, too: will your friends have the attention span for a very long game, or are a few shorter ones better? There are team games that work well for large groups and retro games like charades and Monopoly that work for a variety of ages. Pictionary is another classic that's extra fun with a large easel for everyone to see the drawings. What Do You Meme and Taboo will get your friends laughing, and Cards Against Humanity or Drawing Without Dignity are great fun if your guests aren’t easily offended. Are your guests foodies? Check out the Foodies board game or, for epicurean trivia, play Food Fight or Wine Wars. If you like a good murder mystery night, A Wine Tasting Murder is the foodie take on the classic game. For more game ideas, check out your local shop or boardwithfriends.ca rentals for a great list of all types of games. THE FOOD Hosting a game night definitely requires snacks and drinks, but not a full-on dinner. You can keep things simple while still getting

Sabrina Currie comes from a long line of cutthroat Scrabble players and will never say no to a game night–especially if there’s food involved! sabrinacurrie.com

ediblevancouverisland.com 17

Don’t want to host your own game night? Head to one of these awesome Vancouver Island businesses to play games with other like-minded people! These board game cafés are popping in small towns and big cities alike. It’s a great way to meet people in a new town or socialize while travelling. All of these gaming cafés sell board games and many also offer game rentals. CAMPBELL RIVER Pair-A-Dice has been hosting open game nights for years. Some nights are centred on a particular game, and Tuesday nights are hosted by a games guru who teaches any games customers want to learn. Run by passionate, community-minded owners Shawna and Andy Swanson, Pair-A-Dice lets you play games free of charge. pair-a-dice.com PARKSVILLE Railyard Games offers game teaching and a few game nights per week. Like many game shops, this one is run by an owner who is passionate about games– and trains. Come see the operating model railroad and find supplies for your own model railroads. railyardgames.org NANAIMO Visit Dropzone Games for game play almost every night of the week for a small fee. There are multiple gaming rooms and a large community of game enthusiasts. The self-proclaimed beating heart of geekdom in Nanaimo, the shop also has concession style snacks available. dropzonegames.ca DUNCAN The Fort Game Café promises fun times and good vibes. Local beer, cider and delicious food options like pizzas and paninis are on offer along with an extensive list of games available to play. Special events are posted on their website regularly. There is a small charge for game playing. thefortduncan.com VICTORIA Interactivity Board Game Café: With more extensive food and beverage options, including bowls of candy or chips and licensed drinks, this is an all ages café. There is a small charge to play, but it includes borrowing games, and there’s an expert on site to teach patrons new games. They even make their own ice cream. ibgcafe.com Board With Friends: Serving lots of classic milkshakes, dips, candy and paninis, you can stay and play for an additional cost. You can also buy or rent games from their huge library for your own games night. They are grouped into categories like two-player, party games, strategy, dice or tile-based and worker placement games. boardwithfriends.ca Everything Games: With its friendly atmosphere, this location offers gaming with a calendar of events listed at the bottom of their home page and on Facebook. Some are open to all and others are tournament-style with ticket sales. everythinggames.ca get out & play WORDS SABRINA CURRIE


For the salmon 1 lb salmon fillet

salmon bites Paprika Aioli RECIPE + PHOTO SABRINA CURRIE Inspired by patatas bravas, these flavourful bites of salmon are skewered on toothpicks for easy eating with no messy fingers! Serve them up with refreshing Van Isle sparkling wine, dry sherry or beer. These are meant to be crispy on the bottom and raw on top, so choose sushi-grade salmon. Coho or Chinook are good choices, because they are thicker and will make great bite-sized pieces. with

1 tsp smoked paprika ½ tsp coarse sea salt ½ tsp ground black pepper 1 Tbsp olive oil For the aioli 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 tsp sweet Spanish paprika pinch of chili flakes 1 small clove minced garlic 1 Tbsp tomato sauce ½ cup real mayonnaise 1 tsp red wine vinegar salt and pepper to taste

METHOD In a small pan, heat olive oil over low heat with Spanish paprika, chili flakes and garlic. Sauté until garlic is translucent, about 1-2 minutes. Add tomato paste, stir and heat 1 minute then remove from heat. Let cool 5 minutes in pan, then add mayonnaise and vinegar. Stir well, season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. Trim skin and bones from salmon and cut into even cubes, approximately 1 inch each, saving small scraps for another recipe. Preheat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan on medium heat until hot and shimmering. While the pan is heating, mix smoked paprika, sea salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Dip one side of each salmon cube into the spice mixture and then place it in the pan and stick wooden cocktail picks into the tops of each one. Cook until crispy on the bottom and still raw on top, until ¼-¾ of the cube is cooked through, depending on your preference. Lift them out of the pan onto a serving platter and serve with a bowl of the aioli for dipping or dish them up on individual cocktail plates with a smear of the sauce.

ediblevancouverisland.com 19





CHOCOLATES Julie's Delights

package by LUNAR COVE INN . The package includes a two or three night stay in an Ocean View Suite, a private dining experience in the storm

Chocolates has all your Valentine's Day needs

covered with a range of sweet

treats. Their velvety chocolates are crafted with the freshest ganache using locally sourced ingredients from Vancouver Island. From gift boxes to heart-shaped chocolate boxes and chocolate shooter cups, they have an array of options to make your sweetheart swoon. juliedelights.ca

room, in-room breakfast with champagne and OJ, a 60-minute couple's massage in the storm room, take-home gifts, unique bed and breakfast features: pie turn down, charcuterie board, meats and cheeses/ seafood cold platter/dessert, in-room bar cart, s'mores and drinks around the fire pit, and a shampagne dinner by candlelight in the storm room . lunarcove.ca

CHEESE MAKER Make your own fresh cheese this Valentine’s Day with CHEESE MAKER. Their DIY


INN AT LAUREL POINT Few things go better together than a freshly brewed coffee or tea and a still warm baked croissant. Offering freshly baked goods and exquisite sweets, Duo Café Bakery is Victoria’s newest café experience. With pickup options and pre-orders taken for any occasion,

Cheese Making Kits have all the ingredients, equipment and instructions you need to make cheese at home. So, share the gift of a culinary adventure with your loved one and learn to stretch and shape your own mozzarella balls, in just one hour. For more information, visit cheesemaker.ca

consider Duo your local one

stop shop for all things delicious. duocafebakery.ca



A few finds from local shops your sweetheart will love!


Participating businesses in

downtown Sidney are now accepting

Sidney by the Sea Gift Cards! Gift cards make for a fantastic gift and can

be purchased locally at the Sidney Information Centre at 2281 Beacon Avenue or online for direct mailing. This program is managed by the Sidney Business Improvement Area Society. Visit exploresidney.ca

PACIFIC SANDS BEACH RESORT From sunsets and storms to surf and solitude, Pacific Sands Beach Resort in Tofino revels in romance with a package you’re going to love. Turn up the heat with the Pacific Romance Package, perfect for passionate getaways and heavenly honeymoons. Book your romantic escape today at pacificsands.com

FLYING FISH A Vancouver Island’s preeminent home furnishings and kitchenware shop. Housed in a heritage building in the heart of downtown Nanaimo, Flying Fish is a fun and friendly place that will engage your senses with its beautifully displayed selection of quality home furnishings, kitchenware, bedding, jewelry, women’s clothing, giftware and more. flyingfishnanaimo.com


ISSUE 25 • JAN/FEB 2024

Give the gift of a six-issue subscription to Edible Vancouver Island to inspire culinary adventures throughout the year. ISSUE 25 • JAN/FEB 2024 COMFORT FOOD • CHAI • WHITE CHOCOLATE

Celebrating Local Food Stories of Vancouver Island & The Gulf Islands

As a bonus free gift to yourself, sign up to our newsletter for even more ideas on how to eat, drink and shop local. ediblevancouverisland.com


ediblevancouverisland.com 21

Buttery, sweet and sublimely smooth, devotees consider it

unrivalled in the world of chocolate.






C hocolate is a topic of both love and division; there are those boldly enamoured with dark and others with a devout affection for milk. However, if you come across a white chocolate aficionado, you’ll likely be met with a swoony tone as they describe in great detail what they love about it. Buttery, sweet and sublimely smooth, devotees consider it unrivalled in the world of chocolate. Made from the same cacao beans as milk and dark, white chocolate is unique in that it lacks one major component: cocoa solids. Unlike darker varieties, white chocolate bypasses the processing step where cocoa solids (cocoa liquor) are added back to cocoa butter. The complete absence of cocoa liquor gives white chocolate


status among its peers. To be considered real white chocolate, a minimum of 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk powder and 3.5% milk fat must be present. Nevertheless, whether white chocolate is genuine chocolate still remains largely debated. As a self-confessed chocoholic, I can appreciate good chocolate no matter the type; however, it takes a discerning palate to recognize quality. Any white chocolate worth its weight is going to not only meet the regulatory criteria above (read the label), it’s also going to taste exceptionally creamy and melt effortlessly in your mouth. White chocolate should be ivory in colour, not white, and have a delicate vanilla and milky aroma with subtle hints of cocoa. Products cut with vegetable or palm oils will compromise the texture and

its beautiful ivory colour and, because the cocoa butter is unimpeded by solids, its texture is that of unparalleled silkiness. Sweet with hints of cocoa, fresh milk and vanilla, white chocolate is perfect for those preferring a milder chocolate without the bitterness and caffeine associated with other varieties. Like many great discoveries, white chocolate was produced by mistake, with historians generally crediting the Swiss company Nestlé with its creation. Rather than the nutritional

taste, leading to a grainy or waxy mouthfeesl. Fortunately, many chocolatiers are turning their focus to creating exemplary white chocolate for a growing market of refined taste buds. If its delicate flavour and velvety texture wasn’t enough to love, white chocolate is the epitome of versatility, a true blank canvas from which an astonishing number of flavours can be incorporated. Common pairings like citrus, dried fruit, nuts, honey, matcha or coffee will uplift, balance and complement white chocolate

White chocolate is the epitome of versatility, a true blank canvas from which an astonishing number of flavours can be incorporated.

beverage they intended to make, experimentation with an excess of milk powder and cocoa butter resulted in what would become the first commercially available white chocolate bar in the 1930s. While it gained popularity in the Europe, primarily as white coat candy, it wasn’t until the mid-1940s that white chocolate was introduced to North America. Currently, white chocolate makes up roughly 10% of the global chocolate market, and though it may not be as popular as dark or milk, it certainly has its dedicated fans. Yet many would argue that white chocolate isn’t real chocolate; cocoa connoisseurs will assert it’s merely sweetened fat, lacking the robust complexities of dark or milk, or that it doesn’t meet the characteristics that legally define chocolate. However, in 2002, North American and European regulatory bodies established manufacturing standards that granted white chocolate a certain

mousse, truffles, bonbons or soufflé. By itself, it can enhance a simple date-night snack board accompanied by a glass of local Chardonnay. For those with a more adventurous palate, pair white chocolate with pungent and sharp blue cheese or caviar–an unexpected pairing that works immaculately thanks to a natural compound called trimethylamine. However you choose to enjoy it, white chocolate will surely evoke a sense of luxury, perfect for celebrating your valentine or just because–you don’t need an elaborate reason to indulge! Heidi Richter is a Nanaimo-based recipe developer and food photographer who takes no issue with considering white chocolate to be real chocolate, despite her affection for darker varieties. thesimplegreen.com

ediblevancouverisland.com 23

& LEMON TIRAMISU White Chocolate In this unique variation of the classic Italian dessert, white chocolate is combined with classic mascarpone cream and spread over layers of bright, lemony ladyfingers. The acidity of lemon balances out the rich mascarpone filling for a not-too-sweet indulgence. Advance preparation is required to accommodate chilling time and to allow the ladyfingers to soften. RECIPE + PHOTO HEIDI RICHTER


INGREDIENTS For the simple syrup: ¼ cup freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice ½ cup granulated sugar 2 Tbsp filtered water For the mascarpone cream: 125g quality white chocolate, roughly chopped 3 large egg yolks ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar pinch of salt ¾ cup whipping cream 1 cup (8oz) mascarpone cheese, softened zest of 1 lemon For the base: 24 ladyfinger cookies 1-2 ounces white chocolate, finely grated In a small saucepan, add the lemon juice, sugar and water. Heat the mixture over medium-low, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into a shallow, heat proof bowl to cool slightly. Set aside. In a small double boiler over medium heat, add the chopped white chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Carefully remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. In another double boiler over medium heat, add the egg yolks, ¼ cup of the sugar and pinch of salt. Stir together, then whisk fairly continuously until the mixture reaches 160°F (about 10 minutes). Carefully remove from the double boiler and transfer the mixture to a medium sized bowl, whisking a few times to help the mixture cool slightly. Prepare the mascarpone cream: Using a handheld mixer, beat the egg yolk mixture until pale yellow, creamy and increased in volume. Set aside. To a Melt the chocolate and pasteurize the egg yolks: METHOD Prepare the lemon simple syrup:

Makes: one 8-inch tiramisu | Prep time: 35 minutes | Chilling time: 8 hours minimum

large bowl, add the whipping cream and the remaining 2 Tbsp of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in the softened mascarpone, melted white chocolate and lemon zest until evenly distributed. Fold the mascarpone cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture until evenly incorporated. Assemble & chill: Working with half of the ladyfingers, dip both sides of each in the lemon simple syrup (one second per side), then arrange in a single layer, rounded side up, in the bottom of a non-reactive square baking dish (break some in half to fill in gaps, but expect some space between each finger). Scoop out half of the mascarpone cream and spread it evenly over the ladyfinger layer. Next, add another layer of dipped ladyfingers, then spread the remaining mascarpone cream on top. Top with finely grated white chocolate (a fine microplane grater works well here). Cover and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours, but ideally overnight or up to 18 hours before serving. Slice and serve chilled.

artful distinctive memorable

Kastawayz Art

Handmade is Heartmade Our curated collection from 195 Salish Sea Artists

Mon. ~ Fri. 10-5 • Sat. & Sun. 10-4 Visit us online anytime salishseamarket.com

ediblevancouverisland.com 25

Made with FlippingBook - Online catalogs