14th Annual Feast Welcomes New Chefs to the Field

left upper: guests line up at the Natural Pastures tent, left lower: Steve and Heather Highnett of Vin Coco, centre: Robert Cassels, chef at Flavour with his beetroot polenta, squash and goat cheese stacks, right upper: the team from Kulu prepare their Terra Nossa pork with Umi Nami Farm salsa on rice, right lower: the Thank You sign from Farm Folk City Folk. all images: Rebecca Baugniet

I know a lot of people were doing sun dances last week. In the days leading up to Vancouver Island’s 14th Annnual Feast of Fields, the forecast looked grim. Much to everyone’s, but especially event organizer, Melanie Banas’ relief, all that dancing paid off –  the clouds cleared and the sun beat down on an appreciative crowd. Marley Farm proved to be yet another idyllic setting for the event, with tents scattered through the fields, making for a pleasant stroll between sips and bites. Music wafted, children waded, sated guests took naps under trees, dragonflies buzzed and an elderly ginger cat meandered the grounds, visibly perplexed about the sudden influx of human beings to the property, but quite appreciative of all the extra attention.

A few new businesses had their first time in the field this year, including  Kulu Restaurant which opened in Fernwood Square early in 2011, serving up Terra Nossa Farm pork with Umi Nami Farm salsa on rice and nori. Chef Rob Cassels of Flavour, the new restaurant in the Ramada Inn on the Gorge, made good use of Sun Wing beets, Hilary’s Artisan Cheese and Mitchells Farm’s squash to create vibrant coloured stacks. Recently opened Cowichan-based Unsworth Vineyards shared a tent with Amuse Bistro – a nice preview to their future collaboration on site at the vineyard. Fruition Paletas cooled us off with their roasted peach and marionberry frozen treats.

EAT wishes to thank all our Tapas readers who entered our last minute Feast of Fields ticket contest last week. With so many wonderful answers to our question ‘What does Feast of Fields mean to you?’, editors were relieved it was a random draw! Congratulations to our winner, Diana Lucas, who wrote this to us after attending the event:

“The number of participants, their commitment to quality and their passion for their wares was impressive.  It was such a joy walking the field and discovering all the flavours of the Island (and the Okanagan, too, I see).  It made me feel blessed that we have so much to enjoy and savour on the Island.  These folks were so kind to take time out to prepare and share their harvests or specialties.  I thanked the ones that travelled from up Island and the Okanagan, for their time.”

The 2012 Vancouver Island Feast of Fields will be held Sunday, September 16th. Tickets go on sale June 1st, 2012.

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Written By:

Rebecca Baugniet is a freelance food writer and editor living on Canada’s West Coast with her husband and their four children. The author of three published cookbooks, Rebecca has also written for EAT Magazine and for Montréal ...

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