Introducing the Houseguest Dinner Series – Tofino with Lisa Ahier and EAT Magazine present a three part dinner series and industry outreach program featuring edible highlights from Tofino, Portland and Vancouver at rotating host of local venues in an exciting pop-up format on the third Sunday of each month.

It started with a road trip down the coast; A scenic drive through the Pacific Northwest to enjoy the culinary highlights of a nearby city. Inspired by a warm welcome and a unique local connection with our new friends, we decided to invite them to visit us back home.

The idea was simple. Our group of industry professionals will curate a guest list of exciting talent from the west coast with EAT Magazine. A pop-up style program, serving as a catalyst for edible journeys to the coastal communities within reach of a road trip along the Left Coast. ‘Houseguest’ is a new series that will challenge diners to discover the hidden treasures close to home, build new creative culinary partnerships in nearby markets and showcase the quality of the burgeoning Vancouver Island culinary scene.

Our first Houseguest to take the road trip to share a dinner with Victoria, is Culinary Institute of America trained Chef Lisa Ahier from SoBo Restaurant in Tofino, BC. It has been an exceptional year for Lisa, releasing the extremely popular SoBo cookbook to critical acclaim. A visually appealing collection of comfort food recipes rooted in the idea that good food starts with good ingredients, Ahier shares the stories of the foragers, fishermen, farmers and producers who supply the elements of SoBo’s delicious menu offerings.

Beginning April 19th, we will present an edible experience on the third Sunday of each month. Our featured Houseguest will be paired with a local culinary standout and their venue to share their ideas and a meal with Victoria. This gives them the chance to experience our world class hospitality first hand, take home their impression of the growing Vancouver Island market, and tell the story of their trip to their friends and customers.

About our Houseguest – Chef Lisa Ahier:


“Lisa’s food is marked by a sense of adventure that alludes to the vocabulary of western ranch cooking but speaks more natural of her global intuitions” — Gourmet Magazine

SoBo (Sophisticated Bohemian) started out in 2003 as a purple food truck in the parking lot behind a surf shop, way before food trucks were cool. Despite its remoteness, it attracted rave reviews from food media across North America, with the likes of Saveur magazine calling it: “perhaps the most exciting lunch stand in North America”. The back of the staff’s t-shirts read: “Quite possibly the second best thing you can do in a parking lot”-and that same fun, authentic West Coast vibe weaves throughout the stories and recipes in this book.

SoBo has since become a destination restaurant, having outgrown its food truck beginnings, with visitors making the pilgrimage to the west coast of Vancouver Island just to taste chef Lisa Ahier’s cooking–which is, to use Tofino slang, simply “killer”. The restaurant’s menu focuses on locally-sourced, seasonally-inspired ingredients from family-owned producers. The dishes are shaped by Lisa’s Tex Mex and Southwestern culinary roots, and her experience gained across several US states, including her stint as executive chef of Cibolo Creek Ranch in Texas.

About our Local Host – Chef Ali Ryan:

Chef Ali Ryan’s dedication to the local food movement and lessening the environmental ‘footprint’ of the establishment is apparent in each and every dish on their innovative menu.

Growing on the preexisting network of producers Spinnakers kitchen know pulls from over 25 different Vancouver Island & BC based small artisan producers including farmers, fisherfolk & seafood co-ops, ranchers, spice grinders, butchers & cheese makers. These relationships allow their patrons to experience all the exciting delicacies from across the Island and British Columbia, sometimes doing so beside a table of farmers who have helped supply the food that is being eaten.

The heart of Spinnakers resides in the brewery & the soul in kitchen’, that pretty much says it all.

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Written By:

Colin is the Assistant Editor at EAT. You can contact him via Colin was born in Nova Scotia and spent his first five years there. His mother and father owned an inn and restaurant and Colin spent his time ...

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