The Buzz Up-island May 2019

Living on Vancouver Island is like living in paradise; however, I think Mother Nature is possibly going to test our resilience this season with unpredictability – luckily we have fantastic festivals, wineries and great new restaurants to focus on, in support of the amazing purveyors behind them.

First, on the list in Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island is Mateada Nitro Mate Lounge mixing vitality, food and drink with thoughtful culture in a cool space. Get your fix of Salt Spring Kombucha on tap, or try some golden dragon mylk and let the steamed nut mylk blended with activated turmeric, ginger and ghee act as your anti-inflammatory for the day. Plan to wait for the ferry, just to savour the handmade pastries filled with shiitake mushroom, local goat cheese and spinach. Find them at

Since the season for fresh fruits and vegetables is starting to ramp up, now is the time to drop by Sweet Meadows Farm Market and sample some of their made-in-house ice cream and sorbets, before you pick out some just picked produce to go. I’ve heard that their jams are divine – not too sweet, and full of the flavour of summers past. 2961 Church Way, Mill Bay.

Celebrate craft cider producers from BC, Washington and Oregon May 11th at the Snake Bite Festival, hosted by Tod Creek Cider, Prospect Lake Victoria. Come and enjoy Merridale’s cider paired with local brews, and be bitten by a custom “snake bite”.

Averill Creek Winery invites you to their Open House and Spring Wine Release Sunday, May 5th. This is a once a year opportunity to sample all of their products, including brand-new releases and premium ‘Somenos Series’ wines with winemaker Brent Rowland. Enjoy Wandering Mollusk Oysters and Farm’s Gate Food & Catering to complement each luscious sip.

Founders Mehta & Kamboj share their rich Indian culture through the foods of India, lovingly prepared by chefs and cooks from their homeland using cherished recipes. This past January saw the doors of Flavours of India open, the culmination of their dream to bring authentic Indian flavours Nanaimo’s Old Quarter.

Should you crave the delights of excellent, authentic Ukrainian dishes from breakfasts to dinner and European desserts, you’ll find just what you were after at Roman’s European Cuisine. Find them in the Dorchester Hotel on Church St., Nanaimo and on Facebook.
The BC Seafood Festival starts on June 11th in the Comox Valley – a whole weekend spent celebrating BC shellfish of all descriptions. From June 11 –13, take one of Fanny Bay’s oyster tours then snack on your favourites on the 14th at Shucked! Canada’s Largest Oyster Bar Happy Hour. Close out the evening at the Gala Dinner, the signature event featuring the top local chefs’ newest inspirations presented by the B.C Shellfish Growers Association. On the 15th attend a Master Class on Ceviche – the best way to enjoy the freshest shellfish we produce – followed by a Baked n’ Boiled Kitchen Party! June 16th completes the event with Bounty! Seafood Brunch Cookout. The venue can’t be beaten with views of the ocean, the smell of salt air and beautiful music to accompany the atmosphere.

If you’ve always wanted to make your own cheese or would like control of the ingredients used in the making, Madd Acres on Gabriel Island is the place to head for in-depth workshops. Choose from individual styles of cheese; hard-pressed, mozzarella, chevre, stilton or brie and leave with the knowledge and cultures to make your own at home.

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