Vancouver Island Feast of Fields Day

photo: enjoying the wine at Feast of Fields, Maryanne Carmack.

To view more photos from Feast of Fields, please click here.


6am – woke up to the bellow of fog horns and look out the window into thick pea soup

9am – thunder and lightning – !

9:30am – the heaviest rain I can remember in ages pounds down on our roof. I’m trying to remember where the wellies are stashed.

11am – a break in the clouds – is that sunshine burning through?

1pm – start of Feast of Fields at Metchosin’s Parry Bay Sheep Farm.  Still wearing the wellies (it is a sheep farm, after all), but paired with sunglasses and baseball cap to shield from the bright sun.

Now that’s a dramatic entrance! Parry Bay Sheep Farm is run by John and Lorraine Buchanan, farmers in Metchosin for the past 30 years.  They raise 600 lambs annually, a regular appearance in Victoria’s butcher shops and restaurants.  They also produce wheat milled by Wild Fire Bakery and used in their breads. This gourmet wandering harvest celebration is FarmFolkCityFolk‘s annual fundraising event. In addition to Vancouver Island, there is a Feast held on the lower mainland, and one in the Okanagan.  Feasters crisscross fields, wine glass and linen napkin in hand, sampling fresh bites from chefs, farmers, fishers, ranchers and food artisans – and paired with sips from our vintners, brewers and distillers.  A sell out event each year, Feast of Fields highlights the connections between producer and chef, field and table, and farm folks and city folks.

This city folk (and her wellie-clad clan) joined hundreds of other thankfully dry foodies last Sunday. There were a number of familiar faces (Camille’s, Vista 18, Sooke Harbour House…) and just as many new tables (Ulla, Devour Food…).  The food was plentiful, and the best I can remember in years.  Favourite bites included Dockside Grill’s cured Pacific Octopus BLT, Markus’ Wharfside Restaurant’s smoked wild BC salmon with lemon crème fraiche and dill, Paprika Bistro’s Twisted & Bitter bread pudding with local organic blueberry compote, The Parsonage Café’s BLT’s – Hertels bacon, Kildara Farm tomato and lettuce and Vin Coco Patisserie‘s vegan, gluten-free chocolate cupcakes. I thought the cone filled with black sesame and corn brittle ice cream with chili-glazed port belly from Camille’s took the “Most Inventive Bite of the Year” award.

Choice sips included Arrowleaf Gewurztraminer, Le Vieux Pin Sigma Blanc, Summerhill Pyramid Winery Cipes Brut and Victoria Spirits Gin.  But really, that’s not a fair briefing – everything I tried ranged from yummy to downright delicious.

Fresh air and food, passionate producers and participants, and sun – an incredible celebration of our local food culture.  Right on the heels of the successful Canadian Chefs Congress, BC’s cuisine has never been better. I’m looking forward to next year already.


Written By:

Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade.\r\n\r\nIn addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for ...

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