Nanaimo Harvest Festival
Well I don’t know about you, but I love coming across a local event or festival during my travels. This past weekend I did just that! Enjoying a mini vacation, I ferried across the Stuart Channel, to my Aunt Deb’s place, just outside of Nanaimo. Usually I search the internet for local events in the areas I’ll be traveling; especially ones including food, for this weekend however, I did not. I must give that credit this time, to my wonderful Auntie Deb, who took me to the Nanaimo Harvest Festival.
Located in the Old Quarter of Nanaimo, this small festival, had booths with information about locally made and grown foods, sustainable farming, recycling and composting. It also had a kid zone, live music, and CANStruction, a contest to see who could build the best structure out of canned goods. Some were actually pretty creative, and all proceeds go to the Loaves and Fishes food Bank. But as usual, my favourite, is when you get to eat.
Local restaurants competing for the ultimate title of Nanaimo’s ‘Top Chef’ create tapas style dishes, for us to sample and judge. Not only did we have a great lunch, but we got to sample food from 7 different Nanaimo restaurants, all in one afternoon. I will now pass my new found knowledge, on to you.
Great flavours, and color, I also love the fact that it’s vegetarian. I am not, but according to Bart Simpson “You don’t make friends with salad!”
Unfortunately this is not a restaurant, but a society that educates families and children on healthy local foods.
This one was tasty, but I have to say; no wow factor. On this dish alone I would not search out this restaurant, I tried to look up there menu, hoping to see what type of food they serve, and apparently the site is not finished yet L
Now this was more like it! Fun, colourful, and very local, (blackberries grow like weeds out here).
Mmm Mmmm! The chutney was nice and chunky, as was the white meat in the nuggets. With the salad on the side, it was defiantly the best value for your 2$ ticket too!
This was the ultimate local dish. Pan seared tuna loin, with sea asparagus which you can find growing on shore lines.
It was one of my top 2 favourites, but did not get my vote. I found the potato chip way too salty, that was the tie breaker. Too bad though, the Chef was really cute ;)
Oh Ya! Creamy sautéed mushrooms on a flaky pastry, how can you go wrong? I LOVE mushrooms though!
The ice cream sandwich was perfect. Home baked cookies that were soft on the inside, but had a crunchy outside. Could maybe have used more ice cream, but that’s just me.
This one may have gotten my vote, but my Aunt Deb voted for them, had to spread the love.
This is the one I voted for. Salmon cakes with chipotle aioli and corn salsa.
Ok, there were definitely more original ideas, but these were the best seafood type cakes I have ever had. I few of these, with a small salad, would be a perfect lunch. I know where I’m headed next time I’m in Nanaimo!
And the winner is.... Acme Food Co., with special mention to the Wesley Street cafe, and The Nest Bistro. Can I pick ‘em or what?!
A special thanks to Darren Waterfall, for his amazing photo shop skills!
Sorry about the lateness of this post, broken computers cause terrible things like this! this is from the fall 2011!