Sunday, May 30, 2010

Defending Our Backyard - 2010 ICC Local Food Festival

Sheila and I went out to the Island Chefs' Collaborative Local Food Festival at Fort Rodd Hill today.   We got there late and saw that there were long lines of cars all the way out to Fort Rodd Hill, they had a shuttle ferrying people back and forth.

The weather was turning and the crowds were thinning, which I suspect was good for us.   The rain never really started so we remained dry.

We ran into friends from the neighbourhood and the Tillicum Gorge Urban Farmers had a stand with Gabe Epstein there and Deb Heighway of the Donald Street Farm.   I will touch on what Deb is doing in detail on another day, she runs a small urban farm in the Tillicum Gorge neighbourhood using eight backyards.

Cliff was there with fol epi.   Bob Duncan of Fruit Trees and More was there.  

The festival was much more about booze than anything else we could see.   Though by coming late I believe some of the food stalls were already done.   We are also surprised that a number of the better known chefs and restaurants were not there.

On the food side Prima Strada was clearly the hit.   Even in the rain at the end they had long lines for their wood fired pizza.  This is the first I have had a chance to try their pizza and I was impressed.   With the new location open Bridge Street, I am much more likely to go.

On the booze side the three things that stood out. First the Saturna Island Winery 2008 Blanc de Noir.   This is a white wine made from Merlot grapes, the skins were removed right at the start of the crush.   The result was a very unique full bodied white wine.  I was finding I needed red wine words to describe it.   I would love to get some and I was told I could get it at Cascadia and Liquor Express in Tillicum Mall - this last one surprised me.

The beer that stood out for me was the Vancouver Island Brewery Sea Dog Amber Ale.   They have just come out this brew for the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Navy.   It was full bodied and refreshing, I can see drinking a lot of this over the summer.

The final booze was the Victoria Spirits aged gin.  I have never been a huge gin person, but Sheila as converted me to some extent, but I still drink more like I drink vodka than how I drink scotch.   This gin is aged in oak and it is much more like drinking a sipping brandy or a scotch.   It is not yet on the market, but when it is, I plan on buying it.

I would write some more, but I have to go for dinner, Sheila has made us pizza from scratch.
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