Top chefs produce at Harvest Festival

Nanaimo’s first Harvest Festival played host to thousands of people looking for a good time and good food,t and willing to help a good cause.

Jodi Robertshaw

Jodi Robertshaw

Nanaimo’s first Harvest Festival played host to thousands of people looking for a good time and good food,t and willing to help a good cause.

Highlights of the Sept. 10  festival included a focus on good food as well as old-time music, exhibits and displays on urban agriculture, sustainability, sourcing foods locally and naturally, and children’s entertainment.

Visitors and residents left the Old City Quarter with a taste of local, natural specialties creatively prepared and served by Nanaimo’s finest restaurants as part of the festival’s Top Chef Fresh Food Fair.

Seven chefs participated in the challenge to produce thousands of two-bite tapas portions of a menu item with ingredients sourced locally. Chefs were provided with a suggested list of local farmers, fishermen and ranchers to source their menu items.

“The objective was to introduce local restaurants to Island suppliers and demonstrate how the two could work together to take greater advantage of our local, natural bounty,” said Mark Corbett, marketing and events coordinator with the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association.

The day’s Top Chef was decided based on points scored on three merits by six judges.

In the end, only three points separated the top three winners. Chef James Neilson of Acme Food Co. took top honours with a wild salmon cake, Chef Kellie Callender at the Wesley Street Cafe was second, followed by Ron Vandermeer of the Modern Cafe.

Additional awards included:

* Best comfort food – Modern Cafe’s Rob Vandermeer’s for his deconstructed chicken club.

* Going wild – Nest Bistro’s Nic Brown and Jen Kash for their mushroom tart.

* Exceptional table side presentation – Nanaimo Foodshare’s Francois deJong and Stephen Cochrane with their roast harvest vegetable salad.

* Most surprising local ingredient – Wesley Street Café’s Kellie Callender for his fish and chip albacore tuna loin on a single potato chip topped with sea asparagus.

* Best crispy to moist ratio – YouTube’s 5 Minute Gourmet’s Peter Bowen, for his chicken croquet

* Closest to home – Real Food’s Traci and Dallas Collis for blackberries from their own yard.

* People’s choice award in the Top Chef Challenge – Acme Food Co., Nest Bistro and Wesley Street Café.

Nanaimo’s Foodshare received proceeds to support its community programs from sale of tapas tickets, and the Nanaimo 7-10 Club Society accepted donations at its beverage centre supported by VIP Water, Serious Coffee and Tim Hortons.

The annual CANstruction saw six competitors construct giant sculptures with canned food supplied by Thrifty Foods, Save-On-Foods, Real Canadian Superstore, Fairway Market and Country Grocer.

The winning teams were Loaves and Fishes, Koers and Associates Engineering, City of Nanaimo and Herold Engineering.

“Non-perishable food donations and canned goods used in the sculptures added a whopping 1.8 tonnes of food to the shelves of Nanaimo’s Loaves and Fishes,” said Corbett. “We are appreciative of all those who donated, attended and participated in our first Harvest Festival.”


Just Posted

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

Regional District of Nanaimo is looking to repair sewage pipe in the Hammond Bay Road area, which was corroded by gas. (Black Press file)
Corroded sewer pipe along Nanaimo’s Hammond Bay Road will cost $5.5 million to fix

Pipe replacement and reinforcement part of $6.9-million infrastructure project

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Laid-off Casino Nanaimo workers launch class-action lawsuit against corporation

Notice of civil claim filed on April 6 at Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo

Beban Pool is expected to re-open Oct. 4 after a vote by councillors at a finance and audit committee meeting Wednesday, June 16. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo will re-open Beban Pool in October

User groups warn COVID-19 pool closures have left a gap in water safety education

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read