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Plenty of tastes to savour at Bite of Nanaimo

NANAIMO – TheatreOne hosts 21st annual Bite of Nanaimo at Beban Park
Brian Kivimaki

TheatreOne’s biggest annual fundraiser is poised to give people something to chew on with the 21st annual Bite of Nanaimo.

The event happens at the Beban Park Social Centre Friday (Oct. 18) to raise cash for TheatreOne operations and the Salvation Army. New to this year’s bite are Cherub Chocolates, Browns Socialhouse, Corner Bistro, Millstone Catering and Eatery, Simon Holt and the Oxy Pub.

The Oxy Pub will be sure to bring its wings, which were voted best in town in the News Bulletin’s 2013 Best of the City awards.

Roberta Cooper, of the Oxy, said the pub is currently working hard to promote its food menu.

“With us winning the best wings in Nanaimo, I thought this was a really good way for us to get out there and get known for it,” Cooper said. “It’s fun to take the opportunity and see if it works for us.”

The Oxy is also preparing a big batch of its New England clam chowder and plenty of ribs.

“They’re both made in house with our own recipes,” Cooper said. “The chowder is hearty and the ribs are awesome. It’s one thing on the menu that not a lot of people know about.”

Wolf Brewing Company, Vancouver Island University professional baking program, Rawmbas, Richardson Foods Group, Acme Food Co., Baby Salsa Mexican Restaurant, Montana’s Cookhouse, Landlubber Pub, Longwood Brew Pub, Winston’s Tea Company and the Dinghy Dock Pub are just some of the eateries returning with goodies this year.

The pub won best booth last year, with is half-boat display, as well as best seafood and best hospitality categories.

Chef Cory Crane said in the four years the Dinghy Dock has participated, staff have worked out the logistics of getting food and equipment from the pub to Beban using a dedicated ferry to move refrigeration and other equipment first, followed by the seafood which is shipped frozen in insulated containers. With seafood it’s critical the “cold chain” isn’t broken.

“We’re the only restaurant to bring our own refrigeration with us,” Crane said.

Dinghy Dock’s menu this year includes a coconut curry seafood trio appetizer of seared scallops, jumbo prawns and steamed mussels topped with curry sauce and served on rice.

The entree will be sesame crusted, seared halibut served with a shitake mushroom vinaigrette on top of a cold noodle salad and mixed greens.

“And then for dessert we will have our very popular Sex in a Dinghy,” Crane said. “It’s the only way to make sure your meal has a happy ending.”

TheatreOne receives partial proceeds from food and drink ticket sales, which are shared with the participating restaurants. Previous Bite of Nanaimo events have raised from $12,000 to $17,000 each year.

“This is our biggest annual fundraiser, period,” said Nadine Wiepning, TheatreOne publicist. “We need this money. We have a three-play, mainstage season and we really want to stay in the black and keep going and present that year after year.We haven’t had three plays in our main stage season since 2001.”

Event tickets are $15 each and only 900 are available by advance sales only. Once inside, food and drink tickets sell for $1 each, with bites costing 1-4 tickets.

Last year TheatreOne also started donating 50 cents from the sale of each event entry ticket to a local food bank. For 2013 the Salvation Army is the beneficiary.

Please call 250-754-7587 or visit

Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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