Island Chefs – another good spread

Today’s Island Chefs Collaborative Food Fest has just ended as I write. I got there early and enjoyed the offerings on this sunny, if not overly warm, Sunday. The festival is a fundraiser for the ICC and its program of micro-loans and grants to local farms, food producers and nonprofits who are working to improve the sustainability of local food systems. They have lots of community support

and of course a lot of happy eaters willing to put their mouth where their money is, including more than a few cyclists.

There was a bit of everything happening. Some salmon, of course

and melting Metchosin lamb, cooked whole on a spit and lovingly carved by Cory Pelan and his team.

Vegetarians could glory in Prima Strada pizza and a lovely assemblage that included Madrona Farm salad, asparagus roasted with balsamic vinegar and a chanterelle tart topped with a piece of oven-roasted Sun Wing tomato.

For the gluten-intolerant, there was pulled pork (barbecued in tomato-rootbeer sauce, apparently) in a gluten-free bun, and vegan chocolate cake.

The longest line always leads to chocolate: in this case a gorgeous chocolate cake from Canoe Club (and some nice looking beer to go with).

Nice things to drink: local beer, cider, wine, tea – and Victoria Spirits gin and vodka:

The festival’s site on Fort Rodd Hill meant that military history was not far away. A cook tent was set up to serve a bit of Spanish stew and tell people about Canada’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War, including our most famous participant, Norman Bethune.

Some farmers and nonprofits represented too: beautiful wares from Sun Wing greenhouses

and Saanich Organics, selling vegetables and starts, and our own Gorge Tillicum Urban Farmers, alongside our local SPIN farming operation, Donald Street Farms, selling inspiration for urban agriculture.

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