July 20th, 2019- BC Chefs work to save our fishery and Cowichan Valley Wine Festival  

BC Chefs work to save our fishery and Cowichan Valley Wine Festival



 Three stories from Vancouver Island.

We start by heading back to the 13th annual BC Seafood Festival in Courtenay-Comox.


For some it’s a getaway weekend.


However, for those who want to get involved..there’s oyster shucking on a massive scale, cooking classes, a chef competition that loves  a vocal audience, gala dinners, brunch heaven plus you get to connect with your new favourite chef.

However, this year all the talk among the chefs was saving our fishery.


We are/were so spoiled on the West Coast. Our fishery was the envy of all.

Not anymore.

It’s been overfished and as a result it’s starting to affect the food chain for whales, orcas, eagles, bears  and feed fish.

Chef Ned Bell says we’re so used to getting the centre of the plate.  Spring and Coho salmon. It’s time to start working “the edges” of the fishery.  Sole, shellfish, sardines, herring.  Eating down the food chain.


Chefs have to convince their customers that if they order alternative fish they can help save the fishery we’ve come to love.

Ask questions. Know your fisherman.

Take a break from some species. Find a few fish. Pinks for one.

Responsible aquaculture starts to become very important.

So, really this sustainability comes from the chefs, the fishermen, first nations, fish farms AND

You and I. The customers.

Every one of the guest chefs had something to say to all of us.

Ask questions…know your fisherman..if your restaurant can’t tell you where your fish is from , don’t order it.

Here  we go:

  • Chef Ned Bell –  Executive Chef, Ocean Wise, Vancouver, BC;
  • Jean-Francis Quaglia, Exec Chef/Founder. Provence Marinaside
  • Nathan Fong, Executive Chef Producer of the BC Seafood Festival; Fong on Food
  • Ricardo Valverde, Exec Chef Ancora Vancouver and West Van.
  • Quang Dang Exec Chef Top Table Group
  • Ryan Bissell  Director of Food and Beverage Villa Eyrie Resort Malahat
  • Chris Andraza   Exec Chef  Fanny Bay Oyster Bar and Restaurant

The 2nd annual Cowichan Valley Wine Festival takes place August 23-25.

In order that you can pull off a master plan for the weekend..we have invited three local  influencers to join us on a park bench in Ladysmith for a chat about who, why and where you should be heading for the Cowichan.

Mike Nierychlo  Co-founder/Winemaker Emandare Vineyard  Duncan

Lorin Inglis   Manager Enrico Winery Mill Bay

Karen Elgersma  Tourism Cowichan

Mike,Karen and Lorin

For your master plan, here’s the layout of The  Cowichan Valley Wine Festival Aug. 23 – 25

Aug. 23     Party at the Pavilion Shawnigan Lake School 6pm – 8pm – Kick off Public Tasting

Aug. 24 – 25   Winery Tour Weekend

All local wineries will be hosting free tastings and events over the weekend.

Check with the winery websites for what they’re up to..


…and while we’re on Vancouver Island I had the distinct pleasure of tasting the wines of Brent Rowland from Averill Creek.

Brent Rowland winemaker

Brent creates the Averill portfolio but he’s also released two very special wines. They’re called Joue. There’s a Field Blend White and Field Blend Red…and unlike almost everyone  else in the BC wine business he puts the name field blend right on the label.

Brent has created wines all over the World. Alpha Box and Dice in Australia. By Farr in Australia, Calera in California, Escarpment in New Zealand and most recently at Pearl Morissette in Niagara

He wants these Joue wines to have perfume, poise, tension, elegance. Consummate wines.

“for me the field blend spirit is the clearest segue from the vineyard to the glass”

You’ll hear more of Brent’s creative  thoughts when we present The Field Blend Special in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime – check out these field blends from The Cowichan Valley





Jim Cuddy – Cuddy by Tawse Wines

A special feature on “field blends”

Fire Season in The Okanagan

Willie Mitchell & Brendan Morrison  speak out on their/our  role in saving fishery

Chris Tolley Moon Cursor

Fort Berens

Andrea Sartori and 121 years of Italian Winemaking

Jason Priestley – 90210 and his California wine.