Side Dish: Chantal Ireland

Holiday eats and treats from local retailers

A fall salad, and a halibut entree with roasted squash and beets, topped with pistou (similar to pesto, without pine nuts) and crème fraîche from the Renfrew Pub and The Coastal Kitchen Cafe.

There’s a wreath on the door made of clippings from the backyard. Cookbooks are open to the entertaining chapters, and the first gingerbreads have already been eaten. Holiday shopping looms.

Skipping the chain stores in favour of giving and receiving experiences is my idea of a great Christmas. Last month we spent a weekend at Seaside Cottages in Port Renfrew and ate at The Renfrew Pub and The Coastal Kitchen Cafe. Chef Loewen at the Pub is putting out great food that will surprise you coming from a pub kitchen, it’s a great mix of pub mainstays and fresh seasonal dishes. We had Salt Spring Heather Ale on tap with prawn tacos, a fall salad and a halibut entree with roasted squash and beets, topped with pistou (similar to pesto, without pine nuts) and crème fraîche. Pulled pork sliders and a vegetarian pizza feature were great too – thin crust and fresh – great with the live music. Combined with a stay or just for a day trip, a meal here would make a great gift for someone you love.

Back in Victoria, The London Chef offers classes this month on holiday baking, in January a Cooking with Julia Child Class, and Thai Dinner Party, all $95. Chef Dan Hayes is hilarious. He’ll have you laughing most of the class. Their pantry features house made stocks and other items, and a fine collection of specialty food products perfect for hostess gifts and stocking stuffers.

Cook Culture has knife skills and holiday baking classes this month for $85 each. If you’re looking for a gift you can hold in your hand, this is your foodie mecca. Abeego reusable food wrap, a kitchen scale, a fish spatula, a reusable silicone baking sheet liner or a Vitamix if you’re going all out, are all fantastic options for the food lover in your life.

Pigeonhole Home Store has a beautiful collection of housewares, linens and vintage pieces for a unique gift, they’ll help you pick something just right. Enjoy the holidays. Enjoy each other, and raise your glasses filled with locally made craft beer, wine, and spirits.

Try it you’ll like it:

Hoyne Gratitude Winter Warmer: A seasonal craft beer that comes hand wrapped and with a beautiful tribute to gratitude on the label. Get it at the brewery or retailers like Liquor Plus, Cascadia, and Spinnakers Spirit Merchants.

Bittered Sling Bitters: This box set of local bitters makes a great addition to your home cocktail bar. From Vancouver’s Chef & Bartender married duo Jonathan Chovancek and Lauren Mote. Find them at Hillside Liquor Store, Vintage Spirits or The Village Butcher.

Blue Mountain Gold Label Brut, for your holiday feasting, Tuesday night in or New Year’s Eve, these are delicious BC bubbles. One of four estate sparkling wines from family owned Blue Mountain Vineyard. Available at private liquor stores. $25

 

Just Posted

Canada’s country music sweetheart brings The Gumboot Kids to town

Jessie Farrell to perform songs from her hit CBC TV series at McTavish Academy of Arts

VIFF wrap-up: Finely crafted films part of festival finale

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells puts a cap on his 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival experience

FILM REVIEWS: Race relations, refugees and racy romances featured at VIFF

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells presents round 2 from the Vancouver International Film Fest

An eye for art: The new and the notable at fall’s premier arts event

Sidney Fine Art Show shares wealth of Island talent Oct. 11 to 13

Astrocolor bringing unique funk-synth sound to the Capital Ballroom

Victoria band known for their festival shows making a rare appearance on their home turf

VIDEO: Ballet Kelowna brings steamy story, A Streetcar Named Desire, to Island

Okanagan ballet company brings a classic tale to the Cowichan Valley

INDY FILM FARE: 1970s hedonism and more at The Vic Theatre

From Studio 54 to Rocky Horror, there’s plenty of excess to observe this month

Shark-attack metal band coming to Victoria tonight

Shark Infested Daughters, a Calgary metalcore group, play the Upstairs Cabaret tonight, Oct. 13

STAGE AND SONG: Spotlight on Victoria arts groups

Learn about some of the city’s favourite theatre and musical entertainment options

Island lensman Jim Decker lands three top photography awards

During exciting photo trip to Yap in Micronesia, Cobble Hill man earns trio of firsts

Celebrate Oktoberfest Stein and Dine at the Victoria Public Market

Food, suds and German-style fun on tap at Oct. 20 event

Most Read