It must have been the asparagus, eaten raw, crisp from the field.
Or maybe it was the strawberries, ripe and juicy, red through and through. Chanterelles, gently coaxed from their hiding spots amongst the moss and pine needles, flashed with butter in a hot frying pan.
Then again there was the crab, hauled straight from the ocean and into the cooking pot, and, oh, the salmon. The first salmon I ever caught, a succulent 30-pound Chinook, some of which made it to the barbecue, the rest to the smoker to be enjoyed as lox over the rest of the year.
These are all some of the most formative food experiences I enjoyed when I first visited and then moved to Vancouver Island. As a food journalist, I now can’t imagine living anywhere else. This place not only offers a fantastic diversity of farmed and wild food ingredients, but a plethora of dedicated food and beverage artisans, chefs and cooks who take those ingredients and turn them into delectable morsels for discerning palates.
This place and these people are the reasons I’m very excited to be writing about food for Monday Magazine. Each month on this page I will bring you stories about our food culture here on Vancouver Island. Some of these stories will be purely celebratory, such as the arrival of the first stinging nettles or spot prawns of the year. Others will be informative, letting you know about the best places or new places to get great products, green or sustainable products, and don’t be surprised if you get a lecture now and then about the way we eat and how we can maybe do a little bit better to eat local or support a great initiative that helps build our food security.
It’s safe to say that not too many minutes pass by in a day without my thoughts turning to food, so in between issues, be sure to check out the Monday Blog, where I will post tidbits from my world of food, recipes, links, and more.
Don Genova is a Vancouver Island-based award-winning freelance journalist specializing in food and travel. His stories on radio, television, in print and on
the web share the fascinating backgrounds of farmers and food artisans passionate about what they raise, grow and produce. Find him online here.