A chance encounter this week by Jon and Sarah Walsh of Prontissimo Pasta at Atlas Cafe this past weekend resulted in the news that Prontissimo Pasta was re-opening after a four month hiatus. Sarah is welcoming Julie Edwards who is bringing wonderful central coast seafood to our market, via N'usi Seafood of Bella Bella. The bringing together of pasta and seafood is an easy, one stop shop for a quick dinner or a gourmet party meal for however many you can feed. Prontissimo will be scaling back some flavours and pasta shapes, and will still offer some of their proven favorites, as well as gourmet olive oils and Parmesan cheese. Call of the Wild will be offering frozen dungenese crab, shrimp, salmon and Julie hopes to bring in other gifts of the sea, such as sea cucumber and possibly dried seaweed. This is an exciting collaboration for our food community, bringing an familiar product back to the market and a new face to the scene. Stop by the location in Tin Town this Saturday from 10 until 5 at 2384 Unit C Rosewall Crescent in Courtenay. Sarah and Julie will be offering samples as well as specials on frozen crab. I might just have to show up and pick up a box!
This week in the Edible Valley Test Kitchen was a collaboration between chef and hunter. Blayne supplied some venison meat for Jon to create a delicious goulash. He added some dumplings and steamed broccoli. Goulash is a perfect meal for this time of year. Comforting and hearty.
Thanks to Hans Peter Meyer and Bon Vivant Vancouver Island for participating in Edible Valley with his collection of exciting food events for December.Cindy Holland at the Courtenay VQA Wine Store [7 – 3195 Cliffe Ave (across from Future Shop) 250-871-1444 @courtenayvqa +FB] is hosting a "An Evening of Eclectic Wines" as a fund raiser for the Comox Valley Christmas Hamper fund on Dec 12. Pre-registration required. Cindy is also hosting a series of special tasting events Dec 7 and 21. Check the website or Facebook for details. Note: Thanks to Courtenay VQA Store for co-sponsoring the December #FestiveLocal promotion of Vancouver Island local food heroes! (more below )"Tantalizing Tastes" is on the menu at for the Delicious Downtown weekend at Zocalo Cafe [250-331-0933, 208 A 5th Street +FB]. On Dec 7 it's the "make reservations, it was sold out last year" special Christmas performance by Swing Set. The Zo is also hosting a Dec 29 pre- New Years Eve party with Flying Debris.
Locals know what YANA is all about, but they may not know what Chef Catherine Berg is about at the Black Creek Diner [8268 Island Highway 778-428-5680]. On Dec 8 Chef Catherine delivers a fund raising "Family Dinner at the Diner" (in keeping with YANA's good work to support families www.yanacomoxvalley.com). Chef Berg is steeped in Danish and Northern European cookery, but you’ll find other flavours as well on this tempting (and well-priced) event menu. Local food hero chef and baker Ralph Spodzieja is donating baked sweets from Cipollines Bakery, Deli & Catering [2190 South Island Hwy, Campbell River, 250-923-4000 + FB]
Call for more details.
On Dec 14 it’s Food. Shelter. Music – Cumberland's annual musical fundraiser for local emergency shelters (Lilli House/Transition Society and the Salvation Army Shelter). Music starts at 8pm. We’ve heard that this is a must if you’re a fan of our region’s rich musical talents, not to mention what the Waverley Hotel’s [2692 Dunsmuir Ave. 250-336-8322 waverleyhotel.ca +FB] kitchen gets up to thanks toChef Greg MacDonald’s talents (and local product supplied by owners Don andLouisa McClellan- they also own Ash Berry Farm in Royston).
The Timber Room Restaurant at Crown Isle [399 Clubhouse Drive 250-703-5050 www.crownisle.com] is hosting a number of seasonal activities including a “Breakfast with Santa” on Dec 2 and 9 (seating 9:30-10 with Santa arriving at 10:30am). Christmas Day menus, as well as 3 and 4 course New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Brunch menus areavailable online.
Cumberland’s Gatehouse Bistro [250-336-8099, 3rd and Penrith, Cumberland] is hosting a 7-course Danish Christmas Dinner on December 21st by reservation only. Every weekend at Gatehouse features a different European weekend, and as of Dec 1 they’re serving breakfasts (with the option of a featured European dish).
Downtown Courtenay it’s another in the series of delightfully dark, delicious, and sparkly events at Union Street Grill. “Candlelight New Years Eve Dinner” marks the 3rd in USG’s candlelit series. We’ve been twice. Reviewed in once. It’s fun.
The Comox Valley’s “sisters in good food experiences,” Atlas Café and Avenue Bistro [2064 Comox Ave 250-890-9200 www.avenuebistro.ca + @AvenueBistro], both regularly closed on Monday nights, are offering special 3 course menus for New Year's Eve with options to customize your dining experience.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day diners are welcome to a festive “Holiday Dinner” at The Breakwater Restaurant[at Kingfisher Resort 4330 Island Highway 250-338-1323 and 800-663-7929 +FB]. New Executive Chef Philippe Gagne is celebrating the Breakwater’s ocean view with a Gourmet Seafood Buffet on New Year’s Eve.
December is the 3rd month of the Vancouver Island #localfoodhero promotion. This month the focus is on #festivelocal - how local food heroes help us celebrate great flavours at this most delicious time of year. Thanks to Dark Side Chocolates [2722 Dunsmuir Avenue, Cumberland 250-336-0126] and Courtenay VQA Wine Store for co-sponsoring this month’s promotion with a $50 (each) gift certificate. That means two lucky entrants this month! For more information: http://j.mp/FestiveLocal (site and promotion launch on Dec 1).
For December, Edible Valley is having a contest. We are offering a gift card to Atlas Cafe, worth $25, to any new followers to Facebook in the month of December. We will announce the winner on our first show in 2013. Let your friends know, because maybe you will get invited for a meal with the lucky winner.
We appreciate your feedback, suggestions and donations. We welcome your inquiries about local food and Jon would enjoy answering cooking questions. If you would like to sponsor a show, either by helping with our operating costs, or with some delicious ingredients for the Edible Valley Test Kitchen, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening and keep it local
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