Meet Vancouver Island farmers face-to-face this fall

Meet Vancouver Island farmers face-to-face this fall

Photography: Buy BC

Connect better with your food at the Every Chef Needs a Farmer, Every Farmer Needs a Chef event on Nov. 7 at the Church and State Winery in Brentwood Bay.

Members of BC’s food and beverage industry will have a chance to meet face-to-face with farmers, ranchers, and producers on Vancouver Island for a chance to network and better understand their products—and vice versa. 

The event is back for its third year after a two-year hiatus and is part of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food’s Buy BC program, which helps farmers, ranchers, and producers market their products as locally-grown, raised, and produced.

Chris Klassen is the head chef at the Drake, and he is excited to be attending the event for the first time.

“It feels like more restaurants could use farms to support their food programs, even more casual places,” he told Tasting Victoria. “But the education and how to get involved isn’t as widely available for all businesses.”

Klassen said this event is a good way to connect with farmers, expand his kitchen’s reach, and use better ingredients than what’s available through macro-suppliers. “Food from local farms increases transparency and frankly just tastes better,” he said. “Often nowadays it’s comparable in price too.” 

The third annual matchmaking event will also feature educational panel sessions from leaders in the farm-to-table movement, such as Buy BC’s chef ambassador, Ned Bell.

“As chefs, it is our job to celebrate putting food on the tables of BC and highlighting the stories of the producers, farmers, fishers, makers, artisans and processors from across our great province,” Bell said in a press release. 

The event will also give you a chance to shop around for produce. During the exhibition, local producers will showcase their produce. In 2019, nearly 500 farmers, chefs, food processors, and other members of the BC food and beverage industry attended, and approximately 60 agrifood and seafood producers and processors exhibited their products.

The event opens at 12:30pm on Monday, Nov.7 and goes until 6pm. The Minister of Agriculture and Food, Lana Popham, and president and CEO of BC Restaurant and Food Services Association, Ian Tostenson, will make welcoming remarks. The exhibition will go from 2-6pm. 

This is a must-attend event for BC restaurateurs who are interested in sourcing locally and looking to connect with farmers, food producers, and processors. 

See more details here.

Written by

Ryan Hook

Ryan Hook