October 07, 2017
Eat, Drink and Buy Local: Catapulting BC onto the World Culinary Stage
A growing contingent of celebrated chefs, mixologists, and craft connoisseurs are creating new restaurant concepts that thrive by using food and beverages that are grown, harvested, fished, picked and produced right here in British Columbia. Don’t get us wrong — British Columbians still love their mangoes, lobsters and limes among other things - but a scene is growing that is built on hand-crafted, slow food with an emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients. With local food and beverage, freshness and quality are always front of mind.
We are casual diners and we love to eat out. British Columbians are eating out more every year – and while you might not have to dress up to dine out in BC, the service and the dining experiences are of the highest order. Award-winning chefs are preparing meals with the freshest local ingredients and changing it up by the season – which makes it even more compelling for customers who love their food. There is literally something for every taste and every season.
Eating and drinking local is like a throw back to a different time – and support is growing for this movement in communities across North America. But why is eating local important? Why is it important for you and the community you’re a part of?
- Taste Counts.
For many of us, the taste of the food we buy is every bit as important as the cost. When it is grown, harvested and/or processed in BC, you can enjoy products at their peak, taste the nutrients and experience the differences in the terroir of each offering (think of how wines are a reflection of the soil, the climate and the environment from which they come).
There is an over abundance of delicious meats, cheeses and produce that come from all over the province. From fresh Pacific Salmon to crisp Okanagan apples to Two Rivers finest Cariboo beef, committing to local foods will diversify your palate and treat you to an amazing array of flavours and an appreciation for seasonal ingredients.
- Eating Seasonally Encourages Variety.
Eating locally first means eating fruits, vegetables, (and seafood too) when they are ready and in season. Each season change brings newly-available, fresh produce and gives chefs inspiring, new ingredients to spark their creativity as we change up our diets to suit the weather and the shorter days. Creativity is at its peak when chefs are working with what’s fresh.
- It’s Just Plain Healthier.
Canada has some of the strictest regulations around food additives and pesticides. Local food is more nutritious and takes less travel time from harvest to your plate. This means more value, less spoilage and less food waste.
- Local Food and Beverage Products are Sustainable.
Buying BC puts more money back into the community, with every dollar kept locally. Every time you eat local product you are investing time and money in your local farmers, producers and distributors. This means you are directly contributing to the success of your community and in turn, supporting all local businesses that provide you with the best ingredients possible. Thriving businesses will create more local jobs and a more vibrant, engaged and flourishing community.
- Benefits for the Environment.
This goes hand in hand with the community. When you decide to eat local you are deciding to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and your carbon footprint. There is reduced transportation, reduced spoilage and the advantage of traceability, by being able to track point of origin and determine ecological practices.
To check out local flavours at a restaurant near you, talk to your server and sommelier and get their recommendations about what is in season and what they think will excite your senses!
Chef Andrea Callan
Red Fox Club at Indigenous World Winery, West Kelowna
Photo by Darren Hull
Executive Chef Brock Bowes
RauDZ Regional Table, Kelowna
Photo by Darren Hull