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By Gail Johnson The Fraser Valley might be best known for produce like corn, berries and apples, but the region is increasingly gaining recognition for its wine. New and more established wineries are making the area a draw for those who like to sip red, white, rosé—or walnut. Walnut wine is indeed a thing. It’s the signature wine, in fact, of Langley City’s Vista D’oro Farms & Winery. That’s not to say that Patrick and Lee Murphy’s 10-acre farm overlooking the Golden Ears mountains doesn’t produce grapes; it grows many different types of vinifera grapes. But it’s walnuts that got really got the entire operation off the ground over a decade ago. The winery’s flagship 2008 D’oro, a fortified port-style wine, is a blend of Marechal Foch and Merlot, B.C. brandy, and fresh green walnuts. The walnuts grow on three mature trees that the original homesteader planted on the property…

By Brittany Tiplady You don’t have to be a Yeast Van resident to enjoy great seasonal beer. Lauded as the next brewery boom town, Langley and Langley City are now home to some pretty sweet, ultra-cozy, breweries, with two more on the way. Check out the seasonal goodies pouring this fall and winter in Langley. Dead Frog Brewery #105 – 8860 201 Street, Langley City Nutty Uncle Peanut Butter Stout, 7.1 % Brewed with eight choice malts, roasted cocoa beans, and of course, copious amounts of peanut butter. This creamy milk stout boasts smooth, peanut butte notes with an ever-so-sweet finish. Frostbite Winter IPA, 6.5% Don’t let the name fool you: this one will keep you nice and toasty. This hazy, “snow-white” IPA has delightfully hoppy and juicy flavours of orange, and spices. Winter Beeracle, 7% Winter Ale’s are one of the best parts of the season for obvious reasons.…

By Trading Post Brewery The stout braised beef recipe is perfect for the cold weather. Trading Post’s Three Bears Stout adds boldness and depth to the dish. At the restaurant, the chef uses 63 Acres Beef, but you can find a high-quality blade roast from your local butcher. The blade roast has a good amount of marbling and connective tissue so it also adds richness and flavour to the sauce but can also be substituted for a leaner cut like a chuck tender roast. Serves 4-6 people INGREDIENTS Blade Roast (1.5kg) Kosher Salt Cracked Black Pepper All-Purpose Flour (60g) Canola Oil Garlic (5 cloves) Onion (1 medium-sized) Carrots (2) Leek (1) Bay leaf, preferably fresh (1) Rosemary sprigs (2) Tomato paste (2 tbsp) Trading Post Three Bears Stout (150 ml) Beef stock (1 L) Butter (100 g) Shitake mushrooms, sliced (200 g) Button mushrooms, sliced (200 g) Whipping cream (200…

Heading out to the pumpkin patch to pick the perfect future Jack O’ Lantern is one of those special traditions that kids of all ages look forward to. From getting your hands dirty on the field, with pumpkin muck, and finally with salt from roasted seeds, it feels thoroughly of autumn. When taking a trip out to a local farm to pick out your family’s pumpkins here are some helpful tips: Don’t pick your pumpkins too early in the season. If you pick them too soon they will be piles of mush long before you can take a knife to them or they will just be too soft to carve. Try to head to the pumpkin patch during “non-peak” times like mid-afternoon during the week to avoid crowds if you can. Don’t always go for the perfectly round. Sometimes the flawed, lopsided or puckered pumpkins make for carved faces with the…

By Catherine Dunwoody Hop in your vehicles for a lazy, autumn drive through Langley in BC’s Fraser Valley to discover the prettiest pumpkin patches and most amazing mazes – of corn that is. The fall season in all its colourful glory makes for a lovely road trip, so load up the car with the family and make a day of it. Your first stop, near the Canadian border, is the city of Langley, where you’ll want to pull over to visit Eagle Acres. For the past 20 years this family-owned farm has grown to a whopping 20 acres of pumpkin patches growing 15 varieties, and 5 acres of animal displays in the barns and outside in pens – ideal for inquisitive city kids. The Pumpkin Patch is open daily from October 1 – 31, with covered hayrides out to the pumpkin patch to find that perfect Halloween jack-o-lantern, and included…

By Trading Post Brewing Trading Post’s Beer Cheese Soup – a beer lover’s soup and a customer favourite. Not for the faint of heart, this is a bold soup, rich & creamy, perfect for the fall and pairs perfectly with Trading Post’s Amber Ale. Since they focus on local producers the ingredients include Birchwood Dairy’s cheddar cheese & cream, Johnston’s bacon and of course their own beer. Serves 4-6 people INGREDIENTS Butter (100 g) Onion, diced (1 medium) Carrot, peeled & diced (1) Leek, diced (1) Garlic, minced (4 cloves) Tabasco (2 dashes) Bay leaf (1) Thyme (1 sprig) Flour (120 g) Trading Post Amber Ale (400 ml) Chicken Stock (1L) Dry Mustard (1 tsp) Whipping cream (400 ml) Cheddar cheese, grated (400 g) S&P to taste – depending on the cheese & the stock used you may not have to add additional seasoning, so you should always season last.…

By Sonu Purhar Wild and wacky cocktails have their place, but sometimes an old-fashioned (or Old Fashioned) classic is all you need. Among the dearth of eateries and bars pouring Manhattans, Martinis and other historic drinks for every Tom Collins, Dick and Harry, it can be hard to find a place marrying well-made libations with an atmosphere conducive to memory lane wanderings. We’ve rounded up a selection of venues across Metro Vancouver that don’t disappoint – so what are you waiting for? Step into your Sidecar, and let’s go! Notch8 900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver In celebration of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s 80th anniversary in 2019, the luxe property’s stylish lounge has introduced a nostalgic lineup of nine popular cocktails from each decade. If you’re feeling rakish, we recommend starting in the ’30s and working your way to the present. Our pick: The Cable Car, first shaken up in 1999 at…

By Gail Johnson If Tuscany is known for its Sangiovese grapes and Northern California is renowned for Cabernet Sauvignon, there’s another, albeit lesser known, variety that could be crowned “the grape of the Fraser Valley”. It’s called Siegerrebe, and it’s ideally suited to the region’s cool climate. Vancouver’s Fraser Valley is just an hour from downtown, with vineyards and tasting rooms the invite both local and international wine enthusiasts. Meaning “victory vine” in German (and pronounced “see-gah-REH-bay”), the red-skinned grape, a crossing of Gewürztraminer with Madeleine Angevine, is used to make white wine. Its origins go back to 1929 Rheinhessen, a wine-making region in Germany. Most of the viticulturists who were pioneering grape-growing in northern Europe in the early part of the 20th century determined what would grow in cooler, wetter climates on wet clay, explains Patrick Murphy, winemaker at Langley’s Vista D’Oro Farms and Winery. Murphy went on to…

By Brittany Tiplady Patio season is in full-swing and sadly, will be over before we know it. Soak up the sun with a beer in-hand (is there any other way?) and take advantage of the funky, juicy, sweet and sour beers that are pouring a plenty across Metro Vancouver. From New Westminster to North Vancouver, we’ve researched some of the best beers and breweries to quench your thirst for the rest of the summer. Framboise Noir at Strange Fellows 4.5%, located in East Vancouver, near VCC-Clark SkyTrain station Not to be confused with its equally delicious cousin, the Roxanne, Strange Fellows’ Framboise Noir is beloved for it’s bold raspberry flavour, deep crimson colour, and additional black raspberry and humble raspberry flavour boosters. Enjoy this fruity delight on tap at the Strange Fellows tasting room. Bonus: the lower alcohol percentage of the Framboise Noir is perfect for afternoon brewery hopping, naturally.…

By Sonu Purhar Nothing beats a creamy cold treat on a hot summer day – but unfortunately for us vegan and non-dairy folks, options are often limited. Sure, we can wander into an ice cream parlour with a hypnotizing array of flavours, but something in us dies a little when we spot the sad collection of ice crystal-studded sorbets in the corner. So, we’ve uncovered seven spots all around Metro Vancouver that churn genuinely delicious, adventurously flavoured vegan ice cream – nary a sad sorbet in sight. Enjoy! Umaluma Dairy-Free Gelato 235 East Pender Street, Vancouver and other locations Umaluma’s creamy plant-based gelato is available in stores across Metro Vancouver, though the trendy Chinatown shop offers a cool vibe where you can savour your flavour among like-minded dessert addicts. There are more than 35 options to choose from, including innovative daily specials – we like the Drunken Cherry, which combines…

By Sonu Purhar Summer is in full swing, and that means more hours of sunshine in which to enjoy ice cream! Though we love a solid chocolate or cookies-and-cream scoop, there are plenty of next-level variations of our favourite warm-weather treat served at dessert cafés, parlours, farms and eateries across Metro Vancouver. Read on for 10 suggestions that will satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you screaming for more ice cream. Mister 1141 Mainland Street, Vancouver It sounds like an Insta-bait science experiment, but liquid nitrogen plays an important role in producing creamy, flavour-packed ice cream: because nitrogen freezes the cream so rapidly, fewer ice crystals are formed and less air is allowed into the final product (science lesson over). Situated in trendy Yaletown, Mister is converting ice cream aficionados to the liquid nitrogen way one made-to-order cup at a time. Try the Marshmallow Crème Brûlée for a nostalgic treat…

Bu Sonu Purhar Summer is here, and that means even longer days to fill with… well, food! To maximize your warm-weather enjoyment, we’ve rounded up eateries across Metro Vancouver where patios meet palate-popping brunches. Slap on your sunscreen, slip on your sunnies and let’s go! The Boathouse 900 Quayside Drive, New Westminster Lazy Sundays were made for brunching alongside a shimmering river. Situated along the New Westminster Quay, the Boathouse is best known for a traditionally West Coast menu starring locally sourced seafood, and brunch is no different. Try the Dungeness crab cake benny, topped with eggs, greens and creamy hollandaise; it pairs nicely with a sunny mango mojito. MARKET by Jean-Georges 1115 Alberni Street, Vancouver MARKET’s sun-washed patio is an idyllic spot for warm-weather brunching – especially with an innovative menu that raises the bar for morning meals. Start with avocado bruschetta for the table, topped with heirloom tomatoes,…

By Gail Johnson Whether they’re red, green, mild, or feverishly hot, peppers are a coveted B.C. crop. Capsicums grow from March or April to November in local greenhouses, while the season for Fraser Valley field peppers typically runs from July to October. Either way, we’re now in peak pepper season, and Metro Vancouver chefs are doing all sorts of creative things with the vividly coloured veggies. Burdock & Co 2702 Main Street, Vancouver Chef/owner Andrea Carlson has been committed to making “farm-to-table” fare before that became a restaurant-industry buzz phrase. She stuffs a delicate grilled leek with mushroom and the moderately spicy cayenne chili pepper, topping the toothsome dish with olive-oil emulsion and smoked walnuts. Di Beppe 8 West Cordova Street, Vancouver A hit on the cicchetti—small bites—menu  at this Italian restaurant is tuna conserva, or confit, the fish bathed in olive oil, with olive and pickled piparra peppers (say that 10…

By Sonu Purhar Move over, Mothers – it’s Dad’s time to shine! Father’s Day is coming up Sunday, June 16, and what better way to tip your hat to the man who taught you how to start a campfire, change a tire, hit a baseball, cook a meal, or shave your beard? What about the man who boasts about you at the office, even though you’re a grown-up, too? Or the man who danced with you at your wedding, even though he hates (like, really hates) dancing? Whatever your relationship with your dad, seize the day – Father’s Day, that is – to show him that he’s appreciated, too; and when the cheque comes, take pride in pulling out your wallet and saying, “Don’t worry, Dad – I’ve got this.” For the dad who secretly adores mimosas: The Taphouse Coquitlam 405 North Road #2, Coquitlam Weekend brunch here will satisfy…

By Sonu Purhar When we think Easter, we think vibrantly-hued jellybeans, gigantic chocolate bunnies and sprawling buffets. Yes, egg hunts and bunnies are fun too, but, before we commit to an event, we want to be sure food is involved! If that sounds like you, read on: we’ve found eleven Easter experiences in Metro Vancouver (and a little beyond) whose holiday festivities feature plenty of tasty fare. Let’s hop to it! Township 7 Easter Festival Adults and children alike will adore this picturesque vineyard egg hunt with prizing for every participant. In addition to the main event, Township 7’s festive affair also features a petting zoo, face painting and live entertainment. Afterward, follow your nose to the onsite Chouchou food truck, whose homemade savoury and sweet crepes are satisfyingly nourishing. For a decadent treat, try the “Mme Happy Ever After” with goat cheese, fresh pear, grapes, honey, walnuts and greens…

By Brittany Tiplady Wine touring in B.C. isn’t just reserved for the Okanagan. If you’re a wine lover, consider sipping your way through Langley! Located just one hour outside of Vancouver, Langley is booming with lush wineries and tours aplenty. Book a tour and tasting at one of the wineries listed below, or try them all in one go with Vine and Hops or Canadian Craft tours. Wineries of Langley Backyard Wines 3033 232 St, Langley, BC Vancouver’s backyard has a blossoming wine industry and Backyard Wines offers tours of their full-production winery. Guests will learn about what goes on in their vineyard, visit the barrel room, and gain some valuable wine knowledge. Of course, the tour is followed by a wine tasting in the Backyard Wine Tasting Room. Reservations are required, so book your “winery tour,” or “premier tour” in advance! Chaberton Estate Winery 1064 216 St, Langley, BC…

By Alexis Baran Every October as the air gets cooler, the colours become warmer and brighter and vast lakes of ruby-red cranberries start a colourful patchwork in the farmlands of Richmond and the Fraser Valley. Despite the variety of crops BC cultivates, cranberries are one of just a few that are actually native to the land; when European explorers landed in Canada, they were traded with Indigenous peoples and valued as an effective way to prevent scurvy. Uniquely “wet harvested” by flooding the fields they grow in, cranberries are tart treats packed with vitamin C, vitamin E, and fibre; they are a bright shake-up to many desserts, sweets, and beverages. Cranberries are BC’s largest crop according to Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada, and most of North America can say they’ve delved into a glass of BC cranberries at some point; approximately 60% of our harvests are grown for Ocean Spray, a…

By Brittany Tiplady For the love of garlic! We’re so fortunate to live in a province that is abundant with beautiful fresh produce year round. Gear up for garlic month happening in August with this list of Metro Vancouver restaurants that have added some garlicky features to their menu, as well as a list of Farmer’s Markets so you can support local and grab your garlic to-go. Richmond Garlic Festival You won’t want to miss the 10th annual Richmond Garlic Festival happening August 19. Chefs from various restaurants in Richmond and Vancouver will be volunteering to present festival-goers with a grand selection of garlic-based eats including garlic ice cream. Of course the festival’s supporter, The Sharing Farm, will be selling their famous own-grown garlic as well. Dates: Sunday, August 19 Time: 10 am- 3 pm; visit their website for more details! Location: 2771 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC Kulinarya Filipino Eatery…

By Brittany Tiplady If you’re looking for seasonal, colourful, Italian cuisine in the Fraser Valley, the heart of Langley has a true hidden gem: The OSSO Lunchroom is a rustic, Italian break to your day, serving up fabulous lunch and dinner plates. Helmed by the acclaimed executive chef and owner Sean Bone, the chalkboard menu is always budding with options suitable for various palates and preferences. It’s nearly impossible to decide one item: the options for soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas, pizzas and desserts seem to be endless. The space is warm and inviting; the decor is somewhat reminiscent of a rustic kitchen or dining area that could be found in a Tuscan villa. “Our vision for the restaurant was to have a modest beginning, based on Italian cuisine. Providing food made from scratch using as much local product as we could, from the ground to your plate,” says Chef Bone.…

By Kristi Alexandra & Mary Ann Bell With indie breweries becoming almost as ubiquitous as Starbucks’ in Vancouver, you’d have to be wearing blinders to miss a brewpub or tasting room on any given block between Boundary Road and Kits Beach. But Vancouver’s not the only city under the influence, as the craft brewing boom has reached through Burnaby to the Valley, taking root in the communities in between. This year, brews from outlying towns are making a splash at the ninth annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week, running from May 25 to June 5. Once again this year, it seems communities outside the big city are unofficially on show. The week-long fete’s feature collaboration beer is a shared effort between three breweries found along the spectacular Sea to Sky Highway: North Vancouver’s Beere Brewing, Backcountry Brewing in Squamish and Whistler’s Coast Mountain Brewing. In keeping with craft beer trends, this year’s VCBW…

By Kristi Alexandra Meaty, cheesy, messy, mouthwatering. Depending on who you ask, the most savoury junk food treat to come out of French Canada–maudite poutine–roughly translates to “a damn mess” or “a fine mess.” The hodge-podge of ingredients–meat, gravy and fresh cheese curds atop fries–has been around since the 50s. In its younger days, poutine’s appeal was questionable, but twists on this classic comfort dish have been picking up steam on this side of Canada of late. It’s a damn fine mess that we don’t mind translating to our tastebuds, and here’s a few places you can find it. Big Red’s Poutine Traveling food truck Go meat or go home! That’s the way Big Red likes it. This roaming poutine-only food truck serves up 14 meat-based poutines, from “the original” all the way to the spring roll poutine, packed with vegetable spring rolls cut into pieces in a homemade beef…

By Catherine Dunwoody If you have ever spent time in BC’s charming Fort Langley then you know that hosting an annual food and beer festival just seems like a natural fit. Be sure and mark your calendars for for May 19th, 2018! Fort Langley’s old-timey streets are a mix of pleasant restaurants, quaint shops and there is a cozy neighbourhood feel that’s hard to capture unless it just comes about organically. The Fort Langley Beer & Food Festival returns for it’s second year for a celebration of craft beer, local food and old-fashioned fun. The festival is the dreamchild of Fort Langley’s own Trading Post Brewing Company and local is the name of the game. So local in fact, that of the 24 breweries participating, the farthest is Mission’s Mission Springs Brewery at 34 km (21 m) and the food is grown and produced in the Fraser Valley. Proceeds will, once again,…

By Kathy Mak With the surge of new craft distilleries in BC, it’s not unusual to find an expanding collection of local spirits on the shelves of liquor stores and cocktail bars; but finding craft spirits made by a female distiller and with potatoes and corn grown on a distillery’s own farmland is unusual! Enter Roots and Wings Distillery, opened in early 2017 as the first craft distillery in Langley, BC. Situated on a 30-acre farm in the idyllic countryside near the village of Fort Langley, Roots and Wings Distillery embraces a true field-to-bottle approach when producing artisan spirits. Back in 2015, the co-founders/owners – Rob Rindt and Rebekah Crowley – were inspired to handcraft their own distilled spirits when they couldn’t find a good locally-made potato or corn vodka for sipping straight.  With some research and a big leap of faith, the couple created the distillery from the ground…

By Kristi Alexandra With sprawling greenery, idyllic farmland, and wild brambles flourishing in the sub-rural town of Langley, it’s no wonder it’s is home to so many winery vineyards — and a couple breweries, too. Spring is in the air to thaw the frost of winter, and with that comes new berries, new grapes, and new spirits. Enter a new season of sipping. From mead to wine to beer, here’s where you can find fresh new bottles to imbibe in Langley. Festina Lente Estate Winery 21113 16th Avenue From King Arthur’s court to Game of Thrones, the ancient art of mead has always been a tasty one. Festina Lente Estate Winery brings traditional honey wine to the present day with their “modern, sophisticated twist.” This year, they’re introducing two new wines whose names harken back (perhaps) to when mead was a dinnertime staple. Venus Melomel is aptly named after the…

By Catherine Dunwoody Spoil your sweetheart and yourself with one of these sumptuous treats just in time for Cupid’s big day. Remember nothing says “I Love You” more than chocolate. Or cake. Or pastries. You get the idea. Every Community in Metro Vancouver is whipping up something special this year; have a look at our picks from each: Fieldstone Bakery Surrey Their Heart Shaped Cake for 2, ($16) is a chocolate cake filled with hazelnut mousseline and topped with a chocolate mirror glaze. Available from February 9th –18th at the store, but pre-orders are always recommended. Chez Christophe Burnaby A new Velour dessert has red velvet sponge, lemon yogurt mousse, pistachio ganache, pistachio beet chocolate crunch, and raspberry jam. Available February 9th – 14th. Cakes N Sweets Coquitlam Valentines High Tea features buttermilk scones with Devonshire cream and jam, cucumber and lemon aioli finger sandwiches, red pepper and cream cheese croissant, three cheese quiche, chocolate…

By Catherine Dunwoody It’s February – have you made your Valentine’s Day reservations yet? Celebrate your most beloved loved one with a special evening for two at one of these restaurants across Metro Vancouver. Champagne optional (but not really – bubbly is pretty much essential). My Shanti Surrey Considered to be one of the best restaurants for Indian cuisine in the lower mainland, this Vij’s owned eatery has an exotic, dreamy vibe that is sure to set hearts aflame. Plus, spicy food helps. Wild Rice New Westminster, in River Market Order the share table for two, $60, with $5 from every meal donated to Ocean Wise. Nibble on sautéed prawns, organic Angus beef carpaccio, seared sablefish and more. A sexy sharesie meal indeed. Horizons Burnaby The view is absolutely spectacular in the gardens of Burnaby Mountain Park. Book soon to reserve a table early in the evening before sunset. Globe@YVR…

By Brittany Tiplady Just off of the Trans-Canada highway, nestled into the heart of Langley, is a little cafe with a big vision. The space is simple and humble: white accents and lofty ceilings with exquisite art adorning the walls. On a Friday afternoon The Water Shed Arts Cafe is buzzing with customers, “it’s a busy day!” I note to Jenn Cornish, chef owner and operator. “Oh, this is nothing!” she says. “It gets really busy here.” The Water Shed Arts cafe may seem like a typical suburban haunt to the untrained eye, but that’s far from the truth. Cornish has created a safe haven; The Water Shed mandate is “to set the table for humanity where everyone is loved, welcomed, nourished and celebrated,” and that’s exactly what she does. The menu is generous, chock-full of locally sourced ingredients and hearty whole foods that cater to all tastes and dietary…

By Angie Quaale, Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store INGREDIENTS: Vegetable oil (2 teaspoons) Sliced mushrooms (1 cup) Chopped red bell pepper (½ cup) Minced peeled fresh ginger (4 teaspoons) Garlic cloves (4, minced) Lemongrass (1 3-inch stalk, halved lengthwise) Sambal oelek (2 teaspoons) Chicken stock (3 cups) Coconut milk (1 ¼ cups) Fish sauce (4 teaspoons) Sugar (1 tablespoon) Shredded cooked chicken breast (2 cups) Green onion strips (½ cup) Chopped fresh cilantro (3 tablespoons) Fresh lime juice (2 tablespoons) INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. 2. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. 3. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 4. Add chili paste; cook 1 minute. 5. Add Chicken Stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar; bring to a simmer. 6. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 10 minutes. 7. Add chicken to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly…

Photos by Michele Mateus Words by Alexis Baran Go to Part 1: Breakfast at Milsean After a morning spent checking out Langley along the Circle Farm Tour or perhaps following a round of golf, the stomach starts to call for lunch, and we’ve got the answer. JD Farms raises specialty turkey, and from their farm comes everything from full roast-ready turkeys to sausages, broth, ready-made entrees, salami and pepperoni (even raw pet foods for your furry family) – and of course, there’s a bistro for when you’re hungry right now. The JD Farms Bistro serves up turkey in nearly endless forms. But their most popular item is their smoked turkey legs. These have become so well-known that busses full of people from around the world have been known to make a dedicated stop, just to give the handheld specialty a try. Also popular is their hot and fresh turkey pot pies,…

Photos by Michele Mateus Words by Alexis Baran The lush fields accented by mountain views in Langley, BC have nestled within them several days worth of exploring. Just a short drive from Vancouver there are farms, vineyards, meaderies, friendly animals, and more. Langley’s Circle Farm Tour has plenty of places to snack and treat yourself along the drive, and we’ve chosen a few favorites to get you started on a full day of getting to know the area’s hidden gems. For breakfast, Milsean’s Tea Shoppe is the place to get your morning tea (or coffee) and get the day off to a sweet start. Prefer something savoury or to-go? Although the waffles come highly recommended, there’s lots more to try. The sunny atrium is a cozy place to have your morning bite. Be sure to take home some of their addictive butter crunch! You’d be missing out in a big…

Images by Michele Mateus Words by Alexis Baran Seven years ago, Teresa Townsley and her husband Bill bought a 5-acre hobby farm in Langley, and got to work on delighting the palettes of wine lovers in BC and any visitor lucky enough to find them. From an unfenced grown-over lot next door to Campbell Valley Regional Park, the two of them have cultivated the land to mind horses; chickens; and best of all (for the rest of us), colonies of honey bees, which happen to help make some of the region’s most delicious varieties of mead. Festina Lente’s specialty is mead, or honey wine. Although it’s made by fermenting honey, the end result is not necessarily sweet. Varieties are smooth and crisp, some with herbal and fruit infusions. The unique coffee-infused mead, “Zephyr” and the lavender-infused “Flora” are absolute must-try flavours. Far from novelty, these meads are as sophisticated as…

Images by Michele Mateus Words by Alexis Baran The heart of local food that brings all the greens, grains, produce, cheese and meats to our plate isn’t often in our urban centres – it’s mainly found in the people and animals who work the fields and farms. There are several places within Metro Vancouver where you can bring the kids to meet the producers and see farm animals, and a scenic place to start is Langley along the Circle Farm Tour. At Milner Valley, a fifth-generation heritage farm, they specialize in a variety of artisan goat cheese. There is a whole crew of adorable goats to visit on Milner Valley’s farm, who are milked to create the cheese you can buy in their shop. All of the ogling, petting, and taking photos of the goats can get exhausting, so cool yourself with hand-made goats milk gelato, served up in the…

There’s never been a better time to be a beer drinker on Canada’s West Coast. The region is undergoing a craft brewing renaissance and it seems that there is a new craft brewery popping up every week. Let WestCoastFood and our transportation partner, Burnaby Tours, be your host as we guide you to some of the best craft breweries in the region. Enjoy an in-depth look at the art of beer making with a behind-the-scenes tour at one of the breweries, and get a full sampling of the breweries’ finest beers. (If you left beer fans at home, be sure to pick up a growler or two!) On this tour, you’ll visit:   Central City Brewing and Distillery, Surrey Known for their line of Red Racer beers, including their signature Red Racer IPA, Central City also produces offer a variety of craft beverages including specialty beers, ciders and both brown and…

By Brittany Tiplady Entering Fort Langley is like stepping into a page of Canadian history. The idyllic village caters to history buffs, trail walkers, and coffee shop dwellers alike. As for food and drink, the options for casual fares are plentiful. The classic Fort Langley dining staples still stand strong: Wendel’s, Beatniks, and the Fort Pub and Grill to name a few, serving regulars and tourists with a hint of small town charm. Today, as Vancouver millennials slowly migrate from city life to suburban haven, the energy in Fort Langley has shifted into a more youthful local community, while still managing to keep the beloved, historic charm, intact. City-inspired hot spots like Trading Post Brewing and Little Donkey have moved into the village with much acclaim, but the new kid on the block, Fortitude Restaurant, is creating quite a buzz within the community and abroad. Fortitude brings a fresh, fine-dining…

By Kristi Alexandra Is there anything sweeter than the fruits of your own labour? U-pick berry farms in the Lower Mainland would attest there isn’t. While abundant rain at the end of a long winter had many farms opening their picking seasons a little late this year, the results are still oh-so-sweet. With a shortened growing season, farmers are seeing strawberries and blueberries as a bounty of fresh-picked treats. We visited a few farms to find out where you can gather a basket of your own before the season’s over. Please note that availability of berries is subject to weather and crops may end early, or be extended. It’s best to contact the individual farms to determine availability of your favourite berries. Krause Berry Farms 6179-248th Street, Langley U-pick, a winery, fresh-made waffles, and a kids’ farm – is there anything this farm doesn’t have? Set on 200 acres of…

By BC Association of Farmers Markets The BC growing season is in full swing, and you can experience the palette of summer with a trip to some of the 145+ BC farmers’ markets. Whether you’re headed here on a weekend with family or friends, or taking the summer to explore Canada’s West Coast, here’s everything you need to build a farmers’ market visit into your summer travels across the province. Step 1: Know your BC farmers’ markets With over 145 BC farmers’ markets across the province, you’re sure to discover more than a few that you’ll love to return to year after year. This helpful BC Farmers’ Market Finder tool will help you make the tough choices (popsicles in White Rock, or honey in Richmond?) and you might be surprised to see how easy it is to access more than one farmers’ market closer to home. Here’s a tip: BC…

By Catherine Dunwoody Bingsoo Korean shaved ice dessert may make you forget about traditional ice cream forever. Also known as patbingsu or bingsu, this treat traditionally uses water as its icy main ingredient, however Snowy Village Canada uses 100% Canadian milk which is frozen and shaved to create a snowy consistency. Red bean paste is the traditional topping, however fresh fruit like strawberries, jelly, Oreo cookies, roasted grain powder and other toppings give it a modern texture that is suited to Canadian tastes. Snowy Village opened its first location in Richmond back in 2015, then a second in downtown Vancouver, and a third in Coquitlam.  Surrey and Langley locations are planned for this summer. As well as bingsoo, the shops serve croissant taiyaki (which is like a filled, press-grilled sandwich), healthy smoothies, great coffee and a variety of savoury and cheesy snacks. snowyvillages.ca

By Catherine Dunwoody How cool is it (literally) that this most delicious and special day happens to fall on our very own Canada Day, July 1st? Vancouver and its diverse surrounding communities certainly know how to celebrate two things at once, and the proof is in the cone. Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by toasting with one of these super special flavours, and some for a very limited time only. Here’s what they are and where to find them. Flavour: Canadian Maple Bacon Where to get it: Welcome Parlour Ice Cream, Vancouver’s North Shore The scoop: This shop just opened this past spring in a 1909 heritage building, and this special flavour is only available for 1 day. Made with caramelized bacon and real maple syrup. Patriotic and proud! Flavour: Roasted Strawberry Where to get it: Rain or Shine, Vancouver The scoop: Brought back for another summer, this fave 4th Avenue…

By Kristi Alexandra With indie breweries becoming almost as ubiquitous as Starbucks’ in Vancouver, you’d have to be wearing blinders to miss a brewpub or tasting room on any given block between Boundary Road and Kits Beach. But Vancouver’s not the only city under the influence, as the craft brewing boom has reached through Burnaby to the Valley, taking root in the communities in between. This year, brews from outlying towns are making a splash at the eighth annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week, running from May 26 to June 4. “We keep growing and changing every year because we want to create this beer experience that all of us want to experience ourselves,” says co-founder and events director Leah Heneghan. This year, it seems communities outside the big city are unofficially on show. The week-long fete’s feature collaboration beer is a shared effort between the four breweries that dot Port…

By Catherine Dunwoody If you have ever spent time in BC’s charming Fort Langley then you know that hosting an annual food and beer festival just seems like a natural fit. Be sure and mark your calendars for May 20tt, 2017! Fort Langley’s old-timey streets are a mix of pleasant restaurants, quaint shops and there is a cozy neighbourhood feel that’s hard to capture unless it just comes about organically. The Fort Langley Beer & Food Festival is the dreamchild of Fort Langley’s own Trading Post  Brewing Company, and the aptly put slogan, “tap into the local” says it all. This first-time festival will feature fabulous local food and craft beer from the Vancouver area and the Fraser Valley, plus live music and more. At the Fort Langley National Historic Site, fest-goers will have an opportunity to learn about the lives of the First Nations communities, international fur traders, gold…

by Catherine Dunwoody We love shopping in a gourmet food store, and one that offers hard-to-find products, plus cooking classes and seminars just makes our day. Well Seasoned is a Langley-based culinary mecca, in business since 2004, that sells both international and local BC ingredients, plus spices, cookware and condiments. Weekly in-store cooking classes have top chefs sharing their secrets, and educational seminars give customers the edge in new food trends and products. Pick up a Best of BC basket that is chock-a-block with gourmet goodies, or a freshly baked homemade pie, or perhaps a bottle of pomegranate champagne vinaigrette for your next salad. Owner Angie Quaale has a background in menu development and retail food distribution, but her accolades and experience is about as good as it gets – past president of the BC chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, past president of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, past…

By Kathy Mak Finding time to cook healthy and hearty meals can be a challenge for people with a hectic lifestyle, and that is why Paulette Hawkings created a line of flavourful, nutrient-rich meal options that are fuss-free to make.  Her Simply Delish Soup and Salad products are wholesome and tasty meals made easy with blends of dry ingredients for whipping up a delicious soup, chilli, Jambalaya, salad or dessert.  All dishes require minimal effort but are maxed on comforting, home-cooked flavours! Based in Langley, Paulette launched the family-run business in 2010 after diligently sourcing the right balance of quality ingredients, and trialing a variety of unique recipes to shorten the time of meal preparation at home.   Nowadays, Brad (Paulette`s son) and his wife, Chelsey are running the company. Their 24+ deliciously handcrafted products use all natural and non-processed ingredients (local and organic when possible). These nourishing and simple-to-cook meals…

By Catherine Dunwoody Canada Place hosted the largest gluten-free food trade show in the country recently, the Gluten Free Expo. An opportunity for the consumer to stop and sample the wares and gain information at the many booths, plus check out some cooking demos and presentations – all geared to folks with gluten-allergies or sensitivities. Newly diagnosed with celiac disease myself, this show intrigued me both professionally and personally as a food writer with a rather refined palette trying to navigate this New Year eating gluten-free. Here’s my ‘best of the fest’ – products I tried and thought worth sharing, and mostly made right here on Canada’s west coast. Naked Coconuts from Vancouver makes soy-free teriyaki sauces.  Not only gf, but also soy-free, this organic, non-GMO, sauce has that salty, umami flavour we crave when it’s stir-fry time, and this one has 65% less sodium too. Free Yumm cookies and…

By Ashley Lockyer Explorers and pioneers built Fort Langley, and their adventurous nature lives on at Trading Post Taphouse & Eatery. This Fraser Valley microbrewery honours the local land, tradition, and community. They craft small batch beers with names and flavours that raise a glass to brewmasters past and people present. What’s the best way to learn history? Perhaps, it’s over a pint. Sip one of their beers and you’ll get your fill of stories from the Fraser Valley’s past. And, their beers aren’t just available in pints or growlers. You can eat them, too. “Authentic, honest, and super tasty.” Like their pours, dishes here aren’t typical pub fare. You can taste the genuine care put into the ingredients and preparation. The Taphouse’s menu is “Chef inspired, farm driven.” It features seasonal produce sourced from local A Rocha farm. Like Trading Post, A Rocha farm combines their industry’s roots with…

By Ashley Lockyer The Fraser River gold rush only lasted from 1858 to 1865, but riches are still found in BC’s Fraser Valley when it comes to breakfast and baked goods (even some gluten-free gold). At Wendel’s Bookstore & Cafe you can devour a hearty brunch before you conquer the historic Fort Langley itself – a former Hudson’s Bay trading post – or just sip local coffee and adventure into a novel. You can’t miss the cafe’s saloon-style building in the heart of town. From the sweeping patio bannisters to swinging doors, the cafe is a stronghold for breakfast classics: golden omelettes, pancakes, eggs benedict, and well-seasoned hash browns. The cafe offers a taste of the area alongside the town’s BC heritage. All plates are made from carefully selected ingredients, using products like cage-free eggs, wild salmon, organic flour, and everything is locally sourced as much as possible. Every slice…

Photos by Michele Mateus Words by Alexis Baran Autumn harvest season is marked by celebrations around the world for a season of sharing with friends, family, and the community. Dig into abundance at one of the many Fraser Valley farms where you can pick your own pumpkins out of a vast field, gather a bushel of crisp apples right from the trees, and take home a feast of local foods to bestow around your own table. Fraser Valley Farms with Autumn Markets Taves Family Farm 333 Gladwin Rd Abbotsford, BC 604.853.3108 www.tavesfamilyfarms.com Maan Farms 790 McKenzie Road Abbotsford, BC 604.864.5723 www.maanfarms.com Krause Berry Farms 6179 248th Street Langley, BC 604.856.5757 www.krauseberryfarms.com Fantasy Farms Inc. 9423 Gibson Rd Chilliwack, BC www.fantasyfarmsinc.ca Willow View Farms 288 McCallum Road Abbotsford, BC 604.854.8710 www.willowviewfarms.com Aldor Acres Family Farm 24990 – 84th Ave. Langley, BC aldoracresfamilyfarm.ca Annie’s Orchard 4092 248th Street Aldergrove, BC 604.856.3041 www.bcfarmfresh.com/farms/annies-orchard…

By Kathy Mak When it comes to fruit wines, it seems those made from grapes get most of the love. But in the Fraser Valley, wines made from fruit beyond grapes, especially berries, are thriving and rising in popularity. There are nearly as many non-grape fruit wineries as there are grape-based fruit wineries, and it’s easy to see why when there’s a plethora of berry farms in the region. The first berry farm in the Fraser Valley to produce grape-free table and dessert wines was the Fort Wine Co., which started as a cranberry farm. In 2001, their winery opened on the farm and today is one of a dozen wineries, and growing, in the valley dedicated to making berry-driven wines. They are also the only fruit winery in the Fort Langley area. The wine maker, Toby Bowman, takes the lead in producing 10 different fruit wine varieties (5 table…

By Ashley Lockyer Take a gourmet stroll off the beaten path, spend the afternoon with top chefs, and leave filled with stories of food and the people that bring it to life. Local culinary celebrations don’t get bigger than the annual Feast of Fields festival, held this year at Laurica Farm and Fraser Common Farm in Langley. Once you wander through the gates (and past some goats and pigs), British Columbia’s food and beverage artisans await to offer a complete taste of the region. Guests meander between tents and sample dishes that highlight local produce, prepared by more than 50 restaurants, farmers, and beverage crafters. Live music, orchards, and the open sky provide ambiance. Whether you’re into craft beers, ciders, or wines, or are looking for a chance to experience the province’s culinary creativity this “wandering gourmet harvest festival” includes items you won’t find on restaurant menus. And, it’s not…

By Nikki Hillman Every Sunday, when I was younger, my family would take the car for a drive. There was usually a rough idea of where we were going to explore; sometimes it was a new neighborhood with half-finished homes for us to wander through or sometimes it was just a drive through the farm areas of Maple Ridge, Langley or Abbotsford. Now that my children are old enough to be on their own, we’ve also started to take Sunday drives but I like to have a destination, and for this trip I chose Milner Valley Cheese. I’d read about them online and I was intrigued by the idea of goat’s milk gelato. I was also surprised to find out that while goat’s milk contains lactose it doesn’t contain a certain type of protein found in cow’s milk. This protein can be what lactose intolerant people are allergic to and…

By Catherine Dunwoody September 11th should be a fun day when the annual BBQ Off the Bypass competition returns for its 11th year, and includes the Great BC Bake-Off. Free to attend, but with admission donations much appreciated in support of this year’s charitable partner, Tiny Kittens, the event is family-friendly. Teams of BBQ-skilled folks from BC and Saskatchewan, plus our neighbors in the USA including Washington State and Montana, compete for the grand prize of $5,000. That winner qualifies then to compete in the Jack Daniels World BBQ Championships in Tennessee, and the American Royal BBQ in Kansas City. The audience attending gets to reap the rewards right off the grill, sampling slow-cooked meat and vibing to live music. Lover of good Southern-style BBQ? Get ready to witness grill masters show off their culinary talents in the categories of chicken, brisket, ribs, and pork. Returning for its 7th year…

By Catherine Dunwoody Owner Rachel Bolongaro was a chemical engineer for 20 years in Switzerland at a pharmaceutical company, which she claims was “quite useful,” when it comes to running her Fraser Valley Cider business. “I figured that if I could do that I could probably whip up a batch of cider,” she laughs, “I’ve always been a home brewer/winemaker and I decided to take this idea further and start my own cidery.” “There are cideries in the Okanagan and on the Island but nothing here on the Lower Mainland.  My engineering training has been invaluable when it came to project managing the construction of the cidery and navigating the regulations and permitting requirements,” she says.  “We’ve also been able to engineer most of our own equipment which has saved us considerable amounts in our set up costs.  And of course when something goes wrong its super-fun to roll up my…

by Catherine Dunwoody Summer in downtown Langley just got even better, especially for food aficionados. On August 27 11am-4pm, downtown Langley’s best restaurants gather in McBurney Plaza featuring exciting demonstrations by local chefs and live music performances to set the tone. Featured culinary on-stage demos like summer grilling, al fresco entertaining, and paella with Chef John Walls are not to be missed. Here’s how it works: you pick up your Fork & Finger Passport in McBurney Plaza, and then collect Passport stamps by visiting participating restaurants to purchase a $5 Sampler. Return completed passports to McBurney Plaza and be entered to win over $1000 Downtown Dollars. Some foodie samplers to whet your appetite? How does gelato with your choice of flavoured olive oil and Maldon sea salt from All of Oils sound? Or a crispy rice lettuce wrap with cured pork, shredded coconut from Naka Bistro Lao & Thai Cuisine?…

By Ashley Lockyer “Decide on a pie, yet?” A voice sings the question while the coffee is topped up. I’m on my second fork-full of an omelette at Hilltop Cafe in Langley, BC. Pie pushing at 8:30am might seem odd elsewhere but here there’s one for every occasion, including breakfast. Despite a sign that has read “home of famous pies” since 1950, slices had been going out of style at Hilltop Cafe for decades. When sisters Andrea Zaiser and Sandy Parley took over in 2011, it became their mission to bring back the pies! It’s been a hit, drawing people far and wide and has even started a food trend for wedding pie instead of cake. These sisters pair pies with meals like sommeliers pair wines with cheese. Andrea offered some advice on what to try when you stop by. What’s best for breakfast? After a hearty, savoury breakfast satisfy…

By Kathy Mak, food blogger and photographer, Kake2Kale Savour fresh and juicy blueberries in this tasty and easy summer dessert that is rustic, yet elegant! For tips on where to find and pick your own blueberries, read about Kathy’s experience at Weller’s Blueberry Farm in Langley. INGREDIENTS Fresh B.C. blueberries (4 cups) Cornstarch (3 tbsp) Brown sugar (1/2 cup) Salt (1/8 tsp) Lemon juice (1 tbsp) Granulated sugar for sprinkling (1 tsp) Puff pastry (1 homemade or 1 package – 200 g store bought) DIRECTIONS In a large bowl, combine cornstarch with brown sugar and salt. Mix well. Add fresh blueberries and the lemon juice to the bowl. Combine until all the berries are coated. Roll puff pastry dough on a flour dusted surface to form a 12 inch wide circle. Uneven edges are fine. Transfer rolled dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spoon fruit mixture onto…

By Kathy Mak Nothing says summertime more than fresh berries, and blueberries are literally the star berry of the season! There’s no better place to enjoy fresh blueberries than in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley. It may be surprising to some, but blueberries are Canada’s largest fruit crop by acreage. According to the British Columbia Blueberry Council, Canada is the world’s third largest national producer of highbush blueberries with the majority grown by 800 blueberry growers in British Columbia. The bulk of the B.C. blueberry farms can be found right here in the fertile Fraser Valley! Indigenous to North America, wild blueberries were highly regarded by the Aboriginal people who picked them for food and medicine. They were referred to as “star berries” because of the five-pointed star on the blossom side of the berry. Cultivated blueberries, known as the highbush variety, started in the early 1900s. Today, 90% of the…

By Kathy Mak The latest point of pride for Peter Breederland is a berry that is virtually unknown in North America but lauded as one of the most nutritionally rich foods on the planet. The ellipsoid, jelly-bean shaped berries are bright orange-red in colour, 1-2 cm long, tart-sweet in flavour, and are most commonly referred to as ‘goji berries’. Breederland, based in the township of Langley, is considered B.C.’s first commercial grower to cultivate and harvest fresh goji berries. Already a successful horticulturalist in the Fraser Valley for the past 23 years, as owner of Topgro Greenhouses (specializing in mini-bell peppers), Breederland jumped at the challenge of growing goji berries when he was looking for a new and unique crop to expand his farm. With little to no existing information to guide him for goji berry farming, Breederland had to pioneer his own growing practice from scratch. After five years,…

by Catherine Dunwoody Any serious food lover knows that not all olive oils are created equal, not by a long shot. As wide in variety and as subtle in nuances for the palette as wine, the Fraser Valley is home to All of Oils, with 2 locations; one in Langley and the other in Surrey. Wife and husband proprietors Kimm Brickman-Pineau and Glenn Pineau carry only certified, ultra-premium extra virgin olive oils (EVOO), plus a number of flavoured oils and balsamic vinegars. “Many of our products are also certified organic and our supplier, Veronica Foods Company of Oakland, California is registered on the Non-GMO Project,” says Glenn. The products are sourced from select, high-quality growers all over the world, some of the Italian balsamic vinegars are aged up to 18 years, and every item sold in the stores, or online, has a complete backstory, referencing when it was made, the country…

By Kathy Mak Coffee, served hot or cold, is arguably the world’s most popular beverage. In the ranking of best coffee cities in the world, Vancouver has become one of the undisputed top ten leaders. The obsession with coffee, particularly independent coffee shops/roasters, is a big part of what defines the city’s foodie culture, as much as craft breweries, food trucks, farmers markets, boutique eateries, etc. And, the love affair with java extends throughout the Fraser Valley. To truly appreciate the local coffee scene, grab your travel mug and follow this itinerary to sip on some of the best coffee, and special accompaniments, at a batch of unique micro-roasters in Greater Vancouver. As the saying goes, “life is too short to drink bad coffee.”  If you crave unique coffee flavours that are ethically sourced, then you may be part of a growing trend of coffee connoisseurs that support indie-owned coffee…

By Nikki Bayley How about some walnut wine, artisan jam and a picnic under a shady tree? There’s plenty to explore in south Langley and the Vista d’Oro farm makes for a fun day out for all the family. Since taking over an ex-dairy farm in 1997, Lee and Patrick Murphy have created a beautiful 10 acre farm on Campbell Valley Park in the heart of the Fraser Valley, just four blocks from the US border. Growing a mixed bag of orchard fruits such as apples, pears, plums and cherries, there’s a vineyard onsite too, producing their estate-grown Marechal Foch wine. We spoke to co-owner Lee about what’s happening on their farm and why it’s a must-visit for foodies. “We’re part of the Campbell Valley wine route,” says Lee, “There ‘s a great little micro-climate out here; it’s pretty small, just four of us, but people seem to love it.…

Just an hour’s drive from Vancouver lies one of the region’s most delicious culinary destinations: from wineries and cheese makers, to one of the country’s most exciting Indian restaurants, the area surrounding Langley and Surrey has it all. Celebrity chef and famed restaurateur, Vikram Vij is one of the region’s most ardent fans, “It’s like being in the countryside without having to go far from the city,” he enthuses. “You can rent a car and drive through the mountains and past the ocean, you don’t have to take a plane or a ferry, it’s right here and the best of the best foods come from this area. We’re so lucky to have everything to make a great culinary destination right in our backyard.” It’s an area that many visitors might miss out on, but Vikram says they’ll be missing a treat if they do– and he has a few recommendations…