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By Anna Black Do you ever wonder what happens to all those bumped, bruised, or misshapen fruits and vegetables from your local farms and markets? Thanks to Surrey’s social enterprise Luv The Grub, produce seconds are finding a second lease on life, as delicious chutneys and jams rather than food waste, perfect for cheese and charcuterie boards, spread in sandwiches and wraps, or served with meats and sausage. Founded by social entrepreneur and Simon Fraser University Sustainable Innovation Lecturer Alia Sunderji, Luv the Grub was inspired by student research and Sunderji’s passion for poverty alleviation. The business partners with both farmers and markets to turn normal food waste into a pantry staple and along the way mitigate environmental and socioeconomic issues in the community. Sunderji and her team create paid employment training programs for women with varying barriers to employment, including those from the Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House’s Drive Youth…

By Kristi Alexandra Chef Trevor Bird is an exceptionally hard man to track down, but you can blame his busy schedule on his ambition. The restaurateur has many titles: owner of Fable Kitchen, which founded Fable Diner; co-founder of MeatMe, a high-quality meat delivery service; caterer; husband; father; and most recently, preserve maker. Bird earned his chops in several kitchens, but his name may be best recognized in family living rooms from his time on Top Chef Canada season two, and then again on Top Chef Canada: All Stars. From there, Vancouverites with farm-to-table tastes (Bird’s modus operandi) may have been following along with Fable Kitchen, the Kitsilano restaurant that opened in 2012. When WestCoastFood finally reached Bird, he was quick to explain that he’s going to replace busy-ness with passion for the rest of the year. “In 2019, I’m really trying to dial everything back and concentrate on certain…

By Nikki Hillman In Coquitlam’s city centre, Glen Drive is evolving into a great place to stop for lunch or dinner. There are several Pho, sushi, and waffle stores – and there is a wealth of hidden Persian and Iranian gems. I found myself drawn to The High Street and stopped in at the Urban Gate Bar and Grill for some dinner, and was surprised to find a traditional Iranian/Persian Market attached to the restaurant. The scents of the sweets were enticing as I sat down to order. I asked my server to recommend a traditional Iranian meal and she instantly pointed out her favorite on the menu; Jujeh. This is a classic kebab of chicken, marinated in lemon, yogurt and saffron. The meal also comes with a small salad, barbecue Roma tomato, lemon, onion and saffron rice. The combination of the flavors was delicious but I was won over…

By Kathy Mak In an ideal world, we’d probably all like to make our own preserves; but most of us don’t have the time or the talent. Preserving food requires patience and practice. Making exquisite artisan preserves is an art form, which Geneviève Blanchet has mastered. A cut above ordinary homemade spreads, her handcrafted preserves uniquely capture the vibrant fruit flavours of the seasons by using traditional techniques blended with a holistic approach, wholesome values, and some French flare. When you understand her passion for preserves, you can fully appreciate why so many of us have upgraded our pantry with her remarkable jams, jellies and marmalades. Designing and creating interesting preserves come naturally to Geneviève. Influenced by nature and neighbours that lived off the land in the Quebec countryside, she learned to forage and use healthy ingredients, as well as make jams, at a young age. An early interest in…

by Kathy Mak Winter may seem an unlikely time to visit an outdoor farmers market in Canada, but the milder climate in the Lower Mainland allows the markets and abundance of seasonal products to thrive. Deserving of more recognition, a winter market’s appeal lies not only in the quality and range of offerings, but also in knowing that it’s served by a passionate community of both food artisans/farmers and shopping foodies, all prepared to brave the elements in support of fresh local products. The charm of a winter market is in the smaller and manageable crowds. With shorter line ups, there’s time to sample and chit-chat with merchants. Live entertainment, food trucks and heating stations are also on hand to add some extra warmth. To visit a winter market is to crave comfy and warming flavours. It’s easy to take inspiration for cozy dishes from the bounty of seasonal products…

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.…