Food Bloggers Soiree

    In celebration of the launch of Lucky's Liquor mezzanine in Nanaimo, Ayaka Nagata hosted this delightful Vancouver Island Food Blogger gathering! The food aspect of blogging has always been my personal favourite so I was honoured and excited to try some different local wines, beers and ciders, as well as connect with some other local business owners and food bloggers/photographers. 

 We arrived at 7pm sharp and made our way up to the gorgeous looking mezzanine overlooking the massive six thousand square foot liquor store. We were quickly greeted by Vancouver Island Brewery territory manager Monique who offered us their new seasonal beer the Storm Watcher Winter Ale. We had tried this beer a month earlier, when we did a brewery tour and told Monique the brewery is awesome and gushed at how much we enjoyed the new seasonal brew. Monique also introduced us to the new 650ml seasonal Dough Head Gingerbread Ale. Although I am not such a fan of spice or ginger beers this one was delicately spiced in a subtle malty sweetness kind of way. Vancouver Island Brewery is located in Victoria and if you get the chance check out their brewery tour every Friday and Saturday at 1pm and 3pm. 

 Next we ventured over to the most award-winning winery in the Cowichan Valley: Rocky Creek Winery. Their 100% Vancouver Island grown wines are made sustainable and eco-friendly (owner Mark is an environmental engineer!). They also use the "zork" closure so they are all resealable. We tried the Pinot Noir which was a beautiful light red with a sweet aroma and slight butterscotch after taste. Then we had to try the Wild Blackberry port which was bursting with unoaked blackberries with a fantastic slightly dry finish. 

The Blanc De Noir from Salt Spring Vineyards

 At this point in the evening we were offered some amazing looking baby spinach salad, tuna caponata crostini, goats cheese & spiced almonds. A variety of flavours and textures coming together in perfection.

Prepared by Chef Jason Lloyed
  Next up for our palates was Averill Creek Winery. We tried the Prevost, a rich robust red blend. Then the Pinot Noir which had a hint of strawberry and plum. Averill Creek is located in the Cowichan Valley. It was founded in 2001. 

 Cherry Point Estate Wines is another winery located in the Cowichan Valley. I sampled their Silver Medal winning Coastal Red it had a slight spice flavour with sweet berry finish. I also had to try their Blackberry wine a deep rich dessert wine which was satisfying down to the last drop. 

Chef Jason Lloyed served up another scrumptious dish, smoked oyster mascarpone tortellini sage & prosciutto brown butter. Being a HUGE oyster fan (especially smoked) this dish was my favourite of the night. 

  "Eat, drink and be Merridale" is the catchy slogan for Merridale Cidery and they have been on my radar for years now, but I just haven't made it down to check out their estate. Needless to say we got a great introduction with manager Jess. We tried the traditional cider, a medium bodied, dry (I didn't find it overly dry) and effervescent. A Gold Medal winner and often referred to as "the best English-style cider in Canada". To me it was high class apple juice with some bite, it was delicious! The Merri Berri was also a favourite with us, a blend of apple cider and unfermented BC berries and fruits. A perfect light fruity drink. Jess also informed us that Merridale has just created a fruit-based carbonated vodka made from 100% BC fruits! It's called "Frizz" and is available in some government liquor stores. Merridale is located in Cobble Hill

  Last item on the menu for the evening was smoked salmon & Yukon gold potato brandade with vanilla cured pork belly and crispy shallots. I don't think I've ever had seafood and pork on the same plate before, but this combination works wonders!

Prepared by Chef Jason Lloyed

  Last but not least was the wonderful Salt Spring Vineyards a winery which endeavors to keep the earth and the community sustainable. We finished off the evening with the 2011 Blanc de Noir a crisp medium white made from 100% Salt Spring grown grapes. We HAD to finish the night off with their Blackberry port paired with some amazing Island Made-Organic Chocolate. This chocolate is dairy-free and vegan and boy was it ever great! Paired wonderfully with the Blackberry port!

Hor d'oeuvres provided by St. Jean's Cannery and Smokehouse

Dave Hart a talented local musician kept the energy high in the mezzanine with his smooth jazz tunes. 

 A huge thank you to event co-ordinator Ayaka Nagata (The Flirty Foodie).
Thanks to all the Vancouver Island foodies and friends that came out and supported the event, it was wonderful to meet everyone over some fantastic local drinks and culinary delights!


Anonymous said…
Jodie and I had so much fun thanks to all that participated and made it a spectacular night

Thomas and Jodie Robertshaw
s. said…
Nice seeing you two!
Dave St Jean said…
Thanks again that was a fun night!
s. said…
It was a great night! Looking forward to the next one :)

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