Ronald St. Pierre, owner and executive chef of the award-winning restaurant Locals, is renowned for his love of fresh, seasonal produce.
His menus, one of which was recently honoured by Food Day Canada, reflect the seasons and local bounty of the Comox Valley.
Founder of Food Day Canada, Anita Stewart is a culinary activist and educator who has been a tireless advocate for Canadian farmers, fishermen, chefs and restaurants, and the country’s culinary history for more than three decades.
A nationwide event, Food Day Canada celebrates Canada’s culinary bounty that reaches from the “French inspired cuisine of Quebec and the foods of First Nations communities to coastal British Columbia and the gastronomic outposts of the Maritimes.”
This is the scope of Food Day Canada, held this year on Aug. 3 and, on that evening, illuminated 25 iconic locations across Canada in red and white honoured those who feed us so well!
“It is a day that celebrates our farmers, fishermen, chefs, processors, food researchers and everyone involved in growing, preparing and bringing good Canadian food to our tables,” said Stewart, author of more than a dozen books on the topic of Canadian food and our culinary history. “It’s all about pride of place, making us more aware of what we have here in Canada and in our own communities – I don’t think we can take it for granted.”
“At Locals, we know all the growers, farmers, producers and fishmongers who provide our food,” said St. Pierre. “Our menu is in harmony with the seasons. Our produce is grown in the rich, fertile soil of the Comox Valley. Our seafood is fished from the waters of the Pacific Northwest.”
St. Pierre’s restaurant is almost entirely about these ingredients. He shines the spotlight on local producers from the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market (CVFM) ranging from Prontissima Pasta and Natural Pastures Cheese, to Bates Beach Farm and Blue Moon Farm, Winery and Ciderworx.
“The FoodFest collaboration with the North Vancouver Island Chefs Association (NVICA) and the Farmers’ Market is an opportunity as chefs speak about our passion for food, to tell the story of the partnerships formed with local producers and how we have learned from them about food production,” said St. Pierre.
The benefits of shopping at the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market extend well beyond the food on the menu or plate, believes St. Pierre. In addition to supporting the local economy and increasing opportunities for producers and small businesses, the CVFM supports the health and well-being of the entire community, and fosters personal connections between local farmers and market patrons.
This Saturday, Aug. 31, join Food Day Canada founder Stewart, St. Pierre and members of NVICA at the CVFM for FoodFest to celebrate Locals Restaurant, the CVFM, and Food Day Canada. Enjoy tasting the Comox Valley harvest from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.