10 Sustainable Epicurean Experiences in British Columbia
Located on the Sunshine Coast, visitors can tour Target Marine Hatcheries’ facilities, learn about sustainable land-based farming methods, and sample caviar. Although sturgeon is endangered and caviar may not be considered sustainable by some, Target Marine Hatchery has created Northern Divine caviar, a caviar produced in a sustainable, Ocean Wise-certified operation.
Target Marine Hatcheries
Amber Stoby, Sunshine Coast local and founder of La Petite Souris, makes handcrafted chocolates using fine chocolate from France and Madagascar and locally sourced fruits and nuts. Her products are sustainable and organic, and Stoby gives classes so would-be chocolatiers can learn how to make caramels, raspberry bars, and other gourmet sweets.
Le Petit Souris Chocolate
On British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, there is an area on and around Henry Road and Russell Road in Gibsons that has been blessed with perfect soil. Visitors can tour the area, explore organic farms, and purchase local produce. Some not-to-miss farms include Henry Reed Produce, Backyard Bounty, which grows more than 75 different crops on plots owned by local residents, and Shadoblix, which sells produce and eggs. Three Sisters, Craighaven, and Green Room Organics also have produce stands.
Three Sisters Farm
While many restaurants in Vancouver showcase sustainable and organic cuisine, none do it quite like Diva at the Met. Chef Hamid Salimian and his team even forage for the stones, driftwood, and the torched bark that their avant-garde tasting menu is served on. Salimian brings to life seasonal creations which in the past have included mussel bread topped with roe and drenched in squid ink that looks like a piece of coral; sun gold tomatoes surrounded by parmesan cheese in the form of a mock fried egg; and basil-fed snails with seven-day-cured jowl topped with baked and crumbled chicken skin.
Diva at the Met
At Artisan SakeMaker, taste handcrafted sakes and attend informative events, including guest sake master speakers, lectures, and sake sampling. Artisan SakeMaker’s osake is the first "fresh premium" namazake of its kind produced in Canada. It’s made in small batches, fermented from top-quality Japanese sakami, then pressed and hand bottled. For $5, you can learn about and sample three varieties. If you’re interested in chewing on your sake, you can order Japanese dumplings with artisan SakeKasu sauce or slow-cooked pork sliders with SakeKasu base.
Circle Farm Tour is a free, self-guided tour of sustainable farming in Fraser Valley. Visitors receive a map directing them to an array of farm gates, outdoor markets, wineries, heritage sites, and charming eateries. Travelers can choose from five different communities in the area, Abbotsford, Langley, Chilliwack, Agassiz Harrison Mills, and Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows.
Circle Farm Tours
James Coleridge, owner of Bella Gelateria in Vancouver, won both the public choice award and the judge's award at this May's Firenze Gelato Festival, where the world's best gelato makers converge for five days of competition annually in Florence. This year, more than 200,000 attendees voted for their favorite flavor among 30 competitors, and Coleridge's Noce Pecan e Sciroppo d'Acero Canadese (pecan and Canadian maple syrup), won top prize. Visitors and locals can sample the award-winning flavor at Bella Gelateria in downtown Vancouver along with 23 other handcrafted, Old-World gelatos and sorbettos.
Tour the distillery and partake in vodka, whisky, and gin tastings at Pemberton Distillery. Less than two hours from Vancouver, Pemberton Distillery offers tours to see how spirits are distilled along with samplings of its organic vodka and gin made with organic Pemberton potatoes and glacier water.
In Chilliwack, some 64 miles from Vancouver, visitors can tour a bee farm. At Chilliwack River Valley Natural Honey, bees are sent out to berry fields to pollinate. Proprietors Shirley and Richard Pye lead interactive tours for the brave that include a walk through the fields to enjoy samples. The tour includes a lecture on bees and talks and demonstrations on the bee-to-honey process.
Chilliwack River Valley Natural Honey
If visiting Langley, a 45-minute drive from Vancouver, try the rare walnut-flavored wine at Vista D'Oro Winery. Here, winemakers take the walnuts when they are still green and press the juice from them to blend with the wine grapes.
Vista D’Oro Winery