Sip & Savour proves you can eat well, locally

The health of the Saanich Peninsula’s agricultural industry will be on display at the new Sip & Savour Sidney event

The health of the Saanich Peninsula’s agricultural industry will be on display at the new Sip & Savour Sidney event at the Mary Winspear Centre on March 27.

Organizer Steve Duck of TIDES (The Island’s Destination and Event Service) says his goal in putting on the evening of fine wine and great food, is to encourage foodies to celebrate local food.

“We are going to highlight what the Peninsula grows and can be put on your plate,” he said.

Food sustainability and security are hot topics in Greater Victoria and the Island right now, and Duck said local food resources are seen as being more important than ever in the wake of high land prices and the status of B.C.’s agricultural land reserve.

“I hope people who attend the Sip & Savour come away with the excitement of what we have here.”

The evening starts with the Sip — a wine tasting event from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the gallery at the Mary Winspear Centre. Duck said drinks will be provided by the Muse Winery, Sea Cider, Dragonfly Hill Vineyards, Domaine Rochette, de Vine Vineyards, Symphony Vineyards and Victoria Spirits. They will be paired in tastings with chocolate from Pure Lovin Chocolates, cheese from The Little Cheese Shop and biscotti from Melinda’s Biscotti.

During the Sip, Duck said there will be information booths set up by Growing Young Farmers Society, Level Ground Trading and others talking about sustainable lifestyles and more.

At 7:30 p.m., the doors to the Bodine Hall are thrown open for the Savour portion of the event.

“You are not going to be just tasting,” said Duck, “you are having an entire meal.”

Catered by Island Culinary Services, featuring Red Seal chef Graham Little, the buffet-style dinner features local food. Seafood, chicken, pork and beef — all from the Saanich Peninsula — will be on offer, as will seasonal vegetables and fruit.

Running to 10 p.m., the Savour puts local food on people’s plates and ends with desert and coffee from Level Ground.

“Here is what a dinner could look like, made up of what’s available to you on the Peninsula.”

The event has received support from local markets and farms such as Michell’s Farm, the Red Barn Market ad Kildara Farms.

“These are places and food that’s available to everyone,” Duck added. “We’re so accustomed to getting our food at the grocery store and they have so many items all the time.”

Duck said local agriculture provides seasonal selections that he hopes will find their way into area restaurants and onto people’s dinner tables at home.

Duck said he hopes the Sip & Savour event becomes an annual gathering and continues to help grow excitement with what the Peninsula has to offer.

“Our food resources are important. This is about celebrating what we have here.”