For an island where you can drive from one end to the other within eight hours, Vancouver Island is astoundingly abundant with fresh and local produce, meats and seafood.
Within Vancouver Island, the eastern region of Comox Valley has numerous farms, wineries, bakeries and food producers to shop from, earning its native name “Komox”, meaning land of plenty.
To help you navigate all the abundance, from Black Creek to Parksville, Gaetane Palardy of Island Gourmet Trails has done the legwork—and offers customized tours that highlight the best of the island.
Ranging from four to eight hours in length, for up to 20 people, the tours give you a behind-the-scenes look at some local operations and food manufacturers like Hot Chocolates, the first chocolatier in the valley, and the chance to sample all the food that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get through in just a day or two—handy if you want to find the perfect gift to bring home.
The cost of the tour includes transportation, entrance fees, tasting fees, so the only thing you have to worry about is how much you can eat
Between September and June, Palardy—a chef as well as an educator—offers cooking classes that make use of the bounty, and inviting the winemakers at Blue Moon Winery to create pairings for the meals.