The chefs from Cooking Journeys are excited to be hosting a series of market tours throughout the summer at Kitsilano.
Luisa and Courtney will be your personal guides through the market, focusing on a different topic each month, to help you get the most out of your market experience. They’ll show you how to find the best products on offer, use them wisely, stretch your dollar and how to shop like a chef!
Tours run rain or shine at 11:30am. Come prepared with comfortable shoes and an umbrella if needed. Save a tree & don’t print your ticket – we’ll check you in at the Market Information Booth.
May 25th – Market Shopping to Reduce Waste
It can seem tricky to shop locally and buy organically with the family food budget stretched more than ever these days. Reducing food waste is one way to make sure that you’re getting the most out of every dollar that you spend. Numbers show that we throw away a huge amount of food before we need to, wasting precious resources and filling up our landfills unnecessarily. Learn how to plan your menus and shop with an eye towards using every bit so that nothing goes to waste! Go home full of great ideas and with a list of steps you can take to keep food on the plate and not in the trash.
June 29th – Shopping for Meat & Fish
Shopping for animal proteins at the market can seem a bit daunting – unlike the grocery store, everything is frozen and you often have to ask the vendor for exactly what you want. Learn about different cuts and types of meat, how to transport and store it safely, and how to prepare your finds for best flavour and value. This year we’re rumoured to be in for a particularly good salmon run – this tour is perfectly timed to take advantage of our natural abundance of fabulous fish!
July 27th – Shopping and Cooking with Kids
The market is a fun place for kids – and it’s a great place to start getting them excited about food! Kids who know where their food comes from are more likely to make good food choices as they get older. The chefs will offer ideas and suggestions for bringing your kids to market without a hassle, what foods get kids excited about dinner time, and how to get kids involved in the kitchen so they’re inspired!
August 24th – Tomatoes!
August 24th is Tomato Fest at Kits – the whole market will be celebrating the terrific tomato! Along with our popular tomato displays and sampling, the chefs will teach you how to shop for the tastiest tomato, which varieties are best for which uses, and tips on how your bounty of tomatoes can be preserved to last throughout the year.
September 28th – Market Shopping on a Budget
We’re all watching our pennies these days and who better than a chef to help you make every dollar count? Learn how to get the best deals at the market and which foods give you the best bang for your buck. Farmers markets can fit into every budget – the chefs will show you how it’s done!
Meet the Chefs
Luisa Rios – Chef and owner, Cooking Journeys Personal Chef Service
The founder and owner of Vancouver-based personal chef service, Cooking Journeys, Luisa Rios is a professional chef, a graduate of the renowned Le Cordon Bleu Paris – Culinary Arts Institute and a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) and the American Personal & Private Chef Association (APPCA). Since opening Cooking Journeys in 2008, Luisa has cooked for prominent sports stars, Hollywood film directors, corporate CEOs – and families just like yours. Before becoming a personal chef, Luisa started her own cooking journey by working with some of the finest restaurants and caterers in the country, including Beckta Dining & Wine — named one of the Top 10 New Restaurants in Canada.
Courtney Schwegel – Sous-Chef, Cooking Journeys Personal Chef Service
Courtney Schwegel joined the Cooking Journeys team in 2013 after graduating from the Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver. Before coming to Cooking Journeys, Courtney apprenticed at Cibo Trattoria with Chef Neil Taylor and West under pastry chef Rhonda Viani, where she was able to experience both the sweet and savoury sides of fine dining. A firm believer that food is the best medicine for both our bodies and our souls, Courtney is also following her passion for delicious, healthy meals by pursuing certification as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist.
Coming up on June 29th at Kits – Learn From Local Fish Vendors!
As conscientious consumers, we all have questions about where our food comes from. When it comes to local fish, those questions can become even more pressing, and it can be difficult to know where to get answers from.
If you’ve ever wondered about the fish you buy at the Vancouver Farmers Markets, this is the tour for you. Our fish vendors will share with you their stories about how their fish are caught, how they are processed, and how they end up at the market. These family fishers know the oceans better than anyone and are happy to answer all of your questions. June is a great month for salmon this year and you’ll be able to buy fresh fish at the market!
Each tour meets at the Market Information Booth, visits four producers and runs for about 40 minutes.
Tours run rain or shine @ 11am & 12pm.
We’re also joined at the Market on June 29th by a representative from Salmon Safe, a leading eco-label that offers a series of peer-reviewed certification programs linking land management practices with the protection of agricultural and urban watersheds. Whether the site is an organic farm in northern California, an orchard in the Skagit Valley, a Walla Walla vineyard, or a Seattle-area corporate campus, certification requires management practices that protects water quality and restore habitat. Salmon-Safe also is introducing innovative new programs focused on site design and development, as well as an accreditation program for pollution prevention in large-scale construction management. VFM vendors who are Salmon Safe certified include Klippers Organics, Shalefield Organic Gardens, and Poplar Grove Arbour Hazelnuts.
Meet the Makers
Blue Comet Seafoods is a family run business with skippers Tony and Sasha. Tony has fished for over 35 years and is still gillnetting aboard his freezer boat the “Blue Comet”. Sasha has been fishing for over 23 years and presently fishes aboard his boat the “Sleepless Nights”, a 40 ft gillnetter. The Pacific Shadow, a North Coast wood troller also fishes salmon, cod and tuna.Their salmon are harvested along the British Columbia coast from the Haida Gwaii, Nass, Skeena and Bella Coola areas as well as Johnstone Straight, and Barkley Sound. They harvest wild sustainable seafood, dress and flash freeze their fish at sea, ensuring a premium quality product.
Blue Comet have been marketing their salmon for over 13 years at the Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf and for over 9 years at the Vancouver Farmer’s Markets.
Estevan Tuna are a family-based fishing business located in the Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, specializing in British Columbia Wild Albacore Tuna. They catch their tuna in the pristine deep waters of the North Pacific Ocean off the coasts of British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. They harvest and sell premium-quality, chilled, and flash frozen-at-sea Albacore tuna that has been filleted and vacuum-packed in a HAACP approved plant. They are able to sell so competitively priced because there are no middlemen. They catch the fish; they sell the fish. Many consumers are concerned about seafood sources today. Buying Estevan tuna provides you with ultimate traceability as well as a great price.
Fresh Off the Boat have been delivering fresh seafood to homes, restaurants, and catering companies for the last seven years. Through word-of-mouth awareness the company has grown and expanded to farmer markets. “Captain Chuck” has fished commercially for over 25 years. He is the owner of the FV Proud Venture which fishes primarily in BC’s Northern Waters. Owner Mary-Anne loves to cook and creates most of the recipes that come with each order.
Fresh Off The Boat is also a proud member of Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Program for sustainable seafood.
Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery (CSF) creates a direct connection between local fishermen and consumers with the joint goal of protecting ocean resources and improving our local food system.Their primary fisherman, Otto Strobel, has been fishing the British Columbia coast since the 1960s. Since that time the number of independent fishermen like him has been reduced to a skeleton fleet.
Skipper Otto’s CSF was started by Otto’s son and daughter-in-law (Shaun and Sonia Strobel) to make it possible for Otto and a few of the hold-out independents to remain fishing. Skipper Otto’s CSF was the first CSF in Canada, and the second in the world.The CSF model ensures that independent, small-scale harvesters can continue to fish using the low impact practices their fathers and grandfathers used before them and still remain in an industry that is rapidly becoming dominated by big business and aquaculture.CSF members buy in at the beginning of the season and receive a share of premium, wild, local, and sustainably caught seafood. Members have boat-to-fork transparency, knowing how, when, where and who caught their fish.