Taste Awakening Tour - A Canadian West Coast Culinary Adventure
A 13-day tasting adventure of Vancouver, Victoria, Salt Spring Island and Bamfield – 3365€ per person dbl occupancy, 3985€ sing (minimum 6, maximum 10 participants)
Dates upon request
Sense enriching, breathtaking, palate building
Very few trips you take in life change your life. The Taste Awakening Tour is one of them, because it is about rediscovering food – the real taste of food. This all-inclusive eco-tour package of awakening tastes, starts in the thriving metropolis of Vancouver and ends on a remote beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island. At once relaxed and action packed, it is a breathtaking, back to nature 13-day, sense-enriching, palate-building, health-giving, catch and cook culinary vacation.
The key to culinary perfection - fresh, organic, wilderness foraged and catch & cook
Beginning with the finest tables in Vancouver and Victoria, with flavours extracted from organic farm-to-table vegetables and fruits picked that day, we continue on to Salt Spring with a hands on farm experience moving ever closer to the source. In Bamfield, wild plant foraging along the seashore, freshly caught wild salmon, crabs and shrimp are unforgettable gastronomic experiences that give new meaning to taste. We will enjoy the best of nature's pantry and discover the delights of wild edibles while enjoying the enlivening sea air and the comfort of cosy, self-contained cabins set in the serene quiet of the woods.
We begin in Vancouver, the gateway to the Pacific and one of the worlds most attractive as well as one of its greenest cities. Our time here will be a blend of international, contemporary culinary experiences focused around Bishop's, Vancouver's best gastronomic restaurant that sources all of its vegetables from Hazelmere Organic Farm. We begin our adventure with an exclusive private tour of Hazelmere Organic Farm, accompanied by John Bishop. Traditional tourism ranging from walking tours, museum visits, cycling and picnicking on the beach will compliment our visit to the farm located in southern Surrey, just an hour from Vancouver.
‘The City of Gardens’ imbued with strong British influences, focuses on locally sourced organic food and also includes a number of the classic tourist activities the city offers such as whale watching and a visit to the world famous Butchart Gardens. The culinary highlight here will be the internationally renowned Sooke Harbour House, combined with visits of their livestock farm, vegetable and herb gardens and seaweed garden. Victoria is a city one has to visit to really appreciate as it has undoubtedly one of the most pleasant climates and lifestyles of any place in the world.
Seeing whales, bears, wolves, eagles, osprey, seals and countless other wild animals is a highlight of this trip and we are careful to respect the species that we encounter.
We can watch sea lions and killer whales out in the sea, and mink and river otter cavorting along the shoreline. Tidal pools are filled with a brightly coloured world of crab, mussel, limpet, oyster, sculpin, starfish and more.
Salt Spring Island
Salt Spring Island is the jewel of the Southern Gulf Islands and renowned as the organic capital of Canada. It is nestled up against the east side of Vancouver Island and is about half way between Nanaimo and Victoria, the capital city of BC. Our focus here is direct contact with food production and the experience of enjoying the intense flavours of farm-fresh produce that is sustainably grown. Local farmers, growers and gatherers are the backbone of the Salt Spring market. The rural island community relies on market farmers for a regular supply of the best-tasting, freshest organic produce and fish products. Salt Spring Island lamb is also renowned throughout Canada.
Farm and Vineyard Visits
Salt Spring Island has 4 vineyards producing a broad range of wines, 3 cheese-makers, several bakers and a total of more than 150 farms producing a bounty of seasonal vegetables and fruits. Our farm tours include the incredibly beautiful Stowel Lake Farm, surrounded by forest, pastures, and creeks and bordered by pristine Stowel Lake and the magical Foxglove Farm surrounded by protected woodlands and forests, located on one of the island's original homesteads.
An Agricultural Paradise
The range of island produce includes tomatoes, herbs, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, asparagus, melons, greens, roots, and a wide range of annual Mediterranean vegetables.
Bamfield is a charming blend of wild frontier and civilised overtones that combine with a breath-taking setting to create one of nature's most perfect paradises. On the west side where we will be lodged, accessible only by boat, there are no shops other than the general store, which also functions as the social meeting place. This is one of the west coast's best salmon fishing resorts as well as being the home to the Marine Sciences Centre, Canada's premier coastal and marine facility for teaching and research.
Here we will confront the true meaning of natural, sustainable, ecological and fresh as we forage, fish and gather our own food from the sea, the beaches and the woods. Lodged in rustic wooden cabins, we will cook outdoors on barbecues or on the beach and discover the flavours of nature at their finest. Fresh west coast salmon grilled on an open fire, side stripe shrimp, Dungeness crab, wild berries, wild plants for salads and fresh baked bread or bannick from a wood-fired clay oven will provide unforgettable taste experiences that are the culinary apogee of the tour.
Fishing on the open sea
Two wild salmon fishing outings in fishing boats, sailboats or canoes are included in the tour and will undoubtedly provide us with one of the greatest taste experiences of the trip - campfire cooked wild salmon.
Originally from Victoria BC, Geoffrey grew up on Vancouver Island and has been leading gastronomic tours around Europe since 1987. His passion for wine and food led him to create the Taste Awakening Tour in order to share the extraordinarily rich culinary innovations and food philosophy of Canada's breathtakingly beautiful wild West Coast. His rich knowledge of the local flora and fauna and his personal contacts in all of the places we'll visit assure that your experience will be unique & personalised.