More Eatery (Campbell River, BC)

A lifetime ago I wrote a rambling treatise on how to stay sane in the culinary industry. I’ll spare everyone and summarize what, back then I thought would save cooks from burning out in a pre-covid world that already had it in for our tortured little industry: Love. You really had to love eating and kitchen folk and the process of cleaning, prepping and transforming food. I’m ashamed to admit it but despite my own words etched into the internet, I abandoned my tribe nearly two years ago after losing the love.

Fortunately people much smarter, more resourceful and talented stuck around. People like Joe, Carmen and the team over at More Eatery love what they do and do a damn fine job of it. They opened a restaurant in the middle of the pandemic, in a small town that often doesn’t understand good food, in the abandoned location that housed a legendary local diner. Any one of these factors alone would have smothered a fledgling kitchen, but they quickly clawed their way to the top of the town’s eating scene and have had a regular clientele since, me included.

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The Nest Bistro (Nanaimo, BC)

The Nest BistroCrystal and I spent almost twenty minutes prowling the middle of freaking nowhere Nanaimo looking for The Nest Bistro, a highly recommended chef-owned joint which we had made dinner reservations for. We’d already passed a Phillipino mother smoking and breastfeeding in her doorway, a drunken soon-to-be domestic call two doors down and an elderly man with no shirt and one shoe chasing a cat back and forth across the road. It felt, magically, like we were back in our old neighbourhood in East Van – At first glance kind of ghetto, but the Tibetan prayer flags over everyone’s door made it okay. Read More