This Sunday I had the pleasure of attending Madrona Farm's 2nd Annual Island Chef Survival. The event was a fundraiser for the farm, and some of Victoria's best chefs were there to perform (read: cook fine food for auction over a camping stove) in front of a live audience.
What an extraordinary event! Hosted by the Madrona Farm, a beautiful pastoral enclave just off McKenzie, the organizers provided a delicious meal of local produce and chicken, live music, and they lucked out as the weather was gorgeous.
I was thrilled to see that all the chef made good use of local ingredients, notably mushrooms! In my family, mushrooms are a big deal. Since I've been little we've picked them (morels, chantrelles, etc) to enjoy year-round.
For the auction part of the day, each chef had a station and a limited amount of time to prepare one or two plates to offer the audience. The plate, and generally an accompanying glass of wine, went to the highest bidder. Ken Nakano from the Empress Hotel's meal was sold for over $200 dollars! whew (see below left)! But also in attendance were Michael DeGrazia from Solomon's, Peter Zambri, Jonathan from the Pizzeria Prima Strada (below right, who's pizza oven made the food for the rest of us), and many more.
My only regret is that there were no vegetables for sale! why not!
I'll be there next year!