Local food products often end up on perfectly presented plates in the higher-end restaurants in Vancouver.
But hometown restaurants rarely take the trouble to trumpet the glory of these premium local ingredients.
Cash Mob Chilliwack is launching ‘Field to Fork’ Tuesday at four Chilliwack restaurants to keep diners shopping locally, and putting the emphasis on local products.
Each restaurant will feature a special Field to Fork menu item, whimsically described on the Cash Mob Facebook page as “local plenty for about twenty” from local producers.
Participating restos include Bravo and Bozzini’s on Yale Road, Jacksons on Vedder Road and Lakeside Beach Club at Cultus Lake.
The idea is simple, say Cash Mob founders and organizers Scott McVetty and Dale Johnson.
Chilliwack has some outstanding restaurants, but some people instinctively head out to Vancouver to dine.
Field to Fork, from Sept. 17 to Sept. 30, is a new and different way to continue on the tradition of “flash mobbing” Chilliwack businesses with about $20 apiece.
“We keep evolving but as usual Cash Mob handles no cash and earns no money,” said Johnson. “We’re not a business, so there’s no trademark on the name. We’re just a couple of guys. Anyone can do this with a bit of creativity.”
The goal is purely to promote local ventures because the organizers live and work in Chilliwack.
“There is lots of good, local food here. People and chefs in Vancouver are clamouring for it,” said McVetty.
Cash Mob Chilliwack manages with support of local media and some loyal participants who believe in the cause.
“But the core philosophy is not just about shopping local, it’s about the sustainability of shopping local,” said Johnson.
Local eateries will be developing special menu offerings inspired by ingredients from local companies and producers such as: The Town Butcher, Polderside Farms, Sparkes Corn, Meadow Valley Meats and Johnston Packers.
Sourcing good quality ingredients is hard work, said Lakeside Beach Club co-owner Jeff Massey, because “good food is hard work.”
It can mean six or seven trips to various suppliers but their focus at the Abbotsford outlet, Restaurant 62, has always been on going local as much as possible, said Lakeside co-owner Alicia Bodaly.
“It’s appreciating food as it should be,” she said. “That’s always been our core focus from the beginning. So this event is a perfect fit.”
The Field to Fork initiative from Cash Mob is “commendable” since it allows Chilliwack to put the emphasis on the food resources and local growers that it has at its doorstop, which shrinks the distance that food has to travel.
“Chilliwack needs this,” Massey said. “It about sourcing good ingredients, treating them simply, and highlighting their natural flavours.”
Lakeside will be offering a seared steelhead salmon filet over corn chowder made with Sparkes corn and smoked bacon by the Goertzens of Sundance Farms for Johnston Packers.
Check out the Cash Mob Chilliwack Facebook page for extra details, and photos of the featured dishes and chances to win prizes.