August 13, 2014
The Comox Valley’s newest restaurant, The White Whale, is on board for Flavour: The North Island’s Gourmet Picnic, partnering with Salish Sea Foods to bring festival guests a taste of our local West Coast bounty. Managing partners Max Oudendag, Chef Aaron Rail, and Robin Mckamey opened doors to The White Whale in June 2014, showcasing a pub-inspired menu of the finest local seafood, meats, cheeses, produce, craft beers, wines and seasonally inspired cocktails, not to mention the best patio in the Comox Valley.
“We are planning to prepare Komo Gway oysters or clams from Salish Sea Foods,” explains Chef Rail. “Depending on the weather, that may be a cold smoked oyster with bacon foam and pickled celery paired with a kelp stout from the Tofino Brewing Co. or a hot fall clam chowder with all of the bounty of the Valley’s produce paired with a local craft beer.”
For Chef Aaron Rail, a long time Island resident and Comox Valley chef, opening a restaurant in the Valley was an easy choice. “We are so fortunate here to have over 500 farms, and only 30 or 40 restaurants,” says Rail.
“Here, we have the opportunity to build personal relationships with the people who grow the food. I not only get to call these farmers and fishermen personally, but they are also often the people dropping off the product. That relationship gives you more pride and respect in what you’re serving, and it’s truly gratifying.”
Not just Valley food supporters, The White Whale extends its local flair to nearly every aspect of the business.
“We really wanted to offer a casual, social gathering place that brings together the best of the Valley,” explains Oudendag. “So whether it’s the Cumberland Crate Company designing our oyster caddies, Sew What I Sew making all of our server and kitchen aprons, Kindred Snowboards from Black Creek designing our menu boards, or having local artists paint our murals, we’ve found a lot of ways to use local skills to represent the Valley.”
Sold-out in its third straight year, Flavour is a culinary festival showcasing the talents of celebrated local chefs, brewers and vintners, farmers, and producers. This year’s event will host close to 1,000 guests and more than 40 exhibitors and suppliers from across the Island at Coastal Black Estate Winery & Meadery on Sunday, September 21.
To see exclusive interviews and receive all updates leading up to the event, you can follow Flavour on Twitter or like FlavourGourmetPicnic on Facebook.
Guests are encouraged to take advantage of shuttle service to Flavour. Shuttle tickets are just $5 and by online reservation only.
For complete event details and to purchase shuttle tickets, please visit: http://gourmetpicnic.ca.
Media Contact: Susan Auchterlonie
Director College & Community Relations
North Island College