What holiday meals can you make with local ingredients? We asked these 4 B.C. chefs

In an era of supply chain disruptions caused by BC’s extreme weather events and the ongoing pandemic, the idea of ​​shop local, eat local is looking better than ever.

CBC spoke to four local chefs who shared their ideas for creating holiday meals based on ingredients sourced from their home regions.

Smoked wild salmon cheese balls — Laura Moore, Victoria

Smoked wild salmon cheese balls with crusted hazelnuts and cranberry leek spread. (Rohit Joseph/CBC)

Laura Moore, a chef with Good For You Gourmet, a Victoria-based catering service, says cheese balls are a deliciously casual dish for holiday sharing.

In a bit of a new twist, she says she mixes the cheese with salmon, covers the mixture with crushed hazelnuts and complements the cheese balls with a cranberry spread and bread.

“[The] exotic cranberry leek spread — with its amazing fruitiness — complements the creamy coolness [and] the smokiness of this wild salmon.”

Moore says the wild salmon is smoked by a seafood company in Victoria, while the goat cheese, leeks and cranberries are grown in other parts of southern Vancouver Island.

“We need this grown locally instead of having to order it from thousands of miles away,” she said. “We just need to build up more local food sustainability. That is glaringly clear to me.”

WATCH︱Chef Laura Moore makes salmon cheese balls and cranberry leek spread

Victoria, BC, chef shows you how to make yummy cheese balls with locally grown salmon

Laura Moore mixes goat cheese with smoked salmon for a delicious Christmas appetizer. 4:19

LISTEN | Chef Laura Moore tells CBC’s Rohit Joseph how to make salmon cheese balls

7:59Chef Laura Moore shares recipe for locally sourced holiday treat: Smoked Salmon Cheeseball

Holiday gatherings are being downsized to our nearest and dearest thanks to the pandemic. But we can still put some delicious food on the table. CBC asked several chefs to pitch a holiday dish with locally sourced ingredients. One of them is Chef Laura Moore, owner of The Good For You Gourmet in Victoria. Our Rohit Joseph met up with Chef Laura to find out more about her ella recipe for a smoked salmon cheeseball with a cranberry leek spread. 7:59

Recipe of Smoked Wild Salmon Cheese Ball with Crusted Nuts, Cranberry Leek Spread (CBCGraphics)

Lemon Cinnamon Chicken — Jenny Hui, Vancouver

Lemon cinnamon chicken with honey glazed yam and rutabaga. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Jenny Hui, the executive chef of Vancouver-based caterers Lazy Gourmet, says she loves cinnamon because people often associate it with Christmas and coziness — and the spice combines well with the sweetness of yam and rutabaga as sides.

“It brings a nice feel of warmth when I think of cinnamon, and chicken is such a versatile type of meat that everybody eats.

“I love cinnamon and I love lemon, and the idea of ​​that mixed with a teeny bit of harissa [a hot chili paste] just balances it all out,” she said. “To pair it [lemon cinnamon chicken] with something like a root vegetable, like yam and rutabaga, just to finish it off — having that nice sweetness.”

Hui uses chicken raised at Hallmark Farms in the Fraser Valley, and yam and rutabaga grown at UBC Farm, a 24-hectare farm and forest system at the southern end of the campus run by the Center for Sustainable Food Systems.

“Local ingredients are easy to obtain, meaning we know that [they are] something that are grown in our area,” she said. “Supporting locals, being part of the community, allowing customers to understand that we want to make sure that they know where we’re getting it [the ingredients].”

WATCH | Jenny Hui shows how to make her lemon flavored chicken, with a side of yam and rutabaga

LISTEN︱Lazy Gourmet’s Susan Mendelson explains why it’s important to buy local food

After a year of public health restrictions, wildfires, and flooding we hear about ways to support BC food suppliers, and incorporate locally sourced food into your Christmas dinner plans. 5:05

Recipe of Lemon Cinnamon Chicken with Honey Glazed Yam and Rutabaga. (CBCGraphics)

Cider-braised crispy pork belly — Jarrod Omichinski, Kamloops

Cider-braised crispy pork belly with creamed squash and sautéed kale. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)

Jarrod Omicinski was the executive chef of the Brownstone Restaurant in Kamloops for more than five years and will open his own Duck Duck Pork restaurant in the new year. He says a holiday meal should be comforting and rich, and the crispy pork belly is one of his favorites.

“[Crispy pork belly] is going to keep you going for those long, cold winter days,” he said. “It is simply delicious … frying it until it gets crispy — it’s pretty hard to beat, it’s very comforting.”

Omichinski sources the pork belly and the apple cider — which is used for braising the meat — from Westsyde, and the heavy cream from Blackwell Dairy Farm in Barnhartvale for making the creamed squash side dish. Except carrots, all the vegetables that he uses are grown in his home garden by him.

He says local ingredients taste better and are cheaper, and buying them also helps support the local economy.

“Instead of giving my money to some corporation that’s based out of the US, I’d rather [have it] go in the pockets of my neighbours.”

LISTEN︱Chef Jarrod Omichinski shows CBC’s Jenifer Norwell how to make a crispy pork belly dish

Daybreak Kamloops6:37Kamloops chef Jarrod Omichinski shows how to make a holiday dinner with local ingredients

Jarrod Omichinski, the chef and owner of Duck Duck Pork restaurant in Kamloops, speaks to CBC’s Jenifer Norwell about how to make the delicious cider-braised crispy pork belly with creamed squash and sautéed kale. 6:37

Recipe of Cider-Braised Crispy Pork Belly with Creamed Squash, Sautéed Kale. (CBCGraphics)

Fir Crème Brûlée with Bog Cranberry Sauce — Jennifer Côté, Prince George

Fir crème brûlée with bog cranberry sauce. (Submitted by Jennifer Côté)

Jennifer Côté worked in the restaurant industry for a decade before starting her business Moose, Mushrooms, and Mud in Prince George, teaching people how to forage for food in the wild.

Côté says she chooses bog cranberries and fir needles, which can be found in bogs and forests near Prince George, because they often make people think of Christmastime.

“A lot of people love to make cranberry sauce with their turkey,” she said. “Fir trees are often used at Christmastime as Christmas trees, so sometimes you enter your house and you’re already smelling this conifer in your house.”

Côté says if there’s extra cranberry sauce, you could apply it on top of the crème brûlée. (Submitted by Jennifer Côté)

She says fir needles add a unique flavor to the crème brûlée. “fir [needles tend] to have a slight sweetness to them compared to other conifer needles, and they tend to have a little bit of lemony taste to them, and it really pairs well with the cranberries.”

Côté says sourcing food locally helps people to feel connected to the land where they live.

“When you don’t have a connection, it can lead to food waste,” she said. “Working on it [the connection] can bring you to have a better appreciation of the farmer that grows your food.”

WATCH | Jennifer Côté demonstrates how to make crème brûlée with a citrus fir flavor

Recipe of Bog Cranberry and Fir Crème Brûlée. (CBCGraphics)

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