In this guide to Vancouver Island’s and the Gulf Islands’ best food and produce, renowned food writer Don Genova profiles some of the talented and passionate food artisans, chefs, and business owners of the region. Meet the people behind this vibrant food network—learn their history, discover favourite offerings by the producers, and get a sense of how well you can eat if you buy local.

Take Food Artisans of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands along on one of the suggested day trips and visit bakeries and cafés; butchers, charcutiers, and salumists; cheese and ice cream shops; chocolate makers; cideries, distilleries, and wineries; coffee roasters and tea stores; community grocers and specialty food shops; farms and farmers’ markets; fishmongers and seafood producers, and kitchen supply stores.

Don Genova is a Vancouver Island–based award-winning freelance journalist and teacher specializing in food and travel. His radio column with cbc Victoria is called Food Matters and delves into the world of sustainable eating in British Columbia. Genova earned a master’s of food culture from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy in 2007. He also holds a bachelor of environmental science from the University of Waterloo and is an honours graduate of the Humber College Radio Broadcasting Program.