One of our eating highlights on Salt Spring Island is to be nurtured at the “B – Nurtured” food truck in the heart of Ganges. (Salt Spring Island is part of the Southern Gulf Island chain located between Vancouver and Victoria Island, British Columbia, Canada)
So, what makes B-Nurtured one of our favourite places to eat? Well, the owners of this gastronomic gem – Brooke Winters and husband Ty Oviatt — have developed a “secret” recipe for all of their menu items. And it is really quite simple: Passion + locally grown & raised organic foods + community orientation = GREAT FOOD! This is B-Nurtured’s formula for success.
Brooke started her culinary journey on the island where she was born – Vancouver Island – at the Empress Fairmont Hotel at the age of 18. Whilst here, she gained her highly prestigious “Red Seal” certification for chefs – a great honour in itself. Her culinary excellence did not go unnoticed as evidenced by the fact that she represented Canada in the Culinary Olympics.
But working for a large, prestigious hotel like the Empress can eventually take its toll on accomplished chefs. Before “burn-out” set in, Brooke trained her sights on a more laid-back environment – Salt Spring Island. It was here that she was able to pursue her passion for organic food in a community that fostered the same. Brooke started working at the island’s Harbour House Hotel where she became the hotel’s Executive Chef within a scant six-month period of time. The hotel had its own organic garden that allowed her to use freshly grown ingredients in her menu development. She was now well on her road to achieving a farm-to-food environment on the Island.
A few years ago, Brooke had the opportunity to move into her own business – the B-Nurtured food truck. This allowed her to further pursue her dream of having a sustainable food service operation within a community that was very much like-minded. Virtually everything that she uses in her dishes is sourced from the island. Specifically, from approximately 40 organic farms and 8 food artisans. She will only use “B” grade foods (they taste exactly like those “A” grade items but they don’t have that “A” grade “shape,” or look). By doing so she is significantly reducing the chances of those foods being discarded. What a waste!
Of B-Nurtured’s customers, 90% are from the Island, which allows them to be open all year round. And why do B-Nurtured’s customers keep coming back? It is very simple – they love the service and passion that is quite evidently displayed by Brooke and Ty, as well as the fact that the Island community very much has a like-minded attitude towards food. What a winning combination!
Brooke and Ty’s efforts have also garnered them national and international notoriety. They have been recently featured on “Chuck and Danny’s Road Show” which can be found on the Food Network Canada. (Watch the episode entitled “Salt of the Earth.”)
They currently live on a 7.5-acre farm close to Ganges on Salt Spring Island. (How they purchased this farm is another wonderful story in itself.) As of this writing, they had approximately 60 animals on their farm, including 26 sheep, 9 goats, and lots and lots of chickens and ducks – too numerous to count. They are also in the midst of developing their own garden.
What does the future hold for these two foodies? Well, part of the future is already here! They recently launched a food company that is producing organic chicken broth and a whole host of organic preserves. They saw this as a big opportunity to expand their organic / sustainability philosophy. (If you are on Salt Spring Island you can find their organic products for sale at Country Grocer and The Nature Works.) Stay tuned for other organic items to appear in the near future from B-Nurtured! In five years they would like to be 100% sustainable in nature. They are getting close, but by their own admission, a little more effort is needed. And something that we are looking forward to is their farm-to-table dinners that they are currently planning and hopefully will be able to introduce very shortly. (We’ll be one of the first to buy ticket for that!)
On your next trip to the Vancouver / Victoria area of British Columbia, Canada, take a side trip Salt Spring Island to experience the food and passion exhibited by Brooke and Ty at their B-Nurtured food truck. Hopefully you will be hooked just like we are. In fact, we cannot wait to get back to the island just to have more of Brooke’s wonderful, organic creations!