Chef George Gates and Evelyn Koops of the Farm Table Inn toast to Dine Cowichan. (Alec Wheeler photo)

Chef George Gates and Evelyn Koops of the Farm Table Inn toast to Dine Cowichan. (Alec Wheeler photo)

Business notes: Dine Cowichan on the menu for February

Dine Cowichan, the fabulous food festival is back for a fourth mouth-watering year.

The popular event is further proof that you don’t have to travel very far to find some of the Island’s finest restaurants. Most of them are just around the corner.

“There is something for everyone at this year’s Dine Cowichan Festival,” suggests Alec Wheller, the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s events and membership manager.

“Whether you like fine dining, pub fare, farm-to-table, comfort food, ethnic cuisine, vegan/vegetarian or all of the above, both your palette and your pocket book will be happy to indulge with prices ranging from $15 to $45 for brunch, lunch and dinner.”

Dine Cowichan runs from Feb. 20 to March 8 and gives restaurants and eateries across the Cowichan region a platform to explore their culinary creativity to come up with new menu items and patrons will appreciate the special pricing.

Twenty-five restaurants and eateries have already signed up to participate in the festival. Now in its fourth consecutive year, Dine Cowichan welcomes several new participants including, Malahat Chalet, The Masthead Restaurant and The Vine in Cowichan Bay, the Galley Grille and The Corner Table in Shawnigan Lake, Ironworks Café and Creperie and York Street Diner in Duncan.

The Cobblestone Pub and Unsworth Restaurant in Cobble Hill return after closures and renovations.

The Farm Table Inn is looking forward to presenting another outstanding menu for Dine Cowichan 2020.

“We’ve been part of Dine Cowichan since day one. It’s a great opportunity for us to highlight our partnerships with local suppliers and vendors and to showcase a fabulous three-course meal at a special price,” notes Farm Table Inn owner and chef George Gates.

“The festival attracts people who may not have had the opportunity to come out to have a true farm-to-table dining experience.”

Genoa Bay Café is also one of Dine Cowichan’s long-time participating restaurants. Their 2019 Dine Cowichan menu, which included Coconut Crusted Prawns, Seared Brohm Lake Duck Breast, and a Truffle Trio, was a big hit with festival goers.

“Genoa Bay’s 2020 menu and all Dine Cowichan menus will be posted in early February and it’s always exciting to see the delectable dishes our participating restaurateurs present,” says Wheeler.

Other participating restaurants and eateries include Bridgemans Bistro, Satellite Bar & Grille, The Mill Pizza and Grill, Cow Café West Coast Grill, Rock Cod Café, The Shipyard Restaurant & Pub, CVI Restaurant + Lounge; Just Jakes, Craig Street Brew Pub, Original Joes Restaurant & Bar, The Old Firehouse Wine & Cocktail Bar, The Ainslie, The Farm Table Restaurant at Providence Farm, Odika Cafe, and Sawmill Taphouse & Grill.

For a full list of restaurants and Dine Cowichan menus, visit

• • •

A unique business recently opened in Duncan, providing guidance and resources to help clients with their end of life plans.

Great Circle End of Life Planning was established by two local people, Jan Thompson and Ellen Mitchell who saw a need for this type of comprehensive service in the community.

“Death is a topic that most people do not want to talk about, let alone think about,” says Thompson.

“People may feel that planning for their own death will hasten its arrival. They may not want to discuss death with their friends or family for fear of upsetting them.

“However, people also want their end of life wishes to be known and to give their loved ones clear instructions of what to do when death does occur.”

Great Circle End of Life Planning assists people in making their end of life plans by writing out advance care wishes, completing legacy projects, and planning the program for a funeral or celebraton of life.

Great Circle’s services also include setting up circles of care, downsizing possessions, organizing documents, and facilitating meetings with loved ones to convey these plans and wishes.

Great Circle can be reached through, by email at or by phone at 250-732-6452.

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