Chamber Week: Dine Cowichan kicks off Feb. 24

Food lovers in the Cowichan Valley will be given lots of incentive to get out and try local restaurants starting this week.

Food lovers in the Cowichan Valley will be given lots of incentive to get out and try local restaurants starting this week.

The Duncan/Cowichan Chamber of Commerce is launching the region’s inaugural Dine Cowichan program, which will run from Feb. 24 to March 12.

Modelled after the Dine Out Vancouver Festival and Victoria’s Dine Around and Stay in Town event, Dine Cowichan encourages dining out at local restaurants during the post-Valentine’s Day seasonal slow down.

There are 24 restaurants participating in Dine Cowichan, and they will provide enticing, fixed-price menu items during the course of the event.

Elizabeth Croft, the chamber’s event and membership manager, said the menus of what the participating restaurants are offering customers as part of the Dine Cowichan program will be promoted through the Chamber and Tourism Cowichan’s websites, via social media and in the Cowichan Valley Citizen.

The 24 restaurants include the Black Swan Pub in Shawnigan Lake, Hudson’s On First in Duncan and the Sawmill Taphouse grill in Chemainus.

Croft said the appreciation of good food and wine is important to citizens of the Valley, which is one of the best agricultural regions on Vancouver Island.

“This is the first event of its kind that has been held in the Cowichan Valley,” Croft said.

“We see in this an opportunity to serve our members and the restaurants that are taking part in Dine Cowichan. People in the Cowichan Valley love restaurants, their chefs and their wineries, so this program should work well here.”

Croft said the participating restaurants are “quite happy” to be part of Dine Cowichan.

She said the Dine Cowichan program has been “tweaked” a little to make it more unique to the Valley’s participating restaurants, and to offer a wider range of menu items and pricing.

“So far, Dine Cowichan has created a buzz around the community and people think it’s great and are looking forward to it,” Croft said.

“It’s all looking positive for a great program this year. Once Dine Cowichan is over, we’ll meet and debrief ourselves and determine if we want to make this an annual event.”