Get batch of fresh chefs’ cookies

The only thing better than a box of cookies is a box of cookies made by the pros.

The only thing better than a box of cookies is a box of cookies made by the pros. Actually, the only thing better than a box of cookies made by the pros is a box of cookies made by the pros in the name of charity.

That’s what the Cowichan Chefs Cookie Exchange is all about and time is running out to be a part of the fun.

Organizer Sarah Cosman of Unsworth Vineyards said eight well-known local chefs have teamed up to create boxes of either 24, 40, or 60 cookies which will then be sold, with the proceeds going to the Cowichan Valley Basket Society.

“They are some really great chefs that are going to make some extraordinary and delicious and beautiful cookies all for the local food bank this year,” Cosman said.

Participating chefs include: Bill Jones of Deerholme Farm, Steve Elskens of Unsworth Restaurant, Matt Horn of Cowichan Pasta, Dan Hudson of Hudson’s on First, Mark Primmer of Well Bred, Liz and Lance Steward of Craig Street’s Brew Pub, Frederic Desbiens and Ingrid Lehwald of Saison Market Vineyard, and the baking team at the Duncan Garage Café & Bakery.

“They all really like to involve themselves in the community,” Cosman said. “I know it’s the busiest time of year for most of the chefs with Christmas parties and such but it really wasn’t hard to convince them to say yes. Everybody was so thrilled to jump on board right away, there was actually no convincing at all.”

The fundraiser is already 30 per cent sold, meaning it’s still possible to get in on the action, but don’t wait too long, the boxes are moving fast and the deadline for orders is Dec. 15.

“There are lots of cookie boxes available but we will have to stop it at a certain amount so the chefs aren’t baking thousands and thousands of cookies,” Cosman noted.

Each box will come with a menu, explaining the names of the cookies and which chef created them. All chefs will be represented in every box. On the menu, there will also be a link to a website where people can access the recipes of the favourites.

Folks can find prices and buy the boxes by pressing the Shop>Online tabs at www.unsworthvineyards.com or go to the wine shop at the vineyard on Cameron Taggart Road or place their order every Saturday at the Unsworth booth at the farmers’ market in Duncan.

“We don’t receive any of the funds, this is not an Unsworth project, it’s a charity event, but we needed a central location where people could pick up the cookies in the end,” Cosman explained.

To that end, cookie box pickups will come complete with a party at the vineyard.

Sunday, Dec. 20 is the pickup day and when participants arrive between noon and 3 p.m. to get their purchases, they will be treated to wine tastings by donation (with proceeds going to the local food bank), mulled wine by the glass, Christmas music, light snacks and good company.

It’ll also be an opportunity to mix and mingle with the chefs, who will all be on hand for the party.

“It should be not just a place to come pick up but also a place to stay and enjoy a Christmas party,” Cosman said.

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