Field Notes / May 26th , 2020

Food Tastes Better Outside — Film Series Launch


From post-surf donuts to campfire cookouts, foraged food and backyard BBQs, we truly believe Food Tastes Better Outside. Whether we’re discovering under-celebrated wild foods and a wealth of mushrooms, refuelling after a day’s hardy adventures, or sharing a meal made with love with our friends. So, we created our newest video series to celebrate local foods and local chefs doing just that — whipping up a dish or two inspired by nature, in nature.

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Local Food Revolution

From serving up delectable small plates at innovative Nanaimo-based cafe, Melange to supporting the small farms of our coastal region. One thing’s for sure: Kellie Callender knows his local food landscape. And loves to champion it.

Born and raised on Vancouver Island, he continues to immerse himself in the “local food revolution” burgeoning here. Taking influence from his travels to far flung places like Bhutan, Vietnam and India (to name but a few). An experimental creative at heart, he cooks with intuition leading to varying results, and explorations in innovative food combinations rich in flavour and colour. We asked him to take that adventurous spirit outside with us.


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Mountaintop Meal

In the very first of our Food Tastes Better Outside series Kellie heads into the hills with us and cooks up a fresh mountain top meal (spy the recipe below). Wearing our all-natural, seriously soft bubble-knit Merino Sweater layered with The Wool Shirt and our Slim Fit Denim. But not before he's first made a pitstop at local microgreens farm, Early Girl Urban Farm. A small-scale, half-acre farm transformed from an abandoned space to a thriving, regenerative and biodiverse garden in 2012. 

A go-to of Kellie’s, a relationship with owner Shelley that has fostered since she turned up with vibrant microgreens and smoked, dried chillies at the back of a restaurant in 2015. Her passion lies in seasonal microgreens grown from certified organic, non-GMO seeds. Strong natural flavours and colours that “make my job easier,” Kellie shares. Shelley educates on inspiring new ingredients that have quickly become Kellie’s staples, using them to layer flavours that make dishes shine. It’s all “hyperlocal and nutrient dense,” just how it should be.

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Campfire Cooking

Ready to embark on your next outdoors cooking experience? And give Kellie’s Northwoods recipe a go? Our Camp Kitchen collection has you covered. From utensils, pots and plates, to the Giga Power Stove and traditional Opinel knives. Find even more inspiration in books like A Taste of Haida Gwaii, Feast: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Road Trip, and The New Camp Cookbook. And of course, the next video in our new series! Keep your eyes on our Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook to stay in-the-loop.

Northwoods — Recipe by Kellie Callender

braised veg

  • sweat onions and garlic in a healthy amount of butter, once soft add a healthy amount of white wine. simmer down, add thinly sliced carrots, cook for a bit, add thinly sliced bell peppers, cook for a bit, add thinly sliced zucchini, stir, season and remove from heat

pickled onions and dressing 

  • soak thinly sliced red onions in the juice of a few lemons, add salt, let sit. Later, remove onions and mix them with kimchi and sliced almonds or other nuts

shoot salad 

  • at the last minute, mix shoots and greens with the reserved liquid from pickling the onions, add olive oil and a touch of salt.  

bread 

  • slice bread and top with sliced cambozola then top with pea shoots 

Assemble... consume

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We love supporting local foodie hotspots and their hardworking teams. Melange is currently working on a reopening plan with a reimagined menu and dining experience. A focus on education and developing the local food scene is at the forefront of their ideas. Sign up to our emails below to stay up-to-date with our community happenings and new releases.