I’ve known Gabriel Martin since we were five. Growing up, our parents all worked together at a Victoria restaurant called “Floyd’s Flying Rhino Dino”. I suppose that’s where we both got our early start in the industry!
Gabe invited me to meet at one of his favorite local spots Cedar Farmers’ Market in Nanaimo
We checked out the vendors and chatted. One of the farmers, Chris (below), helps run a Farmer’s co-op in Cowichan. Chris was extremely helpful and mentioned that the co-op offers a csa program. You can find out more on their facebook page.
When we got back to Gabriel’s Cafe in Nanaimo, I was treated to a warming cup of Zucchini & Broccoli Soup. The cafe specializes in healthy, comfort food, often with an asian twist. We chatted about Gabe’s start as a chef – he mentioned that the asian-fusion inspiration began while traveling through Australia and South East Asia. He uses fresh, local produce and is passionate about sustainability, waste reduction and tourism in Nanaimo. The cafe also offers many vegan and gluten-free options.
The soup was followed by a delicious green curry with tofu, kale and potatoes. The level of spice was perfect and it was the ideal dish on a cold, fall day.
Gabe told me about some exciting projects, including Seattle’s Beacon Food Forest. His commitment to local food production is obvious and I am excited to see how the business continues to expand in the future.