We have a very nice new small restaurant and food market in Sooke called ‘The Farmers daughter’. This is where we decided to have a family lunch with Jasmine and her partner Graeme before they return to Halifax and then Montreal and our son Benjamin. Over the years Sooke has seen the openings of nice new places : Markus Wharfside ( dinner only), the Little Vienna Bakery ( lunch only and wonderful breads), The Reading Room bookstore and cafe ( lunch only and great selection of used books) and the Stick in the Mud for great coffees and an outside little booth serving great sushi ‘SookeShushi’ ( closed in the winter- but try’ Sushi by the sea’ served on the Rolano boat on Fridays). I always want to support independant businesses like these, where the owners are completely dedicated to fresh, most of the time local ingredients and to provide genuine and very warm service. The Sooke Harbour House is closed until January 28th and while we our kitchen is closed, it gives us the opportunity to sample other restaurants’ offerings. Here is a sample of what we had wonderful vegetable juices to start: beet, apple cilantro and carrot apple celery, Roasted beet carrot ribbons and goat cheese salad, Roasted winter vegetables Soup with chipotle and lime. Their chef Joshua has also a selection of housemade preserves, perfect to complement a dinner or just enough to have dinner ready very quickly by just opening a jar! A visit to these places is a must, diversity in their offerings. We came to Sooke and bought the Sooke Harbour House in 1979 and then felt and knew that we wanted to feature local and seasonal cuisine, this was not the trend that it is now! So I am really happy to see that the notion of fresh, local and seasonal is finally here. A healthy community can only be the result of healthy local businesses run by independant entrepreneurs. Bon Appetit!