We are welcoming the Spring time with arms outstretched and eagerly awaiting the summer fun. The winter time is a different type of busy than summer time but trust me, we were busy.
Now that it’s Spring, Taku has a stream of groups coming in. In the next month we have the SuperChefs putting on another amazing weekend camp. This time, the camp is taking a group of children from the northern coastal BC aboriginal communities and teaching them about healthy food and how to make it. The other returning groups are the Cowichan Outdoor Club, the Nanaimo Tuesday Hikers and the Ripple Rock Power Squadron.
We’ve also had our first wedding of the season last weekend. Congratulations to Mike and Kelly!
The summer bookings are starting to fill up so be sure to contact us soon to make sure you get the dates you want. We look forward to having everyone back and can’t wait to see what wonderful times come ahead.
At the end of March, the resort was hit very hard from a south easterly wind storm. By far the strongest winds we have seen, clocked at 130km/hr. The Tree House Suite and the whole Terrace building were spared by the three 100ft firs that fell. Lynden was monitoring the scene over the two days and saw the root systems of these enormous trees lifting out of the ground. He evacuated all the buildings and all valuables from the office. One of the trees narrowly skimmed the roof and fell right in front of the office. We lost power and phones for five days as the three fallen trees had taken down many power lines. In the light of the blue skies and sun the next day, you could see the carnage left behind from the storm. The dock was broken in four pieces and one finger drifted to Open Bay. Three more trees had to be taken down as their trunks were split and the ground was lifting underneath. After finally getting the resort cleaned up and back-up and running, Lynden had a very well deserved holiday in Mexico.
Gourmet Culinary Courses
The next set of courses has just been announced. Two courses are being offered on July 6th and 12th. Learn the basics of chopping an onion to gourmet desserts with sugar work. These three day courses offer hands on teaching methods where students create delicious gourmet meals. Chef Benedict and Chef Maynard have returned to Taku all the way from their Walnut Grove Cookery in France. Further details are listed on our website. Deadline to sign up is May 18th, 2012. Find out more information here.
On December 31st 2011, the creator of our wonderful resort Milton Wong passed away. In 1983, he brought the family and a few friends to look at possibly buying the property and he fell in love. It’s hard to say if it was the natural beauty of the trees or the large kitchen that drew him most. He said that the resort and his new home were his most proud creative achievements.
He was always so welcoming to everyone that came to the resort and he made many wonderful friends during his evening walks greeting everyone with his big smile. We miss him dearly and are dedicated to keeping the resort to his vision of giving family and friends a place to go where they could have adventures, laughter and good food together.
There will be a celebration of life here in honour of Milt this summer. The date has been changed from June 2nd to the summer time. We would be honoured to have you join us. If you are interested in finding out the details once they are finalized, please email us.
Fei, Lynden, Liz, Sue, Rhonda, and the rest of the Taku Crew
Despite all the rain that came down earlier in the summer, we still managed to have a fantastic season. Some of you were lucky enough to see the pod of killer whales that came into the harbour and others enjoyed watching the deer beachcomb.
As always, it was great to meet so many new people and to catch-up with the long time friends.
As we announced in our Spring newsletter, we ran a contest for anyone who wrote up a review for Taku on TripAdvisor. Congratulations to Heather Johnston, you have won $100 towards your next stay. Thank you to everyone who gave readers an honest opinion on what they can expect when they come to Taku. Just because the contest is over, doesn’t mean that it’s too late to write a review. We would love it if you could take a few minutes to go onto TripAdvisor and write your opinion on your past stay at Taku.
This summer we launched ourselves into a new direction. Cooking and using all of the delicious food around us has always been an important part of Taku from group meals at the Stone house, making apple pies to picking berries. On August 8th Chefs Maynard and Benedict came all the way from their own Walnut Grove cookery in France to put on an amazing three day course. Eight guests learned everything from basic knife skills, seasoning, filleting a chicken and a whole salmon to making beautiful desserts.
It was such and incredible time, Chef Benedict came back and put on another course on November 18th. This time six people flew from Vancouver in time for a gourmet Welcome Dinner Friday night and then Saturday was a full day of cooking covering a lot of culinary skills from the three day course but it was condensed. On Sunday morning they got to try their hand at desserts and then completed a Taku Challenge. All the students had to take the ingredients provided and create their own dish. They managed to learn some lasting skills and created a delicious lunch.
3rd Night Free
Winter is creeping up on us quickly. We’ve already had snow on the ground that lasted for days. Experiencing Taku in the winter should not be missed. You can take advantage of our 3rd night free special that is on until December 20th and we are sure to announce a new special in the new year.
Every year there are those who aren’t able to get the dates they want. Be sure to take some time over the holidays to start organizing your next trip to Taku with your family and friends.
Fei, Milt, Lynden, Liz, Sue, Rhonda, and the rest of the Taku Crew
With kids out of school, and summer fully underway, you may be feeling the rigors of summer life!
Don’t get me wrong – we aren’t complaining. Who doesn’t enjoy regular BBQ’s under the late-day sun or long slow walks to the local ice-cream parlour. For that matter, who doesn’t enjoy riding their bike to the local farmers market or playing soccer in the field without getting soaked from winter rain ! Summer allows us to really enjoy ourselves and the local beauty of Canada’s West Coast.
But ever get that feeling you are running out of ideas ? Are the kids starting to ask “what are we doing today ?” or worse yet, “I’m bored!”. We’ll have no fear, we’ve highlighted 3 of our favourite summer activities at Taku to help you enjoy the most of your summer fun.
Kick the Can or Flashlight Tag:
Kick the Can is a game combining both elements of hide-and-seek and capture the flag, this game for the whole family is perfect at home or away. In short, someone is “it”, and tries to catch everyone else. When caught, those players sit to the side until a “free” player kicks the can and “frees” everyone. “It” wins when he/she catches everyone, or until you decide to switch (which is a bit easier!!). Though you “could” play inside, we recommend an outdoor location with lots of hiding spots! Read more here.
Flashlight tag is another game, similar to regular tag. This game however is played at night with whoever’s “it” tagging people with the light instead of actually touching them. Read more here.
Berry Picking and Jam making:
All those berries you buy are often found in nature for free – in fact we have some up here at Taku just starting to show! Not sure what needs explaining here, but in case you do, here we go: look, pick, eat (or pack)! With an abundance of blackberries, huckleberries, raspberries, and strawberries, if you don’t find them yourself, our staff will gladly help point you in the right direction!
But what to do with all those berries ? How about make something tasty that can be saved for later. With simply a little sugar, you can stew your berries down into lovely jams, spreads, or fruit preserves. Yum Yum.
Beach Combing or Fort Building:
One of my personal favourite things to do can be done right on our shores. Using abandoned drift wood, we’ve repeatedly built fun forts and hide-outs for our young ones to enjoy.Do you think your brood is up to the challenge ?
Whatever you do, just make sure you get out and have fun. The warm long days will be gone before you know it !!
There is no question that the popularity of local and sustainably grown and harvested food is here to stay. Long the bastion of a small but passionate minority, it’s now very clear that everyone is taking notice.
Consider the Agriculture Canada publication (Economic Impact Study, 2009 – http://goo.gl/BAjdE ) highlighting that farmers’ markets were responsible for roughly a $3.09 Billion impact in the Canadian Economy. No kidding: the reach and popularity of small farmers’ markets just like ours is big. And more importantly, it’s growing.
But growth and big dollars aside, why do we really care ? Ask any small child why they want to go to the market, and you’re sure to hear something along the lines of “I want to eat all the yummy food”! In fact, with many markets increasingly showcasing cooking classes, clowns, hands-on “farming”, and other children appropriate activities, farmers’ markets are a great way to spend an inexpensive day out with your children ! Oh, and to their point, there is generally “yummy food” abound!
Which brings me to why parents and adults care. Some will argue its all about quality and seasonality of the produce and meats. Others will swear that helping the small independent farmer is paramount. Others still will say that the price reflects the real value of the food (which as an aside, is generally cheaper than any big box or large chain vendor). Whatever the reason (and they are all valid), the market experience needs to be tried, and supported.
With the above in mind, we encourage you to visit your local farmer’s market. On Quadra Island, our farmers’ market runs every Saturday until the end of September from 10am until 2pm. With fresh fruits, berries, produce, fish, baked goods and more, it is an incredible opportunity to taste the very best of Quadra Island. Details can be found at http://goo.gl/PLmMG .
As a side, we will be sourcing much of the Taku Resort & Marina Cookery Class ingredients from some of these same farmers … it’s that good (though to be fully transparent, we have access to others that don’t or can’t serve the market on a weekly basis. Shhhh … its our secret!)
We hope to see you at the Quadra Island market over the summer, or at least hear your stories while visiting us !
If you’ve been bearish in the last little while – hibernating over the winter in hopes of avoiding snow, sleet, and rain – now may be the right time to wipe those sleepy eyes, take a big ol’ stretch, and start planning for the warmer months ahead.
And though easy enough to plan for the summer (think kayaking around the Breton Islands, fishing off Sonora, hiking around Morte Lake, and relaxing by a fire under the stars), April and May offers an opportunity to get a head start on the fun!
And when thinking about what to do, consider the following:
April is the last month before September to pick your own clams and mussels, according to the old saying that shellfish are best in months containing an “r”. And nothing goes better with fresh seafood than chocolate – or maybe that’s just me. But with Easter (April 24 weekend) also in April, why not!
May is jam packed with special days (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May): . May Day (UK) . Cinquo De Mayo (Mexico) . Mothers Day . Victoria Day (Canada) . Memorial Day (USA)
So regardless of what you have on your calendar, we hope you are as excited about the coming months as we are. Hope to see you soon!