INVERNESS: The Cape Breton Food Hub is holding “Good Cheer, Food n’ Blues,” a concert and celebration of local food on May 25 from 7–11 p.m. at the Inverness County Centre for the Arts. Proceeds support the non-profit’s mission of increasing the viability of Cape Breton’s local food producers and improving Cape Bretoners’ access to a wide variety of fresh, local food.

Peter LeBlanc, of Front Porch Farm – a Food Hub producer, board member and event organizer explains how the event came about.

“We just want to bring some folks together, so we can share some good food, and hear some swinging blues,” he said.

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Buck Tingley and the Galaxy 500’s, a four-piece Chicago Blues band, will have folks up and dancing with their boogie-woogie style. While Inverness’ own Matthew Fraser Band will kick off the evening with some great tunes.

Concert-goers will be able to choose from a variety of delicious dishes cooked by some of Cape Breton’s best chefs and made with local ingredients from Food Hub farms and fishers. There will also be a raffle featuring items such as preserves, pottery and hand-knitted items donated by Food Hub producers, other local businesses, and artisans.

The event is a great opportunity for restaurant members of the Food Hub to show off their locally inspired and sourced creations.

Contributed photos
Little Rolling Bistro will be one of the participating restaurants in “Good Cheer, Food n’ Blues” on May 25 from 7-11 p.m. at the Inverness County Centre for the Arts.

One of the featured dishes will be crab cakes from the Telegraph House in Baddeck. Chris Oakley, the head chef, now dedicates their whole menu to the fresh amazing products they can buy through the Food Hub. He loves how simple it is to order on-line each week, and the variety of products that are available.

“Since we started to use the Food Hub, our food quality has gone up, locals come here more often and the tourists love our local menu,” Oakley said. “It’s nicer and it feels better to use the local, and it’s important to know we are using the freshest ingredients we can at the Telegraph House.”

With the Food Hub’s fourth season about to kick off on June 1, and a planned expansion for 2018, the fundraiser is very timely.

However, the event is designed not only as a fundraiser, but also to raise awareness around the tradition of supporting local farmers and fishers, and other value-added food businesses in Cape Breton.

“For the abundance in these hills, valleys and oceans have fed us for hundreds of years,” LeBlanc noted. “I do believe it’s time we start valuing that, respecting that and sharing in the wealth together.”

Participating restaurants include: Bite House; Little Rolling Bistro; The Telegraph House; Periwinkle Café; Mermaid Mobile CB; and Markland Resort.

Ingredients were supplied by: Blue Heron Farm – Gardiner Mines; Front Porch Farm – Margaree Forks; Glen Ryan Farm – South West Margaree; Katherine Farm – Roberta; North River Organics – North River; Rural Roots Farm – Margaree Forks; Thyme For Ewe Farm – Millville; Victoria Co-operative Fisheries – Neil’s Harbour; and Celtic Country Market.

Tickets are available at: www.frontporchfarm.ca and at the Mermaid Café in Sydney.

More information on the Food Hub, go to: www.capebretonfoodhub.com or call 902-577-3260.