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The best part about cooking a completely new menu every day is that as chefs we are inspired by what comes in our back door every morning and don't worry about how long a particular fruit or vegetable might be available. Seasonal cooking means that when something is not in season here we don't serve it. The downside of seasonality is that our customers return looking for a particular dish they had at Camille's months or years ago and it is not on the menu. We do take "requests" and with enough notice we can make something special as long as the raw materials are available.
In addition to our main menu there are often specials and usually a five-course chef's tasting menu. Sometimes not. That's the fun yet frustrating part of how we do things here. Check out our Twitter feed (@CamillesDining) for the very latest menu developments.
Some regular features on our daily special sheet and tasting menu might include local spot prawns, dungeness crab, Qualicum Bay scallops, sablefish, wolf eel, Arctic char, rainbow trout, steelhead and wild chinook salmon when it's in season. Game such as pheasant, quail, partridge and even ostrich make regular appearances on our menu. For the red meat lovers, the Island is home to some of the world's finest venison, caribou and elk. We also raise fine pork, chickens and ducks here and they are usually on our menu in some form. Often they are accompanied by bacon. We love bacon. In the winter, there is superb wild boar and bison. Sometimes there is Wild Boar bacon.
From our coastal rain forests there are wild chanterelles and succulent morels plus the even more exotic pine, hedgehog and cauliflower mushrooms. Cowichan Valley salmonberries in May, Metchosin blackberries and Saanich tayberries in June and July, then salal, red gooseberry and wild currants through the fall.
In the spring, we feature fresh fiddleheads, the delicious shoots of young ferns and wild harvested greens such as stinging nettles and claytonia. Sweet, tender, local asparagus, miniature new potatoes and baby beets follow next. Summer brings peaches-and-cream corn on the cob, sugar snap peas and fragrant lavender. In Autumn, the Island abounds with heirloom tomatoes, exotic squashes, plums, pears and pumpkins. Late-picked crabapples and winter sorrel are harvested next, along with Island kiwi fruit and many varieties of grapes. Even in the depths of winter, we have dedicated farmers who grow an amazing array of crops for us