Power Lunch: Hudson’s On First

Hudson’s On First | BCBusiness
Chef Hudson elevates classic British dishes by using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

A mid-Island haunt cooks up British classics in the City of Totems 

An hour’s drive up the Malahat from Victoria, Andrea and Daniel Hudson have converted a historic home on a street populated with retirees into a destination restaurant that has put Duncan on Vancouver Island’s culinary map.

Classically trained in French cuisine, chef Daniel Hudson melds locally sourced ingredients into British classics: venison cottage pie, fish and chips and bangers and mash can all be found on the menu’s regular rotation.

Nestled between Nanaimo and Victoria, Duncan is still a sleepy mill town with no more than a few thousand residents. But as a cultural hub for the Cowichan Valley, it is less reliant on the region’s major forestry employers than neighbouring towns. It has a reputation for artisan agriculture and a steady influx of retired professionals and young families have reconfigured the area’s demographics. The Hudsons have tapped into that crowd’s yearning for fresh, local food in Canada’s warmest region (hudsonsonfirst.ca).

BEST TABLE Grab a quiet seat by the south-facing window in the four-table front parlour room, which features much of the house’s original detailing.

DRINK UP Andrea Hudson recommends the house Hudson Quince Fizz, a mix of quince purée, Appleton rum, Sprite and freshly squeezed orange juice.

MUST-TRY ORDER Dungeness crab from Cowichan Bay, with organic potato terrine made from spuds from Coat’s Corner farm. Owner Andrea Hudson recommends pairing this with a 2012 Averill Creek Pinot Grigio.

INSIDER TIP The blue mussels and red snapper come direct from Cowichan Bay’s coves and tidal flats, and pair nicely with Pinot Gris and Ortega wines from the Valley’s sheltered hills.