Author Angie Quaale is a Fraser Valley local and the owner of gourmet food store Well Seasoned. Her book, Eating local in the Fraser Valley, takes the reader on a road trip from Langley to Abbotsford to Chilliwack, with stops at Surry, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge and Mission in between. Located just east of Vancouver and just north of the United State, the Fraser Valley is a food-lovers’ paradise. The region embraces eating local, celebrating the food grown in its own backyard, and supporting the people behind it!

We caught up with Angie to ask her a few questions about her book and what makes the Fraser Valley such an inspiring area for local food lovers. Our Q+A is below, along with contest details on how you can win a copy of Angie’s guide to eating local in the Fraser Valley.

TGL: What inspired you to write this book at this time and how did it come together?

AQ: I have owned Well Seasoned in Langley for almost 15 years. Working with, supporting and championing our local producers has been at the core of my business. I love where I live and the people who make it what it is, when Robert McCullough offered me the opportunity to write about what I have been so passionate about for years, how could I possibly say no ?

TGL: What makes the Valley’s local food scene special and why is the region so supportive of local producers.

AQ: Diversity. We have so many incredibly farmers and producers in the valley, it is easy to incorporate so much of it into the way we cook and eat everyday. Wine, beer, dairy, protein, veggies, fruit, eggs, grains etc. I think in the region people support local because it is easy, it is at our fingertips.

TGL: Why is supporting local important to you?

AQ: It is what drives our economy. It is our community. It feeds the people who live and work in the region. It is our identity. I want choice, lots and lots of choice – I don’t want everything I eat and drink to be made in a factory.

TGL: What was your favourite part of writing the book?

AQ: The people. Learning their stories, hearing about their passions, their hopes, dreams, aspirations and foibles. Farmers have hilarious stories and the are really good sports about laughing at themselves. I loved that so many of the opened up to me to share why and how they do what they do everyday AND the fact that so many were so anxious to share a traditional family recipe was amazing.

TGL: The book is full of wonderful photography and illustrations. Can you tell us a bit about working with both Ric Ernst and Kay Slater.

AQ: I have been friends with Ric & Kay for a very long time.  This is the first time Ric and I have collaborated on a project and he was a dream to work with. Ric lives in Langley, a few miles from me, he knows the area and the people we were profiling in the book. He is also a very avid hobby farmer so he came at the project with a great understanding of growing cycles and seasonality, he knew when to visit each place to get a great shot.

Kay is a very talented artist, we have worked together for about 12 years on a ton of different projects for my business. She is from the Fraser Valley and I was thrilled she agreed to this collaboration, I absolutely love the contribution she made to the book

TGL: What were some of your favourite discoveries while writing the book.

AQ: Everyday when I was out working on the book, I had the opportunity to connect with someone new, it was incredible. The people I met and the stories I heard will stay with me forever.

TGL: Do you have a favourite food/drink that is unique to the valley?

AQ: Everything in the book is unique to the valley, it is our identity. I love it all.

TGL: Can you share some of your favourite seasonal foods.

AQ: In the spring I love the fresh greens – asparagus, early season herbs, new potatoes

In the heat of summer, I can’t get enough local berries and through the fall and winter, squash, hearty greens like collards and kale, apples and pears.  All year long I enjoy the local wine, cider and beer made in the Fraser Valley – fortunately, that stuff (mostly) isn’t seasonal.

TGL: Do you have any new favourite recipes since writing the book?

AQ: I cook more now with craft beer than I ever have before.  There are so many fantastic local options, it really adds an interesting dynamic to all kinds of dishes.

TGL: You shine a spotlight on farmers, families, producers and chefs by sharing their stories with the reader.  Why was this important to you?

AQ: Two reasons:  1. I want them to be able to earn a decent living – people need to know about them so they are encouraged to buy from them    2. Food is so personal, I want people to know the real people that get their hands dirty, that grow and prepare our food – it doesn’t come from a supermarket, a person has to grow it and this book gave me an opportunity to make it even more personal by putting a face to a product. I LOVE knowing who grew my food and I know when other people connect with food that way, it changes the way they think about buying food forever.

May 11, 2019

You can win a copy of Eating Local in the Fraser Valley!! To enter: (1) Follow @thegoodlocal on Instagram (2) Like this post (3) Tag a friend in SEPARATE COMMENTS, but as many as you wish. The winner will be chosen at random and notified by DM MAy 17.  Good luck!!

*By entering this giveaway, you agree to release Instagram, and acknowledge that this post is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with, Instagram.