Forage and Cook

Explore and discover the flavours of the forests, fields and shores that surround us. The seasonal and preserved wild and foraged ingredients we use are gathered with care, and respect for the land, here on Vancouver Island. We also source fresh seasonal produce, meat and eggs from local farms, and proudly offer local spirits and sodas.

Red Huckleberry

  • Where to find: Found growing in coastal coniferous forests, and often grows out of rotting logs and stumps. An easy forage as they are abundant and easy to pick.
  • Foraging skill level: Easy. They are abundant and easy to pick.
  • Picking season: July through late August
  • Taste: mild in flavor, similar to a blueberry.
  • Dishes: House salad – Wild berry dressing, Berry Shortcake, Huckleberry Gin cocktail
Forage regions

Saskatoon Berry

  • Where to find: Saskatoon berries are sun lovers. Look for bushes in open forest areas.
  • Foraging skill level: intermediate
  • Picking season: Late June, early July
  • Taste: sweet, nutty, almond flavour.
  • Dishes: house salad – Elk sausage hoagie, wild berry dressing, Sassy mojito cocktail, Vegan cheesecake and chocolate buttercream – wild berry compote.
Forage regions

Chanterelle

  • Where to find: On Vancouver Island Chanterelles are found growing in dense second generation Douglas fir stands.  They prefer damp mossy areas and are often found growing at the edges of salal.
  • Foraging skill level: difficult
  • Picking season: Late fall, once the rain starts.
  • Taste: Lightly fruity, almost apricot like.
  • Dishes: Wild mushroom pate, Mushroom Ragout, Grilled Striploin – foraged mushroom demi glace.
Forage regions

Morel

  • Where to find: Morels love a good burn. Seek them out in areas where there was a forest fire or slash burn in the previous summer.
  • Foraging skill level: difficult
  • Picking season: March – June.
  • Taste: earthy, nutty, and woodsy.
  • Dishes: Wild mushroom pate, Mushroom Ragout, Grilled Striploin – foraged mushroom demi glace.
Forage regions

Sea Asparagus

  • Where to find: Coastal salt marshes and high tide lines.
  • Foraging skill level: intermediate.
  • Picking season: Late spring and summer
  • Taste: crispy with a salty flavor and they can be eaten raw in salads, steamed, boiled or sauteed
  • Dishes: Humboldt Squid – pickled sea asparagus. Salmon burger – pickled sea asparagus.
Forage regions

FAQ’s

Do you have vegan menu items?

Yes! View our full menu here

Do you offer catering?

Not at this time.

Do you have gift cards?

Yes! Gift cards that are valid at The Modern and Gabriel’s Cafe can be purchased on our main site.

Where to find us?

Come visit us on Commercial Street in downtown Nanaimo.

221 Commercial St,
Nanaimo, BC V9R 5G8

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