Founded in 2011 by Shani Farboud and Penny de Waal, Fat Chili Farm located in the Cobble Hill area is well known in the Cowichan Valley as a grower of chilies, and producer of all things hot-sauce as well as hummous, salsa and other freshly made prepared foods. They have been a fixture at the local farmers' markets for many years. Their unique varieties and high quality of product has built them an excellent reputation in the community. Penny states that she loves what she does because it allows her creative freedom. It is this very freedom that has inspired Fat Chili’s new line of freeze dried products: West Coast Kitchen.
Shani and Penny believe that their original products can be enjoyed by anyone, but with their West Coast Kitchen line they hope to target a far more specific audience. They offer a range of freeze dried meals and snacks, from Dill and Lentil Basmati Rice to Guacamole to Italian Sausage and Quinoa, perfect for, as Penny explains, “hiking in the wilderness, hunting and fishing or camping or working in remote places”. All you need to do is add boiling water, and you will have access to meals crafted with Shani’s 30 years of culinary experience - sure to satisfy the hunger brought on by physical activity in the great outdoors.
Penny says that when they first moved to the area, they saw dehydrated and freeze dried meals, but none that were produced with local ingredients, which is what spawned their initial idea for West Coast Kitchen.
But the local ingredients aren’t the only factor that sets their products apart from the rest. Taste and nutritional value are far better in freeze dried food as opposed to dehydrated foods; the weight of freeze dried is very low, and perfect for travel; shelf life can be up to 25-30 years when packaged and stored correctly. And of course, West Coast Kitchen from Fat Chili Farm offers unbeatable quality, flavour and uniqueness, just as with their hot sauces people have come to love over the years.
West Coast Kitchen Products can be found at Farmers Markets in Duncan (year round), Sidney, Nanaimo, and Parksville, at www.fatchilifarm.com/west-coast-kitchen, and of course online at the region’s only online farmers’ market: www.cow-op.ca.