The Not-So-Secret Ingredient That Makes the PEI Fall Flavours Festival Outstanding

The not-so-secret ingredient that has earned The PEI Fall Flavours Festival and Canada’s Food Island a renowned reputation nationally and internationally? LOCAL, of course. No matter which communities you explore while visiting PEI, it quickly becomes apparent that at its heart, this Island thrives because it embraces the passion and skills of its people, celebrates the local ingredients from its soils and waters, and honours its culture and traditions.

Photo Credit: Stephanie McQuaid (@theredheadroamer via IG)

The Festival proudly showcases every facet of ‘local’ the Island has to offer during the bounty of the fall harvest season. So, whether you’re checking out a Signature or Culinary Event, taking part in a Culinary Adventure, or partaking in the Restaurant Dining Program, be on the lookout for these celebrated locals:

Local Chefs

Chef Emily McKeown of 511 West | Photo Credit: Canada’s Food Island

PEI is fortunate to have a bevy of talented local chefs from tip-to-tip that are dedicated to sourcing ingredients locally and showcasing them in creative and classic dishes. At the Festival, our Island’s chefs can be found catering Signature and Culinary Events and serving up fall-inspired menus as part of the Restaurant Dining Program.

Chef Irwin MacKinnon, 2018 Canadian Chef of the Year | Photo Credit: Canada’s Food Island

Want the chance to meet some of our local chefs in person? Check out these events:

An Exclusive Evening at Red Shores with Chef Ned Bell, September 11th – co-hosted by Red Shores’ Executive Chef Andrew Smith

The Ultimate Chef’s Table with Todd Perrin, September 26th co-hosted by Chef Kyle Panton, Executive Chef at Sim’s Steakhouse and Oyster Bar

By The Sea, Under the Harvest Moon, September 28thChef Jesse MacDonald, PEI’s 2018 & 2019 Chic Chef of the Year and Executive Chef at Rodd Crowbush Golf & Beach Resort, will join visiting Chefs Antonio Park and Angus An, in creating an unforgettable evening showcasing Eastern PEI ingredients and a few Far East flavours.

Chef’s Island, October 4th featuring 10 of the Island’s most talented chefs in open kitchen stations, serving up their twists on classic PEI ingredients and co-hosted by Chef Irwin MacKinnon, 2018 Canadian Chef of the Year and Executive Chef at Papa Joe’s Restaurant, and Chef Corbin

Local Producers

The Larkin Bros. | Photo Credit: Canada’s Food Island

Our Island’s farmers, fishers, and artisan food producers are the reason PEI is known as Canada’s Food Island. Their passion, skill, innovation, and collaborative spirit are at the heart of what makes Prince Edward Island a must-visit for foodies and given the Island a renowned reputation across the continent and beyond for its exceptional shellfish, potatoes, beef, and many other products.

Bryan Maynard of Farm Boys Inc. | Photo Credit: Canada’s Food Island

You’ll enjoy the harvests of our Island producers’ hard work and dedication no matter what event, adventure or restaurant you visit during Fall Flavours, but for a chance to meet some of them, check out these Fall Flavours events:

Supreme of the South Shore, September 14th meet poultry farmers Harvey and Paul Larkin of the Larkin Bros., and enjoy dishes showcasing their high-quality chicken and turkey at this new farm-to-table Culinary Event

The PEI International Shellfish Festival, September 20th -22ndmeet some of the fishers that harvest the world’s best lobsters, mussels, oysters, clams, quahogs, and other shellfish

Farm Day in the City, October 6ththe largest outdoor market and street festival of the year, celebrating all things local with over 160 Island vendors

One of our many Culinary Adventures  – meet and learn the ropes (or traps!) from organic farmers, lobster fishers, brewmasters and/or other producers

Local Shops & Retailers

Photo Credit: Canada’s Food Island

While you’re visiting the Island for Fall Flavours, be sure you make time to check out the local shops, markets and farm stands that showcase Island products. For those bigger grocery shops, be sure to check out Sobeys, where you’ll discover plenty of products grown and made in PEI – from fresh produce to Atlantic Beef, garlic spread, cheese, and more.

You’ll even have a chance to check out shops that showcase all things local at some of our Festival’s events and adventures:

Savour Victoria, September 21stroam this historic village and check out the Island Chocolates shop, The Studio Gallery, and other local gems. 

Island Flavours with Culinary Bootcamps, September 21stvisit the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market and Liquid Gold with your chef instructor, then prepare an Island feast under her tutelage at the Culinary Institute of Canada

Oktoberfest, September 28thdiscover an array of the Island’s most beloved and creative food entrepreneurs at the new Founders’ Food Hall & Market, while enjoying German food, drink, and activities

Local Restaurants

The Wheelhouse in Georgetown

Ask any Islander for their advice on where to eat in PEI, and you’re bound to get a list long enough to keep you going for a month! That’s because PEI is blessed with an abundance of top-notch restaurants, cafes, pubs, breweries, and other eateries – far more than you’d expect from an Island with a population of just over 150,000. Then again, we do host over 1.5 million visitors each year on Canada’s Food Island and most of them want to experience our exceptional food and warm hospitality.

You can discover some of the Island’s most beloved restaurants with our Restaurant Dining Program or if you want a restaurant experience combined with a Festival event, check out these events:

Seaside Sunset Dinner Series at the Wheelhouse in Georgetown, September 11th & 18th – an intimate 5-course dinner 

Buon Apetito, September 18thenjoy a 4-course meal celebrating Italian flavours and Island ingredients at Piatto Pizzeria and Enoteca in historic downtown Charlottetown

Savour Victoria, September 21st enjoy a roving feast in the village then sit down for dinner at one of three popular restaurants: Beachcombers on the Wharf, The Lobster Barn, or Landmark Oyster House

Harbour Feast, October 5thhead to Peake’s Quay Restaurant & Bar on the Charlottetown waterfront for the patio party of the year and enjoy dishes prepared by local restaurants and a sit-down dinner prepared by Chef Chuck Hughes and the Peake’s team. 

Local Entertainers

Photo Credit: Canada’s Food Island

In addition to being home to exceptionally talented food folk, PEI also boasts a plentitude of immensely skilled musicians, storytellers, comedians, and other creatives. They share their talents and gifts generously at venues across the Island and are an integral part of the PEI Fall Flavours Festival experience. Where they’re playing traditional Island tunes, bluesy songs, or party covers, or making you laugh until your cheeks hurt, our Island entertainment is the perfect pairing to your food and drink experience. You’ll be treated to entertainment at every Fall Flavours Signature and Taste of Coastal Communities event, as well as many of the Culinary Events, but here are a few events where the entertainment takes centre stage:

Beef N’ Blues, September 13thenjoy a roving ‘tour-de-beef’ on the Summerside waterfront accompanied by the soulful and dance-inducing tunes of The West End Blues Band

The PEI International Shellfish Festival, September 20th to 22nd – the biggest kitchen party of the year, the Shellfish Festival packs a big punch with a line-up of entertainers that includes Signal Hill, the Big Bad Party Band, and The Love Junkies.

The Great PEI Bake-Off, September 28th a PEI spin on the British baking show phenomenon combined with the comedy and music duo of Patrick Ledwell and Mark Haines makes for a night filled with cake and laughs.

Taste of North Rustico, September 27tha true Acadian kitchen party on the wharf at North Rustico, one of PEI’s most charming fishing villages. Bring your dancing shoes and your appetite! 

The PEI International Shellfish Festival | Photo Credit: Al Douglas

Fall Flavours Toolkit

To request access to the Fall Flavours toolkit, please submit the form below:

I already have my access code I don't have my access code