VIU restaurant featured as participant during inaugural Dine Out Nanaimo food festival

Culinary Student pouring vegetables into hot pan to sear them, creating short burst of flames in the pan

VIU Culinary Arts student Eikmeer Singh prepares a dramatic dish in the kitchen at the Nanaimo campus. 

Photo: Vancouver Island University

January 13, 2023 - 10:45am

What: Dine Out Nanaimo Festival, featuring VIU’s Discovery Room 

When: January 20 to February 5, 2023

Where: The Discovery Room full-service learning restaurant at VIU

Nanaimo, BC: The Discovery Room at Vancouver Island University (VIU) will be featured as a participant during the inaugural, multi-day food festival known as Dine Out Nanaimo.

Taking place from January 20 to February 5, the festival is about celebrating food and drink together. The Discovery Room, VIU’s full-service learning restaurant staffed by Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts students, is one of more than 30 participating restaurants in the region

“The Nanaimo food and beverage service scene is ready to level up,” said festival founder Sarah Wallbank. “The momentum is building and it’s a great time to optimize the trajectory to allow quality, independent, unique and authentic establishments to flourish.”

Wallbank said the festival not only serves to create excitement and fill seats during a typically slow season, “it also attracts customers to try something new and reaffirms customer support for favourite spots. It gels operators as a community enjoying co-prosperity and inspires confidence in burgeoning entrepreneurs."

Having the Discovery Room at VIU as a participant helps to build on these ideas, she said.

“VIU is very much a keystone to the hospitality industry,” said Wallbank. “The university teaches foundational standards that will influence food and beverage service and management for decades to come. The festival is a natural platform for VIU to express its purpose as a means of education, as a beacon in the community and as a supporter of the businesses and industries for which it provides education.”

Buddy Wolfe, Chair of VIU’s Culinary Arts programs, said the Discovery Room is offering a series of lunch and dinner offerings for the full duration of the festival.

“Learning by doing, Hospitality Management and Culinary Students together serve up a contemporary dining experience,” he added. “By experiencing the Discovery Room, your support fuels our students’ growth and education.”

No tickets are needed in advance to participate in Dine Out Nanaimo, although reservations are strongly recommended. Each participating establishment designs prix fixe menus between $20 and $65. Prices are per person and exclude taxes and gratuities.

“Dine Out Nanaimo is an amazing partnership of local restaurants across the regional district that believe in the importance and the community of food and the shared experience of dining,” said Wolfe. “It’s a great opportunity for people to get out and support the Nanaimo culinary scene and to try some new restaurants that are all offering feature menus throughout the promotion.”

A full list of participating restaurants and further information is available on Dine Out Nanaimo’s website.



Eric Zimmer, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

P: 250.618.7296 | E: | T: @VIUNews

Tags: Culinary Arts | Hospitality Management | In the Community

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