Forest for Dinner is a wildcrafting company founded in 2015 by husband and wife Benjamin Patarin and Célia Auclair. We bring high-quality wild food products harvested from the wilderness of Vancouver Island into the retail space and local food and beverage industry. Our company is built upon a shared love of nature, wild food, and decades of experience foraging all over the world. Living outdoors has always been part of our lives. Travelling the world, we spent many years picking fruit and gathering wild food. Our shared desire for constant learning keeps us growing, improving, and inspired. When we finally settled in Canada in 2012, we soon became familiar with Canada’s rich diversity of mushrooms and other wild foods. Combined with learning that many Canadians aren’t aware of the beauty and bounty of native wild foods that surround them, we were compelled to create Forest for Dinner. In 2020, Forest for Dinner joined Vancouver Island’s modern food processing hub, the Dock +, right on the waterfront in the heart of Port Alberni. This is where we process and package small-batch wild-harvested mushrooms, greens, berries, and spices and create amazingly high-end gourmet preserves. Every year, we team up with many foragers from all over. They all share a passion for wild food, no matter their diverse backgrounds and origins. We feel honoured to partner with harvesters who share our core values. We offer a safe, respectful and inclusive work environment and invite all our collaborators to do the same. We believe that the delicate and unique wild foods that grow in the vast wildernesses of Vancouver Island deserve to be experienced and tasted by more people. Our vision is to help people reconnect with the bountiful nature surrounding them and improve their food sovereignty. Through education, experience, and flavours, we seek to transmit our passion for foraging and eating wild food. Forest for Dinner is proactive in finding ways to help make the world a more respectful and caring place—that includes the ways we run our business and create products. We’re always on the lookout to improve our practices and minimize our impact on the land.
Our expert foragers carefully gather a variety of seasonal specialities including wild mushrooms, greens, berries, and spices from across Vancouver Island. All our goods are hand-picked with careful attention to harvesting practices. We harvest in season and are careful to forage only the wild edible species we can sustainably collect. As we follow the harvest season, the vast majority of our foraging is done in second-growth forests, clear-cuts, hydro lines and meadows: this allow us to increase the value of land negatively impacted by prior human activities. Our artisans then process and package these goods into fresh, frozen, dried & preserved products. For the Fielberg festival, we would offer a selection of 7 jams & jellies, 4 pickled & marinated products, as well as various types of wild dried mushrooms plants and spices. We will also sell our new line of wildcrafted salt & sugar featuring wild food botanical of our region.