January 04, 2008 | Tips from Us >
Nelson, Culinary Tours & Schools
Nelson is known as a funky little town with quirky shops and great dining. But who would have guessed that it now has its very own fabulous specialty food store AND cooking school?
Culinary Conspiracy Specialty Food Store was opening in the summer of 2006 by Barb Williams and Chris Dawson. The objective of the shop was to provide the best selection of specialty food products combined with product knowledge that would ultimately empower the buyer to make correct choices.
I put that lofty goal to the test when I visited the shop and asked Chris about the shop's philosophy. He told me about their quest for products that not only taste good and perform well, but that are esthetically pleasing to look at. He walked me through some of their new product lines, including seasoned skewers that impart flavour into the food skewered onto them, spice rub papers which allow foods to absorb the spice mixtures simply by sitting on the paper, and novelties such a backpackers chocolate-- premium chocolate blends encased in gorgeous wax casings to preserve it for long periods of time.
Beyond the incredibly diverse product lines in the shop, it's the demonstration kitchen right in the shop that is the showstopper.
Chris and Barb envisioned that having local chefs conduct cooking classes and demonstrations right in the shop was an integral part of the culinary experience. They have partnered with chefs from 57 restaurants and eateries in the Nelson area with weekly classes covering everything from Thai and Chinese cooking to desserts and chocolate.
For me, the shop was a gold mine of new and exciting specialty food products perfect for tucking into Christmas stockings.