Chef Katrina Archibald stands with a chalk wall behind her at the 10 Acres at the Pier restaurant in Sidney.  Don Denton photo

Chat with Chef Katrina Archibald

10 Acres Executive Sous Chef talks ingredients, food, and menus

  • Mar. 17, 2021 7:30 a.m.

– Story by Susan Lundy Photography by Don Denton

Nice to meet you, Katrina. Where were you born, and where did you grow up?

I was born in Victoria and raised on the Saanich Peninsula. I grew up attending local schools, and playing sports at Panorama Recreation. In fact, where I used to play hockey and get my skates sharpened is minutes away from the 10 Acres Farm now. Many of the people I grew up with on the Peninsula now have local businesses or are part of family-run farms that support Victoria. I have been fortunate enough to travel through Canada and to a few other countries, but when I come back to the island and drive along the Pat Bay Highway—past our communities and farms, looking out over the water—I feel so appreciative that this is where I am from and who I am representing.

What are a couple of the highlights of growing up on the Peninsula that have helped you in your career?

Honestly, I never realized growing up, or even when I started pursuing my passion for the culinary industry, how the Peninsula would later inspire me and my relationship with food, and how I would appreciate being raised here. A highlight for me is the schools I attended. They valued students’ interest in the trades and I was offered programs that helped me learn and build foundational skills for this industry. Another benefit was being surrounded by farmlands and local market stands—it normalized the availability of local products. Most people want to know where their food comes from and trust it was sourced sustainably—something we proudly demonstrate at 10 Acres.

Why did you decide to become a chef and where did you train?

My fascination with cooking started early on. I wanted to make recipes over and over until they turned out successfully. I was motivated to make something without instructions and understand the methods being applied. I honestly didn’t think of it as a career. I just liked the critical thinking that was behind food, and learned that it was fun to channel my competitive nature into cooking. I started pursuing the culinary industry in high school (at Stelly’s Secondary School), frequently looking for opportunities to be involved in kitchens. I continued with the professional cook program at Camosun College, while working in Brentwood, Sidney and then Victoria restaurants to become Red Seal certified by age 19. When I started at 10 Acres, I honestly didn’t know how important this concept of farm to table would become to me. I wasn’t looking for purpose behind what I was doing with food until I realized that a lot of what I have been surrounded by, growing up on the Peninsula, was something to value. I realized that the type of food I wanted to make, and the excitement I wanted to share with others, came from creating food using local ingredients. As I work my way up through different positions, I’m able to continue feeding my passion by connecting where I’m from, expanding my knowledge, and creating innovative dishes with seasonal ingredients.

What is the philosophy behind your food?

Our philosophy at 10 Acres is making food that represents our core values of local and sustainable farming, while demonstrating our attention to and care for quality. This means using fresh ingredients harvested from our crops and ethically raised farm animals from our own farm. What we can’t supply ourselves, we then source from other like-minded farmers, food purveyors and fishermen first. We compost everything we can, returning it to the farm, and creating nutrient-dense soil to use in our fields. Making our own products and choosing to use seasonally available ingredients is what inspires our teams to create innovative dishes and offer attentive service. I can see how 10 Acres’ philosophy motivates our customers and team, and I try to be connected and educate myself about how we can continue producing—or sourcing locally—the best products possible, because one of the amazing outcomes we get is great food!

How do you develop your menus?

We start by thinking about which season we are going into and what it has to offer. We look at which products will be ready for harvest, or which ingredients we have preserved that could bring something special to a new dish. We have a lot of diversity in our kitchen teams at 10 Acres, which means we can incorporate different cultures, techniques and unique flavours with our locally sourced ingredients. Overall, our menus are about building favourites that will bring guests back, and, at the same time, trying out new innovative dishes.

What is your favourite cuisine to cook ?

What I really like doing is practicing food preservation, like dehydrating and pickling. At our farm, we often grow large volumes of crops that we’ll use fresh. But to make sure we are not wasteful, we also need to find ways to keep anything we aren’t able to use immediately. This is also important in colder seasons, enabling us to supply ourselves with our farm ingredients when there is less available to harvest. I look at various cuisines and the styles in which food is preserved and how I could replicate something similar.

Where do your ingredients come from?

We have a diverse selection of crops that we grow at our farm. We believe in putting our energy into these crops rather than growing everything and having sub-standard products. There are many local farms that focus their fields on successfully producing one outstanding crop, and we like to support them because this also allows us to save our fields or greenhouses for our curated crops. For instance, we choose Silver Rill to supply our restaurants with corn thought the summer. We also work very closely with Berryman Brothers Farm to supply our fresh meats. And there are many island-based fishermen, from whom we source a variety of seafood.

When are you happiest at work?

Countless little things make me appreciate where I am and doing what I love, such as seeing the final outcome from raw ingredients into a finished dish and sharing it with my team. Being in the middle of a busy dinner service and seeing everyone working together, focussed on putting forward their best. When someone takes the time to help me develop a new skill and I later find myself doing the same.

When are you happiest outside of work?

I laugh at this a little, because I love combing through cookbooks with a cup of tea. But when I’m not investing my time in cooking, being outside—especially walking by the water, no matter how cold the day is—also makes me happy.

What is the best advice you can offer or have been offered on local food?

Connect. It’s about sharing knowledge and ideas. This is the best way to find new stores and suppliers and to learn about what the Peninsula and Vancouver Island have to offer. Building relationships in the community, especially at local businesses, and exploring what others are doing can be inspiring. You don’t need to make drastic changes to feel like you’re contributing and supporting. Replace one of your household staples with a similar product made locally. Not only will it taste great, but it will lead you to discover other favourites.

This story originally ran in PEARL Magazione.

DiningFoodrestaurant

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

A black bear tries to get at a bird feeder at a home near Williams Lake. (Laura Ulrich photo)
Managing bear attractants a top priority in B.C. for 2021: Conservation Officer Service

Garbage, fruit trees, bird feeders, compost and livestock are common attractants for bears

B.C. Cattlemen’s Association general manager Kevin Boon. (B.C. Cattlemen’s Association photo)
COVID, BSE, water access and private land rights: B.C. Cattlemen’s general manager weighs in

Kevin Boon said positive aspect of pandemic is more people interested in where their food comes from

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

Most Read