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

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Traffic is backed up due to a crash on Highway 1. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)
Traffic backs up on Highway 1 westbound in View Royal after crash

First responders are reportedly on the scene in View Royal

A driver stopped by Saanich police following a road rage incident on April 15 was found to be impaired, in violation of a license restriction and in a damaged vehicle. They received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Driver stopped on Pat Bay Highway after road rage reports fails breathalyzer test: police

Several witnesses reported driver to Saanich police, school officer intercepted

Pacific Institution in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media file photo)
Inmate with ties to Victoria dies in Abbotsford institution

Brodie Bingley, who was sentenced for aggravated assault in Maple Ridge died April 13

The site of the proposed rental housing development at 2197 Otter Point Rd. (District of Sooke)
District of Sooke approves development with 77 rental units

New parking lot for John Phillips Memorial Park included in project

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

The District of Sooke will continue to flower with Communities in Bloom. (Pixabay)
Sooke will bud but not bloom in provincial competition

Council scales back participation in Communities in Bloom

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

Most Read