Planning a trip to California’s Channel Islands? It may not have occurred to you to think about what you will eat. Don’t worry. Just call Channel Island Provisioners.
The Channel Islands are gorgeous and rugged and entirely lacking in services like stores and restaurants.
You’ll find plenty of scenic overlooks to park and picnic on, when visiting the Channel Islands, but unless you are packing your own lunch, you will go hungry.
The National Parks have some pretty strict regulations about what goes in and comes out of the islands. No garbage can be left behind. Not even a cough drop wrapper. Whatever gets brought in, gets brought back out.
If you are traveling to certain areas (such as Scorpion’s Landing on Santa Barbara, pictured here) you will be brought in and out by skiff, and your gear (including your lunch) will need to be carried uphill to said campsites and scenic overlooks, and back out again. The last thing you want to have to deal with is carrying a bunch of random plastic bits of trash out. Don’t even think about leaving it behind. Fines are hefty and with cause. This is unspoiled land and home to many creatures who would suffer. “A fed fox is a dead fox,” is what our guides advised.
He may be smacking his lips, but I’m not sharing with this guy.
This is where Channel Island Provisioners becomes your best friend. They specialize in preparing healthy, hearty (you will be hungry if you are hiking and kayaking, my friend!) and gorgeous locally sourced, gourmet meals for Channel Island visitors. Packages include breakfasts and lunch, and portions are generous. There’s many choices on the extensive menu. Expect to pay around $33 pp for two memorable, well packed meals.
We started with a choice of breakfast sandwich wrapped in recyclable brown paper and tied with recyclable twine, or fruit and gluten free granola. Breakfast is a part of the package and important because Channel Island Provisioners knows that a fuller tummy is less likely to feel seasick on the crossing.
Lunch sandwiches and salads are packed in a cooler or lunch tote with reusable water bottles, snap lid containers and gorgeous thrifted linens and silverware. Upon your return the packaging, linens and silverware will be collected from the boat.
But oh this food. Can we talk about the food again?
Each meal is prepared lovingly and with the freshest local ingredients. In my (gluten free) case, care was taken to label all the ingredients and allergies were handled without any issues as well. Chef Neal knows what he is doing and knows how people are best fed when on active outdoors and boating trips.
I can honestly say that the fresh beet, grilled chicken, quinoa and goat cheese kale salad with pepitas and dried fruit that I ate on Santa Barbara Island, was the best kale salad I’ve ever had. I wish I had another serving right now.
Thanks to Ventura County Coast for introducing me to Chef Neal and arranging for this outing as part of a recent press trip.