The city of Nanaimo has plenty of restaurants that have made good names for themselves, but for our money one of the very best is a tiny hole-in-the-wall bistro tucked away on Commercial Street. Owned and operated by two very well-qualified chefs, 2 Chefs Affair offers up fresh, innovative and tasty food in a casual setting. We have enjoyed lunch there several times and have never been disappointed.
Daniel Caron and Tammy Deline have a combined total of more than 40 years as culinary geniuses with some of Canada’s top flight restaurants. In October, 2010 they realized what seems to be the dream of every professional chef we have ever met – they opened their own restaurant and, in the process, brought a fresh new attitude towards breakfast and lunch ‘out’ in the harbour city.
Wisely, the pair has settled on varied – but not huge – menus. That concept goes hand-in-hand with the size of the place – it seats only 27. They offer mouthwatering breakfasts and lunches with different twists that keep regulars coming back and make new fans of first-time diners.
The ambiance at 2 Chefs Affair is very warm and casual. The open kitchen allows diners to watch the staff at work, always an entertainment in itself. The wait staff is friendly, more than happy to tell you about the day’s specials, and very efficient.
Our visits for lunch have included a variety of specials as well as the menu standards like the Slim Affair house salad, a delicious combination of smoked chicken, artisan lettuce, blue cheese, crispy bacon and hard boiled egg with a yogurt/roasted garlic/herb dressing – sounds too good to be good for you, doesn’t it? The French onion and mushroom tart and the Cheating Heart – a sandwich featuring house-braised beef with Monterey jack cheese grilled on fresh sourdough – have also become perennial favourites with us. The home-made soups are always flavourful and often feature surprisingly good combinations of unusual ingredients.
Those with a sweet tooth need to be sure to leave room for dessert – Tammy’s background as a trained pastry chef shines with the fresh daily offerings of a variety of decadent treats. And, good news for those on gluten-free regimens – her sweet assortment includes pastries, cookies and bread that fall in to that category.
2 Chefs Affair also features a well-stocked take out Grab and Go freezer with options for those who appreciate good food but may have neither the time nor inclination to prepare it themselves. Soups, pastas, pasta sauces and a wide variety of other options in the freezer make eating well a possibility even for the most harried cook (or non-cook, as the case may be).
Truly, the 2 Chefs Affair slogan – For the Love of Food – fits this place like a glove. There can be little doubt that Tammy and Daniel love what they do, and there can certainly be no doubt at all that their loyal customers keep returning for just that – the love of food.
2 Chefs Affair is located at 123B Commercial Street in downtown Nanaimo. Further information about their hours of operation and menus can be found at:
Price rating: $ – $$ , depending on whether it is breakfast or lunch
GPS co-ordinates are:
Lat. 49.165895234364385 Long. -123.93698751926422
N 49 09.954 W 123 56.219