Hudson’s on First in Duncan

Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt
Disclosure: Review — Our meal was compliments of Tourism Vancouver Island. Views are my own. Please review the Policy & Disclosure section for further information.

Situated in the bountiful Cowichan Valley (Cowichan Bay being North America’s first Cittaslow designated region) Duncan is at the epicentre of farm-to-table goods on Vancouver Island and Chef Daniel Hudson is definitely taking advantage with his new restaurant Hudson’s on First.

Hudsons's on First

Fresh off an appearance on Top Chef Canada where he competed for five weeks, Chef Hudson is now back at Hudson’s on First, a charming fine-dining restaurant inside a restored heritage home in Duncan. Our group popped in on a Tuesday night to sample some his locally-inspired menu and to chat with the chef whose motto is: “I do what I know and what I know, I do well.”

Hudsons's on First Hudsons's on First Hudsons's on First

Hudsons's on First Hudsons's on First

Having started his career back home in England, Chef Hudson often infuses the lunch menu with British classics like bangers and mash, fish and chips, and other hearty dishes. Ingredients come from around the Cowichan Valley, which Chef Hudson calls “the best place on Earth”. Local producers send him lists of their freshest ingredients and he places an order with them delivering fresh seafood, organic greens, and whatever else is ripe and ready.

Our Dinner Tasting Menu

Hudsons's on First Hudsons's on First
Tomato croquette with prosciutto, fennel mayo and
Dungeness crab salad with pink grapefruit, fennel mayonnaise, fennel seed cracker

Hudsons's on First
Rabbit terrine with plum mustard, house-made pickles, toasted rye

Hudsons's on First
Day Boat Halibut with cashew and coco nib crust, boulangere potato, wilted greens

Hudson's on First
Our main course was followed up with an apricot and earl grey gelato then a chocolate mouse (with caramel inside) and house-made sponge toffee.

Hudson’s on First prepares the best of the region for brunch, lunch, and dinner services. There’s a private dining room upstairs with WIFI, a lounge with hand-crafted cocktails and BC wines, and a patio that is just opening up for the season.

Hudsons's on First Hudsons's on First

Driving along the highway in Duncan, at about the half-way point between Nanaimo and Victoria, the big box stores and fast food joints that flank the road act as decoys to the untrained eye. The next time you’re in the area I urge you to skip the drive-through window, slow things down, and enjoy the very best the region has to offer thanks to Chef Hudson.

Follow Hudson’s on First on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

2 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Dan HudsonSaturday, May 4th, 2013 — 9:11am PDT

    It was a pleasure t5o cook for you guys and im honoured with such a beautiful review

  2. Christine SmithSaturday, May 4th, 2013 — 11:50am PDT

    While I loved the article, and I agree Hudson’s on First is amazing, there is an error in your article..North America’s first designated Cittaslow is not the Cowichan Valley, but “Cowichan Bay”..there is a difference as the Cowichan Valley definately doesn’t fall into Cittaslow’s mandate…only the little community of Cowichan BAY

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