Horn, Goodwin among Western Canada's top foodies under 40

Cowichan chefs Matt Horn (above) and Marisa Goodwin are making an impact in the industry. - Andrew Leong
Cowichan chefs Matt Horn (above) and Marisa Goodwin are making an impact in the industry.
— image credit: Andrew Leong

The Cowichan Valley consumes two spots in Western Living magazine's fifth annual 40 Foodies under 40.

Matt Horn, 31, and Marisa Goodwin, 35, are on the prestigious list for their impacts on the industry.

"We're half a decade into this exercise of scouring the west in search of the young turks who are shaping (and shaking up) the way we eat, shop and drink, and narrowing the list to just 40 has become progressively more difficult each year,'' reads the magazine's prelude.

Horn is the chef/owner of the Cowichan Pasta Company in Mill Bay that produces such intriguing products as stinging nettle rotini and wakame spaghetti while Goodwin is categorized as a producer with Organic Fair Inc. of Cobble Hill that ships chocolate, coffee, gourmet foods, spices and more across Canada.

The majority of those on the list are from the urban centres of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Winnipeg so it's a definite coup for Horn and Goodwin to be included among the few from rural communities.

It's not only gourmet chefs from traditional restaurant settings that are on the list, but distillers, brewers and mixologists, Goodwin pointed out.

"It's one of those lists, everyone in the food industry, we all look at it,'' said Goodwin. "There's so many people on the list that are doing interesting things. I do feel honoured.''

"It's cool being included,'' added Horn. "There's a lot of big names that are in it. It's nice to be recognized for Western Canada.''

Horn is just entering his third year with his company. "It's going well, slowly getting our products out there,'' he said.

Horn purchases many ingredients from Cowichan Bay such as Hilary's Cheese and seafood to make his products. He usually attends one farmer's market a week while seven Country Grocer stores and 10 stores from Duncan south now sell Cowichan Pasta Company items.

"I don't have a storefront,'' Horn said. "I just have a commercial kitchen I use.

"I've been working in the industry for about 15 years, just working in the restaurant business. I finally wanted to do something on my own.''

Goodwin is originally from Vancouver and has been in Cobble Hill since 2005.

She's been into a little bit of everything over the years from linguistics to clinical herbal medicines to business, but food has always been a common denominator.

"It's the classic situation of where you learned to cook in the kitchen and I've been in the kitchen since I was a little kid,'' she said.

Goodwin's grandmother worked in the chocolate industry for Laura Secord during the Second World War, thus her obvious connection to chocolate.

"I knew I was going to go into business for myself and food would be part of what I did,'' she said.

"I have a desire to make things.''


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