Vol. 6 • Issue 3 • September 2012
TRAVEL • CUISINE
Celebrating the bounty of B.C. Top Chef Canada’s Trevor Bird • Seasonal 56 • Farm-fresh food
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VOLUME 6 • ISSUE 3 • SEPTEMBER 2012
12 16 6 Top Chef Canada’s Trevor Bird reveals
6 COVER STORY: Top Chef Canada runner-up Trevor Bird shows he is a winner after all, thanks to his critically-acclaimed restaurant, Fable.
the roots of his food philosophy and his future plans with his Vancouver restaurant.
10 Tips on how to get your house ready for a fall-themed soirée.
12 Seaonal 56 chef Adrian Beaty
showcases the best of the Fraser Valley in innovative dishes.
21 16 Boots, sweaters, and more. It’s time to embrace the fashion for this fall season.
21 Take a day and explore the bounty of the Fraser Valley with a foodie roadtrip.
2 8 Wine expert John Schreiner explores Vista D’oro Farms and Winery and learns about its spirited history.
From the editor Sarah Massah While there may not be a lot of things people agree on, passion for good food is one of the few things that spans every culture, all ages and genders. Whether it’s a curry or a burger, a delicious meal is something everyone can appreciate. For many of us, food is the ﬁrst thing we think about when waking up and the last thing before going to bed. Planning my meals and thinking about the new recipes I want to try is a part of how I get through the day. I know I’m not the only one who thinks this way, and it just goes to show how important food is to our lives. Despite being a self-proclaimed foodie, it was only recently that I discovered the local farms and farmers markets that dot the landscape of the Fraser Valley. I know. Where have I been? But now that I’ve tried fresh basil – dug up right from the soil a few feet away from the market it’s being sold at – I’ll never go back to the dried stuff again. And it’s not just the taste. It’s talking to the people who grow the food. 4 SEPTEMBER 2012 INDULGE
Not only is it interesting to hear about how they do it, but as I am getting older I’m realizing how important it is to know where your food comes from and how it’s grown. I’m a bit late to the game, clearly, as our feature piece focuses on Top Chef Canada runner-up Trevor Bird, who has been working on the concept of farm-to-table for years. For him, it’s not just a trendy new idea, it’s an integral part of his food philosophy. Locally, chef Adrian Beaty of Seasonal 56 has built his entire reputation on sourcing his ingredients from Fraser Valley farmers. By doing so, he allows diners to see the possibilities that lie right in their own backyards. Sure, supporting local farmers and growers is great for the community and good for our economy, but it deﬁnitely doesn’t hurt that it tastes delicious.
Publisher Rita Walters firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Lance Peverley email@example.com Editor Sarah Massah firstname.lastname@example.org Creative Services Manager Jim Chmelyk email@example.com Contributors Erin Anderson • Robyn Jenkins Grant McAvoy • Jason McRobbie Rob Newell • John Schreiner Indulge is published four times annually by Black Press Suite 200 2411 160 Street Surrey, BC V3S 0C8 Tel: 604-575-5321 Fax: 604-531-7977 www.indulgemagazine.ca Distributed free to select households in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Paid subscriptions available. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. The publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs.
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F a b lcomes e to life
Top Chef Canada runner-up Trevor Bird wins over appetites with locally-focused cuisine by Sarah Massah • photos by Grant McAvoy
alking towards Fable Kitchen on West 4th Avenue, a ﬂurry of activity is visible from the street. A team of sous chefs stand behind the chef’s table, slicing, dicing and chopping in preparation for the night’s dinner service. Hands constantly reach into the cardboard boxes of local and fresh produce, which obscure the left side view of the table, grabbing the items that will be served up to customers in just a few hours. In the midst of it all is chef Trevor Bird, wearing a look of pure concentration that many fans of Food Network’s culinary competition, Top Chef Canada, will remember from his time as a contestant and runner-up. Because of that focus, it takes a few seconds for Bird, completely absorbed in the food and the preparation, to look up and notice a visitor. The restaurant is empty for now, but soon it will be packed with hungry customers, eager to sample the local and seasonal dishes Bird is becoming known for. He offers a seat and asks for a few moments so he can ﬁnish up. It’s no small task. It’s plain to see there is lots of food to prepare for tonight’s dinner service, which, thanks to rave reviews in Vancouver’s daily newspapers and exposure from the television series, will be a busy one, as it has been since opening in late March of this year. Tall and tattooed, Bird sits down at the table, which is covered with scorch marks. “Yeah, they were done with a blowtorch. My ex-girlfriend, God bless her, she did them.” The rustic – and slightly badass – design is all a part of Bird’s vision and a representation of his personality. The walls feature exposed brick, there are exposed beams reclaimed from the historic Cecil Hotel, hand-built wine and preserve shelves and the back wall is covered in chalk art depicting a farm scene. Light bulbs encased in mason jars provide the light and, throughout the restaurant the word Fable is branded in the wood.
photo courtesy Top Chef Canada It’s a big step for the Vancouver transplant. Born in Montreal, Que., 29 years ago, Bird has been in love with food since a young age, working in dozens of restaurants – and a camp in Peru – before moving to Vancouver, where he worked as chef de partie at the Shangri-La Hotel before leaving the position to participate on Top Chef Canada. “I’ve only had one job. I’ve only cooked. I’ve never done anything else,” Bird says. “When I was younger, I worked with a chef – an actual chef, and he showed me what you could do with food, just like making it fancy and taking the time and attention to make it nice, and it just went from there.” Those who watched the reality show know that Bird has no problem making “nice” food. In fact, his dishes and perseverance took him to the ﬁnal stage of Top Chef Canada, before losing the title to B.C.-born chef Carl Heinrich. But sitting in his ﬁrst-ever restaurant, which has received outstanding customer
reviews online, it’s hard to think of Bird as a loser. When asked about his intentions for going on the show, Bird is blunt and to the point. “It was just to help propel me to the next level. I never thought I would get that far. Before, I was just in such a rut. I had no creative output. So it was nice to get back into my own cooking. It was like, oh yeah, I am a creative cook and I’m not just a machine pumping out recipes from a recipe book.” The boost wasn’t the only thing Bird left the show with. During the popular Restaurant Wars episode, where contestants are split into two teams and given the task of creating a restaurant concept and menu, Trevor’s team decided on the farm-to-table concept. While brainstorming for a name, Bird shouted out the ﬁrst thing he could think of. “I said ‘Fable’ as an idea, and everyone thought it was pretty cool. I think it’s a bit corny, to be honest, it’s a bit cheesy, like hey, INDULGE • SEPTEMBER 2012 7
farm-to-table... fable. But everyone liked it. (Judge) Mark McEwan said he was going to steal the name and register it, and I was like uh, no. So I called and registered it.” Now, as the owner and chef of his own Kitsilano restaurant, the Algonquin College grad is serving up ﬂavours that feature B.C.’s bounty in simple dishes packed with ﬂavour. “When I was in Ottawa, after school, that was when I started to get into where my food was coming from, and just getting to know the farmers. I was working on this one farm there called Mariposa, and I would just… do whatever they needed me to do. But they had this really cool organic farm that was totally horse-powered, and that was when I was about 19 or 20, and I always held it really close to myself. I always tried to ﬁnd restaurants that really sourced their ingredients properly and had good relationships with their farmers.” While working at Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island, Bird found that, although the location wasn’t ideal for him, the food philosophy was a perfect ﬁt to his criteria. “They handle all their ingredients from beginning to end, and that’s how you make a good chef: working long hours, handling your ingredients from beginning to end and making it yourself. You don’t just do half a job and pass it on to somebody else. You would have a better product if you could grow it yourself, pick it yourself and cook it yourself but unfortunately, we’re not machines. But you gain so much respect for the food and for the industry when you see how much they work for it, how hard they work for it. It’s not just a hand-off of the ingredient. It closes that gap between where your food comes from and where it goes. “Basically, you have the farmer working… growing the stuff. He picks it, he brings it to the chefs, who are going to… cook it and give it directly to the customer. Everyone at this restaurant, we work stupid hard, stupid hours, and we do it because we like it. It’s not for the money, and it’s not for the women.” So, no Top Chef groupies? “Even if there were, we have no time,” Bird laughs. Although he has an extremely talented team – which includes fellow contestant and “mad scientist” Curtis Luk, whom he met on the show – maintaining the standards he has set out is an arduous task but one that Bird is clearly willing to suffer for.
“I personally have a lot of beliefs in food ethics and where food should come from and where food should go. I’m not one to push it into somebody’s face like religion. We’re a farm-to-table restaurant and that’s great, but I don’t like giving a giant huge novel of a menu stating where each ingredient is from. “It’s a very simple menu and if people are interested and they want to know more, just ask about it and we can talk for hours. But a lot of diners, unfortunately, don’t really care about where their food is coming from. And I want to try and gear them into a direction where they’re actually eating ethical, and good choices, without knowing it. “Hopefully as a chef, I can inﬂuence the way people are eating and in a direction we can take in our future.” Looking at the menu at Fable Kitchen, it’s easy to see why people are so eager to sample the dishes that transform local ingredients into exotic and enticing dishes. For example, the play on canned tuna:
Hopefully, as a chef, I can inﬂuence the way people are eating and in a direction we can take in our future
8 SEPTEMBER 2012 INDULGE
fresh albacore tuna, mixed with lemon conﬁt, baby potatoes and olive oil, so soft it can be spread on crackers or bread, all packed into a mason jar. It’s all about going with the concept of under-promise, over-deliver, Bird explains. “That way, expectations are met. Everything on the menu is what it is, it just has a lot more technique and a lot more drive behind it than what it might say.” While he admits ﬁnding top-quality produce in B.C. takes minimal effort, taking those ingredients and putting them together for his menu was another story. Right until the last few days of the opening, Bird was scribbling concepts and ideas on paper, working on creating the perfect menu. “I had no idea what I was doing. It was actually only three or four days before the opening. This process has been the most stressful thing I’ve done in my life. And I just wanted to cook. But when you’re opening a restaurant, that’s the last thing on your mind. You have to worry about walls, and electricians and people showing up on time and what you are going to do with everything and the lights. But it turned out. Everything works out in the end, you just have to wait for it.” Now that he has put his own concept in motion, Bird has no intention of giving it up. Part chef, part businessman, he knows the ﬁckle nature of critics and customers alike and hopes to propel Fable past being the “hot, trendy new thing” and creating a brand that has longevity and presence in Vancouver – a difﬁcult feat ﬁrst season Top Chef winner Dale MacKay can attest to. The celebrated chef closed both his restaurants, Ensemble and Ensemble Tap, in late August. “This is like the life goal of mine, and to just have it die off… you can’t be stagnant. You have to embrace opportunities and continue to do anything that anyone throws at you and search for it. You have to create a sustainable business as opposed to just running a restaurant that is going to open and shut its doors in a few years because it’s the hot, new thing, which I’m pretty nervous about. A lot of restaurants open up and they’re super trendy and everyone loves them and then the next year, they’re done because everybody abandons them for whatever reason. And I don’t know it yet, but I can only hope it doesn’t happen here.” For now, Bird has taken the determination and creativity that got him to the ﬁnale of Top Chef Canada and is pouring it into Fable. But, he admits, there may be a few more challenges he will partake in. “The more you push your threshold, the more you can take. There will deﬁnitely be a few more competitions in my future.” i
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hile it may be sad at ﬁrst to pack up the patio furniture from the deck and prepare for the cooler temperatures of fall, there is still fun to be had. From mid-September right up to the holidays, why not make the most of the season with an autumn-themed party. There are many images that fall conjures up – apple cider, pumpkins and fallen leaves strewn on the ground. By using those cozy images as inspiration, it’s easy to create a party bidding farewell to bathing suits and greeting a season of sweaters. Pumpkins, for example, are not just for creating jack-o’-lanterns. Use them to create a rustic centre piece for your dining room table. And it doesn’t just have to be the gourds of the orange variety. Use a variety of small-sized gourds in different colours, pine cones, leaves or ﬂowers in fall colours and candles to create a warm, inviting centrepiece. Darlene Spooner, of Home Again Home
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Again, suggests adding a big square mirror on the table so that the arrangement creates a reﬂection. “You can add candles and it creates a nice, warm feeling and a beautiful reﬂection,” she said. “Use silk ﬂowers for the centre piece. We have poppies in warm, autumn colours and beautiful orange gerbera daisies.” Take the theme of warm and rich colours and incorporate it into other aspects of the home, including the living room. By adding a shag throw and fall cushions in autumn-inspired colours it instantly makes the living room-area more inviting. “Get a big shag throw, one that is big and ﬂuffy in beautiful fall colours, and put that on your sofa. It totally transforms the room,” she said. “Do the same thing with cushions, and mix solid neutrals with the fall-coloured ones.” She also suggests switching up the artwork in your home to reﬂect the seasons. “It’s easy to change the picture on your wall, and when you do, it transforms the room,” she said. Other suggestions include using a soap or lotion in the washroom inspired by a seasonal scent, like pumpkin or cinnamon. With a few small tweaks, your home can be the perfect venue to enjoy apple cider and good company.
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Savouring the Seasons Seasonal 56 chef Adrian Beaty and wife Shannon showcase the Fraser Valley with a local, fresh and sustainable menu by Jason McRobbie • photos by Rob Newell
hef Adrian Beaty and his wife Shannon, co-owners of Seasonal 56 and Seasonal Experience catering, deserve a food television show of their own. A more apt local food love story might never be found. After all, it was watching cooking shows on television that brought the couple, now with two boys, together in the ﬁrst place. What began as a university bachelor working his charms in the kitchen evolved from inspiration to obsession for Adrian. Hundreds of hours of videotape later, the greatest impression left upon Adrian was by a chef going straight to the ﬁeld to pick out his
12 SEPTEMBER 2012 INDULGE
peppers for the evening menu. He decided to explore the ethos more fully - and never looked back. No one has beneﬁted more from Adrian’s red pepper epiphany than those lucky enough to live and grow in the Fraser Valley. “When the whole thing started, it was all about getting this discussion going: about the local products, what’s available out there, how lucky we are, the passion that people have,” Adrian explains. “And then eventually creating a Fraser Valley food scene that involved the restaurants, the farmers and the producers.” Mission accomplished.
For all lovers of local, Seasonal 56 is an imperative destination, regardless of where you are on the map. Further aﬁeld than most in an otherwise anonymous, industrial strip mall in Langley, Seasonal 56 follows a local logic entirely of its own, one committed to bigger pictures and small producers. The locals love it, and that includes the supply side of the equation. More than 40 such local farmers, producers are handwritten on the chalkboard that welcomes guests, along with a nice summing of the ethos, replete with gratitude: “We believe that to prepare great food, it is important to begin with great ingredients. We are proud to support local and sustainable agriculture, as well as responsible animal stewardship and sustainable ﬁshing practices. We would like to thank all of the farmers, ranchers and artisans that make this possible.” For the past eight years, every ounce of that ethos has been tapped to offer a culinary and catering experience grounded in all things local – never more so directly than what has become a star attraction: their Gumboot Dinners. For those familiar with the chef’s table experience, the Gumboot Dinners are a step beyond, and bring the farmers, producers and winemakers directly to the table. In many cases, it changes the way people relate to their plates entirely. Adrian helps Shannon, the consummate hostess, with the introductions and retreats to the kitchen to do what he does best, letting the spotlight fall where he feels it should more often – on the farmers. “In the end, these are the people putting all the work into it and it’s just treating it with respect: preparing it simply and just letting it speak for itself on the plate,” said Adrian. “If people could just kind of live by that, they would enjoy eating more. It would be an experience: going to the market and talking to the farmers. They’d realize that cooking can be more than just standing behind a stove. It can be a lifestyle, a social thing, a family thing and it’s something that should be enjoyed.” What this means to the farmer, you need only visit Seasonal 56 to have answered, as they walk through the door more often than at any restaurant imaginable. Walter Bergen of Six Masters Farms sat down to share conversation, cake and plenty of
compliments for the house during our visit for this issue of Indulge. “A chef like Adrian and – Adrian himself – is absolutely vital to a farmer like myself trying to practise traditional, artisan husbandry methods. For Adrian to respect and honour that and then use it like he does is tremendous. It’s vital,” Bergen said. “It’s my job to grow food it with great integrity. It’s Adrian’s job to then plumb the depth and breadth of that integrity and the restaurantgoer experiences it as a remarkably satisfying ﬂavour and food experience.” It is an experience that changes each time a farmer walks through the door. As a result, the menu rarely remains grounded by anything more than ethos and excellence. “When we started eight years ago, we decided to do it our way. Some people have a hard time ﬁnding us, others accepting a menu that changes the way ours does, but this is what works best for the relationships we have,” said Adrian. “A lot of the time, I have no idea what is
coming through the door until the farmer arrives, but that’s a big part of the experience here. There’s no middle man with our farmers.” The consistency is where it matters: in the experience. What Seasonal 56 offers is as much narrative as nourishment, something more than a meal: a reconnection to what, and how much, eating local really means. “What we really believe in and what I hope other people would do is get to know your farmers,” said Adrian. “That’s what it’s all about for us: knowing the people that grow the food, ﬁnding out the stories behind it and letting them grow what they grow best.” For those seeking the ultimate in authenticity, try following all of the producers to source if you’re in the neighbourhood – or substitute accordingly from market. If you know a farmer, extend an invitation. Better yet, make a date with any number of them at the next Gumboot Dinner on Oct. 24. If you are wondering what’s on the menu, rest assured, nobody’s more excited to know than Adrian. Can you imagine a nicer alternative to another rant-ﬁlled, restaurant makeover? For recipes from Seasonal 56, see next page or go to www.indulgemagazine.ca, where you can ﬁnd Beaty’s recipe for a panna cotta that makes fresh use to the last of the season’s blueberries, as well as videos from Jason’s visit to the restaurant. i INDULGE • SEPTEMBER 2012 13
Apple and Agassiz Alpine Gold cheese stuffed breast of chicken Serves 4-6 breast of Croaking Frog Farms chicken, trimmed and cut to create a pocket 1 tbsp. Agassiz butter 1 tbsp. minced shallots 1 Granny Smith apple cored, peeled and diced 1 tbsp. fresh thyme 4 oz. Agassiz Alpine Gold cheese salt and pepper 6
Heat the butter and sweat the shallots; add apple, thyme, salt, and pepper; sauté for 2-3 minutes until the apples begin to soften. Remove, cool and add diced Alpine Gold to the mixture; stuff chicken breasts. Sauté chicken in butter/oil mixture over medium-high heat until brown and ﬁnish cooking in oven.
Thyme jus 2 2 ½ cup 1 cup
shallots, ﬁnely chopped sprigs fresh thyme red wine veal stock
Cook shallots in red wine until reduced to 1/4 the original quantity. Add veal stock and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Strain.
Place in 350 degree oven and roast 1215 minutes until cooked through.
Roasted squash 1.5 lbs. baby summer squash, halved ¼ cup butter ¼ cup vegetable oil salt and pepper Heat butter and oil in pan, add squash; season with salt and pepper Place in preheated 350 degree oven and roast 8-10 minutes, or to desired doneness.
Dungeness crab cakes
Serves 4 1 ½ lbs. 2 cups
4 4-6 oz. salmon ﬁlets fresh beans Abundant Acre Farms cherry tomatoes 6 cups Glorious Organics salad mix edible ﬂowers for garnish ¼ cup lemon basil vinaigrette 4
Wash beans. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the green beans and cook until crisp-tender, about 6 to 7 minutes.
yields 10-12 crab cakes 1 lb. Dungeness crab, squeezed dry 1 whole egg ¾ cup mayo 1 tbsp. lemon juice 1 tsp. lemon zest 2 tbsp. chopped fresh sweet herbs (parsley, basil, tarragon, chives) ¾ cup bread crumbs ½ tbsp. sea salt ½ tsp. ground black pepper 2 tbsp. butter 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
Drain the beans and plunge them into ice water to stop cooking. Drain well and refrigerate.
Combine all ingredients in bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
Lemon basil vinaigrette
Allow to sit for an hour or so to let bread crumbs absorb moisture. Form in 2 oz. cakes.
1.5 lbs ﬁngerling potatos, cut in half ¼ cup butter ¼ cup vegetable oil salt and pepper
Heat butter and oil in pan over medium heat. When hot, add crab cakes and cook 3-4 minutes per each side or until heated through and golden.
Heat butter and oil in pan, add potatoes; season with salt and pepper.
Serve with your favourite dipping sauce aioli, or tartar sauce.
14 SEPTEMBER 2012 INDULGE
Grilled salmon with a summer bean and tomato salad
When ready to serve, coat salmon with olive oil salt and pepper. Cook on a preheated grill to desired doneness. Toss the green beans and greens with the lemon basil dressing in a large mixing bowl. Taste and add more dressing or salt as needed. Pile the mixture high in the center of a plate. Arrange the tomato around the edge. Top with salmon and garnish with edible ﬂowers. ¼ cup ¼ cup ½ cup 2 tbsp. 1 ¼ cup 2 tsp. ½ tsp.
lemon juice red wine vinaigrette basil leaves, sliced thin Dijon mustard olive oil salt black pepper
Whisk together all ingredients. Leftover dressing will keep for up to a week in your fridge.
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• Willowbrook Mall, Langley • Seven Oaks Mall, Abbotsf ord • Grandview Corners, Sout h Surrey • Nanaimo • Victoria
explore the farms of the Fraser Valley for your next meal
hen it comes to eating local, B.C. residents have some of the best access to homegrown produce. Dozens of farms scatter the province from coast to coast, offering up a vast bounty. What many may not know is that it’s not all blueberries and potatoes. A day trip to the Fraser Valley can bring in fresh, organic poultry, soy-free pastured pork, fruit pies, goats milk and even ostrich. Thanks to the Fraser Valley Farm Direct Marketing Association, it’s never been easier to navigate your way through the province, ﬁnding the most fresh and tasty additions to your dinner table. In its 17th year, the Farm Fresh Reference Guide is a comprehensive tool to use when embarking on a journey to ﬁnd local produce. Maintained and updated by the
marketing association, the guide covers farms from Abbotsford to Westham Island. “In the guide, we list some 100 products that are available on local farms. Most consumers are surprised to learn about diversity and extensive range of products that are available from standard fruits and vegetables, meat products, dairy and goat products, honey and other bee products to fresh cut ﬂowers and trees,” said marketing association member Don Cameron. Visitors can look at an interactive map, with each farm plotted with a corresponding number that provides more information, or try searching by a speciﬁc product or farm feature, explains Cameron. “The association was formed to help promote farmers that sell their products directly to the consumer, either from the farm
gate or at farmers’ markets,” he said. “There are currently 80 farmers with their businesses listed in the Farm Fresh Reference Guide.” Even in restaurants, the concept of using fresh, local and seasonal has increasingly become the norm, which Cameron suggests is a result of consumers preferences changing when it comes to how their food is grown, as well as a show of support for local farmers. “They have a better idea of the growing practices and rules and regulations affecting agricultural production in B.C.,” he said. With so many great farms to choose from, why not make a day of it, using the guide to create an itinerary of farms to visit. To help you get going on your road trip, we’ve included some detailed information about a few of the farms in our area. Turn the page to get started. INDULGE • SEPTEMBER 2012 21
Heather Cameron photo
Missing Goat Blueberry Farm 17318 32 Ave., South Surrey
The small, family-run, certiﬁed organic blueberry farm has been owned and operated by Heather Cameron for the last 13 years. Although it is closed to the public for the season, it will reopen July 13. Until then, visit the retailers who carry the farm’s organic jams. www.missinggoat.com
Krause Berry Farms
Since 1966, this family-run farm and shop has been providing fresh, local produce to people near and far. While they may be widely known for their sweet carrots and corn, that’s just a fraction of the items that can be found. Aside from fresh produce, the store has an array of jams and preserves. www.marysgarden.ca
Krause Berry Farms is a must-go spot for ripe, juicy strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, piled high, providing a visual – and mouth-watering – distraction. Known for their fresh-berry custard pies, topped high with fruit, the Krauses have more than 40 years of history in the Fraser Valley. www.krauseberryfarms.com
15649 40 Ave., South Surrey
22 SEPTEMBER 2012 INDULGE
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Heather Cameron and daughter Lily.
growing organically F by Sarah Massah â€˘ photo by Kim Christie
or some, Heather Cameronâ€™s purchase of a piece of South Surrey property â€“ complete with a separate structure perfect for a little store and 500 bushels of blueberries â€“ would be considered kismet. But the longtime canner, cook and soon-to-be published author said it was just a case of happenstance. â€œIt all came with the house,â€? she laughed. â€œIt wasnâ€™t planned. We had lived in Vancouver for 13 years and decided to buy a bit of land. We couldnâ€™t afford it in Vancouver, so my mother, husband and I pooled our money and bought the farm. We bought it because we thought it was nice.â€? But it wasnâ€™t long before the magazine stylist and story producer turned the structure into a quaint store endearingly called the Shabby Shack, where she sold the sweet, plump blueberries grown on the farm, along with an array of jams. While itâ€™s only been two years since she turned the farm into her fulltime job, she has gone from distributing to dozens of stores to moving back to a smaller operation, and is now putting the ďŹ nal touches on a farm-to-table cookbook set to be published in March 2013, showcasing her made-from-scratch recipes, including her famous jams. â€œI had always wanted to be an organic farmer. I am kind of a Martha Stewart wannabe,â€? she said. â€œI had always sold jam at the Shabby Shack, but then my friends began asking if they could sell them at their cafĂŠ or at their bakery. So, I turned my focus to the farm and got a distributor.â€?
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Soon, Cameronâ€™s jams were being stocked on the shelves of more than 60 stores, but it wasnâ€™t what she wanted. â€œI wasnâ€™t happy. I used to drive out and see the people and talk to them and get their feedback and all of a sudden I didnâ€™t know who was selling the jams anymore. So I got rid of the distributor and went back to just selling in 11 stores. â€œNow, I go in and talk to people and it feels better. Itâ€™s more suited to who I am.â€? Another reason to downsize was the book deal offered by a publisher who had viewed her blog about the farm. The cookbook will feature a slew of familyfriendly recipes she has created daughter, Lily. â€œItâ€™s all about cooking with what we have, like our big veggie garden and fancy ďŹ‚ock of ďŹ ve chickens and their eggs,â€? she said. â€œItâ€™s about having a small organic farm, teaching my daughter about her food, and the respect and knowledge of growing it and a lot of making things from scratch. â€œItâ€™s not going to be overly-styled or fancy. Itâ€™s just our life.â€? i
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END OF SUMMER SPECIAL
AMUSE BOUCHE A French word meaning â€œenjoyment for the paletteâ€? - Compliments of the Chef
APPETIZER Shrimp bisque, jumbo prawns and Queen Charlotte halibut soup finished with crĂ¨me fraiche and garnished with a grilled jumbo prawn Harvest garden salad, mixed greens with everything from our local garden, topped with goat cheese and Canadian bacon, tossed with a red wine vinaigrette
Sept 4 - Oct 7, 2012
Mini Tourtierre Quebecois, a classic meat pie originating from Quebec, wrapped in puff pastry and topped with our homemade cognac gravy
The Old Surrey Restaurant is presenting our END OF SUMMER THREE-COURSE MENU for only $32 per person.
MAIN COURSE Ryder Lake Farms Lamb combo, roasted leg, and in-house lamb sausage, served with a classic mint demi glaze, accompanied with roasted garlic mash potato Fresh Pacific Snapper served with chipotle flavoured peppers, garnished with a herb lime yogurt sauce and fresh lemon Ryder Lake Farms pork scaloppini, served with a dijon demi glaze accompanied with honey glazed Okanagan apples
DESSERT CrĂ¨me Caramel, rich vanilla custard topped with a layer of caramel, whipped cream and garnished with fresh peach slices Blackberry and apple crumble, baked with crushed honey-glazed walnuts served warm with vanilla ice cream and topped with whipped cream Skip dessert and have a B52 specialty coffee flambĂŠed at your table, Grand Marnier, Kahlua and Bailies topped with whipped cream (+$3) DISCOUNT CARD COUPONS NOT VALID WITH SPECIALS
Upcoming Events: Murder Mystery Sun, Oct. 28 Eat BC (3 course $35) Oct. - Nov.
Restaurant 26 SEPTEMBER 2012 INDULGE
Chef-Owner Philip Aguirre has put together a menu that highlights local ingredients and organic favourites from the family farm. The special will only last until October 7th. It is very feasible to eat and drink better...locally! Come celebrate food and wine grown right here and see why local is better.
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Mix of wine and spirits at Vista D’oro
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28 SEPTEMBER 2012 INDULGE
hen the old farm house at Langley District’s Vista D’oro Farms & Winery was turned into a tasting room last year, the tenants left but Agnes stayed. Agnes is said to be the ghost whose second-ﬂoor footsteps were heard by the tenants. Once, in an apparent gesture of disapproval, she moved a glass of rum and Coke. “I have heard stuff but she hasn’t moved anything on me in a while,” says Lee Murphy, who operates Vista D’oro with husband Patrick. “I think John she is happy that it is a winery.” Agnes Schreiner certainly seems to approve that picnicking visitors spend the afternoon under the shade of the crabapple trees or relax with a glass of wine on the farmhouse’s rustic patio. “Our visitors will come up to you when they leave and say they think they just spent the afternoon in the countryside in the south of France,” Patrick says. This old-world feel is exactly what Lee and Patrick set out to create after they bought this abandoned dairy farm in 1997. The property, south of Campbell Valley Park and snug against the American border, was homesteaded in 1893 by a Scottish couple (one of whom was Agnes). It was purchased in 1943 by a veteran and operated as a dairy until 1977, when a change in milk quotas ended that. However, the dairy barn (right) remains, destined one day to become Vista D’oro’s winery when Patrick, now making 2,000 cases a year, outgrows the existing winery. The farm, ﬂourishing now as an agritourism business, is a second career for the Murphys, who previously worked at Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers but decided to leave the corporate world after buying the farm Lee, who has taken culinary courses, began making preserves while Patrick turned his experience as a home vintner into the winery, planting 4½ acres of grapes and a similar acreage of fruit trees. Today, the farm’s revenues derive almost
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equally on preserves and wine. Leeâ€™s top-selling preserves, which change seasonally and also are sold in food shops and VQA wine stores, include Turkish Fig and Walnut Wine, Green Tomato with Garam Masala and Green Walnut and Grappa preserves. While Patrick also buys Okanagan grapes for his excellent table wines, his most original products are inďŹ‚uenced by oldworld recipes. He researched 200-year-old recipes for Somerset apple cider to create his tasty Homestead Estate Cider in 2010. Cyprianna, his plum wine, is derived from a recipe once used by Patrickâ€™s Lithuanian grandfather. And Dâ€™oro, the wineryâ€™s ďŹ‚agship port-style wine made with green walnuts, is based on a 200-year-old French recipe. The tradition requires Patrick to harvest his walnuts around Bastille Day (July 12) when the fruit is still green. The fruit is macerated in distilled spirits for about a year. The liquid is pressed off and blended with full-bodied red wine to yield this unique and delicious product. Patrick and Lee are not quite ďŹ nished with the walnuts at that point. Patrick marinates the skins in Pinot Noir for about 10 days, producing an aperitif called Pinot Noix. Then Lee processes the skins to make the delicious Green Walnut preserve. It is no wonder that Agnes approves of the creative current occupants of her farm. It is probable she is taking pride in how they have turned what was a derelict dairy farm and orchard into a showpiece agricultural destination. The Murphys have been sensitive to the fact that Agnes might object to too many visitors: the driveway to the wine shop deliberately is too narrow for tour buses. The buses need to park a few hundred yards away. Those visitors need to walk to the wine shop, sparing Agnes from the indignity of diesel fumes. i
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The Murphys plan on turning the old dairy farm on the property into a winery.
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• The annual Tour de Valley rolls into town Sept. 27 and will span 800-km northwards from Langley to Boston Bar, then south to Tsawwassen and White Rock. Teams, including the Cops for Cancer team, will bike to raise funds for cancer research.
• Vintage Affair 2012 beneﬁtting the Peninsula Community Foundation takes place Oct. 25, 7-10 p.m. at Hazelmere Golf Course. Visit www.wrsscf.org/vintageaffair.php for details.
• Willowbrook Shopping Centre, 19750 Fraser Hwy., hosts the 23rd annual Fraser Valley Wine Tasting Festival Nov. 3, from 7-9:30 p.m. The long-running event will feature live music and food from six Langley restaurants.
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in the photos • Food Network star Bob Blumer (far left) during a live demonstration at the annual EAT! Vancouver Festival, which took place June 1-3 at BC Place Stadium.
• Abba tribute group Abra Cadabra (above) perform at last year’s Give Someone Hope Gala hosted by Potters. The group will also play at this year’s event which is set for Oct. 18 at the Potters’ Christmas store. Visit www.pottersonline.ca for information and tickets.
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• Hundreds particpated in the Great Pumpkin Run/Walk (above right) beneﬁtting Peace Arch Hospital and Community Health Foundation. This year’s run is set for Oct. 21. Visit www.peacearchhospital.com for details.
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Published on Sep 18, 2012