TRAVEL • CUISINE
Vol. 10 • Issue 3 • Winter 2016
season From gift ideas to weekend getaways and cuisine, there are plenty of ways to make the holidays memorable
• HOLIDAY MOVIES • PET ADOPTION • OASIS ACROSS THE BAY • GLUTEN-FREE TREATS
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INDULGE â€¢ Winter 2016 3
contents VOLUME 10 • ISSUE 3 • WINTER 2016
5 From classics such as It’s a Wonderful
14 For more than three years, White Rock
8 Joanna Schultz dishes comforting
22 Gifting a pet at Christmastime, or on
Life to newer, sometimes off-beat fare, there are plenty of silver-screen favourites to entertain this season.
If you’re in a bind for gift ideas – at any price point – there are plenty of options sure to brighten the spirits of those on your list.
holiday desserts without common allergens.
restaurant, FIVE, has added Lebanese flair to traditional favourites.
any special occasion, is a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly.
From the managing editor Lance Peverley
ince 2010, staff at Peace Arch News have been publishing Indulge magazine for Black Press, sharing stories that would be atypical in our community newspaper. We’ve written about food and wine and fashion and design and travel – topics that are well worthy of discussion, but that too often take a backseat when wrestling with more timely items that seem to dominate the traditional, deadline-infused news cycle. For the majority of editions since then – initially as many as 10 a year – we were privileged to have PAN reporter Melissa Smalley acting as our Indulge editor. Minus two maternity leaves, Melissa was the driving force behind the modern Indulge look and story lineup. However, Melissa’s decision earlier this year to relocate her young family to the Cariboo – something, admittedly, the rest of us look upon with envy – left a hole in Indulge, with a new driving force to be reignited. So for this holiday edition, PAN writers and contributors take encouragement from Melissa’s vision, finding the Indulge message without the sense of being overly indulgent (save for a few of our gift ideas). Speaking of these gift ideas, PAN reporter/ columnist Nick Greenizan looks high and low to find the perfect Christmas gift for nearly all price points for that special someone. Admittedly, I’m by practicality drawn to the items priced less than $50, but I have to admit this year’s Indulgent ‘for him’ suggestion piqued my interest. (That’s a hint for anyone who’s interested in blowing $90,000-$100,000 for your friendly neighbourhood water-loving managing editor.)
4 Winter 2016 • INDULGE
PAN reporter Tracy Holmes adds to the gift ideas with a somewhat differently heartpounding idea, but along with advice from the BC SPCA: For those who do choose a living, breathing pet for their loved ones, make sure the recipients know that with this great love comes great responsibility. For those who see the holiday season as a time to spend with film classics, PAN reporter/ arts reviewer Alex Browne has compiled a list of movie must-sees (and a few others that can only arguably be described as such; I’m referencing you, Pia Zadora). And for those interested in the local film community, keep reading until the end and you just might get a surprise on such connections for a youthful adaptation of a 1992 Dickensian holiday classic. For those seeking more active forms of entertainment, contributors Vicki Brydon, Jason McRobbie and Rob Newell have found local forms of tourism and fine (yet all-inviting) dining, with Vicki discovering an oasis across the bay and Jason and Rob dropping in just FIVE doors down on White Rock’s Marine Drive. Speaking of food items to tempt your palate, PAN’s newest reporter, Aaron Hinks, provides his first-ever Indulge contribution with a festive idea for those who have to avoid many baked goods because of allergic reactions. He interviews Pikanik’s Joanna Schultz, who provides a tasty recipe devoid of gluten, nuts, dairy and soy. We hope you, our readers, find something to enhance your spirits in this special holiday edition of Indulge, and we hope we’ve done Melissa proud.
Publisher Dwayne Weidendorf email@example.com Sales Manager Steve Scott firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Lance Peverley email@example.com
Contributors Aaron Hinks • Alex Browne • Jason McRobbie • Rob Newell • Nick Greenizan • Tracy Holmes • Vicki Brydon Indulge is published three times annually by Black Press Suite 200 2411 160 St. Surrey, BC V3Z 0C8 Tel: 604-542-7429 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.
Holiday classics by Alex Browne
Whether old or new, there are plenty of festive silver-screen favourites to watch this season
n informal holiday film festival may seem like a little too much effort to organize for those with busy Christmas schedules. But most of us simply can’t contemplate the season without spending at least one evening cocooning from the cold, putting on the slippers and curling up in an easy chair (or on the sofa) with one or two movies to put everyone in a seasonal mood. Whether you’re looking for familiar films that bring back happy memories of childhood viewing, or films that challenge or poke fun at our traditional view of Christmas, or films that simply reaffirm the fundamental values of ‘peace on earth, goodwill to all’, there is something for everyone in the vast array of seasonally-themed movies. And with the multiplicity of media devices and services available for streaming full length features (including YouTube and Netflix), we no longer have to depend on what’s available in the stores, or what commercial networks choose to schedule. There are some indisputable Christmas
classics, of course – many still ready to warm hearts or prompt a tear or two, even though they were produced in the pre-widescreen days of black and white photography. Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – arguably the grandfather of the entire Christmas drama genre – received a perfectly respectable American adaptation in 1938 featuring British actor Reginald Gardiner for example. But, for many, the classic depiction of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and his Christmas Eve conversion to humanity is Alastair Sim’s lively interpretation of 1951, enhanced by the Victorian trimmings of an authentically British production. If you must have colour for your screening of this oftrevisited fable, there’s a computer colorization of the Sim version. Or you could try Albert Finney’s Scrooge (1970), the George C. Scott TV-movie remake (1984), Henry Winkler’s An American Christmas Carol (1979) – or even the Bill Murray update Scrooged (1988). For another more recent – and vastly underappreciated variation – try 1992’s A Muppet Christmas Carol in which, believe it or not, Jim Henson’s famous characters are successfully
integrated into the original plot, and the quality of the production is enhanced by Michael Caine’s brilliantly touching Scrooge – acted without a trace of ‘guest star’ condescension. No discussion of Christmas classics is complete without mention of White Christmas (1954). Presented in colour and in the early widescreen ‘Vista Vision’ process, it still has it’s many adherents, thanks to Irving Berlin’s score and the felicitous teaming of Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen in a featherweight ‘let’s put on a show’ vehicle – although others still enjoy the more acerbic singer-versus-dancer sparring of Crosby and Fred Astaire over Marjorie Reynolds, and even more Irving Berlin hits, in its precursor, Holiday Inn (1942), which boasts recently-restored picture and sound elements. Miracle on 34th Street (1947), with a young Natalie Wood, Maureen O’Hara, John Payne and Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle still manages to play on the heartstrings, and has the nerve to put the very notion of Santa Claus on trial – quite literally – but with a happy outcome. In director Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) it’s society itself on trial, as we are reminded, through some dramatized ‘what-
INDULGE • Winter 2016 5
ifs’, that without a few good men like James Stewart’s disillusioned banker George Bailey – not to mention a few good women like his wife, Donna Reed, and a putative angel named Clarence – life in one small town might have taken a very grim turn indeed. It’s worth remembering that this movie – now viewed as an indispensable holiday classic – wasn’t popular on its first release, and only evolved an audience through subsequent television screenings. More recent movies are evolving into classics too, year by year, as they find new audiences, and win over old ones, through frequent showings and different media platforms. Jingle All The Way (1996) with Arnold Schwarzenegger as a shopper desperate to buy this year’s ‘hot’ children’s toy and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), with Chevy Chase as benighted, accident-prone Clark Griswold, are certainly examples of films that have acquired classic status over time. Christmas romances have also shown resilience in recent years – including the Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet and Jude Law vehicle The Holiday (2006), chronicling an L.A. to English village Christmas season houseswap with romantic complications, which has the benefit of an irreverent but largely benign Jack Black performance to save it every time it threatens to get too sappy (or soggy). Love, Actually (2003), a British celebration of all the possibilities of love relationships – positive and negative – during a single Christmas period, has gathered a loyal cult following over more than a decade of re-runs. It still maintains appeal through it’s winning collection of offbeat characters and character players – including Bill Nighy, memorable, as a tired veteran rocker trying for one more hit with a crass attempt to turn a pop classic into a Christmas song. Speaking of Christmas songs, mythical ditty Santa’s Super Sleigh is the source of spoiled aging playboy Hugh Grant’s wealth in About A Boy (2002). The Christmas setting of his reformation from selfishness – thanks to the presence in his life of an awkward schoolboy in need of a dad (Nicholas Hoult) – qualifies this as a potential holiday movie too. Those who are in the mood for an unusual Christmas romance – and a slice of Second World War Americana closer to the tartness of a true Norman Rockwell vision – might want to venture unto the black-and-white past for I’ll Be Seeing You (1944). This Ginger Rogers and Joseph Cotten 6 Winter 2016 • INDULGE
Jude Law and Cameron Diaz star in the 2006 movie, The Holiday. vehicle beat It’s A Wonderful Life to the punch by two years in introducing more than a few surprisingly adult themes into the typicalcoming-home-for-Christmas scenario. Rogers is a prison inmate on a goodbehaviour furlough from jail (victimized by a would-be rapist, she is serving time for manslaughter for his fall from an apartment window) while Cotten plays a frontline soldier invalided out of service for what we would now call post-traumatic-stress-disorder. The grim back-story sets the stage for a bittersweet yet heart-warming romance (with interference provided by a teenaged Shirley Temple) that spans the few days between Christmas and New Year’s Day and, believe it or not, it does manage to end on an upbeat note. There are a few other unconventional choices worth checking out for fans of the classic Hollywood era – including one of the few known Christmas film noirs. Few people remember now that actor/director Robert Montgomery’s ground-breaking version of Raymond Chandler’s mystery classic The Lady In The Lake (1947) also qualifies as a Christmas movie. In this celebrated experiment in film technique, it’s the camera (aside from Montgomery’s voice-overs, and a few glimpses of the shamus in mirror reflections) that plays the role of tough private eye Philip Marlowe tracking a vicious killer and romancing femme fatale Audrey Totter. But the setting of the movie also happens to be the holiday season in L.A. – a long-time before Robert Downey Jr.’s latter-day noir Kiss
Kiss Bang Bang (2005) traversed the territory – complete with tinseled trees and a choir singing carols through the opening titles. It’s possible to forget, too that such diverse movies as John Ford’s western Three Godfathers (1948), starring John Wayne, Billy Wilder’s The Apartment (1960), with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, and Tim Burton’s Batman Returns (1992), with Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito, and even Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) with Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, qualify – peripherally at least – as Christmas movies. Weirdest Christmas movie choice ever? You might want to check out a low-budget cult title from1964, Santa Claus Conquers The Martians – which had the ‘honour’ of being included in Harry Medved and Randy Lowell’s The Fifty Worst Movies Of All Time (And How They Got That Way). On an estimated budget of $200,000 (including Pathecolor processing and prints) director Nicholas Webster spun a relentlessly cardboard tale of Martians – irritated that their children are captivated by Santa Claus-themed TV shows beamed from Earth – who kidnap the bearded one and two children (one of them a young Pia Zadora – if that name still means anything to you) and bring them back to Mars. Considering the title, it’s not too much of a spoiler to reveal that Santa wins the aliens over with a large helping of fun and Christmas cheer. But my vote for the most unusual, most twisted, Christmas movie choice this year is not Bad Santa (2003) with lecherous, boozy, foulmouthed Billy Bob Thornton, or the Bob Clark slasher flick Black Christmas (1974) – even though these genre-busting (if not devastating) deviations have their devotees among the truly iconclastic. For sheer off-the-beaten-track appeal, I nominate Crumbs (2015) a surreal, postapocalyptic science fiction feature shot on a
Many Christmas-themed movies are produced in Hollywood North hyper-low budget in Ethiopia, by transplanted Spanish director Miguel Llanso. It’s too slow-moving, by far, for most moviegoers’ tastes – even at an only a one hour-eight minute running time – and while it features a touching romance, it’s not, by any stretch of the imagination, a heartwarming, feel-good flick. But the odyssey of unconventional leading man Candy (Daniel Tadesse) through a society of survivors, obsessed with the surviving ‘crumbs’ of civilization – plastic toys, iconic imagery, record albums – is oddly haunting, and memorable as a meditation on materialism and what is truly important. If that doesn’t make it appropriate for Christmas, all by itself, it’s also a fact that Santa Claus – or at least what he represents – plays a key role in this movie. Trust me on this one. There’s an extra bonus for Lower Mainland residents in viewing the slew of Christmasthemed movies that hit our screens each season – so many of them seem to be produced in Hollywood North (also known as Greater Vancouver) That gives plenty of scope for a few overthe-eggnog games of “spot the location” or, for those with friends in the acting or extra business, “spot the local player.”
Set decorators hang Christmas lights in Cloverdale priot to filming a scene for Deck the Halls. It’s not a new phenomenon, of course. Will Ferrell’s Elf (2003) shot most of its interiors in Vancouver area studios – bringing in a number of local actors, but not many people may know that The Muppet Christmas Carol shot interiors in Vancouver as well as London. And many in the South Surrey-White Rock remember Deck The Halls (2006), starring Matthew Broderick and Danny De Vito as neighbours competing over Christmas decorations, – was filmed in temporary house sets specially-constructed on a city lot in Ocean Park. This year the seasonal movie genre seems even more like a budding local industry in
Vancouver area locations (including Surrey and Langley), thanks to Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas series of TV movies. Among those shot locally to watch for this December are Looks Like Christmas, starring Anne Heche and Dylan Neal; and A Christmas To Remember, starring Cameron Mathison and Mira Sorvino. Other local shoots that wrapped earlier this year in Hallmark’s dizzying list of seasonal heartwarmers for 2016 include Christmas List, starring Alicia Witt and Gabriel Hogan; A Rose For Christmas, starring Rachel Boston and Marc Bendavid and A Heavenly Christmas, starring Kristin Davis, Eric McCormack and Shirley MacLaine; A Wish For Christmas, starring Lacy Chabert and Paul Greene; Mistletoe Promise, starring Jaime King and Luke Macfarlane; Every Christmas Has A Story, starring Lori Loughlin and Colin Ferguson; My Christmas Dream starring Danica McKellar, David Haydn-Jones and Deirdre Hall; A December Bride, starring Jessica Lowndes and Daniel Lissing; Operation Christmas, starring Tricia Helfer and Marc Blucas; Finding Father Christmas, starring Wendy Malick and Erin Krakow and Sleigh Bells Ring, starring Erin Cahill, David Alpay and local player Robyn Bradley.
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SUBSTITUTES Story and photos by Aaron Hinks
Pikanik Bakery owner Joanna Schultz puts a new gluten-free twist on some traditional favourites
8 Winter 2016 â€¢ INDULGE
ave you ever tried baking without gluten, wheat, nuts, dairy or soy? Impossible… right? How about opening an entire storefront that sells exclusively made-fromscratch baked goods – minus all the ingredients listed above (and about 75 per cent of the goods also exclude eggs)? Joanna Schultz knew the idea was insane, but she did it anyways. Now – four years after she opened South Surrey’s Pikanik Bakery – she’s pretty well mastered the art of baking without the most common ingredients found in everyone’s favourite sugary desserts. Schultz started the business after her daughter was diagnosed with a gluten and dairy allergy. Schultz, a self-described foodie, tried every gluten/dairy-free product she could find. “Finally, I would find something that is edible, not good, but not the worst thing you have ever eaten,” she said. “I didn’t accept that this was as good as it was going to get.” She started experimenting on her own. It was a bumpy road with plenty of “epic failures” along the way, she said, but she found out what works best. To her, the kitchen is a laboratory and baking is the science. Trial and error got her to where she’s at now. She has some tips for those who want to experiment with gluten-free baking this holiday
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season. “We get a lot of people who want to go gluten-free – they try all their old recipes and just substitute with gluten-free flour,” she said. “Just forget that. “One thing I always recommend. When you’re starting out, find some good resources online or cookbooks that are specifically gluten-free.” Practise with gluten-free recipes, get comfortable with them, and once you’re more experienced “go crazy,” she advised. “Don’t be (afraid) to try and fail, because a bad cake is better than no cake.”
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Everyone seems to have one dessert that always reminds them of Christmas, no matter the season. “For me, it’s the jam thumbprint cookie, hands-down,” Schultz said. “It was always the cookie I looked forward to most. My grandma and my mom made them but they never made them at any other time of the year. They could have, but they didn’t.” Schultz agreed to share the recipe with Indulge. It’s simple, and it’s her gluten-free Pikanik-style take on the cookie she remembers from childhood. “It used to have regular flour and butter, all the good things,” she said. The special ingredient to this version of the cookie isn’t even an ingredient, she acknowledged. “It’s the (cookie) my kids look forward to because, of course, I don’t make it any other time of the year. That’s how you keep it special.” Schultz used to have the cookie on her store’s menu but she took it off, she admitted. It’s good to keep some things just for yourself.
Jam thumbprint cookies 2/3 cup vegan margarine (Schultz uses Earth Balance soy free) 1 1/2 cups of Pikanik all-purpose flour
1 tsp xanthan gum 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 egg yolks 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/3-1/2 cup jam or jelly Beat margarine on high for about 30 seconds until it’s soft. Add approximately half the flour, the xanthan gum, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. Beat well until thoroughly combined. Add remaining flour and beat until everything is incorporated. Chill dough for about an hour so it’s easier to handle (or keep it in the fridge until you need it – up to one week). Preheat oven to 375 F. Shape dough into one-inch balls. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet, at least one inch apart. Press the cookie dough balls with your thumb to make an imprint in the middle. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool before serving. When ready to serve, add a dollop of your favourite jam to the centre and enjoy. For more information on Pikanik’s line of baked goods, visit https://pikanik.ca
INDULGE • Winter 2016 11
Find the perfect gift... Holiday ideas to help you beat the shopping rush Less than $50
With cold weather approaching, make sure the woman in your life never gets cold feet with a pair of comfy slippers. No matter what you choose to spend – typically anywhere from $25 to $50 – and no matter the style, you’ll be able to find the perfect pair.
Less than $100
Less than $1,000
Le Creuset’s Classic Whistling Kettles are colourful, high-quality and built to last, and come in a variety of designs, sizes and colours to fit the look and style of any kitchen. Prices vary – from about $90 to upwards of $130 – and the kettles can be purchased at a variety of kitchen and home decor stores.
The Willow Stream Spa – at Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim – is the perfect spot to spend a day, or even a whole weekend. With treatments ranging from massages to detox treatments to mineral wraps, you’re bound to find the perfect gift. And if staying closer to home is more your style, there are plenty of day spas located throughout South Surrey and White Rock.
Indulgent Stumped as to what to get for the woman who has everything? Why not splurge on the trip of a lifetime. Available online through U.S. retailer Neiman Marcus (www.neimanmarcus.com), a week of luxe living at three English Estates will set you back a cool $700,000. Sure, the price is steep, but where else can she – and seven friends – spend a week living like royalty?
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For someone tired of sharing the latest viral video on the small screen of your smartphone, a smartphone projector ($30-$40) might be the perfect solution. This retro projector from Chapters/Indigo – and others like it, available elsewhere – displays video, photos or text on a wall at up to eight times magnification.
Less than $1,000 Less than $100 Built specifically for the iPhone 7 – and made with frequent smartphone users in mind – Apple’s Smart Battery Case ($99, available at Apple retailers and apple.com) not only protects your phone with a soft microfiber lining, but also extends the life of your battery up to 26 hours. It’s a great, reasonably priced gift for anyone who’s constantly on their phone. 12 Winter 2016 • INDULGE
No matter the style, a nice watch is the perfect gift for any guy. Whether it’s a more traditional, classy leatherbanded timepiece, a durable watch for the more active man on your holiday list or a more modern smartwatch – equipped with an Android or Apple operating system – there are plenty of options at a variety of price points, and from a number of local retailers.
Indulgent For the man who has everything – and enjoys being around the water – the Killer Whale Submarine ($90,000-$100,000) is a unique, albeit expensive, way to say ‘Happy Holidays!” Available online at Hammacher Schlemmer (www.hammacher.com).
Less than $50 For the more artistic teen on your to-buy-for list, a leatherbound notebook is a great gift. Available in a variety of styles and sizes – and available at stationary stores across the Semiahmoo Peninsula – an elegant notebook is perfect as for use as a travel journal or for starting that next great work of fiction.
Less than $100 Wireless Beats earbud headphones are the perfect way for your teen to listen to music without having to deal with the usual tangle of cords. Connected via Bluetooth, the earbuds are perfect for someone on the go.
Less than $1,000 The future is finally here. After years of being hailed as the pinnacle of tech achievement on television and in movies – right next to hover boards – virtualreality headsets are finally on the market. Available for a number of platforms the headsets ($300-$1,000) are available in local electronic stores and online.
Indulgent Do you have a young auto-racing fan in your life? What better way to say ‘Merry Christmas’ that with a handcrafted. made-to-order slot-car raceway? The six-by-12 raceway is sold online at slotmods.com. If the price tag isn’t quite to your liking, don’t worry – there are plenty of other scale-model race tracks available from between $12,000-$75,000.
Less than $50
Whether it’s a time-tested classic like Monopoly, Trouble or Scrabble or newer options like Don’t Break the Ice: Disney Frozen Edition, a board game ($15-$40) is never a bad choice for an inexpensive, fun gift for a child of any age.
Less than $100 Hatchimals ($79) are critters that live inside of eggs – and who exactly is inside is a surprise. Each egg contains an interactive stuffie that lights up, makes sounds and tells you how it’s feeling. Each touch of the egg encourages them to peck their way out, and makes for a perfect gift to put under the tree for any youngster.
Indulgent Less than $1,000 Your youngster will be cruising down the driveway in style with this Barbie version of the Fisher Price Cadillac Escalade ($519), which includes real tinted windows, chrome hubcaps and a stereo and has a top speed of 5 miles per hour.
If you’re looking to develop a household full of avid readers, look no further than this curated collection of 36 Caldecott Medalwinning children’s books ($100,000 through Neiman Marcus). All first editions or early printings, the collection spans 80 years of literature and will be treasured for generations.
INDULGE • Winter 2016 13
Restaurant Restaurant merges merges surf surf and and turf turf favourites favourites with with comforting comforting Lebanese Lebanese warmth warmth by Jason McRobbie • photos by Rob Newell Chef Segar Kulasegarampillai
fter spending two years scouring Vancouver for the ideal patch of real estate to open what would be their fifth shared venture as husband and wife, Gus Rachid and Faith Hady happened upon White Rock – and a view that has held them as enraptured as their guests for more than three years. Perched perfectly at the top of the historic White Rock Pier built in 1914, FIVE Restaurant at 15047 Marine Dr. holds as stellar a view of Boundary Bay as imaginable, and that timeless view has developed a culinary community over the years. That loyal following is one Rachid and Hady were quick to take to heart – while infusing the menu with a touch of spice, highlighted by their bustling oyster bar and live Dungeness crab and lobster tank. “When I think of how many restaurants we looked at and where we are now,” says Rachid with a happy shrug, a grin and a 14 Winter 2016 • INDULGE
glance towards the pier. “There are so many restaurants even along this stretch, but this view is truly unique. I am not alone in saying I could look at it forever.” And since the last restaurant was named Five Doors Down, the foreshortened FIVE has fit in nicely, merging familiar surf and turf favourites with daily catches, event nights and a touch of spice. “FIVE really brings people from across the spectrum – all ages, locals, Vancouverites and plenty of guests from across the border. For the locals, our aim is to be an any-day experience, but they also come here for celebrations and with guests from all over, so the menu and drink list needed to reflect that,” explains Rachid, who boasts a number of B.C. bottles, but dug deep for fan favourites from around the world that make the pairing experience affordable any night of the week. “Case in point, last night at one table we
had two generations of locals celebrating with $200-bottles of wine, and across from them a young couple eating fish and chips,” says Rachid. “That contrast means that we are reaching that goal of making it fun for everyone.” Having been involved in the hospitality and real-estate industries since moving to Alberta from Lebanon – where family members were already involved in steak houses – in his teens, Rachid knows of what he speaks. Originally drawn towards the accounting side of the business, he found his love in the bigger picture and the people. Similarly steeped in hospitality, Hady’s interest in people goes even further as a professor of media psychology and social change at UBC. “Everyone has different wants, and some of our guests have special needs,” says Rachid, who points out that the menu offers abundant gluten-free options, most of which emerged
Owner Owner Gus Gus Rachid, Rachid, and and Kulasegarampillai Kulasegarampillai simply from their style of cooking. A special vegan tasting menu is slated as an upcoming event night. “Our youngest daughter is Celiac, so to cook this way for special-needs guests is simply a matter of cooking with heart.” That said, while the menu reaches into Rachid and Hady’s Lebanese heritage with dishes such as Labni, a house-made yogurt firmed to the consistency of cream cheese, and the ever-popular hummus (soaked overnight with a touch of baking soda to quicken the next-day cook), Rachid knows that there are a handful of dishes off the previous owner’s menu that they would suffer for removing. “Everything we do here comes back to the guest feeling at home,” he explains. “So while we have fun with the menu, we would be chased out of here if we removed the Creole Chicken, the Thai Lemongrass Mussels or the Lobster Ravioli. What our guests expect, we provide, and with this location, we cover as wide a range of expectations as possible.” Fresh and fun, rain or shine is an ethos that resonates throughout the cosy New Englandstyle dining room, with its open kitchen and brunch, lunch and dinner menus that ring true with the wide demographic appeal of the space. So while the warmer months see FIVE opening the front windows in full, and bringing even greater clamour for patio seating, winter holds more than ample charm, with storm watching as popular as sunsets. However, while the view might be the lure, the true allure of the room remains rooted in its kitchen and the passions of principal players, including chef Segar Kulasegarampillai, who joined within months of their opening, and has had a global taste for the industry all his life. Originally from Sri Lanka where his father was a restaurateur, he moved to India when he was 12, and with a learning lifetime in the trade already, chef Kulasegarampillai emigrated to Toronto where he graduated
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INDULGE • Winter 2016 15
from Stratford Chefs’ School in 1999. Ethos imbued he spent four years at Mildred Pierce in Toronto, before venturing to B.C. as sous chef at the celebrated Hart House on Deer Lake. With restaurants running in his family blood, he opened the French Suvi with his uncle in Kerrisdale, and a similar Frenchstyled room in Toronto with his sister – before following his heart back to B.C. and finding his way into his new family at FIVE. “To be honest, for me, cooking is fun anywhere, but especially with the sources and the
community we have right here,” says chef Kulasegarampillai, whose spice-shopping excursions with Rachid inspire many of FIVE’s dishes with a touch of the Silk Road. “Spices are fantastic, and do not have to be used in large amounts to change the palate.” As for keeping calm in the kitchen during the upcoming holiday season, chef Kulasegarampillai offers up a few tips, grounded in a familiar ethos. “First off, simply be prepared ahead; do your shop and pantry stock-ups early. Secondly,
Chicken and Seafood Paella
1 small chicken, deboned and diced
8 medium-size oysters
6 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup sea salt
1 onion, diced
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 bell peppers, cubed
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
2 shallots, finely chopped
4 Kalamata olives, pitted
10 oz spinach leaves, finely chopped
1 chorizo sausage, diced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
3 Tbsp white wine
2 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp blue cheese (optional)
1 bay leaf
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Salute celery, garlic and shallots, stirring frequently until translucent. Add spinach to skillet, quickly sauté, and add wine, cream and blue cheese to cook for another three minutes while stirring. Spread sea salt on a baking sheet. Preheat broiler with rack in top position. Rinse oysters thoroughly. Fold a paper towel several times and place the oyster on the paper towel, round-side down. Hold the oyster with a kitchen towel, and slide the tip of the oyster knife blade at the hinge that joins the shell. Rotate the knife with gentle, constant pressure to separate the shells. Slide the knife along the upper shell to cut away the connective tissue. Remove the top shell. Make sure to check the oyster over carefully and remove any shell pieces. Spread the spinach mixture evenly on each oyster. Broil until heated through, two to three minutes. Serve immediately.
1 Tbsp paprika 1 pinch saffron threads, dissolved in a Tbsp of water 8 shrimp, peeled and deveined 5 cups mussels and clams, scrubbed and rinsed 1 cup frozen peas Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium and sauté the chicken until golden brown. Add the onion and fry briefly while stirring, before adding the garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes, paprika, chorizo and peas. Season with salt and pepper before scattering the rice into the skillet and stirring. Add the broth, bay leaf and the saffron water. Do not stir the paella again. Turn down the heat and simmer without a lid for 20-30 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the seafood and olives. At the end of the cooking time, check seasoning and serve. 16 Winter 2016 • INDULGE
don’t be afraid to adapt recipes to your own palate, and wherever possible, do what work you can ahead of time. The key is to focus on making it entertaining versus looking at it as work,” he says. “And if you do end up with guests at the door while you are still in the kitchen, have them join in. It boils down to plan, play and participate, really.” Alternately, you can always book a table at FIVE where that play happens year-round, day and night.
Seafood Creole Topping 3 shallots, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 3 Tbsp white wine 4 Tbsp butter 2 tsp paprika 1 tsp dried thyme 1/2 tsp chili powder 1 tsp dried oregano 1 tsp garlic powder 1 Tbsp jalapeno pepper, chopped 1 tsp fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 2 oz lobster meat, chopped 3 prawns, peeled and deveined 2 sea scallops Sauté shallots and garlic in one tablespoon of butter until translucent. Add all the dry spices and sauté for another minute or two. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Add the seafood and cook gently for two to three minutes. Stir in the remaining butter, lemon juice and the fresh parsley. Enjoy immediately over grilled chicken or meat of your choice.
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INDULGE 2016-11-08 • Winter 5:37 2016 17 AM
The Oasis across the Bay by Vicki Brydon
erched on the edge of a spit separating Drayton Harbor in Washington State and Semiahmoo Bay is a cozy and upscale resort boasting 212 rooms, a full-service spa, a pool, two challenging public golf courses, two charming restaurants and the finest view of White Rock there is. At just a stone’s throw away from the U.S. border, Semiahmoo Resort is a wonderful, relatively inexpensive getaway to recharge your batteries while watching the twinkling lights of Marine Drive and beyond. Spend a couple of nights here and you’ll feel like you travelled much farther than 20 minutes across the border. Skipping the pricier summer season, I visited in May and October and both stays were exemplary. I chose an upgraded room that featured a view of Semiahmoo Bay and woodburning fireplace, and was not disappointed. For me, it was well-worth the extra $50 but if you’re not fussed with having the ocean (and the aforementioned twinkling White Rock) right outside your room, choose a lawn view and use the savings at the spa. Though I have yet to try the spa (that’s for another sojourn), their menu is extensive with massage, body treatments, facials, manicures, pedicures and a special couples’ massage that sounds divine. If being active is your thing, the resort offers a full fitness centre with cardio machines, free weights, an indoor running track and a variety of fitness classes that
includes Pilates and yoga, all complimentary for guests. There are also indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a sauna, steam room and a heated outdoor pool that’s open year-round. And that’s just the fitness centre! Head outside into Mother Nature’s gym and you’re surrounded by 300 acres of tideland and nearly 2.5 kilometres of level pathways that are perfect for walking, biking, kite flying and beachcombing. The two golf courses are just up the road. In the summer, an activity centre rents out kayaks and paddleboards. Being a foodie, I was anxious to check out the resort’s two restaurants. Lined with floorto-ceiling windows that show off the sunset, Packers Oyster Bar, a locals’ favourite, is open for lunch and dinner along with Happy Hour and late-night dining on weekends. The
menu focuses on fresh, local seafood (the oysters and mussels are harvested just off the beach), with a few inspired salads, meatbased mains and inventive pizzas thrown in. The wine and beer list is excellent and you could easily spend a few hours here sipping and nibbling away. There are a couple of large televisions with permanent ESPN but they are unobtrusive and don’t detract from the seaside vibe. If you’re lucky enough to score one of the leather armchairs or a spot on the sundrenched patio in the summer, I predict you won’t ever leave. Pierside Kitchen serves breakfast, weekend brunch and dinner and specializes in casual but sophisticated farm-to-table cuisine. With an expansive view of Semiahmoo Bay, it’s a
With floor-to-celing windows, Packers Oyster Bar at Semiahmoo Resort is a foodies’ delight. Jason Do Carmo photos INDULGE • Winter 2016 19
Jason Do Carmo photo relaxing spot for a lingering breakfast (try the all-you-can-eat option – it’s a great deal and most of the regular menu items are included). I ordered one of the house specialties – the “PB&C” which is an organic egg omelet with peanut butter and cheddar cheese. It sounds odd, but was delicious and filling. From lemon pancakes and eggs Benedict to pink grapefruit brûlée and quinoa granola, you’ll find something tantalizing and hearty to start your day. Room service is always an option, too, if you feel like a lazy morning in bed. I found the rooms to be very clean, quiet and comfortable. The pillow-top bed was sublime and extras like bathrobes, a mini fridge, Keurig coffee maker and free Wi-Fi were a nice touch. Speaking of Wi-Fi, though my cellphone switched over to AT&T at the border, by the time I reached the resort, I was back on Bell – so no roaming, which is a bonus. Semiahmoo Resort has a rich history that dates back to 1987, when it first opened as a golf resort. Through the years, it earned a reputation as an idyllic spot for weddings and business conferences, but was hit hard by the 2008 recession and never recovered. Shuttered in 2012 when its majority owner, the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, failed to find a buyer, the resort sat empty for close to 10 months until Wright Hotels, Inc. bought the property. Since then, $14 million has been invested in renovations. Today, the resort hums with activity and three years after a facelift, looks better than ever. From the blonde hardwood floors to the cozy reading area with wingback chairs flanked by a fireplace and a wall of windows, the place practically begs you to unwind. Relax in an Adirondack chair and listen to the waves crash against the shore or take a stroll on one of the many trails that line both sides of the spit and check out the nature and wildlife in abundance. They also offer cooking classes and wine tastings and, in the summer months, a beach bonfire with s’mores is held each evening at dusk. Trust me when I say that the next time you’re on Marine Drive and squinting across the water at the twinkling lights on that side of the bay, you’ll be reaching for your passport. Bookings can be made at www.semiahmoo.com, and be sure to sign up for email promotions; I scored great deals for both of my stays.
Spend a couple of nights here and you’ll feel like you travelled much farther… 20 Winter 2016 • INDULGE
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Adding a pet to the family is not a decision to make lightly
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he commercials are fittingly heartwarming: a child in a cosy onesie, still rubbing the leftover sleep from his or her eyes, pads downstairs to spot what is clearly a special gift under the Christmas tree. The child excitedly lifts the loosely placed lid from the red-ribboned box. Screams of delight – and sometimes tears – come next, as the undeniably adorable bundle of fur that’s inside pops up to plaster the giggling recipient with puppy kisses, its little body practically bursting with an uncontrollable case of the wiggles. But while giving a pet may sound like a great gift idea, there are a number of reasons to avoid the gesture on special occasions, said Kim Monteith, BC SPCA’s manager of animal welfare. “It’s a wonderful thought, however, the person receiving it really has to be ready,” Monteith said. “Christmas is a busy time of the year… sometimes it’s just not the right time to get a new addition.” At any time of the year, there are challenges
Tracy Holmes photo 22 Winter 2016 • INDULGE
Giving a pet as a gift can be tempting; animals like Hamish (below, with Elaine Nelson, of BC SPCA’s Surrey Education & Adoption Centre) need homes year-round. that come with welcoming a pet to the family, ranging from having the proper time to train it, to having the appropriate space to meet its needs. Those challenges can become particularly difficult endeavours to negotiate over the holidays, when lives are already bustling with decorating, shopping, cooking, visiting and other festive activities. Not only can it be overwhelming for the recipient, but for the animal, too. New pets – be they puppies, kittens, guinea pigs, birds or other animals, of any age – benefit from regimented schedules and a calm environment in which to adjust. And if the pet is a complete surprise to the recipient, regardless of whether that recipient is a known animal-lover, that just adds to the challenge, said Elaine Nelson, assistant manager of BC SPCA’s Surrey Education & Adoption Centre. Nelson knows the feeling well. As a young adult, she had a pet rat. Within days of her pet passing way, friends arrived with a gift they were sure she’d be thrilled with: a new rat. They were wrong. “I was still mourning my first rat. I wasn’t ready in any way to have a new rat at that point,” Nelson. “I treated it nicely. But it took a long time for me to feel warm to him.” Everyone responsible for the pet should be involved in the decision, Nelson said. Manel Dias, a Surrey resident with a heart for animals that she said has led her to volunteer for, and support, several animal-welfare
organizations including the SPCA, agreed that holidays are not the time to give a pet, nor spontaneously adopt. “These are living beings,” she said. “These are not ornaments. It is not just for a few weeks or months.” Options for those determined to gift a fourlegged member of the family to a loved one or friend include presenting a written promise instead, for a pet that will be chosen together a month or three down the road; or, wrapping up a book about the desired breed to help the recipient understand the commitment. Monteith said providing a gift basket of supplies that will be needed for the new addition is another alternative. Then, when things have settled down, take the recipient to choose their pet. “Then the person’s involved,” she said. There is also the option of fostering a pet over the holidays, or volunteering at a local shelter. Both not only help homeless animals and those charged with caring for them, but can help prospective pet owners get an idea as to whether taking that next step of owning is indeed the right move for them. For those looking to adopt a pet, there are many at the Surrey Education & Adoption Centre in need of permanent homes – including a 12-year-old cat named Loretta, who doesn’t like being around other cats; oneyear-old Hamish, an albino rat with an endless curiosity; and guinea pigs, Goofie and Gizmo. For more information, visit spca.bc.ca/surrey or call 604-574-1711.
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