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SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2019 ISSUE 23-05
Celebrating 20 years at the forefront of local food and drink
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MADE RIGHT HERE ON VANCOUVER ISLAND. Want to make a difference and still meet your financial goals? Let us show you how using proactive Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) standards can do just that. We’ve been doing it for years. Right here in Victoria. Contact us today to learn how we help create more sustainable portfolios. www.blueherongroup.ca 250 361-2284 | firstname.lastname@example.org Neil Chappell and Graham Isenegger are Investment Advisors and Portfolio Managers with the Blue Heron Advisory Group of CIBC Wood Gundy in Victoria BC. CIBC Wood Gundy is a division of CIBC World Markets Inc., a subsidiary of CIBC and a Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. CIBC Private Wealth Management consists of services provided by CIBC and certain of its subsidiaries, including CIBC Wood Gundy, a division of CIBC World Markets Inc. “CIBC Private Wealth Management” is a registered trademark of CIBC, used under license. “Wood Gundy” is a registered trademark of CIBC World Markets Inc. If you are currently a CIBC Wood Gundy client, please contact your Investment Advisor. Past performance may not be repeated and is not indicative of future results.
Welcome FALL FLAVOURS. A CRISPNESS IN THE AIR, plans starting to be made for the upcoming holidays, the bounty of the farms and gardens—fall has always been a favourite
time of year for me. In this issue, we celebrate the harvest; the final flush of local, beautiful produce and the new dishes it gives rise to after a summer of BBQs, salads, and berries. From a twist on a squash soup to an easier-than-you-thought, nutty risotto; from a duo of savoury tarts to an unexpected beet tartare, EAT’s recipes are celebrating the harvest. Cinda Chavich takes us to the Gold Coast in part two of her Australia trip. Adrian Paradis
discusses new vegan options. We’ve got some great bar tricks and tips to get you prepped for the upcoming party season. And as always, our writers have been dining out to find you some great options. Our City EATs column has some great information on upcoming events and new places to go. If you're going up island, don’t forget to check out The Buzz on eatmagazine.ca On a personal note, this issue marks one year since I took over the management of EAT Magazine. Thank you, dear readers and advertisers, for your continued support. It is genuinely humbling to be a part of this community that Gary built. CYNTHIA ANNETT-HYNES EDITOR
Cynthia Annett -Hynes
Eat the Future BENEFITING:
BC Hospitality Foundation
Gary Hynes Foundation
October 28 2 0 1 9
S AV E T H E DAT E
EIGHT TOP CHEFS TOGETHER FOR ONE NIGHT
TICKET & EVENT I N F O R M AT I O N :
This summer saw the arrival of an exciting new business on wheels – The Bubble Bus Co. has been spotted around town and at events offering prosecco, wine and beer on tap. bubblebusco.com The popular poutine-focused food truck L’Authentique has found a storefront to call home at 1208 Wharf St. Serving poutine, fries and burgers, this will be a welcome addition for fans of the Quebec specialty. lauthentiquepoutineandburgers.com
Visit eatmagazine.ca for the EAT Buzz - news and events from: COWICHAN VALLEY UP ISLAND TOFINO UCLUELET
The Chocolate Project by David Mincey, which is currently in a stand-alone kiosk at the Victoria Public Market, has found a permanent home. While it remains in the public market, they will have their own storefront, featuring a chocolate lounge and single malt scotch (along with all sorts of other good things) where folks can hang out, relax and enjoy while taking in all the market has to offer. chocolateproject.ca Estevan village has a new Thai restaurant. Owner and chef Phen Bryan started the Nohra Thai Kitchen to allow her to share her love of Thai food and bring the tastes of elevated Thai cuisine to Victoria. Building upon the food traditions passed on to her by her family, Bryan is incorporating authentic Western Canadian ingredients ranging from Dungeness, Rock crabs and salmon to locally sourced meats and produce. Nohra Thai offers a selection of BC wines, and local mixologist Nate Caudle has designed Thaiinspired cocktails to help prepare your palate for your meal. Open for dinner to start, with plans to expand to lunch service in the future. nohrathai.com The Esquimalt Ribfest is the largest family charity event in the south island drawing in up to 40,000 visitors. Running from Sept 6-8 this year, Ribfest is organized and run by volunteers to support local youth athletic projects. Ribs are prepared on site by 6 professional rib teams all working for the coveted People’s Choice Award.
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER
There will also be local craft brewers, and cider and wine available. Live music and free children's crafts and activities. esquimaltribfest.com The Victoria International Wine Festival returns to the Parkside Hotel and Spa Sept 19-21. This is a festival that showcases some of the best international wines and is directed at building the knowledge of the average wine consumer, and demonstrating new wines and acknowledging beloved wine standards to veteran consumers. vicwf.com Sept 21, the Union Club will be hosting its 5th annual ART+FARE gala. ART+FARE is a celebration of all things local, featuring unique exhibitions by a number of Victoria's finest art galleries and accompanied by locally sourced fare. All proceeds from sponsorships, auction items and a portion of the art sales go to supporting the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria's Children and Family Educational programs, and towards the conservation and preservation of its collection. artandfare.com Brewery & The Beast is back to where it all started for the 8th annual festival of meat on Sept 22. Indulge in creative, meaty dishes from over 60 chefs and restaurants from Victoria and the Island, all using sustainable, local proteins from BC and Alberta. Dishes are accompanied by beer from Phillips Brewing Company, local ciders and wine, and non-alcoholic beverages including soda from Phillips Soda Works, kombucha, and coffee. breweryandthebeast.com
On the cover:
Roasted Cauliflower and Fried Sage Risotto Styling + Photography:
Recipe on page 36
Oh My Curd, Victoria Poutine With Purpose is back for its third year. Starting Sept 27th at 12 PM and running through Oct 5th at 11:30 PM, every poutine sold at participating restaurants provides one meal to a youth in need through Mealshare. Poutine with no guilt! poutinewithpurpose.com As a pioneer in BC's exploding craft cider industry, Merridale is proud to host the 3rd Annual Cider Harvest Festival on Sept 29. This is an all-out celebration of BC farm craft. Come celebrate the fall harvest and discover BC's world-class farm-crafted ciders and meet their makers. Tickets $35, tasting tokens $2. merridale.ca Vancouver Island’s biggest cocktail celebration, the 11th annual Art of the Cocktail festival will be taking place this year on Oct 19 at the Crystal Gardens. Grand Tasting tickets from $70. artofthecocktail.ca Most of our local farmers markets carry on through mid October, and don’t forget about Gulf Island festival season if you’re up for some island hopping…
the 20th annual Salt Spring Apple Festival is on Sept 29 this year and the Galiano Island Blackberry Festival takes place on October 5. saltspringapplefestival.com galianofoodprogram.ca Eight top Victoria chefs are launching the first Eat the Future event at Boom + Batten restaurant on Oct. 28. The goal is to showcase what the culinary community can do to encourage and support a sustainable, and tasty, future. Organizers Boom + Batten and EAT Magazine are planning an incredible night of food and fun, as well as an online auction. Proceeds go to the BC Hospitality Foundation and the Gary Hynes Foundation to benefit workers and students in the culinary fields. Participating chefs: Sam Harris and Dominique Laurencelle – Boom + Batten, Kristian Eligh – The Top Table Group, Robert Cassels - Saveur, Chris Klassen and Brian Tesolin The Courtney Room, Brad Holmes - OLO, and Peter Zambri - Zambri's. eatthefuture.ca
A benefit for the
Crush A Fine Wine Affair
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Cynthia Annett-Hynes EDITOR-AT-LARGE
VANCOUVER CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
SENIOR WINE WRITER
LAYOUT AND DESIGN
Cynthia Annett-Hynes PRODUCTION
Amanda Batchelor REGIONAL REPORTERS
Victoria, Rebecca Baugniet Up Island, Kirsten Tyler CONTRIBUTORS
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Find Fall Flavours in Sooke Escape into nature - and find delicious food, craft spirits, beer, and locally roasted coffee. Stop in for a great meal, or pack one up for your outdoor adventure!
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Eating Well for Less
PHO, FALAFEL, AND PIZZA Alysa’s Pho & Bánh Mi 2630 QUADRA ST. NEAR HILLSIDE, VICTORIA 250-590-2829 | PHOVICTORIA.COM
There aren’t many places in town where you can get a really interesting sandwich for $6.50, so kudos to Alysa’s Pho & Bánh Mi in Quadra Village. Bánh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich characterized by a French baguette and, often, a base filling of pâté with meat, pickles, and coriander. Despite that tradition, the Tofu Curry Puff Bánh Mi has emerged as the
Sit-down street food in Victoria and Sidney.
mountainous central region, where many spices grow, are called “hue.” They are hearty, meaty, spicy soups seasoned with lemongrass and have big round noodles. The #36—Spicy Beef and Pork Noodle Soup—is one such example. It is stuffed to the brim with meat that looks like baloney but is actually house-made pork sausage sliced thinly. Beef shank and spicy sausage also appear in this robust soup, and there is even more umami thanks to the inclusion of shrimp paste. A Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk for $4.75 is
tofu is reconstituted then simmered for a long time in a curry
enjoyable with a meal or on its own. The joy of having one of
sauce, giving it a dense, meat-like texture. The sauce’s touch
these with a friend is that it is leisurely, almost ritualistic.
of sweetness plays nicely with the pickled daikon and cilantro,
A special filter sits atop your glass, and it is mesmerizing to
all working together to make a soft, juicy, delicious sandwich.
watch the coffee drip into the condensed milk at the base. You
The other major menu category is soups, mostly from the
restaurant’s crowd favourite, for good reason. Dehydrated
then mix it together well and add ice cubes.
north, where pho comes from, but also from the central
The décor is basic: you are here for the food. But the atmos-
region. Pho has a clean broth and flat noodles and is flavoured
phere is peaceful, and full of people from all walks of life who
lightly with cinnamon and anise. In contrast, soups from the
value authentic Vietnamese food.
BÁNH MI VIE TNAMESE SANDWICH
WE STEAK OUR REPUTATION ON IT
ISLAND RAISED 6
2032 OAK BAY AVE
Blair Mart Mediterranean Food & Deli
924 PANDORA AVE. NEAR VANCOUVER, 250-721-1626
103-2360 BEACON AVE, NEAR FIFTH, SIDNEY 778-426-3442 | WOODSHEDSIDNEY.COM
In the city of Amman, Jordan, a whole street is dedicated to falafel and shawarma, traditional foods in parts of the Middle East. Mohammed Hamdan, a Palestinian-Canadian who lived a long time in Jordan, is sharing this food culture through the meals he has started serving at Blair Mart Mediterranean Food & Deli. Wraps are only $6.50 to $8.50, and small cookies as low as 50 cents. But first, grab yourself a basil seed drink from the fridge. They come in different flavours like pineapple. The falafel wrap is as crispy as a chip on the outside, soft and tinted green on the inside thanks to parsley and cilantro. You can tell they’re made from scratch, as is the accompanying tahini sauce. A lamb kebab has flavours of oregano, coriander, and paprika in the meat, red peppers and pickle as vegetables, and tzatziki sauce. The chicken shawarma has the same vegetables but a different flavour profile—the chicken is marinated in yogurt sauce and served with house-made garlic sauce. Sandwiches are wrapped in flatbread and grilled, and come in a wrapper that makes them easy to take out. The 50-cent cookies include gharibuh, like shortbread with a hint of cardamom, and brazek, a thin pistachio cookie sprinkled with sesame seeds. Sesame fingers, a cookie
This inviting space, with its giant pots of boisterous flowers on the patio and terra cotta tile flooring, has a polished wood bar from which to gaze at your pizza bubbling up in the 700-degree wood-burning oven. The pizza menu is extensive, encompassing both classic flavour combinations and more modern twists. A classic for $14 is the anchovy, roasted garlic, marinated olives, and mozzarella. This rustic combination has the assertive flavours I expected, but soft cubes of marinated tomatoes provided a balancing sweetness. The other one I tried was the complete opposite: I would actually use the word “dainty” to describe the elegant brie, bacon, and apple pizza for only $15. Toppings are well distributed so each bite gives you a top note of green apple and a bite of juicy caramelized onion, creamy brie, and smoky bacon. The pizza base made from Italian Caputo flour is perfectly thin and crisp. Salads, $8 for a small, and $12 for a large, were generous servings for the price. My smoked salmon salad included ribbons of house-pickled onion, marinated tomatoes, goat cheese, and capers on mixed greens. The white balsamic vinaigrette was carefully balanced and did
wrapped around a date, go for $1.50.
not overpower the salmon.
The seating is just three two-seaters, since most of the space is taken up by a store featuring
Chicken and ribs are also available as meals or appetizers. My baked maple bacon wings
olive oils and interesting ingredients like carob and pomegranate molasses, and a deli counter with enticing salads, samosas, savoury rolls, and olives. Catering to home or office is available, and meals are available on-site between 11:00 am and 6:30 pm, with doors open between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm.
were golden brown and pleasantly sticky with maple glaze, and my ribs starter had a tangy sauce that clung to every bite of tender rib meat. The drink program is very Vancouver Island loyal, with Phillips beers and Merridale cider on tap. And it looks like customers are loyal, too—even at 3 p.m. on a weekday, the restaurant was half full. It is easy to see why.
JUS T SOME OF THE DELICIOUS ITEMS AVAIL ABLE AT THE BL AIR MART
BRIE, BACON, AND APPLE PIZ Z A
This under-rated allium adds a subtle touch to recipes without overpowering them with their sweet onion flavour. IN EVERY JOB INTERVIEW WE CONDUCT AT THE ROOT CELLAR, we finish up by asking what is the applicant’s favourite fruit or veg. Only once, in over a decade, has anyone ever answered “leeks.” I remember it vividly because I had to stop myself from getting up and hugging the sweet young thing.
When leek hunting, look for leeks with vibrant whites and greens. Faded, yellowing whites and limp greens indicate age, and with it nutrient loss. You also want leeks with the roots still attached—they extend the leeks longevity after harvest. And choose stalks with a diameter of no more than 1.5 to 2 inches to ensure they are uniformly tender. If stored properly leeks can last up to a couple of months, though I always suggest eating your produce as close to harvest as possible when it’s at its finest. When we asked that job applicant years ago why leeks were her favourite ingredient, she replied simply, “They make everything better.” She had wisdom beyond her years, and, yes, she got the job. Daisy Orser is co-owner of The Root Cellar Village Green Grocer
A personal favourite of mine, with their delicate, slightly sweeter flavour than onions, leeks add a subtle touch to recipes without overpowering. What they contribute—sweet and velvety but earthy—marries well with most herbs and lends a tender layer of interest to any dish in which you would use an onion, as well as those where leeks are featured. Containing sugar just like onions do, leeks can be more prone to sticking when sautéing because they contain less moisture, so they do need a little extra love when cooking. Leeks may be cousins to both onions and garlic, but they’re besties with butter. If you’re unfamiliar with leeks, this is the pairing to start with. Move to complementing onions with leeks, and once you’ve really started to appreciate what they’re bringing to the table, you can take them to center stage with leek soups, tarts, and, in the autumn when those tender young leeks are briefly available, throwing them on the grill during the last weeks of barbecue season. A hearty winter crop that can withstand cold weather, locally grown leeks are available from September through March, but you can count on leeks from one growing region or another year round. All the more reason to add them to your repertoire as they definitely can help keep things interesting during the winter months when our local produce options are a bit more limited.
PHOTO COURTESY DAISY ORSER
When I asked our manager the first thing that came to mind when he thinks about leeks, he immediately said “It’s the only vegetable that’s dirty on the outside and on the inside,” with a bit of an eye roll. True, leeks come with the essential but worthy hassle of extra cleaning. Whether you slice them into thin rounds, or lengthwise, it’s vital that they be rinsed (sometimes aggressively) under running water to remove the dirt that accumulates within the outer layers during the growing process. To create that much-desired length in the white portion of the leek stalks, soil needs to be continually built up around them as they grow, which is how soil ends up introduced to the layers. They aren’t a plant ’em and walk away crop, but the extra effort to ensure long tender white leeks is worth it; when you find leeks at the market with mile-high, bright white stalks it’s like winning the lottery.
Made You Look
250 598 8555 | marinarestaurant.com | 1327 Beach Drive
MARY PLOEGSMA THE TATTOO SERIES I
t was an unforgettable afternoon. Mary Ploegmsa served us David’s Tea’s vanilla chai with sweet local strawberries and chocolate biscuits. The sweeping views from the open-concept penthouse were stunning, but the chefs held our attention.
WOR D S
Ottavio’s Gen Laplante was there, so was Zambri’s Lou Vacca. He was pulling up his shirt, showing off his bison tattoo. Matt Sowiak, from Farm + Field Butchers, was taking a break
PHO T OGR A PH Y
and Patrick Lynch from Foo gripped a sharp knife, but his focus was elsewhere. Vin Coco’s Heather McCormack? Chilling on the stoop, happy and relaxed. And that’s only a few of the chefs who were there.
To be clear, these tattooed chefs were all captured in Mary Ploegsma’s oil paintings. The art
Born and raised in England, Mary enjoyed art as a child and youth. After studying the
trifactor of food, tattoos, and painting inspired Mary to explore The Tattoo Series I between
culinary arts at Burns School of Culinary and Domestic Arts. To pay for the compul-
sory pastry chef, chef, butcher and server uniforms, and all other necessities, she went
Mary’s deep love of food and art have always been with her. As for tattoos? Well—“I’ve never much liked tattoos,” she admitted, “though one of my sons is covered in them.” A combin-
to work, serving at the Canon Grill, a steakhouse. When the kitchen was short-staffed, Mary flipped steaks. “My studies suffered because I had to work so much,” she reflected.
ation of painting rock musicians and her last decade living half the year in Victoria, where
Mary’s husband Wod’s profession landed them in Houston, Texas, where they have lived
tattoos are ubiquitous, gave Mary an appreciation for their artistry and intricacy. Observant,
for more than thirty years. There, in 1985, while attending a “day out program” for new
curious and keen for a challenge, she took on painting chefs and their tattoos; “I wanted to
moms and their infants, Mary peeked in the window of an old cottage and saw a woman
catch the shadows that fall on the tattoos from the musculature and shape of the body.”
teaching a group of ladies to paint in oil. “Come on in!”—And she did. Mary’s incubating
10 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
House, looks both devilish and intent. Mary shared that it was essential to “know what to put in and what to leave out–because the eye fills in the picture.” One of the first canvases was of Gen Laplante, Ottavio’s General Manager. They met when Gen was giving classes at Cook Culture. In the series oil painting, there’s a warmth and openness in Gen’s face as she displays the sweet pea tattoo on her shoulder. The series complete, and a couple already spoken for, Mary was wondering what to do with the rest of the paintings. Speaking with the buyer of the Chef Liam Quinn portrait, she discovered how Boom + Batten Restaurant was co-hosting a culinary fundraiser with EAT magazine both the Gary Hynes Foundation and the BC Hospitality Foundation on October 28th. Gary, a former musician and chef, owned and ran EAT Magazine from 1999 until 2018 when he unexpectedly passed away. A sincere person with profound love, appreciation, and mastery of food, Gary was well-respected for supporting up-and-comers and for always being encouraging and positive to establishments and individuals alike. To continue his legacy, the Gary Hynes Foundation was established to provide grants and scholarships in the culinary, journalism, and music disciplines (monies raised at Eat the Future will go towards helping culinary students in their last year of study). For Mary, donating the paintings for Eat the Future’s online auction was a natural fit, as she understands first-hand Ar tis t Mar y Ploegsma with one of the f ir s t paintings in the series passion for art and painting flourished, studying with several artists including Dick Turner, Scott Burdick, Carolyn Anderson and Hongnian Zhang. Her first commission was in 1996, and now her portraits are in private collections around the world. The Tattoo I series showcases ten tattooed Victoria chefs and artisans. Mary explained, “I’m not an impressionist or a realist. I just paint the face and hands until they are just there.” As photographer Jacqueline Downey set up the canvasses for the photoshoot, I scanned the canvases. They all exhibited unique and articulate sparks of personality in posture and expression. Dylan Casimiros, former Assistant Chef at the now-closed Camille’s’, looks far off to the right, standing amidst graffiti from the alley behind Camille’s. Sophie Fenton, the former Executive Chef at Vis à Vis bouchon~bar and The Penny Farthing Public
how hard it is to study when you have to work. “I want to make learning easier for culinary students. Getting your red seal is important. I want to help.” Boom + Batten Executive Chef Sam Harris explains that the eight chefs participating in Eat the Future are collaborating and why this creative showcase is perfect, “We all understand the need to take care of our planet - especially food security - so having this unique artistic series of creative chefs part of the online auction is a great fit!” Packing up, sipping the last of my tea and enjoying another strawberry, I thanked Mary for her time, honesty and hospitality. Making a mental note to attend the fundraiser, I looked over her shoulder to quietly thank the chefs and artisans for their time as well. I couldn’t help it—they seemed so real. maryploegsma.com To find out more about the Eat the Future event, tickets, and auction, go to eatthefuture.ca
PERFECTION IN PLACE AND ON PLATE Our showcase wine cellar is the newest addition to the traditional dining options at the Wickaninnish Inn. Not too big and not too small, this intimate venue carved into the bedrock is just right. Book now to share this unique dining experience with friends, family or co-workers. Share a toast in the newly renovated On the Rocks Bar before joining your group for exceptional dining ambiance. www.wickinn.com | www.thepointerestaurant.ca | 250.725.3106
W OR D S
Cinda Chavich PHO T OGR A PH Y
The view of Burleig h Beach from the famed Rick Shores Res taurant
GOLD COAST GOURMETS
In Part 2 of Cinda Chavich’s tasty tour of Queensland, the EAT contributor explores the exciting, new food scene along the Gold Coast, a seafood and surfer’s paradise halfway around the world.
hile Brisbane is the modern, bustling capital of the state of Queensland, you’re
The contiguous stretch of beachside neighbourhoods runs from the urbane Surfers
never far from a day at the beach.
Paradise to more suburban Broad Beach and Mermaid Beach. The latter is home to
And after an exploration of the laid back Sunshine Coast, we head south of the
city to the soft sands and big breaks of Burleigh Heads. The beach scene along the busy Gold Coast is the antithesis of the Noosa chill, just two and a half hours away. Here it’s all glittery high-rise hotels, casinos, and sprawling shopping malls. It’s the place to come to party—and to surf—and my suite on the dizzying 31st floor of the Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise definitely has the space for friends to gather.
Bam Bam Bakehouse, where Sicilian pastry chef Aurelio Galino is busy laminating croissants (they sell hundreds daily). Here we indulge in sweet pastries, their famous blue latte (made with spirulina), and a variety of hearty egg dishes. Inglis-Turner reels off a list of her favourite restaurants as we cruise along the Gold Coast Highway past rows of condos and hotels—Mamasan Kitchen, Social Eating House, Nineteen—then introduces us to local artisan cheesemaker Kat Harvey. She sells her tasty little French-style St. Lily goat cheese, creamy Tintenbar brie, and
But we’re here to explore the local food scene, and a tour with Karen Inglis-Turner of
cow’s milk blue at farm markets and from her micro-shop in a repurposed ATM
Gold Coast Food and Wine Tours uncovers some hidden gems.
space on James Street.
12 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
all the best tools for your kitchen NOW SHOP ONLINE! #1-6332 Metral Drive, Nanaimo 250.933.1800 www.maisoncookware.com
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Just one metre wide (and
Smith Wharves development, the derelict area beneath the
two deep), “It may be the
iconic Story Bridge is now a popular dining and entertain-
world’s smallest cheese
ment district. The ultra-contemporary, 164-room hotel
shop,” she says. Clearly we
celebrates local artist Vincent Fantauzzo and is chocka-
won’t be eating in, but her
block with his dramatic portraits and other large artworks.
$25 cheese and cracker pic-
We start with cocktails in the hotel’s rooftop bar, then join
nics make tasty take-away.
the Saturday crowds at Felons craft brewery, Mr. Percival’s
Next stop is Koko Café
bar, and other new eateries along the waterfront.
on Karen Avenue, Alex
Just opened this spring, the Fantauzzo hotel is only one
Winter’s little industrial
of the new hospitality venues along the Brisbane river-
coffee roasting space and
front. There’s Greca Greek restaurant, a coffee roasting
café, and a snoop into
company, ARC wine bar, Cantonese restaurant Stanley,
19Karen, a contemporary
Toko Japanese dining, and several event spaces, all in
art gallery next door fea-
re-imagined heritage buildings that date to the 1930s and
turing emerging inter-
’40s. Wide walkways and grassy areas encourage strolling,
national artists (including
picnics, cycling, and simply exploring this strip below the
some colourful canvasses
dramatic steel bridge, which at night is lit in blue lights that
by Vancouver Island’s Lucy
The bar at Granddad Jack 's Craf t Dis tiller y, Miami
Schappy of Courtenay). At Granddad Jack’s Craft Distillery in the suburb of Miami,
opened just a year ago and is already winning awards. Stay
22-year-old Luke Ridden and his father Dave Ridden have
tuned for several unique whiskies now aging in small barrels.
created a homage to their late grandfather David (Jack) Goulding with a new line of small-batch spirits. The cosy industrial space, renovated with salvaged and repurposed materials, features a comfortable tasting bar and vintage barbershop alongside the pot and column stills. It’s part distillery, part cool man cave, celebrating Granddad Jack’s colourful life story. We gather around high-top tables to taste their three distinctive gins (heavy on the juniper and local lemon myrtle), and learn about their business.
reflect dramatically in the river below. Morning finds us hoofing it along riverside walkways to meet Walk Brisbane’s Lee-Anne Harris for an exploration of the city’s hidden cocktail and coffee bars. Australians are
You’ll find their spirits in local cocktail bars, like the new
as fussy about their coffee as they are about their local in-
outdoor Burleigh Pavilion beach bar, set in a vintage public
gredients, and we encounter some serious baristas in small
swimming pool space and just reopened after a $10 million
cafés down back streets and laneways.
renovation. We take a breezy table outside and order drinks while surfers arrive, propping up their sandy boards, before sitting down for pizza and craft beer.
In a hidden “garden” behind the narrow Iconic coffee, I sip my $4 “flat white” made with a shot of single origin El Tablon espresso. We discover the funky, underground Bean café
It’s just our entrée to a long lunch at the famed Rick Shores
down a narrow alley, and try icy glasses of cold brew (steeped
restaurant, where we admire the views of Burleigh Beach
for 18 hours) with colourful cakes at Felix for Goodness.
from a wall of open windows, while indulging in the Asian-inspired menu. There’s glistening kingfish sashimi
“We’re a two-minute walk to the beach, the closest distillery
atop paper-thin persimmon, yellow prawn curry with
to the ocean in Australia,” says Dave, adding, “Luke is the
charred roti, crispy karaage chicken with kewpie mayo,
youngest commercial distiller in the country.” The distillery
and the restaurant’s most famous nosh—‘Ricks’ Fried Bug Roll—the local Moreton Bay bug (a.k.a. flathead lobster tail), tempura-fried and nestled in a toasted brioche bun. BEAUTIFUL BRISBANE Though home to more than 2.5 million, downtown Brisbane is extremely walkable. The wide Brisbane River meanders through the city, with locals running and biking the riverside pathways, or traversing town via the CityCat ferries. My room in the recently opened Fantauzzo Art Series hotel makes the perfect base for explorations on foot. Part of the
Brisbane river walk
14 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
recent $200-million Howard
A selec tion from Felix for Goodness, Brisbane
Desser t at Montrachet Res taurant, Brisbane
Q ueensland prawns from the wood-f ired ovens at Three Blue Ducks, Brisbane
The latter is found along Burnett Lane, one of Brisbane’s historic laneways, and home to
anchovies, to pearl barley risotto with local pine mushroom, duck with braised quince and
colourful murals and the new Death and Taxes cocktail bar, marked by a wall stencilled
parsnip gratin, and Townsville lobster poached, sous vide, in tomato butter with tiny peas
with regal lions. The secretive Blue Art Xinja has left his signature blue silhouettes along
and a classic, citrusy Maltaise sauce.
the way, too—blue rats behind exposed red water pipes, birds soaring across exposed brick, a dapper duck in top hat. There’s more street art, sculpture, and public installations to see as we wend our way toward the Kurilpa Bridge, with its stunning multiple-mast suspension system, en route to Fish Lane, another colourful food street to explore. Whether it’s simply creative coffee at Miss Green’s Beans, inspired Asian at Chu the Phat, Vietnamese from a shipping container at Hello Please, French food at La Lune, or high-concept tasting menus at Gauge
“We moved down here 18 months ago and it’s exceeded all of our expectations,” Kellam’s wife Clare told us as we finished the decadent chocolate dessert course on his elegant multicourse menu, paired with beautiful French wines. Queensland’s capital has exceeded all of my expectations, too—a place where wild and local collide with contemporary cooking on every plate. A walk through this compact corner of the sprawling state has only whetted my appetite for future culinary explorations.
(and cocktails at Maker), this funky laneway is devoted to delicious diversions. But eating through Fish Lane would require more than one visit. For a taste of what’s new from a collective of artisan entrepreneurs, we stop in at Wandering Cooks, the communal kitchen and retail space where local food entrepreneurs can rent commercial kitchen space to launch new products. Artisan food producers make crackers and samosas, beautiful gluten-free baked goods, Argentinian barbecue, and plant-based Mexican fare to sell on site, or at events and local food markets. There’s even an on-site bar showcasing artisan, small-batch beer, wine and spirits, a coffee shed and patio, and a stage for local music, making it a space for artists of all kinds to gather and share. But there’s also big money in Brisbane’s food and hotel scene. The city has seen a burst in investment and development in recent years, bringing top chefs and creative concepts from across the country and around the world. The young celebrity chefs behind Three Blue Ducks brought their winning organic, ethical food concept to Brisbane (their fourth location) last year. The restaurant takes up a sprawling space in the ultra-modern W Hotel, overlooking the city lights and winding Brisbane River, and serves hyper-local fare from its wood-fired ovens, including Queensland prawns, spanner crab, and other seafood. On stylish James Street, in The Calile, a beautiful new hotel, Hellenika serves chic Greek poolside. And over on trendy King Street, chef Shannon Kellam has updated the fine French dining experience at Montrachet with this new location and a traditional French bakery down the block. His decade in Michelin-starred kitchens in France (including competing for Australia at the prestigious Bocuse d’Or) has been translated to Australian ingredients, from wild Queensland venison rolled in Tasmanian pepper with white Australian
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732 Yates St 15
All over the world, the pancake is a blessed trinity of eggs, flour and milk.
THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO SOMEONE RECKONED they could flatten thick, floury gruel and cook it on a hot stone or iron slab. Ever since, just about every culture can claim some sort of pancake. As to when the loose flour-dairy-egg batter that shapes the crepe, galette, blini, blintz or pancake (and even Yorkshire pudding) evolved is anyone’s guess. Presumably a savvy farmer, or farmer’s wife, found that fresh milk and a few golden yolk eggs upped the ante considerably. No matter how lean the larder, eggs, flour and milk are always within reach in my kitchen. And an easy-to-make pancake batter remains for me a blessed trinity for its simplicity and versatility. A feathery light crêpe stuffed with a meltingly good cheese (also always near at hand) along with a simple green salad and a glass of crisp white wine (never far away) makes a lovely lunch or light dinner. For nibbling with an extra dry vodka martini or glass of bubbly, fewer canapés are easier to rustle up—or tastier—than toonie-sized blini capped with sour cream, slivers of smoked salmon, or ersatz “caviar.” (The real stuff doesn’t do the sturgeon any favours, and it’s too damned expensive in any case.) I look for seaweed caviar or the Spanish “caviar” made with herring and mullet roe. As the days begin to draw in, a cool crisp morning calls for a back-to-basics stack of pancakes, sometimes a few crisp bacon rashers or pork sausage in tow; other times, fresh fruit or warmed fruit compote. Genuine maple syrup is the traditional pour over, but I like berry syrups too—particularly huckleberry. Only a mug of strong-brewed coffee for this down-toearth breakfast. No espresso, no Americano, no frothy cappuccino. Pancakes assume various monikers according to the region from which they hail, the dairy used (milk, buttermilk, cream) and the type of flour (wheat, oat, corn or buckwheat). Corn pancakes can go by johnnycake or hoecake. Flapjacks, pancakes, griddlecakes or hot cakes are usually wheat or buckwheat based, often with a dash of baking powder. For oatcakes, well, that’s pretty obvious. Most recipes call for frying. However a few, such as the mouth-watering apple pancake in The Inn Cook Book: Favorite Recipes from New England Inns (1987), call for oven baking. Devotees insist that a flat, cast iron griddle/skillet is necessary for a superb pancake and that “aging” the batter is also a must. (I remember my mother letting Yorkshire pudding batter rest on the kitchen counter while the Sunday “joint” roasted.)
Galet te Bretonne I am partial to buckwheat/buttermilk pancakes. Contrary to the names, buckwheat is not wheat but a seed related to rhubarb, and buttermilk is nearly devoid of fat. I am not averse to gluten. I simply prefer the texture of the dark flour with its earthy nutty flavour, and I like the tang that the buttermilk lends to the equation. Because buckwheat lacks gluten, a generous dash of baking powder fluffs up the batter and a touch of cinnamon is nice. Jane Baxter’s Shrove (or Pancake) Tuesday buckwheat pancake recipes from The Guardian (February 2014) are superb. I replace the organic milk called for with buttermilk. It’s possible to sour regular milk, too, with a little vinegar or plain yogurt. Buckwheat batter, spread paper-thin and cooked, then topped with an egg, ham, and Gruyère cheese and folded gently over the fillings to cook them becomes a reasonable facsimile of the galette bretonne you find all over Brittany in northern France. For a blintz, or Hungarian palacinke, rolled cooked batter is filled with sweetened ricotta or farmer’s cheese if you can find it. It is wonderful dolled up with Greek yogurt and fresh, or better still caramelized, fruit. One nippy morning, when you notice the first leaves begin to fall, get to whipping up a stack of pancakes. Curl up on the couch, and in the manner of Mr. Thorne, indulge without guilt in your breakfast treats and, at least for a while, simply let the world roll by.
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Good for You
THYME IS ON YOUR SIDE
The flavourful herb is much more than a seasoning. THE ROLLING STONES HAD IT RIGHT—time, or rather thyme—IS on your side. For millennia the delicate herb has been valued as a culinary ingredient and as a reliable ally in the treatment of respiratory ailments. Only recently, however, have scientists discovered the extensive nature of the Mediterranean herb’s health benefits.
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While herbs generally aren’t regarded as storehouses of vitamins and minerals, nutritional analysis reveals thyme is a very good source of Vitamin C, manganese, iron, and copper. However, scientists believe it is thyme’s impressive and unique mix of flavonoids and volatile oils that give it its true healing power. Research reveals these beneficial plant compounds can help us stay healthy in several ways.
Studies show thyme’s antimicrobial effect is quite astounding—it can KO everything from E. coli to Staphylococcus aureus. Not surprisingly, research indicates using this bacteria banisher can help prevent food poisoning. What’s more, one intriguing study found that thymol, one of thyme’s volatile oils, can help reduce bacterial resistance to antibiotics like penicillin. And here’s more good news. Bacteria are not thyme’s only victims; the herb can also help eradicate fungi like Candida albicans.
Several animal and in-vitro studies reveal thyme’s chief flavonoids naringenin and apigenin tackle inflammation by inhibiting pro-inflammatory enzymes in the body. Since many chronic ailments are caused by inflammation, scientists believe this effect may make thyme an ally against a variety of deleterious conditions, including heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. If the latter doesn’t impress you, consider this. The herb’s positive effect on our tickers may go beyond its anti-inflammatory strength. Research at the University of Belgrade revealed the herb may help in reducing hypertension (high blood pressure), a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.
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The good news continues—extracts of thyme have been shown to cause apoptosis (cell death) in both breast and colon cancer cells. Furthermore, in rat studies thyme’s potent flavonoid naringenin helped to reduce the size of brain tumours.
Thyme is noggin friendly in other ways too. Emerging research suggests the herb has an antidepressant effect and may help improve cognitive function.
Cooking with thyme
Breakfast - Lunch - Afternoon High Tea - Desserts - Happy Hour
at Adrienne's Restaurant & Tea Garden at Mattick's Farm, Cordova Bay, 250-658-1535
18 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
Clearly, incorporating the herb into your diet with some thyme-honoured recipes is an expedient idea. And thankfully, there are myriad culinary applications for thyme. Widely used in French and Italian cuisines, thyme’s mild lemony taste can amp up the flavour of everything from pasta sauces to roasted vegetables and grilled meats. You may be surprised to learn that thyme can even be a fabulous addition to desserts and condiments. One of my favourite ways to use the herb is in a sublime lemon and thyme shortbread. And I adore the blueberry jam with lemon and thyme a dear friend whips up faithfully every summer (thyme pairs beautifully with citrus flavours like lemon and orange). It’s subtle, tangy flavour also marries well with stronger flavoured herbs like sage and rosemary. A great complement to tomatoes, roasted potatoes and squash, the herb is also superb mixed with honey and butter and drizzled on roasted fruits like apples and plums. More traditional ways to employ thyme include using it in stuffings, marinades, soups, stews, and cheese dishes. However you choose to use it, thyme can enhance both your meals—and your health.
From buoyant bubbles to rich reds. Caves São João Reserva Bruto 2015 Portugal $19.00-20.00 In the world of sparkling wine, you might get what you paid for. If you are very lucky, you just might get more than you paid for. Caves São João was established in 1920 by brothers José, Manuel, and Albano Costa. It remains the oldest family-owned winery in the Bairrada region of Portugal. Initially the brothers specialized in producing good, oldfashioned wines capable of aging for decades but soon turned their focus on the production of sparkling wine made in the Méthode Champenoise way. The Reserva Bruto is a blend of Bical, Chardonnay, Maria Gomes and Arinto aged on the lees in the bottle for 12 months. Bright and creamy with fresh citrus, orange, and floral aromas, it’s refreshing with a streak of mouth-watering acidity and a subtle chalky minerality. Bottega S.p.A. Prosecco Treviso “Il Vino dei Poeti” Brut NV Italy $18.00-19.00 Produced from Glera grapes grown in the Conegliano Hills in Treviso, this soft, easydrinking Prosecco is worth the effort to seek out. Nicely balanced with tiny bubbles, delicate aromas of acacia, peach, and apples balanced with a streak of lively acidity and sweet, tangy fruit flavours. An absolutely delicious Prosecco. Lugny Crémant de Bourgogne Cuvée Millésimée Brut 2015 France $24.00-25.00 This is a serious bottle of fizz made following the classic Champagne Method by a wellrespected cooperative in the Mâcon region, deep in the heart of Burgundy. This cuvée is a blend of hand-picked Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes fermented in the traditional method and aged for at least 18 months on its lees. Very fresh and well-balanced with great fruit and a lovely creamy texture. A Champagne experience without the sticker shock. Baron-Fuenté Grande Réserve Champagne Brut NV France $47.00-49.00 Family owned and operated, Baron-Fuenté started out with one hectare of land in 1967 and now has 35 hectares of vineyards on the river banks west of the Marne Valley. The blend is 30 percent Chardonnay, 60 percent Pinot Meunier and 10 percent Pinot Noir, fermented in stainless steel tanks before going through a full malolactic fermentation. After the second fermentation in the bottle, the wine is aged on the lees for three years. Very elegant with great balance and subtle citrus, brioche, and minerally flavours. Good value. Verso Rosso Salento 2016 Italy $17.00-18.00 A generously endowed, take no prisoners blend of Negroamaro (60 percent), Primitivo (35 percent), and Malvasia Nera (5 percent) that mounts a full-scale assault on your palate the moment the cork is broached. There is nothing subtle about this wine. It is full-bodied with dense, dark fruit flavours and a ripe, hedonistic palate. Barone Montalto Nero d’Avola-Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Italy $13.00-15.00 Now here is a young red from Sicily you can bet the farm on. Full-bodied and robust with black currant, cherry, and herb aromas, soft fruit flavours, no sharp edges, and a rich, chewy finish. Unsworth Pinot Noir 2017 Vancouver Island $28.00-30.00 If this delicious Pinot from the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island is an indication of things to come, than brace yourself, we are in for a treat. Nicely balanced, with ripe cherry, earth, and spice flavours, a silky texture with soft acidity and a blush of fine-grained tannins. Poderi Dal Nespoli Nespolino Rubicone Rosso 2017 Italy $13.00-14.00 This hearty little blend of Sangiovese (70 percent) and Merlot (30 percent) will breathe new life into your beleaguered entertainment budget. Medium-bodied with tangy cherry, herb, and chocolate, it is dry, brimming with fresh fruit flavours and a blush of fine-grained tannins. Simple and delicious. Casa Santos Lima Colossal Reserva Red 2015 Portugal $16.00-17.00 This superlative bottle of wine must be considered one of the best values of the year to date. Anytime you come across a bottle of wine with this much concentration and fruit for under twenty bucks, it merits a quick sprint to the nearest reputable liquor store. You will not regret it. Plums, boysenberries, dried herbs, smoky mineral notes, sweet fruit, and a modicum of soft but grippy tannins to round it all out. One heck of a vinous experience!
R EPORTER Wind Cries Mary Joie Grillades Bakeology
W OR D S
Adrien Sala Elizabeth Monk Daniel Murphy PHO T OGR A PH Y
Lillie Louise Major Johann Vincent
WIND CRIES MARY IN BASTION SQUARE 20 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
A New Culinary Experience is Coming Soon to Victoria! 1515 Douglas Street Weâ€™re thrilled to join Victoriaâ€™s vibrant dining community and to unveil a fresh and approachable concept in the city.
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Wind Cries Mary A new face in a classic space.
“I grew up on Vancouver Island,” Dame explains, adding
The corner of Langley Street and Bastion Square in down-
“I spent 17 years travelling and refining my skills and
45 BASTION SQUARE, VICTORIA 3 P M T O M I D N I G H T, T U E S D AY T H R O U G H S U N D AY 250-590-8989
W W W.W I N D C R I E S M A R Y. C A
that he returned about a year and a half ago with his family.
town Victoria is a busy place—and for 28 years, it was occu-
now I want to give back to Victoria by focusing on island
pied by the popular fine-dining restaurant Camille’s. A little
ingredients.” Renovated by the design team Bidgood & Co
over three years ago, however, the stalwart date spot closed
(Sherwood, The Livet), there is now a large bar with room
its doors while the building underwent seismic upgrades
for 12, while the main room sits another 50. The kitchen has
from top to bottom. Now, fully secured and renovated, the
been expanded and walls have been opened up that lead to
iconic space has re-opened under new ownership—as an
a large family table in the back for additional seating and a
entirely new restaurant, with an entirely new name.
courtyard outside. An entire side of the restaurant is bench seating and there’s a nook around the corner for a more
Wind Cries Mary was opened in July by Jesse Dame, who
private experience. The lighting is warm. It feels comfort-
for the past several years has worked as the operations man-
able and modern—a place where you could easily settle in
ager for The Flying Pig, helping bring that restaurant from a
for an evening or swing by for a quick bite, which is kind of
single location in Yaletown to five throughout the mainland and into Victoria. This new project is a culmination of near-
ly two decades working in hospitality around the world.
“We really want this to be an unpretentious place,” says Dame. “We want you to come in wearing jeans or wearing a suit. Spend a little or spend a lot—use it how you want to.” On a recent Friday evening, I popped in with a friend and did just that. It was an impromptu meal at the bar in which we grazed the menu and drank a bit of wine. The room was busy and had a nice hum to it, but quiet enough that we were able to enjoy our conversation. For food, we shared small bites: a plate with smoked lingcod fritters and Castelvetrano olives, followed by some homemade kielbasa, a bit of cheese and fresh bread. Putting all of it together in the kitchen is executive chef David Healey. Healey worked with Dame at The Flying Pig LILLIE LOUISE MAJOR
through four new openings and has roots in the nose-to-tail approach that stretches back several years. “I spent some formative years at a restaurant called Seasonal 56 with Chef Adrian [Beaty], who was super impactful on my life,” Healey explains. While there, he worked directly with local farms in the Fraser Valley and gained a respect for animals, which is something he has brought to Wind Cries Mary.
LILLIE LOUISE MAJOR
22 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
Courtenay Room, is approaching the cocktail menu much
“It’s really important to me to use the full animal, because
like Healey is the food menu. He is developing drinks that
I think people forget that if an animal lives so you can have
include local flavours and ingredients, such as pine-infused
meat, it has to die for that.”
vodka. Owner Jesse Dame is playing a role behind the bar as
While working with local farmers for the charcuterie and
Mixing it up is bar manager Clay ton Thornber
A corner of Wind Cries Mar y 's comfor table and modern dining room
other large items on the menu is certainly a focus, Healey
well; as a certified sommelier, Jesse has put together a wine list that satisfies a range of budgets and tastes.
has also taken time to build dishes that use sustainable
Now, if you’ve reached this far in the article and are of a cer-
seafood. From charred Pacific octopus to local oysters and
tain vintage, you may be pulling your hair out about the fact
wild Pacific salmon, the menu is nicely balanced, and broad
that I haven’t yet commented on the name of the restaurant,
enough to appeal to a wide audience.
which is borrowed from a famous Jimi Hendrix song. That’s
To support all of this is a great cocktail and wine program. Bar manager Clayton Thornber, previously at The
mostly by design. When I asked Dame about this, he said the choice was more nebulous than a simple tribute to Hendrix, although over time it has moved more into that realm.
“It’s really important to me to use the full animal, because I think people forget that if an animal lives so you can have meat, it has to die for that.” — DAVID HEALEY
“We wanted to not be tied down by our name,” he said. “If you call yourself an oyster bar or a steakhouse, you’re kind of bound by that—we wanted to pique interests. My wife’s name is Mary—so that’s also a layer. But most importantly, it’s the experience that ends up being what the name is and the restaurant becomes.” With the restaurant in full swing as of July, it will be interesting to see how the team at Wind Cries Mary riffs through the seasons.
LILLIE LOUISE MAJOR
vista18.com | @vista18
Fresh burrata ser ved with Windset Farm's heirloom tomatoes
1175 COOK STREET AT VIEW, VICTORIA 2 5 0 - 5 9 0 -7 2 2 8
Cook Street gets an exciting new Basque tapas restaurant. The Basque region sweeps from southwest France into northern Spain, including both sides of the Pyrénées mountains that divide the two countries, and is bordered by the Bay of Biscay in the Atlantic Ocean. So unique is the culture that the Basque Nationalist Party was founded in 1895 with the goal of independence, but splinter groups were behind a period of violent political conflict from 1959 until a negotiated settlement in 2011 with Spain allowed some self-governance. While there is sadness and loss in the Basque story, with roughly 800 people killed during the conflict, there is also the beauty of a people committed to preserving and protecting their culture. Which brings us to Joie Grillades owner Laurent Neveu. Neveu was born in the inland village of Ascain, in the French part of the Basque region, and spent years of his childhood with his grandmother in Paris, where she owned various taverns and brasseries. His earliest training was working alongside her as a child. He carried on to the Ecole hôtelière de Paris, and then, in a major geographical and life twist, won a contest that landed him at The Beetroot Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming, as executive chef at the age of 19. Fast-forward through stints in Montreal, Beijing, and the Bahamas, as well as ownership of a French restaurant in Deep Cove, North Vancouver, and Neveu has landed in Victoria and launched Joie Grillades, a Basque-focused tapas restaurant in a large LILLIE LOUISE MAJOR
space on Cook at View Street. Both French and Basque-focused dishes are on offer here and the restaurant goes beyond tapas and also includes a lunch menu. Thon Basquaise is the perfect dish to try for an immersion into Basque flavours. The tuna is seared, topped with a mild cheese, and served with a traditional pipèrade sauce of sautéed peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and Basque spices.
Owner L aurent Neveu Neveu’s classical French training shines through in the Mousseline de Foies Blonds Périgourdins. This mousse of goose, duck, and chicken livers is impressively light and airy and served with elegant cranberry-almond crostini and a side of arugula topped with smoky roasted peppers. Vegetarians are well served in dishes like the grilled portobello mushroom, which is imbued with lemon and topped with a sauce of basil and cognac. And the Feuilleté de Chèvre is a decadent dish of puff pastry stuffed with soft, creamy, mellow goat cheese, which, Neveu mentions with a shrug, is made by him. While these larger dishes are seductive, the smallest dishes, called “pintxos” in Basque parlance, are also vital to the experience. I was flooded with memories of my time in France when I bit into my baguette, and the Olives Maison had a scintillating flavour from the addition into the marinade of orange essence from charred orange skin. LILLIE LOUISE MAJOR
LILLIE LOUISE MAJOR
The house wines are a Bordeaux-style Rothschild and a white from Provence called La Vieille Ferme. At the time of writing, Joie Grillades had launched only two weeks before, so Neveu is still working with an importer to bring in special wines from France. The décor is modern, simple, and spare, creating a clean
Feuilleté de Chèvre is a decadent dish of puff pastry filled with goat cheese
24 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
Tar telet te Provençale topped with ratatouille and basil pes to
backdrop for a rich cultural experience.
998 GORGE RD. W., VICTORIA 250-590-6455
New bakery/café creates a chic gathering place in an evolving neighbourhood.
shaved almonds). Couple her genetic predilection for pastry
As the seasons shift, expect to see the addition of soups and
with a decade spent in the hospitality trenches supple-
heartier lunch fare to the menu, encouraging customers to
As Gorge-side amblers and stroller-socialites will attest:
menting her early university studies, and you have a pretty
ditch the “grab-and-go” in favour of a comfortable seat to
stellar recipe for the ideal bakery owner/operator.
observe the waning weather, and the rain as it patters on the
the opening of Kai Riecken’s Bakeology bakery/café is a Big Deal for the Gorge/Admirals community. The neighbourhood itself is rapidly changing. As a resident for more than a decade, Riecken points out that the majority of homes on her street (including her own) have been recently gutted and remodelled, or are currently displaying realtor signage. In the process, the local demographic is shifting heavily towards younger families who seek large yards and quiet streets, while staying relatively close to town. The flip side of this suburban transition is that newcomers are entering a desert when it comes to commercial amenities they can access on foot Enter Bakeology, the saving grace for resident caffeine-worshippers. As they take their daily pilgrimage alongside the slow-moving waters of the Upper Gorge, locals will be greeted by the aroma of Stick in the Mud coffee wafting down Gorge Road, luring them to make a quick stop at the Altar of the Americano. Thankfully, instead of stale, unleavened communion bread, Riecken’s skills as a baker are a fantastic complement. Her family pastry lineage dates back more than a century to her great-grandfather’s bakery in Copenhagen. At offerings. The usual array of muffins and scones are accompanied by more unconventional fare, like Danish kringle (think of a flattened croissant stuffed with marzipan and
light, veggie wraps available). The café is well serviced for
into professional baking has been a digression of sorts. She
parking with a small lot directly across Gorge Road, a couple
recently moved on from a career in professional academia,
of dozen spots on Admirals, and a nearby lot at Craigflower
as a professor specializing in “Community Population
Elementary (whenever school is out of session).
Health.” While those two worlds may seem far apart, her scholarly endeavours have revolved around the ways our
Looking ahead, Riecken sees much potential for Bakeology
health is reflected in our social networks. Although her deli-
to continue drawing its surrounding community closer
ciously gluey sticky buns and raspberry and white chocolate
together. She has tabled some genuinely exciting ideas,
scones might seem at odds with studies in health, Riecken
which at time of writing are unfortunately still too “un-
adheres to the “everything in moderation” approach. Plus,
polished” to put into print. But keep an eye on Bakeology
she has a self-confessed sweet tooth. So what better way to
as it continues to establish itself as an outpost of culture
satisfy it than opening a bakery?
in an otherwise barren—but highly promising—corner of Victoria.
The brilliant white building that houses Bakeology has a
long history in the neighbourhood. The heritage-designated Brookman building was constructed in 1930 and opened as the Craigflower Bridge Store, a community and farmer’s grocery store. In the 1950s, it was converted into an auto service garage, and the store itself shifted to the convenience variety, while a motel was built around it. Retention and restoration of this heritage building was a condition for construction of the hulking, conspicuously yellow-hued Amica assisted-living centre that now occupies the original site. Amica was looking for a local, community food venue unaffiliated with any chain or franchise. The Bakeology concept was everything they were looking for. The Brookman building was lifted and moved to its current corner location and underwent significant upgrades after
Bakeology, you’ll find that influence sprinkled into their
waters of the Gorge (at time of writing, they only have three
Despite her family’s long history in the field, Riecken’s entry
years of water damage. The result is a welcoming, relaxed,
A Bakeolog y specialt y - plain and cheese pret zels
modern-farmhouse feel: white walls, polished wood flooring, exposed beams. It’s casual but inherently stylish. A range of seating types, from leather lounges to a communal long table, cater to varying customer needs. Upstairs in the mezzanine, Riecken has been kind enough to supply an arsenal of distractions for toddlers—books, toys, an easel, and chalk. The small outdoor patio is well suited to resting canines and strollers. After opening in May of this year, Bakeology has enjoyed the (albeit spotty) summer weather as it finds its feet, along the Gorge and nearby parks and playgrounds. As such, iced coffee and other cold beverages have been popular, as have their sticky buns (a ubiquitous hit at seemingly every Victoria bakery), and a range of differently flavoured soft,
becoming a regular stop for the steady flow of foot traffic
bready, German-style pretzels. The rosewater marshmalOwner Kai Riecken
low also warrants a mention - and a sample.
Dark Chocolate & Rosemar y cookies
Youâ€™ll find deliciously different tastes in Cowichan. This fall, explore our gently rolling hills and discover not just great eats but endless adventures. Visit us from November 1st to 30th to save a bunch with great restaurant, adventure and accommodation deals.
Letters from Lyon
bistro, bouchon, or brasserie. I decided to do some research on the actual definitions of these establishments. I must admit, it hasn’t been easy finding the exact translations, and like most things
A Bistro by Any Other Name
relating to food, every French chef has an opinion, and every opinion is slightly
In April 2019, chef Sophie Fenlon said goodbye to her job, family, and friends, sold all her possessions, and moved to Lyon for a year-long personal and culinary adventure. This ancient city of half a million at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers has the highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world. This is Sophie’s third in a series of letters to EAT readers sharing her experiences in France. Read more at: eatmagazine.ca/letters-from-lyon
It feels as if it was just yesterday I was writing you about my latest adventures here in Lyon. To date, I am feeling very well settled in the city, even with the torrid heat wave. I’m positive you have heard of the record-breaking temperatures here in France by now. Purposefully, I have been travelling to cooler parts of Europe this month, and that has helped me avoid some unbearably hot nights. The flights are cheap to almost anywhere I want to go, and getting away for just the weekend is fast and easy. Heated days aside, Lyon in the summer was beautiful. I got to eat outside for all my meals, travel to different parts of the rivers to swim,
different. Even though it was a huge hardship forcing myself to eat at as many restaurants as possible this month, I have come to some clear understandings. The Bistro is an intimate, smaller-scale restaurant. A great place to go if you want a quick sitdown meal in a casual atmosphere. The reasonably priced menu items are simple seasonal dishes. Bistros tend to be open only during meal hours, and because of their popularity among locals, they get crowded fast. The Bouchon is specific to Lyon and dates back centuries; originally you could bring your horse to these canteens and tie them up outside while you enjoyed a meal on the way to your next destination. Bouchons are always independent and are very casual dining spots. A lot of the time the food is thrown down on the table
and with the sun not setting until late in the evening, the days seemed long and stimulating.
in front of you, and it can be hard to catch
As with most other parts of Europe, there were a lot of tourist coming through, especially
to always be joking around with the
with the World Cup being so popular among the Americans and British. The streets were filled with people of all ages and cultures. Every once in a while, my ears perked up when I heard a family speaking in English. I had to stop myself from jumping into their conversation and chatting along. The lesson of being a true expat in a country where the only option is to speak French has been a huge part of this transition for me. I have a different understanding of language than I did before, and how easy my life has been as an English speaker. I crave hearing my native tongue, so I can have a conversation with a little bit of personality added to it. It has been a huge eye opener and struggle, having to learn French. I still only pass by with very simple vocabulary. However, I seem to be managing to do what I want, make friends, and slowly I feel more accepted into the culture. When there are so many people on the streets, that means there are many stomachs to fill. This has allowed me to observe where everyone migrates to for lunch and dinner. The tourists here are similar to a flock of birds. At the strike
the attention of your waiter, who seems kitchen staff when you want more water. Typically, they serve very high-fat food items and focus on animal off-cuts. This allows for a more approachably priced carte. Known for their lively atmosphere over their food, a bouchon is truly a unique dining experience. The Brasserie, directly translated means “brewery,” so obviously this is a French version of a pub. Most of the brasseries I go to in Lyon seem to be more like upscale bars than casual pubs. The rooms are loud and usually the only place you can hear music while drinking. They offer a large selection of beer and wine, and food menus are based on shared plates, steak frites, and moules. They don’t seem to close in the evenings or between typical French meal times, an ideal spot to find a bite anytime of day or late night. The Restaurant is simply named and used universally, although the word comes from the French restaurer, “to restore or refresh”. A restaurant here is the best place to go for the traditional French three-course meal. They offer a large variety of wines, prix-fixe menus, and à la carte options. Like bistros and bouchons, they are typically open only for meal
of 7:30 p.m., you have to fight to get a table on a
times, and always close Sundays/Mondays.
terrace for the evening. With almost no restau-
With France being so famous for its cuisine, the establishments above are offered in a huge
rants open for food before this time, families are hungry and this “ritual” can get slightly manic.
range, from three-star Michelin gastronomic milestones to unrecognized hidden gems. It takes time to seek out the dining experiences that aren’t just aimed at tricking tourists into
Observing all this got me to thinking about all
thinking they’re at the “finest”—with fancy table clothes, huge wine lists, and posh waiters.
the different options there are to eat here, within
Until next time,
the same cuisine. In North America, I feel the terms for French restaurants are used loosely, and sometimes seem to be interchangeable from business to business. Yet they seem to hold no actual relevance to what the name means in France. Here, there is a distinct difference between a
À la prochaine,
Sophie’s recipe this month is a classic Lyonnaise cheese dip Cervelle de Canut: eatmagazine.ca / sophie-fenlon- cervelle-de- canut
WASTE NOT W OR D S
PHO T OGR A PH Y
Victorian grocers lead a new charge for local food security.
50 not-for-profit organizations who manage food donations, and their
hile the turmoil surround-
storage and delivery. The Food
ing “affordable housing”
Share Network created the Food
has been stealing the
Rescue Project, an initiative that
media spotlight of late, the case
works directly with grocery retail-
for “affordable eating” has been
ers to collect and redistribute fresh,
relegated to the wings. People
healthy food that would otherwise
struggling to make ends meet,
be sent to landfill. (These organiz-
however, also face difficult choices
ations have received the majority
about what—or if—they can afford
of their financial support from the
to eat, on a daily basis. Island Food
Victoria Society and Rotary Clubs
Caring (islandfoodcaring.ca) is a
of Great Victoria.) The Island Food
new initiative that unites prominent
Caring campaign aims to bring the
Victorian grocers in their mission
work of these organizations into the
to provide wholesome, nutritional
public eye under a unified banner.
food for those who couldn’t other-
While the structure may be a touch
wise afford it.
convoluted, the organizations themselves are incredibly effective: their
In terms of food security, Victoria’s
efforts currently impact around
challenges can’t be blamed on
35,000 people each month across
climate or logistics. We can grow
the capital region.
or import any product that local consumers demand, in abundance.
But the food itself is only one aspect
But as our cost-of-living rises dis-
of the greater solution, as Thrifty
proportionately to wage increases, the financial barriers for achieving true food security in Victoria are increasing. With an estimated 50,000
Lef t to Rig ht: Sandra Richardson, CEO - Vic toria Foundation; Miranda S treet, Marketing Coordinator - Red Barn Market; Rober t Jay, Vice President - Fair way Market; Chris tian Arbez, Marketing Manager - Thrif t y Foods; Tammy Averill, Marketing Manager - Countr y Grocer (Absent: Daisy Or ser - Root Cellar)
Foods vice-president of operations Ralf Mundel points out: “Along with our partners, we currently recover 2,000 kilograms of food per day, six
residents within the Capital Regional District (CRD) currently considered “food insecure,”
days a week. But… a program like this requires a lot more than just food to make it work.
and the deficit between living costs and median wages not appearing to lessen anytime
It takes equipment, transportation, staffing and more, and that’s where the funds raised
soon, the climb towards universal food security looks steep indeed.
through this campaign will go.”
But the overall outlook may not be as bleak as the figures indicate. Certainly not according
That funding would empower the Food Share Network to further integrate its many
to co-owner and co-founder of The Root Cellar Daisy Orser, one of five grocers in Victoria
independent organizations and exploit the operational advantages of managing these ser-
who have shown tremendous support for the Island Food Caring campaign. “I’m optimis-
vices through a single system. The goal is to create an “economy of scale,” which would see
tic—no actually, I’m confident, we will eradicate food insecurity in the CRD.” It seems a gargantuan task, but the achievement of that goal might actually be an impending reality. The Island Food Caring (IFC) campaign is designed to raise awareness and
the supply chain improve its logistical efficiencies, generate greater reach, reduce labour costs, and deliver on a quicker turnaround. For Orser, that quick turnaround is imperative. Donation storage facilities are “drowning in
funds for a movement that has already been quietly making huge strides in the recovery and
white bread and instant noodles,” a byproduct of good intentions but not exactly the kind of
redirection of our food waste. The structure can get a little confusing, but the campaign
nutrition she’d like to see provided. “We need to be able to ship perishables: nutrient-dense,
is highlighting the work done by the Food Share Network: a collaboration of more than
fresh food. That’s what’s lacking from existing programs.”
28 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
In support of the IFC’s mission, five local grocers have joined forces: The Root Cellar, Country Grocer, Fairway Market, Thrifty Foods, and Red Barn. As Orser observes, “It’s interesting to sit at the table with what’s essentially ‘the competition.’ But we ‘trade our aprons for capes’ every month and focus on what’s really important.” While the donations and grants they receive are the lifeblood of the Food Share Network’s current operations, it’s possible that eventually their financial revenue could be bolstered from within. Orser talks of experimental partnerships with various student-run and commercial kitchens, which can process excess food supply into value-added products like preserves, and canned fruits and vegetables. The profits from those sales could potentially create a self-sustaining economy for the entire system. To reach that volume of input and processing, the entire infrastructure would have to scale up to a level that might seem unreachable now, but the gains already made by the existing programs would have seemed unfathomable just a few years ago. Future goals aside, money donations are vital to the Food Sharing Network as it organizes its recovery and distribution process. Eventually the network will comfortably accommodate every single grocer across the CRD, large and small. Even now, they are trying to recruit more willing grocers. Food Rescue Project members are also exploring ways to include food producers at the farm level, to get their “ugly food” waste into the Island Food Caring system directly—as this rejected, but perfectly healthy, produce never even makes it onto our carefully preened supermarket shelves. The first Island Food Caring campaign was promoted in participating grocery stores throughout June, to great success. Keep your eyes peeled at the supermarket tills around Thanksgiving, when the next phase of the campaign begins. Right now, you can donate via the program’s website, to help ensure no one in our communities suffers from a lack of healthy food, while we needlessly channel so much of it into our landfills.
8 venues - 1 spot 919 douglas street
Savoury Pie Comfort
R ECIPE + T E X T
Denise Marchessault S T Y L ING + PHO T OGR A PH Y
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts Tar t with Pine Nuts and Feta Cheese
30 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
A chilly fall day is the best time to make a main course pie. There’s something about crisp autumn weekends that makes me want to tie on an apron, pull back my hair, and dust off my rolling pin. Savoury pies are the ultimate comfort food and there’s no better time to roll out the dough than when the weather turns cool. If you’re a pastry novice, consider the galette as a gateway pie. With no crimping to master or tart pan to line, a galette is a terrific way to ease into pastry. The rustic potato and leek galette, pictured here, is a mouth-watering mixture of slowcooked leeks, a medley of cheese, and thinly sliced potatoes bundled in a flaky pastry casing. When leeks are covered and cooked patiently over low heat, they become sweet and meltingly tender. Next up is a deeply caramelized Brussels sprouts tart laced with a tangy lemon-mustard dressing, feta and pine nuts in a custard base. You may have turned your nose up at Brussels sprouts in the past, but making this tart will be a game changer. The sprouts are blanched briefly in salted boiling water and then pan-roasted over high heat until nearly charred—a technique that brings out their natural sugars and tames their inherent bitter character. The whole wheat pie crust lends a nutty nuance to this hearty fall tart. If recipes containing pastry find you strolling down your grocer’s frozen food aisle in search of the pre-made stuff, you’re short-changing yourself. Homemade pastry makes the pie! It’s often the recipes with the fewest ingredients (in this case flour, fat, and water) that trip us up. Fortunately, even the most challenged home bakers can master pies when armed with a little pastry know-how. A common pastry blunder is over-mixing the dough. When first incorporating the fat (lard, vegetable shortening, or butter) into the flour, don’t be overzealous. The goal is to have some larger pieces of fat (lima bean size), distributed among the mostly smaller (baby pea size) pieces, rather than a fine uniform mixture. It’s the larger pieces of fat that create steam and puff up the pastry, creating a flaky dough. This is why I use a pastry blender or two knives rather than a food processor, which offers little control over the outcome. (Lard, by the way, produces the flakiest pastry; butter yields a firmer crust.) Adding too much liquid is another way to ruin a perfectly good pastry. Add only enough water to bring the dough together in a shaggy mass cohesive enough to gather together into a disk. Do you struggle with pastry dough sticking to your work surface? If so, you’ll appreciate the magic of parchment paper. Slipping a sheet of parchment underneath your dough not only prevents the pastry from sticking, it eliminates the need for additional flour. And more flour often leads to overworking the dough— the very thing that leads to subpar pastry. Likewise, covering your dough with a plastic wrap and rolling the dough over the plastic prevents your rolling pin from sticking. Whichever recipe you choose, do yourself a favour and prepare the pastry in advance. Pie making is far more approachable when it’s broken down into manageable chunks.
S weet, slow-cooked leeks, a medley of cheese, and thinly sliced potatoes wrapped in a f lak y pas tr y casing
And whether you’ve never rolled out pastry or haven’t done it in a while, there’s no better time. Fall is baking season—roll up your sleeves and let the flour fly!
Potato Leek Galette
Makes two 8-inch galettes (each galette serves 4-6). Note: The pies can be assembled and refrigerated up to 24 hours before baking.
Flaky Pastry Dough 2¾ cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp table salt ½ lb (226 g) lard or vegetable shortening, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 whole egg 1 Tbsp white vinegar 1 cup ice cold water
Potato Leek Filling 2 Tbsp unsalted butter 3 lbs leeks, about six medium, white part only, washed and thinly sliced, about six cups Kosher salt 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus lemon zest from one lemon 6 oz soft cheese, such as goat cheese or cream cheese, about ¾ cup 4 oz shredded Greyère cheese, about 1 cup 5 oz of crumbled feta, about 1 cup 4 anchovies, rinsed and finely minced (or 2 tsp anchovy paste) 2 tsp finely minced garlic, about 2 cloves 1 tsp dried chili flakes (use less if you prefer a tamer galette) 2 medium new potatoes 2 Tbsp vegetable oil 2 tsp fresh rosemary 2 tsp fresh thyme ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese 2 Tbsp whipping cream (or beaten egg) To make the dough: Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the lard or shortening and cut the fat into the flour with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture is crumbly with some larger pieces along with the (mostly) finer particles. In a spouted measuring jug, combine the egg, vinegar and enough ice water to equal 1 cup; mix with a fork. Gradually pour about half the liquid into the flour and mix with a fork, adding only enough additional liquid to make the dough cling together in an untidy mass. You won’t use all the liquid; you’ll have anywhere from ¼ to ½ cup left over. When the dough becomes too difficult to mix with a fork, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a disk about 1 inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Divide the dough in half and roll each portion on a sheet of parchment generously dusted with flour, into 32 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
a circle approximately 12 inches in diameter, 1/8 inch thick. Cover and refrigerate. To make the filling: Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt the butter in a large saucepan; add the sliced leeks and ½ tsp salt. Cook, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally until completely soft and tender, about 30 minutes. If the mixture becomes dry and threatens to burn, add a splash of water. Remove the lid for the last five minutes of cooking to allow any residual moisture to evaporate. Add the lemon juice. Cool completely. In a small bowl combine the soft cheese, Greyère, feta, anchovies, garlic, chili flakes, and lemon zest. Slice the potatoes as thinly as possible, preferably with a mandoline or vegetable slicer. Place in a bowl with 2 Tbsp oil and mix to ensure the potatoes are completely coated. Spread the potatoes onto two parchment-lined baking sheets in a single layer. Bake in a preheated oven until the potatoes are barely cooked and not yet browned, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F and preheat a baking tray. (The preheated tray helps the pastry base firm up faster, thereby preventing a soggy crust.) Remove the pastry from the fridge, leaving the parchment beneath your pastry as you work. Divide the cheese mixture equally between the pastry circles, and spread the mixture evenly on each, leaving a 2-inch border. Divide the rosemary and thyme and scatter evenly over the cheese mixture. Divide the cooled leeks and spread evenly over the cheese and herbs, leaving a 2-inch border.
Rustic Brussels Sprouts Tart
Makes one 9-inch tart.
Flax meal and whole wheat flour create a hearty pastry with a nutty nuance.
Whole Wheat Dough 1½ cups all-purpose white flour 1 cup whole wheat flour ¼ cup flax meal 1 tsp kosher salt 1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter, firm, cut into ½-inch cubes 1 whole egg 1 Tbsp white vinegar 1 cup ice water ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Brussels Sprouts Filling 1½ lbs Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced, tough ends trimmed and discarded, about 8 cups sliced 6 Tbsp vegetable oil Kosher salt 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tsp Dijon-style mustard 2 anchovies, rinsed and finely chopped, or 1 tsp anchovy paste 1 tsp hot sauce, such as sriracha 3 whole eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt 2 oz of crumbled feta cheese, about 1/3 cup heaping 2 Tbsp pine nuts
Special Equipment You’ll need a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and pie weights (beans or rice work, too).
Finally, divide the cooked potatoes and layer them on top of the leeks, overlapping slightly, leaving a generous 2-inch border. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Fold the pastry border towards the centre of each galette, crimping the pastry as you fold. Brush the edges with cream (or beaten egg) and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese. Carefully remove the baking tray from the oven, and transfer the galettes, with the parchment paper underneath them, onto the heated tray. Bake for 15 minutes at 400°F then reduce the temperature to 375°F and continue to bake until the pastry is browned and cooked through, about 40 minutes total. Rotate the pan halfway through baking and cover with foil as necessary to prevent burning. Cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature or re-warm in a low oven.
Deeply caramelized Brussels sprouts pair with a hear t y whole wheat crus t made with f la x meal
Transfer one disk of the chilled dough to a sheet of parchment dusted with flour. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top and roll the dough from the centre toward the pastry’s edge in all directions to about ⅛ inch thick.
sprouts until cool. Transfer to a clean tea towel. Roll the towel jelly-roll fashion, and squeeze dry to remove any excess moisture from the Brussels sprouts. Transfer to a bowl.
Transfer the dough to the tart pan, pressing against the fluted edges of the pan. Trim the pastry, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before baking.
Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large (13-inch) skillet until shimmering but not smoking. Working in batches, place about one third of the blanched Brussels sprouts into the hot skillet and add a pinch of salt, about ¼ tsp, to each batch. Cook until the vegetables have charred around the edges, shaking the pan, to prevent burning, about six minutes per batch. (If using a smaller skillet, you may need to cook an additional batch, but use no more than ¾ tsp kosher salt in total.) Transfer the sprouts to a medium bowl to cool.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove the dough from the fridge, discard the plastic wrap, and using a fork, prick the dough in several places (to prevent it from buckling and rising unevenly). Cover with tinfoil and add pie weights (or beans or rice).
Fla x meal, whole wheat and all purpose f lour create a hear t y pas tr y with a nut t y nuance
Whole Wheat Dough Place the flours, flax meal and salt in a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the butter and cut into the flour with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture is crumbly with some larger pieces along with the (mostly) finer particles. In a spouted measuring cup, combine the egg, vinegar and enough ice water to equal 1 cup; mix with a fork. Gradually pour about half the liquid into the flour mixture and mix with a fork, adding only enough additional water to make the dough cling together in an untidy mass. You won’t use all the water; you’ll have anywhere from ¼ to ½ cup left over. When the dough becomes too difficult to mix with a fork, transfer to a lightly floured work surface and shape into two disks, about 1 inch thick, being mindful not to overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. You’ll need only one disk of pastry for this recipe. (The extra pastry can be stored in the fridge for two days or in the freezer for up to six weeks.)
Parmesan cheese creates a f lavour ful base for whole wheat pas tr y
Bake for 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once to promote even browning. Carefully remove the pastry from the oven, discard the foil, remove the pie weights and sprinkle the pastry evenly with the Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven, uncovered, and continue to bake until the Parmesan is golden, about 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Brussels Sprouts Filling Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a roaring boil (it should taste salty, like seawater—about 2 Tbsp per 12 cups water). Tip the sliced Brussels sprouts into the boiling water. Bring to a boil again and blanch for two minutes. Remove the sprouts with a slotted spoon and drain in a colander. Without delay, run cold tap water over
In a small bowl or cup, mix together the lemon juice, mustard, anchovies, and hot sauce. Pour the mixture over the cooked Brussels sprouts and mix to combine. Set aside to cool. In a small bowl or 2-cup measuring jug, combine the eggs, cream, yogurt, and 1½ tsp kosher salt. Mix well to combine. Line the cooled baked pastry with the cooled Brussels sprouts mixture. Pour the egg-cream mixture over the sprouts. Sprinkle evenly with feta and pine nuts. Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until the centre is nearly firm, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Place foil over the tart as necessary to prevent burning. Cool on a wire rack at least 30 minutes, before serving.
Caramelized Brussels sprouts, feta cheese, and pine nuts create the ultimate comfor t dish
WE’VE GOT THE BEETS Boiled, candied, dehydrated, fermented, juiced, pickled, roasted, sautéed, smoked, steamed—or just eaten raw.
ike the much-maligned kale before it, the beet is gaining newly found culinary status. And it’s evolved beyond the canning jar, due in part to intrepid farmers who have saved and nurtured heirloom varieties of the taproot. We now have access to golden, white, and Chioggia or candystriped versions along with numerous red varietals, adding colourful nuance to the vegetarian flavour spectrum. Add to that our penchant for good-for-you ingredients and you have a recipe for the root vegetable’s current celebratory heyday. Known botanically as Beta vulgaris, beets are rich in antioxidants, vitamins A and K, folic acid, potassium and fibre, and have naturally occurring nitrates, a compound that improves blood flow throughout the body. Northeastern Europe was the first to embrace the beetroot as a dietary staple, in large part due to its storability and penchant for cool weather climates. What emerged was the comforting, nutrient-packed soup known as borscht. Still popular to this day, various versions abound from the addition of cabbage or meat to buckwheat or other grains, or served cold, puréed with cream or sour cream, like a vichyssoise. Fast forward to the present day, and beets are off on an imaginative culinary adventure. They can be boiled, candied, dehydrated, dried and pulverized into a powder, fermented, fried into chips, juiced, pickled, roasted, sautéed, smoked, spiralized, steamed, or eaten raw. The earthy flavour of beets, a result of the chemical geosmin, tends to polarize palates. Chioggas boast the highest concentration of the chemical, while Goldens contain the least. That fresh soil scent and, some say, metallic or muddy flavour is concentrated in the peel and can be countered somewhat by buying beets very young, or alleviated in the cooking process when sweetness and/or an acidic element is added.
THERE IS A BOUNT Y OF BEETS AT THE LOCAL MARKETS
PHO T OGR A PH Y
adding cooked and puréed red beets or juice to gnocchi or pasta doughs for a lovely pink hue. In the dessert course, it can be added to panna cotta, paired with chocolate in cakes or quick breads for colour, moisture, and nutrients, or chummed up with strawberries for a unique palate-dazzling sorbet. Beets of all colours are an integral ingredient on restaurant menus seen in the now standard combination of roasted beets with goat cheese. Thinly sliced on a mandoline or cut into quarters, served with nothing but a little anointing of fragrant olive oil or a lively vinaigrette and pinch of Maldon sea salt, it’s a simple yet sensational classic. Victoria’s Bodega Bar adds a Spanish flavour to their beet dish with a sherry vinaigrette and a showering of almonds for crunch. In the past, I’ve also enjoyed a carpaccio version at Bodega, thinly sliced, something I’ve recreated in my own kitchen. Over at Agrius, they double up the beet power with a smoked beet vinaigrette added to beet-brined salmon with dill, served on rye with sour cream. At home, I prefer raw Chioggias thinly sliced to showcase their candy cane striping. They add visual wow power to any kind of salad. Pairing roasted beets with blue cheese is another great combination, with a hit of citrus such as orange zest or juice to finish. Consider beets with apples or walnuts in the fall; with grapefruit and watercress; paired with ginger, oranges with mint, and feta; ground with walnuts for a delicious dip; or added to chickpeas for a jewel-coloured hummus. The combinations are seemingly endless. In his cookbook, Jean Georges: Cooking at Home with a Four Star Chef, Jean Georges Vongerichten suggests roasting beets individually in foil to concentrate their flavour. They get star billing in his recipe for beet tartare, a riff on the beef dish of the same name. First roasted, peeled, and minced, they are then mixed with chopped cornichons, shallots and capers.
Ramona Froehle-Schacht of SOL Farm in Duncan is no stranger to the taproot. The seasoned farmer and co-owner of Ampersand Distilling maintains roughly two acres on her organic Cowichan Valley property growing a selection of crops, including three types of beets: Golden, Chiogga, and red Bolder beets. “I love Golden beets for their slightly milder, sweeter flavour,” says Froehle-Schact. “Plus they look so beautiful on the plate, as do the Chioggas.” Schacht loves to roast Goldens and serve them on a bed of arugula or greens along with toasted walnuts, goat cheese finished with a strong balsamic vinaigrette. To roast, Froehle-Schacht tosses them in oil with the skins on. To coax more tenderness, she suggests adding a bit of water at the start, which steams them a bit before they start to caramelize. Betalin gives beets their red hue. In powder form it colours many of our processed and packaged foods, including the popular Beyond Burgers and the range of Beyond Meats. You can also take its pigment power into the culinary realm by
34 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
WOR D S
Lovely pat terns in chiogg ia beets
The combination is then seasoned with Worcestershire, Tabasco, sherry vinegar, and a minute amount of mayonnaise. It’s stellar as a first course, served as a dip with raw vegetables, or as an accompaniment to grilled fish. It’s been my go-to for years and a real crowd pleaser. (See the recipe below.) Cocktail culture is also taking inspiration from the dark red root. At Vancouver’s Boulevard, barkeep Gavin Hobbs shakes up a riff on the pisco sour with a botanical-infused beet purée, lemon juice, and egg white, garnished with a dehydrated beet chip. And at Wildebeest, bar manager Alex Black twists the classic Negroni with Off the Beeten Path using fresh beet juice, honey, and balsamic vinegar along with gin, Alvear dry sherry and Cynar. In the aftermath of consuming beets, take a deep breath and keep the following in mind before running to a doctor. The symptom known as beeturia is caused by the presence of that powerful betalin pigment in the urine. It varies from person to person and occasion to occasion, and can take up to 48 hours to dissipate. And don’t overlook beet greens, particularly the organic varieties. The nutrient-dense leafy greens, a close relative to chard, can be steamed or sautéed with garlic, or enjoyed raw gently torn into a salad. To quote Tom Robbins in his 1985 bestselling novel Jitterbug Perfume, “Breathe properly. Stay curious. And eat your beets.”
Adapted from Jean-Georges: Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman, Broadway Books, 1998. This wonderful beet dish comes together quickly and is a great picnic dish, but one I serve regularly as a first course for dinner parties. Makes four servings. 6 medium beets (about 1¼ pounds) 1 shallot, roughly chopped 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce Few drops Tabasco or other hot sauce 1 tsp sherry vinegar 6 cornichons, roughly chopped 1/3 cup capers, drained 1 Tbsp mayonnaise (substitute vegan mayo) 2 Tbsp chopped parsley, plus more for garnish Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Beet Tar tare
Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash the beets, leave them wet, wrap them individually in foil and bake on a baking sheet for about 45 to 60 minutes, or until they’re nice and tender. Remove from oven and let cool in the foil.
Unwrap the cooled beets, peel, and cut into eighths. Place the beets in a food processor with the shallot, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, vinegar, cornichons, and capers. Pulse until the mixture is minced but not puréed. You may need to scrape down the mixture between pulses. (I have also done this by hand, just like one would when making the beef dish of the same name). Spoon the mixture into a bowl and stir in the mayonnaise and the 2 Tbsp of parsley. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt, more vinegar or a little more Worcestershire or Tabasco. Shape into a ball and flatten slightly as you would with a regular tartare or use a mold to shape (see photo), garnish with additional parsley and serve.
Sage is a good autumn herb. It makes me think of squash and roasted vegetables and the scent of it is a bit floral and definitely earthy. This is an herb that grows easily in the garden, and like so many hardy herbs, once it gets going, it doesn’t need much attention. When done at a high heat, cauliflower will become brown, caramelized and its sweetness will intensify. Its nutty flavour combined with the sage and the addition of creamy rice and Parmesan makes for a lovely warming fall dish. Typically, arborio rice is used for risotto and that’s just fine. If you want to up your risotto game a bit, though, try to find carnaroli, which is often available at specialty shops and delis. Carnaroli has a higher starch content and a firmer texture than arborio, which means your risotto will be extra creamy, while maintaining the structure of the rice grain. It is more difficult to overcook carnaroli too, which will leave your dish less like porridge and more like a true Italian risotto. This is what we’re after. Risotto often has a reputation for being a difficult dish, though it shouldn’t! I think it’s because it requires a lengthy stand in front of the stove and it definitely requires some attention, but it is very much worth it. You will want to use more liquid than you think you’ll need and it’s best to serve it right after it’s prepared, but as long as the flavours and textures are on point, it will be a wonderful dish, no matter what. If I’m serving it to guests, I will partly cook it, then finish it off in five minutes right before plating. Leftovers taste great. You’ll just need to heat it with a bit of additional broth or water to spring it back into life.
R ECIPE + S T Y L ING + PHO T OGR A PH Y
36 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
Roasted Cauliflower and Fried Sage Risotto Serves 6-8.
½ cup olive oil, divided 1 small head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces About 24 fresh sage leaves, plus 4 Tbsp fresh sage, minced 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth 1 large onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 cups carnaroli or arborio 1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc 2 Tbsp butter 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper It’s important to have everything in place before you start, as this will move quickly and the rice will demand your attention. So prepare your mise en place! Have a ladle for your stock, a good wooden spoon for your rice stirring, and the wine, butter, and at the ready. Heat oven to 450°F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Toss cauliflower with about ¼ cup of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on prepared sheet pan, and roast for 15-20 minutes, until cauliflower is well browned and softened. You will want the cauliflower in a single layer to avoid steaming and encourage browning, so use 2 sheet pans if necessary. Set aside. In the meantime, in a small frying pan, heat about ¼ cup of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Fry the whole sage leaves, a few at a time, until just crisp, about 15-30 seconds. You may need to play with this a bit, ensuring the oil doesn’t get so hot that it burns the sage, but is hot enough that it crisps them up. Once they are fried, remove with tongs to a paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Reserve the oil. Pour the stock into a large saucepan and keep warm over low heat. Pour the reserved oil into a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and the rice and stir until rice is well coated with the oil. Add about a third of the wine and stir continuously. The stirring of the rice is what makes it creamy, so you must do this constantly. Once the wine has been soaked up by the rice, add a ladle or two of the warm broth. Continue stirring, adding more wine or broth once the rice has absorbed it. Don’t let it get too dry. You should be able to stir and just see the bottom of the pot to know you are ready for more liquid. Carry on for 20-30 minutes, until rice has cooked to al dente. The grains will be soft, but with a bit of a “tooth” when bitten into. You will have gone through the wine, but you should still have some broth left at this point. (If you are preparing this for company, stop here! Remove from heat, cover with a lid, and continue when you are ready to serve. If you need to leave it more than an hour or so, refrigerate it, then remove from fridge half an hour before recommencing.) Once the rice is cooked, stir in the minced sage, the roasted cauliflower (you may not need all of it—use your discretion), the Parmesan, and the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the remainder of the warm broth and plate in heated shallow bowls. Garnish with fried sage leaves, more Parmesan, and fresh ground black pepper and serve. Optional: drizzle with olive oil or truffle oil. 37
EATING IN A NEW AGE The Beyond Meat burger and the rise of mainstream veganism.
W OR D S
PHO T OGR A PH Y
’m the first to admit it, I’m no vegan. I really enjoy meat, though I have scruples about
Be Love restaurant co-owner Joe Cunliffe is happy to see a plant-based burger getting
it. Like many in today’s age of information, I’m aware of the devastating environment-
attention but disagrees with the synthetic approach. “I would rather see a processed plant-
al and ethical impacts of eating meat, but I’m able to tolerate just enough cognitive
based food than a processed meat-based food, so it does move the bar forward. But it still
dissonance to ignore those facts while I’m digging into a juicy burger. More and more,
doesn’t get it high enough that I would care about it,” he says. While Be Love is not strictly
however, this difficult conundrum is made easier by plant-based alternatives. Companies
like Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat are making veggie burgers that aren’t like your
ally use eggs or honey
hippie grandmother’s soggy chickpea variety. Using plant proteins from peas and potatoes,
in their cooking—the
not only do these burgers look and taste like the real thing, they sizzle when you cook them
restaurant is focused
and even bleed when you cut them. For the Impossible Burger, this is thanks to plant-based
on plant-based organ-
heme—the same chemical found in blood only this one is derived from soy. While the
ic food. “I am happy to
Beyond Meat burger achieves the same effect, they do so using pea protein isolate.
see those big fast food
Last summer, California-based Beyond Meat partnered with
“It’s an exciting time for vegan food right now because it’s just on the cusp of being mainstream.”
A&W Canada to serve its patties in Canadian A&W restaurants. During the trial, which was set to run for less than a month, most restaurants ran out of patties
diets. But they will do it in the way that they do food: mechanized, pre-packaged, and processed.” Cunliffe says their
brand of fast-food burger may
approach at Be Love
seem innocuous, the implications
is not to present a
are a big deal. Seeing a purely
vegan product featured in a major
experience but simply
restaurant chain was unthinkable
to feed their clientele
just a few years ago and represents
with the most honest
the launch of the vegan diet into the
and healthy food they
are able to. For them,
but increasingly consumers are becoming cognizant of their choices and consequences. Meatless Mondays and flexitarian diets (a semi-vegetarian diet in which one avoids meat when possible) are popular trends. While these examples could be just brief fads fuelled by Instagram hash tags, the motive behind them remains: people are becoming more aware of
38 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
ection of plant-based
within the first week. While a new
Currently, less than 10 percent of Canadian consumers are reportedly vegan or vegetarian,
the consequences of their dietary choices.
places go in the dir-
this means organic, plant-based, and as little processing as possible. “Any time you make food you’re processing it to some degree, but I think the
Lit tle Bundles at Be Love
give their patronage to an always-vegan establishment like
the team at The Very Good Butchers, the central focus is on
Fern. “We make our own vegan burger patties in-house so
their ingredients and the quality of their food. “We’re not
we’re working all hours of the day to produce what people
trying to be judgemental or preachy,” he says. “We’re just
are looking for,” says Braden. “Other places will throw a
trying to put out good food that everyone can enjoy and that
Beyond Meat patty on a burger and say, ‘Come and get it.’”
happens to be vegan.”
Braden and Tamara make their vegan burger in-house using mushrooms, chickpeas, and sundried tomatoes, and vital wheat gluten gives it that chewy texture. They’ve had customers come in and finish the burger without realizing it’s vegan. While Braden maintains that the vegan diet should not be about eating burgers, he admits that having options like Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger means that people who may not have eaten a veggie burger normally—specifically men—will be more prone to do so now. While that last blatantly gendered point may not seem important, these companies are specifically concerned about this detail. The carnivorous man presiding over a barbecue of red meat has strong associations with traditional masculinity. It’s no coincidence that these new veggie products are found in the meat section of grocery stores and are promoted at sporting events. In their advertising language, words like vegan and vegetarian are avoided in lieu of “plant-based.” So by associating themselves with meat as closely as possible, these companies avoid challenging traditional gender norms and can easily market to a group of consciously minded yet avidly omnivorous eaters. In addition to their ethical beliefs, Braden and Tamara The Cheese Burger at The Fern Café and Baker y motivation behind that should be to just make it as flavourful, beautiful, and healthy as possible. If you’re going out of your way to make it meat-like, it’s probably not in line with those three goals.” At the recently opened vegan café and bakery Fern, coowners and married couple Braden and Tamara Parks both have conflicted feelings about the new burger trend. “I tried the Beyond Meat burger and it definitely tasted like meat to me,” says Braden. “I like it, but at the same time it seems too real and it tastes heavily processed.” Similarly, Tamara says the breakfast sandwich version with the Beyond Meat sausage patty is unnerving. “It is way too real for me,” she
animals,” says Tamara. “Everything else was just a bonus.”
its first day at 163 percent above the IPO price, making it the best performing first-day IPO in nearly two decades. Unfortunately, a fast-food burger is not the answer to the environmental crisis that the meat industry heavily contributes to. Despite being flush for options, the majority of consumers will still likely opt for traditional meat. While A&W and the slew of new veggie-based options are not the saviours we need, they are a step in the right direction. They will not fix the environmental and ethical problems brought on by the meat industry, but they do represent an ever-increasing awareness of these problems. “It’s an exciting time for vegan food right now because it’s just on the cusp of being mainstream,” says Scott. “For the past 10 or 20 years it has been a very small minority. There’s definitely still a stigma around it. I know some people who won’t come into my shop because it’s a vegan restaurant. But I think if people can get over that and just understand it’s good food and that you don’t have to eat meat for every single meal, it will be better for the planet and us all in the end.”
sources of protein may soon be an everyday reality. Tamara points out that social media has played a big role in exposing the cruel atrocities of slaughterhouses and the meat industry. Mitchell Scott, co-owner of the vegan butcher shop The Very Good Butchers, also feels the Beyond Meat burger is making strides to bring plant-based eating to a wider audience. “It’s a great product,” he says. “It satisfies that cheap, greasy, fast-food burger itch, but obviously it’s super-processed.” The Very Good Butchers make a range of plantbased products, including charcuterie, sausages, burgers, and even “ribz.”
to vegan, says he’s seen a steady increase in a mainstream
both long-time vegans. “For me, the choice was all about the
The day the company went public with its stocks, it closed
vironmental struggles of eating meat, necessary alternative
Scott, who grew up vegetarian before making the switch
munity. In addition to their cooking backgrounds, they are
can be seen in the stock values of the Beyond Meat company.
Considering population growth and the increasing en-
vegan products before.”
growing demand for vegan baking and food in their com-
passed off as anecdotal, a concrete example of this increase
say the transition to vegan eating is a natural progression.
says. “I won’t eat it, and I’ve never felt that way about any
The couple opened up their café last year after they saw a
While claims of rising popularity of a certain trend may be
audience interested in plant-based food. “Today, I’d say about half our customers aren’t vegan or vegetarian,” he says. Scott points out that just five years ago they would not have been able to open up a vegan butcher shop. But today, interest is high enough that they are struggling to keep up with demand. “We’ve got a waiting list of 100 different
Braden says that fads like the Beyond Meat burger are pot-
grocery stores and restaurants,” he says. “We just opened a
entially damaging to businesses like theirs as some vegans
new production facility down the road, and we’re hoping to
may be eager to try the newest temporary trend rather than
open up in Vancouver by the end of the year.” For Scott and
Charcuterie at The Ver y Good Butcher s
G o o o o Slo o o ow The 30+ year Slow Food movement has matured, gracefully and vigorously, continuing to change the way we eat here on the Island and around the world.
WOR D S
When activist Carlo Petrini launched the Slow Food movement in 1986, it was in response
than 150 countries, our strength is really in the network and how we can come together to
to the spread of American fast food around the globe.
learn from, and support, one another.”
McDonald’s planned to raise its golden arches next to the iconic Spanish Steps in Rome,
THE BIG SLOW FOOD PICTURE
and Italians were outraged. It represented a challenge to their very way of life, an insidious
Slow Food remains focused on education, but there’s less emphasis on meetings and mem-
attack on the Italian food culture, their artisanal ingredients, and the tradition of gather-
berships, Fader says, and more on campaigns, especially those related to local food issues.
ing around the table to enjoy them. Thousands rallied in the famous piazza determined to defend Italian gastronomy.
Sometimes it’s a hyper-local cause. Slow Food members recently joined the Island Chefs’ Collaborative to raise $9,500 for Metchosin pork producer Tom Henry, helping to buy
Soon Slow Food ideals were spreading beyond Italy’s borders, with chefs, farmers, and food lovers around the world organizing Slow Food chapters (or “convivia”) to preserve and celebrate local farmers, regional food products, and culinary traditions. Petrini started a Slow Food University of Gastronomic Sciences near the group’s headquarters in Piedmont, built a Slow Food publishing house, and organized biannual Terra Madre Salone del Gusto events to bring Slow Food artisans and acolytes together. His grassroots manifesto grew into a massive, global network. Thirty-three years later, Slow Food ideals are deeply ingrained in the popular culinary
piglet-friendly farrowing pens for his new barn at Stillmeadow Farm. Or it might be a national campaign. Fader worked with the Montreal convivium to launch Slow Food’s Chef’s Alliance project in Canada. The Chef’s Alliance is a network of more than 700 chefs and cooks worldwide who support biodiversity and local farmers. Canada’s 11 members—including Wild Mountain’s Oliver Kienast, Brad Holmes of OLO, and Jesse McCleery of Pilgrimme—are also committed to using wild and foraged ingredients, from herbs and mushrooms to seaweed, and include Slow Fish and “presidia” foods (like Red Fife wheat) on their menus, says Fader.
zeitgeist. Top chefs don’t even mention the provenance of the ingredients on their menus,
Internationally, Slow Food now has several specific campaigns and arms, from Slow Fish
as “local” and “sustainable” are a given. We shop for artisan breads, made by local bakers
and Slow Meat, to Slow Wine and Slow Food Travel. There’s an Indigenous Terra Madre
using freshly milled flours and traditional methods, and visit farmers’ markets for seasonal
event to address the issues specific to indigenous people, their land, culture, and food
fruits and vegetables grown close to home. Farmhouse cheeses and classic charcuterie
sources around the world, and campaigns to support small, family farms. Food sovereignty
are now made beyond their countries of
and access to clean, fair food for all is a growing issue, too.
origin, based on the skills of our ancestors, while small-batch craft beer and spirits gain ground on industrial beverages. Food waste and nose-to-tail/root-to-shoot cooking is part of the conversation in restaurants and at home, where millennials dabble in culinary DIY, making mozzarella, fermenting kimchi, and dining together around convivial long tables. Fast food is now authentic world food— you’re just as likely to stop for sushi, Korean chicken, or quinoa salad, as
“Slow Food is a resourceful army of volunteers all over the world. It runs on good will because the Slow Food message is positive—not a protest but a delicious revolution.” —MARA JERNIGAN
burgers and fries.
The latest Slow Food initiative is the Food for Change Campaign, working to “cultivate solutions to climate change.” “Food is both the cause and victim of climate change, but also a possible solution,” says the group’s website. “Our food choices have a direct impact on the future of the planet.” It’s all related to the Slow Food premise that “eating is an agricultural act and producing is a gastronomic act,” and why the non-profit now partners with organic agriculture and environmental groups. As a recent article in Canadian Food Studies Review concludes, how we produce the food we eat today is a major contributor to many modern problems, from climate change and loss of biodiversity to deforestation, food waste, and food security. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says changing our diet is key to a sustainable future. “The alarming pace of food biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, and their impact
So have we taken the lessons learned from the food activists who rallied at Rome’s Spanish
on poverty and health, makes a compelling case for re-examining food-agricultural sys-
Steps to heart? Has the Slow Food movement finished its work?
tems and diets,” says an FAO report, advocating for sustainable diets and food systems that
Yes and no, says Brooke Fader of Wild Mountain Food + Drink in Sooke, the point person
address both human and ecological health.
for Slow Food Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands slowisland.ca . “These values have been
Taking on projects to address these interconnected issues, and educating consumers about
absorbed by the Canadian food culture, but the issues—farming, the environment, social
how their consumption patterns affect the world, is now one of Slow Food’s primary objectives.
justice—still remain,” she says. “The focus, or the seed, is still on promoting local food and
“We see this acknowledged more abroad where Slow Food advises the FAO and receives fund-
food producers, but as we have now been promoting these ideas for close to 30 years in more
ing from the EU and the UN for this important work and breadth of knowledge,” says Fader.
40 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
Closer to home, Slow Food members are advocating for oceans, wild salmon, and west coast
The current generation may be food-ob-
fishing families through initiatives like Slow Fish and saveourbcfisheries.org, tackling
sessed, but it has become harder to find
fisheries quota and licensing policies. After their submission to the federal government’s
those who will volunteer for the cause,
Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans this spring, the committee recommended
says Jernigan. “In a way, people know
dramatic reforms that would return license and quota ownership from corporations to
more than ever but know less than ever,”
working fishing families.
she says. “Farmers’ markets are better
“Slow Food holds an important role in researching and sharing information with our network,” adds Fader, noting that fishers, scientists, and chefs on Vancouver Island face issues similar to those in other countries, and can find support from members worldwide. The goal, says Fader, is to “engage, empower, and educate consumers to make better food
than ever, but people are going around the world robbing cultures of their superfoods for hipster trends. The knowledge is wide but it is superficial.”
“It is about making real and meaningful connections—with people, culture, work, food, everything.” —CARL HONORÉ
choices, lifting them from passive consumers to active co-producers of the food culture they
Still she remains hopeful.
want to be a part of.”
“Slow Food is a resourceful army of volunteers all over the world,” she says, “It runs on good
will because the Slow Food message is positive—not a protest but a delicious revolution.”
ISLAND SLOW FOOD PIONEERS When Mara Jernigan first heard about the Slow Food movement 20 years ago, she was a
young farmer in the Cowichan Valley, a chef with a keen interest in local food. She soon
Slow Food’s headquarters is still in Bra, a town in Piedmont where I once travelled to write
joined forces with Sinclair Philip of the hyper-local Sooke Harbour House to launch Slow
about the region’s big red wines and rare white truffles. I remember touring the Slow Food
Food Vancouver Island. After Montreal, it was the second Slow Food convivia in Canada,
University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo and the new Eataly food market in Turin.
and soon boasted 100 local members.
The latter was entrepreneur Oscar Faranetti’s celebration of small-scale Italian food
Jernigan took a deep dive into the organization, eventually becoming the national presi-
artisans and Slow Food products, a sort of Disney World for food shoppers, and a private
dent. She says her decade of volunteer work with Slow Food literally changed her life,
offshoot of the nascent food movement. Set inside an old vermouth factory, it’s a sprawling
leading to her current work as a culinary consultant, spreading her Slow Food ideals around
homage to artisanal Italian ingredients.
Now there are 39 Eataly markets around the world, with the 50,000-square-foot Eataly
“Slow food did as much for me as I did for Slow Food,” says Jernigan. “I feel very humbled to
Toronto set to open this year in fashionable Yorkville, the 40th store and seventh in North
have lived through that time, and being part of changing things. We created a community.”
America. It makes Eataly “the largest Italian retail and dining experience in the world” says
“It gave me the opportunity to meet amazing people and travel to Italy every year,” she adds. Jernigan was asked to be on the international Ark of Taste Committee, working with experts, veterinarians, and ethno-botanists from Japan and South America to identify unique, regional foods. The Canadian Ark of Taste highlighted rare foods from coast to coast, from the Canadienne dairy cows of Quebec, to the wild nodding onion, the saskatoon berry, and the Okanagan sockeye salmon.
ment—or another example of a high-minded ideal usurped by big business—is open to interpretation. But it’s certainly proof that Slow Food has grown from its Italian, anti-fast-food roots to an organization embracing lovers of local food around the world.
the form of several books on slow topics—and is the figurehead of a movement that continues to influence the way we cook, shop, and eat.
Jernigan admits Slow Food is not the same as it was in the early years. Slow Food predates the internet, so joining once required sending a cheque to the group’s headquarters in Italy, and face-to-face meetings were central
—FOOD FOR CHANGE CAMPAIGN (SLOW FOOD)
Whether this is evidence of incredible progress in the international farm-to-table move-
Carlo Petrini still heads Slow Food international in Italy. He’s written more manifestos—in
“It was all volunteer work, but it was fun.”
“Food is both the cause and victim of climate change, but also a possible solution. Our food choices have a direct impact on the future of the planet.”
a press release announcing the brand’s latest expansion.
to local groups. Early food research re-
But “slow” has come to mean much more than preserving artisan food and small farms. It’s a philosophy of living responsibly and in harmony with nature, a search for balance in a frenetic world, writes Carl Honoré, author of In Praise of Slow.
volved around academic explorations of
“Fast is busy, controlling, aggressive, hurried, analytical, stressed, superficial, impatient,
rare heritage seeds and livestock breeds,
active, quantity-over-quality. Slow is the opposite: calm, careful, receptive, still, intuitive,
wild plants, and traditional recipes.
unhurried, patient, reflective, quality-over-quantity. It is about making real and meaning-
Today Slow Food communities gather
ful connections—with people, culture, work, food, everything.”
online, working on global food issues
Slow Food didn’t stop McDonald’s from gaining a foothold in Italy, or anywhere else around
and political advocacy. Beyond the
the globe. The golden arches mark a cavernous café of Roman-style arches in the posh
biennial Terra Madre Salone del Gusto
Piazza di Spagna, doling out hamburgers and gelato to locals and tourists alike.
conferences in Italy, there are now more regional events, like the Canadian Slow Food National Summit and the U.S.based Slow Food Nations international food festival. At the upcoming Slow Food
But in an era when clean food production, food security, and the impacts of climate change are more important than ever, there may be no better time to join the people who are working hard to go slow. “It’s just about going to a farm, buying some food from a farmer, going home and cooking it, and sharing it with friends and family,” says Fader. “It’s really just that simple.”
Cascadia in Vancouver, Washington, in October, a luau and pig roast, hard cider garden and
To get involved, visit slowfood.com or slowisland.ca and learn about new local cam-
marketplace are planned, alongside a Slow Food Summit, with panels and speakers discuss-
paigns and initiatives, from Slow Wine and the Slow Food Chef’s Alliance, to community
ing salmon fisheries, tribal management, and food-based social movements.
gardens and saving BC fisheries. saveourbcfisheries.info
(YOU CAN STEAL FOR HOME) EAT’s Bar Skills 101
f you think a night out in our fair city is a good time and nothing more—think again. By mimicking the modern tools and techniques used by bartenders across Victoria, you can earn your master’s degree in the art of the cocktail (and improve your prowess at entertaining in general. We toured some of the best
WOR D S
spots in town and took note of creative ideas that will raise your home bartending game to a new level.
Koriko Shaking Tin If you’ve ever struggled to take apart mixing tins after shaking
Like any other dedicated craftspeople, drink makers have developed an array of tools
your drinks, you know how frustrating it can be. Plus, you look like you don’t know what
that help them work more effectively. They all serve their purpose in a professional en-
you’re doing (try having this problem in front of a bar full of people staring at you!).
vironment but might be a bit of overkill for your home bar. However, three “must-haves” will bring precision and elegance to your home cocktail repertoire. In Victoria, great shops for cocktail tools are Charelli’s or Vessel Liquor. Online, try aliexpress.com or cocktailkingdom.com
Mixing Glass While many bars opt to use the more industrial tin cocktail shaker to stir
Often the issue is poor quality shaker tins. Luckily, the fine folks at Cocktail Kingdom, an online barware store, have developed a professional set of tins called Koriko. Many of the industry leaders in Victoria gravitate toward using Koriko shaking tins because they’re perfectly weighted, which helps create a snappy, hard shake and makes them easier to pull apart, saving you time—and face—when you’re mixing it up for friends and family.
their drinks, Clayton Thornber at Wind Cries Mary uses a big, sturdy mixing glass. When your guests can watch the show come together. Beautiful spirits deserve some theatrics,
TECHNIQUES Garnish with understated style Shelf stability and efficiency are the name of the
and why not entertain your friends with “dinner and a show”?
game here. Dehydrating your garnishes means they become a lot more shelf stable. They
you’re using beautiful spirits, the mixing glass serves as a kind of cinema screen—you and
Bar Spoon Back in the ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s, most bars would use an American, redtopped bar spoon to stir their drinks (a flattish spoon with a twisted, eleven-inch handle capped in red plastic). Nowadays, this is a sign of a bar that’s using dated tools and techniques. Modern bartenders are paying closer attention to the functionality and elegance of their tools—even their spoons. Japanese bar spoons are one option that high-performance bartenders are using today. They feature an elongated stem that adds drama while you stir your drink, with either a teardrop or three-pronged fork at the end. You could also use a European-style bar
won’t last forever, but they will save you time, and when you’re hosting a party of any size, there just never seems to be enough of that. Having a jar of dehydrated citrus wheels at your disposal will free you up to entertain and prepare the next course, while doing what we never seem able to do as hosts: relax. It doesn’t just end with citrus, either. Just about anything can be dehydrated and added to your drinks. Here are some of the garnishes you may want to consider dehydrating (or purchasing already dried). They’ll look great in Mason jars and will be an inspiring beacon for your creativity:
spoon featuring a flattened end at the top as well, which serves as a muddler for herbs and
Citrus—lemons, limes, grapefruit, orange—the differing colours look great side-by-side
Rose buds, for drinks with floral notes
Beef jerky—a wonderful garnish for savoury drinks like the Bloody Caesar
Strawberries, raspberries, kiwis to add to your tall, refreshing summer drinks
Both Japanese and European bar spoons feature an ornate metal spiral the full length of the handle (as opposed to just one-third of the way, like the good-ol’ American red-topped bar spoon). Not only does this make gripping and stirring easier, it enables the bartender to
gently pour liquids down the spiralled stem, useful for layering (think of a red wine float in a
As if you needed another reason to start dehydrating your garnishes, they also infuse your
New York Sour, or whipped cream in an Irish Coffee, for example).
home with their delicious aromas!
42 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
Get glassware with some history The world of drinks and cocktails is storied
On hand at Little Jumbo year-
and checkered, and that’s part of the charm. Just like every drink tells a story, so too should
round, root beer syrup is great
every glass. You don’t have to spend your life savings on delicate stemware and crystal
for making homemade root beer
tumblers. You’d be surprised how rewarding a walk over to Value Village, Good Things, or
(just add soda), for using as an
just about any thrift store in town will be for your home bar. And don’t worry about buying
alternative sweetener in your
“sets” of four or six. Serving the same drink in a variation of similar glassware styles creates
Old Fashioned, or even for a new
a fun talking point among friends.
dimension of flavour in your
Give drinks the right chill Ice is the unsung supporting actor in any cocktail. Not only does it add visual impact, depending on the shape and size of your blocks, but the water that is gradually released into your drink is essentially another ingredient, just like the spirits. So why do we treat it so dismissively? If you’re using ice that’s picked up the flavours of chicken and frozen vegetables, well, that’s going to influence your drink. And not in a positive way. While we can’t all have industrial ice machines installed in our homes, we can still have great ice. We recommend picking up a Tovolo King Cube tray and Tovolo Perfect Cube tray for your home mixing, and best practice is to use ice that’s been in the freezer for less than
Place all ingredients in a pot over medium heat and simmer for about 25 minutes. Strain into a clean mason jar.
morning tea. You can purchase sarsaparilla and sassafras at Self Heal Herbs in Victoria. People often ask for smoky whisky drinks so have a smoky whisky infused with Lapsang tea ready to go that’s economical (using Islay Scotch will run a higher price-point than, say, Jim Beam’s white-label bourbon).
Finally, a closing note on ambience. Think about the atmosphere at your favourite bar. What about that experience stands out? Odds are they’ve paid a lot of attention to customer experience, and that doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s amazing just how much the flicker of a candle can add to a room, especially combined with the right music and a
Want to take it to another level? Emily Henderson of Bodega and The Tapa Bar recom-
well-made drink. Next time you’re entertaining,
mends making flavoured ice so that as the ice melts, it contributes another dimension to
be sure to keep the lighting low and add some
your cocktail. Her favourite is mint tea ice cubes in mint juleps and mojitos. For sturdier,
natural beauty and atmosphere with candles or
spirit-forward cocktails (like the Old Fashioned), you might consider creating a “built-in ice
tea-lights. Put in some prep time on a couple of
cube”: fill a rocks glass one third full of water, and put the whole thing right in the freezer.
different mood-fitting playlists and really set the
Strain your cocktail on top of the frozen surface for a unique presentation. The reduced
stage for your guests to enjoy a bar-level experi-
surface area means a slower rate of dilution, so you can sip it for longer.
ence, right in your kitchen and living room.
Oh, and remember the storied glassware you’re going to be picking up from a thrift store?
Kyle Guilfoyle is co-owner of the Nimble Bar Co.
two weeks. Tovolo can be found at cocktailkingdom.com or tovolo.com
Root Beer Syrup: ¼ cup sarsaparilla ¼ cup sassafras 2 cups sugar 2 cups water
Smoky Whisky Infused With Lapsang Tea: 3 heaping Tbsp Silk Road Lapsang souchong tea 500 mL “economical” whisky Combine tea and whisky and let sit for about one hour. Strain into a clean mason jar.
Best to keep that in the freezer, too.
Put your drinks on acid Almost every cocktail uses acidity to achieve balance with sweet, strong, or spicy flavours. Often we think of lemons and limes as the only options for countering sweetness, but Clayton James recommends experimenting with other sources of acidity. Citric acid, acid phosphate, and lactic acid are all shelf stable and will still let the spirits shine through (lemon and lime contribute flavour, whereas these acids do not). West Bourget of Olo has almost entirely replaced citrus juice with alternative acid solutions, which ensures consistency and shelf stability, and saves the skin of his hands from the harshness of citrus. When it comes to your home game, “it’s just nice to have a jar of acid in the fridge so you don’t have to squeeze a lemon every time you want a sour,” says Bourget. When Jayce Kadyschuk of Clive’s finishes a shift and has cleaned all of his tools, he’ll whip up a refreshing cocktail with minimal prep time by mixing a spirit, jam, and citric acid solution. You can purchase citric acid at Bulk Barn in Victoria — make citric acid solution by adding 8 teaspoons of citric
Here’s one of Jayce's favourites: 2 oz. mezcal 2 dollops of grapefruit jam ½ oz citric acid solution Shake, fine strain into a cocktail coupe.
acid powder to 1 cup of water. Simply add more citric acid if you want more tartness, more water if you want it less tart.
Get creative with homemade syrups and infusions When it comes to creating homemade ingredients, there are limitless possibilities. However, there are some essentials that have proven themselves invaluable to high-level bartenders for decades, and they’re simple enough that you can keep them on hand at home.
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EVERY DAY 4PM-9PM IN THE CLUBHOUSE, 919 DOUGLAS ST FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT DRAMASSOCIATION.COM/1621 43
Squash It! R ECIPE + S T Y L ING + PHO T OGR A PH Y
It’s that time of year again. Nights are getting cooler and the days are starting to shorten. A must for the fall season is a creamy, comforting bowl of butternut squash soup, a classic. I’ve added a little bit of spiciness to this iconic recipe, as well as a splash of liquor and a hint of smokiness. I’ve made it decadent by pairing it with two of my favourite soup toppings: the crunch of a savoury granola and a light yogurt lemon sauce to elevate and balance the spices. And for the final touch—those flavourful kale chips.
44 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
Spicy Mediterranean Butternut Squash Soup Serves 6 to 8
For roasting 1 butternut squash, 2 lb (1 kg) 6 garlic cloves, skin on 1 pear, cored and cut in half 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut in half Himalayan salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Broth 2 Tbsp avocado oil 2 celery stalks, diced 1 leek, sliced 1 red pepper, diced 2 tsp smoked paprika 1 tsp ground cumin ¼ tsp cayenne pepper 2 Tbsp sherry or brandy 4 cups bone broth, plus more if needed Himalayan salt and ground black pepper, to taste Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with the Savoury Granola and Yogurt Lemon Sauce.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Wash the kale leaves individually and dry them well with a clean cloth.
Makes 3 cups This will make enough to keep and use for other soups and salads; it’s quite addictive. You can keep it stored in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to 1 week. You can also freeze it in a resealable freezer bag. 1 cup old-fashioned oats 1 cup pumpkin seeds ¼ cup sesame seeds ½ cup walnut, lightly chopped 1 Tbsp soy sauce 1 large egg white, beaten ¼ cup oil, your choice 1 Tbsp honey 1 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped Himalayan salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Toss all the ingredients, except the parsley, in a large mixing bowl.
Brush the squash and the garlic cloves (keeping the skin on) with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the two halves of squash, cut sides down, on the prepared baking sheet. Place the garlic cloves under the squash in each cavity.
Pour mixture onto a parchmentlined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes until golden. Once cool, add the parsley, season to taste, and stir to combine.
On the same baking sheet, add the pear and sweet potato, cut sides down.
Yogurt Lemon Sauce
Once cooked, let the squash cool before scooping the flesh out of the squash and squishing the roasted garlic out of their skins. Set aside with pear and sweet potato. In a pot, over medium-low heat, sauté the celery, leek, and red pepper in the oil for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the smoked paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper, and continue cooking for 30 seconds. Add the sherry, continue cooking for another 30 seconds. Pour in the broth and give the soup a good stir. Add the squash, pear, sweet potato, stirring well to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Purée the soup until smooth, either with a hand blender or in batches in a counter blender. Season with salt and pepper. Add more broth if needed to reach the desired consistency.
Put in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, turn the leaves over, and continue baking until they are ready. Cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the chips from the oven and let cool.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the squash in half through the stem end and remove the seeds.
Bake for 45 minutes in the middle of the oven or until tender.
Place the leaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; avoid overlapping them. Brush each leaf gently with a little oil and salt.
Refreshing and light, this sauce is perfect to balance the heat of the soup. Makes 1 cup. 1 cup plain Greek yogurt 1 Tbsp lemon juice ½ tsp finely grated lemon rind ¼ tsp Himalayan salt Freshly ground black pepper, to taste Place all ingredients into a small mixing bowl and whisk until thoroughly blended.
Kale Chips Better than a cracker! Full of flavour and a visual that gives you the wow factor. Although, they will probably be eaten all at once, these chips can be easily kept up to one week in an airtight container. As many Lacinato or Tuscan kale leaves as you want Olive oil Himalayan salt 45
DISHING THE DIRT
it, but it’s clear he sees proper composting practices as an important tool in a larger fight against global warming—and as a way to get people connected with the food we eat.
Love growing or eating food on the island? Then soil should be top of mind. Adrien Sala visited the Compost Education Centre to talk about the work they’re doing to support sustainable food practices.
“We have limited water resources and limited soil fertility on the island,” he explained. “A lot of conventional agriculture practices further deplete that soil fertility, so if we’re interested in food growing here, we’re going to need to be more invested in it.” That investment begins with education, which is the main
DIRT. IT’S SOMETHING MOST PEOPLE DON’T WANT
driver for the Compost Education Centre.
our shoes, and our food. But if you’re Chet Phillips, formerly
Learning About Dirt
the executive director of Victoria’s Compost Education
in their lives—a nuisance to be washed away from our hands,
Located behind Victoria High School, on the corner of
Centre, you love the stuff. In fact, you’re kind of obsessed
Chambers and North Park streets, the Compost Education
with it—which is good for the rest of us who want to live in a
centre is a composting Eden. Not that the neighbourhood
world where we get to eat healthy, fresh food.
is ever really all that hustle and bustle, but stepping into the garden it’s easy to forget you’re smack in the middle of
Phillips, an American married to a Canadian and a rela-
Compos t Education Centre
a city. There are aquaculture barrels, various plants and
tively new addition to Victoria, has had an obsession with soil—a.k.a. compost—for a long time. Prior to working as the executive director at the compost education centre in Fernwood, he worked for the University of Arizona, where
vegetables growing, a cozy little bench to sit on, ponds, bees,
you’re really interested in getting your hands dirty—but
worm boxes, and lots of composting barrels of different pur-
they do ask that you complete some training before being set
poses spread throughout. Add in a hammock and it would be
loose in the gardens
he ran Compost Cats, an industrial-scale food scrap pro-
one of the best places in town to take a summer nap.
gram that kept 16 students employed part-time.
The centre runs several student programs that teach kids
ing practices are going to continue to increase in import-
Sporting cowboy boots in the summertime—a fashion
about food waste and compost—and how rich soil supported
ance. Whether it’s industrial-scale composting for city
choice steeped in his Arizona roots—Phillips’s passion for
by composting can grow the tastiest foods.
programs, or newbie gardeners growing food on a window
compost is evident. He’s not preachy when he talks about
“I can talk until I’m blue in the face about this and bore them out of their minds,” Phillips jokes. “But you know, I bring them over and give them a taste of a sweet pea that was
As the world warms up and dries up, sustainable food-grow-
ledge in an apartment downtown, soil is the key to making it successful. The Compost Education Centre is designed to help move that needle forward.
grown here—and that is always one of the things that makes
To learn more about the centre or to get involved, visit
the biggest impression.”
www.compost.bc.ca where you can get a full list of
But the centre is for more than just educating young kids.
classes and programs.
It’s also a resource for anyone who might have questions about composting or planting a garden. Got a query about worms? No problem, someone at the centre will be able to find you an answer. “We're open to the public 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. So anyone can come in here and ask questions.” They also have several resources and fact sheets available both online and at the centre, as well as a hotline anyone can call with any compost-related questions they might ($20 annually), free classes onsite and several courses and
have. There are workshops and inexpensive memberships programs delivered throughout the region. September will see the centre offering half-a-dozen adult workshops on subjects ranging from worm composting to
Kayla Siefried, Site Manager & Communit y Education Coordinator,
creating a herbal medicine cabinet to brewing kombucha
tends to the compos t
and kefir. They also have opportunities for volunteers if
46 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
The end produc t - dark, nutrient-rich compos t
A U T HENTIC TASTE OF ITALY D inner ~ M o n t o S u n fro m 5 p m
106 Superior Street | 250.380.0088 | IlCovoTrattoria.ca