R E S TAU R A N T S | R E C I PE S | W I N E S | F O OD | C U LT U R E
ROAR TORATIKI MOCKTOBERFEST ®
Smart. Local. Delicious.
INDEPENDENT & ISLAND OWNED
SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2021 ISSUE 25-05
22 years at the forefront of local food and drink
An online benefit for the
Fall could be my favourite season. The crunch of leaves underfoot, the cool nip in the air, the promise of slow simmering stews and fires in the wood stove that fill the house with warmth and tempting aromas. The promise of dinner with friends and family, enjoying hearty red wines, and making plans for winter travel and the holidays fills me with joy. In this issue, Cinda Chavich checks out Tofino’s newest restaurant, ROAR; Gillie Easdon gets tropical vibes visiting Toratiki; Daniel Murphy has his own Oktoberfest; and Julie Pegg gets back on the road again. We have warming recipes with a twist, a healthy and delicious salad bowl, a seafood and sausage soup, or if sweet is your thing, a take on cornmeal pancakes for brunch or dessert. And we’re thrilled to welcome Heidi Fink back to the EAT family as a guest chef. We hope you enjoy the read, make the recipes, try the wine and beer suggestions, and visit the establishments highlighted. And please support our advertisers; truly a great group of food and drink shops, products, and restaurants. We couldn’t do this without them.
Online Auction: Bidding open October 18–24, 2021
www.belfry.bc.ca/crush 250 385 6835 COLLECTOR’S WINE AUCTION
Cynthia Annett -Hynes
WHISKY & SPIRITS
B.C. WINE BASKETS
DINING & GIFT CERTIFICATES
Generously supported by
CYNTHIA ANNETT-HYNES EDITOR
Crush A Fine Wine Auction
Cucina Italiana REBECCA BAUGNIET
The team at the Chinatown Village location have launched Ghost Ramen, an outpost of Courtney’s Nikkei Ramen-Ya. Noodles and broth are made from scratch in Courtenay, and the ramen is assembled with care here in Victoria. Get it if you can – this ramen sells out fast! ghostramen.ca The new Driftwood tasting lounge is planning to open their doors mid-September. It will have a seating capacity of 60 indoor and 60 patio patrons. Featuring 32 tap lines, it will showcase Driftwood’s full, core beer line-up and allow space to play with one-off releases with their new pilot brew system. driftwoodbeer.com Bubby Rose’s has a new location coming to the Quadra Village! bubbyrosesbakery.com Momi Noodle House opened this past summer and is an all-day lunch and dinner restaurant located at 554 Pandora Ave. Inspired by recipes from the south of China, the team has created a menu that combines traditional recipes and a rustic-city atmosphere. The menu also includes a collection of family home-style recipes (such as Guilin rice noodles) that have been shared and passed down over generations. mominoodle.com Founded in 2021 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 777 Douglas St, Stone Ground Pizza Company creates classic, Italian style pizzas and fresh pastas using the best, locally sourced ingredients available. Open 4pm-10pm Mon-Sun. stonegroundpizzaco.com
Enjoy a taste of Italy Dinner ~ Wednesday to Sunday from 5pm 106 Superior St. | Reservations: 250.380.0088 | IlCovoTrattoria.ca
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER
Regional. Seasonal. Delivered to you. Order the best food grown and made in the CRD in a curated or customized box.
Sign up for home delivery Victoria, View Royal, Langford, Colwood and South Saanich
WWW.SIFARMHUB.CA Parry Bay Sheep Farm Metchosin, BC
Parry Bay Sheep Farm along with Stillmeadow Farm sells lamb, pork and roasting chicken to restaurants and butcher shops in Victoria and through our on-farm market in Metchosin. We truly appreciate those who “walk the talk” and support local producers. From picturesque pastures to backyard barbecues Parry Bay lambs make people smile. John & Lorraine Buchanan 250.478.9628 firstname.lastname@example.org www.parrybaysheepfarm.com
instagram: @parrybayfarm facebook.com/parrybaysheepfarm facebook.com/ParryBayFarmMarket
Kitchen & Culture “Fighting Racism One Recipe at a Time” Join us for an online interactive cooking series that builds bridges across our community through food and storytelling. You will be cooking with Indigenous and Immigrant chefs as they share their favourite fabulous dishes and stories. Register today at: https://kuleaculturesociety.org/event/kitchen-and-culture/
Promoting diversity, inclusion and equity. 4
The Bikery is Victoria’s only kosher bakery, specializing in pretzels, bagels, challah, pita, and other baked goods. They started operations on a pickup and delivery model to get these delicious offerings to their customers, wherever they may be. Not only is their kitchen 100% electric powered, but all deliveries are made by a combination of bicycle and EV car. The Bikery has now opened a storefront in the Victoria Public Market (1701 Douglas St) on the rear side of the building facing the fire lane. thebikery.ca
what was, pre-pandemic, the largest family charity event on the South Island. Provincial health guidelines will be followed, with social distancing, hand washing and masks for unvaccinated people recommended. Running from Sept 10-12 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. There will also be local craft brewers, cider and wine available. esquimaltribfest.com
The team at Roast has launched their own food tours of the Market. With this VIP tour, you will skip the lines, learn how to make pasta and indulge in 4 signature tastings. Tour guide Ethan is a food professional and is as famous for his personality as his signature hot sauces. Ethan will walk you through the Market and introduce you to all the shops and the stories behind them. There are 4 tasting stops: Roast, La Pasta, Taco Stand, and The Chocolate Project. Find tickets by looking up “Taste the Victoria Public Market” on eventbrite.ca.
Crush – A Fine Wine Auction is returning with its online format in 2021. This carefully curated auction features a great selection of fine wine generously donated from the private collections of individuals and local restaurants. Also on offer are lots from BC wineries including gift baskets and packages, dining, travel, and other unique experiences in every price bracket. All proceeds benefit Victoria’s leading professional theatre company and its beautiful heritage venue in the heart of Fernwood. For more information, please contact email@example.com or 250.385.6835 belfry.bc.ca/crush/
Victoria’s 6th annual Oktoberfest: Stein and Dine 2021 will once again take place in the Victoria Public Market. Tickets go on sale September 1. $60 Tickets include one branded 12oz stein, two drink tickets (12oz serving), two food tickets and one fresh pretzel on arrival. 7:00pm Saturday, October 16, 2021. victoriapublicmarket.com The Olympics may have wrapped up, but we have another chance to root for BC on an international stage: Chef Gus Koenigsfest, from Vancouver’s renowned Publish restaurant, will represent Canada at the 2021 La Chaine des Rotisseurs International Young Chefs Competition to be held in Paris, France from September 22-27, 2021. The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an International Association of Gastronomy. We wish Gus the very best as he represents Canada. chainedesrotisseurs.com This year marks the return of the Esquimalt Ribfest to Bullen Park. This will be the 9th annual event for
Stop the press! No time to check this out. We just heard there is a kitty robot waiter delivering your order at Mantra on Fort Street. mantrarestaurant.ca
Gary Hynes PUBLISHER
Pacific Island Gourmet EDITOR
Cynthia Annett-Hynes CONTRIBUTING EDITOR/COPY EDITOR
Carolyn Bateman VANCOUVER CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
Julie Pegg SENIOR WINE WRITER
Larry Arnold LAYOUT AND DESIGN
Cynthia Annett-Hynes PRODUCTION AND DESIGN
Tom O’Neill REGIONAL REPORTERS
Victoria, Rebecca Baugniet CONTRIBUTORS
Bill Blair Nate Caudle Cinda Chavich Jennifer Danter Jacqueline Downey Gillie Easdon Heidi Fink Deb Garlick Kyle Guilfoyle Lillie Louise Major Denise Marchessault Elizabeth Monk Daniel Murphy Elizabeth Nyland Daisy Orser Adrian Paradis Adrien Sala Shelora Sheldan Johann Vincent Rebecca Wellman REGIONAL/NATIONAL ACCOUNT MANAGER
Susan Worrall ADVERTISING ACCOUNT MANAGER
Ron Metella CONTRIBUTING AGENCIES
iStock.com pg. 3, 30
On the cover:
Spicy Chicken Potpie Styling + Photography:
Recipe on page 26
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ON THE ROAD AGAIN
lodgings and ferry, and suitably prepared for come-what-may.
After a hiatus of almost two years, inveterate traveller Julie Pegg is meandering along Island roads again in search of fresh produce and artisan food and wine. LAST YEAR I HAD to bid adieu to my beloved VW Westfalia after 22 years. I knew I would miss the efficient compartments that housed supplies for civilized dining on the road: sturdy cutlery, sharp knives, decent plates, glasses, cloth napkins, tea towels, as well as spices and wee bottles of quality olive oil, balsamic vinegar, the ever-present Valentina hot sauce and Maldon salt, and my stash of small cutting boards that double as plates for a quick snack or sandwich. Most of all, I would miss the compact fridge that got jammed with finds from my stops at roadside stands, markets, and wineries. However, with a bit of creative packing, my culinary kit transferred neatly into our new KIA Soul with a bit of room to spare. A plug-in cooler subs in for the van’s fridge, along with a years’ old compact picnic cooler, a legacy from my parents. It holds those tiny cutting boards, and the necessary eating and drinking implements. Another kit containing sanitizer, masks, hand towels, and even extra loo paper round out the store. This summer, eager to hit the road for the first time in nearly two years, husband Steve and I are ready for an island getaway, booking well in advance for
CAFÉ LUNCH DINNER handcrafted pizza, custom cocktails, local wines, wine flights, outdoor patio & indoor pop-up patio FARO Lane 1175 Beach Drive 250-940-0302 OAKBAYBEACHHOTEL.COM/FAROPIZZA 6
BC Ferries is now offering “Saver” fares year round on major routes for early a.m. and late p.m. sailings. We nab an 8 a.m. sailing from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay for $40 and a 7:40 a.m. return via Nanaimo for $50, including reservations. (When chatting a few days later with a couple of gals who are looking at fourhour or longer ferry waits and $100 fares, our early morning wake-ups seem just fine.) Once aboard, we hit the outside deck, thermoses, snacks, and a good read in tow—then masks off. (Masks are not mandated but recommended. We opt to don them, but not outside.) Booking hotels with kitchenettes and a view proves a godsend. Rather than queueing up for an hour at a restaurant, we while away our first evening over wine and a take-away crisp-crust wood-oven pizza from The Woodshed as the sea laps the shore and the sun descends in a red/purple sky. The next day, while zigzagging the backroads off Highway 17, we come upon the 162-yearold Prairie Inn mid-afternoon in Saanichton. We dig into superb pub grub—a halibut burger (for me) and a fat BLT (for him), with sides of creamy, not floury, fish chowder. Our amiable server clearly knows all the regulars. The next day I spot the quirky, vine-covered Café Zanzibar a turn and twist away from Brentwood Bay (no idea how I got here). Patience is indeed a virtue at 1 p.m. The place has been “slammed” as they say in the restaurant trade, and as with many eateries these days, is short staffed. Yet the owner manages to rustle me up, amidst all the hustle and bustle, an unsweetened iced tea (I mention
I don’t like sweet iced tea) to sip on. I knock off a good bit of a Christopher Fowler detective novel (one of his witty Bryant and May mysteries) during my wait for a very tasty and nicely presented tandoori chicken and mango salad. Patience rewarded. Still tootling around the Peninsula, I luck upon farm eggs, locally milled flour, wheat berries, and lentils from Saanichton Farm to stock the larder. I pop cash into the honour box at a roadside kiosk for fresh garlic and another for a firm, peppery red cabbage and a few crunchy cukes. As we begin to make our way up-Island, the countryside holds the promise of the fall harvest: pumpkins and squashes in the fields and apples in the orchards. Rocky Creek Winery, a lovely farmhouse with a tiny cellar tasting room en route to Cowichan Bay, is well worth the pull in for a taste and purchase of a couple of bottles of their smallbatch, award-winning Pinot Gris. As per usual, the coolers get loaded. On a breezy, sunny, Sunday morning, following a lengthy low-tide beach walk at Rathtrevor Provincial Park, quartered eight-minute boiled eggs (remember that hotel kitchen?) sprinkled with a dash of paprika, sliced cukes, a wedge of Qualicum cheese, and flaky biscuits eaten beneath a shady tree are the ideal light, late-morning nosh. The new car has proved itself a worthy successor to the beloved Westfalia, and our little getaway has been good grounding for future trips—of any kind. Savvy prep, few expectations, and an open mind are always vital for travel—and these days those qualities are even more essential.
Join us for Lunch or Afternoon Tea in The Garden That Love Built Reservations Strongly Recommended
778-265-6466 1964 Fairfield Rd. Victoria
Complete menu online: www.abkhaziteahouse.com
Wine to Compliment the Bounty of Autumn! Calvet Crémant De Bordeaux Brut Rosé 2017 France $15.49 Although sparkling wine has been produced in the Bordeaux region for well over 100 years, the appellation “Crémant De Bordeaux” did not become an official designation until 1990. A blend of cabernet franc and merlot made in the “Champagne Method,” Calvet Brut Rosé is lovely with a pale coppery-salmon tint bursting with a profusion of tiny persistent bubbles. Very fresh, very dry with subtle raspberry and strawberry flavours and balanced acidity. Given the price of bubble, this has got to be one of the best deals available today! Chateau De La Gravelle Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2018 France $17.99 There are some wines made to sip and contemplate and others to drink and enjoy! This delightful little Muscadet is of the latter genre! Dry, fresh, clean! Yes to that, but there is more to be found! Anjou pear, straw and subtle yeasty aromas, juicy citrus flavours with vibrant acidity and a saline minerality throughout! Simplicity at a price that won’t break the bank! Domaine Pellé Menetou-Salon Morogues 2018 France $36.98 Created 22 years after its more famous neighbour, Sancerre, the appellation of Menetou-Salon produces some of the most underrated, yet stunningly delicious sauvignon blancs produced in the Loire Valley today! Quite a statement but this is quite a wine! Considered one of the best producers of the appellation, the Domaine is organically farmed, and the must is fermented naturally with wild yeast from the surrounding vineyards. A real cracker leaning more to the citrus than to the grassy-cat’s pee side of sauvignon blanc! Aromas of white peach, green apples, lime and gooseberries, very refreshing on the palate with concentrated fruit flavours and a soft, clean finish! Bouchard Père Saint Pierre Mâcon-Lugny 2017 France $26.99 In a world awash with well-made, fruit-driven chardonnay, who out there still drinks Bourgogne Blanc? Well, I do for one! For the most part, the chardonnay from the south of Burgundy has very little to do with oak and cannot be considered fruit-bombs. This simple Mâcon-Lugny is delicate with a nose faintly reminiscent of ripe orchard fruits and apple blossoms. Medium-bodied with a slightly creamy texture, refined acidity and a refreshing minerality through the dry finish.
let’s get local Enjoy fantastic views and local flavours from ingredients raised, grown and baked right here on Vancouver Island.
RESERVE AT BLUECRAB.CA OR CALL 250.480.1999
Bodegas Volcanes De Chile Casablanca Pinot Noir Reserva 2018 Chile $16.99 Very aromatic and approachable with ripe strawberries, raspberries, herbs and spice notes on the nose. Medium-bodied with bright fruit flavours balanced with lively acidity and a fresh silky texture! Viña Falernia Elki Pinot Noir Reserva 2018 Chile $15.99 Located in the Elqui Valley, 530 km north of Santiago, Viña Falernia is one of the northernmost wineries in Chile. Fermented in stainless steel then partially aged for 6 months in a combination of new and 2 to 3-year old French oak barrels, Elki Pinot Noir is delicate and soft with red cherry, raspberry and spice aromas. The palate is silky and smooth with tangy fruit flavours nicely balanced with juicy acidity and a blush of fine-grained tannins! Morandé Casablanca Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2019 Chile $17.99 This delicious, cool climate Pinot Noir is made from fruit sourced from the Morandé’s Belén Vineyard in Casablanca, Chile. Very fruity with red cherries, raspberries, spice and damp earth aromas. Supple and fresh with a taut acid structure and good length! A whole lot of spicy fruit flavours with good balance and intensity and a very long, fresh finish! Familia Schroeder Alpataco Patagonia Pinot Noir 2019 Argentina $19.99 Covering approximately 400,000 square miles (one and a half times the size of the United Kingdom) Patagonia is not just a pimple on the butt of South America! It is a land of open spaces and ranches. It is also the most southerly wine producing region in Argentina. Alpataco is an indigenous bush that symbolizes the tenacity of life in this cool, barren and remote region! The wine you might ask! What wisdom might this tenacious little Pinot impart! Well, just let me say this: It starts off a little tight in the glass but with a little time the nose opens up --- red cherry, raspberry and violet aromas, round and supple with juicy red fruit flavours, soft acidity and a long persistent finish.
REPORTER Toratiki Root Cellar Farmhouse Victoria Bar 500
PHO T OGR A PH Y
Toratiki's bar and numbered "Cabana" booths JOHANN VINCENT
7 1 4 C O R M O R A N T S T. W W W.T O R AT I K I . C A
Gillie Easdon gets as close to the tropics as she can for now. THE FRONT WINDOW IS papered up. It looks quiet through the glasspaned door—did I mess up the time? No, it’s open. I enter, abandoning a sunstruck day to be enveloped in darkness. There’s a kick of curious thrill. I have that feeling of disembarking a plane into another time zone or hemisphere coupled with the “Where am I? What’s going to happen?” of new theme park experiences. Above me, light comes from a fuschia-coloured Japanese fishing globe hung by a hand-tied length of fishing net. The bamboo-lined bar ahead of me sports an extensive roof of faux dried palm leaves. To my right, on the brick wall, a back-lit acrylic painting of a sunset is complete with a sweet mechanism that makes the waves undulate, and, if you’re close, you can hear those waves lapping the shore. Further along, I spy cozy rounded cabana benches accented with framed black velvet art. Welcome to Toratiki, the latest from Matty Conrad and Jason Pincombe, the visionaries behind Saint Frank’s bar and barbershop and Wheelies Motorcycles & Cafe. Overseeing Saint Frank’s and Toratiki is the everhumble but ever-sharp industry pro Robyn Stevenson, aka Rocket, now COO. This Cormorant Street space, the past location of Hive Hair, was originally intended as Saint Frank’s new home, as its current location was slated for demolition. When that plan shifted, however, Conrad and Pincombe decided to launch Toratiki, which had been several years in the scheming and many more in the dreaming. Tiki culture began in California in the 1930s from an escapist longing for Polynesia and Oceania. It shifted with World War II, had mostly died out by
1980, and has been enjoying a resurgence in the 21st century. The Toratiki team has been careful in their choice of decorations, drinks, theme, and vibe to intentionally embrace the positive in tiki—the bar acts as a homage to time spent on those beaches, on those stools, by that water. Conrad and Pincombe hand-built pretty much everything, apart from some Varage Sale and Marketplace finds. “We’re interested in organic growth,” says Pincombe, “unique spaces and creative spaces . . . no wood panelling, no 100 taps.” It’s important, adds Robyn Stevenson, to have “a warm and welcoming space. We want industry folks to come and chill out here after a shift.” Toratiki’s drinks and eats offerings include the classic Mai Tai with Appleton rum, dry curaçao, lime juice, demerara, and orgeat syrup; the Sweet & Spicy (for the “lava lovers”) with SOV spicy chili vodka, pineapple juice, and fresh mint; the King Colada with three-year light rum, pineapple juice, housemade coconut cream, and lime juice; and the Hurricane with Newfoundland Screech rum, passionfruit syrup, and lemon juice. For the food, they are keeping it tasty, on-theme and simple. Maui Wowie Wieners (cocktail wieners with South Pacific barbecue sauce), Ohana Shrimp Skewers (coconut skewered shrimp with chili garlic sauce), and Momo’s Macaroni Salad (classic elbow macaroni with celery, carrots, and green onion) are just a few of the bites to dig into with your Zombie, Blue Hawaiian, or Jungle Bird.
Tiki culture began
in California in the
1930s from an escapist longing for Polynesia and Oceania.
Much like Wheelies and Saint Frank’s, Toratiki has a hybrid business model. It’s a wonderful, kitschy addition to Victoria’s bar scene, but there’s also a soundproof licensed karaoke room (at the time of writing for up to 10 people). And there’s another back-lit art piece past that fun-lit room of future memories where you can hear waves and gulls. And yes, the “tropical” blue water in the toilets is on purpose.
From Left to right : Jay Pincombe, Robyn Stevenson, Levi Hawk 10 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
For travellers who’ve been grounded for the past 18 months, there’s a welcome relief in kicking back and grabbing a beverage while savouring memories of Indonesia’s Gili Islands, Thailand’s Koh Samui and Koh Phangan islands, Hawaii’s Kauai, the Cook Islands’ Rarotonga, or wherever you’ve explored, connected, and played. For those who don’t travel, it’s a slice of something fun, different, welcoming and—did I mention fun? At the front door, a large sign reads, “Aloha—if you are racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic or an asshole,
come back when you’re not.” It’s a bar based on cultural appreciation versus appropriation—which hinges on disrespect, mocking, dishonouring, ignorance of colonization, historical dehumanizing and the ongoing exploitation of sacred traditions. They’ve been both aware and intentional in the execution. Toratiki is a love letter. Every detail is carefully curated, from the extensive LED lighting to the decor to the surf guitar and rockabilly playlists, drinks menu, and fake palm trees and coconuts. Come down and check it out. It’s a beauty.
Get on our Turkey List! Avoid dismay, sign up today for your local, ethically raised turkey.
HAPPY HAR VEST
Toratiki is open Wednesday-Sunday 5 p.m.-late. For more information and to book the karaoke room, please visit their website. GILLIE EASDON
The Root Cellar Comes to Cook Street
271 COOK STREET
The local store is the natural successor to the Village’s long-time Oxford Street grocery.
Understanding this, it’s great news that The Root Cellar, one of the few stores in Victoria that is privately owned and still retains the feel and practices of grocers before they went big box, is opening its second location later this year in Cook Street Village.
FOR GENERATIONS, GROCERY STORES were the heartbeat of many communities—a place where people would go to gather the goods they needed to feed their families, where they would interact with other people in the area, and bump into old friends. People were often on a first-name basis with their butcher and produce manager, trusted in the quality of the food and other goods they were buying, and understood that their local grocer stood by the products they sold. It was a simpler time. Then, grocery went corporate. Conglomerates absorbed the smaller stores to create behemoth enterprises with countless employees, too big to know your name. Going shopping became less of a social experience than a necessity, something one did without expecting much more than to gather what was needed and head home.
Owners Daisy and Adam Orser in the new space. “It was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” says Daisy Orser, who co-owns The Root Cellar with her husband, Adam. Interestingly, they’d wanted to be in Cook Street Village when they first came to the city 13 years ago, but in the end opted to take on the location at the corner of McKenzie and Blenkinsop, essentially the bridge point between the city and the agricultural land that supplies a lot of their product.
Han dmade Eth i cal L o cal
FROM SEA TO TABLE
Tradi t i o n al
Locally sourced seafood and fresh seasonal ingredients are the culinary stars of our fall menu. Pair your coastal meal with an award-winning Q Bar cocktail and you have an unforgettable experience.
CURED AND SMOKED MEATS 2 0 3 2 O A K B AY A V E N U E , V I C T O R I A fairmont-empress.com
photo by damon eats
12 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
THEWHOLEBEAS T.CA C U RED@ T H EWH O LEB EA ST.C A
Shop,” deli, and a ready supply of their famous green sauce. It won’t have a coffee shop or potting shed (yet), but for those of us who go out of our way to shop at The Root Cellar, it is welcome news—and it carries on the legacy of that corner of the village, which has been a grocer for seven decades.
Rendering of The Root Cellar Cook Street Village exterior. “We had made the decision to become a destination store,” says Orser. “But when this location came available we couldn’t say no. It has been pulling at our heart strings.” Located in the heart of Cook Street Village in what was formerly Oxford Foods, the new space will have a very similar design to the first location, with a “Chop
Easily accessGrocery stores were ible by foot for those in the the heartbeat of many neighbourhood, it also has communities—a place where ample parking for bigger people would go to gather shopping days. the goods they needed to feed The interior has been completely stripped their families, where they of its previous would interact with other design and will be bright, open, people in the area, and bump and pleasantly into old friends. navigable, with lots of fresh air and natural light, much like the McKenzie Street store. Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., The Root Cellar Cook Street Village is a welcomed addition to a thriving community that loves supporting local. ADRIEN SALA RENDERING COURTESY OF THE ROOT CELLAR
Uniquely Curated. Exceptionally Preserved. From our kitchen to yours with love. Recipes, pairings and more at saltspringkitchen.com 13
Eating Well For Less
HARBOURSIDE DINING Two easy-going eateries steps from the city’s harbours.
Farmhouse Victoria 10 BASTION SQ., NEAR WHARF ST., FACEBOOK MESSENGER FOR CONTACT
SPECIAL SANDWICHES, A SPECIAL space, and a special view. Farmhouse Victoria has a spacious patio overlooking the Inner Harbour, a historic brick and wood indoor space, and delicious and generous sandwiches. Who can resist a breakfast sandwich called The Buttkicker, especially when it’s only $11? Be sure to do some hand-stretching exercises before grabbing a hold of this one. A fried egg, smoked Cheddar, avocado, lots of greens, serrano mayo and a homemade hot sauce all combine to tantalize the tastebuds. The queen ingredient of this sandwich, however, which all other ingredients do obeisance to, is very thick-cut bacon, crisp yet thick enough to be juicy, and double-smoked on site. Generous is the key word for this sandwich. When I heard that some customers from Montreal come here for the Reuben, I had to try it. The savoury salted smoked meat arrives from Montreal and is smoked again on-site. It comes with sauerkraut for some sparkle, creamy Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing. The pretzel bun is a great choice for this sandwich, as the slight sweetness plays well with the rich and tart flavours. It goes for $13. More sandwiches are on offer, as are cookies from The Cookie Guy and Drumroaster coffee. Whatever you order, the serving size will be generous.
A MEETING PLACE OF FRIENDS
Enjoy dining out again and taste Coolshanagh wines at Boom & Batten in Victoria. Also available where fine wines are sold, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit coolshanagh.ca for more information. @coolshanagh 14 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
Farmhouse Victoria's Reuben sandwich with salted smoked meat from Montreal served on a pretzel bun and The Buttkicker breakfast sandwich with thick-cut double-smoked bacon.
Bar 500 500 OSWEGO ST., IN THE OSWEGO HOTEL, 250-410-2085
A MILLENNIAL SENT ME to check out Bar 500, and as soon as I saw the Cereal Milk Shaft, I thought I knew why!
- EAT MAGAZINE Exceptional Eats!
The Shaft is a nod to Victoria bar culture and Victoria’s famous signature cocktail. My breakfast Shaft had the normal espresso and Kahlùa—well, it is not normal for me to drink Kahlùa at 9 a.m., but exceptions can be made—and a shot of coconut milk sweetened with dissolved Corn Pops. Is this destined to become Victoria’s official breakfast drink?
Reader’s Choice Awards
BEST TAKE-OUT - 2020 -
But said millennial also knows good food, and Bar 500 is a find. The combined breakfast, brunch and lunch menu, including various Italianinspired dishes, is sophisticated and executed with an eye for detail. The Farinata for $15 is a crisp, savoury pancake made of chickpea flour wrapped around a filling of fluffy scrambled eggs, roasted mushrooms, and zucchini. On top of this golden concoction is a drizzle of wild fennel salsa verde, a sprinkle of pea shoots, and—a fun and inspired surprise—bright purple fireweed flowers, locally sourced. On the side is a fiery eggplant relish called a bomba.
2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
OPEN ALL DAY, EVERY DAY!
The restaurant’s commitment to local foraging is also evident in the accents on the Ricotta Lemon Pancakes, which go for $16. These fluffy pancakes have an assertive hit of lemon, a layer of tiny wild blueberries in the middle, and a decorative topping of locally foraged huckleberries and trailing blackberries. The sweetness comes from the side of mascarpone cream and the maple syrup. With so many flavours and textures in this dish, every bite feels different.
Open Daily 11:30am-8:00pm
Italy within reach. 2401-B Millstream Rd. | www.900degrees.ca
Victoria’s premier farmers market
Bar 500’s décor is airy, modern, and welcoming, and its food a worthy match for the appealing surroundings, making this a welcome new addition to Victoria’s restaurant scene.
Moss St. Farmers Market ELIZABETH NYLAND
The Farinata at Bar 500—a crisp, savoury pancake wrapped around fluffy scrambled eggs, roasted mushrooms, and zucchini.
Shop in person or online, at localline.ca/moss-street-market
Try the iconic Valencian dish as a hearty fall soup brimming with seafood and chorizo.
e were going through a heat wave in Victoria when I was brainstorming recipes for this September/October issue. It was hard to imagine eating (never mind cooking) soup, but I knew that once autumn rolled around, it would be exactly what I wanted. Something delicious and warming, deep and satisfying with layers of flavour.
What inspired me was a reminder of EAT founder Gary Hynes’s Mussels, Spicy Sausage, and Fava Bean Soup. It was a recipe he created for his award-winning restaurant at The Cooper’s Inn, which he ran with his wife, Cynthia (EAT Magazine’s current editor), in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. I loved the idea of combining sausage and seafood, and I couldn’t think of a better way to honour Gary. As one of my favourite dishes is an authentic seafood paella, I decided to combine the idea of Gary’s soup with the rich flavours of the famous Spanish dish.
I also wanted to skip some of the more technical aspects of paella-making and be able to make it without the specific paella pan. This recipe is adaptable and if you have clams instead of mussels, use those, adjusting the cook time. If you have white fish instead of chicken, that works, too. Be sure to add it at the end, with the shellfish. The chorizo can be crumbled instead of cut if you prefer, but make sure it is the smoked type and not raw sausage. (I got mine from The Whole Beast.) As much as I appreciate a quick dinner, if you read my recipes regularly, you will know that I do not shy away from some long-simmering dishes. This may be one of those. Admittedly, it does take a bit of time, and some work, and if you have a weekend afternoon, I recommend taking it on. You won’t regret it.
R ECIPE + S T Y L ING + PHO T OGR A PH Y
Rebecca Wellman 16 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
Paella Soup Serves 6.
¼ tsp saffron 1 Tbsp coconut oil or butter 1½ cups raw jasmine rice 1 bay leaf 2¾ cups chicken stock Pinch salt In a mortar and pestle, grind the saffron until almost powdered (or crush it with the back of a spoon). Stir in one tablespoon warm water and let sit for 5 minutes. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, melt the coconut oil or butter. Stir in the rice and bay leaf until coated. Increase the heat to high and pour in the saffron water, chicken stock, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. (Or follow rice-to-liquid ratio directions on the rice package.) Remove from heat, leave covered for 10 minutes, remove the bay leaf, then fluff with a fork and set aside, covered to keep warm.
3 Tbsp olive oil 1 medium white onion, finely diced 2 ribs celery, minced 1 carrot, minced 2 large cloves garlic, minced 1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary ½ tsp smoked paprika 6 small boneless, skinless chicken thighs, excess fat trimmed away, and cut into bite-size pieces 2 smoked chorizo sausages, cubed 2 cups chicken stock ¾ cup white wine (or more chicken stock) 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained 1 roasted red pepper, thinly sliced 1 lb prawns, peeled 1 lb mussels, scrubbed 2 tsp lemon zest, minced 2 tsp lemon juice Lemon wedges and parsley for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over mediumlow heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrot and cook until vegetables are softened, about 20 minutes. Adjust the heat to avoid browning them too much. Stir in the garlic, the rosemary, and the smoked paprika and cook for another minute. Stir in the chicken thighs and the chorizo. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the chicken stock and the wine. Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by about one-third, 7-10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and roasted red pepper. At this point, taste the broth and season with salt if needed. Don’t forget the shellfish will add a bit of saltiness. Grind in some black pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil. As soon as the boil is reached, transfer the mussels and prawns to the pot and cover. Cook until prawns are pink and mussels have opened, 4-5 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. To assemble, divide the rice between 6 shallow bowls and spoon the soup over top. Garnish with lemon wedges and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
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Get Ready to ROAR
WOR D S
The new Hotel Zed in Tofino adds an airy, live fire restaurant with a vintage rumpus room vibe and an open kitchen.
’m finding it hard to stay focused on my upcoming dinner date as I enter the new Hotel Zed in Tofino.
My stomach may be growling but my brain is on overload. Before I even get near the entrance to Roar, the hotel’s new “live fire” restaurant, there’s a gauntlet of whimsical diversions to check out, like the multi-coloured bike lane winding through the lobby past a sunken, avocado green shag carpeted “living room” and a replica hippy VW van (made entirely of driftwood) gracing the garden.
In a snug space hidden behind a retro teak wall unit, Ms. Pac-Man shares the floor with other video games that remind me of my misspent youth. I’ll get back to the psychic’s palm-reading den and the Donna Summer-esque minidisco later. Now it’s time to eat, and my nose takes me directly into the restaurant. The aroma of charred, smoky meat and grilled seafood is wafting from the open kitchen where a wood-fired grill dominates the soaring space. Roar is the first new hotel restaurant in Tofino in seven years, and the excitement in the room is palpable. This tourist-dependent town is ready to welcome new faces, and several have arrived specifically to open Roar, including executive chef Kaelhub Cudmore and bar manager Dinah Kisil. Both are present and enthusiastically share their passion for this new project as my dinner unfolds. Chef Cudmore grew up on Vancouver Island and arrives from Victoria where he most recently worked as the banquet chef at the Empress Hotel. General manager Emma Woodward hails from Britain and her resumé includes opening restaurants at the Fairmont Banff Springs, while assistant GM Kisil is an award-winning mixologist from Calgary who honed her skills behind the American Bar at London’s Savoy Hotel. It’s all the brainchild of Victoria’s Mandy Farmer, the president/CEO of Accent Inns and creator of the company’s funky Hotel Zed subset. With locations in Victoria and Kelowna, all channelling a fun, retro vacation motel vibe, Hotel Zed recently added
The open kitchen at ROAR Tofino to the mix with a $20-million redevelopment of the former Jamie’s Rainforest Inn. Roar is the first hotel restaurant Farmer has designed and will operate herself, the concept developed with the help of Vancouver culinary consultant Eric Pateman and Farmer’s team. Roar is all about cooking with fire, featuring everything from beach oysters to ribs and salmon grilled over a wood and charcoal grill, with an oven that tops out at a searing 900 degrees and a large smoker dedicated to house-smoked salmon and other delicacies. Cudmore and his team are learning the quirks of wood fire cooking as they go, experimenting with equipment and techniques borrowed from around the world. The Fire-Hung Chicken is literally suspended over the glowing coals in an oval iron cage as it rotates and slowly roasts. And the big beach oysters are cooked with a drizzle of hot fat from a conical “flambadou,” a cast iron funnel that’s heated in the embers until red-hot to deliver a shot of fiery rendered fat over grilled meat or fish. There’s a perfectly crispy sear on the tender cubes of pork belly that come with Cudmore’s deconstructed Grilled Potato and Roasted Pork Belly Salad with charred asparagus, and the house-cured Salmon Pastrami is served with sweet, caramelized parsnips and seedy house-made crackers. Carnivores will lean to the smoky beef brisket with charred salsa and tortillas, while vegans can try his homemade mushroom tofu, served with a comforting leek and miso congee and crispy leeks.
PORTRAITS: KEEGAN ROBIN
Creative desserts from the restaurant’s pastry chef include a playful selection of doughnuts with smoky caramel and chocolate dipping sauces, and a unique roly-poly Roar Cake, a kind of bread pudding with dulce de leche. All is served up in an airy, open space with a vintage rumpus room vibe and an open kitchen, the smoky aromas of grilled food adding to the beach party atmosphere. Make a call from a funky rotary dial phone on your table or take a seat near the pass to commune with the chefs as they feed the fire. There’s a big outdoor patio and a bar across one end of the room where mixologist Kisil works her cocktail magic. Executive Chef Kaelhub Cudmore 18 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
General Manager Emma Woodward
Bar Manager and Assistant General Manager Dinah Kisil
She has an amazing palate and creative streak, melding wild foods from the rainforest with classic cocktails. Try A Place Called Kokomo with her gorseinfused tequila, a rye and whisky old-fashioned with Suius Cherry Bitters, or a
frothy cachaça and pisco cocktail called Lesser of Two Evils, dusted with dehydrated salmon berries. These are the kinds of inspired cocktails that will take your meal to another level. A nod to the playful mid-century vibe of Roar means tiki drinks are also part of the mix. Roar is a hotel restaurant, so there’s a breakfast and lunch menu, too (think griddled crumpets or kofta and lemon shakshuka, Rhino-coffee-rubbed ribs, and charred corn fritter and avocado wraps). Cudmore favours seasonal, local ingredients, but he has Middle Eastern roots and a soft spot for Moroccan flavours, so you’ll also see exotic twists like his own Ras El Hanout spice on the menu.
The property sits along the main highway (and newly expanded bike path) that connects Tofino with Ucluelet, just across the road from Chesterman Beach. With a rain forest trail leading from the back of the hotel to the Tofino Inlet, it’s also a great place to take a SUP or kayak (available to rent on site) into calm waters. Farmer is a keen cyclist and community builder, who wants locals to enjoy this new hotel as a community hangout, a place to wheel in from the bike path for a beer by the firepit on the patio or grab a seat at the bar. She’s included a bike maintenance station open to anyone passing by and a small, museum-style display on one wall in the lobby, honouring Tofino’s rebellious streak and the historic War in the Woods demonstrations to halt logging on Meares Island, one of the largest acts of civil
Next door to the restaurant is the little Beachside Provisions shop, with ready-toeat sandwiches, hand pies, salads, and baked goods to take out, along with fresh oysters and other seafood to sling onto your own fire on the beach (check local fire restrictions/bans first). There’s also a good selection of locally made products, so you can take home one of the chef’s hot sauces, a jar of wild blackberry and bourbon jam from The Hobbyist, or one of the exceptional artisan chocolate bars created by Tofino’s Ouest Artisan patisserie. Grilled Potato and Pork Belly Salad disobedience in Canada. As Tribal Park Allies, Roar adds 1 percent to every restaurant bill so the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation can continue the restoration and guardianship of their lands, where the hotel sits. Roar is a spot to channel the roar of the surf, the roar of a crackling fire, and the roar of rebellion, in this spectacular natural setting at the end of the road. I think a look into the crystal ball in the psychic’s den would predict a future of roaring good times, too.
IMAGES COURTESY OF HOTEL ZED/ROAR
AUTHENTIC ELEVATED 19
It’s a Pancake Day!
20 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
R ECIPE + S T Y L ING
PHO T OGR A PH Y
Harvest Corn Pancakes
little cornmeal adds a pleasing crunch to this classic buttermilk pancake base. Once the stacks are ready, serve with mascarpone cheese instead of butter. Mascarpone has a sweet, buttery, nutty flavour with a luscious creamy texture that is better than butter! Makes 12 pancakes.
2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup yellow cornmeal ¼ cup granulated sugar 2 tsp baking powder 2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp kosher salt 2½ cups buttermilk 2 large eggs ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp butter, melted Oil for frying Toppings: Maple-Glazed Apples (recipe follows), mascarpone cheese, maple syrup (try some Vancouver Island big-leaf maple syrup) In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter. Pour over flour mixture; gently stir just until combined. Some lumps are good!
Cook until edges start to brown and bubbles appear on top, about 3 min. Flip and cook until bottoms are golden brown, about 1 min. Place on a baking sheet and keep warm in a 250ºF oven. To serve, place pancakes on warm plates. Top with Maple-Glazed Apples (recipe follows) and a dollop of mascarpone. Serve with maple syrup. Maple-Glazed Apples 2-3 juicy, sweet-tart apples, such as Honey Crisp, Empire, or Gala 2 Tbsp butter 1 tsp cinnamon ¼ cup maple syrup Pinch of kosher salt Peel apples, if you wish. Cut into 12 wedges. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add apples and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 4-6 min. Stir in syrup and salt. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until apples are tender, about 5 minutes.
Heat a large cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat; lightly brush with oil. Pour batter, a scant ¼ cup at a time, into pan; spread slightly to form pancakes. Tip: Use a neutral oil for frying, such as Reduce heat to medium; avocado or vegetable oil. It results in crispyadjust as needed during edged pancakes and won’t burn like butter will. cooking.
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Cooking Up Collective Solutions A new, non-profit organization of Victoria hospitality business owners is dedicated to a fairer, more supportive, more sustainable industry WOR DS
PHO T OGR A PH Y
ince Victoria business owners Sam Jones and Calen McNeil began hosting the Bread & Butter Collective podcast earlier this year, they’ve tackled some difficult topics facing the restaurant industry.
From employee mental health and issues facing women in hospitality, to paying a living wage, restaurant business operating systems, and how to get help with financing, their guests have shared their knowledge, experiences, and opinions, all in an effort to help other operators and expose the many challenges in food service today. The podcast is the public face of a new non-profit organization, a collective of owners in Victoria’s hospitality industry dedicated to helping improve working conditions, offering information and support to each other, and finding
solutions to larger systemic struggles. It’s a unique collaborative initiative in a competitive, ego-driven industry — one that’s notorious for putting passion before sound business practices or work/life balance. High food costs, low profit margins, low wages, and burnout are all endemic, and the stresses added by the pandemic have pushed many owners to the brink. Jeff Hetherington faced similar problems when he owned Pig Barbecue. Hetherington became so disillusioned with the “broken” restaurant business and all of its unsustainable practices, he closed his restaurant and bought a farm in the Cowichan Valley. But COVID-19, and its devastating impact on his colleagues, lured Hetherington back to the forefront of the struggle, with some bold ideas for change.
From left to right, back row: Calen McNeil - Big Wheel Burger, Mike Spence - Drake, Sam Jones - 2% Jazz, Shane Deveroux - Habit Coffee/Sherwood, Cristen DeCarolis Dallas – Prima Strada. Front row: Sterling Grice - FOO, Jeff Hetherington - Big Wheel Burger, Maryanne Carmack - Roast /La Pasta/Taco Stand. 22 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
“This is the industry I love and I have so many ideas about how it needs to change,” he says. “When Covid happened, with all of the massive challenges to restaurants, I saw an opportunity to address the problems and shed a positive light on our industry looking forward.” Hetherington gathered some of his like-minded restaurant colleagues — the owners of 2% Jazz, Big Wheel Burger, Zambri’s, Hey Happy, Pizzeria Prima Strada, Bodega/Tapa Bar, Foo/ Part and Parcel, Roast/La Pasta— for an initial meeting in 2020. Now there are more than 40 members of the collective, including the owners of House of Boateng, Fol Epi and Agrius, Drumroaster Coffee, Nourish, Hoyne Brewing, The Drake, Sherwood, and 900 Degrees Wood-Fired Pizza. While Jones, owner of 2% Jazz and Sequoia Coffee, and McNeil, owner of Big Wheel Burger and co-owner of Zambri’s, host the podcast, the collective’s board convenes weekly to discuss new projects and initiatives and put their ideas into action. “We are a group of like-minded people who are working hard for the betterment of our community,” says Jones, noting only owners, not employees, are members. They have already created a poster that all member businesses can display outlining a code of conduct for patrons to protect employees against abuse. And they’ve designed a reusable takeout container that will be available (and accepted for return) at member restaurants. Changes are relatively small now, but there can be bigger shifts when there’s a critical mass of like minds, says Hetherington. The collective is looking at practical ways restaurants can attract professional staff, pay them a living wage with the kind of benefits offered in other sectors, support local economies by purchasing local ingredients, and make decisions based on environmental, social, and community considerations.
Owners are sharing real experiences and case studies, a “road map,” he says, to understand how bold moves, like paying higher wages or changing the tipping model, can actually increase productivity and make businesses more viable. Still, it will require a paradigm shift across the industry to fix some of the larger, systemic problems facing restaurants today, and buy-in from both operators and their customers. Restaurants may also need to increase prices to reflect the real cost of doing business. In the competitive environment of food service, it’s a tall order. “I’m proud I was able to get everyone into a room to start working on big problems,” says Hetherington. “It’s in the early stages, but the industry is poised to make a shift — the people in that room are ready for a shift.” “Incredible people showed up to the first meeting, and it was instantly positive,” adds McNeil. “As much as our businesses are focussed on making profits, there are different ways to measure success.” The cost to join the Bread & Butter Collective is minimal — just a onetime $100 fee — and it is open to all locally owned, independent food and beverage businesses. Members commit to the group’s mandate of openly sharing information and working toward a more sustainable future for all. Already there’s a Dropbox filled with information that members can access and share, from business plans to marketing and social media, financing and technical systems, reflecting both successes and failures. “The goal is to be as informed as possible,” says McNeil, speaking on the podcast with Jones and Hetherington. “My personal goal is to share valuable information that prevents roadblocks for others in the hospitality business. And I want to educate consumers about all of the costs and challenges of doing business.” Tuning in to the podcast offers a
candid look inside the workings of the restaurant business, whether you’re an aspiring owner or simply a hungry consumer. And joining the collective offers the kind of moral and practical support that can make the difference between a restaurant’s success and failure. Members like Jones say it’s simply empowering to know you’re not alone in your day-to-day struggles, and there’s someone with similar experiences to lend an ear, an idea, and a way forward. “I look at these meetings as therapy – with solutions that you never thought of,” says Jones who credits his B&B colleagues with helping him navigate the world of commercial real estate. But is it possible for restaurant owners to open up and relinquish their trade secrets and competitive edge? “The important thing for me has been sharing,” says Jones. “People are always worried about ‘giving away too much’ but I’ve just seen it come back so much.” “I’ve never been afraid of competition,”
adds McNeil. “If hospitality is going to be the #1 employer in Victoria, we need strong players.” “All of the people who are part of this group are friends and we want everyone to succeed,” says Hetherington. Hospitality is a vital part of the local economy, he adds, and this peerdriven, volunteer group is devoted to building a stronger, more viable restaurant sector. “I think if you’re a customer going to a restaurant with a B&B logo on the window, you will be aware of what we’re trying to do,” says Hetherington, “pay people a living wage, attract the staff we need to succeed, have some work/life balance, and create a stronger community.” Add Jones: “I want people to know that they are dealing with companies and organizations and individuals that do care for everyone in this community. We are the small businesses that are the building blocks of Victoria.” For more information, and to access the podcast, go to breadandbuttercollective.com.
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The Mighty Salad Bowl
All you need are well-seasoned vegetables, a bit of imagination, and a gorgeous bowl. R ECIPE + T E X T
Denise Marchessault S T Y L ING + PHO T OGR A PH Y
his hearty salad bowl started off like many others: peering into the fridge wondering how to manage dinner with few options. In this case, a couple of eggs, a lone zucchini, a handful of parsley and a bunch of kale.
The secret to pulling off a deeply satisfying salad is a flavourful dressing and this recipe includes a tangy ginger-mustard vinaigrette and a nutty lemon herb pesto. It’s hard to a imagine a vegetable that wouldn’t benefit from these piquant flavour boosters. Kale plays a starring role in the dish, with support from sweet roasted zucchini, quinoa, a boiled egg, and edamame (or fava beans, when in season). It’s a hearthealthy, protein-packed bowl bursting with flavour. Delicious needn’t be complicated and with fresh vegetables on hand, the possibilities are endless. If you’ve never experienced thinly sliced roasted zucchini, you’re missing the vegetable’s full potential. When most of the moisture is removed through 24 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
roasting, it takes on a sweet edge that’s so delicious you’ll want to eat it right off the baking pan. (I especially love it in grilled vegetable sandwiches.) Kale can be hard to digest raw, so toss it with dressing ahead of time to allow the vinegar to break down the fibres. Or, if you’re too hungry to wait, massage the kale with a little oil and lemon juice between your thumbs and fingers to achieve the same results. (Tender baby kale needs no special treatment.) Taste your kale to determine if the texture is to your liking. The idea is to soften the tough leaves, but not so much that they lose their distinctive character. I’ve added a nutty parsley pesto to the mix because it pairs beautifully with eggs. Pestos are a cook’s loyal friend—they brighten most foods and can be easily adapted. Sometimes I thin pesto with white wine vinegar for a light dressing or sauce. Or keep it chunky and add freshly ground coriander and cumin seeds or jalapeño peppers to the mix.
There’s a whole spectrum of pestos beyond the traditional basil and pine nut variety. They can be made with most herbs and soft leaf greens, including spinach. The following pesto recipe calls for walnuts, but almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and roasted peanuts work too. Anchovies lend a layer of savoury complexity (aka umami) to pestos but do not leave a fishy aftertaste. Pesto is my go-to topping for brightening everything from chickpeas to fish and pasta. I make a batch at least once a week. I serve this salad atop black quinoa, but any colour (red, orange, or purple) works. I prefer the darkercoloured quinoas to the lighter, fluffier, tan-coloured varieties because they have a chewier texture and more pronounced flavour. If you don’t have quinoa on hand, brown rice, spelt, and couscous are all good alternatives. Feel free to use whatever your pantry has on offer. The only necessities for a salad bowl are well-seasoned vegetables, a bit of imagination, and a gorgeous bowl.
Mighty Salad Bowl
of kosher salt. Roast until the squash has shrivelled and is starting to char around the edges, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the baking tray halfway through to turn the squash over and brush with oil. Watch the squash carefully—you may have to remove some slices earlier than others to prevent burning.
Ginger Mustard Vinaigrette, recipe below Parsley Pesto, recipe below 4-5 cups chopped kale, ribs discarded 1 large or two small zucchini squashes 1 Tbsp vegetable oil Kosher salt 4 large eggs ½ lb edamame (available in the freezer section) 2 cups cooked quinoa (white, black, or red), room temperature 2 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal Prepare the Ginger Mustard Vinaigrette and Parsley Pesto. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper or a baking mat.
To prepare the eggs: Place them in gently simmering water for 8 minutes (or less for a softer egg), then plunge into cool water to prevent further cooking. Shell and halve the eggs just before serving. To prepare the edamame: Microwave according to the instructions on the package. Allow to cool then remove the beans from their pods.
To prepare the kale: Toss with a bit of the vinaigrette and set aside. (The vinegar tenderizes the kale while the remaining salad components are being prepared.) If using tender baby kale, dress the salad just before serving. To prepare the zucchini squash: Slice lengthwise into long thin strips using a vegetable peeler or mandolin. If desired, set aside four paper-thin strips to use as a raw garnish, as pictured. Place the remaining strips in a single layer on the prepared baking trays and brush one side with a bit of oil. Sprinkle with a pinch
One-meal salads are as unique as your palate.
Putting it all together: Taste the dressed kale and toss with additional vinaigrette, if desired. Divide the quinoa, dressed kale, edamame, and roasted squash into four bowls. Top each with one sliced egg and a generous spoonful of the Parsley Pesto. Garnish with spring onions and sliced raw zucchini squash, if desired.
Ginger Mustard Vinaigrette Makes about 1 cup. 1 Tbsp Dijon-style mustard ¼ cup red wine vinegar ¾ cup vegetable oil ¼ tsp kosher salt 1 Tbsp honey
Sweet roasted zucchini slices are irresistible in salads and sandwiches.
1 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated (ideally on a microplane) ½ tsp garlic, finely grated (ideally on a microplane) Combine the ingredients in a small-lidded jar and shake well. Refrigerated dressing keeps well up to five days.
Parsley Pesto Makes about 1 cup. 2 cups fresh flat leaf parsley or a combination of parsley and cilantro, finely chopped (if using a food processor to make the pesto, no need to finely chop) 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, about ½ lemon 1 tsp hot sauce, such as sriracha 1 tsp soy sauce ½ tsp kosher salt ½ cup vegetable oil 2 anchovies, rinsed and finely chopped ⅓ cup chopped walnuts or almonds Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Alternatively, toss everything but the nuts into a food processor and purée until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the nuts and stir to combine. Pesto is most vibrant the day it’s made, but it keeps well in the fridge for up to three days.
Darker quinoa has a more pronounced flavour and firmer texture than the tan-coloured variety. 25
Spiced Chicken Potpie
A Warming Twist on a Classic Pie
Butter chicken spices add warmth and depth to a fall favourite.
love chicken pot pie and often make the classic at home. But when asked to develop a recipe for EAT, I knew I wanted to put a twist on it, in my signature style. Warming Indian spices, perfect for fall weather, were calling me to try my hand at a butter chicken-style filling.
A lifelong devotee of Indian cuisine, I have had many years to hone my recipe for Butter Chicken, so I used my own recipe as a springboard for this pot pie variation. I changed up some of the spicing, added extra vegetables, and split the chicken equally between thigh (for flavour and juiciness) and breast (for
26 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
tenderness and tradition). This delicious filling can be eaten on its own or with rice as a curry meal. For the topping, I’ve always been on Team Biscuit (more substantial and less greasy than pastry). With my spiced chicken filling, I decided the perfect pairing would be a naan-inspired yogurt biscuit, topped with either nigella seeds or cumin seeds for a finishing touch. The finished pot pie came together splendidly: comforting but exciting, the slightly spicy and fragrant chicken stew offset by the fluffy yogurt biscuits. I threw together a very quick spicy green sauce as a nice counterpoint to the richness of this meal.
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PHO T OGR A PH Y • PROP S T Y L ING
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Spiced Chicken Potpie Spiced Chicken Filling 1 Tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds 1 tsp (5 mL) fennel seeds 1 medium onion, diced 5 Tbsp (75 mL) butter or ghee 2 jalapeños or serranos, minced small (take the seeds out first if you want less spice) 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or crushed 2-inch cube ginger, peeled and minced finE Dry Spice Mix (recipe below) ¼ cup (60 mL) water ½ cup (120 mL) passata tomatoes, OR pureed canned tomatoes ¾ cup (180 mL) plain yogurt 1 lb (450 g) boneless skinless chicken thigh, cut into bite-sized pieces 1 lb (450 g) boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces 3 carrots, peeled and diced ½ small cauliflower, cut into very small florets (about 2 to 3 cups florets) 1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil ¼ tsp (1.5 mL) salt 2 cups (500 mL) frozen green peas ¾ cup (180 mL) whipping cream Dry Spice Mix 1½ tsp (7.5 mL) ground cumin 1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric 1 tsp (5 mL) paprika 1½ tsp (7.5 mL) garam masala 1½ tsp (7.5 mL) salt Method Preheat oven to 400ºF (or use 375ºF on the convection setting). To make the dry spice mix: mix together the cumin, turmeric, paprika, garam masala, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
28 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021
The jalapeños, garlic, and ginger can be chopped or pureed together in a mini-chopper or with an immersion blender (you will need to add a bit of water if using the immersion blender.) Have everything else also chopped and ready before you start cooking. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and fennel seeds. When they start to smell fragrant, about 10 to 20 seconds, add the diced onion. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the onions are cooked through and starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Add the butter or ghee and stir until it melts. Reduce the heat to medium. Now add the jalapeños, ginger, and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the dry spice mix and mix thoroughly, about 30 seconds. Immediately add the ¼ cup water and the passata tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the oil separates and pools on the surface, at least 5 minutes. Add a bit of water, as necessary, to help this process. Once the oil has separated, simmer and stir about 2 minutes more to “cook out” the curry spices properly. Now add the yogurt and the prepared chicken thigh and stir well. Turn the heat to medium-low or low and gently cook the chicken for about 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, toss the prepared carrots and small cauliflower florets with the 1 tsp of oil and ¼ tsp salt to coat evenly. Place on a parchment-lined tray and spread out evenly. Place in the oven and roast until cooked, about 20 minutes. After the chicken thigh has been cooking for about 20 minutes, add the prepared chicken breast and the roasted vegetables. Bring stew back to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes more, until
chicken breast has cooked through and vegetables have absorbed flavour from the sauce. Remove from heat and stir in peas and whipping cream. Taste to adjust seasoning. To assemble the pot pie Oven should be preheated to 400°F. Make sure chicken curry is warm and place in a large, oven-proof casserole dish OR in 8 to 10 individual baking dishes (¾ cup to 1 cup capacity). Make biscuit dough (see below) and cut with 3-inch (7 cm) biscuit cutter. Top chicken mixture with biscuits; place in the preheated oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until biscuits are puffed and golden brown, and chicken mixture is bubbling. Serve and enjoy. Curry can be made several days in advance and reheated before putting in a baking dish. Yogurt Biscuits 1½ cups (210 g) all-purpose flour ½ cup (70 g) whole wheat flour ½ tsp (2.5 mL) salt 2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder ¼ tsp (1 mL) baking soda 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sugar, divided ½ cup (114 g) cold butter ¾ cup to 1 cup (180 mL-240 mL) plain yogurt – not too thick 1½ tsp (7.5 mL) nigella seeds (kalonji) OR cumin seeds Method In a medium bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Cut cold butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly, with pieces of butter no bigger than a small pea. Quickly stir in ¾ cup of yogurt until mixture holds together. It may still have a few crumbles, but if it is very dry, add the remaining ¼ cup of yogurt. The amount of yogurt needed depends on how thick it is.
Turn dough, extra crumbles and all, out onto floured counter and gently knead together by first patting the dough into a disk about 1 cm thick and then folding it over on itself. Turn dough one-quarter turn and pat out to 1 cm thickness again, then fold again. Do this several times, until the crumbles have all incorporated into the dough. This folding technique also helps to create fluffy layers. Pat dough out into a circle about ½ inch (1½ cm) thick. Cut with 3-inch (7 cm) round biscuit cutter. Brush tops of biscuits with milk or diluted cream. Sprinkle tops evenly with nigella seeds OR cumin seeds (or a mixture). Use a metal spatula to carefully transfer biscuits to the top of the warm chicken curry casserole(s). Follow directions, above, for baking the pot pie.
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Spicy Green Sauce This spicy, sweet-and-sour green sauce is a perfect accompaniment to a creamy rich Indian-inspired meal like this. 1 bunch cilantro, leaves and soft stems included, rinsed 1 jalapeño or serrano, seeded 1 clove garlic, peeled 2 tsp (10 mL) sugar ¼ tsp (1.5 mL) salt Juice of 1 lime or lemon Method Combine everything in a food processor or mini chopper and process until very finely chopped, almost pureed.
Heidi Fink is the owner of Chef Heidi Fink Cooking Classes in Victoria, BC .
MOCKTOBERFEST A celebration of beer for the haus-bound brau-hound. W OR D S
lowly, incrementally, life is returning to something resembling normal. Canada is feverishly pumping out double-shots like an overworked barista, and at time of writing the promise of global travel appears to inch ever-closer, so close I can taste it. It has lovely, complex malt character, intriguing hop notes, fantastic balance …
While most of us have already mentally checked out of our repetitious, mundane existences in anticipation of distant adventures, unfortunately the doors are officially closed on Munich’s Oktoberfest in 2021. In mid-July, government officials cancelled the 211-year-old festival citing that the pandemic wasn’t yet sufficiently under control to allow people from all over the world to gather in close quarters. But never fear! Some of Germany’s finest beers are available to enjoy right here in Victoria, and local breweries are also stepping up to match them.
Munich Gold, Hacker-Pschorr (Munich Lager)
Simply mentioning this beer fills me with anxiety. Those of us who have fallen for its distinct, intangible yeast character and chewy, morish malt notes, were almost brought to tears when its supply was interrupted at the height of 2020 lockdowns. (In fact, scratch the word “almost.” ) When it did reappear, it was snapped up by the flat. Understandably, I’m hesitant to increase local demand. But, on the other hand, this beer is a true revelation. It would be a grave mistake to interpret its drinkability as simplicity. It is deeply complex, highly expressive while bewilderingly refined. In winemaking, Pinot Noir is often called the “heartbreak grape,” as the subtleness of the fruit allows no room for error on the part of the winemaker. A well-crafted lager is the brewing equivalent of Pinot Noir, and this iteration is faultless.
YYJ Pilsner, Swans Brewery (West Coast Pilsener)
This is not a Munich-style lager, nor is it intended to be. But it is a unique, characterful beer that reflects the essence of its location. Swans’ lager program is one of the most underrated brewing initiatives in Victoria. They are perhaps the only brewery in town that isn’t hamstrung by their building’s limited footprint, allowing them to age many beers for far longer than what’s considered “normal” by local brewing standards. After 12 months (!) in tank, the YYJ Pilsener’s hop notes have mellowed profoundly, turning floral and perfumy, while still maintaining a bite on the tongue after each sip. Malt notes are present, but happily take a back seat, in keeping with the style. It’s a great start to your exploration of Swan’s many wellcrafted lagers.
Hefe-Weissbier, Paulaner (Munich Wheat Beer)
Wheat (weizen in German) contributes a fairly innocuous flavour profile in a beer’s mash—it’s primarily used for its high protein content, which gives a creamy mouthfeel and a brilliant, dense head of foam. When coupled with a tasty, estery yeast, the mild wheat flavour works well in tandem with—and even exaggerates— naturally occurring citrus, fruit, and spice notes. The beauty of Paulaner’s Weissbier is that it’s an incredibly smooth, well-rounded experience from sip to swallow. The yeast and wheat marry perfectly, while the mild bitterness supports the recipe only enough to keep the overall structure from falling apart. It’s truly a world-class example of the style.
Beachcomber, Vancouver Island Brewing (Hefeweizen)
Maybe it’s the cloudiness, or the estery, bready flavours that have kept German wheat beers on the periphery of North America’s most popular beer styles, but I’ve never really understood the logic. They taste like summer, and who doesn’t need a little summer, even in the depths of winter? Vancouver Island Brewery’s Beachcomber amplifies all the eminently drinkable aspects of this German mainstay, but with a lighter body and more sessionable carbonation than its forebears. All the characteristics that define the original are right there, compacted into a highly approachable, light, citrusy gem of a beer. The German lineage in the VI brewhouse may also have played a hand in this one. Dunkel Weissbier, Erdinger (Dunkelweizen) What happens when a Hefeweizen’s dense creaminess and mild spiciness combine with roasted caramel malt notes and lingering toffee sweetness? It may sound heavy—but it isn’t. It’s actually a masterful interplay of light and darkness: bright fruit flavours remain intact while the bready notes are complemented by a dark toastiness. Coffee and bananas? Somehow, it just works. Perfectly. You won’t find a better example of the style than this Dunkelweizen from Erdinger Weissbier, and if you do, contact me immediately.
Creepy Uncle, Moon Brewery (Dunkel)
Turns out there isn’t a brewery in Victoria that regularly brews a Dunkelweizen (att: marketing departments). But considering that the Dunkelweizen style itself is a Frankenstein-like combination of a dark lager and a Hefeweizen, then Moon’s Creepy Uncle is the dark lager “limb” of that monster. Balancing the delicate yeast and hop notes of a mild lager against the potential acridity of roasted malt is not an easy task. But perhaps no other brewery is better suited to handle it, with a German-built brewhouse that utilizes traditional decoction mash processes (it’s interesting, I swear—look it up!) and a deep respect for traditional German beer styles. The idea that dark beers can’t be as easy-drinking and approachable as their brilliant golden counterparts is a myth that’s been long debunked, thanks to exceptional examples such as this one. Seeing the world’s most iconic beer celebration cancelled (again) is a total downer, but our abundance of world-class local and international brews sure takes the edge off. And celebrating the wonder of beer doesn’t need to be limited to a couple of weeks in late September/October, but it’s as good an excuse as any. Let’s raise a glass in hopes that the beer halls of Munich will overflow with joyous mayhem again next year. Prost!
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