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EAT Magazine Jan_Feb 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 12/30/15 2:38 PM Page 1




Smart. Local. Delicious.

Power up your morning


The morning after pancakes


North African spices


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l 2016 | Issue 20-01 |

Sa vo ur y

EAT Magazine Jan_Feb 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 12/30/15 2:38 PM Page 2

Take a Bite Out of 2016!

3 F B M  . F B U 3 F B M  P D B M 

Zwilling J.A.Henckels 20 piece cutlery sets

Reg $145.00 Sale $89.99

Assorted Patterns Available Broadmead Village, 130-777 Royal Oak Drive, Victoria, BC, 250-727-2110,


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EAT Magazine Jan_Feb 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 12/30/15 2:38 PM Page 3

Smart. Local. Delicious.


g Food

g Recipes

28 Local Kitchen Breakfasts

g Features


25 Untraditional Hank’s

Monthly calendar of events + festivals

The minds of the chefs

08 Good For You

32 Exotic Spice

Foods Trends for 2016

Adding new spice mixes to your cooking

09 Epicure At Large

34 Standing Up For Sausage


10 Get Fresh

In defence of the link

Sprouts & microgreens

g Wine,

11 Back to Basics

40 Cocktail of the Month

French Vinaigrette

13 Food Matters Pelotas, polpette, kofti and koftedes

14 Date Night Pancakes with apple bourbon compote



16 Reporter Agrius, Pizzeria Prima Strada, DAK

20 Eating Well For Less The Next, Veneto Tapa Lounge, Thai Green Elephant

Spirits & Beer

41 Beer & a Bite 42 Wine + Terroir Sangiovese wines

44 Liquid Assets Larry Arnold’s recommended wines



46 The Buzz: All the news that fit to print...and then some

Behind The Scenes Pastry team a the new Agrius on Yates St., Victoria (from left to right): Rebecca Davis; Kim Svenaka; Christian Ziss (head pastry chef); Brian Bradley; Alexis Eldstrom. See page 16

Rebecca Wellmans JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016


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| Editor’s Note |


A New & Improved Morning


Gary Hynes


reakfast reflects the culture we live in. In Italy, Romans stop at cafes for a cappuccino and cornetti; the Japanese slurp down bowls of miso soup with a side of rice, a piece of cooked fish and some pickled vegetables; while in India the day begins with thin lentil crepes (called dosas), dips and chutneys. Here in Victoria, we love our big, hearty breakfasts and on Sunday mornings, long lineups can be seen on Herald and Pandora for brunch. While the egg benny and bacon ‘n eggs aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, the first meal of day might now incorporate foods from other cultures as well as healthy additions such as grains and veggies. Try the Creole breakfast bowl with heirloom brown rice and spicy red beans at Caffe Fantastico Roastery or the sprouted chickpea falafel, fried egg, & olives on sweet potato flat bread at Be Love. So don’t skip breakfast; there’s a whole new world of morning meals waiting for you. On page 28, dig into our take on Breakfast 2016 with a savoury and sweet recipe sure to please.

Take a picture of your favourite breakfast or brunch and share it with us on Instagram at @eatmag Winner will be announced on the EAT website ( Closes Jan 30.

Brunch Fried Rice at Relish: The egg was perfect.


Victoria’s premier farmers market

continues all winter long Indoors

MSM Winter Market Nov-Apr, Saturdays, 10-noon With your favourite local organic farmers warm and dry in the

Garry Oak Room Moss St. Market

Parking off Thurlow, in the Sir James Douglas school parking lot.

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ocean wise ™ albacore, citrus tamari v i n a i g r e t te, n o r i, s e s a m e, a v o c a d o, micro cilantro, wonton chips.

PUBLISHER Pacific Island Gourmet SPECIAL PROJECTS EDITOR Colin Hynes CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Carolyn Bateman VANCOUVER CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Julie Pegg SENIOR WINE WRITER Larry Arnold ART DIRECTION Gary Hynes COPY EDITOR Cynthia Annett REGIONAL REPORTERS Tofino | Ucluelet Jen Dart | Victoria Rebecca Baugniet | Cowichan Valley-Up Island Kirsten Tyler CONTRIBUTORS Larry Arnold, Joseph Blake, Michelle Bouffard, Holly Brooke, Adam Cantor, Cinda Chavich, John Crawford, Jennifer Danter, Pam Durkin, Gillie Easdon, Jeremy Ferguson, Colin Hynes, Jon Johnson, Sol Kaufman, Tracey Kusiewicz, Sophie MacKenzie, Sherri Martin, Elizabeth Monk, Michaela Morris, Simon Nattrass, Elizabeth Nyland, Tim Pawsey, Julie Pegg, Kaitlyn Rosenburg, Adrien Sala, Shelora Sheldan, Michael Tourigny, Sylvia Weinstock, Rebecca Wellman. Cover photography by Michael Tourigny. Since 1998 | EAT Magazine is published six times each year. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Although every effort is taken to ensure accuracy, Pacific Island Gourmet Publishing cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions that may occur. All opinions expressed in the articles are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the publisher. Pacific Island Gourmet reserves the right to refuse any advertisement. All rights reserved. OUR ETHICAL GUIDING PRINCIPALS 1. EAT has advertisers in our magazine and on our website; they are our primary source of income. Our company, Pacific Island Gourmet, employs a dedicated advertising team responsible for selling ad space in EAT and on The EAT editorial team does not accept money or other consideration from companies as a condition or incentive to write a review or story. All editorial content on EAT is based on the editor’s discretion, not on the desire of any company, advertiser or PR firm. Occasionally EAT and may publish sponsor content, which will be labelled. 2. EAT contributors are not allowed to ask for free meals or drinks. Anyone identifying themselves as being on assignment for EAT will be able to prove their employment.


HOW TO REACH EAT MAGAZINE ADVERTISING 250.384.9042, WEBSITE MAILING ADDRESS Box 5225, Victoria, BC, V8R 6N4 TEL 250.384.9042 EMAIL PICK-UP THE MAGAZINE EAT is delivered to over 300 pick-up locations in BC including Victoria & Vancouver, Vancouver Island. Visit our website for locations

Facebook/EatMagazine Sign-up for our Tapas newsletter Publisher Pacific Island Gourmet | EAT ® is a registered trademark. JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016


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By Rebecca Baugniet

COOKING WITH JULIA CHILD (Victoria) Julia Child is everyone’s favourite chef, a culinary force to be reckoned with, and the First Lady of French cuisine. From coq au vin, to crepes suzette and everything in between, Julia Child is the legendary dame that demystified French cooking. Join the London Chef for an Evening With Julia Child where they will celebrate all things Julia. Jan 6. 6-9pm $95. ( SAANICH SEEDY SATURDAY (Saanich) Twenty local vendors will be present at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific offering pesticide-free seeds, plant starts and food items. Don Genova will be speaking at 11am and 1pm. Admission ($5) includes admission to the Horticulture Centre's gorgeous winter garden. Snacks and coffee from Level Ground Trading will be available for purchase. There will be a Safe Seed Pledge form, a community swap table and a children's table. Jan 9. 10am-2pm. ( 11th ANNUAL VICTORIA WHISKY FESTIVAL (Victoria) Once again, the Hotel Grand Pacific is hosting the popular four-day Whisky celebration. Events include masterclasses and tastings such as the Whisky wander: a Spirited Journey through the Past Century, with Alwynne Gwilt (“Miss Whisky”) and The Laphroaig Distillery Masterclass with Simon Brooking. Jan. 14-17. ( 14th DINE OUT VANCOUVER FESTIVAL (Vancouver) Celebrate the fourteenth anniversary of Canada’s largest restaurant festival. From Jan 1531, eat your way through 17 days of culinary events. Hundreds of restaurants will be offering three-course prix-fixe dinners. (BC VQA wine pairings available at additional cost). Restaurant menus will be revealed and reservations open on Jan 6. (


Amazing atmosphere, great food, best cocktails in town and brilliant, attentive, knowledgeable sta Now accepng reservaons 4 PM unl late, Tuesday through Sunday Down the Hall, 506 Fort St. 6



OREGON TRUFFLE FESTIVAL (Portland &Yamhill, Eugene, Oregon) Created to celebrate the magnificent Oregon truffles as they reach the peak of ripeness in their native soil, it is the first festival of its kind in North America, dedicated to sharing the experience of the chefs, foragers and fans of Oregon's wild truffles, from their hidden source in the forest to their glory on the table. This year the festival will be held in two locations; The Joriad Truffle Dog Championship will take place in Eugene Jan 16-17, the festival in Newberg and Yamhill Jan 22-24 and in Eugene Jan 29-31. ( 24th ANNUAL HAGGIS EXTRAVAGANZA (Nanaimo) McLean's Specialty Foods will be hosting their 24th Annual Haggis Extravaganza in January, serving a special haggis lunch on Jan 23 and again on Burns' day, Jan 25. Reservations recommended. There will also be featured Scottish biscuits and goodies and a piper will be on hand to alert the neighbours. ( CCF-VICTORIA BRANCH’S 50th ANNIVERSARY (Victoria) Join the Canadian Culinary Federation – Victoria Branch for a celebration of 50 years of culinary excellence. Jan 25 5:30PM. Tickets $125 per person. For those travelling from outside Victoria, the Hotel Grand Pacific is offering a special rate of $119 per night (Jan. 24-Jan. 26). Business formal attire. ( TASTE BC 2016 (Vancouver) The Annual Taste BC will be an experience of BC’s finest wine, beer and spirits accompanied by tasty fare from some of Vancouver’s best local restaurants. All Taste BC’s proceeds benefit one of the province’s most vital medical institutions, the BC Children’s Hospital. Jan. 28, 4.30-7.30 pm. ( KIWANIS ALEFEST (Prince George) Kiwanis AleFest 2016 marks the second annual craft beer festival in Northern British Columbia. With a mixture of the finest craft breweries, some of the community’s finest restaurants, incredible visual arts, and soul grabbing musical talents on their Coldsnap Winter Music Festival stage, this event won’t disappoint. The event takes place at the Two Rivers Gallery. This completely volunteer run event is hosted by Kiwanis Prince George, as a winter social and community fundraiser for children’s charities and projects. Jan 2930. (

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February SEEDY SATURDAY (Victoria) These events are the premier networking and educational event for gardeners of all abilities. With rising food prices over the past year (9%), it is all the more important to consider growing one’s own food. Urban food farming, superfoods, container growing, mushrooms, soils, greenhouse growing are topics for the 2016 event. Hosted by the James Bay Market Society. Feb 20 at the Victoria Conference Centre, from 10am – 4 pm (Victoria, BC) (





VICTORIA FILM FESTIVAL (Victoria) The 21st Annual VFF will take place Feb. 5-14. This festival always includes a good selection of food flicks, and two food films - Foodies and Sergio Herman: Fucking Perfect. Two Sips’n’Cinema this year are wine-themed at Ten Acres and cocktail-themed at the Churchill. ( MARDI GRAS AT THE MARKET (Victoria) Pick out your outfit and put on your mask – Mardi Gras at the Market will be a carnival of exceptional surprises and is sure to be one event you won’t want to miss! Feb 13 from 7-11pm, the Victoria Public Market at the Hudson will play host to a Mardi Gras celebration complete with live bands, carnival performers, festive decor, New Orleans-inspired cocktails and dishes prepared by Roast. Presented by Atomique Productions and Roast. Tickets $45, available at Roast, The Atomique Shop, Lyle’s Place or online at WINTER SALADS AND BRAISED MEATS CLASS (Victoria) Keeping a healthy diet through winter can be a challenge, unless you have taken this class. Offered by chef Michael Williams at Cook Culture, this class will focus on great winter salads and dressings that can be made in batches ahead of time, as well as simple and delicious slow cooked meats, which can be made the day before or on the weekend. Feb 15, 6pm. $85. ( PARKSVILLE UNCORKED (Parksville) Some of Parksville's finest beach resorts have come together once again to feature the very best wines & gourmet foods from throughout British Columbia. This festival, held at various locations throughout Parksville, offers something for everyone. Whether you are a novice or an experienced wine lover, enjoy tastings, seminars, featured wine dinners, bubbly brunches and wine-inspired spa treatments. Last year's festival was a sell-out, so book early to avoid disappointment. Feb 18-21. ( DINE AROUND AND STAY IN TOWN (Victoria) Tourism Victoria and the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association’s 11th Annual Dine Around and Stay in Town will take place from Feb 19-Mar 6. Participating restaurants will offer three-course menus for $20, $30, $40 CND per person and are all paired with BC VQA wine suggestions. This year select restaurants will once again offer celiac-friendly menus. ( VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL WINE FESTIVAL (Vancouver) One of the world's premiere wine festivals, this event, held at various locations throughout Vancouver, is a unique opportunity to learn about and enjoy some of the world's finest wines. The event features wine tastings and pairings, gourmet dinners and luncheons, educational seminars and culinary competitions. Feb 20–28. (

UP AHEAD: CULINAIRE (Victoria) The fifth annual Culinaire event will be held at the Crystal Garden on March 24 this year. This event provides locals with the opportunity to savour signature menu items and inspired dishes from an abundant selection of restaurants, lounges, pubs, cafes, specialty purveyors, and sip from a fine selection of local and regional wine, cider, and craft beer. Partial proceeds provide scholarship awards to the Camosun College Culinary Arts Program and a donation is made each year to the BC Hospitality Foundation. ( JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016


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By Pam Durkin

Fare Fashions Foods to watch for in 2016.

Fashion runways aren’t the only places you can spot trends—you can also see them at the supermarket. And just like their clothing counterparts, food trends are either fleeting, or enduring. Here are my picks for the top healthy AND delicious food trends people will be buzzing, and blogging about, in 2016—and beyond.

New-wave chips Kale chips are so last year. And to be honest—could they ever really be described as delicious? Thankfully, there’s a new crew of innovative and tasty chips poised to take over star billing in the chip aisle. Beets, carrots, parsnips and even Brussels sprouts are being turned into divinely crispy snacks for health-conscious consumers seeking that addictive “crunch.” B.C.’s own Hardbite is right at the forefront of this trend, turning out some of the best veggie chips around. According to T. Frey-Durston manager of the Cook St Lifestyle Markets, Hardbite’s new line is beginning to “fly out the door.” Another welcome addition to this trend is the fruit chip—often referred to as a “Snap.” These new fruit chips have serious crunch, are low in calories, salt-free and scrumptious. Try a bag of sweet and crunchy “Pineapple Snapz”—I promise, you’ll forget all about kale chips.

Coconut butter While coconut oil has been popular for a while, coconut butter is a relative newcomer on the food scene. Don’t confuse the two; there are major differences between them. Coconut oil is simply the oil extracted from coconut meat whereas coconut butter is the whole meat of the coconut, pureed into a creamy butter. Coconut butter contains all the healthy, medium-chain fats of coconut oil plus significant amounts of fibre, iron, magnesium and potassium. In plain English—it’s much more nutrient-dense than its fattier cousin. Furthermore, it’s far more delicious and versatile. Though coconut oil is great for frying, it’s not something you’d want to eat straight from the jar or slather on a sweet potato. With coconut butter, you can do both and more—its creamy taste and texture shines as the star ingredient in baked goods, atop steamed veggies and grains, in spreads, soups and curries. This versatility, along with the butter’s delightful taste and universal appeal, will undoubtedly make it as popular as its oily relative. (Try Burnaby’s own Everland Organic Coconut Butter.)

Game charcuterie I’ll have the bison pepperoni pizza, please. That statement, though unusual, is being heard with more frequency at trendy brewpubs and restaurants across North America. Though the roots of charcuterie have a strong emphasis on pork, modern implementations using game meats like bison, venison and elk are becoming increasingly popular—for good reason. Game meats aren’t just lower in saturated fat than their industrially raised pork and beef counterparts, they’re also more nutrient-dense and untainted by hormones and antibiotics. That’s music to the ears of health-conscious foodies and devoted carnivores alike, who will undoubtedly fuel this emerging trend. Get hip to it yourself by trying some of Island Bison’s delicious bison bacon, pepperoni or pastrami.

Persian food Thanks to superstar chefs like Yotam Ottolenghi, Marcus Samuelsson and B.C.’s own Hamid Salimian—who all sing its praises—Persian cuisine is finally stepping into the culinary spotlight. Their praise is not unwarranted. Persian cuisine is aromatic, delicious and über-healthy. It incorporates elements of Indian, Greek, Arabic and Turkish cooking and is loaded with disease-fighting vegetables, herbs, nuts, seeds and freshly ground spices. In addition, many of its key ingredients, such as pomegranates, walnuts, pistachios, barberries, prunes, yogurt and turmeric, are the very foods health experts have dubbed “superfoods.” Another plus—Persian cuisine is mostly glutenfree—so it’s amenable to all types of diets. Not surprisingly, the cuisine is being showcased at some of the best restaurants in the world with increasing frequency. This is a trend with “legs” and one that will be welcomed by anyone fortunate enough to have sampled Hamid Salimian’s sublime Persian tasting menu when he was executive chef at Vancouver’s Diva at the Met. See our article on Spice on page 32. E



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By Jeremy Ferguson

Cashews in a Nutshell

For nut nuts, the rich, buttery flavour and soft crunch of the cashew (it’s actually a seed) is irresistible.

Six decades or so ago, when I was a boy, I lived for Christmas. It was about the loot. Not that I was spoiled: my parents were what we call the working poor nowadays. Never did get the electric train my brother and I coveted. But every December 25, with utter certainty, I knew I had a pound, a whole pound, of top-of-the-line Laura Secord cashew nuts in my future. And I wasn’t planning to share. In those days, for a nut nut like me (and every other Ferguson male before me), the cashew was the Cadillac of nuts, out of our financial snack bracket but elegant with its crescent-moon contour and rich, buttery flavour, heaven with a soft crunch. I consumed them one at a time, and, with luck, they lasted into mid-January. Yet I knew little about them. As far as I was concerned, they originated in the box. It was years later, on the Caribbean island of Grenada, one of many tropical climates where the cashew tree thrives, that I discovered it is not a nut at all but the seed of the cashew apple, a yellow, bell-shaped fruit whose flavour combines mango and citrus notes. Unfortunately, it bruises too easily to travel and won’t be showing up at Thrifty Food’s. The “nut” emerges from the bottom of the fruit. Catch is, it comes encased in a double shell that contains urushiol, a nasty toxin (also found in poison ivy) that causes skin rash on contact and whose consumption can be lethal. This explains why the cashew often appears on those ten-most-toxic food lists. In some countries, the fruit is eaten and the seed prudently tossed out. The toxin, thankfully, is eliminated in the roasting process. Accordingly, raw cashews are not recommended. The nut, or rather seed, originated in northern Brazil and travelled easily. Vietnam is the world’s largest producer, while others include India, Indonesia, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria, a near $2 billion industry worldwide. There are more than 20 grades of cashews out there. The best are usually the priciest. Those from bulk stores are likely to disappoint. Costco sources them from south India and they’re first-rate.


Cashew fruit On my first journey to south India, I got very excited about cashew soup. But the soup capitalized only on the inherent blandness of the cashew and left me growling. On the other hand, a call to room service at my hotel brought a sari-clad server and a plate of warm, freshly roasted cashews. Which left me feeling like an itinerant maharajah. The cashew weighs in as a serious supporting actor in cuisine, providing crunch and creamy texture in salads, stir fries, curries and rice dishes. Cashews blended with butter, salt and pepper make for a butter ideally drizzled over grilled fish. A cashew-lentil burger courts vegetarians. Cashew cheese, a meld of cashews, water, salt, pepper and lemon juice, is a vegan staple, a dairy-free alternative to cheese. Historically, the cashew has proven a bit of a dullard. Except, maybe, for the true story of a man who ate his hearing aids mistaking them for cashews. (Presumably, they didn’t taste quite right, but he could hear from some unusual places.) The cashew news is all about skyrocketing prices. Crop failure is diminishing supply— climate change is taking its toll—while demand is soaring among the newly affluent. Indians are now the world’s largest consumers and China’s billowing middle class has also discovered the cashew. So if you can afford them, get ’em while you can. At home, we use cashews in lieu of ultra-pricey pine nuts for pesto. And we’re fond of stir-frying cashews in olive oil, garlic, cumin and chilies. The spicy ones, oh yes. Next Christmas morning, I’ll hope for a pound under the tree, to be savoured one at a time, with a tumbler of Johnnie Black. E


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Handmade Ethical Local Traditional






By Sylvia Weinstock

Sprouts & Microgreens


magine having an array of mega-nutritious vegetables at your fingertips, all winter long, for pennies a day. Fulfilling that fantasy is simple when you grow sprouts and microgreens. Sprouts are one of the most concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, protein and fiber. Some microgreens have up to forty times as many nutrients as their full-grown veggie counterparts. Microgreens and sprouts with intense, vibrant colours are the most nutritious. Sprouts and microgreens can be grown from almost any bean (e.g. adzuki, garbanzo), lentil, pea, grain (buckwheat, amaranth), herb, vegetable (cabbage, fennel, beets), seed (flax, sunflower, caraway, fenugreek) or greens (arugula, mustard). Organic sprouting seeds are available from, Mumm’s (, Dig This, Gardenworks and other local nurseries. Red cabbage and green daikon microgreens are notably high in vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin E. Cilantro microgreens are high in lutein and beta-carotene. Sprouts and microgreens are different in many ways. Slender sprouts are germinated seeds grown without sunshine or soil. They are ready to eat in less than a week. Soaked seeds are rinsed and drained three times a day until sprouts develop. They can be grown in a sprouting device (e.g. West Coast Seeds’ Biosta or Sprout Master), a reusable hemp bag (, which prevents mold by providing air circulation, or in a glass jar topped with a screen, inverted at an angle. If you don’t wish to grown your own, Courtenay’s organic Eatmore Sprouts and Greens are available throughout BC. Microgreens are grown from soaked seeds planted in moist sterilized potting soil, or in coco coir, a renewable peat alternative. Coco coir produced by Lake Cowichan’s Reindeer’s Natural Plant Foods is available at most Vancouver Island nurseries. A flat with drainage holes placed inside a solid tray is the only necessary equipment. Microgreens need light and warmth. A grow light, a plastic lid, and a heat pad will accelerate growth. The leaves and stems of most microgreens can be snipped and eaten within two weeks of planting. The superb taste of raw microgreens shines in pesto, green smoothies, salads, wraps, tacos, sandwiches and rice paper spring rolls. Bean sprouts add crunch to Pad Thai, Moo Shu pancakes and egg rolls. Soup up slurps of Pho with bean sprouts, basil, chilies and limes. Sprouted bread, made with sprouted wheat berries, spelt, barley, millet, green lentils and pinto beans, is nutrient-rich and highly digestible. E

Spicy Thai Lamb Salad with Bean Sprouts and Pea Shoots Serves 4 2 red chiles 4 garlic cloves, crushed 1-inch of peeled gingerroot, roughly chopped 2 Tbsp light brown sugar 6 Tbsp soy sauce 4 Tbsp fish sauce 10 ½ oz cooked lamb, thickly sliced ½ English cucumber, thinly sliced 3 ½ oz fresh peas, blanched 3 ½ oz sugar snap peas, sliced lengthwise 3 oz bean sprouts 6 green onions, sliced 3 Tbsp fresh mint, roughly chopped ½ cup cilantro sprigs Juice of 2 limes 1 oz pea shoots Chop one chile. In a food processor, blend chile, garlic, ginger and sugar into a paste. Blend in soy and fish sauces to make a dressing. Finely dice the second chile and set aside. In a sauté pan over medium heat, sauté lamb 2-3 minutes until crisp. Add half the dressing and cook until lamb is coated and hot. Remove from heat. In a bowl, combine all herbs and vegetables except for pea shoots. Toss with most of the remaining dressing. Drizzle with lime juice, add pea shoots and toss. Place salad, topped with lamb, on four plates. Drizzle with the remaining dressing, and sprinkle with finely diced chillies.

EAT Magazine Jan_Feb 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 12/30/15 2:39 PM Page 11


By Rebecca Baugniet

French Vinaigrette

Greens come alive when tossed with this classic salad dressing. SALAD IS, WITHOUT QUESTION, AN ALL-SEASON FOOD. It comes in so many incarnations, and in such a wide range of ingredients, that it is possible to find one to suit any meal, at any time of year. However, there do appear to be two times of year when salad comes to the forefront of culinary conversations—in summer, when there is so much tempting produce readily available, and again in the new year, when people have had their fill of rich foods and are looking to rediscover fresh, raw vegetables. Growing up in what I would call a British expat culinary tradition, I was exposed to a limited number of salad options, the most appealing of which appeared at summer barbecues. My mother would slice garden tomatoes, drizzle them with some vegetable oil, sprinkle them with a little sugar and top with a generous handful of fresh chopped herbs. Her other go-to was a sliced cucumber salad, tossed in a runny yogurt dressing. My father would take care of the potato salad, always garnished with hard-boiled egg wedges and a dusting of paprika. Those were our three summer salads, and they were good. Winter, on the other hand, knew only one salad and it came served in a shallow wooden bowl: a pile of rather sad-looking iceberg lettuce, and nothing else. Beside the bowl would sit the jar of Hellmann’s mayonnaise. I remember trying, on one or two occasions, to try to toss the iceberg chunks with the Helmann’s, but it was no use. There would always be unappealing globs of mayo tucked among the leaves. The first time I tasted French vinaigrette, I was working as a nanny for a young family in Old Montreal. The husband and wife were both musicians in the orchestra and would invite me to eat dinner with them before they set off for their evening concerts at the Place des Arts. (This was an excellent perk as the husband had learned to cook while working in Italy and would serve pasta dishes that rivalled any authentic Italian restaurants.) One evening, after the pasta was served, a bowl of greens appeared on the table. This was not the iceberg salad of my childhood, oh no. Each leaf in the bowl glistened with a light coating of dressing, and when I took a bite, I was amazed. I could not believe salad could taste this good. Vinaigrette is a classic example of how some foods are so much more than the sum of its parts. Vinegar, mustard, salt, oil—on their own, these ingredients are mostly one dimensional. But when you put them together, they sing: the tang of the mustard and the vinegar, mellowed by the buttery olive oil enhanced by salt. This magical concoction makes it easy to eat your greens. This simple recipe, which takes all of three minutes to make, has long been a staple in our house. It will work with any and all salad greens, but also shines when tossed with steamed leeks, or poured over a plate of French lentils with roasted beets and feta. Best of all, it works all year long.


Basic French Vinaigrette Recipe 2 tsp red wine vinegar ½ tsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp sea salt 6-8 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil Cracked pepper to taste 2 tsp finely chopped shallot (optional)

Place all ingredients in a mason jar. Make sure lid is on securely, then give the jar a good shake, until vinaigrette has emulsified. Dress salad lightly to begin. It is easy enough to add more if necessary. Leftover vinaigrette will keep in the fridge for up to one month. Bring to room temperature and shake again before using.

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By Julie Pegg

Round the World

Pelotas, polpette, kofti, keftedes—every culture has its favourite meatball. WHEN IT COMES TO SATISFYING FARE, THE HUMBLE MEATBALL RANKS RIGHT up there. It comforts the soul on a blustery day and is gentle on the January budget. Global variations on this meaty orb vary widely. A thumb through 22 cookbooks yielded at least 60 recipes for meatballs from around the world. There were tiny Swedish knobs made from pork and beef bobbing in sour cream sauce laced with dill and parsley. There were Spanish “pelotas” (more familiar to most folk, I think, as albondigas) in a savoury bath that welcomes a good pinch of saffron. I found oblongshaped lamb and beef kofti and keftedes from Turkey and Greece respectively, and Lebanese lamb and bulgur kibbeh patties, Mediterranean delicacies that may be spiked with any or all of cinnamon, cumin and pine nuts. Quebec meatball stew is a simple potage of mustard- and clove-flecked beef and pork balls simmered in gravy. Meatballs become fish balls in the Maritimes. Fresh cod or soaked dry cod (to desalinate the fish) is flaked into mashed spuds, fashioned into balls, dipped in egg and fried in a goodly amount of fat. Whatever their provenance, many meatball recipes rely on whatever meat, herbs or seasonings the cook has around. Common to all, though, is parsley, onion, egg and bread, or breadcrumbs, moistened with either milk or water. Then there is the all-American spaghetti with meatballs. In Italy, meatballs (polpette) are smallish, sometimes tomato sauced but seldom plopped on spaghetti. Rather they are served as a main dish. Italian cookbook maven Marcella Hazan’s suggestions for sides are braised cabbage, fritto misto (lightly battered fried vegetables) or sautéed peas and prosciutto. Italian-American (and Canadian) immigrants, not surprisingly, locked on to pricewise canned tomatoes and dried spaghetti and took advantage of the availability of an affordable cut of beef suitable for grinding. Large, dense, meaty balls started popping up on top of “marinara” sauced noodles. The meat and pasta concoction appeared not just at home but on the red-and-white checked cloths of “Italian” restaurants across America. (Remember that candle stuffed into an emptied Chianti bottle adorning the table?) The dish soon became a culinary icon for not only ItalianCont’d on the next page



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Americans but Anglos as well. Not for my father, though, at least not initially. Being English in a largely Canadian/Italian community, my father chose rissoles over the more popular spaghetti and meatballs. My mother fashioned and lightly flattened balls of whatever “mince” was on hand. Sometimes she used chopped leftover roast beef or pork. But mostly she used ground beef. Breaded and lightly fried, the crisp, juicy meatballs came with mash, carrots, peas and gravy. I liked them too. Every so often, though, succumbing to the smells wafting over the fence, I managed to wangle a seat in our Italian neighbour’s kitchen for a feed of spaghetti and meatballs. It wasn’t long before dad did too. But he never tired of his rissoles. Berlin is where I developed a crush on German meatballs—mounds of juicy pork, beef (and sometimes veal) vibrantly seasoned with nutmeg or allspice, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, lemon juice and that “hmmm” flavour! What is that other ingredient? It’s herring paste, but I substitute anchovy paste. Occasionally sauerkraut joins the melee. These meaty, savoury, salty, cue-ball-sized rounds are perfect chilly-weather comfort and go by several monikers, most notably frikadellen, which is also the Danish term. In Berlin, meatballs are called bouletten from boulette, the French word for little ball. Königsberger klopse are meatballs in a creamy caper sauce. Braised red cabbage, buttered noodles or potatoes are the usual add-ons. Or a fried egg gets perched atop. Sometimes the meatballs are served hamburger style with German potato salad. For me, it all works. Lean pockets and blustery days beg for settling in and whipping up a batch of whatever meatballs suit your fancy. (If you can grind your own meat, the payback in texture and flavour is significant. I am lucky to have inherited my dad’s meat grinder). I draw the line, however, at Chinatown meatballs, a curious concoction of chopped beef, chow mein noodles, soy sauce and ginger that I found in a cookbook from 1963. Likewise, the stuffing of German meatballs with feta. Now, that’s just silly. E

BC Restaurant Group Opens in Toronto Cactus Club’s Iron Chef Rob Feenie Unveils New Menu

Duck confit over braised lentils


ocked by the success of their recently opened Toronto flagship location, the Cactus Club rolled out six of the menu’s highlights on the west coast. Owned by Richard Jaffrey, the Cactus Club has grown in leaps and bounds since opening 28 years ago, with a celebrated twenty-nine locations across BC and into Alberta. Iron Chef Rob Feenie joined the ranks in 2008, elevating the menu with his many of his signature dishes, 28 of which are showcased throughout their locations, including Victoria. The highlighted new dishes range from seafood to salad, duck to beef to pasta and reflect Toronto’s appetite. The tuna stack is a refreshing start of oceanwise Albacore

and avocado in a citrus tamari vinaigrette with nori and sesame and wonton crisps for transporting the harmonious medley to its destination (available company-wide). Heartier dishes – enjoyed only at Vancouver’s Ash Street and Coal Harbours locations – are worth the trip for pappardelle wrapped around slow-braised veal cheeks in a porcini mushroom cream, or the duck confit over braised lentils with smok ed bacon and soy-truffle vinaigrette with a flourish of baby frisee salad for counterbalance to the richness. Super sommelier hire, Sebastian Le Goff adds his expertise to the wine and cocktail program at the Cactus, and with stunning contemporary art throughout all the locations, including a Basquiat in Victoria, the Cactus Club provides a feast for all the senses. ( —S. Sheldan



harf Street Production’s Health, Wellness, and Sustainability Festival keeps growing. Now in its third year and scheduled for the Victoria Conference Centre from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 27, this "melting pot of healthy living options" showcases gluten-free food, acupuncture, massage therapy, herbal medicine, health-minded cosmetics and skin care, fitness, and much more. Last year's attendance grew by 30% and with the number of vendors' booths up from 43 to 69 and the number of sponsors and partners like Pacific Rim College, Studio Robazzo, and the Oswego Hotel almost doubling. This year's event promises to be bigger and better. Victoria mayor Lisa Helps will again provide the welcoming address to a festival featuring an educative, all-day Speakers Stage. All speakers will have TEDx coaching (TEDxVictoria is another partner) and will not be selling from the stage. Studio Robazzo's design for the trade show space also includes an interactive Food Science Fair Exhibit that last year's main speaker and author of the bestseller The Art of Fermentation, Sandor Katz called "the highlight of the festival for me. The tactile engagement made them among the very best food demonstrations I've seen anywhere, in museums, universities, schools, conferences or other festivals." The festival has also created an interactive web site that allows visitors to connect and interact with vendors, sponsors, and speakers at The site also includes an informative 90-second video introduction to the festival. This year's main speaker is Jo Robinson, author of Eating on the Wild Side. Her book explains how to choose, store, and prepare dozens of fruit and vegetables and how to get maximum nutritional value from the fresh produce. "Only Michael Pollan would come close to her superbly researched work," enthused television journalist and producer, Bill Kurtis. Robinson's book is a guide to finding lost nutrients with simple measures like choosing nutrition-rich, smaller tomatoes, eating beet greens over beet roots, and cooking carrots instead of eating them raw. The Vashon Island-based writer is also a serious advocate of backyard gardening and raising animals on pasture. Robinson's featured talk is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, February 27 after the day's festival. Tickets for the talk are $22 ($15 for early bird tickets from the web site before February 12), and $15 for students and seniors. Tickets for the all-day event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. are $7 ($5 for early bird tickets before February 12) and $5 for students and seniors. There is also a special festival and feature talk package ticket for $25 ($15 for early bird tickets) and $20 for students and seniors. Call 250-686-6821 or write for more information. Another festival partner, Robbins Parking, is offering all-day parking at the Victoria Conference Centre: 720 Douglas St. for $4 (regularly $16) and $5 at their lot at 118 Kingston St. "The festival is about education and empowerment," explained festival director Ari Hershberg, "focusing on good food, finding the right health practitioner, and the right type of fitness for you. Health is for everybody, and our goal is to reach all age groups. We're really reaching out to students this year. Next year's focus will be our senior population. I was raised in a family and a community around healthy eating and sustainable food systems,” Hershberg continued. "I want to help create a community that's truly cooperative." —By Joseph Blake


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g DATE NIGHT By Adrien Sala

The Morning After

The importance of (not always) making breakfast. Any normal person will tell you it’s ridiculous to assume there are any guarantees when it comes to dating. You could have had the best night ever and still wake up alone— and that’s totally OK. It’s a long game, not a race toward some arbitrary finish line. You should feel good about a great night and the prospect of another date some other time, not worried about being “successful.” That said, you may eventually find yourself with company in the morning. The first few times it happens with someone is usually pretty awkward, which is only made worse if you’re unprepared. Being ready for morning company doesn’t mean you need to have all the ingredients on hand to make a breakfast soufflé. There’s no need to spring up out of bed and start milling wheat for fresh biscuits. Still, you should have at least a few options on hand. It shows you’re organized, an adult, able to take care of yourself (at least a little). Before we go too far into an easy breakfast recipe, I think a simple PSA would be valuable. While I was doing research for my books The Cooking To Get Laid Guides, I asked about the prospect of breakfast the morning after. Almost without fail they said that while they loved the idea of breakfast and were unlikely to feel uncomfortable the next day, they were also pretty likely to want to just get up and get going. It’s just something that happens. Maybe it’s a chance to process the night before, or maybe they have something else already planned. But obligating someone to stick around by making breakfast without asking first is a bit of a fail. Coffee is one thing, but anytime you turn on an appliance, you’re wading into entirely different territory. So always ask first. It’s not hard. And it shows you’re considering the other person. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, there are a few things that are great to have on hand just in case. Coffee and tea are big ones, plus things you might not always put in them yourself, like honey or almond milk. Fresh fruit is great (you appear to eat well and it’s delicious). Simple things like yogurt and almonds can go a long way also, especially with that fruit. Throwing things into a bowl is easy and non-threatening in terms of a person’s escape plan, like eggs for a simple scramble. Hell, even some decent cereal can suffice (if you’re really into Fruit Loops, though, admit it—be yourself—you might be



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more charming than you think). Basically what you’re trying to do with breakfast is be casual. You’ve had a great evening and now that it’s morning, you can (hopefully) relax. The casualness of it helps the other person relax too. So do that. Be cool. Don’t stress out over things, and if your date decides to leave, just smile and say thanks for a great night. Now, for that recipe that can be made after you’ve asked whether your date would like to stay for food ... E

Simple Pancakes with Apple Bourbon Compote

¼ cup granulated white sugar Canola oil for frying Pinch of cinnamon

APPLE BOURBON COMPOTE: 2 apples diced into small squares (peeling optional) 1/8 tsp nutmeg 1/8 tsp cinnamon ¼ cup brown sugar ½ Tbsp unsalted butter ¼ cup bourbon Pinch of sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring regularly until the sugar has dissolved and the apples have softened (around 20 minutes). When the compote is a nice golden colour, remove and set aside to use on the pancakes. Whisk eggs, milk and vanilla together in a bowl. Sift flour into a different large bowl and mix in sugar and baking powder, then make a well in the centre and pour in the egg, milk and vanilla mixture. Whisk until smooth. Warm oven to 175°f. Heat a skillet on medium heat and add a touch of oil. When the oil is shimmering, pour 1/3 cup of your batter into the pan and fry until bubbles can be seen forming throughout the pancake. Flip over using a spatula and fry until golden brown on both sides. Repeat until batter is done (keep pancakes in warm oven while you make the rest). Serve with a dollop of Apple Bourbon Compote and some whipped cream if you’ve got it (and coffee on the side).

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring regularly until the sugar has dissolved and the apples have softened (around 20 minutes). When the compote is a nice golden colour, remove and set aside to use on the pancakes. PANCAKES: 2 eggs 1½ cup milk 1 tsp vanilla 2 cups flour 2 Tbsp baking powder

g RECIPE BOX By Gary Hynes

Pork Shoulder Roast braised in milk with garlic, lemon & fresh herbs. This is an old winter classic from Italy that really shines using our fine local pork. I prefer a bone-in shoulder. When testing this recipe I used Sloping Hill Farm (Qualicum Bay) naturally raised pork which is available through Two Rivers Meats at various locations. 2.5 kg (5 lbs.) naturally-raised, bone-in, trimmed pork shoulder 4 cups of organic, homogenized milk, warmed but not boiled. 2 Tb. minced garlic 2 Tb fresh lemon juice 2 5” x ¾” strips of lemon peel, scrape off the white pith with a paring knife 4 whole onions, peeled 3 large springs of fresh sage 3 large springs of fresh rosemary 3 large springs of fresh thyme 2 bay leaves 3 cloves 6-8 whole peppercorns ½ cup crisp, unoaked white wine Sea salt to taste

• Preheat the oven to 325 °F. • While the oven is reaching temperature, brown the pork in a splash of olive oil in a large frying pan until all sides are a lovely mahogany colour. • Transfer the pork to a big Dutch oven or a casserole pot. • Add the milk, garlic, lemon juice, lemon peel, onions, herbs, cloves and peppercorns. Cover and braise in the oven for approximately 2-3 hours or until tender. • When the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender, remove from the pot, slice and place on a large platter with the whole onions. Strain the gravy, season it with salt and pepper, and drizzle it over the pork. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve with your favourite veg. I like green beans and crispy oven French fries.


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Rebecca Wellman

Photography by Rebecca Wellman



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Fol Epi Yates/Agrius Restaurant 733 Yates Street | 778-265-6312 | Fol Epi, artisanal baker Cliff Leir’s bakery at Dockside Green, has been in the vanguard of Victoria’s acclaimed local, organic food scene since opening in 2009. With silos for Red Fife wheat storage and his own stone grinder supplying flour for the bakery’s wood-fired oven, Leir began looking for a second, downtown location to bake pastries last year. By the end of 2015, he’d opened the second Fol Epi in the newly built Era Building on Yates Street, a space that includes a 36-seat restaurant called Agrius at the back of the airy, high-ceilinged room. I met Leir and the restaurant’s executive chef Cam Picyk shortly after Agrius opened. Both men had been working long hours for weeks, but their shared passion for the new project was palpable. “Fol Epi needed more space, and this location came up. We have 16 seats in the bakery in addition to the restaurant’s bar and tables, and we’ll have 20 more seats on the patio this summer. I wanted to create a place where people could enjoy a nice dessert at night downtown,” Leir explained. “Cam was driving the bakery’s delivery truck and cooking a series of pop-up dinners featuring wild and local ingredients with attention to detail very similar to my own. I hired him to lead the kitchen, and the restaurant is now serving lunch and dinner and a weekend brunch.” “I wanted to create a casual, community meeting place any time of day,” chef Picyk added. “And I wanted to continue producing meals that feature high-quality local ingredients.” Picyk grew up in Victoria, then moved to Alberta to attend Lethbridge College to play baseball and follow his other passion, cooking. After a baseball season in Arizona, Picyk joined Rob Feenie’s award-winning staff at Lumiére, then Marque in Sidney, Australia, and several European restaurants before returning to Victoria three years ago.

“When I started working with Cliff, I couldn’t believe a restaurant could be this organic. More than 90 percent of our ingredients are organic meats, dairy products, fruits and vegetables, even corn starch, salt, spices and cooking oil. Cliff even uses chlorine-free, filtered water. The Fol Epi standards and Michelin Star-attention to detail are inspiring. I’m learning all the time, and so are my young chefs.” “They carried three whole pigs and a lamb down the alley into the kitchen this week. We want our chefs to waste as little as possible, right down to using the bones for soup,” Leir added. “We’ve got a huge processing space behind the kitchen where we produce charcuterie, can vegetables and fruit, make fruit syrups and fermented products. My roots are half Ukrainian,” Picyk continued, “so I love fermented and pickled produce. My cooking is product-driven contemporary west coast. Simple, not show-offy.” “Our menu changes daily. Today for mains we’re offering Confit Parry Bay Lamb Shoulder, Yarrow Meadows Duck Breast with Preserved Apricot and Duck Liver Sauce, Ling Cod in a Cod Bone Reduction, Salt Spring Island Mussels, Blue Goose Organic Beef Tartare, Poached Sturgeon, and Smoked Sablefish plus a handful of local vegetable side dishes that I’m really excited about.” The zinc-topped, eight-seat bar has a well-curated list of wine and beer, plus some playfully named cocktail specials like The Trudeau Effect made from El Pisco Gobernador, hyssop, licorice, vanilla syrup, lime juice and Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter Bitters. The lunch menu’s soups, salads, sandwiches, cheese and charcuterie boards are wonderful too. Agrius offers everything from weekend brunch and casual lunches to stellar dinners and classy nightcaps. It’s a great, new place right downtown. E BY JOSEPH BLAKE

above: The bakery counter at Fol Epi Yates Street. right: One of the meat curing rooms seen through the window from the dining room

FACING PAGE PHOTOS clockwise from the top: 1) Agrius kitchen staff (left to right): Ben Anderson - General Manager, Cam Picyk – Executive Chef, Cliff Leir – owner, Sam Harris – chef de partie. 2) Server Alyssa Geddes with charcuterie made with Still Meadows pork. 3) Poached Northern Divine Sturgeon, fennel, black radish, orange. 4) Head Bartender – Adam Bonneau. JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016


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Pizzeria Prima Strada 1990 Fort St., Victoria | 250-590-8599 |

Rebecca Wellman

left: Salsiccia e rapini housemade fennel sausage, chili soffritto braised rapini, fresh mozzarella, parmigiano. middle: Carpaccio beef tenderloin, radish, parsley, parmigiano, caper vinaigrette. right: The interior of the new Prima Strada on Fort St., Victoria.

It’s been eight years since Cristen DeCarolis Dallas and Geoffrey Dallas opened a cozy pizzeria in Cook St. Village, and the popularity of their Pizzeria Prima Strada’s Neapolitan wood-fired pies show no signs of abating. That success quickly spurred a spacious Bridge Street location in the Rock Bay neighbourhood, becoming not only a much-needed central commissary to keep pace—currently 720 balls of pizza dough rolled by hand per day!—but another dining facility and room to stretch their ideas. And now, their third 70-seat location, in the Jubilee/Oak Bay neighbourhood, has confirmed that PPS is here to stay. “We’re all about the neighbourhood,” says DeCarolis Dallas, “somewhere you can walk to.” After a few short weeks of opening, they’ve already seen a lot of walking traffic and people discovering them for the first time. At the heart of the new space with its blond wood countertops, vintage campari posters and tasteful contemporary lighting, is a gorgeous black and shiny Stefano Ferrara oven, a 6,000-pound fire-breathing behemoth set at a diabolical 850 degrees, able to cook a pizza in two to three minutes. Diners can choose from ringside oven-viewing seats, those along the bar, elevated café seats overlooking the room, or table seating tucked away from the hustle and bustle for a more intimate setting. Prima Strada is all about the pizza, and the menu remains rooted in its Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN) status. This means they use San Marzano tomatoes, Caputo 00 flour and fresh mozzarella for pizzas made by hand and cooked in a Neopolitan-style wood-fired oven. The chefs, or more accurately the pizzaioli, are also VPN-trained and certified. The menu is all wrapped up in an alluring package of antipasti, pizza and desserts, with terrific new additions inspired from an intensive week-long staff trip to Naples, the motherland.



These include a delicate carpaccio of beef tenderloin highlighted by radishes, parsley and a caper vinaigrette, and a substantial polenta dish of two pieces sandwiching a stewy blend of roasted eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, mozzarella and capers, cooked in the forno. The new pizzas include a Quattro Stagione of housemade sausage, peppers, anchovies, olives, mushrooms and onion; and an outstanding Salsiccia e Rapini of fennel-flecked house sausage along with soffrito and chili-braised rapini (my new favourite). Discover also a folded calzone stuffed with a classic capricciosa of ham, olives, artichoke hearts, ricotta and mushrooms, as well as a Roman-style pie with rosemary-roasted potatoes and balsamic-roasted radicchio with three cheeses, including gorgonzola dolce. The strength of the kitchen continues to shine with their made-in-house program that includes not only their pizza dough and tomato sauce but sausages, cured pancetta, ham and salumi, meatballs, biscotti, sponge cake for tiramisu and, most recently, gelato and sorbetto. On the beverage side, find flavoured housemade syrups for sodas. The Oak Bay location boasts an exciting cocktail program in the works overseen by Brant Porter, plus more craft brew on tap. Summer will bring a 30-seat patio for al fresco dining, and if you’re driving, they have secured underground parking spaces for their customers with additional ground level spaces behind the building available after 5 p.m. So whether you walk, cycle or drive, welcome Pizzeria Prima Strada to the neighbourhood. E BY SHELORA SHELDAN

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Dak 838 Fort St., Victoria |

Rebecca Wellman

CONFIT food + wine

left: Roasted mushrooms, avocado, fried egg, kimchi, Sriracha and crispy onions topped with a sesame seed and kim sprinkle. right: Owners Jon Perkins and Melissa Perkins. Jon and Melissa Perkins are teaching the language of food, Korean-style, through their newest venture, Dak. Inspired by the dishes they enjoyed during a two-year stint teaching English in Korea, and spurred on by the success of their Victoria coffee and light lunch spots Picnic and Picnic Too, they settled on a simple menu for breakfast and lunch, with rotisserie chicken in the afternoon. (Dak means chicken in Korean.) Housed in the lobby of a Fort Street office building recently made over for tech startups, Dak’s warm red walls are offset by blond wood counter seating: eight along the window and 14 along a communal eating bar. Both make great perches for people-watching and for views into the office space that boasts an actual (stationary) helicopter! The menu, served from a compact kitchen hidden from view by a living wall, starts the morning with three styles of congee, that comforting Asian rice porridge. They are numbered 1, 2 and 3 with their corresponding Korean equivalent, hana, dool and set. I chose set, served with a medley of roasted mushrooms, avocado, fried egg, kimchi—that wonderful fermented cabbage—sriracha and crispy onions and finished with a sprinkling of roasted dried seaweed (kim) and sesame seeds. Congee, traditionally made with white rice, sees a combination of brown and purple rice in Dak’s version, along with chia seeds for a superfood hit. Served in a deep bowl, it offers a wonderful nourishing arrangement of textures, colours and flavours, is beyond filling and a great value. The other a.m. offering is a popular breakfast sandwich featuring a moreish bacon seasoned with signature brown sugar and red pepper paste (gochu) stuffed into a toasted sesame brioche bun with a fried egg, kimchi mayonnaise, avocado and green onions. By the lunch hour, roasting chickens marinated in sesame oil, ginger, garlic, soy and brown sugar, and brushed with gochu, fill the air with luscious aromas. The moist meat finds a happy home in the Dak sandwich with gochu paste, pickled cucumber, avocado and greens, or in the Bop (steamed purple rice) bowl with kimchi, greens, onion pesto, roasted dried seaweed and sesame. Other treats include a custom beer-braised frankfurter made by next-door neighbor Choux and served in a classic squishy hot dog bun with aged cheddar, kimchi and crispy onions; a spicy pork fried rice and shredded vegetable burrito in a whole wheat tortilla; and a healthful salad of snow peas, beans, bean sprouts and avocado tossed in the house tahini-gochu dressing. Baked goods are made onsite and include a daily scone, gluten-free peanut cookies and granola, well matched with local 2% Jazz coffee, a mainstay of both Picnics. Down the road, the Perkinses plan on opening for the dinner hour to further feature the rotisserie chickens, along with a liquor license featuring soju, a Korean spirit made from distilled fermented rice, and a craft beer selection. For those in a hurry a grab-and-go cooler with drinks, sandwiches and ricebased snacks will keep hunger and thirst at bay. All in all, it’s a language easily understood. E BY SHELORA SHELDAN

1871 Oak Bay Ave, Victoria BC - 250.598.2015 - -

Enjoy a Harbour View and Pendray Chef’s Menu Tastings Champagne Toast Included 

FFor or Reservations Re s e r v a call 250-381-3456 | 309 Belleville Street, Victoria, BC | TheGatsbyMansion H JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016


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By Elizabeth Monk

    French Fusion, Creative

Cocktails and a Thai place in Esquimalt


Listen to Elizabeth talk about these restaurants on Tuesday, Jan 12 at 8:10 am on KoolFM radio (107.3 FM).




Elizabeth Nyland


The Next - left: Mackerel Aburi Sushi right: Marinated Sablefish with Sake-paste, crispy rice and vegetables (with pepper on top)

#104-240 Cook St., storefront on Sutlej | 778-433-4490 Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m hard-pressed to name a favourite dish at The Next, where French-trained chef Takashi Hiraoka blends French and Japanese techniques in his Japanese fusion restaurant. A few classics youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see in any Japanese restaurant: the salmon and tuna rolls, the chicken karaage. Still traditionally Japanese, yet a little different, is the â&#x20AC;&#x153;contemporaryâ&#x20AC;? miso soup for $3. The broth is made without bonito, the dried tuna normally used to flavour the stock. Instead, chef Hiraoka uses dried kelp, and the result is very tasty. The fusion artistry starts a bit farther down the sushi page, with the Roast Garlic and Ahi Tuna Roll for $10. Chef is careful to roast the garlic into nutty sweetness so it accents rather than overpowers the tuna. French-style onion jam inspired him to reduce red onion pickles the same way; these provide tang in the tuna roll. Sake-Ahi Tuna Roll is equally inspired. Delicately draped atop the roll is an intriguing sweet and tart sauce made by mixing goat cheese with sake paste (the milder-tasting product left over from making sake). On the French side of the cuisine spectrum is

the French Seafood Gratin for $13 on the specials board. However, some Japanese peeks through. This gratin is on a bed of rice, not potato, and the seafood-cream medley is seasoned with gratings of the skin of the Japanese yuzu fruit. Finally, hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a trick for parents and other early eaters: the happy hour menu goes from 2:00 to 5:30 p.m. Slip in at 5 p.m. and get 20 percent off the sushi rolls. If you get Junior the pretty yam tempura roll, at 20 percent off thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s $5.20. And dinner is done. E

Chef Takashi Hiraoka

Contâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d next page



Elizabeth Nyland

The Next

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OLO is a farm-to-table restaurant with a focus on local, sustainably raised ingredients, complemented by an impressive beverage list and perfectly mixed cocktails. Sunday to Thursday 5pm – 11pm Friday and Saturday 5pm – 12am 509 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC (250) 590-8795 |

Elizabeth Nyland

top: Bartender Caledonia Wright creating a bourbon sour. left: Crispy pork belly & pan seared chili-basil scallops with soy maple glaze. right: Thai coconut curry mussels and frites with fresh cilantro and Sriracha aioli.

Veneto Tapa Lounge 1450 Douglas St. near Pandora | 250-383-7310 Some days I like to swan into a sexy lounge like Veneto, toss off a beautifully lined business jacket (from consignment, but whatever) and enjoy a creative cocktail featuring intriguing mixes like ginger beer, balsamic and Scotch in my Cara Cara Caramel. Who doesn’t?! During Veneto’s 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. “Unwinder,” this experience comes with several tapa items for half price, which can easily be cobbled together to make an early meal. The Thai Coconut Curry Mussels leap to mind; suddenly they are down to $8 from $16. And you get a mound of mussels—I counted around 20—topped with top-notch crispy frites. Grilled Mixed Vegetables, a generous oval dish of grilled broccolini, eggplant, baby tomatoes and charred peppers, decorated with ribbons of balsamic reduction, gets reduced to $6. But I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not exactly a stylin’ martini-drinkin’ girl about town. Every Monday, hellish Monday, I am in full frenzied sports-mum mode, trailing my kid plus carpoolers en route to Victoria Gymnastics for the very unpalatable time slot of 5:15 to 7:15 p.m. But now, a grace note. I can bring the gang to the Hotel Rialto at 4:00 p.m. and get the tapa prices. We can’t be housed in the lounge, but we can be placed in the pleasant sister restaurant, Café Veneto, and get the tapa menu. Which brings me to the final menu item: sliders for $2! Elegant sliders like braised short rib with marsala mushrooms and horseradish aioli, in a pretzel bun! Sorry for all the exclamation marks, but being able to feed a child for $2 or $4 while I enjoy some mussels is a big lifestyle upgrade for me. This is not Veneto’s normal modus operandi this time of day so, as a courtesy, phone ahead so they can set a table for you. E Cont’d next page

ON POINT. Classic Cuisine. 100% Ocean Wise.



EAT Magazine Jan_Feb 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 12/30/15 2:39 PM Page 22

Heron Rock Bistro 9AM-10PM Monday to Friday 8:30AM-10PM Saturday & Sunday

Happy Hour 7 Nights 8pm to Close 250-383-1545 CORNER OF CROFT & SIMCOE IN JAMES BAY WWW.HERONROCKBISTRO.CA Elizabeth Nyland

HAPPY HOUR 7 Days 2:3--5:30pm

Open 7 Days 11am -11pm 10pm on Sunday to Wednesday Weekend 9am for Brunch

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left: Kao Pad Pong Karee with chicken satay with peanut dipping sauce. right: Owners Praneet and Sathit and daughter Chawanluck Chumeechai. bottom: Crab rangoon with carrot rose.

Thai Green Elephant Restaurant 809 Craigflower Rd. | 778-433-7172 Here’s a vital question to ask when ordering

The ultimate deal is on the lunch menu. For

at Asian restaurants in Victoria: What do your

$10.99, I had a crispy spring roll, a choice of Tom

Asian customers choose? I posed this question

Yum soup or salad, and a silky red curry with

recently at Thai Green Elephant in Esquimalt and

chicken and bamboo shoots. Generously included

got to try some fun food as a result. Between them,

is a Thai iced coffee or iced tea. I confess with

owners Praneet and Sathit Chumeechai have

wistfulness that there was one authentic Thai dish

worked in Thai restaurants here, in Wales, in the

that got away from me. Apparently, Thais favour

Marriott in Bangkok, and even in a small restau-

item #16, Pu Pla Ra, a pickled crab and anchovy

rant in their own home in Thailand. A little piece of

salad. This is time-consuming to prepare so should

their hotel background was evident in the Crab

be ordered in advance. I was told I wouldn’t like

Rangoon appetizer for $6.95. These crispy deep-

it anyway because I’m not Thai, but this has merely

fried wontons with a soft interior of cream cheese

solidified my desire to phone ahead next time.

and crab are the kind of appy you might get at an elegant reception. The soup, called Tom Kah, is not seen in all Thai restaurants here. Unlike the sour Tom Yum, Tom Kah has a creamy coconut milk base that eases into just a finishing hint of tart tamarind. The version with prawns is $10.95, and you could order it with noodles to make it a onedish meal. On the dinner menu for $12.95, Pad Krapa is an intensely flavourful pork and green bean stir-fry redolent of garlic and chilies. Ask for it “Thai style”—ground as opposed to sliced meat. Moving on to dishes favoured by loyal clients in general, the Kao Pad Pong Karee, or Satay Fried Rice, is a lot of food for $11.95 with its mound of bright yellow curried rice. The accompanying chicken satay skewers come with two sauces: a peanut sauce for sensations of cream and salt; and a cucumber relish for sensations of sweet and sour.




EAT Magazine Jan_Feb 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 12/30/15 2:39 PM Page 23 JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016


EAT Magazine Jan_Feb 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 12/30/15 2:39 PM Page 24

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EAT Magazine Jan_Feb 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 12/30/15 2:39 PM Page 25

Un-traditional Hank’s

The restaurant may be departing from barbecue, but the slightly unhinged drive towards uncharted territory has garnered an enthusiastic cult following.


Words by Jill Van Gyn Photography by Rebecca Wellman

Owners/chefs Andrew Mavor and Clark Deutscher.

he day starts early for Hank’s chefs Andrew Mavor and Clark Deutscher. At 8:30, the two meet in Deutscher’s apartment, one floor above Mavor’s. A variety of often random cookbooks and culinary history texts are pulled out and coffee is brewed. The scene is set for what will eventually become the next dish at Hank’s Untraditional BBQ, one of the many to be added to the long list scrawled in chicken scratch on spare bits of butcher’s paper that now serve as the in-house menu. Notes fly, ideas ricochet off the walls, the insane and impossible are heatedly justified, shot down, reformulated, then often tossed in the garbage. Eventually, after hours of exhaustive research, potentially a fistfight, and a softening of egos, the two madmen settle on an idea they can work with. One they can call their own. And one that will become another remarkable example of the extraordinary meals coming out of the Hank’s tiny, open kitchen. Then the pots and pans come out and the process is repeated, only this time the stakes are high as fire and hot oil are added to the chaotic mix. Why the intense process day in and day out? Well, it could have something to do with the fact that these guys have almost no culinary background. Deutscher was in finance; Mavor was a globetrotting electronic music producer and DJ; and Frank Pilon, co-owner of both Hank’s in Ucluelet and Victoria, was best known for his restaurant Driftwood, which literally blew up in an electrical fire in 2012. There was dabbling in the past—line cooking, frontof-house jobs, ad hoc restaurants run out of cafés and ardent home cooking—but nothing that really pointed towards a bright future on the restaurant scene. Experimentation, failure, disaster and, finally, success from the ashes seem to be reoccurring themes for the crew at Hank’s. When Hank’s in Ucluelet took off, Deutscher decided it was time for a move to Victoria. They opted for one of the many dead zones on Douglas Street, a location that has served as a site for fast failure for many a small business. This was in keeping with the tradition of throwing pretty much all caution to the wind, and it has worked with remarkable success. With the restaurant’s modest stretch of bar for single seating and a couple of small window-facing countertops, finding a spare seat becomes a game of strategy. When asked if they would ever move into a larger location, Deutscher and Mavor reply with wry smirks: “No.” (cont’d on next page) JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016


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Food clockwise: lamb shank, pickled mustard seed and red cabbage; duck hearts on duck liver pate; house turkey (they raise their own) lasagne; duck confit; pork tongue meatball on beef cheek carbonara; gingerale braised lamb neck, pickled lemon, cilantro sauce.


f you are a regular at Hank’s, you are not going for the barbecue. At the mere mention of barbecue, the chefs’ upper lips curl in what can only be described as a mix of distain and regret. It’s not that they don’t like barbecue, they like it just fine and have even managed to scrape together a few awards at local competitions. Yes, Hank’s Untraditional BBQ still serves barbecue—for now. But the chefs simply don’t want to be confined by that heavy, borderline fundamentalist tradition that comes along with true barbecue. As such, they have broken free of the hold of barbecue and are now determined to run amok, answering to nothing but their own creative impulses and to no one but the dedicated patrons who return again and again for a chance to participate in their adventures. So, what is Hank’s if it’s not barbecue? It’s a food lab disguised as a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. The test kitchen is in the apartments of Deutscher and Mavor, the experiments are given life in the cramped bypass behind Hank’s bar, and all of us are test subjects. Deutscher and Mavor don’t just focus on the cooking. They are heavily involved with the animals they procure. For example, when a friend, Étienne Côté, bought a small Courtney-based farm (Hillcrest), they put up the money for the animals they wanted raised. They visited their animals, named their animals, played with their animals, and then led their animals to slaughter. They break down the pigs, lambs, and turkeys in house and set about designing uses for every part imaginable. The menu is a clear demonstration of this, with new specials and last-minute creations added daily. On any given day, you might find turkey ravioli



with porcini cream and toasted sunflower seeds; or ginger-ale-braised lamb neck with fried rice and beans topped with an egg; it could be Waygu beef short rib pastrami with creamed cabbage and dried Okanagan cherries; or, if you are really lucky, a whole roasted pig’s head for two. But it’s not all about the meat. It’s increasingly an exploration of cultural heritages that influence the preparation of dishes. They have recently experimented with Philippine-style turkey adobos, Mexican tamales and fat-fried tar salsa, Italian-style milk and honey ribs, Newfoundland touton (pancakes fried in pork fat) and, currently fermenting in a cool, dark closet, chickpea miso. When you go to Hank’s, and you should immediately, take some time to appreciate what is happening in front of you. We’ve all had a fantastic dish or two in Victoria, but these those dishes are created almost exclusively behind closed doors. The plating, cooking, never-ending prep, dishwashing and bartending at Hank’s all play out in a tiny stretch of space as patrons watch from the bar. You might have the chance to see an entire turkey cut and carved fresh from the smoker. A pungent scent hits your nose—it’s a slow brewing sauce in progress for a new dish. Want to know what that spice is? Where that cut of meat came from? What that basket of apples is for? Just ask. When you go, order the weirdest thing on the menu. Something you’ve never tried. And tell them that. Watch as they negotiate the tight space and each other, never missing a beat as they move specifically and tenderly to create your dish. Watch them jump to with enthusiasm and borderline maniacal glee as they take on your

challenge. And after a few minutes, after you’ve had a chance to let what you are eating really sink in, wait for the check in. Not that tired line fed to you by bored servers: ‘How are those first few bites tasting?’ No. They will ask, “So. How is it?” because they truly want to know what you think. Hank’s may be departing from barbecue, but the slightly unhinged drive towards uncharted territory has garnered an enthusiastic cult following. Experimentation, failure and hard-won successes in the kitchen are the fuel behind this new direction. Back at the apartments of Deutscher and Mavor, you are likely to find fois gras duck breast carpaccio hanging in a linen closet, fermenting habaneros and green tomatoes stashed in a corner, and on the stove some homemade tortillas frying in beef tallow. Recently they have taken on knife making with “go-to opinion guy” and one of Hank’s first customers, jewellery maker Devon Revell. So often the food we eat is overly curated, backed by years of experience in hardened tradition and technique. Hank’s is a restaurant built on inexperience, haphazard ideas and a love of discovery. The boys at Hank’s are following a very flimsy scientific process of research, experimentation, creation and testing that has produced dizzyingly good food with an equally good story behind it. E 1001 Douglas St., Victoria 778.433.4770

EAT Magazine Jan_Feb 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 12/30/15 2:39 PM Page 27

“It’s a food lab disguised as a hole-in-the-wall restaurant.”

Owners/chefs Clark Deutscher (with baseball hat) and Andrew Mavor in the Hank’s open kitchen JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016


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Savoury Winter Spinach Oatmeal

• Toast oats before cooking to layer in nutty flavour. • Infuse milk with fresh herbs. • Be daring! Mix in other grains like wheat berries, millet or freekeh.



EAT Magazine Jan_Feb 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 12/30/15 2:39 PM Page 29

good morning. the breakfast revolution is served.

BREAKFAST 2.0 To face the new year, or just winter, head on, you’re gonna need a breakfast that powers up. Both of these recipes feature oats, a traditional breakfast staple. Satisfying oaty porridge is still on the menu, just with a savoury makeover. Dark green veggies have replaced traditional fruit and, of course, there’s an egg on it now. Crisps are traditionally considered desserts, but you just may want to eat this one for breakfast. The fruity oatiness and cinnamon labneh cries out for a cup of morning coffee. Heck! This stuff is good anytime of the day, or night. Recipe on the following page



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Salted Maple Apple Crisp with Cinnamon Labneh



EAT Magazine Jan_Feb 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 12/30/15 2:39 PM Page 31

Savoury Winter Spinach Oatmeal The key to wicked savoury oats is the blending of different flavours and textures. Sounds like a lot of work, but if you prep ahead and make big batches, then the morning is really about assembling or reheating. Live large and double the recipe. This stuff keeps at least a week in your fridge. Serves 4 1 cup steel-cut oats 3 cups good chicken broth 1 cup cooked red or black quinoa 1 cup Spinach Pesto (recipe below) 4 soft boiled or poached eggs 1 avocado, sliced Dry toast oats in a large deep skillet or saucepan set over medium heat. Stir often until fragrant and toasty, about 2 min. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Partially cover and simmer, stirring often until liquid has been absorbed. You want it a little soupy. Fold in quinoa and Spinach Pesto. Spoon into bowls and top with eggs and avocado. Dollop with Frothy Sage Milk (see below) if you wish.

Frothy Sage Milk Serves 4 In a saucepan, gently heat about 1 cup 2% milk with a handful of fresh sage, thyme, tarragon or rosemary sprigs until warm. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight. Discard sprigs, then pour cold milk into a Mason jar. Fill jar hallway full so there’s room to make foam. Screw on lid, then shake the bejeezus out of the jar so the milk is frothy and doubled in volume. (Or just use a milk frother.) Remove lid and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Pour warm milk over oatmeal, and then spoon the foamy bit on top.

Spinach Pesto Makes about 2 cups 2 big bunches fresh spinach or kale leaves, stemmed, washed and coarsely chopped, about 8 cups 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts ¼ cup toasted almonds 1-2 garlic cloves, minced 1 lemon ¼ cup olive oil ¼ cup grated pecorino Sea salt, to taste Place nuts in a food processor and pulse to finely chop. Working in batches, add handfuls of spinach and pulse until well chopped. Add garlic. Grate in 1 tsp zest from lemon, then squeeze in juice. With motor running, gradually add oil and whirl until smooth. If needed, add a little water. Turn into a bowl and stir in cheese. Taste and add salt.

Salted Maple Apple Crisp with Cinnamon Labneh This is what would happen if granola met an apple over breakfast and they fell in love. Apples 4 Granny Smith apples, halved, cored 11/2 Tbsp each maple syrup and olive oil Coarse sea salt, to taste Crisp ½ cup rolled oats ¼ cup peptias (shelled green pumpkin seeds) ¼ cup chopped walnuts ¼ cup dried cranberries 2 tsp each hemp and flax seeds Pinches of sea salt [TIP try smoked salt] 2 Tbsp each maple syrup and brown sugar 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 cup Cinnamon Labneh (recipe below) Arrange oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven, then preheat to 375°F. Place apples, cut-side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mix together 11/2 Tbsp each maple syrup and olive oil, then brush over apples. Roast on upper rack until soft, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt. While apples are roasting, on another baking sheet lined with parchment paper, mix oats, pepitas, walnuts, cranberries, hemp, flax and a pinch of salt with 2 Tbsp each maple syrup and brown sugar, and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Roast on lower rack, stirring occasionally, until toasty, 10-15 min. let cool, then break into smaller pieces. To serve, spread Cinnamon Labneh on bottom of bowls, top with warm apple and then crumble oat mixture overtop.

Cinnamon Labneh Make the labneh a day before serving so it thickens and the flavours blend. Look for Saigon cinnamon—its spicy, strong and sweet flavour is seriously addictive. Makes about 2 cups 650 g container plain, full fat Greek yogurt 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon 2 strips orange or mandarin peel Large square of cheesecloth Stir yogurt with cinnamon and orange peels. Spoon into cheesecloth, then tie up into a ball. Tie ball to a wooden spoon, and then suspend spoon over a bowl to let the whey drain out. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. The longer it sits, the thicker the texture and tarter the taste. Keeps well, refrigerated, up to one week. JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016


EAT Magazine Jan_Feb 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 12/30/15 2:39 PM Page 32

Exotic Flavours The books of Yotam Ottolenghi can add new spice mixes and ingredients to your cooking arsenal. By Shelora Sheldan


ou don’t come across many cookbooks that become a trusted friend, one you can return to at any occasion, be it to perk up the dinner doldrums or inspire you to try new ingredients. The popular cookbooks by U.K.-based Yotam Ottolenghi fit the bill on both counts. My new kitchen pal has written a series of books that weave together ingredients and techniques from the Middle East, the Mediterranean and North Africa with many modern and inventive flourishes. Lavishly illustrated with colour photography and accessible recipes, two of his books, Plenty and Plenty More, are devoted solely to vegetarian and grain cookery with surprising combination s of vegetables and herbs. The salads are revelatory. For example, a verdant dish of fresh dill tangled with tarragon, basil, cilantro and watercress meets toasted pistachios for crunch and an aromatic, citrusy dressing of olive oil, lemon and orange flower water. Another favourite is a warm salad of radicchio with Puy lentils combined with an abundance of herbs, pecorino cheese and candied walnuts with warming subtle hits of chile and honey. It makes a stunning and hearty first course. Two other books, Jerusalem and Ottolenghi, add fish and meat to the mix with surprising marinades and relishes. As well as increasing my vegetable and whole grain intake, Ottolenghi has added new spice mixes and ingredients to my cooking arsenal. Things like new-to-me sumac, za’atar, barberries and ras el hanout not only add depth to dishes featuring eggplant, olives, tomatoes, yogurt and even good old hummus and pita, but are great additions, I’m discovering, to both savoury meat- and vegetable-based dishes. They’ve all been easy to procure in



shops where culinary adventures await. And I’m seeing Ottolenghi’s Middle Eastern influences making inroads on many menus in Victoria. Below, I’ve compiled a handy guide to some of my new favourite things, what they are and how to use them, with highlights from Victoria chefs who are adding bright, punchy new flavours for our eating enjoyment. Hopefully, it will kickstart your new year with delicious curiosity and inspiration. Who knows, you might even make a new friend in the kitchen.

THE GOODS Harissa A roasted red pepper paste with a subtle chile heat. Its versatility weaves perky magic into couscous stews, both vegetable and meat-based, especially marinades for lamb. Mixed with mayonnaise or thick yogurt (labneh in the Middle East), it becomes a delicious dipping sauce, sandwich spread with roasted eggplant and feta or smeared on warm flatbreads with olive oil. It’s sold in small tins or squeeze tubes, the latter being handy for timid first-timers. Chef Dave Craggs of Ferris’ makes a textured and punchier-flavoured version by adding preserved lemons, smoked paprika and sambal to the roasted red pepper base, along with a signature Moroccan spice blend. It’s served with chermoula-marinated chicken skewers on the Perro Negro tapas menu alongside minted yogurt, and in the downstairs menu in a lamb burger and in a lablabi, a comforting Tunisian chickpea soup. As much fun to eat as it is to pronounce, lablabi is a multifaceted soul-satisfying dish that layers in kale, rice, chickpeas, tomatoes, caperberries and preserved lemons with yogurt and a big hit of harissa.

Pomegranate molasses A concentrated fruity elixir that adds depth and richness with sweet and sharp notes. Used sparingly, it’s wonderful in marinades, vinaigrettes and dips as a substitute for honey or balsamic vinegar. At Fig Deli, owner Yaseer Youssef uses it in a moreish ground walnut spread for sweetness and tang.

Barberries Little red jewels, likened to cranberries or tangy lemon currants in flavour profile. I’ve added them to lamb dishes and in an Ottolenghi dish with chicken and caramelized onions. I’ve enjoyed them recently at Part and Parcel in a delightful smoked white chocolate and barberry cookie. I’m just starting to get acquainted with them. Sumac A burgundy-coloured ground berry adding tart, fruity flavours and bright acidity to foods. At home, I’ve discovered them delicious sprinkled over braised greens or on wild salmon. At Earls Kitchen + Bar, their Jerusalem Salad takes its cues from the classic fattoush, the Levantine version of panzanella, the Italian bread salad. Crispy pita is tossed with arugula, tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers and radishes, and topped with za'atar-spicedchicken and a thick full-flavoured yogurt sauce, made by roasting the sumac with garlic and adding preserved lemons. At Fig Deli, sumac is added to grated halloumi and mozzarella cheese on the Manoushi, a made-to-order Lebanese flatbread, a brilliant combination of tangy-saltycreamy. Grant Gard of Part and Parcel adds sumac as a tart finishing touch to house-made falafel with hummus and preserved lemon yogurt, a dish he makes as a tribute to the ubiquitous falafel stands of Toronto, his hometown.

Freekeh An aromatic roasted and cracked green wheat that looks like a green bulgur. Like bulgur, you can use it

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Rebecca Wellman

Grant Gard of Part and Parcel adds sumac as a tart finishing touch to house-made falafel with hummus and preserved lemon yogurt. Also shown: Fries in Ras el Hanout with harissa mayo.

in pilafs, soups, stews or a tabouli salad. I can attest to their success. Ottolenghi makes an incredible salad with green beans, freekeh and a tahini dressing redolent with mint and lemon juice.

turkey, and it’s soft enough to go with vegetables.” It adds warmth and depth to the lowly french fry at Part and Parcel, with harissa mayo for dipping, and is right at home in the smoked lamb sausage from The Whole Beast.

Ras el hanout An earthy aromatic blend of 12 or more

Za’atar A savoury blend of sesame seeds, ground thyme, oregano, marjoram and often sumac, with a slightly grainy texture. It is a wonderful addition to sausages or meat patties. Mixed with olive oil and feta, it also makes a wonderful dip for grilled flatbreads. And there are an exciting array available, from sangak to lavash to barbari, similar to focaccia. I like to sprinkle it over rice—it’s a nice change from soy sauce! Mansfield uses her sumac-forward version in pot pies and suggests using the spice blend the way one would use Herbes de Provence. That nugget of wisdom freed my imagination to experiment, with various degrees of success: it was amazing on roasted squash and merely passable on tofu.

ingredients that, like a curry blend, changes from maker to maker. Commonly used ingredients are cardamom, cumin, clove and cinnamon, coriander, chile and peppercorn. One I purchased emphasized cinnamon, cumin, turmeric and allspice on the nose, while another was strong on fenugreek, chile and ginger as well as being rife with rose petals. Janice Mansfield of Real Food Made Easy catering includes foraged rose petals in her fresh blend of warming spices, which she adds to ground pork with cranberry for her gluten-free sausage rolls. “Ras el hanout is easy on the palate,” she notes. “It goes with so many things, so many proteins, from pork to chicken to

Shakshouka Not an ingredient, but a dish that deserves mention. A chunky tomato sauce warmed by toasted ground cumin makes the perfect nest for poached eggs. A traditional Tunisian dish, it’s easy to make at home or enjoyed at breakfast at Estevan Café, and at Shirley Delicious. Where to Buy Ingredients to Get You Started Fig Deli, 1551 Cedar Hill X Rd., 250-727-3632 Blair Mart, 924 Pandora St., 250- 721-1626 Anar Foods, 3949 Quadra St., 250-590-6020 Alia Halal Meat & Deli, 2618 Quadra St., 250-361-1200 Seven Valleys, 2506 Douglas St., 250-383-9998 JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016


g n i d n a St or F p U e g a s u Sa

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“The recent news that cured meats contain carcinogens is troubling, but I am standing up for sausage.” Cont’d on the next page.




The Roost Farm Bakery Riser: Two Island farm eggs any style, choice of toasted fresh baked bread, 3 links farm sausage & home fries

EAT Magazine Jan_Feb 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 12/30/15 2:39 PM Page 35

Classic Cassoulet prepared at Choux Choux Charcuterie.

“When you buy sausage locally, from an artisan maker, you’re getting a unique recipe”

any of my favourite dishes, from classic cassoulet to choucroute, Cajun gumbo to couscous with merguez, start with good quality artisan sausages. And I’m not prepared to give up one of my favourite convenience foods quite so fast. While a new WHO (World Health Organization) report said processed meats such as bacon and hot dogs may increase the risk of col on cancer and red meat like beef and lamb “is probably carcinogenic to humans,” if you’re not having smoked meats or barbecued steak every day, the increased risk is small. And, I would argue, the decreased life enjoyment that would result without this delicious ingredient is huge. So have your bacon and smoked sausages, just practice moderation and choose your sources wisely.

Meet Your Makers

On the heels of the holiday entertaining season—where smoky charcuterie was featured on my party platters—is the perfect time of year to add home-style sausages to the menu. And we are awash in fine sausage makers in Victoria who are making products as far away from scrap-filled industrial smokies as a Fol Epi baguette is to Wonder Bread.

At North 48, chef Sam Chalmers grinds fresh pork butt for the spicy andouille sausage on his menu. Chef Cory Pelan of the Whole Beast is the king of salumi, the Italian style of cured sausage. He creates artisan soppressata, salami and guanciale using ethically raised, hormone- and antibiotic-free local meat. The classic French charcuterie at Choux Choux Charcuterie includes all manner of house-made sausages, whether you want a Toulouse sausage for your cassoulet recipe, saucisson sec for a picnic or an exotic lamb, prune and rosemary sausage, the whole hogs from local Sloping Hill and Stillmeadow farms butchered right in the shop. If you’re out for a weekend drive, there’s the chewy dried droëwors and eclectic selection of fresh sausages from Galloping Goose Sausage Co. in Metchosin, or chef Brad Boisvert’s smoky creations at Cure Artisan Meat & Cheese in the Cowichan Valley. And for rings of smoky Polish ham sausage, there’s no place better than Victoria’s Cook ’n Pan Polish Deli. Geoff Pinch of Four Quarters Meats in Sidney is a sausagemaking pioneer, too. He creates a wide variety of fresh, dried and smoked sausages, many served by local chefs or sold in city markets and butcher shops, from The Root Cellar and the Penny Farthing Pub, to McLennan’s Island Meat & Seafood. While Pinch says VIHA (Vancouver Island Health Authority) has strict rules about the level of curing salts (sodium and potassium nitrite and nitrate) required to safely preserve dried and smoked sausages, small artisan makers usually use minimal amounts. Good butchers grind whole muscle meats for their sausages, he adds, which sets them apart from lesser quality commercial products. “I start with whole pork butt or picnic for my chorizo, andouille and kielbasa sausages,” he says, surveying the neat rings hanging in his smokehouse, “and I make turkey sausages from boneless, skinless turkey thighs. We use nitrates only when it’s required, but not in fresh sausages.” From the smoker, Pinch leads me to his fermentation chamber where legs from local free-range pigs are being transformed into traditional prosciutto ham and triangular pieces of cured pork jowl (guanciale) are hanging next to his dry-cured salami and landjager. “When you buy sausage locally, from an artisan maker, you’re getting a unique recipe, and a sausage with no fillers or prepared mixes,” he says. “No one is cheaping out—we’re offering the best products we can make.”

Celebrating Sausage

Vancouver’s Oyama Sausage is ground zero for classic cured meats. At their annual fall sausage festival, they sample some of their best creations, from lamb and feta or Gouda brats, oozing with cheese, to smoky Saucisse Vaudoise and Rheinlaender sausages. They also celebrate the sausage with the annual Cassouletfest—feting that French dish of beans and other goodies (think duck confit and garlicky Beurre de Gascogne) with their handcrafted Toulouse sausages. Owners John and Christine van der Lieck set the standard for sausage making on the West Coast when they opened Oyama in the Granville Island Public Market in 2001, arriving from the Okanagan with years, and generations, of European sausagemaking skills behind them. The Oyama market stall, laden with whole hams, pork pies

Cont’d on the next page. JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016


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Two House Made Andouille Sausages, Roasted Yam & Cheese Curd Pierogies, Sauerkraut & Grainy Mustard Jus at North 48. and sausages of every shape and size, is always one of my favourite spots to stop. They use only Canadian free-range, organic or family-farm-raised meats in their wide array of cured meat products and have long been a benchmark for what a good sausage could, and should, be. At Oyama, they encourage cooks to “think outside the casing,” and I like that advice, too. When a butcher makes a good quality fresh sausage, you can take it home, slice it open and use that perfectly spiced ground meat in place of hamburger in stuffings, patties or terrines. I’ve long relied on the flavour of a good spicy Italian sausage to spice up the tomato sauce I make to ladle over spaghetti or layer into lasagna. Oyama’s sausages, bacon and duck leg confit are just right with freshly fermented sauerkraut for Alsatian-style choucroute, baked up with beans, or simply sliced on your charcuterie board for noshing.

Is Sausage Safe?

While some media jumped on the WHO findings last fall, reporting that cured meats were as dangerous as cigarettes, after the dust settled the message settled, too. While most cured meats contain some amount of a “Group 1 carcinogen,” the report does not claim eating cured meat is anything like smoking or asbestos when it comes to cancer risk. The report gleaned its data from revisiting epidemiological studies, not by conducting specific clinical trials. Oyama’s John van der Lieck, like many fine sausage makers, responded to the cured meat scare with a sensible message. “The truth, as we and most of our wonderful customers will say, is: moderation,

moderation, moderation!” van der Lieck wrote on the company’s website. “Enjoy your food, indulge occasionally (enjoy it when you do this), eat fresh local meat, dairy, vegetables, grains and seafood (we are so blessed here in the Lower Mainland) and savour every moment!” A New York Times story offered similar advice: “Eating processed meat like hot dogs, ham and bacon raises the risk of colon cancer and … consuming other red meats “probably” raises the risk as well. But the increase in risk is so slight that experts said most people should not be overly worried about it.” Furthermore, experts agree that the nutritional profile of meat depends on what the animal was eating, making grass-fed meats completely different from their grain-fed counterparts. I grew up eating fresh and cured sausages of all kinds and still like to stop at the local Polish deli for a ring of their lean juniper sausage, the lean smoky bacon and sticks of dry pepperoni. Like traditionally cured prosciutto di parma or capocollo, these quality meats have been unfairly lumped in with cheap wieners and cold cuts that are loaded with nitrates, sugar, fillers and preservatives. We’ve never succumbed to these supermarket sausages—and I don’t recommend that you do—but I’m going to keep good local charcuterie in my larder and my diet. After all, cured meats are traditional foods, originally created to preserve meats while ensuring that no good food goes to waste. So find a good butcher and enjoy sausages along with other quality meats. Just remember the immortal words of Julia Child: “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” E

Where to Buy Sausages

Oyama Sausage Co.,, Granville Island Public Market, Vancouver, 604.327.7407

Choux Choux Charcuterie, 830 Fort St, Victoria, 250.382.7572

Slaters Meats, 2577 Cadboro Bay Rd, Victoria, 250.592.0823

Four Quarters Meats, 2031 Malaview Avenue West, Sidney, 250.508.7654

Village Butcher, 2032 Oak Bay Ave, Victoria, 250.598.1115 Whole Beast, 2032 Oak Bay Ave, Victoria, 250.590.7675



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Lamb merguez sausage, almond romesco, kale, chickpea at Stage Wine Bar


Discount Become a member and recieve 2for1 or 50% off deals at our partner restaurants

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Follow us on @OliveClubBC JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016


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THE LOCAL LIST EAT’s where to find it guide

EAT Magazine is available thanks to the support of our advertisers. Please support them whenever you can



HUDSON’S ON FIRST Award winning dining in a beautifully restored heritage home. Local ingredients, classic techniques and made from scratch cooking are a just few reasons to visit us in Duncan more often. Celebrate Bubbles & Brunch, Lunch and Dinner. 163 First St. Duncan, BC 250-597-0066

THE COMMUNITY FARM STORE The Community Farm Store organic health and whole food market in Duncan. Open 7 days a week. 10,000 sq. ft. of planet-friendly market-style shopping—with heart! GMO-free, with plenty of gluten-free and vegan options. Good for you, good for the planet. 5380 Trans Canada Hwy, Duncan BC 250-748-6227

THE HAPPY GOAT CHEESE COMPANY The Happy Goat Cheese Company is located in the idyllic Glenora Valley, just south of Duncan. Using traditional methods, we make aged, raw milk cheeses using fresh milk from our own herd of happy goats. 5060 McLay Road, Duncan, BC 250-701-7533

SPECIALTY SHOPS FIG DELICATESSEN Part kitchen, part market, Fig serves everything from shawarma to roast lamb. Cooking at home? Our extensive grocery selection will provide you with all the ingredients for your own recipes. 1551 Cedar Hill Road (south side between Cedar Hill Crossroad and Shelbourne), Victoria, BC 250-727-3632

DUNCAN GARAGE CAFE & BAKERY Nutritious and unbelievably delicious vegetarian breakfast, lunch, baking, grab'n'go, coffees,smoothies and more. Using only the best ingredients-organic and local of course!Busy, Happy, Funky and welcoming downtown vibe. Open 7 days/week. 330 Duncan St., Downtown Duncan (across from the railway station) 250-748-6223

On an island known for food aficionados, I’ll find you your ideal kitchen. 250-537-1201 101-170 Fullford Ganges Road Saltspring, BC



SINGING BOWL GRANOLA Singing Bowl Granola is hand-made in Victoria, using organic oats, organic oils, non GMO ingredients natural sweeteners. Try our new All Organic No Sugar Specialty Porridge. 250-896-3280

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SALT SPRING ISLAND FERNWOOD ROAD CAFE A funky little café with an incredible view, great coffee and lots of home baking – for breakfast, lunch and dessert. Winter hours (closed Wed) Weekdays 9-5 pm. Weekends 10-5 pm. 325 Fernwood Road (just across from Fernwood dock, north end) Salt Spring Island 250-931-2233,

HENRI PROCTER REALTOR New kitchen, new home? Henri is an award winning Realtor, serving Saltspring for 30 years. Positive, friendly and professional, Henri will excel in finding your perfect match. Henri Procter, MacDonald Realty 250.537.1201, 101-170 Fulford-Ganges Rd., Salt Spring Island

MATTICK’S FARM ADRIENNE’S RESTAURANT & TEA GARDEN Our restaurant offers daily changing specials for your dining pleasure. Come experience our Afternoon High Tea for a nice romantic meal in the upcoming months. In addition, we will be donating a portion of our High Tea sales to the Heart and Stroke Care in the month of February. We are open daily for Breakfast, Lunch and Afternoon High Tea in our Restaurant, Deli, Bakery and Ice Cream. 5325 Cordova Bay Road, Victoria, BC, 250-658-1535

VICTORIA PUBLIC MARKET RAVENSTONE FARM ARTISAN MEATS We produce a wide variety of hand crafted meat products made in small batches from locally sourced ingredients. Stop in at our Victoria Public Market shop to browse our selection of fresh sausages, pasture raised meats and smoked deli cuts or enjoy one of our delicious deli sandwiches. 1701 Douglas Street. (The Victoria Public Market) (778) 432 2899 Open 7 days a week

Victoria Public Market 778 433 9184

WHISK Holidays are over, resolutions are made. At Whisk, we will help you get serious (but not too serious) about your diet. With a great selection of cast iron cookware, veggie spiralizers and lots of local products. At the Victoria Public Market, 778 - 433 - 9184 Facebook and Instagram Open 7 days a week

7 Reasons to Shop Local 1. Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is Support your friends, neighbours and yourself. Invest in our community; help to create a stronger and healthier Victoria by keeping our money here. 2. What Goes Around Comes Around Two or three times as much money spent stays in the local economy when you buy goods and services from locally-owned businesses. 3. Community Sustainability Local stores help sustain vibrant, compact and walk-able downtown centres – which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, vehicle use, habitat loss and pollution. 4. Keep Our Community Unique. One-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of Victoria. 5. Create Collective Prosperity Locally-owned businesses invest more in local labour, pay more local taxes, spend more time on community-based decisions and create local events. In doing so, they create more opportunity for all of us here in our community. 6. Local Owners Care About Victoria Local business owners live in and love Victoria. They are less likely to leave and are more invested in the future of our whole community. 7. Give Back and Take Care Local business owners make more local purchases themselves. Locally-owned companies and employees are statistically more likely to give to local charities. —From the Think Local First website ( JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016


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Canadian Whisky A massive renaissance over the last few years

February Februar y 1 18 8–2 21, 1, 20 2016 16 Experiencee the best BC has to offerr! Enjoy regiona al breweries, fine wines, gourmet et cuisine,, plus overnight packages. THURSDAY, THURSD AY, FEBRUA FEBRUARY RY 18 at The Beach Club Resort

6:30–9pm | $55 +TAX /person FRIDAY, FEBRUARY FRID AY, FEBRUA RY Y 19

Swirl Signature Event at Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort

6:30–9pm | $75 +TAX /person SATURD T AY, FEBRUA RY Y 20 SATURDAY, FEBRUARY

Mission Hill Winemaker’s Dinner at Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort

6:30–9pm | $149 +TAX /person SATURD T AY, FEBRUA RY Y 20 SATURDAY, FEBRUARY

The Hatch Winemaker’s Dinner at The Beach Club Resort

6:30–9pm | $159 +TAX /person SUNDAY, FEBRUARY SUND AY, FEBRUA RY Y 21

Bubbles and Brunch at Tigh-Na-Mara and The Beach Club

7:30am–1pm | à la carte

TICKETS & INFO 1.800.663.7373 Pr oceeds benefiting: Proceeds V ariety - th en’s Charity Charity & Parksville Parksville Rotary Rotar y AM Variety thee Childr Children’s

Rebecca Wellman

Parksville Untapped

My infatuation for Canadian Whisky is well known, and it’s a big focus for the bar at OLO; a lot of this has to do with the underdog title Canada holds in the whiskey realm. Canadian Whisky has had a massive renaissance over the last few years as it continues to grow exponentially not only in the biggest Canadian loving markets such as Texas and Georgia, but in its home country. This growth is thanks to pioneers such as John Hall of Forty Creek, Dr Don Livermore of JP Wiser’s, and supporters like Davin de Kergommeaux, author of Canadian Whisky. The history of Canadian Whisky is lengthy, dark and sordid, and more complex than expected. Its rise as the number one drunk whisky in North America came during the civil war, not prohibition as many think. With the North and South at odds, whiskey production in the South halted and the North wasn’t trading with the South, so they both looked far north to their Canadian cousins and the trading of whisky began for both sides. Prohibition

The Toronto 2 oz Forty Creek Barrel Select ¼ oz Fernet Branca ¼ oz rich simple syrup Dash of Angostura Bitters Wooden matches Orange zest Stir & strain into a small coupe and garnish with a flamed orange zest.



and World Wars actually hurt the Canadian Whisky industry and helped with the mass amalgamation of many smaller distilleries to stave off bankruptcy. Canadian Whisky has rye in it, but is not rye in the same sense as American Rye Whiskey as there are no rules here on the rye content needed for a bottle to be classed as Canadian Whisky; that said, there are now a number of Canadian Whiskies on the market that are 100% rye, such as Canadian Club & Alberta Premium. The other two major differences are that instead of a mash bill like other whiskies, Canadians distill each grain (corn, rye & barley) individually, age them separately, and then blend it together when ready; secondly, producers are allowed to add 9.09% of anything to the final product. Why is this all relevant? Dr Don Livermore of JP Wiser’s believes that the freedom of Canadian Whiskie’s rules gives the distiller and blender a huge opportunity to impress, more so than other categories. With the “use the rules for good, not for evil” mentality, brands such as Alberta Distillers and Forty Creek have changed the landscape of Canadian Whisky and ushered in a new era that is taking our national spirit worldwide. The best cocktail and a classic Canadian cocktail to showcase the Canadian ingenuity is the Toronto. A classic created by Robert Vermeire in Europe sometime in the 1910’s as the Fernet Cocktail. The quote at the bottom of the recipe states “This cocktail is much appreciated by Canadians of Toronto”. It was later published in David Embury’s “The Fine Art of Mixing Drink’s” in 1948 as the Toronto Cocktail. A variation of a Manhattan, the Toronto is a balanced cocktail utilizing the “bartender’s handshake” liqueur, Fernet Branca. E

To flame an orange zest. Light a match; hold the lit match several inches above the cocktail. Hold the orange peel colored side down, about two inches above the lit match. Twist and squeeze the peel over the lit match. Press out a lot of oil quickly. Rub the peel around the rim of the glass. Drop the twist into the drink or discard.

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g A BEER AND A BITE By Colin Hynes

Sudsy Weekend Brunch





Purveyors of holiday spirits, wines & ales.

Colin Hynes

Victoria | Brentwood Bay | Campbell River | Kelowna |

THE BEER: THE BITE: Steel & Oak - Satsuma (New Westminister BC)

It says on the bottle: “Gee, thanks Steel & Oak for making lagers cool again” and I couldn’t agree more. Lagers have a bad rep on the west coast, so many people turn to bitter IPA’s, but a well made lager or ale can quench the thirst just as good as it’s bitter brethren. This one is no exception, great citrus notes, and it’s easy body could take you away from your normal bitter. ABV: 5.2% 20 IBU 650ml bottle (

Cinnamon Rolls

Every once in awhile it's good fun to round up the gang and have a big Sunday brunch-hangout. Sometimes it can be out at a restaurant, or other times it is awesome to make something at home that knocks them away. One food that is easy, but incredibly good, are cinnamon rolls. I made these ones by lining the bottom of a Staub pot with a brown butter caramel sauce so that it would bubble up through the dough rolls while baking. Make sure that you have extra made, as most people will want two or three of these once they have the first few bites.


Having an easy sudsy weekend brunch is good at any time of the year, but I find early in the new year the absolute best. It’s usually snowing or raining and you're inside anyways, so why not have a bunch of friends over to have a good time, especially after the holiday rush? The lager goes well with these sweet cinnamon rolls, but would work equally well with pancakes, waffles, or French toast. The citrus notes make this beer almost feel like it could be a juice substitute! For those friends that don’t want a beer, make sure to have mimosas on hand!. E

NOTABLE LOCAL LAGERS: Spinnakers Lager, Phillips Phoenix Gold Lager, Hoyne Off The Grid, Moon Under Water Light Side of the Moon JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016


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By Michaela Morris

Salute Sangiovese!

This indigenous grape is the red jewel of Tuscany’s rolling hillsides. Among the hundreds of wondrous native grapes in Italy, Sangiovese tops the charts as most planted as well as one of its most noble. Yet Sangiovese hasn’t always been held in such high regarded. Numerous uninspiring and unfriendly wines tarnished this variety’s reputation. Sangiovese has a whole lot of structure (think searing acidity and drying tannin), and poor examples made from high yields exaggerated this, lacking the fruit and flavour to lend any charm. However, a mentality switch from quantity to quality resulted in vast improvements in Italian wine in general, allowing Sangiovese to demonstrate its true magnificence. When Sangiovese is good, it’s very, very good. Today, quality examples abound. Expressions range from light, modest and crunchy to profound, full-bodied elixirs. Never dark or purple, Sangiovese sports a fairly light ruby colour. Don’t let this throw you; deeper and darker isn’t necessarily better. Sangiovese enchants with gorgeous aromas and appetizing flavours like red cherry, tea, violet and sweet garden herbs. Then there’s that hunger-inducing acid and tannic structure with enough fruit in the middle to pad it out. Sangiovese isn’t easy to get right. It takes a long time to ripen and doesn’t like being wet or cold. Yet it also suffers in excessively hot and dry conditions. Though it is grown throughout most of Italy, Tuscany is truly Sangiovese’s sweet spot. Do names like Chianti, Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino ring a bell? You may have also heard of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Carmignano and Morellino di Scansano. All of these are appellations in Tuscany based on Sangiovese. The largest is Chianti, which stretches extensively across the rolling hills around Florence and Siena. Sitting smack dab between these two cities, Chianti Classico is the historic heartland and its wines are particularly capable of delivering incomparable finesse. Even in the various Chianti zones though, “Sangiovese is never easy,” admits Chianti Classico producer Diana Lenzi of Fattoria Petroio. “It’s a very tricky little creature and extremely variable from year to year.” She compares it to Pinot Noir, very sensitive to both weather and soil type. Plantings in unsuitable sites was just one of the reasons for lesser quality wines and spawned a belief that it wasn’t possible for Sangiovese to make top-notch wine on its own. For this reason, blending modest amounts of other grapes with Sangiovese is common in Chiantis. In fact, for a long time it was required. Traditionally, indigenous varieties like Colorino, Canaiolo and Malvasia Nera were called upon for help; the first for colour, the second for softness and the last for aroma. More recently, international grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have been planted in Tuscany. Eventually these were admitted into Chianti and Chianti Classico regulations in minor percentages. Cab lends colour and even more structure while Merlot is used to give richness and flesh. The addition of international grapes is always a topic of debate. Cab in particular overwhelms Sangiovese even in small amounts. Many critics and winemakers argue that if Sangiovese is to be blended, its traditional partners are the most appropriate. But Sangiovese is very capable of standing on its own. Today, a number of Chiantis opt for 100 percent Sangiovese and are absolutely delicious and complete. Moreover, the wines of the Brunello di Montalcino region are only permitted to include Sangiovese. South of Siena, the area around the charming hilltop town of Montalcino is warmer and drier than the Chianti zones so inevitably Sangiovese ripens better. Aged for four years before release, Brunello can be rich, complex, savoury and cellar worthy. It is one of Italy’s most sought-after wines with prices to match. Brunello’s fresh and younger brother, Rosso di Montalcino, is also made exclusively from Sangiovese. While it doesn’t have the equivalent complexity or concentration, it offers a delightful and affordable alternative. Sangiovese’s hypersensitivity to its environment, along with its variable quality of the not-too-distant past have worked in tandem to curb its global domination. Yet it



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does have a modest presence outside Italy in vineyards as far-flung as Corsica, Argentina, Australia, Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. With the oldest Sangiovese vines in America, Seghesio Family Vineyards in Healdsburg, California, is the benchmark for Sangiovese in California. Ted Seghesio’s grandfather Edoardo planted them in 1910. Only one of approximately twenty winemakers to work with Sangiovese in California, Ted explains that rich, fertile soils exacerbate Sangiovese’s natural vigour. His vines are planted on non-fertile volcanic soil and are never prolific. In the winery, he also works hard to strike a balance between the structure and the fruit. Comparing his Sangiovese with those from Italy, Ted declares, “We’ve got the fruit, but the Italian versions have the length and nuances of violet.” In British Columbia, Sandhill was the first to plant Sangiovese. Winemaker Howard Soon has been working with it since 1995. “One of my favourite drinks is Chianti,” enthuses Soon. “To me the charm of Tuscan reds, and Chianti in particular, is that they are medium weight but still have lots of flavour.” As for how Sangiovese fares in the Okanagan, Soon reasons, “Being in light sandy soil helps manage the vigour.” He also credits the valley’s warm summer days with enabling Sangiovese to fully ripen. Whether blended or solo, be it from Italy or elsewhere, Sangiovese shows best with food. Cheerful inexpensive versions are the ultimate in pizza wines. Sangiovese’s elevated acidity makes it a natural partner for equally tangy tomato sauce, so it’s pastaperfect. It will uplift a basic meal of Tuscan bean soup to heavenly heights. Sangiovese plays well with lighter protein like chicken and ham and has the juiciness to cut through fatty duck. Earthier examples are sublime with rabbit or pheasant while the most robust can take on steak. They’ll also refresh the palate while complementing rich braises like osso buco. And if mushrooms are on the menu, it’s the moment to crack an aged Sangiovese. Want to explore Sangiovese further? Italy is the theme region at this year’s Vancouver International Wine Festival. Expect a diversity of Sangiovese-based gems from Italy and beyond. In the meantime, the wines recommended below are 100 percent Sangiovese unless otherwise noted. Cheers or, as they say in Italian, salute! E


Cheers, to another Fabulous year... From the team at Mattick's Farm!

VQA Wine Shop at

MATTICK’S FARM Open 7 days a week

5325 Cordova Bay Rd. 250-658-3116

Established 1998

Our service can best be described as “Knowledgeable, yet not pretentious……approachable, with a hint of sass!”

2013 Gabbiano, Chianti DOCG, Italy $13-14 SKU# 25155 (90% Sangiovese) Lip-smacking red cherry and ripe mint notes stimulate the appetite for a margherita pizza.

2011 Volpetto, Chianti Riserva DOCG, Italy $18-20 SKU# 525535 Plum, herbs, subtle smoke and pleasantly assertive tannin. My go-to Chianti with a hearty bean soup.

2011 Poderi dal Nespoli, ‘Il Nespoli’ Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore Riserva DOC, Italy $21-24 SKU# 401141 From Emilia-Romagna, the region neighbouring Tuscany. Juicy bing cherry, tobacco, toast and chewy tannin. Bring on the spaghetti bolognese.

2013 Castiglion del Bosco, Rosso di Montalcino DOC, Italy $24-27 SKU# 628974

Victoria's Newest Foodie Hot Spot, offering breakfast all day and West Coast inspired International Fusion. Monday to Friday 7:30 am - 2:30pm 222

Saturday to Sunday 8:00 am - 2:30pm

Succulent, sun-drenched red cherries and raspberries complemented by pretty floral notes and blood orange. It simply begs for duck.

2012 Sandhill, Small Lots Sangiovese, Sandhill Estate Vineyard, Okanagan Valley BC VQA $26-29 SKU# 700641 Sangiovese filled in with up to eight percent Cab and Merlot. Medium weight with sour cherry, red currants, cedar and clove leading to a dry grip on finish. Get your hands on some local rabbit for a homegrown dinner.

2011 Fontodi, Chianti Classico DOCG, Italy $32-35 SKU# 533315 A seriously classy and polished Chianti Classico possessing tea, violet, cinnamon and dark cherry notes. Sturdy tannins make it a natural with bistecca alla fiorentina.

2011 Fattoria di Petroio, Chianti Classico DOCG, Italy $40-44* Sangiovese blended with 10 percent Colorino and Malvasia Nera. Pure red fruit and minerals with fine, ripe tannins and an ethereal lightness. A beautiful partner for thyme-roasted chicken.

2012 Seghesio, Sangiovese, Alexander Valley, California $43-47* Expect lush and dense red fruit framed by assertive tannins and refreshing acidity. Ted Seghesio suggests serving his Sangiovese alongside a meat braise.

2010 Costanti, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Italy $96-106 SKU# 756585 Dark and brooding with wild forest berries, dried mint, smoke, balsam and leather. Tuck this rich and powerful Brunello away for a few years, then savour with pheasant and mushrooms. Prices exclusive of taxes.*Private wine stores only. Other wines available at BC Liquor Stores. JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016


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g LIQUID ASSETS —By Larry Arnold

Recommendations include a superb sherry, a back-in-style Muscadet and a cellar-worthy BC red. SPARKLING WINES: Steller’s Jay Sparkling Shiraz VQA NV, Okanagan, $26.00-30.00 I really need to spend more time focused on the BC wine industry. Good things are coming out of those golden hills. This Marsanne from Road 13 is a real eye opener. The fruit was sourced from Blind Creek Vineyard just outside of Cawston in the Similkameen Valley. Pale gold with lovely scents of peach, melon and wall flowers. On the palate this heady Marsanne has good weight with a slightly oily texture, soft fruit flavours and a slightly earthy minerality. De Venoge Cordon Bleu Brut Select Champagne, France, $70.00-75.00 Seamless and superbly balanced with a lively structure and creamy texture, Cordon Bleu is a blend of Pinot Noir (45%) Chardonnay (30%) and Pinot Meunier (25%)! Served young Cordon Bleu is very much an aperitif style, light and fresh with soft acidity and light citrus flavours.


Elizabeth Nyland

Hidalgo La Gitana Amontillado Napoleon Seco , Spain, $30.00-35.00 That’s a real mouthful you may think to yourself and besides who drinks Sherry these days? The shear folly. Well my friend let me say this about that. This Amontillado is not your grandmother’s sweet tipple. It may look the same in the glass but that is where the comparison ends. The nose borders on the exotic, Christmas past. Caramelized almonds, walnuts, cedar, vanilla, spice, more nuts with perhaps the faintest impression of dried orange peels. The palate is a conundrum, medium-bodied but without the weight anticipated, the flavour profile is consistent with the nose, caramel and nuts with subtle nuances, indescribable to all but the sharpest and the finish, you might mumble? What of the finish? The finish is clean, rich and bone dry. A revelation.

WHITE WINES: Road 13 Marsanne VQA 2014, Similkameen, $28.00-32.00 I really need to spend more time focused on the BC wine industry. Good things are coming out of those golden hills. This Marsanne from Road 13 is a real eye opener. The fruit was sourced from Blind Creek Vineyard just outside of Cawston in the



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Similkameen Valley. Pale gold with lovely scents of peach, melon and wall flowers. On the palate this heady Marsanne has good weight with a slightly oily texture, soft fruit flavours and a slightly earthy minerality. Wow! Ch du Coing de St Fiacre Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie 2014, France, $22.00-24.00 Muscadet is so out of style it’s back in style. Chateau du Coing is family run and has been making wine at Saint Fiacre since 1421. Using only estate grown fruit the wines are all aged “sur lie” for at least six months to ensure more body and complexity. It is fresh and delicate with floral, pear and toast aromas, and juicy citrus flavours. Very light bodied with mouthwatering acidity, a subtle salinity and a clean dry finish. Lange Twins Estate Chardonnay 2014, California, $16.00-18.00 The Lange family has been growing grapes in Lodi, located to the east of San Francisco, for five generations, finally building the Lange Twins Winery in 2006. Barrel fermented and aged in French and American oak for eight months, the 2014, is a serious quaffer. Very lush with buckets of ripe tropical fruit, butterscotch and hot buttered toast aromas and flavours and an easy to appreciate creamy finish. Old style California Chardonnay at a great price.

RED WINES: Road 13 5th Element VQA 2011, Okanagan, $58.00-65.00 The 5th element is not cheap and it is definitely not cheerful. It is rich, powerful, incredibly complex and costs a lot of money. To make great wine the winemaker must start with great grapes and Road 13 has done its homework, sourcing fruit from five different vineyards located throughout the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Malbec, the wine was aged in French oak for 16 months and finished in stainless steel for a further 5 months before bottling. A real barnburner with cassis, blackberry, violet and cedar aromas, very rich and silky on the palate with a blush of fine grained tannins and intense berry, vanilla and chocolate flavours. A superb wine that could use some time in the cellar. Wynns Coonawarra Estate Black Label Cab. Sauv. 2012, Australia, $26.00-28.00 First produced in 1954 Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon has the reputation as a topdrawer cabernet at a bargain basement price. Located in the heart of the Coonawarra, an area equally famed for its prime Terra Rossa soils and the Cabernet Sauvignon that thrives upon it. Pure and rich with a dense core of ripe fruit nicely balanced with soft acidity and dusty tannins. Domaine de l’Olibet “Les Proses” Grenache Noir 2014, France, $14.00-15.00 This hearty little quaffer from the heart of the Languedoc is a veritable potpourri of fresh fruit flavours. Soft and supple with cherry scented fruit and a clean fresh finish. Serve slightly chilled. Wente Sandstone Merlot 2012, California, $18.00-24.00 Wente Sandstone Merlot is a blend of Merlot (90%), Petite Sirah (6%) and Petit Verdot (4%). Rich and silky with ripe black cherry, toasty oak and plum aromas and flavours, nicely balanced with soft tannins and a long supple finish. Black Sage Vineyard Cab Sauvignon VQA 2013, Okanagan, $22.00-25.00 Aged in a combination of new (20%) and used American and French oak for 12 months. Rich and complex with a core of ripe, black raspberry, spice and vanilla flavours, medium to full-bodied, nicely balanced with a firm tannic structure.

DESSERT WINES: Quinta Do Crasto LBV Port 2008, Portugal, $24.00-27.00 Late Bottled Vintage Port or LBV is one of the great values still found in most liquor stores throughout the province. Before I go on I must acknowledge that value is a relative concept and even though there is much to love about British Columbia, the price of beverage alcohol is not one of them. An LBV is a vintage dated Port that has been aged in barrel for anywhere between 4 and 6 years. If you look closely at the label and have the eyes of a raptor, the year of the bottling can be seen somewhere on the bottle. This extra time in barrel softens out the fortified nectar within making it drinkable at an earlier age than a traditional vintage port. Black as pitch and very intense with ripe blackberry, plum, spice and dusty earth aromas. On the palate the wine is full-bodied and bursting with ripe fruit flavours, but the sweetness is somewhat constrained. Nicely balanced with a firm tannic structure and a surprisingly dry finish. An excellent bottle of wine! E

Who & Where the heck are these guys? 6 minutes south of Oliver, BC A “Golden Mile Bench” WineryHome of many International Awards FREE Canada-wide Shipping through our online store Visit our website for to see all the restaurants and retail outlets that carry C.C. Jentsch Cellars wine

4522 Hwy 97 | 778.439.2091 | JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016


EAT Magazine Jan_Feb 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 12/30/15 2:40 PM Page 46

The Buzz VICTORIA: Happy New Year, Victorians! Before we get down to new business, I offer up a small


correction to my last column. In the last issue’s Buzz I wrote that the fourth Pizzeria Primastrada location












was setting up in the space formerly occupied by Eugene’s. In fact, the new PPS has now opened in the

The Ramada Inn at 123 Gorge Rd has a new eatery - Crows Restaurant opened in early December

space right next door and Le Pho Homestyle Vietnamese Cuisine occupies the former home of Eu-

and is a family style restaurant offering specialties such as Blackened Poached Cod and BBQ Onion Ring

gene’s. Both are at 1990 Fort St., and both deserve a visit. ( (

Burgers. ( Over at Dockside Green, Caffe Fantastico is expand-

This is the time of year when people are either feeling relieved that party season is over, or feeling

ing into the space beside Fol Epi. More news to follow. ( Hide + Seek is a newly

disappointed that it ever has to end. If you fall into the latter group, then you will be happy to hear that

opened coffee spot at 2207 Oak Bay Ave. Read all about them in our First Look article on

Roast has teamed up with Atomique Productions to present Mardi Gras at the Market on Feb 13,


complete with live bands and festival performers. Each ticket includes a New Orleans inspired dish and cocktail. ( Another exciting celebration will be taking place on Jan 25; The Canadian Culinary Foundation –

COWICHAN VALLEY | UP ISLAND: Cowichan's Unworth Vineyards CSR (Community Supported Restaurant Membership) dinners continue through to April. Modeled after community supported

Victoria Branch is pleased to announce it will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. This will be a prestigious

agriculture, they help forge relationships between consumers, farmers and producers, providing an income

event not only because it will be held at Government House, but because in attendance will be Bruno Marti

during low farming seasons while at the same time challenging Chef Steven Elskens' creativity in a 'local

(Order of BC Recipient and International Judge and promoter of Team Canada) and the National

as it gets' way. (

President (Donald Gyurkovits), past chefs of Government House and many others who have made a positive impact on culinary arts in this city. (

In collaboration with Vancouver Island Sapsuckers, the B.C Discovery center brings you its' annual Big Leaf Maple Syrup Festival in February. Over two days learn how to tap your own maple trees, take in

This is also the time of year when social media feeds tend to fill up with people’s Mexican holiday

the maple syrup competition judged by local celebrity chefs, or just partake in the syrup making and of

photos. For those of us not lucky enough to be heading south this winter, comfort can be found in the

course tasting events! The event date hinges on precise weather conditions so stay in touch with,

impressive selection of tacos or burritos right here in Victoria. A sign is up announcing the arrival of La

or email for event postings and exact dates.

Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop on Fort St, (across the street from Tacofino, and around the corner from La

Iconic Deerholme Farm hosts a Happiness Dinner on February 13th, with foods that boost your

Taquisa – suggesting the Fort and Blanshard intersection could be renamed Taco Corner). La Taqueria

serotonin levels and promote a sense of well being through the foods of far South America: Peru, Chile and

launched in Vancouver in 2009, and has since opened two more locations on the mainland.

Argentina. Think oyster and truffle ceviche, pasta chowder with clams, purple potatoes and cuchufli

( Another Mexican food franchise, Mucho Burrito, has opened a location in Tuscany

cookies: all part of an interesting 6 course meal paired with wines and spirits. (

Village ( and Café Mexico is slated to reopen in Market Square, including a new

Nanaimo is home to a new micro brewery; Brad McCarthy's White Sails located downtown near the

tequila bar. Owners Brad and Hilda Olberg have already opened a new breakfast and lunch outlet next

Old Quarter. Visit their beautiful taproom and try a flight of Gallow’s Point Chocolate Porter, Departure

door, the aptly named Fuego Old Town Eatery (formerly Café Mexi-go, you can read more about the

Day Session Ale and Mount Benson IPA served by the fireplace. In addition to light fare provided by Dish

recovery from the fire that gutted these two establishments at ( A new Korean and Japanese restaurant, Park’s Kitchen, has opened at 606 Trounce Alley. Around the

(, indulge in a soft Germany pretzel hot from Columbia Bakery's oven every day, and pair it with White Sail's very own Yellow Point Ale cheese sauce. (

corner on Broad Street, a new and unique establishment is offering haircuts, hotdogs and pinball. Yes, you

Also new to the neighborhood is chef Bruce Cowan's Fiddlehead Bistro. His locally sourced menu

read that right (the haircuts take place in a separate space at the back of the building). Saint Franks is

complements a larder of at least 30 local beers by the bottle such as Moon Under Water, Red Arrow

the lovechild of Wheelies Motorcycles’ Jay Pincombe and Victory Barber’s Matty Conrad and was

Brewing and Longwood Brewery as well as an on tap menu. This newcomer has done his research on

“established for good times”. (

what local means to us, offering spirits from Arbutus Distillery's Coven Vodka and Empiric Gin for all your

With food prices on the rise, more people are looking to grow their own food. This year’s annual Seedy Saturday offers a great opportunity to connect with master gardeners, get information on gardening classes and workshops and purchase local, BC, open-pollinated, organic and natural seeds. Hosted by the

martini needs. Menu items range from Chile Lime Meatballs to Spicy Peanut Rice Bowl and a Rack of Ribs. ( For those of you that crave authentic Italian fare, Italian trained chef and owner Aldo Alaia has brought



It's time to Feast with our winter 3-course menus ...and we're not skimping with smaller portions!

FEAST 2016 $

35 $45 $55 MENUS




EAT Magazine Jan_Feb 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 12/30/15 2:40 PM Page 47

The Buzz his experience to the new Figo Italian Bistro in downtown Nanaimo. Their mission statement says 'it's not a concept, it's a tradition'. With he extensive menu certainly looks authentic and inviting but you'll have to be the judge since it wasn't yet open when I stopped in. Please report back! (477 Wallace St), This Valentine’s Day at Cedars at Tigh Na Mara Resort in Parksville will be extra special with

The Buzz

Executive Chef Eric Edwards cooking his heart out with a romantic Valentine Lovers Feast February 13th and 14th. ( Parksville Uncorked, one of Vancouver Island’s premier food and wine festivals, comes to Tigh Na Mara Resort and The Beach Club from February 18th- 21st. This is not to be missed event! Four whole days of regional tastings including Untapped beer sampling, Swirl wine tasting, Mission Hill and Hatch Winery winemakers dinners and Bubbles and Brunch to cap off the weekend of eating and drinking, all showcased in a super spectacular setting. Tickets go fast so don't hesitate on this one. There isn't a better way to spend time on the island! ( Join us in wishing McLean's Specialty Foods a happy anniversary as they 24 years in Nanaimo's Old City Quarter. They will also be will be hosting their 24th Annual Haggis Extravaganza in January, serving a special haggis lunch on Saturday January 23 and again on Burns' day Monday January 25. Reservations recommended. Plus there will be featured Scottish biscuits and goodies and a piper will be on hand to alert the neighbours. 250.754.0100 ( Should you manage to take in even half of the events and experiences above, I have no doubt winter will pass you by before you even notice, and your taste buds will thank you! —KIRSTEN TYLER

TOFINO | UCLUELET: As I write this we’re settling into winter storm season in Tofino, with only one power outage so far. While it might be the season for many locals to seek sunnier climates, visitors come for the storms and this time of year they are rarely disappointed. Congratulations are due to SoBo Restaurant and The Pointe Restaurant team at the Wickaninnish Inn for their winning oyster creations at the recent Clayoquot Oyster Festival Gala. This event is one of the best of the year and celebrates the abundance of oysters we have in Clayoquot Sound and on Vancouver Island.

1715 Government Street 250.475.6260

Dinner 5:30 - 11 pm Tuesday to Saturday

At the gala event held November 21st at The Shore, SoBo won the People’s Choice award and The Pointe won the Judges’ Choice. The Pointe also took home best table display. Well done to both, and thanks to organizer Ashley Adams and team, as well as the dedicated oyster shuckers who work all weekend to feed the masses! Please visit to learn more about the festival. ( SoBo also recently hosted an evening with Brewmaster Sean Hoyne of Hoyne Brewing Co. of Victoria. Hoyne beers were paired with Chef Lisa Ahier’s creations, with a significant amount raised for the Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society, the local fish hatchery that is dedicated to the preservation of wild salmon stocks in Clayoquot Sound. The society has come to rely heavily on fundraising efforts as government funding has not kept pace with necessity. And finally, kudos to chef Lisa Ahier of SoBo as the SoBo Cookbook was recently named the 2015 Regional Cultural Cookbook by Taste Canada. As SoBo closed for the season on November 29th (reopening in February), she hinted at possible ideas for another cookbook. With the success of the first one, we certainly hope it won’t be the last! (

Local Free Range Meats & Poultry

The Tuff City Sushi Bar is another restaurant that normally closes its doors for a winter break, and this year they did so with a bang. On November 30th, Crazy Ron and his crew lit up the night sky with an impressive fireworks display to mark the last service of 2015. Don’t ever change Ron and open again

Artisan cheeses

soon! ( Faced with seasonal closures, solace comes in the form of brunch for those of us still in town. The

and our own

Schooner Restaurant’s weekend brunch resumed in November, thankfully. The kitchen crew at the Schooner knows how to do brunch right, and I’m looking forward to my first Sunday experience.


( Shelter Restaurant was also doing a Sunday brunch in December, in addition to the regular specials


on Canucks hockey game nights. Enjoy Tofino Brewing Co. beer and food specials during hockey games, and after 10pm. ( We hope to see you in Tofino this winter as we enjoy fewer crowds and some impressive displays of wind and rain! —JEN DART

2577 Cadboro Bay Road,VICTORIA

592-0823 JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016


EAT Magazine Jan_Feb 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 12/30/15 2:40 PM Page 48


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