EAT Magazine July_Aug 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 6/27/14 10:45 AM Page 1
RESTAURANTS | RECIPES | WINES | FOOD | TRAVEL ®
Smart. Local. Delicious.
JULY | AUGUST
l 2014 | Issue 18-04 | FREE | eatmagazine.ca
FLAMIN’ TACOS GO Mexican with Beef and Lime Kebabs
WHY BITTER IS BETTER SMALL BITES PARTY FOOD THE ART OF BREAD CABERNET FRANC
THE Best ITALIAN RESTAURANTS
SUMMER GRILLING CELEBRATING
15 YEARS OF GOOD FOOD & DRINK
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84 CUSTOMIZABLE CONDOS STARTING AT $219,000 PREVIEWS BEGIN EARLY JULY
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Smart. Local. Delicious.
Concierge Desk . . . . . . . 05 Get Fresh . . . . . . . . . . . .08 Photographer Elizabeth Nyland captured this idyllic scene at Point No Point, a resort on Vancouver Island’s Juan de Fuca shore. Yeah. Looks like summer’s really here.
Food Matters . . . . . . . . . .09 Good For You . . . . . . . . .10 Epicure At Large . . . . . . .11 Wild Foods . . . . . . . . . . .12 Beer & a Bite . . . . . . . . . .13 Reporter . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Eating Well For Less . . . .18 Italian Restaurants . . . . .23 VINcabulary . . . . . . . . . .27 Extreme Makeovers . . . .28 Bitter is Better . . . . . . . . .30 Visiting Chef . . . . . . . . .32 Local Kitchen . . . . . . . . .36 Wine + Terroir . . . . . . . .40 Wine & Food Pairing . . .42 Liquid Assets . . . . . . . . . .43 News from around BC . .44 EAT Web Picks . . . . . . . .46
Founder and Editor in Chief Gary Hynes
Elevate your summer menu
with our fresh and convenient deli salads. No rinsing, no chopping, no tossing required. Just open and serve for a delicious side – and then take all the credit from those who think you made them yourself!
Greek Orzo Salad
Contributing Editor Carolyn Bateman Vancouver Contributing Editor Julie Pegg DRINK Editor Treve Ring Assistant Editor Colin Hynes Senior Wine Writer Larry Arnold Art Director Gary Hynes Web Editors Cynthia Annett, Jon Johnson Advertising Sales: 250-384-9042, email@example.com
Regional Reporters Tofino | Ucluelet: Jen Dart, Vancouver: Anya Levykh, Tim Pawsey, Okanagan: Jeannette Montgomery, 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, Anya Levykh, Sophie MacKenzie, Sherri Martin, Danika McDowell, Jeannette Montgomery, Elizabeth Monk, Michaela Morris, Simon Nattrass, Elizabeth Nyland, Tim Pawsey, Julie Pegg, Treve Ring, Kaitlyn Rosenburg, Michael Tourigny, Sylvia, Weinstock, Rebecca Wellman.
Down Home Ham & Cheese Macaroni Salad
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Ancient Whole Grain Salad
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EAT MAGAZINE JULY | AUGUST 2014
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By Rebecca Baugniet
THE OAK BAY VILLAGE NIGHT MARKET (OAK BAY) Taking place on the second Wednesday of July, August and September, the night markets will feature local produce, artisans, music and special events in Oak Bay Village. The Oak Bay Village Night Market features produce from farms throughout southern Vancouver Island. (oakbay.ca) VICTORIA DOWNTOWN FARMERS' MARKET (VICTORIA) Homegrown. Handmade. Year Round. Every Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday 11AM3PM Featuring the region’s best farms, freshest food, friendliest vendors, demonstrations and finest musicians. Come with your re-useable bags and fill up on local goodies. Check out their Vendor Calendar online to see who's coming and when: victoriapublicmarket.com/market-calendar VICTORIA VEGAN FESTIVAL (VICTORIA) The third annual Victoria Vegan Festival (#VVF2014) is a showcase of the vegan lifestyle, welcoming all, from the curious to the long-time vegan. Taking place on Canada Day (July 1) at Market Square in the heart of downtown Victoria – this FREE fun family friendly event will feature speakers, entertainers, businesses and non-profit groups, and of course you can expect numerous delicious vegan food samples. victoriaveganfest.com SAANICH STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL (SAANICH) This event originated as a celebration of the agricultural roots of Saanich and has blossomed into a grand festival for all ages. Enjoy an old style family picnic at the beach or take part in a wide range of free family activities. July 6 at Beaver Lake. saanichsunfest.ca DIRTY APRON COOKING SCHOOL KIDS CAMP (VANCOUVER) For the fifth summer, The Dirty Apron Cooking School is putting kids and teens in the kitchen. Designed with young learners in mind, students are actively engaged in the cooking process from start to finish. The camps are open to returning students as they have all new menus and new experiences waiting. From World Cooking to Knife Skills, your child will be sure to graduate from the 5-Day camp with a fresh attitude towards food and where it comes from. 5-Day camps beginning every Monday from July 7 to Aug 25. Tuition for the camp is priced at $525 and includes a daily recipe book, closely supervised hands-on instruction and all meals. For more information, including daily menus please visit: dirtyapron.com. GARDEN EXPLORERS WORKSHOP FOR KIDS (VICTORIA) Children will find the gardens to be a feast for their senses as they tour the Compost Education Centre site while tasting, touching, smelling, and eating some of the organic goodies growing at the Centre. Participants will harvest, prepare and eat a snack from the garden, get their hands dirty exploring worm bins and compost piles, document their garden explorations with a variety of available art supplies and have plenty of time to roam and ramble around the gardens onsite. July 26 1-3pm. compost.bc.ca TASTE: VICTORIA’S FESTIVAL OF FOOD AND WINE (VICTORIA) Victoria’s sixth annual Taste festival will uncork Thursday July 24, with an evening tasting of more than 100 British Columbia wines and local cuisine prepared by top Vancouver Island chefs. Not just a wine festival, this culinary tourism experience is an extra long weekend of tastings, seminars and events...a festival with a culinary conscience. Events run through to Sunday, July 27. Tickets sell out quickly. (victoriataste.com). CONT’D TOP OF THE NEXT PAGE
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Editor’s Note On a sunny, late afternoon upstairs at the Argyle Attic, a group of writers and editors settled in for a session of drinks and appetizers. Pints of beer and ciders and plates of spring rolls and mini burgers were ordered and devoured. The occasion was the first meet ‘n greet of EAT’s new website writing team. Call it a bit of a celebration because, after of months of whirlwind activity at EAT HQ, we were ready to raise a glass and toast the beginning of a new online food publication in BC called EAT – Food & Drink Daily. With the hiring of eight new web writers, EAT’s doubled its output of restaurant, food, cooking, event, and drinks coverage. Many of the writers were meeting each other for the first time and anticipation and pride was felt round the table. In addition to the bimonthly print magazine, we now have a comparable, stand alone, online presence with multiple daily posts and a broader mandate to cover local stories. With some 175 new and exclusive articles on the website, I feel we’ve made a tremendous start, and in the process we’ve made new friends, interviewed interesting locals with great stories to tell, and visited
IT’S IN OUR HANDS. HAND-CRAFTED BREAD MADE WITH FRESHLY STONE-MILLED FLOUR AND ONLY CERTIFIED ORGANIC OR SUSTAINABLY GROWN LOCAL INGREDIENTS . NATURALLY LEAVENED AND BAKED TO CRUSTY PERFECTION IN WOOD-FIRED BRICK OVENS. 1517 QUADRA ST.
EAT MAGAZINE JULY | AUGUST 2014
many new restaurants and food shops (often-overlooked places that our writers felt we needed to let readers know about). For a preview of some of the most read online articles on EATmagazine.ca see pages 46 and 47. There are links at the end of the article that will take you directly to the stories, or simply browse the site’s pull down menu and see where you land. In this summer issue, our print contributors have worked hard to bring you relevant, thoughtful, and exciting articles—Local Kitchen editor Jennifer Danter reworks the taco to bring it to your backyard grill; Cinda Chavich takes a look at how bitter flavours are becoming increasingly prevalent in our in food and drink; our restaurant team visits the totally redone Lure at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort. As well, read about Tonolli's, a deli you just have to go to, an Indian restaurant that offers masala dosa (a South Indian treat), and a new seafood store at the Victoria Public market. Photographer Lille Louise Major and I head out to Metchosin to spend an afternoon tasting chef Castro Boateng’s fine food. His mission? To craft small bite dishes that would work for a casual summer gathering. Have a great summer. I’m going to kick back, go for a few swims, and try out some recipes and recommended wines from this issue. —Gary Hynes, Editor.
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August SLOW FOOD VANCOUVER CYCLE TOURS 2014 (FRASER VALLEY) This summer, Slow Food Vancouver is looking forward to co-hosting two Slow Food Summer Cycle Tours in the Fraser Valley. The 8th Annual Cycle Tour Agassiz is planned for August 2, and the 6th Cycle Tour Chilliwack will be held on August 3. The leisurely self-guided Slow Food Cycle Tours provide an educational and culinary experience exploring many farms; some that are open to the public for this day only! The tours give a rare chance to meet the farmers and learn about agriculture in the spectacular Fraser Valley. Each cycle tour is approximately 25km on the flat along public roadways. Start and finish your slow cycle any time between 9am-4pm. (slowfoodvancouver.com) FEAST OF FIELDS (ACROSS BC) Feast of Fields is FarmFolk/CityFolk’s annual fundraiser. Net proceeds support their work year round as they help to create a sustainable food system for British Columbia. Not only will guests have a great culinary experience but they will also be investing in a secure food future. The Okanagan Feast of Fields will be held August 17 from 1-5 pm, at Okanagan Lavender and Herb Farm, Kelowna. Bremner’s Farm will host the Lower Mainland Feast of Fields on Sunday, September 7, from 1pm- 5pm. The Vancouver Island Feast of Fields will be held Sunday, September 14, from 1-5 pm at the Kildara Farm in Sidney. For ticket purchase information visit the Feast of Fields website (feastoffields.com).
NORTH SAANICH FLAVOUR TRAIL (SAANICH) The North Saanich Flavour Trail offers residents and visitors the opportunity to explore and experience Peninsula food and agriculture. Learn how to grow your own veggies and get started on your winter garden. Discover how to grow oranges and lemons in your backyard and make homegrown marmalade! Enjoy fine wine and savour local cuisine. Relax and have a cuppa with fresh scones and home-crafted strawberry jam. Take in local history. Picnic by the Salish Sea. August 22-24. northsaanich.ca GARLIC FESTIVAL (VANCOUVER) Get your breath mints ready, the Sharing Farm’s 6th Annual Garlic Festival is back this August 24 at Richmond’s Terra Nova Rural Park. Open to all ages, this free event combines organically grown artisan garlic and garlic goods with family friendly activities like: live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, exhibitors and everyone’s favourite, garlic ice cream. (garlicfestival.sharingfarm.ca) FEAST PORTLAND (PORTLAND, OREGON) Sept 18-21. At EAT HQ Feast Portland is one of the most talked about festivals we attend. Considered the “flagship food & drink of the Pacific Northwest” it’s a 4-day showcase for Portland’s food cumminity with large-scale tastings, intimate sit-down dinners, hands-on classes, live culinary demonstrations, thought-provoking speakers, and industry get-togethers. You gotta go. (feastportland.com) For more local events see The Buzz starting on page 44.
www.eatmagazine.ca JULY | AUGUST 2014 7
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EAT SPECIAL PROMOTION
By Sylvia Weinstock
My Summer Crush
Forget cardboard stand ins, for a taste of a real strawberry look close to home
Olive Odyssey: Searching for the Fruit that Seduced the World Author: Julie Angus
ou probably know Victoria born Julie Angus best for her travel writing. Her previous books, such as Rowed Trip and Rowboat in a Hurricane, have taken us alongside her sensational experiences exploring the world. It’s with this same zest for adventure and exploration that she sets out in pursuit of her latest subject the olive. In Olive Odyssey: Searching for the Fruit that Seduced the World, Angus endeavours to discover what it is about this peculiar and unassuming fruit that has enchanted cooks and food enthusiasts for centuries. Angus’ writing in Olive Odyssey is, in the best way, reminiscent of her travel titles that came before. She is an adventurer at heart, and seeks out the olive and its intricacies with the same dogged determination and energy that she has brought to past works. This book is infused with the careful detail and thoroughness of the best investigative nonfiction. No facet of the olive and the culture which surrounds it is left unexplored. Adding a personal flavour to the story, Angus includes a touching account of her and her young family’s experiences at every step of their travels unravelling this fascinating fruit. Indeed it is these personal elements which give this story its fantastic depth and personality. Her breakdown of the olive, its history and its lore, is tangibly human more than just showing you the olive, Angus takes you along with her and her family to make the discovery in tandem. The result is a highly personable and deeply engrossing read loaded with interesting facts and thoughtful, personal moments. And of course, lots and lots of olives.
Olive Odyssey: Searching for the Fruit that Seduced the World is available as a hardcover from Greystone Books for $28.95 and is on sale now at Bolen Books. 111-1644 Hillside Ave., Victoria www.bolen.bc.ca (250) 595-4232
EAT MAGAZINE JULY | AUGUST 2014
LUSCIOUS RUBY RED STRABERRIES are summer’s plump juicy jewels. Whether they are plucked warm and wild in a meadow, harvested from your garden or picked from a farm's strawberry fields, they're as precious as a warm summer day. Their taste is a rhapsodic blend of sweetness, sourness and mild astringency. They don't need elaborate preparation to sparkle. Enrobe them in chocolate, inject them with Grand Marnier, or dust them with icing sugar and dessert is served. If dreaming about strawberries is a good omen, a sign of fruitful days and a sweet healthy life, let there be strawberry daydreams all summer long. As I write this at the beginning of May, the early June-bearing strawberries in my garden are bursting into bloom with beautiful white flowers. A second variety produces berries in July and August. Growing two types of bountiful plants ensures a continuous crop of strawberries through the summer, and their munificence doesn’t stop there. Each plant produces several new plants every year; that is, each mother plant produces runners that become new daughter plants. I grow most of my strawberries in large containers high off the ground, which prevents them from being eaten by slugs, and also allows their runners and daughter plants to “straw” over the edge of the containers (“straw” is the past tense of “strew,” meaning “spread”). The new plants can be cut off the mother plants and planted elsewhere in the garden, or gifted to friends and neighbours. If you can’t grow your own, find local farms where you can buy or pick strawberries at www.islandfarmfresh.com. These berries aren’t just good, they are so good for you. Every part of the plant has wide-ranging medicinal properties; the leaves, crowns, roots and fruits are used in teas, tinctures, syrups and ointments to solve conditions ranging from gout to bladder infections. The berry’s cooling effects relieve sunburns, fevers and many other internal and external inflammatory conditions. Strawberries are rich in potassium, folic acid and fibre and are loaded with Vitamin C. They are high in ellagic acid, an extraordinary plant phenol hailed by researchers as one of the most potent cancerprotective substances ever discovered. Strawberries are the world's most widely distributed cash crop, grown in sweet abundance from Saanich to Stockholm to Sapporo. Their rose-like flavour blends well with summer herbs such as lavender, rosemary, lemon balm, bergamot and mint. They are ambrosial when bathed in wine, liqueur, or cream and make exquisitely simple desserts when coupled with other fruits. Mash an avocado, a banana and some strawberries and stir in a dollop of whipped cream. Pour the mixture into a walnut date crust or a baked pie shell, chill for a few hours and devour a slice of summer. Or peel and pit a whole peach, stuff it with strawberries, sprinkle with nutmeg and sugar, spoon in some custard and bake at 350F for 40 minutes. That's what I'll be eating in my strawberry dreams. E
Macerated Strawberries, Nectarines and Blueberries Serves 4. 12 large strawberries, hulled and quartered 2 nectarines, halved, pitted and thinly sliced 1 cup blueberries 2 Tbsp lemon juice 2 Tbsp sugar 1 cup chilled Essensia Orange Muscat Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
Combine the strawberries, nectarines, blueberries, lemon juice and sugar in a large non-eactive bowl. Taste and adjust the amount of sugar if necessary. Add the Muscat. Toss the mixture well, cover and refrigerate at least two hours. Just before serving, spoon the macerated fruits and their syrup into champagne glasses or large wine goblets. Garnish with mint sprigs, and serve.
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By Julie Pegg
Bean Around the World
Garbanzo, chickpea, ceci—whatever you call them, these resourceful legumes make a meal out of anything. I HAVE WOLFED DOWN PLATTER UPON PLATTER of hummus and pita bread and I very much like a good falafel. During a vegetarian stint, I cottoned on to cauliflower, potato and chickpea curry. This ancient, protein-rich legume remains a staple in my culinary repertoire. That’s just about all I did with the humble chickpea. Lately though, I have taken to tossing chickpeas wantonly into salads. (I particularly like their slightly nutty taste with peppery arugula). Thick potages too are worthy of their presence. (I wrote about Portuguese caldo verde with chickpeas in the December 2013 issue of EAT.) I toss a handful into white bean soup for extra nutrition and texture. In both meat and vegetarian chilies, the chickpea is involved, and spicy roasted chickpeas have become a go-to snack. On a recent trip to Italy, local “ceci” appeared in dish after dish—most of the time in conjunction with pasta. One such preparation was served at an agrotourismo—an almost self-sufficient farm/trattoria/winery in the Le Marche hills. The family grew grapes and olives for producing wine and oil, and milled their own wheat for making bread and pasta. They also grew and dried chickpeas. Strozzapreti (meaning priest strangler), a rope-shaped noodle, was tossed with ceci, garlic and olive oil. (I am uncertain where the priest fits in.) The simple lunch was the perfect buffer to a drizzly afternoon and jugs of homemade wine. At another agrotourismo—ceci seasoned with rosemary was served with wild boar sausage. I will definitely be trying these recipes now I’m home. There is also chickpea polenta (panelle), or as it is known in the south of France, socca. Chickpeas are ground into flour and cooked with olive oil and salt, just like polenta. The mixture can then be baked or fried. I may also top this chickpea polenta with creamed or sautéed wild mushrooms. (You can purchase chickpea flour—no need to grind your own.) Italian farmers wouldn’t dream of using tinned chickpeas, but I do on occasion for convenience. I far prefer using dried chickpeas, however. I dislike tinned chickpea liquid; even when rinsed thoroughly, the chickpeas have a slightly metallic taste. And dried chickpeas vary in size and texture. Some are large and rough around the edges. Others are small and smooth. I prefer using the first in substantial recipes where the whole chickpea is star (like a chili or stew). The latter I use to accent salads or for preparing hummus. The smaller peas are easier to mash, which is how I usually prepare hummus. Purchased dips often have the consistency of wallpaper paste and I am fond of chunkier spreads. This is how I make a delicious and different hummus. Measures are approximate. Soak one cup of dried chickpeas overnight. (Volume may increase two or threefold). Bring a pot of water to the boil. Add a teaspoon of salt. Reduce to simmer and cook the chickpeas for about an hour or until tender but not mushy. Strain peas into a large bowl. Let cool. Mix with one small chopped and sautéed onion (optional), a clove or two of chopped fresh or roasted garlic. Add a couple of tablespoons plain yogurt, a drizzle of chicken stock and a glug of olive oil. (Or omit the olive oil, drizzling it over at the end, and add more yogurt and stock). I use a couple of heaping tablespoons almond butter instead of tahini, juice of half a lemon and a ½ teaspoon of cumin seed. Mash with a potato masher for a chunky dip or blend until smooth. Adding roasted red pepper, chili flakes or fresh chopped coriander make a tasty variation. You can grow and dry your own chickpeas. They’ll grow well in a sunny, warm spot. And fresh chickpeas right from the garden served with young soft cheese truly exalts the humble. E
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GOOD FOR YOU
By Pam Durkin
The Art of Bread
Artisanal bakers are creating loaves that once again make bread the staff of life.
DESPITE THE POPULAR TREND to declare oneself “gluten or wheat-free,” bread remains, for the majority of Canadians, the “staff of life.” However, in increasing numbers we are eschewing the commercial, mass-produced breads of our youth for the handcrafted, slowly fermented artisanal breads our ancestors enjoyed. The reasons for the switch are multiple—artisanal breads are not only superior in taste and texture, they are also far more nutritious than their commercial counterparts. So what exactly IS artisanal bread? Although there is no legal definition for the term, it generally applies to bread that has been leavened with a natural “starter”—a living culture of live yeast that is slowly and carefully nurtured by the baker. Both the starter and the resulting dough undergo a long fermentation process. When fully fermented, the dough is hand-shaped and baked in a masonry oven—a process that produces loaves with a delicious golden-brown crust. “Baking artisanal bread is a labour-intensive craft, an art form,” says Cliff Leir, owner of Fol Epi, one of Victoria’s premier sources for traditional European-style breads. Erika Heyrman of Wildfire Bakery concurs. “There is no machinery involved in this type of bread-baking; it is a completely hands-on process.” Another distinctive feature of artisanal bread is the quality—and simplicity—of the ingredients used. Whereas mass-produced supermarket bread might contain up to 20 ingredients—including deleterious preservatives—artisanal breads are very pure. “They’re basically water, flour, starter and salt,” states Heyrman, “plus possible healthy add-ins like seeds or cheese depending on the flavour profile the baker is trying to achieve.” This purity also extends to the type of flour used. The majority of artisanal breads are made from stone-ground flours milled from heritage wheat varieties (Red Fife, Selkirk) or alternative grains like spelt, which are often sprouted before they’re milled. “We do not use the modern hybridized wheat that features in commercial bread,” emphasizes Leir. That is a salient point because the hybridization (cross breeding) of modern wheat is thought by many to be the cause of the increasing incidence of both celiac disease and wheat sensitivities. Not surprisingly, Leir and Heyrman both have customers who, though unable to tolerate commercial wheat breads, can easily digest and enjoy fermented artisanal loaves. Being easily digestible is not the only health benefit offered by artisanal breads. During the fermentation process, the phytates in the grains are broken down, rendering the grain’s bevy of nutrients more bio-available to the body. In addition, the wild yeast cultures used to start the bread are teeming with the probiotics that promote both a healthy immune system and a healthy gut. Health benefits and purity aside, the true selling point of artisanal breads—for foodies—is their superb flavour and texture. The acute attention paid to the bread’s chemistry and ingredients results in robust flavours and palate-pleasing crust and crumb textures. “Our customers are people who just love good food,” enthuses Leir. “They are not influenced by anti-carb fear mongering; they are swayed by taste and quality, not trends.” Heyrman echoes this remark. “Consumers constantly tell us they appreciate being able to purchase bread they know is GMO-free, wholesome, pure and tasty. They’re glad the age-old bread making traditions are making a comeback— they’re quite literally sick of the bland, mass-produced stuff.” Before you rush out and buy your own scrumptious loaf of artisanal bread, there are some key things to keep in mind. Because artisanal bread is made without preservatives, it tends to have a shorter shelf life than its commercial counterpart. Furthermore, due to the labour-intensive nature of its production—it’s pricier. However, as any bread lover will attest, it is worth every extra penny. To experience the taste difference yourself, I heartily recommend picking up a loaf at one of the following fine Victoria bakeries. E Crust, 730 Fort St. Leaven, 1515B Cook St. Wildfire Organic Bakery, 1517 Quadra St. Bond Bond’s Bakery 1010 Blanshard St.
EAT MAGAZINE JULY | AUGUST 2014
Fry’s Red Wheat Bread 416 Craigflower Rd. Fol Epi, Dockside Green, 101-398 Harbour Rd.
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EPICURE AT LARGE
By Jeremy Ferguson
Tofino chef Lisa Ahier’s gastro wizardry is captured in a cookbook as hell-bent on excitement as the food that inspired it. THE SOBO COOKBOOK ARRIVES WITH BELLS, notably an affectionate foreword from Sarah McLachlan as well as backcover tributes from Rob Feenie, probably the finest chef B.C. has ever produced, and sub-continental superstar Vikram Vij. No small praise. The applause could be understated. Chef Lisa Ahier has emerged as the gastro-wizard of the west of the west coast. Her story rings familiar to Islanders: how she and husband Artie opened Sobo (an acronym for Sophisticated Bohemian) in a purple food truck in a parking lot behind a Tofino surf shop. How they came—the tourists, the surfers, the locals—to woof down halibut-stuffed tacos and miso oysters. And how en Route, Air Canada’s in-flight magazine, named Sobo—a food truck?— one of Canada’s top 10 new restaurants of the year 2003. And away it went. Fast-forward to 2014. Sobo occupies a smart, inviting space in downtown Tofino. Its components are a Wood Stone pizza [oven?], furious open kitchen, full bakery and a hap-happy crowd. “We try to maintain moderate prices,” Ahier says, “prices our friends can afford.” Which makes her a rarity in this globally famed resort. The cookbook presents the Sobo oeuvre, with easy-to-follow recipes taking readers from breakfast to bedtime. Mundane doesn’t exist here: think Florentine breakfast pizza, Aztec bean soup, grilled watermelon and shrimp salad, miso oysters with smoked salmon bacon, polenta fries, prosciutto-wrapped halibut, barbecued octopus, cedar-plank salmon, West Texas onion rings, dark chocolate and salted caramel tart. Comprehensive chapters cover off the Sobo evolution, the unique nature of Tofino, cook notes (sauces, spices, seeds, oils, etc) and the staples, from fire-roasted corn to pickled jalapeños, of a kitchen hell-bent on excitement. Ahier’s idea of flavour is “killer” in Tofino-speak. Chef lives the mantra of organic, local and sustainable, but also transcends it. As foodies know too well, correctness doesn’t guarantee flavour. Love does. Foraging for top ingredients, infusing salsa sensation according to her American southwest sensibility (she hails from Fort Worth) and applying her CIA discipline in the kitchen, Ahier is simply the most original chef on the Island. It’s a beautiful book. Surf photographer Jeremy Koreski illustrates with crisp food photography and essence-capturing images of Tofino through the seasons. There’s also an endearing generosity here. Ahier’s opening tribute to Artie, “who has put his dreams on the shelf to help me realize mine” is more than eloquent. Full-page profiles salute local farmers and growers dedicated to producing the best our seas and soil can offer up. The effect of the book isn’t just to set the mouth a-watering. It leaves you hungry to be in the kitchen with the chef. Minor cavil? Lisa Ahier’s fried oysters are the best of the best on the west coast and the recipe, dammit, isn’t here. When she gilds her bivalve lily, expect pan-fried oysters crusted in hemp hearts and served with tequila and avocado ice cream. Also not here. So, Lisa, make the next one The SOBO Oyster Book, eh? E The SOBO Cookbook: Recipes from the Tofino Restaurant at the End of the Canadian Road (Random House, $29.95) by Lisa Ahier with Andrew Morrison
Open Lunch & Dinner Tuesday through At 45 Bastion Square
Globally Inspired. Local Flavour.
Camille`s @ 45 Bastion Square Victoria, BC 250-381-3433 www.camillesrestaurant.com
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The whole beast
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weâ€™re on the way to wherever summer takes you.
Now open in Langford!
next to Quality Foods 4XDGUD9LOODJHr8SWRZQ &ROZRRGr&RXUWHQD\
Open daily, surprising product selection, best value pricing
EAT MAGAZINE JULY | AUGUST 2014
By Simon Nattrass
Ripe for the Picking
Blackberries and their cousins: theyâ€™re lush, healthy, versatile and sweet. And theyâ€™re everywhere. Hereâ€™s what to do with the bounty.
WRITING OUT OF SEASON can be a challenge when your specialty is wild food. I have to picture myself plucking spring greens in the depths of winter or rustling up winter stews in the heat of summer. Summer is the one exception. While Iâ€™m still writing to the sound of cool coastal spring rain, my near-breathless anticipation of the bounty of mid-summer berries means the taste, scent and texture of the season lingers year-round. Summer is the season for berries, but few measure up to the diversity and quality of those in the genus Rubus. Quite simply, the Rubus family includes everything that looks like a blackberry (and one or two things that donâ€™t). These easily identified berries were my first foray into wild harvesting as a child, and several remain among my favourite west coast berries. Most readily available of all the Rubus varieties is the highly invasive Himalayan blackberry. While not native to this continent, this tenacious bramble has made a home for itself near almost every human settlement on the coast. The rich purpleblack berries form impenetrable walls in ditches, along fence lines, or in abandoned fields, particularly in low, wet areas. The berries are usually smaller than those youâ€™d find in a grocery store but are usually the largest of the Rubus varieties found on the coast. Himalayans are also among the sweetest of their relatives, having almost no tart flavour when fully ripe. Thereâ€™s no need even to leave the city. Just keep your eye on a bramble patch until its fruits start to ripen, then gather more than enough for jams, pies, wine or syrup. To make the latter, simmer about three parts berries to one part honey or simple syrup, press through a sieve to remove seeds and store in the fridge. This syrup is beautiful on pancakes or ice cream, or as a drizzle for savoury dishes and summer salads. Similar to Himalayan blackberry is another invasive species, the cutleaf blackberry. Its berries are larger and firmer, and its leaves and flowers spindly in comparison, but the subtle differences will be quickly noticed as the two varietes are most often found growing side by side. Most uses of the himalayan blackberry apply to the cutleaf, although the former is noticeably sweeter and lends itself better to wines and syrups. Cutleaf berries are often sold in stores and keep far longer than their cousins. My personal favourite of the coastal varieties is the native salmonberry. I love the berriesâ€™ delicate, citrus-like flavour and the array of brilliant colours, ranging from pale yellow to salmon-flesh pink to vibrant red. Bushes are nothing like the tangled, thorny masses of their invasive cousins. They are tall and pale green with fewer thorns, light foliage, eye-catching deep pink flowers and sparse fruits. You wonâ€™t find enough for jam or wine, but salmonberries are a perfect finishing touch for desserts or sweetsavoury pork dishes. Other native species include the wild red raspberry, similar to cultivated varieties in both form and flavour, as well as the black raspberry, thimbleberry and trailing blackberry. All bear significantly less fruit than their invasive relatives with the exception of thimbleberries, which appear as broad, flat, slightly furry raspberries on dense bushes with huge leaves and no thorns. Thimbleberries turn to mush almost as soon as they are touched but make a tart candy-like treat if formed into patties and dehydrated for winter. Of all its potential uses, however, the subtle flavour of the Rubus genus finds its greatest expression in wine. Several local wineriesâ€”Cherry Point and Averill Creek to name just twoâ€”make a rich blackberry dessert wine, but itâ€™s the more restrained table wine that brings out the best in these berries. Every year I make blackberry table wine during peak harvest, and the result is delicately fruity and surprisingly similar to Beaujolais nouveau. Qualicum-based Mooberry Winery makes two such wines from blackberries and raspberries, as well as a sparkling blackberry wine similar to a dry Lambrusco. Contâ€™d on the next page
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A Beer and a Bite
By Colin Hynes
IN CASE YOU FORGOT... VOTED BEST PATIO IN VICTORIA HANDCRAFTED BEER + REAL FOOD TIMELESS WATERFRONT LOCATION
Una Mas Canoe Brewpub & Saltspring Island Ales Fish Tacos The Beer: Una Mas Canoe Brewpub & Saltspring Island Ales Cerveza-style Lager (Victoria, BC) This beer was born out of a vacation that Canoe Brewpub and Saltspring Island Ales took together, "spending weeks nursing down-to-earth cervezas" in Nicaragua. They have come up with an easy drinking beer that is perfect for those hot summer patio sessions. ABV:5.5%, canoebrewpub.com, saltspringislandales.com The Bite: Backyard Fish Tacos with Pico De Gallo Salsa If you haven't had homemade fish tacos during the summertime, you are missing out. We love making a big batch of fresh salsa early in the week, and using it for a variety of dishes. At the end of the week, after the salsa flavours have played together in the fridge for a few days, we make fish tacos. It is an easy lunch or dinner, and can be made for a large gathering of people without much effort, but be sure to have lots of napkins on hand!
The Conclusion: Una Mas transports you to a hot, lazy day in Nicaragua, where it all began between a group of friends. It pairs well with the tacos, because the crisp notes are refreshing after the hit of spiciness that the salsa delivers. We find this is the case with most Central American cervezas, which is why they are the perfect summer beer. Having tacos on a hot day with a crisp beer in hand is nirvana, and we highly suggest you try it out.
450 SWIFT ST. VICTORIA BC CANOEBREWPUB.COM
Cont’d from the previous page If you’re inundated with berries, rest assured there’s more to be done. For another of my favourite beverages, fill any size of jar two inches from the top with whole berries and the rest of the way with gin or vodka. Steep for as long as your patience will allow—I try for at least two months—and then mix with sparkling water or add to any sweet cocktail. Alternatively, steep berries in red wine or apple cider vinegar for a few weeks to create a flavourful addition to salad dressings. Berries are hosts to wild yeast, so when trying either of these recipes, be sure the liquid is at least a couple of inches higher than the top of the berries and seal jars loosely. Otherwise, your mixture could ferment. Even if you do start to see some fizz, just open the jars (carefully—you may get a splash) and add more spirits or vinegar. The abundance and versatility of the Rubus family demands that we spend the entire summer finding new ways to explore these beautiful berries. I suggest you do just that. E
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REPORTER Lure Restaurant and Bar Delta Ocean Point Resort | 45 Songhees Rd., Victoria | (250) 360-5873
EAT MAGAZINE JULY | AUGUST 2014
I’ve always loved the view from Ocean Pointe Resort’s Lure Restaurant. Looking across the Inner Harbour at the lights of downtown Victoria, the Empress and the Legislative Buildings is one of the most romantic, urban vistas in the world. The restaurant’s recent transformation has heightened that sexy dining experience. Lure’s re-invention has opened up the venue’s bar, balconies, patio and dining room into a sweeping, lively space with an inviting, playful buzz. The 76-seat bar has been expanded and reconfigured with a long, shared table that enjoys views of the Inner Harbour and the emerging replacement for the old Blue Bridge. Seats at the equally lengthy new bar overlook the mixologists’ work, while redesigned entrances to the hotel lobby and dining room have given sweeping openness and social magnetism to a space that was once too cramped and dark. A new balcony with 22 seats surrounds the east side of Lure’s floorto-ceiling windows, and a sunny, 58-seat patio with glass wind screens, wrap-around banquettes and a firepit stretches out the dining room doors to the west. The dining room has been transformed too. Its new wooden floors and tables have been complemented by well-placed banquettes, more casual stoneware and a beautiful centrepiece light fixture shaped like large ship’s bells, shaped like a cluster of large ship’s bells emphasizing Lure’s maritime location. Chef Dan Bain’s menu has been redefined to match the more casual, relaxed decor and features half-portions and shared-plate options as well as an emphasis on locally farmed products. The Vancouver Island born and bred chef describes his cooking as “virtually self-taught. I started my kitchen career at 13 as a dishwasher and later worked at Earl’s and a couple of other places before landing a job at Lure in 2005. I covered all aspects of the kitchen before being promoted to chef de partier saucier and restaurant chef in January 2012.” Bain says he loves the fact that every ingredient has flavours, colours, textures and aromas waiting to be unlocked and combined. The boyishly handsome chef continues. “Whether it’s the simple caramelization of onions or the complex chemical reaction of baking bread, the results are always fascinating.” Lure’s 20-year-old kitchen has had a complete overhaul. “Only one fryer is left over,” Bain enthuses, “and I’m particularly excited about the new unit I’ve got for sous-vide cooking. The kitchen’s clear, clean design is a dream for my 14-member staff.” When I visited Lure recently, Bain produced a delicious carpaccio of micro-thin slices of Lois Lake steelhead. Next came a plate of savoury lamb meatballs with chef’s smoky tomato condiment followed by a housemade cast iron flatbread topped with Fairburn Farm’s mozzarella de bufala, asparagus, prosciutto and wild mushrooms, including chanterelles, morels and king oysters. For dessert, he served homemade brown butter cocoa-nib ice cream sandwiched between a pair of his trademark kitchen sink cookies (the chocolate chip sweetness balanced by bits of pretzel and potato chip) with a few sweet cherries swimming in a Jack Daniels and caramel sauce. As a special lagniappe for a chocolate lover, Bain also brought out a tiny canning jar brimming with dark chocolate pot au crème studded with dried caramel bits and crunchy, dehydrated berries. Like everything chef served and Lure’s re-imagined interior, it was heavenly. —BY JOSEPH BLAKE
top left: Cast Iron flatbread – asparagus, prosciutto, wild mushrooms, fairburn farm buffalo mozzarella. top right: Lamb meatballs with smoked tomato sauce. middle: Lure’s chef Dan Bain. bottom: A view of the the recently revamped restaurant.
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Heron Rock Bistro Since 2005
Supporting Live Music Monday & Friday Evenings
All Bottles of Wine are $10 less on Mondays Oysters and a Pint on Fridays $15
Open 7 days a week! 9am-10pm Monday to Friday 8:30am-10pm Saturday & Sunday left: Savoury tomato tart with feta and onions on all butter crust. right: Chocolate éclair, Gluten-free chocolate tart with pistachio macaron, lemon cheesecake and German apricot kuchen
Sunday to ursday 8pm-10pm
50% oﬀ all Burgers and Sandwiches with purchase of a drink
Tonolli’s Deli & Cafe 6991 E. Saanich Rd., Central Saanich | 778-426-2822 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Central Saanich is pastoral, languid and relaxing on a sunny Saturday morning. That is, until you head up Island View Road to check out Tonolli’s Deli at East Saanich Road and face a traffic jam in the deli’s small parking lot. Jolted out of my post-beach stroll with child and dog, I am determined to get parking pronto and see why so many people are eager to be there. Inside, we are greeted with sumptuous plenty. There are small, multi-tiered tables dotted with Eastern European candies, wrapped chocolate and salted licorice. Shelves hold eastern European ingredients for purchase. Freezers are packed with take-home lasagnas, goulash and cabbage rolls, borscht and much more. Display cases present housemade pastries and local meats. Crusty, hearty, housemade breads (gluten-free available on order) adorn the shelves. A menu spanning breakfast and lunch includes French Baked Eggs, two farm fresh eggs baked with white truffle cream, ham and melted cheese on toasted French bread. Lunches feature housemade breads and soups as well as grilled panini sandwiches. It is not a fancy space, but it is authentic, welcoming and inviting. The former Hill’s Chocolate location was cosmetically renovated. They opened up a wall to the retail area, increased the size of the kitchen and installed all new flooring, plumbing, appliances and paint, opening in November 2011. The pretty, clothed tables are full of people sipping coffee and tucking into Hungarian crêpes filled with ricotta and lemon and lightly sprinkled with sugar. Tonolli’s is a humming, busy space and I am swept up in the welcoming vibe. I want to try everything. I do my best. I start off with a sampling of desserts: a florentine, a chocolate éclair, German apple cake, gluten-free chocolate tart, lemon tart. While I’m placing my order, my four-year-old dining companion turns off the ground level freezer power switch. Sue McCarten, co-owner, smiles brightly. “Not the first time, not the last. Silly place to put the power switch.” Sue and her sister Anita Tonolli have always worked together. The deli is named after Anita’s Italian father-in-law “who passed away just after we opened. He loved to cook and made great family meals, which I had the privilege to be invited to.” My éclair’s centre is a mix of custard (whose organic eggs come from Omnivore Acres eggs), whipped cream and organic vanilla. It is delicious. The florentine has slightly roasted almonds and the chocolate is divine but does not eclipse the slightly chewy and toasted almond base. The almonds take a perfect centre stage. The gluten-free chocolate tart is decadent and satisfying. The lemon tart, the “senior’s cocaine,” is unusual. Unlike the common lemon tart, the shell had structure, firmness and sweetness. Cont’d on the next page
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Dress for the Occasion Distributed by Dovre Import & Export Ltd. p: 800.370.3850 | e: email@example.com | www.dovreimport.com 13931 Bridgeport Road | Richmond, BC V6V 1J6
m a de i n m a i n e | stonewallkitchen.com
EAT MAGAZINE JULY | AUGUST 2014
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Exceptional. But it is the German apple cake that has me. The top is slightly crusted, sugar-sprinkled. The body is moist and the small pieces of apple are sweet and al dente. It is a little sweet, a little doughy, and the delicate crunch of sugar combines for a fantastic cake. We enjoy some smoked turkey and vegetable soup for dessert. The stock and meat are Four Quarters smoked turkey. It is housemade and tastes like someone who loves you a lot made it just for you. We follow this with lasagna and a piece of something called Two Castle Bread. Sue’s husband Murray McCarten went to Akademie Deutsches Bäckerhandwerk in Weinheim, Germany. He spent five weeks learning how to make many different kinds of German breads and cakes. The bread, with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, rye and wheat flours, is crusty, dense and moist. The seeds add flavour and texture when toasted. “That lasagna sits perfectly,” says Sue. “The secret is the mollisana lasagne noodles, roasted Roma tomatoes in the homemade sauce and finally our own freshly made ricotta cheese that I make with homo milk. The cheese is a mozzarella/Edam mix, with a little piave grated in.” Dense, rich, flavourful and easy. With a salad and done! Dinner. So impressive when you want to eat great food at home and not make it. Tonolli’s is about tradition, slow food, real food, real people. And real recipes. Sue McCarten’s favourite recipes are her grandmother’s. As well, she is translating a handwritten, 110-year-old Hungarian recipe book she received from her son’s friend who is second-generation Hungarian-Canadian. It is a pleasure to have found this exquisite space, and I can’t encourage you more to go explore Europe on an empty stomach. Also, by the time this is in print, they will have received their new gelato case to offer up 12 gelatos for the summer. BY GILLIE EASDON
Saaz 535 Yates St #103, Victoria | 778.433.7229 | saazrestaurant.com Jay Mannava swirls a thin layer of batter across the hot griddle, the concentric circles growing to form a large lacey crepe. This is the basis of a masala dosa, a South Indian treat that’s rare to find on the island. “I have customers who come from Nanaimo for dosas,” says Mannava, chef and manager at newly opened Saaz Restaurant & Lounge in downtown Victoria. Dosas are a particular addiction of mine — a dish I have craved since arriving in Victoria more than a year ago — and this is apparently the only place to have it. Made with a fermented batter of urad dal, idli rice and rice flour, ground to a paste, Mannava’s dosas are gluten-free and just as addictive as the crisp crepes I first ate in India. With co-owner Rajesh Gupta, Mannava opened Saaz in December, in the downtown Yates Street space that housed the former Curry Lounge. Tucked down a hallway, behind the historic building’s façade, Saaz is a bit challenging to find, but Mannava hopes the strains of hip Hindi music will attract customers. The offstreet room has a fresh look, too, the exposed dark beams and brick walls updated with contemporary furnishings, red banquettes and a new bar. The menu ranges from traditional Indian dishes to Mannava’s inventive creations, from a crispy fried Brussels sprouts appetizer to jackfruit masala with tomatoes and mustard, and Portobello mushrooms with sweet red peppers and fenugreek cream. His specialty is beef short ribs, marinated in red wine and simmered with ginger and garlic for seven hours, but you’ll also find excellent renditions of classic dishes, from butter chicken to eggplant bharta. Mannava arrived in Victoria four years ago, from his home in Hyderabad, India, via Vancouver. The former systems analyst caught the culinary bug while working with Nando’s Chicken, and was inspired by his mother’s cooking to bring south Indian flavours to the island. You’ll find some traditional Hyderabadi foods on the menu — fish curries cooked south Indian style with coconut milk and rice biryanis with chicken or lamb — though Mannava says his British patrons have a fondness for the goat curry. The naan bread arrives perfectly crisp and fluffy from the tandoor oven, and there’s also a daily lunch buffet ($12). But I always come back for the dosas. Have a plain dosa as a light appetizer, folded and served with lentil sambhar and coconut chutney for dipping. Or choose the masala dosa, stuffed and rolled around a tasty potato and onion filling, spiced with chilies, turmeric and kalonji seeds. Mannava’s crisp lentil crepes are made to order and large enough to split as appetizer or have as part of a larger Indian meal. But believe me, once you try these ethereal and addictive pancakes, you won’t want to share! BY CINDA CHAVITCH
www.eatmagazine.ca JULY | AUGUST 2014
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EATING WELL FOR LESS
By Elizabeth Monk
Resort, Deli, Market
THREE VERY DIFFERENT VENUES WITH ONE THING IN COMMON: CREATIVE AND AFFORDABLE FOOD.
Point No Point 10829 West Coast Rd., Shirley BC, 250-646-2020
The restaurant at the intimate Point No Point Resort is romance personified. Two small dining rooms open up to sweeping views of blue-grey sea and sky. So dramatic is the landscape, and so within the realm of possibility is a whale sighting, that each table has a set of binoculars. Lunch options run from simple to elegant. In the $12 range is the sandwich special of the day. Mine was a chipotle mayo BLT on a slender, housemade baguette. Soup of the day, which is included, could be something interesting like the lentil, spinach and almond soup I had. Move into the $15 range, and the magic really starts to happen. Grilled Marinated Salmon with Brie and Parsnip Strudel is a beautiful pastry gift-wrapped in a flourish of greens and topped with a creamy horseradish mousse, abutted by a slice of juicy barbecued salmon. The crispy confit of chicken leg with cassoulet, brandied cherry sauce and shaved Parmesan goes for the same price. And vegetarian options are certainly available; the vegetarian quesadilla for $12 is a soft and delicious medley of roasted organic Queensland Blue squash, aged Cheddar, edamame beans and pumpkin seeds. The dessert feature of carrot cake for $4 is imbued with as much flavour as it is history, for it was on the first menu when the current owners started serving simple lunches here in 1982. My focus has been the Point No Point lunches, in keeping with the Eating Well for Less criteria. However, my true vision for appreciating this place in its entirety is three days spent in one of its oceanview cabins (one with a hot tub on the deck, of course), the day punctuated by fabulous lunches and dinners in its restaurant. Point No Point is a very special experience.
EAT MAGAZINE JULY | AUGUST 2014
POINT NO POINT: Grilled Marinated Wild Salmon with Brie and Parsnip Strudel and horseradish mousse. View from the restaurant over the Juan de Fuca Straight.
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Owner Yaseer Youseff holding a large whole wheat Naan. inset: Beef Shawarma with creamy tahini sauce, mixed peppers, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, parsley and pickled turnip on whole wheat pita.
Fig Delicatessen 1551 Cedar Hill Cross Rd. near Shelbourne, 250-727-3632 Have you driven by Mediterranean Specialty Foods on Quadra Street lately and found it, well, not to be found? Fear not. It has merely moved, expanded and blossomed into Fig Delicatessen on Cedar Hill Cross Road. The new space features row upon row of dry goods, an olive bar, a refrigerated case for cheeses and dips and, an exciting new addition, a stone oven. Out of this oven come Mediterranean pizzas called â€œmanoushis,â€? which are traditionally rolled up and eaten as breakfast in the Middle East. The bubbly, airy bread bases have different toppings: Zaatar Manoushi for $3.75 is topped with oil and sprinkled with a dark green traditional herb mix; Cheese Manoushi for $4.50 is covered with haloumi cheese, a salty, tangy blend of goat, cow and sheep cheese; and Meat Manoushi for $4.95 is sprinkled with ground beef and lamb mixed with red pepper paste and onion, and spritz of lemon. Salads range in price depending on size and make a nice accompaniment to the manoushis. The tabouli is just the way I like it: mainly parsley and plenty of lemon. Fattoush is a green salad tossed with red onions, yellow and red pepper, cucumber andâ€”the Middle Eastâ€™s answer to croutonsâ€”pieces of toasted pita. Finally, Fig fills a necessary niche in Victoria by making shawarmas every day for $7. The shawarma meat is a top round cut of beef marinated overnight in coriander, cumin, cardamom and crushed chilis. Shavings of this are stuffed into a pita with tahini sauce, lemon, cumin and, for crunch, lettuce and pickled turnip. You can take any of the above home, sit on tables in a clearing by some of the dry goods or enjoy the patio in the summer.
!"# $% & '()*% & '() $+$++ www.eatmagazine.ca JULY | AUGUST 2014
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GOOD FOOD IS WITHIN RANGE Wrangle up some friends and head down to Vista 18! 18 Our menu oﬀers oﬀers fresh, local, ﬂavours from the Wild West Coast.
Chef Leana Meyer holding up two Dungeness crabs. inset: Fish & Chips, Popcorn shrimp, Mussels Braised in Phillips Ginger Beer.
Cowichan Bay Seafood 1701 Douglas St. at the Hudson Market, 778-433-4385
Photgraph by Stéphane Rambaud
EAT MAGAZINE JULY | AUGUST 2014
At the Hudson Market grand opening, I seem to remember one or two menu items at Cowichan Bay Seafood. A couple of months later, a couple more. And now, the chalkboard at the seafood-store-cumcasual restaurant is full of options: chowder, cioppino, tacos, mussels, popcorn shrimp, fish and chips and more. The fish and chips are my new favourite in town, with a coating as light as air and halibut as moist as an ocean breeze. The batter is gluten-free and made with what turns out to be an airy concoction of chick pea flour, rice flour and club soda. One piece with chips is $11.50 for sockeye and $13 for halibut. The popcorn shrimp cleverly bridges children and adult tastes. If you ask me, popcorn shrimp are the potato chip of seafood—a totally addictive snack when done well. These have plenty of crunch thanks to cornmeal and are sassed up for more adventuresome adults with a choice of chipotle or wasabi aioli as a dip. A small is $7 and a large is $13. Menu items for the more sophisticated palate include Mussels Braised in Phillips Ginger Beer. The sauce is definitely gingery yet grounded by the earthier flavours of caramelized onions and roasted garlic. These go for $8 for half a pound and $12 for a pound. The tacos for $10.99 are just as complex, with sockeye or halibut tossed with lime, cilantro and a red cabbage coleslaw steeped in apple cider vinegar. Chef Leana Meyer is Red Seal certified and it shows. She also used to be a buyer at Albion Fisheries. That, too, shows in the fresh-from-the-sea flavours and creative offerings. E
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BUON APPETITO! And you will at any one of Victoria’s fine Italian restaurants. Words by Joseph Blake Photography by Rebecca Wellman
FELL IN LOVE WITH ITALIAN CUISINE during extended visits to Rome, Tuscany and Sicily. In Italy, long, leisurely meals of traditional dishes sourced from nearby farms and fields were sumptuous, joyous feasts. There’s a reason why the Slow Food Movement was founded and thrives in Italy. Food and dining are central to the culture, and I wanted to experience meals like that at home in Canada. Luckily, Victoria has a wealth of wonderful Italian restaurants. My favourites range from formal to casual dining, but all share a warmth and familial charm as well as menu offerings based upon traditional recipes and regional sources. In 1999, Jo and Peter Zambri opened a tiny bistro in a non-descript strip mall behind London Drugs on Yates Street called Zambri’s. A couple of years ago, when they moved their restaurant down Yates to architect Frank D’Ambrosio’s beautifully designed Atrium, they managed to keep their original restaurant’s warmth and charm in a much larger, urbane and elegant space. Zambri’s menu continues to be inspired by the years Peter spent working in Italian kitchens, his family’s traditional recipes and the finest locally sourced ingredients. Recently, after relaxing at a table in Zambri’s indoor patio with a Broken Negroni cocktail (Cinzano Rosso, Cynar Amaro, Prosecco), I enjoyed a meal of crispy oysters with frisee and smoked paprika mayonnaise, a share of my wife’s large Caesar salad and penne with smoked salmon, capers and cream while sipping a glass of Gavi di Gavi from the Piedmont. Simple, yet rich and delicious. Silvia Marcolini and Greg Hays have created another of my local favourites at Cafe Brio. The restaurant’s bright yellow exterior and verdant patio entrance, just steps away from Fort Street traffic, feels like a trip to the Italian countryside. Once inside Brio, the married couple’s warmth accentuates these romantic echoes of the old country. A large collection of paintings by local artists lines the brightly coloured walls, the room’s lighting and the enticing scents emanating from chef Laurie Munn’s farm-to-table kitchen all create a magical atmosphere. Silvia won over our hearts more than two decades ago when she took our new baby in her arms and entertained her while my wife and I shared our first post-birth, romantic meal. That night, Silvia brought us a plate of Olives Ascolane, her mother’s stuffed olive specialty, as an appetizer. Since then we’ve always ordered it to begin our meals at Cafe Brio. During Victoria’s warm season we dine al fresco on the patio. When dining with a large group of friends, we reserve one of the enclosed
During Victoria’s warm season we dine al fresco on the patio. 22
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tables that flank the front door. And we invariably take our time, Italianstyle, enjoying chef Munnâ€™s inspired offerings of local duck, pork and seafood. Il Terrazzo is another local favourite, a classy room with adjacent patio dining hidden down an alley off lower Johnson Street. A knowledgeable, attentive staff provide great service. There is a well-curated wine list and a menu that plays on traditional Italian dishes like cannelloni stuffed with pulled pork, mozzarella, cabbage and apples. Other personal favourites are Pollo Apollonia, panroasted chicken breast with prawns, scallops, bacon, tomatoes, garlic, basil and Marsala wine served with three-cheese fusilli, and Scallopine de Mailale, a pankobreaded pork tenderloin. In season, the seafood offerings are particularly tasty. From the first bites of the warm bread and olive tapenade to the evening-capping espresso, Il Terrazzo provides a consistently note-perfect fine dining experience. Fiamo is a relatively new spot, casual and reasonably priced. The narrow, brickwalled, split-level bistro on lower Yates Street has a rustic atmosphere, personable service and large portions of artisanal pizza, pasta, salads and specials like ahi tuna steaks and roasted leg of lamb. Butternut squash-stuffed ravioli with goat cheese, pasta carbonara with pancetta and free-range eggs, and seafood risotto with prawns, Contâ€™d on the next page
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mussels, squid and halibut are some of the dishes I’ve enjoyed at Fiamo. There’s a good selection of Italian and B.C. wines on offer by the glass and a hip, playful buzz at the bar. Prima Strada has a new location in Rock Bay, but I still love their original Cook Street Village venue. It’s a top-notch, casual joint for family meals. Caputo Neapolitan flour is baked to smoky, thincrust perfection in their wood-fired pizza oven. Topped with salumi made by Oak Bay’s Whole Beast and Prima Strada’s own homemade sausage and pepperoni, these pizzas are a meat eater’s dream. I also love the Margherita pizza, a simple gem featuring tomato, basil and mozzarella de buffalo from the water buffalo herd at Fairburn Farm in Cowichan Valley. There are several insalate and antipasti offerings and six Italian desserts on a menu that also includes selected beers and Italian wine by the glass.
Honourable Mentions: Padella for chef Kyle Gignal’s fresh pasta dishes and an excellent list of B.C. and Italian wines. Catalano for its spacious, elegant ambiance, clever cocktails and delicious cicchetti (Italian tapas). Pagliacci’s for the Siegel brothers’ long tenure,
atmosphere, and the menu’s long-standing DiFore family recipes.
Zambri’s, 820 Yates St., 250-360-1171 Cafe Brio, 944 Fort St., 250-383-0009 Il Terrazzo, 555 Johnson St., 250-361-0028 Fiamo, 515 Yates St., 250-388-5824 Prima Strada, 230 Cook St., 250-590-8595 Padella, 2524 Estevan Ave., 250-592-7424 Catalano, 621 Courtney St., 250-480-1824 Pagliacci’s, 1011 Broad St., 250-386-1662
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Photos 1,2,3| ZAMBRIS |Eggplant cannoli – fior Di latte cheese, tomato scented with cumin, mint and chilis. Jo and Peter Zambri. Spot prawns, fried sage, green pepper passata, seared ling cod 4, 5 | IL TERRAZZO | Cozze - Steamed mussels with sundried tomatoes, spicy banana peppers, roasted garlic, red onion, fresh cilantro, white wine, fresh lime, asiago cheese and cream. Shellie and Mike Gudgeon 6, 7 | Prima Strada | Quattro stazione, Cristen DeCarolis and Geoffrey Dallas 8 | Cafe Brio | House made salumi selection, house brined olives and house made mustards, mortadella, Brio prosciutto, rhubarb veal and pork mosaic. 9, 10 | FIAMO | Notorious R.I.B. - Roasted rabbit, stuffed with chicken, wrapped in prosciutto with crispy grilled fennel arancini, roasted paddy pans, black radish ‘slaw and maple mustard sauce. Chef James Avila.
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EAT SPECIAL PROMOTION
Bike. Eat. Shop. Sidney! Fantastic cycling, bustling cafés and unique shopping make Sidney a destination for a perfect day out.
idney could soon be known as the biking and café-culture destination for cycling enthusiasts of Greater Victoria. Walk around Sidney any morning and you will find the coffee shops bustling with conversation and laughter and a stack of bikes outside. Why bike to Sidney? For starters, the Lochside Regional Trail is a picturesque 29KM trail that stretches from Victoria to Swartz Bay. Cyclists pass by beaches, farmlands and suburban neighbourhoods. The trail is mostly flat and is made up of paved paths and compressed gravel. As you approach the vibrant seaside Town of Sidney, passing by Tulista Park along the ocean you can ride straight ahead to downtown Sidney, full of boutique shops, restaurants, attractions and outdoor activities such as whale watching, kayaking from Glass Beach and fishing from the historic pier. Once you have arrived you must reward yourself with a refreshment break! Cyclists pack the many coffee shops in Sidney all day long and spots such as Toast encourage group gatherings with long family style tables (inside and outside) to inspire conversation and provide opportunities to meet new riders. Stepping inside Toast Café you may feel as though you have walked in to a hipster café in Portland. Serving up locally roasted coffee and thoughtfully homemade baked goods the fun and efficient team at Toast know what their customers want. If you are lucky enough to drop in on a Wednesday you must try their Wicked Thai Chicken soup (and yes all soup comes with toast!). Along with everything else you come to expect at a great café you will also find plenty of gluten free and vegan options on offer. There is even a spot for the wee ones to have some down time and if you prefer to park yourself on a couch, well they have those too. The options for your daily caffeine fix are in abundance in Sidney. Cruise down Beacon Avenue, park your ride at one of the many newly installed bike racks and peruse your options. Sidney has it all on offer for the coffee connoisseur from Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Serious Coffee to the independent and proudly locally owned cafes such as Red Brick, Stone Street, Lunn’s Bakery & Coffee Shop and Alexander’s Coffee Bar. Another reason to bike to Sidney is the unique and surprising shopping experience that awaits you. The savvy shop owners in Sidney know how to keep their customers who turn up on 2-wheels happy. If you have a significant purchase some shop owners will often personally deliver your items for you right to your front door. Now that is seriously fabulous customer service, right? Did I mention the five uniquely independent bookshops? Again, Sidney reminds me just a little of Portland. All of these cyclists rely on trusty bike shops to keep them running smoothly. Russ Hays Bicycle Shop located on Bevan Avenue opened its doors in the mid 70’s and hasn’t stopped since. Owner and hands-on Manager Connor Conley is open on Sundays for a good reason, they can see up to 30 walk-in repairs on a busy Sunday. Russ Hays is open seven days a week to service the growing needs of the biking community in Sidney. Only a few minutes from the core of Sidney is The Flight Path that encircles the Victoria International Airport. This 9.3KM trail offers both novice and expert cyclists a great opportunity for exercise and to take-in the scenic views of the Saanich Peninsula. You really must come out to Sidney by bike and see what all the rage is about. Don’t forget your pocket money as the culinary offerings and the boutique shopping experience Eat Mag Ad • Size x 2.25” • Final visit File www.distinctlysidney.ca • June 03/14 completes the perfect day 4.375” out, by wide bike! For morehigh information
Enjoy freshly baked goods and Umbria Coffee every day of the week 7am-6pm If you cycle by around noon, check out our lunch time made-to-order sandwich tube!
9805 Seaport Place Sidney, BC
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Portland Craft 3835 Main St. | 604.569.2494 | www.portlandcraft.com With the craft beer explosion that has rocked Vancouver over the last year or two, it would seem that anything made outside of B.C.’s borders just wouldn’t stand a chance against the onslaught of local micro- and even nano-breweries. It seems, however, that Vancouverites are willing to give the nod to their American forerunners and celebrate the many artisan brews that come out of the state of Oregon. Portland Craft, as the name might suggest, caters to those believers in a big way. With almost 20 beers on tap, plus another 10 or so in bombers and growlers, it’s an excellent rotating selection that includes the likes of Occidental, Skagit River, No-Li, Diamond Knot and Basecamp. The wine list isn’t a big focus, obviously, but a few respectable reds and whites, like the Lakebreeze gewürtz or the Hester Creek merlot, do make the list. Cocktails are heavy on the bourbon (there’s a very good selection of the latter, including a flight offering of any four for $10.25). And, while the hops are from south of the border, the food is as locally and sustainably sourced as is possible in Vancouver. Most of the produce, for instance, comes via Inner City Farms from local backyard producers. The food is well-paired to the beer offerings, but stands well on its own as well. Buttery green beans with lemon and pepper ($4) get inhaled by the child, as does the steelhead trout tartare. We fought over it, in fact, and I ended up ordering another one for myself—which, at five dollars a plate,
1715 Government Street 250.475.6260 www.lecole.ca firstname.lastname@example.org
Dinner 5:30 - 11 pm Tuesday to Saturday
wasn’t onerous. The frites ($6) are excellent and paired with roasted garlic aioli or a housemade ketchup. As for larger dishes, don’t miss the braised pork belly ($9) with roasted shallots and fingerling potatoes. The excellent fattiness is cut perfectly by grainy mustard and sweet roasted shallots. Burgers aren’t usually cause for a rave, but this one ($14) is a doozy, ground in-house and topped with basil, pickled beets and aged cheddar. It’s bold and big, a definite two-fister that demands serious attention. Even seasonal desserts, like the apple-rhubarb crumble, reinforce the fact that cross-border friendships can be a match made in heaven. BY ANYA LEVYKH
Rain or Shine Ice Cream 102-1926 West 4 Ave. | 604.428.7246 | www.rainorshineicecream.com Some people only eat ice cream in the hot summer months. I am not one of those people. Gelato, sorbetto or good old-fashioned milk and cream make an excellent finish to any meal. One of the latest purveyors of classic cool is Rain or Shine in Kitsilano. Opened by industry neophytes (and spouses) Josie Fenton and Blair Casey, it’s a classic ice cream shop with a very modern and sustainable ethos. The room is clean, bright and built with reclaimed wood from the Olympic Village, antique milk bottles and random kitsch like the “unicorn” bull on one wall (yes, that is a waffle cone on top of his head). Counter service is cheery and knowledgeable, and the goods are available by the scoop or pint.
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Butcher ... A Cut Above
The sustainable ethos rules the menu as well. Most of the ingredients are local/ethical, organic, seasonal and sustainable. Blueberries come from Driediger Farms, balsamic vinegar reduction from Vancouver Olive Oil and stout is sourced from Brassneck Brewery. Add in the lack of chemical additives
or emulsifiers, and you have some seriously good product. The ice cream is dense and expressive, and the 15 rotating flavours (10 of which are available year-
round) give you the chance to find your perfect pairing. Highlights included blueberry balsamic and the brown butter snickerdoodle (really). Can’t decide? Order a flight of any four flavours for $9. Pints are
Specialty Products & Condiments
the same price. Try to come on a Tuesday, because Rain or Shine is the first ice cream shop in Vancouver to throw their crème into a taco. Yes, that’s right, an ice cream waffle taco for $6, with a variety of toppings. (Did I mention everything, including the cones and tacos, is made in-house?) And speaking of toppings, these are stellar. Hot fudge and caramel sauce are standard offerings, but candied hazelnuts? Buckwheat honey? Fig balsamic reduction? I think not. Honey lavender with toffee
2577 Cadboro Bay Road,VICTORIA
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brittle and the hazelnuts one night sent me into a swoon. And, lest we forget those with special diets, there are several vegan flavours, as well as a gluten-free cone for those watching their wheat intake. BY ANYA LEVYKH
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VINCABULARY By Treve Ring
It’s easy to mistake cabernet franc for cabernet sauvignon lite. On paper, all signs point that way. Cab franc buds and ripens early than cab sauv, it’s lighter in tannins, colour and body than the king of grapes, and typically matures earlier in the bottle. Mais non in reality, cab franc predates and even begat the king, as cabernet sauvignon is a cross between parents cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc. While the peppery, perfumed and finessed franc can certainly hold its own, it is often selected to play a supporting, rather than starring role. It has proven to be an excellent blending partner to its heir, especially when accompanied by merlot, as in Bordeaux and Meritage blends. Here, the green tinged raspberry, herbal tobacco, cassis and leafy notes add a fresh and lifted seasoning note to the blend. Dependable franc is considered viticultural insurance in the vineyard, ripening in cooler years when cabernet sauvignon won’t. The grape is well accustomed to cooler climates; it was found in France’s Loire Valley in the 17th century, planted at the Abbey of Bourgueil under the care of Abbot Breton (Breton is one synonym for the grape). Cabernet Franc is an indie darling of many BC winemakers, who appreciate the complementary savoury and herbal notes of this characterful blue-black grape.
Little Farm Winery Rosé 2013 Similkameen Valley, BC *$25 13% All a rosé should be: pure, bright and vibrant. This single vineyard, 100% cab franc beauty should be your go-to pink this year. Wild strawberry and tangerine aromas lead to fragrant cherries, dried sage and dusty, stony spice.
Oveja Negra Cabernet Franc / Carménère Reserva 2011 Valle del Maule, Chile *$16 13.5% Carménère supports in this satisfying and complete mouthfilling blend, with sundried cherry, salted olives, tobacco, bramble and bacon notes.
Synchromesh Wines Tertre Rouge 2011, Turtle Rock Farms Naramata, Okanagan Valley, BC *$35 13.8% From a single vineyard above the Naramata Bench comes this expressive cab franc/merlot blend with black cherry, spicy cassis, sun ripened tomato, dark chocolate, roasted coffee and fragrant blackberry.
Bernard Baudry Les Grézeaux 2010 Chinon AC, Loire, France $33.50 13% Iconic producer. 50+ year old vines, fermented in concrete and aged in neutral barrels, yields alluring (and charmingly funky) notes of sand, cassis, cherry, earth and pencil lead. Clay clad tannins end with great spice and length.
RESINOUS Inniskillin Cabernet Franc 2011 Niagara Peninsula, Ontario $14 13.5% The herbaceous vein that cab franc can veer to is in full effect here, though not to its detriment. Fresh and spicy, with pine branch, bing cherry, tart cranberry and tobacco leaf on the finish.
STRUCTURED Paradigm Cabernet Franc 2009 Oakville, Napa Valley, California *$75 14.3% A beautifully rich and structured Napa red, with deep and ripe cassis, cracked black pepper and herbal thorns balanced out over a supple, complete palate.
award-winning, innovative, island-sourced cuisine fisgard str eet, victoria 509 fisgard street, ulla.ca
*Asterisks denote wines that are only available at the winery or select private liquor stores.
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Responding to the shifting sands of demographics and economics, restaurants are reinventing themselves more quickly than ever before. By Tim Pawsey
Moss St. Market
with over 25 local organic farmers MossStreetMarket.com The soon to be rebranded Le Parisien on Denman Street.
he t h c t Ca
r e m S u mo o Un Fu N! R f O Or
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ome restaurants endure without change for decades. Perhaps that’s even their strength. Think Hy’s as a, well, prime example. But in an ever-more rapidly evolving world prone to fad and fashion, the pressure to yield to change is greater than ever. Early in May I found myself at Bistro Pastis on West 4th Avenue in Vancouver. The occasion was the bistro’s 15th anniversary, for which owner John Blakeley threw a celebratory reception followed by dinner, with each course prepared by a different chef—including himself. It was a soirée well attended by media and a crowd of appreciative regulars. I doubt any one gave much thought to the restaurant’s more formal origins—as fine dining Pastis—very much the destination West Side French room whose white-linen persona, just a few years after he established it, Blakeley shifted to the more laidback Bistro Pastis. At what point does it make sense to fold up the tent and move on, either figuratively or literally? A couple of years ago, Blakeley bought Bistro Paris on Denman (once the hallowed Café de Paris, where he worked when “fresh off the boat”) and reshaped it into Le Parisien. At the time, says Blakeley, it just seemed the right thing to do. But he admits quite candidly that his timing and style in launching the restaurant two years ago may not have been precisely right. And Blakeley now says it’s time for yet another change. If all goes according to plan, by mid-June Le Parisien and all that it echoes from past incarnations will have disappeared. “When I took over, it was an institution that had been around since 1977. It was damaged and run down. The idea of restoring the West End’s classic French bistro under a revitalized name and look seemed like a no-brainer,” he says. “But unfortunately the message we put across was not what the West End has become or what people are looking for. Even though the business plan was right, even with the fresh new look and everything else, our execution was wrong. We were too formal, right down to our staff uniforms. We even wound up attracting our clientele from Pastis—which was not the plan!”
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When we talked, Blakeley had yet to completely finalize Le Parisien’s new name (“It will be something French, though not totally French,” he says*. Nevertheless, he is moving ahead on several fronts to reopen his new concept by mid-summer. It’s the golden rule of business, any business, Blakeley says. “The bottom line is: if it’s not working, you have to change.” Among those who’d concur is Angus An, who originally opened then cutting-edge Gastropod. The only trouble was, despite rave reviews, An’s inspired molecular cuisine and sous-vide specialties were not appealing to that broad a base. In short, Gastropod’s timing was off. And, further buffeted by the double whammy of a fast-moving recession, the restaurant’s chances of success looked bleaker by the week. An and his Thai-born wife Kate Auewattanakorn quickly put “plan B” into play. Rapidly reworking the room and drawing on their London experience with legendary David Thompson (of Nahm fame), they relaunched with Maenam as a destination, contemporary Thai room— something they felt Vancouver was lacking—in just three weeks. The rest, you could say, is history. (Other rebrandings, such as Gastropod’s neighbour Fuel into the far-lessformal Refuel proved less successful, prompting owners Robert Belcham and Tom Doughty to focus fully on Campagnolo.) John Blakeley struggled long and hard before deciding to diverge from the path first taken almost 40 years ago at Café de Paris. But he’s convinced that Vancouver—and the West End in particular—is ready for a quantum shift away from the classic bistro style of the original café and its various successors that led to Le Parisien. A major part of the new look includes the first restaurant patio to be located in a West End commercial lane. After an eighteen-month City of Vancouver approval process, the new 35-seat, south-facing terrace will open in time for peak summer—and well beyond. “I think it will make a big impact,” says Blakeley, who says the final design will be well suited to more year-round use. Inside, the room will also sport an entirely new feel, with more of a lounge setting, windows that open right onto Denman, and servers in less defined uniforms than the classic bistro black and white. The look has changed. And the demographics have changed—a lot,” he says.
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“It’s all about the new style of Vancouver, which is way more casual than we were used to 15 years ago,”
There’ll also be “more atmosphere” and activity to “add some buzz,” likely in the form of an oyster bar. “It’s all about the new style of Vancouver, which is way more casual than we were used to 15 years ago,” says the restaurateur. And that goes also for the menu. “We’ll have a bistro style but much more snacks, appetizers and small plates. All under $20. Anything more than that just doesn’t work in the West End any more,” suggests Blakeley, pointing to nearby Nook, España and a clutch of popular Asian rooms. Not to mention newly unwrapped Fat Badger (while hardly a makeover), a British inspired “gastro pub” in the old home occupied by long-running but now vanished—and once unswervingly formal—Le Gavroche. E * At press time John Blakeley announced the new name will be Left Bank
local customer appreciation Monday to Thursday in May, *ask for details during your visit
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Why Bitter is Better
By Cinda Chavich
Whether it’s high-cacao chocolate, artisan cocktail bitters or alpha-hoppy beer, North Americans are embracing bitterness.
’m standing amongst a maze of hessian sacks in the Temple of Hops, literally immersed in the sweet, earthy aroma of a flower that is the bitter essence of beer. Here, in the warm attic of one of the many traditional hop storehouses in the picturesque Czech town of Zatec, it’s the noble variety of Saaz hops that’s celebrated, a mild aromatic hop that has made Czech Pilsner one of the world’s most famous beers. Over a few giant mugs of golden lager and a massive knuckle of beer-braised pork in the museum restaurant, brewing advisor Jiri Vent explains how an ancient culture first uncovered the magic of Bohemian hops. “From this area, beer with hops came to Europe,” he says, describing the region’s earliest inhabitants—Homo lupulus or “the hop people”—who discovered, more than 1,000 years ago, that adding the cones of wild hops to their brews would preserve them, while adding a unique bitter flavour. “Bavarian and Czech beers are tasty—this is the simple reason.” That taste, the bitterness that comes from lupulin (alpha and beta acids) in hops, is both antibacterial and calming. It’s used to preserve beer and is a natural sedative, which may explain why that first beer after work tastes so good. But it doesn’t explain our current obsession with double-hopped IPAs and other extremely bitter flavours.
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Whether it’s punchy green olive oils, high-cacao artisan chocolate or shots of double espresso before breakfast, North Americans are embracing bitterness. According to Sensient Flavors, a company that produces flavours for the food industry, bitter flavours are hot, with both Fernet (a bitter Italian digestif) and Willamette Hop listed among the top flavour trends for 2014. Here on the west coast, the land of hoppy craft beer, artisan cocktail bitters and kale Caesars (made with the bitter greens that grow year round here), is ground zero for bitter food fans. “The Victorian palate seems to have a natural affinity for tart and bitter things,” says Nate Caudle, bartender at Victoria’s Little Jumbo, where the bar nuts are flavoured with Fernet-Branca and the bittersweet Negroni is a popular aperitif. “Maybe it’s a backlash to the British culture of sweets, but what I hear most is: ‘Give me a cocktail with so-and-so spirits, not sweet.’” Whether it’s “potable bitters”—Italian amaros like Campari, Cynar, Aperol or Fernet-Branca—or “dashable” bitters like Angostura and Peychaud’s, the cocktail craft has embraced the world of bitters. Mixologists make their own bitter extracts or look to local products, from Victoria Spirits’ Bitter & Twisted line (orange, rosemarygrapefruit and black pepper bitters) to House Made Bitters, a small-batch maker of extracts ranging from grapefruit and lavender to sundried tomato and chocolate.
Lauren Mote, the Vancouver bartender behind the award-winning Bittered Sling cocktail bitters, says a bitter element, when used correctly, lifts other flavours in a drink or dish. “Bitterness adds depth and enhances flavour,” she says. “Think about a chocolate chip cookie. Vanilla extract, a bitter component, is necessary in the recipe so you can really taste the butter, sugar and chocolate.” Mote says her line of Bittered Sling extracts, created with partner and chef Jonathan Chovancek, are inspired by world cuisine and suitable for both cocktails and cooking, though cocktails, by definition, must include bitters. “Bitters are to cocktails what salt and pepper is to cooking,” Mote explains, describing the array of alcohol-based extracts as the “bartender’s spice rack.” “All of our bitters are extracts, but not all of our extracts are bitter,” she adds. Their spicy Plum & Rootbeer works with chocolate, in ice cream or to deglaze the pan when roasting beef, while the Grapefruit & Hops extract, a combination of bitter and herbaceous grapefruit with B.C. Cascade hops, boosts a Caipirinha or Margarita with a double dose of citrus and adds zest to shellfish dishes. “Or just add a dash to sparkling water for a healthy, refreshing drink,” says Mote. “These ingredients are incredibly good for you.” Which may be another reason why health-conscious west coasters are eschewing sweet and embracing bitter. Bitter tonics have long been prescribed for health, whether it’s the stomach-settling properties of Jägermeister or the digestive stimulus of a Campari aperitif. It’s the bitter-tasting carotenoids, flavonoids and polyphenols in spinach, cranberries, dark chocolate and kale that make them good for us, the bitter flavour itself stimulating taste receptors that signal the stomach to produce gastric acid and digestive enzymes. Herbalists say bitters are fat burners and should be part of every meal, either in the form of bitter greens or tonics containing artichoke, dandelion and other bitter herbs. Bitter compounds stimulate the liver, stomach and gall bladder, enhance digestion and even act as antidepressants. In Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, bitter melon is used to balance blood sugar levels, fight bacteria and detoxify the liver—bitter yin to the yang of sweets. Conventional wisdom holds that bitterness is nature’s way of warning us against ingesting poisonous plants, but it’s not a theory that stands up to scrutiny says island chef and wild plant expert Bill Jones, author of The Deerholme Foraging Book. It’s wise to avoid wild foods that taste extremely bitter, he says, as it may signal the presence of toxins. But bitterness is also a sign that fruits are simply underripe and just not ready to eat. “Sugars equal energy so it makes sense that prehistoric people would choose sweet, ripe berries and young shoots over bitter plants,” says Jones. Still, bitter foods are essential. “Bitter can be overused,
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like hot chilies, but it can also add excitement to a dish. All of my cooking has to achieve a balance of sweet, sour, salty and bitter.” If bitterness is bothersome, it can be tamed by cooking. Jones says grilling is a great way to cook bitter greens. whether it’s Chinese gai lan or Italian radicchio, the high heat caramelizes sugars while the char acts as a foil to bitter flavours. Adding salt enhances sweetness and suppresses bitterness, too, and fat or dairy can mellow bitter tastes. So brush those Asian greens with miso or serve your radicchio with sea salt and a bit of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Some say the new love of bitterness is evidence that our palates are maturing, moving from things like sweet sodas to dry wines, from cheap candy to quality chocolate. Others see the highly hopped, bitter beer trend as the complete opposite—an immature kind of macho extremism, akin to recent hot sauce or extreme sour fads. But there’s no doubt bitterness is big in the brewing world. Many craft brewers now publish the IBU (international bittering units) number on the labels of their hoppiest brews. Hopheads tally up IBUs and debate the merits of “super-alpha” hop varieties like Apollo, Centennial and Summit. Brewers are pushing bittering ever higher in what’s been dubbed the “hops arms race.” And now, at 2500 IBUs, Barrie, Ontario’s Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery claims its Alpha-Fornication is the world’s hoppiest beer. Why? Perhaps small brewers and their fans are simply getting used to all of this bitterness. Bitter flavours in beer, coffee, olives, tea, even broccoli may taste strong and bitter to the uninitiated palate, but there’s evidence that your bitterness threshold increases as you consume more bitter food and drink. And bitterness, like sugar, may even become addictive. “When I began tasting these bitter IPAs I found even the lowest IBU beers shockingly strong,” says Victoria beer writer Joe Weibe. “But now I try them all and find each better and better.” Weibe says once you push past your bitterness threshold, “you stop tasting the bitter and you taste the other flavours behind it.” “You have to build your palate up, but then a whole new world opens up,” says Weibe. “Suddenly new sweet citrus flavours appear—tangerine, tropical fruit, sweet pink grapefruit—and you just want to come back for more.” While double- and triple-hopped IPAs are a North American phenomenon, now even Bohemian brewers are adding more bitterness to their beers. In Prague, where they say traditional Pilsner runs through the veins of every citizen (Czechs lead the world in per capita beer consumption), there’s a growing taste for hoppy international styles, too. “This is our American Pale Ale,” says Lukas Bakule, manager of Klášterní Pivovar Strahov (the Strahov Monastic Brewery), where a new generation of brewers has taken over where 13th-century monks left off. While traditional Pilsner, with local aromatic hops, is one of the 15 varieties they brew, bitter hops from around the world go into Prohibition Double IPA and APA (American Pale Ale). The latter approaches North American style, with “prolonged bitterness and fruity aroma,” but is nothing like the hoppy IPAs brewed here at home. Driftwood’s Fat Tug—the gold standard among Victoria’s IPAs—is loaded with citrusy, piney, grassy aromas and flavour, a favourite for hop lovers with 80+ IBUs. Nelson Brewing Company’s flagship is the organic Full Nelson Imperial IPA, at 90 IBUs, while Russell Brewery in Surrey makes Hop Therapy Double IPA (with 100 IBUs). Hoyne Brewing Co. offers Devil’s Dream IPA, loaded with Simcoe, Citra and Centennial hops, and Phillips’s lineup of hop-centric brews, sold in their Hop Box collections, include Jackalope IPA, Hop Circle IPA, Hoperation Tripel Cross and Amnesiac Double IPA. Driftwood’s latest offering, Twenty Pounder Double IPA, promises “an explosive ordinance of IBUs.” So we know where bittering began, but where will it end? This summer, Russell Brewery is returning to traditional roots with its Eastern Promises, an unpasteurized Czech-style Pilsner made with golden Vienna and Munich malts and milder Saaz hops. With just 50 IBUs, it’s closer to the Czech original, Pilsner Urquell. More bitterness is not always better, says Weibe, but it’s a flavour you can learn to love. “A well-made IPA is a complex beer that showcases a whole spectrum of flavours,” he says. “It’s a balancing act.” So pass the G&T’s, shake up the Negronis and pour the IPAs—a little bitter makes everything taste better! E
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SHITO POACHED PRAWNS Plantain & Bacon with Shito Mayo
Small Bites Party Food
t was a beautiful day when I headed out to Metchosin, where chef Castro Boateng was preparing a small feast for EAT. Boateng is a busy and talented man. He’s a chef, caterer, forager, cooking instructor, and a food stylist (recently he cooked a big roast of venison—that viewers are supposed to think could be a child!—for a scene in the TV series, Gracepoint, being shot in Oak Bay). Born in Ghana on the west coast of Africa, Boateng graduated from culinary school in Toronto and went on to work at numerous fine dining restaurants around the world, including Turnberry Resort in Scotland, the Fairmont Southampton Princess in Bermuda, the Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff, and the Aerie on Vancouver Island (where he was Executive Chef), before settling in Victoria to raise a family and dedicate himself to his own unique style of cuisine. Boateng describes his cooking as a mix of French, Scottish, Japanese, and German influences with a soupçon of spice from his African upbringing. “What I like about what I’m doing now,” says Boateng, “is I’m able to take local ingredients, like Albacore tuna, and still put in the flavours and spices that I’m accustomed to.” For this menu, we asked Boateng to create three dishes that can be served either family-style or as canapés at a cocktail party. To start, Boeteng prepared a distinctive bar snack comprised of exotic root vegetable chips, spiced cashews, avocado, and a tomato salsa. I was wowed. Up next were spoon-sized bites of spiced-cured Albacore tuna and salad with cumin dressing. He then prepared poached prawns with crispy bacon-breaded plantain with an African smoked shrimp mayo. I was impressed with Boateng’s culinary dexterity. Read on for Castro Boateng’s creative and modern recipes.
EAT MAGAZINE JULY | AUGUST 2014
with Castro Boateng
photographed by Lille Louise Major words by Gary Hynes
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SPICED CURED ALBACORE TUNA Carrot, Jicama & Orange Salad with Cumin dressing Serves 8 people 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon 2 tbsp ground turmeric 1 tbsp ground black pepper 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves 1 tsp cayenne pepper 3 tbsp vegetable oil 2 cloves garlic (chopped) 1 tbsp fresh ginger (chopped) 1/2 bunch cilantro 1 lb albacore Tuna 2 cups sugar 1 cup salt Mix all spices together into a mixing bowl. Using a sautĂŠ pan over low heat, sautĂŠ garlic and ginger for 1/2 minute, add mixed spices and cook over low heat for 4 minutes. If the paste is too thick add a few tablespoons of oil and continue to cook for few minutes. Add a few tablespoon of water and thin down to a paste. Allow to cool, then add chopped cilantro. You will only need half the recipe to cure the fish. Mix sugar and salt together for the curing mixture Rub the tuna with half the paste, reserve the remaining paste for later use. Sprinkle half the salt & sugar mixture in a shallow deep dish big enough to hold the fish. Place fish on top of the salt & sugar mixture, pack the remaining salt mixture on top of the fish. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in fridge for 24 hours. The next day wash the fish under cold running water for a few minutes to remove as much of the rub as possible, using damp paper towel. (optional: you can sear tuna or serve it as is.) Salad 1 carrot (peeled, thinly sliced & julienned) 1/4 Jicama (peeled, thinly sliced & Julienned) 1/4 bunch cilantro 2 oranges (peeled & segments removed) 1 tbsp cumin powder 1/2 cup olive oil 2 tbsp white vinegar salt & pepper to taste Thinly slice carrots & jicama using a mandolin, julienne both vegetables, add cilantro. Peel & remove segments by cutting in between the membrane of the orange, add the segments to the salad, reserve the juice for the vinaigrette. Roast cumin powder in 2 tbsp of oil over low heat. Keep stirring for 4 minutes to bring out the sweetness of the spice. Once cooled, combine the orange juice with vinegar, salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Serve tuna with salad and drizzle with vinaigrette
SPICED CURED ALBACORE TUNA Carrot, Jicama & Orange Salad with Cumin dressing
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CASTRO’S BAR SNACKS Crispy Cassava, Plantain chips, Lotus Root, Taro Root & Spiced Cashew Nuts with Avocado & Tomato Salsa Serves 8 people 1 medium cassava 2 green plantains 1 medium lotus Root 1 small Taro Root 1 cup cashew nuts 8 cups canola oil Smoked Paprika to taste Salt & pepper to taste cayenne to taste 2 tbsp honey 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder 1/4 tsp nutmeg Cayenne pepper to taste
CASTRO’S BAR SNACKS Crispy Cassava, Plantain chips, Lotus Root, Taro Root & Spiced Cashew Nuts with Avocado & Tomato Salsa
Place a large sauce pan with oil over medium high heat. Bring the oil to 325F. Pre-heat oven to 350F Use a peeler to peel the outer layer of the cassava, lotus root and taro root. Use a small sharp knife to peel the plantain as you would peel an unripe banana. Using a mandoline, slice each vegetable paper thin (mind your fingers). Fry the vegetables a few at a time, then place on paper towel. Season cassava and with paprika, season plantain with salt & pepper, season taro root with cayenne, season lotus root with salt & pepper. Set aside to dry. Toss cashew nuts with honey, s/p, cinnamon and fresh nutmeg, place on a baking tray on parchment paper. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Set aside. Tomato Salsa 2 ripe tomatoes (diced) 1/4 red onion (diced) 3 tbsp olive oil splash of white balsamic 2 tbsp chopped parsley Salt & pepper to taste Finally dice tomatoes & red onion, combine with the remaining colourful ingredients. Check the seasoning and allow to sit for an hour. Avocado salsa 2 ripe avocado (diced) 1 large lemon (juice & zest) 1/4 red onions (diced) 3 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp chopped cilantro Salt & pepper to taste
CHEF CASTRO BOATENG
EAT MAGAZINE JULY | AUGUST 2014
Cut avocado in half, remove the pit. Roughly dice the avocado, add the lemon zest and juice. Add the diced onions, olive oil, cilantro and season with s/p. Check the seasoning. Serve the chips, nuts & salsa with a glass of wine or your favorite beer.
Chef Boateng’s colourful pantry
Castro Boateng’s Guide to Root Vegetables Plantain There are three stages of ripeness. When plantain is green it’s very starchy – use as a boiled potato that can be mashed. In some Caribbean countries they’ll fry the mashed plantain as cakes. When it’s really green I like to slice them really thin and make chips. As plantain ripens the starch starts to convert to sugar and they become a bit sweeter. I cook them as a canapé – I bread then with bacon. A nice combination As it ripens even more and the plantain becomes darker almost like at the stage where you would throw a banana out. In Ghana we don’t eat too many sweets but we toss very ripe plantain slices with a little cinnamon, nutmeg and fry them up. With a dusting of sugar and a side of ice cream it makes an excellent dessert. You could also make a mean Bananas Foster. Cassava It reminds me of salsify – rough brown on the outside and creamy on the inside. In Fiji and West Africa they boil it and use it as a mash potato. I like to slice it really thin (like the plantain) and make chips. A dusting of smoked paprika works great with cassava. Taro Root (not pictured) Taro Root has lots of starch so again we slice it really thin and fry them to make chips. Lotus Root Probably one of the nicest looking root vegetables with beautiful holes that go all the way through it. Same thing - peel it and slice it thinly for chips. Cashews For bar snacks it’s always nice to have some nuts. I toss cashews with cinnamon, nutmeg, a bit of cayenne pepper, toss them in honey and then slowly roast them. My mom back home, what she would do to increase the crunchiness, is first boil them in hot water. When you boil them it opens up the pores and more flavour can get into the cashews.
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SHITO POACHED PRAWNS Plantain & Bacon with Shito Mayo Serves 8 people Shito (a traditional Ghanaian spice paste that’s comparable to jerk seasoning) 3 chilli peppers (scotch bonnet or habanera) 1 large onion 2 tbsp of tomato paste 3 tbsp ginger 1 cup of dried ground smoked shrimp, or dried ground smoked herrings, 2 cups vegetable oil Salt & pepper to taste Using a bar blender. Puree chilli peppers, onions, tomato paste & ginger in 11/2 cup of oil. Pour the mixture into a saucepan, add ground shrimp, season with salt/pepper, add the remaining oil. Place on the stove on low heat, stirring it constantly to prevent it from burning. Cook for 2 hour or until the mixture turns dark brown. Set aside to cool, use what you need for this recipe and save the rest in a covered, clean container for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. 16 prawns (peeled & deveined) 1/2 cup shito marinade 3 tbsp chopped cilantro Salt & pepper to taste
F R E S H S Q U E E Z E D WAT E R M E L O N AND CITRUS WITH CUERVO GOLD TEQUILA
Bring salted water to boil. Lower the heat to medium, then poach prawns in water for 2 minutes. Remove the prawns from the water, toss the poached prawns in the marinade, set aside to cool. season with cilantro, salt and pepper.
Available until September 1 st
2 ripe plantains 10 slices bacon 1 egg yolk 1/4 cup flour 2 tbsp shito 1/4 cup mayo Salt & pepper Pre-heat oven to 350F . Place bacon on a tray lined with parchment paper, cook bacon until crispy. Cool then roughly chop, keep to aside. Peel the plantain by using a sharp small knife. Cut plantain to small rounds (about 8 pieces each plantain.) Start a breading station by placing the cut plantain in flour, then egg wash, then bacon. Repeat with remaining plantain. Bake the plantain in the oven for 6-8 minutes. Fold the shito into the mayo. Serve the plantain with mayo & poached prawns Castro Boateng Executive Chef Victoria, BC
Perfectly placed in the South Okanagan
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 250.588.9398 www.castroboateng.com
SHITO POACHED PRAWNS Plantain & Bacon with Shito Mayo
P Castro’s Spice Box Cloves, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, cayenne
erfectly placed on rich South Okanagan farmland, Tinhorn Creek overlooks the old gold mining creek that is the winery’s namesake. We are environmental stewards of 150 acres of vineyards: “Diamondback” on the Black Sage Bench, and “Tinhorn Creek” on the Golden Mile Bench. Both provide us with the fruit to craft the superb, terroir driven wine that we’re known for. Our top tier Oldfield Series represents the finest of each vintage.
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LOCAL KITCHEN Text, recipes and food styling by JENNIFER DANTER Photography by MICHAEL TOURIGNY Art Direction by JENNIFER DANTER & GARY HYNES
red cabbage slaw adds crunch to the meal
When hunks of beef meet smoke and heat, the end result is going to be joyously irresistible. Consider turning the classic kebab into a flamin’ fiesta. Cue the fire (try grilling with wood vs. charcoal) for spicy sirloin kebabs skewered with limes for a flame-kissed bite. De-skewer, and then roll ‘em up slathered with tomatillo salsa and your favourite taco fixings. Grab a beer. Life is good. Recipe on the next page
’ n i m a l ! F cos a T relax sip a cerveza
give the beef a flavour wallop by marinating overnight in garlic, cilantro, chili and cumin
tomatillo salsa - diy or buy a jar grilled limes to lift the flavour
EAT MAGAZINE JULY | AUGUST 2014
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Speckled Blueberry & Lime Slices Recipe on the next page
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EAT SPECIAL PROMOTION
Perfect Pairing at Upper Bench By Tarynn Liv Parker
Cont’d from the previous page
Mexican Beef and Lime Kebabs Made with flavourful beef top sirloin, these tacos have chew. be sure to cut meat into small bite-size pieces (easier eating later) and marinate overnight for best flavour. Marinade ½ cup olive oil 3 to 4 Tbsp red wine vinegar ¼ cup chopped cilantro 4 garlic cloves, minced
Shana and Gavin Miller go together like wine and cheese. In fact, that's what they produce. The perfect pair make perfect pairings. Nuanced, sustainable, hand-tended, well loved, unique and often charmingly quirky. These adjectives can be interchanged as descriptors of the artisans and also as descriptors of the beautiful products of their crafts. The sustainably estate grown and hand-tended Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zweigelt, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay are some of the grape varietals that Winemaker Gavin works with in his blends, reserves, and single varietal wines. Among Cheese Maker Shana's washed-rind, Brie, and blue cheeses are her Upper Bench Gold done in a few styles, U&Brie, Okanagan Sun2, Grey Baby and King Cole. The cheeses are handmade from 100% pasteurized Canadian cow’s milk from D Dutchmen Dairy in Sicamous, B.C. These wine friendly cheeses aren't by-chance matches they are made-in-heaven for Upper Bench Wines. Shana has considerately designed the cheeses with Gavin's wines in mind, making for a full spectrum culinary experience at their tasting room and moreover, for you to take home. Wine clubs are increasing in popularity as Okanagan wines are gaining a higher profile. Vintages are selling out, and people want to go deeper in to their understanding and awareness of our region. Upper Bench has geniously expanded on this idea with their Curds & Corks program - a Wine Club program that ships a complete experience - the perfect pairing of the latest vintages released and packaged up with Shana's special edition cheeses crafted with specific wines and vintages in mind. You can also simply call their Wine Club shipments, "a party in a box". So plan to invite friends over, because that's effectively what happens when you open your delivery! The pair met in Penticton in 1995, fell in love, got married, had two kids, and both started working at Poplar Grove Estate Winery in the early 2000's. He as winemaker and she as cheesemaker. The rest is deliciously palatable history. Shana developed her love for cheesemaking at Poplar Grove under original cheesemaker, Sandra Chalmer’s guidance and continued there until 2006 while Gavin moved on to become winemaker at Painted Rock for their first vintages (2007-2010). The couple's well-matched talents were already mingled, so when the opportunity to purchase what is now Upper Bench and transform an established 7-acre estate vineyard they jumped on it. Gavin, his assistant winemaker Josh Edwards, and the cellar team are intrinsically connected to the vineyard, preferring hands on time all the way from bud break, pruning and harvesting, and through to crush then in to the cellar. This ensures ultimate control that results in the quality wine that ends in your glass. The meticulous environs in the cheese factory at Upper Bench are well kept by Shana and her assistant cheese maker Lisa Fitzgerald. Shana is thrilled to share her passion for cheese with someone who matches in her ardour to create the perfect cheese. The ingredients for this perfect pairing are simple: Love, time, quality, and good people. The artistry is in the many ways all this goodness is highlighted at Upper Bench Estate Winery and Creamery.
1 Tbsp ancho chili powder 1 tsp ground cumin ½ to 1 tsp ground cayenne 1 tsp sea salt 1tsp dried oregano leaves ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper Kebabs 2 lbs boneless beef sirloin, cut into small cubes 2 limes cut into wedges Place ingredients for marinade in a blender. Whirl to evenly mix. Place beef in a large bowl. Top with marinade and toss to coat. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Thread meat onto skewers, occasionally altering with lime wedges. Grill over high heat, turning occasionally until limes are lightly charred. Since grills vary, estimate about 4 to 7 minutes for medium-rare. Let rest at least 5 minutes before serving. Remove meat and limes from skewers. Be sure to squeeze the grilled limes overtop beef just before eating.
Red Cabbage Slaw Tart, slightly sweet and savoury, this slaw makes a good foil for the spicy beef kebabs. This recipe makes a lot of slaw. Just saying. 1 head read cabbage, thinly sliced 2 cups rice vinegar 2/3 cup red wine 2 cups sugar 3 Tbsp sea salt 2 star anise
Visit them at: 170 Upper Bench Road South, Penticton, BC, Canada V2A 8T1 Phone +1 250 770 1733. for hours of operation visit: upperbench.ca
EAT MAGAZINE JULY | AUGUST 2014
1 Tbsp black peppercorns Olive oil
Place cabbage in a really really large bowl. In a large wide saucepan, stir vinegar with wine, sugar, salt, star anise and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, until liquid has reduced by half. Pour over cabbage and generously drizzle with oil. Toss to evenly mix. For best flavour, make 1 day before serving. Refrigerate up to 5 days.
Speckled Blueberry & Lime Slices Basically this is a killer pound cake, but what makes it so moist is the mixture of butter and cream cheese - and local blueberries of course. Top slices with whipped cream or thick Greek yogurt stirred with pinches of cinnamon and dried chilies. 11/2 cups all-purpose flour ½ tsp baking powder ½ tsp sea salt ½ 8-oz block cream cheese, at room temperature ½ cup butter, softened 11/2 cups granulated sugar 4 large eggs, at room temperature ½ tsp each vanilla and almond extracts 1 lime, grated peel 11/2 cups blueberries Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and preheat oven to 325F. In a bowl, whisk flour with baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer beat cream cheese with butter until evenly mixed. Beat in sugar until fluffy, 3 to 4 min. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Scrape down side of bowl between additions. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts. Add flour and lime peel. On low speed, beat just until almost mixed. Add berries. Using a spatula, gently fold in to completely mix. Scrape batter into loaf pan and smooth top. Bake in center of oven until loaf is golden and a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool for 10 min, then turn loaf out onto a cooling rack and cool.
THE LOCAL LIST
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E M XPS IF U OH J BW 4 BU VQ D POF NF J U B
EATâ€™s where to find it guide
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NORTH ARM KNIVES
HUDSONâ€™S ON FIRST
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Fine dining in a beautifully restored heritage home. Local ingredients, classic techniques and modern presentation are just a few reasons Chef Dan Hudson is creating a buzz. Celebrate Lunch, Brunch and Dinner. 163 First St. Duncan 250-597-0066 www.hudsonsonfirst.ca
VICTORIA PUBLIC MARKET
WHISK KITCHEN STORE
Stop in for a casual bite at street level and experience our cozy Lunch restaurant, or join us downstairs for dinner, drinks and our unique take on South Asian cuisine. 1414 Douglas St., Victoria, BC (250) 386-6468 themintvictoria.com
Whisk carries a full array of Fiesta ware. Drop down and see our great selection of kitchenware and come see our beautiful collection of linens and Julia-inspired gadget wall. Victoria Public Market at the Hudson 778.433.9184 www.facebook.com/whiskvictoriapublicmarket
SALT SPRING ISLAND WHISK KITCHEN STORE Whisk carries a full array of Fiesta ware. FERNWOOD Drop down ROAD and see CAFE place to hang out, enjoy and welcoming A fun, relaxed our great selection of kitchenware and come see our beautiful the North Salt Spring in soak and view waterfront the collection of linens and Julia-inspired gadget wall. Island vibe. Oh yeah, and have a pretty darn good Victoria Public Market at the Hudson coffee as well. 778 433 9184 325 Fernwood Rd. Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 1C3 www.facebook.com/whiskvictoriapublicmarket 250-931-2233 www.fernwoodcafe.com
PRESERVATION FOODS CHOCOLATE PROJECT Canada's finest selection of artisanal bean-to-bar chocolate. Taste and explore over 180 bars from the top chocolate makers on Earth with local chef David Mincey as your guide. Victoria Public Market at the Hudson firstname.lastname@example.org Every Friday & Saturday from 11 to 5
THE CHOCOLATE PROJECT
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By Michelle Bouffard and Michaela Morris
U I F T U S B U I B M F XJ O F 4 Q J S J U N F S D I B O U T
This diverse wine area has inspired a range of lush, fruity and fragrant New World wines.
With a treasure trove of intriguing grape varieties, Franceâ€™s RhĂ´ne Valley has charmed palates with seductive, hard-to-resist wines. This region was thrust into the spotlight in the late 1980s by prominent wine critic Robert Parker with his profuse praise for Guigalâ€™s CĂ´te-RĂ´ties and lyrical waxings on the wines of ChĂ˘teauneuf-duPape. Winemakers from around the globe have also fallen in love with the wines, disseminating the grapes responsible for them to regions near and far. Thanks to these championing efforts, red varieties like Syrah, Grenache and MourvĂ¨dre as well as whites Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne show up on wine labels from around the world. Located in the southeast of France, between Vienne and Avignon, the RhĂ´ne Valley covers a large area. Varying climatic conditions and soils result in different grapes shining in each corner, necessitating the division between the north and the south. Syrah is the star in the north and the most famous of the RhĂ´ne varieties. The best examples hail from vines grown on very steep, stony slopes. Tending these vineyards is back-breaking work and many were abandoned before a revival of the area in the 1980s. Concealed by the appellation names of CĂ´te-RĂ´tie, Cornas, Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage and Hermitage, Syrah has a long-standing reputation for fine wine in the northern RhĂ´ne Valley. Here you find a unique expression of this grape with distinctive flavours and aromas of white pepper, bacon fat, violets and red plums. High acidity, firm tannins and savoury qualities make these wines shine better at the table than on their own. Gamey red meat is a classic pairing whether itâ€™s venison, rabbit or quail. The appellations of CĂ´te-RĂ´tie and Hermitage produce the most complex, ageworthy wines. They are also accompanied by a hefty price tag ($60+). Intensely floral, CĂ´te-RĂ´tie is described as the more feminine of the two. It is also associated with a long-standing tradition of blending Syrah with a splash of Viognier, which imparts exotic perfume notes. Australian winemakers in particular have adopted this practice, often citing the blend (Shiraz/Viognier) right on the label. Clonakilla from Canberra is Australiaâ€™s answer to CĂ´te-RĂ´tie. Expensive but worth every penny! Denser and more powerful, Hermitage is considered more masculine than CĂ´te-RĂ´tie. For a New World counterpart, look no further than Penfoldsâ€™ Grange. Created with Hermitage as the inspiration, it features Shiraz, the Aussie name for the Syrah grape. With its dark plum, leather and sweet berry notes, Grange reflects the warm climate of Australia. Deceptively approachable in its youth, it too can age for decades. Weâ€™ve had the chance to try vintages back to Michelleâ€™s birth year (you guess) and wow do they get better with time! While CĂ´te-RĂ´tie and Hermitage require time in the cellar and a delicious piece of meat to truly shine, most of the New World versions tend to be fruitier, friendlier on their own and approachable early in their life. For less expensive versions of Syrah, explore the northern RhĂ´ne appellations of Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage. While they may not have the complexity, concentration or longevity of CĂ´te-RĂ´tie and Hermitage, many offer a similar, unique and distinct expression. In the New World, Australia, Washington and California all offer great examples of Syrah/Shiraz. If you want to go local, B.C. Syrah continues to improve and Nichol Vineyard in Naramata is a long-standing favourite. Not to be overlooked, Chile provides an excellent source of well-priced Syrah, especially from producers like Matetic, Koyle and Falernia. Though less common, northern RhĂ´ne whites have created their own sensation. CĂ´te-RĂ´tieâ€™s neighbouring appellation of Condrieu showcases Viognier exclusively. This blonde bombshell of a grape produces luscious heady wines exuding peach, apricot and blossoms. Beware, these rare, cult-status wines are not cheap prospects. While itâ€™s almost impossible to cite a true equivalent in the New World, countries like Australia and Chile excel at turning out affordable and tasty Viognier. Try Yalumba from the former and Cono Sur and Anakena from the latter. Often blended together, the Marsanne and Roussanne grapes are responsible for the whites made in the
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*Asterisks denote wines that are only available at the winery or select private liquor stores. Some may be in limited quantities. All other wines are available through BC Liquor Stores. Prices may vary.
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Tasting Notes WHITE Cono Sur, Viognier, Chile, $11-13 (SKU# 566836) Voluptuous, fresh and bursting with apricot and peach aromas, this wine over-delivers for the price. The perfect summer house wine. D’Arenberg, ‘The Hermit Crab’ Viognier Marsanne, McLaren Vale, Australia $20-23 (SKU# 892729) Aromatic with marzipan, fruit salad and lemon zest notes. A crowd pleaser and the ideal choice for a summer potluck. 2010 Tahbilk Marsanne, Nagambie Lakes Central Victoria, Australia $20-23 (SKU# 559716) Vibrant and light with explosive notes of lemon curd, hay, lanolin and mineral. Did you say oysters with lime? 2011 Chapoutier, ‘Chante Alouette’ Hermitage Blanc AOC, France, $76-81 (SKU# 444281) (100% Marsanne) Rich with a mouthful of toast, nuts and orange zest notes that burst on the finish. What length! Truly outstanding and a dream with fresh crab. RED 2011 Delas, Saint-Esprit, Côtes-du-Rhône AOC, France, $20-23 (SKU# 915470) Generous pepper, herb and wild floral notes. A serious Côtes-du-Rhône that gives plenty of pleasure for the money. Barbecue chicken, veal or pork? All of the above. 2011 Château La Courançonne, ‘Cuvée Gratitude’ Côtes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu AOC, France $24-27 (SKU#840801) Grenache-based with a healthy dose of Syrah and Mourvèdre. Expect some structure and a slightly wilder earthy expression of Côtes-du-Rhône with grilled herbs, black raspberry, olives and licorice notes. Hello herb-crusted pork roast. 2010 Delas Frères, ‘Les Launes’ Crozes-Hermitage AOC, France $25-28 (SKU# 174664) Classic Northern Rhône Syrah offering violets, white pepper and wild fruit. Savoury and balanced with lingering crunchy black fruit. Enjoy with anything meaty from the grill. 2010 Tar & Roses, Shiraz, Heathcote, Australia $25-28 (SKU #29660) Think mouth-filling and dense but also intriguingly complex and fresh. Plum and blueberry meet mint, licorice and flowers. Flattering velvety tannins. Try with chicken teriyaki or ribs. 2010 Matetic, ‘Corralillo’ Syrah, San Antonio, Chile $30-34* Red plum and an intriguing meatiness with layers of concentrated fruit and a hint of chocolate.
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appellations of Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage and Hermitage. Quantities of these rich, fragrant gems are limited. Curious about Marsanne? Tahbilk in Australia claims to have the oldest ungrafted Marsanne vines and crafts an affordable, age-worthy example. Moving south, the Rhône Valley opens up with expansive vineyards on flatter, sunbaked terrain. If single varietals take precedent in the north, blends are the norm in the south. Lush, voluptuous and full of alluring raspberry, strawberry and garrigue (dried herbs) notes, reds are dominated by Grenache. On its own, Grenache is soft and not particularly age-worthy. Syrah and Mourvèdre are common partners giving the colour and structure that Grenache lacks. Spicy and high in alcohol, southern Rhône wines are found at all price points. Usually medium in weight and fairly simple, wines from the generic Côtes-du-Rhône appellation are inexpensive and can represent great value. The darling of the southern Rhône is the appellation of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, known for delivering the fullest, richest and most concentrated wines of the area. Be prepared to spend $50 or more for a decent bottle. Saint-Cosme, Beaucastel, Le Vieux Télégraphe and Vieux Donjon are all highly reliable names. For a slightly more affordable alternative, seek out wines from the lesser-known appellations of Gigondas and Vacqueyas. Domaine Santa-Duc never disappoints. And what is the New World equivalent of southern Rhône blends, you ask? Australia wins again for appropriating the happy marriage of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre. In classic Aussie fashion, they simplified the name, selling it under the catchy GSM moniker. Wine drinkers have lapped it up, often without realizing the connection with the Rhône. While wines from the southern Rhône may be more savoury and earthier, the Aussie adaptations tend to be denser and more fruit- driven, laden with spice, blackberries, chocolate and leather. In California, a group known as the Rhône Rangers began championing these grapes in a concerted effort to offer consumers an alternative to ubiquitous Californian Cab. Bob Lindquist from Qupé and Randall Graham from Bonny Doon were at the forefront of this movement, reviving old plantings of Grenache and Mourvèdre and encouraging growers to plant Syrah. Today, numerous California wineries are crafting wines along the Rhône model, full of ripe flavours from the intense sunshine. Summer is the time for flings. If you haven’t already fallen in love with the Rhône grapes, indulge your hedonism. The wines range from exotic and intriguing to generous, round and voluptuous. How can you resist? There is plenty to keep you sated over the long leisurely days and well into the balmy evenings. will be rolling off your tongue. Salud! E
ccommunicate. ommunicate. educ educate. ate. inspire. inspire.
Take a stand for local food! With our Province’s recent dismantling of the Agricultural Land Reserve WE as community have to work harder to safeguard what's left of our farmland. Watch Vancouver Island’s hottest chefs demonstrate how far they will go to protect the farms that feed us! Support the Chef Survival Challenge! in Victoria on September 7 at Madrona Farm and in Shawnigan at OUR Ecovillage on October 5, during the last weekend of the Savour Cowichan Festival “We think that this will be a great closing event to the wonderful nine day celebration of Cowichan food and drink. We are looking forward to involving the great energy and enthusiasm of the talented Warm Land chefs and pairing with the fabulous local wine and cider.” What can you expect? 5 Hours of great food, great company and a really good time. Cheer on top chefs as they complete the obstacle course in pursuit of their select ingredients, then watch them prepare gourmet plates auctioned to the hungriest and most generous of patrons. Meanwhile a gourmet BBQ is prepared for everyone who attends to leave with full bellies. As you soak in the ambience, enjoy a glass of local wine, cider or beer. Try the zipline, or mingle to meet your next great love. There are events and activities for children, a stage filled with music and the rare opportunity to enjoy it all on-farm. For $40/ticket or $100/family this is probably the most affordable foodie event going. Mark your calendars! Tickets and more info at www.chefsurvivalchallenge.com
www.eatmagazine.ca JULY | AUGUST 2014
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By Treve Ring
What to drink with that!
DRINK editor Treve Ring asks local wine experts how they would approach pairing dishes and flavours. Since we’re big cycling fans here at EAT, she decided to base this edition’s pairings on le Tour de France with two dishes from regions where the cyclists will be racing this July. T H I S
M O N T H ’ S
E X P E RT S
Brent Muller (BM) Wine Director, Vic Pub Co. What started out as a summer job with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario has evolved into a fascination with wine and a dedication to the profession. With 6+ years retail experience, French Wine Scholar accreditation and his Wine & Spirits Education Trust Diploma in progress, Brent is always happy to chat modestly with guests about anything wine, spirits or beer. Ever expanding his skill set, you can now find him plying his trade in Victoria as Wine Director for the Vic Pub Company. Tyler Dawson (TD) Buyer, Manager, Liberty Wine Merchants West Vancouver Tyler is well known for his unique approach to wine appreciation and education; summing up his "Fun Source, Serious Supply" motto as a surprise and delight practitioner. Tyler is the youngest grandson of George C. Reifel (a pioneer in local and international beverage markets). With 25+ years of experience in fine wine and retail operations, hospitality beverage management, and educator to both consumers and trade, his thirst for authenticity, value and deliciousness in the glass, has never waned. He has become a specialist in trade mission prospecting for new experiences to oenotain his customers and the B.C. marketplace, and he is the Ty in the “Ty the Wine Guy” brand.
Cassoulet - from Carcassonne, in the south (classic, with white beans, duck legs, pork shoulder, mild pork sausages & pancetta with garlic, celery, carrots, tomato, onion, thyme) BM. The wines of the Languedoc-Roussillon region are some of the best value out there and this makes pairing the region’s traditional Cassoulet a simple choice. The appellations of Minervois and Corbieres, with their rustic yet juicy character, would be great and most at under $20. These wines are predominantly Carignan with Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre playing supporting roles. Syrah, in particular, shines here; its deep, wild, animal character combined with the region’s classic notes of garrigue (rosemary, thyme and lavender), would complement the meaty,
Grilled line-caught Mackerel - over smoked beets with arugula and lemon from Le Touquet Paris-Plage, in the north BM. So many possibilities! My instinct tells me oaked Chardonnay from Bourgogne would be a great place to start. Something like young, vibrant Mâcon-Villages or PouillyFuissé. Here, golden apple and delicate citrus flavours will mingle with the freshness of the lemon while great acidity, good texture and solid barrel influence will play off the fatty mackerel and smoked beets that carry through. And the affordability you can find in the Mâconnais compared with its neighbours to the north simply can’t be beat! In another
savoury elements of this dish beautifully. If your mind is closer to home check out some of the really interesting Syrah coming out of the Okanagan! TD. In Carcassonne at the foot of the Pyrenees along the Canal du Midi this rib sticking cuisine is matched with Cabardés A.O.C. (1999) where the vines and climates of the cooler Atlantic South West meet the warmth of the Mediterranean South. Soils of clay and limestone bear Merlot and Cabernet(s) as much as Syrah and Grenache on their preferred ground. In addition, all the other Bordeaux varietals AND the Languedoc ones (minus Mourvèdre) are employed. "Bord'Oc" ? or "Languedeaux" ? Your call but Cabardés tastes of it's unique mix. A perfect blend of warmth and structure to wash down this all time classic dish. direction, a barrel aged Sauvignon Blanc from California could be fun too. The real dark horse for me though would be a delicious Pinot Noir from Alsace. You don’t see them very often but if you do, don’t hesitate! Great ripe berry fruit, classic Pinot earthiness, and then fresh acidity make this a really interesting proposition. TD. Vieux Champagne. The drink. Just a stage away... Glorious, funky, toasty, yeasty, caramelized, slightly deflated, fully mature fizz with a nervous center of acidity still buzzing. Cut and balance to slice through the oily richness and match the zing of a lemon squeeze plus the desirable decrepitude only bottled aged Champagne can bring to a rich full flavoured fish with grill marks.
LEAVE ROOM FOR THE WICK Meals are like the punctuation marks of a great trip. They give shape to the narrative of your adventure. We encourage you to explore Tofino and then come visit us at the Wickaninnish Inn to enjoy fresh baked pastries in the morning, a lovingly prepared picnic lunch, or a dinner at The Pointe Restaurant that will put an exclamation point on your time here. @TasteWickInnBC 42
The Pointe Restaurant 250.725.3106
EAT MAGAZINE JULY | AUGUST 2014
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By Larry Arnold
Dore Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Extra Dry NV Italy $15.00-17.00 While Prosecco may well be “the darling of the bubble biz” the first sip of this delightful little brut from the south of Italy will get you thinking. Light, soft and subtly fruity, with green apple and pear flavours. Clean and slightly off-dry with a nice tight bead. Very good value. Joie Pinot Blanc 2013 Okanagan Valley $23.00-25.00 While other wines dazzle with power and oak, Joie Pinot Blanc is never overblown. No butter, no butterscotch. The 2013 is delicate, with a youthful freshness and a hint of ripe apple on the nose. There is an intensity to the wine but it is not heavy or ponderous, it is fresh and clean with ripe grapefruit, citrus flavours and verdant, mouth-watering acidity that excites the palate. The balance is impeccable. Pentage Viognier 2013 British Columbia $26.00-28.00 This is not a big over the top Viognier with huge alcohol and power to match. It is relatively delicate compared to many, with vibrant apricot and pineapple aromas, lush concentrated fruit flavours and a slightly oily texture that develops as the wine opens up. Clos du Soleil Pinot Blanc 2013 Similkameen Valley $21.00-23.00 The fruit for this delicious white is sourced from Middle Bench Vineyard in Keremeos. It is forward and generous with very pure fruit: peach, pear and nectarine. Fruit that you might stop and purchase at the farm gate while passing through on your way to somewhere else. The nose is ethereal and the palate completes the job, dancing between ripe fruit and racy acidity. This is the ideal aperitif wine, cool and refreshing, a joy to dink. Sandhill Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Okanagan Valley $16.00-18.00 This tasty, dry Sauvignon Blanc from Sandhill Estate Vineyard delivers the goods with gooseberry and fresh mown grass notes on the nose, simple fresh fruit flavours and crisp acidity that gives it length and vigor. Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc-Viognier 2012 California $25.00-27.00 This Chenin Blanc (80%), Viognier (20%) blend is superb! Honeydew, peach, pear, the nose is absolutely incredible. Crisp and clean with rich, tropical fruit flavours, a rich core of zingy acidity and a long slightly off-dry finish. Portada Winemaker’s Selection 2011 Portugal $14.00-16.00 Yeow, this is one heck of a wine for the money! Deeply coloured with an intense nose of red fruit, herbs and dusty earth. Medium-bodied but mouth filling with rustic fruit flavours and loads of character that persists through the long rich finish Ca’ Montebello Oltrpo Pavese Barbera 2011 Italy $16.00-18.00 Barbera is usually a rough country wine that in the wrong hands will take the enamel off your teeth and do irreparable damage to your digestive tract. Because of its low tannins and tart acidity Barbera can also produce some of the most food friendly wines in the galaxy. Deeply coloured with red cherry and spice aromas, gobs of sweet ripe fruit and just enough acidity to hold it together. Absolutely delicious. Las Moras Opi Signature Malbec 2011 Argentina $18.00-20.00 Generous and fleshy with cherry, earth and black pepper aromas jump out of the glass. Very rich and powerful with saturated berry flavours and a patina of fine-grained tannins. Another great value from Argentina. Las Moraz Paz Malbec 2011 Argentina $20.00-22.00 There is nothing shy about this thick concentrated Malbec from the dusty slopes of the Andes. Inky black with black raspberry, smoke and vanilla aromas. Full bodied with sweet fruit flavours, plenty of grip and a long smooth finish that just keeps going. Tormaresca Torcicoda Primitivo 2010 Italy $28.00-30.00 Concentrated and powerful with heady aromas of plum, spice and earth, full-bodied and richly textured with sweet fruit flavours, soft acidity and silky smooth tannins. Joseph Drouhin Laforet Pinot Noir 2012 Burgundy $30.00-33.00 Soft and fruity with attractive raspberry and red currant aromas, medium-bodied with sweet fruit flavours, balanced acidity and a soft silky texture. E
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WHO’S DOING WHAT IN VICTORIA, VANCOUVER, THE OKANAGAN, TOFINO, THE COWICHAN & NANAIMO
VICTORIA: Is there any wonder July and August are food festival season? The ongoing buffet of edible joys nature offers us during these two months deserves to be celebrated. July starts off with a celebration of all kinds of plant-based goodness at the Victoria Vegan Fest (#VVF2014) on Canada Day (July 1) at Market Square. The event will include vegan food vendors, presenters and an interview series called “This is What a Vegan Looks Like”. (victoriaveganfest.com) On July 6th, as part of the Saanich Summer Sunfest, a Strawberry Festival will be taking place at Beaver Lake Park. (saanichsunfest.ca). At the end of the month, the hugely popular four day festival of food and wine, Taste, launches its sixth edition, bringing back perennial favourites such as the Sustainable Seafood event with Finest at Sea on July 25, and the Swine and the Vine event on the patio of the Pacific Restaurant on July 26. (victoriataste.com). If you have visitors coming to town this summer, a fun way to introduce some of the city’s best sips to them is with the Victoria Harbour Ferry’s Pickle Pub Crawl. Running every day until September 14th, you and a group of friends can hop on a pickle boat and tour the harbour’s best pubs. There are stops at Canoe Brewpub, the Guild, Lure Restaurant and Bar, and more. Each stop serves a complimentary appetizer with your beverage purchase. (victoriaharbourferry.com) Word on the street is that the Vancouver sandwich shop everyone is talking about is planning to open a Victoria location on Yates St this summer. Meat and Bread already has two locations in Vancouver, one on Cambie and one on Pender. Victoria is only one part of the company’s expansion plan – look out for them in Seattle this fall. (meatandbread.ca) Also on the Downtown lunch spot news list, the Delicados Deli franchise has moved out of 799 Fort St, with the Aegean Café poised to set up shop there early this summer, vacating its present location (731B Fort St.). (facebook.com/pages/Aegean-Cafe/). Sometimes the subtle changes get overlooked, so if you haven’t yet visited Crust Bakery, which opened last fall in the former Renaissance Bakery location (previously the Rhineland) on Fort, you may be surprised when you step inside. Tom and Crystal Moore, are the husband and wife team behind the new bakery and took a month this past winter to renovate the space, giving it a fresh, modern look. Traditional pastries sit beside house specialties such as Tom’s take on the Cronut, and gluten free treats as well. (facebook.com/crustbakeryonfort) A new Indian restaurant, Masala Bites opened at 1015 Fort St in late spring, taking over the space briefly occupied by Indyoga. Masala Bites “welcomes you to experience the art of healthy living through their spice mixtures”. (masalabites.ca) Another restaurant transformation downtown is happening on the corner of Government and Fisgard. The Nando’s franchise closed this past spring and Varsha Sips + Nosh is gearing up for a summer opening. Follow their progress on facebook (facebook.com/varshasipsandnosh). Esquimalt now has a new Japanese restaurant. Kyubey Sushi is on Head St, next to Blue Nile Restaurant, serving sashimi, tempura and sushi, and featuring a tatami room that can seat 8-12 people. (facebook.com/pages/Esquimalt-Kyubey-Sushi) Do you want to grow more of your own food this summer? The Victoria Compost Education Centre has a line-up of workshops that can help you achieve that goal. Topics range from Basic Composting to Backyard Chickens, Natural Beekeeping and Canning. Workshops are offered every Saturday. Children’s workshops are also offered. (www.compost.bc.ca) If you aren’t quite ready for growing your own produce, you can still support local growers at summer farmers’ markets, and now at the Grocer at the Hudson, the Victoria Public Market’s new permanent green grocer, as well. (facebook.com/TheGrocerAtThe HudsonVPM) —REBECCA BAUGNIET COWICHAN VALLEY | UP ISLAND: As I write this, summer is still a promise away yet I'm already excited about the amazing ways to eat and drink our way through the sunshine this season. Here's a run down of the upcoming must-attend festivals and links to check before you go. July 5 & 6 starts things off with Cowichan Valley Grape Escape - get on your bike and take a tour of the regions' farms, cidery, and wineries while raising donations for MS. Along the way re-hydrate with beverages from Merridale Cider followed by a gourmet dinner courtesy of Shawnigan Lake School head chef James McClellan. (cowichanvalleygrapeescape.com) July 5 at Deerholme Farm don't miss 'A Carnivores Dream' local food dinner with lots of meat! I'm thinking BBQ, sunshine and a beautiful setting -what could be better? Or on August 3rd try 'Dinner in a Japanese Vegetable Garden' - (deerholme.com for details). July 6 and every Friday night after take a scenic trip to Salt Spring Island Winery and enjoy live music on their beautiful patio in the garden while sipping the wonderful wines produced on site. (email@example.com) On the 11th, make your way up Mt. Washington in Comox for their annual Tapped Beer Festival featuring tastings from Lighthouse, Big Rock & Central City breweries followed by a pig roast in the courtyard of Raven Lodge. (mountwashington.ca for details). If you haven't yet had your fill of roast pig, Rocky Creek Winery in Cowichan hosts their 5th annual on July 12 in the vineyard accompanied by a live jazz trio, and desserts catered by Farm's Gate Food.
EAT MAGAZINE JULY | AUGUST 2014
(rockycreekwinery.ca) August brings us the 16th annual Alpine Wine & Food Festival up Mt. Washington in Comox on the 8th & 9th. Tastings from local wineries on the Friday, and a delicious wine-pared dinner on the Saturday all accompanied by live music and stunning views. (mountwashington.ca) If that doesn't tickle your fancy how about Campbell Rivers' Salmon Festival Seafood Cook-Off at Nuns Creek Park to feature the Professional Oyster Competition, seafood cooking demonstrations, and all manner of seafood tastings over the 9th, 10th &11th. (crsalmonfestival.com). Also on August 9 is the Galliano Island Beer & Wine Festival in Lions Park. Unlimited tastings from the winemakers, merchants and beer makers along with fresh made finger foods and a complementary Riedel crystal wine glass to take home. (galianowinefestival.com) For something a little different, August 24 brings the Cittaslow White Dinner to Rocky Creek Winery, Cowichan. This elegant dinner in the vineyard is chic picnic style! Each attendee brings a dish to share, and comes dressed fully in white as they do in France for that famous elegant pop up dinner party; Diner en Blanc. (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) And finally, offered every Friday from July to mid September enjoy a wine and chocolate bike tour through the Comox Valley. Meander along the ocean trails enjoying wine tastings, organic blueberries and decadent chocolate treats. The ride finishes at chef Ronald St Pierre's restaurant Locals beside the Old House, where you can relax on the patio with a well earned refreshment. (islandjoyrides.com) This summer will fly by before you know it so make the most of it - I dare you to attend only one! —KIRSTEN TYLER TOFINO: The high season is in full swing as Tofino and Ucluelet welcome thousands of visitors from around the world. This year there are new restaurants and a specialty food producer to add to the already impressive culinary scene. Zoe’s Bakery and Café at 250 Main St. in Ucluelet opened its doors May 1st. Owner/operator and pastry chef Zoe Jordan has put in her time in west coast kitchens, including the Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn and Fetch at Black Rock Resort before starting her own venture. In addition to sweet and savoury baked goods look for breakfast frittatas and quiches, and daily soups and sandwich specials, along with Drumroaster Coffee from Cobble Hill. The buzz is good, and it’s no wonder considering daily specials like this one: a Two Rivers roasted pork loin sandwich with house made “Lucky Lager” mustard, chimmichuri and apple carrot slaw. Sold! (facebook.com/zoesbakeryandcafe). A new Tofino venture hopes to supply local restaurants and foodies alike. Picnic Charcuterie, located on Industrial Way (behind Red Can Gourmet), is the brainchild of new Tofino resident Tina Windsor. Specializing in local products, including Vancouver Island Salt and meats from Tannadice Farms in the Comox Valley, various cured, smoked and cooked meats are available as well as homemade preserves. Tina has a background in grass-based livestock husbandry, and artisan cheese and charcuterie production. She practices traditional techniques, and strives to use only the minimum required preservation. Tina suggests filling your growler at Tofino Brewing Company (conveniently across the road) to accompany your picnic. (picniccharcuterie.com). Long Beach Lodge Resort recently opened Tofino’s first beachside bistro, the Sandbar Bistro in front of their property on Cox Bay. The outdoor patio seats 40 plus, and caters to the beach crowd with Tofino Brewing Company beer on tap, wine, highballs and a selected menu. This could be a busy sunset spot! (longbeachlodgeresort.com) The Ice House Oyster Bar was set to open soon at press time. Located at 250 Grice Rd on the water in a former fish plant, this new venture is by resident Alan Beesley. Look for more details in an upcoming issue. Summer also means the Tofino Public Market is happening every Saturday from 10am-2pm on the Village Green. Artisans, live music and good food are part of the mix. Enjoy Sarah’s tamales, Julie Lomenda’s 600 Degrees Bakery bread, cinnamon buns and more, old-fashioned popcorn, as well as cupcakes from Tofino Cake Studio, coffee from Foggy Bean Coffee Company in Ucluelet, and hot and cold teas from Tofino Tea Bar. On long weekends, look for the markets on Sundays as well. For more information, look for Tofino Public Market on Facebook. There are many new food options as well as old favourites to enjoy this season in Tofino. —JEN DART OKANAGAN: There’s something magical about summer in the Okanagan. It’s a sensory extravaganza of fragrance, colour, and taste – from farmers’ markets to vineyard dining and everything between. Fruit stands open shuttered doors and present their local bounty, luring drivers off the beaten path and onto back roads resplendent with apricots and cherries. Find your niche, and tuck in. KELOWNA: The newest tasting room on the block isn’t a new winery at all: Sandhill’s urban lounge opened in late May. Expanded from the quaint Calona Wines tasting room on Richter Avenue, the new
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contemporary space gives a nod to grower history and offers daily tours, educational sessions, and special events. And adding to the winery dining scene is Blu Saffon Bistro at Volcanic Hills Estate Winery. Chef Colin Rayner is also proprietor, and feeds hungry wine lovers from May to September for lunch and dinner. PENTICTON: One of the region’s better (and newest) meals on wheels is Roxy’s Diner Food Truck, by chef Vincent Denis and wife/partner Christine Leman. Chef Vincent hails from Big White’s Sante Bar & Grill, and in this newest playground chef is exploring his twist on the modern diner. With menu staples like the Winner Winner Chicken-n-Waffle Dinner Sandwich, South Philly-kanagan Cheesesteak, and Bringing Home the Bacon Dog (bacon wrapped, deep fried gourmet hotdog), chef’s menu is fun, diverse, and oh-so-tasty. Regularly found in the parking lot at Canadian Tire or select summer festivals and events. OLIVER, OSOYOOS & THE SIMILKAMEEN: In Oliver, it’s food truck season with Hammer’s House of Hog (south) and Jampee’s Thai Food (north) – plus a new pop-up Mexican joint on the outskirts of town, which nobody can remember the name of but everyone is raving over. Look for the lineups and have cash in hand. Down in Osoyoos, former food truck Beach Bum Lunch Box has permanent digs in the Nk’Mip Corner Convenience Store east of town, offering some of the best smoked meat this side of Montreal. Over in the Similkameen, The Grist Mill welcomes chef Natasha Schooten to provide country culinary delights in a rural setting, complete with newly built outdoor stone oven. EVENTS: Okanagan foodistas gather in white on July 10th for the Diner En Blanc – in typical fashion, location to be disclosed on the day of. The 5th Annual Similkameen BBQ King takes over the historic Grist Mill on Saturday July 12, celebrating local food and wine with nine chefs competing for the coveted title of BBQ King. In Kaleden, fans of Joy Road Catering should get in on an Evening of Effervescence at Linden Gardens July 18 for a Gatsby-themed, bubble-centric feast. Okanagan Falls Wineries go rustic with their 3rd Annual Party In The Park on July 11, and new winery Liquidity welcomes Clusterfest – an artist festival series July 26 to August 3 with outdoor theatre, in the vineyard. The Summer Okanagan Wine Festival heads for the hills with their Mile High Wine and Music Festival August 8 through 10 at Silver Star, featuring wine tasting and live music. Dress is casual, and comfortable footwear is recommended – outdoor dancing can wreak havoc on heels. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. —JEANNETTE MONTGOMERY VANCOUVER: Glowbal Group owner Emad Yacoub once joked that his wife, Shannon Bosa, had threatened to divorce him if he opened yet one more restaurant. That was probably about three restos ago, and as far as I know they’re still blissfully bonded. The wraps came off Emad’s latest in early May, a new Trattoria at reborn Park Royal South. There’s a non-too subtle clue as to how Yacoub is steering his empire on Glowbal’s website, whose landing page for its Italian brand proclaims: “Every neighbourhood needs a Trattoria.” Park Royal’s BOX-designed ‘Tratt’ sparkles with the now familiar Glowbal pizzazz. Next up: a Tratt for Burnaby. In the wings—perhaps—a still to be finalised anchor in the downtown, view-corridor devouring Telus Garden behemoth. And rumours persist about a Toronto outpost—a nod to the CEO’s industry beginnings. If second floor locations are challenging (and they are) second locations can be a blessing or a curse. Chalk one up, then, for the early success of Kitsilano’s Yak & Yeti Bistro (in the former Flying Tiger spot), the more edgy and updated approach taken by the owners of the West End’s Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen. The arrival of the sibling location says a lot for co-owner and chef Shiva Marahatta, who makes a point of difference between Nepalese and Indian cuisine. In the rush to get to your table at Hawksworth, it’s easy to overlook the sexy, clean lines of the restaurant’s holding bar. Not so much, though, since the unveiling of head bartender Cooper Tardivel’s specialty barrel aged bottle cocktail program that yields an increasingly worthy parade of ingenious concoctions. Tucked into a comfy booth one recent night a group sampled his Hendricks Gin, presented for two, in antique-styled bottle. The Hendricks’ travel companions, Dry Curaçoa, Dubonnet and Frenet Branca combined for a seductive combination that still allowed the gin to shine through. Tardivel’s program is ongoing, with a different base spirit highlighted every week. Drop by Les Amis du Fromage’s East Van outpost on a weekend and the chances are you’ll find a lot more than the usual superb selection of cheeses and specialty meats. Newest lure is Les Amis, popup patisserie program, in which local pastry chefs are invited to set up a small showcase. Recent appearances have included The Salty Cookie Company, and The Lemon Square, as well as the sweetly tongue in cheek creations of Petit Four Pastries. LADF owner Joe Chaput says response has been very positive—so much so that he’ll continue the idea as soon as the next group can be assembled. Hot on the heels of yet another major win, in the Gelato World Tour North America, Vancouver gelato guru James Coleridge is busy gearing up for a couple of major expansions. Sometime this summer he’ll pull the wraps off an expansive emporium on the False Creek north promenade (just east of Provence). Look for the familiar gelato bar but also an expanded menu of pizza Napoletana, desserts, coffee, Italian breakfast and more! Then comes a prime location in Grosvenor’s Ambleside revitalization in 2016. No doubt you’ll be able score at both a taste of his world-beating salted Pecan with Montmorency tart cherries & Tahitian vanilla. —TIM PAWSEY
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INTERESTING LOCALS —Holly Brooke A Talk About Food with Olympic Rower Will Dean There is something almost supernatural about Olympic athletes. The sheer determination, diligence, and dedication it takes to go for the gold are phenomenal. More than the rigorous training sessions (seven days a week, three times a day), it requires eating like a champion too. eatmagazine.ca/interview-with-will-dean
FIRST LOOK —Sophie MacKenzie Kid Sister, Not Just Popsicles Anymore. I had the chance to meet up with the good people of Kid Sister on what felt like the first day of summer peeking through the April showers. Located among the churches, government buildings, and apartments of North Park, Kid Sister is a bit of a hidden gem. eatmagazine.ca/kid-sister
TOP 5 —Adam Cantor Secrets of the City Loy Sing Co. (554 Fisgard) is a small butcher shop in the heart of Chinatown, which incidentally also serves barbecue pork, duck, and chicken. The cheap and consistently delicious items are advertised on a series of handwritten placards, taped up here and there behind the counter. eatmagazine.ca/5-secrets-city
DRINK THIS —Treve Ring Rosé Revolution – The Ultimate BC Rosé Guide: 40 Wines Reviewed Perhaps better Rosé Evolution? At least here in BC, where we have collectively embraced the joy of dry, refreshing rosés after far too long in the throes of sweet, saccharine pink wine. Rosé wine, especially from the heartland of Provence, has long been a key sommelier go-to. eatmagazine.ca/rose-revolution-theultimate-bc-rose-guide-40-wines-reviewed
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INTERESTING LOCALS —Sol Kaufman How to Feed a Game Designer with KANO/APPS No Doritos, no Twizzlers, no Mountain Dew. What kind of game studio is this? In many ways, social gaming startup KANO/APPS is a poster child for Victoria’s burgeoning technology industry. Created by a quartet of University of Victoria grads, the company has grown to… eatmagazine.ca/feed-game-designerkanoapps FIRST LOOK —Holly Brooke The Green Grocer in the Victoria Public Market It’s safe to say that the Victoria Public Market has achieved its goal: to house a year-round marketplace where various grassroots businesses provide local and ethically sourced foods. With the welcome addition of The Grocer… eatmagazine.ca/first-look-green-grocer
MUST-HAVE —Kaitlyn Rosenburg Cinnamon Buns from Patisserie Daniel At first, I don’t notice the breadboards crammed into spare pockets of space at Patisserie Daniel. Hundreds of breadboards. One entire wall groans under the weight of boards big and small, in varying states of quality. Breadboards spill over onto the floor… eatmagazine.ca/thoughts-patisserie-daniel
RECIPE —Jennifer Danter Skillet Chicken This is my Sunday Dinner fall back. A pile of meaty chicken legs sauced up with gooey business (aka “sauce”) plus potatoes, onions and tomatoes mixed in for a one-pot, well rounded meal. Give me a baguette, a bottle of red and a stack of wet wipes. Makes enough for dinner for two plus leftovers for lunch the next day. eatmagazine.ca/skillet-sticky-chicken
Plus… much much more…including: How (Some) Chefs Help Drive Change for Good—Tim Pawsey (eatmagazine.ca/how-some-chefs-help-drive-change-for-good). In Vancouver, Fraser St. is on the Up and Up. — Danika McDowell (eatmagazine.ca/vancouver-fraser-st)
Skills Canada winners Thalia Austin (left) and Toshi Akama (right) with VIU Culinary Arts instructor Joerg Gabler (centre).
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CULTURE —Jeannette Montgomery Bye Bye Barrel: the closing of an Okanagan cooperage In our celebrity-oriented climate, many industries have one person or role in the spotlight. With music it’s a band or singer playing centre stage with the sound engineer in the background; at a winery, the winemaker often gets more airtime than the viticulturist… eatmagazine.ca/bye-bye-barrel-closingokanagan-cooperage
Culinary Arts: Baking & Pastry Arts
Food, wine and culture field school in Italy. For more information visit viu.ca/educationabroad Follow the blog at sites.viu.ca/italy2014
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