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EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:56 AM Page 1


Smart. Local. Delicious.


t h p e u s p k i ce c i


March | April

Spice Market Lamb Chops with cooling yogurt

l 2016 | Issue 20-02 |

EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:56 AM Page 2

Give yourself an edge this Spring!

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

Get “sharp� in under a minute!! Excellent selection of knife sharpeners for European and/or Asian knives. One for almost any budget.

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

for people who love to cook

EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:56 AM Page 3

Smart. Local. Delicious.


g Features

25 The Interview 28 Business Success


31 Dumpling Dynasties

Monthly calendar of events, festivals & news

Traditions are kept alive in Victoria

St. Jean’s Cannery & Smokehouse

09 Epicure At Large

g Recipes

Hakka cuisine

34 Local Kitchen

10 Good For You

Spice market menu



Caffe Fantastico’s Ryan Taylor

g Food

8 Get Fresh

Wonderful, Won derful, Powerful P erful

Local super foods

11 Learn to cook Omelettes

12 Dish Five signature restaurant desserts

14 Food Matters Egg dishes

g Wine,

Spirits & Beer

40 Cocktail of the Month 41 Beer & a Bite 42 Liquid Assets Larry Arnold’s recommended wines



43 Wine + Terroir The new Rioja

La Tacqueria, Italian Deli, Sen Zushi


20 Eating Well For Less

46 The Buzz: Up Island, Uclulet &

Sally Bun, 10 Acres, Stubborn Chef


16 Reporter


After a devastating fire Sen Zushi has been rebuilt. (left) Ranch Roll with cream cheese, cooked egg, avocado, tobiko, cucumber and beef tataki. (right) Lotus Root Tempura with minced prawn between two lotus roots. See page 19

Find this recipe and more pulse ideas on our website.

Rebecca Wellmans

Customer Care: e: 1 800 66 667 8280 • thriftyfoods.c om/recipes MARCH | APRIL 2016


EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:56 AM Page 4

| Editor’s Note | I’m on my second espresso as I sit here looking out the window at the cold February rains pouring down. The crumbs from a crème brûlée doughnut I picked up earlier are left on the plate along with a vanilla custard smudged napkin. I stare out the window; my mind is wandering. March is EAT’s birthday. Seventeen amazing years. I think of our writers, editors, and photographers as family—they’ve contributed much to the magazine, and to Victoria. I think back over the numerous stories and articles that they’ve told, the hundreds of restaurants they’ve eaten in (and reported on), and all the talented people they’ve written about. EAT has been lucky to have participated in the growth of the city and the burgeoning food scene. I thank everyone: you, the reader, EAT’s creative staff (and those that

make and deliver the publication), and the magazine’s wonderful advertising partners and supporters. Without all of you, the magazine would not have been possible. Looking ahead to 2016 and beyond, EAT will continue to tell unique stories that reflect our community, we’ll let you know where to find the best food, and we’ll continue to spread the word near and far about how wonderful Victoria, Vancouver Island, and BC are, not only as thriving food destinations, but as great places to live. Bon appétit, my friends, please enjoy this issue as much as I enjoyed putting it together. Drop me a line and let me know what you would like to read about in upcoming issues. I can be reached at

Gary Hynes


Victoria’s premier farmers market

continues all winter long Indoors

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

Garry Oak Room Moss St. Market

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

EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:56 AM Page 5

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


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Thursday, March 24, 2016 Onn behalf ooff the P O Presenters resenters and Sponsors Sponsors of of Culinaire, Culinaire, we we wish ttoo thank the rreaders eaders ooff EA EAT AT TM Magazine agazine ffor or yyour our ccontinued ontinued support support of of the these se fine local eestablishments stablishments and V Victoria's ictoria's outs outstanding tanding ffood ood & be beverage verage ccommunity: ommunity: Zambri’s | Y Zambri’s Yonni’s Yonni’ onni’ss D Doughnuts oughnuts | W Way Wa ay W West We est Wine Wine & Spirit Spirit Sales Sales Vis Vis a V Visis W Wine ine B Bar ar | V Vic’s ic’s Steakhouse Steakhouse | V Veneto Vene eneto T Tapa apa L Lounge ounge V Varsha arsha S Sips ips + N Nosh osh H House ouse | V Vancouver Vanc ancouver IIsland sland Br Brewery ewery Unsworth Unsworth Vineyard Vineyard | T Toque oque C Catering atering | T The he Wandering Wandering M Mollusk ollusk The Village Estevan he R uby | T he R oost | T he L ocal | T he C ommons The V illage E stevan | T The Ruby The Roost The Local The Commons ineyards | T ewpub 10 A Acres cres K Kitchen itchen | T Tantalus Tan antalus V Vineyards Table able 21 | S Swans wans Br Brewpub Shiki S hiki S Sushi ushi | Sea Cider Cider Farm Farm & Ciderhouse Ciderhouse | Salt Salt Spring Spring Island Island Ales Ales Rock Rock Coast Coast Confections Confections | R Road oad 13 V Vineyards ineyards | Quench Quench Wines Wines Phillips Company | Perseus Perseus Winery Winery Phillips Brewing Brewing Company Penny Penny Farthing Farthing Public Public House House | Peacock Peacock & Martin Martin W Wines ines Osoyoos Larose estaurant | The tro Osoyoos Lar ose | Origin Origin B Bakery akery Olo R Restaurant The O Bis Bistro O Oak ak B Bay ay Beach H Hotel otel | N North orth 48 N Nichol ichol V Vineyards ineyards Nautical Seafood ood H House ouse | Muse Muse Winery Winery Nautical Nellies Nellies Steak Steak & Seaf Merridale ead | M ark A nthony F ine W ine Merchants Merchants Merridale Cider Cider | Meat Meat & Br Bread Mark Anthony Fine Wine LURE Bar | Lighthouse Lighthouse Brewing Brewing Company Company LURE Restaurant Restaurant & Bar Times House | Hoyne Hoyne Brewing Brewing Co. Co. | Hanks IIrish rish Time T imes Public Public House Hanks Gr Gray ay M Monk onk E Estate state W Winery inery | Food Food For For Thought Thought Catering Catering | Fireside Fireside Grill Fire Fire & Water Wat W ater F Fish Chop hop House House | Fiamo Fiamo Pizza Pizza & Wine ish and C Wine Bar Bar Fairmont Empress Empress | Driftwood Driftwood Brewery Brewery | Discovery Discovery Coffee Coffee Fairmont D ine V ineyards | Chateau Chateau Victoria Victoria Hotel Hotel Dee V Vine Vineyards Cedars Restaurant Restaurant & Lounge Lounge | C ategory 12 Br ewing Cedars Category Brewing C astro Boat eng F ine C atering | C Castro Boateng Fine Catering Camille’s amille’s at 45 Bastion Bastion Squar Squaree But chart G ardens | Bubb Bubby’s Kitchen Bard & B Banker Butchart Gardens y’s K itchen | Bard anker A URA W AURA Wat Waterfront aterfront Restaurant Restaurant & Patio Patio

With With more more gr great eat locations ttoo be announc announced! ed! Proudly Proudly suppor supporting ting C Camosun amosun C College, ollege, V Vanc Vancouver ancouver IIsland sland U University, niversity, and the BC H Hospitality ospitality F Foundation oundation Facebook/EatMagazine w Sign-up for our Tapas newsletter Publisher Pacific Island Gourmet | EAT ® is a registered trademark. MARCH | APRIL 2016


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city eats

by Rebecca Baugniet

g This has been a busy season for food comings and goings in Victoria. Over the

Zealand/Aussie style savoury pies, coffee, salads and sweets. Follow them on Instagram

winter, residents have said good-bye to two local institutions – The Black Olive

to see their daily specials. ( Fantastico bar-deli (Dockside

Restaurant on Pandora St. and Da Tandoor on Fort St. News broke in January that

Green location) opened at 398 Harbour Road in early December and has filled their

people should prepare to bid adieu to The Empress’ Bengal Lounge. This announce-

deli cases with a gorgeous selection of cheese and charcuterie – a welcome addition to

ment brought mixed reactions, with some starting a petition (on in hopes of

compliment all the good bread available in Vic West! ( For an

saving the establishment, and others celebrating what they view as a decor that

interview with owner Ryan Taylor see page 25.

romanticized the colonial era. Others are looking forward to the new look and giving the

g The fifth location of Red Barn Market is now open for business on Oak Bay Ave.

space a more updated feel. Whatever your feelings, April 30 will be the last chance to visit


the Bengal Lounge in its current incarnation.

g Over on Fort St, Sen Zushi has now reopened ( and a new Italian


restaurant, Lot 1 Pasta Bar will be coming to 815 Cloverdale Ave this summer. For an

g Other closures include Zaffran on Wharf St. (Signs are up announcing the arrival of

review of the new Sen Zushi see page 19.

New Asian Village – an Edmonton-based restaurant chain specializing in East Indian

g In mid February, Famous Original, a new pizza place promising authentic New York-

cuisine. Ayo Eat Indonesian Food in Market Square is moving to

style pizza, opened on lower Yates St. (Right next to Ferris')."

Vancouver. ( and Hank’s Untraditional BBQ closed in early Feb for a short

g Congratulations. On April 20—just two days before Earth Day—Salt Spring Coffee

period for renovations. (

turns 20. Check their website for celebration info.

Saltchuck Pie Co. on Bay St. This new café and bakery is will be offering New

1000th brew. Join brewmaster Daniel Murphy on Mar 3 for the party.

g At press time, the Rock Bay neighbourhood is anticipating the imminent opening of

BALANCE: CREATIVITY, QUALITY & EXECUTION. “Amazing atmosphere, great food, best cocktails in town and brilliant, attentive, knowledgeable staơ.” ReservaƟons accepted Open 7 days a week 5 PM unƟl late Happy Hours 5Ͳ6 PM and 10:30 unƟl close Down the Hall, 506 Fort St. www.liƩ 6



g After 13 years of brewing award-winning beers, Canoe Brewpub is celebrating their

EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:56 AM Page 7

g In James Bay, a new business has popped up next door to Finest at Sea at 31 Erie St. Imagine: Studio Cafe is an organic, fair trade cafe, passionate about sustainable community development around the world. They opened their doors in mid December and also offer yoga classes in their studio space. (

g Now is the time to get out your day planner, because this season offers many interesting food and drink events across the city. From Mar 1-5, Ottavio’s will be hosting Quebec Week, celebrating all things from La Belle Province with special cafe fea-


ture (tourtiere, habitant soup, smoked meat sandwiches) and pastry features (maple tarts). They will also be offering a 10% discount on Quebec cheeses, patés and duck products. (

g Victoria Beer Week takes place from Mar 4-12. This is a nine-day series of events highlighting a broad selection of BC craft breweries while educating greater Victoria residents about craft beer. The week is bookended with large events that pair BC craft beer with local Victoria food vendors, with a clear focus on showcasing quality BC craft beer and educating beer enthusiasts. Smaller tastings, seminars and micro-events happen at various venues throughout the week. (

g The restaurant at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific has undergone some changes and is now called Charlotte & the Quail, named for the garden kitty (Charlotte) and the road (Quayle). Open Wednesday-Fridays 11am-3pm and weekends from 9am-3pm, with tempting snacks (root hummus or a shaved Brussels sprout salad) and mains (turkey meatloaf with creamed greens, rutabaga, leek, soft herbs, hot sauce, heirloom rice & bean pilaf, or stuffed pear; a honey roasted pear, cultured cashew cream, buckwheat & pumpkin seed porridge, vanilla bean, warm nut milk). ( If you need another reason to go, the HCP is offering a twopart course on pruning fruit trees, Mar 12 &19 (

g Taking place on Mar 24, Culinaire is an event where restaurants and purveyors can showcase their product to those who have a love for great food and beverage. It is an opportunity to try new flavours and cooking techniques, and explore restaurants and dishes you may have never known about. (

g Running until May, the Royal BC Museum is hosting Wonder Sundays – a program that will “dig into the theme of food”. Each month will explore different aspects of growing and preparing food. The theme for March is Startups! How do food stores and farms get started? If you were to design your own food store or farm, what would it look like? While creating your own ideas, meet community members that have had inventive ideas about food production and are seeing these ideas through. Mar 27, 1-3pm. (

g On April 30, the local restaurant community on Vancouver Island will unite to help people living with HIV/AIDS by donating 25% of their food revenues to AIDS Vancouver Island. This year marks the tenth annual Dining Out For Life on the Island. (

g Looking ahead to May, Victoria’s very first Cheese and Meat Festival will be taking place at the Parkside Spa and Hotel on May 21. There will be artisan meats, cheeses, wines and coffee. For more information and to buy tickets visit

g Combine an interest in food culture with travel for a unique opportunity to experience Puglia in southern Italy this June 1-10, 2016. Local food anthropologist Nicole Kilburn will be helping the Italian educational organization Messors deliver a 10-day workshop: meet local shepherds, make pecorino cheese, bread and traditional Neapolitan pizza, savour local wines, visit archaeological sites, and picnic in the shade of olive trees. For more information and thr itinerary ( Cont’d on page 46 with news and events from Tofino/Uclulet and Up Island MARCH | APRIL 2016


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Handmade Ethical Local Traditional




By Sylvia Weinstock

Any garden, no matter how small, is not complete without rosemary. The scintillating green needles and beautiful edible flowers of this aromatic shrub are a source of inspiration for creating savoury and sweet dishes, infusions, syrups, cocktails, healing potions and beauty treatments for hair and skin. Rosemary’s unique taste is a heady blend of pepper, pine and camphor with a woodsy balsamic finish that jacks up the taste of everything from soup to nuts. Cooking does not diminish the flavour of this pungent herb. Slather local spring lamb chops with spicy rosemary-sparked jerk marinade and fire up the grill, or roast a leg of lamb that has bathed in rosemary, garlic, anchovies and vinegar. Think beyond rosemary chicken, and discover how this savoury herb enhances salmon and prawns. Get On the Flavour Trail to learn how Island chefs use rosemary in Pork Belly Confit, Comox Brie Quiche, and Potato, Yam and Corn Hash. To permeate grilled meat, seafood or vegetables with delectable perfume, place several rosemary branches on the glowing coals. Use sturdy rosemary branches instead of metal skewers when barbecuing brochettes. Another great tip: secure bundles of prosciutto-wrapped fresh figs and goat cheese by spearing them vertically with rosemary sprigs. Rosemary is a sultry companion for beans, vegetables and fruits. By all means, enjoy roasted rosemary potatoes, but don’t miss pairing the herb with roasted cauliflower or savouring how a hint of rosemary compliments a tomato’s umami taste. Fruit and nut desserts such as lemon rosemary macaroons, walnut rosemary tart, pear rosemary sorbet, roasted peaches with rosemary and pine nut rosemary brittle display the herb’s versatility. Rosemary parmesan shortbread is a dream combo of sweet and savoury. The herb marries beautifully with cornmeal, as in apple pie with a cornmeal crust. Exquisite cornmeal rosemary cake, served with a balsamic syrup that echoes rosemary’s balsamic notes, is one of my favourite desserts. The pungent herb is ideal for infusing salt, honey or olive oil, for making simple syrups, and tangy vinaigrettes. Celebrate spring with refreshing rosemary lemonade, grapefruit rosemary gin, pear rosemary infused vodka or a prosecco and vodka rosemary spritzer. Add zing to roasted cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds and popcorn with rosemary. Citrus rosemary olives, made by marinating olives in a mixture of minced garlic and shallots, lemon zest, orange zest, olive oil and minced fresh rosemary, would be a scrumptious companion for socca, the Provencal street food. Socca is traditionally made in a wood-burning oven, but it’s easy to recreate its blistered crispiness under the broiler, while it aromatizes your kitchen with the scent of rosemary. E

Socca: Rosemary Chickpea Flour Flatbread Makes 3 thin flatbreads 1 cup chickpea flour (preferably unroasted) 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water 3/4 tsp sea salt 1 ½ Tbsp minced rosemary 1 tsp ground cumin 2 ½ Tbsp olive oil, divided Pepper, coarse salt and olive oil to garnish Combine flour, water, salt, cumin and rosemary with 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil. Let batter rest 2 hours, covered, at room temperature. Heat the



oven broiler. Oil a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with the remaining olive oil. Heat the pan under the broiler until it is very hot. Carefully remove the pan, pour enough batter into it to cover the bottom, swirl it around, and place it under the broiler. Broil until it is firm and starting to blister at the edges. Slide the socca out of the pan onto a cutting board, slice into pieces and sprinkle with coarse salt, freshlyground black pepper and olive oil. (Optional sprinkles: minced garlic, smoked paprika or za'atar.) Cook the remaining batter as above, adding a little more oil to the pan for each flatbread.

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By Jeremy Ferguson

Finding Hakka

The Hakka people are the gypsies of China, adapting their cuisine to the wider world of their migrations. Among the astonishing weave of China’s 55 ethnic minorities, the Hakka people wok tall. From China’s southeastern provinces—mostly Guangdong (formerly Canton)— they fled the maelstrom of Chinese history in waves of migration, becoming China’s gypsies, the world their kitchen. Hakka immigrants (the Chinese word literally means “guest families”) boast a history of achievement—often as political leaders—from Taiwan and Singapore to Australia, Brazil and even Jamaica. They brought their cooking with them and weren’t afraid to improvise. Traditional Hakka cuisine is often lumped in with Cantonese and is fastidiously prepared, strong on seafood and bland, with a flair for coaxing umami out of meat dishes. Richmond’s Hakkasan Bistro is a case in point, with such lofty dishes as signature salt-baked chicken, Kobe beef with black pepper and, good grief, foie gras. But the story doesn’t end here, not by a long shot. The Hakka diaspora also took them to India, specifically Kolkata and Mumbai (formerly Calcutta and Bombay), where chefs quickly found Indians indifferent to bland Cantonese-style fare. The wily Hakka learned fast. Into Mother India’s spice box they flew, emerging with mittfuls of chilies, cumin, cardamom, garam masala, the lot. The happy result was the world’s first fusion cuisine, part Chinese finesse, part Indian spice hit. My wife and I first came across it in a five-burp Chinese eatery in Kathmandu and didn’t know what hit us. We ate Manchurian chicken, a purely Hakka creation, the ultratender bird sauced in soy, ginger, garlic and green chilies. Chili garlic noodles near-exploded with garlic, green chilies, garlic and coriander. Back in Canton, the thought alone might cause mass dysentery. It wasn’t light, but it lit us up. “Fine dining” (a term oozing snobbery) it wasn’t. Rip-snorting it was.

Today, this deeply addictive cuisine thrives in cities with large Chinese and Indian populations. Except for some Hong Kong panache at Jade Fountain in Victoria, China’s great regional cuisines—Mandarin, Beijing, Shanghai, Hunan and Sichuan (tossing a few chilies into a Cantonese dish does not Sichuan make)—sailed right past the Island to Vancouver. You find Sino-Indian in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey and Burnaby. Vancouver’s Kingsway is fast becoming the pan-Asian avenue of west coast cuisine. At Green Lettuce (1949 Kingsway), you eat among Chinese and Indian families smacking their lips and hooting with joy. The room is better-than-average Kingsway, the owners having had the smarts to turn down the lights and install glass-topped tablecloths. The menu lists 160 items. As with all spicy-food restos, it’s advisable to declare your preferred level of chili heat upfront. Chefs are weary of timid Westerners griping about spontaneous human combustion and often go the other way for new customers. At Green Lettuce, Indian naan is fried, not baked, and tastes reminiscent of Chinese green onion pancake. The kitchen stuffs silken dumplings with minced chicken, water chestnut and green onion, then drizzles them with a finely balanced chili-ginger sauce. There are clever little mini samosas, planks of crackling spring-roll pastry containing a vegetable filling and wafting Chinese five-spice into the air. Masala fried rice kicks it up with a curry mix, the heat steadily building. Less oily than Indian food and racier than much Chinese, this is a fluid, non-codified cuisine that invites the home cook to sizzling adventure. Using recipes abundant on the Internet as guidelines, feel free to fuse your own version of Sino-Indian. How many cuisines issue such a stirring invitation? For we who revere the life of spice as much as the spice of life, the Hakka glove is down. E MARCH | APRIL 2016


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By Pam Durkin

Five Local Superfoods Victoria edition.

In an effort to optimize our health, many of us purchase “superfoods” from afar, like goji berries or American health food products like Lara bars. We needn’t send our money elsewhere, however, to nourish our bodies optimally. Some of the healthiest foods on the planet are being produced on Vancouver Island. The following are just a few “über-nourishing” examples. I encourage you to include them in your diet regime. You’ll be helping your body, and the local economy, thrive.


Green Cuisine’s Amazake


McClintock Farm’s Buffalo Milk Yogurt


3 2-5380 Hwy. 1 Near Buckerfield’s Monday–Friday 8–8 Sat 8–7 • Sun 10–6


What’s amazake, you ask? It’s a traditional Japanese beverage made from fermented brown rice that tastes like a dairy-free milkshake. The drink’s inherent sweetness belies its nutritional power—it’s teeming with B vitamins, selenium, manganese and fibre. What’s more, like miso, amazake contains a bevy of live enzymes and probiotics that can enhance human health and digestion in myriad ways. Often blended with natural flavours such as nuts or vanilla, the drink can be enjoyed straight from the carton or used to make desserts such as puddings or smoothies. Green Cuisine Restaurant, Victoria’s venerable vegan haunt in Market Square, makes a particularly delicious version of the nourishing brew in three delightful flavours—almond, hazelnut and plain. (Green Cuisine products are available for sale at the restaurant,

Made in Courtenay, this mild, creamy yogurt is a health-conscious foodie’s dream. It trumps cow’s milk yogurt in both taste and nutritional might. When compared to cow’s milk yogurt, buffalo-milk yogurt has 40 percent more protein, 58 percent more calcium and 43 percent less cholesterol. In addition, it’s rich in the disease-fighting antioxidant tocopherol. Although it has a higher fat content than its cow cousin, the fats in buffalo-milk yogurt consist of a healthy mix of monounsaturated, saturated and polyunsaturated fats. Plus, this slightly higher fat content gives the yogurt a creamy, smooth finish that delights the palate. Here’s more good news—the proteins in buffalo milk are different than those found in cow’s milk, and many people who are sensitive to cow’s milk tolerate buffalo-milk products easily. (Currently, almost a dozen stores stock the yogurt in Victoria. For up-to-date availability, visit

Heavenly Goodies Gluten-Free Thanks to the folks at Heavenly Goodies bakery in Merville, truly nutritious, whole grain, gluten-free bread, cookies and quick bread can be had throughout Vancouver Island. The Comox Valley bakery doesn’t rely on the nutritionally bankrupt and commonplace ingredients used in most commercially produced gluten-free fare. Their sublime creations use gluten-free whole grains such as brown rice, amaranth and sorghum, with healthy add-ins like flax seed, fresh fruit, spices and blackstrap molasses. Their nutty, multigrain bread is fantastic plain or toasted, and the carrot cake loaf will satisfy the most ardent of carrot cake lovers. To peruse their whole line of goods and find a local supplier, visit

4 NutTea Bars

Is there a locally made energy bar that trumps General Mills’s much ballyhooed Lara bar? You bet. NutTea bars, the brainchild of Victoria entrepreneur Mayank Chauhan, best their American counterpart in several ways. Unlike Lara bars, NutTea bars are made from 100 percent certified organic ingredients.


EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:57 AM Page 11

In addition, the bars contain no added sugars of any kind. What’s more, NutTea bars deliver a potent antioxidant punch with every bite, thanks to the addition of disease-fighting, polyphenol-rich teas like yerba mate and matcha. Raw, vegan, gluten-free and surprisingly delicious, these homegrown bars make the perfect afternoon pick me up. (For current flavours and more info, visit



Silver Rill Berry’s Blackcurrant Concentrate Silver Rills Farm on the Saanich Peninsula is one of the few farms in Canada that cultivates true blackcurrants. That’s a shame because the purple berry (not to be confused with the tiny Zante grapes sold in Canada as “currants”) contains a host of disease-fighting nutrients not commonly found in other fruits. Studies show blackcurrants may help play a role in the prevention and treatment of a number of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s and arthritis. You can help ward off these conditions and more by regularly consuming Silver Rill’s delightful blackcurrant concentrate. The deep-purple elixir can be added to sauces, smoothies, cocktails, desserts and more. (The jam is fantastic too!) For more info, visit E


Ravenous adolescents stalking your kitchen? Time for a teachable moment with a couple of eggs. By Rebecca Baugniet

Raising teenagers prompts you to think somewhat differently about food. The inspiration behind this column came after hearing one of my children open up the fully stocked refrigerator and declare, for the umpteenth time, “There’s nothing good to eat.” What they meant, of course, was that there was nothing appetizing to them, ready to go. It would be easy enough to grab an apple from the crisper, or some hummus to go with the cherry tomatoes sitting on the counter, but because they are teenagers, they are ravenous, and an apple is not going to cut it anymore. They were starting to need mini-meals in between regular meals, and I realized it was time to set them up with some basics—kitchen skills and recipes that would allow them to properly satisfy their own hunger when there was no one around to cook for them. This is not because my children are strangers to the kitchen—far from it. But while they were usually happy to pitch in and help us in the kitchen, somehow they were lacking initiative when it came to preparing food on their own. I decided omelettes were a good place to begin. Protein, I explained, was their best friend now. It would keep them going far longer than that bag of chips they were hoping to find hiding in a cupboard. The ingredients were almost always on hand in the fridge and the pantry, and a plain or cheese omelette could be ready in under 10 minutes, while one with a filling, such as onion and mushrooms, would only need another five or six minutes. When you take the time to teach someone a recipe, you realize just how many micro skills are involved, even for the most basic dish. Choosing the right pan, preheating it, swirling the butter around to ensure it has covered the entire surface of the pan and adding the egg before the butter begins to brown—these are all small but Cont’d at the bottom of page 13 MARCH | APRIL 2016


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By Joseph Blake

Sweet Spots

A just desserts connoisseur names his five faves from Victoria restaurants.

Rebecca Wellman

Saveur’s Rob Cassels’ pistachio crème brulee with basil caramel and white chocolate snow.

I’ve got a serious sweet tooth and so does the rest of my family. When our kids were young, my wife taught me that no matter what we served for dinner, they would always leave the table happy if we finished the meal with a wonderful dessert. I’m like that too and still remember my first cheesecake at Pagliacci’s, many dishes of Zambri’s traditional tiramisú and last summer’s local berry clafoutis at Butchart Gardens dining room. For me, choosing my favourite restaurant desserts is like choosing my favourite recordings from my collection of thousands of tapes, CDs and LPs. It’s an impossible task, but one I’ll attempt to accomplish in the interests of the common good. In no particular order, here are my top five. Cafe Brio’s dark chocolate and condensed milk flan cake punches all my prediabetic, chocolate-loving buttons. It’s rich and gooey and texturally complex. Sharing the plate with caramelized honey, coffee-chocolate syrup and chili oil, it’s jokingly called “the impossible cake.” The cake is placed in the bottom of a mold with the eggs, milk and cream custard on top. The custard sinks to the bottom of the mold and ends up on top when the dish is flipped over, hence the “impossible cake” moniker. Sweet chocolate heaven on a plate. Like the rest of the offerings at Brasserie L’ecole, the dessert menu items are perfect examples of French bistro fare. The kitchen’s version of crème brûlée is a seemingly simple dish that consistently arrives at the table as an example of the restaurant’s attention to detail. Served in a traditional porcelain ramekin, the rich custard is topped with a thin crust of perfectly toasted caramelized sugar. When I ask chef Sean Brennan how he does it, he opens a splattered page of Marco Pierre White’s cookbook and explains. “As you can see, I’ve been using this recipe for 18 years, first at Herald Street and for the last 15 at Brasserie. It’s simply eggs, cream, milk and a vanilla bean, but it has to sit overnight before caramelizing the sugar on top with a torch. You can’t make it in one day.” Saveur’s adventurous chef Rob Cassels deconstructs traditional crème brûlée, transforming the dish into an ice cream bar that’s crusted with pistachio caramelized sugar and topped with white chocolate snow and basil caramel sauce.

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EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:57 AM Page 13

Cassels is arguably the most creative chef in town, and his deconstructed brûlée is light and not too sweet, a subtle, whimsical combination of crunch and cold, spice and mild. It’s a delicious way to finish his stunning, five-course tasting menu. Olo’s Brad Holmes is another young chef who uses a deconstructivist technique to modify the texture and form of traditional dishes in order to surprise and delight. In early spring, when rhubarb and sorrel arrive in his kitchen, Holmes combines poached rhubarb with Tree Island Yogurt from grass-fed Comox Valley cow’s milk to make an ice cream-like treat served with his almond frangipane cake and a painterly swirl of pureed sorrel. It’s a lovely sweet-and-sour-flavoured seasonal treat. Camille’s chef Stephan Drolet created another of my favourites, his popular Maple and Bourbon. The dessert combines warm, cylindrical pudding chomeur (a simple peasant cake baked in maple syrup) and maple bourbon ice cream on a bed of almond cracker crumbs and topped with a pair of triangular almond cookies. Salted caramel and caramel popcorn surrounding the cake and ice cream provide more taste and textural combinations. Finally, a shot glass of Wild Turkey bourbon milk provides another component, either to drizzle over the dish, pour into an after-dinner coffee or sip while contemplating chef Drolet’s playfully provocative sweet treat. Cafe Brio, 944 Fort St., 250-383-0009 Brasserie L’ecole, 1715 Government St., 250-475-6260 Saveur, 658 Herald St., 250-590-9251 Olo, 509 Fisgard St., 250-590-8795 Camille’s, 45 Bastion Sq., 250-381-3433

Learn To Cook cont’d important steps towards the success of the enterprise. When my daughter stated she wanted something more interesting than “just cheese” inside her omelette, it became an opportunity to teach knife skills for chopping onions and mushrooms and introduce the concept of sautéing. It also became an occasion to encourage improvising. Once you’ve got the basic recipe down, I told her, you can try different fillings. See what’s in the fridge and try it out—red peppers, turkey deli slices, leftover roasted veggies—all of these would work well encased in an omelette. Now I often get home from work to the smell of sautéed onions. Then I walk into the kitchen and find the omelette debris, the used frying pans on the stovetop, the cutting board with mushroom ends lying on the counter. I’m happy my lesson was successful and my kids are on the road to self-sufficiency. I’m just not sure why the part about cleaning up after yourself didn’t stick.

4-Step Basic Omelette Recipe Makes one omelette. ¼ cup – 1/3 cup filling (optional) 2 large slices of your favourite cheese (optional) 1 tsp butter (more if sautéing filling)

2 large eggs, preferably organic, free-range or omega-3, well beaten 1 Tbsp water Salt and pepper to taste

1. We usually get started with the filling—most often half a yellow onion finely chopped, three or four cremini mushrooms roughly chopped, and both sautéed in a teaspoon or two of butter until softened and fragrant. We then sprinkle a little salt, pepper and a pinch of dried thyme and leave it to sit for a moment until the omelette is set on the bottom and ready to have the filling added. 2. Eggs are beaten in a measuring jug, water added and beaten again. 3. Preheat your pan of choice (we use a 10-inch non-stick enameled pan because we like our omelettes thin, though this recipe would work equally well in an eight-inch pan), swirl the teaspoon of butter to cover the pan and before the butter begins to brown, slowly pour in the egg, tilting the pan until it has completely covered the surface. Cook for a minute or so, until the egg mixture is beginning to hold together and set on the bottom, and add your desired filling down the middle of the omelette, topping with sliced cheese if you like (we like provolone with mushrooms or old cheddar with tomato slices). 4. Using a spatula, peek under the edge of the omelette. When it is just beginning to brown, fold one third over, covering the filling, and repeat with the other side. Slide the folded omelette onto your plate and enjoy! MARCH | APRIL 2016


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By Julie Pegg

The Elegant Egg

The French know how to respect its delicate nature.



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have taken to coddling eggs—not in the sense of barely boiling them in their

shell for making Caesar salad dressing—but cracking and slipping them gently into two buttered egg coddlers that were my grandmother’s. In a recent effort, I sprinkled salt, pepper, chopped chives and a grating of Gruyere cheese over the eggs before putting the lids on tightly and setting the pretty, porcelain coddlers into a pan of simmering water. Ten minutes on, my

husband I were dipping toasted brioche “soldiers” into soft, savoury, buttery, cheesy eggs. It was an utterly delightful light brunch. (Had the eggs been baked in a gratin dish, they would have been shirred.) The ubiquitous egg seems to be undergoing a renaissance. That pleases me for I have had a love affair with eggs all my life. I enjoy them in all their guises—fried, scrambled, poached. Boiled eggs are a go-to snack, especially when I travel. My on-board nosh for many years has been hard-boiled eggs, a few slices of English cucumber and lightly buttered bread. It’s very portable, filling, yet light on a travelling tummy. I think though that we give eggs short shrift. Our repertoire begins and ends with a morning fry-up or, what has become for me, a tiresome eggs benny or overstuffed, overcooked omelette brunch. Such fatty fare does wonders to soak up a boozy night but does little to flatter the delicate egg. Moreover, the eggs are often not cooked properly. It’s heartwarming to see chefs poaching or boiling free-range eggs so that their golden cores remain lightly soft and allowing them to grace the plate at lunch and supper. English biographer and historian Kate Colquhoun in Taste: The Story of Britain through its Cooking writes that Louis-Eustache Ude, a French chef working at a posh gentle-



EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:57 AM Page 15

man’s club in London in the mid-1800s, claimed that “in the inventive atmosphere of the haute-cuisine kitchen, eggs are indispensable in cookery.’” According to Colquhoun, chef Ude “fried them in boiling oil, served them with maître d’hôtel butter, stuffed them (en surprise), or baked them en cocotte in small pots in the ashes of the fire with a little tarragon or concentrated gravy.” The French still know how to gussy up an egg—and how to cook it. In Provence, I enjoyed eggs fried in a bright, summery tomato sauce until the brilliant yellow centre just set and its white rim crisped to golden brown. In Lyon, a soft poached egg and frizzled lardons on a bed of frisee were just the thing with a carafe of Beaujolais

ROCKET SALAD parmesan crusted chicken breast, arugula, vine tomatoes, red onion, lemon caper dressing.

on a waning balmy evening. Few omelette recipes are better than iconic cookbook author Elizabeth David’s one for Omelette aux Fines Herbes. She demands you source the freshest eggs, creamery butter and sweet-smelling herbs for a perfect omelette. Then there are velvety rich oeufs en meurette, a sort of eggs Bourgignon, if you will. The eggs are poached in red wine, removed from the pan and set aside. The stock is then reduced to a rich sauce with the help of butter, flour (beurre manié) and a bouquet garni. Sautéed mushrooms, lardons and pearl onions are added just before the sauce is ladled over the eggs, which rest on rounds of grilled and buttered bread. The result is pure luxury. It’s not only ingredients that make for a lavish egg but also the respect you give it in cooking. Lightly scrambled eggs, coaxed with a wooden spoon in a double boiler (rather than beaten into submission and cooked on direct heat), produce a fluffy, creamy mound, ideal for partnering with smoked salmon or shavings of fresh truffle. In the case of David’s omelette, the entire process should take “forty-five seconds from being poured into the pan until it is turned on to the dish.” With spring around the corner, think about combining eggs with asparagus, sorrel, baby spinach or fresh morels. I look forward to coddled or shirred eggs with asparagus tips and a splash of fresh cream. Finally, I must mention kedgeree, an Anglo-Indian colonial casserole of fluffy curried rice, flaked smoked haddock and hard-cooked eggs. My preferred version avoids blending the eggs with the rice and fish. Instead, two quartered golden-yoked eggs that have been boiled just so is kedgeree’s crowning glory.







6.9 billion MARCH | APRIL 2016


EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:57 AM Page 16



Rebecca Wellman

Photography by Rebecca Wellman



(left) Calabacitas (veggie with queso fresco); Lengua (braised beef tongue, green sauce); (top) La Taqueria owners Alfonso Sanz and Marcelo Ramirez Romero: Ben Anderson. (bottom) Al Pastor (pork and pineapple); Tinga de Pollo (chicken, queso fresco, cheese); Pollo con Mole (chicken, sesame seeds); Carnitas(pork confit with pickled red onions)

EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:57 AM Page 17

La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop 766 Fort St., 778-265-6255,

The spanking brand new interior of La Taqueria.

Tacos. Warm aromatic corn tortillas wrapped around grilled or braised ingredients with the

ingredient mole, tender beef tongue and carnitas of pork confit with pickled red onion. The newest

added spark of salsa is as synonymous to Mexico as mariachi. It’s the perfect snack food, can

addition to the kitchen is a deep fryer, the company’s first, and will serve up Baja-style fish tacos

be enjoyed at any hour of the day, and its popularity has spawned successful food trucks in cities

in a crispy beer batter on a housemade flour tortilla. Vegetarian choices are not an after-thought

around the world – I visited one in Paris, France, recently. So integral to Mexico’s culinary

with tender calabacitas (sautéed zucchini), rajas (roasted poblano peppers) and stewed charro

culture, tacos are now protected by UNESCO, and, along with other global street and snack

beans with Oaxaca cheese. Even kale makes an appearance with stewed mushrooms in a spicy

foods, are well-deserving of a place in the spotlight.

chipotle sauce.

The latest star turn for what I call “Vitamin T” goes to La Taqueria, newly opened on Fort Street.

Salsas bring out the soul of the taco, and the selection here ranges from expressive to fiery. A

You might recognize the name from Vancouver, where Guadalajara-born owner Marcelo Ramirez

salsa verde of raw tomatillos gets a creamy hit from avocado, perfect for the timid palate, whereas

Romero opened his first, and very tiny, taco shop on Hastings Street seven years ago. This is his

the salsa of roasted arbol chilies adds notes of toasty fire to ignite flavour. Chipotle en adobo adds

fourth taco outlet and the first in Victoria and is the biggest to date, with 70 seats. (He also owns

smoky nuances, and the five-alarm salsa habanero is for more experienced aficionados. For extra

the Vancouver restaurant La Mezcaleria.) Authenticity is key to Romero’s success, and it shows

pizzazz, two volcanic stone molcajetes (mortars) showcase the house-pickled red onions and

from the décor to the menu. The space is “100-percent street market” with blue, aqua and white

medley of pickled carrots, jalapeño and cauliflower that diners can add al gusto to make a snack

geometric cement tiles imported from Mexico, offset with agua blue and white-washed walls,

more of a meal.

with hand-painted lettering spelling out some of the house specialties. Twenty-five seats are nestled around a cast-concrete bar overlooking the open kitchen, and the food and drink menu is hand-painted on one wall for a muy authentico vibe. Corn tortillas are made on site and are the vehicle for more than 14 taco choices that run the gamut from braised

Besides the classic agua frescas of horchata (ground rice, cinnamon and sugar) and Jamaica (cold hibiscus tea), La Taqueria offers local craft brews, Mexican cervezas, frozen margaritas and tasting flights of single- estate mezcals and tequilas. As they say in Mexico, buen provecho!



beef cheeks, a classic al pastor of achiote and chili-marinated pork with pineapple, to a multi- MARCH | APRIL 2016


EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:57 AM Page 18

Refreshed & Renewed

Italian Deli and Sen Zushi: Facelifts and redesigns for two much-loved Victoria eateries help them greet the new year with elegance and efficiency.

Rebecca Wellman

above: The updated Italian Deli interior

Italian Deli 1114 Blanshard St., 250-385-7923 The start of a new year is a time of renewal and so it has been for two popular restaurants in Victoria. After 30 years, Italian Food Imports closed its doors January 1 for renovations. In only two short weeks, the Italian Deli and Caffe reopened with a stunning new look. The room has been opened up revealing a 15-foot ceiling accented with new lighting, paint, sleek glass and stainless steel coolers, new flooring, faux marble countertops and banquette seating at the front. The Segato brothers, Maurizio and Massimo, took over the business from their parents Ivano and Catherina, who have since passed away, and they’ve grown its success in leaps and bounds, including opening two Macchiato Caffes in the city. Their popular sandwich menu has evolved over time to 23 different choices, with names such as the Godfather, Rocky Balboa and Maffiaso. Their ultimate multi-ingredient meatball sandwich has a cult-like status. Reconfiguring the back counter has provided much-needed efficiency for those lunchtime lineups that often snake out the door. Soup and pasta of the day are still mainstays. The newest addition to the caffe is a shiny new La Spaziale espresso machine. The brothers continue to stock traditional Italian deli and grocery items, and fans can still expect Thursday deliveries of freshly made Italian sausages, prepared according to Ivano’s recipe. Regarding the changes, Massimo says, “I think Mom and Dad would be proud.” I think they would too.



EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:57 AM Page 19

Rebecca Wellman

weekend brunch

above: Rebuilt from a devastating fire, the completely redone and renovated Sen Zushi



Sen Zushi

saturdays and sundays 11am-2pm cheap prices. free parking.

mojitos caesars hi-balls

940 Fort St., 250-385-4320, After a kitchen fire in 2014, Sen Zushi waited out a long year and eight months of renovations before reopening this past December. During that time, they set up temporary digs on Store Street with a paired-down menu of the greatest hits, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who wondered, with a sigh, if they were ever going to reopen. But reopen they have, with a


brand- new elegant interior and expanded seating to accommodate 107 diners.

Yam Fries 3.5 Herb Fries 3.5 Edamame 3.75 Dirty Almonds 3 Lamb Meatballs 6 BBQ Pork Poutine 5.5 Purple Potato Chips 2.5 Grilled Artisan Bread 3.5 Crispy Fried Chicken Wings

Every wall, ceiling and floor in the place had to be removed, so the owners took the opportunity to reconfigure the whole space. The kitchen and sushi bar are now at the back of the restaurant, and there’s a new bar area to sit around for cocktails, premium sakes and beer on tap. “We’re using the space more efficiently,” says general manager Naoka Kokubun, “and it’s a little classier than before.” You’ll find dark wood with dark red accents and natural light at the front of the room. Tables are set with plum-coloured napkins and beautiful floraldecorated chopsticks, while a strip of colourful kimono fabric decorates each table. The multi-


page menu is back with all of their signature rolls, udon soups and don bowls, and other authentic Japanese dishes and ingredients such as ika poppo (whole grilled squid) and natto and shiso leaves. I’m a huge fan of their style of cutting fish for nigari—long and slender. Three chefs hold court at the sushi bar, including director Kozo Kawada and Vancouver Island’s only female sushi chef, Lynn Howard-Gibbon. Sen Zushi is back and it’s here to stay. BY SHELORA SHELDAN



LOCAL DJ'S EVERY FRIDAY & SATURDAY NIGHT HOUSE 6PM-11PM PARTY i 250-360-5873 i 100 harbour road, Victoria lively fresh local



EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:57 AM Page 20


By Elizabeth Monk

Of Bistros and Buns A Fort Street Nook, Noodles and Happy Hour Dining

Sally Bun 1030 Fort St. near Vancouver, 250-384-1899 Stuffed buns, soups and salads—the offerings

Prices for all buns range from $3.25 to $4.50.

here are simple, well-executed and affordable in

But don’t overlook the tasty salads and soups;

a cheap ’n’ cheerful atmosphere that can be

their chicken vegetable soup stood out in partic-

enjoyed for under $10. Classic deli sandwich

ular. The words that leapt to mind upon tasting it

fixings are stuffed into soft, yeasty baked rolls

were “Grandma! Comfort! Cure for the common

instead of sandwich slices. The Turkey Red

cold!” A small bowl is $3.49, a large bowl

Pepper Havarti Bun is about five inches long and

$4.49. The salads are boisterous affairs with

reasonably plump with four slices of turkey rolled

mixed vegetables ($5.49 small; $6.48 large)

around a smear of soft cheese. The Ham and

and interesting homemade salad dressings like

Cheddar Bun and Lox and Cream Cheese Bun

spicy Thai, honey ginger and lime cilantro. Sally

are other examples of classic deli flavour combi-

Bun also has some extras such as a well-stocked

nations. The owners are of Korean origin and

magazine rack that includes my guilty pleasure,

share their culinary tradition with the Korean

People. (Alert to hipster coffee shops–I’m not

Barbecue Beef Bun, which has as much ground

always in the mood for The Walrus.) Come

beef as a burger and seasoned with soy sauce,

spring, you can lunch at a table in the little oasis

sesame oil, garlic and sugar. Like some Korean

of a backyard, great for enjoying nature or

dishes, it has a sweet rather than a spicy profile.

letting little kids run free.


Cont’d next page



Elizabeth Nyland

Elizabeth Nyland

A bowl of chicken vegetable soup and a Korean barbecue beef bun at Sally Bun on Fort Street.

EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:57 AM Page 21

OLO is a farm-to-table restaurant with a focus on local, sustainably raised ingredients, complemented by an impressive beverage list and perfectly mixed cocktails. Open daily 5:00pm until late 509 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC (250) 590-8795 |

Elizabeth Nyland

Salt Spring Island mussels with house grilled foccacia bread at 10 Acres

10 Acres Bistro 611 Courtney St. at Gordon, 250-220-8008 I love happy hours, and not just because my presence there means I’m off work. I love getting to sample a restaurant’s specialties at a reduced price. Get to this stylish bistro weekdays between 4 and 6 p.m., or for their late-night menu 10 p.m. to closing, and you can try many of their delicious farm-tofork dishes—so many in fact, I’ve created award-show-like categories: most elegant, best to share and most bang for the buck. The mussels win in the first category. The name on the menu, “Salt Spring Island Mussels with Green Curry,” sounds too prosaic; better to say that these mussels are in a complex lemongrass and saffron sauce with a whisper of curry at the finish. This intriguing dish is $9

ON POINT. Classic Cuisine. 100% Ocean Wise.

during happy hour. The Cauliflower Dip with Gruyere, also $9, is great for sharing. The sizzling ramekin of creamy dip is topped with melted cheese, tantalizingly garnished with one red, one green and one black olive and served with 10 sizable toasts. There are multiple winners in “the most bang for the buck” category. The frites for $4 is a generous bowl, and among the best I’ve had in the city. It is worth adding the $2 for truffle oil and cheese on top. One very large piece of battered pollock is accompanied by elegant coleslaw and tartar sauce was $5. I did feel it needed more salt and pepper in the batter, but that was easily remedied. And the pièce de résistance is Pie ’n’ Pint for $10.


I had a Hoyne Pilsner along with a top-notch chicken pot pie, with creamy chicken, peas, carrots and corn presented like a gift in a puffy pastry bowl and a pastry cap.


Cont’d next page MARCH | APRIL 2016


EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:57 AM Page 22

Heron Rock Bistro

At the Stubborn Chef, Carlos Chan prepares his ramen with veggies, pork, bamboo shoots, kimuchi and corn. He also makes his own miso stock.

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


Brewmaster's Dinner Series continues Thursday, March 31 // Hoyne Brewing Co Thursday, April 28 // Phillips at Heron Rock...250.383.1545

Thursday, March 24 // Longwood Brewery Thursday, April 21 // Russell Brewery at Crooked Goose...250.590.4556

call for reservations 6pm Happy Hour 7pm Dinner

Mon-Wed 11am-10pm Thur-Fri 11am-11pm Sat 9am-11pm // Sun 9am-10pm

Elizabeth Nyland


Stubborn Chef




SPRINGS AGAIN! Spring returns and so do we!

We’ve been re-opened for one year.

Come and celebrate our post-fire resurrection. Open at 7AM Tuesday to Saturday. Easter Specialties, Homemade Gelato, Organic Breads, Locally Roasted Coffees, Italian Panini and Pasta, Pastries and Cakes Deli Meats & Cheeses. Your Local Victoria Destination Since 1978. *250-388-4557 * Quadra@Tolmie 22


3960 Shelbourne St. (University Heights Shopping Centre), 778-432-3818 This is largely a university student joint. However, those students happen to be mostly from the Asian international student population, a group I follow around like a mosquito so I can be led to restaurants with some degree of authenticity. Stubborn Chef has a pan-Asian menu divided between dumplings, ramen and noodles. I’m pretty sure one main enticement for the international students is the Miso Ramen for $9.95. It sounds simple, but chef Carlos Chan makes his own miso and seafood stock from scratch, and that attention to detail surfaces in the flavour. The soup is enriched with pureed ginger, the barbecue pork is marinated in soy, honey, garlic and sesame oil and it’s all topped with a slightly runny, cold cooked egg. Internet trolls reviewing the restaurant run amok with outrage about the egg being cold, but that is

in fact the authentic Japanese way. Another popular dish is Curry Shrimp Noodle Soup (or Malaysian “lakhsa” to the connoisseur) for $11.95. The soup has a coconut milk base with a complex tart note and warm spice to the finish. It has the interesting effect of starting out sweet and transitioning to heat, and I found myself eating it slowly to enjoy each bite. Finally, Stubborn Chef is famous for its Pork Juicy Buns (eight for $10). Kid-friendly thumbs up also to the Honey Lemon Black Tea with Lychees bubble tea and the Red Bean Taro slushee. This is a student joint, so it has that informal feel. The tables look second-hand, the chairs outdated, but who cares? This is excellent food in a simple environment, and the students have kept it secret for too long. E

EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:57 AM Page 23 MARCH | APRIL 2016


EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:57 AM Page 24

Academy Dental is hosting Dentistry from the Heart Heart!!

Monday April 25th Academy Dental will be offering

FREE DENTAL WORK from 8am to 4pm to thank the local community for their longstanding support! *Services are limited to one cleaning, filling, or extraction per person and will be provided on a first come, first come basis at our Fort St Main and Sooke clinics. Appointments will not be taken on this day.

Visit us online

FO R T S T REET ( M AI N ) : 250-385-6552 SO O K E RO AD : 778-425-4140



EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:57 AM Page 25

The Caffe Fantastico Story Coffee house innovator Ryan Taylor sits down with writer Jill Van Gyn to talk farmers, coffee carts and teenage love.


Owners Ryan and Kristy Taylor

t’s a Thursday morning at Caffe Fantastico. You are standing in line for your daily café Americano. You are vaguely aware of the smell of roasted coffee, the screech of steam coming from the espresso machine, and the action happening behind the counter. You thank your barista, pop the lid on and, in an infinitely small moment as you take that first sip, you have a rush of deep satisfaction and appreciation for the quality and craft of your beverage. You are, for an instant, relieved of the pressures of time and space. The moment passes, you glance at your watch and hurry out the door, and your cup of coffee just becomes part of the minutiae that makes up your day. Let’s rewind and unpack that small moment. Good coffee doesn’t just happen. Good coffee, and what it can do for the mind and spirit, takes a lifetime of thought, intention and an unrelenting dedication to cultivating the best possible coffee drinking experience. On a busy Tuesday afternoon in January, I sat down with Caffe Fantastico owners Ryan and Kristy Taylor. Over a cup of their house roast, they relaxed comfortably in the busy surroundings of the newly renovated Kings Road location, the place they first met. Two decades ago, Ryan was slinging demitasse to tourists in the Inner Harbour. Today, the Taylors have built a mini-empire on their standard setting coffee, opening brunch and bistro destinations and now a fine cheese and charcuterie deli as an expansion of the Dockside Green location. Teenage love: it’s the type of love that will make you or break you. That first tryst has the potential to define who you are for the rest of your life. For Ryan Taylor, it did just that. Ryan reminisced about a trip to Japan in 1990 when he was just 16 years old. He became enamoured with how Japanese coffee culture invited people out of their tiny houses to congregate around a cup of coffee and good conversation. Ryan had taken to hanging around Pagliacci’s just to score a decent shot of espresso, and he became convinced there must be a better way to bring good coffee to the people of Victoria. After high school, he began to formulate an idea: he was going to make it his mission to open up a coffee shop. For an 18-year-old this is a pretty good mission to have. Business-minded, entrepreneurial and single-minded, but ambitious nonetheless. His little coffee cart, Espresso Fantastico, was born after a brief fling with college, a one-night stand with a city tender application and a frenzied affair with a nail and hammer in his backyard. Pooling together a few small investors, some paper route money and a borrowed parental credit card, Ryan opened for business in the Inner Harbour. Within weeks of setting up shop, a community had sprung up around him. “I had porcelain from day one. I wanted to make sure people could hang out.” Tourists, buskers and locals had such an appreciation for Ryan’s coffee that he cultivated a loyal following that would help to establish Caffe Fantastico in later years. “Tourists would come and spend a week here in Victoria and tell me the cart was the first and last place they would visit.” Ryan was beginning to understand that it was less about the venue and more about providing a quality espresso to those who appreciated it. When talking about those early years, Ryan remembers the off-season with a particular fondness. “I would travel around the MARCH | APRIL 2016


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“ I would travel around the Pacific Northwest Coast meeting people and having amazing conversations on coffee.” Pacific Northwest Coast meeting people and having amazing conversations on coffee.” This is where Ryan truly got his education, garnering the interested ears of the vanguards of modern coffee culture, people like David Schomer of Espresso Vivace and Dr. Ernesto Illy (yes, that Illy). He attended roasting workshops and began to develop relationships with suppliers, always chasing the bean that would produce the best cup of coffee. In 1996, Ryan bought his first roaster. “I stopped drinking coffee for five months … and tasted only the coffee I roasted.” He concentrated on understanding the unique flavour profiles developed through the roasting process and finally, when the cart reopened that year, he had his roast, the same espresso blend you drink today. Ryan spent two years searching for a place to finally build his café. He had always been attracted to Quadra Village for its population density, diversity and sense of community. In 1998, as Ryan turned 24, he finally opened Caffe Fantastico on Kings Road. The café was built as a solo mission, and Taylor’s quest to find that perfect bean had been a deeply personal journey. When Kristy Abel walked in and bought a $2 latte just after Caffe Fantastico opened, the long journey finally became an adventure that Ryan could share with someone else. As Kristy recalled that day, she wrapped her hand into the crook of Ryan’s elbow and blushed a deep red. “Ryan poured a heart on top of my coffee and I thought, “game over.” I walked home and I called my best friend and said, ‘I just



met the man I’m going to marry’” And so it was: Ryan had his café and now a partner who became equally dedicated to enhancing and diversifying their standard setting coffee. Ryan and Kristy would continue the pursuit to find the best possible coffee by travelling to the source of their beans. In 2000, they travelled to Tepic, Mexico, just outside Puerto Vallarta, with a shoestring budget of about $1,000 and directions written out on a cocktail napkin. They went to meet the farmers, to investigate the working conditions and to better understand how coffee farming was impacting the community. They found that one of the reasons the bean was so good was that these farmers shared their passion. The farmers used profits to pay into education, build better infrastructure and enhance labour conditions. Happy and self-invested farms produce better coffee and will continue to work for a better bean. Ryan has a personal philosophy in sampling coffee beans: he does not want to know the price, ever. He has always been willing to pay for a better bean if it means he is able to produce better coffee. This is what he tells the farmers who supply him, and the farmers are more than happy to oblige. This philosophy, coupled with a core belief that quality working conditions and a shared passion make a better cup of coffee, has followed him all over the world in a mission to continually improve the quality of coffee at Caffe Fantastico. Ryan and Kristy have developed relationships with farmers in Mexico, Guatemala, Panama

and Ethiopia, with Nicaragua next on their list. They have a deep respect for ethically run farms, and this is reflected in how they manage their now 65 employees, some of whom have been at the café since the beginning. Over the past two decades, Ryan and Kristy Taylor have brought up two children and expanded the Fantastico family to include brunch and bistro spots (Caffe Fantastico and Tre Fantastico) and now a bar and deli. The recently opened Dockside Green deli is reflective of the Fantastico penchant for becoming intimately involved with the products they are serving. Kalynka Cherkosh, a long-time friend and collaborator of the Taylors, makes a point of meeting with the cheese makers and the ranchers who produce their beautifully curated selections of meats and cheeses. The expansion of Caffe Fantastico is an extension of the passion the Taylors have for bringing a community together in a shared love of fine coffee, fine food and fine company. But at the end of the day, it will always be about the coffee. It will always be about the singular idea that coffee can be better, that handling coffee from source to cup, with a profound respect for the bean and those who produce it, will yield that infinitely small moment of deep satisfaction and appreciation that comes with the first sip of your morning coffee. E Quadra Village, 965 Kings Rd., Tre Fantastico, 810 Humboldt St., Dockside Green, 102-398 Harbour Rd.

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The Value of Real

Nanaimo’s St. Jean’s Cannery & Smokehouse proves a small business can thrive by paying attention to local demand and finding its niche. By Cinda Chavich


t’s a small can, a little rusty around the edges, with the word “Smudgies” on the faded label, a small can that’s on display inside what may be the largest fish can in the world. The latter is actually a mini-museum devoted to the history of St. Jean’s Cannery & Smokehouse in Nanaimo, a building that looks like an oversized can of salmon sitting in a parking lot next to the country’s only tuna cannery. And the former is the first product that founder Armand St. Jean ever put into a can. “Armand started smoking oysters in a shed in his backyard and sold Smudgies in the bars,” says customer service manager Lance Weber, describing how the company’s namesake peddled his tasty home-smoked snacks to patrons in local pubs in the 1950s, first in plastic bags, then in jars and finally in tins. “He bought his first canning equipment in 1961, and the rest is history.” It’s the history of a fish canning company that’s remained afloat despite the collapse of the local canning industry, a history that illustrates how a small business can thrive by paying attention to local demand and finding its niche in a unique product—gourmet canned fish.

LOCAL, SUSTAINABLE, ARTISAN CANNED FISH While 150 salmon canneries once dotted the B.C. coast, most were closed by the late 1990s, and today, nearly all of the canned tuna we buy is caught using unsustainable methods like FADs (fish aggregating devices) and processed in large canneries in Thailand and the Philippines. St. Jean’s Cannery has survived by bucking that trend, still buying only wild Pacific salmon and hookand-line-caught, B.C. albacore tuna, and then rawpacking it by hand, the old-fashioned way. It’s the country’s only major producer of Ocean Wise canned fish, and the last major tuna cannery in North America. “On the salmon side, we’re the only hand-packer, for sure,” says Weber, “and we’re the only one still doing raw-pack tuna in Canada.” This local success story hinges on the late Armand St. Jean’s ability to roll with the punches as the B.C. canning industry evolved over the past 50 years. The former professional wrestler opened his small cannery on Vancouver Island more than half a century ago. He came west from Quebec in the 1940s and worked at a variety of jobs—as a fruit picker, bouncer, bartender,

laundryman and carpenter—before finding his true calling in canned fish. And while it was his home-smoked oysters (still a popular product) that launched the family’s small-scale canning and smoking business, the company’s ongoing success has come with diversification into custom canning, online retailing and serving the local sport fishing industry. Today, St. Jean’s has found a new niche as consumer demand grows for local, sustainable foods. It’s producing premium canned fish that’s become rare in the largely industrialized marketplace. Salmon and especially tuna is packed raw and then cooked just once in the can, 100 percent fish, with nothing added. Only raw, wild B.C. salmon and albacore tuna makes its way into a St. Jean’s can. They’ve built a following for their eco-friendly tuna, a product that Greenpeace has twice named the most sustainable canned tuna on the market. And because the albacore is young and line-caught in the deep waters off the B.C. coast, it’s not only an Ocean Wise choice, it’s low in mercury contamination, and the only canned tuna with no restrictions on consumption.

A SMALL BUSINESS SURVIVAL STORY St. Jean’s Cannery has had challenges over the years, but creativity, and a little luck, kept it chugging along, says Weber. A grocery store contract to supply oyster soup and clam chowder gave the cannery its first boost in the early years. When that business dried up, Armand St. Jean saw an opportunity to augment his retail business in the B.C. sport fishery, canning the catch of wild salmon for local fishers and coastal fishing lodges. In the 1980s, when Armand retired, his son Gerard left his engineering career in Vancouver to run the cannery. “Times were tough and the business was struggling,” says Weber, “but an order for 20,000 cans of salmon for Expo 86 provided an influx of capital to save the cannery again.” Since then, St. Jean’s has remained innovative, expanding its offerings according to market demand and creating canned soup bases, mustards and jellies, canned chanterelle mushrooms, even a popular corporate gift basket business. Retail sales, through their own St. Jean’s stores and other grocers, account for half the business, but processing sport fish remains a big generator of revenue. Last year, St. Jean’s handled more than 14,000 sport fish orders during the four-month summer fishing season—smoking,

canning and freezing 250,000 pounds of wild, B.C. salmon, tuna and halibut, and shipping it to individuals around the world. Co-packing for other artisan brands is also part of their business, with brands such as Estevan Tuna and The Fishery processed in the St. Jean’s plant. Raincoast Trading was a long-time St. Jean’s client, too, its largest commercial canning account. But in 2013, Gerard St. Jean virtually doubled his company’s sales by acquiring Raincoast Trading, its marketing team and its North American distribution network, including such giant retailers as Walmart and Whole Foods.

WALKING THE LINE I’ve toured fish packing plants in other parts of the world, but a peek behind the scenes at St. Jean’s is inspiring. Whether they’re receiving and tagging bins of frozen salmon from fishing lodges, filleting a pile of glistening albacore tuna or silvery salmon, loading the smokers with trays of oysters, or packing fresh, raw fish into cans, this is a true, hands-on operation. In high season, 100-plus staff bustle around the squeaky-clean plant, and every fish is carefully accounted for throughout its processing journey, whether it’s destined to become a cold-smoked loin, a hot smoked nugget, a flash-frozen fillet or a tasty tin of artisan fish. Every sport fish travels through the plant along with its documentation on a plastic-laminated form detailing its origin, owner, processing requirements and final destination, going from the filleting table to the backroom where colourful labels are affixed by hand. “The salmon and tuna is raw-packed by hand, in the can, before it’s sealed and cooked in the retort canners. We’re the only company doing that,” says Weber as we watch workers filling individual cans with just-filleted fish. Raw packing means the fish is “cooked once in the can,” with all of its healthy omega-3 oils and tasty juices intact, which makes this some of the best canned fish you can buy, for both flavour and nutrition. Most canned tuna is precooked, all of its natural juices and oils rendered out, then packed by machine with water or oil added before being cooked a second time in the canning process. The oysters smoked at St. Jean’s are only harvested from local B.C. waters in January and February, adds Weber, when the waters are coldest and there’s no chance of getting an oyster with an “algae-green” centre. CONT’D



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“The shucked oysters are smoked over natural hardwood smoke and hand-packed in the cans with nothing added,” he adds. It’s the same system for the hot- and cold-smoked salmon and tuna. Some is vacuum-packed and frozen as smoky nuggets and some is canned. St. Jean’s has also been a long-time local employer in Nanaimo, another sustainable aspect of the business. Today, Hai Loi is expertly filleting salmon while his wife Kieu Hua is standing at her station in the next room, carefully filling each tin with raw fish and weighing it on an electronic scale. The Vietnamese-Canadian couple have been with the company for 17 years, a story that’s not uncommon at St. Jean’s, says production manager Nirmal Sandhu. “Many of these women have been packing for us for 10 years or more,” says Sandhu as we inspect the tables that quickly fill with glistening cans of fresh fish. “We can pack 20,000 cans a day with 15 people.” From here the hand-packed cans head onto the canning line—the only automated part of the process—where a pinch of sea salt is added and the machine presses the lid in place. Each can also gets a stamp, detailing the contents and the date. “We can do 70 cans a minute,” says Sandhu, noting big industrial canning lines will process 800 in the same time. The sealed tins are then stacked into massive steel baskets and lowered into the retort canners, where they’re processed under pressure to cook and preserve the contents. The official shelf life is five years, but an uncompromised can of salmon or tuna can last much longer.

A COASTAL CANNING TRADITION My first encounter with St. Jean’s Cannery was after a fishing trip to the West Coast Fishing Club in Haida Gwaii. I’d caught a couple of fat coho and a big spring salmon during my four days with an expert guide and, as one of St. Jean’s clients, the lodge offered me a choice of convenient processing options. Shortly after I arrived home, my fish arrived, just as I had specified: some of it canned, some of it smoked and some of it perfectly vacuum-packed and flash-frozen. While I marvelled at the efficiency of this service, it wasn’t until I had a chance to tour their Nanaimo cannery that I fully appreciated the complexity of the business. It’s a marvel of organization and a testament to the care this small company takes with every fish that arrives at its door. “We pioneered this system in Canada,” says Weber, surveying a massive freezer where hundreds of boxes of frozen sport fish await processing. “This is the end product of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We’re legally required to insure you get your own fish back and we guarantee it.” In a world of cheap, industrial canned fish, we’re lucky to have an artisan cannery like St. Jean’s still operating so close to home. It may not be the cheapest canned fish on the shelf, but the St. Jean’s and Raincoast Trading brands are preserving coastal canning traditions in style, while walking the sustainable talk. If that doesn’t convince you, just taste it.



WHERE TO BUY The St. Jean's canned (and frozen) fish is available online at and from their St. Jean's retail outlets (in Nanaimo at the cannery, in Campbell River, Port Alberni and Richmond). It's also available at various smaller retailers in Victoria Pepper's has been carrying it for years. The Raincoast Trading brand is more widely available at retail across Canada and the US, from Loblaws, Whole Foods Market, IGA, Thrifty Foods, among others (including

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Dumpling Dynasties

From momos to matzo, writer Shelora Sheldan uncovers the dumpling traditions being kept alive in Victoria. Photography by Rebecca Wellman

Food brings us together, whether with family, friends or as a community, in times of celebration or in mourning. Through a larger lens, food also connects us to culture, adopted or familial, exotic or close to home, and to its history and traditions. Pictured on this page: chef Yuk Tong Wong of Jade Fountain showing off his talents by making a rabbit-shaped dumpling MARCH | APRIL 2016


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So it is with dumplings. Those small, wonderful bundles of goodness, the ultimate comfort food, are all around us. Defined, they consist of a small ball of dough that can be boiled, steamed, fried or baked. Think Jewish matzo balls, Japanese gyoza, Indian pakoras, Italian gnocchi (and all their stuffed pasta brethren), Asian wontons, potstickers, dim sum, Mexican tamales, Turkish manti and Ukrainian perogies, to name a few. They’re humble of ingredients yet often elevated in terms of technique. The rolling or folding, the crimping, the thickness of the dough, the authenticity of the fillings, when and how they’re served, all come into play in various levels of seriousness. They can be powerful signifiers of a culture, with recipes passed down through generations as a way to keep family and traditions alive, all the while providing nourishment. With all the underlying innovation and invention that takes place in the food world today, these culinary mainstays remain tried and true. Victoria is home to many delicious examples of these little time-honoured treats and recently I went in search of some of the city’s prime examples.

The Matzo No dish is more ubiquitous to Ashkenazi Jewish culture than the matzo ball soup dumpling. Its healing attributes in tandem with a bowl of homemade chicken stock are legendary, and they can be found on the menu at Lox, Stock and Bagel at the Jewish Community Centre. The small restaurant on Shelbourne, open five days a week, relies on a coterie of volunteers, a.k.a. “grandmothers,” to cook the tidy menu of classics overseen by long-time cook Rose Carr. The matzo balls, made on-site in batches of 240 during what’s called a “matzo ball bee,” are prepared with heart and soul. “I learned from my mother,” says Carr, of the café’s light and fluffy matzo dumplings, “and I teach my grandchildren—it’s a tradition. The key to their fluffiness,” she adds, “is to beat the eggs with a whisk before you add the rest of the ingredients.” The “rest of the ingredients” are nothing more than matzo meal, water and oil. Served one to a broth-filled bowl—they’re enormous— the dish is one of the more popular and satisfying on the menu. “It’s something that should be passed on,” Carr affirms. “It’s part of our family values and togetherness.”

Perogy-Pinching Parties The Ukrainian Canadian Cultural Society marries their culinary heritage with important cultural fundraising events at their “perogy-pinching” parties. Sometimes as many as 1,000 people, of mostly Ukrainian descent, show up at their Douglas Street premises to participate: men roll out the dough and



cut out the circular shapes, and the women fill and “pinch” the perogies, making upwards of 5,000 cheddar and potato varieties in an afternoon! Boiled and served with sour cream, they’re sold to raise money for the traditional Veselka Dance troupe, or to celebrate the Ukrainian holidays throughout the year. One regular participant, Sheila Bailes, shows up to connect with “her people” and “her roots.” She grew up helping her mom and Baba (grandmother) make perogies in Winnipeg, a city with profound Eastern European culinary influences. Bailes, like so many others who participate, sees the event as her home away from home. Perogy traditions also belong to the Polish community. Paulina and Janina Tokarski, of the popular Hungry Rooster food truck, created a feeding frenzy with their tasty versions using a dough recipe that has been passed down through four generations of their family. Among the potato and cheese varieties, find new favourites such as sauerkraut and mushroom or spinach and feta, with sauces from peanut sauce to Mexican salsa as unlikely accompaniments.

Momos The simple combination of flour, egg, oil, salt and water that goes into making perogy dough lies at the heart of so many other dumpling recipes. Add some mashed potato and you can make gnocchi. Take out the egg and oil, and you have the start of Northernstyle Taiwanese dumplings and pot stickers. They’re a thick-skinned, round, rustic dumpling stuffed with pork and shrimp (and other combinations) and made daily by the Lee family in their kitchen at Lee’s House restaurant (see EAT July/August 2015). Another rustic version is the hearty steamed momos, practically the national food of Tibet. For the past eight years, Pemba Doma Bhatia, of Pemba’s Kitchen and the Tibetan Kitchen, has been making them by hand and selling them in Victoria. “It’s what I love to do,” says Pemba. She grew up in Darjeeling and learned how to cook working beside her mother. Pemba makes three styles of momos—pork, beef and vegetarian—spiced simply with fresh ginger, garlic and soy. And she is unwavering in her technique. The dough is flour and cold water, kneaded and rolled out, stuffed and deftly folded. I watched one of her young cooks roll out 15 circles in two minutes using a thin piece of dowelling and then single-handedly continue to roll out, stuff and crimp 45 momos in 30 minutes! They are then steamed and pan-seared for a golden crust. Served with a traditional dipping sauce of cooked tomato, cilantro, chile, garlic and salt, they are exquisite. “It’s important to me to continue making momos the authentic way,” insists Pemba, “because we need to make food that represents our culture.”

Momos are also a Nepalese specialty. Chef Rajen Shakya of the Mint recalls his childhood growing up in Katmandu. “I grew up in an extended family of 23 people,” he says. “When we had ‘momo days,’ every member of the family gathered in a big circle and we spent the whole day making dumplings. It was a family thing to do.” Shakya, when not making the dumplings for the Mint, continues the family tradition at home with his two young daughters and with other Nepalese families in Victoria. The Mint goes through 1,000 momos a week, and to keep pace, he uses a pre-made Shanghai dumpling wrapper with a distinct folding technique creating a round dumpling with a slightly peaked top, reminiscent of a Hershey’s kiss. The bestselling pork momos—six to an order—have cilantro, ginger, garlic, cumin, black pepper and garam masala in the mix, a nod to Nepal’s Indian influences. The dumplings are served deep-fried with a unique dipping sauce of charred fenugreek and turmeric blended with tomato, cilantro and garlic.

Dim Sum Dim sum is about sharing and dining together, and the dumplings associated with the experience, most notably shrimp har gow and pork sui mai, are some of the most iconic. Jade Fountain is one of the more popular places for a gathering of dumpling conviviality in Victoria. The making of these two kinds of dumplings is best left in professional hands. Hailing from Hong Kong, head chef Yuk Tong Wong is, at age 65, revered for his experience and knowledge base. Har gow, noted for its white opaque wrapper, is made from wheat starch and hot water. Once kneaded, it is divided into small round balls and flattened using the flat side of an oiled cleaver. Stuffed with shrimp, it’s quickly crimped into a half- moon shape and placed with three others in a bamboo basket, ready to be steamed. The openfaced pork sui mai are made with thin wonton skins. The prepared meat is placed in the centre of the skin, pushed into the middle while the skin is deftly gathered around the top and pinched together to form an open bag. A topping of orange capelin roe adds a spark of colour. They are consistent each and every time, and that consistency is what diners hold in high esteem and contributes to a restaurant’s success. Jade Fountain sells upwards of 400 baskets a day, and closer to 1,000 during Chinese New Year. That’s a lot of dumplings! At their core, dumplings are fun. They’re uncomplicated fare, accessible to so many yet with a story to tell about history and culture. You can eat them with your hands, with chopsticks or a knife and fork. Whatever way you prefer, make dumplings a part of your life. E

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Jade Fountaine Dumplings: clockwise - shrimp har gow, gau chow gow (shrimp and chive), both made from wheat starch, and pork sui mai.

The Mint: Tibetan Yak momos.

The Tibetan Kitchen: Momos (pork).

The Tibetan Kitchen: Vegetarian and pork momos with spicy sauce. MARCH | APRIL 2016


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MEAT Spice Market Lamb Chops lamb, cumin, caraway seeds, tumeric, harissa, aleppo pepper, pomegranate, garlic, cilantro, cayenne

MAKE YOUR OWN SODA POP Mix pomegranate and pink grapefruit juices with sparkling mineral water and garnish with mint and lemon peel for a refreshing non-alcoholic drink

text, recipes, food styling Jennifer Danter photography Michael Tourigny art direction Jennifer Danter & Gary Hynes 34




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Moroccan Spring Fling G o ahead and have a spring fling with spice. These dishes use flavours from North Africa and the Mediterranean and are the perfect stopgap for early spring eating—hearty and aromatically rich, yet with light, bright flavours. Spice Market Lamb Chops

Warm Marrakesh Lentil Salad

The aggressive seasoning in the rub creates a lot of heat in the dish and demands to be paired with cooling yogurt. Don’t be afraid to ask the butcher to french the bones for you (I swear that’s not dirty talk).

It’s worth it to search out preserved lemons for the vinaigrette. The bright, fresh, lemony tang to a great foil for any spicy dish.

Rub 1 Tbsp smoked sea salt 1 Tbsp Aleppo pepper* 1 Tbsp dried oregano leaves 1 Tbsp ground cumin 2 tsp caraway seeds 2 tsp ground turmeric 1/3 cup olive oil 3 garlic cloves, minced 8-rib rack of lamb, sliced into chops Garnish 1 tsp grated lemon peel Chopped fresh cilantro Pomegranate seeds (optional) Whisk salt and spices with oil and garlic. Rub all over chops and marinate at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. Working in batches, sear lamb, fat cap first, in a lightly oiled, heavy frying pan set over medium-high heat, 2 minutes. Then sear each side, about 1-2 minutes per side. Reduce heat as needed. When all chops are seared, arrange in pan (or use a baking sheet if pan isn’t large enough) and roast in 375°F oven. Depending on thickness, this may take 5–10 minutes for medium rare. Sprinkle chops with lemon peel, cilantro and pomegranate seeds. Spoon spicy green harissa sauce (see below) overtop and dish up with cooling yogurt. *Don’t have Aleppo pepper? Poor you. Stir 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika with 1 tsp cayenne. Green harissa sauce: Blend store-bought or homemade harissa with a handful each of finely chopped fresh cilantro and mint. Drizzle over lamb or yogurt—use warm pita to swipe through.

Vinaigrette ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (tip: try to find Meyer lemons—they’re sweeter) 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 2 Tbsp minced preserved lemon peel 1 Tbsp finely chopped chives or scallions 2 tsp honey 1½ tsp fish sauce ½ cup vegetable or grapeseed oil Salad 3 cups cooked French green lentils ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro 2 roasted red peppers, thinly sliced 2 carrots, grated ½ cup raisins, currants or dried cranberries ½ cup toasted pine nuts Handful each of cilantro and mint Place all ingredients for the vinaigrette in a blender and whirl to puree. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Place salad ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle half the vinaigrette overtop and toss to mix. Taste and add more dressing, if needed. Otherwise, refrigerate leftovers for another day. Let salad sit at least 3 hours before serving so flavours blend. MARCH | APRIL 2016


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VEGETABLE Warm Marrakesh Lentil Salad puy lentils, preserved lemon, fish sauce, cilantro, honey, red pepper



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DESSERT Pretty in Pink Semifreddo rhubarb, vanilla, orange blossom, piastachio, cream

Pretty in Pink Semifreddo Pistachios and orange blossom water lend a Moroccan feel to this icy springtime dessert. 4 cups finely chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb 1 cup finely chopped fresh or frozen strawberries 1 cup sugar, divided 1 tsp vanilla extract 4 egg yolks 1/3 cup homogenized milk 2 tsp rosewater or orange blossom water* 2 cups 35% cream ¾ cup chopped pistachios

Line bottom and sides of a loaf pan with plastic wrap. Be sure to let some overhang sides of pan. Stash in the freezer. In a medium saucepan set over medium high heat, combine fruit with ½ cup sugar. Stir constantly until sugar melts, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until fruit breaks down and mixture is saucy, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Refrigerate until chilled. Using a hand blender, mix egg yolks with remaining ½ cup sugar and milk. Pour into a heat-proof bowl and place over a pan of barely simmering water set over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until custard mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon—about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orange blossom water. Cover with plastic (right on surface) and refrigerate until well chilled.

Spoon custard into a large bowl. In another bowl, beat cream to stiff peaks, and then stir one quarter of it into the chilled custard. Gently fold in remaining whipped cream along with pistachios until evenly mixed. Spoon ½ cup rhubarb mixture over bottom of chilled loaf pan, then top with half the cream mixture. Spoon ¼ cup more rhubarb overtop in small dollops and then, using a skewer, swirl together. Spoon remaining cream mixture into pan and then dollop with ¼ cup more rhubarb and swirl to mix. Cover with plastic overhang and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with remaining rhubarb sauce and extra pistachios.

Sources (pgs. 34 & 37): Astier de Villatte ceramic dinnerware is entirely handmade in Paris, France and is inspired by 18th century designs. Made of black terracotta clay and glazed with a milky white finish, the pieces are classically elegant and extremely durable yet surprisingly light to the touch making them perfect for everyday use. At Chintz & Company -1720 Store St, Victoria, BC, (250) 381-2404, MARCH | APRIL 2016


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THE LOCAL LIST EAT’s where to find it guide

Victoria Public Market 778 433 9184





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

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

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

What could be more appetizing than a kitchen worthy of a true culinary artist?

henri Procter Personal Real Estate Corporation 250-537-1201 101-170 Fulford Ganges Road, Salt Spring Island 38


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

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MATTICK’S FARM ADRIENNE’S RESTAURANT & TEA GARDEN Our restaurant offers daily changing breakfast specials! Our Eggs Benedict, Omelettes and Waffles are available all day. A percentage of our High Tea sales go to the Cancer Care at the Royal Jubilee Hospital every March. Join us for Afternoon High Tea! We are open daily for Breakfast, Lunch and Afternoon High Tea in our Restaurant, Deli, Bakery and Ice Cream. 5325 Cordova Bay Road, Victoria, BC, 250-658-1535

Ferris’s Oyster Bar and Grill: 25 Years of Oysters, Beers, and Family. by Jill Van Gyn

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

WHISK At Whisk, we have the perfect sized Le Creuset stock pots for making a rich, delicious and health enhancing bone broth. Come and see me for ideas! Gift and bridal registry. At the Victoria Public Market, 778 - 433 - 9184 Facebook and Instagram Open 7 days a week

Ferris’ Oyster Bar and Grill: You went there with your parents, you ate oysters and a burger with friends over a few beers on a lazy Sunday, and now you drag your kids along for a family night out where you can unwind in a familiar setting. On February 4th, Ferris’ celebrated its 25th anniversary as one of Victoria’s longest running downtown restaurant pubs. Back when Tom Ferris landed in on the West Coast via Toronto and Lake Louise, Victoria was a culinary wasteland compared with what we enjoy today. Sure there was an old boys club of the French trained chefs, most of who passed through The Empress kitchens, opening restaurants such as Au Chantecler, Chez Daniel, and Deep Cove Chalet, but the 80’s in Victoria were a tough time for a young, aspiring restaurateur. After a few ventures with other cafes and restaurants (his first was Twist, featuring green and pink chequered floors and waiters in rugby pant), the lower Yates location became available and Ferris decided to settle down and make a real go of it. In 1991, the year Ferris’ opened, that area of Yates Street was “a total dump”, as Tom called it. Windows were busted out of most of the buildings; their neighbour would be a low-end liquor store; and there was little to speak of in the way of commerce or foot traffic. And yet, Ferris was about to establish one of the longest running restaurants in downtown Victoria. He modeled the idea after Emmett Watson Oyster Bar in Seattle with a desire to create a casual place to enjoy West Coast inspired food and a beer with friends and family. “When you start with really simple, straight forward food, beginning with oysters as our niche market, you definitely have room to grow. We wanted to make everything fresh from sauces to mayonnaise – we were ahead of the game in that respect”, remarked Ferris. Ferris’ Oyster Bar and Grill is very much a family run business with his wife, Sandy, crafting hand made herbal teas and desserts and his daughter, Paula, managing the back end. It is because of this family oriented approach to business that Ferris’ has become a right of passage for Victorian’s. “I’ve seen people come here on first dates and it’s when they come back years later and eat here with their kids that we know we’ve been successful… the ownership is in these walls”. Ferris’ will always be the staple but the Ferris Restaurant Group has established a diverse food experience for downtown Victoria. Branching out to lounge-style eating with Ferris’ Upstairs Seafood and Oyster Bar, offering Spanish tapas at Perro Negro, and into Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with Catalano. Tom Ferris is not yet done. He has an eye on a small corner of Bastion Square where he will serve up good hot dogs, play some classic vinyl records, and watch Victoria continue to grow up around him. Here’s to Ferris’ and another 25 years of continued success. 536 Yates St, Victoria, BC , (250) 360-1824 ext. 2, MARCH | APRIL 2016


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The Cocktail Hotness Scale




OLD European style delicatessen, fresh sausages, fromagerie, fine foods, lunch bistro, catering


Open Monday to Friday 10:00-5:30 and Saturday's 12:00-5:00 Est. 2005


"7Ê"* Ê" 940



Martini You should be able to walk into any decent bar and order a classic martini. Period.


Let’s have fun with a local version called the Vancouver Cocktail that’s been reborn by Steve Da Cruz from Big Trouble Chinatown in Vancouver. With the addition of Benedictine & orange bitters, this is slightly more complex version of a sweet martini.

Margarita A well-made margarita on a hot day is nothing short of bliss.

Margarita Called the Paloma it’s a highball that combines tequila, grapefruit soda and lime with a pinch of salt and is as refreshing as the classic margarita. Moves tequila cocktails into 2016.

Manhattan Can’t beat the classic rye or bourbon cocktail that takes you back to the Mad Men days.

Manhattan The more colourful relatives of the Manhattan are named after New York City boroughs like Red Hook, Bensonhurst, Carroll Gardens.Think Punt e Mes, Cynar and Amaro.

Sidecars The Lemon Drop – 1980s throwbacks, like the Lemon Drop, is an ode to that decade of flavoured vodkas and “martini lists.”

Sidecars The Brandy Crusta – although it predates Sidecars, White Ladies and Lemon Drops, is a drink that needs to be poured more often by modern bartenders.

Old Fashion A personal favourite of mine for its simplicity, and one that should be found in any bar with a classic cocktail menu.

New Fashion With its basic genetics of spirit, bitters and sweetener, the choices are endless. Rum, spiced demerara and Bittered Sling Chocolate Malagasy Bitters? Añejo Tequila, vanilla bean agave and Bittered Sling Moondog Bitters? Infinite combinations. E

Rebecca Wellman

Classic cocktails are a staple of any cocktail menu in a quality bar, but what classics make it on the cocktail list? Some cocktails are popular regardless of whether they are on the menu or not, such as the Manhattan or Martini. But in the burgeoning cocktail scene that has grown and continues to grow in Victoria, there are some classics that should taken off the menu and replaced with updated classic. We’re going to compare the classics against their nouveau counterparts. Hello 2016. Pictured: The Paloma - the new Margarita

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g A BEER AND A BITE By Colin Hynes

A Belgian and a Mexican Soup




Rebecca Wellman


Purveyors of holiday spirits, wines & ales.

Victoria | Brentwood Bay | Campbell River | Kelowna | Colin Hynes


Dageraad - Burnabarian (Burnaby BC) Dageraad Brewing is relatively new, but they have garnered a loyal following amongst British Columbia's beer enthusiasts. They have succeeded in bringing Belgian beers to the west coast, without us having to travel all the way to the Dageraadplaats to get that authentic taste. Burnabarian is Dageraad’s ode to a Belgian session ale, also known as table beer. This beer is subtly changed from a bland table dweller by the addition of coriander and oats to the brewing process. ABV: 4.5% 650ml bottle ( Victoria Belgian-Style Spinnakers - Belgian Porter Driftwood - Farmhand Saison Moon Under Water - Tempus Corvi Category 12 - Induction Dubbel

THE BITE: Tortilla Soup

The end is nigh! Er… well… rephrase...The end of winter is nigh! In this dull part of the year it can be easy to feel like winter will never end, but hold-on, as spring is close approaching. This soup is perfect for this cusp-season because it feels hearty, but also light and refreshing like spring You achieve this by using fresh tomatoes, avocado, and lime to cut through the spicy flavours of the soup base. Let this soup warm you until the spring sunshine comes to do it instead.


Dageraad’s Burnabarian works perfectly with both the tortilla soup and the season because it has flavours that stay on the sweet and malty side of ales. The malts counter the spice and heat of the soup, but the overall tone of the beer has a nice warmth for those damp nights spent indoors. Beers like this are great at refreshing your palate between bites of the flavour circus that is tortilla soup. Onwards to spring! E MARCH | APRIL 2016


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g LIQUID ASSETS —By Larry Arnold

Wines from Italy, Spain, BC, France and Oregon take the top spots this issue. Sparkling Vaporetto Prosecco Brut NV, Italy, $17.00-19.00 Taking its name from the “Little Steamer” boats that used to ply their trade along the canals of Venice, the juice for this little charmer is sourced from vineyards nestled in the hills north of Venice. It sparkles, it is white, it is light and it is irresistibly delicious. Crisp, dry and a lot cheaper than Champagne. (#99986)

crispy pork belly & pan seared chili-basil scallops with soy-maple glaze

Pares Balta Organic Cava Brut NV, Spain, $19.00-21.00 Spanish Cava is the Rodney Dangerfield of sparkling wine. It does not get any respect! Sometime in the late 20th century Cava lost its sparkle with the locals on the west coast and was replaced by Prosecco as the go to bargain fizz. Sad indeed, but by no means terminal for the vintners of the Penedes. There is still plenty of good bubble to be found in Cataluna. Pale yellow with fine bubbles and an enticing nose of white peaches, apples and toast. Fruit-forward and nicely balanced with a clean, dry finish. (366872)

Whites Ch. La Fleur Bellevue Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux 2014, France, $18.50-20.00 Very fruit forward with distinctive grassy notes, apricots and tropical fruit aromas. Very dry with herbal fruit flavours, nervy acidity and a long fruity finish. (504944) Summerhill Dry Organic Riesling Okanagan VQA 2014, BC, $19.00-23.00 No one is going to taste this stellar Okanagan white and gasp, “Boy this is one dry Riesling,” because it’s not. Crisp, yes, but with 28.1 grams of residual sugar per liter, dry it is not. It is however very nicely balanced with explosive apricot, petrol and citrus aromas, lush fruit flavours and mouthwatering acidity. Hugel & Fils Gentil Alsace 2013, France, $17.40-20.00 Once a staple in government liquor stores throughout the province,this traditional Alsacian blend of Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Muscat, Riesling and Sylvaner is worth seeking out in private shops. Bright and lively with fresh aromas of herbs, peaches and spice. Bright and spicy with ripe quince, pear and earth flavours that linger through the finish.


Elizabeth Nyland

Campo Viejo Tempranillo Rioja 2013, Spain, $15.00-17.00 The 2013 vintage won a Bronze Medal at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in 2015, then again at the Decanter World Wine Awards later that same year. Mediumbodied with sweet strawberry, vanilla and earth flavours. Fresh and lively with good fruit character in an easy drinking style. (190629) Mezzacorona Teroldego Rotaliano Riserva 2011, Italy, $20.00-23.00 There are, no doubt, many hidden gems in the hills of Italy. Teroldego is one to watch for. An indigenous variety of the Trentino region of northeast Italy, the Riserva is only produced in the best vintages. Aged for a year in oak followed by another 12 months in the bottle, before release, this hearty red is very concentrated with ripe prune and blackcurrant aromas, a soft velvety texture and lush fruit flavours that persist through the finish. On the exotic side of delicious. La Massa IGT Toscana 2013, Italy, $33.00-36.00 La Massa is a 27 hectare vineyard and winery located on the “Conca d’Oro”, “The Golden Basin”, of Panzano, Chianti. The land is very hilly with vineyards that have been farmed since the 15th century. The winery is somewhat more modern. The blend consists of Sangiovese (70%), Merlot (20%), Cabernet Sauvignon and Alicante B (10%) aged 10 months in a combination of old and new French oak. The 2013 blend is an absolute knockout! Full-bodied with concentrated blackberry, licorice and spice flavours, firm tannins and superb depth. Get it while you can. (96735) Cont’d on page 45



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By Michelle Bouffard

The New Rioja!

In this ancient region of Spain, tradition has deep roots. But a new generation of winemakers may be changing the face of Rioja.


ioja is without a doubt the Spanish wine region with the longest history as a quality producing region. Monks were making wine there as early as 500 A.D., but the real burst came in the late 1800s. The consecutive problems of powdery mildew and phylloxera in France led wine merchants to search for new vineyards. They crossed the Pyrenees and settled in Rioja. Their knowledge contributed to improving the wines of the area, and for the first time, Rioja was able to compete against the world’s best. The timing was perfect. Railways were being built, making it possible to export. An area with such history naturally has deep-rooted traditions that still influence how the wine is made today. And those long entrenched practices are also being challenged by new generations. Currently, Rioja is going through a wave of changes that might lead to a very different-looking Rioja down the road. To understand the current shift, we need to get a full understanding of the area. Located in northern Spain, the Rioja region is 120 kilometres long and 40 wide and lies on each side of the Ebro River. Sheltered from the strong Atlantic influence by the Sierra de Cantabria Mountains to the northwest, the region is divided into three subregions: Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja. Each of them has a distinct soil and microclimate. Rioja Alavesa is the smallest and has the highest elevation (up to 800 metres). Terraced vineyards are planted on soils that have a high limestone content. Clouds can sometimes sit above this region, which has the most Atlantic influence and is the coolest sub-region of the three. Its wines are marked by their high acidity and firm tannins. Rioja Alta is slightly warmer and the terroir is more diverse. Here you find chalk-clay, ferrous-clay and alluvial soil. Rioja Baja is the southeastern sub-region. Enjoying a Mediterranean climate, it is warmer and drought can be a problem. Cont’d on the next page

Who & Where the )eck "re 5hese (uys? 6 minutes south of Oliver, BC

A “Golden Mile Bench” Winery Home of many Jnternational Bwards

FREE Canada-wide Thipping 5hrough our online store

Visit our website to see all theGJOF  restaurants and retail outlets that carry C.C. Jentsch Cellars wine

4522 Hwy 97 | 778.439.2091 | MARCH | APRIL 2016


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Vineyards are found at about 300 metres on alluvial and ferrous-clay soils. Its wines have a fuller body than those of the other two regions. Traditionally, co-ops and bodegas would blend grapes from the three sub-regions. Even if a producer owned vineyards, he would buy grapes from multiple growers in different areas. As a result, Rioja’s traditional style is associated not with a specific terroir but rather with the entire region. There is currently a trend to make wine from a single sub-region, but most of the wines are still a blend of the three. Telmo Rodriguez, a highly regarded producer, explained to me during my last visit to his family winery, Remelluri, that it is about time Rioja producers started paying attention to specific vineyards. “A sense of place is important,” he told me. “It is what defines a region. I was inspired by the Côte-Rotie appellation in the Rhône Valley where I had the chance to work at Chave. The best sites are highly respected. We need to do the same in Rioja. We need to be serious and find the talent of the best vineyards. This is vital to change the image of Rioja, which is too often associated with cheap and generic wine.” Rodriguez explained that there has been a lot of resistance to go in that direction, but in the past couple of months he has seen some movement. He is encouraged. Another tradition in Rioja is the long period of aging in wood. When the French crossed the Pyrenees in the late 1800s, they introduced barriques. However, the local producers of the time already had a preference for American oak. The flavours of Rioja came to be associated with wood aging rather than a terroir or a grape. Extended period of aging in wood gives distinct flavours of coconut, dill, cinnamon, leather and cedar to the reds and a tendency towards oxidative notes to the whites and rosés. That too is starting to change, however. Terms like Joven, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva, all referring to a minimum time spent in wood (with Gran Reserva being the longest), are still used, but many producers have left those terms behind. French oak is also becoming more popular. There are still producers, however, including highly regarded López de Heredia, who have mastered these traditions of wood aging and have no plans to change. And why should they? Their wines are simply stunning. As far as the grapes themselves are concerned, ninety percent of production is red, with the remaining being white and rosé. For reds, five grapes are authorized. Tempranillo is the main player (75 percent of the vineyards), giving acidity and structure to the wine and also aging potential. You find it principally in Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. Garnacha often plays a supporting role and grows mostly in the warmer region of Rioja Baja, bringing fruitiness, body and alcohol to the blend. The others, Mazuelo, Maturana Tinta and Graciano, are found in smaller quantities. A recent trend has been to revive these minor players, Graciano in particular. As I was walking to my appointment at Contino, the freshly harvested grapes were just coming in. Here 15 percent of the estate vineyards are dedicated to Graciano. Jesús de Madrazo Mateo of Contino says he has his own nursery and absolutely loves the grape. It has a marked spicy flavour and brings personality, acidity and ageability to the blend. Monovarietals are becoming more popular as well. Expect to see some of these names standing alone on labels. Telmo Rodriguez of Remelluri says that many generations ago, there were about 70 different grapes in the area. However, until recently, the Rioja regulation allowed only four different grapes. (Maturana Tinta was added to the permitted grapes list in 2009.) Perhaps this is just the beginning of many grapes to be revived. For whites, with a few exceptions, producers have left long wood aging behind and opted for lively whites. Some wines have a touch of new oak to add richness, but freshness is what producers are striving for. Nine grapes are allowed, but Viura is by far the most popular, praised for its remarkable acidity and aging potential. Malvasia gives a richer wine, but it has fallen out of favour. Newcomers such as Tempranillo Blanco, Maturana Blanca, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc amongst others have been added to the permitted grapes in the region. What do these changes all mean for Rioja wine lovers? Just like in any other wellknown regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhône Valley, generic, entry-level wines will always dominate the market. But Rioja needs to identify and celebrate its top vineyards. And there are many. The future is bright and exciting. More diversity and better wines can only mean a happy ending for this ancient wine-growing region. Cont’d on the next page



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The New Rioja! cont’d

Whites 2001 R. López de Heredia, Viña Tondonia, Rioja Reserva Blanco DOC, $52-60 Just when you thought older Rioja were oxidized and lacked freshness. Not the case here! Intriguing aromas of almond and orange rind with vibrant, zesty notes of lemon on the finish. Hello roasted lemon chicken. 2005 R. López de Heredia, Viña Gravonia, Rioja DOC – $NA (available at Chambar) Very few cases made it to British Columbia, and every single bottle is at Chambar Restaurant in Vancouver. If you are in the area, go! A very special wine made of 100 percent Viura from vines averaging 45 years old. Sommelier Jason Yamasaki will recommend the best pairing. Available by the glass. 2012 Remelluri, Rioja Blanco DOC, $90-99 One of the most iconic whites of the region from one of the best vineyard sites in Rioja Alavesa. If you want to splurge, the price tag is well worth it. Notes of red apple, guava and vanilla. Tempting to drink now, but this wine will age.

Reds 2013 Telmo Rodriguez, LZ Rioja DOC, $25-29 Juicy, with bursting notes of red plum, black licorice and red cherries. Simple but so charming. Dangerously quaffable.

ON THIS FARM THERE ARE SOME WINE CHICKS... We're excited - Spring releases are on their way!

VQA Wine Shop at

MATTICK’S FARM Open 7 days a week

5325 Cordova Bay Rd. 250-658-3116

Established 1998

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

2010 Beronia, Rioja Riserva DOC, $22-27 Even though this winery is fairly new by the region’s standard (1973), the style is rather traditional. Pronounced notes of cedar, coconut, cherries and cinnamon. Great value for money. 2013 Torres, Altos Ibéricos, Rioja Crianza DOC, $25-32 Generous notes of plum, cherries, black licorice, leather and cedar seduce immediately. Hard not to like this wine, especially for the price. Good on its own, but best with red meat. 2007 & 2008 Contino, Rioja Reserva DOC, $55-62 A wine that reveals the elegance of Rioja Alavesa and the aromatics of Graciano (10 percent of the blend). Both vintages are excellent. Good now but has a life ahead. Screaming for lamb. 2002 R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia, Rioja Reserva DOC, $47-55 Finding older vintages of this wine is always a treat. Sophisticated with complex notes of leather, mushroom and cherries. Keep your dish simple and let the wine shine. 2010 Remelluri, Lindes de Remelluri, Rioja DOCa, $31-38 Very much in the image of La Bastida, a village located in Rioja Alavesa. The Atlantic influence contributes to the freshness and elegance. Notes of plum, vanilla, cherries and leather. Was fantastic with boeuf bourguignon. Prices exclusive of taxes.*Private wine stores only. Other wines available at BC Liquor Stores.

Liquid Assets cont’d Carpineto Farnito Cabernet Sauvignon Toscana 2010, Italy, $30.00-35.00 Farnito Cabernet Sauvignon from Carpineto is absolutely stunning. Produced from estate-grown fruit and aged in French and American oak for 12 months. A full-bodied Super Tuscan built to enjoy right now or twenty years down the road! The aromas explode from the glass, thick with the heady perfume of ripe red cherries, spice, vanilla and wood smoke. This is a big wine with firm tannins, concentrated berry, spice and licorice flavours and perfect balance. (130278) Stoller Family Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2013, Oregon, $42.00-46.00 Classic Oregon Pinot Noir. Medium-bodied with ripe blackberry, cherry and forest aromas. Soft and silky with good concentration, nicely balanced with bright acidity and fine-grained tannins. Barone Ricasoli Chianti del Barone 2014, Italy, $17.40-20.00 There’s a lot going on here, with layers of red cherry, spice and dusty earth aromas. Medium-bodied but concentrated with red fruit flavours, fresh acidity and fine grained tannins. Balanced and easy drinking with some complexity and a long soft finish. (375568) King Estate Acrobat Pinot Noir 2013, Oregon, $24.50-27.50 Very supple with ripe cherry and warm earth aromas. Some complexity on the palate with bright cherry, cranberry and vanilla flavours. Fleshy with a silky texture and a long finish. Fairly firm with a good acidity, but the fruit carries it well. A real cracker. MARCH | APRIL 2016


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beautiful baked delights. From sausage rolls to cakes and specialty desserts, there's something here for

Virginia Wolf famously said: "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well", and


of course we EAT readers all feel that truth, so read on and uncover new and upcoming food experiences designed to help you 'dine well' in the upcoming months.

Finally, late last summer the Music Hall Food Co. opened in a historic Ladysmith building, once the longtime home of The Hub Cafe. The current owners hope to carry on it's long tradition by bringing the

To begin with, March is the approximate start of Mason bee time. Hopefully we food worshipers know

venerable old building a new life as a place where people can go for good food and beverages with

how important our Mason bee population is to our ability to grown good foods, and how much support

family and friends at a reasonable price. They get as much of their food as locally as possible and put tons

they need from us so, here are three local links to bee- believers or dedicated divine pollinators, with the

of love into everything they create -word is spreading that their almost-famous crispy stuffed chicken thighs

knowledge to help us set up our very own Mason bee house. It's not dangerous, difficult nor requires much

are not to be missed!

space so invest a little time in your food-future and help these busy bees do their good work!,,

Until next edition, I leave you with a clear mind, cozy bed and a warm heart, knowing you have dined well. —KIRSTEN TYLER

Rumour has it that beloved Merridale Cider will be releasing an as-yet-to-be-named Hopped Cider, along with seasonal Merri Berri; mouthwatering, crisp local apples gently fermented and combined with


tart black current, cherry and raspberry juices. Park yourself on their deck on a sunny spring day, and be

There is a lot going on in our sleepy little town as it wakes up from winter. It’s unusual to report so many

the first to pair hoppy, perfectly balanced bitter-sweet apple cider, with a luncheon from the bistro.

new openings and shuffles so early in the year. But it’s all welcome news as the culinary scene on the west

coast continues to evolve and grow.

If you didn't get there last year, now's your chance to attend the 2nd annual Active Pass Festival

I’ve shared news in a past column about Calypso Roti Shop, the planned venture of Ricardo

Banquet on Galliano Island, held Saturday April 23rd. Galliano's own chef Martine Paul

Manmohan, Emily Coombs and family. I’m happy to report the group now has a location for their

(martinepaul. ca) brings you local venison with blackberry port jus, and plum almond pithiviers with

Trinidadian-inspired eatery, at 1-230 Main St. at the bottom of the Fred Tibbs building. Calypso, featuring

Galliano lavender and creme anglaise - just to mention a few of the menu highlights! An amazing variety

authentic Caribbean cuisine, will look out at Meares Island and the First St dock. The dine-in or take-out

of the evenings' delights are sourced from farms, and farmers on Galliano, to make this a truly local event.

menu includes various rotis and curries, including lentil, jerk chicken and much more! There’s a kids play-

room at the location as well. Calypso will open its doors in March.

We can't all get to the Gulf Islands when we want to so if you happen to be in Vancouver March 4th-

Al Anderson has run both Jupiter Juicery and Bakeshop and Beaches Grocery for many years in

6th don't miss out on Salt Spring In the City - the Island's master culinary craftspeople all in one place.

Tofino. He is now in the process of moving Jupiter to a larger unit next to the space occupied by Tofino

Be the first to sample something new on tap - organic Mistaken Identity Wine with suggested pairings

Brewing Company at 681 Industrial Way. His sandwiches, baked goods and more will be available for

of Salt Spring Island Cheese Company cheeses, and fabulous new Salt Spring Wild Cider paired with

take-out from the new location, opening soon.

scrumptious jams from Salt Spring Kitchen Co. - everything Salt Spring, on the mainland.,, Nanimo is home to new Hearthstone Bakery - just try to walk past the shop on Tenth St. - your nose will drag you in while your eyes feast on the hearty crusts of just baked bread and wide variety of

Chef Cameron Young, most recently of Shelter Restaurant, but also of the Spotted Bear and Tacofino Vancouver, has secured the space for his first restaurant venture here in town. Chef Young is keeping details quiet at this point, but promises he will share more about his “fast casual concept” set to open May 1st in our next edition. Clayoquot Wilderness Resort recently announced the appointment of a new executive chef. The



EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:58 AM Page 47

The Buzz Relais and Chateau property, located north of Tofino, has named Justin Witcher to helm the luxury property’s existing Cookhouse eatery and the new The Bedwell Bistro, set to open this spring. Witcher brings international experience to the remote boat/floatplane access only location from Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in Melbourne and the Atlantic Group in Australia, as well as The Wedgewood Hotel in Vancouver. The Wolf in the Fog recently played host to the Absolut Canada Perfect Pour contest. This was a cocktail showdown between Tofino bartenders, sponsored by Absolut on Nov. 19th. The task was to create an Absolut cocktail that paired well with oysters prepared by chef Nick Nutting. Congratulations to bartender/server Jonathan Carlile from Kuma Tofino who took home top honours. Kuma also recently celebrated one year in business in Tofino. Congratulations to Rob, Mitsumi, chef Simon Burch and the rest of the crew on a great first year. You’re a welcome addition to the Tofino culinary scene! It’s hard to believe, but it’s the 30th year of the Pacific Rim Whale Festival this year. This year the festival runs from March 12-17th and includes a variety of ongoing and special events. Culinary events including the Chowder Chowdown and others, will be listed once confirmed on the website at Be sure to check it out while planning your trip. —JEN DART

British Columbia’s Spirited Revolution On March 26th twenty-six local, craft distillers will gather at the Croatian Cultural Centre in Vancouver’s east end for the 3rd Annual BC Distilled festival. The number of local distilleries has exploded in recent years as changes to BC liquor laws have allowed small and medium sized distillers to set-up shop and sell their products directly from the distillery in on-site lounges and tasting rooms. Rules have also been relaxed to allow craft distillers to promote their spirits in bars and restaurants. As a reflection of this growth, BC Distilled was created to allow British Columbia craft distillers a place to come together, network and showcase their products to the public. Look for the return of popular Dubh Glas Distillery’s Noteworthy Gin, Wayward Distillation House’s Unruly Vodka and Sons of Vancouver Distillery’s No. 82 Amaretto. There will be an on-site liquor store so you’ll be able to purchase your favourite bottles and new this year, Woods Spirit Co., BC’s newest distillery, and will be launching its first product, an amaro. In attendance from Vancouver Island will be Ampersand Distilling Co. (Duncan), deVine (Saanichton), Phillips Fermentorium (Victoria), Merridale Estate Cidery (Cobblehill), Sheringham Distillery (Shirley), Victoria Distillers (Sidney) and Wayward Distillation House (Courtenay) “This is your single best chance to try everything BC has to offer, and to meet the creative people who make these spirits,” says BC Distilled founder Alex Hamer. Small bites will be provided throughout the evening, courtesy of chefs from Blacktail, Boulevard, Cascade Room, Edible Canada, Forage, The Union, Westin Bayshore. Proceeds from the festival go to support the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society (PADS). Don’t miss this exciting event. Tickets are on sale now are expected to sell out. For tickets and more information visit *Watch for EAT writer Lisa Haley’s post-event report on the EAT website(

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EAT Magazine March/April 2016_Victoria_48_Layout 1 3/1/16 10:58 AM Page 48

Eat magazine march april 2016  

Smart. Local. Delicious. EAT celebrates the food & drink of British Columbia

Eat magazine march april 2016  

Smart. Local. Delicious. EAT celebrates the food & drink of British Columbia