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RESTAURANTS | RECIPES | WINES | FOOD | TRAVEL 速

Smart. Local. Delicious.

FOOD ISLAND Then & Now - a decade and a half of good food revisited

A CELEBRATION DINNER w/ sustainable caviar, pink Champagne, Metchosin lamb, Salt Spring truffled cheese & Okanagan syrah

Dark Chocolate Quadruple Layer Cake with Salted Caffe Fantastico Mocha Buttercream Frosting

FEASTING from Apicius to Heston Blumenthal

WILD GREENS put spring in your step MOLE NEGR0 from Oaxaca to Victoria

15th Anniversary Issue MARCH | APRIL

l 2014 | Issue 18-02 | FREE | eatmagazine.ca


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Smart. Local. Delicious.

content Articles

Concierge Desk . . . . . . . 05 Wild Foods . . . . . . . . . . .08 RESTAURANTS | RECIPES | WINES | FOOD | TRAVEL

ATE Smart. Local. Delicious.

Michael Tourigny

Food Matters . . . . . . . . . .09 Good For You . . . . . . . . .10 Epicure At Large . . . . . . .11 Beer & a Bite . . . . . . . . . .13 Get Fresh . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Get The Reporter . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Party Dining at Sea Level . . . . .20 Started on page 34. Eating Well For Less . . . .22 Four pages VINcabulary . . . . . . . . . .27 of recipes Making Mole . . . . . . . . .28 to mark Then & Now . . . . . . . . . .30 EAT’s 15th Anniversary Local Kitchen . . . . . . . . .34 Wine + Terroir . . . . . . . .40 pictured left: After the party Wine & Food Pairing . . .42 Liquid Assets . . . . . . . . . .43 News from around BC . .44 What the Pros Know . . . 46

FUEL your your body body w with ith bet better ter ffood. ood.

Founder and Editor in Chief Gary Hynes Contributing Editor Carolyn Bateman Vancouver Contributing Editor Julie Pegg DRINK Editor Treve Ring Senior Wine Writer Larry Arnold Art Director Gary Hynes Advertising Sales: 250-384-9042 Food Reporters Tofino | Ucluelet: Jen Dart, Vancouver: Anya Levykh, Okanagan: Jeannette Montgomery, Victoria: Rebecca Baugniet | Cowichan Valley-Up Island: Kirsten Tyler Web Reporters Colin Hynes, Jeannette Montgomery, Courtney Schwegel, Morgan K. Sterns Contributors Larry Arnold, Joseph Blake, Michelle Bouffard, Jennifer Danter, Pam Durkin, Gillie Easdon, Jeremy Ferguson, Colin Hynes, Anya Levykh, Sherri Martin, Elizabeth Monk, Michaela Morris, Simon Nattrass, Elizabeth Nyland, Julie Pegg, Treve Ring, Michael Tourigny, Sylvia Weinstock, Rebecca Wellman. Publisher Pacific Island Gourmet | EAT ÂŽ is a registered trademark. Advertising: 250.384.9042, editor@eatmagazine.ca Mailing address: Box 5225, Victoria, BC, V8R 6N4 Tel: 250.384.9042 Email: editor@eatmagazine.ca Website: eatmagazine.ca 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.

Cover photography by Michael Tourigny

C Customer ustomer Service: Ser vice: 1 80 800 0 667 667 8 8280 280 thriftyfoods.com thrif ifty tyfoods.com

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Smoking in the kitchen is fun

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CONCIERGE March

By Rebecca Baugniet

VICTORIA BEER WEEK (Victoria) Victoria Beer Week is a nine-day series of events highlighting a broad selection of BC craft breweries while educating Victorians about craft beer. The week will kick off with a Cask Night on March 1 at the Victoria Public Market and close with a Brewmaster's Brunch at the Atrium on March 9, with additional tastings, seminars, movies and micro-events happening at various venues throughout the week. (www.victoriabeerweek.com) 18TH ANNUAL CHOWDER CHOWDOWN (Ucluelet) Sample the best of the Pacific Northwest from local chefs. Gourmet secrets, mom and pop specials and traditional family recipes. Have a taste of numerous samples and flavours. Presented in partnership with District of Ucluelet Rec Commission and Department. Mar 16, 11:30 am - 2 pm. (www.pacificrimwhalefestival.com) PICA SPRING BREAK TEEN CULINARY BOOT CAMP (Vancouver) Teen Spring Break Camp 2014 is focused on an introduction to world cuisine. For a week this spring, each day is themed around a specific region's cuisine. Every participant will be cooking the entire meal from start to finish - no need to pack a lunch, because you'll be eating everything you made yourself! The camp includes a week of internationally inspired menus along with a local tour of the Granville Island Public Market, Dining Room Etiquette Workshop and Lunch in Bistro 101 (Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts' student operated restaurant). Includes all supplies and ingredients and Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts' logo apron. Mar 17-21. $450. (www.picachef.com) KAMLOOPS WINE FESTIVAL (Kamloops) Celebrate wine in all kinds of ways. The Kamloops Wine Festival hosts tastings and special dinners paired with excellent wines at many of the best local restaurants. Running from March 20, the festival culminates with the Consumer Wine Tasting at the Coast Kamloops Hotel & Conference Centre March 29. (www.kag.bc.ca) SPRING WILD FOODS DINNER AT DEERHOLME (DUNCAN) Landing shortly after the spring equinox, this dinner on March 22 signals the start of spring and heralds the point on our calendar when daylight balances darkness. This was an important time in the ancient worlds and is often spoken of as a time of rebirth. Celebrate the spring with a menu based on local wild foods mixed in with a few First Nations-inspired treats from around the continent. $90 per person. (www.deerholme.com) 8TH ANNUAL DINING OUT FOR LIFE (Vancouver and Whistler) Make a difference — dine out and support people living with HIV/AIDS on Tuesday, March 25. Dining Out For Life is BC’s largest restaurant fundraiser, benefiting A Loving Spoonful and Friends For Life. Visit www.diningoutforlife.com for a list of participating restaurants.

April MOSS STREET MARKET’S MINI-MARKETS (Victoria) Every Saturday in April, half-markets will take place from 10am-noon at the corner of Moss St. and Fairfield Road. 7TH ANNUAL DINING OUT FOR LIFE (Vancouver Island) Imagine you could help your community by dining out at one of your favourite local restaurants. On April 24 thousands of diners will choose from some of the best (and most generous) restaurants on the island, to help raise funds in support of AIDS Vancouver Island. In 2013, with the help of over 85 amazing restaurants who donated 25% of food sales, the event raised over $40,000 in a single day!! As a result of this CONT’D TOP OF THE NEXT PAGE

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EDITOR’S NOTE

mile·stone a point in the progress or development of something The issue you hold in your hands is the 90th edition of EAT. Hard to believe that it’s been fifteen years since I published that first issue back in 1999. At the time, Victoria was struggling to shed its stodgy meat and two veg image and the local food community was just getting started. I had been laid off from my job and was looking for a new project and a writing career beckoned. My son Colin, who now writes and photographs for EAT, was only nine at the time. I’ve been fortunate to see Victoria’s food scene grow-up, to have been the fly on the wall to all the events and changes, and to have met so many inspirational chefs, business people, vintners, and farmers—many of whom are still around, still working hard—and still inspiring. At the first Feast of Fields held at Ravenhill Farm in Saanich, the whole restaurant community gathered

along with like-minded customers. There was a real sense of community, excitement, and anticipation for what the future would bring. I’ve watched as the local wine industry came of age, how the brewing industry has become one of the best in Canada. If a young person wanted to be a chef, they often had to leave the Island for Vancouver or beyond. Not so now. There are so many chef-driven restaurants that a culinary graduate in 2014 has many good prospects waiting. To mark this issue, well-known Victoria writer and EAT alumni Shelora Sheldan digs deep into her memory to pen Food Island Then & Now, a story about our culinary past. Jennifer Danter cooks a casual three-course splurge dinner (with recipes), and bartender extraordinaire Simon Ogden creates a signature cocktail for EAT. With that said, I’m off for a drink and bite. If you see me at the bar, stop and say hello. I’d like to hear your stories, too. Talk to you again soon. —Gary Hynes, Editor

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generosity, AIDS Vancouver Island was able to provide over 10,000 nutritious meals to people in need – from Port Hardy to Victoria. Visit www.diningoutforlife.com for a list of participating restaurants. 11TH ANNUAL OTTAVIO ANNUAL BIG CHEESE CUT (Oak Bay) Come see the kitchen boys and girls of Ottavio cut the largest wheels of cheese made in the world today. Watch as they crack, cut and slice their way through the world’s oldest cheeses. Learn about the animals and families that have produced these beauties for generations. Taste the history and tradition of the cheese making craft. They will be starting with some smaller wheels of artisan cheeses from Quebec and move through to the Italian king, Parmigiano Reggiano, and up to the 225 kg behemoth, the organic, Swiss mountain Emmenthal. Samplings and specials on all cheeses cut. A great free event for the whole family. Apr 27, 11.30 am.

McLean's Specialty Foods celebrates 22 years. McLean's longtime association with EAT magazine goes back to its inception, and over the years this association has served well to attract readers from all over to the store in Nanaimo. During the Anniversary celebrations in April there will be prizes and giveaways in appreciation of all of the customer support over the past 22 years. Visit the store for details! 426 Fitzwilliam Street Nanaimo, BC. mcleansfoods.com

UNCORK YOUR PALATE (Victoria) A very special evening of wine, food and music at Victoria’s historic Crystal Garden, to benefit the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Participating restaurants and caterers will serve a sampling of hors d’oeuvres and appetizers, paired with fine wines from the Naramata Bench Wineries. Meet the winemakers and be the first to taste Naramata’s Spring Release wines. Bid on wines and other exciting packages at the silent and live auctions. Apr 30. Tickets: $95. (www.vcm.bc.ca/calendars/uncork-your-palate) WILD EDIBLE FOODS OF SOUTHERN VANCOUVER ISLAND (Victoria) This course will examine wild edible foods that are available in both urban and rural areas around Victoria with emphasis on foods that are in season. Students will learn through field trips by participating in the harvest and preparation of select foods. Slide show presentations and lectures will supplement hands-on experiences. Apr 26 & 27, 12pm - 5pm. $95 (tax exempt) (http://cstudies.royalroads.ca) TUSCANY CULINARY & WINE TOUR Through the kitchens and vineyards – you will explore the rich history and traditions of Italy. Discover the towns and the countryside of this richly picturesque and culinary provocative region of Italy on this unique hosted tour. Spend seven nights in Tuscany near Florence and explore the charming historic towns of Siena and Pisa. Learn to cook local dishes and explore the Chianti area, famous for hilltop towns and fine wines. Then head to Rome. A feast for all your senses. Depart May 1, 2014. 1.866.341.1771 (meritvacations.com)

MAY 7TH ANNUAL LUND SHELLFISH FESTIVAL (Lund) From May 22 - 25, the shores of Lund Harbour are transformed into an outdoor festival boasting food vendors selling a variety of freshly cooked oysters, clams, mussels, prawns, and other delights. Festivities include a Chowder Challenge, live music, craft booths, shellfish sales, art shows, free cooking demonstrations, BC’s Best Oysters Competition, contests, and kids’ play area. Sign up for a cruise of the nearby islands or a clam dig at Savary Island. Lund’s Shellfish Festival is handicap accessible and all waste is recycled (no garbage is produced). More information is available at www.lundbc.ca.

ONGOING WINTER FARMERS MARKET (Vancouver) Every Saturday from 10am-2pm, running until April 26 in the East parking lot of the Nat Bailey Stadium. FARMERS MARKETS AT THE VICTORIA PUBLIC MARKET (Victoria) Local farmers and food producers come every Wednesday for the weekly Farmers' Market from 11AM-3PM. You can also catch them every Saturday and Sunday. The Market Society hopes this presence continues to grow and that they will eventually be at the market every day.

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WILD FOOD

By Simon Nattrass

Spring Greens

ABUNDANT “WEEDS” SUCH AS CHICKWEED, NETTLE AND DANDELIONS ARE A FRESH TASTE POST-WINTER. After the long grey coastal winter, spring has arrived and with it the promise of another season of plenty in the forests and valleys of Cascadia. For those of us eating with the seasons, the end of winter has been a time of simplicity, of making do with the last of what was stored or preserved and what little can be found clinging to bare branches. Seemingly overnight, spring revives the landscape, bringing forth the tender shoots and new leaves that I crave. The first of these to brave the warming air and wake up my palate to the flavours of spring is chickweed. A common garden weed, the spear-shaped leaves grow in thick mats along paths, under trees and in other disturbed soil. When it first emerges, chickweed is delicious raw in salads or coarsely chopped as a garnish, and it also makes a fine snack while you’re weeding the garden. Later in the season, stems grow tough and sprout small white flowers, and the plant’s stronger flavour lends itself for use as a herb in place of parsley or finely chopped in cold quinoa or pasta salads. Abundant from early spring through fall, the rich green flavour of stinging nettle is the perfect way to ease out of a winter of dense stews and roasted roots. The arrowshaped leaves are easily recognized by wary hikers alongside paths and ditches. Often used medicinally, nettle is dense with vitamins and minerals, and as a pesto (simply replacing basil with nettle in your favourite recipe), it’s a mainstay in my family’s kitchen. Fresh nettle should be steamed or blanched to quell its sting, and afterward can be sautéed with garlic and butter or served like steamed spinach. Possibly the most maligned of the spring greens is the dandelion. While other folks are hurriedly tearing the fresh young leaves out of their manicured lawns, try them in a salad or in place of arugula in any of your favourite recipes. Be sure to leave the roots intact after your spring harvest and return a few weeks later to collect sunny yellow flower heads for a batch of dandelion wine. Once the leaves are too bitter and the flowers have turned to seed, harvest the mature roots to roast as a coffee substitute. Chef Andrew Langley at Pizzeria Prima Strada recommends a multitude of options for the budding connoisseur of spring greens. On the menu at Prima Strada is the rucola e crudo, a pizza of prosciutto, asiago and arugula, but bitter dandelion greens will, he says, work in place of arugula. For nettle, Langley suggests a blended soup with parsnip, celery and cream. Chickweed gremolata with garlic, lemon and olive oil is the perfect companion to grilled fish. To accompany these fresh spring flavours, Langley recommends the crisp, straw-coloured Hoyner Pilsner. A nice dry brut has for too long been classed as a beverage only for special occasions. However, for the delicate flavours and bitter notes in your light lunch of spring greens—perhaps paired with salty bacon and a dry, sharp cheese—I recommend the Venturi-Schulze Brut. The fine bubbles and crisp, clean flavour of this brut will cut through heavier flavours, bringing those fresh greens to the fore. If your spring salad is lacking density, the bold apricot nose, luscious mouthfeel and nutty vanilla finish of the Venturi-Schulze Terracotta can bring an otherwise weightless dish down to earth, but avoid fruit-forward wines if you’re using bitter late-season greens. Normally I would end with a gentle reminder to harvest frugally, but the tenacity and wild abundance of edible weeds means there’s always enough to go around. In fact, the more you harvest, the more will rush to fill the space, so enjoy the gifts of spring to their fullest. E

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FOOD MATTERS By Julie Pegg

Comfort Me with Noodles

PART 2: SWEET, CREAMY NOODLE DESSERTS & CULINARY CELEBRATIONS I’m not much on sweet celebratory confections. Christmas’s cream-filled chocolates and iced birthday party cakes, particular frosted cupcakes, set my teeth on edge. I lack a sweet tooth, with one exception—milky, starchy puddings. I make my own custard and am oh-so-careful not to curdle the rich milk (infused with vanilla bean) and sugar mixture with the eggs. Creamy custard is key to a good trifle. Ovenbaked rice pudding with its crusty skin is a sweet finale to a Sunday roast. And a fix of tapioca pudding and a mug of strong tea can make a miserable cold (almost) bearable. Recently, I’ve discovered—and rediscovered—creamy noodle desserts. One is Indian pasayam (pudding), a staple at Tamil weddings and national fetes. There are many versions of pasayam. In the main, though, it is a sweet “stir-fry” made with broken vermicelli, toasted in clarified butter and cardamom. The noodle mixture is then tossed about in hot milk until the milk is almost absorbed. The whole concoction is studded with pistachios, almonds (or cashews), sometimes raisins, and a pinch of saffron, and allowed to set until you can slice it into wedges. The easy-toprepare dish melds sweet and savoury with soft and crunch. It is little wonder I like pasayam. Its first cousin is kheer, or Indian rice pudding, which, alas, is far easier to access in Vancouver’s Indian spots than pasayam. Another sweet noodle dessert, daarsan, may be common in Mainland China and Korea, but it’s a rarity here in the West. Simply consisting of fried noodles, a generous drizzle of honey, a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with a smattering of toasted sesame seeds and slivered almonds, the dish creates a yin/yang hit of hot and cold. Ambitious cooks might wish to make their own noodles from maida, a highly refined and bleached cake flour popular in India and Asia. If not, egg noodles or wonton wrappers, cut into strips, will suffice. Fried honey noodles are an absolute hit with children. Memories of noshing on noodle kugel come to mind when I think of sweet noodle dishes in other cultures. Kugel is rather like lasagna-meets-cheesecake. It is enjoyed, most often, on Jewish holidays. Noodle kugel, strictly speaking, should be made with kosher noodles (lokshen in Yiddish). Layered with sour cream and cottage cheese, kugel can actually be made savoury or sweet. For sweet, cinnamon and sugar are the seasoning norms. You can also add apricots, apples, raisins or nuts. It’s been years since I’ve enjoyed kugel. I recall Toronto’s many Jewish delis displaying a large pan of kugel amidst honey cakes, cheesecakes and trays of rugelach, that queen of Jewish pastries, where dough is stuffed with fruit and rolled into a crescent before baking. I called into a few delis around Vancouver looking for kugel but came up empty. Omnitsky’s Deli in Oakridge, however, offered to make one for me. I appreciated the gesture. Instead I plan to make my own, perhaps for Passover, and give my Jewish friend Ruth a call. Martha Stewart’s noodle kugel recipe for Rosh Hashanah—egg noodles, eggs, sour cream, cream cheese and apples—looks like the one to follow. Outside of Asian culture, the noodle doesn’t seem to figure in culinary celebrations. But in China, New Year’s and birthdays are feted with extra long noodles, which symbolize a long life span. Stephanie Yuen, food journalist and cookbook author, adds this bit of Asian lore to my findings. “In certain parts of northern China, where handmade noodles and dumplings are main staples, it's a New Year Eve tradition for families to gather together to make noodles and dumplings, which are cooked and eaten at midnight. The legend goes that if you welcome in the New Year eating, you won't go hungry the rest of the year.” E

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GOOD FOR YOU

By Pam Durkin

The Healthy Hog

SURPRISE! PORK IS BECOMING THE MEAT OF CHOICE FOR MANY HEALTHY-CONSCIOUS MEAT EATERS.

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You may not know this, but the company that publishes EAT is called Pacific Island Gourmet—a moniker affectionately abbreviated to PIG by insiders. Thus, in honour of EAT and PIG’s 15th anniversary, I am devoting this issue’s column to—you guessed it—the humble hog. Should you question this decision, rest assured that pork has shed its sullied image as an artery-clogging, unhealthy meat and is being celebrated by dieticians and celebrity chefs for its nutritional profile, taste and versatility. Let’s go whole-hog and take a closer look to find out why dining on swine can indeed be “good for you.” For decades, pork has taken a nutritional backseat to its “other white meat” rival, chicken. Chicken, particularly skinless chicken breast, was seen as the decidedly healthier, waistline-friendly choice. However, an unbiased nutritional analysis of the two foodstuffs reveals otherwise. When it comes to delivering powerhouse nutrition, pork clearly surpasses its rival. If you’re not convinced, consider this—lean cuts of pork contain higher levels of muscle-building protein and less fat, calories and cholesterol than equivalent servings of skinless chicken breast. In addition, pork has 10 times more nerve-soothing thiamine and almost twice as much immunity-boosting zinc and cancer-fighting selenium than chicken. But that’s not the only reason to put pork on your dinner plate. The meat is also teeming with other powerhouse nutrients including vitamins B2, B6 and B12, niacin, potassium, pantothenic acid, phosphorous, iron and magnesium. If you’re scratching your head in disbelief—particularly in reference to pork’s lowfat status, contemplate this fact—a 100-gram serving of trimmed pork tenderloin has a mere 2.5 grams of fat, whereas the same amount of chicken breast (skinned) has 4 grams of fat. And, quite surprisingly, the fat in pork is largely mono and polyunsaturated, which means lean cuts are even suitable for those closely monitoring their saturated fat intake. It seems modern science is doing its bit to confirm pork’s healthy new image. Researchers at Purdue University found that women who ate a high protein diet— with pork as their chief source of protein—felt fuller longer after meals and achieved greater preservation of lean muscle mass with weight loss than women following a slightly lower protein diet where dairy was the main protein source. What’s more, other researchers have discovered that adding pork to the diet can help elevate mood, a happy side effect. Despite all this cheery news, there are some important things to keep in mind before you go hog-wild and rush out to stock the freezer with chops. Not all pork is created equal. The porcine products being recommended by dieticians and TV chefs do not come from commercially raised animals. They come from local, free-range purveyors whose pigs are raised humanely in clean, meticulously kept barnyards. These animals are not subjected to the inhumane, overcrowded conditions commercially raised pigs suffer, and they are not dosed with antibiotics, steroids or other questionable medications. They are, quite literally, a different breed of animal altogether. Industrially raised pigs are bred to grow at an unnaturally rapid rate, whereas hogs from small, local producers are generally heritage breeds that grow naturally, yielding a healthier, more flavourful meat. Thankfully, this type of quality pork is easy to source in B.C. (Sea Bluff Farm, Tannadice Farm, Sloping Hill Farm and Happy Pig Farm are just a few B.C. suppliers of “healthy pork”). Another important factor to consider is the cut of pork you buy. Tenderloin, loin chops and sirloin and shoulder roasts are your best bets as these are the leanest cuts. Save other cuts—though tasty—for rare occasions as they can be quite fatty. In addition, it is wise to avoid “cured” pork products like bacon and luncheon meats as these tend to be chockful of nitrites and other less-than-salubrious additives. To keep your lean cuts succulent and juicy, marinate or brine them before cooking and serve them medium or medium-rare. The resulting carnivorous treat will delight and may just have you joining the ever-growing chorus of pork praisers. E


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EPICURE AT LARGE

By Jeremy Ferguson

The Immovable Feast

NOTHING SUCCEEDS LIKE EXCESS: FEASTING DOWN THROUGH THE AGES. I’m not certain what constitutes a “feast” nowadays. I suppose it’s still a celebration of food—a party, with multiple courses enjoyed by many guests, although the hurling of lamb legs across the room isn’t so common in these restrained times. But in 2009, Heston Blumenthal (celebrity owner of England’s three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck and inventor of bacon-and-egg ice cream) took a long look backwards to retool the feast for the 21st century. He created a volley of feasts inspired by historic periods of gastronomic advancement. Known for his idiosyncratic food play, Blumenthal unearthed dishes long purged from communal memory and renovated them to shock and tickle. His feasts were themed Roman, Medieval, Tudor, Victorian and so on. The Roman feast included pig’s nipple scratchings and calf’s brain custard with a side of brains coated in anchovies and deep-fried. Dessert, a salute to the orgy, was “ejaculating” cake, with saffron custard spurting suggestively from chocolate cake. Blumenthal wasn’t entirely Roman here: he left out the vomitarium. Yet his modern flights of fancy are modest compared to the more excessive moments in feasting history. Excess, it seems—remember, Julia Child cautioned “moderation in everything, including moderation”—is an irrepressible component of our nature. The Romans were very good at excess: first-century gourmand Apicius, alleged author of the oldest surviving cookbook and creator of foie gras, spent his fortunes on feasts of nightingales’ and peacocks’ tongues, camel heels, flamingo brains and the heads of parrots. Little wonder the Emperor Augustus devised laws against extravagant menus and exorbitant spending. History gave the Romans competition. For the enthroning of the Archbishop of York in 1465, the three-day feast for 900 guests called for 104 oxen, 1,000 sheep, 304 calves, 3,000 pigs, 7,000 capons, 5,000 geese, 400 peacocks, 4,000 pigeons, 1,000 egrets and 12 seals and some porpoises. Under Prussian siege in 1870, a starving Paris turned to the city’s zoo for gastronomie. One Christmas dinner consisted of stuffed donkey’s head, roast camel, kangaroo stew, sirloin of bear, haunch of wolf, cat with a side of rats and antelope terrine with truffles. Mouton Rothschild 1846 and Romanee-Conti 1848 were the humble libations. China’s great contribution may be the Manchu Han Imperial Feast exclusively for Qing Dynasty emperors, a 320-dish extravaganza spun out over three days and six banquets. “Eight mountain delicacies,” a tribute to Chinese omnivorism, included camel hump, bear paws, live monkey brains, ape lips and leopard fetuses. The Brits? Times have changed since Henry VIII feasted on seagulls and peacocks, roasted and re-feathered: Queen Elizabeth II is a notorious non-foodie with a preference for jam sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Most unlike her ancestor Victoria: Food historian Annie Gray notes that towards the end of Victoria’s reign, dinners ran four to six courses of six to nine dishes apiece. Repasts were predictably lengthy, except for Victoria herself, who would woof down half a dozen courses in 30 minutes. A more recent extravaganza was the Epicurean Masters of the World dinner held in Bangkok in 2007. Catered by six three-starred Michelin chefs and sold for $25,000 apiece (not including tax or service), it was all about luxe: crème brûlée of foie gras, Kobe beef tartare with Imperial Beluga caviar, veal cheeks with Perigord truffle and an aristocratic slate of champagne, burgundy and bordeaux wines. The closest thing to a feast in my recent experience unfolded at God’s Mountain Estate, a B & B and vineyard high over the Okanagan’s Lake Skaha. Every week in decent weather, innkeeper Sarah Allen invites intrepid Joy Road Catering to whip up an al fresco dinner in tandem with a stellar Okanagan winery. When my wife and I were there, a single table of 40 guests tucked into 15 courses. It was a procession of pleasures: openers of fresh oysters with rhubarb and shallot mignonette, mains of burrata with freshly shelled peas and prosciutto, halibut in beurre blanc, duck confit with cherries and on and on. Stars twinkled above and laughter flowed long into the night. Even Heston Blumenthal might have nodded his approval. E

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A special fundraising event for the Victoria Conservatory of Music!

April 30, 2014 6:30 - 9:00pm Crystal Garden Tickets $95 vcm.bc.ca/uncork-your-palate 250.386.5311 Tax receipts available for portion t This is a 19 years + event

Sip, Sip, Sample Sample & Celebrate! Celebrate!

Event Sponsors

Media Sponsors VCM Funding Partners

We acknowledge the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia

SIP spring release tastings from the Naramata Bench

and meet the winemakers

www.eatmagazine.ca MARCH | APRIL 2014

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SPECIAL EAT PROMOTION

Ten Years of True Grain

The original Cowichan Bay Bakery and its Okanagan sister location celebrate a decade of baking made from freshly milled, local, organic grain. By Joseph Blake

from left to right: the exterior of True Grain Bread in Cowichan Bay, a basket of fresh baguettes, the exterior of the True Grain Bread in Summerland, a selection of organic and hand-crafted breads—Red Fife sourdough, Red Fife hazelnut cracked grain and Khorasan Pumpkinseed.

T

rue Grain Bread is celebrating 10 years of Old World-inspired baking using freshly milled, local, organic grains and handcrafted techniques. Founded in 2004 by Jonathan Knight and bought by current owners Bruce and Leslie Stewart in 2008, the Cowichan Bay business opened a second True Grain Bread, run by Todd Laidlaw, in Summerland in 2012. Both stores are celebrating the anniversary on Saturday, April 12. At its core, True Grain is all about the bread. Being True to the Grain means starting with seeds that have not been hybridized, engineered or modernized. It means growing that grain organically and as close to home as possible. It means slowly stone milling the kernel at low temperatures to maximize nutrients. It involves leavening the resulting flour slowly instead of using yeast, it means crafting each loaf by hand and it means ONLY selling the bread on the day that it was baked. THAT is True Grain. In its commitment to using certified organic sources, True Grain has taken a leadership role with local grain growers. Stewart recalls that a few pioneers were farming grain on Vancouver Island in 2009, producing half a ton of wheat for the bakery. “We’d bake 20 or 30 loaves on a Saturday and run out of local grain before the end of summer.” But things are getting better, says Stewart. “One of our suppliers, Sloping Hill Farm in Qualicum Beach, became the first certified organic grain farm on Vancouver Island in late 2013. They grow emmer, one of the first grasses cultivated by humans, an ancient variety of grain. Most people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity can tolerate emmer bread. “Tony and Susan Van Den Tillart [Fieldstone Organics] in Armstrong, B.C., are our primary source for certified organically grown rye and spelt. We get seasonal ingredients from local sources too—hazelnuts, asparagus, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, and Okanagan apples in our strudel.” Both bakeries mill grain for their loaves all day, every day. The company’s baking team include a pair of German Master Bakers (Bäckermeister) who lead and inspire each team. “We seek apprentice bakers who want to learn how to hand-scale and carefully craft each loaf,” says Stewart. “It’s a system of tutelage that teaches the baker’s relationship to bread dough, how to make it sing! It’s not easy to do, and it takes a very high skill set.” An example of True Grain Bread’s commitment to craft is their Red Fife sourdough loaf, a naturally leavened, yeast-free bread that uses a three-day fermentation process. It’s amazing how much flavour is produced from the bread’s three ingredients: Red Fife wheat, filtered water and sea salt.

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“Others are tempted to add vinegar to approximate sourdough,” says Stewart. “It’s always tempting to cut corners; we won't, we’re 100 percent committed to the craft. We also make an array of sweet and savoury baked goods. People love our cinnamon buns, chocolate-almond cookies, spelt cookies, and pretzels, but my personal favourite is the Kopenhagen. It’s a swirled Danish with ground almonds and ground hazelnuts topped with streusel.” All sweet and savoury items are made with certified organic milk and butter, local farm eggs and certified organic cane sugar. There is no treated or bleached flour, no emulsifiers, margarine or shortening, no genetically modified ingredients, no peanuts or vinegar, no hydrogenated trans-fats, pre-mixes, pre-prepared dough or chemical “pan-release” sprays, no unfiltered water, preservatives, artificial flavours or artificial colours. They make almost two dozen varieties of bread to equally exacting standards: no sugar or other sweeteners, no dairy, eggs, shortening or other fats (except first cold-pressed olive oil in the bakery’s Italian focaccia and ciabatta), no preservatives, artificial flavouring or colouring. The bakeries are soy- and canola-free. “When we bought True Grain from Jonathan Knight, we wanted to build upon his vision,” Stewart said. In 2009, he became founding president of Cittaslow Cowichan Bay, the first Cittaslow community in North America. “Our bakery has grown slowly too. I kept Jonathan’s Head Baker for the first year and then brought in our first German Master Baker. Now we have 21 employees at the peak of our summer season and a growing community of farmers supplying ingredients.” After ten years, Vancouver Islanders passionate about food know the quality of their products. Stewart and Laidlaw chose the former Cake Box Bakery site in downtown Summerland for their second location, centrally located between Kelowna and Penticton. In the first year they were awarded Best New Restaurant, Shop, Cafe in the Okanagan by EAT magazine. "Folks here are just beginning to understand what we do, why we are different, and how amazing our breads taste. Were excited to see what the next 10 years bring.” 1725 Cowichan Bay Rd., Cowichan Bay, B.C. 250-746-7664 truegrain.ca

10108 Main St., Summerland, B.C. 250-494-4244 truegrain.ca


EAT Magazine March_April 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 2/27/14 12:28 PM Page 13

A Beer and a Bite

By Colin Hynes

Colin Hynes

The Beer: Basecamp Brewing, In-Tents India Pale Lager (Portland OR.) This is an IPL with a clean, crisp, hoppy taste. Good mouth feel without any overbearing flavours that can accompany the citrus taste of an IPL. A touch of oak and caramel. Smooth pine or evergreen flavours underscore the hop taste. ABV: 6.8% basecampbrewingco.com The Bite: Camp-style bacon, eggs and chorizo sausage. When camping, it’s important not to waste anything—that’s why you cook your eggs in the sausage and bacon fat. We like to use a cast iron skillet when camping, since you can cook just about anything in them, and the cleanup is easy. Make sure to keep the temperature even when cooking the eggs as you don’t want the bacon fat to overcook the edges before the egg is done.

The Conclusion: This is the kind of pairing that is perfect after a hard day hiking, swimming, or exploring. It is versatile enough to have for dinner or (if you are so inclined) for breakfast (the crisp IPL will surely wake you up!). The way the fattiness of the dish helps cut through the bitterness of the IPL is perfect. We chose chorizo sausage because the spice helps bring out the flavours of the IPL.

www.eatmagazine.ca MARCH | APRIL 2014

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EAT MAGAZINE MARCH | APRIL 2014

WHAT’S IN STORE By Joseph Blake

Sirene Chocolate THERE’S A NEW BEAN-TO-BAR IN TOWN

Taylor Kennedy is passionate about food and travel. After a decade working for National Geographic Magazine in Washington, DC, the photojournalist returned to Canada where he continued to freelance with the magazine while developing his company, Sirene Chocolate. "I fell into the staff position with National Geographic during a year off between grad school and medical school," Kennedy explained recently. "I visited my sister in DC and met a photographer at a party who was looking for an assistant for a shoot. That job lead to other work, and when National Geographic saw my photos from Cuba, they offered me a job." "I love Victoria and wanted to create a life here that combined my passion for food, travel, and family. We had twins 2 1/2 years ago, and I wanted to be here for their daily development. Eventually I want them to see the rest of the world, but for now my focus is on raising the kids and creating Sirene Chocolate." After four years in development, Sirene Chocolate began production in November, 2013. The bean to bar product features cacao beans organically grown by Vincent Norero in Balao, Ecuador and the Akkeson family in the Sambriano Valley of northern Madagascar. "I've always been fascinated by regional food, with my interest in chocolate going back almost twenty years," Kennedy said. "The beans our farmers produce reflect the regional terroir, the soil, climate, and variety of trees. The Akkeson family's beans are grown in Madagascar's rich volcanic soil. Our grower in Ecuador has rehabilitated a century-old farm of indigenous cacao varieties that produce rich chocolate notes. The beans from Madagascar have a strong fruity flavour...but here, taste it for yourself," Kennedy added while passing a bar of Sirene Chocolate to me. "Break off a small piece and let it melt on your tongue." The Ecuador chocolate is 72% cacao beans (the other 28% cane sugar), and even a tiny piece fills my mouth with its rich, dark chocolate flavour and makes my skin tingle, a reaction to theobromine. This alkaloid component of cacao bean is a mild, caffeine-like stimulant. The Madagascar chocolate is 67% cacao. The tiny piece melting on my tongue marries fruity citrus and berry flavours to a slightly lighter chocolate taste. Kennedy has plans to pair his chocolates with Vancouver Island Salt Company's sea salt, and also with hazelnuts from an organic farm in Chemainus. As well, he has plans for a collaboration with celebrated artist Robert Bateman—a bar with a custom piece of art for the packaging that would celebrate the fauna of the region the chocolate comes from. Kennedy recently purchased a custom-made chocolate-making machine from the UK that will drastically increase output while giving a precise control over flavour development. "Traditional stone grinders weren't precise enough for me," Kennedy explained. "I wanted to have more exacting controls over the process." E Sirene Chocolate is currently available at Cook Culture, Silk Road Tea, The Chocolate Project, Just Matcha Tea, Fairfield Market, Ottavio Bakery, and The Papery. For more information visit www.sirenechocolate.com


EAT Magazine March_April 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 2/27/14 12:28 PM Page 15

GET FRESH

By Sylvia Weinstock

Baby Love

EARLY, YOUNG AND OH-SO-SWEET MINI VEGGIES & LETTUCES ARE A SPRING TREAT.

One of the greatest pleasures of growing vegetables is being able to eat them in their tender, sweet baby phase. An equally enticing pastime is growing (or buying) miniature vegetables. There are two types of baby vegetables. Some tiny tots are immature newborns that will mature into full-grown veggies. Fully ripe miniature vegetables, born and bred to be teensy-weensy cuties, belong to the other category. These true baby vegetables are ideal for small gardens and container gardening. They mature rapidly, and offer superb sweet and tender flavours. The little darlings also save cooking time: they can be served whole and it’s a snap to get them into a pickle. When you plant lettuces, such as 'Little Gem' miniature romaine, mesclun mix and cabbage family greens, the rows often have to be thinned by plucking out every other teeny plant to give the remaining plants more space. Early in the growing season, you can eat these nutritious microgreens, such as arugula, broccoli, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, mizuna, pac choi, radish and chard, every day. Tiny gold, red and striped beets can be harvested early with their delicious greens. For the sweetest kohlrabi, harvest bulbs that are less than three inches in diameter. Pick pickling cucumbers when they reach their full petite size. Broccoli plants produce small florets at each leaf joint where the main stem has been cut off. Don’t let zucchinis run amok: pick them when they are small, immature and at their flavour peak, and be sure to eat their delicious flowers. Here are some true baby vegetables that were born that way. The first string beans are svelte and sweet but nothing beats the taste of haricot verts—baby French green beans. Asparabroc Broccolini® is a baby broccoli with a delicate flavour and a subtle peppery taste. Toy choi is miniature pac choi and baby bok choy is pint-sized bok choy. Yellow-green 'Savoy Express' baby cabbage is ready to harvest when it’s six inches in diameter. Its leaves are as wrinkly as an old man’s face, but they are as buttery soft as an infant’s head when they are cooked. 'Golden Midget' corn has four-inch long super-sweet ears. Baby artichokes don’t have a choke; the peeled veggie is entirely edible. Cocktail avocados are pitless peewees an inch wide and three inches long. Baby snowball cauliflower is a two-inch round ball of curds. Baby scallopini and scalloped-edged baby patty pan squashes are so lovable you want to pinch their cheeks. Their flesh is meaty with a mild flavour. Crunchy baby 'Easter Egg' radishes are white, red or purple morsels with a peppery bite. Baby tear-drop tomatoes are tinier than the smallest cherry tomatoes, and oh so sweet. There is a major difference between baby-cut carrots, which are often mislabelled on packages, and true baby carrots. Sweet, tender round, white or French baby carrots are specialty crops, bred to be eaten at the baby stage. Baby-cut carrots are mature carrots that have been cut and rounded off by machines to resemble small carrots. To let their flavours shine through, simple preparation, such as roasting, is best for these dainty treats. To roast baby carrots, pattypan squash, beets, turnips and zucchini, trim and peel all the vegetables except for the zucchini and squash and cut squash, beets and turnips in half. Drizzle the veggies with extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat them. Spread them on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast at 400°F for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Garnish with a handful of chopped Italian parsley. Planting and eating these Lilliputian lovelies are wonderful ways to celebrate spring.

Open Lunch & Dinner Tuesday through At 45 Bastion Square

Saturday.

Globally Inspired. Local Flavour. E

Camille`s @ 45 Bastion Square Victoria, BC V8W 1J1 www.camillesrestaurant.com

www.eatmagazine.ca MARCH | APRIL 2014

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REPORTER Foo Ramen Foo Ramen | 762 Broughton St., Victoria | www.foofood.com

Rebecca Wellman

FOO RAMEN left: Co-owner Patrick Lynch. right: Pork ramen with pork belly, soft poached egg, BBQ pork, pickled veg, shitake. and Pork bun with pork belly, pickled veg, hoisin.

Colin Hynes

It was late November 2013 when the chef and co-owner of Foo Asian Street Food, Patrick Lynch, and co-owner Sterling Grice boarded an eastbound plane with Robyn Rothschild of Rothschild West Design Group Inc. Destination: New York City. Purpose: to sample the best bowls of ramen in that city and delve deeply and deliciously into this global food craze, bringing excellent ramen knowledge back to Victoria. Lynch and Grice plan to open Foo Ramen (their working title) in the former location of the unforgettable Devour (RIP) on Broughton. For ramen cognoscenti, the word may invoke chef David Chang and the Momofuku Restaurant Group as well as chef Danny Bowiens and Mission Chinese Food in San Francisco. For others, it simple means instant noodles. Why all the fuss? Ramen is believed to have been Chinese-born but appropriated by the Japanese. And like much of Japanese food, it is the meticulous attention to detail that secured ramen as one of the most popular and succulent food trends of last year. “I love the surface simplicity that masks the thoughtful and exacting technique behind ramen,” Lynch tells me. When I heard about the imminent opening of Foo Ramen and the preChristmas research trip, I quickly ducked into Foo on Yates to sample the restaurant’s ramen in its present incarnation. Chow mein noodles, a lovely clear pork broth, soft-boiled egg and braised pork belly. It was tasty and enjoyable, but not something I needed to have again soon. Foo’s octopus salad does that for me often enough. Back to the quest. Grice kept in touch with me, offering tales of Pok Pok in Brooklyn and Ippudo NYC in the East Village. “I didn’t know it was possible for ramen to be this delicious,” he gushed. Speaking with Lynch upon his return, he also shared with me that he “had an epiphany about what I thought I knew . . . I’m starting from zero.” It was refreshing to hear an established chef speak this way, and I looked forward to the next day when I would sample where Lynch’s ramen was at now after the exploratory trip. Back to Foo, where I was presented with two bowls, identical save for the noodle shape. One was a spaghettini size and the other more of a fettuccine. The noodles were from Sun Noodle, the same company that provides David Chang’s Momofuku chain with its noodles. As I write this in January, Lynch is working with Bagga Pasta to see if something local can be created. The broth was cloudy, thick, aromatic. No more skimming the fat from the top of simmering stocks, per Lynch’s more classical training. Perfect. The thinner noodles held the broth while the thicker noodle left the broth in the bowl and stood alone as an excellent noodle. Both noodles had the requisite al dente bite of ramen alkaline noodles. The half soft-boiled egg was lightly pickled in Chinese black vinegar, the Chinese greens and green onion were fresh and bright across the bland scape of the exquisite soup. The braised pork belly was as divine as before, but the whole bowl held together, with a depth and flavour I had not experienced with ramen before. Lynch told me in January that he was “just getting there,” so we can expect even more innovations by the time Foo Ramen is expected to open in March. There it will offer chicken and vegetarian ramens as well as pork, and glutenfree noodles will be on the menu. They will also carry salads and Foo’s signature bánh mì (Vietnamese sandwiches), beer and sake. E BY GILLIE EASDON

HANKS UNTRADITIONAL BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

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EAT Magazine March_April 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 2/27/14 12:29 PM Page 17

Hanks

Heron Rock Bistro

Hanks - Untraditional BBQ | Unit G2A 1001 Douglas Street, Victoria | 778.433.4770 | fb (Hanks On Douglas)

Since 2005

Supporting Live Music Monday & Friday Evenings

All Bottles of Wine are $10 less on Mondays Oysters and a Pint on Fridays $15

Open 7 days a week! 9am-10pm Monday to Friday 8:30am-10pm Saturday & Sunday

Sunday to ursday 8pm-10pm Colin Hynes

Hank’s Pork Belly with baked beans and potato salad The lower end of Douglas St. has been fairly stagnant for the past while, with no new restaurants opening. Sure, there has been a host of fantastic coffee or tea shops, as well as a few franchises, but nothing that speaks to a foodie. That is until Hanks opened in the 1000 block. Tucked between an Avis Car Rental and a Blenz Coffee sits Hanks Untraditional BBQ. As you walk this section of Douglas, you can’t help but smell the delicious meat smoking, and your nose makes you bee-line for the front door. Hanks is originally from, and still is smoking in, Ucluelet (close to the surfing paradise of Tofino). It was originally intended as a dinner spot serving mains and desserts throughout the night. When Clark Deutscher and Francois Plion started Hanks, they had the vision that their Ucluelet joint would be a mainstay for dinner, but that when they opened in Victoria, it would be more lunch orientated. The two owners have different backgrounds from what you’d expect from a couple of barbeque lovers. Francois has worked in the restaurant industry for 14 years in Montreal, and was brought up with the French style of cuisine, but made a quick and easy transition to barbequing. Clark, on the other hand, came from a completely non-restaurant background, and was a management banker from Winnipeg. Clark was eventually transferred to Ucluelet, and from there he started to hone his BBQ skills and enter into barbeque competitions all over Canada and the United States. He and his teammates won quite a few accolades, including an impressive second place at the Oregon Chili Competition. Francois met Clark during his competition phase and soon they decided to open Hanks. They went with an “untraditional” BBQ, in the sense that they do not always cook the staples like pulled pork, but branch out and also do fish, un-common cuts of meat, using their own spicing inventions. In the Victoria Hanks, they go with a menu that rotates; there is a different dish each day, with some permanent favourites, such as a beef brisket sandwich, pork ribs, and oysters/mussels always cooking. All of the meats from Hanks come from Two Rivers Specialty Meats—Clark has been using their meat since he started entering competitions. When EAT visited Hanks, they had just finished smoking one of that week’s new dishes, a succulent pork belly. It was smooth and cooked to perfection, with a crispy crust on the outside and the perfect moisture content in the meat. It had flavours of cinnamon and cardamom, as well as chilies and pepper which combated any fattiness in the pork. Each dish comes with a scoop of potato salad and a dollop of beans. Hanks makes their potato salad with a hint of citrus to play off the meat; they also add some chili spicing to the beans to mesh with both the meat and the potato salad. If you are thinking “Where can I get lunch today?” go down to Hanks and try an untraditional BBQ. It’ll make you go back and try something different next week, and probably the week after that! E BY COLIN HYNES

50% off all Burgers and Sandwiches with purchase of a drink

250.383.1545 heronrockbistro.ca

www.eatmagazine.ca MARCH | APRIL 2014

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North FORTY-EIGHT 1005 Langley Street, Victoria | 250.381.2428 | northfortyeight.com TWO RIVERS SPECIALTY MEATS DIRECT TO CONSUMER PROGRAM

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Meating www.tworiversmeats.com www.tworiversmeats.com 60 604.990.5288 4.990.5288 inf info@ o@tw tworiversmeats.com oriversmeats.com

     

















             

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Chef Sam Chalmers may still be rocking his signature black hat, but his downtown bistro has dropped that name in favour of something more site specific. In fact, The Black Hat has been re-imagined as North 48 (or north FORTY-EIGHT), a nod to the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s local latitude along the 48th parallel. Hopefully, it will help Victorians find this tasty spot, tucked into a quiet corner on Langley St., between Government and Wharf. Chalmers calls his cuisine â&#x20AC;&#x153;modern dinerâ&#x20AC;? and draws inspiration from casual comfort food around the world. Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s his â&#x20AC;&#x153;cheese whizâ&#x20AC;? to spread on crispy brioche toasts (concocted from scratch with ricotta), or the steamy hot pots of local seafood andouille sausage and little loaves of jalapeno cornbread to share, Chalmers is creative in the kitchen. He sources locally when possible, and makes nearly everything in house, whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sausages and pickles, ketchup or ice cream. This is a meaty menu, with a few twists. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard for me to get past his addictive take on southern Chicken and Waffles â&#x20AC;&#x201D; with perfectly moist and crunchy chicken pieces atop cheesy cornmeal waffles, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a real winner. But then the brined and slow smoked ribs with killer mac and cheese, and serious steak sandwich turns my head. The fried Brussels sprouts are a must, and thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a vegetarian sweet potato enchilada with black bean mole stew and Oaxaca cheese, and a Korean Bibimbap with house kimchi and fried egg, for meat-free meals. On the cocktail side, the menu equally inventive, with a full range of Tiki Cocktails in funky glassware (think Trader Vics Mai Taiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and banana daquiris) and house made ginger beer and rootbeer floats, for the designated driver. With its location near the inner harbour, the look of North 48 is warm and rustic, with a west coast feel. Metal screen partitions and moveable bench seating add a casual industrial edge. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As a chef and owner, I want North 48 to reflect our vibrant, historic city on the menu and in our dining room,â&#x20AC;? says Chalmers. This is the chefâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s second restaurant location â&#x20AC;&#x201D; he started with the cosy Bistro 28 in Oak Bay â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a business he runs with his sister, Kelsey. There can be hits and a few misses when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re all over the map, but thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the price of unbridled creativity in the kitchen. They seem to be having a lot of fun here and you will, too. E BY CINDA CHAVICH

Secret Location 1 Water St., Vancouver | 604.685.0090 | secretlocation.ca Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a goodly while since Gastown became the dining mecca of Vancouver, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down. And, as one of the latest additions proves, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not always about â&#x20AC;&#x153;casual fine dining.â&#x20AC;? Secret Location opened up with little fanfare and much panache several moons ago at 1 Water Street, in the heart of the neighbourhood, and with a wholly unique take. The retail store and tasting room face each other across a hall of windows, and, with the addition of chef Jefferson Alvarez to the latter, the space has come into its own. White walls, furniture and walls can be stark and daunting in many cases, but not here. The bright splashes of colour, as from the plum banquettes and sofas that create intimate gathering spaces, are nicely set off by the shimmering bar and sparkling light fixtures. What should be utilitarian becomes warm and inviting, elegant and contemporary at the same time. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the perfect setting for Alvarezâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s menu of tasting plates that delve lightly into molecular gastronomy, but always with the end goal of creating new and saliva-inducing flavour profiles. The menu changes frequently to reflect what Chef finds at the local markets, fishmongers and other purveyors. Take the octopus ($15), for instance, lightly charred and served with a burnt onion puree, seaweed aioli and dried chorizo. Or the bison short ribs ($27) with freeze-fried peas that I could eat by the bowlful, wild mushrooms and leeks. There are never too many components in a dish, but each is treated with care and thoughtfully paired with its roommates. There is a strong contemporary Spanish influence to the dishes, a modern ethos that is both complex and extremely minimalist at the same time. Alvarez also recently finished his revolutionary â&#x20AC;&#x153;300 Dishes in 30 Daysâ&#x20AC;? promotion. Each day saw a completely new 10-course menu being offered for dinner, for the bargain price of $75 including wine and cocktail pairings. It was a clever and bold way to test new dishes on the dining public, and look for many of the dishes to make it back onto the regular menu over the coming months. E BY ANYA LEVYKH


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The Fish Counter 3825 Main St., Vancouver | 604.876.3474 | www.thefishcounter.com It’s been a long time since I’ve had the pleasure of partaking of some of chef Robert Clark’s particular brand of sustainable seafood. Since Clark’s departure from C Restaurant and its sisters, only those lucky enough to be on the high-end catered event circuit had access to his food. Thankfully, Clark has decided that the masses must not be without, and has opened The Fish Counter in partnership with Mike McDermid (of Vancouver Aquarium and Ocean Wise fame). So what happens when you pair a marine biologist with a chef? It’s not a wild guess when you remember that both are sustainable seafood gurus who spearheaded the founding of the Ocean Wise program. Yup, as the name suggests, it’s all about the seafood—the sustainable, ethically-sourced seafood. Sablefish, wild salmon and local scallops compete for space with sustainably-farmed sturgeon and caviar. The Fish Counter is more than just a fishmonger, however. The spacious digs on Main Street are also home to prepared foods like wild chinook maple nuggets, potato salad (to go with the excellent crab cakes and seared ahi tuna), and jars of chowder, salmon rillettes and tartar sauce—making meals at home much more interesting. Most importantly, it is home to a fry counter that puts most other fish ‘n’ chips joints to shame. Classic deep-fried lingcod, halibut, cod or salmon with crispy fries runs around $12 for one large piece, but prices can shift slightly depending on supply. Without exception, it is juicy on the inside and crisp on the outside. The oyster po’boy is a thing of beauty, enormous Fanny Bays deep-fried whole and stuffed into a toasted baguette with a lightly-spiced kimchi-style cabbage and the infamous tartar sauce. Even the coleslaw is other-worldy, with bits of kale and cabbage lightly marinated to a tart and crunchy state. Daily specials highlight what’s in season, like the stunning moules frites one Sunday afternoon. Minimal eat-in space means lots of takeaway, or eating at the stand-up counter, either of which is more than acceptable when the pay-off is Clark’s honest fare. E BY ANYA LEVYKH

QUINOA SALAD quinoa, arugula, feta, snap peas, raisins, capers, grape tomatoes, red peppers, spicy pecans, sherry vinaigrette.

www.cactusclubcafe.com

Merchant’s Oyster Bar 1590 Commercial Dr. | 604.258.0005 | www.merchantsoysterbar.ca Despite Vancouver being a port city, casual—and quality—oyster joints are a fairly recent innovation. The success, however, of places like Rodney’s, Chewie’s and Cork & Fin has developed a taste among local diners for raw bivalves minimally dressed with mignonette or a squeeze of lemon. The latter restaurant’s owner, one Francis Regio, has expanded his shucking holdings to Commercial Drive with the opening of Merchant’s Oyster Bar. The little corner space is cozy, bright and bar-friendly, with an excellent wine list and an even better “clam digger” selection (aka. Bloody Caesars). The cocktail list includes more than just Clamato, however. Divided into three categories—Soft & Easy, Strong & Boozy, and Sparkling—the list ranges from classics like bourbon sours and French 75s to more contemporary concoctions like the French Pear ($11), refreshing blend of Lillet, pear puree and bubbles. Almost all make good slurping companions. As for the food, it’s a menu that’s long on selection and reasonably low on price. The daily set menu options include any “snack,” starter, main and dessert off the regular menu into three- or four-course options, ranging from $29 to $37. Snacks include raw oysters on the half-shell (natch) from a rotating local selection (Sawmill Bays and Chef’s Creek were both fantastic), as well as oyster mousse ($8) served with seed crackers, and baked oysters with truffle cream ($10). There are some vegetarian options for each section (this is the Drive, after all), but carnivores rule here, without a doubt. Starters like the beef tartare with sriracha and pickled shallots ($13) leave nothing to be desired, while mains like the braised steelhead trout with fennel puree and pickled mushroom salad remind you of a certain ethos found at restaurants like Burdock & Co. and Farmer’s Apprentice. It’s not a surprise, when you learn that Merchant’s chef formerly worked with Andrea Carlson. There is a certain clean presentation and emphasis on flavour, rather than richness—the latter of which, however, is definitely not in short supply—that strongly hints of the seasonal-locavore mindset that dominates at Burdock et al. Go for buck-a-shuck between five and six-thirty every evening, and stay on for some seriously good cooking. Bottoms up. E BY ANYA LEVYKH

Perfectly placed in the South Okanagan

P

erfectly placed on rich South Okanagan farmland, Tinhorn Creek overlooks the old gold mining creek that is the winery’s namesake. We are environmental stewards of 150 acres of vineyards: “Diamondback” on the Black Sage Bench, and “Tinhorn Creek” on the Golden Mile Bench. Both provide us with the fruit to craft the superb, terroir driven wine that we’re known for. Our top tier Oldfield Series represents the finest of each vintage.

www.tinhorn.com

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Dining at Sea Level

VICTORIA’S EXCELLENT SEAFOOD RESTAURANTS SERVE UP AN OCEAN OF OPTIONS by Joseph Blake

L

iving in a city by the sea, I expect fresh seafood to be at the heart of local menus. That’s certainly the case for Victoria’s numerous fine sushi bars and the

city’s better Chinese restaurants. Victoria is also blessed with several excellent seafood restaurants ranging from Red Fish Blue Fish’s counter food to fine dining seafood options at the Blue Crab, Pescatores and Aura. The chefs and the friendly service staff at the Blue Crab Seafood House in the Coast Harbourside Hotel take advantage of the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling views of Victoria’s busy harbour to underline the menu’s signature, Ocean Wise-approved fish dishes. They also has a love for Louisiana-inspired spices that shows up in their seafood gumbo and spicy butter sauces that arrive with the kitchen’s live lobster and live Dungeness crab offerings. My favourites are the chef’s crab cakes, his Thai coconut curry fish soup with rice noodles, and All Crab All the Time, a $35 dish featuring local Dungeness crab cakes, King crab legs, crab risotto and grilled asparagus topped with King crab meat and Béarnaise sauce. Their creamy, traditional clam chowder with potatoes, leeks and doublesmoked bacon is a great way to start a meal at the Blue Crab. At Pescatores Seafood and Grill, chef Dwane MacIsaac’s kitchen also uses sustainable seafood products approved by Ocean Wise and the Marine Stewardship Council. I love chef MacIsaac’s cedar-plank-roasted salmon and also the house cioppino, a tomato-fennel broth brimming with clams, mussels, prawns, Dungeness crab, scallops and bowls of Boston, Manhattan and oyster chowder, as well as $13 pan-fried Fanny Bay oysters, and a fish and chip dish featuring Hoyne Brewery beer-battered cod and hand-cut fries. Two doors down at Pescatores’ sister restaurant, The Oyster offers buck-a-shuck raw oysters on the half-shell Wednesdays after 5 p.m. At Aura Waterfront Restaurant at the Inn at Laurel Point, veteran chef Takashi Ito showcases his love of seafood, most notably with his small-plate menu items. His $13 version of calamari is sautéed kimuchi-marinated squid strips with enoki and shiitaki mushrooms and fried green bean vermicelli with red pepper coulis. Chef Ito’s similarly priced Caribbean-inspired seared scallops are served with escovitch, jerk pork belly, fried

Rebecca Wellman

plantain and kabocha squash puree. Chef’s deep-fried sushi, a combination of albacore, side-stripe shrimp, spicy scallops, flying fish roe and sweet onion salad, is another $13 small-plate favourite. Chef’s mains include teriyakimiso broiled sablefish and a dozen fresh oysters with soy

top: PESCATORES - Chef Dwane MacIsaac. Cedar planked salmon with risotto and vegetables bottom: RED FISH BLUE FISH - Grill seared tuna tacones. Owner/Chef Kunal Ghose

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and yuzu migonette. In a re-imagined, upcycled cargo container on the pier at

Elizabeth Nyland

seasonal fish. MacIsaac’s kitchen turns out savoury $8


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the foot of Fort Street, chef Kuna Ghose and his staff create delicious seafood take-out offerings with an environment-friendly philosophy that includes biodegradable, wood cutlery. After stints at Vancouver’s Go Fish and Cactus Club, chef Ghose opened Red Fish Blue Fish, showcasing his versions of fish and chips with 100 percent Ocean Wiseapproved, sustainable salmon, halibut and cod. For an extra $2.75, he also augments the dish with a seafood poutine. My favourite menu offerings are Red Fish Blue Fish tacones, fish tacos on crispy corn tortillas. The grilled salmon and grilled albacore tacones are seasoned with chef Ghose’s spicy prawn mayo, while his Million Island dressing flavours the grilled Fanny Bay Oyster, grilled Qualicum Bay scallop and tempura cod tacones. I also love the little harbourside joint’s cold-smoked tuna on salad. The Blue Crab, Pescatores, Aura, and Red Fish Blue Fish are superb seafood restaurants, but several other local spots deserve honourable mention. Fish and chips at Barb’s Place is a treasured Victoria tradition for many reasons, including the quality of the food stand’s fresh fish. Barb’s seafood chowder is

Elizabeth Nyland

another delicious offering. Chef Jeff Keenliside returned to the Marina Restaurant in 2013, and his take on pan-seared halibut cheeks is one of the best seafood dishes in town. Out

THE BLUE CRAB: All Crab All the Time: King crab leg, crab risotto, Dungeness crab cakes, grilled asparagus topped with béarnaise.

on the seaside at Sooke Harbour House, the critically acclaimed kitchen broke ground with seasonal, organic and wild ingredients over

three decades ago and continues to produce consistently fine seafood meals with the freshest salmon, halibut, rockfish, oysters, crab, scallops and other local seafood. Victoria diners are truly blessed with many fine restaurants serving plentiful gifts from the sea.

E

Blue Crab Seafood House 146 Kingston St., Victoria, 250.480.1999 Pescatores Seafood & Grill 614 Humboldt St., Victoria 250.385.4512 Aura Waterfront Restaurant 680 Montreal St., Victoria 250.414.6739 Red Fish Blue Fish 1006 Wharf St., Victoria 250.298.6877

Sooke Harbour House 1528 Whiffen Spit Rd., Sooke 250.642.3421 The Marina Restaurant 1327 Beach Dr, Victoria, 250.598.8555 Barb’s Place 1 Dallas Rd, Victoria, 250.384.6515

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EATING WELL FOR LESS

By Elizabeth Monk

New offerings for lunch make the question “Where shall we go for lunch?” even harder to answer.

Camille’s Fine West Coast Dining 45 Bastion Square at Langley, Victoria | 250-381-3433 | camillesrestaurant.com Camille’s is now open for lunch. Long-time Victorians used to making special occasion dinner reservations here know that Camille’s being open for lunch means a chance to experience fine dining for cheaper prices. The Saanich Leek and Potato Vichyssoise for $10 is the most complex and multi-layered potato soup I have ever had. It arrives with a tumble of yellowfoot mushrooms and intriguing potato slices in the centre. Some of the potatoes are smoked, some confit, and some vinegared. Garnishing the top of the soup is an Arctic char pastrami so deeply and intensely flavourful I found myself nibbling on tiny strands of it and still enjoying bursts of flavour. And garnishing the garnish is trout roe, offering a freshness to accent the creaminess of the soup. Thanks to all the exciting, yet convergent, flavours, all the bites tasted different and delectable. The Local Beet Salad for $11 is similar to the vichyssoise in its use of alchemy to give one food four different tastes. This time it was beets: roasted golden and red beets, a golden beet crisp, dehydrated beet and, finally, beet and pistachio dressing. The greens are from City Harvest, a local company, and the entire concoction is glamorously garnished with what looks like part of a stained glass window but is actually pickled cranberry in a tuile. Moving on to the mains, more alchemy was apparent in the House Cured Lamb Bacon BLT for $16. Read that carefully—it doesn’t say “lamb and bacon.” This is actually bacon made of lamb, specifically the fatty lamb cap that’s trimmed off for rack of lamb. This intensely flavourful bacon is presented atop three small buns, tapas-style, which are seasoned with the Ethiopian flair of harissa spice mix. Consequently, this bread is redolent of paprika, cumin and peppers. Yogurt aioli mellows out the flavours. Alongside this trio of “BLTs” is an arugula salad with pickled cippollini onion and brûléed figs. This is no ordinary lunch dish. Overall, Camille’s is an elegant, hushed cave of a restaurant, perfect for quiet conversation and special events.

Elizabeth Nyland

left: Camille’s owners chef Stephan Drolet & Jamie Williams right: Metchosin Lamb "BLT"House cured Lamb Bacon, Spiced Buns, Yogurt Aioli, Compressed Dates, smoked almonds

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Elizabeth Nyland

Reuban Sandwich with smoked brisket, smokehouse cheddar, sauerkraut & grainy mustard. inset: Sour Cherry Chocolate Turnovers

Leaven Woodfire Bakery 1515-B Cook St. at Pandora, Victoria | 250-388-9981 | leavenbakery.ca Five dollars. That’s what I paid for a Reuben sandwich one day and a smoked chum sandwich another. Leaven is the newest bakery in town, open only a few months, and they have hit the ground running, partly by keeping things simple and offering only one sandwich a day. My Reuben was on their light, chewy Silesian rye; owner Mark Theobald introduces milled caraway seeds right into the sourdough starter, so the flavour permeates the bread and brings out the sourdough tang. The meat is a Montreal smoked brisket from Four Quarters Butcher, the sauerkraut is subdued enough to let the meat be the highlight, and the Smokehouse cheddar is carefully sourced from Village Cheese in the Okanagan. The chum sandwich, available on “Fishy Fridays,” is just as simple and just as carefully sourced: the fish is from Hook Fine Foods and the bread their in-house chewy baguette. Some customers will eat the bakery’s Bacon Blue Cheese Loaf as a meal. I have perhaps put my life in danger if the Bacon Blue Cheese early adopters resent that I’m inviting customer competition. At the moment, only 15 loaves are baked every Saturday, coming available around 1:30 p.m., depending how the fire’s doing. The tension builds slowly all day, as calls start coming in the morning for bread “reservations” and the bakery starts to fill at 1:30. While you’re waiting (I know you will be because what EAT reader can resist the lure of limited edition loaves), I would recommend the Pear and Cardamom Turnover for $3. Organic B.C. Bosch pears are poached, then wrapped in a buttermilk bread dough. The focaccia is mighty fine too, and coming soon will be meat pies made in conjunction with the owner of Four Quarters Meat, who recently moved from The Whole Beast—a match made in heaven. CONT’D ON THE NEXT PAGE

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FANCY CONQUERING YOU HERE! Heighten your dining experience at Vista 18, and or your cast. conquer our mouth watering menu fit ffor

Elizabeth Nyland

Butter Chicken: marinated chicken breast cubes cooked in tomato based curry sauce with cashews and herbs. inset: Owner Surinder Kumar stands in front of some of the beautiful pieces of art featured in the entrance of the restaurant.

indyoga 1015 Fort St. near Vancouver | 778-433-8535 | indyoga.ca

Essence Plus 2013, Designed by Alfredo Häberli

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It’s not just a restaurant, it’s part of a vision. Owner Surinder Kumar is offering reasonably priced, healthy food at indyoga, as well as providing jobs and creating a tool for profits that have an ongoing legacy of giving to charity. The first part of that formula is the reasonably priced, healthy food: vegetarian and vegan offerings, most of which are gluten-free. Lunch menu prices range from $8.95 to $12.95, and dinner is not much more expensive, with vegetarian dishes topping out at $10.95 and chicken dishes ranging from $12.95 to $14.95. Lunch combos include a cup of soup, a main, two pakoras and half a naan, so you will leave full. The carrot-ginger soup is a star. The hit of fresh ginger is assertive and unabashed, and I like it that way. Underneath the scintillating smell and taste of ginger is a base of coconut milk flavoured with cardamom— delicious. For my mains, I tried a common Indian restaurant menu item and also something unique to indyoga. The butter chicken and rice ($11.95) features chicken marinated in masala spices and ginger and a sauce of creamed cashews, fennel, cinnamon and garlic. The two pakoras served with the dish are crisp on the outside, with big, soft chunks of onion inside. The Egujia and Dal dish for $8.95 is something I haven’t seen before on a menu, a homey dish of scrambled eggs jumped up a notch with fenugreek, turmeric, chili powder and garam masala. The dal is a tasty chickpea curry with dashes of turmeric. Noise bounces around a lot in this attractively decorated room, but indyoga is welcoming in colours of red, burgundy and saffron. E


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award-winning, innovative, island-sourced cuisine fisgard str eet, victoria 509 fisgard street, ulla.ca

250.590.8795

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SPECIAL EAT PROMOTION

MEET A CICERONE

Soule Creek Lodge

A heavenly haven offers scenery, seclusion and serenity —by Sylvia Weinstock

Unique accommodations, gourmet meals and spectacular natural beauty await visitors to Soule Creek Lodge. Perched atop the San Juan Ridge, the lodge offers a stunning panoramic view of the Olympic peninsula, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the San Juan Inlet. Soule Creek is situated on 160 private acres of pristine wilderness near Port Renfrew, Canada’s “Tall Tree Capital.” The enterprise resulted from an intuitive vision by multitalented brothers Tim and Jon Cash, who are professional chefs and hands-on entrepreneurs. “Twenty years ago, after hiking the West Coast Trail, we drove back to Port Renfrew. There was nowhere to eat, so we had to return to Victoria,” Jon recalls. “We decided to create a destination lodge in one of the world’s most beautiful locations.” Prior to opening the lodge in 2001, the brothers got some wilderness cred as salmon cooks and bear guards at a lodge in Alaska. “One of us cooked salmon over an alder fire, while the other kept bears at bay with a big stick and pepper spray,” Jon recalls. “The thing people love the most about our lodge is that, after a two-hour journey along the scenic Pacific Marine Circle Route, they arrive at our retreat, rewarded by the feeling of getting away from it all, off the beaten path,” says Tim. “There are amazing sights to see nearby, suitable for any fitness level. After exploring, guests dine decadently while watching gorgeous sunsets, and fall asleep gazing at the stars thru the roof of their yurt.” The area’s many attractions include beaches, lakes and ancient old grove forests. With its immense red cedars, studded with huge gnarly burls, magnificent Avatar Grove, a twenty minute drive from the lodge, is reminiscent of the lush planet Pandora depicted in the film Avatar.

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Jon and Tim serve a full breakfast and create a new three-course dinner each day. “One of our favourite dishes is prosciuttowrapped pan-seared Swiftsure Banks halibut with beurre blanc made with Madascar pink peppercorns, preserved lemons and Bourbon vanilla beans,” Jon divulges. “We serve it with local spot prawns or Queen Charlotte side-striped shrimp, and Islandgrown veggies.” During the winter hiatus, the innovative brothers worked on several new enticements. A newly-built large yurt will be an ideal space for photography and birdwatching groups, corporate retreats, workshops, wellness seminars and yoga retreats. They welcome groups in the low season (March 7 to May 25), in the shoulder season (May 26 to June 1), and in October and November. The west-coast style cedar lodge, the Tanglewood cabin, and three other beautifully appointed yurts can accommodate twenty-two guests. Jon and Tim are designing a custom-made twelve-foot-wide sphere in conjunction with UK Sailmakers Northwest of Sidney, B.C. This inflatable clear structure (similar to those at casabubble.com) will be the ultimate futuristic stargazing habitat. Another new lagniappe this season: Registered acupuncturist Suzanne Herchak offers acupuncture treatments in a tranquil yurt studio. For more information, go to StandingCedars.ca. The lodge’s proximity to Victoria and Nanaimo, and its many unique attractions, make it one of Vancouver Island’s most desirable destinations. Soule Creek Lodge is open March 7 to November 9 at 6215 Powder Main Road, Port Renfrew, B.C. Breakfast is included and dinner is optional. For reservations, call 1-866-277-6853 or email info@soulecreeklodge.com. Go to SouleCreekLodge.com, PacificMarineCircleRoute.com and AncientForestGuide.com for more information.

Bryan Paler of Quadra Village Cascadia Liquor Store

Sherri Martin

TJ Watt

Clockwise from top left: 1. Aerial photo of the start of the stunning West Coast Trail 2. Dinner at Soule Creek Lodge: Island Greens dressed with Soule Creek Huckleberry Dressing, Blackberry Goat Cheese & Pickled Golden Beet Ribbon 3. Tatoosh Yurt at Soule Creek Lodge 4. Interior of Tatoosh Yurt

With the rise of popular wine culture and the documentary SOMM garnering widespread acclaim, the word Sommelier has been cemented in North American’s vocabulary like never before, even if we don’t know how to pronounce it. Now it’s time to add a new term to your vocab and aspiration list: Cicerone. A cicerone is to beer what a sommelier is to wine; that is, an expert. Cicerone {sis-uh-rohn} is an English word referring to “one who conducts visitors and sightseers to museums and explains matters of archaeological, antiquarian, historic or artistic interest.” The certification process is akin to sommelier certification, with different levels of distinction before reaching the rarified Master level. A certified cicerone designation indicates detailed knowledge on the history of beer culture, as well as demonstrated proficiency in tasting, styles, brewing, glassware, food pairings and service. The exam is thorough and challenging, with an approximate 50% pass rate for the Certified Cicerone® designation. Unlike ‘sommelier’, cicerone is a trademarked term that can only be employed by those who successfully pass the program. Though the title and formalized instruction is relatively new, it is spreading rapidly. There are just 25 Certified Cicerones in Canada and Victoria has 4 of them, not surprising considering our passionate craft beer culture. Jeff Kendrew, Ian Lloyd, David Mitchell and Bryan Paler are Victoria’s current Certified Cicerones, with Paler being the only Canadian certified as both a sommelier (ISG) and cicerone. All four men work in the local liquor industry. Paler is manager of Quadra Village Cascadia Liquor Store, Kendrew and Mitchell both work for local craft breweries, Vancouver Island Brewing and Lighthouse Brewing respectively, and Lloyd is a local beer consultant. Our certified cicerones plan to grow the Victoria craft beer community in their own way. “Victoria, and BC as a whole, have such a diverse selection of craft beers. In any quality beer store or pub, one can find a wide ranging selection of beer styles from both near and far away breweries,” Lloyd explains. “Our goal as Cicerones is to help people enjoy the beers from these passionate brewers.” Kendrew summarizes their shared aims well. "Craft beer is here to stay. To nurture this fantastic business, we need knowledgeable craft beer enthusiasts to tell the story and share the passion of what beer is really about!” E For more on the program and classes, visit www.cicerone.org —Treve Ring


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VINCABULARY— Learn wine, one bottle at a time —By Treve Ring

Bubbles {All that sparkles is not Champagne} It’s true that Champagne is the gold standard of sparkling wines, but it’s not necessary to fill your flute with gold, and pay that price, to enjoy a spectacular sparkling wine. Many other places around the world, including our BC backyard, craft high quality sparkling wines. We do share the 49th parallel with the Champagne region, after all. The painstaking traditional method of production is mandated by law not only for Champagne, but for numerous other bubbles, including Spanish Cava, French Crémant and Italian Franciacorta. Naturally, the grapes, soils and climate affect the final wine dramatically, no matter the procedure. Other, less labour intensive methods of production yield different results in the glass, and at lower prices. There are four main methods of sparkling wine production: Carbonation: simple injection of CO2, like soft drinks. Tank: a.k.a. Charmat or Cuve Close. Used for Prosecco and Asti, the wine undergoes a secondary fermentation in bulk tanks, and is bottled under pressure. Transfer: Secondary fermentation in the bottle for interaction with lees, then transferred to tank, filtered and then rebottled. Compromise between Tank & Traditional. Traditional Method: Most complex and lengthy, where secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle, wine is aged on the lees, and then clarified slowly by remuage/riddling, moving the spent yeast into the neck of the bottle. The yeast is then disgorged, the wine topped up with dosage and recorked before resting for several months (or years) before sale. Whichever time of day, day of the week, food pairing or occasion (special or not), there’s a sparkling wine to match. Here are 6 interesting and unique sparklers from around the world that are definitely worth filling your flute with. CRISP Bella Wines Oliver West Side Chardonnay 2012 Okanagan Valley, BC *$24-27 12.6% abv Try pouring West Side Chardonnay next to East Side Chardonnay and you’ll see what a big difference 13km can make. Here grapes at higher elevation Secrest Mountain vineyard have yielded a crisp, green apple and mineral sharp sparkler, with light earthy, struck stone notes, and a bitter grapefruit pith finish. The wine is brut natural (no dosage) so acidity is tendered only by the sunbright fruit and light lees work. INNOVATIVE Miguel Torres Chile Santa Digna Estelado Rosé Central Valley, Chile $20-23 12% abv What’s old is new again, in this case, Chile’s indigenous, ancient and maligned Pais grape variety, here receiving much investment and care from the Torres family. Pink roses, assertive thorniness, young strawberries, bitter melon, hyacinth, bone dry, with a creamy mousse.

LIMEY Jansz Tasmania Premium Cuvee Tasmania, Australia *30-34 12% abv Premium sparkling wine from Tazzie? You bet! This cool climate island is ideal for sparkling wine. Chardonnay based, this “method Tasmanoise” opens with notes of bready lees and green apple and into a ripe and creamy palate full of juicy lime, lime blossom, greengage and kicky lemon kick on the finish. SCENTED Valdo Marca Oro Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Verona, Veneto, Italy $21-24 11% abv If you’ve shunned Prosecco for being too ‘simple’, allow me to make introductions to Valdo. Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG denotes the peak of the Prosecco pyramid. Here, prosecco is lightly floral, peach scented and aromatic, with citrus acidity lifting fruit loops and pear flavours over the smooth, soft palate. VINCABULARY cont’d on pg. 39

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TRAVEL

Making Molé These dense, rich, slowly simmered sauces—reserved for special occasions because they’re so labour intensive—are the true test of a Mexican kitchen. —by Cinda Chavich

F

rom the rich “madre” sauce bubbling on the stove at upscale Pujol restaurant in Mexico City to piles of pungent pastes in rural markets, my recent explorations in Mexico were filled with the complex flavours of mole. It’s a dish I’ve been craving ever since and I’m determined to have it at home—whatever the occasion.

The Food If you assume that mole is a dark, rich, spicy sauce—often infused with cinnamon and chocolate—you’d be right. But you’d be wrong to assume that this is the entire world of mole. In fact, the word “mole” simply translated means “sauce,” and in Mexico there are many different kinds of mole. The southwestern state of Oaxaca is famed for its “Seven Moles” and I had the chance to indulge in many: from chef Alejandro Ruiz’s incredible rojo (red mole) with crispy duck taquitos to tangy green mole made with fresh tomatillos,

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EAT MAGAZINE MARCH | APRIL 2014

The Find I found a good selection of fresh and dried chilies at the Root Cellar and in the Mexican food section of the Market on Yates. But Mexican House of Spices on Douglas St in Victoria is really ground zero for all things Mexican. The owners hail from Chiapas—a region also famed for its complex mole—and whether you want mole paste in a jar or all of the ingredients to make one from scratch, it’s in this little shop.

Cinda Chavich

G.Hynes

Chicken Leg Molé Negro

and delicate, creamy pumpkin seed and almond mole spooned over grilled tuna. When chef Donia Yolanda laid out the 30-plus ingredients that go into her Mole Negro at La Capilla, an outdoor restaurant in the Oaxaca city of Zaachila, some of her technique may have been lost in translation. But there was nothing lost to my palate—her dark and addictive sauce is rightly famous here. It takes at least two days to make a good Mole Negro. Chilies, nuts, seeds and spices are roasted, ground and slowly cooked together with roasted tomatoes, onions and garlic. Unsweetened chocolate is also essential, and, in some cases, ash from burnt chili seeds or tacos is added to enhance the black colour. It’s all simmered very slowly into a dense, aromatic—and frankly unappetizing looking— paste, that’s then cut with broth for a smooth sauce. According to local legend, it was a Dominican nun, Sister Andrea de la Asunción, who first used this combination of warm spices and dark chocolate in a stew to impress a visiting cleric, though some say these chiliinfused sauces originate in the state of Chiapas and are rooted in the cuisine of the Mayan empire. Whatever the provenance, mole is an impressive concoction, with layers of exotic flavour—a balance of spicy, sweet and smoky elements. One chef claimed he cooked his mole for 261 days, perhaps another “lost in translation” moment. However, there’s no doubt making a good mole takes time. That’s why you’ll find commercial mole paste in a jar, or sold by the pound by vendors in local markets. But there’s nothing better than making mole from scratch and, like any home-style pasta sauce or curry, every home cook in Mexico has a slightly different recipe. Some moles include peanuts (or peanut butter); others add anise and pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pine nuts, plantain and even prunes.


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I found an array of dried chiles, the sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds I was looking for, even a couple of ripe plantains to add to my mole. You can find the unsweetened Mexican chocolate here, raw sugar and almonds for an Oaxaca-style black mole, even some advice on how to put it together. Remember, every mole is different because of the different chilies you use. So buy a variety and experiment. A black mole uses mulato or very dark dried chilies, with guajillo or pasilla chilies and sweet ancho chilies in equal amounts, plus a little dried or canned chipotle for that hot, smoky flavour. A red Mole Coloradito starts with ancho and guajillo chilies, while a Mole Almendrado gets its nutty colour from almonds. A yellow mole—Mole Amarillo—is created with yellow chilies like costeno amarillo or chilhuacle amarillo and guajillo chilies, with onions, red and green tomatoes, lots of almonds and fresh corn masa. The simplest green mole is a puree of tomatillos, green chilies, onions, garlic and herbs like parsley, cilantro and oregano. If you’re still not convinced it’s worth the effort, hit a local Mexican spot to taste mole. At the new Victoria Public Market, you’ll find chicken mole tacos at La Cocina de Mama Oli, or head to one of the La Taquisa locations to try their tasty mole fillings.

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The Fix Like any good sauce, making the finest mole requires layering flavours—which means caramelizing and roasting onions, garlic and tomatoes, toasting chilies, nuts and spices to bring out their aromatics and resting your sauce overnight to help the flavours meld. Even the chicken or turkey broth you use to finish your sauce makes a big difference to the final product, so if you really want a celebration sauce, make a rich, home-style broth from scratch, too. In Mexico, all of this toasting and grinding is done by hand on a hot comal (a smooth, flat griddle) over a wood fire and with a volcanic stone mortar and pestle. It’s a slow process, which is why mole is a special occasion dish, served for Christmas and at weddings and birthdays. But you can speed up the process by roasting all of your nuts and seeds (and the onions, garlic and tomatoes) in the oven and using the blender or food processor to puree the paste. Then just simmer with broth and you’ll have an amazing sauce to spoon over grilled chicken or fish, or roll up with cheese in corn tortillas. It takes some time to gather the ingredients to make mole, but with mole paste in the pantry, you can celebrate with this addictive sauce whenever the mood hits! E To make mole at home google Mole Negro for a choice of recipes. - Ed.

1715 Government Street 250.475.6260 www.lecole.ca eat@lecole.ca

Dinner 5:30 - 11 pm Tuesday to Saturday

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Food Island Then and Now

With our voracious appetite for the newest, the shiniest, and the trendiest, it’s easy to lose sight of the changes—and the people—that have [slowly] transformed what’s on our collective dinner table today. To celebrate Eat Magazine’s 15-year history, writer Shelora Sheldan reflects on how we eat, and the changes to our food over the past 15 years.

I

t’s October 2013, and I’m staring at three pounds of freshly picked chanterelles. I’ll be using Vancouver Island-made sea salt to season them while enjoying a martini made with gin distilled in Saanich. The chicken for tonight’s meal hails from the Cowichan Valley, the fish in my freezer is wild and sustainable, and the wood-fired bread I purchased this morning was made with heirloom red fife wheat grown on Vancouver Island. This is not just some foodie’s wet dream but a readily available reality of living in Victoria and Vancouver Island, today. I can slather that bread with James Bay honey, buy mozzarella made with milk from Island-raised water buffalos and drink craft beer brewed with heather from Butchart Gardens and hops grown on Salt Spring Island. I can also enjoy handcrafted salumi from Oak Bay, yogurt made with milk from Islandraised grass-fed cows and local small-batch ice cream infused with Douglas fir. How did we get to this delicious juncture? We’ve Come a Long Way, Foodie Fifteen years ago, while Victoria was being heralded for its quaint charm and heritage architecture, a subtext was

being developed by a passionate collection of restaurateurs, chefs, farmers, concerned citizens, eccentrics and misfits that has forever changed our edible landscape. Terms like heirloom, small-batch, artisanal, seasonal, local, handcrafted, farm-to-plate, food miles and locavore were seldom used 15 years ago, and the concepts of culinary and agri-tourism were still in their infancy. In 1999, the Moss Street Market was the only farmers’ market in the area, buoyed by a handful of committed farmers, Mary Alice Johnson and Tina Fraser among them. Feast of Fields was only in its second year, spearheaded by the relentless energy of a handful of individuals including chef and food activist Mara Jernigan, and that same year, an impassioned group of young chefs formed the Island Chefs Collaborative (ICC). Intent on uniting local producers and chefs, the group began a dialogue about the importance of quality, locally grown food and access to it, and through fundraising dinners, assisted budding farmers to continue their master plan of supporting local food. The ICC is as relevant today as it was then. The year 1999 was also significant for me. My life went from chef to retail store owner to budding food writer,

and I’ve been intrinsically connected to the ups and downs, the struggles, the indigestion and delicious triumphs that have taken place to what and how we shop, eat and cook in this city and Island we often call paradise. I highly anticipated my Saturday mornings at the Moss St. Market, and like a kid in a candy store, I devoured anything that drew my fancy. The world of food seemed like a new place. It still does. Today, our access to organic and locally grown ingredients has never been so mainstream, but back then a feeling of radicalism filled the air. Case in point: I will never forget the first Feast of Fields I attended. Sean Brennan, then chef at Café Brio and one of the founding members of the ICC, created a beautiful display of 250 pounds of heirloom tomato varieties. With cutting boards and knives, and three or four farmers gathered around to talk tomatoes, they provided folks with “a flavour explosion of a tomato,” recalls Brennan. “You don’t know how many people thought it was brilliant, but some people were pissed off, saying, ‘I paid $70 and all you have is tomatoes’!” Feast of Fields connects farmer to chef to diner, and this couldn’t have been more boldly showcased.

TIMELINE 1999

1999

EAT is established

EAT Magazine started by founder and editor Gary Hynes. The first issue was 24 pages, had nine writers, one photographer and 10,000 copies were distributed. Local Cobble Hill asparagus is featured on the first cover

30

Got Cluck

Vancouver Island lost its only poultry abattoir in 1999 and it wasn’t until 2004, through unwavering determination that farmer Lyle Young of the former Cowichan Bay Farm, opened Island Farmhouse Poultry. The abattoir services all small flock poultry farmers, and Island-raised chicken and turkey is enjoyed on menus everywhere, and readily available and affordable through many independent grocers.

EAT MAGAZINE MARCH | APRIL 2014

2001

Slow Food Comes To Vancouver Island

After attending Slow Food’s Salone del Gusto in Torino, Italy, Sinclair Philip of Sooke Harbour House, and chef Mara Jernigan formed Vancouver Island’s Slow Food convivium in 2001. Buoyed by the organization’s commitment to cooking and farming to raise awareness about food security and the importance of local food, Philip and Jernigan inspired many V Islanders to take up the cause. 2003 - Heritage Red Fife Wheat was included in Slow Food’s International Ark of Taste 2009 - Cowichan Bay became the first and only Cittaslow (Slow City) in North America to date.

2003

The 1st EAT Awards

In May of 2003 EAT held its first Awards of Excellent (now called the Exceptional Eats!). Peter Zambri, Edward Tuson and Sean Brennan were named the top three chefs by their peers in the industry. In that same issue Heidi Fink wrote about The Beauty of Lard.


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Today, we’re connected more than ever with our farmers. Markets pop up in every neighbourhood, invigorating a sense of community and allowing citizens easier access to quality, locally grown provisions. And with the influx of shows like the Food Network, TEDTalks, food blogs and the internet in general, we’re more curious and educated consumers. Present-day grocery stores, from independent corner shops to corporate behemoths, maintain a bountiful area of organic produce and a seasonal array of Island-grown produce too, enhanced by locally raised meats and locally created products from yogurt to salt. Eating in Victoria and Vancouver Island has never been so abundant, so healthy and so sustainable. Urban dwellers have taken to beekeeping to make their own honey as well as address issues of bee health, and backyard-chicken-raising is on the rise. And I’m not the only one who’s taken to gardening with renewed interest. (I harvested more than five pounds of tomatillos this year and I’ve started saving seeds from my scarlet runner beans to create my own “heirloom” crop.) We’re all seeing our resources with new eyes. Dining Then and Now, or Can You Say Charcuterie? The heady days of a strong U.S. dollar kept tourists sated at hotel restaurants and resorts: The Empress, The Aerie, Sooke Harbour House, Tofino’s Wickaninnish Inn were all huge draws back in 1999. But beyond that, there were few interesting dining options in a city that boasted more restaurants per capita than San Francisco. Then Jo and Peter Zambri opened Zambri’s in late 1999. An open kitchen, five tables, an edgy urban location off a drugstore parking lot, and a menu written on a

chalkboard. There were precious few places to go for lunch at the time, and we gorged on chef Peter Zambri’s Italian-inspired $6 plates of pasta and chicken cutlet sandwiches layered with roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, cheese and robust tomato sauce. It was the city’s first taste of a casual and locally driven restaurant, and I’m not the only one who made Zambri’s my second home. Celebrities, food writers, chefs and farmers were all part of the clubhouse, and Peter’s generous “nothing to hide” attitude was a revelation. He had a way with cooking vegetables that was almost alchemical and has influenced the way I cook today: the cauliflower with anchovies, chiles and breadcrumbs, and roasted squash with sage and brown butter. I still make my tomato sauce the way he taught me: crushed tomatoes, basil and a glug of good olive oil. More important, Zambri’s and a handful of other small Victoria city restaurants (Cassis Bistro, Café Brio) were making an important connection between farm and table. They made it more accessible, more exciting, more flavourful and more important. Tablecloth dining gave way to communal tables and family-style—meaning platters of food shared at the table. Food events became popular. It was at that time that I sensed another evolution on the plate. Departing from the usual protein, veg and starch concepts, singular ingredients were given more star billing, and small plates, or “tapas-style,” came into play and is now the norm on most menus. I bet you’ve never eaten so much kale in your life! Its frilly leaves, once relegated to decorating other produce at the grocery store, are now hailed as a superfood, and we consume it raw, braised, in powder form or as chips. Foie gras has waxed

and waned in popularity, poached eggs are not just for breakfast anymore, and bacon appears in everything from donuts to cupcakes to ice cream to being infused in sea salt and barrel-aged cocktails. If you haven’t had pork belly by now you’re living in a bubble, and don’t tell me you haven’t at least considered deep fried mac n’ cheese with a side of pulled pork. I’m sure you’ve eaten your fare share of charcuterie plates, and – like me - you may even have grown weary of sharing those plates! Lesser-known animal bits from pig’s ears and tails to beef bone marrow are being served up, and other barnyard items like hay are being used to impart new flavours to roasted meats. Beyond eating with the seasons, you are much more likely now to know the provenance of your food, the name of the farmer and the location within how many miles, whether it’s a heritage breed, grass-fed, handpicked, small lots, heirloom, organic, transitional or free range. We care so much for our food supplies that even snails are being fed basil these days! A dish that, for me, defines the last 15 years of dining in Victoria is duck confit. That French country classic was reintroduced at Café Brio via Sean Brennan. It caught on almost overnight, with Brennan cooking up to 50 pounds a week. Duck confit is found on most menus in the city now, including delis and butcher shops, and Brennan’s Brasserie L’école. Today, the decision of where to dine in Victoria can be dizzying. From mobile food carts, carbon-neutral burger joints, tiny, independently chef-owned restaurants to casual fine dining chains, local and seasonal produce fills menus in varying degrees, and vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options abound. Menus are not written, they’re curated, and restaurants are now “eateries.” Cont’d on the next page

2004

2004

2005

EAT Turns 5

All Hail Bourdain!

Meat-Tastic!

The BC wine industry takes off and the number of wineries passes the 100 mark. Larry Arnold reviewd the Venturi Schulze Pinot Noir 2001 and noted the saturated inky purple colour and intense blackberry, cherry and violet aromas.

On tour in the fall of 2004, Anthony Bourdain’s presence in Victoria was the most impassioned pep rally I’d even seen. The sold out talk was packed to the rafters with chefs, many of them still in their whites, dishwashers, waitstaff, cooks and fans of his brash no nonsense style. We roared our approval.

Chefs Luke Young and Paige Symonds added a new flavour to Antique Row by opening Choux Choux Charcuterie in 2005 and introduced us to their world of pates and terrines, fresh sausages and sauscisson sec, and Qualicum Beach Sloping Hill Farm’s luscious pork products.

2007

The Birth of the Locavore

In 2007, San Francisco-based chef and author Jessica Prentice coined the term locavore defining the concept of eating locally grown foods, often within a 100-mile radius. That same year, BC writers Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon wrote the 100-mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating catapulting eating locally into the spotlight. While places like Sooke Harbour House and Vancouver’s John Bishop of Bishops were longtime torchbearers of the concept, this was the first time that it was given a name and catalyzed a movement. Locavorism has transformed the way we eat, not only at home and in restaurants, but how we shop for food today.

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2007

The Great Recession

2008

2009

Cheers

2009

Food for Thought!

EAT Turns 10

RESTAURANTS | RECIPES | WINES | CULINARY TRAVEL

www.eatmagazine.ca

magazine

IN THE ‘HOOD

✣ EXTRAORDINARY LIVING

LUNCH IN A

VINEYARD

September | Octoberl 2009 | Issue 13-05 | THIS COPY IS FREE

ESTEVAN VILLAGE COOL CLIMATE WINES A SHORT, VOLATILE GROWING SEASON

STEAMED CLAMS with CHORIZO SAUSAGE ON ROASTED SQUASH

AN AL FRESCO

3-COURSE FALL FEAST A CLUTCH OF

NEW RESTAURANTS

Food Hero MICHAEL ABELMAN

“At home I serve the kind of food I know the story behind” — Michael Pollan, author

Celebrating Food & Drink in Victoria and on Vancouver Island

100% food & wine

Local | Sustainable | Fresh | Seasonal

The global financial crisis effects are still being felt, and has inspired out of the box thinking for many small businesses, especially in the culinary world. Smalltime artisanal startups often rent out kitchen space when a restaurant is closed – a win-win situation, or small startups with share rental on a space, The Whole Beast and Village Butcher, a perfect example. Jason Found has begun plans for a food hub, a large accessible food processing facility with kitchen space for local food entrepreneurs and storage space for farmers. Stay tuned.

Obtaining a decent cocktail in Victoria is a very recent phenomenon. The botanical-forward Victoria Gin distilled in Saanich, was launched in 2008, the first distilled spirit on Vancouver Island and the only premium gin in BC. Solomon Siegel opened the brief but unforgettable Solomon’s, the city’s first craft cocktail bar, followed by Clive’s Classic Lounge, Veneto at the Rialto, and more recently Shawn Soole’s Little Jumbo. Craft cocktails are now available at most every restaurant worth their weight in swizzle sticks.

Chefs have added curing meats and preserving to their skill set, dabble in animal husbandry, fishing, farming and wild foraging, learn aspects of butchering, beekeeping and nose-to-tail-cookery. Molecular gastronomy with its foams and tricks, while cool, hasn’t really gelled with Island chefs, but sous vide continues its stronghold, and the curious textural delights of “edible soil” is an interesting metaphor for our deep connection to the land. Consumers ask more questions, and wait staff and bartenders can’t just go through the motions anymore. (Don’t forget, enjoying a decent cocktail in Victoria is a very recent phenomenon.) Party Central We don’t have Vancouver’s diverse population base or slick PR, so we do things more on a grass roots level on the Island—and doing quite fine, thank you very much. We don’t just celebrate oyster’s bivalve virtues (Oyster Festival) and mushroom’s earthy magic (chanterelles and pines in the fall, morels in the spring). With misty eyes we take to the wilds every spring in search of nettle’s bright green serrated leaves, announce it on every social media platform, and devour them in every kind of dish from a simple braise to stuffed in ravioli. Spot prawn season has its own festival, as does wine, craft beer, cocktails, salmon, shellfish, barbecue, whiskey, chocolate and tea. The annual Victoria Taste Festival brings together Island chefs, ingredients and B.C. wine under one roof; the Brewery and the Beast showcases local and ethically farmed meats with local craft brews for an annual Sunday afternoon barbecue, and food-fuelled fundraisers for budding farmers are held on a regular basis. Damn, we love local food. When the book The 100-Mile-Diet was released in 2007, no one embraced it more wholeheartedly than Vancouver Island. Places like Cobble Hill’s Amuse on the Vineyard maintain a hyper-local menu. At Stone Soup Inn, chef Brock Windsor, a Sooke Harbour House alumnus, draws from wild foraged ingredients as well as produce and meats grown and raised on his rural inn and restaurant property in Cowichan Lake. And the book lent even more credence to Sooke Harbour House’s 30-year legacy of locavorism. The latest trend influenced by Copenhagen restaurant Noma and its foraging chef René Redzepi suits the Vancouver Island personality immensely. Rest assured you’ll be seeing mosses and unusual fungi on plates soon.

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According to a 2009 UBC study on the Economy of Social Food in Vancouver, only 48 percent of the food we consume is produced in BC. The remaining 52 percent is imported and produced by domestic and international industrial farms and processors, bought by wholesale distributors or supermarket chains.

EAT passes the ten year mark. Concerned Islanders raise $120,000 to help save Madrona Farm. Slow Food USA holds its first Slow Food Nation in San Francisco. The Italian Bakery turns 30.

The Mavericks The ingenuity and daring of island chefs, food artisans, fishers, farmers and winemakers over the past 15 years are numerous in number. From the profound balsamic vinegar from Venturi-Schulze to the many bakers stone grinding grains for their wood-fired organic breads, Vancouver Island inspires a unique level of creativity and passionate entrepreneurship. For instance, Cobble Hill chef Andrew Shepherd turned seawater into sea salt, creating a viable and sustainable business (Vancouver Island Salt Co.) that has folks across Canada sprinkling on a taste of the Island. Or chef Matt Horn trading in the nights and weekends restaurant slog to create Cowichan Pasta Company, a bespoke pasta business making handmade pasta with seasonal ingredients and Island-grown wheat, sold in small batches. At the end of a winding road in the Cowichan Valley, author and chef Bill Jones teaches cooking classes and continues his research into wild foraged ingredients, including his specialty of mushrooms. And the Archers, Darryl and Anthea, continue to raise water buffalo in Duncan, so that we can enjoy Island buffalo mozzarella on wood-fired pizzas made in accordance with Napoli standards. In Victoria, chef Naotatsu Ito closed his tiny eatery Daidoco to spend a year farming at Metchosin’s Umi Nami farm before opening a food truck serving organic Japanese foods. And chef Oliver Kienast, after 12 years cooking in some the area’s best restaurants, followed suit with a two-year self-guided stage. Beginning as a farmer’s apprentice at Ragley Farm, he took to raising his own animals and tending a garden on a remote East Sooke property, then followed up with a series of pop-up dinners featuring seasonal and wild-foraged ingredients. It was his way of “finding his own cuisine” before taking his recent appointment as head chef at the famed Sooke Harbour House. In 2014, Victoria is still being heralded for its quaint charm and heritage architecture, but it’s a backdrop for a decidedly delicious and very local taste experience. Visitors can forage with a chef, take a cooking class, enjoy a walking culinary tour, visit one of the Island’s many farms or dine in one of our award-winning restaurants. Paradise? Hardly. Let’s not forget that folks are still lining up at food banks. With our increased population, we must remain vigilant that we don’t lose more agricultural land, and with


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2011

2012

Exceptional Eats

2013

Island Wineries Come Of Age

Victoria Downtown Public Market opens

2014

EAT celebrates it’s 15th year with its 90th issue

RESTAURANTS | RECIPES | WINES | CULINARY TRAVEL ® ®

& DRINK

CELEBRATING THE FOOD & DRINK OF

VICTORIA

JULY | AUGUST

GLORIOUS SUMMER

l 2013 | Issue 17-02 | FREE | EATmagazine.ca

Aromatic Wines Lamb Chops Fish Tacos Cukes Travel Healthy Wild Salmon Sardines Top Local Farms Summerland Chefs’ Talk NEW Restaurants KITCHEN SCIENCE

Celebrating the Food & Drink of British Columbia

MARCH | APRIL

l 2011 | Issue 15-04 | FREE | EATmagazine.ca

& THE ISLANDS

Spring Issue

✳salt cod ✳sauvignon blanc ✳rhubarb ✳cheese ✳za’atar ✳olive oil EXCEPTIONAL EATS! AWARD WINNERS

EAT’s “Exceptional Eats Readers Survey” picks eating local, cocktails and small plates as their three top picks for local food trends. halibut

Editor Gary Hynes and Team EAT win Best Wine Book in Canada for “Island Wineries of British Columbia” from Gourmand International. duck confit

gnocchi

FOODS we love

Salted Caramel-Bourbon Blondies

After years of seasonal downtown outdoor markets, and promoting the benefits of a year round farmers market, Victoria finally opened its first year round, indoor public market (Sept 2013). The space is home to many chefowned enterprises, a fishmonger, artisanal cheese producer, baker, specialty tea producer, a teaching kitchen and kiosks for local farmers to sell organic produce. It’s been a long time coming.

EAT grows to 45,000 copies per issue and employs 30 freelance writers, 5 photographers and 4 delivery people.That’s a lot of food eaten, drinks drunk, people interviewed and deadlines met.

so many back-to-back food festivals competing for attention, let’s not lose sight of our commonality, which is our deep concern for a sustainable food system on Vancouver Island. Food trends come and go, but Vancouver Island remains steadfast in its commitment to the quality of what’s on our plate and our access to it. I trust that the next 15 years will inspire a new generation of chefs, farmers and food activists to keep us on this delightful and delicious track . As the famous Margaret Mead saying goes, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” —Shelora Sheldan E

IF MAGAZINES HAD MICHELIN STARS, WE’D GIVE YOU THREE Congratulations EAT Magazine on your 15th Anniversary. You’ve turned a passion for food into a long-term love affair. Best wishes from the Kitchen Brigade and the entire team at the Wickaninnish Inn. @TasteWickInnBC

The Pointe Restaurant 250.725.3106

tel 1.800.333.4604

www.wickinn.com

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the cocktail

Get the Party Started! Nothing says "let's celebrate" like a kick-ass signature cocktail followed by a memorable meal made with swoon-worthy ingredients, from caviar to truffled goat cheese to quadruple layer chocolate cake with mocha buttercream. Oh my! Sounds fancy, but in reality this is food to enjoy with friends without dragging out the linens. While this menu is a celebratory nod to 15 flavourful years of EAT, use it as an excuse to celebrate spring, our amazing local ingredients or whatever the heck you like .

THE EAT DRINK

Created by Simon Ogden of Veneto Tapa Lounge to celebrate EAT’s 15th Anniversary. 1 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon (a house favourite) 1 oz Venturi Shultze Brandenburg #3 Sweet Amber Wine 1/2 oz Fig Syrup 1 barspoon Apricot White Balsamic reduction 4 dashes Apple and Cinnamon Bitters (house made)* BC VQA red wine Method: Stir all ingredients lightly with ice and strain over a large ice globe in an Old Fashioned glass. Express the essential oils of a strip of orange zest over the surface and add it to the drink. Gently float 1/2 oz of a light red wine (I used the Blue Mountain Gamay Noir) on the surface of the cocktail. Serve on a small wooden board along with a slice of Amber Ale washed Cheddar on a Fig and Olive cracker. Take a bite of the cheese and cracker and then a sip of the cocktail. It makes for a lovely savory pairing.

“THE EAT DRINK” created for EAT by SIMON OGDEN of Veneto Tapa Lounge Photo this page by REBECCA WELLMAN Text, recipes and food styling by JENNIFER DANTER Photography by MICHAEL TOURIGNY Art Direction by JENNIFER DANTER & GARY HYNES

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*Orange bitters would substitute nicely for the apple and cinnamon bitters for the home enthusiast, and fig syrup by Giffard is available at Charelli's Cheese Shop & Delicatessen.


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LOCAL KITCHEN

the starter

ROYAL EGGS

Many thanks to Northern Divine on the Sunshine Coast of BC, our favourite caviar supplier. Their black caviar is crafted from Fraser River White Sturgeon roe and pure refined Canadian salt. It is Certified Organic and recognized by Oceanwise. Rated as one of the Top 5 sustainable caviars in the world by Travel & Leisure Magazine. northerndivine.com

Brioche Toast Soldiers Choose brioche or challa bread. Cut thick slices into fingers or â&#x20AC;&#x153;soldiersâ&#x20AC;?. Pan fry in butter until all sides are golden and toasty. Serve alongside eggs.

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main course

TRUFFLED ROLLED LAMB

When we tasted Jenniferâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rolled lamb with chèvre we immediately thought BC syrah. But there are many other pairing possibilities. Meet our panel of wine experts who have put together pairing suggestions for the caviar, lamb and cake. See page 42 for their collected wisdom.

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RECIPES

Royal Eggs A savoury scramble topped with crème fraiche and caviar – local and sustainable, of course. Northern Divine Caviar comes from Fraser River sturgeon raised in land-based aquaculture. Serve with a glass of pink bubbly. Makes 6 servings 6 large farm fresh eggs 2 Tbsp crème fraiche 1 tsp Dijon Pinches sea salt Knob of butter Northern Divine Caviar and extra crème fraiche, for garnish 2 Tbsp chopped chives Crack eggs into a bowl. Save shells; carefully wash with soap and water. Rinse well. Set aside to dry completely. Add crème fraiche, mustard and salt to eggs. Whisk to blend. Melt butter in a frying pan over mediumlow heat. Pour in egg mixture. Using a heatproof spatula, slowly and lovingly stir to form big soft curds. Remove pan from heat just before eggs are completely set. Let stand 30 to 40 secs; the residual heat in pan will continue to cook, but the eggs won’t be tough and rubbery. To serve, spoon scrambled eggs into eggshells. Arrange filled shells in an egg carton or in individual eggcups. Top each with a tiny spoonful of crème fraiche and caviar. Finish with chives.

Truffled Rolled Lamb Get a double hit of goodness by using Salt Spring Island truffled goat cheese both in the sauce (using the truffle essence) and in the savoury cheese and pesto filling. Ask your butcher for local Metchosin lamb. Serves 6 1.5 kg (3 lb) boneless butterflied leg of lamb Pinches of sea salt and ground black pepper ½ cup pesto (try arugula pesto, garlic scape pesto – farmer’s markets sell lots) 150g container Salt Spring Island White Truffle Chèvre Olive oil 1 to 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour ½ cup red wine 1 to 2 cups lamb or beef stock For best results, the lamb leg, (unrolled) should be of even thickness and the shape of a large rectangle. I like to ask the butcher to butterfly it for me! To do it yourself, place unrolled lamb, skin-side down on a cutting board. Cut deep slits in the thickest parts of the meat, then open them up like a book. Cover meat with plastic, then pound thick parts with a meat mallet to flatten. Discard plastic. Generously season meat with salt and pepper, then spread with pesto. Scrape off truffled topping on the

goat cheese and set aside for the sauce. Crumble at least half the cheese over meat (save the rest for another day!). Beginning at short end of the rectangle, tightly roll up meat to enclose filling. Tie with butcher string. Place seam-side down in a small roasting pan. Generously drizzle olive oil overtop and sprinkle with more salt. Roast, uncovered, in a preheated 350F oven until top is browned and a thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat reads 135F (for medium rareish), about 1 to 11/4 hours. Remove from oven. Wrap lamb in foil and seal tight. Place on a plate and let stand for 35min. Seriously! Lamb will continue to cook; the juices will settle and the filling will firm up, making slicing much easier. Meanwhile, scrape up any brown bits from roasting pan and pour whatever is in the roasting pan into a small saucepan. Set saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 1 Tbsp flour to soak up liquid (add more flour if needed). Stir to form a paste, then gradually whisk in wine. Once absorbed, continue to cook, stirring often, 1 to 2 more min. Gradually whisk in enough stock, a little at a time, to make a thick sauce. Keep sauce on thick sauce as you can thin it out later with the meat drippings. Once meat has rested, carefully unwrap – there will be a lot of meat drippings in the bottom! Stir into sauce, then stir in truffle topping. Keep sauce simmering on low heat to thicken. Discard string from meat, then slice into thick pieces and arrange on a warm platter. Serve sauce on the side.

Saucy Spring Medley A concert of spring veggies - asparagus, fresh peas and leafy spinach harmoniously brought together with tart, Dijon-laced vinaigrette. Serves 6 2 Tbsp rice vinegar 1 Tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp each Dijon and Grainy Dijon mustard Pinches of sea salt 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed 2 cups shelled peas 1 knob butter 1 large bunch spinach, cleaned and trimmed In a bowl, whisk vinegar with lemon juice, mustards and salt. Gradually whisk in oil until emulsified. Half fill a large wide frying pan with water and bring to a boil. Add asparagus, then cover and steam for 45 secs. Add peas and continue to steam for 1 min. Drain well and remove veggies. Wipe pan, then place back on stove over medium heat. Add butter and swirl pan until it melts. Add spinach; cover and let steam until it starts to wilt. Uncover and add asparagus and peas. Stir to heat through, then drizzle in a few spoonfuls of the vinaigrette. Stir to mix, then turn onto a serving platter.

dessert

CHOCOLATE CAKE

Dark Chocolate Quadruple Layer Cake with Salted Caffe Fantastico Mocha Buttercream Frosting The cake was baked by Sugarboy Bakery. Find his recipe for the scrumptious frosting below. Sugarboy can be found at the Victoria Downtown Market Wednesdays and Saturdays or order online at sugarboybakery.ca Buttercream: (makes enough to fill and cover one 10-inch cake) (Courtesy of D’Arcy Ladret) 6 large egg yolks 1 cup of sugar (200 g) ½ cup of water (125 ml) 1 cup softened butter ½ cup melted butter 1/2 tsp sea salt ½ cup dark Chocolate 1 shot Caffe Fantastico espresso In an Electric mixer, beat the yolks until pale in color. In a small heavy-duty pot, stir together the sugar and water until all the sugar is moistened. Heat, until the sugar begins to boil, cooking until the syrup reaches 240F. Immediately beat the syrup into the yolks in a steady stream away from the whisk attachment or else it will spin it onto the sides of the bowl. Continue beating until cooled to room temperature. Melt chocolate over double boiler and add the melted butter and salt and stir until incorporated. Slowly beat in the butter and chocolate mixture on medium speed and then add the rest of the butter in small chunks until the buttercream becomes smooth and fluffy. Add one shot of strong espresso at the very end and incorporate.

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THE LOCAL LIST

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EATâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where to find it guide

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

OH J QS 4  U BM 4 #$  BOE M T *

SPECIALTY FOOD SHOPS THE LITTLE CHEESE SHOP Visit us for tasty cheese and wonderful local pairings. Let us help you with all your party platters, gift boxes and picnics. Get comfy and stay for lunch!' 1034 Fort street, Victoria ,BC (250)388-5810 thelittlecheeseshop.ca

RESTAURANTS THE MINT Stop in for a casual bite at street level and experience our cozy Lunch restaurant, or join us downstairs for dinner, drinks and our unique take on South Asian cuisine. 1414 Douglas St., Victoria, BC (250) 386-6468 themintvictoria.com

SALT SPRING ISLAND FERNWOOD CAFE A fun, relaxed and welcoming place to hang out, enjoy the waterfront view and soak in the North Salt Spring Island vibe. Oh yeah, and have a pretty darn good coffee as well. 325 Fernwood Rd. Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 1C3 250-931-2233 www.fernwoodcafe.com

HASTINGS HOUSE Country House Hotel with elegant accommodations and island ambience, spectacular views, romantic fine dining crafted to perfection, and spa treatments for relaxation and bliss. We are now open all winter and feature affordable packages and seasonal rates. 250-537-2362 www.Hastingshouse.com

DOWNTOWN DUNCAN HUDSONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ON FIRST Fine dining in a beautifully restored heritage home. Local ingredients, classic techniques and modern presentation are just a few reasons Chef Dan Hudson is creating a buzz. Celebrate Lunch, Brunch and Dinner. 163 First St. Duncan 250-597-0066 www.hudsonsonfirst.ca

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THE CHOCOLATE PROJECT


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VICTORIA PUBLIC MARKET PRESERVATION FOODS CHOCOLATE PROJECT Canada's finest selection of artisanal bean-to-bar chocolate. Taste and explore over 180 bars from the top chocolate makers on Earth with local chef David Mincey as your guide. Victoria Public Market at the Hudson preservationchocolate@gmail.com Every Saturday from 11 to 5

KNIVES NORTH ARM KNIVES A new Vancouver-area knife manufacturer creating kitchen and outdoor knives using the best materials. Our knives are designed to be beautiful, highly functional and competitively priced. Visit our website for our full story and online store." www.NorthArmKnives.com info@northarmknives.com 604.628.6359

SALTSPRING ISLAND CHEESE Victoria Public Market at the Hudson Open Tuesday - Sunday Cheese, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Home-made soups, Goat cheese Quiche Or visit us at the FARM SHOP 285 Reynolds Road, Salt Spring.Open Every Day. Cheese, Cheese-making tours. www.saltspringcheese.com VINCABULARY contâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d from pg. 27 FRUITY Lini 910, Labrusca Rosso Secco NV, DOP Lambrusco Reggiano, Emilia-Romagna, Italy $20-23 11% abv Dry Lambrusco is gaining popularity, and with excellent reason: interesting red berry depth and tannin to tackle foods plus fresh and taut acidity to carry them. And bubbles! Here notes of plum, blueberry and cherry compote, juicy and lively in the mouth, reigned by cherry pit/chalky tannins. FUN Terra Andina, Sparkling Moscato Brazil $16-19 7.5% abv What else do you expect but FUN from a Brazilian Moscato? Câ&#x20AC;&#x2122;mon! Floral and frothy, with a mid-sweet grapey pear, sweet lime, pink grapefruit and peach blossom perfume. Pair with beach volleyball or the World Cup. E *Asterisks denote wines that are only available at the winery or select private liquor stores.

The Local General Store 1440 Haultain St Corner of Belmont and Haultain (Haultain Corners) (778) 265-6225 Hours: 9:30-6pm

Organic produce and groceries Sustainable household and gardening supplies Locally-sourced and fair trade cards and gifts

www.thelocalgeneralstore.ca

Artisan Edibles Fine Preserves For product selection and a retailer close to you, refer to www.artisanedibles.com www.eatmagazine.ca MARCH | APRIL 2014

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TERROIR

By Michelle Bouffard and Michaela Morris

Champagne

TOIL AND TROUBLE SEEM TO VANISH WHEN CELEBRATORY CHAMPAGNE IS PASSED AROUND

THE STR ATH ALL STARS 919 douglas street · victoria bc · 250.370.9463 · www.strathliquor.com

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No other beverage evokes celebration like Champagne does. Those luxurious bubbles have become essential for toasting special moments. But many people are shopping for Champagne without realizing that $15 unfortunately doesn’t buy a bottle. Champagne comes at a high price. The misconception that sparkling wine is synonymous with Champagne is widespread. But Champagne is just one type of sparkling wine. Only those made in the specific “traditional method” in the northern French region of Champagne can actually be called Champagne. Throughout history, Champagne has been revered and the hype continues to this day. So what’s so special about it? Certainly the lengthy and meticulous traditional method perfected in Champagne is what allows for the development of complex flavours and the finest of bubbles. Even though this process has been adopted for high quality sparklers around the world, the taste of Champagne cannot be replicated anywhere else. It is the Champagne region’s unique trifecta of climate, soil and grapes that sets Champagne apart. Champagne’s cold marginal climate makes it challenging to ripen grapes successfully. However, when weather conditions are favourable, the grapes can achieve suitable ripeness while retaining a high level of acidity, which is key to withstanding Champagne’s long winemaking process. The region’s unique soil is chalky and crumbly with good drainage, crucial when ripening is such a struggle. The ideal grape varieties are the final piece of the puzzle. Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay have a special affinity with the soil and climate. When these grapes are blended together, each contributes its own attributes and complements the others. Pinot Meunier might mature early, but it gives nice, fresh, red currant and berries to the blend. Pinot Noir imparts structure and fruit while Chardonnay brings elegance and longevity. Producers are faced with lots of choices throughout the production of Champagne, resulting in a diversity of styles. A key decision is which grapes to use. Only three varieties are allowed, but they can use whichever combination they prefer. Champagne is divided into different sub-regions, each known for specific grapes. Some producers blend grapes from all regions while others focus on one area. Making a cuvée from one single variety that clearly expresses the particular grape’s characteristics is an additional possibility. Another significant decision is how long the Champagne rests on the lees (dead yeast cells) following the second fermentation in the bottle. The lees release pleasurable brioche and acacia notes that add complexity to the wine. The longer it remains on the lees, the more pronounced and complex these flavours become. Blending is an art in Champagne. The marginal climate results in significant vintage variation. For this reason, most Champagnes are non-vintage, meaning that they are made from a blend of wines produced in different years to even out the vagaries of vintages. The blend is a complex equation of different grapes, vineyards and years. The cellar master, whose skills are invaluable to the Champagne houses, is an experienced winemaker who seeks to make a consistent and recognizable product year after year. The final sum of all of the decisions he or she makes determines what is called the “house style.” These non-vintage wines dominate a Champagne house’s range, but in years of exceptional weather conditions, they may decide to bottle a separate cuvée solely from grapes of that vintage. The trade structure of Champagne is as complex as the production. Large houses coexist with small growers and cooperatives. The most well-known brands come from the big Champagne houses such as Veuve Clicquot, Moët et Chandon, Mumm and Piper-Heidsieck. These companies may own some of their own vineyards, but they rely heavily on hundreds of growers to supply grapes to them so they can produce enormous quantities, millions of bottles per year. Besides selling to larger houses, some growers opt to sell their grapes to the co-ops, which in return will make the wine and


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market it under the co-ops’ name. Nicolas Feuillatte is a recognized example. As well, a number of growers focus on making Champagne solely from grapes they grow themselves. Many of them own a mere few hectares translating to just a few thousand bottles. Wine geeks in particular go crazy for these “Grower Champagnes” as they are known. The best are prized for expressing a very precise terroir within the region of Champagne. Dominated by big brands, Champagne is often criticized for its mass production. Some wine professionals have turned their backs on these houses and select only Grower Champagne. While we are huge fans of the latter, we still believe you can find great Champagne from the big houses and co-ops too. Quality varies in all categories. Some of the larger houses we consistently enjoy include Louis Roederer, Pol Roger, Bollinger and Henriot. As for Grower Champagne, Larmandier-Bernier, VarnierFannière, Pierre Gimonnet, Cédric Bouchard, Henri Billiot, Marie Courtin, Pierre Peters and Diebolt-Vallois are our top picks available in British Columbia. Champagne is most often enjoyed on its own, especially when toasting the New Year, raising a glass to the bride and groom or splurging on a sip to commemorate a special birthday or anniversary (Happy 15th, EAT Magazine!). But it also has an amazing affinity with food. The trick is to match the style of the Champagne with the appropriate dish. Classic pairings include blanc de blancs with oysters, caviar or salmon Gravlax and richer vintage Champagne with lobster or crab. Prosciutto and beef carpaccio are a treat with rosé, while fuller-bodied Pinot Noir-based Champagne will stand up to a main course of chicken or veal in a creamy mushroom sauce, sweetbreads or mushroom risotto. And just because the bottle is pricy doesn’t mean that the food has to be highbrow. Champagne is delicious with a snack of potato chips or a meal of fish and chips. It has become trendy with sushi and sashimi (try with a basic non-vintage). And why not indulge for breakfast? Champagne is one of the best matches with eggs. Champagne is indispensable at special occasions but has also carried us through our darkest moments. And if there is nothing particularly significant about the day, simply opening a bottle of Champagne will make the moment memorable. Sometimes it is just the right thing to do. E

TASTING NOTES n/v Charles de Cazanove Brut $50-55 60% Pinot Noir (PN), 30% Pinot Meunier (PM), 10% Chardonnay (CH). This large producer crafts a fantastic Champagne for the money. Enjoyable on its own. n/v Champagne le Mesnil, Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut $55-60 Blanc de Blancs refers to a Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay. Toasty brioche flavours balanced by searing acidity and lemon notes. n/v Pol Roger, Extra Cuvée de Réserve Brut $66-72 33% PN, 33% PM, 34% CH. Pol Roger’s trademark fine mousse results from colder than average cellars. Elegant with medium-bodied and bright red fruit. Great with salmon gravlax. n/v Louis Roederer, ‘Brut Premier’ $68-75 40% CH, 40% PN, 20% PM. The 20% of older vintages aged in oak barrels in the blend explains the richer style and evolved notes of brioche, lemon and toast. Snack time with roasted hazelnuts. 2004 Bollinger, La Grande Année Brut $150-160 66% PN, 34% CH. Powerful and structured, this serious vintage Champagne can handle richer foods like mushroom risotto. The best vintage Champagnes, like this one, can be cellared. Expect developed nutty and mushroom notes as it ages. n/v Krug, Grande Cuvée Brut $256-275 50% PN, 15% PM, 35% CH. If money is no object, this Champagne is for you! Finesse meets power. Incredible complexity and structure. Gougères are a must! [Grower Champagne:] n/v H. Billiot Fils, Brut Réserve $70-78* 70% PN, 30% CH. A high percentage of Pinot Noir results in a richer style. Crowd-pleasing with unctuous mousse and lingering toasty notes. Smoked albacore tuna sashimi, please! n/v Diebolt-Vallois, Brut Rosé $78-85* 63% PN, 27% CH, 10% PM. An outstanding address for elegant Chardonnay-based Champagne, but their delicate rosé is equally enjoyable. Nice raspberry, wild strawberry and red currant notes. Treat yourself by pairing with salmon eggs benedict. 2002 Pierre Paillard, Grand Cru Brut $79-87 50% CH, 50% PN. Think freshly baked croissant and red currants with a creamy texture and nutty finish. Brie de Meaux is the perfect accompaniment. *Asterisks denote wines that are only available at the winery or select private liquor stores. Some may be in limited quantities. All other wines are available through BC Liquor Stores. Prices may vary.

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WHAT TO DRINK WITH THAT

By Treve Ring

EAT’s Anniversary Celebration Menu

WE ASK LOCAL WINE EXPERTS BROOKE LEVIE, MATTHEW MORGENSTERN AND JOHN WEBER HOW THEY WOULD APPROACH PAIRING DISHES AND FLAVOURS. FOR OUR ANNIVERSARY EDITION, WE ASKED THEM TO MATCH OUR SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY MENU ON PAGE 37

OUR EXPERTS Brooke Levie (BL) Bar Manager, The Marina Restaurant Though his career in the fine food and beverage industry started at the tender age of 16, Brooke quickly realized that his dreams of becoming a chef were not going to be as he fell hard for the life of a cocktail slinging gangster. After a few years of intensive learning through one wine bottle after another, he found himself in the ideal position of taking over the beverage program at The Marina Scrambled Farm Eggs with Northern Divine Restaurant where he's been taking names and Caviar kissing babies for the last four years. Actually, he's just been reading a ton of books about wine, spirits, There’s no way I could pair this starter with anything other and cocktails, completing the WSET advanced and than sparkling wine. Flip to page 40 for House Wine’s French Wine Scholar programs. He is currently Champagne recommendations, or over to page 27 for my studying the WSET diploma. non-Champers sparkling selections. Matthew Morgenstern (MM) General Manager, Ask for Luigi Not too long ago Matthew was working a 9-5 job and looking for some activities to get himself off the couch after work. He began the WSET program to have something to contribute at stuffy dinner parties. However, his current hours in the restaurant world afford him little opportunity for dinner parties or couch time. His new carrier started as a server working at Mission Hill Terrace Restaurant, C Restaurant, and Salt. His first wine list at Nicli Antica Pizzeria introduced guests to unique southern Italian grape varieties. After a stint at Wildebeest, he is now the General Manager and Wine Director at Ask for Luigi, where his white wine focused list proves that white wine can be serious, complex and diverse. John Weber (JW) Owner, Winemaker at Orofino John and his wife Virginia switched up their Saskatchewan lifestyle after a quick visit to the Similkameen Valley in 2001. Their winery has produced 10 vintages of Orofino wines, to much popular and critical acclaim. On any given day, you might find him climbing over barrels, sitting on his 1952 Massey tractor, or playing street hockey on the crushpad with his two sons. John loves wines that stoke conversation and make people linger and ask questions. He wishes he had more time to flyfish the Similkameen River.

Main: Local Lamb with Salt Spring Truffled Chèvre, Spring Vegetables BL. I’m a huge fan of regional pairings! There’s a good chance this lamb may come from Salt Spring Island, so how about a local Pinot Noir? Though not typically the first thought when thinking of a big red meat, a local island or SSI Pinot will be bright enough and with enough acidity to keep up with the chèvre. If you want something less fruit forward that emphasizes those beautiful earthy mushroom notes we know and love from classic regions such Bourgogne, Pinot Noir would make a great complement to the truffle. And if you’re looking for something with a little more weight, we can still keep it local and really compliment the gamey flavours of the lamb with a Marechal Foch! MM. Lamb is a sommelier's dream, as it is a very versatile meat that pairs well with many different red wines. Syrah is the grape of the Northern Rhone and the last three vintages have produced some classic wines from this region. As these wines age, they develop characteristics of truffle and forest floor that add complexity to the peppery red and black fruit so well known of Syrah. All of these complimenting and contrasting aromas work great with this dish. However, I run a white wine focused list and I feel obliged to stick to my program. To choose a white wine that will stand up to the density and flavours of lamb it must have great body and intensity. I don't need to go far, as the Northern Rhone also produces amazing Viognier from the tiny appellation of

Condrieu. The floral and fruity component of the wine contracts with the gamey earthiness of the meat to enhance the flavours in both the wine and the dish. Although, Viognier by nature is a low acidity wine, there is still a freshness that compliments the young cheese and vegetables and the indomitable Condrieu will not be overpowered by the truffles. JW. We love pairing our local Cawston-raised lamb with big red wines that have proper tannins to cut through the fattiness of the meat. The truffled chèvre plays more towards the earthy, gamey notes and I would look for those notes in the paired wine. A well-chosen Châteauneuf-du-Pape would work well here as it has the structure needed for the meat and that old world earthiness to please the truffled chèvre. And hey, it’s local lamb! It deserves a special bottle of wine.

Dessert: Dark Chocolate Quadruple Layer Cake with Salted Caffe Fantastico Mocha Buttercream Frosting BL. Dark chocolate screams for tawny port, but you ever tried white port? With chocolate? You must! Though the flavours are perhaps not obviously comparable, this is one of those contrasting pairings that sings. White ports vary from bone dry to sweet. The one on our market from Taylor Fladgate (not the chip dry) is full bodied, with flavours of vanilla and stewed apricot and the sweetness to make this pair work, letting both the port and chocolate shine separately yet in harmony. The richness of the mocha buttercream and added salt will make the fruit flavours of the port pop. MM. The sweet Sherry produced from the white grape Pedro Ximenez is my drink with chocolate. The grapes are concentrated by drying them in the sun. During fermentation the process is halted by fortification, creating a sweet, viscous wine with flavours of hazelnuts, brown sugar and raisins. Both cake and wine match in density and richness and the contrasting flavours of chocolate, coffee, nuts, caramel and fruit are tried and true. Come to think of it, I kind of want to take both cake and Sherry down to Wildebeest and throw it into there slushy machine! Sorry Starbucks, this one’s my idea. JW. We aren’t big on fortifieds in our house and this dish would overpower a red wine. I would pop open a big bottle or two of imperial stout - something boozy and bitter, not soft and sweet. You would get those great coffee and chocolate notes of the stout to pair with the flavours of the dessert. The richness and decadence of the beer mimics the food. Yum! E

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LIQUID ASSETS

By Larry Arnold

This month’s briefing BC, CHILE, FRANCE, ITALY, SOUTH AFRICA

Mandois Rose Champagne NV France $64.00-67.00 Deeply coloured and beautifully balanced with delicate strawberry, raspberry and toasty aromas that ease onto the palate and linger through the finish. Tight and restrained with understated elegance. Spier Signature Chenin Blanc 2012 South Africa $14.00-16.00 Heady and rich, with zesty citrus, peach and tropical fruit flavours. Clean and crisp with good weight and a slightly oily texture that coats the palate and dances between sweet fruit and fresh acidity. Road 13 Jackpot Viognier-Rousanne-Marsanne VQA 2012 BC $29.00-33.00 What a wine! Located on prime turf in the heart of the Golden Mile, Road 13 continues to craft a wide range of excellent wines. This southern Rhone blend is warm and generous with lovely fruit reminiscent of apricots, peaches and wild flowers with just a touch of Marsanne honey and vanilla. Lush and creamy with lively acidity and a long toasty finish. Meyer Family Pinot Noir Okanagan VQA 2012 BC $25.00-28.00 Meyer Family’s Okanagan Pinot is a blend of fruit sourced from Pinot Noir vineyards throughout the valley. It was a revelation. Very pale, but don’t be deceived, this elegant Pinot is anything but wimpy. The nose is very forward with cherry, strawberry and earth notes. Velvety at first then a soft patina of tannin emerges. Perfect acid and tannin balance with elegant pinot fruit from beginning to end. Los Vascos Grande Reserve 2011 Chile $24.00-26.00 Los Vascos is a Chilean winery run by Chateau Lafite Rothschild, one of the great names in the wine world. The 2011 vintage is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (75%), Carmenere (10%), Syrah (10%) and Malbec (5%). It is gorgeous with black cherry, spice and tobacco aromas. Beautifully balanced with ripe berry, spice and vanilla flavours and a supple tannic structure. Very rich with great complexity and a long dry finish. Fontanafredda Gavi di Gavi 2012 Italy $22.00-24.00 Located in the heart of the Langhe, Fontanafredda is the largest estate in the Piedmont. Made from 100% cortese, Gavi di Gavi is very floral with citrus and apple notes. Great mouth-feel with some weight and refreshing acidity. Nicely balanced with subtle fruit flavours and a long dry finish. Qui Ocho Syrah 2012 Chile $13.75-15.75 This Syrah is a keeper! Good deep colour with concentrated black cherry, spice and black pepper aromas. Round and supple with intense berry flavours and a soft tannic structure. Badia a Coltibuono Cancelli Toscana 2011 Italy $19.50-22.00 Bright and clean with lovely cherry, spice and dusty earth aromas. Medium bodied with sweet fruit flavours, fresh acidity and a blush of supple tannins through the finish. Tudernum Todi Merlot 2012 Italy 17.00-19.00 Founded in 1958 Cantina Tudernum is one of the largest wineries in Umbria. It offers the full range of indigenous grape varieties and this merlot. In a world awash with Merlot, the good, the bad and the ugly, this tasty effort came as a very pleasant surprise. The nose is typical Merlot with fresh berry-like fruit and subtle herbal undertones. Medium bodied with juicy blackberry and herbal flavours, soft tannins and a long, savory finish. A great everyday wine with some complexity that won’t break the bank. Chapoutier Bila-Haut Rouge 2012 France $15.00-18.00 Hot and dusty, Cotes du Roussillon is a land of anchovies, sardines, snails, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, more garlic, eggplant, garlic—well you get the picture. They drink a lot of wine here. They are like no others produced in France and worth the effort to seek out. Chapoutier’s Bila-Haut Rouge has a sun baked earthy ripeness and soft tannic structure that is easy to like. For those concerned about what they put into their mouths, Bila-Haut Rouge is made from bio-dynamically grown fruit. E

ON THIS FARM THERE ARE SOME WINE CHICKS...

Cheers to 16 years of purveying the Best of BC Wines! Thanks for your support!

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The Buzz

WHO’S DOING WHAT IN VICTORIA, VANCOUVER, THE OKANAGAN, TOFINO, THE COWICHAN & NANAIMO

VICTORIA: Spring is the most optimistic season. The days are noticeably longer and gardens are springing back to life. Maybe even some of those early Saanich greenhouse strawberries are showing up in grocery stores. And for food lovers, perhaps the most optimistic sign of all - the food festival season gears up with a series of ways to enjoy great local food all while supporting a good cause. The first on the calendar is the annual Culinaire event, taking place at the Crystal Garden on March 20th, and supporting the Camosun Culinary Arts Program. (culinairevictoria.com) Next up is the Colour Your Palate fundraiser for artsReach on April 15th at the University Club (artsreach.ca/events), followed by Dining out for Life on April 24th, with a proceeds going to AIDS Vancouver Island. (diningoutforlife.com/ vancouverisland) A new festival on the roster this year is Victoria Beer Week, running from March 1-9, kicking off with a Cask Night at the Victoria Public Market. The Victoria Beer Week Society is a non-profit whose aim is to educate and build "beer ambassadors", as well as to increase business for all facets of the BC craft beer industry. (victoriabeerweek.com) If you’re looking for ways to keep your young culinary enthusiasts entertained keep an eye on the Apple Box’s facebook page (facebook.com/theappleboxco). This quality food-to-go business is based out of the kitchen in the Vic West community centre, offering frozen homemade meals made from Vancouver Island ingredients. For the past couple of months, they have been inviting kids, aged 4-8 into their kitchen for cooking classes, with spaces filling up quickly. The London Chef continues to offer its Kids in the Kitchen series, with an Italian Afternoon class on March 8th and a Mexican Fiesta on April 12th. (thelondonchef.com) In the ‘comings and goings’ department, this winter saw Hook close its doors on Fort Street, while a new specialty food shop opened on Trounce Alley. Délices de France opened in late December, carrying a variety of French and European food products, including fine chocolates, biscuits (cookies) by Biscuits St Michel, Bouvard and Pierre, foies gras and patés Rougiers, and hand painted ceramics from France. Also on Trounce Alley, though still in the ‘rumour’ category, it sounds as though The Tapa Bar is looking to expand, offering more traditional Spanish tapas. A new venture opened in Market Square – the first of its kind here in BC, though the concept will be familiar to those who have traveled in the UK: The Baked Potato, serving traditional jacket potatoes with assorted homemade toppings such as chilli con carne, meatballs marinara, BBQ pulled pork, poutine and more options. (facebook.com/TheBakedPotatoCA). A gourmet baked potato food truck is also slated to hit the streets of Victoria this spring- watch Jack Potato’s website for updates. (jack-potato.com) A new tea shop has opened on Oak Bay Ave – Just Matcha is owned and operated by Tiffanie and Kip Home, who discovered for themselves how matcha creates a feeling of well-being and wanted to make what they consider to be an “under-recognized elixir of health” more accessible. (justmatcha.com) Regular customers of the Lakehill Grocery on Quadra will be excited to hear they are rebranding and moving to a more spacious location. FIG Mediterranean Market and Kitchen will be opening in March 2014 at 1551 Cedar Hill X Rd, and will continue to serve the walnut dip, feta spread and tapenade, baklava, cheeses, olives and figs that have made them so popular. Another new addition on Cedar Hill Cross Road is Jojo’s Jajangmyeon. Jajangmyeon, the dish for which the new restaurant is named, is a Korean noodle dish made with a black soybean paste sauce, pork and vegetables. Other Korean specialties are also on the menu. (facebook.com/jojojajangmyeon) Noodle fans should also keep an eye on the space on Broughton that used to house Devour – where the people behind Foo will have a ramen soup counter. —REBECCA BAUGNIET COWICHAN VALLEY | UP ISLAND: Though we’ve had a mild spring-like winter on most parts of the Island, mother nature’s spring is actually here! I’m referring of course to the frenzied appearance of bright, tender green leaves peaking out of damp fertile soil; the much anticipated asparagus shoots from Pedrosa Asparagus Farm that singlehandedly shove away the last remnants of winter and lead the way for all the flavours to come. Monitor their website at www.asparagusfarmplus.com for opening day and get yours while they last! Just about every food focused person is familiar with the ongoing problem the world has with regards to a shortage of bee’s to pollinate all of those tender buds we crave throughout the year. Maybe you don’t know that it’s actually the nondescript Mason Bee who does the best job-—one bee can visit 1875 flowers for every load of pollen—and you can help out by putting ready-to-live-in mason bee houses on your property. Check out the details on enthusiast Gordon Cyr’s website for information on buying or building your own, and put those busy bees to work. www.masonbeehomes.com Saturday March first is opening day at Alderlea Biodynamic Farm and Café. If you don’t know them already they are a farm dedicated to providing produce grown without the use of pesticides or chemicals. Instead they cultivate a complete, balanced ecosystem that is harmonized with processes in the wider environment leaving the land happy and healthy and able to put its best into the growing process. While you are there, sign up for their vegetable boxes and enjoy the bounty all year. www.alderleafarm.com

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While we are discussing foods that are good for you as well as tasty, it’s beneficial to look back into history and visit the world of fermentation. Years ago, there wasn’t a need to take the ‘live culture pills’ of today because regularly eaten fermented foods produced a variety of live culture strains naturally. Skip to today and you’ll be happy to know you can enjoy artisan made fermented products right here in Cowichan that do just that. Chef Zac Zoriski got hooked on the mystery of creating good kimchi and made it his mission to conquer the cabbage. Zed Squared Food Co. products can be found at www.zedsquaredfoods.wix.com Chef Brock Windsor of Stone Soup Inn is offering several interactive events this March and April starting with a class called The Art of the Braise. There’s a children’s cooking class and a class covering local fish selection, storage, cleaning and preparation. Visit www.stonesoupinn.ca for details. Finally, McLean’s Fine Foods in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter is celebrating its’ 22nd year in April and they invite you to come for a visit – and some cheese of course! – there will be prizes and giveaways in appreciation of customer support over the years. Food lovers all over the island and as far away as Mexico and Germany have benefitted from the availability of exotic cheeses, gourmet ingredients and the personalized knowledge Eric McLean is happy to share, so take advantage and find a something new to go with that spring fresh asparagus. www.mcleansfoods.com —KIRSTEN TYLER TOFINO: Along with the season, the grey whales are returning in abundance to local waters. That must mean it’s time for another Pacific Rim Whale Festival. Now in its 28th year, this festival is Tofino and Ucluelet’s kick-off to the season. The festival itself runs March 15-23, but the good times start March 11 with a gala fundraising dinner at the Wickaninnish Inn. All proceeds from the dinner, which can be paired with a wine for each of chef Warren Barr’s tempting courses, is donated to the volunteer-driven festival. A silent auction is also part of this popular evening. To book a ticket, please contact the Wickaninnish at 250-725-3100. www.wickinn.com The PRWF always includes other culinary events, such as the Chowder Chowdown and the Sweet Indulgence dessert reception. Event dates were unconfirmed at press time, but please check www.pacificrimwhalefestival.com/events for the latest. In other news from the Wickaninnish, a new dinner and dessert menu have been launched in the Pointe Restaurant, and new local craft breweries have been added to the bottle line up, including Parallel 49 Brewing, Lighthouse Brewing, and Steamworks. And finally, you might wish to make a reservation for the return of the Easter brunch on April 20. Speaking of local craft breweries, Tofino Brewing Company paired up with the beer-friendly The Guild Freehouse in Victoria at the end January for a brewmaster’s dinner. Tuff Session Amber Ale, Reign in Blonde and the winter seasonal Kelp Stout were paired with chef Sam Benedetto’s three-course menu. For more information on these local brews, and all the places you can get some including Victoria, Vancouver and other Island and lower mainland locations, visit www.tofinobrewco.com. Yes, it’s true. Finally, gourmet doughnuts have come to Tofino. Rhino Coffee House has opened its doors at 430 Campbell St. on Tofino’s main drag. So far chef Ron Weeks’ flavours have ranged from the classics (Boston Cream) to the daring (Maple Bacon), to the just plain awesome (Chocolate Bailey’s, Oreo). Bronuts, or mini-donuts, have also been popular. Rhino also features a coffee bar, breakfast and lunch items, and other treats. Visit their Facebook page for more information about this new Tofino favourite www.facebook.com/pages/Rhino-Coffee-House/. Featuring an introduction by frequent customer Sarah MacLachlan, photography by Tofino local Jeremy Koreski, and words by chef Lisa Ahier and Andrew Morrison. The SoBo Cookbook: Recipes from the Tofino Restaurant at the End of the Canadian Road is now available for pre-order. The cookbook includes some 100 recipes and stories about this well-known, award-winning restaurant that started out as


EAT Magazine March_April 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 2/27/14 12:29 PM Page 45

a purple parking lot lunch truck well before that was cool. The cookbook will be released May 13, 2014. For pre-order, search the cookbook at www.amazon.com. www.sobo.ca Shelter Restaurant occasionally hosts guest chef dinners, including the recent A Taste of India on January 25 featuring guest chef Nyla Attiana. Chef Nyla treated diners to a variety of dishes, each with its own distinct, delicious flavour. All the events, new restaurants, and almost shocking amount of sunshine are just a few of the reasons to come to Tofino this spring. The 4th Annual Feast Tofino festival is scheduled to run from May 1-29 this year. The festival is a celebration of boat-to-table cuisine, and features local seafood in abundance. A series of dine-around menus at local restaurants and many other events make up the month of festivities. Check back in the next edition of EAT for more details.www.feastbc.com —JEN DART OKANAGAN: Spring in the Okanagan is so close we can almost taste it. Winery restaurants closed over winter months are setting the table for a new season. Reopening are: The Sonora Room at Burrowing Owl (bovwine.ca) on February 27 for limited Thursday – Sunday service; Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek (tinhorn.com) as of March 1; Terrafina at Hester Creek (terrafinarestaurant.com) by March 12 with Wednesday – Saturday seating; The Bistro at Hillside Winery (hillsidewinery.ca) as of April 1; and The Vanilla Pod at Poplar Grove (thevanillapod.ca) in early February. Bon appetit. Joining the winery-restaurateur group is Liquidity Wines in Okanagan Falls, adding chef Rob Walker and an open-kitchen bistro. The Bistro opens in April with a fresh-sheet-style lunch and dinner, integrated within a hub of winery activity. On warm nights, be seated on a postcard-worthy patio with infinityedged water feature. Cuisine en plein air. As it’s also (almost) time for the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival (thewinefestivals.com) the Best of Varietal Awards and Reception is near. Held on May 1st at the Ramada Inn & Conference Centre in Penticton, the Awards – judged by industry professionals – kicks off a week of wine events. Bring on the spring sipping. KELOWNA: After a wait for licensing, in November RauDZ owners chef Rod Butters and Audrey Surrao opened neighbouring micro bar + bites (microkelowna.com). This lounge/eatery has a super cool weathered-funky style, features small plates, and has a revolving wine list. Soon-to-be television star and local food talent micro’s chef de cuisine Evelynn Takoff competes for the title of Top Chef Canada – airing Mondays on The Food Network Canada, season premiere March 10. Go, Evelyn! Aspiring and professional writers descend on the valley with pens in hand May 9 – 11 for the 5th annual hands-on Okanagan Food and Wine Writer’ Workshop, organized by author Jennifer Cockrall-King. The weekend features sessions with some of North America’s best food and wine writers. Food fans, take note. Registration at okfwww.squarespace.com PENTICTON: Anticipation builds with the arrival of two new drinks ventures. Kettle Valley Station (kettlevalleystation.com) pub manager Martin Lewis and partner Robin Agur team up to launch Bad Tattoo Brewing; they plan to begin first brews in their new construction by May. Watch progress updates on Twitter at #buildabrewery – when they have a free hand. The back of house takes over with chef Stewart Glynes and partner Heather Glynes as the new owners of The Bench Artisan Market (thebenchmarket.com) in December. The couple purchased this much-loved-by-locals spot from Dawn and Doug Lennie – who are planning to open Legend Distilling in Naramata this year, pending zoning and licensing. Cheers to new libations. OLIVER/OSOYOOS: It’s with great sadness that a community of family and friends bid a sudden farewell to Dolci Artisan Fare (dolcideli.com) co-owner Jorg Hoffmeister in December. Partner and wife Annina Hoffmeister reopens the popular Osoyoos deli mid-February; we wish Annina well and send her much love. —JEANNETTE MONGOMERY VANCOUVER: Cannery Brewing (www.cannerybrewing.com) has launched its new Baltic Porter, made in the traditional style of 18th century Estonia. Traditional German malts and noble hops make for a dark lager with a sweet roasted flavour. Available in private liquor stores and restaurants across B.C. In other beer news…Central City Brewing (www.centralcitybrewing.com) has released a new beer for active lifestyles, the Red Racer India Session Ale with four per cent alcohol, and a light, crisp body. Wild Rice (wildricebc.ca) has closed its Gastown location after more than 13 years in operation. The New Westminster location at River Market remains open. Fraîche Restaurant, the award-winning restaurant located in the British Properties, has closed operations after five years in service. Le Gavroche, after more than 35 years in operation, has also suddenly closed after a bailiff’s notice was posted on the front door. The restaurant changed hands last year when long-time owner and founder Manuel Ferreira sold the restaurant to executive chef Robert Guest. In the now-closed space at 117 West Pender Street, Andrey Durbach and Chris Stewart (of Pied-a-Terre and La Buca fame) have taken over and are planning to open a gastropub (name TBA) by May of this year. Ganache Patisserie (www.ganacheyaletown.com) has expanded its storefront at 1262 Homer Street to include a new café space serving desserts, an expanded croissant menu and

Victoria’s local organic market for 23 years

Moss St. Market

April 10am-noon May - Oct 10am-2pm









MossStreetMarket.com artisan coffee. Lucais Syme, owner/chef of La Pentola at Opus Hotel Vancouver, is opening a second restaurant at 350 West Pender Street, called Cinara (no website). Justin Darnes, former barman at The Savoy American Bar in London, has joined the team at Pidgin (www.pidginvancouver.com). Robert Stelmachuk, formerly of Chambar, Market by JeanGeorges and Le Crocodile, has joined the team at Uva Wine Bar and Cibo Trattoria (www.cibotrattoria.ca) as General Manager and Wine Director. Long Table Distillery (www.longtabledistillery.com) has launched Vancouver’s first distillery tasting room lounge with weekly Gin and Tonic Fridays. From 4-8pm every Friday, the distillery will offer G&Ts, along with rotating food truck partners. The Liberty Distillery Lounge (www.thelibertydistillery.com) has opened a cocktail lounge at its Granville Island location. Cocktail service runs daily from 11am, using the distillery’s 100 per cent B.C. organic, gluten-free spirits. Vancouver Urban Winery (www.vancouverurbanwinery.com) is also celebrating the city’s new lounge licenses with their new wine lounge. Look for 36 wines on tap, as well as VUW’s “Colab” series. Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (www.fairmont.com/hotel-vancouver) has re-opened The Roof Restaurant on the 15th floor after a closure of several years. The restaurant will remain open through the fall as the hotel celebrates its 75th anniversary. Resos available for breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch. —ANYA LEVYKH

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THERE’S always SOMETHING BREWING AT SILK ROAD Looking for tips on tea & food pairing or how to brew the perfect pot of tea? Need some fabulous tea mocktail or cocktail recipes? Visit our new online magazine at silkroadtea.com - your ultimate resource for tea recipe ideas.

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TALK By Rebecca Baugniet

What the Pros Know This issue we ask caterers around the province to tell us what they would prepare for a special celebration dinner. Castro Boateng, Executive Chef Services (Victoria) 250.588.9398

Last spring I took twelve mothers and grandmothers to Sooke for a foraging tour and lunch in the woods. After two hours of foraging, lunch started with a Mimosa using Rocky Creek Jubilee Sparkling wine. The first course was Miners lettuce and wild sorrel salad with confit tomatoes, edible flowers and honey balsamic dressing. The second course; steamed slams, mussels and seaweed with sea asparagus, radish in a white wine broth. The main course consisted of James Island juniper berry rubbed venison loin, wild garlic, squash purée and stinging nettle pesto. For dessert I served a Fir tip crème brulé with candied rhubarb and strawberry. The dinner was finished with a Spruce Tip infused Vancouver Island Gin. The best thing about this dinner was that most of the ingredients were harvested or grown by us and it was all cooked on butane burners in the woods - proving that you don't need a fully equipped kitchen with fancy pots and pans to make a fabulous meal!

Greg Caspersen, Executive Sous Chef, Truffles Catering (Victoria) 250.544.0200

For most of my culinary career I was working in Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island, so I have an appreciation for secluded beaches and fresh local seafood. I would love to build a fire with a rich pot of tomato broth simmering on the coals where I could cook fresh Dungeness crab and local mussels and clams. Sourcing out fresh local produce to add to the broth. Accompanied by a chilled white wine and fresh baked baguette. To me the perfect night is spent with the one you love and great local food - not hours in the kitchen over a complicated dish.

Christabel Padmore, Little Piggy Catering (Victoria) 250.483.3779

Nothing says celebration like a whole pig roast. It’s a spectacle to behold and delicious! We do a lot of American and Caribbean menus, but we enjoy mixing it up and offer Asian, Mediterranean and even German menus. One of my favourites was an Italian pig roast menu with a glorious spread of seasonal vegetable antipastos, local charcuterie & cheese, roasted potatoes, house-made pasta, fresh berries from the Peninsula and cream filled cannolis. It was really festive and absolutely mouthwatering. The clients and their Sicilian family were thrilled.

Tim May, Red Can Gourmet (Tofino) 250.725.2525

It depends on the celebration. I really like to showcase what the West Coast has to offer. My clients are really impressed with the traditional native style salmon BBQ. I skewer the fish whole and cook them on an open fire pit. It takes about three hours to cook. Salmon like you have never had before – it just melts in your mouth!

Cameron Smith and Dana Ewart, Joy Road Catering (Okanagan) 250.493.8657

Right now we are on a culinary exploratory adventure in Tokyo and then Thailand. We would probably use techniques and ideas that have tantalized us here and apply them to local Okanagan ingredients that are in season whenever this “special celebration” meal would be for. Thai and Japanese cuisine would pair phenomenally with our local Okanagan Riesling, Alsace style blends, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris—so this meal would certainly require wine pairing.

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Debra Lykkemark, CEO, Culinary Capers Catering (Vancouver) 604.875.0123

At Culinary Capers we are noticing a bigger demand for vegan, vegetarian and glutenfree meals. We recently designed a delicious vegan menu highlighted with decadent ingredients. The appetizer featured a creamy housemade macadamia nut “cheese” that was cultured over three days. For the entrée’s pasta soft tofu replaced the eggs yet tasted as authentic as its Italian counterpart. By switching out butter with coconut oil in the apple crisp and coconut milk in the caramel sauce, it still retained its luxurious flavours. The menu consisted of a vegan caprese salad with house-made macadamia nut “cheese”, oven-dried tomatoes, crisp basil, basil oil, radish micro greens, pickled onions, maple Grenache vinegar, a free-form vegan ravioli with cashew cream with tofu “ricotta” with grilled artichokes, sautéed kale, arugula, pistachio pesto, house grown pea shoots as the entrée, and apple crisp with quinoa flakes with whipped coconut cream and vegan caramel sauce for dessert.

Chef Taryn Was, Savoury Chef (Vancouver) 604.357.7118

With a little creativity and thought, you can throw an extravagant and heartfelt celebration dinner with great success. Often the most memorable menus are composed of classic dishes that provide a nostalgic or sentimental feeling. We recently orchestrated one such meal for a client (a personal favourite!): freshly shucked Sawmill Bay oysters, a simply seasoned 28-day aged charcoal-grilled rib-eye steak with my mother's perfect duck fat roasted potatoes, and our take on a classic black forest cake with dark chocolate mousse, brandied cherries and vanilla-scented whipped cream. Classic and satisfying, yet sure to impress! E

E AT giveaway

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Win a gorgeous & delicious gift basket compliments of Rancho Vignola Enter the draw to win this basket of fresh nuts and dried fruit from Rancho Vignola. Rancho Vignola has been bringing in the "Best of the New Crop" for over 30 years, supplying families, buying groups and retail stores across Canada with fresh nuts and quality dried fruit. Although most of their business is wholesale, every year they organize direct-to-the-consumer Harvest events, which currently take place every November. Watch these pages for a Harvest Event near you.

Researching your options? Come spend a day in our kitchen. Contact: debbie.shore@viu.ca

104-01-3320

To enter: send us your name and address either by email to EATcontest@gmail.com or mail to Box 5225, Victoria, BC, V8R 6N4

Culinary Arts: Baking & Pastry Arts

Winner of January’s ‘Favourite Sandwich’ Contest Congratulations to David Lemieux who won the ‘Favourite Sandwich’ draw. He picked the meatless “flavourful and tangy” fried chickpea, roasted pepper, sun dried tomato, artichoke heart, spicy mustard and provolone sandwich fromt Roast Carvery at the Victoria Public Market. Enjoy one on us David! E

viu.ca/culinary

Upcoming food, wine and culture field school in Italy. For more information visit viu.ca/educationabroad

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UNCOMPROMISED PERFORMANCE FOR HOME COOKS AND CHEFS ALIKE SINCE 1925

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Smart. Local. Delicious. Celebrating the Food & Drink of British Columbia

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