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EAT Magazine March-April 2013_Victoria_48_Layout 1 2/27/13 11:24 AM Page 1

RESTAURANTS | RECIPES | WINES | CULINARY TRAVEL ®

& DRINK

MARCH | APRIL

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

Celebrating the Food & Drink of British Columbia

Spring Issue

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

Salted Caramel-Bourbon Blondies


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content A MEETING OF THE MOUTHS

Main Plates

Tapas

RECIPES A Spring Dinner . . . . . . ..........30

Concierge Desk . . . . . . . 07

FEATURES Exceptional Eats! Awards ......22 Small-Scale Meat Producers ...16

Get Fresh . . . . . . . . . . . .10

Elizabeth Nyland

VEGETABLE SALADS AT UCHIDA Kabocha Salad Organic kabocha, organic cabbage, organic walnuts, organic greens, eggs with homemade mayonnaise Goma ae Organic komatsuna, organic chard, organic kale, organic chrysanthemum, carrot, enoki mushroom with sesame sauce) Pg 19

Epicure At Large . . . . . . .09 Good For You . . . . . . . . .11 Reporter . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Eating Well For Less . . . .18 Food Matters . . . . . . . . . .27 Liquid Assets . . . . . . . . . .34 VINcabulary . . . . . . . . . .36 Wine + Terroir . . . . . . . .38 Wine & Food Pairing . . .40 News from around BC . .42 What the Pros Know . . . .46

Cover photography: “Blonde on Blonde� by Michael Tourigny Facebook/EatMagazine

EAT is delivered to over 300 pick-up locations in BC including Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, The Islands and the Okanagan

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Editor in Chief Gary Hynes Contributing Editor Carolyn Bateman Vancouver Contributing Editor Julie Pegg DRINK Editor Treve Ring Senior Wine Writer Larry Arnold Okanagan Contributing Editor Claire Sear Food Reporters Tofino | Uclulet: Jen Dart, Vancouver: Anya Levykh, Okanagan: Claire Sear, Victoria: Rebecca Baugniet | Cowichan: Lindsay Muir | Nanaimo: Kirsten Tyler Web Reporters Colin Hynes, Van Doren Chan, Elisabeth Nyland Contributors Larry Arnold, Joseph Blake, Michelle Bouffard, Jennifer Danter, Jen Dart, Jasmon Dosanj, Pam Durkin, Gillie Easdon, Jeremy Ferguson, Nathan Fong, Tracey Kusiewicz, Anya Levykh, Ceara Lornie, Denise Marchessault, Elizabeth Smyth Monk, Michaela Morris, Elizabeth Nyland, Julie Pegg, Treve Ring, Claire Sear, Michael Tourigny, Scott Trudeau, Sylvia Weinstock, Rebecca Wellman, Caroline West. 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

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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.

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editor’s note

Obsession OKAY, I’VE FURTIVELY BROUGHT my own Périgord black truffle into a tiny café in Paris and shaved it onto an omelet. And yes, I’ve dragged coolers full of big steaks, garlic and Yukon golds for miles, deep into the forest, to cook them over a wood fire by a pristine lake. Sure, I’ve been known to travel all the way across the county, in winter, in search of the best lobster and haddock chowder (lobster is at its best when it comes from the coldest waters). Yes, when it comes to food, I have obsessions. But the above obsessions are nothing compared to my pursuit of caramelized sugar. I admit it. My biggest obsession is caramel. Caramel’s variety seems infinite. I love it as a sauce, in ice cream, hard or soft candies, caramelized fruit, or

spooned right from the jar. Chewy toffees are bliss. I’ve stalked restaurants known to bake tarte tatin (oh, that flipped caramelized apple underbelly). Brittles, nougats, pralines, crème brûlée, dulce de leche, and crème caramel—I love them all (and often). Hell, I’ll even go out in a Victoria December rain for a tube’s worth of Rolo’s to get my fix. My caramel discovery this year is cajeta, or goat’s milk caramel, a traditional Mexican confection. I tried two versions on a recent trip to Oregon. Portland Creamery and Little Brown Farm both make superb examples— smooth and very rich with a wonderful depth of flavour. My other discovery is the Raleigh Bar from Xocolatl de David, a chewy bar of nougat, pecan, bourbon and caramel. Definitely worth seeking out. But salted caramel is my siren call. Sugar, salt and fat – dangerous but delicious. BC’s own Wild Sweets make a

sublime organic salted caramel spread. Artisan du Chocolate in London (UK) sells 50,000 boxes a year of their original caramels—a “sweet liquid caramel with a pinch of Noirmoutier Island’s grey salt, all captured in a cocoa dusted shell of intense dark chocolate”. My own salted (Vancouver Island salt, of course) dulce de leche ice cream is no slouch either and brings a crowd every time. As Nigella Lawson once said, “salted caramel is the class A drug of the confectionery world.” In this issue, EAT contributor Jennifer Danter has come up with an uncomplicated but comforting spring dinner. Her Crispy Chicken Legs with Morel Sauce and Asparagus is easy to prepare, satisfying to eat and sings with fresh spring flavour. For dessert (cover story) she does a new take on the classic blonde brownie by adding bourbon and—you guessed it—salted caramel sauce—ooey gooey goodness. I’m besotted. —Gary Hynes, Editor

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www.eatmagazine.ca JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2013

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Culinary intelligence for the 2 months ahead

the concierge desk

by Rebecca Baugniet

For more events visit www.eatmagazine.ca

March 7TH ANNUAL DINING OUT FOR LIFE (Vancouver and Whistler) On Mar 7, restaurants around Vancouver and Whistler will donate 25% of their food revenues to AIDS Vancouver. Support for Dining Out For Life continues to grow, as do the numbers of participating restaurant. Visit www.diningoutforlife.com for a list of participating restaurants. KAMLOOPS WINE FESTIVAL (Kamloops) The Kamloops Art Gallery is thrilled to present the 15th Annual Kamloops Wine Festival starting Mar 7 and culminating with the grand finale of the Consumer Tasting Mar 16. This week is filled with various wine dinners and seminars to please and intrigue the wine palate. Educational, entertaining and offering a chance to sample what may just become your new favourite wine, the festival is a fundraiser for the gallery. (www.kag.bc.ca) THE COWICHAN CHEF’S TABLE FOR MS (Duncan) This annual fundraising event for the Scotiabank MS Walk offers guests a mini culinary tour of the Cowichan Valley with spectacular 8-course lunch. Each course is prepared by a different chef, and paired with a local wine or beverage. Chefs include Matt Horn of Cowichan Pasta, Fatima DaSilva of Bistro 161, Allan Aikman and his VIU culinary students, Bill Jones of Magnetic North Cuisine, Steve Elskens of Farm's Gate Foods, Bruce Wood of Bruce's Kitchen in Ganges, Ian & Kim Blom of Merridale Cidery, Brad Boisvert of Amusé, Brock Windsor of Stone Soup Inn, and Janice Mansfield of Real Food Made Easy. Tickets are $125, with all proceeds going to the MS Society. Mar 10 at Providence Farm. For tickets or more information on this event please contact the MS Society at 250-748-7010 or by email (anne.muir@mssociety.ca). 17TH 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 17, 11:30 am - 2 pm. (www.pacificrimwhalefestival.com) PICA SPRING BREAK TEEN CULINARY BOOT CAMP (Vancouver) Teen Spring Break Camp 2013 is all about International Cuisine. Join us for 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 18-22. $450. (www.picachef.com) CULINAIRE (Victoria) The fourth annual Culinaire event will provide Victorians the opportunity to savour signature menu items and inspired dishes from an abundant selection of restaurants, lounges, pubs, cafes, specialty food producers, and sip from a fine selection of local and regional wines and craft beers. Proceeds benefit the annual scholarship program at Camosun College’s Culinary Arts Program. Mar 21. For full event details and a current list of who will be presenting (www.culinairevictoria.com). BC BITES AND BEVERAGES (Victoria) Learn about Victoria’s Sweet Secret: 100 years of Confectionary History. Historian Sherri Robinson explores Victoria’s competitive nature when it came to candy and chocolate production in the Colony of yesteryear. Sample some modern day sweets created by some of Victoria’s long-standing and ‘up and coming’ confectionary businesses. Mar 21, 7pm – 9pm at the Royal BC Museum. (www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca) PROFESSIONAL COOK 1 AND 2 TRAINING (Vancouver Island University) The Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island (CIVI) at VIU provides students with 6week training courses, offered through the Cowichan & Powell River campuses. Apprentices interested in getting their PC1 or PC2 levels on their way to PC3 Red Seal Journey Person. Contact Tanya Reiber - Tanya.reiber@viu.ca or call (250)7406112 to register.

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April SWIRL, SIP AND SAVOUR THE EXPERIENCE (Cowichan Valley) To kick off the 2013 wine touring Cowichan wineries invite you to Be a Wine & Culinary Tourist on Your Own Island on the weekend of April 5 – 7, 2013 “You don’t have to go to Europe, California or even the Okanagan for a first class wine & culinary vacation, it’s all right here” says Alison Philp of Damali Lavender & Winery. Spend two days and nights at the Oceanfront Suites Hotel in eclectic Cowichan Bay for a weekend full of wining and dining. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before boarding your luxury tour bus each morning. Over the two full days of touring you will visit 22 Oaks Winery, Averill Creek Vineyards, Blue Grouse Estate Winery, Enrico Winery, Damali Lavender & Winery, Merridale Ciderworks, Rocky Creek Winery, Silverside Farm & Winery and Unsworth Vineyards as well as two delightfully different agri-lunch locations. Return on the Saturday evening to a Cowichan buffet feast featuring local cuisine and of course there will be a local wine bar featuring the wines of the wineries you’ve visited during the day. For more info visit (www.wines.cowichan.net) 2ND ANNUAL OLIVER OSOYOOS OYSTER FESTIVAL (Osoyoos) Wednesday, April 17 to Sunday, April 22 including Canada’s First Oyster Wine Competition sponsored by EAT magazine. Details and events: (oooysterfestival.com) DEERHOLME FARM DINNER AND BOOK LAUNCH (Duncan) Deerholme Farm is excited to launch their new cookbook – The Deerholme Mushroom Book - with a dinner based on recipes from the book. The cost for this special dinner will be $120/person, including an autographed copy of the book. They will be featuring dishes made with local heritage pork — yes that means Bacon. It also means locally cured ham and a porchetta stuffed with mushrooms and seared with sea salt and rosemary crusted crackling — and of course mushrooms, lots of mushrooms. April 20, 2013. (www.deerholme.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 23. Tickets: $95. Tickets will be available online at TicketRocket at ticketrocket.org/Uncork and at the Victoria Conservatory of Music 250-386-5311 Toll free 1-866-386-5311. (www.vcm.bc.ca/calendars/uncork-yourpalate) 7TH ANNUAL DINING OUT FOR LIFE (Vancouver Island) On Apr 25, restaurants across Vancouver Island will donate 25% of their food revenues to AIDS Vancouver Island. Support for Dining Out For Life continues to grow, as do the numbers of participating restaurant. (www.diningoutforlife.com) for a list of participating restaurants. 10TH 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 11.15 am - 1pm. 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 27 & 28, 12pm - 5pm. $95 (tax exempt) (cstudies.royalroads.ca) THE OKANAGAN FOOD & WINE WRITERS' WORKSHOP (Kelowna) Top food and wine writers—Curtis Gillespie, Amy Rosen, Shelley Boettcher and Jennifer Cockrall-King to name a few – lead info-packed, small, interactive discussions on everything from breaking into writing or bringing your career to the next level. April 28 to May 1. (www.okanaganfoodandwinewritersworkshop.com)

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epicure at large — by Jeremy Ferguson

The Zip of Za’atar The Arabian spice mix is irresistibly herbaceous with thyme, nutty with sesame seeds and tart with sumac. A VICTIM of Syria’s brutal civil war, the great, labyrinthine market or souk of Aleppo is often described as the soul of that city (one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world). It was burned last September. The army and the rebels generously credited each other. Aleppo’s Souk al-Madina was a UNESCO World Heritage Site leapt from the fantasia of the 1001 Arabian Nights: its 13 kilometres of twists and turns, arched corridors and thousands of stalls left you feeling like a mouse in a maze. And wafting through it like a flying carpet came the heady fragrance of za’atar, the Arabian spice mix irresistibly herbaceous with thyme, nutty with sesame seeds and tart with sumac. We found the Aleppo souk towards the end of a six-week journey on the ancient Incense Road, the route of the caravans that carried the aromatics frankincense and myrrh from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean. We’d started in Oman, crossed medieval Yemen to the Red Sea and turned north to Jordan, Syria and the Aleppo souk. What an Ali Baba’s cave of treasures and pleasures that souk was: Want a cooking pot, an armload of pomegranates, a sack of coffee beans or a kilo of pistachios? Step right up. We followed the throng to the spice market. We left with half a kilo of za’atar. In an hour, we were dunking warm pita into a pool of olive oil and then into the wondrous mix. Had there been instructions, they would have read: Take one bite and proceed to heaven. “Za’atar” is the Arab word for both wild thyme and the spice mix, so confusion has been inevitable. Its history is foggy—it seems the centuries took it for granted—but records suggest it originated in Mesopotamia, today’s Iraq and northeast Syria.

The components can vary, sometimes combining oregano, cumin, fennel and caraway. Za’atar’s contemporary empire includes such cultures as Morocco, Libya, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Iraq. I have warm memories of the Jordanian breakfast: pita spread with olive oil and za’atar—fuel for days of crawling around the ruins of Petra. Sprinkling it on goat cheese is a tradition in the eastern Mediterranean. Palestinians mix it with yogurt at breakfast. The Lebanese are fond of it with fried eggs. In the Gulf States, they make a tea of it. It is an unimpeachable candidate for the Global Village kitchen. It gives sublime accent to grilled fishes, meats and chicken. It infuses soups and salads, breads and batters with exoticism. Potatoes roasted with olive oil, garlic and za’atar are as addictive as frites. Some food-lovers dust it on goat cheese, and it can rescue cottage cheese from dietary hell. And popcorn-lovers have their very own way with it. Happily, it has arrived even on these rain-swept shores, a beam of Mediterranean sunshine to distract from the Gothic skies that can slide over us like a dank, filthy duvet. The mix—and its individual components—can be purchased in packages from Victoria’s Middle Eastern stores the Blair Market on Pandora and Lakehill Grocery on Quadra. The genial proprietor of the Blair Market, known to customers as “Mat,” blends his own every few days. Lakehill’s Yasser Youssef stocks four products from Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. (Celiacs beware: commercial products often contain, but don’t list, wheat. “Gives the package heft, makes them more money,” scowls an observer. At home, we use it as casually as salt and pepper. I like the additional pizzazz it brings to grilled salmon and barbecued lamb chops. We prefer to buy the ingredients—except for thyme, which we pluck fresh from the garden—and blend them to our own taste. I give more prominence to the sumac, whose lemony tartness opens up possibilities as tintoxicating as Ali Baba’s Cave. I’m just not sure about the popcorn.

“I have warm memories of the Jordanian breakfast”

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get fresh — COOKING BY THE SEASON — by Sylvia Weinstock

The Pie Plant

Explore rhubarb beyond pastry.

In April, when veggie seeds I’ve planted begin unfurling their green leaves in my garden beds, my taste buds start tingling at the sight of the first super-model-slender rhubarb stalks. The plant’s gargantuan leaves look prehistoric, and in fact rhubarb is an ancient plant. Its roots have been used as a tonic herb in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years. However it’s not the roots that whet my appetite: it’s the thought of indulging in scrumptious desserts, chile-spiked chutneys and other delights I’ll create with the succulent red stalks. Rhubarb was a favourite in England in the mid-1700s. Gardeners learned to grow it year-round by forcing the “crowns,” the root sections that sprout buds for new plants. This vegetable-fruit flourished in British greenhouses in the winter; plants could be started outdoors in early spring by placing terracotta forcing pots over the crowns and covering them with fresh manure. Rhubarb crowns, often adorned with kitschy crown-shaped pots, were ubiquitous in Britain’s kitchen gardens, and rhubarb pie was the bee’s knees of tart tarts. Sure, you can mingle the stalks of the “pie plant” (rhubarb’s nickname) with strawberries to make classic straw-rhub pie, but there are so many other possibilities. Try pork crown roast with rhubarb-walnut stuffing, made with rhubarb, ground pork, bread cubes, chicken broth, onions, celery, toasted walnuts, sugar and spices. Bake this yummy stuffing for 1½ hours at 350°F. I love the taste sensation of roasted asparagus with rhubarb vinegar, which I make by sautéing sliced shallots and three stalks of chopped rhubarb in extra-virgin olive oil. I add half a cup of white balsamic vinegar and simmer until the rhubarb softens, then I strain the infused vinegar through a fine mesh strainer into a saucepan. I simmer it for five minutes until it is syrupy, then drizzle it on the roasted spears. It’s like eating spring. This versatile veggie-fruit can be buckled with berries, deep-dished in a cobbler, streusel-topped in a crumble or biscuit-covered in a slump or grunt. Its tart astringency is a great fusion with sweet pavlova. Rhubarb is superb in custardy clafouti, a gorgeous yellow egg/red rhubarb dish fancy enough for Sunday brunch. Cover rhubarb with a flan-like batter to create flaugnarde, a rustic pancake-like clafouti cousin. Rhubarb yogurt parfait is one of my favourite treats. Cook chopped rhubarb with berries, sugar, lemon zest and juice. Add rosewater to the cooked compote. Sauté slivered almonds in butter with ground cardamom, sugar and sea salt, and alternate compote, nut mixture and yogurt layers in parfait glasses. Rhubarb is high in potassium and cholesterol-lowering fibre (but do peel the fibrous strings off the stalks before cooking.) It freezes well, so I’ll still have plenty on hand when my June strawberries are ripe. Until then, I’ll use frozen blueberries and strawberries from last year’s crop to riff on rhubarb. If you don’t grow your own, go to www.islandfarmfresh.com/products/Rhubarb/ for local farms that sell fresh rhubarb from April to August.

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Rhubarb Blueberry Tiramisu Serves 12-16 PLACE RHUBARB and 1 cup of the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stirring often, bring to a boil, and then gently simmer until thick, about 15 minutes. Stir in blueberries and cook 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Spoon mascarpone into a large bowl. Stir in orange zest, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla. Set aside. 4 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced into 1-inch Whip cream with 1 Tbsp sugar until soft peaks form; fold gradually into mascarpone mixture. pieces Combine orange juice and Grand Marnier in a 1½ cups sugar (divided) deep plate. Dip both sides of ladyfingers in the 8 cups blueberries liquid and arrange in a 9-by-13-inch glass dish. 475 g mascarpone cheese Spread ladyfingers with a layer of fruit and then Fine zest of 1 orange spread a layer of mascarpone on top. Add an1 Tbsp vanilla other layer of ladyfingers and pour leftover 2 cups whipping cream juice/liqueur over top. Spread with mascarpone 1 Tbsp sugar and finish with fruit. Cover with plastic wrap, ¾ cup orange juice place on a baking sheet (to catch any overflow) ¼ cup Grand Marnier and refrigerate overnight. 2 150-g packages giant ladyfingers

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good for you — by Pam Durkin

Cheese Redeemed Abstaining from cheese for health reasons? Here’s some tasty news. ONCE VILIFIED as a diet-derailing, artery-clogging foe, cheese is now heralded as a health-enhancing superfood. What caused the switch? Scientists have discovered cheese contains a unique compound that can knock out cancer cells and help prevent osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Let’s take a closer look at what’s putting cheese in the nutritional spotlight. Though cheese contains many beneficial vitamins and minerals, it is its menaquinone content that has health experts around the globe swooning. Menaquinone, a unique form of vitamin K2, is a rare nutrient with a profoundly beneficial effect on human health. Recent research has revealed that, without vitamin K2, calcium regulation goes awry. Vitamin K2 helps “usher” calcium into bone, where it is needed to build and maintain a healthy bone mass. Without sufficient vitamin K2, calcium gets “re-routed” to arterial walls, forming plaque, which can result in the development of coronary, renal or neurodegenerative diseases. And the vitamin’s health benefits don’t end there. It also discourages the growth of tumours and kills cancer cells directly. Not surprisingly, German researchers, in a study involving more than 24,000 participants, found that those who ate the most vitamin K2-rich cheese cut their risk for fatal cancers by 28 percent. Unfortunately, there is one negative aspect to vitamin K2—it is not contained in a wide variety of foods. Natto, a fermented soybean dish from Japan, has the highest vitamin K2 content, but it is difficult to find and even more difficult to consume, thanks to its unpalatable taste. Next is goose liver pȃté, a pricey gourmet item from France that is hardly standard fare for the average consumer. Rounding out the top three foods highest in vitamin K2 is—you guessed it—delicious, affordable, versatile cheese! When it comes to vitamin K2 content, however, not all cheeses are created equal. In fact, some cheeses, like processed cheese, cottage cheese and most soft cheeses, contain no menaquinone at all. It’s the hard European cheeses like Edam, Emmenthal, Gouda and Jarlsberg that rank highest in vitamin K2 content. This is due to two factors—the specific bacterial cultures and traditional methods used to make these cheeses, and the fact that the milk used is often from grass-fed cows. Any cheese fermented with lactic bacteria will have some menaquinone content, but those made with milk from grass-fed cows will have even more. In fact, these four particular varieties are so rich in the nutrient they’ve been singled out and recommended by health gurus such as Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Mehmet Oz and renowned cancer researcher William Li. Before you wolf down a wheel of Jarlsberg, though, remember that cheese is undeniably calorific. Experts recommend eating it more often—but in moderate amounts. In the German study cited above, those who ate the most cheese consumed it daily, but limited their portion size to a 1½ oz. serving. To reap the health benefits of this fromage quartet, you don’t have to plan a trip to Europe. Plenty of fine cheese shops, delis and select supermarkets in town carry a wide range of European cheeses. Consider trying the following examples—you’ll enhance your health and your meals. Edam The Market on Yates and Maria’s Deli and European Imports both carry a mild, nutty German variety that pairs beautifully with fruit. Emmenthal Ottavio has a cave-aged Emmenthal that has a decided sweetness I love. For patriots, I highly recommend Canadian-made L’Ancêtre Organic Emmental—it’s chock full of K2, scrumptious and available at Lifestyles and Mother Nature’s Market. Gouda Landana’s 1,000-day aged Gouda, available at the Market on Yates, is a delight—its punchy flavour marries well with robust beers and full-bodied wines. Hilary’s Cheese shop on Fort Street carries a blue Gouda with a crumbly texture that melds perfectly with salad dressings. Jarlsberg The Norwegian original, with its buttery-like taste, is the perfect addition to any sandwich. The Market on Yates carries both regular and “light” versions.

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reporter — Victoria Ça Va Bistro Moderne Ça Va Bistro Moderne | 1296 Gladstone Ave., Victoria | 250-590-7982 | cavavictoria.com

Rebecca Wellman

Little Qualicum scallops with a caper puree, sweet potato butter and candied pancetta. Ça Va’s chef Fauna Martin

Elizabeth Nyland

Dim lights, ambient beats and a Parisien cocktail—the restaurant’s version of a Cosmopolitan and made with Lillet, Pineau de Charentes and pomegranate juice —launch our evening. Enter Ça Va Bistro Moderne, opposite the Belfry Theatre, Fernwood’s latest culinary treasure. Ça Va is chef-owner Fauna Martin’s first bistro, which she opened in December. Born and bred in Fernwood, Martin studied the culinary arts at Camosun and completed her apprenticeship in Australia at the illustrious Montrachet in Brisbane and Brown Sugar in Byron Bay. The influence of the classic French gastronomy of the former and the creative flair and attention to local and seasonal produce of the latter are evident in the scope of Martin’s menus and her unique take on west-coast style. The little Qualicum scallops arrive first accompanied by a caper-raisin puree, sweet potato butter and candied pancetta. The presentation is meticulous and stunning. The scallops are tender, the sweet potato butter mild, balancing the crisp saltiness of the pancetta. The caper-raisin puree, applied in a ring of paisleys along the plate’s edge, is a curious and lovely harmony of sweetness and brininess. Next we sample the twice-baked Taleggio cheese soufflé with anise cream and pomegranate molasses (a reduction common in Middle Eastern dishes). Crowned with julienned celery and apple, it is smooth and rich, in no way exhibiting Taleggio’s signature funk. The lemon and goat cheese ravioli, roasted local chestnuts and preserved lemon butter is delightful, another finely balanced dish in texture and flavour. A side salad features sweet and bitter greens, lavender honey, anchovy, caper and tarragon. While we enjoy the muddled cucumber and simple syrup palate cleanser, we consider what “modern cuisine” really means. According to Martin, “Modern cuisine brings in influences from globalization and immigration to people taking more care to use local and seasonal products. It means using a new ingredient in a traditional recipe. It is not about gastronomy to me, it is taking the modern world into consideration and making it (the flavours and food) work.” The pork belly and corn milk with Brussels sprouts and pickled mustard seeds arrives, along with a duck pȃté with spiced pear and walnuts. The pork belly skin is chewy and crispy with a lush belly. The corn milk (corn and water mixed and strained through cheesecloth) is quietly sweet. I enjoy the small hit of heat from the pickled mustard seed. And while the duck pȃté is silky and divine, it isn’t attention grabbing. Eaten with the spiced pear, it is almost a savoury dessert that would pair well with a nice port. Part of the allure of Martin’s Fernwood bistro is its versatility. Perusing the menu, I note that I could pop in for fish pie with soubise (bechamel-based sauce containing strained or pureed onions), a Driftwood Brewery Fat Tug and a good book. Or I could join friends for a few appies and drinks or hunker down for a long feast. And there’s the added attraction of the cocktails— few Victoria haunts can make a solid cocktail and feed you well at the same time. BY GILLIE EASDON

Olive the Senses

Olive the Senses | 9-1701 Douglas St. | 250-882-4210 | www.olivethesenses.com left: Fustis hold olive oils and balsamic vinegars right: Owner/Operator Emily Lycopolus Steve and Emily Lycopolus fell in love with olive oil while spending a year in Europe visiting Steve’s family roots in Italy’s Marche region. Tasting fresh-pressed, unadulterated olive oil from the family’s groves literally changed the young couple’s lives. In September, they opened Olive the Senses, a split-level, 1,900-square-foot store/tasting room in the Hudson. “When we returned to North America we couldn’t find any olive oil like we’d experienced in Italy,” Emily explains as we settle into a bright corner of the sleek, industrial-designed store. “We finally connected with a California source that do full chemical analysis of all their oils and gave us direct contact with the growers.”

“We do our own chemical analysis too,” adds Steve, “sending our products to German and Australian labs that specialize in testing olive oil. We have higher standards than the International Olive Oil Council.” When I mention a New Yorker article I’d read about corruption in the olive oil industry, the young couple exclaim simultaneously, “That’s Tom Mueller! He wrote that story.” Pointing at a nearby shelf with a dozen copies of Mueller’s Extra Virginity, Steve adds, “That’s his new book.” Sharing the shelves with Mueller’s book are jars of olives from a family farm in northern California and honey from the Island’s Cottlestone Apiary just outside Duncan. The store also stocks Italian skincare products and French jams and jellies, but most of the floor space is given over to bulk, stainless steel containers of fresh extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar and exotically infused olive oil. “We see ourselves as an education centre as much as a store CONT’D TOP OF THE NEXT PAGE

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and organize formal tastings as well as offering tasting samples to all our customers.” Emily tells me as she pours Australian-grown Hojiblanca into a cobalt-blue tasting cup before demonstrating how to properly sniff, slurp and savour the olive oil sample. Next I sample a Chilean Arbequina as Emily explains that all their current stock of Australian and Chilean oil was harvested in May 2012 and that the late-November pressing from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Tunisia and California will arrive in a few months. All their stock has a maximum one-year shelf life. “Most health benefits are lost after the first year, and maybe more importantly, the olives degrade quickly after picking. Our Australian growers begin pressing within an hour of picking. The pick to press is critical,” Steve tells me. I try the Chilean Frantoio, an olive variety that Steve’s Italian aunt also grows, and after the creamy artichoke-like initial taste, I get a blast of pepper at the back of my throat. “That’s the polyphenol count that is critical to the oil’s antioxidant level. Frantoio’s is three times higher than Hojiblanca’s.” Emily laughs as she handing me a glass of water. I move on to tasting samples of traditional dark balsamic, black mission fig balsamic, red apple balsamic and espresso balsamic, wishing I could bring home bottles of all of these rich and flavourful vinegars. In fact, Olive the Senses is so much fun I’m going to organize a tasting party with friends who I know would love this intriguing new store. BY JOSEPH BLAKE

Vino e Spuntino A night of regional wine & food at Pizzeria Prima Strada

Elizabeth Nyland

Stepping into the vast cavern that is, square foot wise, a modest space for a pizzeria, we are greeted by the warm and inviting aroma of wood fire ovens and the faint hints of toasting bread and oils. Steered into a semi-private space reserved for the evening, we are greeted with the inviting sight of warmly patina wood tables covered in shimmering wine glasses. Welcome to Vino e Spuntino at Pizzeria Prima Strada, literally "wine and a snack." This monthly event at the pizzeria's Bridge Street location offers insight into the intricacies of wine from various regions. Each evening will be spent sipping vino and nibbling beautifully paired noshes while learning about specific varietals of wine Wine-poached pears with in an informative, yet informal, wine education session. These Gorgonzola cheese sessions are meant to be relaxed and fun social gatherings to educate and showcase wines of various price points. Each wine is given a dollar sign (one dollar sign for $15-20, two for $25 and three for $35 and up)—the most expensive wine featured on the night we were there was $36. Expect three to five 2.5 oz. wine samples when you go. Andrew Johnson, a level 3 Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) certified sommelier, took us through the specifics and answered any and all questions with enthusiasm and a sense of humour. No question was too silly and once the night got rolling, everyone was chatting and talking amongst themselves. We drank five varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma to Chile and ate small bites—a melt in your mouth braised short rib on polenta cake; a tender as butter slice of beef Carpaccio; an interesting spiced carrot and herb bruschetta; a meatball arancini with tomato sauce (risotto wrapped around a small meatball which is then breaded and fried); and finished off with a beautiful wine-poached pear with Gorgonzola. Each bite was perfectly paired with its companion wine and everyone madly scribbled their PROOF: 1 notes while they sipped, so as to not forget which wine to buy later. FOLDER: 13-0011_SSC_EAT_MAR_APR_2013 Tasting five varieties of the same wine, we figured the differences would be somewhat subtle, but we FILE NAME: 13-0011_EAT_MAR_APR DATE: FEBRUARY 8, 2013 would be proved quite wrong. The differences between these varietals are astounding and Andrew's sometimes amusing descriptions helped us uncover the subtleties within. From "tightAlland muscular", materials used in the production of this assignment—including original artwork and computer-generated "eucalyptus, whimsical and playful" to "fluffy and soft", words were thrown aroundartwork, like aformats night and of code—remain the property of Exhibit A: Design Group. All rights reserved. crossword puzzles. Tips were given about not rinsing your glass with water between wines (as the small portion could easily be diluted) and that most wines bought today get "sad" with age, not better. Most wines are designed to be consumed within 1-2 years of pressing, especially whites. Wine and food enthusiasts, as well as any average Joe looking to learn more about this widespread and popular, but confusing beverage, will love this evening of tasting. It's a great way for the general public to increase their knowledge of wine and also of food and wine pairings. Be warned that the event is not planned to replace a meal and pizza is not guaranteed. Vino e Spuntino is an ongoing event featuring a different major grape varietal every month. For more information, please email Andrew at: andrew@primastrada.com. 2960 Bridge Street, Victoria, 250.590.4380 BY ELIZABETH NYLAND

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SCALE: SIZE: 4 3/8˝ X 4 3/4˝ PRINTER: PRODUCED BY: TK REVISED BY:

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Feast. Sleep. Repeat. Returning May 1-31

Shatterbox Coffee 950 Yates St., Victoria, | 778.432.2121 | shatterbox.ca

Kalen Harris

Colin Hynes

Visit: www.tourismtofino.com Island Wineries of British Columbia ✳ Newly updated and expanded for 2013 ✳ Winner of the 2011 Gourmand International Wine Books Awards for Canada ✳ Finalist for the 2012 Taste Canada Food Writing Awards At local wineries, shops & fine bookstores (www.touchwoodeditions.com)

1605 Store Street (next to Swans Brewpub) 250-361-3310 wildsaffronbistro.com

3 COURSE DINNER $29.95 plus taxes 14

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When thinking of the typical Victoria, BC coffee house, you generally think of a large open space with lots of seating, baked goods, and even sandwiches. Shatterbox wants to flip that idea on its head. Kalen Harris, the owner and barista at Shatterbox, wants people to embrace the European-style coffee bar. A European coffee bar is much smaller and usually doesn’t have very much, if any, seating inside. Most of the seating would be outside on a patio. People stand around the bar and sip their coffees while chatting with each other and with the barista, who is usually charismatic and witty with some great stories and conversation—it’s similar to the way one would go to a liquor bar and strike up a conversation with the bar keep. Kalen got his start in the food industry working as a bartender at The Brentwood Bay resort pub. He spent many years there before moving to Hamburg, Germany. Hamburg was once, and still is to some degree, the great coffee hub of Europe because of their large port. He got a job at the prestigious Café Knuth, where he learned about the science and art of coffee. He was also able to make many connections with other coffee addicts and roasters while there. He spent most of his free time hanging out with a coffee roaster that lived just down the street from him. This roaster taught him what makes a good coffee bean and how to make a proper blend for the espresso machine. After a few years of living and working in Hamburg, he moved back to Victoria, where he decided to open his own coffee bar in the true European-style because he felt there was nowhere to get a true Euro/Italian style coffee on Vancouver Island. He brought two gifts from Café Knuth with him when he left Hamburg—a special engraved tamper that you can see at Shatterbox atop the grinder, and his apron which he wears when he is on bar. It’s not hard to talk to Kalen, when you are only standing across the bar. He’s very energetic when working the espresso machine and he does it with a great big smile. Especially when you ask for a cappuccino—his favorite drink. Kalen also likes to experiment with the specials he puts on every day. One day he had fresh ginger, lemon and honey tea, another day he served a “dark and stormy” which is steamed milk, espresso, and cayenne pepper hot chocolate. Kalen’s knowledge of coffee goes beyond that of many baristas, as he knows much of the science behind coffee. In Germany, everyone spoke of the science behind coffee—that the reason a cappuccino is slightly sweet without adding sugar is because the crèma gets carried in the steamed milk fat that has gone into bubbles; that in a usual coffee the crèma disappears within a few minutes or goes bitter; and that in a latte there is too much milk for the crèma to get carried and it just disappears. Shatterbox uses a unique blend of beans for its espresso; it’s Kalen’s own blending techniques and is roasted by Drumroaster Coffee (in Cobble Hill). As Kalen says “the blender is the chef”. The beans used are Robusta and Arabica, blended together to have a distinct, yet very Italian, flavour. Usually a Robusta bean does not bode well for espresso, but Kalen has imported a very special version, that is grown in higher altitudes than even the Arabica. At the grand opening of Shatterbox, recounts Kalen, a presentation on the beans was given by Carsen Øglend, the roaster for Drumroaster Coffee, who said that the Robusta bean that Kalen has sourced roasts as well, if not better, than many Arabica beans I have come across. Shatterbox serves Drumroaster house blend for coffees that are not put through the espresso machine (filter, AeroPress, and pour-over coffee). Kalen compares the way he blends his beans to the way wine is made. His blend is specific to making espresso, like a blended brandy and not like a filter coffee, which is like a single grape wine. You can purchase Kalen’s own unique blend, as well as Drumroaster’s blends, in the cafe to enjoy at home. If you enjoy Italian flavour/style coffee at home, try out Shatterbox’s blend—it’s so fresh it might change your mind about how you thought Italian blends are suppose to taste. BY COLIN HYNES


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vancouver

The Union 219 Union St. | 604.568.3230 | www.theunionvancouver.ca Union Street used to be nothing more than the dingy side street next to the Georgia Street Viaduct, home to a Jimi Hendrix museum and not much else. These days, it’s become a brightly-lit strip of artsy retail spaces, local, sustainable grocers and a few top-notch dining spots. Anchoring the street on one end is The Union, a restaurant-bar from the same good folks who brought us Habit Lounge and The Cascade Room. Although the ambiance is that of a dark, slightly dingy speakeasy that’s been given a quick facelift, the food is as colourful and varied as a farmer’s market at the height of summer—and it’s all locally or sustainably sourced. The eclectic mix of South and East Asian dishes are held together by a solid cocktail, wine and craft brew list, not to mention some stellar banga (“jar” in Filipino). The latter are listed only as numbers, rather than by name. Banga number one was a refreshing mix of gin, lemongrass, rambutan, ginger, Thai basil, lime and sugar. At $10 per jar, it might seem a little steep, until you factor in that each is a double, in every sense of the word. Another winner was the number three, a deeper blend of bourbon, mirin, calamansi, orange peel and ginger beer. For designated drivers, or those on the wagon, the hooch-free options are almost better than the boozey versions. The Typhoon Jimi ($5) is a breezy concoction of carbonated jasmine tea, honey ginger syrup, kaffir lime and fresh ginger. I started with the kalbi beef short ribs ($12) with piquant cabbage slaw. The bone-in slices of rib were fork-tender, although they weren’t tested too much, as the fingers quickly took over. I sided it with some housemade naan bread and raita for a full meal deal. Spice flows freely here, as with the crispy pork belly bahn mi ($8) that comes with generous lashings of sriracha aioli and jalapenos, as well as daikon, pickled carrot, cucumber and cilantro. My dessert, a coconut milk panna cotta with pineapple salsa, was one of the best versions I’ve had in a goodly while. We’ll see if the chai chocolate pot I’ll have on my next visit can beat it. BY ANYA LEVYKH

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Beaucoup Bakery 2150 Fir St. | 604.732.4222 | www.beaucoupbakery.com In these carb-free, gluten-free, sugar-free times, Jackie Ellis has managed to get people excited about bread and pastry again. This former designer-turned-pastry chef has taken her passion for home baking, combined with her French pastry training, and created Beaucoup Bakery, an homage to childhood treats and French classics. For such a tiny, L-shaped space hidden on a side street off a side street, it can get awfully busy awfully fast. With less than 12 seats to its name, most orders are take away, and snagging a table is more of a feat than getting front-row seats to the Canucks. Judging by all the satisfied faces, however, no one seems to mind. With some 49th Parallel dark roast in hand, people seem content to mill around, sampling one sweet after another. I’m a firm believer in “no dessert until you’ve eaten something healthy,” so I started with a plain croissant. Croissants are, to my mind, the finest test of a baker’s skill. The complexity off butter to flour ratios, beating to folding, makes for a unique masterpiece with every batch. Ellis’ creation is a subtle testament to a mille-feuille, with a rolled crust in which you can count the tiny layers like the rings of a tree. The crust gives way to a buttery softness that lacks grease but holds incredible texture. In a word, delicious. The chaussons aux pommes are another must-try. These simply apple pie pockets are held together with more light pastry, and dusted with sugar to balance the still-tart apples. As for the childhood desserts, my jaw dropped in anticipatory delight when I beheld the peanut butter sandwich cookies, monstrous fist-sized rounds of nutty chew held together with a silky smooth and perfectly salted peanut butter cream. It’s every child’s dream come to life, as my own offspring’s moans of delight reminded me. Paired with the housemade salted hot chocolate, which was not too salty, not too sweet, it could easily become a daily habit. Carb-shmarb. BY ANYA LEVYKH

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producer series: Get to

Know Your meat producer

Natural, Nutritious & Local Four small-scale Okanagan Valley meat producers are proving that happy, stress-free animals create tasty, healthy meat —by Dona Sturmanis

North Okanagan Game Meats

S POIL Y OUR S ENSES . Open Year Round| 1.800.420.9463 | quailsgate.com

Feeding the wild boar at North Okanagan Game Meats Natural. Nutritious and delicious. Preferably local. These are the qualities that a growing number of Okanagan gourmets are seeking in meat and poultry, whether it’s in a chef-prepared dish or at home. These four Okanagan Valley producers treat their livestock and poultry as if they were guests at a holistic health and relaxation spa. That is, of course, until they move on, in a stress-free way, to greener pastures, so to speak. In the meantime, good taste reigns supreme. North Okanagan Game Meats/Valley Wide Meats For 22 years, Richard Yntema’s operation has been supplying venison from deer, wild boar, lamb and chicken raised on his own property, as well as rabbit, veal and specialty poultry like quail and pheasant sourced from local suppliers. “We raise our own animals as naturally as possible,” says Yntema. “The deer graze in a field and the wild boar root around in a forest.” Besides the livestock’s pleasant lives, which make for tastier meat, there’s the low or no-stress issue of transportation to the abattoir for processing. His Valley Wide Meats abattoir is right on his property, an expensive investment to meet provincial meat processing licence standards. Yntema’s facility has been a blessing for local farmers who would otherwise have to ship their livestock to distant butcheries at great cost to them and great angst for the animals. Yntema’s prime protein is featured at esteemed Okanagan restaurants such as The Vines Patio at Quails’ Gate Winery in West Kelowna, Ricardo’s in Lake Country, Theo’s in Penticton, La Bussola and RauDZ Regional Table in Kelowna and the Naramata Heritage Inn. North Okanagan Game Meats is also a learning destination for students of Okanagan College’s third-year culinary arts program. Local fans can order for pickup from Ytema’s farm by phone or e-mail. 40 Matthews Rd., Enderby, 250-838-7980, nogm.bc30@gmail.com

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Sterling Springs Chicken/Silvernails Abattoir Stress-free life, high-quality feed and no drugs produce healthy chickens and tasty, healthy bird meat. This is the firm conviction of Lisa Dueck, who runs Sterling Springs with the help of husband Hans and children Johanna and Jacob. The operation went from large to small and reinvented itself. “We raised chickens for 20 years,” says Lisa. “Fifty to 75,000 every eight weeks. But we wanted to work as a family and raise chickens sustainably.” The Duecks sold their commercial operation and started all over again on a very small scale about a year ago. “People thought we were nuts,” she says. This meant a shop humbly heated with reclaimed wood but also a sophisticated on-site processing plant to meet provincial guidelines—Silvernails Abattoir. No upsetting, long-distance trips to the butcher for Sterling Springs chickens. The new incarnation produces only 350-500 chickens at a time. The precious poultry is featured in dishes at notable valley restaurants such as The Grapevine at Gray Monk Winery in Lake Country, Sunset Bistro at Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna, RauDZ Regional Table and Manteo in Kelowna and Little Tex in Vernon. It is also sold at Urban Fare in Kelowna and the farmer’s markets in both Vernon and Kelowna. Orders for pickup or delivery can be made by phone or e-mail. Deliveries to Kamloops, Armstrong, Vernon, Kelowna, and Salmon Arm are made on a regular basis. 4000 Silvernails Rd., Falkland, B.C., 250-309-2317, eatchicken@telus.net Okanagan’s Finest Angus Beef Drunken beef? Well, not exactly. Owners Bill and Darlene Freding raise wine-fed Angus beef and “sober” beef, both of which are raised in a near-organic, no-pesticides environment. The happy cattle, handpicked by Bill and then nurtured at the Southern Plus Feedlot, eat a high-forage diet, are not given hormones or antibiotics and are handled in a gentle manner. The result is beef that’s flavourful, tender, rosy in colour and has a long shelf life “People rave about how good the beef is,” says Bill, who has been raising cattle for more than 40 years. The Fredings took over Sezmu Beef, which originated the idea of feeding wine to the livestock. Cattle are fed a litre of wine a day during the 60-day finishing period and also feed on high-quality forage. And, no, the cows don’t get drunk: Bill says it’s like a person downing a half glass of wine a day. At the end of the finishing period, the cattle are sent to local B.C. abattoirs, then dry-aged for a minimum of 21 days. Okanagan's Finest Angus Beef is available at top restaurants throughout the Okanagan such as Terrafina at Hester Creek Winery in Oliver, The Patio at Lake Breeze Winery in Naramata, The Hotel Eldorado in Kelowna, and retail establishments throughout BC such as L and D Meats in Kelowna, Murphy's Chop and Block in Kamloops, and Organic World in Vancouver. Oliver, 250-859-3545, toll-free 855-498-3077, craig@ofab.ca, okanagansfinestangusbeef.com Hamblett Highland Turkey Farm There’s always a better turkey: That’s the philosophy of Michael Hamblett. “I’m stepping away from common models and changing my operation,” he says. For years, Hamblett raised big meaty birds, but now he’s doing it a new way. “I’ve got a small flock that lives outdoors and experiences the sun and the wind, eats better, gets no medication and are processed locally. Their diet includes natural forage and alfalfa to provide the protein and nutrition necessary for healthy growth. I had to research back to the 1930s to find this information.” The result is slower growing, “less aggressive,” healthier, more delectable turkeys. In addition to standard variety birds, Hamblett is experimenting with heritage Ridley Bronze—a western Canadian bronze turkey that produces proportionately more dark meat than white. “They’re totally sustainable and lay very fertile eggs,” he says. Hamblett Highlands turkey and “very competitively priced” turkey parts are available at the Kelowna Farmers’ Market (where the chefs also buy) or by contacting Michael Hamblett, who will deliver. Three hundred turkeys will be available for Thanksgiving. Spallumcheen Valley, 250-546-6322, high.land@telus.net

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eating well for less — by Elizabeth Smyth Monk

Secret Corners A world of eating in Victoria’s hidden nooks and crannies. Tequila House, 3009 Gosworth Rd. at Cedar Hill Road, 250.886.0731 I have a soft spot for quirky, and I have a soft spot for immigrant families in business start-ups trying to share the food of their culture with their Victorian compatriots. The soft spot blossoms into love if the food is fabulous. Good news: Tequila House and I are now in a relationship, which was cemented by my enjoyment of a daily special of mole poblano. Soft tortillas encase shredded chicken and completely absorb the rich, sweet and smoky mole (pronounced mo-lay) sauce, housemade from a mixture of three different chiles—ancho, pasilla and cascabel—and a touch of chocolate. This special was the highest price on the menu at $12.90 and included tortilla soup. Breakfast features either omelettes or chilaquiles with eggs. Try the chorizo omelette; the chorizo is made inhouse and is perfectly seasoned with cumin, oregano, pepper, cloves and guajillo (wa-hee-lo) chilis. Shockingly, the chefs were able to overcome my cynicism about soy protein products, presenting a very tasty soy chorizo seasoned the same way. I know, I know, soy chorizo—it sounds impossible, but they pull it off. Chilaquiles are a Mexican breakfast dish that sounds dull in the reporting but is tasty in the actual consumption. Tortilla chips are softened in a mix of tomatoes and tomatillos, then warmed and topped

with cheese and sour cream—mmm. The only downside was the beans, which were bland (though remedied by two interesting housemade sauces—a mild, sweet chipotle sauce and a morita chilis salsa). As well, churros, Mexican doughnuts, are offered between 10 and 11 a.m. and go well with a Mexican hot chocolate after a workout at nearby Cedar Hill Rec Centre or a walk with the kids. Now here’s the quirky piece: this restaurant is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. only Monday to Saturday because it is sharing space with Gosworth Fish and Chips, which opens at 3 p.m. There was no signage when I was there, only a month after they’d opened. This may still be the case, so just go to the door bearing a hand-written sign that says “Mexican Food.” There’s limited seating—we’re talking five bar stools and a bench when I was there (a couple of tables were supposedly coming). Really, it’s a takeout place, but I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch in this modest little nook, especially because I walked in to lively Spanish chatter as a group of Mexican-Canadians finished their meals, and I felt, for just a moment, as if I was in Mexico.

Elizabeth Nyland

Pictured left: Freshly made churros and hot chocolate right: Chilaquiles with mole 18

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Elizabeth Nyland

Owner Yasunobu Uchida holding a kabocha squash

Uchida Eatery, A22-633 Courtney St. near Douglas, 250-388-7383 Tucked in kitty-corner from the Bug Zoo on Courtney, hidden from the street, is a gem called Uchida Eatery. This used to be the home of Daidoco, and Uchida is offering food in the same spirit: clean, pure and mostly organic. Stunningly, the top price for this organic food sourced from, among others, Uminami Farm in Metchosin, is $10. This was for the special, stir-fried Metchosin pork with a flavourful ginger soy sauce, organic green onions, organic cabbage and carrots served in a warm pottery bowl of organic rice topped with a perfectly poached egg and garnished with grated radish. Delicious. In this special, as in the rice bowls featuring salmon and smoked tuna, Uchida Eatery offers the familiar exquisitely executed. What stimulated my curiosity was how much was in fact unfamiliar; I appreciate that the owner Yasunobu Uchida is educating us about everyday Japanese eating. New dishes for me were the vegetable side dishes of “curry ni” (organic Japanese turnip, kabocha squash and cabbage in a delicate, butterfly-wing-light curry broth) and “shira ae” (chrysanthemum flower with chard, kale, enoki mushroom and carrot in a blended sauce of sesame seed, tofu and miso). The intriguing flavours and uncommon ingredients of these inexpensive vegetable side dishes ($3.50) make this a very special Japanese restaurant. My only concern is that I found the restaurant chilly; I wasn’t the only guest wearing her overcoat over her shoulders. That is a fixable. I was very happily warmed by a cup of the carefully chosen and brewed green tea called Hojicha, from the Uji region, which as the information sheet pointed out, had a light and nutty flavour, chosen to be an unobtrusive complement to traditional cuisine.

R E S TA U R A N T

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MARTINI & WINE BAR

Our chefs are working on bringing you the best of Vancouver Island's local food! TOP FLOOR - CHATEAU VICTORIA HOTEL - 740 BURDETT AVE CALL US AT 250.382.9258 OR VISIT WWW.VISTA18.COM

Reservations Recommended www.eatmagazine.ca MARCH | APRIL 2013

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Chicken Biryani

Vegetarian Pakoras

Elizabeth Nyland

The Corner Café, 743 Aldebury St. at Shearwater, 250-590-7997

ON THIS FARM THERE ARE SOME WINE CHICKS... "Fifteen years and going STRONG!"

VQA Wine Shop at

MATTICK’S FARM Open 7 days a week

5325 Cordova Bay Rd. 250-658-3116

www.vqawineshop.ca

Established 1998 20

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

EAT MAGAZINE MARCH | APRIL 2013

You’ve delved into Oaklands to find Tequila House. You’ve gone down the alley by the Bug Zoo to find Uchida Eatery. The next stop in this Amazing Race is the bulk shopper heart of Esquimalt. Kitty-corner from the Wholesale Club on Viewfield, the poor man’s Costco, is an unprepossessing-looking establishment called The Corner Café. The signage, touting a hamburger and Coke, would be a turn-off to the average EAT reader. Yet, my intrepid traveller, it is worth peeking in because, despite outward appearances, this is an Indian restaurant. Under the new ownership of Anjum and Sabbir, the diner menu has been supplemented with much more exciting words than hamburger. Pakora. Biryani. Butter chicken. Fish masala. Happy words like that. The pakoras are wholesome, filling and tasty, with the patty of potatoes, peas and cauliflower enhanced by an infusion of cumin seeds and garam masala. I could smell the fragrance of the coriander in my chicken biryani even before the server put it on the table. This dish was a tumult of colour. Three colours of rice—orange, yellow and white—were mixed with tomato and chunks of chicken and flavoured with the expected curry but also the surprise of cinnamon and cloves. The fish masala was in a rich, grainy sauce with a hint of spice and tartness, and, in contrast, the butter chicken offered sweetness and cream. The only item on the menu more than $10 is a pound of chicken pakoras for takeout, which seems more than reasonable, and, in fact, the vegetable pakoras are only $6 a pound. I will be ordering those next time I have a party (they cater). The atmosphere is that of a café in an industrial area—pretty plain—but sparklingly clean.


EAT Magazine March-April 2013_Victoria_48_Layout 1 2/27/13 11:25 AM Page 21

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EAT Magazine March-April 2013_Victoria_48_Layout 1 2/27/13 11:25 AM Page 22

4th A nnual Readers Choice

A N L O E I A T T P S E ! Awa C X E rds ers Read

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? Crispy smoked chicken with roasted cauliflower, rice, pickles and South East Asian vinaigrette Rebecca Wellman

DISH OF THE YEAR: RELISH FOOD & COFFEE Congratulations to our big prize winner: Carol Biehl. Carol has won the draw for a two night deluxe stay and 3-course gourmet dinner with a bottle of wine at the Marriott Victoria Inner Harbour (www.marriottvictoria.com) 22

EAT MAGAZINE MARCH | APRIL 2013


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EAT Magazine March-April 2013_Victoria_48_Layout 1 2/27/13 11:25 AM Page 23

Remotest with the Mostest

Lets Eat Out

Restaurant of the Year This restaurant always delivers-in service, selection, atmosphere, and execution. It's the best restaurant in the city-in every way, every time.

Brasserie L’ecole (VICTORIA) Hawksworth (VANCOUVER) RauDZ Regional Table (OKANAGAN)

Let's head out of the city. I know this amazing little place in the middle of nowhere... Name a great restaurant not in a city that's worth a special trip (keep it close to home, though, no planes).

Amusé on the Vineyard (VICTORIA) Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards (VANCOUVER) Hillside Winery & Bistro (OKANAGAN) Place For Appys & Cocktails It's been a long day; fancy an appy and a drink? Or three? Best after-work or latenight place to go for a bite and a drink. Name your favourite establishment.

Veneto Tapa Lounge (VICTORIA) Chambar (VANCOUVER) Local Lounge & Grille (OKANAGAN)

Restaurant Cooking Local

Neighbourhood Gem

Best Restaurant Cooking Local: Local = Fresh + Delicious. Who does barn-to-table best and supports our local farms? What restaurant is it?

Everyone's neighborhood should have one: warm and friendly atmosphere, decent food and drinks, and walletfriendly prices. Which neighbourhood restaurant, bistro, pub, or café is your "goto" for a "walking-to" date night? Name the place and the neighbourhood.

Camille’s (VICTORIA) Bishop’s (VANCOUVER) Ricardos Mediterranean Kitchen (OKANAGAN)

Best Dish of the Year You really must try the _____ at _____! What dish was so fantastic that you will remember it forever-or at least until next year?

Crispy smoked chicken with roasted cauliflower, rice, pickles and South East Asian vinaigrette - Relish Food & Coffee (VICTORIA) Qualicum Bay Scallops with caramelized belgian endives, wild rice griddle cake, candied ginger and citrus sauce - Blue Water Cafe (VANCOUVER) Bengali Fish with tangy kasundi mustard sauce with raw mango, chilli, onion and coconut milk - Poppadoms (OKANAGAN)

Best Place for Lunch Lunch as a Delicious Event: Lunch is not only about re-energizing you at midday; it has really come into its own as a dining out experience.

Relish(VICTORIA) Meat & Bread (VANCOUVER) Walla Artisan Bakery & Cafe (OKANAGAN)

Dish Under $10 Best Place to Spend Your Last $10: You're hungry. You have a ten-dollar bill in your pocket. Where do you go to eat?

Hernande'z Cocina (VICTORIA) Go Fish (VANCOUVER) Okanagan Street Food (OKANAGAN)

Stage Wine Bar - Fernwood (VICTORIA) The Parker - Strathcona (VANCOUVER) Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar Cultural District Kelowna (OKANAGAN)

Guilty Pleasure Is it a sticky cinnamon bun, a dark pain au chocolat, or a silken crème brûlée? Where do you go to soothe the sweet cravings that call? Please name the item and the restaurant/bakery/café/shop.

Uchida eatery/shokudo (VICTORIA) Musette Café (VANCOUVER) Saint Germain Cafe Gallery (OKANAGAN)

course comes. Which restaurant give you the best service and cheers you up no matter how in the weeds the kitchen is?

Brasserie L’ecole (VICTORIA) TIE: Hawksworth / Bishop’s (VANCOUVER) Ricardo's Mediterranean Kitchen (OKANAGAN)

Place For Heathy Eating Delicious and Nutritious... Feed me! A meal out can be both delicious-and healthy.Tell us where you go when you want to treat both your palate and your body?

Rebar Modern Food (VICTORIA) The Acorn (VANCOUVER) Wild Scallion (OKANAGAN)

Best Street Food The street food scene continues to heat up.Whose stall, cart, pot or truck is worth braving the elements to chow down?

Red Fish Blue Fish (VICTORIA) Tacofino (VANCOUVER) Jeffer’s Fryzz (OKANAGAN)

Place to Feed a Kid Praise be to the restaurants and cafés that know how to cater to families with kids. Who makes you welcome when you have children in tow?

Pizzeria Prima Strada (VICTORIA) Little Nest (VANCOUVER) Wild Apple Restaurant (OKANAGAN)

Lets Eat In

There's this little place you go to that no one seems to know about but you-and you love it. Name your undiscovered treasure?

Best Place to Buy Local Food

Uchida eatery/shokudo (VICTORIA) Musette Café (VANCOUVER) Saint Germain Cafe Gallery (OKANAGAN)

It could be a farm stand, outdoor market or a store. Where do you go to buy your local, fresh and in-season food?

The thin-crusted, wood-fired pizza parlour invasion continues and we love it. Where do you go to get your slice of heaven?

Pizzeria Prima Strada (VICTORIA) Nicli Antica Pizzeria (VANCOUVER) Bordello's Italian Pizzeria (OKANAGAN)

Best Front of House Crew We've all been there. Left at the front without being greeted. Ignored when we want that glass of wine when the main

Best Place to Shop for Healthy Food I'm Health Conscious: They say that you are what you eat. Where do you shop for food that is healthy or based on dietary restrictions?

Lifestyle Market (VICTORIA) Whole Foods (VANCOUVER) Nature’s Fare Markets (OKANAGAN)

Favourite (Locally Owned) Kitchen Store Need a chef's knife, tablecloth, pot, candles or coffee grinder? And you're not a fan of big-box shopping. Where do you go to buy it?

Cook Culture (VICTORIA) Gourmet Warehouse (VANCOUVER) Chef's Edge (OKANAGAN)

Best Place to Buy Cheese The Cheesier the Better: Best selection and service of artisanal and farmstead cheese. Where do you go?

Tie: Hilary’s/ Ottavio(VICTORIA) Les Amis du Fromage (VANCOUVER) Valoroso Foods (OKANAGAN)

Best Local Food or Ingredient You've got friends and family visiting, and you take pride in BC's food diversity. Okay, maybe you've been known to brag about the largess of this province. What local food, product or ingredient are you sure to introduce them to?

Vancouver Island Salt | Spot Prawns (VICTORIA) Kurobuta Pork | Sockeye Salmon (VANCOUVER) Okanagan Wine (OKANAGAN)

Cat-Out-of-the-Bag

Great Pizza Pie

The Noodle Box (VICTORIA) Rangoli (VANCOUVER) The Bench Artisan Food Market (OKANAGAN)

The Root Cellar (VICTORIA) Trout Lake Farmers Market (VANCOUVER) Kelowna & Penticton Farmers Market (OKANAGAN)

Best Take-Out Today's Takeout (not your mom's takeaway): It's the afternoon and you're thinking about dinner-but you don't feel like cooking tonight. What do you grab on the way home? Think restaurants, delis and food shops -who's got the best gourmet to go?

Place to Buy Meat Meat your Maker: Many shops, delis and restaurants are offering house made meats - charcuterie, cold cuts, salami and sausages. Where do you go to fill your sandwich?

The Whole Beast (VICTORIA) Oyama Sausage (VANCOUVER) Mediterranean Market (OKANAGAN) CONT’D ON THE NEXT PAGE

www.eatmagazine.ca MARCH | APRIL 2013

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Driftwood Fat Tug IPA (VICTORIA) R&B Brewing Co. Sun God Wheat Ale (VANCOUVER) Cannery Brewing Naramata Nut Brown Ale (OKANAGAN)

The Driftwood team from left to right: Tim Fukushima, Justine Darnley, Kevin Hearsum, Stefan Johnston, Jason Meyer, Marika Veldink, Gary Lindsay, Nolan Francis.

Lets Give Credit Best Food or Drink Experience of the Year Gilded Gatherings: Which food or drink event, festival or seminar most excited you this year?

Culinaire (VICTORIA) Feast of Fields (VANCOUVER) Feast of Fields (OKANAGAN)

Rebecca Wellman

Driftwood Brewery

BEER OF THE YEAR Best Specialty Food Store You're having a dinner party and you're cooking something special (maybe you've never made it before!) Where do you go to get that "something" that makes the dish special?

Ottavio (VICTORIA) Whole Foods (VANCOUVER) Urban Fare (OKANAGAN)

Lets Drink

Barrel-aged Negroni at Clive’s (VICTORIA) French 75 at The Pourhouse (VANCOUVER) Amante Picante at RauDZ Regional Table (OKANAGAN)

Best Wine Store You Say Champagne, I say Cremant: You want an excellent selection, a range of prices, and a personable, knowledgeable staff. Best place to drink or buy wine. What's your recommendation?

Everything Wine (VICTORIA) Marquis Wine Cellars ((VANCOUVER) Metro Liquor (OKANAGAN)

Best Local Winery

Best Beer Store Beer Boom IPA, wit, stout, Belgian, porter... Which store has the best craft-beer selection in town?

Cook St Village Liquor (VICTORIA) Legacy Liquor Store (VANCOUVER) Cannery Brewing Company (OKANAGAN)

Best Bar (This) Bar (is) Fly: You belly up to your favourite bar. Slap your credit card down and call out - "Fix me a..." What cocktail sends you into a swoon and where are you?

24

You Brought Wine: Impress your out-oftown host with a bottle from a local winery. What would you bring?

Averill Creek Vineyard (VICTORIA) Laughing Stock Vineyards (VANCOUVER) 8th Generation Vineyard (OKANAGAN)

Best Mocktail This ain't no Shirley Temple: Cleanse, diet, abstinence? Don't mock this no-alcohol cocktail. Phew, fix me a drink! Name your favourite mocktail and the bar or restaurant where you get it.

Spinnaker’s Gastropub (Sparkling Ginger O De Vie) Ginger steeped in Spinnaker’s Lifecycles apple cider vinegar, topped with O De Vie sparkling mineral water &

EAT MAGAZINE MARCH | APRIL 2013

sweetened (VICTORIA) Hawksworth (Kalamansi Fizz) Pomegranate juice, kalamansi, honey, ginger beer (VANCOUVER) Poppadoms (Mango Lassi) Homemade yougurt drink with mango purée (OKANAGAN)

Best Local Beverage Local Beverage of the Year: This local beverage was, in a word, remarkable. Be it wine, beer, cider, spirits, soda, tea, coffee you name it. What really impressed you this year? Tell us what it was and which company made it.

Victoria Gin (VICTORIA) Schramm Organic Potato Vodka (VANCOUVER) Okanagan Spirits (OKANAGAN)

Best Place For Coffee Higher Grounds: We want to know where do you get your bean-juice fix? Name your favourite coffee shop.

Discovery Coffee (VICTORIA) 49th Parallel (VANCOUVER) Tie: Bean Scene / Good Omens (OKANAGAN)

Beer of the Year This is My Beer of the Year: Impress your out-of-town host with a bottle of local brewski. Name the local brew that has all the beer nerds in a froth?

Best People Skills Did you have an amazing experience at a food shop, store or market this year that made you feel special? Maybe it made you want to tell your friends? Tell us your story and the store.

Charelli's Cheese Shop and Delicatessen (VICTORIA) Barbara-Jo's Books To Cooks (VANCOUVER) Urban Fare (OKANAGAN)

I Eat, Therefore I Am Social I Eat, therefore I Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram and Tweet: Which local food writer, blog, or photog would you follow to the ends of the earth?

EATmagazine.ca (VICTORIA) FollowMeFoodie.com (VANCOUVER) BettyDish.ca (OKANAGAN)

Cooking Class or School Cook Like A Pro: Knife skills 101? Advanced pasta making? Pig butchery? What cooking class really sparked your culinary edification? Please tell us which class and where you took it.

Spices of North Africa (The London Chef ) (VICTORIA) Ocean Fling: The Ultimate Seafood Class (The Dirty Apron (VANCOUVER) Hester Creek Estate Winery Cooking Classes (OKANAGAN)

The Next Big Thing Food fashions come and go. Remember truffle oil on everything? Foam sauces?

CONT’D ON THE NEXT PAGE


EAT Magazine March-April 2013_Victoria_48_Layout 1 2/27/13 11:25 AM Page 25

Cosmopolitans? Say hello to the next big thing. What is it?

Pickled everything (VICTORIA) Nose to tail, farm to table (VANCOUVER) Local and organical (OKANAGAN)

Worst Trend of 2012 Remember cake pops? Celebrity chef restaurant outposts where the chef isn't present? Haute hot dogs? Tall food? Help us weed out the most awful trend du jour! What is it?

Bacon in everything (VICTORIA)

Large bowl plates (cutlery slides into the food) (VANCOUVER) Deconstructed dishes (OKANAGAN)

Best Sustainable Practices A Year of Living Sustainably: What business, association or non-profit best promotes a sustainable food system?

Lifecycles (VICTORIA) Ocean Wise (VANCOUVER) Harker's Organics (OKANAGAN)

Best New Restaurant, Shop, or Café

Rebecca Wellman

Sean Brennan

Best new addition to the food and drink scene in 2012?

The Clay Pigeon (VICTORIA) Wildebeest (VANCOUVER) True Grain Bread (OKANAGAN)

Top Brass Lifetime Achievement Award

Give recognition to the person who has spent their lifetime committed to exemplary, sincere, and passionate culinary excellence. The ripple effect of this person cannot be easily measured. (Note: David Mincey, Greg Hays, Peter Zambri, John Bishop and Bernard Casavant are past winners )

Sean Brennan (Brasserie L’Ecole) (VICTORIA) Bruno Marti (La Belle Auberge Restaurant (VANCOUVER) Harry McWatters (McWatters Collection) (OKANAGAN)

Chef-owner Sean Brennan of Victoria’s beloved brasserie is smiling. By Jeff Bateman Tuesday morning, and it’s the start of another reliably busy five-day cycle at Brasserie L’école. Clad in jeans and a black turtleneck, co-owner and chef Sean Brennan is the epitome of Zen relaxation after a few days off roaming around town with his wife and cooking a Mexican meal for friends. He’s about to settle on his fresh sheet— chard, leeks and winter greens are seasonal variables—while knowing all will be well provided he’s covered the basics that have kept this red-walled temple to the bistro arts jumping for 11 years and counting: steak (fully 40 percent of sales), frites, onion soup and a legendary endive salad in particular. His suppliers will begin arriving in the afternoon, but for now he’s got time for a chat in a window seat, outside which hordes of loyalists have CONT’D ON THE NEXT PAGE

www.eatmagazine.ca MARCH | APRIL 2013

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SPECIAL EAT PROMOTION

SEAN BRENNAN cont’d

Soule Creek Lodge Guests find seclusion, serenity and sophistication on the edge of a pristine wilderness. —by Sylvia Weinstock

N

ineteen years ago, brothers Tim and Jon Cash, having just finished hiking the West Coast Trail, searched in vain for somewhere to have a welldeserved meal in nearby Port Renfrew, Canada’s “Tall Tree Capital.” “Nothing was open and there was nowhere to eat, so we had to drive back to Victoria,” Jon recalls. “That’s when we decided to create a destination lodge in one of the world’s most beautiful locations.” Six years later, they bought 160 acres bordering the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail near Port Renfrew, and opened Soule Creek Lodge in 2001. Soule Creek Lodge, named Clockwise from top left: Soule Creek Lodge, Port Renfrew Grilled Sockeye with Vanilla Citrus one of Canada’s most unusual Beurre Blanc, atop a bed of Coconut and Orange Basmati Rice, the interior of the lodge, hotels by where.ca, offers surrounded by beauty. unique accommodations and gourmet meals (for overnight guests only). Seclusion and spectacular natural beauty, including panoramic views of the Olympic Peninsula, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the San Juan Inlet, await visitors atop the San Juan Ridge. The west-coast-style cedar lodge, the Tanglewood cabin and three well-appointed yurts (Yurt of the Setting Sun, Pandora’s Yurt and the Tatoosh Yurt with private decks and views of the stars through their sky domes) can accommodate a maximum of 22 people. Tim and Jon Cash, professional chefs and hands-on entrepreneurs, serve guests a full breakfast and create a new, three-course dinner each day. “One of our signature dishes is a West Coast bouillabaisse,” Jon explains. “We prepare classic bouillabaisse with seasonal fish, roasted shrimp shells and clam broth to give it body, puree it and run it through a chinois to make a sauce. We add halibut, seared tuna, seared salmon and side-striped shrimp with their roe, then finish it with coconut milk and Pernod.” “Our approach is thoughtful, simple preparations, mingling Italian, French and West Coast cuisines,” Jon adds. “With the best fresh ingredients, the more you leave them alone the better.” The area’s attractions are as enticing as the lodge. “This is pristine, raw, wild nature a scenic two-hour drive from Victoria on Highway 14, or two hours from Nanaimo along the Pacific Rim Circle route,” Jon explains. A map he created with the Ancient Forest Alliance shows the location of nearby old-growth forests, the world’s largest Douglas fir and Canada’s largest spruce. Avatar Grove (20 minutes from the lodge), home to immense red cedars with huge gnarly burls, is reminiscent of Pandora, the fictional planet in the 2009 film Avatar. Nearby Botanical Beach has dozens of fascinating tide pools, and grey whales are often sighted from the shore. Hike around beautiful Fairy Lake (15 minutes from Port Renfrew), swim in Lizard Lake and relax in the sand and surf at Pacheedaht Beach on the edge of the West Coast Trail. Soule Creek Lodge is a heavenly haven for those who want to hike, swim, savour gourmet cuisine and enjoy remarkable natural surroundings. “The area hasn’t been overrun,” Jon reveals. “You don’t have to share it with hordes of people. It’s the road less travelled.” The lodge’s proximity to Victoria and Nanaimo and its secluded, tranquil atmosphere make it one of Vancouver Island’s most desirable destinations. Soule Creek Lodge is open March 15 to October at 6215 Powder Main Rd., Port Renfrew, B.C. For reservations, call 1-866-277-6853 or 1-250-647-0009.

SouleCreekLodge.com; info@soulecreeklodge.com. See ancientforestalliance.org and ancientforestguide.com for more information.

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EAT MAGAZINE MARCH | APRIL 2013

patiently queued since the restaurant switched from reservations to open seating in 2009. Born in Rossland and an avid skier, Brennan was 14 when the family moved to West Van after his dad became the district’s chief building inspector. Whistler didn’t cut it compared to the Kootenays, so his passion shifted to surfing and cooking—which he’d been keen about since first cracking The Winnie the Pooh Cookbook as a child. In lieu of comic books, he devoured Larousse Gastronomique. The payoff for his surf buddies during VW van roadtrips to the Washington and Oregon coasts were deluxe seafood cookouts rather than franks-andbeans. Fresh from high school, Brennan apprenticed under a Swiss-German chef at North Van’s Lonsdale Quay Hotel before arriving on the island in 1994 as Karen Barnaby’s sous-chef at Harvest Moon on Wharf Street. The easy access to the big waves at Jordan River and Sombrio was key in his decision to put down roots in Victoria. Within three years, he was a founding partner at Café Brio, blazing trails for all things fresh and local. Fast-forward to 2001. Just as he was settling into a lively routine at the popular Fort Street restaurant, a friend purchased a certain Chinatown heritage building and offered Brennan and his friend and sommelier Marc Morrison a chance to chart their own course in the former Met Bistro. Early raves (i.e., a prime spot on enRoute’s first-ever best-new-restaurant list) cushioned the growing pains. Soon enough a twomonth advance reservation was needed on weekends. (The shift to first-come, firstserved eliminated the no-shows and increased business by 30 percent.) Chef is quick to praise Morrison and a backroom crew led by sous-chef Greg Ward. “It’s a super-solid team—quiet, mature, reliable. That’s essential. Consistency is number one for us in cooking and service.” A balanced lifestyle counts too, and after losing himself in his work over the past decade, Brennan’s getting back to the outdoors after purchasing a new wetsuit and taking up skiing again. Factor in European travels with plenty of stops in his favourite locales—urban and village brasseries—and he has reason to smile. “Running this bistro is a dream,” he says. “The time has flown and I can’t imagine a better way to spend a quarter of my life.”


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food matters — by Julie Pegg

Worth Its Salt

Salt cod, a Portuguese staple, finds its way into some delicious fusion recipes.

OLD GENTS sporting tatty caps and frayed jackets of once-fine tweed gather on the pavement in front of International Fish Market in Hamilton, Ontario. Coffee and cigarettes permanently in hand, these guys sip and puff and chat loudly, often over each other mostly in Portuguese. I hear a good smattering of Italian too. The shopping bags anchored off their arms bulge with potatoes, sausage, peppers and dried fish. The fish is heavily salted cod or, in Portuguese, bacalhau, a staple of Portugal ever since that country’s fishermen began hauling cod from Newfoundland’s Grand Banks more than 500 years ago. Stepping past this merry band, I enter the musty plank-floored shop. Past jars of spicy condiments and tins of tomatoes, I spot a whack of preserved cod piled in an old meat case with the windows popped out. There are large and small cod—some bone-in, skin on; some de-boned, skin off. Some are creamy white; others are slightly yellow or grey-hued. Prices range from four to eight dollars a pound. Alas, I lack the language to ask which fish are best or used for what. (I will read later in Lidia’s Italy [Knopf, 2007] that thicker fish are less salty.) Beside the case, wood crates with still more fish are stamped “Norway,” “Nova Scotia” or simply “Canada.” The shopkeeper approaches, points to the grey-hued fillets from Nova Scotia. They are “good price and very good.” Shrugging, he points to a pair of broken tongs. I take the plunge and come away with a couple of pounds of cod, a few links of chourico, a sausage very like Spanish chorizo, and a few waxy potatoes. I too have a bag dangling from my arm now and grab an espresso from the coffee shop next door. Back in the kitchen, I begin to divest the cod of its salt coat, a two-day process of bathing the fish in a glass (never metal) dish filled with ice water. The water must be changed regularly to remove most of the salt. The desalinated cod is pearl-white, firm fleshed, keeps its shape in a slow simmer of water or milk, yet flakes easily with the nudge of a fork. My initial experiment many years ago with salt cod was ghastly. I didn’t know the fish needed desalting and I also boiled it to a horrible rubbery consistency. Following

more trial and error, a pal and I finally riffed on a delicious, garlicky potato and olive oil puree called skordalia. Blending in flakes of desalted, gently poached bacalhau, we hadn’t the foggiest notion that our velvety Portuguese/Greek spread was a reasonable facsimile of brandade de morue, a dish common in the south of France. But it sure went well on our homemade crispy pitas. This time I follow Elizabeth David’s recipe (French Provincial Cooking, Michael Joseph, 1960) for authentic creamy brandade. I add the required milk but mash the potato and fish mixture (instead of pureeing). The chunky mélange serves as a bed for David’s oeufs Benedictine. I place a poached egg lovingly on the brandade, but swap the sauce hollandaise for chopped chives and add a few slices of fried chourico. This makes one fine brunch. Other Elizabeth David salt cod recipes feature the fish with morue red wine sauce; baked with shallots, garlic, parsley, onions and lemons; and lightly flour-dusted, fried then simmered in tomato sauce. Not long after my successful brandade experience, I wander into Sea King Fish in Toronto’s Kensington Market. The friendly Portuguese fishmonger tells me the custom of wind- and sun-drying cod before salting has gone in favour of indoor heat drying. (Unsalted dried fish is known as stockfish.) Soon I’m snacking on Portuguese salt cod and potato dumplings—a buck a pop—from the Market Bakery. I also start chatting with Maria, a Portuguese-Irish woman who quickly recites her mother’s “lasagna” recipe— salt cod layered with onion, chourico and, of course, potatoes. I seem, suddenly, to have quite the salt-cod repertoire. Back in Vancouver, I miss Ontario’s Portuguese market vibe. Fortunately, I can buy good quality bacalhau from our better Italian markets. So I’m off to ferret out a salty fillet for Maria’s “lasagna” and Lidia’s creamy baked Baccala alla Trevigiana—for spooning over crispy polenta. If I’m lucky, I’ll also stumble on a bit of sidewalk entertainment equal to the likes of Hamilton’s. For Maria’s Portuguese lasagna, check out www.eatmagazine.ca.

BC Bites

Beverages

Victoria’s Sweet Secret

Uncorked:

7 – 9 pm, Clifford Carl Hall

royalbcmuseum.bc.ca

#bcbevs www.eatmagazine.ca MARCH | APRIL 2013

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Gluten-Free Living More and more Canadians are eliminating gluten from their diets. EAT investigates why. By Pam Durkin, RNC Gluten is a mixture of proteins present in cereal grains and is what gives dough its elasticity. And not surprisingly, its name is the Latin word for “glue.” Sounds harmless enough, perhaps, but for increasing numbers of people, gluten can be downright dangerous. Research conducted at the Mayo Clinic suggests that celiac disease (an autoimmune response to gluten that damages the small intestine and causes gastrointestinal symptoms and nutritional deficiencies) is on the rise. Today, about one percent of Americans has celiac disease, making it four times more common than it was 50 years ago. And although Canadian statistics aren’t readily available, it’s estimated that 1 in 133 Canadians are affected by this serious disease. The food industry, local bakeries and niche suppliers have all responded to the challenge by creating products with such gluten-free grains as millet, rice, buckwheat, teff and quinoa, opening up a whole new range of eating—and not just for those with celiac disease. According to market research firm Mintel, sales of foods labelled “gluten-free” will surpass $7 billion in the U.S. this year. (A similar trend is under way in Canada, although precise national figures are not available.) That staggering figure doesn’t surprise Ashley McLeod, manager of Lifestyle Market’s Cook Street store. “We’ve certainly witnessed a sharp increase in the demand for gluten-free products,” she says. “In the past year alone, sales in this category have doubled.” What’s behind this en masse rush to avoid gluten— found most commonly in wheat, barley and rye? Let’s take a closer look. There is definitely scientific evidence to suggest that more people than ever before are getting sick from consuming gluten. Scientists are not sure what is behind this increase, but some have hypothesized it is linked to our increasingly “wheat-centric diet” They claim we are overexposed to wheat in the form of wheat-derived starches, sweeteners, binders and fillers found in processed foods. Others point the finger at the “crossbreeding” of modern wheat, which has made the grain heartier, richer in gluten, and unrecognizable from the ancient wheat our ancestors ate. Despite this irrefutable increase in celiac disease, it’s important to note that the disorder still affects only a very small percentage of the population. So why are glutenfree products flying off grocery store shelves?

Health experts now believe that another group of people suffer from a more benign problem with gluten called “non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity.” This condition causes no damage to the intestinal tract but can be associated with gastrointestinal symptoms and fatigue. According to Dr. Alessio Fasano, a researcher at the University of Maryland, and a leading expert on gluten intolerance, non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity affects up to six percent of the North American population. While these numbers are significant, they still don’t explain the sudden, widespread popularity of gluten-free fare. McLeod notes, “At least 50 percent of our gluten-free customers are trying gluten-free living to enhance their overall health.” Clearly, those afflicted with celiac disease or non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity need to avoid gluten to improve their health. What about the people who aren’t afflicted with celiac disease or non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity —should they embrace their wheat-centric diet again? No, they should embrace a diet of varied grains. They need to incorporate small amounts of healthy gluten into their diets by eating such whole grains as spelt, rye, barley, kamut and ancient forms of wheat like farro and freekeh. There are also many nutrient-dense, gluten-free grains, like amaranth, quinoa, millet, rice, sorghum and teff, that we should all be eating—whether we’re gluten intolerant or not. These easy-todigest carbohydrates provide the fuel our bodies need to keep us energized throughout the day. Varying your carbohydrates from day to day will maximize your phytonutrient intake and ultimately reduce your risk of overexposure to wheat. Gluten-free foods are one way to ensure a varied carbohydrate diet for healthy people. For those who want, or medically need, a totally gluten-free diet, they are the only way to go. Whether people are celiac or gluten intolerant, the media attention brought to bear by these medical conditions has opened up a new market for delicious grains most people had never heard of or used, and has introduced us all to a way to vary our carbohydrates. For more information on celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, visit: www.celiac.ca. And visit these great gluten-free blogs: glutenfreegirl.com, elanaspantry.com and nourishingmeals.com.

*Omission Pale Ale is a hop-forward American Pale Ale, brewed to showcase the cascade hop profile. Amber in color, Omission Pale Ale’s floral aroma is complimented by caramel malt body, making for a delicious gluten-free craft beer. www.omissionbeer.com

Gluten-Free Orange Chocolate Cake Serves: 12 2 small thin-skinned oranges, approx. 375g total weight (or 1 large) 6 eggs 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 200 g ground almonds (I use 1-2/3 cups) 250 g caster sugar (I use 1-1/4 cups) and instead of caster, I just finely grind regular sugar 50 g cocoa (about 3/8 cups) Orange peel, for decoration or just sprinkle a little icing sugar on top and serve with whipped cream

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Put the whole orange or oranges in a pan with some cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 2 hours or until soft. Drain, and when cool, cut the oranges in half and remove any big pips. Then pulp everything - pith, peel and all - in a food processor. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C Butter and line a 20cm springform tin. Add the eggs, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, almonds, sugar and cocoa to the orange in the food processor. Run the motor until you have a cohesive cake mixture, but slightly knobbly with the flecks of puréed orange. Pour and scrape into the cake tin and bake for an hour, by which time a cake tester should come out pretty well clean. Check after 45 minutes because you may have to cover with foil to prevent the cake burning before it is cooked through, or indeed it may need a little less than an hour; it all depends on your oven. Leave the cake to get cool in the tin, on a cooling rack. When the cake is cold you can take it out of the tin. Decorate with strips of orange peel or coarsely grated zest if you so wish, but it is darkly beautiful in its plain, unadorned state. (Courtesy Nigella Lawson)

EAT MAGAZINE MARCH | APRIL 2013

GLUTEN-FREE RESOURCE GUIDE Santé Gluten Free Café santeglutenfreecafe.com The Noodle Box thenoodlebox.net Holy Crap Cereal holycrap.ca Comensoli Foods comensolifoods.com Rocket Foods rocket-foods.com Gluten Null glutenull.com Panne Rizo Bakery pannerizo.com Organika organika.com Thrifty Foods thriftyfoods.com Lifestyle Markets lifestylemarkets.com Origins Bakery originbakery.com Village Butcher (gluten-free sausages) Slater’s Meat (gluten-free sausages)


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celiac-friendly gluten fr ee free vegan unbelievably healthy /holycrapcereal /holycrapcereal

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Spring Chicken

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local kitchen


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Blonde on Blonde

Recipes and food styling by JENNIFER DANTER Photography by MICHAEL TOURIGNY Art Direction by GARY HYNES

A simple, comfort food menu featuring some golden hues of early spring.

Sometimes we just want blond food. That’s blond, not bland—early spring comfort food like local, golden-roasted chicken legs made heady with earthy, unctuous morel sauce and balanced with the spring freshness of tender asparagus. Pair that with a scoop of creamy blond potatoes mashed with cauliflower (this year’s darling of the vegetable world) and seasoned with spring chives and fresh mint. Complete the comfort-food theme with the brownie’s fairer cousin, a blondie bar tinged with amber bourbon and dunked in salted caramel sauce.

Crispy Chicken Legs with Morels and Asparagus

Local, free-range chickens elevate this dish, and by using the legs only, you save the breasts for another dinner. Morels are early harbingers of spring so use fresh. (To clean fresh morels, place in a bowl, cover with water, stir in a pinch of salt and soak for 5 minutes, then drain. Rinse and repeat two more times.) Serves 4.

Chicken 2 to 3 garlic cloves Sea salt, to taste 2 knobs of butter, softened 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp chopped thyme leaves 1 tsp grated lemon peel 6 chicken legs ½ onion, chopped

Morel Sauce ½ onion, chopped ¼ lb fresh morels, cleaned, sliced in quarters ½ tsp flour ½ cup white wine 1 to 2 cups chicken broth To make the chicken, mince garlic, then sprinkle with pinches of sea salt. Using the flat side of a chef knife, mash garlic to form a paste. Mash in butter, then scrape into a bowl and stir in Dijon, thyme and lemon peel.

Place legs, flesh-side down, on a cutting board. Cut legs halfway through joints (where thigh meets drumstick): they’ll cook faster. Flip legs over. Loosen skin on top of each leg to form a pocket. Divide and tuck in garlic mixture. Massage skin to evenly distribute. If you have time, cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or overnight. A little marinating time strengthens flavours. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large frying pan with a little oil and add another small knob of butter. Set over medium-high heat. When melted, add 3 legs, skin-side down. Cook until golden, 2 minutes, then turn over and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Place in a roasting pan and repeat with remaining chicken legs. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, fry onions in chicken fat in frying pan over medium heat. When soft, add morels. Sauté until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Once chicken has roasted for 25 minutes, add asparagus to the roasting pan, tucking in as best you can. Continue roasting until chicken is cooked through and asparagus is tender-crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Baste with pan juices a couple of times. Place chicken and asparagus on a platter. Drain pan drippings into frying pan with onions and morels and increase heat to medium-high. When bubbly, stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in wine. Let simmer for 2 minutes, then gradually stir in broth, a little at a time, until sauce is as thick as you like. Spoon over chicken and squeeze fresh lemon overtop (if you have one kicking around). CONT’D ON NEXT PAGE

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Blonde Brownies

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Cauliflower and potato mash 2 large white potatoes, unpeeled, cut into chunks 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets 1 cup milk, warmed 1 knob butter (optional) Handful fresh mint, chopped Handful chives, chopped

Pizza, Pasta

...and so much more!

In a large saucepan, boil potatoes for 10 to 15 minutes, then add cauliflower. Continue to boil until both are tender, then drain well. Place back in pot and set over low heat to absorb excess moisture. Mash, then stir in milk, a little at a time, until mixture is fluffy. Stir in butter, chives and fresh mint.

Salted Caramel-Bourbon Blondies This popular new incarnation of the old standby is chewy, gooey and boozy.

Sauce 2 cups granulated sugar ½ cup water ž cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes 1 cup 35% whipping cream 1 to 2 Tbsp bourbon or rum 1 Tbsp fleur de sel, maldon or your favourite sea salt

Blondies 1 cup unsalted butter 1½ cups packed brown sugar 2 eggs 2 Tbsp bourbon or rum 2 tsp vanilla extract 2Ÿ cups all-purpose flour ½ tsp baking soda Pinches of sea salt 1 cup chopped dark chocolate 1 cup toasted chopped almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans (optional)

Spring is in the air! c o m e

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For the caramel sauce, pour sugar into a medium-to-large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and whisk in water to dissolve. Heat over medium-high heat, swirling pan often, until sugar turns deep amber and smells toasty. If using a candy thermometer, temperature should register 350°F. Turn off heat, but leave pan on stove. Carefully whisk in butter cubes, a few at a time (donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be shocked when mixture bubbles up like a volcano) until completely mixed in and melted. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in cream until well mixed. Whisk in bourbon, then salt. To make the blondies, line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter, then pour into a bowl. Add sugar; using an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Let cool. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in bourbon, then vanilla. Stir flour with baking soda and salt. Mix in flour, in three additions, on low speed, just until mixed. Fold in chocolate and nuts. Scrape two-thirds of the batter into pan and evenly spread out. Drizzle 3/4 of a cup of cooled caramel sauce overtop. Drop remaining blondie batter by spoonfuls overtop of caramel sauce. Bake until edges are brown and centre is set, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into squares. Dish up with more caramel sauce for dunking.

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liquid assets —by Larry Arnold SPIRITS Linie Aquavit Norway $43 - 48 Linie is the smoothest, richest, tastiest badass aquavit you have ever had the hutzpah to pull out of the freezer! Distilled from potatoes, aged in old sherry casks, then sent on an ocean voyage to Australia and back to polish and mellow. Linie is round and nutty with a robust caraway flavour. WHITES Smart Grasshopper Gruner Veltliner 2010 Hungary $13 -16 Gruner Veltliner is better known as the signature white of Austria but more and more solid wines from its neighbour to the east are finding their way into the BC market. Very clean and refreshing with lime, pepper and spice nuances and a crunch of acidity. Super value. Hess Select Monterey Chardonnay 2010 California $20 - 23 Tough to beat this excellent California Chardonnay for value. Very rich, with ripe pear, citrus and oak aromas, a lush creamy texture and pineapple and toast flavours. Finishes clean and lemony. REDS Roscato Rosso Dolce 2011, Lombardy, Italy *$15 -16 And now for something entirely different! Made from a blend of Croatina, Teroldego and Lagrein, this fun red from Lombardy is delicately sweet and fizzy with ripe berry flavours and a burst of acidity. Very refreshing and nicely balanced with only 7% alcohol.

left to right: Chateau de Paraza Cuvee Speciale Minervois 2010, Tscharke Barossa Gold Marananga Shiraz 2011, Hess Select Monterey Chardonnay 2010

Globally Inspired.

At 45 Bastion Square

Local Flavour.

We’re Open for the season!

Merridale–a destination for family & friends Join us March 16th for a new cider release merridalecider.com for menus & details Spring Celebrations Mar. 15th–Apr. 1st

Camille`s @ 45 Bastion Square Victoria, BC V8W 1J1 www.camillesrestaurant.com 34

EAT MAGAZINE MARCH | APRIL 2013

‹:[7H[YPJR»Z+H` +PUULY¶3P]LT\ZPJ ‹3LWYLJOH\U/\U[ ‹.LVJHJOPUNPU [OLVYJOHYK ‹>HNVUYPKLZ ‹,HZ[LY)Y\UJO ‹5L^4LU\


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Hogue Cellars Genesis Syrah 2005 Washington *$21 - 24 Washington Syrah continues to delight, especially at this price. Hogue Cellars is located in the heart of Eastern Washington’s Columbia Valley, the premiere grape growing region of the state. Classic Syrah fruit, with rich red fruit, black pepper spice and a hint of smokiness. Soft, round and utterly delicious with a long supple finish! Delicious. Chateau La Pierriere Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux 2010 France $20 - 23 Drinking good Bordeaux is not a cheap endeavor, but with tenacity and a little luck it can be done. The trick is to load in a few bottles or cases if and when you stumble across a good reasonably priced one because it will not be around long. That is the nature of the beast. A blend of 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Cabernet Franc, this tasty Saint-Emilion knock-off is medium bodied with ripe blackberry and raspberry flavours nicely balanced with soft, silky tannins. A pretty good drop for the money. Domaine de Cristia Cotes du Rhone 2011 France * $21 - 23 The vineyards of Domaine de Cristia have been certified “agriculture biologique” by ECOCERT since the 2008 vintage. This is a good thing. It is good for the environment and it is good for you! Domaine de Cristia Cote du Rhone is 100% Grenache from 40 year old vines. Medium bodied with red berry, spice and licorice flavours and a soft, silky texture. Tscharke Barossa Gold Marananga Shiraz 2011 Australia $20 -23 This wine is classic Barossa Shiraz. Aged for 12 months in a combination of new and used French oak, Barossa Gold is all fruit, with blackberry, plum and peppery aromas. Full-bodied and lushly textured with concentrated berry, licorice and spice flavours, soft tannins and a tasty finish. Tommasi Valpolicella Classico 2011 Italy $20 -22 Over the years and after countless bottles of thin, insipid bottles of Valpolicella, I think we finally have a winner. Light to medium-bodied with ripe red cherry flavours, refreshing acidity and a patina of soft tannin. Prunotto Barbaresco 2009 Italy * $50 -60 It is tough tasting young Barolo and Barbaresco but very rewarding once they have a few years in the bottle. This Barbaresco was no exception. Initially the wine was very closed but after a couple of hours in the decanter the nose was very pronounced with dried herbs, roses and tar aromas. Almost unctuous on the palate with dark berry and mineral flavours softly framed with fine-grained tannins. Chateau de Paraza Cuvee Speciale Minervois 2010 France * $17 -18 Chateau de Paraza is located in the heart of the Minervois, an area planted with vineyards since the arrival of the Romans. Simple and delicious with ripe juicy fruit, spice and anise flavours and a soft tannic structure. Chateau de Cabriac Corbieres 2009 France * $17 - 18 A blend of Syrah (45%) Mourvedre (20%) Carignan (15%) and Grenache (20%). Dense and powerful with concentrated blackberry, coffee and herbal flavours and rasp of fine-grained tannins on the finish. Good value.

CHEFS/MANAGERS Turnkey Restaurant For Lease Destination Resort Restaurant located on the marina in Ucluelet, West Coast Vancouver Island, BC (formerly known as The Boat Basin Restaurant). √ Size: approx., 2,300 sq. ft √ Lease: $10/sf, fixed for 2-years √ Option to purchase can be negotiated √ Liquor License allowed for 110 seats inside and 40 outside on south facing deck √ Fully equipped, including Woodstone pizza oven √ Ready to open! √ More photos available

Make your mark on the BC culinary scene here! Contact Stephen Duke 604 369-2545 Encoreprofits@gmail.com

DRINKING Guide: How to use our purchasing information. *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.

A BEER & A BITE The Beer: St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout (Quebec) Pitch black colour, creamy head and plenty of carbonation. A rich, smoky and big roast European-style stout with a dark chocolate aroma and a dry, bitter espresso finish. 5% alc The Bite: Classic Smoked Meat Sandwich A heaping pile of hand-cured, hand-smoked Victoria style pastrami sliced thin (from The Whole Beast) on wood-fired, 60% rye bread (from Wild Fire) slathered with mayo and brown deli mustard. On the side: a couple of crunchy Stubb's Baby Kosher Dills. The Conclusion: What could be better than a beer + meat + bread combo? mcauslan.com facebook.com/thewholebeastsalumeria wildfirebakery.ca

AT THE PENNY FARTHING PUB

s a m e ro om , s a m e f r i e n d s , s pr i n g m e nu 2232 oak bay avenue T 250.590.7424 eat@visavisoakbay.com

visavisoakbay.com

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*Asterisks denote wines that are only available at the winery or select private liquor stores. Some may be in limited quantities. All other wines are available through BC Liquor Stores. Prices may vary.

Sauvignon Blanc

Photo by Gary Hynes

vincabulary - By Treve Ring

{SOH-vin-yohn BLAHNGK; soh-vee-nyawn BLAHN}

“Cat’s pee on a gooseberry bush.” That was my initial introduction to Sauvignon Blanc. For a budding wine enthusiast this was at once terrifying (you want me to drink what?) and relieving (finally wine descriptors that make sense!), and even as a gnarly vine wine enthusiast that description has stuck with me. Of course, Sauvignon Blanc is so much more than that memorable phrase. This green-skinned grape most likely hails from France’s Loire Valley, where it can blindingly shine in the Kimmeridgian limestone and Silex flint. As the third most planted white variety in France, Sauvignon Blanc (from the French for sauvage, meaning wild), is also comfortably at home in Bordeaux, blending in harmony with Semillon; and also throughout Languedoc-Roussillon, contributing greatly to simple and tart Pays d’Oc. The highly vigorous grape is widely adaptable, spreading as easily worldwide as its tangled and aggressive foliage. All things green are its hallmark: grass, hedge, meadow, asparagus, kiwi, green peppers, gooseberries, as well as passionfruit and elderflower in slightly warmer climates. Crisp, piercing acidity permeates all wines, save for those harvested in the hottest regions, and helps preserve freshness and zest in late harvest or oaked examples. The grape rocketed to fame over the past 20 years in New Zealand, finding a prime home for a concentrated, pungent, fresh and unoaked style.

FRIENDLY

LIVELY

GREEN

STEELY

EXPRESSIVE

CREAMY

Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars

Domaine Laporte

Cono Sur

Francois Lurton

Greywacke Vineyards

Ferrari-Carano

Woodcutters Shiraz 2010

Les Fumées Blanches 2011

Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Fumé Blanc 2011

Sauvignon Blanc 2011

ORIGIN: Pouilly-Fumé, Loire, France

Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2012

ORIGIN: Vin de Pays d’Oc, Languedoc, France

ORIGIN: Marlborough, New Zealand

ORIGIN: Sonoma County, California

THE WALLET: $14-17 ALCOHOL: 12% abv TASTE: Superb value in this mainstay screwcap bottle (a by-the-glass favourite of many local sommeliers). A puff of smoke and large pinch of savoury rock salt opens into dried apricot, green apple, wild grasses, bitter melon and a pleasing, almost-oily palate. Focused and steely acidity throughout.

THE WALLET: *$33-40 ALCOHOL: 13.5% abv TASTE : This is one of those wines that lingers long after the bottle is empty. Intriguing herbal stoniness is your first aromatic introduction, and the sweetest, early-spring asparagus is the first across the palate. Savoury cured pork, honey, light petrol, citrus and apricot fuzz present in the glass, with ever-present flinty minerality. The mouthfeel is rich, but the taut acid keeps it lean. The finish is fresh and lingering – and the memory yearning for the next glass. The 2011 vintage is on shelves now.

THE WALLET: $25-30 ALCOHOL: 13.9% abv TASTE: This ripe and creamy oaked white will equally suit white fish as it will white meats. Light ash, toast and red apple aromas lead to a round and full bodied palate with white honey, baked lemon, pear and gooseberry. Fresh melon on the finish, and lemony acidity keep this wine buoyant, and a herbal, anise-medicinal note on the finish keeps it edgy.

ORIGIN: Okanagan Valley, BC THE WALLET: *$19-25 ALCOHOL: 12% abv TASTE: If Sauvignon Blanc’s aggressive bite has made you shy away, try again with this lovely balanced style from one of BC’s top producers. Partial fermentation in old French oak has tempered the grape’s piercing acidity, and gentle lees treatment has rounded the mouthfeel. Focused and sunny without sharpness, with light meadow, green apple and citrus freshness.

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THE WALLET: $30-35 ALCOHOL: 12.5% abv TASTE: At first sniff through to last drop – flint, stone and lime pith. This dry, bracing white from the Loire has mouthwatering white grapefruit and tight, white flowers in spades, along with chalky minerality, cool cantaloupe and cooler earth. Assertive and awesomely unapologetic, this is a wine that mirrors its place.

EAT MAGAZINE MARCH | APRIL 2013

ORIGIN: San Antonio Valley, Aconcagua, Chile THE WALLET: *$15-18 ALCOHOL: 13% abv TASTE: Green from production (organic) to fruits (gooseberry, lime), this coastal valley Chilean white is pleasantly padded with ripe pear, pink grapefruit and green apple. There is a likeable spicy lemon zest and fragrant tropical blossom to the finish. This Sauv Blanc strikes a great balance between tropical richness and marine freshness.


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terroir — by Michelle Bouffard and Michaela Morris

The Wines of Sicily Sicilian character, culture, language and cuisine are a rich and fascinating blend that lately is finding its way into the country’s wines. Sicily is Italy’s most southern and storied region. Hollywood has romanticized its Mafia, but the reality is stark and devastating. There is another reality, however. Sicily experienced first-hand is a feast for the senses with exotic and gutsy flavours on display in the labyrinth of market streets (spleen sandwich, anyone?). Sicily demands you to be adventurous and will reward your curiosity. In ancient times, Sicily was prized for its sweet elixirs. The last century, however, proved to be its winemaking nadir. Poorly run co-operatives dominated, pumping out bulk wine to beef up thin wines in northern Italy and beyond. As government subsidies ran out, the co-op system started to collapse. The 1990s saw a boom of new wineries thanks to private investment and the focus started shifting to quality. With little rain, lots of sunshine, hillside sites, diverse soils and a wealth of indigenous varieties, Sicily has everything it needs to succeed. The newer generation is capitalizing on this. The Planeta family is among the early champions and provides a great example of the positive evolution of Sicily’s wine story. Diego Planeta ran the Settesoli co-op for 40 years, retiring a few months ago. Under his direction, Settesoli was the first to sell dry wines in bottle rather than in bulk. Besides raising the quality of the co-op, he started his own winery with daughter Francesca and nephew Alessio. Welcoming Michaela at their estate in Sambuca di Sicilia, Francesca recounted Planeta’s trajectory over a simple but delectable spaghetti pomodoro with eggplant. After first capturing drinkers’ attention with modern wines made from international grapes, the Planetas then introduced them to Sicily’s native varieties. Francesca spoke passionately about the family’s latest project of reviving the island’s ancient varieties. For such southerly climes, Sicily produces a surprising amount of white wine, made necessary by the islanders’ mainly fish and vegetable diet. Modern technology has been a godsend for white wine production with temperature control doing wonders for preserving freshness. In the not-too-distant past, Sicilian whites suffered from being oxidized, making them tiring and heavy. Sicily’s most planted grape is the much-maligned Catarrato. It tends to be quite neutral, but some producers have managed to coax out some pleasant citrus and herbal flavours. Insolio and Grillo are more highly regarded varieties. Michaela sampled Insolia’s inherent nuttiness at Osteria Antica Marina in the heart of Catania’s fish market. It was paired brilliantly with a fusilli with a Northern African twist of almond pesto and shrimp. Grillo is the perfect foil for raw tuna and prawns. Perhaps the most exciting grape is Carricante grown on the slopes of Mount Etna. Notes of citrus blossom, orange, honey and wild mountain herbs are supported by refreshing acidity and minerality. Though not inexpensive at $35, Planeta’s Carricante will give you a taste of this delicious gem. Despite the plethora of whites, however, it is Sicily’s reds that are getting the region noticed—with Nero d’Avola leading the way. It was its deep colour that made Nero d’Avola a desirable blender for the anemic wines of Italy’s north. From anonymous workhorse to celebrated vedette, Nero d’Avola has become Sicily’s flagship grape. Different expressions exist: sometimes fresh and savoury, other times richer with a dried fruit character. In general, Nero d’Avola gives flavours of purple plums, black cherries, chocolate, licorice and spice. It manages to preserve its acidity and attractive aromas despite the island’s heat. Firm tannins lend aging potential and the wines can develop a tarriness with time. Tasting through a collection of Nero d’Avolas currently available in B.C., we were impressed with the overall quality across a range of prices. Though not nearly as widely planted, Frappato has won affection with its intense and charming perfume of fresh pure red summer fruit. Think strawberries and cherries with refreshing crunchy acidity. Paler in colour and lighter in body with much softer, finer tannin than Nero d’Avola, Frappato displays surprising lightness for a wine from this far south. Cheerful and chuggable, this is Italy’s answer to Beaujolais. Frappato and Nero d’Avola come together in wines designated as Cerasuolo di

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Vittoria. This traditional partnership is an intriguing counterpart to the newfangled blends of Nero d’Avola with international grapes. Cerasuolo di Vittoria offers more structure and body than Frappato would have on its own but retains an aromatic lift that defines the latter. Fresh and gregarious, it is not out of place next to seared tuna crusted with pistachios. Cerasuolo di Vittoria from Planeta and COS can sometimes be found on B.C. shelves. Arguably one of the most stunning wine regions in the world, Mount Etna is Sicily’s latest buzz locale and a highlight of Michaela’s recent trip. The vineyards form a backwards C around this snowcapped active volcano. Black lava soil contrasts with the intense azure Mediterranean, which can be spied from the slopes. Hundreds of years of various eruptions and lava flows have contributed to the incredible diversity of soil in vineyards scattered around the mountain at altitudes ranging from 400 to 1,200 metres. In some vineyards, Michaela could barely see the vines for all the wild flowers. Amidst the tangled mess of vibrant yellow ginestra, crimson poppies, oversized fennel fronds and purple blossoms, Nerello Mascalese thrives. This grape could loosely be described as Pinot Noir’s rustic and hot-blooded cousin. Usually light in colour and medium bodied, Nerello Mascalese beguiles with beautiful aromas of spice and flowers against a backdrop of warming alcohol. Wines from Etna are just starting to trickle into B.C. and Rilento is a well-priced staple. More expensive and sporadically available, the wines of Terre Nerre, Passopisciaro and Frank Cornelissen will transport you to this exotic destination. A chaotic and contradictory but beautiful island, Sicily has been ruled by a dizzying array of peoples: Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Byzantines, Spaniards and more, all leaving some imprint. The Sicilian character, culture, architecture, language and cuisine are a rich and fascinating blend of all of these. And the diversity of wines is equally rich. Sicily is must-visit place for the wine lover, whether you actually make it to the island or in the glass.

Tasting Notes Whites

2011 Casa Planeta, Grecanico-Chardonnay, Sicilia IGT, $16-18 Juicy and thirst quenching. Lively notes of lime and white grapefruit awaken your palate. A treat with vegetable and seafood dishes. 2011 Feudo di Mezzogiorno, Grillo Chardonnay, Bianca Sicilia IGT, $16-18* Bursting with honey, hay, melon and lanolin. Full body and round offset by searing acidity. Try with a classic dish of bucatini con le sarde (pasta with sardines, fennel, pine nuts and raisins). 2011 Donnafugata, ‘Lighea’ Zibbibo, Sicilia IGT, $33-37* Known as Zibbibo in Sicily, Muscat d’Alexandria is typically associated with sweet wine. This is a rare example of a stunning dry version. Exotic concentrated notes of orange peel and white grapes. Reds 2011 Abbazia Santa Anastasia, ‘Contempo’ Nero d’Avola, Rosso Sicilia IGT, $19-22* Dominated by fruity, brambly flavours yet balanced by some good acidity. Simple but satisfying. 2010 Marabino, Nero d’Avola, Noto DOC, $27-31 Concentrated flavours of figs, prunes, sweet tobacco and chocolate yet earthy. A great buy for Old World neophytes. Fabulous with Moroccan lamb. 2011 Occhipinti, SP68, IGT Sicilia $35-39 A Nero d’Avola and Frappato blend in the spirit of Cerasuolo di Vittoria. Wild fresh strawberries, cherries and ripe rhubarb. The ideal roast chicken wine. 2009 Mazzei, ‘Zisola’ Nero d’Avola, Sicila IGT, $36-40* Elegance meets power. Complex and enticing herbal, tar, cherry and dried fruit flavours are interlayered with savoury mineral notes. 2008 Donnafugata, ‘Tancredi’ Sicilia Rosso IGP, $45-50* (Cab Sauv/Nero d’Avola/Tannat) Rich, fruit-driven and complex, it represents the appealing modern side of Sicily. Dessert 2009 Donnafugata, ‘Ben Ryé’ Passito di Pantelleria DOP, $47-52* 375ml The sweet Sicilian wines of centuries ago are being revived and starting to live up to their reputation. Wow! Luscious and complex with delectable lingering notes of honey, orange peel and raisins. DRINKING Guide: How to use our purchasing information. *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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DRINK editor Treve Ring asks local wine experts how they would approach pairing dishes and flavours.

What to drink with that! SPRING ON THE COAST Grilled Halibut with Asparagus, Garlic Scapes & Wild Morel Mushrooms with Sorrel Butter

BONUS CHALLENGE Roasted Bone Marrow, Sea Urchin, Bacon Crisp

T H I S

M O N T H ’ S

E X P E R T S

Stacey Brennan (SB) Manager, Hillside Liquor Store

Sebastien LeGoff (SLG) Service Director & Sommelier, Cactus Restaurants Ltd.

James Nevison (JN) Wine Columnist & Author

Stacey feels very lucky to be able to eat and drink for a living. Being in the retail wine, beer and spirit business for 9 years at The Hillside Liquor Store and the restaurant business for 10 years prior (The Marina, Cafe Brio and Suze) has given her the opportunity to taste an extensive amount of wine. Being married to Chef Sean Brennan of Brasserie L'Ecole provides her with the chance to pair delicious food and wine every day!

A highly talented and respected veteran of the Vancouver restaurant scene, Sebastien works with the front of house team to build the service program, and as a decorated sommelier, he also works with the bar operations team on the wine and beverage program. His esteemed career as a sommelier and restaurant manager has been built in top rooms worldwide, including GM for db bistro moderne in Singapore, Director of Operations and Beverage Manager with Uva Wine Bar and Cibo Trattoria, Director of Operations and Wine Director at Lumière and Feenies; Restaurant and Wine Director at CinCin; and various roles at select Oliver Bonacini Group restaurants.

James is the weekly wine columnist for The Province newspaper and the author (or co-author) of seven best-selling books on wine. His latest, Had a Glass 2013: The top 100 wines under $20, was recently published through Appetite by Random House.

SPRING ON THE COAST Grilled Halibut with Asparagus, Garlic Scapes & Wild Morel Mushrooms with Sorrel Butter

BONUS CHALLENGE Roasted Bone Marrow, Sea Urchin, Bacon Crisp

SB. There is nothing more West Coast than fresh halibut - its firm texture, low fat content and clean taste pairs perfectly with the sweet flavour of asparagus and nutty earthiness of wild morels. My favourite wine pairing with this dish is a dry, pale pink Côtes de Provence Rosé with notes of strawberry, cherry and spice. The sea winds, Mediterranean soil, sunshine and vineyards surrounded by lavender, rosemary and thyme lend perfectly to the earthy qualities of the dish.

SB. The combination of bone marrow, sea urchin and bacon creates an incredibly rich, salty, unctuous meaty dish. I would pair an Alsatian off dry Pinot Gris - the bold aromatics and balanced acidity will stand up to the saltiness and fattiness of the dish perfectly!

SLG. The charred flavour of grilled fish, along with the asparagus and mushroom would ideally pair well with a light, cru Beaujolais from the southern part of Burgundy. It is best served cool but not cold (at around 12 to 14 degrees Celsius). The 2009 or 2010 vintage from the following villages would be a great match for this dish: Fleurie, Moulin-à-Vent or Julienas. In addition, you could also pair this dish with a lovely lighter-style local Gamay (Cru Beaujolais are made from 100% Gamay grape). If you prefer red, try to stay away from anything that is too oaky. Keep it fresh and with low tannin. JN. The bold, fresh flavours of spring call for equally bold bottles. But do you go with offdry and fruity to contrast the grill? Or earthy and audacious to play off the fresh produce? In the end I’m choosing the latter and going with Vinho Verde from Portugal, BUT not the simple, slightly spritzy whites typically associated with the region. I’m seeing a handful of serious, and seriously tasty Vinho Verde that pours this stereotype out the bottle - wines made from indigenous grapes like Loureiro that tease the tastebuds with floral notes, citrus, and an intense wet stone mineral quality that builds as the wine warms in the glass.

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SLG. With something as decadent, rich and high in umami as bone marrow, bacon and sea urchin, I would open a bottle of wine that offers high acidity and is very refreshing. You need a beverage that is going to cut through the food. Bubbles would be the ideal pairing. Either something from BC such as the Blue Mountain Brut or the Road 13 Sparkling Chenin Blanc. Or, if one wanted to indulge, which I highly recommend, go for a bottle from Champagne. Charles Heidsieck or Larmandier Bernier would be my picks. If I had to pick my last meal on earth, it would be sea urchin and aged Champagne. JN. Whoa, talk about an umami bomb! Let’s keep to the Iberian Peninsula and head over the border into northwest Spain. A fresh, bone-dry Albariño will counterbalance the rich bone marrow - and if you close your eyes while sipping you might even get a smidge of salinity in the wine, which will complement the briny sea urchin and salty bacon.


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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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The Buzz

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

VICTORIA: If early spring has you on the hunt for wild foods there are a couple of new resources to take note of. First, we have an exciting new book by Vancouver Island’s own Bill Jones to inspire us; The Deerholme Mushroom Book – From Foraging to Feasting (TouchWood Editions) will be released April 9. Bill Jones will be hosting a special book launch dinner at Deerholme Farm, featuring recipes from his new book. Tickets are $120 and include an autographed copy of the book. (www.deerholme.com) Royal Roads Continuing Studies department is offering a two-day workshop on the Wild Foods of Southern Vancouver Island at the end of the month (Apr 27-28) including field trips, harvesting and cooking tips. (http://cstudies.royalroads.ca) Urban foraging is poised to become a whole lot easier, if you count finding your edible treasures at the market. In late January, an eager crowd of market vendors, organizers and supporters toured the Victoria Downtown Public Market’s new space at the Hudson, visualizing the farmer’s stands, the community kitchen, stage, sitting areas and retail spaces that are going to materialize over the next few months. Imagine walking through the doors on Douglas St., stopping for some Silk Road Tea, sampling some Salt Spring Island cheese, grabbing some fresh local greens for your salad. There will be a Wild Fire Bakery, baking bread on site, you’ll be able to pick up George Szasz’s sausages, or stop by the butcher’s shop. There will be places to grab a bite as well – a soup stand brought to you by Cosmo Means (Hot and Cold Café) and a Foo outlet. Victoria’s new food mecca is anticipating a late spring opening. (www.victoriapublicmarket.com) Winter saw the doors close at The Edge, in Sooke. The award-winning restaurant sold and the location will return to its former incarnation selling Fish and Chips. However, there is an upcoming opportunity to sample one of chef Edward Tucson’s culinary creations in Victoria, as he is one of the participants at this year’s Colour Your Palate event, taking place at the University Club on April 10. Other participating restaurants include Camille’s, Bon Rouge French Bistro, Spinnakers and The Beach House Restaurant. Colour Your Palate is an annual fundraiser for the artsReach project. Participating chefs create a unique canapé that showcases one particular colour. Tickets are $60 in advance or $65 at the door. For more information call: (250) 812-3881. (www.octacollective.com/colouryourpalate) Pandora Street has a new eatery in the Stadacona Centre – The Tartan Toque is the latest venture from the people who brought us Shine, and offers Victorians twenty flavours of chicken wings, priced at $9/pound (12-14 wings). Also on the menu are hotdogs and burgers, served on Portofino or Origin Bakery’s gluten-free buns. In fact, the Toque has already created a bit of buzz in the city’s gluten free community, boasting a designated GF deep fryer and many gluten free menu options. (www.thetartantoque.ca) Two Canadian chains have recently found homes in downtown Victoria – Quebec’s breakfast giant Cora has opened its first location on Vancouver Island on Douglas in the space formerly occupied by Smitty’s. Madame Cora originated the concept in 1987 when, as a single mother in need of a career, she bought a small abandoned diner on Côte Vertu Boulevard in Montreal’s St. Laurent area, focusing solely on breakfasts: fresh fruit, cheese, cereal, omelets, crepes and French toast. The Cora restaurant chain is famous for its all-day breakfasts with mounds of fresh fruit artfully prepared by on-site, specially trained “fruiters”. (www.chezcora.com) Romer’s Waterfront Tap Room has signed the lease for a 3,500 square

THE C CHEESE HEE SE N NO OL LONGER ONGER STANDS STANDS A ALONE. LO N E .

170 UPPER BENCH RROAD OAD SOUT SOUTH, H, PENTICTON PENTICTON T. 250 770 1733 WWW. WWW.UPPERBENCH.CA UPPERBENCH.CA 42

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foot space in the historic CPR Steamship building on Belleville, with plans for one hundred seats indoors and additional seating on an outdoor patio. This is the first Vancouver Island location for Romer’s, with two established in the Vancouver area since 2010. Romer’s is set to open later this spring. (www.romersburgerbar.com) —Rebecca Baugniet VANCOUVER: The Fat Dragon, one of 2012’s most popular and celebrated new restaurants, has closed its doors, after only nine months of operation. Despite its culinary success, the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood ended up not being a good fit for the concept. Here’s hoping those amazing dry crispy ribs make it onto the menu of Campagnolo or Roma. In other sad news, after over 37 years of operation, Umberto Menghi announced that he is closing Il Giardino (www.umberto.com), his signature downtown restaurant, this spring. The building will be torn down to make way for a new condo development. Menghi still runs his restaurants in Whistler and his cooking school in Italy. David Gunanwan, the EC who opened Wildebeest (www.wildebeest.ca) to much acclaim, has left the restaurant to become a partner in Che Baba Cantina and Yoga Studio (www.chebaba.ca). Taking over at Wildebeest will be chef Wesley Young, who was a member of the opening team under Gunawan. The Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Program has welcomed its first Chinese restaurant partner, Szechuan Chongqing Seafood Restaurant (www.szechuanchongqing.com). The program is hoping to get more Chinese restaurants on board to promote sustainable seafood options and end the inclusion of dishes like shark fin soup. Colin Turner, former Bar Manager at Cin Cin Ristorante, has taken over the wood at the newly-opened East of Main Café (www.eastofmaincafe.com), a community-oriented cocktail and tapas spot that donates all profits to Project Limelight, a free performing arts program available to children of the DTES. Provence owners Jean-Francis and Alessandra Quaglia have expanded their holdings and opened The Wine Bar (www.thewinebar.ca) next door to Provence Marinaside. The new space seats 30 and offers 50 wines on tap (all available by the glass), as well as a small bites menu. Open from a very civilized three p.m. daily. Fresh St. Market (www.freshstmarket.com) has opened with a “fresh” concept on the North Shore. More than just a grocer, this retail operation offers an olive oil bar, self-serve balsamic vinegar bar, fresh honey, custom-made cheeses and meats, as well as a chili pepper station, Ocean Wise seafood, store-made sausages and more. Vij’s owners Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala have partnered with the University of British Columbia to create a new venture, Vij’s Kitchen, a facility that provides state-of-the-art learning space for UBC students studying food, nutrition and health, dietetics, community health and multicultural exchange. Acclaimed barman Jay Jones has joined The Donnelly Group (www.donnellygroup.ca) as Executive Bartender and Brand Ambassador. Jones previously worked at the Shangri-La and has been named Canadian Bartender of the Year. EC Chris Whittaker of Forage Restaurant (www.foragevancouver.com) won both People’s Choice and Critics’ Choice for his wild B.C. spot prawn chowder at the fifth annual Vancouver Aquarium’s Chowder Chowdown. The dish also included smoked pork hock, pork crackling and soft-boiled quail egg, and will be available on the restaurant menu for several months. Save on Meats (www.saveonmeats.ca) has launched a meal token program to support Downtown Eastside residents. Tokens can be purchased for $2.25 each and can be redeemed for a hot breakfast sandwich at Cont’d on the next page


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The Buzz the sandwich window. Purchasers can choose to donate tokens directly or else have Save on Meats distribute them to one of their community partners. Beta 5 Chocolates (www.beta-5.com) has been named one of North America’s Top 10 chocolatiers by Dessert Professional. Beta 5 also received silver at the International Chocolate Awards in London for their Imperial Stout flavor filled chocolate. —Anya Levykh TOFINO: Changes are afoot at Long Beach Lodge Resort. At the end of 2012, the resort’s general manager Perry Schmunk left Tofino to become the director of marketing for the Cactus Club group of restaurants in Vancouver. Early in 2013, LBL welcomed a new executive chef – Chef Ian Riddick. Chef Riddick is formerly of the Delta Hotels in Whistler and Sun Peaks, as well as the Pinnacle Hotel in Vancouver. The new-to-Tofino chef said he looks forward to showcasing some of the “best raw ingredients in the world” from Vancouver Island in his cuisine at the Lodge. (www.longbeachlodgeresort.com) I know many locals who were thankful to hear the Schooner Restaurant was bringing back their brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-3pm. The Blackstone benny, huevos rancheros and even burgers are available for weekend brunch once again. (www.schoonerrestaurant.com) The culinary festival Feast! Tofino doesn’t happen until May, but the focus was on this event during a recent February fundraiser. The Feast! on Love event took place on Valentine’s Day at the conference centre at the Tin Wis Best Western Resort. The chefs of Tofino served up an evening of sustainable seafood canapés, an oyster bar, and decadent desserts. Musical guests included Miss Quincy and the Showdown, Miss Rosie Bitts, and Tofino’s own all-female bluegrass band, the Poor Pistols. The event was a fundraiser for the Tofino-Ucluelet Culinary Guild, as well as for Feast!. For more information about the festival itself, which runs for the entire month of May this year, please visit www.feasttofino.com and see the May/June edition of EAT. The Pacific Rim Whale Festival from March 16-24 is the first big event of the tourist season on the west coast. A variety of events, including some great culinary ones, help welcome back visitors and our fluked friends back to our shores. Not all events were finalized by press time; many will be added as they are confirmed. The Wickaninnish Inn hosted the annual PRWF Fundraising Gala and Silent Auction just prior to opening day of the festival on March 14. All proceeds from the event, including ticket sales and auction funds raised, are donated to the whale festival. Thanks once again to managing director Charles McDiarmid and Chef Nick Nutting’s culinary brigade for hosting this important and enjoyable event. (www.wickinn.com) At least four food-related events are happening during the whale festival, including the Chowder Chowdown on Sunday, March 17 and the Sweet Indulgence dessert reception on March 19, both Cont’d on the next page

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The Buzz

Your Friendly Neighbourhood Butcher ... A Cut Above Quality meats, Poultry, Cheeses, Specialty Products & Condiments

2577 Cadboro Bay Road,VICTORIA

592-0823

at the Ucluelet Community Centre. On Tuesday, March 21 Black Rock Oceanfront Resort is hosting the Barnacle Blues barbecue, featuring the musical talents of John Mann and Viper Central. Starting at 7pm, this event features gourmet appetizers by local chefs and complimentary beverages. The closing ceremony for the festival is a First Nations-hosted salmon barbecue at the Tin Wis Best Western Resort Sunday, March 24. Thanks to the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and the Tin Wis for hosting. For more information about the Pacific Rim Whale Festival and a complete calendar of events, please visit www.pacificrimwhalefestival.com. Chef Lisa Ahier of SoBo Restaurant asked Facebook followers what should be on the menu this year ahead of their re-opening Feb. 14, and the overwhelming votes were to bring back risotto bullets, mushroom enchiladas, and crab wontons. The Random House SoBo cookbook should be out this year as well, so there’s much to look forward to as we head towards brighter weather on the west coast. (www.sobo.ca) —Jen Dart COWICHAN VALLEY: Spring has sprung outside, and inside on our tables as well. Chef Bill Jones is observing the change of season with a “Spring Celebration Dinner” at Deerholme Farm on Saturday, March 23rd. This elaborate feast features some of spring’s best culinary offerings, including braised lamb shank, nettles, leeks, and morel mushrooms (www.deerholme.com; 250-748-7450). If you didn’t brave the cold to visit the outdoor Duncan Farmers Market during the winter, spring’s warming temperatures and bounty of appealing produce make this the perfect place to start spending your Saturday mornings. The market is currently open 10am-2pm every Saturday in Duncan’s City Square (www.duncanfarmersmarket.ca; 250-732-1723). One of the most delicious vegetables coming into season at this time of year is local asparagus, which starts its harvesting season around mid-to-late April, depending on the weather. Cowichan Bay’s Pedrosa’s Asparagus Farm grows some of the finest asparagus around, attracting customers from near and far. Asparagus can be purchased directly from the farm, but be warned- they often sell out! Call or check their website to check availability and find up to date information about the start of this year’s season (www.asparagusfarmplus.com; 250-733-0700). Many local wineries went into hibernation over the winter months but are now reopening for tastings and other events. On April 5th-7th the Cowichan Wineries Co-op is putting on the “Be a Wine & Culinary Tourist On Your Own Island” weekend, which offers a first class wine and culinary getaway right here in the valley. This package includes 2 nights accommodation at the Oceanfront Suites and 2 days full of wine tours, tastings, and meals. If you’re coming from the mainland, a SaltSpring Air flight can be added on to the package. Full details and pricing can be found online (www.wines.cowichan.net). Peak oyster season will be drawing to a close soon, as the pacific waters get warmer. Before that happens, make sure you enjoy as many of these delicious gems as possible. Bird’s Eye Cove Farm will be hosting a “Culinary Learning” session devoted to oysters on March 2nd. This is the perfect event if you’re a shellfish lover looking for new tips and ideas for preparing oysters (www.birdseyecovefarm.com; 250-748-6379). Easter falls at the end of March this year, and True Grain Bakery will be offering hotcross buns in addition to their usual excellent selection of wheat, spelt, and ancient grain breads. While you’re there, check out their new “batons”, short baguette style breads stuffed with a range of fruits, nuts, and cheeses (www.truegrain.ca; 250-746-7664). If you’re looking for a great bottle of wine to enjoy with your Easter lunch, consider some of the many great offerings from the Valley’s local wineries. Averill Creek Vineyard’s Gewürztraminer 2011, Rocky Creek Winery’s Robin’s Rosé 2011 or Blue Grouse Estate Winery’s Pinot Gris 2008 are all options that pair well with ham. —Lindsay Muir NANAIMO & UP ISLAND: The At this time of year it’s not hard to dream of a weekend getaway to a remote cabin in the wilderness, where you indulge your senses and relax the time away. Here’s a short term solution; make a reservation at the new Hilltop Bistro in north Nanaimo formerly Markt Artisan Deli, still owned and operated by chef Ryan Zuvich. The beautiful timber building is only improved by the small intimate and cozy room accented with wood. A gorgeous glass window showcases Chef Ryan and his team as they prepare his sophisticated fare. Our meals started with an oh-so-silky, mushroom volute amuse bouché, followed by the tenderest Humboldt squid and hard to find charred green shoshito peppers. The amazing bacon wrapped chicken was as delightful as any I’ve had anywhere, anytime, and we enjoyed it with a crisp glass of perfectly paired wine from the small but enticing drinks menu. We simply couldn’t resist a taste of Chef’s chocolate terrine with olive oil, crispy walnuts and melt in your mouth beignets. (www.hilltopbistro.ca 5281 Rutherford Rd 250-585-5337) If you like to cook and eat, you are probably

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familiar with our locally produced ingredients…. but there is something new on the market! Pacific Coast Wasabi has been busy establishing itself in BC, with a new farm in Nanaimo. A relative of watercress, wasabi is perfectly suited to our coastal climate. While it is most familiarly enjoyed with sushi there is no limit to its culinary uses when you can get it fresh at your doorstep. (www.wasabia.com) Most of us here on the island have at one time or another stopped at the Market in Coombs for some wonderful baked goods prepared by Baker Susan Pauli. Now you can get all of your favourites at her newly opened Trees Diner. Susan’s Mennonite background taught her the value of good food; she is passionate about providing wonderful home style offerings from breakfast to dinner. 1385 Alberni Hwy, Parksville Namul: a Korean word for ‘any edible greens or herbs’. Hyun Joo Lee is the Chef and owner behind the newly named restaurant, formerly called The Tea Room. Joo loves food, and she cooks what her mom cooked for her; authentic Korean food that’s healthy and made from scratch. Traditional Korean flavours are savoury and perfectly balanced with a wide range of choices. Hot and spicy soups for the brave or rice and noodle dishes that make your taste buds sing. Close the meal with Joo’s signature cinnamon bread pudding, the best I’ve ever had. 5291 Rutherford Rd. If you haven’t tasted it already, microbiologist Scott DiGuistini and wife Merissa Myles are producing small batch artisan yogurt in the Comox Valley at Tree Island Yogurt. Using the best local non homogenized milk, fruit, and honey available they are aiming to improve long term human and environmental health. The clean, fresh delicately flavoured taste is superior to anything else available. Visit their web site at www.cultured-dairy.com to find some for yourself at local grocers. —Kirsten Tyler OKANAGAN VALLEY: Kelowna’s award-winning team chef Rod Butters and Audrey Surrao, the co-owners of RauDZ Regional Table Restaurant, excitedly open their second restaurant Micro Bar • Bites in March just steps from their current location. At only 900 square feet, Micro Bar’s menu will revolve around the “perfect ten”. Local wines, cocktails, beers and bites will each be offered with only 10 selections. With RauDZ lined-up every night, Micro Bar is already slated to be a success. 1500 Water Street, Kelowna. Another much anticipated restaurant opening slated for mid-March is Kelowna’s Manteo Resort which closed Wild Apple Grill and completed a 1.5 million renovation to unveil their new restaurant, Smack Dab. BC and Pacific Northwest micro-breweries will take centre stage

as Smack Dab will offer Kelowna’s largest selection of craft beers. Wine-lovers will still enjoy the carefully chosen wine list. With Canada’s legendary chef Bernard Casavant at the helm this promises to be one of the Okanagan’s best options for casual lakeside dining as well as a pint or two. manteoresort.com

CALLING ALL CANADIAN WINERIES Which Canadian wines pair best with Oysters? Enter Canada’s 1st Oyster Wine Competition April 17-21. Details at www.oooysterfestival.com Looking for downtown charm and something good to eat- simply head to Front Street in downtown Penticton. The line-up includes Dream Café, Isshin Sushi Bar, Ginza Sushi, Wild Scallion Restaurant, The Cupcake Lady Café - home to sinfully addictive crepes and Burger 55 which is just around the corner. Joining the Front Street line-up, the delightful Cinnamon Café. Opened by Chef Vivian Lea Doubt, the Cinnamon café offers artisan sandwiches and hand-made pastries using the best of local ingredients. 136 Front Street, Penticton. Apex Mountain Resort together with the Naramata Bench Wineries celebrates their first wine festival, Vertical and Vintages, from March 8th -10th. On March 9th, join the Naramata Bench Wineries at the Gun Barrel Saloon for an evening of wine-tasting and small bites. Tix: $35.00+ apexresort.com On March 23rd, Big White Ski Resort celebrates the third annual Big Whites event. Sip, swirl and enjoy some of the Okanagan’s best white wines alongside food creations from the resort’s restaurants including Kettle Valley Steakhouse, 6 Degrees Bistro, Carver's Restaurant, The BullWheel, Globe Café & Tapas Bar, Santé Bar & Grill and The Black Diamond Bar and Grill. Tix. $60.00+ bigwhiteresort.com Celebrate Easter at one of the Okanagan’s winery restaurants. Wineries open for Easter include: Kelowna - Sunset Organic Bistro at Summerhill Pyramid Winery. West Kelowna - Old Vines Restaurant at Quails Gate Estate Winery. Naramata - The Vanilla Pod at Poplar Grove Winery and The Bistro at Hillside Winery. Oliver - Sonora Room Restaurant at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek Winery and Terrafina Restaurant at Hester Creek Estate Winery. The Okanagan hotels and B&B’s offer enticing spring rates to make Easter a get away to wine country. Rhys Pender, Canada’s Master of Wine is offering the Wine Plus+ Boot Camp for the internationally certified Level 2 Award in Wine

and Spirits from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust from April 8th to 13th. $1500.00+ package includes six nights hotel accommodation, class instruction including winery excursions and exam. wineplus.ca Love Oysters? Join Vancouver Island’s local oyster farmers as they take a vacation in the South Okanagan with the 2nd annual Oliver Osoyoos Oyster Festival which runs from April 17th to April 21st. Various events including Canada’s First Oyster Wine Competition: oooysterfestival.com The Canadian National Slow Food conference will be held in Osoyoos from April 25th to 28th including dinners and Canada’s first Salone Del Gusto- a “slow-food” artisan market which the public is welcome to attend. slowfood.ca or www.facebook.com/SlowFoodThompsonOkanagan Get ready for spring planting. Seedy Saturday happens in Kelowna on Saturday, March 9th at Okanagan College from 10am to 3pm. For Seedy Saturday events across BC visit seeds.ca. Sunshine Farms organic and heirloom seeds can also be ordered directly on-line. sunshinefarm.net —Claire Sear

WordsThaw 2013 Canada's premier literary magazine, The Malahat Review, will hold its first-annual spring writing symposium, WordsThaw 2013, on Saturday, March 23. The symposium will consist of three panel discussions: "Zoom In, Zoom Out: Focus on Fiction" with John Gould, Yasuko Thanh, and Daniel Griffin speaking with moderator Amy Reiswig about relevance in fiction writing; "A Sustainable Feast: The New Food Writing" with Rhona McAdam (author of Digging the City: An Urban Agriculture Manifesto) and Peter Ladner (author of The Urban Food Revolution: Changing the Way we Feed Cities) moderated by CBC columnist Don Genova; and a panel on Writing from Childhood Poverty. The evening will consist of a literary reading by local poets and fiction writers Pamela Porter, Laura Kraemer, Katherin Edwards, Bill Gaston, Marilyn Bowering, Lorna Crozier, Lee Henderson, and C. P. Boyko. The symposium will take place at the University of Victoria's Human and Social Development Building, room A240 from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Tickets can be purchased from The Malahat Review's website. A full pass is $40 regular, $30 for students and Friends of The Malahat. All passes include a one-year subscription (or subscription extention) to The Malahat Review. www.malahatreview.ca/events/wordsthaw2013.html

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What the Pros Know – compiled by Rebecca Baugniet 1715 Government Street 250.475.6260 www.lecole.ca eat@lecole.ca

Dinner 5:30 - 11 pm Tuesday to Saturday

Butcher’s Talk

For this edition, we asked local butchers and deli owners what their favourite sausage is, what meats are used to make that kind of sausage, and how they like to serve it.

Geoff Pinch, The Whole Beast Artisan Salumeria, (250) 590-PORK (7675) My favorite sausage is the traditional British blood pudding with pork face, skin, barley and seasoned with lots of pepper and marjoram. We receive our pigs in sides every other week from Stillmeadow Farm in Metchosin, and this is one of the recipes that allows us to utilize the more “interesting” parts of the animal. Fry this sausage crispy and have with eggs any style. When I think back to my childhood on the farm, my favorite sausage meal was a slow roasted garlic coil, sliced over kale and mashed potatoes. Occasionally, it was finished with crispy bacon, fried onions, with some bacon fat drizzle on the top. Farm food at its finest. Rebecca Teskey, The Village Butcher, (250) 598-1115 It's hard to pick just one - they're all my children! Can I choose two? The chorizo. The reason it's a go-to for me is that it's so spicy and smoky and garlicky, it's an easy one to add to just about anything. If I put one chorizo in my chili I know it's going to taste way better. In soup, it makes a great base, it's awesome on the BBQ, it's good cooked and crumbled up on pizza, it makes an excellent sandwich - it's just a great sausage! The other one that I really like is our Toulouse sausage. It has some pancetta ground into it, with white wine and spices. It has a lot of interesting flavours in it and melds well in pasta sauces and risottos. I also love it in a choucroute garnie. All our sausage is made with Tom Henry's pork, with no fillers and we grind all our own spices. Kate Wallace, Galloping Goose, (250) 474-5788 Our business began with one South African with homesick taste buds and another person who loved (loves!) to cook. Boerewors is national fare in SA. After a visit there many years ago, we came back inspired and began making our own. Boerewors is still a cornerstone to our business (which now produces over 25 varieties of sausage) and one of our favourites. It is a mix of pork, beef and lamb with aromatic spicing of coriander and clove. We love it grilled "braai" style with lamb chops and sosaties (a kabob made with lamb, onions, apricots and a curried chutney marinade - also made by us!) Each type of sausage we make is hand spiced according to our own recipes. For example, we grind our own Masala. Our products are also low fat, low salt and gluten free without sacrificing any flavour or texture. We source as close to home as possible for our meat and use only fresh additional ingredients. Some herbs even come from our garden! Alan Maceiras, Chorizo & Co. (250) 590-6393 My first instinct is to say chorizo, seeing as how I work at Chorizo & Co. Deli. However, I would have to say a great choice is Ibérico black sausage. This sausage product is made with fat from Ibérico pork and coagulated blood. It's normally seasoned with salt, garlic, and paprika as well as other spices and condiments. It has a curing process of approximately two months. It can be eaten raw, fried, roasted, grilled or in casseroles.

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Andrew Moyer, Ottavio Italian Bakery and Delicatessen, (250) 592-4080 In the winter I love to BBQ or roast Galloping Goose Tuscan Sausage (Hertels Pork, whole herbs and spices prepared for each batch, fresh garlic and onions) or Southern Sage Chicken Sausage (Cowichan Bay Chicken, fresh whole spices, garden sage) slice it up and heat it up with a nice simple tomato sauce, serve over creamy polenta or wide noodle pasta. Jazz it up on the way to the table with a swirl of EV olive oil and some fresh Parmigiano Reggiano or some fresh chopped herbs or your favourite chillies... don't forget a glass of vino with it!

Tuesday to Thursday lunch: 11 :30am to to 2pm 2pm lunch: 11:30am dinner: 5pm to to 9pm 9pm dinner: Friday & Saturdaayy 11:30am to 10pm 11:30am

John van der Lieck, Oyama Sausage Co. on Granville Island, (604) 327-7407 My favorite sausage is definitely our Smoked Mennonite. It is a deliciously smoked, mildly seasoned uncooked sausage. We use Fraser Valley pork, the most expensive white pepper (Muntok), sea salt, cure and mustard seeds. It is slow smoked overnight with hickory and maple wood. The sausage has a wonderful way of blending into all kinds of dishes. It needs to be cooked to be eaten – sliced in pancakes, or in hearty soups and chowders, whole in cabbage and kale dishes, even in pasta sauces or bean dishes. Bon Appétit! Richard Doyle, Slater’s Meats, (250) 592-0823 The Turkey Italian sausage is my personal favourite Slater's sausage. It's made with free-range turkey meat from Ireland Farms, and we use mainly the breast meat, so it's fairly lean. We use an Italian spice mix that we make - sweet Italian, not too spicy, so you can add hot sauce after if you want to give it that bite. I like to cook it up and then slice it, adding it to pasta sauce instead of making it with ground beef, because it will keep the sauce lean, without the grease you get from other meats. It adds lots of nice flavours and goes really well with that type of cooking. Geoff Martin, Slater’s Meats, (250) 592-0823 My personal favourite sausage that we make is a Greek sausage. It is made with pork from Hertels and beef from High River (Alberta), onions, garlic and leek. It's got a little bit of spice to it - hot paprika, allspice and a couple of other key ingredients… It is really packed with flavour. I just like to roast them in the oven for twenty-five minutes at 350°F. I serve them with some mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables. Sharon Grey, Mission Meats, Kelowna (250) 764-7232 We have smoked and fresh sausage that we make in store – My favourite smoked sausage is Turkey Farmer Sausage – Randy makes it with all turkey meat, it is gluten free and ready to eat. My favourite way to eat it is sliced cold with cheese, crackers, and stuffed olives!

ph. 250.592.7424

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Cut Like a Chef KELOWNA: Knifewear, specialists in high performance Japanese kitchen knives, offers Cut Like a Chef classes on Saturday mornings. Learn tips and tricks to improve your knife skills and dazzle your family and friends. Make kitchen prep work fun and be inspired to cook more and better. Cost is $60/person and students receive10% off knife purchases on the day of the class. A knife sharpening by hand class is held on Thursday evenings. Learn the technique passed down from master Japanese knife sharpeners and have your knives sharper than they’ve ever been. $60/person and participants receive 10% discount on knives and sharpening supplies on the day of the class. Space is limited so call ahead to book your spot. knifewear.com 778.478.0331 VICTORIA: Cook Culture offers Knife Skills with Chef Cosmo Meens. Learn to care for your knife, learn to work safely with your knife, and learn what knives are best for different jobs. Cosmo will present different cutting techniques that will be incorporated into recipes he will provide and prepare with you. You will then enjoy the fruits of your labour with a 3-course meal. Check the website for dates and details. cookculture.com 250.590.8161

www.eatmagazine.ca MARCH | APRIL 2013

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