RESTAURANTS | RECIPES | WINES | CULINARY TRAVEL 速
CELEBRATING THE FOOD & DRINK OF
MAY | JUNE
l 2011 | Issue 15-03 | FREE | EATMagazine.ca
fresh. local. sustainable. EAT TRAVEL Sooke Comox Valley The Okanagan Cowichan Bay BUTTERED POACHED BC SPOT PRAWNS
S P O T P R AW N S
BC Spot Pr Next Gene The Big Ca Okanagan Tea Master Cowichan Sooke . . . Comox Va
Concierge Chefsâ€™ Talk Epicure At Good For Y cooking Sc Get Fresh Food Matte Restaurant Eating Wel Liquid Asse Island Win Book Revie
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EAT magazine may & june 2011
VALUE RED OF THE MONTH
BC Spot Prawns . . . . . . .24 Next Generation . . . . . . .27 The Big Catch . . . . . . . . .28 Okanagan Special . . . . . .32 Tea Masterpiece . . . . . . .38 Cowichan Bay . . . . . . . .47 Sooke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Comox Valley . . . . . . . . .52
Wine + Terroir . . . . . . . .44 Food & Wine Pairing . . .46 News from around BC . .50
Concierge Desk . . . . . . . 07 Chefsâ€™ Talk . . . . . . . . . . .09 Epicure At Large . . . . . . .10 Good For You . . . . . . . . .11 cooking School . . . . . . . .12 Get Fresh . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Food Matters . . . . . . . . . .14 Restaurant Reporter . . . . 16 Eating Well for Less . . . .19 Liquid Assets . . . . . . . . . .41 Island Wines & Drinks . .42 Book Review . . . . . . . . . .43
Beso de Vino Old Vine Garnacha See page 41 for wine recommendations
Poached Halibut in a Light
Fish Broth pg. 28 Cover photography: BC SPOT PRAWNS by Michael Tourigny EAT is delivered to over 200 free pick-up locations in BC and through the Wednesday home delivery of the Globe and Mail.
Editor in Chief Gary Hynes Contributing Editor Carolyn Bateman, Vancouver Contributing Editor Julie Pegg Editorial Assistant/Web Editor Rebecca Baugniet Online DRINK Editor Treve Ring Community Reporters Nanaimo: Karma Brophy, Tofino | Uclulet: Jen Dart, Vancouver: Julie Pegg, Okanagan: Jennifer Schell, Victoria Rebecca Baugniet, Comox Valley: Eli Blake Contributors Larry Arnold, Peter Bagi, Michelle Bouffard, Eva Cherneff, Jennifer Danter, Jen Dart, Pam Durkin, Gillie Easdon, Jeremy Ferguson, Nathan Fong, Holland Gidney, Tracey Kusiewicz, Kathryn Kusyszyn, Anya Levykh, Ceara Lornie, Denise Marchessault, Sherri Martin, Sandra McKenzie, Michaela Morris, Julie Pegg, Genevieve Laplante, Treve Ring, Claire Sear, Solomon Siegel, Elizabeth Smyth, Adem Tepedelen, Michael Tourigny, Jenny Uechi, Sylvia Weinstock, Rebecca Wellman, Caroline West, Melody Wey. Publisher Pacific Island Gourmet | EAT ÂŽ is a registered trademark. Advertising: 250.384.9042, email@example.com Mailing address: Box 5225, Victoria, BC, V8R 6N4, Tel: 250.384.9042 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: eatmagazine.ca
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www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2011
Featuring the award winning creations of chef Andrew Dickinson
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I don’t know about you, maybe it’s just me, but it seemed like the winter went on and on, the blossoms were late and it’s been cold. With that behind us now we can look forward to the start of food season in BC. Crops are being planted, spot prawns hauled out of the water, market umbrellas are being put up and a new season of BC wines are hitting the shelves. Before long I’ll be sipping my Americano or glass of pinot gris on a sunny patio somewhere near the water. This time of year is also the season for one of my favourite things—the road trip. Despite the sharp rise in gas prices, staying close to home is still a great deal and has plenty to offer the intrepid eater. In this issue we feature trips to Sooke, Cowichan Bay, the Comox Valley, and, in a special section, the wonderful food- and wine-rich area of the Okanagan. Or, if you live in Vancouver why not take the (albeit pricey) ferry for a weekend in Victoria, or vice versa, Islanders can grab a taste of big city Vancouver before the tourists arrive. Every area of the province has new restaurants, wineries and farms to explore, old favourites to re-visit, and new tastes to be discovered. Here’s a thought. Have you considered touring the Vancouver Island/Gulf Island wineries? 2009 is quite possibly the vintage of the decade. Or catch one of the festivals coming up? There’s FEAST! Tofino-Ucluelet, the Summer Okanagan Wine Festival, Taste: Victoria's Festival of Food and Wine, The Tofino Food & Wine Festival and BC Spot Prawn Festivals (at least four that I know of). Check out more event and calendar listings at www.eatmagazine.ca Good eating! —Gary Hynes, Editor
Great catch... Featuring amazing seafood on our new spring menu!
1999 EAT Magazine presents the Taste Wine List Awards 2011. Three awards will recognize establishments on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands that have cultivated a successful wine program that reflects their menu, restaurant size and clientele. The three awards are: Best Overall Wine Program, Best Showcase of Island Wines and Most Diner Friendly Wine Menu. All award winners will be announced on July 21st, 2011 at the Trade Tasting which kicks off Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine. Winners will also be listed on the Taste website and in the next available issue of EAT Magazine with the top points winner being awarded an advertisement in EAT Magazine. The judges will be wine writer Tim Pawsey, author John Schreiner, and EAT’s own Treve Ring. For complete entry details and to submit your restaurant’s wine list visit: www.victoriataste.com/trade-industry
The Sticky Wicket & The Clubhouse at The Strathcona Hotel 919 Douglas Street Victoria BC 250.383.7137
* A specical thanks to Victoria Spirits for their prize donation in the 2nd EE Awards. Congratulations to winner M. Cowan. Visit their website at www.victoriaspirits.com
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EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
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by Rebecca Baugniet
For more events visit www.eatmagazine.ca
MAY SPRING OKANAGAN WINE FESTIVAL After watching their vines sleep for months, local BC winemakers and vineyards celebrate the arrival of spring and the waking of the vines with a glass – or two – of wine. Spread over the first ten days in May, the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival busts loose with over 100 events throughout the valley. Apr. 29-May 8. (www.thewinefestivals.com) BLUSH: A TASTE OF THE ISLAND Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sidney, this event features wine tasting, dinner, silent and live auctions is a fundraiser for local charities: Mount Newton Centre and the Mary Winspear Centre Grads. May 7,4.30 pm at the Mary Winspear Centre. Tickets: $50, available at the Mary Winspear Centre. FEAST! TOFINO-UCLUELET A collaboration between the area’s renowned chefs, fishermen and women, accommodation providers, activity providers and tour operators, Feast! Tofino - Ucluelet celebrates the abundance of local produce, seafood and sustainable " boat to table " practices commonly adopted by the area's restaurants. May 8 June 4. (www.feastbc.com) EPIC: SUSTAINABLE LIVING EXPO Western Canada's largest sustainable lifestyle show and eco-marketplace. This annual celebration of planet-friendly living with over 300 green companies, inspiring ideas, exciting entertainment, and smart shopping in one jam-packed weekend. Cooking demonstrations with Vancouver's top Green Table chefs and more. May 1315. (www.vancouver.epicexpo.com/) ANNUAL SPOT PRAWN FESTIVAL This year’s festival is a cooperative effort between the town of Cowichan Bay and the Pacific Prawn Fishers Association. Special Guest at this year’s event will be Robert Clark, Executive Chef of C Restaurant in Vancouver. A family friendly, fun day of chef demos, spot prawn sampling, music and spot prawn sales fresh off the boats. Local eateries will be featuring a spot prawn dish or menu for the week following the event. May 15, 11am6pm. (www.cowichanbayseafood.com) JAMES BARBER BENEFIT FOR PROVIDENCE FARM A six-course food and wine afternoon extravaganza. May 15. (250-746-4204)
TOFINO FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL Now in their 8th year, this festival celebrates the marriage of food and wine, with the main event, Grazing in the Gardens, showcasing local culinary talents and
British Columbia wines, in the beautiful Tofino Botanical Gardens. Events of the festival support several non-profit organizations and initiatives, including Tofino Botanical Gardens Foundation, Community Children’s Centre and Tofino’s Community Garden, Lighthouse Trail and Multi Use Path (MUP). June 3-5. (www.tofinofoodandwinefestival.com) ICC LOCAL FOOD FEST This annual fundraiser supporting the ICC’s micro-loan fund for farmers aims to engage and inspire the public through their palates, with an afternoon spent savouring the finest food and beverages the Island has to offer. June 12 at Fort Rodd Hill. (www.iccbc.ca) TASTES OF CCFCC CANADA As a part of the welcome reception to CCFCC 2011, Tastes of CCFCC Canada will feature 12 food and beverage stations representing regions across Canada, with tastes created by Junior Chefs and their mentors. Each province will host a food and beverage station. Included in the CCFCC 2011 are guests from the World Associations of Chefs (WACS), and the American Culinary Federation (ACF). This is an opportunity to mingle with some of the best chefs in the world and sample cutting-edge culinary creations. June 12 at the Renaissance Vancouver Hotel Harbourside. Tastes of CCFCC Canada is a part of the fundraising efforts for Culinary Team Canada, junior chefs programs, and culinary scholarships. (www.ccfcc.eventbrite.com) BC SHELLFISH FESTIVAL For one weekend in June, Vancouver Island hosts the largest shellfish festival on the West Coast. Featuring live-entertainment, cooking demos by some of the industry’s top chefs, sea worthy competitions and lots of locally grown, sustainably harvested shellfish. June 17-18 in Comox. (www.bcshellfishfestival.ca) SALT SPRING VINEYARDS - 5TH ANNUAL SOLSTICE CELEBRATION A day of special tastings, hourly musical performances, discounts, food & fun in the vineyard. June 19, 12-6pm.
A Local Story. Every week a batch of Hollie Wood’s fresh Satori oysters makes its 100 mile journey from Denman Island to the Marina Restaurant. And every week we send any extra oysters back to be re-seeded. Nothing wasted, unbelievably fresh. Just one of the stories that make up our plates each day.
ONGOING THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER RICHMOND SUMMER NIGHT MARKET Starting May 13. The only one of its kind in North America, as authentic as the original Night Markets throughout Asia. (www.summernightmarket.com) STEVESTON FARMERS AND ARTISANS MARKET Located at the corner of Third Avenue and Moncton Street in Steveston. The 2011 Steveston Farmers and Artisans Summer Market will open Sunday, May 22 and operate bi-weekly until September 18. Market Dates: May 22, June 4, 5, 19; July 3, 17; Aug. 7, 21; Sept. 4, 18. (www.sfam.ca)
Stunning Views Lunch • Dinner • Sushi • Sunday Brunch
250-598-8555 1327 Beach Drive at the Oak Bay Marina www.marinarestaurant.com www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2011
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Order your tickets 3 ways:
Aaron Lawre Allergy reques was handed a the time I laugh thing. Solution: my fingers mad
ATRIUM BUILDING 1317 Blanshard Street
Tickets: Adult $50 | Youth $25 (9-16 yrs) | Family $100 (2 adults + 2 youth) Reduced pricing available until May 1st
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EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
chefs talk— compiled by Ceara Lornie
"What is the most interesting or challenging guest request you have ever had?” Bill Jones | Deerholme Farm | 250.748.7450 We received a note in the kitchen at a restaurant I worked that said, "I'm allergic to wheat, sugar, meat, dairy, ocean seafood and anything green - please make me something good to eat". I remember we swore a lot and then gave her a great mushroom, barley and herb risotto which she enjoyed immensely. I later heard she ate some of her partner’s dessert-- loaded with dairy, sugar and wheat. Ken Nakano | Fairmont Empress |250.384.8111 I served the Prince of Brunei 1 kilogram of beluga caviar with several bottles of vintage Champagne Krug while the girls in his ‘harem’ drank Louis XIII Cognac and cola…wow! He was a very good tipper! Christabel Padmore | Chuleta by the Little Piggy | 250.483.4171 We had to write on a cake in Korean Hangul. While Korean is substantially easier to write than some other Asian languages, the bottom line is that neither Patrick nor I have much of a command of it. We took our time and in the end it looked fabulous. We were similarly assured by the customer that it said exactly what it was supposed to say. Melbourne O’Brien | Forester’s at Olympic View Golf Club 250.474.3673 ext. 227 Cooking for the Victoria Fish and Game Club annual dinner, we were asked to cook a few interesting items: cougar, raccoon, squirrel, grizzly bear, black bear and beaver to name a few. It was a challenge researching recipes, preparing the game, cooking and serving it for 180 guests to rave reviews and a re-booking of the event for next year. Peter De Bruyn | Sticky Wicket Pub and Restaurant 250.383.7137 A guest asked for an 'extra burnt' steak. At the time, I worked with a wood burning grill. I grilled the 7 ounce sirloin steak using a steak weight on the hot spot. I cooked it for almost 20 minutes until it was a completely flattened, smoldering piece of blackened steak. The guest commented, “That chef knows how to cook a steak”. Jena Stewart | Devour Food 250.590.3231 I guess the most challenging requests has been to recreate a customer’s wedding dessert: croquembouche. It was not for their anniversary- he just wanted to see if I could do it. Price was not an option. I still have not fully answered him and I hope he'll forget about it entirely. Matt Rissling | The Marina Restaurant 250.598.8555 We don't pimp ourselves as being ‘gluten friendly’ or ‘allergy aware’ as I think it should be expected of all restaurants of a certain calibre. We make nearly everything in-house from scratch so it's not that hard for us to handle allergy requests as they come up. We often get very challenging ones, such as shellfish or seafood (I mean really… we are called ‘the Marina’) but we go the distance to make sure things are handled as best as we can. Hank Kao | Kulu Restaurant 778.430.5398 One customer came into the restaurant, who is vegetarian and allergic to wheat and dairy. Almost all the dishes on the menu have either dairy, meat, or wheat. I created a few dishes from the available food at hand. Edamame beans stir-fried with herb, salt and pepper. For his main dish, I stir-fried hearty green root vegetables, without soy sauce, and paired them with onigiri (rice balls). He left happy and satisfied. Aaron Lawrence | Canoe Brewpub 250.361.1940 Allergy requests can be somewhat challenging, especially on a busy Saturday night at Canoe. Once I was handed a business card that showed an impressive list of ingredients the guest was allergic to. At the time I laughed trying to figure out what I could possibly create as it seemed he was allergic to everything. Solution: poached halibut, golden beat ,quinoa hash and fresh arugula. Having the card right at my fingers made everyone's life easier . Ben Peterson |Heron Rock Bistro 250.383.1545 One diner asked that we make her burger 20 percent smaller as she was apparently on a diet. We obliged her request. Her guest ordered a triple eggs benedict and ended up giving two of them to the burger lady. I'm not sure if she's had any success with weight-loss, but I think she might be doing it wrong. Sheen Hogan | Haro’s at Sidney Pier Hotel and Spa 250.655.9700 Everyday I seem to be faced with more and more allergy and dietary restriction challenges. When creating menus, I keep this in mind and I believe through the creativity of our kitchen, our guests leave satisfied. One menu that I truly enjoyed creating was a vegan five-course New Year's Eve menu. It was a great challenge and quite satisfying knowing that I made their night and, since it was New Year's Eve, maybe even their year! Alex Teare | Carrot on the Run | 250.714.6924 In the catering industry there are numerous times where we are challenged by our customers' requests. One of our greatest feats was a 5-course plated dinner for a wedding on Hornby Island. The event was under a large tent in a field overlooking the ocean. Unfortunately the June weather didn't cooperate and there was a brutal storm. We put up a tent and created a kitchen using barbecues, crab cookers and other cooking surfaces. We even managed to heat the entrée plates in chafing dishes.
www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2011
250 386 2010
621 Courtney St. [Magnolia Hotel]
EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
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epicure at large — by Jeremy Ferguson
“My favourite recipe plays espresso three ways as a marinade, dry rub and sauce - all at once.”
Coffee. We can’t get enough of it. An estimated 400 billion cups of coffee fly down the global hatch every year. We’ll take it any way we can get it: three years ago, Vancouver’s Urban Fare offered Kopi Luwak, at $600 a pound the most expensive coffee in the world. It sold out in hours. Its charm was that the beans had passed through the digestive tract of paradoxurus hermaphrodites, an Indonesian civet cat. The idea was, the journey through the animal’s guts somehow brings out a certain je ne sais quoi in its flavour. Travelling in Vietnam a few years ago, my wife and I tried to find chang, which outpoos its Indonesian cousin by passing through the intestines of a Vietnamese weasel. We weren’t successful but were recently surprised to find an industrially processed facsimile available in Victoria’s Chinatown: the Weasel, it’s called, from Trung Nguyen, the largest coffee company in Vietnam, which now ranks as the second-largest coffee producer in the world. The Weasel boasts the customary Vietnamese chocolate underpinnings and like all Vietnamese coffees, goes best with milk. It costs about $10 per pound, a bargain considering. It’s always nice to invite close friends over for a cuppa the Weasel. Coffee originated in Ethiopia, although Yemen across the Red Sea also claims coffee parenthood and has a city named Mocha to boot. Yeminis were, however, the first to roast the beans and brew the beverage, and for that we thank them forever. Coffee launched its conquest of the world in the 15th century, The governor of Mecca banned it in 1511 as a distraction to the devout. The merchant class raised such a stink, the all-powerful Sultan of Cairo had the governor whacked. Europe fell head-over-heels for “the wine of Arabia.” The Roman clergy tried to ban it as a Muslim decadence. Women were prohibited in coffee houses in the Arab world, Europe and England. Later the Brits came to think of it as medicine: “Excellent Berry!” wrote a scribe, “which can cleanse the English-man’s Stomak of Flegm and expel Giddinesse out of his Head.” The bean danced through history. Both the American and French Revolutions were hatched in coffee houses. Lloyds of London started out as a coffee house. Seeds smuggled out of Paris in 1727 were the beginning of Brazil’s coffee industry, today the largest in the world. Some years ago, covering the World Food Media Awards in Adelaide, Australia, I fell into conversation with a courtly octogenarian operating the press room machine. Making me an exquisite brew, he introduced himself as Dr. Ernesto Illy. In 1933, the now-deceased Dr. Illy invented the first automatic espresso machine and started his life as the world’s premier coffee evangelist. I should have kissed his feet. My wife and I drink coffee twice a day, but we also like to cook with it. It brings to cuisine a powerful roasted flavour, occasional bitterness and acidity. Its versatility shows in a range of savoury dishes from coffee-rubbed cheeseburgers to barbecued chicken and roast lamb. My favourite recipe plays espresso three ways—as a marinade, dry rub and sauce—all at once. Marinate a whole pork tenderloin (preferably one from the Comox Valley’s Tannadice Farm) in a double shot of espresso, half a dozen garlic cloves, a couple of shallots and a quarter cup of sweet soy. Two hours on the counter should do it. Afterwards, pat it dry. Combine a tablespoon of cracked pepper and a tablespoon of espresso coffee grains and rub the mixture vigorously into the pork. Sear the pork on all sides in hot peanut oil, then finish it with five or six minutes in a 325°F oven. Add the marinade to two cups of rich-tasting homemade stock. Reduce the sauce by half and whisk in two tablespoons of cold butter to thicken. Slice the pork into juicy pink rounds. Serve the sauce on the side. The sweetness of the pork plays off the smokiness and slight bitter quality of the coffee. The mouth shudders with pleasure. There are those among us who might even add a shot of whisky to the leftover sauce, sip it slowly and saunter into the night grinning like leprechauns.
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Shell Game Nuts are healthy, not fattening and delicious. Once vilified for being “fattening,” nuts are now being touted by health experts as the “near perfect” food. They deserve the exaltation; researchers are constantly uncovering surprising health benefits hidden within their shells. The most delightful discovery is that regular consumption of nuts does not lead to weight gain. Now that you know you can “go nuts” with near impunity, let’s take a closer look at the healthiest players in the “shell game.” Almonds The almond’s delicate taste belies the nutritional punch it delivers. Loaded with vitamin E, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, copper, manganese, fibre and hearthealthy monounsaturated fatty acids, almonds confer a bevy of benefits. They provide double-barrelled protection against heart disease and diabetes by helping to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and regulating blood sugar and insulin levels. Consumption of almonds has also been shown to reduce C-reactive protein—a marker of artery-damaging inflammation. Two recent studies indicate almonds may offer protection against colon and skin cancer. Scientists believe this anti-tumour effect may stem from the powerful antioxidants in almonds—they’ve identified 20 in the skin alone. Try them in baked goods, salads, curries, stir-fries and soups—or use them to enhance grain dishes, as Vancouver’s West restaurant does. Its risotto with marcona almonds is healthy eating at its most divine. Walnuts Unlike almonds, or any other nut, walnuts are a rich source of an omega-3 fatty-acid called alpha-linolenic acid. This is significant because ALA keeps the platelets in your blood from clumping together, effectively reducing the risk for atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, blood clots, heart attack and stroke. Omega-3 fatty acids like ALA also benefit your bones and brain. Several studies have shown that diets rich in omega-3s help to reduce bone loss. They also help perk up your noggin. Studies from around the world suggest omega-3s can improve brain function, boost your memory and even brighten your mood. Walnuts are chock-full of ellagic acid, an antioxidant compound that has been shown to block the metabolic pathways that can lead to cancer. Enjoy as little as five or six walnuts per day to reap their health benefits. Add them to your morning cereal, baked goods, stuffing, salads and grain dishes. Or try my sublime adult popsicle—roll a peeled banana in walnut crumbs and freeze—heavenly! Pecans Could anything as sinfully rich and scrumptious as pecans be healthy— absolutely. Pecans like all nuts are nutrient dense. They contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals. In particular, pecans contain several different forms of vitamin E, which protect blood lipids from oxidation. They also KO cholesterol, thanks to their plant sterols and high fibre content. In plain English—they’re heart healthy. Consider this— according to research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, pecans contain more antioxidants than any other nut and rank near the top of the list of all foods that contain the highest antioxidant capacity. All that antioxidant power means pecans may help decrease the risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. A study done at the University of Massachusetts found that adding pecans to the diet may delay the progression of age-related motor neuron degeneration. They pair beautifully with squash, roasted red peppers, blue cheeses, ham and dried fruits. Pistachios These colourful little nuts are not consumed as often as they should be in North America. That’s a shame because not only can they help lower cholesterol, new evidence suggests they can also protect against lung cancer and other malignancies. Researchers believe pistachio’s protective power comes from the significantly high amounts of gamma tocopherol they contain. Other studies have linked pistachio consumption with reduced inflammation at the cellular level, and reductions in blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. Their slightly smoky crunchiness imparts a taste of the exotic to any dish they’re featured in. Victoria’s Café Ceylon has one of my favourite pistachio treats—a guilt-free dessert cheekily named “Honeymoon Sweet.”
fresh flavours, casual comfort, genuine service
three courses, just $39!
Enjoy a starter soup or salad, choice of any Signature main course and Chef's choice of dessert and regular or decaf coffee for only $39 from 5:00 pm daily. Make your reservation now! Call 250.655.9700
Complimentary Underground Parking • www.sidneypier.com www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2011
cooking school — by Sylvia Weinstock
The London Chef
The Complete Package: Classes, Communal Dining, Café, Catering and Comestibles
Micayla and Dan Hayes at their new cooking school on Fort Street
OPEN YOUR SENSES. EXPERIENCE. TASTE. LISTEN.
Meet with friends, enjoy cocktails, taste local eats, and listen to live Jazz
OPEN DAILY Breakfast 7 – 10AM Weekend Breakfast 7 – 1PM
on Wednesdays 6 – 8PM. Patio opens
Lunch 11:30AM – 1:30PM
May 1st Book your event now!
Dinner/Cocktails from 4PM
500 Oswego Street T 250 294 7500 firstname.lastname@example.org www.oswegovictoria.com
It would be hard to imagine a more enthusiastic, dedicated and inspired pair of young entrepreneurs than chef Dan Hayes and his wife Micayla, who recently launched five businesses—a communal lunch café, a small shop stocked with unusual house made comestibles, cooking classes, catering, and dining events—under the name The London Chef. The calm, mellow feeling of the large elegant space echoes the demeanor of its creators. “Our vision was to create a space with commercial cooking capacity that feels like a warm, inviting home,” explains Micayla, “where people learn new techniques by cooking with a professional chef.” Micayla oversees all administrative aspects, while Dan focuses on teaching and creating myriad food products and projects. It’s the perfect marriage of skill sets. The lunch crowd takes their fresh selection of salads, soups and sandwiches to a stunning 15-foot long table, made from a 500-year-old slice of old growth fir, for communal dining. The Pantry carries London Chef brand delights including Hollandaise Reduction, Lobster Reduction and Onion Rosemary Date Chutney, as well as an array of stock and soups and other gourmet goodies. In the exquisite main room, long white quartz-topped counters hold 6 Viking Pro gas ranges, providing 12 cooking stations for class participants. Interactive hands-on classes are held three times a week. Tuesday is Lunch and Learn day. Dan also offers private cooking classes and events. Dan is passionate about fishing, fish and seafood. At 18 he began rising through the ranks—from commis to head chef—of notable fish restaurants in London and Ibiza, Spain. He met Victoria-born Micayla when she attended his class at Whole Foods, London. Dan brings a wealth of teaching and culinary expertise to the enterprise, as well as a heaping helping of charm and charisma. Upcoming events include classes in partnership with Soup Sisters (soupsisters.org), One Table One Word (a 7-course tasting menu based on a single word/ingredient), gourmet boot camps, and a series of regional ethnic feasts. “We’re going to push the envelope to give people many unique dining experiences,” Hayes says, enthusiastically. “I love talking to people about food, and serving them food, so come in and talk to us about the exciting events we’re offering.” The London Chef is located at 953 Fort Street, in the building at 947 Fort Street. For more information phone 250-590-1865 or go to TheLondonChef.com website. The Café and Pantry are open 8 AM to 6 PM on weekdays and 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays.
EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
Asparagus is 17th-century vegetable “st for the Soul’ asparagus, a with pounde coitus, and f some serious Purple asp widely avail with its swe white aspara separate vari it from prod daily as they labour-inten paragus sold local white a (asparagusfa To prepare ing care not each spear (i string or scal with a steam Asparagus trimmed spe sheet and ro gus, place sp utes, until th asparagus on Simple trea able for this samic, raspb cheese or hu into rounds. entation. Try vinegar, soy for Beer Batt chovy gremo over steamed (foodnetwor There is an lovers. Why your love lif
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get fresh—by Sylvia Weinstock
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Simple preparations are best. Asparagus is a much-loved late spring treat, but is it an aphrodisiac? It is, according to 17th-century herbalist Nicholas Culpepper, who wrote that this nutritious, diuretic vegetable “stirs up lust in man and woman.” And in his book The Perfumed Garden for the Soul’s Delectation, 16th-century writer Shaykh Nafzawi advised, “He who boils asparagus, and then fries them in fat, and then pours upon them the yolks of eggs with pounded condiments, and eats every day of this dish, will grow very strong for coitus, and find it a stimulant for his amorous desires.” Sounds like a plan worthy of some serious trials. Purple asparagus is the sweetest, most tender type of asparagus. However, it is not widely available and is difficult to grow because it is disease-prone. Green asparagus, with its sweet, bitter and nutty flavours, is easy to find. The thick, smooth stalks of white asparagus have a more delicate, sweeter taste than green asparagus. It isn’t a separate variety but just green asparagus shielded from the sun as it grows to prevent it from producing chlorophyll. This is done by mounding soil or mulch on the plants daily as they emerge, or by growing plants in a raised bed with an opaque cover. This labour-intensive process explains why white asparagus is so expensive. Most white asparagus sold in B.C. comes from Peru, the world’s leading exporter of this delicacy. For local white and green asparagus, head to Pedrosa’s Asparagus Farm in Cowichan Bay (asparagusfarmplus.com) from late April to early June. To prepare white asparagus, trim the lower half inch and peel the brittle spears, taking care not to break them. Prepare green asparagus by breaking the tough end off each spear (it breaks naturally at its tender point). Tie spears into small bundles with string or scallion strips, and steam upright for five to seven minutes. An asparagus pot with a steamer basket cooks asparagus to perfection. Asparagus can be stir-fried, roasted or grilled. Before roasting or grilling, brush trimmed spears with olive oil, salt lightly and toss to coat. Place spears on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 10 minutes at 450°F until tender crisp. To grill asparagus, place spears over medium-low coals, turning them frequently for about five minutes, until they are tender and hatched with brown grill marks. Alternatively, place asparagus on a baking sheet and grill five minutes. Simple treatments that allow the taste of fresh asparagus to shine through are preferable for this delectable veggie. Marinate cooked spears in vinaigrette made with balsamic, raspberry or sherry vinegar. For a quick appetizer, spread a thick layer of cream cheese or hummus on a grilled tortilla, top with asparagus spears, roll up and slice into rounds. Wrap each cooked spear with a slice of lox or prosciutto for a yummy presentation. Try steamed asparagus with a dressing of chopped walnuts, walnut oil, cider vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and pepper. If you crave a deep-fried fix, check out the recipe for Beer Battered Asparagus with Garlic Aioli at foodnetwork.com. Spoon some anchovy gremolada, made with finely chopped garlic, lemon zest, parsley and anchovies, over steamed asparagus. Asparagus soup with herbed goat cheese is a sensational dish (foodnetwork.com) that flaunts asparagus’ unique flavour. There is an old saying that people who fork up plenty of asparagus will have many lovers. Why not spearhead your own asparagus fan club and test out the results on your love life?
Torta Di Sparagi Adapted from Bartolomeo Stefani’s L’Arte di Ben Cucinare (1662). Serves 6 to 8.
2 1/2 lb asparagus Salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste 3 Tbsp butter 1/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese 3/4 cup shredded prosciutto ham 3 eggs, beaten 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Cook trimmed asparagus in boiling salted water until just tender; drain. Cut stalks into 1-inch pieces. Return to the pan and sprinkle with spices. Add butter. When butter has melted, turn asparagus into a buttered 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with Gruyère, cover with prosciutto and pour eggs on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake in a 350°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until eggs are set and a golden crust forms on top.
1 0 0 % O R G A N I C | FA I R T R A D E | L O C A L LY OW N E D & O P E R AT E D
Jasmine Green TeaLemonade This refreshing and sophisticated drink is the perfect accompaniment to Asian-inspired cuisine. It’s also rich in antioxidants, and jasmine uplifts and rejuvenates the mind. Pour 2 cups hot water (brought just to the boil) over 2 tbsp. Moonlight on the Grove—Silk Road Jasmine Green Tea. Steep 3 min. and strain into a heatproof jug. Refrigerate until cold, then combine with 2 cups chilled lemonade. Makes 1 litre. For more delicious recipe ideas, visit www.silkroadtea.com or attend one of our tea workshops at the Silk Road Tea Tasting Bar.
www.silkroadtea.com 1624 Government St. Victoria Chinatown
www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2011
food matters — by Julie Pegg
Blessed Are the Sausage Makers For they have raised small-batch sausagemaking to a culinary art. When I was a kid, a boiled wiener stuffed into a pillow-soft roll with a squish of yellow mustard was the hallmark of hot dog Fridays (elementary school, summer camp), birthday parties and baseball games. And a couple of fried links with over-easy eggs fuelled many a Saturday morning tummy. Still, a lot of folks thought of fresh sausages as plebian, cheap and circumspect. An old saying goes, “Laws are like sausages. Best not to see them made.” But not in my backyard. My mother disdained industrial hot dogs and cello-packed sausages. No tube steak Fridays at my Catholic school either. Fridays were meatless. What mum did make for my birthday parties were sausage rolls from fresh minced pork. She bought plump beef-and-pork sausages, too, from the local butcher for a weekly feast of bangers and mash. These fat torpedoes would spit in the pan trying to bust out of their tight skins. (Hence the word “banger.”) Settled atop a bed of creamy mash and a boat of rich onion gravy to pour over the lot, it was a favourite childhood meal. Come summer, our Italian neighbours spent evenings grilling handmade, coarse-grained pork sausages on brick monoliths. The Germans across the road introduced us to chunky bratwurst with their version of potato salad and homemade sauerkraut. The Irish clan cooked a cracker-jack fry-up of beans, eggs, tomatoes and black pudding (a type of sausage made with congealed pork blood mixed with oats) which, admittedly, took a bit of getting used to. But we knew from whence our sausages came. Sausage-making goes back centuries. Almost all cultures lay claim to some sort of sausage. The word derives from the Latin “salsus,” meaning salted. Originally, sausages were a legitimate concoction of tissue, organs, blood and fat. Handmade in small batches, they were an economical and nutritious way to use the entire animal. It all went awry with the advent of machinery. Gristle, bone—plus lord knows what—was ground into grey paste and stuffed into artificial casings. People came to scorn these mechanically “engineered” sausages, particularly hot dogs. (Italian and Spanish sausages, fresh or dried, however, seemed to escape ridicule.) Today’s skeptics need not fear the sausage. Thankfully, artisan butchers and renaissance chefs have brought the sausage full circle, setting up shop in boroughs and burbs everywhere. They slice, dice and chop by hand impeccable ingredients (no binders, no by-products) and use natural casings. Mindful of today’s tastes, they avoid organ meats and blood, unless intentionally for, say, silky liver sausage or blood sausages like black pudding or boudin noir. And the creative potential for mixing and matching of fresh herbs with natural spices is fathomless. These folk have raised smallbatch sausage making to a culinary art. Imagine the aroma and sizzle of venison and blueberry sausages, or lamb, onion and Guinness grilled over an open flame and washed down with a pint of the same. Oyama Sausage Company on Granville Island makes chicken sausages spiked with lemon and dill; at 3P Natural & Exotic Meats in North Vancouver, duck sausage is blessed with sweet ginger. It’s comforting to know that Vancouver still hails the traditional European sausage. Columbus Meats, Cioffi’s, Bosa and Rocky’s Meats turn out traditional spicy Italian salsiccia and Spanish chorizo. Park Royal shoppers flock to Black Forest Delicatessen for German bratwurst. Quite possibly (in Vancouver) it was Rob Belcham (Campagnolo, Refuel) who pioneered making artisinal sausage; now a growing number of local chefs seek out rosy-fleshed organic pigs rimmed with snow-white fat. They look to top quality sea salts and fresh herbs for making sausages in their own pristine quarters. These lovely links share the stage with organic eggs, crusty bread and homemade preserves on the breakfast plate. Kate McTavish, confessed sausage fanatic, has plans to send hikers and fishers on their way after a feed of handcrafted game sausages at the newly resurrected (and reinvented) Fergie’s breakfast and lunch café in Squamish. Victoria’s sausage fans can fill their kitchens on a misty day with a cassoulet of Choux Choux Charcuterie’s Toulouse sausage and fresh foraged island morels, or bake a Cumberland coil from Orr’s Family Butchers with cider, onions and apples, to serve with creamy garlicky spuds for an up-to-date twist on bangers and mash. Galloping Goose Sausage Company’s gently spiced pork links kick morning eggs way up. And at home, sweet Italian sausage tossed with broccoli rabe can be on the table in under thirty minutes.
EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
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www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2011
restaurant reporter The unagi cake with the fried rice patty, tamago and avocado at Kulu
Smoken Bones Cookshack #101-721 Station Ave | Langford, BC | 250.391.MEAT (6328).
Kulu Restaurant | 1296 Gladstone Ave. | Victoria | 778-430-5398
EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
I returned for dinner a few nights later. I confess I tucked into the bacon wraps and the edamame once again. But this time, I tried the spicy chicken salad, the tsurai chicken steak and the unagi cake with the fried rice patty, tamago and avocado. A healthy slice of unagi, smoked eel, arrived aloft a large rice patty adorned with a hint of wasabi and sauce. It was decadent. I have enjoyed unagi at sushi restaurants, but not this much, literally and metaphorically. This was Kulu’s showstopper. The chicken steak was lovely, the salad was good—but that unagi was quite something. Sydney and her husband, Hank Kao, co-owner and cook, are passionate about Taiwanese food but believe that Kulu, as a fusion restaurant exploring Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese cuisines, is more accessible to the tastes of Victoria. But they are open to hosting parties of people who would like to sample true Taiwanese cuisine. Some of the best of it tests western notions of what parts of the animal should be eaten. My thoughts? Western notions be damned! Taiwanese food is excellent and something that Sydney and Hank could share with impunity. On Tuesdays, Kulu has edamame, bacon wraps and a beer for $10, and on Wednesdays they have a curry chicken nugget, kimchee tofu and beer for $12. Check it out. Now. I mean it. ’Tis good. Or “hn how” (which is my poor attempt at scripting Mandarin and means “very good” in English). Sydney is an excellent host. The food, company and ambience are lovely and the price point quite reasonable. A perfect local or pre-theatre haunt. Kulu, which is an onomatopoeic word for both a stomach grumbling and the sound of swallowing beverage or food, is a wonderful addition to Fernwood. Enjoy your own kulu there. —Gillie Easdon
621 Cou www.prim its own s Gordon S
Above: The Thunda Burger “Oh, we sell copious amounts of those babies,” Ken chuckled. Probably because everything but the bun was tempered and perfected in-house. Choose two sides to accompany the big burger–and you’ll be eating a combination of Victoria’s finest seasonable products, translated for the Smoken Bones menu by Hueston’s vision. If burgers aren’t your thing, a full barbecue menu tempts. Two of our group were experienced Bones eaters, and suggested that the BBQ Taster would be a foolish undertaking for only two. They described the platter heaped with beef ribs and brisket, pulled pork and ribs, and garnished with three sides of choice. “We go through 8-10 thousand pounds of meat a month.” Ken’s word echoed like in my head. We decided to split it five ways. I was advised to accompany the platter with vegetables. “The point is about progression,” Ken explained. “The new menu is more about celebrating the artistry of charcuterie, and cooking with meat.” —Katherine Fritz
Kulu’s bacon-wrapped enoki (straw) mushrooms with tonkatsu sauce and Japanese mayonnaise are divine. Usually, bacon clothes something firm, like a scallop or tenderloin, dates or even a water chestnut; not a small delicate bouquet of tender limp limblike fungi. The bacon was still soft, and the mushrooms gave way to the teeth one by perfect one. It was a thoughtful little shift away from the expected. This was my first introduction to Kulu, Fernwood’s Asian fusion restaurant. There are so many good finds in this proactive and proud neighbourhood, and Kulu is no exception. Rather it’s proof that Fernwood should stop keeping secrets from the rest of us. Right across from the Belfry Theatre, in Gladstone Square, Kulu is decorated with a few small tea sets at the entrance and Paul Shepherd’s graceful and soft landscape paintings. Sydney Liu, hostess/co-owner, quips, “Bring a friend. Don’t eat alone!” She reminds me of the two years I spent in Taiwan, where eating was always an event to be shared. Next I sampled the edamame with garlic, pepper and stirfried shallots, the kimchi tofu, the sake salmon and a saltand-pepper chicken not yet on the menu. The salmon was floral and tender, the chicken, which came with rice parcelled onto nori to “roll-your-own” if you like, was, again, moist, flavourful and tasty. All presentations were elegant and deliberate. Although I sampled a lot of food at this lunch, there was no call to unbuckle my thick brown leather belt. Kulu also offers a selection of signature cocktails, including the sake naked with sake, gin and lychee; the plum tea with plum wine and green tea; and the soju ball with soju, vodka, orange juice and melon liquor. They also have a few local beers, including Driftwood’s white bark, which pairs very well with Asian food.
When I was asked to investigate the new burger menu at Smoken Bones Cookshack, I began to rally an eating caravan. I chose seven hungry friends to accompany me to Smoken Bones’ Langford location in hopes that they would supplement my own formidable appetite. Ken Hueston, chef and owner of this meat-bar, who has championed Island bounty since the restaurant’s 2007 opening, recently changed his menu to reflect his kitchen’s recent forays into burgerdom. Hueston wants to combine the classic French technique, attention to quality, and his big Southern flavors to provide the best of island butchery. “We wanted to utilize things like burgers… just start doing it old-school style on the flat-top,” Hueston explained. “On the grill you don’t celebrate the endproduct. Our burger is like the flat-top version of confit– the meat cooks in its own fat.” Because Hueston makes his own burger-mix fresh, you can specify your patty’s doneness as you’d do a steak. Top your rare burger with Smoken Bones’ own bacon, a handful of saucy pulled pork, and a bubbling slice of their house-smoked cheddar, and you’ll be holding a celebration of Vancouver Island farms and culinary dedication: AKA, the Thunda Burger.
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Prime Steak House & Lounge 621 Courtney Street, Victoria, BC | 250-386-2010 | www.primesteak.ca | attached to the Magnolia Hotel, but with its own separate entrance at the corner of Broughton and Gordon Streets
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Prime Steak House is celebrating its second anniversary, a considerable achievement in a city awash in pulled pork, lunch and pot stickers. While Prime’s raison d’etre may be good quality steak, this is not your father’s steakhouse. Part of Prime’s success may be that while the menu does contain the expected steaks, it also offers plenty of other choices—such as local halibut, rack of lamb, tuna and pasta dishes—and thus appeals to even the non-steak lovers in our lives.(Take that other, now defunct steakhouses!) On a recent Tuesday night visit I saw a restaurant buzzing with activity – no doubt a mix of business visitors from the nearby hotels and locals looking for a relaxing night out. I took a food writer friend with me and, after being seated, we ordered drinks and took in the room. Arriving guests are greeted promptly as either owner Bill Almeida or Maître d' Trevor Overbury are always on hand. The restaurant is divided between a comfortable, relaxed bar area and the multi-level restaurant proper which is quieter and lined with intimate booths. Those looking for a respite from the noisy, tight-spaced café approach currently in vogue will find spacious seating and a refined ambience. Although tempted by the variety of dishes, we were both drawn to Prime’s signature steak: the in-house, dry-aged, bone-in New York ($36). This was the only steak on the menu to have received extra aging. We peppered our competent server (Stephanie Pedneault) with questions—Why was only one steak given the extra aging? (We’re short on cooler space but we’re expanding), Where did the beef come from? (High River, Alberta), What’s a Montague Broiler? (Grills the steaks top and bottom simultaneously and we have one in the kitchen). Who’s cooking tonight? (Chef Bruce Batty handles the kitchen.) Stephanie took our “grilling” in stride and answered all our
“tonight’s going to be a good night.” a story in every bottle.
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www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2011
queries with patience and knowledge and a smile. For appetizers we ordered freshly shucked raw Kushi oysters ($14), tiny, slurpable and briny; and the Wedge Salad ($10)—a thick, crunchy wedge of iceberg lettuce, bacon, and diced tomato doused with a good, blue cheese dressing. Steaks are the stars here, and no wonder. Weighing in at 15-ounces and nearly two inches thick, ours arrived perfectly cooked to medium rare, well-seasoned and with lovely, crusty exteriors. The difference between a dry-aged steak and the others on the menu is an additional 14-28 days of aging that produces a more pronounced beef flavour. But it also loses some of its moisture in the process. This results in denser meat with a somewhat chewier bite. While I love it, it may not be for everyone. Those looking for a juicier steak should opt for the well-marbled rib steak ($32), tried on another occasion and also loved. Our steaks came with crisp frites, carrots, squash, red beets and brassica (a veg similar to a mild rapini brought in from Vantreight Farms in Saanich). The wine list offers plenty of steak-friendly choices. We went with a bottle of California cab in the middle price range that stood up well to the beef. By the glass go for the Avalon cab from Napa. Since we couldn’t quite manage to finish our steaks, we skipped dessert and opted for whiskies and then left the restaurant with our identical brown, take-out boxes, already anticipating our lunches for the next day. —Gary Hynes
161 Station Street | Duncan | 250.597.0313
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EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
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Recently on the night-time streets of downtown Duncan, an oasis of red twinkling lights led me to the welcoming doors of NOW. NOW is an acronym for Noodles of the World, which is just what’s on the menu from Asia to Italy. With encouragement from owner/server Sarah Barnes, my companion and I asked her to surprise us with her favourite sharing dishes. This quickly prompted a multi-course presentation that began with seared Ahi tuna and perfectly cooked Salt Spring Mussels, abundantly sauced with delicious Thai Red Curry. Soon our table was also laden with Sticky Baby Back Ribs paired and their Hoi-sin Mushroom Wok Saltspring Mussels bowl. Not for the faint of taste buds, the with Thai Red Curry at NOW ribs were crisp with melt in your mouth intense chili plum flavour, while the Hoi-sin dish was noodle rich, standing out as a comforting pairing. Next came their outstanding Moo-Shu Lettuce Wraps with wide noodle papers presented beautifully in a bamboo warming basket, accompanied by a plate of flavourful fillings including mango chicken, Hoi-son duck, pickled cabbage and papaya salad with a heap of delightful micro-greens. We also gratefully accepted some helpful instructions on how to wrap them for ease of eating. Next a bowl of Thai Green Curry Noodles warmed our palates, but only for a few bites since we had intentions for dessert. And what a dessert it was too! Smooth chocolate mousse with house-made raspberry coulis, whipped cream and berries…the perfect ending to a perfect meal. All dishes were generous in portion, plenty of flavour and a superb helping of hospitality. I also have to mention the conviviality that is created in this cozy, eclectic red room. Small tables all close together ensures exchange between diners creating a feeling similar to the communal dining trend taking place in big city locales. When asking Sarah the secret to her success she is quick to credit chef Derrick McFarland and a close-knit team, which she says, operates as a family. No wonder we felt all the comforts of home while feasting at NOW! —Karma Brophy
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I Kyu Noodles | 564 Fisgard St. | 250-388-7828
Guest Joel Hayhoe enjoying the pork buns at I Kyu Noodles
In Chinatown, an eclectic, yet authentic experience awaits at I Kyu Noodles. Authentic because owner Carlos Chan, a third-generation noodle maker, is a popular noodle manufacturer in town. Eclectic because a conversation with the owner reveals that he has chosen his pan-Asian dishes using, in part, the organizing principle of recipes from women he has dated or married. Hence the Malaysian coconut prawn noodles, a recipe that comes from his girlfriend’s grandmother. Presumably, this dish reflects the woman’s beauty, for it is a joyful tumble of broccoli, prawns, red peppers and plump corn kernels, topped with a wedge of lime, all in a creamy coconut sauce. Happily, Carlos was also once married to a Japanese woman whose father was a chef. From this chef he learned many skills, including how to make a complex and intricate miso with flavours of honey and garlic. This is available to buy at the restaurant, and I will be bringing some home, along with his obsession-creating ginger dressing. The owner explores his own Chinese roots with the addition of Dan Dan Mein, a plain-looking but tasty dish of thin noodles with spicy vegetables and marinated pork, as well as Spicy Shanghai Wontons, which are bright with fresh flavours. No foodie can leave without trying the Juicy Buns, especially if, like me, you are galvanized by Carlos’s kindly meant words to me: “Few, pardon me, white people order it.” There’s a system for eating a Juicy Bun. First, nibble a little hole in the doughy wrapper. Angle your bun upward so the juice inside doesn’t spurt out. Next, put your lips to the hole and suck the juice out. Finally, pop the bun into your mouth and enjoy the fresh, savoury pork filling. Warning: I Kyu is open to 3:00 p.m. only every day except Saturday, when it’s open until 5:30 p.m.
Amrikko’s | 298 Island Hwy. | 250-744-3331 Why, oh why, do people go to chain restaurants for overpriced BLTs when they could go to an Indian restaurant with great service and no dish (other than those with prawns) more expensive than $12? Amrikko’s in View Royal has positioned itself brilliantly. One of very few restaurants in the area, it is both affordable and family-friendly. Manager Sonya seems truly devoted to groups and families and provides friendly coaching for non-Indian groups seeking assistance. She even tells reluctant children that chicken pakoras are chicken nuggets; she serves them with ketchup to validate the deceit, and I have to say that I like that about her. These were the best vegetable pakoras I’ve had, mainly because they were not at all oily. The crisp, lightly salted exterior
www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2011
LET’S TALK More Profit! Less Tax! WE KNOW RESTAURANTS
201-1001 Cloverdale, Victoria
Amrikko’s vegetable pakora, onion bhaji, spinach paneer gave way to a soft puree sparkling with coriander. Onion Bhazia is apparently another appetizer favoured by the Indian clientele. A mound of sweet, soft onions in a light, thin, crispy batter is presented with both a mint and tamarind chutney for dipping— delicious. I can never resist a butter chicken, even though the food snob in me knows its roots are more British than Indian. This one had a perfect balance of tomatoes and cream. The spinach paneer was a revelation to me. The cheese is made on site and is dense and creamy; it seems the more rubbery, watery versions I’ve had elsewhere have probably been frozen. A lamb curry was redolent of onions and tomatoes, and a russet-coloured lamb rogan had a complex flavour with ginger peeking through, as well as a little touch of sweetness. The naan was a bit dry for me, but that one small disappointment was made up for by the surprise of the kulfi for dessert. This mixture of ground pistachios, almonds and cream is served popsicle-style and manages to be both decadent and fun at the same time. Two final tips to prepare you for your visit: if it’s a weekend, make a reservation; and, if you want the fully authentic Indian spicing, specify that you want to be treated like an Indian table as servers make note of who’s doing the ordering. Cont’d on the next page
Sheri P. INTERIOR DESIGN CONSUL ONSULTANT LTANT AN NT
Specializing Spe cializin ng in
»RResidential esidential & Commer Commercial cial interiors eriors »SSpace pace planning l »Colour consultation »CCustom ustom kitchen design Helping Make Kitchens Sizzle! Sheri Peterson Tel: 250-388-6167 Fax: 250-388-6069 email@example.com www.sheripinteriordesign.com
EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
COWICHAN PASTA The package states, “100% Vancouver Island farmed, fished & foraged” and may be the first commercially sold, filled pasta in our area to aim so high. The idea for this new line of frozen, stuffed pastas comes from Matt Horn a chef in the Cowichan Valley (ex-The Masthead) who wanted only local ingredients in his ravioli-like filled pasta products. The pastas are made with whole wheat, free-range eggs and various fillings. Two we especially liked were both sourced from Cowichan Bay Seafood: the spot prawn and the Dungeness crab. Both had good-sized chunks of seafood and plenty of soul-satisfying flavour. Surprisingly for a ww pasta, the noodle was tender and held together reasonably well during cooking. We also tried the Quist beef and the vegetarian Valley potatoes, with Hilary’s Fromage Frais, Mitchell Farm onion and V.I. garlic and V.I. salt. No website. Available at Ottavio and Niagara Grocery.
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Bistro 28 | 2583 Cadboro Bay Rd. | 250-598-2828 The Exceptional Eats awards posted in the March issue make one thing very clear: pulled pork is polarizing. Some people feel it’s passé, other people love it. I suggest not passing judgment until you’ve tried the pulled pork sandwich on Bistro 28’s lunch menu, which rings in at $12. It differs from others I’ve tried in that it’s not drowning in sauce. Instead, shredded braised shoulder of pork is delicately seasoned with maple and chipotle and comes with a cup of baked beans perfectly flavoured with grainy mustard and molasses as well as crisp salted French fries. While you’re at Bistro 28 for lunch, it’s tempting to try some items that are slightly pricier, but certainly fairly priced for the quality. Sharing an appetizer and a rich entrée is the way to get the best value. The salmon chowder for $7 is pure velvet. Its strength is in its simplicity. Onions add natural sweetness, and the flavours of the salmon and small chunks of potato each stand out. This comes with two grilled slices of French bread. Sticking with the seafood theme, the moules frites, in an intoxicating maple chipotle cream sauce, is served with fries and a housemade tomato coulis. The chicken and foie gras meatloaf, for $16, is also rich enough to be shared. They call it a meatloaf, but you could just as well call it a terrine because of its texture. Cooked sous vide to preserve moisture, this “loaf” is tender and elegant and does not stint on the foie gras. The creamy porcini and roasted mushroom gravy makes this dish transporting. A sunflower sprout and fennel salad on the side is a light and airy counterpoint. This dish is a reflection of the atmosphere of Bistro 28—elegant with a twist of fun.
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AWARD A WARD OF OF EXCELLENCE EXCELLENCE
VICTORIA DOWNTOWN FARMERS’ MARKET The Victoria Downtown Farmers’ Market, the Island Chefs’ Collaborative and Market Square have partnered to bring the downtown core a series of summer markets beginning May 22. Find the best in locally produced meat, cheese, bread, honey, sprouts, mushrooms, salt and preserves with the ICC providing cooking demonstrations for the public on the 4th Sunday of each month throughout the summer. Admission is free and suitable for the entire family. www.victoriapublicmarket.com 11am - 3pm May 22, June 26, July 24, Aug 28
www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2011
Nicli Antica Pizzeria 62 E. Cordova St. | Vancouver | www.nicli-antica-pizzeria.ca
Tracey Kusiewicz Nicli Antica Pizzeria may have just put Vancouver on the world pizza map. Owner Bill McCraig (Nicli is named after his Italian mother) doesn’t do delivery or take-out, and don’t even talk to him about pineapple. What he does do is create some truly fine super-thin-crust pizzas in the authentic Napoletana style. What does that entail? Think Type ‘00’ Caputo flour for the dough, peeled San Marzano tomatoes for the sauce, simple, fresh toppings and—most important—an authentic, wood-burning oven made in Naples. The last is essential, as the pizzas must be cooked at extremely high heat for less than 90 seconds in a wood-burning oven to achieve the desired texture and consistency of both dough and toppings—and to be considered authentic. McCraig even journeyed to California to take the Vera Pizza Napoletana Americas Association course as the first step in getting his pizzas certified by the Italian authority. (There’s only one restaurant in Canada with VPN certification at the moment—Pizzeria Libretto in Toronto.) As for the pizza, the benchmark for any pie joint is their Margherita. Nicli’s is beautiful. My pie had a crust decked out with the requisite bubbles around the edges, a soft, chewy texture that went whoompf on the first bite, and the foldability of a soft pita. The fresh mozza and whole basil leaves were present in just the right amounts, and the sauce sang some sweet notes. The Funghi was another good choice, but the Bianca was brilliant, with roasted garlic and onions over the parmigiano, oregano and gorgonzola base that was swapped for the usual tomato. I did manage to snag a take-away of the Quattro Formaggi, but only because we had just eaten three pies in-house. I was warned they don’t last long, but it wasn’t a problem, as I couldn’t help quickly scarfing down the heavenly melding of fresh mozza, parmigiano, gorgonzola and emmental in the car on the way home. —Anya Levykh
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EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
Interior - Nicli Antica Pizzeria
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S P O T P R AW N S
CELEBRATE SUMMER EARLY WITH
Fresh BC SEAFOOD Recipes and food styling by JENNIFER DANTER • Photography by MICHAEL TOURIGNY • Wine pairing by TREVE RING
Butter Poached Prawns WINE SUGGESTIONS Spot Prawn and Gin Cocktail Salad Crisp and fruity Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – the grassy and herbal elements will play well with the botanicals and spice of the gin.
Butter Poached Prawns With so much rich butter and milk, this dish can stand up to a big creamy chardonnay. Look for moderately oaked examples from cooler climate regions in California.
EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
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Sautéed Prawns with Garlicky Pistou
3 Ways with Spot Prawns 'Tis the season for spot prawns. While they look like sea aliens with those big heads full of spindly antennae, their plump bodies are full of such sweet, mellow sea flavour it’s easy to get past their odd appearance! The window for enjoying this delicacy is relatively short, so roll up your sleeves and prepare to feast – often. RECIPES BELOW AND ON FOLLOWING PAGES Sautéed Prawns with Garlicky Pistou Pistou is a French-style pesto made with fresh basil and often a hint of tomatoes. Unlike its Italian counterpart, pistou doesn’t have any nuts
Spot Prawn and Gin Cocktail Salad
Pistou Mince 2 garlic cloves. Chop or finely tear 2 bunches of basil (no stems) to measure about 4 cups. Peel, seed and chop 2 plum tomatoes. Whirl in a food processor, then gradually whirl in ½ to ¾ cup good quality olive oil. Stir in ½ cup grated cheese (Go Local and try Montana from Salt Spring Island Cheese Company). Taste and season with sea salt. Crostini Start with a fabulous baguette (Try Fol Epi!). Slice, then lightly brush with olive oil. Spread out on a baking sheet and toast to light golden in preheated 375F oven. Don’t forget to toast both sides. 1 to 2 lbs Spot Prawns Melt a knob of butter in a large wide frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 minced shallot and cook until translucent, 5 minutes. Increase heat to high and add shell-on prawns. Stir-fry until almost cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Splash in about 1/3 cup white wine and sauté until liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Dish up while warm. NOTE: Depending on pan size you may have to cook prawns in 2 or more batches. Don’t overcrowd pan. What to Do This dish is a hands-on snack. You’re gonna get messy – between peeling the shells and dragging the prawns through the pistou plus the oily toasts..... you’ll be needing a napkin, or two or three.
www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2011
ON THE WEB
Spot Prawn and Gin Cocktail Salad
BELOW l to r
This is an updated twist on classic cold shrimp salad. Dish it up snack-style for fun interactive eating.
TRAVEL CHEFS WINE
EVENTS RECIPES Food
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1 to 2 lbs Spot Prawns Place shell-on prawns in a large bowl. Pour boiling water overtop. Cover and let stand to cook through, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain prawns, then when cool enough to handle, peel shells. Place prawns in a serving bowl and toss with some of the gin vinaigrette. Refrigerate until well chilled. Lettuce Mix it up – try bitter but flavourful radicchio, slim spears of romaine hearts or leaves of buttery Boston lettuce. What to Do Place prawns in a small bowl. Dish up remaining vinaigrette in another bowl (stir in a spoonful of mayo to make it creamy, if you wish). Dunk prawns in dressing, then cradle it to your mouth wrapped in a blanket of lettuce. Sprinkle with sea salt and sip on a gin and tonic!
Butter Poached Prawns This dish looks best with the dramatic prawn heads on, but be sure to peel the tails so eating is easy. Gently cooking the prawns in butter is just the ticket for any delicate seafood. It results in an elegant flavour and smoother than silk texture. Cauliflower Puree Chop 1 large head of cauliflower, 1/2 fennel bulb and 1 peeled potato. Place in a saucepan and pour in 2 cups of milk (don’t worry if everything isn’t submerged). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and gently simmer until fork tender. Strain and save liquid. Puree veggies, adding reserved liquid until smooth yet thick. Be decadent and whirl in a knob of butter too! Butter Sauce In a frying pan, bring 1/2 cup white wine to a boil with 1 chopped shallot and 1 minced garlic clove. Boil for 1 minute, then reduce heat to low. Gradually whisk in 3/4 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes. It’s best to add cubes a few at a time and be sure they’ve emulsified before adding more.
1 to 2 lbs Spot Prawns Peel prawn tails, but leave heads on, if you wish. Add prawns to warm butter sauce in frying pan and gently poach until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Do not boil or sauce will separate. Stir in a handful of chopped cilantro to finish. What to Do Spoon cauliflower puree onto plates. Top with prawns, then drizzle butter sauce overtop. Be daring and suck out the goodness from the prawn heads. COOK’S SIDE BAR Mushy prawns? It’s not in your head- it’s actually the prawn’s head. Super soft prawns are the result of the head being left on too long after the prawn has died. Once the shrimp dies it releases an enzyme that softens the tissues in the body, turning the flesh mushy. For best results buy live prawns. To remove heads, grip either side of the neck joint, then twist. Save heads to use to for stock – very flavourful. Or if you’re squeamish, just buy prawns with heads already removed.
EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
1034 Fort Street, Victoria, BC
Dressing Peel, seed and chop ½ English cucumber. Place in a blender and whirl with ¼ cup gin (Try Victoria Gin!), 2 Tbsp rice vinegar and 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill. Strain through a mesh sieve, then taste and season with sea salt. Stir in more dill.
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BELOW l to r: “Crispy fishies” at Bao Bei, Grandpa Smoked Chicken at Jade Seafood, Fraser Valley lamb potsticker at Wild Rice, Chilled geoduck at Red Star Seafood
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Vancouver’s Next-Generation Chinese The re-inventing of classic Chinese dishes is being undertaken with creativity, daring and B.C.’s finest ingredients. —By By Anya Levykh
f the 2011 Chinese Restaurant Awards were any indication, there is a large—and rapidly growing—segment of the Greater Vancouver dining public interested in more than free spring rolls with their chow mein when it comes to Chinese cuisine. And that segment is more ethnically diverse and food-aware than one might suppose. Both amateur and professional food enthusiasts are developing a connoisseur’s approach—fuelled in recent years by the above-mentioned awards—towards the various regional styles and genres of Chinese cuisine. But this new savvy revolves around more than a discussion over who has the best xiao long bao (Cantonese-style soupy dumplings) in town (Lin’s, without a doubt). There is a desire to see in Chinese cuisine what has become common in other regional styles—an embracing of local and sustainable ingredients, a creativity in execution, innovation on classic dishes and the pairing of all of the above with interesting wines and cocktails. Here are a few restaurants that are reinventing Chinese cuisine one dish—and one drink—at a time.
Wild Rice This restaurant can rightly be called the instigator of the modern Chinese food movement in Vancouver. When Andrew Wong first opened this bistro in Chinatown over a decade ago with its “modern Chinese” menu, no one understood what that meant at first, but the confusion quickly dissipated. A consistent focus on “ethically conscious” eating meant that from the start, the menu only featured local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. And although the restaurant, in accordance with classic Chinese cuisine principles, almost completely avoids the use of dairy, the execution and style of the dim sum-style dishes are flavoured with a West Coast aesthetic that results in some astonishing creations. Sloping Hill pork and B.C. spot prawn siu mai are a tasty twist on the classic dumpling, as is the Fraser Valley lamb potsticker with truffled pea puree. Haida Gwaii coho salmon tartare and Yarrow Meadows duck confit terrine offer successful Asian twists on classic French favourites, and a dairy-free lemongrass brûlée with vanilla sugar is better at inducing sweet dreams than a long pull on a hookah. An extensive selection of vegetarian options, combined with the dairy-free atmosphere, mean that even vegans can eat more than half the menu without qualms. Wash it down with a drink like the Twisted Fashion (Maker’s Mark, muddled orange, orange bitters, ginger syrup) to finish on a spicy-sweet note. 117 W. Pender St. | 604-642-2882 | www.wildricevancouver.com
Bao Bei This “Chinese brasserie” is, in many ways, a younger cousin to Wild Rice, opening in Chinatown just over a year ago. The menu, orchestrated by owner Tannis Ling (former keeper of the bar at Chambar) offers similar assurances about hormone-free meats, freerange eggs and seasonal-sustainable ingredients, but there the similarities end. Items like “crispy fishies” (tiny, whole anchovies served with roasted peanuts and chilies), shao bing (textured sesame flatbread with braised pork butt and Asian pear) and soft steamed Mantou buns topped with beef shortrib in hoisin, pickled cucumber and scallions, all speak to Asian street food traditions. The cocktails are Ling’s own creations, simple and muddled with herbs from the local apothecary shop. 163 Keefer St. | 604-688-0876 | www.bao-bei.ca Jade Seafood Despite the two previous mentions, it is not in Chinatown that one finds the majority of the Chinese culinary vanguard. That honour is reserved for Richmond and such restaurants as Jade Seafood, which has quietly been using sustainable and local seafood for years—long before either of those terms became buzzwords. Executive chef Tony Luk was named Chinese Chef of the Year in the recent awards, and for good reason. In this traditional Cantonese restaurant with its linen-draped tables and muted walls, some of the best and most innovative classical fare is served up in traditional and occasionally not-so-traditional style. “Live” (and local) seafood like Dungeness crab, rock cod, geoduck and prawns are cooked in your choice of sauce. The award-winning Grandpa Smoked Chicken is prepared in a wok with tea leaves and fried rice and served cold in a gingery green onion sauce. 8511 Alexandra Rd., Richmond | 604-249-0082 | www.jaderestaurant.ca Red Star Seafood A few blocks away, in the Radisson Hotel, Red Star is turning out dishes like Dungeness crab with wild rice (for which it received the Critics’ Choice Award for Most Innovative Dish), chilled geoduck with chanterelles and more classic dishes like barbecue duck (which was a winning dish last year). The restaurant is also known for its innovative dim sum, like the boneless duck webs with jellyfish or steamed baby octopus in garlic sauce. 8181 Cambie Rd., Richmond | 604-270-3003 | no website
www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2011
master cooking class
Whether reeled in from the icy waters of Port Renfrew or ordered from the local grocer, nothing compares to the taste of fresh halibut.
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Text and food styling by DENISE MARCHESSAULT
Photography by CAROLINE WEST
Halibut's delicate flavours shine in this light aromatic broth
TREVE’S WINE SUGGESTION Poached Halibut in a Light Fish Broth Try a medium bodied white with fresh acid and a citrus edge. You need something with a little body for the halibut, and the lemon notes will partner with both the spring veg and seviche. A Southern Rhone Marsanne/Roussanne blend, or a quality Portuguese Vinho Verde would work well.
28 EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
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Seviche with toasted pita chips makes for a light, refreshing appetizer
The first time my husband returned from a chartered fishing trip I was unprepared for such a big haul and most of our precious halibut ended up hastily wrapped and tossed into the freezer. I vowed the next time the “boys” went fishing I would be ready to celebrate the Big Catch with a fish feast for family and friends. If you’re not an angler and you’ve only seen pristine fillets, steaks or cheeks at your local grocer, you might not know that halibut are curious-looking flatfish with cartoonish eyes that migrate to one side of their bodies. Halibut have garnered some peculiar nicknames: the younger, tastier fish in the 10- to 25-pound range are referred to as “chickens,” while the older fish, some weighing hundreds of pounds, are referred to as “hippos” and “barn doors.” Whatever size halibut you bring home plan to use it right away. Fresh is always best but frozen-at-sea trumps the “fresh” fish that has been lingering too long in your refrigerator (or your grocer’s display case). If you’ve hauled in a catch too large to be enjoyed immediately, consider having your halibut processed: vacuum-packed and flash-frozen the day it’s caught. (Most charters will arrange this for you.) It’s pricey, about $1.50 per pound, but it will preserve the quality of your fish.
‘Huge Halibut Haul... Come Hungry!’ I’ve included three easy recipes to make the most of your precious catch: a zesty seviche appetizer, a flavourful fish stock and a lightly poached halibut in an aromatic fish broth. Seviche is a refreshing appetizer made of raw fish marinated in citrus juice. It can be made with just about any type of fresh seafood, but I especially love it made with halibut. The acid in the citrus juice cures or “cooks” the fish, transforming its texture from soft and translucent to firm and opaque. In my cooking classes, there’s always a student who’s squeamish about eating raw fish—until the first hesitant bite. Seviche is a delicious revelation! Served in bowls or glasses, with tortillas or pita chips, seviche makes an easy, no-fuss starter. As with all stews and broths, the flavour is in the stock. Halibut bones and collars make the best fish stock imaginable. Fortunately, most grocers and fish stores will set aside the bones if you give them a bit of notice. Making fish stock is easy: simply combine the cleaned fish bones with cold water, white wine and vegetables, and simmer for about 30 minutes. You’ll be rewarded with a tasty, milky-coloured fish stock that will enhance any seafood recipe (think risotto, bouillabaisse, fish croquettes and such). Stock freezes beautifully; you might as well make a huge batch. Fresh halibut is so delicious it doesn’t require much tinkering. Seasoning it with salt and pepper and poaching it in your flavourful fish stock is an ideal way to appreciate halibut’s delicate flavour. Poaching fish is easy; just remember to remove it from the simmering stock before it’s fully cooked. Residual heat is often the culprit of rubbery, overcooked fish. So, the next time the “boys” come swaggering home with an ice-chest full of halibut, be prepared to celebrate with friends. A quick email or tweet: “Huge Halibut Haul ~ Come Hungry!” should do the trick. After all, nothing goes better with a good fish tale than an old-fashioned fish feast.
Homemade fish stock enhances any seafood recipe
FIND THE RECIPES ON THE FOLLOWING PAGES
www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2011
POACHED HALIBUT IN A LIGHT FISH BROTH Yield: 6 servings 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) fresh halibut, skin removed and cut into six portions
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1 Thai chili pepper, seeds removed Salt and pepper, to taste
3 shallots, diced
12 ounces (360 g) fresh green beans, topped, tailed and blanched*
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided in half
¾ cup fresh peas, blanched*
½ cup white wine 6 cups home-made halibut stock
1 Tbsp butter (for the blanched vegetables)
1 fresh sprig thyme
Fresh dill or fennel sprigs for garnish
In a wide, straight-sided saucepan (deep enough to poach the halibut) saute the shallots in 2 Tbsp butter until translucuent. Increase the heat and add the white wine; cook until the wine has evaporated and almost no liquid remains. Add the fish stock, thyme and chili pepper and bring the liquid to a gentle simmer. (Do not allow the liquid to boil.) Generously season the halibut pieces with salt and pepper and add them to the simmering stock; the liquid should cover at least three-quarters of the halibut (the top portion of the halibut will be steamed). Poach, loosely covered, for about 7 minutes. To test the fish for doneness, make a small slit with a paring knife in the thickest part of the fillet; all but the center of each piece should be opaque. Remove the fish before it is completely done. Transfer the portions to warmed soup bowls and tent with foil. (The residual heat will continue cooking the fish.) Bring the poaching stock to a boil and reduce the liquid by about half. Add a generous pinch of salt and check the seasonings. If you are satisified with the heat from the chili, remove it from the stock. Once the seasoning has been adjusted, add 2 Tbsp of butter. In a small pan, briefly saute the blanched vegetables in 1 Tbsp butter to warm them through. Season with salt, if necessary. Pour the stock around the poached halibut and add the warmed vegetables. Garnish with fresh dill or fennel sprigs. *Blanching - Place the vegetables (one variety at a time) in a large pot of generously salted water (5 teaspoons per gallon of water) for a few minutes until tender but still firm. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain once cooled.
SEVICHE Pronounced seh-VEE-chee Yield: 6 to 8 appetizer portions 1 ¾ pounds (800 g) fresh halibut, skin removed, diced into ¾” cubes
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EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
juice from 4 lemons, 4 limes, and two oranges (about 1 ½ cups of citrus juice) 4 large shallots, finely diced
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4 Jalapeno peppers,* finely diced 2/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped 3 Tbsp vegetable or grapeseed oil Salt to taste 1 avocado, diced (optional)
*If you prefer more heat, substitute the Jalepeno peppers with Serrano peppers or, if you’re really brave, Thai chilies. Gently combine the diced fish, citrus juice and diced shallots in a glass bowl. (The halibut must be entirely covered by the citrus juice.) Cover and refrigerate for approximately 4 hours. Drain the fish and shallots in a colander and discard the citrus juice. In a large bowl, combine the drained fish and shallots with the peppers, cilantro, oil and a generous pinch of salt. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding additional salt and peppers if needed. Add diced avocado, if desired. Serve the seviche with pita chips and garnish with thinly sliced cucumber.
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Pita Chips Using a knife or scissors, split open a pita pocket and tear it into bite-size pieces. Place the torn pita onto a baking tray and brush the coarse side of each piece with a little vegetable oil and sprinkle with a bit of fleur de sel. Bake in a 360° F oven until lightly browned.
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2 ½ - 3 pounds fresh halibut trim, chopped into 2”- 3” chunks, rinsed in cold water, drained well 3 Tbsp grapeseed oil (or any mild tasting vegetable oil) 2 onions, roughly chopped 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped 2 leeks, white part only, roughly chopped 1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped 4 whole garlic cloves 1 cup white wine 1 bouquet garni (bouquet of herbs): bundle together with kitchen string a few sprigs of fresh thyme and a generous handful of fresh parsley, including stems 2 bay leaves 1 tsp whole peppercorns Cold water
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Halibut bones make the most flavourful fish stock In a large stock pot, gently saute the onions, celery, leek, fennel and garlic in the oil over medium heat until the vegetables soften slightly, without browning. Add the wine; continue to cook until the wine has evaporated by about half. Add the fish bones and cook gently for a few minutes until the meat on the fish bones starts to turns opaque. Add the bouquet garni, bay leaves, peppercorns and enough cold water to just cover the ingredients. Bring the stock to a gentle simmer and continue to simmer for 30 minutes. The stock should not boil. Strain the stock (discarding the solids) and use immediately or refrigerate for up to three days. The stock can be transferred to plastic freezer bags and kept frozen for up to four months.
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MOON UNDER WATER Down by the Bay bridge there’s a new brewpub in town. Bonnie and Don Bradley, formerly founders of Bowen Island Brewing, have set up shop in the Rock Bay neighbourhood as an English-style, bar service pub crafting their own seasonal, traditional beers. Three of which are available in 650 ml bottles to take home: Moonlight Blonde Ale, Tranquility IPA and Blue Moon Bitter. All sample fresh and go from light pilsnerstyle to hoppy, crisp, clean to full-bodied with a dry finish. A fourth beer, Lunar Pale Ale, is only available on tap. With alcohol levels kept below 5% all the ales can be considered true “session” beers. Available at the pub, 350B Bay Street, Victoria, www.moonunderwater.ca
www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2011
Okanagan Special Feature Section
Grit and Glamour
By Claire Sear
Eating & drinking at Penticton’s Cannery Trade Centre & Kelowna’s Downtown Industrial Core.
TOP: Meringues at Walla Bottom: Opus Restaurant at the Cannery In big cities, the coolest neighborhoods often take root when an industrial area becomes inhabited by artists & entrepreneurs. (New York’s Meat-Packing district, Toronto’s Queen West, and Vancouver’s SOMA.) Ownerowned and operated restaurants /coffee bars spring up and seemly overnight the industrial ‘hood becomes hip. Both Penticton’s Cannery Trade Centre and Kelowna’s downtown industrial core, steps from Prospera Place are two such areas. A wander into these ‘hoods finds a treasure trove of culinary delights.
The Cannery Trade Centre 1475 Fairview Rd, Penticton. Artists & Artisans Valentini’s Cafe, a favorite with locals, believes in serving ‘real food for real people’. Breakfasts include lattes, classiceggs & bacon, wraps, and eggs benny with real hollandaise sauce. For lunch, soups made from scratch, fresh salads, and sandwiches with names that say it all-the vegetarian, the beefer (roast beef roasted on site to medium rare perfection), the yoddler (black forest ham & gruyere Swiss cheese), & the gobbler (roast turkey, maple syrup and cranberry cream cheese) all served on delicious nine grain chaibatta bread. (250- 487-2265) Inside, past the western saddles is “Walla”- a tiny bakery café crammed with deliciousness including fresh baked artisan bread and delectable’s such as mini flour-
EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
less chocolate cakes and giant puffs of meringues currently all the rage in Paris. One bite-shows why these have become so popular - the crunch, then meringue heaven, slightly chewy with the subtleness of rosewater and a touch of exotic pistachio crunch or comforting cinnamon with hazelnut. Top these with fresh fruit and whipped cream to create an Okanagan pavlova. Enjoy lunch with treats such as brioche French toast, bourekas, home-made soups and sandwiches. This bakery café is not to be missed. (250-770-2001) The newly opened Wrap It Up Tortilla has the best authentic home-made Mexican tortilla’s in the Valley. The tortilla machine was brought all the way from Mexico. Unlike grocery chain tortilla’s, these are made with no preservatives and low sodium. Take-away deli wraps, taco bowls, and tortilla chips are sold on site as well as Canadian Pie Wraps-a tortilla filled with pie fillings such as lemon, cherry, or boston cream then rolled-up and rebaked in the oven. Be warned they are sinfully addictive. (250 487-7474) Opus Theatre Cafe is a love story and the joint venture of Mike and Terri Surdzis who were married in the café in 2006 and after buying it in 2010 renamed it Opus. Mike, previously owned the “Go Greek” food trailer-hence the outstanding gyro’s served at lunch and the Greek theme running through the price-fixe dinners that Opus puts on by reservation only for theatre evenings. Opus is an artist’s café- good food at reasonable prices and a friendly place to linger. Enjoy the patio this summer. (250 496 5188) The Cannery Brewery, showcases that the Okanagan produces not only award-winning wines but awardwinning beers. Squire Scotch Ale took Gold and Naramata Nut Brown Ale - Silver at the 2010 Canadian Brewing Awards. Here you can sample, take a tour of the brewing facility and purchase their beers. Host a summer “Pig” party (a mini-keg in the shape of a pig) with the seasonal Apricot Wheat Ale, perfect for the Okanagan’s hot summer days. (250-493-2723)
Downtown Kelowna’s industrial area Richter and Clement Street. The Okanagan Tree Fruit Cooperative has 6 fruit sales outlets in the valley, with one located at Richter and Clement. The best place to buy and sample local farmer’s apples and pears year round due to cold preservation. Varietals include heavenly ambrosia, nicola, concord and exotic koshi. Other local treasures include jams, pies and Knight’s chocolate bars with local sour cherries. 816 Clement St, 250-763-8872 Down Richter Street, Calona Vineyards Winery which opened in 1932 (BC’s original winery) is also home to Vineyards Estate Wines which houses the award-winning Sandhill and Peller Estates wineries. Step into the tasting room and for a small fee sample their wines. A
treat not to be missed- add the ice-wines to your tasting flight for just $2.00 a pour. Wines can be purchased on site at the wine boutique store. Knowledgeable and helpful staff. 1125 Richter St, 250-762-9144 Tree-Brewing – another of the Okanagan’s famed micro-breweries offers tours and a tasting bar. Visit the cold vault to purchase frosty beers. Best buys are the tall cans (500ml) and big boy beer bottles (650ml) which can be bought individually or mixed and matched to create a customized pack. Both their Hop Head Double IPA, and Seasonal Hefeweizen Wheat Ale won gold medals at the 2010 Canadian Brewery Awards. 1083 Richter St, 250-7171091 Since 1985, Kootenay Coffee, of Nelson fame, has been selling their certified organic coffee both retail and wholesale and has now opened their first coffee bar. Coffee connoisseurs-local owner - Craig Bennett, takes serious pride in his beans and specializes in espresso as well as handmade lattes, and cappuccinos. 1019 Richter St, 778-4782870 Cecil’s Perogies, has been an Okanagan institution for over nineteen years. Hand-made perogies and sauces are made on site-generous portions. Next door, Hungry Hound Restaurant diner’s fare is the best bang for the buck. Big breakfast meals and lunches which include towering sandwiches and burgers with fries are under $10.00. Cecil’s Perogies, 1011 Richter St, 250-861-4932; Hungry Hound Restaurant, 991 Richter St, 250-762-6266 Around the corner, newly opened, focuses on producing premium vodka and gin. A must try -The Spirit Bear Gin - a unique Okanagan gem with hints of lavender and apple. Open to the public for sampling and tours. All proceeds from the tasting fees go directly to helping the endangered Spirit Bears of British Columbia. Save a bear, try a tasting. #6-325 Bay St, 778-478-0939 Finally, two well know Okanagan chefs and legends at the Kelowna Farmer’s Market - Grant de Montreuil (Wedge Artisan Pizza) and Neil Schroeter (Okanagan Street Food), have both set up permanent shop. Now you can satisfy your cravings almost any day of the week. Wedge Artisan Pizza, famous for their thin crust pizza shells (available at finer grocery stores) uses the best sourced local ingredients combined with the best of Italy to produce their gourmet take-out or delivery pizzas. Taste the difference. 1184 High St, 250-868-0004 Okanagan Street Food Diner showcases some of the best food in the valley in a modern day diner. The famous market breakfast wrap is served all-day. An absolute mustthe candied salmon fritters. Sandwiches, fish tacos, fries with blackberry ketchup or truffled mayonnaise, daily fresh pasta, & divine homemade soups. Where the chefs eat. 812 Crowley St, 778-478-0807 Have fun exploring the Okanagan’s Grit and Glamour ‘hoods. ~
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www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2011
New Wine Trail Eats: Miradoro, Sonora Room Restaurant & Terrafina —
by Anya Levykh
Miradoro: Marinated beet and hazelnut salad with mint, pea shoots and ricotta cheese. Tinhorn Creek 2009 Pinot Gris. Chef Jeff Van Geest
Sonora Room: Crisp Fraser Valley duck leg confit with truffled ricotta gnocchi and spiced black amber plum gastrique. Burrowing Owl 2008 Pinot Noir. Chef Chris VanHooydonk
Terrafina: Chouriço and mushroom pizza with parmigiano and aged cheddar. Hester Creek 2009 Character Red. Chef Jeremy Luypen
pizzas with classic toppings like fresh torn basil and fior di latte are fixtures on the menu, but also sit next to more inventive options like the morel mushroom, asparagus and local chevre version. A personal favourite was the potato with caramelized onions and mascarpone. The oven is often lined with vine leaves to allow a bit of the grape in your glass to be reflected in the food as well. The restaurant uses organic, local and seasonal whenever possible and Van Geest has started his own pickling and preserving program for the leaner winter months. As the program expands, so too will the range of housemade products featured on the menu. And Miradoro is not alone in its aims. Local chefs are not only embracing the local-seasonal-sustainable mantra with open arms and inventive whisks, but several of them are also doing double-duty as growers and producers. At Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, an “old-timer” in the dining scene, Executive Chef Chris Van Hooydonk— along with his Executive Sous Chef Jonathan Thauberger—has long been quietly growing, curing, pickling and preserving for the French-inspired menu at the Sonora Room Restaurant (www.bovwine.ca). The charcuterie plate is deliberately vague in description, as the kitchen likes to change up the selection of terrines, pâtés and sausages, depending on what’s available—and virtually everything on the plate is made in-house. My visit had me sampling the house-made copa cotta sausage, beef tongue and pork cheek terrine, duck liver parfait, and a venison cacciatore flavoured with juniper berries and peppercorns. The cornichons were pickled inhouse, the lemon-and-dill whole wheat bread was baked that morning, and the apricot-infused mustard is a local byword. The crispy duck leg confit that followed was meltingly good, especially when paired with the ricotta gnocchi, grilled apples and yellow and red carrots. It was matched perfectly with a glass of the winery’s 2008 Pinot Noir. Van Hooydonk also happens to have his own hobby orchard—conveniently located within view of the restaurant dining room—on which he grows his own fruits and walnuts to supplement what comes in from local suppliers like Covert Farms, Codfather Seafood Market, Two Rivers Meats and Fester’s Peppers. Nor is he the only one in his kitchen to also wear a grower’s cap. The staff all participates in an annual heirloom tomato competition,
to see who can grow the choicest varietals, and are constantly experimenting with new products from their home gardens. The cherries in my fresh-baked strudel come from Van Hooydonk’s farm, a luscious mix of classic and Byng varietals, set off nicely by the housemade (natch) vanilla bean ice cream and cherry coulis. Van Hooydonk’s philosophy on the food is fairly simple. “A beet is a beet is a beet,” he states, “and if you get the best product coming in the back door, then there shouldn’t be much that you have to do to it, apart from cooking and seasoning it properly, and then matching it well to a good wine.” That philosophy is mirrored over at Hester Creek Estate Winery’s new restaurant, Terrafina (www.terrafinarestaurant.com). Executive Chef Jeremy Luypen, who also heads the kitchens at Passa Tempo at nearby Spirit Ridge, has put together a rustic Tuscancentred menu that revolves around the brick-lined and wood-burning pizza oven that takes centre stage in his open kitchen. The caprese salad is made with Luypen’s own cheese, a soft, silky, creamy, burrata-style concoction that makes this often-tired offering sing like a Puccini aria. An antipasto platter includes the housemade chouriço, a drier Portuguese version of chorizo that the mother of one of Luypen’s friends taught him to make in her kitchen. Housemade prosciutto made from Two Rivers duck tops a pizza along with caramelized onions, Little Qualicum blue cheese and an aged balsamic glaze. Lamb sirloin marinated with garlic and shallots is decorated with purple and yellow potatoes, and wild boar and venison meatballs are cooked in Chef’s own merlot beef stock. Luypen, along with his two chefs de cuisine Praneil Rai and April Yonkman, has already been going strong on the canning and preserving front at Passa Tempo, has plans for a kitchen garden behind the restaurant, echoing the zero-mile inclinations of chefs like Van Hooydonk. In the end, though, all of this attention to hyper-local, sustainable, organic, seasonal, fresh, wild, handmade, etc, all comes from a common philosophy that holds that the most wine-friendly food is that which comes from the same earth on which the vines grow and is produced with an equal amount of passion and dedication. And that is golden, indeed. ~
liver has often been referred to as a one-horse town. In fact, this is patently untrue, as there are whole fields of horses—and cows. Regardless, the area around Highway 97 is called the Golden Mile for good reason. Among the multitude of orchards are some of B.C.’s best names in wine; names like Hester Creek, Road 13, Tinhorn and Burrowing Owl. Unfortunately, until recently most tourists made Oliver their pit stop on the way to or from Kelowna. A couple hours of sipping wine, and lunch at one of the few good restaurants in town, and off they went. Thanks, however, to the inspired efforts of certain winery owners and their restaurant chefs, Oliver is set to become a dining destination in its own right. Winery restaurants have been few and far between in this area. But with the recent openings of Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek and Terrafina at Hester Creek, there has been renewed interest in the local dining scene, and with good reason. The recently-opened Miradoro (www.tinhorn.com), a partnership between Tinhorn Creek Vineyards and Manuel Ferreira of Vancouver’s Le Gavroche, boasts a menu rich in Mediterranean influences and a kitchen headed by chef Jeff Van Geest (Bishop’s, Diva at the Met, Aurora Bistro). Ferreira’s own Portuguese background makes itself felt, but so do the influences of Italy, Spain and Morocco—all cuisines that match well with South Okanagan wines. “We’re not trying to be authentic,” says Van Geest. The goal, according to him, is to create dishes based around what’s available seasonally and then play with those influences to create something new. But that play isn’t meant to make things complicated. The food is presented as simply as possible, such as with the smoked sablefish and sweet pea croquettes off the tapas menu that are sided with a smear of honey garlic aioli, or the albóndigas—beef ragout-stuffed meatballs in roasted tomato sauce. Mains like seared halibut cheeks (from the first catch of the season) are paired with blood sausage migas, a Spanish and Portuguese savoury version of pain perdu, made from leftover bread soaked in garlic, olive oil and pimentos. The migas is crispy, chewy and meaty, thanks to the sausage, and the briny tang of the pimento cuts the richness of the cheeks with samurai skill. Miradoro also boasts a ceramic pizza oven, so thin-crust
EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
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www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2011
Okanagan Chefs Talk —compiled by Claire Sear
"What is the most interesting or challenging guest request you have ever had?”
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Ricardo Scebba, Ricardo's Mediterranean Kitchen, 250-766-6810 For years people have requested my recipes and for years I've told them how simple they are to make. Well a cookbook seemed like the logical conclusion. So this May, Ricardo's will have all of his & his mother's recipe's in one little package entitled “That's Amore”: Recipes honouring my Mom, my heritage & my appetite. & for under 25 bucks you should be satisfied. Mark Filatow, Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar, 250-979-1222 Last summer I was spit roasting a suckling pig for a backyard birthday party. The customer/birthday boy asked if he could have the head. He is Philippino and they make a special dish with it. He even bought a huge butcher’s scimitar. I showed where to make the cut and with all the guests watching….“WACK” off came the head. Later as I was packing up all the catering gear. I asked the host where I could put the head which was now wrapped in tinfoil. He said he was going to put it in the freezer. The kicker is, his wife’s vegan. He was allowed to have the spit roast pig in their backyard only because it was his birthday. I am sure she found it first under the peas. Jas Dosanj, Poppadoms, 778-753-5563 Allergies. So, we created gluten-free, lactose-free and vegan-friendly menus to make things easier. A guest emailed us about their daughter’s dangerous chickpea allergy. Before cooking we took the Mum into our kitchen and cleaned the pan, utensils and serving plates in front of her to ease her mind about cross-contamination. Ryan Fuller, Sumac Ridge Estate Winery, 250-494-0451 There have been may challenging requests, from allergies to vegans to not having specific items on my menu. I along with my team always find ways to accommodate and deliver to our guests. I have even had to run to another restaurant to borrow an ingredient and cook a special dish for a guest that would not take no for an answer. Giulio Piccioli, The Rotten Grape, 250-717-8466 When I ran my first Italian restaurant- a regular customer, Enzo, came in with 2 beautiful pheasants, barely dead, handed them to me by the neck and said “I will be back in one hour with 3 other friends, thank you”. Neither I nor my sous chef knew what to do. With a lap-top, internet connection and a shot of grappa for courage, we set about to please Enzo. That night, Enzo and his friends enjoyed a beautiful Roasted Pheasant Breast, with a wild mushroom duxelle, a Chianti reduction and white truffle Mashed Potatoes. I will never forget that night and those two beautiful birds; I learnt the importance of respecting and understanding the ingredients you work with; and the necessity of a wireless connection in the kitchen: you just never know! Jyunya Nakamura, Wasabi Izakaya, 250-762-7788 Unusual challenge is a normal situation since a lot of our dishes are different from Japanese restaurants in the Okanagan. Many people in the Okanagan are still discovering that there is a lot more than sushi to Japanese cuisine. Paul Cecconi, Local Lounge, 250-494-8855 As many more people these days are experiencing sensitivities and allergies to certain foods, it is our responsibility as chefs to face this challenge and provide these guests with an experience that is second to none and making them feel like they have not been forgotten.
Okanagan Buzz —by Jennifer Schell Pigott Its Festival time in the Okanagan! Plan to join us this summer for some of the province’s most spectacular food and wine events. The upcoming Okanagan Summer Wine Festival line up this year is amazing. With new events and locations added, the experience will be sure to thrill your palates. www.thewinefestivals.com In June we celebrate the First Annual Okanagan Spot Prawn Festival. Hosted by the Pacific Prawn Fisherman’s Association, in conjunction with the Chefs’ Table Society and sponsored by EAT Magazine, events will be held at both Manteo Resort and Watermark Beach Resort. The original Spot Prawn Festival, now in its 5th year, takes place in May at the False Creek Fisherman’s Wharf in Vancouver. Brought to us with help of Jon Crofts, owner of Codfather’s Seafood Market, we are proud to join ranks with this wonderful Coastal celebration. When in Summerland, make sure to pop into Good Omens Coffee Shop. This hip java hut is owned by Jamie Ohmenzetter and her partner Jason Embree. Both classically trained chefs, this specialty coffee house also offers up a delicious food menu and a super cool back yard. www.GoodOmens.ca After a stunning 43-year career, Bouchon’s well-loved Chef Dominique Couton has entered into a much-deserved retirement. Congratulations to former Sous Chef Luc Bissonnette who has taken his
EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
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place at the kitchen helm. Luc was formerly with Bacchus Restaurant in Vancouver and has been with Bouchon’s since it opened in 2004. Before that… he cooked in Paris! www.bouchonsbistro.com Farmers Market favorites Mary De Bakker and husband Sandy Lukic have opened their own digs - De Bakker’s Kitchen in Kelowna. This cozy, wood-themed eatery boasts a beautiful wood fire oven fed by local apple wood. Offering up a wide array of wood fire oven baked breads, they are now open for lunch and dinner. Their delicious locally focused lunch menu features homemade soups, salads, and sandwiches plus daily features. Don’t miss the wood fire oven baked pizzas for eat in or take out after 5:00. www.debakkerskitchen.com 1014 Glenmore Drive – Open 11-9 – closed Monday. Quick Bites: •Little Creek Gardens have released a brand new salad dressing to add to their delicious repertoire – a creamy Caesar! www.littlecreekgardens.com • The Rotten Grape wine bar downtown has a new Chef in the house. Direct from Umbria, hot young Chef Giulio Piccioli has infused a taste of Tuscany to the menu. www.rottengrape.com • Serendipity Winery has opened up recently on the Naramata Bench – make sure to add them to your wine tour. www.serendipitywinery.com • Raudz Regional Table’s cocktail classes lead by in house Liquid Chef Gerry Jobe are still going strong – check out their schedule and sign up: www.raudz.com • Waterfront Restaurant will be expanding into the space next door where Metro Liquor now resides. www.waterfrontrestaurant.ca
DRINK UP the Valley —by Treve Ring Spring has sprung, and with the sunshine comes a host of change in the Valleys. New beginnings, new releases, new crop, new blood. South Okanagan’s Le Vieux Pin is going from strength to strength, announcing the inaugural release of its Rhone inspired program with the 2008 Syrah and 2009 Viognier/Roussanne. These wines herald an exciting new direction for the winery. The belief is that Rhône varieties like Syrah and Viognier are a perfect fit for the paradoxical yet complementary hot microclimate desert of the South Okanagan contained within the cooler 49th parallel macroclimate. www.levieuxpin.ca The buzz about Tantalus Vineyards isn’t limited to the local press. Influential international critic James Suckling awards the 2009 Riesling an impressive 92 points - the highest score given to any Canadian Riesling at his early 2011 Société des Alcools du Québec-hosted tasting. Tantalus, BC’s first LEED winery, has instigated a honey bee program, with 12 hives to start, and building to 20 by year’s end. www.tantalus.ca Spring also brings in new beginnings for Naramata’s Lang Winery, one of the properties of the bankrupt Holman Lang Wineries Ltd. group. The Lang property and winery have been purchased by Bravo Enterprises Ltd. Past owner Guenther Lang will continue to lead a team of consultants, working closely with European-educated winemaker Laurent Lafuente. And finally, from new beginnings to old milestones, 2011 marks Kettle Valley Winery’s 20th year of family winemaking on the Naramata Bench. As part of the celebrations they are offering Celebration Pricing Events to individual customers, rolling back to original prices on select wines. The first wave was in April, but watch their website for July 15 and October 15 birthday celebration sales. www.kettlevalleywinery.com This spring’s annual Banée celebration weekend had more to celebrate than normal. Banée is a South Okanagan Winery Association industry event to mark the end of pruning and the beginning of a new season. This year SOWA announced another new beginning – the beginning of a new era, logo and name christening as Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country. The 21 member wineries made the decision to move from SOWA to OOWA so they could better define the region where their grapes are grown and to communicate a sense of place. Southern Okanagan is a pretty broad term for consumers to comprehend – where does it start? Where does it end? How far does it spread? The new name and marketing plan aims to clarify the area, and will work to highlight their unique climate, soil and wine growers and vintners. Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country is now clearly bordered by McIntyre Bluff to the north, and the USA border to the south. Its major growing areas lie on 3 benches: the Golden Mile, The Black Sage and the Osoyoos Lake benches. While there are a number of soil types and microclimates, the unifying character is the extreme desert climate, with hot days and cool nights – perfect for grapes. www.sowasite.com (new site under development at press time).
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Hester Creek proudly introduces – Character White and Character Red – both bright, fresh, lively blends that are classic examples of what our 95-acre vineyard site on the Golden Mile Bench creates. Available wherever fine wines are sold. WWW.HESTERCREEK.COM
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Creating a Tea Masterpiece
Daniela Cubelic, owner of Silk Road Tea, and a Tea Master who has trained with Chinese and Taiwanese tea experts, takes us on her personal pilgrimage to Taiwan to learn the secrets of one of the most prized teas- oolong.
Above: Taiwanese Tea Garden, in mountainous terrain.
hat separates an ordinary tea from a tea masterpiece? It begins with the quality of tea leaves used. Soil conditions, altitude, climate, even the location on the bush the leaf was plucked from—all are critical elements in the resulting tea. But what elevates a tea to something extraordinary is the skill of the tea maker who processes the tea leaves and transforms what nature has created (and the tea farmer has nurtured) into a masterpiece. Some types of tea are easier to make than others. Green, white, oolong and black teas are all produced from the same Camellia sinensis plant, but how they are processed will determine what kind of tea they become. Green and white teas are made by steaming and drying tea leaves almost immediately after picking. Black tea is created from tea leaves that are fully oxidized (exposed to sunlight and air) before drying. Although green, white and black teas offer certain challenges, they are generally easier to make than oolong teas. Premium oolong teas, known for their depth and lack of astringency, are highly prized by tea connoisseurs. To produce one, the leaves are partially oxidized and many styles of oolong teas can be created, depending on the oxidation level and how the leaves are rolled, dried and baked. This partial oxidation can result in an extraordinary combination of flavours not found in any other type of tea. At their best, they have an alluring complexity, natural sweetness, incomparable floral and fruit aromas, and an exquisite long-lasting aftertaste. However, bringing an oolong tea to the point where it reveals its full potential requires incredible skill. Last October I had the opportunity to experience this first-hand with one of Taiwan’s
EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
foremost experts on tea processing, Cheng-Chung Huang. Mr. Huang is in charge of the tea processing section for Taiwan’s Tea Research & Extension Station, a government agency where some of the world’s most cutting-edge tea research takes place. The facility isn’t open to the public, and I felt extremely privileged to be among a select group of non-Taiwanese tea professionals who were the first to have been granted access. Several tea research stations are located throughout Taiwan. The one I visited in central Taiwan has a breathtaking view of Sun Moon Lake, a popular tourist destination. Taiwan’s temperate climate, humidity, abundant sunshine, ample rainfall and mountainous geography create a veritable paradise for tea production. But even the best quality leaves can result in mediocre tea if they are not processed by a skilled tea-maker. Those processing methods have been shrouded in secrecy since the origins of tea. At one time in China, tea processing was considered a state secret because tea-makers didn’t want Europeans to figure out how tea was made. In fact, revealing techniques to foreigners was punishable by death. Clearly, making good tea was serious business! And it still is. Training for tea processing has traditionally taken place through apprenticeships and is often transmitted through families from one generation to the next. The problem with this model is the wide range of skill levels among tea-makers. Those who excel tend to keep their secrets to themselves. It typically takes about 10 years of training to develop enough expertise to produce good quality tea, but even then the ability to produce something exceptional is not guaranteed without a combination of luck, talent and experience, particularly without the opportunity for advanced training.
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Cheng-Chung Huang’s role is to develop best practices for tea growing as well as tea processing and to offer training to tea farmers and tea-makers so they can improve the quality of their product, and in so doing improve their lives. Wages in the Taiwanese tea industry are generally higher than for other tea-producing regions, but there’s still room for growth. Manufacturing premium quality tea requires more highly skilled and better-paid workers, but it also commands higher prices, which in turn translates into higher and more stable incomes and has the spin-off effect of helping to create and retain jobs in rural areas. The tea I made under Mr. Huang’s skilful guidance is a particular style of Taiwanese oolong known as Tung Ting, whose English translation is Frozen Mountain Peak. The best Tung Ting is produced from bushes that grow at elevations of 600 to 700 metres around the foothills of Tung Ting Mountain in the Lugu Township of Nantou County. As is typical at higher altitudes, the climate is cool with moderate sun, along with ample cloud, mist and rainfall, which contribute to good quality tea leaves. The price of Tung Ting tea reflects the demand for, and limited supply of, ultrapremium tea. In Taipei, an average quality Tung Ting sells for around $130 per kilo, whereas a very good quality one will reach $750 to $850 per kilo. In our case, the leaves we used did not come from Tung Ting Mountain. Instead, ours were freshly plucked in the late morning from the research station’s vast experimental tea gardens, the site of top-secret development of new tea plant cultivars. Tung Ting tea is an excellent example of both how challenging and rewarding it can be to process tea. The method is complicated and the many intricate steps require great technical precision throughout. It took more than 30 hours of processing time over two days to make this tea, and by the end, I felt as exhausted as if I had scaled Tung Ting Mountain itself. But the reward was well worth it; the tea was truly exquisite. From start to finish, we monitored the ambient temperature and humidity because they affect how long it can take the tea to move from one stage to another. We also constantly observed the tea’s appearance and aroma. These are the primary indicators of when the tea is ready to move to the next stage. Tea processing began at 12:30 in the afternoon. Freshly picked tea leaves were laid out on large tarps and exposed to the sun in a stage known as solar withering. It speeds up evaporation of moisture from the leaf and hastens oxidation. How long this step takes depends on the intensity of Tea leaves in bamboo sunlight, temperature and humidity. After an hour and five baskets, immediately minutes, the tea leaves had softened and when held upright after solar withering. they drooped. Solar withering was complete. Next, the tea leaves were placed on large round bamboo trays and moved inside for indoor withering, further decreasing the moisture content. Over an eight-hour period, we shook the trays intermittently and gently stirred the leaves by hand to ensure uniform exposure to air. The tea’s aroma undergoes an incredible transformation during this stage. When freshly picked, tea has a light grassy scent, but as the oxidation process unfolds, the grassiness dissipates and an array of intoxicating fruity and floral notes appears. Once the scent has reached a particular peak of intensity, it is time to stop indoor withering. I asked Mr. Huang to deCheng-Chung Huang scribe the smell and he laughed. It was indescribable, he said, demonstrates the but through practice and experience you eventually develtechnique for stirring oped the ability to recognize the moment. tea leaves. And Mr. Huang is right: the scent is unforgettable yet almost impossible to describe. It was hauntingly elusive, utterly mesmerizing and pleasantly overwhelming due to its intensity and complexity. The perception of the scent kept changing with each inhalation. One moment I smelled honeysuckle, then honey and pollen. In another instant, I detected orange flower blossoms and jasmine. Then a mouth-watering array of ripe fruit aromas overtook the air—peaches, plums, figs, apricots and pears. CONT’D ON THE NEXT PAGE
Award winning wine selection paired with globally inspired menu offerings from Canada’s only Iron Chef Champion, Rob Feenie www.cactusclubcafe.com
2010 winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence Road 13 Rockpile available at all Cactus Club Restaurants.
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Markus’ Wharfside Restaurant
Vancouver Island’s best kept secret
(250) 642-3596 1831 Maple Ave. Sooke www.markuswharfsiderestaurant.com
MICHAEL TOURIGNY STUDIOS 250-389-1856 2001 Douglas Street - Unit F firstname.lastname@example.org
I would have been content to linger in that fragrant heaven forever, but once we identified that the tea had reached the perfect point, it was time to expose it to heat to halt the oxidation and retain the aromatic and flavour characteristics that had been released through withering. The tea was transferred to a panning machine, which tumbles the leaves while exposing them to temperatures of 70-75 degrees Celsius. Then it was onto the pre-drying stage, which further reduced moisture in the leaves. Since we had used heat several times to halt the oxidation process, we were able to let the tea rest overnight. By this Cheng-Chung Huang’s point, I was exhilarated—and exhausted. It was 2 a.m.; finally assistant places tea leaves in and out of time to call it a day. Early the next morning we began the rolling process, which panning machine. is how the tea leaves eventually take on their tightly wound, pearl-like appearance. It also causes a further breakdown in the leaf’s structure. The first part of rolling is known as half-moon rolling, so named because the shape of the device is a half-circle. Afterwards, the tea leaves are placed in canvas and formed into a large, tight ball. This cloth “tea ball” is exposed to controlled, weighted pressure to continue dissipation of the moisture and allow the tea to continue developing its characteristic leaf shape. By now I was truly weary and I knew this stage was traditionally carried out entirely by hand. It was a great relief to discover that semiautomated equipment would be used instead. The tea was rolled, panned and re-rolled 30 times over the course of nine hours. After each rolling, the leaves were inspected for appearance and aroma to determine whether more or less rolling was required. When the rolling was finally judged to be complete, the leaves were run through a dryer to further deactivate any enzymatic Daniela wraps tea activity and to stabilize the tea. leaves in canvas Finally, the tea leaves were baked to seal in the flavour and ensure adequate dryness. They were now ready to be packed. Cheng-Chung Huang Continual adjustments are made during tea processing to demonstrates how account for the variances in each harvest, as well as the tightly the tea needs constantly changing ambient tem- to be rolled. perature and humidity during the course of a day. There is a high margin for error, and if, at any point, we had too little or too much oxidation, rolling or drying, the tea would not have achieved its ideal state. At worst, the tea would have been ruined—a few miscalculations could result in a moderate quality tea. Instead the final result was exquisite, demonstrating what a true tea masterpiece can be. I’ve gained an extensive body of Daniela inspects the knowledge about tea during my unwrapped tea to nearly 20 years in the industry, yet determine whether this experience of creating a more rolling is premium oolong in Central Taiwan required. left me with an even deeper Cloth “tea ball” appreciation for the alchemy that goes into a cup of my perfectly wrapped and ready for favourite brew. Tung Ting Tea can be ordered by the pot (or gaiwan) at the Hotel
Reservations | 250.592.7424
dinner Monday to Saturday from 5:30pm www.paprika-bistro.com | 2524 Estevan Ave | Victoria | BC
EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
Grand Pacific. It is also available in limited quantities for sale at Silk Road. The Tung Ting teas available for sale are from Lugu. Subscribers to Tapas, our newsletter, and EAT Twitter followers are eligible to enter a draw to attend a special tutored Tung Ting tea tasting at Silk Road. Watch for details.
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liquid assets—by Larry Arnold VALUE WHITE Red Rooster Okanagan VQA Chardonnay 2009 BC $14.50-16.00 So what’s not to like about this brilliant Naramata chardonnay. Winemaker Karen Gillis and her team won gold at the 2011 Chardonnay du Monde competition in France rating Red Rooster as one of the top ten chards on the planet. Yeow! For under twenty bucks! Creamy with spiced pear and citrus flavours, a hint of oak nicely balanced with a crunch of lively acidity.
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Beso de Vino Old Vine Garnacha 2009 Spain $13.00-15.00 Grenache or garnacha is the flavour of the month and at this price point nobody does it better than the Spanish! Fat and juicy with sweet toasty berry flavours, medium to full-bodied and balanced with a rasp of firm tannins. Great value.
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Joie Rose 2010 BC $21.00-23.00 When I think pink this bright watermelon hued Rose from the Naramata bench is exactly what I am thinking about. It is a blend of pinot noir, pinot meunier and gamay with a splash of pinot gris just for the heck of it. Off dry and medium-bodied with ripe cherry and strawberry flavours, a kiss of zippy acidity and a blush of fine tannin.
Premium Wine Tastings 12-8pm Daily
WHITE WINE Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc 2010 New Zealand $17.00-20.00 The 2010 vintage is a return to a style of wine that put Marlborough sauvignon blanc on our collective radar. Concentrated and fresh with crisp acidity and bright passionfruit and citrus flavours. Halibut, yes. A little sole, perhaps. A dozen oysters on the half shell, divine. Giessen Sauvignon Blanc 2009 New Zealand $16.00-19.00 This is a wine I could throw back in great draughts. It is fresh and lively with delicious gooseberry, citrus and asparagus flavours. Medium bodied with mouthwatering acidity and a clean dry finish.
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Quails’ Gate Okanagan VQA Dry Riesling 2010 BC $17.00-19.00
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and if, at any n, rolling or eal state. At scalculations
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Tung Ting teas
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An Okanagan classic with a ripe peaches and apricots on the nose and intense citrus and mineral flavours nicely balanced with a crunch of mouth-watering acidity. With some of the oldest vines in the valley, Quails’ Gate Riesling just keeps get better and better, year after year!
IN VICTORIA, FRESH LOCAL CUISINE COMES FROM T H E PA C I F I C .
Kettle Valley Pinot Gris 2010 BC $20.00-23.00 Sitting on prime real estate in the heart of the Naramata Bench, Kettle Valley continues to impress. This lovely salmon hued gris is loaded with ripe melon, apple and mineral flavours with a slightly oily texture, good weight and plenty of refresh acidity to keep it interesting. Get it now because it won’t be around for long.
The Pacific is one of Victoria’s
Principesco Pinot Noir 2009 Italy $12.00-14.00 This perky little quaffer is soft and fruity with simple cherry flavours, a velvety texture and a clean dry finish. A good buy for it’s humble price point.
best kept restaurant secrets and
Escorihuela 1884 Reservado Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Argentina $17.00-19.00 The vineyards and wineries of Argentina are well known as a source of good Malbec at price points that won’t bring tears to your eyes but did you know there is more to Argentina then Malbec. Well if you didn’t let me assure you that one taste of this richly endowed cabernet will get you wondering about what you have missed all these year. Rich and full-bodied with concentrated cassis, menthol, expresso and spice flavours nicely balanced with a soft tannic structure. Hmmmm?
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Terra Andina Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2009 Chile $10.00-13.00 Fruit, fruit and more fruit, this scrumptious red is all about balance and the crystalline purity of Chilean fruit. Rich and silky smooth with cherry, plum and vanilla flavours and a firm, fruit driven finish. Kettle Valley Pinot Noir Reserve 2007 BC $35.00-40.00 Concentrated and powerful with heady aromas of black cherry, spice and warm earth fill the glass and develop slowly on the palate. Medium-bodied and richly textured with complex fruit flavours, balanced acidity and silky smooth tannins. A big juicy Pinot worth every penny.
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DRINK UP the Islands —by Treve Ring
Coastal Black Estate Winery This brand new fruit winery is situated on just over 800 acres, nestled at the base of Mt. Washington in Comox Valley. The family farm (O’Brennan and Ludwig families) is made up of four generations living and working together, to produce a number of hand-harvested and sustainably farmed products including wine, fruit, raw honey, mead, and custom milled lumber. With over 80 acres of blackberries, they lay claim to the largest cultivated blackberry farm in Canada. Operating as a dairy farm from 1991 to 2009 they decided to switch gears, because “when it came right down to it we simply prefer wine over milk.” They produce various table wines, dessert wines, mead and have just released their Blackberry Sparkling. They are in the process of building an authentic, wood fired Pompeii oven to provide guests with artisan breads and stone cooked pizza to be enjoyed on their (soon-to-be-licensed) patio. www.coastalblack.ca
Middle Mountain Mead Mead and Modern might not be words that naturally go together, but Hornby Island’s Middle Mountain Mead has just released a brand new concept in beverage packaing. Magick Mead is a fortified (20% alcohol) mead that has been designed to blend with sparkling water. One “Magick Box” holds 48 servings of honeyed herbal syrup: lavender, lemon and a host of mysterious herbs and botanicals. The bag-in-box concept represents a 600% reduction in weight and volume for the same quantity of single serving bottles, and when empty, flattens to a fraction of the space and weight of bottles. It requires no refrigeration and mixes up in seconds, and at 20% alcohol by volume, is stable indefinitely at room temperature. Of course, there are no preservatives, chemicals or added sulphites. To mix a glass of fresh Magick Mead, you just need 1 part Magick Mead, 2 parts sparkling water and 1 part ice. www.middlemountainmead.com Rocky Creek Winery Cowichan Bay’s Rocky Creek Winery has released their entire 2011 line under ZORK. The first western Canadian winery to adopt the strip and sip ZORK closure system, Linda and Mark Holford said the decision fits in with their aim to be sustainable and innovative. “We have done a pilot test of the ZORK closure over the last 3 years and learned many of the challenges associated with this product.” Linda states, “We had some manufacturing issues around specifications of bottles for this product, however, it is worth the learning experience to gain access to this product on the entire production line.” Winemaker Mark notes “ZORK is great because it has an aluminum layer that allows a tiny amount of air permeability, which will enhance the wines over the years stored, something that screwcaps don’t have.” They are also reviewing the ZORK for sparkling, with the hopes of releasing their bubbles under it. Rocky Creek has 2 new limited release sparkling this year at the winery - a sparkling blackberry wine (Salish), and a rose sparkling (Jubilee). www.ZORKusa.com. www.rockycreekwinery.ca
Newly released & ready to DRINK – Island BEERS Lighthouse Brewing Company: OverBoard Imperial Pilsner Spinnakers Brewery: Northwest Ale Driftwood Brewery: Naughty Hildegard’s ESB Surgenor Brewing: #8 Shaft Black Lager Vancouver Island Brewery: Double Decker IPA Salt Spring Island Ales: Heather Ale & Kolsch
Handcrafted food. Handcrafted ales. All made from the finest ingredients. 350B Bay Street, Victoria 250.380.0706 www.moonunderwater.ca
Taste - Victoria's third annual festival celebrating local food and wine will be held July 21-24. As in past years, the summer event is centered around The Main Event, with more than 100 BC wines and local cuisine featured at downtown’s Crystal Gardens. New this year are the inaugural Taste Wine List Awards - Presented by EAT Magazine, as well as the Sommelier of the Year Award, sponsored by Mission Hill. Also new is a 100-metre-diet feast, in the field at Vantreight Farms, with Chef Matt Rissling and his team from The Marina Restaurant. Tickets can sell out fast so grab yours. Available May. Watch EATmagazine.ca for posts, tweets, photos and tastes from the festival. www.victoriataste.ca *Check the DRINK section of EatMagazine.ca for current releases, beverage news & events
EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
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book review —by Rebecca Baugniet
I s l a n d Wi n e r i e s o f British Columbia Wine on Island Time! Pages from Island Wineries of British Columbia from l to r: the book’s cover, Hans Kiltz of Blue Grouse Vineyards, Chai Tea Honey Cake from Camille’s Restaurant Each time I sat down to start writing about Island Wineries of British Columbia, published by Touchwood earlier this month, I’d flip open the book and get completely absorbed, forgetting the work that was waiting to be done. First, I read all about the owners and winemakers themselves, enjoying the glimpse into their vineyards, how they came to be, what challenges they’d met along the road. Then I learned about the varietals, the grapes that thrive (some with much patience or gentle coaxing) in this region, finding out what makes Island wines so different from their Interior counterparts. Finally, I started planning out a future dinner party menu – salivating over local chefs’ recipes, each designed to pair with specific Island wines, and dreaming ahead to a road trip that would allow me to stop in and visit the wineries first hand. This is exactly what the book’s editor, Gary Hynes, had in mind as he was overseeing the project. When we recently met to discuss the book, he said the book was to encourage us – “Let’s get out there, enjoy the wines in our own backyard, and find out what we can eat with them.” Describing himself as an executive producer of sorts, he explained how he put the team together, drawing on the expertise of wine and beer contributors of EAT Magazine. The result is a spectacular group effort that comes together seamlessly – the history of the Islands' wine industry explained by Larry Arnold, 15 wineries and craft beers profiled by Adem Tepedelen, grape varietals demystified by Treve Ring, who also contributed sections on blackberry dessert wines, blattners, sparkling wines, ciders and artisan distillers, while new contributor Jeff Bateman added a word on mead. Julie Pegg edited the mouthwatering chapter of seasonal recipes, testing each dish in her home kitchen, Kathryn McAree mapped out tours of the Cowichan Valley, Saanich Peninsula, Gulf Islands, Comox Valley and Sooke and Rebecca Wellman provided breathtaking images that bear witness to the natural beauty of the islands and a wine industry that is just coming into its own. Beyond being compellingly readable, this book is also delightfully user friendly. Profiles of the wineries include an image of at least one label, to help you recognize what you’re looking for on the shelf. Sidebars offer contact information as well as listings of the best vintages. The section on touring the wine region indicates visually which stops make wine/other alcohol, which serve food and which do both. Touchwood approached Gary about doing this book a few years ago, but the timing wasn’t quite right – the majority of wines being produced on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands at the time could only be acquired on site at the wineries. Fast forward to 2011, and most of the wines featured in the book can now be found on shelves at wine shops around the Island, with more and more restaurants showcasing them on wine lists as well. This book offers locals a chance to get to know these wines a little better and provides visitors with a great souvenir. Best of all, it feels as though we’re being let in on the ground floor. Island Wineries of British Columbia gives us a proper introduction to a new generation of BC wines. Now may the relationship flourish. Island Wineries of British Columbia, From the contributors of EAT Magazine, Edited by Gary Hynes. Published by Touchwood Editions. $29.95. Available in book stores, wine stores, BC Ferries and at the wineries.
Join us on the slopes of Mount Prevost overlooking spectacular views of the Cowichan Valley for a taste of Averill Creek Wines. Located 6 minutes off Island Highway at 6552 North Road, Duncan Open 11am to 5pm daily
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Quadra Village (across from Fairway Market) 250.590.1940 Colwood Private Liquor Store (Corner of Sooke Rd & Kelly Rd) 250.478.1303
ws & events
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wine + terroir —by Michaela Morris and Michelle Bouffard
Old World, New World—these days it’s getting hard to tell the difference.
he wine world is well-known for its crazy lingo and it has been appropriately satirized. Even so, we continue to bandy around phrases that have meaning to us, forgetting that those who aren’t in the industry might not have a clue what we’re talking about. Referring to wines as “Old World” and “New World” may come across as pretentious to some and simply confusing to others. “Does this refer to the age of the vines or does it have something to do with tradition?” a friend of ours asked. The Old World refers to Europe. Countries like France, Italy and Germany have been making wine for hundreds of years. Their know-how is based on years of experience, rather than science, and traditions have been passed down from generation to generation. Here, a wine’s identity is all about geography. It is an expression of place rather than a grape variety. As such, most labels name the region, village or even vineyard, often making no mention of the grape. The latter is simply a vehicle to express where it is grown. The French coined the term terroir to describe this. The New World encompasses all those countries that were conquered or settled by the Europeans who brought their winemaking traditions and grape varieties with them. Chile, South Africa, Australia and the United States all fall into this category. Without an intimate knowledge of their soil that only years of experience can bring, they focused on planting grapes that were successful in Europe. Today, the grape variety is king and generally occupies the place of honour on the label as well as in the bottle. The objective of the winemaker is to produce a wine that expresses the grape itself, but not necessarily where that grape is grown. Despite being called the New World, many of these countries have actually been making wine for centuries. And they remind us of this repeatedly! The Spaniards had introduced European vines to Chile and Argentina by the mid-1500s, while the Dutch pioneered viticulture in South Africa in the mid-1600s. Australia had a slightly later start but still has about 200 years under her belt. The Aussies also love to point out that their soils are much older than those in Europe. It calls into question the expression “New World.” California got its start around the same time as Australia, in the early 1800s, and really started booming during the Gold Rush. The true neophytes are Canada and New Zealand, who really only started planting European vines in the last three to four decades. Beyond distinguishing European countries from the rest of the wine-producing world, the terms Old World and New World have a specific style of wine associated with them. Though they are stereotypes, they are still used as a reference. The generalization about Old World wines is that they are restrained, earthy and decidedly structured either by firm tannins or acidity or both. They tend to show better with food, and in Europe this is how wine is enjoyed. Furthermore, the finest wines from classic regions benefit from some age before being consumed, to allow time for those tannins to soften. New World wines, on the other hand, are described as friendly and softer. When vineyards were first established, they tended to be in areas with more reliable weather; warmer and drier than many of their northern European counterparts. The resulting wines are therefore fruit-driven, riper and more generous. While they are easier to drink on their own and more immediately approachable, they are often deemed less ageworthy. So which is better? The Old World has somehow managed to convince us that its wines are superior. Certainly, the years of experience has served many regions well. It has allowed places like Burgundy to determine which sites are the best and how to encourage the wine to express that. Yet, while carrying on traditions can be beneficial, simply hanging onto them because that’s the way it has always been done doesn’t necessarily make for better wines. Furthermore, when questionable traditions are bound in the regulations it can be a detriment to quality. Italy in particular has been a victim to this. In the red wine region of Chianti, white grapes were required in the blend for decades. They eventually came to their senses and changed the law.
With fewer regulations, producers in the New World have been free of the shackles that have sometimes hindered European winemakers. This has allowed for more experimentation. The New World was also quicker to embrace technology. Modern advances have gone a long way to improving the overall quality of wine. The New World has been criticized, however, for its over-reliance on technology as well as for following current trends to the point of disregarding terroir all together. At the end of the day, though, the line between Old and New World wines is becoming blurred. It is much more difficult these days to determine where a wine is from. And increased travel between the two has allowed winemakers from different countries to share ideas and learn from each other. Some winemakers even make wine in both the Old and New World. As well, New World producers are adopting tried-and-true traditions from Europe, and there has been a trend to plant in cooler and/or more extreme climates resulting in wines with a European flair. Conversely, beyond the New World introducing technology and better hygiene to the Old World, many European producers have noted the success of Australia or California for example and are making wines with more immediate appeal. We still enjoy pitting the Old World against the New World in blind tastings. Once it was easy to distinguish one from the other; now it is no longer obvious. Nor is it the point of the exercise. We ask wine tasting attendees to choose which they prefer without the influence of the label. There is always that eye-opening moment when someone chooses the Australian Chardonnay as their favourite after swearing how much they hate them. Blind tasting breaks down biases for or against countries. When tasted against one another, the New World still seems to have a leg up on the Old World. Riper and fruitier, the wines stand out and tend to be the favourites. We put this to the test in our recent France versus California challenge, and California won. What a surprise! The pinnacle of the tasting saw Napa Valley’s 2006 Rubicon fighting it out against the 2006 Calon-Ségur from Bordeaux. The upfront seductive charms of the Rubicon were hard to resist, and the immediate pleasure it gave swayed voters. Even so, most people agreed that with time and food, the 2006 Calon-Ségur would shine. Obviously, there are still differences between some Old and New World wines. CONT’D ON NEXT PAGE
“Once it was easy to distinguish one from the other; now it is no longer obvious.”
EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
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Wine Notes Syrah/Shiraz 2008 Ogier, 'Les Brunelles' Crozes-Hermitage AOC, France, $25.99- $32.00 (SKU #485250) Sexy and suave with sensual notes of plum, iodine and violets; a classic example of a Northern Rhône Syrah. Begging for game meat. 2009 Escorihuela, ‘1884 Reservado’ Syrah, Mendoza, Argentina, $17.00-$21.00 (SKU #744532) Full-bodied and meaty with plum, black licorice and raspberries flavours. Fantastic on its own or, if you want to drink in Argentina’s honour, this wine is screaming for a juicy piece of steak. An outstanding value!
Pinot Noir 2007 Phillipe Girard, Savigny-Les-Beaune, Vieille Vigne, Burgundy, France, $45-$50.00 (SKU #149039) Friendly, approachable and juicy; three words that aren’t usually used to describe red Burgundy. Soft and supple flavours of cherry and violet caress your palate. A great match with tuna, salmon or coq au vin. 2009 Josef Chromy, Pinot Noir, Tasmania, Australia $29.99 - $32.00 (SKU #142588) Pinot noir is not one of the grapes we typically associate with Australia; however, there are many gems from her cooler regions. Tasmania is a great example. Delicate ripe flavours of cherry with subtle earthy mushroom notes, the Josef Chromy could easily be mistaken for an Old World Pinot.
Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Château Bernadotte, Haut-Médoc AOC, Bordeaux, France, $50-55*(* Private Stores) Dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon with a healthy dose of Merlot. Bright cassis, vanilla, mineral and green pepper notes. Decanting is necessary if opening it now, or put it away for four to five years. You will be greatly rewarded. Its firm structure and earthy character are classically Old World and make it best enjoyed with food. Lamb would be our pick. 2006 Truchard Cabernet Sauvignon, Carneros, California, $27.99-$32.00 (SKU #749952) Rich unctuous flavours of cassis, black plum and prunes. Very charming and easy to drink on its own. Will also pair with red meat of all types.
Riesling 2009 Balthasar Ress, Hattenheimer Schützenhaus, Kabinett Riesling, Rheingau, Germany, $22-$25.00 (SKU #50856) Slightly off-dry with mouth-watering flavours of lemon curd and peaches. Lingering mineral notes and fantastic structure. Drink in abundance with spicy Asian food or cheese fondue. That’s what we call excellent value for the money! 2009 Pewsey Vale, Riesling, Eden Valley, Australia, $29-32* If you prefer dry Riesling, Australia is a great place to look. Delicate lime pie and peach flavours balanced by searing acidity. Ideal with Asian food or as an aperitif.
Chardonnay 2009 William Fèvre, Petit Chablis AOC, France, $27.49-$31.00 (SKU #811232) Fresh, vibrant and delicate with flavours of citrus and minerals. We can never get enough of Chablis. A must with oysters. If we didn’t tell you, you may never have guessed this was Chardonnay. 2008 Vasse Felix, Chardonnay, Margaret River, Australia, $34-39* The cooler pockets of Australia are crafting some of the New World’s best Chardonnay. Generous and decadent flavours of butter, hazelnut and pineapple balanced with a firm spine of acidity. Excellent!
Come & meet Colin our Store Manager & Wine Expert Open 7 days 10 am to 11 pm delivery on case orders Chilled Wines & Beers
Viognier 2009 Paul Mas, Viognier, Vin de Pays d’Oc, France, $13.99-$16.00 (SKU #151100) Rich expressive flavours of peach and apricot balanced by good acidity. Delicious on its own or with richer seafood dishes and Asian food. A crowd pleaser. 2009 Cono Sur, Viognier, Chile, $10.99-$13.00 (SKU #566836) The Chileans have embraced Viognier and environmentally friendly producer Cono Sur offers a great example at an incredible price. Friendly tropical and peach aromas make this wine a lovely aperitif. CONT’D FROM PREVIOUS PAGE While blind tastings are fun, they aren’t a true reflection of how we drink wine and will never adequately determine which is superior. The only relevant answer is which you personally prefer. In choosing your preference though, judge the wine in the glass, not the label. Also consider whether or not you are eating with your wine. That ripe fruit-forward Cali Cab may be the perfect choice when you’re sharing a social glass. With your roast beef dinner, though, you may discover the more subtle charms of a perfectly aged Bordeaux. It is still hotly debated whether or not the world of wine is becoming homogenous. Whatever your opinion, it is undeniable that both the Old World and the New World have benefitted from each other, and that the overall quality of wines has improved globally. And that’s a bonus for all wine drinkers. ~
919 Douglas Street Victoria BC 250.370.WINE (9463) www.strathliquor.com www.dontmissout.ca Ales Wines & Spirits from around the world value brands to classics
www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2011
what to drink with that—by Treve Ring
Which wine goes best with sautéed spot prawns & pistou? O U R
E X P E R T S
Rhys Pender (RP) Master of Wine Rhys is a wine educator, consultant, judge and freelance writer through his company Wine Plus+ and his website www.rhyspender.com. In 2010 Rhys became Canada’s youngest Master of Wine (MW).He writes for a number of publications, judges internationally and is increasingly becoming recognized as one of Canada’s leading experts in the wine business. His career plan is to wait for Robert Parker to retire so he can finally claim back his initials RP for wine reviews.
Van Doren Chan (VD) Sommelier Van Doren Chan’s immersion in the Vancouver restaurant industry started from an early age, being born into a family of foodies. Following a diverse professional culinary career, Van turned her attention to wine and joined the Opus Hotel Vancouver as Sommelier in 2005, moving on to Salt Tasting Room in 2010. She has now turned her attention to the world of winemaking and is currently living in Osoyoos while also undertaking the Court of the Master Sommeliers certification program.
Beth Crawford (BC) Proprietor, VQA Wine Shop In 1998 Beth open the first VQA store in Victoria (the fourth in the Province), and she hasn’t looked back. With over 20 years in the liquor retailing industry she has an extensive background in all areas of wine. “ I love what I do – wine is an integral part of so many aspects of our daily life... it is great to assist our customers with everything from special events to what to have with dinner on Wednesday night.”
RP - There are many wines that would pair beautifully with our fantastic BC Spot Prawns. A crisp, zingy Chablis would be excellent, as would Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand or Sancerre. But with the Pistou I would have to recommend a very, very ice cold and fresh Fino Sherry that would perfectly match the saltiness. VD - Falanghina is one of the most important white grapes in Campania, Italy. Deep straw in color, it has a ripe honeysuckle nose, juicy stone fruit palate, and is low in acidity. Falanghina’s fruit forward characteristics will compliment the creaminess of David Woods’ Montana, and notes of dried herbs will enhance the sweetness of the spot prawns. The zesty quality makes it a palate refresher for the basil based Pistou. BC - I would recommend BC Pinot Gris. Crisp and flavourful, with intensity of flavour and the acidity that develops in the Okanagan and Island climates would make it a fabulous match. A style that has been fermented to dryness will stand up to the intensity of the garlic and sheep milk cheese; but not overwhelm the delicious flavours of the spot prawns.
BONUS question – what would you pair with Local Strawberry Shortcake? RP - With fresh BC strawberries I would look to the beautiful fruit wines of BC from producers such as Elephant Island, Rustic Roots or Forbidden Fruit. There are some delicious Raspberry wines that would be a perfect balance and the Mulberry-Pear from Rustic Roots would also work really well.
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VD - Cabernet Franc Icewine. Local strawberries are pulpy, juicy and chewy, so I chose a wine that shares the same profile. This wine has fruit characters of red currant and cherry, and a hint of sumac spice to pair beautifully with strawberries. The bright acidity in the wine gives the same tingling effect on your tongue as the tiny strawberry seeds do. BC – I would have to go with a BC Icewine made from either Vidal or Ehrenfelser - the acid in these two grape varieties is softer and the fruit more pronounced by the style of the wine, and therefore would balance the acidity and sweetness of the strawberries.
NATURALLY SOUTH OKANAGAN 2011 Canadian Concert Series Saturday, May 28th Vince Vaccaro Saturday, June 25th Bend Sinister Saturday, July 23 The Matinee
Saturday, August 27th Odds Saturday, September 10th K-OS
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EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
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Cowichan Bay, Vancouver Island, BC: North America's First Cittaslow designated community
ELCOME TO COWICHAN BAY shop.
Cowichan Bay, a picturesque seaside village a short drive north of Victoria, is emerging as a little culinary oasis on Vancouver Island and quickly becoming known as the gastronomic epi-centre of the Cowichan Valley region. A vista of ocean, sail and fishing boats, piers, wharves, floating homes, small shops and restaurants greet you as you come down the hill into the village. Most of the action takes place along the main street which runs along the waterfront. Visitors come to stroll the shops and galleries, enjoy a fine meal or simply to grab a snack. But the village is also becoming a hub for searching out and sampling local southern Vancouver Island foods and wines. If it’s seafood you are looking for, the Cowichan Bay Seafood shop is the place to go. Owners Gregg and Anne Best are commercial crab and prawn fishermen and pioneers in sustainable seafood production. At their shop fresh from the sea, local spot prawns are the treat this season and the feature at the 3rd Annual Spot Prawn Festival. A little further along the street Hilary’s Cheese & Deli offers visitors a change to relax and savour cheeses produced locally or from further afield. Bring summer onto your plate with Hilarys own fresh Chevre, the cheese of summer. It's a natural with smoked salmon, fresh greens or local asparagus. (Look for their new cheese shop to open in Victoria in May.) For 5-star, casually elegant dining, a short stroll will bring you to The Masthead Restaurant. Owner/manager Luke Harms has perfected the art of dining well with both the menu and the wine list celebrating local foods and wines from the nearby farms and wineries. The deck opens May long weekend and numerous new local wines have arrived. Check their website for upcoming special dinners including La Chaine des Rotisseurs. With many wonderful wineries close-by, try the wine café at Rocky Creek Winery, a wonderful outdoor patio. Buy a glass of one of their new releases such as Ortega, Pinot Gris, Rose, Pinot Noir and Blackberry and enjoy the view and listen to the outdoor music Make Cowichan Bay your base for touring the region. Worth a visit are many neighbouring wineries and farms, quality coffee shops and farmers markets. For more information on your visit to Cowichan Bay go to www.cowichanbay.com Fresh Sheet: The 3nd Annual Cowichan Bay Spot Prawn Festival takes place along the waterfront in the Village Sunday May 15 from 11 am - 6 pm. Hope to see you there.
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culinary travel—by Jeff Bateman
Hello Mellow Sooke
Tofino South? Not quite yet, but this little laid-back town has a bevy of A-list culinary landmarks.
EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
ooke shines ever brighter as a culinary destination. With enRoute magazine naming Edward Tuson and Gemma Claridge’s the EdGe one of its top-10 new Canadian restaurants of 2010, the little penturban town can now boast three award-winning landmark establishments within town limits. Add a small Saturday summer market, backroad farmgates, fresh-roasted java at a hiddengem café, and an excellent bakery lunch spot, and its culinary roadtrip appeal remains strong. Consider these options for a weekend itinerary: Motor west along winding and scenic Hwy. 14 (or bike here via the Goose). Stock up on field-fresh Risotto at Markus’ Wharfside veggies, Cackleberry Hill Farm pies and Sheila Wallace’s organic granola at the Saturday market. Oxygenate body and soul by exploring land, sea and still-unspoilt sections of the under-siege Juan de Fuca wilderness trail. If overnighting, book a room at the newly unboxed Prestige Hotel or one of three dozen B&Bs. Then take your pick of dining establishments: big ticket by the sea at fabled Sooke Harbour House; charmingly candle-lit at Markus’ Wharfside; or funky Sooke chic at Tuson and Claridge’s the EdGe in the heart of downtown. Daytime options might include Little Vienna Bakery for organic breads and European-style treats. Around the corner, Stick in the Mud serves the town’s best java while giving drop-ins the chance to match comic wits with owner Dave Evans and his ace baristas. Enjoy books and hearty soups at the Reading Room Café or good pub grub at the Stone Pipe Grill. Sign up for a workshop at Ahimsa Yoga with raw food maestro Green Kelly (aka Kelly Proctor). The renovated retro diner ambience at Mom’s Café has made it a Sooke institution. Thai, Mexican, Japanese and now Indian (namaste to Otter Point Bakery’s Narinder Singh) options are also available. Or phone ahead for takeaway from Rock Beach Grill when heading towards Jordan River and Port Renfrew. Stop to sample Bob Liptrot’s mead at Tugwell Creek Meadery. And make a meal of it at Point No Point’s oceanfront aerie of a restaurant, home base for respected chef Jason Nienaber. Sooke is rapidly evolving into an affordable bedroom community. By contrast, though, the town’s top culinary spots align neatly with the Sooke Transition Initiative, which champions sustainability and the grow/work/live locally philosophy of the worldwide Transition Town movement. Unlike the Cowichan, there’s not a lot of arable land here on the rocky west coast, but enough that suppliers like Mary Alice Johnson’s ALM Organic Farm, Candace Thompson’s Eagle Paws Organics and Rob and Josephine Hill’s Ragley Farm, among others, can deliver ample seasonal freshness. The Sooke Region Food CHI Society runs a mentoring program for new farmers and its website (www.sookefoodchi.ca) lists 20-plus farms that operate as either farmgates or accept phone orders.
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Frederique and Sinclair Philip, almost needless to say, gave Sooke its soaraway culinary credibility in the first place, anticipating trends more than three decades ago by transplanting the everyday norms of their experiences in France to what was then a humble five-room inn on the edge of Whiffin Spit. New chef Robin Jackson abides by the code established by his predecessors who refined the Sooke Harbour House’s slow-food, fresh-sheet ethos: Tuson, Michael Statländer, Peter Zambri, Pia Carroll, Brock Windsor and René Fieger included. Raised in northern California but with Vancouver Island roots, Jackson, 29, was born into a food family: his mum Joan, now a Metchosin resident, ran a cooking school and his uncles a charcuterie. He refined his kitchen chops in Taos, San Francisco and Anchorage (where he was executive chef at the upscale Sacks Café), studied environmental science and got passionate about foraging and shellfish cultivation at an Alaskan ecolodge. He’d long had his sights on Sooke’s Conde Nast-venerated inn, however, and after “being the persistent guy who kept showing up at the kitchen door,” he was hired as sous-chef by Sam Benadetto prior to the latter’s departure last year for Zambri’s in Victoria. “This is nature’s gift to a chef,” Jackson says, sweeping an arm across an arc that takes in the inn’s edible gardens and the seascape beyond. “I have a little cottage on the water in East Sooke, so I harvest seaweeds and shore herbs on the way in to work, some days stopping at Ragley to pick up orders. Sooke is the best place a chef can possibly be on the west coast of North America with all the herbs, mushrooms, seaweeds and varieties of fish.” The new kid is likeable, knowledgeable and genuinely thrilled to be part of a crack team that includes head gardener Byron Cook (now overseeing the inn’s own Sooke Harbour Farm) and master pastry chef Matthias Conradi. Alumni like Tuson, meanwhile, are but a phone call away for advice and support. The iconic Tuson, a bearded, nose-ringed, salt of the earth type with a wry sense of humour, has settled into a hard-working routine at the EdGe, turning tables twice during busy lunch hours filled with loyal Sookies, then serving an evening trade drawn by menu favourites like his trademark crispy albacore tuna. He, Gemma and her young daughter live not far off on a three-acre farm with 300 fruit trees, a herd of heritage hogs and no less than five motorcycles. Their mission: To scale back their working hours to four days a week so as to handle “the ton of other work” that needs doing on the farm, says Tuson. It’s a distinct possibility given the restaurant’s A-list reputation, the surprise success of the lunch rush and a hands-on approach to makeovers (the chef, a fan of ex-rapper Vanilla Ice’s DIY reno show, is also the EdGe’s go-to handyman). New for 2011: Takeaway sausages and salami cured by the charcuterie master plus a comfy new banquette to serve summertime’s consistent line-ups. Managing the work/life balance is also a priority for Markus Weiland and Tatum Claypool, who now reside in a matching blue home mere feet from the cottage-style restaurant they opened in 2004. “We’re here for the lifestyle, the climate and the community,” says Claypool as she pours a glass of Kettle Valley merlot to match a truffled yolk raviolo appetizer featuring a free-range egg from Amy Rubidge’s nearby Barefoot Farm. Like colleagues elsewhere in town, their ambitions with Markus’ Wharfside are modest; there is plenty enough joy and artisanal pride to be had in serving their base of repeat customers in a pair of warm, cozy rooms certified as a B.C. Culinary Tourism Destination. The property now features a vegetable and herb garden built by Weiland, known among loyalists for his exceptional Tuscan-style seafood soup, risotto specials and panna cotta. At the next table are a pair of regulars-turned-friends who drop in routinely to share snapshots of grandchildren and stories with server/ sommelier Tracy Wilson. “This place is like an extension of some people’s homes,” laughs Claypool, “so I guess that makes us a new kind of mom-and-pop.” The local scene continues to evolve at a gentle pace. Dave Evans, who opened the Stick on the numerically significant 7/7/07, takes his coffee seriously (viz. last year’s addition of a roaster) and has also developed some unique food items (Acadian-style puff pastries, the grilled sandwich Stick Pop) that will soon utilize fresh herbs from a backdoor garden. At the Little Vienna, meanwhile, Albertans Susan and Michael Nyikes purchased the business from its founding owners in the fall, inheriting veteran baker Mario Desfosses in the process to ensure no change in the quality of Sooke’s near-daily organic bread and signature cinnamon rolls (aka “schneckes”). Expect to see more shelf items (jams, honeys, spreads) in the future. A bistro menu will make good use of the Little Vienna’s arboured patio on Saturday nights this summer beginning May long weekend. Chalk up one more reason to visit the little town with the big, beautiful food reputation. ~
Serving You Is Our Pleasure.... All Year Through! Quality meats, Poultry, Cheeses, Specialty Products & Condiments
2577 Cadboro Bay Road,VICTORIA
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www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2011
Comox, Nanaimo, Okanagan, Tofino, Vancouver, Victoria
VICTORIA: In the last edition of the Victoria Buzz, we promised to continue following changes in kitchens around the city. When we left off, Chef Takahashi Ito had just left the Empress and moved to Aura. At the beginning of April, Chef Kamil Silva took over as Executive Chef at the Empress. Chef Silva has worked at Fairmont Hotels for the past decade, most recently as executive chef at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport. Other shifts that have occurred recently include the opening of the new Oak Bay Bistro in the former Blethering Place location. Chef John Waller (ex-Wickanninish Inn) has created the menu, and owners Bart Reed and Petr Prusa have transformed the iconic tea room into a West Coast restaurant, open daily for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. In Chinatown, another tearoom has changed hands. Venus Sophia, opened in 2009, has been sold to Sallie and Alain El Alaily. The tearoom maintains the same whimsical character, though the couple has put together a new menu which reflects their Egyptian, Swiss and Italian backgrounds. I think I can speak for all food lovers in Victoria when I say how sad we are to say goodbye to Plenty. From the fresh local flowers, plants and herbs outside the door, to the delicious smell that greeted you when you opened the door, the cup of tea offered as you looked over the shelves bursting with all manner of treats or hard to find spices, and always just the right soundtrack playing in the background. Plenty truly was a pleasure to all the senses. It will be greatly missed, and we offer Trevor, Erica and their family, along with all the lovely staff, our best wishes for whatever the future holds. No small consolation however, comes in knowing that Hilary’s Cheese is set to open up in the same Fort St. location on May 12th, filling what would otherwise be a lamentable void. Hilary’s will continue to carry some of the spices and chocolates Plenty introduced us to, as well as their own beautiful cheese selection. (www.hilaryscheese.com) All of our finger crossing paid off , Cory Pelan has announced that his new Artisan Salumeria shop, The Whole Beast is scheduled to open in mid-May at 2032 Oak Bay Ave, offering housed cured meats and sausage. Cory will be the first in Victoria to be using water buffalo meat from the Fairburn Farm herd. Sample it in his water buffalo pepperoni. (www.thewholebeast.ca) On May 21st, from 11am-3 pm, Ottavio Italian Bakery and Delicatessen celebrates A Day in France with a French Market complete with music, wine tasting, cheeses, olive tastings and a special café menu. Keep an eye on the website for details on their Festa Italiana, coming in June. (www.ottaviovictoria.com) The ICC may have given a new name to its annual fundraiser, but the Local Food Fest (formerly known as Defending Our Backyard) will still be held at the picturesque Fort Rodd Hill on June 12th. In addition to tasting local food prepared by Island chefs, this is a great opportunity to learn more about growing your own food and getting involved in food security. (www.iccbc.ca) The Fernwood Inn was the subject of a successful Carrotmob in March – in fact, the biggest Carrotmob in the world, raising over 8K for green renovations, which was matched by General Manager Michael Colwill. The Inn has just celebrated its 4th anniversary under present ownership. (www.fernwoodinn.com) The Niagara Grocery, which just passed the two-year mark at their James Bay Location, has expanded
David Mincey of Preservation Foods at the Cook Culture launch of their new line of imported connoisseur chocolate bars.
On the topic of chocolates, in mid-April, David Mincey and Paige Robinson of Camille’s Rstaurant launched a new retail display at Cook Culture, offering only “bean to bar” manufactured dark chocolate. This is the first in a series of new products from the new company showcasing “the true tastes of the world’s great foodstuffs”, the mission of Mincey’s new company, Preservation Foods. With over bars ($8-$20) for sale do yourself a big favour and check out the array. Available at Cook Culture, cookculture.com
operations to Fairfield. Like its James Bay counterpart, Fairfield Market also roasts organic coffee in-house under their Mile O label, as well as carrying Portofino breads, Cowichan Bay seafood, Slater’s Meats, Suntrio produce, and farm eggs from Haggis Farms on Saturna Island. The new location is on Oscar St, near the corner of Fairfield and Moss, and is open seven days a week. —Rebecca Baugniet NANAIMO: With the mid island all abuzz with a renewed sense of adventure, late-Spring harvests and a healthy handful of new dining and culinary experiences. So take a little time and explore the abundant mid-island! New to the region is Blu Burrito in Parksville featuring a Southwest Mexican inspired menu all made from scratch. As the name suggests burritos are the specialty where you can tailor your own combination of flavourful fillings or trust your taste buds to the fixed burrito menu created by owner Sandy Johnson and her team. Of course you will want to wash it all down with a delicious fresh lime margarita (491 East Island Highway, 250 586-7782). Recently opened on Bowen Road in Nanaimo, Mix is proving to be a well-executed blend of modern bistro and homemade comfort. Here Chef Jeff Wright works his magic to deliver made-from-scratch specialties like pulled pork, chicken pot pie and braised lamb (www.mixnanaimo.com, 250 585-1748). Diner’s Rendezvous has just released their new seasonal menu, which keeps some fan favourites (Oh, that Little Black Dress!) and introduces some new creations that focus on local seafood. Owner-chef Thomas Robertshaw at Acme Food Co. (www.acmefoodco.ca 250 753-0042) keeps his promise for a fun feast with an original “all you can eat” sushi menu, which they now “roll out” all day every Tuesday! The Parksville Uncorked Wine and Food Festival (www.parksvilleuncorked.com) once again put on an impressive and indulgent display of BC’s best wine, beer and culinary wares, with the mid island well represented. One highlight was the Road 13 Wine Makers Dinner at the Tigh Na Mara Resort, where chef Eric Edwards and team presented 5 courses of brilliantly paired creations. If you missed this event or like me, can’t wait to relive the experience, Tigh Na Mara will be hosting Okanagan’s See Ya Later Ranch and winemaker Mason Spink for another dinner on June 2, 2011. Visit www.tigh-na-mara.com or call 1-800-663-7373 for more information.
Hand woven bread mold made of cane, brotform, also known as brotformen or banneton, is used to form and shape artisan loaves during the proofing/raising stage.
HAUTE CUISINE 1210 BROAD ST., VICTORIA, BC 250.388.9906
EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
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For a tasty weekend adventure, I highly recommend an afternoon of meandering through the pastoral Westholme area of North Cowichan. Start with a visit to the lovely Saison Market Vineyard where the bustling bakery-cafĂŠ offers a bounty of pastry, tortes, cakes, fresh crusty breads and savouries suited for lunch (www.saisonmarket.ca - 250 597-0484). Then head to the Tea Farm (www.teafarm.ca - 250 748-3811) to see Canadaâ€™s first â€œin the groundâ€? tree plantation. This is a great way to experience the innovative effort by many mid-island farmers to produce products not traditional to the region. Hosts Victor Veseley and Margit Nellemann will tell the story behind their tea and brew up one of their many special blends in their new tearoom. I can guarantee the hospitality of your hosts will warm you up as much as what they put in your cup! A little further south in Cobble Hill, Marisa Goodwin of Organic Fair is gearing up for summer with a new line of ice cream, sorbet and sodas using ingredients from her farm including lavender, strawberries and Douglas Fir to name just a few. Also new is ice cream takeaway by the pint â€“ but be sure to partake onsite too since you donâ€™t want to miss the opportunity of a handmade organic waffle cone! (www.organicfair.com (250) 733-2035) Back in Nanaimo, the Farmerâ€™s markets are gearing up for the season where you can find more information on locations and times at www.Islandfarmersalliance.org. If you donâ€™t have time to forage Deeâ€™s Harbour City (Spin) Farm is in production as of May 15th and provides a weekly boxdelivery program of sustainable organic fruits and vegetables (www.deesfarm.ca). Or you can drop in to the recently opened Old City Organics to check out their daily selection of fresh picks. While in the Old City Quarter be sure to stop into McLeanâ€™s Specialty Foods (www.mcleansfoods.com - 250 7540100) to wish Eric and Sandy McLean all the best as they embark on their 20th year of serving up the finest of cheeses and arguably the best selection of hard to find foods north of Victoria. â€”Karma Brophy COMOX VALLEY: As I write the Comox Valley Buzz the renowned Snowbirds are performing ballet in the skies above 19th wing Comox, herring are spawning on the Salish Sea shores and our valley floor is being ploughed in preparation for this yearâ€™s bounty. Springing forward... the Comox Valley Farmers Market will be back outside on Saturday mornings located next to the Exhibition Grounds at 4835 Headquarters Rd. For a list of vendors, performers, market hours and information go to www.comoxvalleyfarmersmarket.com. Contâ€™d on page 53
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EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
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Taste the Comox Valley There is no better excuse for foodies to visit the Comox Valley this June than the BC Shellfish Festival. Partnering the people who grow our food with the people who creatively prepare and serve it to the public is a mandate of the BCSF. British Columbians are extremely fortunate to have a plethora of delicious, nutritious and sustainable food grown on our doorstep and this is something we should all celebrate. For two days in June, guests will experience an array of activities that offer something for everyone. Beginning on June 17 with the Chefs’ Dinner, 200 guests will be treated to a gourmet 6-course seafood supper prepared by some of BC’s top chefs. The evening starts off with a complimentary oyster raw bar served by three BC oyster growers from different regions and a geoduck sampling with a cash Hester Creek wine and Phillips Brewery beer bar while Comox Valley’s Emily Spiller weaves her musical web on guests in the background. Each course during the dinner will be expertly paired with the perfect wine. This year’s chefs feature highly respected culinary pioneers from across our province including C Restaurant Executive Chef, co-founder of Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program for ocean sustainability and recent winner of the Seafood Champion Award at the Boston Seafood Show Robert Clark(Vancouver); Vista 18’s Executive Chef and Island Chef member Garrett Schack (Victoria); Black Rock Resort Executive Chef Andrew Springett (Ucluelet); Crown Isle Resort Executive Chef Andrew Stigant (Courtenay); Market Street Café owner/chef Richard Verhagen (Salt Spring Island) and Gatehouse Bistro’s Chef Belinda Jones (Cumberland). These chefs share a passion for not only providing delicious and healthy food to the masses, but are dedicated to sourcing their food from sustainable resources. This is a unique culinary event in that it partners growers with chefs and takes place outdoors, under tents, along the shores of Baynes Sound- Canada’ oyster growing capital. The festivities continue Saturday June 18 at Comox Marina Park with a main stage featuring many events, highlighted by the BC Oyster Shucking Championships. One winner will be flown to Charlottetown, PEI in September to compete in the International Shucking Championships to represent the best of BC with some spending cash thrown in. On hand to judge the competitions are Vancouver Sun columnist/ Global TV’s Nathan Fong, CBC’s Don Genova and Chef Jonathan Chovancek of Vancouver. Other main stage events include the Comox Valley’s Best Chowder Competition and three outstanding musical acts including Blackberry Wood from Vancouver, Luke Blu Guthrie from Comox and Skagway, an emerging bluegrass band from Nanaimo. Food vendors will be paired with different growers offering their treats to the public and a large beer/wine garden will be set up half in and half out of the main festival tent. Five cooking demos will take place on the secondary stage throughout the day by such renowned chefs as Avenue Bistro’s Executive Chef Aaron Rail of Comox; Executive Chef Ronald St.Pierre of Locals in Courtenay; Deerholme Farms’ Chef Bill Jones of the Cowichan Valley; Adrian Merrilees, Executive Chef at Fluid Bar & Grill in Courtenay and Chef Jonathan Chovancek of Culinary Capers in Vancouver. Other events around the Valley that weekend include a shellfish cooking class taking place at Beyond the Kitchen Door in Courtenay on Sunday, June 19, 2011 with guest chef Garrett Schack from Vista 18 in Victoria. Several restaurants throughout the Valley will also be offering shellfish specials throughout the week leading up to the festival including Avenue Bistro. As a family friendly event, there will be a kid’s activities area featuring a touch tank, a face painting station and also a drawing station. Kids under 12 enter the grounds free. Admission for over 12 years old for the day is $5. Visit www.bcshellfishfestival.ca for more information.
BC Shellfish Festival Accommodation Packages Best Western PLUS, The Westerly Hotel & Convention Centre •Two Night Festival Package starting from $199.99 per person (based on double occupancy). •Guest Room only Festival Rate starting from $105 per night, with a full hot buffet breakfast included. Call 1-800-668-7797 and ask about the BC Shellfish Festival rate or package.
Old House Village Hotel & Spa • Package includes accommodation, tickets to the Chefs’ Dinner, Festival Day tickets and breakfast. Call 1-800-668-7797 and ask about the BC Shellfish Festival rate or package. Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community • Package includes discounts on rooms and free shuttle service to and from the Chefs’ Dinner on June 17th. Call 1-800-668-7797 and ask about the BC Shellfish Festival rate or package.
Enter to Win the BC Shellfish Getaway Package at DiscoverComoxValley.com
Growing out of the farmers market are great business ideas. Locals Restaurant, who operates under the mandate ‘food from the heart of the Island’, is one of them. Chef/Owner Ronald St. Pierre has seasonal set price Table D’hôte and spring menus available at both dinner and lunch service featuring all the Valley has to offer. On Mother’s Day a special offering for the special lady, a 5 course dinner with local wine pairings will be available. Locals will be participating at Edible B.C. on Granville Island June 5th, by hosting B.C. Chefs Dinner showcasing the Comox Valley. Reservations and information please contact the website www.localscomoxvalley.com. Vendors of the market like the faithful folks at Natural Pastures make great cheese and are being rewarded by their peers in agriculture by recently receiving federal funds to help them continue to grow. A new cheese on the market is the Smoked Boerenkaas, a product Smoken Bones Cookshack of Victoria did the dirty work for by naturally cold smoking the Boerenkass. For more info Natural Pastures cheese products and their availability go to www.naturalpastures.com. Hard work at the market has also led Rosa and Chris Graham to swing open the doors of the Purple Onion Delicatessen at 146 Port Augusta Rd. in Comox. Her legendary selection of tamales and salsa from the market are available along with market fresh specials, gourmet coffees and select grocery. A new business location has also become a reality for Comox Valley Bakehouse, David and Sonya Thompson moved their operation into a new space at 2998-C Kilpatrick road. David attended Malaspina(now VIU) and took culinary arts with a specialty in baking and pastries. He turns out 25 different breads a day while bringing back what an artisan bakery really means, everything is hand made from scratch every morning. Pastries and gourmet coffee are offered along with breakfast and lunch treats, visit them at www.comoxvaleybakehouse.com. It’s always nice to find a great bottle of B.C. wine. The Courtenay B.C. VQA wine store is now open and able to make that happen, Cindy Holland and staff are dedicated exclusively to promoting the finest B.C. wines and stock over 300 labels including Ice and dessert wines. Visit the store located at #7-3195 Cliffe Ave. for wine accessories, gift baskets and great customer service from the only B.C. VQA store north of Victoria on Vancouver Island or go online at www.courtenayvqawines.com. Courtenay’s newest culinary and entertainment destination Flying Canoe West Coast Pub is now open at the Westerly Hotel & Convention Centre. Featuring Classic Pub fare made from the freshest of local ingredients and featuring authentic Forno fired pizzas made right in front of your eyes. The Pub will feature local entertainment and is currently showcasing An Intimate Evening of Conversation & Song with Sue Medley and Special Guests every Thursday night from 7 to 10 pm until June 16. Go online to access menus and other performances at www.thewesterlyhotel.com. Atlas Cafe has a new kid's menu for the budding gourmand and best of all kid's size desserts. A seasonal menu for parents is available upon request if the kids won’t share. This is great because, the family that eats together stays together. www.atlascafe.ca. Over at Avenue in addition to releasing a new spring/summer menu, Chef Aaron is looking forward to the BC Shellfish Festival. Aaron will be teaching classes, participating in the chowder competition and offering up some delicious creations for sampling. www.avenuebistro.ca. The BC Shellfish Festival will take place on the shores of Baynes Sound with two spectacular events. On Friday June 17th at the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park top chefs from all across B.C. will serve a 6 course dinner paired with B.C. wine. Then Saturday June 18th at the Comox Marina Park from 12pm till 10pm. Performances by Luke Blu Guthrie Band, Skagway and Blackberrywood will rock out while chefs compete in a chowder competition, the west coast shucking competition takes place with winners going to nationals in PEI this September. The day will be rounded out by cooking demonstrations by local and celebrity chefs for spectators to watch and eat. www.bcshellfishfestival.com. Congratulations to Comox Valley resident Honorable Don McRea for landing the Minister of Agriculture portfolio. Let us have a moment of silence for the now burned down Lorne Hotel, it was a landmark in Comox and it will be missed. —Eli Blake VANCOUVER: Oyster Seafood and Raw Bar, barely bigger than the bibalve’s shell (six bar seats, three high-tops and two curved booths) and tucked away in the original Vancouver Stock Exchange building at 475 Howe Street, has, without a doubt, the best 3pm-6pm buck a shuck in town. No fewer than a half-dozen premium gems are on ice. Muscadet, the quintessential oyster wine—is offered by the glass, as are natty premixed cocktails in tiny cork-topped bottles. A great after-work (or wine tasting in my case) go to. Knock off early for the best selection of oysters. (The squid ceviche, too, is a must try). No buck a shucks at Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House (still going strong after 25 years) but we slurp a half dozen Chef Creeks anyway while perusing the superb 4-6pm happy hour menu—fish tacos, beef carpaccio, yam fries, fried oysters, to ream off just a few tasty nibbles—$5 each or 3 for $11. Go for a Guinness or Joe Fortes un-oaked Chardonnay for this one. As thin-crust pizzas crisped in Rocky Mountain Flatbread Bullfrog Wood Stone Oven, a motley gathering of journalists, environmentalists and restaurateurs gave ear to Tom Heintzman, president of CONT’D ON THE NEXT PAGE
www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2011
Bullfrog Power. He explained why we should switch to green gas. Bullfrog power relies on the energy-rich gas from decaying organic matter in our everyday waste stream. The then-cleaned, wind-and-water driven fuel is injected into the national pipeline, displacing fossil fuel-based sources. The result? Less carbon, a clean conscience, (and as far as RMF goes, a darn fine pizza). Salt Spring Island Coffee Company is also committed to Bullfrog Power. As of June, we were told, Dad’s cookies (a Kraft product) will also be Bullfrog produced and logo’d. You might say we’re pretty stoked on the idea. Vegetables ruled at the 12th annual BCPMA Healthy Chef Competition, a fundraiser for the Cancer Society and Heart and Stroke Foundation. I hardly associate righteous eating with playing roulette. Nevertheless River Rock Casino Resort hit the jackpot and won the event’s first annual Healthy Plate Award--braised sea cucumber, shiitake mushrooms, pea sprouts and prawns. The Hyatt Regency kitchen balanced Indian-spiced beef tenderloin with Tikki spring vegetables to earn the prize for best entrée. Goldfish Kitchen turned out a very nice pork loin with 5-vegetable pave. Personally I was all over Well Restaurant’s Rabbit’s Feast—leg, roulade and sausage served alongside braised red cabbage, roasted golden beets, sauteed zucchini and squash and, naturally, carrots. Goes to show that chefs are really stepping up to the plate with the veggies. Fade to black, the days of mushy broccoli and over-dressed iceberg lettuce as sole accompaniments to that hunk o’ protein. My mother’s 1966 edition of The Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook, is in loving tatters. Imagine my delight to it republished in its original format as part of the Classic Canadian Cookbook Series. From Newfoundland Blueberry Wine, to Acadian Chicken; from Niagara Peach Pie to Red River Scotch Broth; from Calgary Pumpkin Cake to Fraser River Stuffed Salmon the home cook travels east to west via distinct regional recipes. A few words of local culinary lore introduces each. This gem of a cookbook plays a vital role in our nation’s heritage. (and the recipes really work!) —Julie Pegg TOFINO: There’s a lot to cover in this column as we lead into summer on the west coast of the island. First of all, a new culinary festival is taking place this year. Feast! Tofino-Ucluelet is a month-long celebration of both the culinary talent and fresh seafood ingredients available in the area. Co-sponsored by EAT, Feast runs from May 8 to June 4 and has many facets to it, including dine-around menus at participating restaurants. Salmon is the featured seafood in the first week; followed by crab, then spot prawns. There will be Saturday wharf festivals each week, guest chefs (look for Duncan Ly at the Wickaninnish Inn, Rob Feenie at SoBo, Peter Zambri at Shelter, JC Poirier at Spotted Bear Bistro to name a few appearances), and other special events and deals around town. Visit www.feastbc.com for all the details and see the EAT article from the March/April issue here: http://bit.ly/f88M72. Feast leads directly into the 9th annual Tofino Food and Wine Festival, June 3-5. Another event co-sponsored by EAT; this three-day festival brings together food purveyors with wineries, cideries, and
EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2011
breweries for a weekend of events. A new event this year is *Beinvenue: Life is Better with BC Bubbles *on June 3. This welcoming evening reception is a drop-in at Darwin’s Café at the Tofino Botanical Gardens, presented by the festival organizer Kira Rogers along with BC wineries and oyster suppliers. Also as part of the festival events is the *Epicurean Showcase* at Long Beach Lodge Resort on June 2. This is a reception featuring the Lodge’s suppliers and Kettle Valley winemaker Bob Ferguson pouring his favourites. Visit www.longbeachlodgeresort.com for more details, or phone 250 725-2442. The Wickaninnish Inn is hosting a Cedar Creek winemaker’s dinner with Darryl Brooker pouring pairings to Chef Nick Nutting’s courses on June 3. Visit www.wickinn.com to reserve seats or phone 250 7253100. The main TFWF event is Grazing in the Gardens on Sat., June 4 from 1- 4pm. Wander through the lush ground of the TBG while sampling wine, beer, cider, and tasty treats. And finally, Wildside Booksellers is hosting cookbook author Caren McSherry for a cooking event on Sunday, the last day of the festival. Contact Wildside at 250 725-4222 or visit www.tofinoseakayaking.com. Keep up to date with this and other festival events and book tickets online for the main event at www.tofinofoodandwinefestival.com. It’s time! Tofino Brewing Company was scheduled to open its doors and release its brews to the public at the end of April. Brew master David Woodward (formerly of the Whistler Brew House) and co-owners Bryan O’Malley and Chris Neufeld bring us Tofino’s long-awaited first craft brewery. Their Tuff Session Pale Ale and Hop In Cretin IPA are available from the brewery itself at 681 Industrial Way (Units C and D) in Tofino. Check the website for more information at www.tofinobrewco.com. Several local restaurants outdid themselves at the food events that were part of the 26th annual Pacific Rim Whale Festival in March. Congratulations to Tofino Tea Bar, the winners of the People’s Choice award at the Martini Migration, and to the judge’s choice, Middle Beach Lodge. Shelter Restaurant won for Best Decorated Booth from both the judges and attendees. The big winner at the Chowder Chowdown was Wildside Grill, who took home the People’s Choice and the Judge’s Choice awards. This was shortly after CBC TV personality Rick Mercer tweeted about their lunch: “the best fish taco ever. Really.” —Jen Dart Find the Okanagan Buzz on page 36
this just in There’s new restaurant opening in Cowichan Bay in the Oceanfront resort called Terrain Regional Kitchen. According to their FB page “[There will be a] heavy focus on local everything. From produce to protein to wine to anything I can get my hands on”. We’re told a Sushi bar and a Sunday brunch buffet will be added in the near future. Open 7 days a week with breakfast, lunch and dinner served. 1681 Cowichan Bay Road, Cowichan Bay, terrainregionalkitchen.com
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