Page 1

EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:02 AM Page 1

RESTAURANTS | RECIPES | WINES | FOOD | TRAVEL ®

CELEBRATING

15 YEARS OF GOOD FOOD & DRINK

Smart. Local. Delicious.

Cooking with Fire New Wave Bartenders Cake That’s Good For You Spot Prawn & Avocado Cobb Salad

THE MOST INNOVATIVE VEG-FORWARD RESTAURANTS MAY | JUNE

l 2014 | Issue 18-03 | FREE | eatmagazine.ca


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:02 AM Page 2

Another Quality Project By

Construction By

* * *

UNDER CONSTRUCTION CONSTRUCTION

move in THIS THIS fall

DUET’S KITCHENS WERE DESIGNED WITH DUET’S WITH SERIOUS HOME C COOKS OOKS IN MIND MIND,, WIT WITH H FULL FULL-SIZED -SIZED DS STAINLESS TAINLESS AINLES SS S STEEL TEEL AP APPLIANCES PLIANCES AND T TWO WO INVITING F FINISH INISH NISH P PALET PALETTES. ALETTES.

due duetvictoria.com tvictoria.com Perfectly Per errfectlly located betwe be between en B Beacon eacon Hilll P Par Park, arrk, downtown and James B Bay ay Village. Village. Beautiful eautiful homes priced from $345,000 $345,000.. B PRESEN P RESEN TATI T A TI T I ON CEN T RE O PE N - 5 PM PM P E N DA D A I LY L Y N O O N615 BROUGHTON S ST, T, VICTORIA BC

PHONE P HONE 250 250.383.2999 . 383. 2999 2

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:02 AM Page 3

Smart. Local. Delicious.

content Articles

Rebecca Wellman

Food Matters . . . . . . . . . .09 Good For You . . . . . . . . .10 Concierge Desk . . . . . . . 05 Epicure At Large . . . . . . .11 Wild Foods . . . . . . . . . . .08 Get Fresh . . . . . . . . . . . .13 What’s In Store . . . . . . . .14 Beer & a Bite . . . . . . . . . .15 Reporter . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Viva Mexico . . . . . . . . . .18 Eating Well For Less . . . .20 New Breed Bartenders . .24 Joseph Blake VINcabulary . . . . . . . . . .27 writes about Wheelies Veg Forward Restaurants 28 Motorcycle Local Kitchen . . . . . . . . .34 Cafe on pg. 16. Wine + Terroir . . . . . . . .40 left: Chef Kai Wine & Food Pairing . . .42 Musseau Liquid Assets . . . . . . . . . .43 News from around BC . .44 What the Pros Know . . . 46

Up SOUp YOUR MEALS with savvy shortcuts that get you to a home-cooked meal in minutes.

No Spoon Required Soup, of course, is meant to be ladled into bowls and enjoyed as is, particularly when as inviting as the ones produced in our Thrifty Kitchens. Our soups make a great base for other dishes. They can enhance tender steaks and saucy prawn pasta, We hope our soups inspire you to use them in other taste-filled, creative ways.

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

THRIFTY Kitchens

Soup

11 varieties to choose from! 700ml

Since 1998 | EAT Magazine is published six times each year. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Although every effort is taken to ensure accuracy, Pacific Island Gourmet Publishing cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions that may occur. All opinions expressed in the articles are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the publisher. Pacific Island Gourmet reserves the right to refuse any advertisement. All rights reserved.

Cover photography by Michael Tourigny Facebook/EatMagazine twitter.com/EatMagazine EAT is delivered to over 300 pick-up locations in BC including Victoria & Vancouver, Vancouver Island.

www.eatmagazine.ca Sign-up for our Tapas newsletter

Customer Care: 1 800 667 8280 • www.thriftyfoods.com

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

3


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 4

Classic with a modern twist... unmistakeable Le Creuset

Bridal Registry Available Broadmead Village, Victoria 130-777 Royal Oak Drive www.pennakitchen.com 250-727-2110 Info@pennakitchen.com

4

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014

for people who love to cook


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 5

CONCIERGE May

By Rebecca Baugniet

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. This year’s festival runs from May 1-29. (www.feastbc.com) SPRING OKANAGAN WINE FESTIVAL (OKANAGAN) 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 two weeks of May, the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival busts loose with over 100 events throughout the valley. May 1-11. (www.thewinefestivals.com) MAY DAY CELEBRATION AT SEA CIDER (SAANICH) Bring the whole family and celebrate May Day at Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse. Experience their apple trees in blossom as the fruit-growing season begins in the orchard. Enjoy traditional May Day dancing from the Island Thyme Morris Dancers. Food partners include Truffles Catering, Food for Thought Catering, and the London Chef serving up spring inspired savoury and sweet bites! Keep an eye out for more surprises on the Sea Cider Facebook event page and be sure to RSVP. May 4 11am4pm. (facebook.com/seacider) BC DISTILLED (VAN) BC Distilled is the province’s premier micro distillery festival promoting locally conscious drinking. Taste craft and artisanal spirits from 15 local distilleries, and meet their makers. On Saturday, May 10 experience the single best opportunity to sample the finest micro distilled spirits B.C. has to offer. (bcdistilled.ca) MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH AT OAK BAY BEACH HOTEL (OAK BAY) Come with those closest to you and be treated to a seasonally-inspired selection of healthy brunch choices in addition to classics such as eggs benedict, buttermilk pancakes, carving station, desserts as well as a separate kids buffet. Seatings from 10am to 2:30pm. Enjoy a live musician, photo booth for a memorable keepsake, and every mother will receive a little take home treat to cap off a perfect start to your special day. May 11. Adults - $54 Children (6-12yrs) - $27 Infants (under 6yrs) – Free. (oakbaybeachhotel.com) ANNUAL LUND SHELLFISH FESTIVAL (LUND) The 7th Annual Lund Shellfish Festival will once again be held along the shores Lund Harbour, BC, Canada. Eat fresh-cooked seafood, enjoy local musicians, take a tour, watch free cooking demonstrations, buy some live shellfish, shop at the booths, enter a contest, or sample special menu items at the restaurants - there are activities for everyone and admission is free. May 23 – 25. (www.lundbc.ca) THIRD ANNUAL VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL TEQUILA EXPO (VAN) The Third Annual Vancouver International Tequila Expo (VITE) is Western Canada’s largest festival dedicated to Mexico’s number one export spirit. The festival aims to increase the presence of tequila in Western Canada. The Main Event is a public Grand Tasting Hall (1500 tickets available) with an afternoon trade component to ensure maximum exposure to tequila products and a large customer base. During Vancouver Agave Week (May 26-31), there will be tequila seminars, master classes, and pairing dinners at venues around Vancouver to further promote tequila and other agave spirits. May 31. (www.vancouvertequilaexpo.com) CONT’D TOP OF THE NEXT PAGE

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

5


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 6

EDITOR’S NOTE

Our new website is launched This is the season for halibut and spot prawns; for new growth, for asparagus and English peas, fresh salad greens and wild morel mushrooms. It’s the season when the earth renews itself and the fishers, foragers, and farmers harvest the first foods of spring. To kick off the season, I like to buy a whole halibut and break it down into filets myself (I use the bones to make a fish stock). My barbecue comes out of storage and I grill big slabs of halibut slathered in garlic and lemon. As the season progresses, I also grill spot prawns the same way. I love how the grill adds smokiness to the seafood. This is simple, honest fare that depends on the quality of the ingredients—which are, of course, local. After a dinner like this, I feel the long grey winter is over and I feel renewed. EAT is also renewing itself. We have spent many months planning and building a new

HAND-CRAFTED BREAD MADE WITH FRESHLY STONE-MILLED FLOUR AND ONLY CERTIFIED ORGANIC OR SUSTAINABLY GROWN LOCAL INGREDIENTS . NATURALLY LEAVENED AND BAKED TO CRUSTY PERFECTION IN WOOD-FIRED BRICK OVENS.

6

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014

website designed to modernize EAT online. Change happens fast in the digital world and, although the old website served us well, technological advances required the site be upgraded. But more than an upgrade, I decided a re-think was also necessary. As a result, we’re pleased to offer readers and advertisers expanded editorial content, seamless integration with smart phones and tablets, and better functionality moving around the website. This new website would not have been possible without the contributions of my son, Colin Hynes, who brought vision, innovative ideas, youthful energy, and plenty of online skills to the project. I’d also like to thank Media One for their awesome web development skills. Building a large magazine website with an archive of nearly two thousand articles and many more photos was a challenge that they met with skill and knowledge. To read more about our new website go to pg. 32 or visit eatmagazine.ca —Gary Hynes, Editor.


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 7

June TOFINO FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL (TOFINO) Now in their 12th 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 6-8. (www.tofinofoodandwinefestival.com) BC SHELLFISH FESTIVAL (COMOX) The Comox Valley produces more oysters than anywhere else in Canada and boasts nutrient rich waters, spectacular coastal scenery and friendly hospitality. Experience this growing aquaculture industry at the BC Shellfish Festival, a unique event that offers 10 days of fabulous seafood tastings, informative aquaculture producer tours, signature dinner events, competitions, and family fun. Join the celebration of this delicious and sustainable resource and experience the Comox Valley while you savour incredible seafood creations prepared by some of BC's finest Chefs. June 13-22. (www.discovercomoxvalley.com/shellfish-and-seafood-festival/) 8TH ANNUAL CHEFS GALA DINNER (COMOX) Hosted in the historic Filberg Gardens overlooking the ocean, BC Seafood Growers Association’s 8th Annual Chefs Gala Dinner is a decadent dining event that begins with a raw bar reception, sampling oysters from different regions of BC, shucked and served by the farmers who grew them. Guests will enjoy a sit down dinner of six courses, each one created by a different BC Chef and expertly paired with a BC wine or craft beer. Participating chefs include Peter Zambri (Zambri’s), Quang Dang (West), Kathy Gerritt (Tria Fine Catering), and more. June 20. (www.bcshellfishfestival.ca) V.I.C. FEST (VICTORIA) The fourth annual V.I.C. Fest (Vancouver Island Cultural Festival) will be held June 14th at St. Ann’s Academy in the heart of Downtown Victoria. A sprawling orchard will host the Island’s best local breweries along with a newly improved and expanded wine garden featuring wineries from around Vancouver Island. V.I.C. Fest will also showcase live music, local food vendors and delicious Island cuisine. (www.vicfest.ca) FERNWOOD BITES (VICTORIA) Fernwood’s favourite food and libation tasting event is back for its fifth year. “Local Fare in an Urban Square” is a food and drink tasting event, raising funds for the Fernwood NRG. Featuring local eateries and chefs, beer and wine, live music and a silent auction. June 22, 5.30pm -8pm in Fernwood Square. $50 per person. Due to access to alcohol, this is a 19 years + only event. (www.fernwoodnrg.ca) ANNUAL SOLSTIC PARTY AT SALT SPRING VINEYARDS June 22, from 12-5. There will be great local food, including fresh oysters, and all the vineyard’s wines will be open to try. Come dance, eat and enjoy the wines. 151 Lee Road, Saltspring island, 250-653-9463, info@saltspringvineyards.com

ONGOING WINTER FARMERS MARKET (VANCOUVER) Every Saturday from 10am-2pm, running until April 26 in the East parking lot of the Nat Bailey Stadium. FARMERS MARKETS AT THE VICTORIA PUBLIC MARKET (VICTORIA) Local farmers and food producers come every Wednesday for the weekly Farmers' Market from 11AM-3PM. You can also catch them every Saturday and Sunday. The Market Society hopes this presence continues to grow and that they will eventually be at the market every day. (www.victoriapublicmarket.com) INTERNATIONAL SUMMER NIGHT MARKET (RICHMOND) This Asian-style summer event is back starting May 9, 2014. The only one of its kind in North America, the Summer Night Market is as authentic as the original Night Markets throughout Asia. Barbeque beef skewers, Cantonese dumplings, deep-fried cheesecake, Japanese octopus rolls or hurricane potatoes are just some of the foods on offer. Friday and Saturday nights 7pm-12am, Sunday nights 7pm-11pm. (www.summernightmarket.com)

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014 7

7


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 8

WILD FOOD

By Simon Nattrass

Cooking with Fire

Foods cooked over a bed of fiery-hot wood coals have a unique life and vibrancy. Not so long ago, the hearth was the centre of our lives. In every home a fire burned year-round, producing simmered soups, roasted meats and fresh-baked bread for each meal. Gas and electricity have given us heat on demand, but at the expense of the life and vibrancy that can be found almost exclusively in foods cooked with flame. After tasting a hearty fire-baked sourdough or the flavourful crust on a joint of meat roasted over a bed of cherry-red coals, it’s hard to see why this lost art form hasn’t yet found its way back into the home. A host of tools can be built or bought that will suspend heavy pots over a fire, spit-roast meats or provide even temperatures for baking. But all you really need to get started is a few stones and a wire grill. The idea is to cook over a bed of coals rather than open flame, adding more fuel or hot coals from a separate fire when heat begins to die down. A hot, bright fire of hardwoods or fruitwoods makes the best coals, but on the west coast softwoods such as fir and alder are more readily available. Some woods, like alder, hickory, cherry and apple are prized for their subtle and complex smoke flavour, but resinous woods like pine or spruce and toxic cedar* should be avoided. The temperature of a bed of coals can’t be easily adjusted, and judging the proper distance between food and fire is a matter of experience and intuition. Forget the precise temperatures of modern ovens and think of a wood fire in terms of low, medium and high heat ranging from about 250-500 degrees. High heat closest to the fire can quickly boil water or sear meat, forming a crisp brown crust and sealing in juices. Medium heat can simmer soup, bake bread or finish cooking a seared roast or stuffed poultry. And low heat can slow-roast meat or toast bread. While most folks associate wood fire cooking with meat and potatoes, it’s bread that

got me thinking about all of this to begin with. With its characteristic thick crust and chewy centre, a sourdough cooked with wood heat can’t be compared with even the best bread from a store shelf. Ambitious bakers could easily build an outdoor mud oven, but I use a wood stove and a simple tinfoil reflector oven, which works just as well. To bake dense breads or bannock in my wood stove, I preheat to medium-high heat, push the coals to the back of the firebox with the bread near the front, and rotate the pan now and then to provide even heat. Admittedly, my wood stove technique is a little rudimentary. For the classic crisp, golden crust and chewy centre characteristic of brick-oven bread, I defer to the experts at Wildfire Bakery. According to baker Amy Deshaies, the secret to fire-baked bread is actually water. Wildfire bakers start with a very moist dough and rely on the large number of loaves to fill the sealed oven with steam, which helps the bread expand (a small-scale baker can mist the inside of the oven just before baking). An even heat is achieved slowly by moving the fire around until the ash on the ceiling, walls and floor of the oven turns white. To test the heat, Deshaies tosses a handful of flour into the oven. If it turns gold then dark brown over the course of a minute, the heat is perfect. If the flour turns black, it’s too high. (For more from Deshaies, including a beginner’s wood-fire bread recipe, visit www.eatmagazine.ca) If you’re looking for a beverage to complement the smoky, salty flavour of roast meat or the richness of fresh bread and aged cheese, try reviving another old tradition. The hard, tannic apples and pears that populate backyards and abandoned farmsteads around the region are a relic of a long-forgotten love of hard cider. Make your own from rescued fruit, or try a oak-aged Rumrunner or sweet Pomona, both from Sea Cider. A lighter cider or wine high in acid or tannins may bring out a bitter flavour, so look for something that offers a deep honey or vanilla note to highlight the earthy taste of wood fire. Like any traditional skill, the only way to perfect wood-fire cooking is through experience. Perhaps after a summer of outdoor cooking, next winter will see you in front of the hearth once again. E * Cedar planks are prized for the flavor it imparts to salmon, but some health experts contest the safety of red cedar for use in roasting and smoking. (eHow)

E

8

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 9

FOOD MATTERS

By Julie Pegg

Lunch Pail Pasty

Whether you’re going down the mine, or into a tough sales meeting, a traditional stuffed pastry is wholesome fuel for the day. When pressed for time or stabbed with sudden hunger pangs, many of us tend to nip into a convenience store or fast food joint and grab a sandwich or burger to eat on the run. It’s cheap. It’s fuel. It’s tasteless, but it stops a growling tummy for a bit. My druthers, when rushed, are to pick up a couple of stuffed and sealed pastries. They could be Indian samosas, Greek spanakopitas, Italian calzone (one is plenty), a Jamaican patty, Latino empanada or—a difficult feat in Vancouver—a Cornish pasty. The Cornish pasty (a staple of Cornwall miners), according to cookery writer Elisabeth Luard’s Old World Kitchen, “is the best of all lunch-pail food.” An entire meal, encased in a half-moon-shaped baked crust, is pinched with the Cornish crimp, a thick rope-like pattern. Half the packet is filled with a savoury—traditionally minced beef, onion and potato (carrot is not traditional but has become commonplace); the other with a sweet—jam or cooked fruit. It is, Luard writes, “as easily transportable down the mine as it is into the fishing boat or out into the fields at harvest.” My mum often made pasties with leftovers from the Sunday roast for dad to take to work and I to school. But I don’t recall her ever adding a sweet touch. When in London, I hightail it to Borough Market, just a few minutes from London Bridge in Southwark. An astonishing array of lovely meat pies and pasties made with organic local meat and vegetables riff on the classic—packed with cubed rather than minced beef, coarsely chopped onion, with perhaps turnips, cabbage or sprouts. You may find chicken and mushroom, or mutton and leek pasties. They too are “easily transportable”—in this case to an adjacent pub. Is there a better way to cheer up English damp than with a pasty and a pint of bitter? Cornish pasties are fairly easy to make. They freeze well so best make a batch. I read that a genuine pasty is made with a prepared suet (beef fat) crust, but a hot water lard pastry works well. The nice thing about making homemade pasties is the freedom to create fillings. Luard suggests lamb with leek or parsley, pork and apple, turnip and carrot, fish and potato, or egg and bacon (with a mug of strong tea, what a way to start the day!). Rose Prince in New English Kitchen offers a filling of goat cheese tossed with fresh dill and lightly cooked chard or spinach. Nigel Slater, food writer and author of the excellent childhood memoir Toast, makes his with wild mushrooms, thyme and a splash of Madeira (how delicious come late August, when the wild mushrooms begin to appear. Slater also recommends seeking out a copy of Pasties by Lindsey Bareham (Mabecron Books). A “real” sized Cornish pasty will feed one hard-working labourer or two lazy sods. Bareham strays outside the Cornish norm to veer toward a Spanish empanada filled with fresh peas, new potatoes and Spanish ham. I fished out Miramar Torres’s The Spanish Table from my arsenal of cookbooks, fingers crossed that I would find a recipe. There, on page 201, was one for Empanada de Anchoas (anchovy) complete with a wee blurb. Galicia, not South America, I discover, is the home of the original empanada (from “empanar” meaning to bread). Further, the Galician empanada is not the snacksize South American empanada with which North Americans seem more familiar. Stuffed with little salty fish (sardines are also common) and gussied up with garlic, tomato, Spanish paprika, hard-cooked eggs and a few raisins, the pie-sized turnover is cut into wedges. The South American empanada, depending on the country, might be a meat-filled cornmeal crust or a seafood-stuffed flaky pastry. It may be fried or baked. Boca, near my condo, sits right at the West Broadway at Granville bus stop. The tiny Latino takeaway offers two-bite fried empanadas—either stuffed with shredded chicken or spicy beef. I order one of each. The perfect snack to accompany me on the 99 B-line to UBC. But must I head to England to enjoy a pasty? By the time this column is published, that is exactly what I’ll be doing. And I’ll let you know in what pub. E

HOTELGRANDPACIFIC.COM | 250.380.4487

FIND F IN D US ON

F FOLLOW OL LOW U US S

Dive in to west coast cas casual ual Restaurant. fare at The Pacific Resta Restau urant. Our new spring menu features Our features sustainable, local seafood.

With simply prepared local and sustainab le sustainable ingredients, our new menu is showcasing P $! $ * + ' ( & * , $ &$ ) ( * * $ &* ( + * ( & . 463 Belleville Street, Victoria BC, V8V 1X3 | Member of Preferred Hotels Hotels® ® & Resorts

Supporting local has never been so easy... just look for the crest!

The following local businesses are proud to feature freshly roasted, specialty coffees from Oughtred:

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

9


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 10

GOOD FOR YOU

By Pam Durkin

Have Your Cake

And eat it too. It’s good for you!

There is something intriguing happening to desserts around the globe. They’re shedding their “bad-for-youâ€? image and becoming decidedly more salubrious. In response to the growing concern over the obesity epidemic and consumer demand for healthier fare, savvy pastry chefs and bakers are revamping their sweet creations to create lighter options rife with health-enhancing ingredients. Here is a closer look at this “sweet trendâ€? and some of the local culinary haunts where you can find delicious, yet remarkably “good-for-you,â€? desserts. We used to view sugar as a rather benign substance that imparted a delightful sweet taste to our food. Unfortunately, new research is proving we underestimated sugar’s deleterious effect on our health. A recent study, published in the JAMA Internal Medicine, showed that those with the highest refined-sugar intake had a fourfold increase in their risk for heart disease compared to those with the lowest intake. Other studies confirm sugar consumption does far more than play havoc with our pearly whites. It also triggers inflammation and causes insulin resistance, high triglyceride levels and lower HDL (good) cholesterol levels—all known risk factors for coronary disease, diabetes, obesity and more. Though sugar-sweetened beverages are the biggest source of sugar calories in our diets, the over-sweetened confectionaries offered up in bakeries and on dessert menus also make hefty contributions to our daily intake. Furthermore, many traditional desserts contain other unhealthy elements, like refined flours that act like sugar in our bodies. A growing body of evidence indicates that these refined products also have a negative impact on our health. Thankfully, there is a way we can have our cake and eat it too—without harming our bodies. In fact, some culinary wizards are proving we can have dessert and actually enhance our health—as long as the right ingredients are used. Just what are these baking alchemists using to substitute the sugar and other unhealthy foes lingering in our favourite sweets? They are eschewing refined sugars for low-glycemic sweeteners that have benign or even positive effects on blood sugar. This list includes honey, coconut nectar syrup, date sugar, molasses, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, yacĂłn syrup, coconut palm sugar, stevia and fruit juice. In addition, they’re replacing refined flours with wholemeal or gluten-free flours like quinoa, millet and amaranth. Some chefs are abandoning flour altogether and utilizing almond meal and defatted coconut (aka coconut flour) to make their treats. However, the current dessert makeover isn’t just about avoiding certain ingredients. It includes incorporating Ăźber-healthy ones. Nutrient-dense, flavourful ingredients like Greek yogurt, chia seeds, herbs, super-fruits, nuts, squash, sweet potatoes—even avocados—are becoming key features in many desserts. Does all this nutrition translate into great taste? You bet, and if you’re not convinced, head to any one of the following local establishments who’ve all heeded the call to make heavenly, yet healthy, desserts. Your palate and body will be delighted.

Across from Canadian TTire ire

2950 Douglas Stree Streett 250.384.3388 Beside Moka House

343 Cook Stree Streett 381.5450 250.381.5450 10

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014

/ʓ>}>Ă˘ÂˆÂ˜iĂŠUĂŠ>ÞʳÊĂ•Â˜iÊÓä£{ĂŠi`ÂˆĂŒÂˆÂœÂ˜ ĂŠ ĂŠ ĂŠ ĂŠ ĂŠ ĂŠ ĂŠ

The Fairmont Empress The iconic hotel is raising the bar on its dessert menu under the guidance of new pastry chef AJ Thalakkat. The new menu will feature desserts made with amaranth and quinoa flour, as well as other super-foods. Stone Soup Inn Local honeys are the go-to-sweetener here and they’re used in delicious desserts like a recently prepared strawberry-rhubarb mousse finished with fresh chamomile crisps. Ulla Quality seasonal ingredients create memorable treats at Ulla, such as an apple cake with yogurt mousse or dark-chocolate cake with hazelnut rice crisp. Be Love “Vegan decadenceâ€? won’t seem like an oxymoron after you’ve sampled their sublime butternut squash pie topped with house-made coconut ice cream. Nourish Try the blackberry bread pudding made with the cafÊ’s own rye bread. Green Cuisine Victoria’s venerable vegan hangout continues to turn out tempting, wholesome treats like banana cream pie (without the cream) and blackcurrant cheesecake [(without the cheese). Origins Personal favourites from this gluten-free bakery include their outstanding goat chevre cheesecake. Bubby Rose’s Bakery This Victoria institution whips up a super chocolate quinoa cake that will have your mouth watering. AJ’s Organic CafĂŠ This “little gemâ€? of a cafĂŠ relies on wholesome, pure ingredients to create healthy sweets that are a happy marriage between the hedonistic and guilt-free. E


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 11

EPICURE AT LARGE

By Jeremy Ferguson

The Not-So-Nice Spice

This unusual Middle Eastern flavouring smells revolting yet is an essential ingredient in many curries. The word reads like a sexually transmitted disease or, at best, something that grows between one’s toes in a monsoon. Its odour is nasty and fetid, its flavour acrid. It’s also known as stinking gum and devil’s dung. Writer Chip Rossetti once described its aroma as “a sulfurous blend of manure and overcooked cabbage, all with the nosewrinkling pungency of a summer dumpster.” The customary response to opening a container of asafoetida in company is, “Who did that? Was that you, Hubert?” “People ask me why I keep it under the counter,” says proprietor Peter Basi at the amiable B & V Market on Quadra. “It’s because if it’s on the shelf and someone opens it, it can stink up the whole store.” The only literary quote I can recall is from Thomas Harris’s Hannibal. The good Dr. Lector, referring to the worst of mankind, speaks of the “true asafoetida of the human spirit.” We want to eat this? Yes, we do. You see, asafoetida is a kind of ugly duckling awaiting transformation to gastronomic swan. Heat the stuff up in butter or olive oil and it gives off the most agreeable qualities of onions, leeks and garlic. Some even compare its flavour to, yikes, truffles. It acts as a miraculous catalyst, too. It waves a hidden baton to harmonize sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours. It’s used as a digestive aid, as all Indian spices seem to be. And in India, it’s employed as an anti-flatulent, especially with bean and lentil dishes. According to Charmaine Solomon, author of the Encyclopedia of Asian Food, Brahmans—the bluebloods of India’s ghastly caste system—use it as a substitute for garlic and onions “because they are believed to inflame the baser passions.” (Don’t blame EAT if there’s a run on garlic and onions.) Asafoetida turns out to be the dried latex from the taproot of ferula or giant fennel (it boggles to contemplate how these things are discovered in the first place) native to Iran and Afghanistan. The obstinate plant has never been cultivated successfully. It appears in Babylonian records as early as the eighth century BC, and later spanned the ancient world from Biblical Nineveh to India. Alexander the Great, after the conquest of Persia, introduced it to Europe. The Romans were rather fond of it, but after the fall of the empire, Europeans never much welcomed it into their kitchens. More recent and peculiar applications surprise: it makes fine bait for catfish and pike in Texas. It can be applied to the skin for calluses. It’s believed to protect babies from evil spirits in Jamaica. It even turns up, minus the stench, in cosmetics and perfumes. And did I mention it’s an essential ingredient in Worcestershire sauce? It’s listed as a partial antidote to hysteria and insanity, too (consumption should be mandatory at parliamentary cafeterias across the country). Probably its worst application was in the hazing of new college students: they were fed raw chicken rubbed with asafoetida and told it was human flesh. But for the most part, our contact with the paradoxical spice is the Indian restaurant, where it plays a subtle but key role in all manner of mouth-watering curries. It dances through the pages of Vancouver celebrity chef Vikram Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine. Here in Victoria, it’s easily found in Indian grocery stores liked the aforementioned B & V Market and the Gobind Food Market on Quadra. Because it’s powdered, there’s no need to fry it before using. At home, my wife calls it her secret ingredient. “It’s like anchovies in a Caesar salad: it doesn’t stand out, but without it, a curry can collapse,” she says. A simple experiment is in order. Heat a half-teaspoon of light-tasting oil. Stir in a pinch of asafoetida. One sip should tell you whether it has a place in your gastro-life. E

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

11


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 12

Like to grill? So do we!

Dovre Imports Ltd. p:

12

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014

| e: sales@dovreimport.com | www.dovreimport.com mad dee i n m a i n e | stonewallkitchen.com

800.370.3850


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 13

GET FRESH

By Sylvia Weinstock

The Elegant Fruit

Buttery, sensuous, nutrient rich and versatile avocados.

Avid avocado addicts know nothing compares to the velvety green flesh of a ripe avocado gliding across their taste buds. Dress up its creamy flesh for fine dining, or just unzip its leathery jacket, pop the pit, and indulge in a scoop drizzled with lime juice and a sprinkle of sea salt. No matter how you slice it, an avocado is a sensuous and nutritious treat. Avocados are one of the world’s most perfect foods because they are exceptionally rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Their oil is composed primarily of beneficial monounsaturated fat, which raises good cholesterol, lowers harmful cholesterol and protects against heart disease and diabetes. This easily digestible mono-unsaturated fat contains some omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids and is an excellent source of oleic acid, a potent antioxidant also found in olive oil. Avocados are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, Vitamin K, vitamin B6 and folate. They provide a range of minerals and contain sixty-percent more potassium than bananas. They are higher in fiber than any other fruit. Avocados not only contain several vital carotenoid antioxidants, their fats enable the absorption of carotenoids from other colourful fruits and vegetables. Eating avocados in salads made with leafy greens, tomatoes and carrots increases absorption of lycopene and beta-carotene, the fat-soluble carotenoid antioxidants in these foods. This versatile fruit can be used to create and enhance both sweet and savoury spring and summer dishes. Its bittersweet taste marries well with shrimp and crab, and with fruits, such as bananas and mangos. Mango avocado salsa is delicious on crab cakes. Sprinkle cubes of avocado on tacos, huevos rancheros and gazpacho, or add them to fajitas. The avocado’s thick buttery texture is ideal as a mayo substitute, in nutritious smoothies that will jump-start your morning, and as an ingredient in delectably different desserts such as ice creams, gelati, avocado mango fool and raw vegan berry “cheesecake.” Avocados don’t ripen on the tree. Ripen them at room temperature or place them in a paper bag with a banana and roll the bag up tightly. Avocados are at their peak of flavour and ripeness when they feel firm, and only slightly soft. To remove the pit, cut the avocado in half lengthwise to the pit, and twist the halves to separate them. Hack the pit with a sharp knife, twist it and pull it out. The dark green outermost flesh of an avocado contains the highest concentration of antioxidants. For maximum nutritional impact, cut the two halves lengthwise to produce four sections, pinch the skin at the top with your index finger, and peel it from each section. If you only want to eat a few slices, cut a lengthwise wedge from an intact avocado and peel it. Place a fat lemon slice in the cut area, and refrigerate the avocado, cut side down, on a plate. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll want to indulge in these phenomenal fruits more often. E

Vegan Avocado Gelato 378 ml full fat coconut milk 1 ¼ cups sugar 3 ripe avocados 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice ½ tsp sea salt In a small pan over medium heat, combine coconut milk and sugar and heat just until the sugar has fully dissolved. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Chill in the

freezer about 25 minutes. Cut avocados in half; remove the pits and peel them. In a food processor, combine avocados, coconut milk mixture, vanilla, lemon juice and salt. Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately or, for a firmer consistency, freeze for at least 6 hours.

Open Lunch & Dinner Tuesday through At 45 Bastion Square

Saturday.

Globally Inspired. Local Flavour.

Camille`s @ 45 Bastion Square Victoria, BC 250-381-3433 www.camillesrestaurant.com

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

13


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 14

The whole beast

   

      -- 

                   

Knife for Life

Knifewear’s handmade Japanese knives are usable art for the kitchen. For some, combining coffee with knives sounds dangerous: caffeine jitters, pointy things. But for Kevin Kent, it sounds like—pardon the pun—a sharp decision. He’s the creator of Knifewear, a Calgary-based store specializing in handmade Japanese knives. He and his team will open two temporary pop-up locations this summer on the West Coast: a Vancouver shop in The Chinatown Experiment and a Victoria shop in the Fernwood Coffee Roastery. Yes, a roastery. “It makes perfect sense,â€? says Kent. “People who like really good coffee tend to like good food and cooking.â€? A self-proclaimed “knife nerd,â€? Kent himself is a big fan of good coffee, food and cooking. He became fascinated by Japanese knives when he was a sous-chef at St. John restaurant, legendary chef Fergus Henderson’s restaurant in London, England. There Kent was introduced to a Japanese blacksmith who challenged him to try his handmade knives. Kent brushed him off, noting that he already had a set of “fine European knives.â€? But the blacksmith insisted. “That’s the day I discovered what ‘razor-sharp’ really meant,â€? Kent says with a chuckle. That’s also the day Kent started both a collection and a new career. He bought his first knife, then another and another. Shortly after returning to Canada in 2007, he began selling these handcrafted Japanese chef’s knives to his chef buddies out of his backpack on the back of his bicycle around downtown Calgary. By 2008, he had left his job as a chef at River CafĂŠ and opened his first store. Now he has shops in Kelowna, Edmonton, Ottawa and Calgary, plus a thriving online business at knifewear.com. Yet he still finds time to visit Japan twice a year, to meet with makers like Kato san and Fujiwara san, and learn more about what makes their knives so special. He continues to be impressed with Japanese craftsmanship, which descends directly from ancient samurai swordmaking traditions, more than 1,000 years ago. And he loves to discuss why he thinks Japanese knives are the best. "They're made from harder steel, so they’ll stay sharp longer,â€? Kent says. “I think people appreciate buying a good knife once, instead of a bunch of crappy knives often.â€? Just like the year-round permanent locations, the pop-up stores in Vancouver and Victoria will sell cool kitchenware, T-shirts and cookbooks, in addition to the Japanese knives. And shoppers will have a chance to try sample knives in their search to find the one that fits their budget and lifestyle. (A Japanese knife, Kent notes, is perfect for cutting paper-thin slices for the perfect tomato sandwich.) “Most people, if they have something handmade, it’s generally food or a painting on the wall,â€? Kent says. “But a Japanese knife gives you something handmade that you can use everyday, something with a link to both fine craftsmanship and the past. It’s like art for your kitchen.â€? E Masakage Kumo Bunka. $285+Tax.

               

WHAT’S IN STORE By Shelley Boettcher

CHECK IT OUT Knifewear’s pop-up store in Victoria takes place July 30 to August 3 at Fernwood Coffee Roastery (#5, 1115 North Park St., Victoria B.C., 250-590-3320). Knifewear’s pop-up store in Vancouver takes place July 21 to 27 at The Chinatown Experiment (434 Columbia St., Vancouver)

14

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 15

A Beer and a Bite

By Colin Hynes

TA K E I T OUTSIDE.

450 SWIFT STREET VICTORIA BC

Colin Hynes

Four Winds Czech-style Pilsner Springtime Party Eggs The Beer: Four Winds Brewing Co. Czech-style Pilsner (Delta BC.) This is an above average pilsner, high on Bohemian Saaz hop notes. There’s a citrus lift and a bit of floral to latch onto. Even though it comes in a small bottle, it has a big, satisfying mouth feel. I bet you’ll find yourself wanting to drink another bottle after you try it—it’s that good! ABV: 4.8%, no website The Bite: : Springtime Party Eggs As the warm weather hits, we head outside to party. One ingredient that, for us, works well is eggs: potato salad, Scotch eggs (who doesn’t love a sausage wrapped egg), and—that retro, all-time favourite— devilled eggs. EAT chose The Clay Pigeon’s (Victoria B.C.) outstanding devilled eggs to go with this pilsner. The Clay Pigeon kitchen makes them with curry, honey, and a garnish of radish and cucumber.

The Conclusion: We liked how the refreshing Four Winds pilsner has enough bite to power through the flavours of the devilled eggs. You could serve a milder beer, but it wouldn’t quite cut it. At your next spring party, grab a few packs of Four Wind and mash those egg yolks. A perfect match.

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

15


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 16

REPORTER Wheelies Motorcycle Café 2620 Rock Bay Ave. | 250-995-9359 | wheeliesmotorcycles.ca

Rebecca Wellman

Wheelies Motorcycle Cafe puts a whole new spin on the concept of the biker bar. The bright, brand-new venue celebrates ‘60s and ‘70s motorcycle culture with biker flick posters, a hard-rock soundtrack and a continuous loop of silent motorcycle film clips on a big-screen TV. A scene from Easy Rider was playing when we visited a couple of weeks after Wheelies opened in mid-March. Out front, there’s off-street parking in a lot left over from the location’s 66-year history as an auto repair shop and beside the café, a garage door that leads to a small shop where Wheelies’ three mechanics work on vintage motorcycles. They were working on an old Triumph, a vintage BMW and several old Harleys when I peeked in recently. The crew spent six months building the cafe “floor to ceiling all by ourselves, everything from recycled materials,” chef Kai Musseau told me as he put together sandwiches in his 80-square foot, open kitchen. My buddy and I are hunched over the five-seat bar overlooking the kitchen, our sandwiches served on recycled, wooden plates. “This bar, the bar at the front and the big table in the centre were all made from a 40-foot piece of laminated wood we salvaged. This space was a garage, and there was a car hoist where that big table is in the centre of the room. One of the guys made those bar stools from the repair shop’s old window security bars and upholstered them—just like making bike seats in the shop.” A repair shop specializing in vintage motorcycles and a gourmet eatery—it’s a funny combination. Yet it works because the bushybearded young chef makes everything on his minimalist menu in-house except the ciabatta, which comes from Frye’s Bakery in Vic West. And I do mean everything, including the pickled vegetables and the ice cream sandwiches. His soup, salad and sandwich menu features local ingredients and changes regularly. “I’m going with the seasons, doing lots of experimenting and making things fun,” Musseau explained as he puts together my pork sandwich and Southwest Salad. Raised in West Kelowna and a veteran of The Superior’s kitchen, Musseau’s root-beer-braised pulled pork sandwich was deliciously juicy. The chewy, warm ciabatta soaked up his chimichurri sauce, and pickled carrot and daikon subtly flavoured the salt-cured, slow-braised pork. I had a side salad too. Friends had raved about Wheelies’ kale salad, but it had been replaced by chef’s Southwest Salad—arugula, millet, corn and black beans lightly tossed with smoked chili lime vinaigrette. Delicious. I tried my buddy’s vegetarian sandwich (roasted tomatoes, olive maple tapenade, goat cheese and arugula on Frye’s ciabatta) and then got talked into one of Wheelies’ homemade ice cream desserts too. Rich chocolate brownies sandwiching Musseau’s espresso ice cream patty trimmed with candied pecans. It was devastating. The entire meal was wonderful. The café offers coffee drinks made from neighbouring Bows & Arrows Coffee Roasters, Silk Road teas and Broylan sodas. They also sell a range of helmets and motorcycle T-shirts. Wheelies is open 106 Monday-Friday, 11-5 Saturday and Sunday. E BY JOSEPH BLAKE

top left: Root beer braised local pork belly sandwich with pickled carrot and daikon, chimichurri on ciabatta. Side dish: millet salad. bottom right: Wheelies owners Jay Pincombe & Joel Harrison.

16

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 17

Heron Rock Bistro Since 2005

Supporting Live Music Monday & Friday Evenings

Sherri Martin

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

Open 7 days a week! left: An array of candies from Tout de Sweet right: Proprietor Jeanette Miller

9am-10pm Monday to Friday 8:30am-10pm Saturday & Sunday

Sunday to ursday 8pm-10pm

Tout de Sweet | www.toutdesweet.ca | www.facebook.com/toutdesweet.ca “I don’t have a sweet tooth; I have a candy tooth,” Tout de Sweet’s Jeanette Miller professes. Her voice is tinged with pride, not the guilty lilt of many sugar aficionados. “My mum would return from England, her suitcase lined with British sweets. This helped me land my first job at the British Sweet Shop on Yates.” Tout de Sweet offers an exquisite line of mostly organic, handcrafted and hand-wrapped confections free of high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup is ubiquitous and an ingredient in most candy, but even in moderation it can be a major cause of heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure, tooth decay… But I’ll stop there. After all, we are here to talk about the gorgeous corn-syrup-free candy Jeanette Miller creates. First there are the caramels, which are gluten-free and all-organic. The salted caramel has a medium firmness, and the salt is not subtle. The brightness of the salt against the luxuriance of the caramel works beautifully. The chai caramel is also divine—the deep spice emboldening the caramel. I was dubious about the lavender caramel, a flower too connected in my memory with stale sachets and mothballs. I don’t like to eat, drink or smell it. However, I must admit the subtle floral note in the caramel was a delightful and utter surprise. A couple packages of these caramels would easily complement or replace a guest’s standard bottle of wine or beer at a dinner party or housewarming. On to the marshmallows. It took me a few days to sample the array of soft, spongy delights. I also have a “candy tooth” but, for me, it has to be hard candy, so artisan marshmallows were not something I had explored. The vanilla-raspberry was subtle and delicious. The chai was also pleasing, but I preferred the milder flavour of the fruit-based marshmallow. For the avid marshmallower, the Mallow SweetStack offers three on one wooden stick. The flavours worked well together in my coconut-chai-mango, but I admit I could manage only a couple nibbles of each. It is not my poison, but the marshmallows are delicate and so pretty. The Victoria Royale is made with Silk Road’s lapsang souchong tea with swirls of salted caramel. Tout de Sweet’s lollipops are either organic or made with non-GMO ingredients. I enjoyed the banana, organic coconut, organic chai, organic blackberry-chocolate, organic vanilla-pistachio and the raspberry-cardamom, their bright flavours perfect for a quick “healthy” sugar hit. Jeanette’s tale of her British mum returning from her homeland, luggage bursting with sweets, hit home when I sampled the pinwheel, a nougat and caramel one-bite swirl. Don’t think of it as a quick one-bite, though. This is the kind of dainty delicacy that demands slowing down and chewing for a while whilst lying in the grass of a lush English country garden. It evoked images of making daisy chains, or drinking a Pimms. It was a treat in the truest sense of the word. As of late March when I was writing this, Tout de Sweet had plans to launch at the Moss Street Market and at the Local General Store, 1440 Haultain St. (thelocalgeneralstore.ca). For more information, please visit toutdesweet.ca. BY GILLIE EASDON

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

250.383.1545 heronrockbistro.ca

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

17


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 18

¡Viva México!

A mini Mexican food revolution is taking place in Victoria. —By Joseph Blake

A

boyhood in California established Mexican cuisine as my favourite food, and I’ve always been disappointed by what was on offer locally. No

more!

A couple of popular food trucks have moved into bricks and mortar operations recently. They now join the tiny Mexican restaurant in the Victoria Public Market at the Hudson in a local Mexican food renaissance. All of them are producing food that is high quality, house-made and authentic. Chef-owner Olimpia Cisneros has created an outpost of Mexican culture in the Public Market at La Cocina de Mama Oli. A Guadalajara-bred single mom, she offers a menu of traditional Mexican dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. “Have you had a Mexican breakfast?” Cisneros asks me as we settle into a dimly lit corner of her tiny restaurant, which she has decorated to represent a Mexican kitchen. “I wish the Public Market opened earlier so I could serve more of my favourite breakfast dishes like scrambled eggs with ham or chorizo with fresh corn tortillas and Mexican hot chocolate,” she enthuses. During a mid-day visit, I try the Guadalajara specialty, Carnes en su Jugo, perfectly spiced, lime-accented beef broth with generous pieces of seared flank steak, bacon crumbles, fresh cilantro, radish slices and minced, sweet onions. It was a delicious combination of flavour and texture. “I’ve tried to recreate my family’s kitchen,” Cisneros explains. “You have to try my homemade flan. That’s a very old Mexican recipe.” The flan more than lives up to Cisneros’ recommendation—very eggy, and not too sweet, the perfect dessert after the spicy main course offerings. Don’t expect cheap, fast food at La Cocina de Mama Oli. Everything is made from scratch with very fresh ingredients. At Fisherman’s Wharf in James Bay across from Barb’s Fish and Chips and the Fish Store, a bright, canary-yellow houseboat is the new home of Puerto Vallarta Amigos. Several generations of the Espinoza family ran restaurants in Mexico for 25 years in Acapulco, Morelia and Puerto Vallarta before Antonio Espinoza moved to Canada. For the past decade, Antonio and his sons have operated a popular Mexican food truck parked at Wharf and Yates Rebecca Wellman

streets. They now also park a Mexican food truck at Uptown, and a Metro Pasta truck splits time between both Camosun College campuses. When I visited the Fisherman’s Wharf site, it was a sunny afternoon and the open-sided white tent in front of the houseboat was jammed with diners at all six picnic tables. top: La Taquisa co-owner Scott Demner. Tortilla soup; Bean and cheese tortillas with carrot habanero salsa bottom: Barbacoa beef tacos with avocado salsa; guanillo sauce. Puerto Vallarta Amigos family photo – Antonio I join Antonio Espinoza at one of the restaurant’s handful of small tables inside the houseboat. As Antonio tells me Espinoza; Angelina Espinoza; Ramesh Espinoza.

18

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 19

about his family’s roots and his sons’ MBA studies, I feast on a variety of Puerto Vallarta Amigos’ trademark taquitos. The best is the Baracoa with its spicy filling of shredded beef sirloin. The restaurant takes advantage of its marine environment with several fish dishes, including Mayan Fish (steamed cod marinated with achiote paste), sauteed prawns, fish tacos with pico de gallo and homemade chipotle sauce, as well as a couple of varieties of ceviche. It’s all made from fresh ingredients and very reasonably priced. La Taquisa has moved its popular Mexican food truck operation from Cook Street Village to a storefront on Blanshard Street near the Royal Theatre. Bright-orange,

Carnes en su Jugo at La Cocina de Mama Oli. (which is only made on Saturdays

fuschia and white walls frame an open kitchen and a large menu board over the counter. Ordering is pretty basic—tacos, burritos, vegetarian, vegan and meat fillings, a choice of salsas—and don’t overlook the tortilla soup. Served in hand-painted pottery bowls in two sizes for $4 and $6, it’s a Taquisa highlight. I’d call the $4 bowl large and the $6 bowl a full meal. Prices here are very good, and burritos are huge. The green, red and pico de gallo (tomato, cuke and cilantro) salsas are tasty, but mild. Choose the picante, spicy verde or brava super spicy (habanero peppers with lime) to kick your meal up a notch. Rajas are roasted poblano peppers stuffed with corn, mushrooms and onions topped with cheese, a good vegetarian option. The battered and fried Baja shrimp burrito is delicious too, and you can’t go wrong with a variety of fillings in five little tacos for $10. A good spot for a quick lunch or a nosh before a show at the Royal. Viva Mexico!

E

La Cocina de Mama Oli 6-1701 Douglas St. 778.433.8348 Puerto Vallarta Amigos Dock C-39-12 Erie St. 250.514.5362 La Taquisa 1017 Blanshard St. 250.889.5803

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

19


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 20

EATING WELL FOR LESS

By Elizabeth Monk

Alternative Eateries

SLACK DAYS AT AN EVENT CENTRE, IN THE MIDDLE OF A BUSY COMMUNITY CENTRE, AND IN THE BACK OF A TINY BAKERY IN OAK BAY VILLAGE.

Kitchens of Distinction 638 Fisgard in the Ambrosia Event Centre, 250-858-7777

Elizabeth Nyland

Well, this is a surprise! There may not be an event going on here during lunch hours from Wednesday to Saturday, but there is definitely something going on. Tables in the event centre entranceway are set up as a makeshift restaurant, and there is excellent food to be had that is not at all makeshift. Shirley Lang, the chef and owner, has gone head-to-head with some of Victoria’s best-known chefs before, and won, specifically at past Savouries, Sweets and Sips events, where she won the People’s Choice Award in 2010. So what’s the deal here? Kitchens of Distinctions, Lang’s catering service that now has a storefront, offers soups, sandwiches, salads, mains and dessert. Tuesdays are more casual, with just soups and sandwiches. One intriguing sandwich was the Bison Blueberry Meatloaf with Blueberry Juniper Berry Spread for $10.75. The meatloaf is revved up with beans, Creole seasoning and a bit of red wine but never loses its fundamental bison flavour. The sandwich can be ordered on a variety of breads, or the bison can be served on rice if you don’t eat gluten. This dish comes with a side salad, which on my lucky day was a black-eyed pea and corn salad with the surprise of okra and the twist of Andouille sausage. The Herb Roast Chicken with Roasted Veggies for $14.97 was delicious. The moist chicken was infused with herb flavour all the way through, and the vegetables were a sweet medley of roasted parsnips, potatoes and yellow pepper. There was also a serving of green beans, and of rice, and the chicken was plentiful enough that I brought some home. The desserts were refined and delectable, the coconut tart with chocolate coconut ganache but one example. The menu changes weekly, and I know I will be back, in particular when the chef explores her aboriginal roots with an aboriginal menu, likely the week of June 21.

Moroccan lamb and vegetable stew

20

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014

Elizabeth Nyland

Elizabeth Nyland

Kitchens of Distinction’s Chef’s Plate: Pickled okra and wild cucumber, kale from owners garden, roasted butternut squash with Chianti cheese slices, cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, prawns over artisan greens, cashews and pistachios, grape and apple slices


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 21

Elizabeth Nyland

Nosher’s Plate: Pickled Herring, potato knish, vegetable kishka, noodle kugel, bagel with lox and cream cheese (red onions and caper garnish), gefilte fish, fresh coleslaw with vinaigrette. inset: Volunteers at the Jewish Community Centre.

The Jewish Community Centre 3636 Shelbourne St., 250-477-7185 Do you feel as if you need some love and comfort from your grandma? You can get that feeling here, in spades, where numerous Jewish volunteers (and grandmas) are hard at work in the kitchen making knishes, kishkes and kugel. Since they’re volunteers who presumably need to visit with their own, actual grandchildren, they deserve time off, so they are open Tuesdays to Fridays only, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For those who love sampling, the Nosher’s Plate is an insanely cheap $10. Here, on a plate spilling with food, you get gefilte fish, a boiled and chilled ball of pike and whitefish; potato knish, mashed potato with fried onions baked into a pastry; kishke, a patty of cracker crumbs, celery, carrots and egg; and kugel, a savoury cottage cheese, sour cream and noodle casserole. Or, if it’s just a simple sandwich you want, try the moist, fat pastrami with a homemade hot mustard and brown sugar sauce. That’s $10 too. A hard-to-resist sweeter dish is the cheese blintzes for $8, a dish likely to go over well with children. These are warm crêpes with a stuffing of dry curd cottage cheese, eggs, vanilla and sugar, topped with housemade berry sauce. It’s really hard to go wrong here. The atmosphere is casual; the café is, after all, in a community centre. There’s a nook for children with an activity basket for them and a sofa and tables nearby so harried parents can eat and supervise at the same time. In the words of the venerable Rose, who has volunteered there for 24 years, it is “not fancy-schmancy.” It is, however, delicious food in a welcoming atmosphere.

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

21


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 22

HANGRY? When a chocolate bar just won’t do. Prime Rib Sundays... Check us out at the top of Chateau Victoria.

Elizabeth Nyland

Owner Mojdeh Shaikhi. inset: Rice and chicken stew from Saffron’s new hot lunch buffet.

Saffron 2217 Oak Bay Ave. near Monterey, 250-370-0766

Photgraph by Stéphane Rambaud

22

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014

Luxembourg Collection

At Saffron, something interesting is happening behind a very modest exterior. It’s the Susan Boyle of small cafés. A quick glance in the door might lead you to think it is simply a bakery* but going deeper into the small shop, you’ll notice a steam table at the back. And in that steam table are curries and kebabs— a mix of Persian and Indian dishes that reflect owner Mojdeh Shaikhi’s Iranian origins and years spent in India. Different dishes appear different days, so here’s hoping you hit a Spicy Lamb Curry day. This stew is rich and meaty, with thick sauce clinging to chunks of lamb and potato. The beef kebabs are very lemony, which I like, and seasoned with cumin, turmeric and cardamom. These hot dishes, served over saffron rice, go for $12.50 for a large and $10 for a small. The vegetarian stew is even cheaper, a zesty mix of zucchini, red pepper, carrots, peas and corn. At the deli counter, I tried an excellent yam and squash salad, the vegetables roasted to the point of being soft yet toothsome, tossed with mild feta and moistened with a maple syrup and walnut dressing. The almond tart for $2.50 had a clever Persian twist; the marzipan was scented with cardamom, a surprising but delicious flavour combination. The décor is very basic, with modest chairs and a few small tables, but there is plenty of flavour to make up for that. E *Here’s a link to a story about the Village Patisserie: www.eatmagazine.ca/new-owner-at-the-village-patisserie


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 23

TWO RIVERS SPECIALTY MEATS DIRECT TO CONSUMER PROGRAM

MEATS



P E R FFEE C T D O U B L E C U E R RVO VO M A R RGA G A R I TA TA

 







Meating

O N SPECIA L E VERY T H U RSDA AY Y W W W.C A C T U S C L U B C A F E .C O M

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

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

23


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 24

VICTORIA’S CLASSIC COCKTAIL SCENE IS MORE THAN A TREND, IT’S A SMALL AND INTENSELY CREATIVE COMMUNITY By Megan Cole

Meet The New Breed of Bartenders

Rebecca Wellman

left to right: Nate Caudle (Little Jumbo), JJ Skidmore (Café Brio), Emily Henderson (The Tapa Bar), Cyle Serra (Be Love), Katie McDonald (Clives), Simon Ogden (Veneto), Solomon Siegel (Pagliacci's), Shawn Soole (Little Jumbo), Brooke Levie (The Marina).

Rows of glassware glisten in front of bottles of gin, vodka, bourbon, whiskey and tequila. At a long, clean, classic bar, customers sit perched on stools holding a variety of elegant drinks in their hands. It would be the perfect spot for Mad Men’s Don Draper or Boardwalk Empire’s Nucky Thompson, but this is Victoria, where bars with a classic nod are now part of the growing cocktail culture. An increasing number of bars are popping up with a focus on quality cocktails, places like Little Jumbo, Clive’s and Veneto. And while Victoria’s food and beverage scene often runs under the radar, over the past five years this small but creative cocktail community has been gaining international attention. Simon Ogden, bar manager at Veneto, says the trend towards vintage or classic cocktails, however, is true in only a small percentage of bars. Having worked in bars since he was 18, Ogden has seen trends come and go and says the recent revival of classic cocktails began in New York following the food and restaurant industry’s evolution towards homemade, locally sourced and artisan-inspired products. “It sort of gave latent cocktail nerds permission to make a home in the newly emerging scene,” says Ogden. “Certainly for my entire career and for the

24

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 25

generation of bartenders like me, bartending was something you did while you were figuring out what to do with your life.” But there’s been a shift in the industry, says Ogden, and bartending has now become accepted as a career and not just something people do to meet girls or make money while working out the next big life move. “I lost count of how many times I was asked over the bar by a customer what I did for a living,” he says. “I would say I was a bartender, and they would say, ‘well obviously, but what do you do?’ I don’t get that anymore, and I think that is really interesting, and really telling of where we are at with cocktail culture It has turned the ‘job’ of bartending back into a career, and I’m very gratified by that. I never thought I’d see it.”

Cocktail culture moves west Because it’s a ferry ride away from Vancouver, Victoria is sometimes behind the eight ball when it comes to adopting the big food and drink trends. Yet when Shawn Soole and Nate Caudle, authors of Cocktail Culture: Recipes and Techniques from Behind the Bar (TouchWood Editions, 2013) decided to open Little Jumbo, there was no doubt that Victoria was the best place to start their new business. “We’re doing it here because if we’d gone to Vancouver and opened Little Jumbo, it would have kept Victoria in a state of limbo,” says Soole. “There has been this steady incline and it seems as though the community has been waiting for a new place to open up. And I do call it a cop-out if we’d gone over to Vancouver and, trust me, our lives would have been a hell of a lot easier had we gone over there. But at the end of the day, this is my home.” Like Ogden, Caudle says the move towards a cocktail scene that’s focused on quality alcohol, flavours and technique mirrors what has already been seen in restaurants around the city. “You see places like Pink Bicycle, Clay Pigeon or Prima Strada, and they are taking everything one step further,” he says. “Pizza is made in wood-fired ovens, sandwiches are made on artisan buns using local kale that was farmed in Saanich. People are now looking at what is in their glasses and saying, ‘I have a beautiful, local, organically sourced meal in front of me. Why am I drinking a double rum and coke with it? Why am I settling for the drink aspect.’” As bartenders like Ogden, Soole and Caudle, along with Solomon Siegel, have continued to work on setting a foundation for Victoria’s cocktail community, they have also created a demand at restaurants around the city to embrace the growing trend and create quality cocktails with great gins, vodkas and bourbons. The tipping point for Caudle was while having dinner at the Tapa Bar.

“Tapa Bar is an institution,” he says. “It has been around for a long time and has a great reputation, but their drink menu was never anything complicated, it was sangria and stuff like that. But when I went in there one day recently with my girl, they had Aviation American gin and Sazerac and their Jasmine cocktail—just fantastic stuff. It was a sign that people want better drinks, and people are coming in there asking for a good Negroni or oldfashioned. That moment made me realize it was a reality.”

Community is the key to success Just as customers have begun to take notice of the shift towards classic cocktails and techniques, so have aspiring young bartenders. Many teenagers and young adults get their start in the job market in restaurants and bars. Samantha Casuga got hers in Victoria, after moving from Calgary, busing at Veneto. Eventually she found herself bar backing at Black Hat by Bistro28 (now North 48 see EAT May/June 2014). When Ogden heard about her place behind the bar, he invited her to come, shadow and learn from the bartenders at Veneto. “I went back to my bar at Black Hat and applied what I learned to that,” says Casuga. “Just knowing there was a community that immediately thought to take me under its wing even though I was no longer working at Veneto was really valuable.” It’s the community among the bartenders around Victoria that Casuga believes is contributing to its success. While in other cities it may be seen as sending customers to a competitor, in Victoria, says Casuga, they are sending a customer to see a friend. “It goes beyond bartenders. It’s the whole realm,” she says. “People are so into it and get fuelled by each other. I think that is just such a clear key to success here. What’s the use in competing against each other when we could all just work together? How many events go on in this city that are collaborative or involve community? That’s how it should be; there shouldn’t be a divide. The whole food and beverage industry is amazing in that way, especially here.” E

VICTORIA’S WHERE TO BELLY UP TO THE COCKTAIL BAR GUIDE Argyle Attic Upstairs 777 Courtney Street Be Love 1019 Blanshard St. Brasserie L’Ecole 1715 Government St Cafe Brio 944 Fort St Clive’s Classic Lounge 740 Burdett Ave Glo Lounge 2940 Jutland Rd Little Jumbo Down the Hall, 506 Fort St The Marina 1327 Beach Dr North 48 1005 Langley St The Pacific 463 Belleville St Stage 1307 Gladstone Ave The Tapa Bar 620 Trounce Alley Veneto 1450 Douglas St Zambri’s 820 Yates St

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

25


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 26

SPECIAL EAT PROMOTION

Celiac Awareness Month

May is Celiac Awareness Month, so let’s drink a toast (with gluten-free beer, of course), to those who cope with this challenging disease. By Sylvia Weinstock

C

eliac disease, an inherited autoimmune disease, is a serious condition affecting thousands of Canadians. It’s triggered by eating foods that contain gluten, a protein composite found in many grains such as wheat, durum wheat, spelt, kamut, barley, rye and triticale. When people with this genetic disorder ingest gluten, it inflames and damages the lining of the small intestine and causes reduced absorption of iron, calcium, vitamins A, D, E, K and folic acid. People with celiac disease must completely and permanently avoid gluten-containing grains and prepared foods, even in trace amounts. A gluten-free diet is the only treatment for celiac disease. More than 330,000 Canadians are believed to be affected by the disease, according to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, and only about 110,000 of those cases are diagnosed. Rates of celiac disease have almost doubled in the past 25 years in western countries. A celiac’s immune system can react adversely with a multitude of severe symptoms. Some celiacs have iron-deficiency anemia without any digestive disruptions, and some are asymptomatic. However, many celiacs can experience gas, nausea, abdominal pain, distension and constipation. They ofte n develop anemia and malnutrition because they have difficulty absorbing nutrients. Mouth ulcers, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, extreme fatigue, weak muscles, joint pain and menstrual irregularities are other common symptoms. Eliminating gluten allows intestinal inflammation to heal and controls most symptoms of the disease. The first step in diagnosing the disease is a series of blood tests that measures the patient’s response to gluten. For blood tests to be accurate, the patient must have been eating a normal diet containing gluten prior to testing. An initial biopsy of the small

intestine lining and a follow-up biopsy, performed after the patient has strictly adhered to a gluten-free diet for a year or more, are used to confirm the diagnosis. Celiacs should eat high-protein, high-fibre diets, with a variety of chicken, fish, seafood, meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables. They can eat millet (cereals and flour), brown rice (farina, flour and pasta), corn (grits, flour, cornmeal and cornstarch), buckwheat (groats [kasha], soba noodles, cereals and flour), amaranth (seeds, cereals and flour), quinoa (flour and pasta), teff (grain and flour), soy (tofu, beans and flour) and arrowroot p owder. Other suitable types of flour include potato, urad dahl, almond, sorghum and tapioca flour. Oats uncontaminated by gluten are safe for some celiacs. Nuts, or any other foods that haven’t been contaminated during processing by glutencontaining foods, are permitted. Not all celiacs can tolerate all of the grains considered suitable for celiacs without symptoms. Gluten-free products are more widely available and more accurately labelled than ever before. By learning as much as possible about the disease and adhering to a diet that includes a wide variety of safe foods, celiacs can maintain good health and enjoy eating good food. —By Sylvia Weinstock

Resources VictoriaCeliac.org Celiac.ca

HealthCanada.gc.ca/celiac CeliacCentral.org BreakingTheViciousCycle.info

E

26

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 27

VINCABULARY By Treve Ring

Chenin Blanc

{shen in blahnk}

Chenin blanc might just be the world’s most versatile grape. Wines from this early-budding, late ripening grape arc from searingly bone dry to nobly sweet and from serious sparkling wines to potent fortified pours. Firmly rooted in France’s Loire Valley since the 9th century, this accomplished, if not idiosyncratic, grape still reins over France’s garden valley today, transmitting terroir in sought after appellations like Savennières, Vouvray and Touraine. Part of chenin’s mystery is its chameleon-like nature; is it going to be one of the green, vegetal and meadow examples? Or will this waxy pour be full of lanolin, honey and chamomile? Will it be racy and dry or heady and sweet? Unmistakably constant is the spiking acidity, apparent even through softening with time in wood. The acidity also contributes to the longevity of well-crafted chenins – they can continue to mature for decades, transforming the greengage and angelica notes into mushroom, salt, honey and toast. When noble rot – botrytis cinera – affects this grape, the results can be otherworldly – Bonnezeaux and Quarts de Chaume are such galactic examples. In many parts of the world chenin is relegated to a workhorse status and blending partner. Though the Loire is still considered the zenith, twice as much chenin is planted in South Africa, where it is known as steen.

CHALKY

HONEYED

Paul Buisse Cremant de Loire AC Loire Protégée $25 +602508 This chenin based traditional-method sparkling is splashed with chardonnay and sourced from clay, limestone and flinty soils in Touraine. Struck stone, green apple and light biscuit with fresh lemon, chalky shell and nut notes. Fantastic French character at half the price of Champagne.

Road 13 Vineyards Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2012 Okanagan Valley, BC *$24 +450890 Grapes from this wine were planted in 1968 on the Golden Mile bench, so you’ll have to forgive that these gnarly old vines can only squeak out enough concentrated juice for 275 cases. Light smoked stone, honey, orchard pear, herbed quince and spice, concentrated and off dry but buoyed by streaking acidity. BC – do more of this.

GREENGAGE Spier Chenin Blanc 2013 WO Western Cape, South Africa $14 +659037 This steen from Stellenbosch is a steal at $14. Meadow, greengage and white grapefruit in a sauvignon blanc vein, but with the perfumed gooseberry, white honey, youthful white flowers and ripe pear weight of chenin.

SURPRISING Domaine du Clos du Bourg Touraine Demi-Sec 2010 AC Touraine, Loire, France $15 +126508 If you’re afraid of ‘sweet’ wines, try this lovely demi-sec, so acutely balanced with ripping acidity that you won’t even notice the honeyed succulence and you’ll ask for a second helping of the rabbit rillette or pork and apricot tangine. Honey, eraser, baked red apple, rock sugared pear and perfumed quince, with a shimmery acidity and waxy palate.

SPECTACULAR Domaine Baumard Clos Saint-Yves Savennières 2009 AC Savennières, Loire, France $35 +654095 This is a stunning terroir-driven wine, transmitting the schist soiled monopole Clos de Saint Yves vineyard. Bone dry and expressive with struck stone, savoury sea salt, tight pear, wild honey, lanolin and fragrant chamomile. Precise and focused, with a pulsing, surging palate and exceptional length. Cellar for 10+ years.

CONCENTRATED Domaine Le Mont Bonnezeaux, Cuvee Privilege 2002 AC Bonnezeaux, Loire, France *$59 This is botrytis in its noblest form: marmalade, golden citrus, honeycomb, whiffs of savoury stone and lengthy, lingering candied apricot and perfumed nougat notes. Heady concentration and richness is carried with focused, driving acidity and exceptional vitality.

*Asterisks denote wines that are only available at the winery or select private liquor stores.

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

27


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 28

THE WESTCOAST VEGGIE TABLE

Tracey Kusiewicz

At Yew in Vancouver’s Four Seasons Hotel: Cauliflower Four Ways—braised, roasted, shaved and pureed into a lemony sauce that’s artfully smeared across the plate.

W

THE NEW VEGETABLE-FORWARD CUISINE IS VEGETARIANISM WITHOUT THE GUILT

Whether you call it Meatless Mondays or Vegan Before 6 (New York food writer Mark Bittman’s answer to a food lover’s lifestyle), giving up meat, at least occasionally, is the latest choice for the conscientious eater. Part-time vegetarianism—or “vegetable-forward” cuisine—is the new buzz, and we may be living in a prime spot to practice, even indulge, in it. From Vancouver’s award-winning The Acorn restaurant to Be Love, Victoria’s newest vegetarian haunt, vegetables are popping up at the centre of the plate in all of the best places. There are vegetable choices at tapas bars (think Stage’s lime chili edamame or polenta with sautéed mushrooms and goat cheese mousse), mains of potato gnocchi with chestnut cream and kale at local French bistros like Ça Va, even roasted cauliflower gratin, balsamic-glazed carrots or spicy creamed cabbage with potato to share at Little Jumbo’s hip new cocktail bar. This is vegetable-forward food without a whiff of denial.

28

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014

By Cinda Chavich Imagine Acorn chef Brian Skinner’s beautifully presented raw candy cane beet “ravioli” with a fluffy macadamia nut “cheese” filling, as sweet as fresh ricotta, followed by a bubbling pan of cauliflower mac and cheese. Or a plate of beer-battered haloumi cheese with mushy peas and a potato/zucchini pancake—a whimsical riff on fish and chips. Or sit down to Be Love owner Heather Cunliffe’s Portobello Reuben, a “sandwich” created with her own raw almond pumpernickel “bread” infused with classic caraway and a meaty grilled mushroom topped with house-made sauerkraut. “Raw food puts me back in touch with my body’s intuition, but I don’t eat 100 per cent raw now,” says Cunliffe who started her raw food explorations at Café Bliss, after a stint at the Tree of Life retreat in southern Arizona. She now incorporates both raw and cooked vegetables in her creative menu at Be Love, where plant foods still rule.


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 29

“Lots of people can benefit from eating more plant foods and living raw foods,” she says, “but people can become fundamentalist about it. It’s all about a healthier, emotional relationship to food.” With choices ranging from warm olives, marinated in-house, to quinoa salad with roasted beets, carrots, hazelnuts and fig vinaigrette, and even healthy cocktails (imagine Merridale apple cider with rose-hip-infused brandy, or Hornitos tequila with green Chartreuse and almond horchata), there’s a level of contemporary finesse that goes beyond the typical health food offerings here, despite a reliance on raw, sprouted and dehydrated ingredients. “It’s all organic, and local if possible, but the focus is making food that tastes good,” says Cunliffe. One of the first chefs to make waves with “sexy vegetables” was Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy in New York (now a popular cookbook, too), where colourful carrot risotto comes with carrot dumplings and buns are filled with smoky broccoli stem “dogs.” Her inventive, even brash, approach to vegetarian fare—“anyone can cook a hamburger, leave the vegetables to the professionals”—spawned other vegetable-focused menus, from Portland’s Natural Selection to Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s new ABC Home Grown in New York. It may be a reaction to the meat-heavy menus of late, but today’s vegetable-forward food borrows at least part of its ethos from the charcuterie scene. Like the urge to eat every bit of the organic, local (and expensive) beast that comes into their kitchens, chefs want to buffer their food costs by reducing waste, and honour the foods from local farms by giving great veggies their undivided attention. Plus, eating more plants and less animal protein is healthier for both our bodies and the planet. It’s the mantra of the global Meatless Monday initiative, embraced by celebrities including vegetarian Paul McCartney to committed carnivore Mario Batali, even endorsed by the City of Vancouver (the first Canadian city to do so) and offered by meaty haunts like the Irish Heather pub. But the new face of vegetable-forward food is more than offering vegetarian or vegan options. It’s about inventive, meat-free dishes that anyone would be happy to order. I see it wherever chefs can get their hands on just-picked produce. On a recent trip to Phoenix, I met chef Ken Arneson at Rico’s American Grill, who serves curls of heirloom “carnival” carrots in a colourful slaw over fresh-picked lettuces, garnished with a sliver of pineapple-glazed pork belly, then a fresh tomato bisque, created with the “ends” of his fresh garden tomatoes. “We don’t want to waste any of these precious ingredients,” he says, pulling a sweet carrot from his own kitchen garden. And At Quiessence at The Farm, just minutes from downtown Phoenix, I had slivers of just-picked watermelon, Korean and black radishes with curls of heirloom carrots and baby beets in a pool of yellow beet puree. In downtown Portland, the farm-to-fork menu at Clyde Common includes dishes like roasted Brussels sprouts with poached egg and Myzithra or crunchy farro topped with shaved radishes, fennel, zucchini and arugula. And at Natural Selection, “a restaurant built on vegetables, fruits and grains,” chef Aaron Woo riffs on European classics, with dishes ranging from roasted celeriac and pear soup with fennel and parsnip to ceppo pasta with leek and mushroom ragout. Chef David Gunawan’s menu at The Farmer’s Apprentice in Vancouver changes daily, based on the local produce and proteins he acquires for his kitchen. “I just believe the produce should drive the chef, not the other way around,” Gunawan quipped in a recent interview with food blog network eater.com while pointing to others—notably Andrea Carlson and Robert Clark—as pioneers in the west coast movement towards a locally sourced, fresh and sustainable style of cooking. Carlson recently opened her own vegetable-forward neighbourhood restaurant, Burdock & Co. on Main Street. While her philosophy about using the ingredients she gets from sustainable farms was honed over a career cooking at fine dining restaurants like C, Bishop’s and Sooke Harbour House, she now offers local ingredients “at a price point that’s more accessible.” Carlson says her small plates menu at Burdock & Co. isn’t vegetarian but rather “elemental,” showcasing the individual ingredients, whether it’s a simple plate of local mussels, house-smoked over rosemary, or charred leeks with hazelnut and smoked chili Romesco. “Vegetables are open to a lot more creative input, a lot more layers and textures,” she says. Techniques run the gamut with vegetables, says Carlson, describing a dish of cooked

and raw pine mushrooms in a chestnut and parsnip broth, with a caramelized brunoise of parsnip and pureed chestnuts; or a roasted blue squash gnocchi tossed with sautéed chanterelles, peppery cress and arugula. “With a steak, you’re only going to cook it.” It’s hard to say what came first, the Lululemon-loving yoga crowd and A-list Hollywood celebs or the West Coast penchant for laid-back, healthy living, but upscale vegetarian dining fits right in here. It may even become a new kind of regional cuisine as chefs experiment more with the bounty in their backyards. The Acorn was named one of the top new eateries in Canada in the last enRoute magazine awards. Other hot new vegetarian spots in the city include The Parker, with its stylish cocktails, and diner-style Heirloom and Graze, a spot for more rustic vegetarian plates. Even top hotels are getting into the meatless mode—the hip sushi bar in the lobby of the Fairmont Pacific Rim offers vegetable rolls and nigiri topped with slices of salted compressed watermelon, as pink as rare toro. And at Yew, the upscale restaurant at Vancouver’s downtown Four Season’s Hotel, chef Ned Bell brings his love of vegetables alive with a farm-to-table menu that’s “nutrient-dense and plant-based.” Vegetables are front and centre on his menu, whether it’s the “green power” smoothie, loaded with apples, green garbanzos and matcha tea, or the vegan Cauliflower Four Ways—braised, roasted, shaved and pureed into a lemony sauce that’s artfully smeared across the plate. “The market is going that way, the customers want it, but that’s just the way I cook,” says the cyclist and runner who is serious about serving the kind of nutritious, local foods that fuel active lives. Carlson agrees: “More vegetable and vegetable-forward restaurants are popping up because people’s attitudes are shifting. People have access to farmers and see how precious and beautiful vegetables can be.” It’s what food guru Michael Pollen always says about what makes a healthy and sustainable diet: “eat food, mostly plants, not too much.” Chefs on this coast are making it easier than ever to comply. E

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

29


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 30

VANCOUVER

EATTHIS

Ask for Luigi 305 Alexander St. | 604.428.2544 | www.askforluigi.com

Fresh from the bazaars of

Salt Spring Island. Available at a store near you! Recipes, stores and more

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

Dinner 5:30 - 11 pm Tuesday to Saturday

Classic Italian handmade noodles aren’t exactly new to Vancouver’s restaurant scene, so the opening of a new pasta place shouldn’t be such a big deal. The opening of Ask for Luigi, however, is a major deal, and here’s why. First, it comes from the same team that brought us The Pourhouse and Pizzeria Farina, namely JeanChristophe Poirier and his band of merry men. If you think the Robin Hood analogy isn’t a good fit, think again. Poirier is a master of taking the dishes of la cucina povere and re-inventing them as rich, luxurious fare for the middle class. Making something out of very little is a talent not to be scoffed at, and Poirier has it in spades. Second, the location, in Railtown, in the old Two Chefs space, is part of a growing and diversifying area of the city that has been sorely lacking in neighbourhood eateries. Luigi remedies this perfectly by only taking limited reservations for each service, in order to always have room for walk-ins. Third, the food is outstanding. Full stop. Devilled eggs are topped with wild salmon caviar and tiny, lightly-pickled anchovies (yes, it’s egg-on-egg). Suppli al telefono are an interesting take on traditional arancini, more rectangular in shape, and with a lovely breaded crust that makes for excellent handling. Eggplant is stuffed with ricotta and nutmeg and topped with tomato sauce and parmigiano. It’s both ridiculously simple and ridiculously good. As for the pastas, these are all made in-house (for brunch and dinner; lunch noodles are sourced from an artisan in Italy). Pappardelle in duck ragu is surprisingly light on the sauce, despite being rich in flavour. On another visit, tagliatelle with octopus puttanesca was fantastic, earthy and bright. With many vegetarian options for both starters and mains, the restaurant is sure to appeal to the flexitarian East Van hordes. Fourth, there is the excellent wine list. GM and wine director Matthew Morgenstern favours whites for their versatility with the family-style food service. Never fear, however, as there are excellent reds in rotation as well. Finish with the lovely panna cotta and call it a night. BY ANYA LEVYKH

Chicha 136 East Broadway | 604.620.3963 | www.chicharestaurant.com

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

2577 Cadboro Bay Road,VICTORIA

592-0823

30

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014

Latin food has been growing in popularity in recent years. First the Mexican torta and taco came onto the scene with the openings of Las Tortas and La Tacqueria, then Sal y Limon and Los Cuervos added their takes on tacos, flautas and quesadillas. Now it seems that the focus has moved south from Mexico to Peru, from bread to potatoes. One can chalk it up to the current gluten-free craze (which, thankfully, appears to be adjusting to more appropriate levels), but I prefer to think of it as being due to Vancouver’s ever-expanding palate for the new and interesting. At Chicha, the new home of chef and co-owner Shelome Bouvette (formerly of Lolita’s), the food and cocktails are just that. If you’ve never tried causas, you might wrinkle your brow at the first read-through. Chilled, whipped potatoes sound a lot like Thanksgiving leftovers, but the reality is anything but. These are cool, creamy and highly ingestible. That they’re topped with items like sweet Dungeness crab mixed with corn and yellow aji amarillo peppers is just the gravy that presents itself as mango and avocado cream. For vegetarians, there is the veraduras, beetroot whipped potato with lima bean puree and chili yam chips. The aji pepper has a number of starring roles, like in the trio of sauces that come with some of the grilled and skewered meats, like the Pemberton Meadows beef heart interspersed with fingerling potatoes. The octopus-chorizo skewer is brightened with Peruvian black olive aioli, and an interesting basilaji pesto. Heartier dishes, like the empanadas, stuffed with your choice of Rossdown Farms chicken or assorted vegetables, or the Yarrow Meadows duck confit with dark beer rice seasoned with coriander, are comforting yet bright with multiple flavours and textures. Nothing is allowed to meld together into unrecognizable mush. Instead, the dishes maintain excellent balance and allow the individual ingredients to shine without overpowering each other. Cocktails, courtesy of bar manager Paul Clark, are heavy on Pisco (authentically Peruvian) and housemade bitters and syrups, and match the food. The menu is largely gluten-free, which is lucky for those with a sweet tooth, as the chocolate cake with chocolate sauce is a warm, rich dish that is made without the use of any flour whatsoever. Sweet potato and pumpkin doughnuts, while unfortunately not gluten-free, are delicious, served with spiced honey and raspberry coulis. BY ANYA LEVYKH


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 31

            

         

   

! !"

! !"

$$% &'   $$% &'  () ( )

  #   # FFOOD OOD :: WINE :: ART :: MUSIC :: GARDENS :: JUNE 6-8, 2014

CELEBRATING THE MARRIAGE OF FOOD AND WINE...

COCKTAIL SHOW BARISTA CHALLENGE GRAZING IN THE GARDENS SUNSET BBQ SUNDAY BRUNCH COOKING CLASS

t o fi n o f o o d a n d w i n e f e s t i v a l . c o m

GRAZING GRAZING TICKETS TICKETS A AVAILABLE VAILABLE O ONLINE NLINE A AT T TICKETWEB.CA TICKETWEB.CA IN IN VICTORIA VICTORIA & COURTENAY COURTENAY @ C CASCADIA ASCADIA LLIQUOR IQUOR S STORES TORES IN T TOFINO OFINO A AT TT TBG’S BG’S DARWIN DARWIN CAFE, CAFE, TOFINO TOFINO SEA SEA KAYAKING KAYAKING & MERMAID MERMAID T TALES ALES B BOOKSHOP OOKSHOP

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

31


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 32

FOR IMMEDIATE CONSUMPTION

WINERY open daily 2014 SEASON

May 10th to September 28th

W

local customer appreciation Monday to Thursday in May, *ask for details during your visit

INTIMATE TASTING ROOM | OUTDOOR SEATING with a VIEW 6181B OLD WEST SAANICH ROAD

CALL OR EMAIL US 250.665.6983 INFO@DEVINEVINEYARDS.CA GO ONLINE TO WWW.DEVINEVINEYARDS.CA

like us facebook.com/devinevineyards follow us @DEVINEVINEYARDS on twitter 32

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014

TASTING ROOM HOURS WEEKDAYS 12PM-5PM WEEKENDS 11AM-6PM

elcome to the new vision of what we are online. We have been working for many months getting ready for this day, the launch of a new EAT website. We have toiled over the look and feel and have enhanced the ease of use within the site. Articles are more readable and easier to find. We have taken a more web-friendly approach to the layout by increasing picture sizes (and quality), as well as making the site compatible with mobile devices (to try it out if you are on a desktop computer, resize the window until it is as small as it will go. Pretty great, huh?). Along with the new layout is a host of new reasons to check back day after day. We have hired new Victoria web writers, columnists, and photographers. Each brings a unique style and approach to their stories. Jeannette Montgomery will be reporting on the Okanagan and, from Vancouver, look for writer Tim Pawsey’s contributions. We also have a new assitant editor who can help steer the ship to match the interests of British Columbians. Now, there’s a host of new reasons to check back day after day. EAT will still focus on food and drink, but we are going to slightly broaden our scope to news areas that are food & drink related – from guides to the city (5 best places to get X), to interviewing folks who are tied in with the community, to reviewing kitchen tools (who doesn’t love things for their kitchen, right?!). We will still have our regular sections, such as First Look (to introduce you to new dining and drinking spots around town), Good For You (for healthy eating and foods), and Drink This (weekly wine and drink recommendations). Over the next few weeks, we will be posting meet-the-new-team articles so you can learn a little more about the EAT team and get to know each new writer/photographer/columnist a little better. We hope that you enjoy their varied and particular styles. You can check out some of their fresh, new articles at the top of the news feed. The bottom story byline has their picture and a short bio. As well, if you click the “read more” it will aggregate that writer’s articles to one place. E We hope you will enjoy the new EAT. Visit www.eatmagazine.ca


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 33

SEEN By Jeremy Ferguson

Booze Brother

Dan Aykroyd’s Crystal Head vodka has a bit of mysticism in every skull-shaped bottle.

Canadian icon—comedian, actor, director and writer—Dan Aykroyd created a sensation in a Langford boozeria earlier this spring. The star of Saturday Night Live and movies Ghostbusters and The Blues Brothers was here in his current incarnation as booze brother—co-founder and chief barker for Crystal Head vodka. Aykroyd, 61, told EAT he spends six months of his year promoting Crystal Head. “It’s all,” he says, “about boots on the ground.” His Langford appearance at Liquor Planet drew a surprise crowd of 600 fans. He was mobbed. Autographing the familiar skull-shaped vodka bottles, Aykroyd posed for a phalanx of cameras with children, babies—yes, babies—and even a dog. “It’s like the return of Christ,” noted an observer of our run-amok celebrity culture, “only this time, he walks on vodka.” But celebrity makes the difference: Liquor Planet sold 560 bottles of Crystal Head Vodka—the Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary Edition package including CD—at $100 a crack. The glass skulls, manufactured in Italy, boast a celebrity in themselves, as buyers recycle them as decanters, lamps, planters, hookahs, candleholders, candy bowls and, in one case, an aquarium. Aykroyd, a staunch believer in ghosts and UFOs, links the distinctive bottle design to the Legend of the 13 Crystal Skulls. The legend claims that the skulls were forged up to 35,000 years ago and contain magical powers to floor Gandalf. The artifacts, housed in private collections and public museums all over the world, have been an object of mystery and controversy for a century. Debunker Ben Radford of the Committee for Sceptical Inquiry (www.csiop.org) and

author of The Martians Have Landed: A History of Media Panics and Hoaxes, suggests Aykroyd has been dipping into his own product. “Crystal Head vodka,” he writes, “can be found at the intersection of New Age woo, pop culture, and mystery-mongering pseudoscience.” Aykroyd’s interests in the alcohol industry are equally diverse and include the import of Patrón tequila into Canada and a line of Ontario wines under his own label. He and his business partner, American artist John Alexander, took the plunge into the vodka business six years ago when they set out to produce a pure spirit, a vodka free of additives such as citrus oil, glycol and sugar. The all-Canadian formula encompasses sweet Ontario corn, Newfoundland glacial water and Dancers dressed as the Blues Brothers a process involving four distillations and seven kept the waiting crowd at Liquor Planet entertained . filtrations (three through quartz crystals). The marketing pitch: an ultra-smooth purist vodka in an exotic, macho container. The vodka launched in California the following year. Success was near-instant. Sales soared. Awards—including a Double Gold Medal from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition—followed. Gleaming skulls danced off the shelves by the million. There may be mysticism in the bottle, but Aykroyd is plenty down-to-earth in the booze biz: “It’s all about getting people out there,” he says. “Every piece has to be handsold; it doesn’t sell itself. You have to pass every piece over the counter to bar owners, hotel chain owners, liquor store owners, government departments and beverage buyers everywhere. Every great success in the last 30 years in the spirits business has been about companies getting those boots on the ground and doing the work.” E

On This! Celebra Celebrate te boa boatt to table cuisine chef col collaborations laborations * beach & d dock ock ev events ents * prix-fix prix-fixe e men menus us

Festiva vall Tofino Food Food & Wine Wine Festival Tofino June 6-8, 2014 June

Clayoquot Oyster F Clayoquot Festival estiva vall November 12-16, 12-16, 2014 November

Returning Returning May May 11-29, 29, 2014 www.feasttofino.com www.feasttofino.com

Share #y #yourtofino ourtofino

facebo facebook.com/tourismtofino ok.com/tourismtofino

@tourism_t @tourism_tofino ofino

tourismtofino touris mtofino

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

33


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 34

LOCAL KITCHEN

{Dinner On Ice} Keep your cool at the dinner table with a meal you barely have to cook. Crisp wedges of iceberg lettuce are the perfect foil for succulent spot prawns doused with herby bacon vinaigrette in this new take on Cobb salad. If you must, fire up the grill to barbecue the prawns or simply give them a sizzle indoors with a swift stir-fry. And if that’s got you all worked up, then chill out with spoonful after spoonful of pleasingly pink, no-cook frozen strawberry yogurt.

Spotted Cobb Salad Chicken be gone! This is a West coast twist on a classic made wild and wonderful with spotted prawns. This comes together pretty quickly, so be prepared and have all the ingredients good to go before you start cooking the prawns. Makes 6 to 8 servings 1 head iceberg lettuce 16 to 20 cherry tomatoes, halved 3 hard cooked eggs, quartered 1 avocado, sliced 4 oz blue cheese 6 strips bacon 2 tsp + 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 to 11/2 lbs spot prawn tails, peeled 1 small shallot, chopped 1 garlic clove, minced ¼ cup white wine vinegar 1 Tbsp tarragon-Dijon mustard

Thickly slice lettuce or cut into wedges, then arrange on a platter. Arrange tomatoes, eggs, avocado and cheese beside. Leave room for spot prawns! In a frying pan, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Turn pieces often and drain bacon fat as it cooks. Carefully tilt pan and pour fat into a small bowl – use a fork to hold bacon in pan so it doesn’t fall out. You want to do this often so that the fat doesn’t burn, because this will be used to make the salad dressing. You’ll need about 3 Tbsp. When bacon is done, transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and pat dry. Place 5 strips on platter; finely chop remaining piece and set aside. Return frying pan to heat and add 1 tsp oil. Increase heat to medium-high. When hot, add spot prawns (if necessary, cook in batches so pan isn’t crowded). Stir-fry until prawns are just opaque, 3 to 4 min. When done, arrange on platter. Add 1 tsp oil to pan set over medium-low heat. Add shallot and garlic. Stir often until fragrant, 1 minute. Whisk in Dijon, then whisk in vinegar. Remove pan from heat. Stir reserved bacon fat with remaining 1 Tbsp oil, then gradually whisk into mustard mixture. Stir in chopped bacon Pour into a small bowl and serve alongside salad. Makes about ½ cup dressing.

Text, recipes and food styling by JENNIFER DANTER Photography by MICHAEL TOURIGNY Art Direction by JENNIFER DANTER & GARY HYNES

34

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 35

Avocado: Squeeze fresh lemon juice over slices so they don't turn brown

Cheese: Try Bleu BĂŠnĂŠdictin from Quebec or go local and use Poplar Grove's Tiger Blue

Keep Your Cool: Prepare prawns and dressing one day before serving. Refrigerate separately. Serve prawns cold. Re-warm dressing just before serving.

Tomatoes: swap in wedges of colourful heirloom tomatoes

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE2014

35 35


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 36

Strawberry-Cardamom Frozen Yogurt The secret to great strawberry frozen yogurt or ice cream is the fruit. It's really important to use local berries since they have the best, sweetest and juiciest flavour. Terroir baby! Lucky you if you've plucked them straight from your garden - otherwise, get thee to Moss Street Market!

1 lb strawberries, hulled and chopped ½ cup sugar ¼ cup honey 1 Tbsp ground cardamom 1 Tbsp vodka ½ tsp sea salt 11/2 cups Greek yogurt ½ lim Finely chop 3 Tbsp berries and set aside. Place remaining strawberries in a blender. Add sugar, honey, cardamom, vodka and salt. Let stand 15 min to soften berries, then blend until pureed. Pour through a strainer and discard seeds. Return berry mixture to blender and add yogurt. Squeeze in juice from lime. Blend to mix. Refrigerate until really really really cold, at least 3 hours or overnight. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and follow directions according to type of maker. When finished churning, swirl in chopped berries. Store in an airtight container and freeze up to 1 week. Spoon into ice cream cones, cute little bowls or eat straight from the container!

36

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 37

You are what you eat. With over 25 local organic farmers, Moss St. Market

Saturdays (10am-2pm)

MossStreetMarket.com

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

250.590.8795

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

37


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:03 AM Page 38

            

  

  

THE LOCAL LIST EAT’s where to find it guide

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

             

KNIVES NORTH ARM KNIVES

HUDSON’S ON FIRST

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

Fine dining in a beautifully restored heritage home. Local ingredients, classic techniques and modern presentation are just a few reasons Chef Dan Hudson is creating a buzz. Celebrate Lunch, Brunch and Dinner. 163 First St. Duncan 250-597-0066 www.hudsonsonfirst.ca

RESTAURANTS

OLIVE THE SENSES

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

Our family brings the finest single cultivar extra-virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Ours are ultra-premium olive oils that are hand-bottled on-site ensuring that the last drop you taste will be as good as the first. Victoria Public Market at the Hudson Open Tuesday through Sunday (250) 882-4210 Olivethesenses.com

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

THE CHOCOLATE PROJECT

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014

VICTORIA PUBLIC MARKET

THE MINT

SALT SPRING ISLAND

38

DOWNTOWN DUNCAN

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


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:04 AM Page 39

Artisan Edibles Fine Preserves For product selection and a retailer close to you: www.artisanedibles.com

BOOK REVIEW By Rebecca Baugniet

Food Artisans of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands

I

f anyone is eminently qualified to write a guidebook on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Island’s food artisans, it is without a doubt Don Genova. You may be familiar with the award-winning freelance journalist from having taken one of his classes at Cook Culture, or perhaps know him from his time as leader of the Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands Slow Food convivium. You could be a regular listener to his CBC radio segment, “Food Matters”, or a loyal follower of his blog. It doesn’t matter how you know Don Genova – any exposure will show you that this is a man who enthusiastically and tirelessly seeks out the Islands’ edible treasures and the stories behind them. His first book, Food Artisans of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, is a culmination of all these stories. A handy map at the front of the book shows the six regions covered in Food Artisans; the Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Gulf Islands, Nanaimo, Saanich Peninsula and Greater Victoria, while at the back of the book, more detailed maps of each region show where the artisans are located. The book is separated into different categories, featuring bakeries and cafés, beverages and specialty liquids, butchers, charcutiers and salumists,

chefs and instructors, chocolate, coffee roasters and tea blenders, cooking gear and kitchen shops, dairy, farmers’ markets, farms and farmers, processed food products, seafood and specialty shops. Each of the artisans, businesses and farms profiled have been visited in person by Genova, and his descriptions are conversational in tone, as though you had just bumped into each other outside a market stall and he was telling you about this great new squid ink pasta he’d just discovered. Colour photos by Genova and Stephen Hawkins enhance the book with peeks behind the scenes and portraits of artisans and their creations. Also interspersed are tempting recipes, some of them by local chefs, using local ingredients mentioned in that section of the book. Food Artisans of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands is an indispensible resource for anyone who wants to taste the very best Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands has to offer. E Food Artisans of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, Author: Don Genova Touchwood Editions (April 2014) $19.95

RARE AND VERY WELL DONE. Plan your next date night at the Wickaninnish Inn and take advantage of our very special Gourmet Getaway and Feast your Senses Packages. Offers this special are highly coveted so book early to avoid disappointment. @TasteWickInnBC

The Pointe Restaurant 250.725.3106

tel 1.800.333.4604

www.wickinn.com

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

39


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:04 AM Page 40

TERROIR

IT S TEQUILA TIME 919 douglas street · victoria 250.370.9463 lrs@strathconahotel.com

Check out the great selection of Tequila and Mezcal at The Strath Ale Wine & Spirit Merchants in Victoria The Third Annual Vancouver International Tequila Expo takes place on Saturday, May 31, 2014 ) ) & # ( ! # ! % ! ( ! & ) ( ) ' ! (% ) % ' ! ) % ( ( ) ' ( # " ) & ( # ) ( '& ' ( * ' ( ) ! & ( ' ('# " % ) ( * ) ( # % ) & " ( ) ! ( & ( ! ! ! (! ( )

Hyatt Regency Hotel Vancouver ~ Grand Tasting 7:00 - 10:00 pm Details at: www.vantequilaexpo.com

40

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014

By Michelle Bouffard and Michaela Morris

A Region Revived

The northwest of Spain has rediscovered its wine roots and is once again producing dynamic, diverse wines. Despite glimpses of promise, the last century of Spain’s long and storied winemaking history has been mired in political and economic instability. But recent changes have transformed this wine giant into a dynamic and diverse producer. It has been a tale of revival in one region after another. The cooler, wetter reaches of northwestern Spain have not been left out. Once its main claim to fame was the well-known Santiago de Compostela. Now the northwest is starting to be recognized for its refreshing and fashionable wines. After phylloxera devastated the northwestern regions at the end of the 19th century, lesser quality, high yielding grapes supplanted the more interesting and superior local grapes. The main intruder, Palomino, was used to make sweet fortified wine and characterless bulk plonk. Spain’s induction into the EU and an encouragement by the controlling bodies to refocus on indigenous grapes has breathed new life into the area with improved technology and a commitment to revive some of the lost treasures. But it takes just a visit to one or two wineries, where old-fashioned equipment is still on display, for a reminder that this transition is very recent. Well worth the journey, northwestern Spain offers a number of small, off-the-beatenpath regions. Each has its own champion grape variety and unique wines. What all of them share, both reds and whites, is their high, lively acid. These wines shine best with food and present plenty of invigorating pairing options. The most well-known region by far is Rías Baixas. It sits on the northwest coast of Spain just above Portugal, in the area known as Galicia. Located right by the Atlantic, Rías Baixas is defined by the strong maritime influence. With an annual rainfall of 1,300 mm per year, the region’s climate seems to have more in common with Vancouver than with the rest of Spain. Arriving in late September, we left a balmy 30°C Madrid to land in the city of Vigo where umbrellas and jackets were absolute musts. It was cool and wet, normal for the season, but we were spellbound by the beautiful and intense landscape. Cliffs and rivers feed into the ocean, and the first thing we spied from the plane were the endless mussel “cages” sitting offshore. The vegetation is verdant and almost tropical with orange, lemon, nut, eucalyptus and palm trees planted amid the terraced vineyards. Vines are often trained on pergolas supported by imposing granite posts solid enough to be the foundation of a house. Dramatic indeed! The Albariño grape is Rías Baixas’ darling. Blessed with a thick skin, this prized indigenous grape has the unique ability to withstand the humid conditions of the area. Exotic and vibrant with concentrated notes of peach, nectarine, lime zest and persistent minerality (thanks to the granitic soil of the region), it is recognized as producing some of Spain’s most exciting whites. Wines from Rías Baixas that are labelled Albariño are a 100 percent expression of this grape. Bottles simply bearing the region of Rías Baixas blend Albariño with other indigenous varieties commonly found in the southern part of the region: Loureiro, Treixadura and Caino Blanco. (Torrontes and Go dello can also be found.) Fresh crisp white is what the region is all about, and most wines are fermented in stainless steel or concrete rather than being cluttered by oak. Whites from Rías Baixas aren’t cheap. As vineyard holdings are small and parcelled, producers generally have to rely on contracts with a number of other growers to produce enough wine. This coupled with demanding and costly labour result in whites that tend to be pricier than those from other parts of Spain. Martin Códax, one of the largest producers in the region, relies on 300 shareholder/growers. Their Albariño has been a staple in British Columbia for many years and is a good, straightforward example of the wines from Rías Baixas. We are thrilled to see other labels joining Martin Códax on the shelves. Look out for Valmiñor at private local stores. This was one of the highlights of our visit. The wines have great density and their Davila label is particularly stunning. The amazing acidity and structure of the whites from Rías Baixas make these wines


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:04 AM Page 41

scream for food. Living in B.C., we are skeptical about other places touting their seafood, but Rías Baixas’ claims are justified. We had the best mussels of our lives there. Percebes (goose-neck barnacles), oysters, scallops and razor clams are just a few other local specialties, and we enjoyed washing them down with Albariño. For a B.C. twist, we recommend serving these wines with simply prepared fresh spot prawns. Asian food is another natural. The region of Bierzo is hot on Rías Baixas’ heels. Further inland, it is technically not part of Galicia but sits right on the border. The climate is drier, warmer and less affected by the Atlantic. (Think more sunshine.) Once recognized for producing phenomenal wines, Bierzo was abandoned slowly over many years. Thanks to a handful of energetic producers such as Alvaro Palacios, old bush vines are being brought to life and the area is being reborn. Moving away from the flat fertile land to terraced vineyards on granitic soil has allowed winemakers to rediscover the true potential of the region. The local Mencía grape is the vehicle, delivering seductive and intriguing red wines. Black plums, licorice, violet and meaty notes are reminiscent of a northern Rhône Syrah. Food matches? Anything red and meaty! Lamb, flank steak, venison, bison or even grilled rabbit are all excellent choices. The Galician region of Valdeorras abuts Bierzo. Though more obscure, Valdeorras is a good example of the northwest’s up-and-coming gems. Telmo Rodríguez is among the winemakers leading the revival here, and he believes that Valdeorras will become one of Spain’s greatest regions in the future. The potential lies in the ancient vines found on old granitic terraced vineyards that lay forsaken for many years. Valdeorras’ most exciting rediscovery is the Godello grape, and the whites it produces keep going from strength to strength. Lush and juicy with a great structure and minerality, they are magic with richer seafood or poultry. More and more winemakers are barrel-fermenting Godello just to add a bit of weight to the wine. For a tasty combination with Godello, prepare some ham and cheese croquettes. Absolutely addictive! The Mencía grape is also important and recognized as Valdeorras’ finest red. Slightly lighter in style than those from Bierzo, it is no less exciting. Most of the examples we tried were unoaked and offered a lovely crunchy pure fruit expression of this charming grape. The refreshing wines from northwestern Spain are ideal for late spring and summer-

time dining. With their bracing acidity, they shine at the table. And, as British Columbians embrace the concept of enjoying wine with food more and more, it is the perfect time to ease into these characterful, off-the-beaten-track gems. And don’t forget to practice that sensual Spanish lisp. After a few glasses, Galithia, Biertho and Menthia will be rolling off your tongue. Salud! E

Tasting Notes White 2011 Martin Códax, Albariño, Rías Baixas DO $25-28* Green apple and white grapefruit with an assertive lemon-lime backbone. Clean and tangy. Perfect for oysters or a traditional tapas of fried green peppers (pádron peppers). 2012 Viñaredo, Godello, Valdeorras DO $25-28* Subtle peach, pink melon and cream notes with a juicy ripe apple on the palate. Rich enough to stand up to sea bass, scallops or chicken. 2011 Columna, Albariño, Rías Baixas DO $38-21 (SKU #425454) Lemon balm and candied grapefruit peel leading to peach on the palate. Firm with lingering minerality. Try with spot prawns tossed in garlic, butter, chili pepper, cilantro and lemon. 2012 Vionta, Albariño, Rías Baixas DO $31-35* Expressive nose of honeydew and lime blossom. Concentrated fleshy nectarine fruit with sneaky steely acidity, then a long, salty finish. Lip-smacking! Having takeout Thai food? Red 2008 Lagar de Robla, Viño de la Tierra de Castilla y León $25-28 (SKU #523332) Savoury heather and forest berries. Chocolate, sweet oak and clove come through on the palate. Its meaty quality calls for flank steak. 2011 A Portella, Mencía, Valdeorras DO $32-36* Fresh, appetizing and fragrant, this unoaked Mencía bursts with violets, licorice and black plum skins. Invigorating and hunger-inducing. Bring on the lamb! 2010 Alvaro Palacios, ‘Petalos’ Bierzo DO $33-37 (SKU #879221) A silky and refined expression of Mencía. Black cherry and wild flowers mingle with smoke, mineral and restrained oak. Indulge in venison for a real treat. *Asterisks denote wines that are only available at the winery or select private liquor stores. Some may be in limited quantities. All other wines are available through BC Liquor Stores. Prices may vary.

Perfectly placed to make fine wine and good friends. tinhorn.com

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

41


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:04 AM Page 42

WHAT TO DRINK WITH THAT

By Treve Ring

Sautéed Wild B.C. Spot Prawns with Garlic, Jalapeños, Fresh Herbs and a Spicy Mayo (via Chef Rob Feenie, Cactus Club Cafe) OUR EXPERTS Samantha Casuga (SC) Bartender/Wine Geek, Veneto Tapa Lounge Since starting as a hostess four years ago in Calgary, Samantha has since hit the ground running and has worked her way up every front of house position. She traded in management for a chance to work behind the bar at Veneto Tapa Lounge in Victoria, and sees the value in mentorship and education. Although heavily involved in the Victoria bartending community, she finds her main focus on wine and has recently completed her French Wine Scholar with highest honours and is a current WSET Diploma student. She is also one of five recipients of the BC Hospitality Foundation/Okanagan Crush Pad Sommelier Scholarships for 2014. With a real love for plant science and viticulture, she dreams of vineyard life where she can get her hands dirty and trudge around in her cowboy boots. Mark Filatow (MF) Executive Chef/Sommelier, Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar After graduating with honours from the Dubrulle Culinary Institute, Mark honed his culinary skills at some of the most prestigious restaurants in BC including Tofino’s Wickaninnish Inn, Vancouver’s Bishops and Diva at the Met and Kelowna’s Fresco Restaurant. In 2001 Mark was accepted into the coveted Sommelier Guild, making him one of the only chefs in Canada with this level of skill in food and wine pairing. By 2005 Mark’s culinary prowess was acknowledged by Enroute Magazine when they recognized Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar as one of Canada’s best new restaurants. Roger Maniwa (RM) Sommelier, Hawksworth Restaurant After starting his career in Vancouver while earning his ISG sommelier certification, Roger worked in fine dining rooms in Japan and the United Kingdom (Chez Bruce), before moving back to Vancouver to work the floor of one of Canada’s finest restaurants, Hawksworth. In addition to his tableside work, he has recently competed and won the BC heat of the Wines of South Africa Sommelier Cup, is an integral member of Vancouver Magazine’s Annual Wine Awards, a board member of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommelier – BC Chapter. He is a sought after somm, lending his talents to special events around Vancouver, as well as offering his growing acumen to restaurateurs, including Pidgin restaurant.

42

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014

SC. A lovely example of sweet and spicy, this dish is just asking for a playful partner with just as much vibrancy. I immediately go to chenin blanc for its appealing qualities, specifically one from Vouvray. High acidity graces these wines with a certain freshness that would help keep the palate satiated. A demi-sec Vouvray in particular would do wonders for the spice of the jalapeños and mayo, all the while matching with the sweetness of the spot prawns. MF. With the jalapeno and spicy mayo I would look for something with little residual sugar, lower alcohol and good fruit intensity. The sweet prawns deserve something with great minerality. My first pick would be a Spätlese riesling from the Mosel which has all of those elements in spades. Second pick would be a demi sec Vouvray, its gravel/chalky soils give the minerality. Chenin blanc with racy acid, enough residual sugar to tame the heat and great anise/minty notes to tie in the herbs nicely. RM. With lots of bright flavour components on the dish (garlic, jalapenos, herbs, sweet prawns), I’d look for the following qualities in a wine to pair, light to mid body with fresh fruit, crisp acidity, very refreshing. First thing that comes to mind is Txakoli from the Basque in Spain. A staple with pintxos, it’s a slightly effervescent dry white, with bright citrus, hints of white flowers, wonderful minerality and salinity. A wine to be drunk young, find the most recent vintage and enjoy. Other wines that would be just as nice are albariño from Spain and Portugal, slightly sweet riesling from Germany (not above kabinett).

Spot Prawns with Roasted Spring Boletus, Espelette Oil, Lemon Thyme, & Fried Cheese Gnocchi (via The Herbfarm Restaurant)

SC. I can think of one style of wine in particular that can herald such a brilliant partnership and that is Champagne. I think an aged vintage Champagne would love to lend its high acidity to cut through the fried cheese gnocchi and dance hand-in-hand with the lemon thyme. The earthy and nutty notes in aged Champagne would be more than perfect for the roasted boletus, and the spot prawns would die to be the key player in this ball... as they would have to. If an aged vintage Champagne is not within reach, a certain NV Pierre Gimonnet Blanc de Blancs Cuis 1er Cru would readily suffice. I had one of the best meals of my life sharing a bottle of this bad boy and a plate of spot prawns on the Sunshine Coast, and the romance of such a pairing has yet to escape me. MF. Earthy mushrooms, chili, citrus and menthol thyme flavour with sweet prawns and fried cheese. First crack at it would be white burgundy, a good value from the Mâconnais. Clay and limestone soils give minerality and add a little new oak influence for pairing with the richness of the fried cheese. Good fruit intensity to match the intensity of the chili and thyme. There are some top drawer BC chardonnays that would work great as well. If a red is a must I would try a rosé like Cabernet d'Anjou or a dry rosé from gamay. Bright red fruits, low tannin, good acid with good structure would handle the spot prawn mushroom combo. RM. Depending on how the spot prawns are prepared (poached, sous vide or sautéd, grilled) and with accompanying flavours of earthy mushroom, citrus/herb, and cheese, I’d steer towards a richer white or light fresh red. For a white, a mid to full body, round textured wine with sensible oak influence. A slightly mature white Burgundy where you start to see hints of earth and mineral tones but still with fresh creamed citrus or tree fruit tones and taut acidity would be great. White Rioja, Australian chardonnay can also be some great pairs. With the caramelized tones from sautéing or grilling prawns, a light to mid body red with a balance of fresh red berry and some floral tones with hints of earthy notes would complement nicely. Village-level Beaujolais, some pinot noirs, and frapatto from Sicily are fine examples. E


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:04 AM Page 43

Liquid Assets

By Larry Arnold

Taittinger Demi-Sec Champagne NV France $63.00-70.00 Founded in 1930, Taittinger has the name, the bubble and the reputation of one of the finest of grandes marques firms. Taittinger’s Demi Sec is off dry with a dosage of about 35 grams of cane sugar per litre. Pale gold with a lovely fine mousse and delicate aromas of spring flowers, honey and dried figs! The palate is soft and balanced with subtle mandarin and peach flavours. It is sweet, but not sugary. It is a wine of great charm and finesse! A style that deserves a better fate! Superb. Adami Bosco Di Gica Valdobbiadene Prosecco NV Italy $25.00-27.00 Adami has been recognized by Gambero Rosso as one of Italy's greatest producers of Prosecco. Given the source of this complement, this is a tremendous accolade that should be stored in the vault for the next time you are perusing the shelves of your favourite liquor store for a bottle of fizz. Clean and fresh with aromas that seem to dance in the glass. Very dry on the palate with citrus-peach flavours and a soft, creamy texture. Averill Creek Pinot Grigio 2012 Cowichan $16.00-18.00 Averill Creek Vineyards, just off the highway to Cowichan Lake, continues to impress with its delicious selection of pinots. The current release of pinot grigio is a real cracker with subtle citrus, apple and honey flavours. Nicely balanced with good weight and mouth-watering acidity that persists through the palate. Top-notch. Ferruccio Squbin Collio Sauvignon 2011 Italy $18.00-20.00 Very forward with ripe peach, citrus and herbal aromas, with good weight and just enough lip smacking acidity to hold it all together. A very easy drinking style of Sauvignon Blanc at a relatively modest price. Delicious. Ress Hattenheimer Schutzenhaus Riesling 2012 German $25.00-27.00 Located in the heart of the Rheingau, this large family owned winery has been producing wine since 1870. Tangy and bright with delicate citrus, apricot and mineral aromas that persist on the palate with a cut of bracing acidity and a juicy, long finish. Monasterio de las Vinas Reserva 2006 Spain $15.00-17.00 This hearty red from Carinena gained considerable cache when American wine guru, Robert Parker, rated it 90 points. Given the price I can see why. A blend of garnacha, tempranillo and carinena, this silky Spanish blend is fantastic with black cherry, mineral and spice aromas. Medium to full bodied with lush fruit flavours nicely integrated with a dusting of fine-grained tannin. Very rich and seriously tasty. Averill Creek Pinot Noir 2010 Cowichan $25.00-27.00 Very pale with red cherry, earth and spice aromas, nicely balanced with good fruit, subtle oak and soft tannins! At this point in its evolution it is mostly primary fruit and oak aromas that show, but it is all there and more. Great mouth feel with a tasty finish. Tinhorn Creek 2Bench Red Oldfield Series 2010 Okanagan $33.00-35.00 This richly textured Bordeaux-style blend of merlot, cabernet franc, petite verdot and cabernet sauvignon was aged for 16 months in a combination of new and old French oak barrels. Inky black with ripe berry, spice and vanilla aromas, sweet fruit flavours and a soft tannic structure. Though delicious now, 2Bench Red could use a few more years to develop. Marques de la Musa Garnacha 2011 Spain $17.00-19.00 Garnacha in the right hands can be a beautiful thing. Full-bodied and lushly textured with concentrated plum, earth and blackberry flavours and a soft tannic structure that melds seamlessly with the fruit. Salentein Killka Malbec Blend 2010 Argentina $15.00-17.00 Bodegas Salentein is a large winery located in the prestigious Valle de Uco, 65 miles south of the city of Mendoza. This lush blend of malbec, cabernet sauvignon, syrah and petit verdot is medium bodied with ripe raspberry, blackberry and vanilla flavours nicely balanced with a gloss of soft tannins. Orlando Abrigo Rongalio Barbaresco 2006 Italy $67.00-70.00 Some consider Barbaresco “the feminine Barolo” and that description fits this elegant and seductive nebbiolo perfectly. The nose is ripe and ethereal with great complexity. The wine is refined and virile at once with piercing fruit flavours, velvety tannins and a long harmonious finish. Very tasty indeed. E

S E A F O O D

H O U S E

Fresh, wild and tantalizing, join us for another seafood showcase

PRAWN FEST 2014

PRAWN FEST

MAY 8 - JUNE 30

Book now for superb seafood freshness + breathtaking harbour views at bluecrab.ca or call 250.480.1999 CRAB FEST 2014

HARVEST 2014

FEAST 2014

PRAWN FEST 2014

Prawn Fest is part of our Seafood festival event

In Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina 146 Kingston Street, Victoria BC V8V 1V4

/the_bluecrab

/bluecrabseafoodhouse

ON THIS FARM THERE ARE SOME WINE CHICKS...

Spring Releases are “pouring” in ...come in and “pick” one up!

VQA Wine Shop at

MATTICK’S FARM Open 7 days a week

5325 Cordova Bay Rd. 250-658-3116

www.vqawineshop.ca

Established 1998

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

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

43


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:04 AM Page 44

The Buzz

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

VICTORIA: Gardening season is now in full swing, and if you are growing your own food there is an exciting new resource you should know about. Launched this past April, the Victoria Seed Library is a partnership between LifeCycles and the Greater Victoria Public Library, offering free access to seeds and seed saving education. The goal of the program is to support local food security and steward our region’s biodiversity. Locally-raised seeds are more resilient and better adapted to our soil and microclimate. To become a seed library member you must attend a seed library orientation session, offered May 10th or June 7th. Once you become a member, you will get access to a catalogue detailing the Seed Library’s holdings and you can sign out up to six varieties of seeds. You do not need to be a GVPL library member to participate. To learn more or to register for one of the orientation sessions, visit www.gvpl.ca/programs-and-events/seed-library/. If all that gardening leaves you feeling as though you deserve a treat, head to 837 Fisgard, where the little popsicle shop formerly known as Fruition Paletas has undergone a complete makeover and reopened under the new brand Kid Sister. In addition to the familiar, beautiful paletas made with local ingredients, you’ll find classic desserts with a twist – fresh milkshakes, hot fudge sundaes and drinks like their sour cherry lime rickey. (facebook.com/getyourkidsister) And if you haven’t had the chance to visit Cold Comfort’s new headquarters in Fernwood yet you should know that on top of her pints and sandwiches, ice cream genius Autumn Maxwell is now creating decadent ice cream pies and cakes as well. Also on offer are assorted baked goods from Lone Tree Bakery and gourmet lollipops from Sugarboy Bakery. (coldcomfort.ca) Another business that moved to Fernwood this spring is the Apple Box. After growing her business in the kitchen of the Vic West Community Centre for a year, owner Krista Atheron was ready to expand and has settled into a new location at 1725 Cook Street. The Apple Box offers healthy, homemade frozen, prepared meals made with local produce, meats and certified organic grains, beans and spices. Dishes are made from family recipes and the menu consists of a variety of family-friendly choices such as Shepherds pie, Butter chicken curry, and Tex Mex veggie burgers. Dairy-free and vegan options selections are available. Lunch and dinner entrées, sides and desserts are available individually, or you can stockpile your freezer with one of their weekly food box options. (theapplebox.ca) Signs that Fernwood Square’s Stir It Up Authentic Caribbean Soul Food will be opening a new location have been posted on a storefront on Millie’s Lane (Odeon Alley). Stay tuned for updates! (stiritupfoods.com) Loyal fans of Daidoco have been getting their fix of chef Naotatsu Ito’s Japanese deli-style food in a new way. His new venture, Tetote, is a bento box delivery service, delivering around town Monday-Friday. Bento boxes ($10) usually consist of Japanese vegetables from Umi Nami Farm and locally sourced fish, chicken or meat. Hand-drawn illustrated menus are posted on the facebook page one day in advance and orders can be placed by email until 10 pm the night before. The minimum order is for two boxes, and orders are accepted on a first come, first serve basis. (facebook.com/tetote703) On Fort St., the new Indian restaurant Indyoga closed its doors after only a few months in business, and Panier (1032 Fort St.) has reopened for picnic season. View their full-service picnic baskets to order at panierpicnic.com. In Oak Bay, chef Jeff Keenliside has been promoted to Corporate Chef for the Oak Bay Marine Group. He will still maintain his role as Executive Chef for The Marina. Keep an eye on the Marina’s website as they are also in the works of planning a big event this summer on the docks in conjunction with Ocean Wise to promote their certification (marinarestaurant.com). —REBECCA BAUGNIET COWICHAN VALLEY | UP ISLAND: Cowichan, meaning “land warmed by the sun’’ to the Coast Salish People, lives up to it's nickname especially at this time of year when the bounty of our Island is on full display. May is time for winery openings starting with Vigneti Zanatta and their restaurant and wine bar Vinoteca on the 5th. On June 23rd they host their annual Burning of the Vines event. Come and celebrate burning of the vine clippings a tradition featuring local food and chefs, live music and wine tastings. zanatta.ca Also in May on the 17th, Bill Jones of Deerholme Farm is host to a local food dinner of Island Lamb with Celtic Flavours. The delectable menu encompasses lamb sausage with mint jelly, a minced lamb roll with dried fruit sauce, sautéed lamb kidney and penny bun mushrooms along with stewed onion and morel gravy. If that didn't tempt you, maybe the whiskey lemon curd with empire cookie crumble will! Visit deerholme.com for sign-up details. Chef Brock Windsor of Stone Soup Inn offers a special event on June 2; Forage in the Morning with local First Nations wild plant expert Dela Rice-Sylvester followed by a 4 course wild food lunch. stonesoupinn.ca Every year Islanders anticipate the Annual Cowichan Bay Spot Prawn Festival - mark your calendar for May 24th & 25th this year and be sure to attend - don't miss out on their newest addition, celebrity chef

44

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014

Dan Hudson of Hudson's on First in Duncan. prawnfest.ca The start of 2014 brought some changes to Nanaimo's culinary scene; Gabriel's Gourmet Cafe's new location on Commercial - a locally sourced all-day breakfast and lunch place offering Asian and Mexican twists to your bacon and eggs - and the new, Tandori Junction Fine Indian Cuisine on Wallace. Tandori Junction is open late and offers up a large menu of traditional Indian foods. Visit Gabriel's on Facebook or tandoorijunctionrestaurantnanaimo.com for details. Back by popular demand on May 3rd in Qualicum is the Fire & Ice street festival featuring ice carving and music to accompany a variety of gourmet bowls of 'hot' chili and 'cold' ice cream prepared by local chefs and restaurants. fireandicestreetfestival.com for details. The B.C. Shellfish Festival hosts their 8th annual Chefs Gala Dinner on June 20th on the Filberg festival grounds to a new line-up of local chefs - Peter Zambri, Zambri’s, Victoria, Quang Dang, West Restaurant, Vancouver, Kathy Jerritt, Tria Fine Catering, Courtenay, Matty Kane, Shelter Restaurant, Tofino, Ian Goard, Hotel Grand Pacific, Victoria, and David Sider, Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino - all high lighting the best oysters, scallops, and crab produced in this region. bcshellfishfestival.ca for tickets. As of February, Lisa Whitmore is hoping to change the way you understand and enjoy the benefits of olive oil through tastings and education at the new retail experience, Signature Vinegar & Oil Tasting Bar in Comox. Unlike wine which improves over time, olive oil looses its health benefits and flavour within a year even if it's never been opened, so they are bringing in fresh olive oil from 7 different countries including Italy, Australia, and Chile, to offer the highest quality product available. Head in soon for your own personal oil and balsamic tasting and enjoy to the fullest, the benefits of this 'Land Warmed by the Sun'. 2060 Guthrie Rd. —KIRSTEN TYLER TOFINO: Tofino likes to kick off the summer season right with Feast Tofino, a nearly month-long festival now in its fourth year that celebrates the unique west coast experience of boat-to-table cuisine. There are many events spread out during Feast, which runs May 1-29, with each week focusing in turn on salmon, shellfish, crab and spot prawns. Three events anchor the festival, starting with Boat to Tailgate on May 10. Participants will catch their own dinner with the help of the Trilogy Fish Store and a fleet of fishing charter guides. Guests will then have the chance to cook their catch at a dockside barbecue on the Trilogy dock, complete with live music. On May 22, a new Feast signature event is the 1st Annual Long Table, a collaborative culinary event with multi-course offerings from local chefs to be held on the beach in front of the Tin Wis Best Western Resort on Mackenzie Beach. May 24 marks the return of the Saturday Dock Festival at downtown Tofino’s 4th St. dock. Both local and guest chefs will offer tastings and preparation demonstrations, and there will be educational tours of sustainable seafood processing and live music throughout the afternoon. Many other events, including guest chef dinners and prix fixe menus at local restaurants, boat cruises, a beachside barbecue, and the Dirty Moto X Gourmet—a day of dirt biking followed by a gourmet barbecue in the forest—round out Tofino’s longest festival. So far confirmed guest chefs for Feast include: Joel Watanabe of Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie in Vancouver, Peter Zambri of Zambri’s in Victoria, and Trevor Bird of Fable Restaurant in Vancouver. As organizer Ashley Adams says: “We’re so luck to have so many different local seafood and shellfish options to offer and so many great chefs that can do really fabulous things with them. It’s pretty fun to come to Tofino during the month of May and indulge.” For more about Feast and the schedule of events, please visit www.feasttofino.com. The Tofino Food and Wine Festival is another way to experience the west coast at its culinary best. From June 6-8, this festival, now in its 12th year, has brought thousands of people to the Tofino Botanical Gardens to experience Tofino’s cuisine alongside B.C. wine, beer and cider as part of Grazing in the Gardens. This is the main festival event, scheduled for Saturday, June 7 from 1-4pm. Funds raised support the non-profit Tofino Botanical Gardens Foundation, and a silent auction raises money for the Wickaninnish Community School’s Garden Project. The afternoon features canapés, tastings, and live music, all set amongst 12 acres of rainforest. A shuttle to various points in Tofino is provided for this carfree event. Other festival events include the Cocktail Show at Schooner Restaurant on Friday, June 6, the Tofino Barista Challenge at Tofino Sea Kayaking and the Sunset BBQ at Schooner Restaurant on Saturday June 7, and a Sunday Brunch also at the Schooner on June 8. For tickets, events, and to check out EAT Magazine in the “Local Food Scene” section, please visit www.tofinofoodandwinefestival.com. Though there was no official opening date at press time for the new venture by Nick Nutting (formerly of the Wickaninnish Inn’s Pointe Restaurant) called Wolf in the Fog, those involved are hoping for early summer. Located in the Cedar Corner building at the corner of Campbell and 4th Sts., Chef Nutting and his crew will not only have a dining room on the second floor of the building, but also a lunchtime


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:04 AM Page 45

sandwich shop located at ground level. For the dining room, the menu has a local ingredient focus, and everything from family-style dining at a signature communal table to lighter fare at the bar on offer. Wine director Jorge Barandiaran’s drink list (also formerly Pointe Restaurant staff) will feature B.C. wines by the glass, international and local bottles, signature cocktails, and a selection of beer including Tofino Brewing Company brews. The interior of the restaurant was designed by Vancouver-based Evoke International Design, and incorporates natural and reclaimed wood. Chef Cam Young of the Spotted Bear Bistro will be introducing his summer menu May 1st, featuring local and seasonal ingredients. The Spotted Bear has dinner every night starting at 5:30pm and weekend brunch Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, visit their newly revamped website at www.spottedbearbistro.com. Mother’s Day brunch is on at the Wickaninnish Inn’s Pointe Restaurant on May 11 from 8am2pm. Featuring smoked wild salmon, bennies, and house-baked pastries this annual event helps you treat Mom right. Parties of five or more should call ahead at 250-725-3106. —JEN DART OKANAGAN: Spring has (officially) sprung in the Okanagan and the air is buzzing, partly due to the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival (thewinefestivals.com). It runs May 1 – 11, with sponsored events and winery specific happenings. The festival kicks off with a Best of Varietal Awards & Reception and the popular consumer-friendly WestJet sponsored tastings on May 2 and 3. From wine seminars or stargazing, the festival has something for every palate – and wallet – including a safe ride home program. Please, sip responsibly. Warmer weather also brings the God’s Mountain summer dinner lineup from culinary darlings Dana and Cam of Joy Road Catering. Their 2014 Thursday Alfresco Winemaker dinners feature wineries such as La Frenz, Tantalus, Road 13 Vineyards, 8th Generation, and Painted Rock. Dinners sell out fast, so early ticket purchasing is advised. For dates check godsmountain.com Spring also means new wine. The exquisitely small Okanagan Falls producer Synchromesh Wines (synchromeshwines.ca) released a new portfolio, including their 2011 Tertre Rouge – a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Neighbour Meyer Family Vineyards (mfvwines.com) launches their 2012 chardonnay and pinot noirs with a Party in the Barn on May 17th – also to celebrate their new tank room (honestly, it’s what gets winemakers jazzed). Tickets are $49.50/$55 and include a barbecue buffet with MFV wines. KELOWNA: New(er) kid on the culinary block Salted Brick (saltedbrick.com) at 243 Bernard Ave is the latest hot spot to help ratchet up the cool downtown. With a focus on local and hormone-free meats, owner/chef Jason Leizert is hands-on curing and butchering his way into our hearts – one jar of rendered lard at a time. The Kelowna Farmers’ Market (kelownafarmersandcraftersmarket.com) is eyeing a future new site. Currently located Wednesdays in the east parking lot at the Orchard Park Mall on a year-to-year lease, the Market plans to relocate to a dedicated public market space on Clement Avenue – the city’s industrial north end. A little bird told us (chef spilled the beans) that Leizert of Salted Brick has applied to open a butcher shop on site. Spilled beans, but cool ones. PENTICTON: The burger-licious Burger 55 (burger55.com) has moved from their quaint (300 sq ft) repurposed former tire shop to downright spacious digs… about twenty meters away. Owner Chris Boehm dreamed a little dream that’s grown into a big reality, all based on deliciously fresh burgers. On the glam(er) side, Bacchanalia returns to the Penticton Lakeside Resort (pentictonlakesideresort.com) May 3 – a black tie event to give Okanagan-ites an excuse to slip and sip stylishly into spring. Then, from June 21–25 the Lakeside plays host to the 2014 National Wine Awards of Canada (winealign.com). It’s the 14th national competition and features professional judges from across the country – making that a good week to visit the Barking Parrot for a beer after work (ahem, hint). OLIVER/OSOYOOS: May marks the arrival of two key events hosted by the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association (oliverosoyoos.com). On May 3rd, guests belly-up to food and wine stations at Covert Farms (covertfarms.ca) for an annual pork-themed Pig Out. May 24th is the Half Corked Marathon, with runners sipping their way through vineyards. It’s more wine tasting than record setting, and fun whether you’re running, walking, or watching it. Cheer on your favourite runner or team and enjoy a finale wine tasting without the cardio. —JEANNETTE MONTGOMERY VANCOUVER: The restaurant world was turned on its ear by the recent news that Top Table Group (www.toptable.ca), which includes Araxi, Blue Water Café, Cin Cin, West and Thierry, has been sold by longtime proprietor and founder Jack Evrensal to Aquilini Group, which owns, among many other ventures, the Canucks hockey team. No changes expected in terms of management or staff, and Evrensal will stay on board as a consultant during the transition. After more than 20 years in business, Kaplan’s Deli at Oak St. and West 49 Ave. has closed. A bailiff’s sign on the door indicated several months of unpaid rent. Zipang Sushi has moved from its long-time home at 3710 Main Street to larger digs a few blocks Cont’d on pg. 47

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

45


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:04 AM Page 46

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

SilkRoadVictoria

@silkroadtea

1624 Government St. Victoria Chinatown silkroadtea.com

TALK By Rebecca Baugniet

What the Pros Know This issue we asked BC brewers to tell us about their favourite beer that comes from a different brewery. Sean Hoyne, Owner/Brewmaster, Hoyne Brewing Co. (250) 590-5758 As far as picking just one beer, it is next to impossible. I could easily rattle off twenty beers made here in B.C. that are outstanding. It is like that desert island question, if you had to pick just one book... That said, the beer that I will recommend is one of the SingleHop Series at Canoe Brewpub, brewed by Dan Murphy. I was especially taken by his Simcoe Pilsner, which is very crisp up front, hopped assertively, with a lingering, but very satisfying bitterness. A bold beer, somewhat outside what you would typically expect from a pilsner, but fun to drink! Daniel Murphy, Brewmaster, Canoe Brewpub (250) 361-1940 ESB by Salt Spring Island Ales. It shows how great the appropriate balance of rich caramel malt and earthy British-style hops can be. It doesn’t hurt that the owners are good friends of mine, so if I’m drinking this beer, it’s usually in very good company, whilst partaking in some manner of high-octane mischief. Harley Smith, Brewmaster, Longwood Brewery, (250) 591-2739 I am diggin' the Four Winds Brewery Juxtapose Brett IPA. What a fantastic beer!! First tried it at the Victoria Beer Week kick off cask event and have been thirsting for it since. The thought of intentionally releasing bugs in the brewery has always made me a little nervous but this beautifully balanced beer might just change all that. Congratulations Four Winds! Tommie Grant, Brewmaster, Spinnakers (250) 386-2739 We are very lucky in BC to have such an amazing range of craft beers available to us. This makes it difficult to choose a favourite amongst the offerings of my fellow brewers, with new beers being released constantly and the level of quality and creativity being so high. But I must say that my go-to beer these days is Potts Pils from Moon Under Water. Pilsner is one of my favourites and I think Clay Potter has done a wonderful job crafting his version of the style. Clay Potter, Brewmaster, Moon Under Water Brewery (250) 380-0706 My favorite brewery in BC right now is Four Winds out of Delta. They've been putting out some world class brews right from the start. My favorite would have to be the 'Saison Bretta' but all of their bottled conditioned brews have been phenomenal! Jeff Koehle, Head Brewer, Moon Under Water Brewery (250) 380-0706 For the split second it takes me to write this, my favorite beer is Steamworks' Imperial Red Ale. Well balanced and dangerously drinkable. Ask me again tomorrow and it will be something else! Becky Julseth, Co-Owner, Salt Spring Island Ales/Gulf Islands Brewing Ltd. (250) 858-1893 What it is and why I like it: Canoe Brewpub has been doing a single-hop series of beers, and they just made a Pilsner that I absolutely love featuring Simcoe Hops. It's got a beautiful fruity aroma and the nicest amount of piney/citrus bitterness. I like how the clean crispness and slight sweetness of the pilsner both balance and showcase the featured hop. This is one of those beers that captures your interest from the get-go and that you enjoy right to the end of the glass. And you'll probably order another one.

46

EAT MAGAZINE MAY | JUNE 2014


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:04 AM Page 47

Brent Mills, Head Brewer, Four Winds (604) 940-9949 I would say that my go to beer from a BC brewery would be Pots Pils from Moon Under Water in Victoria. I love this beer because of its quaffability and Clay’s use of American hops combined with a subtle malt base that mingles perfectly with the yeast profile. Dean McLeod, Head Brewer, Lighthouse Brewing Company (250) 383-6500 Brewing is like filling your hand with paint of various colours and hurling it at a blank canvas in the hope of achieving a Mona Lisa. The BC beer that consistently comes out recognizably human, if not exactly Mona-like, is Moon Underwater’s Creepy Uncle Dunkel. Great beer by Clay Potter. E

The Buzz away and rebranded as Zipang Provisions (www.zipangpro.com). Look for the same fresh items, as well as more grill offerings. Phoenix rising…The short-lived House Guest at 322 Water St. in Gastown has closed, but former EC Jimmy Stewart has become a partner in the space and re-opened as Blacktail Florist (www.blacktailflorist.ca), a casual eatery focusing on the “wild edibles” of B.C., as well as some seriously good cocktails. Smoke rising…A new pizzeria is producing some seriously relaxed customers. Mega Ill Pizzeria (www.megaill.com) is Vancouver’s first pot-friendly restaurant, offering “medicated” pizzas (you have to bring your own weed) and vaporizer rentals. Chinatown continues to expand its edible offerings with the opening of Pazzo Chow (www.pazzochow.com) at 620 Quebec St. Pazzo is an Italian deli from the owner of Sugo Sauce (www.sugosauce.com), offering the full line of pasta sauces and infused oils, as well as ready-to-eat items. The West End has a new addition as well, in the form of Exile Bistro (www.exilebistro.com), a hybrid café/restaurant with a plant and forage-focused menu, as well as some sustainable seafood and game. Moving away from mobile…The Juice Truck (www.thejuicetruck.ca), the popular mobile fruit squeezer and smoothie maker, is opening up a bricks-and-mortar location at 28 West 5 Ave. The menu will include some breakfast and lunch items, as well as juices, tinctures, teas and other liquid refreshments. The popular Pappa Roti franchise (www.papparoti.ca), featuring the caramel-coated buns, has finally arrived in Canada with is first location at 1505 Robson St. Nita Lake Lodge (www.nitalakelodge.com) has a new EC in the form of Paul Moran, the inaugural winner of the Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship. Moran has just returned from a stage at Pujol, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Mexico City. Edible apps…SoilMate.com is a new app that allows you to search for local producers in your area (and further afield) filtering for type of crop, farming practices and more. Includes farms, markets and wineries. BC Distilled…B.C.’s first ever micro-distillery festival (www.bcdistilled.ca) launches this month on May 10, showcasing the goods from 17 leading small-batch distilleries. EAT is proud to be a sponsor. In other spirited news…the third annual Vancouver Tequila Expo (www.vantequilaexpo.com) is back May 31, with proceeds benefitting the BC Hospitality Foundation. The Vancouver International Wine Festival (www.vanwinefest.ca) has announced Australia as its theme region for 2015, with a global focus on Syrah. —ANYA LEVYKH

Congratulations to Janet Tepper of Victoria who won the ‘Rancho Vignola’ draw. Watch these pages for a Rancho Vignola event near you or visit www.ranchovignola.com to place an order.

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

104-01-3320

Winner of March’s ‘Rancho Vignola Fruit & Nut Gift Basket’ Contest

Culinary Arts: Baking & Pastry Arts

viu.ca/culinary

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

www.eatmagazine.ca MAY | JUNE 2014

47


EAT Magazine May_June 2014_Victoria_48_Layout 1 4/28/14 9:04 AM Page 48

Le Creuset Stainless Steel Cookware

Penna & Co. #130 – 777 Royal Oak Drive Victoria 250-727-2110

Muffet & Louisa 2506 Beacon Avenue Sidney 250-656-0011

A Step Above – Quality Foods Comox, Courtenay, Powell River, and Qualicum Beach www.qualityfoods.com

Cookware | Bakeware | Dinnerware | Accessories

Eat magazine may | june 2014  

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

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you