Issuu on Google+

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 1


Smart. Local. Delicious.



A winterlicious berry pavolova



Plan your next holiday party

A local advent calendar

How to do it right

Follow the coastal road for delicious bites



l 2015 | Issue 19-06 |




International flavours + tech + sustainability

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 2

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

Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend.

Induction Pieces Available.

Made in Switzerland

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

for people who love to cook

holiday ho lida day ay

Chee Che Chee Cheer eer er

new fall new fall menu sept sept 10 10 join jo oin us ffor or ligh lightt lunches 9919 19 douglas street 19

oopen pen christmas da dayy sticky the sti cky wicket wicket pub pub douglas street 919 d ouglas str eet www

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 3

Smart. Local. Delicious.


g Food 06 CONCIERGE DESK Monthly calendar of events + festivals

08 Good For You

g Recipes

42 Local Kitchen Winterlicious: Sicilian Chicken Cutlets & Berry Pavolva

g Features

28 Advent Calendar Holiday recommendations

Bad boys of the food world redeemed

46 Tin Can Gourmet

09 Epicure At Large

A unique party spread

Pork & shellfish

48 The Sooke Flavour Trail

10 Get Fresh Oysters

12 DIY Make your own hot sauce

13 Food Matters

Where to stop along the Westcoast Rd

g Wine,

Spirits & Beer

52 Cocktail of the Month Brandy Crusta

Trifles & custards

53 Beer & a Bite

14 Date Night

Doan’s Craft Brewing Co. Rye IPA

Clams, ham & white wine

54 Wine + Terroir

26 Back to Basics Holiday cookies



Greek wines

58 Liquid Assets Larry Arnold’s recommended wines

16 Reporter


Nourish, Terrroir Tea Salon, Vis-a-Vis

46 The Buzz: All the news that fit to

22 Eating Well For Less

print...and then some


Il Covo, PEmba’s, O Bistro


Rebecca Wellmans

Behind The Scenes We caught this candid moment of the Blanshard Corridor vanguard group between photo takes at Fort Common The Blanshard Corridor has become a hub for restaurants, cafés and food shops. Read all about it. Pg. 30-41 NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 4

| Editor’s Note |

An unusual find in a local thrift store: EAT 1939 postcard.



Gary Hynes


Frank Navara

earching malls and big box stores for Christmas gifts can not only be exhausting, it can send money out of the community. So this year, I will be doing the holiday up DIY-style—and either making as many presents as possible or shopping at locally-owned stores to find unique and unusual handmade items. The pleasure comes, from not only making the gifts, but also going around and dropping them off—and if I’m lucky, I might be offered a wee tot of something good to drink. One year my family and I made our own candy—almond butter crunch toffee brittle covered in chocolate and Persian-style nougats with pistachios and rosewater. We really got into it and bought a large, 4’ x 6’ piece of white marble. (When hot candy is poured on a marble slab, it cools more quickly and this makes it easier to work with.) We also bought small, white boxes and filled them with several layers of our candy separated by parchment paper. Of course, there was beautiful ribbon to tie up the boxes. As a final touch, we hand-painted ceramic Christmas tree ornaments and tied them to the ribbon. It took us a few days and, by the end, we were so sick of the smell of chocolate we had to get out of the house and eat out for a few days. Merry Christmas and have a Happy DIY Holiday.

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 5

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


HOW TO REACH EAT MAGAZINE ADVERTISING 250.384.9042, WEBSITE MAILING ADDRESS Box 5225, Victoria, BC, V8R 6N4 TEL 250.384.9042 EMAIL PICK-UP THE MAGAZINE EAT is delivered to over 300 pick-up locations in BC including Victoria & Vancouver, Vancouver Island. Visit our website for locations

Facebook/EatMagazine Sign-up for our Tapas newsletter Publisher Pacific Island Gourmet | EAT ® is a registered trademark. NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 6


By Rebecca Baugniet

OTTAVIO’S SWISS WEEK (OAK BAY) Celebrate Swiss Week at Ottavio’s Nov 3-7. There will be Swiss cheese samplings all week and discounts on all their Swiss cheeses for the week. Now is the season when the high alpine cheeses really shine, built on the fresh grasses & herbs in the spring & summer fields. Also, perhaps the best grilled cheese ever served for the week in the cafe with housemade ketchup. ( FINE VINTAGE LTD. WSET LEVEL 1 FOUNDATION CERTIFICATE (VICTORIA) The WSET Level 1 Award in Wines course is an introductory course suited to those with a basic knowledge of wine as well as total beginners. There are no pre-requisites to take this course. The Level 1 course focuses on learning the art of wine tasting, pairing food and wine, and covers the characteristics of the major grape varieties. Learn about grape growing and winemaking, serving and cellaring wine, and receive an overview on local wines. Wine tastings included in this one-day course. Nov 7. ( CORNUCOPIA (WHISTLER) Celebrate the good things in life at Whistler's annual wine and food extravaganza, Nov 5-15, featuring gala wine tastings, seminars with industry professionals, renowned afterparties and much more. Cornucopia offers something for both the experienced gourmet and those seeking to appreciate the epicurean delights of wine and food. A full schedule of events are available on the website. ( EAST KOOTENAY WINE FESTIVAL (COLUMBIA VALLEY) The 14th Annual East Kootenay Wine Festival at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort takes place Saturday, November 6-7. Visit the website for more information. (


Now accepting limited reservations 4 PM until late; Tuesday through Sunday Down the Hall, 506 Fort St. ph. 778.433.5535 6


OCEAN WISE CHOWDER CHOWDOWN 2014 (VANCOUVER) Join The Movement For Sustainable Seafood At Vancouver Aquarium’s 2014 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown on Nov. 18. Top Ocean Wise chefs compete head-to-head in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver for the title of 2015 Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown Champion in each city. Taste all the delectable original chowders, paired with local craft beer, and vote for your favourite, all in support of sustainable seafood. All proceeds directly support Ocean Wise, a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program created to educate and empower consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood. This is a 19+ event. All ticket sales are final. #ChowderChowdown ( CLAYOQUOT OYSTER FESTIVAL (TOFINO) The Clayoquot Oyster Festival is a memorable celebration of one of the ocean's most coveted culinary delights, the oyster. As a region, Clayoquot Sound is a great cultivator and consumer of this special bivalve, annually growing over 50,000 gallons of oysters a year and over the festival weekend slurping back over 8,000. From Nov 19-22, the community of Tofino in beautiful Clayoquot Sound will go to great lengths to honour the humble oyster. ( 8TH ANNUAL WEST COAST CHRISTMAS SHOW (ABBOTSFORD) This Nov 20-22, discover hundreds of exhibitors, products, and new holiday gift ideas not found in malls. For a different experience, complete your shopping in one swoop and take a break with a cheese seminar or festival cooking and baking presentations by Food Network Canada's Anna Olson at the West Coast Christmas Show. ( OYSTERS AFLOAT: LEMMENS INLET OYSTER FARM TOUR (TOFINO) Eager to learn more about our local Clayoquot Sound oysters? Take a trip up pristine Lemmens Inlet to an oyster farm and see why these farmers have the best office in the world. They will answer all your oyster inquiries and give you an opportunity to taste the freshest oyster you have ever had right from the sea. Offered as part of the Clayoquot Oyster Festival, Nov 21. $30 plus GST per person Pre-booking is recommended and tickets are available through Remote Passages Marine Excursions (250 725 3330) or email:

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 7

MUSE WINEMAKERS DINNER (SAANICH) Muse Winery’s Annual Winemakers Dinner with Deep Cove Chalet Restaurant will take place Nov 21, with chef Pierre Koffel and his lovely wife Beverly. Chef Koffel's creations delight and amuse the palate and are carefully paired with Muse Wines. This location offers waterfront dining, fabulous French cuisine and Muse Wines. Seating is limited. $145 per person, taxes included. Muse will be offering safe driving options. ( CULINARY TOUR OF CHINATOWN (VICTORIA) Join chef Heidi Fink as she takes you for a 2-1/2 hour walking tour through Victoria's historic Chinatown. This food-focused tour will help you navigate the rich and complex world of Asian cuisines. From Chinese sauces to Thai noodles, from unusual vegetables to a guided tasting of Chinese teas, you will learn everything you need (and more!) to help you get the most from Asian recipes and ingredients. Nov 22. Visit for more information.





December A FRESH AND HEALTHY HOLIDAY COOKING CLASS (VICTORIA) The holidays can be a heavy time for our bodies. Prevention of this is the motivation behind this class on Dec 2 at Cook Culture. Chef Michael Williams (Shaw TV’s “Island Chef”) will focus on some nutritious snacks, sides and entrées that offer a lighter alternative to the usual holiday heavy. After this lesson you will have a repertoire that you can use not only use for Christmas dinner, but also as a go-to for many of the winter months. ( BIG REDS AT BIG WHITE (KELOWNA) Big White Ski Resort is pleased to announce the return of their annual premier wine tasting event. From single varietals to Bordeaux style blends, this event is designed to showcase all the amazing big reds from the Okanagan valley. Participants have the opportunity to sample the latest wine offerings from over 30 Okanagan wineries, all while enjoying delicious chef creations from the resort's fantastic restaurants. Dec 4-5. ( DEERHOLME CHRISTMAS TRUFFLE DINNER (DUNCAN) In this dinner held Dec 12, Bill Jones will create a multi-course tasting menu based on local products and global cooking styles. Dishes will include Seared Albacore Tuna with truffle soy, Salal leaf roasted beef tenderloin with mushroom barley risotto, roasted leeks and Bordeaux truffle sauce, and more. $90/person (plus tax). For reservations and questions call 250 748-7450. GIFTS FROM THE CHRISTMAS KITCHEN (VICTORIA) Give the gift of delicious homemade goodies in this make-it and take-it class at the London Chef. Make a festive spiced pear and cranberry chutney, a layered chocolate chunk cookie mix complete with baking instructions, and irresistible cinnamon and honey candied nuts. Then gather around the table to decorate your goodies with a selection of holiday ribbons and other festive craft supplies. Class costs $95 and is offered December 13. (

UP AHEAD: SUN PEAKS WINE & DINE (OKANAGAN) During the Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival, restaurants throughout the alpine village feature uniquely designed menus paired with British Columbian wines. Sun Peaks Wine and Dine is held nightly and advance tickets are not required, however restaurant reservations are. Visit any participating restaurant to see their Wine and Dine menu and book your table! Jan 14-24 ( THE ELEVENTH ANNUAL OREGON TRUFFLE FESTIVAL (OREGON, USA) The Oregon Truffle Festival has announced an expanded festival for 2016. Events will be held Jan16 -17 – The Joriad, Jan 22-24 - Newberg & Yamhill, Jan 29-31 – Eugene, Oregon. Created to celebrate the magnificent Oregon truffles as they reach the peak of ripeness in their native soil, it is the first festival of its kind in North America, dedicated to sharing the experience of the chefs, foragers and fans of Oregon's wild truffles, from their hidden source in the forest to their glory on the table. ( NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 8


By Pam Durkin

Food Foes Redeemed

Maligned for years, these former bad boys of the food world are regaining recognition as the nutritional powerhouses they always were. Read on, and feel free to join in the collective sigh of relief!

Coffee Though the brew is much beloved, coffee is often viewed as an addictive “stimulant” likely to leave you jittery, irritable and sleep deprived. Though it contains no vitamins or minerals, it is teeming with powerful antioxidants that can help reduce the risk for certain cancers, dementia, diabetes and stroke. Studies show it can also help stave off age-related cognitive decline. Clearly coffee doesn’t deserve its reputation as a sabotager of health. To maximize the brew’s surprising array of health benefits and avoid the jitters, it’s best to limit your intake to two cups per day and nix the harmful add-ins like refined syrups and synthetic creamers. Instead, enhance your java’s deliciousness with organic cream or your favourite nut milk and a hint of natural sweetener. Beef Once vilified as an artery-clogging foe, beef is now getting the thumbs up from many health experts, particularly if it’s sourced from grass-fed animals. Here’s why. All lean cuts of meat are relatively low in saturated fats and are excellent sources of protein and fatigue-fighting minerals like iron and zinc; but grass-fed beef confers additional health benefits. Not only is it leaner overall than grain-fed beef, it also contains less cholesterol-elevating saturated fatty acids and more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, grass-fed beef elevates precursors for vitamins A and E in the body, as well as those for cancer-fighting antioxidants such as glutathione. What’s more, it contains an abundance of conjugated linoleic-acid—a fatty acid with anti-cancer properties that has also been linked to long-term weight management. If you can’t afford grassfed beef’s higher price tag, don’t fret. You can still invite beef back to the table. Just make sure only lean cuts—such as sirloin, tenderloin, flank and top round—are in attendance. Whole Eggs Long demonized for their cholesterol content and possible negative effect on heart health, egg yolks are finally “cracking” their bad-boy image. Current science indicates that consuming whole eggs may actually promote heart health. Here’s how: eggs can help raise HDL (good) cholesterol and change the size and shape of bad (LDL) cholesterol to a more benign form. In addition, egg yolks are one of nature’s best sources of choline, a nutrient that helps prevent high homocysteine levels, a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. There’s even more good news about the golden orbs—they are also teeming with beneficial carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that can reduce the risk for macular degeneration and certain types of cancer. Furthermore, egg yolks are a rare source of vitamin D and also house vitamins A, B complex, K and E as well as significant amounts of iron, zinc and selenium. So go ahead—banish those joyless egg-white omelettes—your body and palate will be so pleased! Full-fat Dairy For decades numerous health authorities advised us that full-fat dairy was a dietary no-no likely to wreak havoc on both our waistlines and heart health. Thankfully, they’ve discovered the foundation for this advice was both faulty and, well, just plain wrong. An overwhelming body of evidence now suggests that full-fat dairy may not only be cardio-protective, it may also help us stay slim. Yup, you read that right—recent studies indicate that full-fat dairy can help prevent obesity. What’s more, it can also help reduce the risk for type-2 diabetes and even colorectal cancer. Fermented full-fat dairy products like yogurt and hard cheeses—consumed in moderation—seem to be particularly beneficial. So this holiday season, when you’re putting out the cheese plate, please abandon the “lite” havarti and serve up some scrumptious creamy Camembert or cave-aged Gruyère for your health and taste’s sake! E



EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 9


By Jeremy Ferguson

Unholy Pleasures

“Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Don’t eat pork. I’m sorry, what was that last one? Don’t eat pork. God has spoken. Is that the word of God or is it that pigs are trying to outsmart everybody.” —Jon Stewart

Carne de Porco a Alentejana is a traditional Portuguese dish of cubes of pork, clams, and potatoes.

THE OLD TESTAMENT HAD LITTLE TIME FOR ANCIENT FOODIES: the book of Leviticus was always railing on with the shalt-nots of eating pork. Islam’s Koran took its lead from the Old Testament in the seventh century. Leviticus had shellfish in its sights, too. “You shall regard them as detestable; you shall not eat any of their flesh … everything in the waters that has not fins and scales is detestable to you,” it remonstrated. The biblical thou-shalt-not list might reach from Spuzzum, BC, to Dildo, Newfoundland. In which case, O Lord, how I’ve sinned. On the other hand, why should anyone follow prohibitions laid down almost 3,000 years ago in a cosmic version of Father Knows Best? They’re eating pork tartare in Toronto, for heaven’s sake.

Nowadays we have good reason to celebrate not only pork and shellfish, but the wondrous marriage of pork and shellfish. Call this gastro-alchemy: One plus one equals three. Bless the Chinese and their 5,000 years of tinkering at the woks. Stuffed dumplings and pot-stickers and complex fried rices are naturals. Spicy Szechuan eggplant incorporates pork and shrimp in its fiery, addictive flavours. Weren’t shrimp and pork the first surf-and-turf? Other Asian cuisines bought in. Crispy, caramelized pork belly and shrimp is Vietnamese. The Japanese steam tofu with pork and shrimp. The clever Thais shape pork and shrimp balls, then tease them with a spicy lime dipping sauce. The Burmese spike their pork and green mango curry with shrimp paste and ground dried shrimp. Europeans may have embraced the combination after making contact with Asia; the Portuguese had arrived in China in 1514. It had arrived in time for the ghastly Inquisition: pork and shellfish were used to ferret out Jews and Muslims posing as Christians and send them off in an auto-de-fé. The Portuguese could fill a cookbook with such dishes, the most famous a seductive meld of unshucked baby clams, ham and sausages in a pungent tomato-garlic tomato sauce. Victoria has no Portuguese restaurant, but Chorizo & Co. Spanish Delicatessen on Fort does a Saturday night paella with mussels, clams, spot prawns (when available) and chorizo. Occasionally, the blackboard makes room for braised pork with clams, chorizo and white beans, and off to Iberia you go. At Ferris’ Upstairs Oyster Bar on Yates, baked oysters come with chorizo and chorizo crackling, an inspired pairing. At Halibut House on Quadra, our favourite Chinese restaurant, chef Wesley Ieung turns out chow fun, a base of flat noodles piled high with barbecued pork, prawns, squids and vegetables, and the whole lot sings. At home, we regularly sate our pork-shellfish habit with a Spanish dish of fat shrimps and chorizo kissed with cumin. My wife swears by a Thai-Burmese dish of jumbo shrimps stuffed with minced pork, deep-fried and served with a fish-sauce dip. For the wholly pleasurable, you can’t beat the unholy. E NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 10


By Sylvia Weinstock


Handmade Ethical Local Traditional




November & December are ideal for indulging THE FIRST TIME I TASTED FRESH, LIVE, RAW OYSTERS couldn’t have been more idyllic. I was 21, and had just moved from Toronto to the Sunshine Coast. Armed with a chisel and hammer, I chipped oysters off the rocks at low tide on the shores of Sechelt’s pristine Halfmoon Bay. I slurped raw oysters and their liquor from their shells by the seashore, roasted them over beach fires and devoured juicy oyster burgers. It was my first taste of freedom and the first time I experienced the joy of harvesting oysters, clams, salmonberries and blackberries—the munificent bounty of the West Coast. Vancouver Islanders can enjoy Atlantic, Pacific and Olympia species. Varieties of each species are named for their specific harvesting locations. Each species’ unique taste is determined by its precise terroir—its ocean ‘hood. Pacific oysters have a mild, sweet flavour and a firm, plump texture. Baynes Sound, near Denman Island, is a hot bed of Pacifics, including creamy Chefs Creeks, small, buttery Kusshis, and Stellar Bays (larger Kusshis). Diminutive Kusshis are the little darlings of local chefs. Grown in floating trays by Keith Reid of Deep Bay, Kusshis are aggressively tumbled to force them to create thicker shells. This process results in deep, pillowy-soft meat. Fanny Bays, Deep Bays, Emerald Coves and Ship’s Points have clean flavours and medium saltiness with a cucumber finish. Nootka Sounds are very sweet, with muskmelon notes. Numerous producers harvest oysters offshore of Cortes ( and surrounding islands. Brent Petkau, “The Oysterman,” is an enthusiastic grower and passionate promoter ( He pampers his succulent Royal Courtesans, which he calls the “world’s sexiest oysters,” in his “merroir” off Marina Island. He describes growing this sensuous, nutritious food as “a labour of love, an art form, and a lifestyle that deserves to be supported and valued at all levels so it doesn’t fade away.” There is wisdom in the adage that oysters should only be eaten from September to April, cool months containing the letter “R.” The molluscs spoil faster in hot weather, and when they are spawning from May through August they are mushier and less tasty. As we saw last summer, micro-organisms that contaminate shellfish and cause food poisoning and potentially lethal paralytic shellfish poisoning are more prevalent in warmer months. Fisheries and Oceans Canada provides info on safe, legal harvesting areas. November and December are ideal for indulging in oysters. November is Oyster Month in Tofino, and the annual Clayoquot Oyster Festival runs November 19th to 22nd. Festivities include oyster harvesting tours and oyster-centric feasts prepared by the area’s top chefs. “It’s an extravaganza, like a Roman orgy,” raves Petkau. Whether you dine on raw oysters with cucumber-jalapeno mignonette spiked with citrusy yuzu juice, spoon up traditional Soupe Aux Huitres De Noel on Christmas Eve, or pack the Christmas goose or turkey with oyster stuffing, winter is the perfect time to indulge in these briny beauties E

French Oyster Stew Serves 8 1 leek, sliced 1 small onion, sliced 3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cubed ¾ tsp salt 1/8 tsp white pepper 2 Tbsp butter 1 ½ cups cleaned, shucked Kusshi (small) oysters, liquor reserved 1 1/3 cups oyster liquor



3 1/3 cups water 1 cup half and half cream

In a large saucepan, sauté vegetables in butter until tender. Puree until smooth in a blender with water and oyster liquor (if necessary, top up liquor with bottled clam juice). Place puree back in the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add oysters and half and half. Cook 3 to 5 minutes until oysters are cooked.

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 11


W W W . B L AC K A P R O N B E E F . C O M

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 12



By Adam Cantor

Building a Better Hot Sauce

Fermentation is the key to the killer condiment.

!"#$%&&&&'$(#)*+),#&&&&-)%%$+.&&&&/0)& &&&& &&&& &&&& &

!"#$%&&&'()*&&&+*,*-#"$*& &&& &&& & 120$+3$,4$&#5$&6".&"7&#5$&5"%38).&($)(",9& & & & & & & & &&

:::;(""<$5)+="*+5"*($;4">&&&&&&&&?@&ABBCADDCDEAA&2FBA& &&&&&&&& & & $G$,#(H(""<$5)+="*+5"*($;4">&&

Vic Vi ict cto to ori ria ia Reservations: 250-380-0088 IlCo

106 Superior Street, Victoria, BC



GREAT HOT SAUCES DEVELOP FANS LIKE FEW OTHER PRODUCTS. The amplitude that Tabasco adds to an over-easy egg is legendary. A dose of the Southeast Asian hot sauce known as sriracha, meanwhile, improves pretty much every any dish on the planet. The secret to the superior zing of sauces like this is not in the hotness itself but in the complex flavour created through fermentation. Great hot sauces don’t even have to be all that piquant. They just have to be well made. Tabasco is aged for a year in old bourbon barrels. My recipe takes one week. Hot sauce fermenting isn’t as scary as it may seem, although it does take time. The basis of the hot sauce I am going to describe began a few years ago when I was trying to make an exact copy of sriracha (minus the preservatives). Commercial products contain preservatives so they can last for years if need be on the shelf. A homemade version will last six months in the fridge, and it’s always easy to make a new batch. My sriracha experiment produced a very close approximation of the original in flavour and texture (I ended up with a slightly more vivid red colour, which isn’t such a bad thing). However, wanting to evolve, I have moved on to a new recipe, replacing red jalapeños with easier to find green jalapeños and adding sweet red banana peppers. Truthfully, you could use any sort of peppers, and the spicier the peppers you use, the hotter your sauce will be. If you really want to hurt yourself, throw in some Scotch bonnets. You could make this sauce perfectly well with green jalapeños and normal red peppers, if that’s all you have handy. The process is simple: take 1½ pounds of whatever peppers you choose and cut off the stems (but keep the green stars at the tops of the peppers for flavour). Throw them (seeds and all) into a blender or food processor. Wear gloves when you chop hot peppers, and/or be careful not to touch your eyes for a while after. Add four or five cloves of garlic (I didn’t even take the skin off). Four tablespoons of sugar (I used organic demerara) and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt (best for pickling) went in there too. I also added a half tablespoon of bacterial yogurt to get the fermentation going, but this is optional. Grind all this into a paste. Now get a large glass container. I use a gallon mason jar, but large enough to hold the pepper mash and leave some air on top is great (it has to be covered over when it is fermenting, so a lid would be good, sealed, or saran wrap and an elastic). For the next few days, the contents will began to grow and bubble, it may even fizz. This is expected. Open the jar once a day and stir it, then seal it again. Make sure to push anything on the sides of the jar back down into the muck. Continue like this for seven days. The smell will be quite powerful when you open the mix. Consider opening a window. It will be worth it. After one week, pour the contents back into the blender and pour in a ½ cup of cider vinegar (or a distilled vinegar of your choice). This intervention will end the fermentation process. Blend everything smooth then strain it through cheese cloth or a sieve into a sauce pan. Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer until it is thick enough. When it is clinging to your spoon, it is a good consistency. Bottle it and put it in the fridge. Take the bottle out when friends come by and amaze them with your talent and skill. E

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 13


By Julie Pegg

This Pudding Takes the Cake

Remembrance of trifles past.

WHEN I WAS GROWING UP, SOFT CUSTARD or, if you prefer, crème Anglaise (essentially the same) graced our family dinner table often. I loved it on fresh peaches, stewed rhubarb and apple pie. But mumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trifle took the cake. British food writer Nigel Slater, in his poignant memoir Toast, recalls his fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual Boxing Day sherry trifle made with cellophane-wrapped Swiss rolls, tinned peaches and cornstarch-laden Birdâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s custard (one of two recipes his father ever made. The other was a horrid leftover turkey stew). I have experienced this parody of a trifle. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t much care for it. (Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not sure Slater did either. It seems he treasured the pudding as a pleasant tradition that punctuated his fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s frequent outbursts of rage.) I much prefer my motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s criteria for the classic British pudding. The cake has to be a homemade sponge or pound cakeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;no ladyfingers, please. For the all-important sherry to moisten the cake, I prefer an amontillado to sweet sherry. Homemade jam or preserves are also de rigueur. So is fresh, not tinned, fruit and whipping cream, hand-beaten into soft peaks. For the sugar, I use vanilla sugar. (I keep a canister of sugar into which is buried a sliced and seeded vanilla bean). Most important, though, is Mumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recipe for soft custard, achieved by whisking sugar and two large eggs into scalded milk, tempering the mixture in the top of a double boiler (or stainless mixing bowl that fits snugly over a saucepan) and oh-so carefully stirring it over simmering water until the custard lightly coats a wooden spoon. Removed from the heat, a teaspoon or so of real vanilla extract is stirred in. The creamy sauce, left to cool and set in the fridge, requires no thickening agent. No need to despair if your custard curdles. Strain it through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, all the while stirring the mixture. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;curdsâ&#x20AC;? separate from the â&#x20AC;&#x153;wheyâ&#x20AC;? as it were and emulsify as you stir. Whisk the thick emulsified mixture into the thinner sauce in the bowl. Voila! Saved custard. Preparing trifle from scratch needs a bit of care and attention, but it need not be arduous. The custard and the cake can be made a day or two in advance. Preserves, booze and fruit are (presumably!) at the ready. Hard to imagine at this time of year, but a summer trifle of light sponge cake moistened with sherry beneath a lacy layer of raspberry jam, fresh berries and lemony whipped cream is a delight. Some Christmases back, though, I concocted a trifle that suits frostier climes, when (and where) fresh, tasty fruit is more difficult to come by. The trifle is made with marmalade, Madeira and mandarin oranges instead of summerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lighter ingredients. Orange zest, crushed biscotti and/or crushed roasted hazelnuts adorn the thick top layer of whipped cream. This trifle is a bittersweet beauty. Here is how I go about putting it together. Slice and sandwich a buttery pound cake with marmalade. I use homemade whiskey marmalade, but a quality import Seville orange marmalade will sub in nicely. The anti-marmalade crowd may opt for apricot or peach preserves. Cut the cake-sandwich into cubes. Fit the cubes jigsaw-puzzle style into the bottom and lower sides of a pretty glass bowl (so you can see all swirly layers). Spread the cake with a wee bit more marmalade if you wish. Soak the cake in Madeira (or orange juice with a dash of bitters, if you must) for two or three hours, no longer lest the cake become soggy. Spoon and spread custard onto and over the cake. Add a layer of mandarin slices (or preserved peaches if you are following that theme). Spoon on another layer of custard. (My mother also layered fruit jelly on a trifle. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t). Repeat the process if the bowl is deep enough. Just prior to serving, spread whipped cream thickly over the lot and sprinkle with crushed biscotti, zest and/or roasted nuts. Guilty pleasure? Spooning up the boozy mĂŠlange of cream, cake and fruit that puddles in the bottom of the bowl after the trifle is finished, with no folks about as witnesses. E



          NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 14

g DATING By Adrien Sala

Date Night Dinner at Home Impress a special someone with your culinary skills by whipping up this simple recipe.

Back before “Netflix and chill” was a euphemism for dating, knowing how to entertain at home was a cherished skill. I don’t know about you, but I’m still a believer in the old-fashioned style of hosting and courtship. It’s not rocket science: if you like somebody, show it by doing something nice. Put some thought into it. Get off the couch. It wasn’t so long ago that people tended to have a repertoire, a small quiver of cocktails or recipes they could whip up to impress. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way that skill was lost, and now there are people suffering through bad-tasting, poorly mixed dates. Take my (anonymous) friend who recently related an episode to me about a guy she had taken an interest in. She agreed to dinner at his place and in her words, “It was like going for dinner at my high school boyfriend’s house.” “He didn’t have a clue,” she told me. The place was a mess, she told me. And he was still wearing his gym gear. When he finally got around to serving her a drink (which she had to ask for), he made a Paralyzer. For those who don’t know, a Paralyzer is not a cocktail. It’s an abomination of vodka, Kahlua, milk and Coke. Adults shouldn’t drink them. But that’s what he made. “He failed on two counts there,” she laughed. “First, I really can’t do dairy. And second, it seemed like me wanting a drink was an afterthought for him, like he had only started thinking about the date after it started.” The sad part, she told me, was that she had actually liked him. But he seemed so inept at being a host that she lost interest, preferring to date a guy who knew what he was doing in the kitchen – or at least put some thought into it. And that’s the crux of it all. It’s not complicated, but you do have to put some energy behind it. But that can be a lot of fun—especially when you’re doing it for someone you like. That all said, you have to start somewhere, so starting with something simple but impressive will help. Clams (and other shellfish) are perfect for date-night meals. They’re quick and easy but aren’t something many people make at home, probably because there is still the mistaken belief that they might kill you if not done right. It’s not true, but if people want to think that then you win anyway, since suddenly your dinner has become both delicious and a little dangerous. Recipe on facing page.

LEAVE ROOM FOR THE WICK Meals are like the punctuation marks of a great trip. They give shape to the narrative of your adventure. We encourage you to explore Tofino and then come visit us at the Wickaninnish Inn to enjoy fresh baked pastries in the morning, a lovingly prepared picnic lunch, or a dinner at The Pointe Restaurant that will put an exclamation point on your time here. @TasteWickInnBC


The Pointe Restaurant 250.725.3106


tel 1.800.333.4604

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 15

Steamed Clams with Serrano Ham and White Wine 2 pounds fresh clams, rinsed and cleaned (I used Manila clams â&#x20AC;&#x201C; available at Thrifty Foods) 1 cup of Serrano ham, diced (available at a good delicatessen) 3/4 Tbsp of unsalted butter 1 tsp vegetable oil 3 or 4 cloves of garlic (thinly sliced) 1 small shallot, finely chopped 4 lemon wedges 1 cup dry white wine 1/3 cup of chopped parsley Sea salt Pepper Loaf of fresh, crusty bread *Note: even though you bought your clams from a reputable source, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll still want to inspect them and give them a final cleaning. (getting the sand out of clams is very important, soak them and the clams, which are still alive, will spit out their sand from their shells) you find any that are open or cracked clams, throw them out.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add oil to skillet then toss in chopped serrano ham. Sear ham until it is crispy, keeping a very close eye on it and stirring regularly. Remove the skillet from heat and turn the burner down to medium. Spoon out the ham and set aside; drain some of the fat off (up to you how much you want to keep). Return the skillet back to the burner and add a dollop of butter and the garlic and shallots, stirring constantly as they soften (just a minute or two). Add the white wine and kick the heat back up to medium-high again; bring to a simmer. Add the clams and another dollop of butter, stir and put the lid on; steam for 5 to 7 minutes. After steaming for 5 to 7 minutes, pull out any clams that havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t opened and discard. Sprinkle on parsley, throw the Serrano ham back in â&#x20AC;&#x201C; toss and serve. *Tips: Serve the clams in one big bowl that you can both share from â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but give your date (and yourself) a shell bowl on the side. Also, just tear pieces of bread off with your hands and use it to soak up the sauce. Serve with the lemon wedges and the rest of the wine. E


Fir the Love of Fir

The bright green tips of many evergreen trees are not only edible but healthy, imparting their resin-y flavour to vinegars, bread and cheese. Ah, Christmas. The smell of Douglas fir emanating from the oven. The oven? And from the salad dressing. The salad dressing? Yes, Douglas firs, those giants of the forest, arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just the West Coastâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favourite Christmas tree. Douglas fir essence is the latest creative ingredient to come from the mind of Laura Waters of Snowdon House in North Saanich. The avid cook, gardener and food artisan grows Christmas trees on her four-acre property, but in a burst of creativity one year, she wondered about doing something sustainable and renewable with the bright green new growth fir tips that burst through their papery coatings between April and early June. Later research taught her that the First Nations made a healthy tea out of the tips; it turns out they are a good source of vitamin C, containing more than even citrus fruits. In a moment of inspiration, Waters threw some tips into some strawberries simmering on the stove and loved the result; the strawberry flavour was more piquant with the zip of fir. The main product to evolve from her experiments is Fir Essence, a sparkling vinegar that can be drunk with sparkling water or mixed with an alcoholic libation, used straight on a salad, or as a marinade. She also sells West Coast Bread, a packet containing flour, fir tips, juniper berries and other seasonings. When mixed with her Douglas Fir Essence or some soda water, the result is fresh bread with a pine accent. Fir and Fire Brie Topper is my favourite choice for a food loverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stocking stuffer. The piquant quality of the fir mixed with red and green chilies enhances the brie. Snowdon House, near the airport, is normally open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Laura Waters will also be at craft fairs like the James Bay Dickens Show, Touch of Saltspring (held in North Saanich) and Circle Craft in Vancouver. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Elizabeth Monk Snowdon House, 1890 Mills Rd., North Saanich, 250-658-3419,



EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 16



Rebecca Wellman



EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 17

Nourish in the Harbour 225 Quebec St. | 250-590-3426 | Nourish restaurantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new downtown location seems to have struck a perfect balanceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a spot thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s both warm and cool at the same time. The broad front steps and sunny bay windows of this historic home give the place a comforting vibe, as familiar as an old friend. But the new Nourish Kitchen + CafĂŠ is hip and eclectic, too, its stark white walls and splashes of vibrant green in the wallpaper and banquettes making for a modern backdrop to an inspired, whole food menu thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like nothing else in town. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the urban incarnation of owner Haley Rosenbergâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s original Nourish cafĂŠ, a popular place for breakfast and lunch next to the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific gardens in central Saanich. Rosenberg honed her healthy locovore menu in this casual rural setting and has expanded it with dinner service on this sunny corner of James Bay, just beyond the bustle of the Inner Harbour. Now you can order a perfectly seared piece of wild coho salmon perched on a healthy chopped salad of just-sprouted garbanzo beans, shaved fennel and cucumber, or a tender chicken leg, braised with tomatillos and served with a pilaf of millet and sweet corn. The restaurantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s motto is â&#x20AC;&#x153;eat with the people you love,â&#x20AC;? and the Cultivate Sharing platter of chunky beet pâtĂŠ seasoned with exotic chermoula (a North African marinade of herbs and spices), mustard greens, almond pesto and creamy vegan â&#x20AC;&#x153;cheeseâ&#x20AC;? is a tasty way to start. At Nourish, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve perfected the art of fermentation, and the new menu includes plenty of naturally fermented food and drink, all produced in the restaurantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dedicated â&#x20AC;&#x153;fermentorium.â&#x20AC;? Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the traditional beet kvass that adds an acidic zing to the chilled beet borscht or the creamy cultured cashew purĂŠe to spread on their crunchy buckwheat seed bread, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all made in house. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s even a daily fermented kefir water, packed with probiotics and served on tap alongside a seasonal beer from local Hoyne Brewing Co. This bubbly soda, flavoured with fruits and herbs, is the base for some of the unique cocktails and tasty alcohol-free drinks. We start with a tall, pink aloe and lime water kefir, flavoured with a splash of tart strawberry angelica shrub (an intense, fruit-infused vinegar), then move on to an Empire Gin martini with a â&#x20AC;&#x153;dirtyâ&#x20AC;? shot of sour beet kvass, balanced with the honeyed notes of Tugwell Creek mead. The main dining room, with its high ceilings and dark wooden plank floors, is sunny and lively. Upstairs, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s communal space designed for cooking classes and workshopsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a quiet corner where you can relax on the comfortable sofas with a morning latte or a mug of bone broth (a.k.a., chicken soup) from the takeout bar. While the menu doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t announce that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vegan or gluten free, these special diet options are woven seamlessly into the healthy offerings. We never missed the gluten in our home-style entrĂŠes and ordered the daily dessert, a dense carrot cake from Victoria bakery Ruth & Dean, topped with a brulĂŠed coconut sauce and served with fresh peaches, dried Coronation grapes and a slather of fruit purĂŠe. It was gluten free, too, but as rich and gooey as any sticky pudding. The menu at Nourish Kitchen + CafĂŠ is small but ambitious enough, with portions that keep prices reasonable. The food is local, healthy, seasonal and fresh. They seem to have found the sweet spot between hip and homey, between good for you and just plain good. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll definitely leave feeling well nourished. E BY CINDA CHAVICH

PHOTOS clockwise from the top left: 1) This Little Piggy â&#x20AC;&#x201C; grilled pork loin, aromatic rice, delicata squash, green beans, pickled red onion, salad greens, peach and mustard vinaigrette. 2) Owner, Haley Rosenberg. 3) Puffed Up â&#x20AC;&#x201C; winter squash, pot barley, braised leeks, sage, dandelion green and puffed amaranth. 4) The Nourish dining room. 5) A menu. 6) Rock the Kvassbah â&#x20AC;&#x201C; beet kvass, Ampersand gin, Tugwell Creek mead.

          NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 18

Vis à Vis 2232 Oak Bay Ave. | | 250-590-7424



Rebecca Wellman

Braised short rib and onion tourtiere with sour cream forked potato, broccolini & red wine jus

It took awhile for Vis à Vis, the French-style wine and charcuterie bar in the heart of Oak Bay Village next door to Penny Farthing Pub, to firmly establish its Gallic presence. Four years ago the popular, British-inspired pub’s neighbouring liquor store was transformed into Vis à Vis, a 55seat, brick-walled room, including a 10-seat bar and sidewalk patio service. Featuring a range of wine-tasting flights and an adventurous menu of small-plate offerings, the French bistro failed to capture a large enough following, and the basement kitchen shared with the Penny Farthing began offering the same pub fare for both rooms. Cheryl Straub worked at Spinnakers and Poets Cove before taking over management of Vis à Vis and Penny Farthing two years ago. She helped relaunch Vis à Vis as a French bistro in August 2014. “We offer reserved seating for half the room and keep the other half open for walk-ups,” Straub explains, adding “We’re attempting to over-deliver and under-sell Vis à Vis. Will’s menu, the room’s intimate character and our stylish patio sell themselves.” Executive chef Will Willgress took over the kitchen in December 2014, and Vis à Vis celebrated a more formal launch of its bouchon bar rebranding in February 2015. The traditional Lyonnaise cuisine is meat-centric. Fatty sausages, roasts and pâtés are at the heart of chef Willgress’s menu along with charcuterie, cheese boards, French onion soup, bouillabaisse, chicken paillard and steak frites. After completing chef training in his Nanaimo hometown, Willgress worked in a couple of Toronto kitchens, served as

a private chef for a wealthy patron for five years, co-owned Drift in Nanaimo, and for the last five years worked at Prime Steakhouse, Glo, The Office and Irish Times before taking over as executive chef at Vis à Vis and Penny Farthing Pub. “Our bouchon bistro concept, affordable small plate offerings of seasonal, quality dishes, is very popular. We’re getting lots of neighbourhood regulars as well as tourists visiting Oak Bay,” Willgress explains as he takes an afternoon break from his busy kitchen. “I’ve developed a locally sourced steak program of fine Alberta beef, and I want to incorporate more braised dishes into our seasonal, winter menu, maybe add even more oysters to my favourite Kushi and west coast varieties. I’ll offer a couple of special Christmas menus, set menus for larger parties in the $25$35 range, and, of course, I’ll feature Risotto Perigourdine and Beef Bourguignon.” Vis à Vis uses an Enomatic wine preservation system, allowing the restaurant to offer a more diverse offering of 1-ounce, 5-ounce, and 8-ounce glasses of the bar’s 24 table wines and four sparkling wines. The revolutionary system means table wines taste like freshly opened bottles for 60 days, sparklers for 20. There is also a well-curated wine cellar of reserve offerings from around the world. The bar’s 9 at 9 cocktail specials include French 75, Sazerac, Negroni, Mint Julep and five other classic drinks for $8 nightly from 9 p.m. until closing. “We’re sticking to our guns with our bouchon bar basic concept,” chef Willgress enthuses. “With fair-priced, quality comfort food and delicious wine, we seem to have established a faithful following.” E BY JOSEPH BLAKE

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 19

Terroir Tea Merchant 832 Fort St. | 778-747-2739 |

Rebecca Wellman

left: Owners, Charity Hobbs and Jason Spencer of Terroir Tea Salon. right: Modernist-minamalist interior. “Stop and smell the roses,” the old saying that challenges one to slow down, if just for a minute, to savour something is keenly at play at Terroir Tea Merchant. At Jason Spencer and Charity Hobbs’s chic new tea salon, customers are invited for a tea experience: a treat for the senses as well as a satisfying cuppa. “When you drink tea, it takes you somewhere else,” says tea master Hobbs. “And how you get there is that your senses are heightened.” Terroir’s logo, a hot air balloon emerging out of a tea cup, playfully suggests just that. Their salon adds another pearl to the string of food-centric independent businesses on Fort; they’re right beside Choux Choux Charcuterie and across from Fort Street Common, that hotbed of yum-yum. For a visual and olfactory thrill, an aroma bar greets you on one side of their shop, showcasing more than 20 tea cultivars. You can take in their bouquets and read about their pedigrees detailing harvest, elevation and flavour profiles. Anything that strikes your fancy can be enjoyed at the six-seat tasting bar where a state-of-the-art glass and metal Alpha Dominche Steampunk machine ensures perfect brewing every time. Teas are served in professional tasting sets, a custom-made Noritake porcelain trio of cup, lid and bowl. While enjoying the tea, you can smell the wet leaves, touch and feel them, much like a professional tea taster would. Spencer and Hobbs, both long-time tea drinkers, recently moved back to Victoria from Melbourne, Australia, where he had taken a job in IT in 2011 and she had enrolled at the Australian Tea Masters Association (ATMA). After receiving her certification, Hobbs taught at the school, focusing on oolong teas, which has become a passion. The couple then opened a successful online store under the Terroir name and wanted to grow their business into a retail space. Faced with the lack of affordable real estate in Melbourne, they looked back to Victoria and took possession on their Fort Street space in May. Besides a signature breakfast blend, a Ceylon chai and a selection of black teas, their emphasis is on oolong cultivars, citing variety as a factor. While black teas are fully oxidized and green teas are not, oolong is in the middle, from between five to 80 percent oxidized, producing teas with light floral notes to those more robust with notes of cinnamon and stewed fruits. “They’re the most interesting,” says Hobbs, “and the most labour-intensive for processing.” And they should know. The couple recently spent time in the highlands of Taiwan during spring harvest and participated in picking the leaves. “We wanted to be different,” explains Hobbs, “with a well-curated selection that we know a lot about, with teas that aren’t available here.” For those who want to stop and savour at home or at their desk, tea is sold in 25- and 50-gram packages with brewing details, or that cool Steampunk machine can brew tea in a minute and half. You can transport your bevvie in one of Terroir’s slick custom flasks, in bamboo or double-walled glass, that won’t burn your pinky fingers. E BY SHELORA SHELDAN NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 20


Bread Winner

Lachine bakery Boulart puts artisan bread into mass production.


oulart is an unusual Canadian success story. A mash-up of the words boulangerie and artisan, Boulart is a fully automated, bakery in Lachine, Quebec, that produces thousands of artisanal loaves a day. Locally, Thrifty Foods carries many of the Boulart breads. “Our mission is to bring authentic artisan bread to the mainstream market. Our state-of-the-art, 125,000-squarefoot facility is equipped with machinery that is unique in the world. We have customized our production lines to recreate the artisan method and respect its long fermentation process,” explains founder and owner Michel Saillant. “There are no additives, preservatives or added sugar in our baked goods—only flour, water, yeast, salt and our most Michel Saillant important ingredient, time. Like the artisan baker, we respect the natural fermentation process, and that takes time.” The Boulart facility has three production lines and is set-up for a fourth. There are 80 permanent employees working three shifts, 24 hours a day, six days. The majority of the staff have been with Boulart since it opened in 2007. “My vision has remained unchanged,” Saillant continues, “because what is genuine isn’t a fashion. It is precisely a philosophy. Our breads are 100 percent baked and frozen, which guarantees a host of advantages. On top of sealing freshness and offering a 270-day shelf life, our frozen solution allows us to limit losses and meet demand as we go along. It is an ideal solution for constantly fresh product that avoids the risk of par-baked manipulation or made-from-scratch complications. We buy local, Canadian ingredients, a wide-range of non-GMO certified products, and part of our factory is dedicated to certified-organic production.” From the start, says Saillant, the company decided not to compromise on the space or machinery they sought—or on the purity and quality of the products they wanted to produce in great quantity. “There’s still a lot of education ahead to convince consumers that freezing is the best way to increase the bread’s shelf life without spoiling its quality.” Consumers can quickly reheat the bread just before eating it and enjoy the experience of warm bread at home. Boulart’s signature product and Saillant’s personal favourite is the ciabatta baguette, the company’s best-selling, unique invention and a perfect mix of French tradition (baguette) and an Italian classic (ciabatta, which means slipper in Italian.) “I love it with a Double Joie goat milk cheese from Quebec. Combined with the bread’s moist crumb and thin crust, it’s close to perfection.” Saillant is not a baker and neither was his father. However, he has inherited his father’s entrepreneurial flair, Saillant explains. At age 20, he had a juice bar in California and later worked in fashion to import European collections into America. I've had a nose for gaps and opportunities in the market. The current and ever-increasing interest in what is fresh and natural will see more followers in artisan breadmaking, he predicts. “Five years from now we’ll pride ourselves in greater market penetration and brand recognition. Offering a very wide range of non-GMO verified products without raising prices—not to mention our great production capabilities— will most certainly open many doors. —By Joseph Blake

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 21

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 22


By Elizabeth Monk

***Listen to Elizabeth Monk live on Kool 107.3 radio at 8:10 am, Tues, Nov 10th

Il Covo, Pemba’s and O Bistro Lunch Italian, Tibetan and bistro style.

Elizabeth Nyland

Il Covo Trattoria 106 Superior St. near Kingston St., 250-857-0554 The space that used to house The Superior has

and Charmaine owned Paradiso for 16 years be-

been transformed into something just as lovely—

fore expanding to Il Covo, and this was a

a warm, elegant room with terracotta marbled

featured dish. Frittata di Patate for $12 is a

walls that manages to be both cozy and

classic potato, egg and onion pancake, served

spacious. And the exquisite cuisine at Il Covo

here with quarters of the patty interspersed with

Trattoria has made me rethink one of my dining

segments of salted focaccia. A roasted red

habits. I’ve tended to not go out for Italian much,

pepper salad is on the side, with fried garlic slices

thinking, “I can make that at home.” But the

on top. I appreciate the authenticity of this bold

excellence of my meal made it clear: no, I cannot

touch; other restaurateurs might have capitulated

make this at home. And by going at lunch, I still

to misperceptions about the Canadian palate.

keep to the parameters of “eating well for less.”

Insalatone del Marinaio for $13 is a close cousin

In Italy, the order of the meal would be pasta,

to the French Niçoise salad with its crown of

a meat or frittata, then a salad to help digest. Let’s

thinly sliced eggs topping the mixed greens. But

start with the pasta. The Penne al Salmone e

here the tuna, marinated in olive oil, is from Italy,

Panna for $13 ($9 for a half serving), is a sensual

and the salad also includes avocado and a

plate of al dente pasta kissed by cream and

balsamic dressing. Tiramisú for dessert is a

dotted with generous morsels of smoked salmon.

decadent showpiece of cake, marsala wine,

Fresh cherry tomatoes and an explosion of basil

espresso and mascarpone. This is a great place

top the dish. Long-term fans of Cafe Paradiso in

for regular lunches and special dinners.


Bastion Square might recognize it: owners Italo Cont’d next page



Elizabeth Nyland

left: Panna Fritatta Di Patate with Roast Pepper Salad right: Penne Al Salmone e Panna

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 23

OLO is a farm-to-table restaurant with a focus on local, sustainably raised ingredients, complemented by an impressive beverage list and perfectly mixed cocktails. Open seven days a week & late night Sunday to Thursday 5pm – 12am Friday and Saturday 5pm – 1am 509 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC (250) 590-8795 |

Elizabeth Nyland

REALLY SPECIAL OCCASIONS left: Bistro Breakfast with scrambled egg, marble rye toast, sausages and hash browns. Served with a latté and blueberry preserves.

O Bistro at the Oswego Hotel 500 Oswego St., 250-294-7500

O Bistro, on the main floor of the Oswego Hotel, offers something unusual: a hotel restaurant without usurious prices for breakfast and lunch. More than that, it offers healthy food and a wide gluten-free selection. One classic breakfast is the Honey Almond Granola for $10, beautifully presented in layers of Greek yoghurt, fresh fruit and granola in a glass, looking much like a breakfast trifle (which, come to think of it, is a great invention!). Another classic, Bistro Breakfast for $12, is your usual eggs, sausage, home fries and toast, but it is worth mentioning that the two sausages are from the highly regarded, locally sourcing Two Rivers Meats. My arugula salad for $10 had similar high-quality touches. The crumpled blue cheese was Bleu Clair from Little Qualicum Cheese, and the fan of sliced and roasted beets was dressed in a balsamic vinaigrette with some depth. Orange segments and endive add even more complexity and colour to this salad. An equally affordable lunch is the soup and croissant sandwich, again for $10. The details change by the day. Mine featured a thick, rich, tomato basil soup paired with a croissant packed with brie, bacon, arugula and Dijon aioli, the bacon being from Two Rivers and the brie from Little Qualicum. It was worth it for me to add dessert to my lunch bill because who can pass on Gluten-free Mango Maple Bacon Bread Pudding for $8? This place felt like a find to me, not only for the affordable food but for the space. It’s quiet, so I have the dining area bookmarked in my brain now for business lunches and meals where I really want conversation. The lounge area is also quiet and calm, yet well equipped with sofas and even a fireplace, perfect for those who work from home and need an alternate workspace—food writer central! E


Cont’d next page NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 24

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

Happy Hour 7 Nights 8pm to Close 250-383-1545 CORNER OF CROFT & SIMCOE IN JAMES BAY WWW.HERONROCKBISTRO.CA Elizabeth Nyland

HAPPY HOUR 7 Days 2:3--5:30pm

Open 7 Days 11am -11pm 10pm on Sunday to Wednesday Weekend 9am for Brunch

Lunch, Dinner, Local Beer & Wine 250-590-4556 4136 WILKINSON RD WWW.CROOKEDGOOSEBISTRO.CA



left: Pork Momos with chili dipping sauce She also made a Tiger Shrimp Chow Mein. right: Stir-fry bottom: Tiger Shrimp Curry

Pemba’s Kitchen 69 Market Square, 560 Johnson St., 250-857-0554 Nothing is more expensive than $10, tax included, at Pemba’s Kitchen in Market Square. The menu features Tibetan cuisine and has three categories—curries, momos and salads—as well as the occasional special stir-fry. The chicken curry is Pemba’s best-seller. The generous bowl includes free-range chicken from Metchosin Farm and baby spinach in a cashew-based sauce redolent of ginger, garlic and garam masala. It is served with black Thai rice mixed with white rice, which combined create a festive purplish hue. The spoonful of potato salad on the side is intriguing as it is bound together not with mayonnaise but ground sesame seeds. Tiger Shrimp Curry is loaded with fresh vegetables—bean sprouts, cilantro, bok choi— and served in an apropos green pottery bowl. Bean noodles soak up the flavour of the coconut

and cashew broth that has just a little sparkle of heat at the end. Finally, Pemba has been famous in this city for her momos for years, most recently at Tibetan Kitchen, and before that at a take-out window at Market Square. My family targets the pork ones, basically a thicker, chewier version of a fried wonton, and we douse them liberally in her fiery sauce of sesame, soy, green onions and chilies. There are lots of options here for people who are vegan and gluten-free. There are fewer options for seating as this is a stall (more like a little hut, or a food truck without wheels) in Market Square, though Pemba does have a few tables for two and the rest of Market Square can be your dining landscape. E

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:28 PM Page 25



Remember when holiday shopping brought a smile to your face and a bounce to your step? If so, check out Sidney as your â&#x20AC;&#x153;go-toâ&#x20AC;? holiday hub. The annual Sidney merchants Open House will be held Friday, December 4th, 5pm to 8pm. There will be FREE horse-drawn carriage rides (4pm to 8pm), traditional storybook Christmas carolers, beautiful shop windows, and just about the best customer service you could imagine. Without doubt, it will be a night to remember! Be sure to pick up a Passport to Christmas (inside the Sidney Christmas Wish Book), collect 12 stamps from various merchants and be entered to win 1 of 3 grand prizes! For the little ones there will be a gingerbread house scavenger hunt with prizes from local toy, candy and bookstores. All season long in Sidney you can enjoy a full line up of festive activities including, horse drawn carriage tours on Saturday and Sundayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in December from noon to 4pm, as well as traditional carol singers each weekend from 1pm-4pm. Enjoy a festive ride through downtown Sidney and take in the charming, holiday ambiance. Be sure to pick up a hot beverage and something to eat from one of Sidneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lively coffee shops or restaurants before you depart. Add to the holiday magic by attending one of the many holiday concerts at the Mary Winspear Centre or the Peninsula Players traditional pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk. Plan to visit one or more of several Christmas craft shows, the popular Teddy Bear exhibit at the Sidney Historical Museum, and Christmas in the Village at Heritage Acres where children can take in train rides and visit with Santa. The Mary Winspear Centre is a collection point for Toys for Tots and will once again feature the Festival of Trees display and a LEGO Christmas village display. The Community Arts Council showcases the Artisans Gift Gallery at Tulista Park on Fifth Street, a perfect place to select a beautiful hand-made gift S for that special person on your holiday gift list. Pick up a copy of the Sidney Christmas Wish Book & Passport, which details all the activities and events taking place in Sidney and on the Peninsula. It also includes recipes

from local business owners and the gingerbread house scavenger hunt map. You will also find a sample of offerings from Sidney retailers highlighting unique products and gift ideas to make your holiday shopping fun and easy! Visit for a complete listing of all of the above-mentioned and other events and check out the unique offerings of Sidneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s downtown! To book a carriage tour call: 250-883-3651

LOOKING FOR A LOCAL GETAWAY? Discover the ultimate staycation at The Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa.

WINE, DINE & RECLINE Package includes: One night stay in a Classic Room, $100 food and beverage credit, wine and cheese on arrival and a gift from Haven Spa. From $244/night. Call toll free 1.866.659.9445 â&#x20AC;˘

HERMANâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S HERMITS Old favourites and new traditions!       



     Beacon and Fourth in Sidney Open 7 Days a Week!



2243 Beacon Avenue, Sidney, BC

250-656-0275 NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 26


By Rebecca Baugniet

Holiday Cookies

The classic butter cookie is a much-loved holiday tradition in many households, including writer and recipe developer Rebecca Baugniet’s. SOME BAKING TRADITIONS ARE IN THE FAMILY FOR AGES, passed down through generations like a special heirloom. Some are foraged, sought after once the delicacy was tasted at a party or a bake sale table or a cookie swap, knowing the recipe must become part of your repertoire. And some baking traditions are simply stumbled upon by chance. At my house, butter cookies fall into the last category. The recipe we’ve been turning to each holiday season for over a decade is a fading newspaper clipping my husband (the main cookie baker in our household) came across one day early in the Christmas season. “If the dairy board is going to take out a full page ad for this recipe,” I remember him saying, “you know it is going to be good.” He was correct. There will always be gingerbread men and shortbread wedges to compete with them, but these butter cookies are the first to fly off the plate, especially if there is eggnog on offer. This recipe has several things going for it. First, it is about as simple as a recipe gets. Cream the butter, add the sugar and vanilla, then stir in the flour just until you have a nice smooth dough. That’s really it. Second, it is versatile. Want an almond cookie instead? Swap out the vanilla extract for 1 tsp. almond extract. Want an iced cookie? Make a simple lemon glaze by stirring 1 cup icing sugar with up to 3 - 4 tsp (or 1 1/2 tbsp juice in a small bowl, adding the lemon juice 1 tsp. at a time until the glaze is thick and smooth. (Apply glaze to cookies once they’ve cooled completely.) Third, it makes enough dough to make everyone happy. The younger residents in my household like to cut these into stars or Christmas trees and affix silver and gold dragées (which I have recently learned are not technically considered edible due to the metallic finish) to the points. My husband contends that the points on these shapes cook faster than the rest of the cookie and dry out. He prefers unadorned, circle-shaped cookies. So we make some circles and some other shapes. We glaze some and decorate some and leave some plain—everyone gets their favourite. The final and most convincing thing these cookies have going for them is taste. I usually avoid the use of clichés, so please trust me when I say these truly are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Butter cookie + glass of eggnog with a splash of rum and a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg = Christmas bliss. Over the years we’ve tweaked the recipe slightly. Depending on the moisture in the air, you may want to use a little more flour (up to 2¼ cups). Sometimes we chill the dough for an hour to help the cookies keep their shape when being transferred to the baking tray, but sometimes we skip this step and nobody notices. They’re too busy reaching for a second one and asking for the recipe. Here it is—feel free to clip it out and make it one of your own baking traditions. E

Butter Cookies 2 cups all-purpose flour

Add flour to butter mixture a little bit at a time, until

½ tsp salt

all flour is incorporated and dough is smooth. Do

1¼ cups unsalted butter, softened

not over-mix!

1 cup icing sugar 2 tsp vanilla extract Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat baking mats.

and transfer cookies to lined baking sheets as soon

the bowl of a standing mixer, or using electric

as they are cut. Bake for 11-12 minutes.

mix until combined.


Preheat oven to 325°F. Use your favourite holiday cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes

In a medium bowl, sift flour and sugar together. In

beaters, cream butter. Add sugar and vanilla and


Turn cookie dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll to approx. ¼-inch thickness.

Cool on wire racks. Makes approx. 4 dozen cookies.

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 27






Victoriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier farmers market

continues all winter long Indoors

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

Garry Oak Room Moss St. Market

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

FOR EXPERT DERMATOLOGY, THE DOCTOR IS MARK LUP IN Board Certified Dermatologist and UBC Faculty Clinical Instructor, Dr. Mark Lupin MD FRCPC, and the skincare experts at Cosmedica provide unparalleled service and experience. Trust in the hands of true experts for the most natural and beautiful results.



EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 28




The Phillips Snowcase has become an Island tradition (finding one is part of the adventure!) The only thing better than our food advent calendar is another - and Phillips' includes beer. Cheers! (

The Christmas Starlight Cinema at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort returns for another season. Screenings at 6 p.m. on Dec 2, 8, 9, 15 & 16, it’s an ideal family evening. Watching It’s a Wonderful Life under the stars? That’s a West Coast Christmas. (

Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker runs December 4-6 at the Royal Theatre. May we suggest drinks for the adults at Clive’s following the show? (

Last year, we started the #EATadvent hashtag and we’d love to continue the tradition. Share your food photos and stories on any of your social channels with #EATadvent and we’ll repost our favourites.

You may have heard that Victoria is having an affair with coffee. Spread the vibes with visitors and far-away family. Say “I love you” with whole beans from local roasters. Find EAT’s roaster list here: (

Rediscover downtown with a Ghosts of Christmas Past walk. The 90-minute tours cost only $15 and run till early January. No promises that Scrooge or Jacob Marley will make an appearance.

In theory, cookie exchanges promise to cut down on holiday baking, but navigating allergy and diet restrictions can prove frustrating. Instead, plan an ingredient exchange, where each person brings one quality item to share. Think homemade nut mylks, cocktail shrubs and bitters, or compound butters.

Still stuck on what to give your foodie friend? Grab a pair of tickets early for 2016 food fairs like Culinaire. Ticket sales start December 1 (

Who says gingerbread decorating is just for the kids? Bake a batch of ginger boys and girls and challenge your friends to a decorating contest. Best celebrity lookalike, most fashionable and most likely to give you a sugar rush are our preferred categories.

Catch a break from shopping and focus on what really matters, lunch! Quick meals from Tacofino, FOO, Uchida and Picnic are great places to recharge before taking on the mall.

Have you noticed how some people like to brag about all the baking they accomplish in December? Hit your quota with threeingredient chocolate bark. Melt your choice of chocolate (white, milk, dark), spread on a baking tray lined with parchment, and top with your choice of two killer additions: roasted almonds, dried cherries or apricots, candied ginger, pepitas, peanuts, the list goes on. Chill in fridge till set, break into bark and serve.

Skip the mall Santa for breakfast with an ocean view. The Oak Bay Beach Hotel hosts Santa the morning of the 12th, 13th, 19th and 20th. Full breakfast buffet, cookie decorating and photo with the man in red included. (

5 9









24 INGREDIENT CHRISTMAS By Kaitlyn Rosenburg



EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 29

The tastiest advent calendar ever





Remember summer? Bring a small bite of the season back. The Royal BC Museum’s Food Truck Festival is a year-long event. Burgers, barbecue and even a beer and wine truck; winter hours and a full list of vendors at: (

Follow the life of a tree (not a Christmas tree, a maple!) at the Robert Bateman Centre. The OneTree Exhibit zeroes in on a bigleaf maple from the Cowichan Valley and runs till January 5, 2016. (

Drink and give craft from Vancouver Island. We suggest pouring Sea Star Vineyards from Pender Island, Gladstone Brewing from Courtenay or cider from Salt Spring Wild Cider.

It seems natural to suggest a ski outing, but B.C.’s fickle winter weather could mean a lack of snowflakes this December. Organize an après ski afternoon— mulled wine, cheese fondue and an indoor setting. Throw on a toque for authenticity.

The McPherson Playhouse brings the sounds of the 1960s to Victoria with Christmas with the Rat Pack. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., perfect for a nibble at Olo or Brasserie before or after (or both!). Tickets online (

We love a good cocktail party, but spiked punch and champagne only go so far. Organize a cozy hot drink bash—you supply the drinks (hot chocolate, apple cider, chai tea) and your guests supply the libations (Bailey’s and rum).

Interactivity Board Game Cafe, the once hidden gem on Yates Street, has hit full-time popular status. Pros: They serve milkshakes and you can try a game before purchasing your own copy. Cons: We can’t think of any. (

Want to escape the city for the day and complete your last-minute shopping? Tour the Cowichan Valley and fill your glasses and stockings with bottles from Unsworth Vineyards and Merridale Estate Cidery.




No matter how you celebrate, a plate of latkes is a staple on holiday tables. Don’t let the plain russet have all the fun. Yam, beet and parsnip latkes amp up colour and flavour.

Embrace the season of giving. Volunteer or donate to Victoria shelters such as Our Place ( Mustard Seed (

The day before the eve of the big day calls for two things: wrapping presents and preparing our bodies for the onslaught of heavy food headed our way. A one-day detox doesn’t need to taste bad. Chia pudding, roasted kale and glasses of green juice today mean an extra helping of stuffing tomorrow. Food logic.





Thanks for following EAT through a December that celebrates food but, more important, family and friends. See you in 2016. NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 30


Special Eat Promotion

From Left to right (in the u) Kunal Ghose: Fishhook Sterling Grice: Foo Asian Lauren Thomson: Shine Cafe Josh Carlsen (in door way): Tacofino Patrick Lynch: Foo Asian Mike Dawson (behind Patrick): Tacofino Rich Harrison: Bond Bonds Bakery Jonny Lee: Chorizo & Co. Morgan Hradecky: The Pink Bicycle Jeff Weatherhead: The Clay Pigeon Jon Perkins: DAK Tom Moore: Crust Bakery Candice Meighen: Choux Choux Charcuterie Charity Hobbs: Terroir Tea Salon

Middle three Shane Devereaux: Habit Coffee Tomas Dosil: Chorizo & Co. Peter Zambri: Zambri's Photographed at Fort Common by Rebecca Wellman, 09|29|2015.

The Blanshard Corridor Vanguard 30


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 31

Long a home to Victoria’s theatre district and Antique Row, the Blanshard Corridor and Fort Street crossroad has been transformed into a showcase for the city’s vibrant food scene.

Simeon Goa - Metropol Studios

In the past few years more than a dozen small, owner-operated eateries and shops have joined neighbourhood fixtures like Choux Choux Charcuterie, Bond Bonds Bakery and the venerable Italian Food Imports in a synergistic explosion of culinary creativity, hip localism and small business acumen. Something is definitely happening in this downtown neighbourhood. Zambri’s and Habit Coffee’s move into the Atrium Building along with neighbouring Pig BBQ Joint established a northern border to the Blanshard Corridor food network that ranges south and includes Shine Cafe’s locally sourced gourmet breakfast classics, Be Love’s playfully eclectic vegetarian offerings, Pink Bicycle’s juicy burgers and Clay Pigeon’s stylish comfort food. Vegetarians, vegans and folks who just love good food have flocked to Be Love to enjoy chef Heather Cunliffe's playful recipes with non-meat ingredients. In addition to such favourites at Green Eggs and Yam, Mexican omelette, and daily soup and salad specials, the vegetarian cafe also offers organic and gluten free beer and stout and lots of exotic superfood-boosted cocktails and hot tonics like the Wellness Toddy made with lemon, honey, ginger, turmeric, camu camu, echinacea and bee pollen. “I cook to bring out the kid in adults. The messier the better!” jokes Pink Bike’s chef Matt Young, as we visited recently in his cramped kitchen above the classy, Blanshard Street burger restaurant. “We were the first independent burger joint in town seven years ago, and we’re as local as we can get with our ingredients—Island beef from Black Creek, Hertel ham, local lamb sources.” Around the corner from Clay Pigeon on Broughton Street, tiny Foo Ramen Bar offers various pan-Asian salads, ramen and rice bowl dishes. Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Greek, Italian, Middle Eastern and Mexican joints dot the neighbourhood too, with Tacofino leading the pack on Fort Street. Their signature menu of tacos, burritos and gringas is served in a casual atmosphere of shared, long tables and wall-sized photos of beach culture inspired by the local chain’s founding Tofino-based food truck. Co-owner Josh Carlsen has been cooking in Victoria for a decade, first at Ferris’ Oyster Bar and then at Pig before opening Tacofino with his business partner Mike Dawson a year ago. “I want to provide good food and good value, to be part of a cool intersection of likeminded, small restaurants. I want to add something to the neighbourhood and the city in general,” chef Carlsen told me. Foo’s first restaurant Food Asian Food is at the corner of Yates and Blanshard). In just over a year Fishhook has established a loyal following for chef-owner Kunal Ghose’s delicious fish dishes. The tiny temple to Oceanwise-approved, sustainable seafood just east of Blanshard on Fort Street offers a surprisingly wide range of subtly flavoured, reasonably priced dishes “I’ve been working with sustainable seafood for 15 years, and it’s fun for me to get a chance to change my menu weekly with Fishhook,” enthused Ghose, a Top Chef Canada contender and founder of the popular Red Fish Blue Fish. “It’s exciting to switch around the flavours, re-engage with my French influences and roots in Indian cuisine while showcasing the seafood bounty we have in this part of the world.” Next door, Spanish-bred owner Tomás Dosil and chef-owner Jonathan Lee have created Chorizo & Co. Spanish Eatery, a shrine to Spain’s cuisine. The small café offers a range of tapas and tortas, Spanish meat and cheese boards and sweet, sugary churros. There is a well-curated offering of Spanish wine and beer and on Saturday nights a traditional paella featuring a crujido or toasty crust on the rice. Saturday nights also feature live music by local flamenco guitarists. “I wanted to open a casual Spanish eatery with excellent food, service and atmosphere,” explained chef Dosil. “Anything we can’t do Spanish, we do local. For example, our chorizo is made by the Whole Beast from our recipe using pork from Still Meadow Farm in Metchosin.” Across Fort Street, Choux Choux Charcuterie’s stock of artisan meat and cheese produces scents that will make any cook swoon. The small, decade-old shop is packed with fine, often-rare European deli items that are handmade and antibiotic and hormone-free. There is a French focus to Choux Choux’s offerings and a few Cont’d on pg. 32 NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 32


e Love opened in October, 2013 and is the collaborative vision of siblings Heather and Joe Cunliffe and their dad, Ayrie. A full service, modern restaurant serving organic, local, plant based cuisine that is as delicious as it is nourishing. Executive Chef and co-owner Heather Cunliffe has a philosophy of non compromise – her food is healthy, energizing, beautiful, and delicious, and it’s made completely from scratch using the highest quality ingredients available. “A large part of my mission is to inspire people to make healthier choices.” says Heather “The way we do that at Be Love is by giving them the experience of food that is healing and equally enjoyable to eat, there doesn’t have to be a compromise.” The menu at Be Love changes four times a year with the seasons, and through partnerships with many local farms Be Love sources as many local ingredients as possible. “Eating local is the way of the future,” says Heather, “and it’s not only what’s best for the planet, it’s also what’s best for our health.” Everything Be Love serves is wheat, dairy, gluten, and processed sugar free, and they source almost completely organic ingredients. The menu offers satisfying lunches, decadent dinners, to-die-for desserts & weekend brunch. The high vibrational food is complimented by an all organic and natural wine list, super-food cocktails, fresh juices, smoothies, and elixirs. Ayrie’s design for the space and his artwork create a beautiful community gathering space that is as nourishing to the soul as the food is to the body. “Our aspiration is to raise the vibration of your experience as a customer of be love.” says Ayrie, “ In the dining room, the high, sky-lit space and artwork move one’s attention and energy from earth to light” Go to Be Love and find out for yourself what it feels like to be purely nourished on all levels! 1019 Blanshard St, Victoria, BC, 778-433-7181,


FISHHOOK fter nearly a decade of pumping out eats at his inner harbour fish shack Redfish Bluefish, Kunal decided to get back to his roots with an Indo-French influenced, fully sustainable seafood menu. “At Fishhook, creating fresh new Indian inspired local seafood dishes every week keeps things fun and exciting for me and my amazing crew. We put a lot of love, and attention to detail, into our little eatery!”


805 Fort Street, Victoria, BC 250-477-0470



The Blanshard Corridor Vanguard cont’d top-quality, Canadian products like this season’s Quebec maple syrup. A couple of coveted window seats are a perfect setting for a light lunch. Even better is Choux Choux’s $24 picnic basket of pâté, deli meats, cheeses, Fol Epi baguette and other treats. By the way, Fol Epi owner and baker Cliff Leir is opening a second bakery in the newly built Era condo tower on Yates just steps from the Blanshard Corridor. Italian Food Imports has been operating on Blanshard since 1985. Brothers Maurizio and Massimo Segato took over the shop from their parents two decades ago. “My folks bought it from an old gentleman who had been running it since the 1970s. It wasn’t a true deli because he couldn’t import a lot of things at the time,” Maurizio explains while taking a short break from his duties at the counter. “We started bringing in more Italian things and started making sandwiches. It’s hard to make it just selling groceries.” A popular downtown lunch spot for years, Italian Food Imports offers eight Italian sandwiches and 10 grilled panini as well as shelves of Italian deli items. In January, the Segato brothers are going to close the shop for major renovations that will include adding a full espresso bar. You can get a specialty coffee at Crust Bakery too, but the bright, modern shop’s baked goods, savoury dishes and delicious pastries have foodies lining up in droves. Australia-bred restaurateur Tom Moore won the Australian national award Young Restaurateur in 2010. He moved his family to Vancouver Island two years ago and opened Crust to bring his farm-to-table philosophy and fine dining standard to a creative patisserie. Crust’s pear, almond and passionflower lemon tarts are two personal favourites, followed closely by the bakery’s range of croissants, cherry chocolate Danish and blackberry vanilla cronuts. Moore’s love of Vancouver Island’s seasonal bounty promises many more delicious, buttery creations in the future. Picnic’s breakfast and lunch mini-empire continues to spread along Fort Street. Jon and Melissa Perkins opened Picnic six years ago in a tiny space on lower Fort Street, and Picnic Too opened up on Fort between Cook and Vancouver streets two years ago. Both serve 2% Jazz Coffee and a menu of flavourful, unique sandwiches, soups and salads that change daily. Their fresh smoothies and lavender lemonade are among my favourites as are sandwiches made from slow-cooked, honey-balsam chicken and Asian pear braised beef. Picnic opened a third outlet in October, Dak, even nearer the Fort /Blanshard food nexus. It features rotisserie-style Korean chicken in addition to other menu items. Terroir Tea Salon, in a space between Choux Choux and Picnic 3 on Fort, is the latest addition to the neighbourhood’s food scene. Co-owner-manager Charity Hobbs fell in love with tea while living in Australia and during her travels in southeast Asia and began sourcing teas, primarily oolongs, directly from farms. Hobbs and her fellow merchants and chefs along the Blanshard Corridor and Fort Street crossroad are carving out a passionate, idealistic, sometimes funky, always indie food culture. It’s an exciting example of the Canadian mosaic and the local food community’s maturity. —Joseph Blake

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 33


Anatomy of a Neighbourhood


Froma sleepy government district to a pulsating food hub. How it all began.

ond Bond's Bakery was founded in 1992 with a mission to create breads & pastries using baking techniques and recipes in their simplest form. At our bakery, fresh bread and pastries are baked and delivered to customers with highest standards of quality. We believe that bread is best enjoyed in its most simple and authentic form. Bread is something we all take for granted. It is the one ingredient to our meal that is always present. It is usually the first thing we taste in our homes, cafes or restaurants and it should be a flavour we enjoy and will not forget. With this in mind we try our best everyday to make products you will love and appreciate.


Maurizio Segato, age 19, and his mom Catarina in the Italian Imports store on Blanshard St. in 1985. On any given day, the sidewalks of the Blanshard Corridor are lined with friends and co-workers sitting at brightly coloured bistro sets that boisterously declare the presence of an animated and pulsating food hub. People gather on the concrete deck in front of the Atrium building sharing a day’s work or a soulful moment between sips of coffee from Habit. The back doors of Be Love, Chorizo, Fishhook and La Taquisa spill out onto the urban oasis of the Fort Common patio; and lineups at Tacofino, Italian Imports and Crust Bakery signal that a wonderful alchemy has taken over this once ho-hum neighbourhood. In 1985, when the Segato family opened the doors to Italian Food Imports on Blanshard, the area certainly did not vibe the way it does today. Caterina and Ivano Segato’s two sons Maurizio and Massimo now run this quintessential mom-and-pop Italian deli. Maurizio recently reminisced about what it was like back in the early days: “I remember the Cultured Cow on the corner where Starbucks is now, and Ali Baba Pizza was down Blanshard on the block before the Royal Theatre; that was basically it.” Maurizio worked in the deli with his mom from the day the doors open. “There was always a language barrier with mom and dad trying to do business so I started working full-time when I was 19.” The two brothers took over the shop in 1995 and on any day except Sunday you will find one or both of them nimbly working behind the counter. They always make sure every customer has been helped, no matter how long the lineup, and deliver the same warmly traditional food and service their parents did. Bond Bonds opened in 1992, bringing essential European recipes and techniques to baked goods made with natural ingredients. The bakery’s philosophy was a stand-alone in an age when processed food was at its peak, and its rustic approach would be at the forefront of the coming trend for food au naturel. The culinary vanguard truly emerged as Choux Choux Charcuterie and Pink Bike opened up in 2005 and 2008, respectively. Then, in 2009, The Atrium building brought a modernist perspective to the neighbourhood, a brilliant juxtaposition to the well-loved charms of the Fort and Blanshard crossroads. The design-centric complex at the corner of Yates and Blanshard serves as both a place of business, a public space and a nighttime music and events venue. Zambri’s indoor patio allows diners to marvel at the sleek glass and curved wooden lines that envelop the LEEDS certified building, which features a masterfully constructed lobby and indoor vertical garden. A nod to the new norm, the eco-architecture of the building has ushered this neighbourhood into an era of sustainable innovation while not brushing aside the eclectic essence that has come to characterize the Blanshard Corridor. Today the area has become a curated food court for connoisseurs of local feasting, many of whom hail from the area’s growing tech sector. Foo has provided us with elevated Asian street food, Shine gives us access to comfort food breakfasts, and the Clay Pigeon is ready to satisfy any craving with its classic belly-warming dishes. The new kids on the block, the didactic tea salon Terroir and Dak’s Korean barbecue fair are welcome additions to an area that has truly come into its own. Welcome to the Blanshard Corridor, Victoria’s newest and fastest-growing culinary neighbourhood. —By Lindsay Van Gyn with files from Joseph Blake

1010 Blanshard St, Victoria, BC 250-388-5377


ho knew Victoria needed a mutton burger? In 2009 partners Morgan Hradecky and Jennifer Hobbins decided to show some love to this under appreciated meat, lovingly building a burger around it and placing on their menu for people to try. All menu items at The Pink Bicycle are just as thoughtful and well sourced; all plates filled with beautiful local ingredients curated to bring joy to diners. The 'Pink Bike' was the original place to raise the bar for burgers in this town and, it could be said, their location revived this end of Blanshard. Their mac ‘n cheese sticks, incredible onion rings or unique flavourful burgers have a large following of fans and they’ve now become the standard in down home favourite restaurants for Victorians.


1008 Blanshard St, Victoria, BC, 250-384-1008, NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 34

We Are Not a Tiny Portland 


A satirical rant by Jill Van Gyn

Photo by Holly Brooke

Dale Goble

Pegged as Victoria’s finest boutique artisan bakery, Crust Bakery has been serving exquisite baked goods in the heart of fabulous Fort Street for the past two years. Crust Bakery is owned and operated by the dynamic husband and wife team, Crystal and Tom Moore. With a background in patisseries and fine dining restaurants in Australia, the Moores have a serious passion for serving excellent products made from scratch using fresh local, seasonal ingredients. Our artisan breads are always ready for your table and don’t forget to try our famous tartlets when your sweet tooth comes calling! Our much-loved lunch provides comfort in the middle of any work day Did we mention our delicious buttery, crunchy Danish pastries and croissants? 730 Fort Street, Victoria BC, (250) 978-2253,

CHORIZO & CO horizo & Co is a small Spanish Eatery run by Business Partners and longtime friends Tomás Dosil and Jonathan Lee. With much quality French and Italian inspiration already in Victoria, the goal was to offer something different – a Spanish experience. As a native of Spain himself, this made sense and came easy to Tomás. To Jonathan, it presented an exciting venture into a world that enticed him for some time. And while the two have a deep appreciation for the food and well known culture of the south, they wish to showcase Spanish food beyond the borders of Flamenco, such as Galicia, Catalonia, Basque Country and the interior Meseta. The goal being to bring a piece of ‘everyday’ Spain to Victoria – something beyond the obvious.


807 Fort St, Victoria, BC 250-590-6393



It is discussed with vigour in refurbished dive bars over the heady foams of house-crafted brambleberry brew. Patrons at the latest pop-up taco-ramen stand whisper it between bites of carnitas and noodles; and self-satisfied baristas clad in the newest shade of black wink knowingly at customers as they hand them their reward of locally roasted coffee, agreeing that “Yes. Victoria is a tiny Portland.” Ladies and gentlemen, WE ARE NOT A TINY PORTLAND. Once again the rampageous American identity has usurped our own. Of course, we invite comparison with our manic, pixieniche markets and trades; our repurposed wood clad bistros with bartenders who sport tattoos like pirates; and the occasional dish or drink infused with hydrogen, helium, nitrogen and oxygen making our dinner one step away from an atom bomb. YES! From time to time we tend to overdo it, trying to stay one step ahead of the competition. But we are not a recreation. We are not some transplanted, pseudo-American hipster nirvana! We are our own type of weird, so let us do ourselves a favour and embrace it. “How exactly,” you might well be asking yourself, “are we different from Portland?” “What sets us apart?” “And why is this writer so angered by the notion of Victoria being a tiny Portland?’ Well, I’ve asked myself these same questions. We, the Islanders of Victoria, are isolated from our mother Province. Nay! From our mother Continent! We do not have the luxury of creating novelty, of being able to go to the ends of obscurity to capture one segment of the population that will keep our cash registers full and our doors open. We are the few (guys, there’s only 78,000 of us in Victoria), the loyal and the dedicated. We know that if we eat our own we will all be doomed. This is why we look inward. We are survivors, sequestered in a limited geographical space. We have spent generations understanding how to prosper from our island bounty. You want authenticity? Well, we’ve got it, whether we want it or not because the bottom line is, we have no choice. Collaboration, competition and communal support are practiced not out of some pandering attempt to appear locally oriented and community minded. We do it because we have nowhere else to go. We do it to keep our neighbourhoods alive, healthy and well nourished, and, dammit, we are good at it. Portlandophiles, please put down the parchment paper and ink quills from 1922 that you dug out of some barrel at a flea market; your hate mail will only serve to prove my point. Let us celebrate our inimitable style borne of isolation, let us show you how we thrive in small numbers, and let us be called Victoria and only Victoria because WE ARE NOT A TINY PORTLAND.

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 35


t d n a


by Jill Van Gyn

The old Antique Row sign is still affixed to the lamp post at the corner of Fort and Blanshard, but it is quickly becoming a relic of its own past. Replacing the antiquated devotion to our English proclivities are smart and savvy startup businesses that are rapidly transforming the once utilitarian throughway into a viable neighbourhood. At this point, images of Chorizo and Co. and Be Love are popping into your head. Yes, credit is certainly due to those businesses. However, the savvy startups I’m talking about are the ones coming from the tech industry. Victoria’s tech industry has landed and planted firm roots in a neighbourhood that not a decade ago was considered little more than a bus stop. It happened in San Francisco, with the likes of Twitter, Pinterest and Zinga moving into the warehouse districts in the downtown core. This growing population of young, well-educated, high-income earners began building up neighbourhoods in once undervalued areas. They were socially aware, culturally conscious and brought with them healthy appetites for innovative and diverse food experiences. Here in Victoria, with tech incubators such as Fort Tectoria and the newly established Summit Building setting up shop in the neighbourhood, the Blanshard Corridor has been transformed into a vibrant centre for food, technological advancement and community collaboration. This isn’t just about tech companies moving into an already growing urban space, though. It’s about the sustainability of new neighbourhood growth and the creation of an interconnected and interdependent community. These companies compete to attract new talent and providing a desirable work environment is becoming an industry standard. Lackluster workspaces, franchise fast food and suburban lifestyles doesn’t cut it with young, urban entrepreneurs anymore. Relocating incubators and headquarters to an area that has become well recognized for its food culture has the ability to draw in that new talent who, in turn, will begin building their lives around that neighbourhood. Walking into the lobby of the new Summit Building, you are greeted by the imposing body of a stripped-down navy-blue helicopter. Faux evergreen trees are clustered in the middle of the space and pairs of wooden alpine skis lean up against the wall. This is the making of Summit, a tech oriented, multi-level workspace that houses a number of different companies such as Echosec, Checkfront and Referral SaaSquatch. Owen Matthews, general partner of Wesley Clover, a Victoria investment management firm and mastermind behind the incubator, stretches out his legs on the desk in his modest office and says wistfully, “I wish I had bought that pizza place [Ali Baba’s] when I knew Tectoria was opening up.” It would have been a smart move, with Fort Tectoria’s more than 95 employees. While Ali Baba’s has no doubt increased its already solid customer base, Matthews is speaking to a bigger idea. These young, dedicated entrepreneurs spend long working hours at their consoles, but when the need strikes, they are out looking for good food and a well-deserved break. They also have disposable income, which is one of the reasons why some of the food spots in the area that have a higher-than-average price point tend to do so well. Cont’d on pg. 36

125 words + Image Adam Gilmer Lightwell Photography.

The Techie he


acofino’s story begins on the wild, wet, rugged west coast. Anyone who has been tossed about in the washing machine surf of Wick Beach, Chesterman or Cox Bay would understand the comfort a mondo, made to order burrito or taco can bring. Our approach to our product is simply simplicity, keeping it fresh and made from scratch. This approach coupled with fast, friendly service keeps our customers coming and going at any pace they like. Our team is from top to bottom is one of the best around and we want to be available for our hardworking customer’s day or night. We loved being food truck nomads but we also look forward to keeping our neighbourhood well fed. Hang loose! The Tacofino Crew


787 Fort St, Victoria, BC, 778-406-1787

FOO Asian Street Food 125 words + Image

oo came together as the combined vision of owners Sterling Grice and Patrick Lynch. Both spent time living and working in Asia and it was the street stall culture that left the most profound impression on them. Foo brings the hawker stall food of South East Asia to the streets Victoria. In 2014, Foo opened their Ramen Bar. As Foo’s chef, Patrick’s interest in Ramen was born out of the need to utilize the stock left from the Foo’s braised pork. Research and experimentation with Ramen as a daily feature quickly turned into obsession with all of its complexities and nuances. Both Sterling and Patrick agreed that the time was right to open a spot dedicated to Ramen and so Foo Ramen bar was born.


769 Yates St, Victoria, BC , 250-383-3111, NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 36


1002 Blanshard St, Victoria, BC, 250-590-6657,



830 Fort St, Victoria, BC, 250-382-7572,



As we stroll through the Summit building, Matthews brings work to a halt on the main floor by bellowing, “Hey! What did you guys eat today?” Shouts of “Thai!” “burritos!” and “pho!” resonate around the room. The door to one office flies open and a young woman says, “I have to tell you about this perogy poutine I had! They put the cheese curds and gravy on top of the perogies!” In another corner, programmers standing at their terminals discuss “food days of the week” such as Poutine Routine Mondays, Taco Tuesdays and Pizza Fridays. In an office on the second floor, one employee describes his meal in detail: “It’s barbecue pork with ginger, bok choy and kimchi. I traded a friend a bottle of wine in return for making my lunch!” By the smell of it, it had better have been a damn good bottle of wine. One thing is abundantly clear. Food is central to the working day and the quality of life that these workers enjoy. It brings in a sense of community, of supporting a neighbourhood that has become the common stomping ground for dedicated, food-loving Victorians and the new upstart talents that are now calling the city home. The food and technology industries are flourishing alongside each other and have fostered what Dan Gunn of Fort Tectoria calls “an esprit de corps that has become ‘cross sectoral.’” A good example of this is Jon Perkins’s (Picnic cafés) new Korean rotisserie restaurant Dak, which opened its doors in the storefront of the Summit Building in early October. Owen Matthews has long been a supporter of Perkins’s business ventures and understands that bringing the neighbourhood right into his building opens doors for everyone involved. Collaboration is at the heart of both the food and the technology industries, and the Blanshard Corridor in now becoming an essential hub for innovation, healthy competition and best-of-breed practices. The fusion of food and technology goes beyond community collaboration, though, and can be found in how our food is prepared, where we chose to dine and how we share our experiences with friends, family and critics alike. This is the new norm, where tradition meets advancement in the most prosperous of marriages. In fact, you can now visit the newly opened Terroir Tea Merchant next to the Summit Building where the Alpha Dominche Steampunk machine will download that perfect recipe for oolong from a café in Finland on its Google Nexus Tablet. Technology has become essential to the future of culinary industries and is increasingly influential in building up vibrant and forward-thinking urban spaces. The Blanshard Corridor was built on the backs of the small business owners and restaurateurs who wanted something better for the area. But it is the tech industry that will drive its continued growth, providing Victoria with a new dimension of culture, food and technology. —Jill Van Gyn

Fort Tectoria

Gary Hynes

houx Choux Charcuterie has been serving Victoria for ten years. We are proud to be a part of the artisan food community here in Victoria. We use locally sourced, ethical ingredients for our Charcuterie, and source Cheeses from around the world. We are French focused to be sure, but we also celebrate Italy, Germany, Spain and the America’s. We make Pate, Terrines, fresh sausages, Salami’s and cured meats. You will find a Plat Du Jour, and a Charcuterie Board available daily with a fine selection of ready to go meals for those on the run. If you haven’t come by our little shop we’d love to see you, just look for the Blue Cow out front! We are looking forward to our next ten years.

Gary Hynes

Jeff Weatherhead, Jennifer Hobbins and Morgan Hradecky decided to bring something different to the corner of Blanshard and Broughton and so The Clay Pigeon was born. These three owners are veterans of Victoria’s food and hospitality scene and know what it takes to create a well-loved local restaurant: comforting food, delicious drinks and amazing service. This combination won them accolades and a regular customer base all who come in for their all-star favourites: delightful apple fritters, an ever changing innovative offering of sandwiches, fantastic cocktails and their much loved perfectly balanced weekend brunch plates. Diners here are a diverse and cultured crowd, showing the eclectic make up of this neighbourhood; bike couriers sit alongside lawyers, dating couples mix with the theater crowd, all of them welcomed in to share the space and to enjoy the inspiring food and attentive service.

Summit Building

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 37


hen we were considering locations for our second shop in Victoria, we knew what was important to us. Habit has always been a community minded business, and we knew we wanted to be alongside likeminded independent businesses that added to the culture of the city. When the opportunity to take over the corner space on Blanshard and Yates came up through our friends at Jawl Properties, it was a no-brainer. Five years on, we’re excited by the continual growth of that initial push. There are more friends with shops doing interesting things in the surrounding area, helping build more diversity and culture, and adding more energy to our community. It’s exciting and we’re glad Habit gets to play a small part in it all.


808 Yates Street, Victoria BC, (250)590-5953, @habitcoffee


ambri’s burst on to the Victoria food scene sixteen years ago when Chef Peter Zambri returned from cooking in Italy to open a restaurant with his sister Jo. Many accolades followed as foodies, farmers, hippies and even hipsters spread the word. Zambri’s features authentic Italian food and hard to find Italian wines at exceptional value. Located in the stunning Atrium building, Zambri’s is perfect for a quick pasta and glass of wine, an intimate dinner, or a private event in one of several dedicated spaces. Monthly wine dinners sell out quickly. Zambri’s is the only restaurant on the Island certified Authentic Italian by the Italian Chamber of Commerce. Urban Peasant James Barber said it best, "Nicest little Italian restaurant in B.C. Probably Canada. Terrific Food."


820 Yates St, Victoria, BC, 250-360-1171,


ITALIAN FOOD IMPORTS hirty years and stronger than ever. We have grown through the years and look forward to the next chapter with a major renovation coming this January 2016. We recall the shock in our parents faces when we sent them away for a few days while we made the first real changes to the deli. They entered and Dad says, "You've killed the deli." Mom gave a nervous soft smile and told him, "Stay calm, the boys know." The changes were a success and here we go again. We look forward to seeing clients old and new in the upcoming holiday season as the store fills with Italian holiday favourites. We are excited to welcome everyone to our new Deli/Cafe this coming January. Grazie Victoria.


1114 Blanshard St, Victoria, BC 250-385-7923

ince 2004, Shine Cafe has had the pleasure of serving Victoria's tastiest breakfast to fantastic loyal customers. Over the years, our dedication to providing the best has never wavered. Whether you favour the classic bacon and eggs, or something more exotic like our tropical French toast, your meal will contain only the best products available from our local suppliers. Not only will the food be delicious, but the service will be excellent. Our staff are superb: friendly and welcoming, polite and efficient. We strive to make your visit to Shine perfect- easy, relaxing, and enjoyable— by providing delicious food, fantastic service and great value. Thank you to all our amazing staff and incredibly loyal customers. We wish you health and happiness through the holiday season! - Barry and Lauren Thomson


1320 Blanshard St., Victoria BC, 250-595-2134, NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 38


The Menu Featured dishes from the    Blanshard Corridor participating businesses. 

Be Love: Crispy pumpkin ravioli, beet apple puree, garlic braised greens, walnut & parmesan with honey-dill dressed salad greens.

Bond Bond's Bakery: Assorted breads and croissants.

Chorizo & Co: Chorizo gallego, Manchego cheese, piquillo pepper, greens, aioli - with churros and cafe con leche.

Choux Choux Charcuterie: Charcuterie board.

Clay Pigeon: Crispy chicken schnitzel with sour cabbage, bacon, gruyere cheese w/ dill herbed garlic fries and roasted garlic aioli.

Crust Bakery: Passion fruit curd tart with fresh raspberries and vanilla meringue with a cappuccino.

DAK: Salad with tahini-gochu dressing. Warm rotisserie chicken, red pepper paste, pickled cucumber, avocado, greens and mayo.

Fishhook: Biryani with tikka Sockeye belly, Salt Spring Island mussels & roasted Sidestripe shrimp.



EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 39

Foo Asian: Sweet and Sour Pork Belly - Crisp pork belly, chili-fried green beans, sweet soy plus tamarind glaze with steamed rice.

Habit Coffee: Cappuccino with jam cookie.

Italian Food Imports: Assorted deli sandwiches.

Pink Bicycle: Truffle Burger - Springford Farm's Hereford beef topped with garlic mushrooms, Gruyère cheese & truffle mayo.

Shine Cafe: Roasted vegetables, marinated artichoke hearts, spinach & goat cheese on toasted French bread, pesto hollandaise.

Tacofino: Tempura battered lingcod with cabbage, chipotle mayo, fresh salsa and lime

We dare you to eat your way through the entire menu. Share your photos with us on Instagram.  @eatmag 

Terroir Tea Salon: Alishan High Mountain Spring Oolong Tea.

Zambri’s: Tagliatelle with Zambri's Meat Sauce.

Special thanks to Sherri Martin who ran around like crazy to take all these beautiful photos in time for our deadline. NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 40


Sustainability Is the New Normal

Chris Hildreth’s rooftop garden on top of 1001 Blanshard St. It’s been 10 years since the Vancouver Aquarium launched its Ocean Wise campaign, a program to help consumers identify sustainable sources of seafood, and the retailers and restaurants that sell it. Chef Kunal Ghose was one of the early adopters, opening the legendary Red Fish, Blue Fish and serving sustainable seafood from a repurposed shipping container along the city’s waterfront. Today, Ghose has Fishhook, another sustainable seafood spot downtown in the heart of the Blanshard corridor dining district, and he has plenty of company in the green dining scene. “Red Fish, Blue Fish was the first 100-percent Ocean Wise restaurant on Vancouver Island,” he says. “Now, you stand out if you’re not doing these things—it really showcases what the city has become.” What Victoria has become is a city with a reputation for being very green, a place with a big focus on local, organic and sustainable practices. Sustainable is the big buzzword in the restaurant world, especially here on the West Coast where some of the earliest proponents of Slow Food, Ocean Wise and farm-to-table philosophies cut their chops. It’s hard to find a chef who doesn’t at least try to incorporate what’s fresh, local and organic onto the menu, and many of the small chef-run spots in the downtown core really walk the sustainable talk. There’s even a new initiative called FED (the Food Eco District), which

jointly promotes a handful of like-minded small restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops taking steps to green their businesses in the downtown core. Jill Doucette of Synergy Enterprises, a green business consulting company, helped create the carbon-neutral dining zone in the Blanshard Corridor. “On a square-foot basis, hospitality businesses are huge when it comes to energy consumption,” says Doucette, author of Greening your Hospitality Business, part of Self-Counsel Press’s Green Series. She advocates a variety of green restaurant practices, from reducing carbon emissions by conserving water and energy consumption, to recycling and “shortening the supply chain by supporting a more local model.” In conjunction with partners like the Downtown Victoria Business Association and Fort Realty, the FED project has built planter boxes to grow food and created Fort Common, a communal patio in a former parking lot beside the entrance to Be Love restaurant. Future projects include recycling spent cooking oil and expanded opportunities for urban agriculture. Whether it’s compostable packaging or choosing lower-impact menu items (less tropical fruit and beef), sustainable sourcing is the new norm, says Doucette. At Tacofino, that means locally sourced fish and corn-based, compostable cutlery and takeout containers. “We get our ling cod from the most sustainable fishery on the island,” says Josh Carlsen, “and we compost, for sure.” Chef Peter Zambri and his sister Jo have been running their eponymous restaurant, Zambri’s, with sustainability in mind since the beginning. But today they are among the city’s growing cadre

DAK AK (닭) is the Korean word for chicken. DAK is Korean-inspired rotisserie chicken with a focus on bringing the best Korean flavours to house-made soups, salads, sandwiches, congee, rice bowls and family-style DAK dinners. Drawing from their time living in Korea and the success of PiCNiC and PiCNiC Too, restauranteurs Jon and Melissa Perkins aim to foster community growth through progressive food and drink.


838 Fort St., Victoria, BC,



of carbon-neutral establishments. “Local and sustainable have been part of our philosophy forever, it’s just one of the things we do,” says Jo Zambri. “I remember being very conscious of the Slow Food movement when we opened in 1999, and the whole world seems to have caught up with that core philosophy.” Beyond composting and energy audits, Zambri says they do “small things” to stay green—staff walking or biking to work, saving leftover water from carafes to water plants and buying from several local growers, including Saanich Organics and Mason Street City Farm, an innovative, quarter acre urban community farm in the North Park neighbourhood “Farmers and local growers are becoming closer to us geographically,” she says. “Mason Street Farm is literally three blocks from here, and they walk the vegetables to us.” Other companies that are part of the sustainable downtown food system include ReFUSE, a recycler that picks up restaurant food scraps and turns them into composted reSoil. ReFUSE works with progressive members of the Island Chef Collaborative (ICC) to close the loop from farm to fork, and support their efforts to feed Vancouver Island with organic, locally-farmed food. This summer, UVic grad Chris Hildreth launched Topsoil, a pilot project growing vegetables for restaurants on the roof of a downtown building. Ghose says Hildreth’s urban farm will supply Fishhook with fresh vegetables next season. “The message hasn’t reached everyone, but there’s an awareness here about sustainable living,” says Ghose. “Our clients make choices, they do what makes them feel good. I’m trying to do my part, too.” —By Cinda Chavich

TERROIR TEA SALON e believe passionately that the more you know about tea, the more enjoyable your tea experience will be. Terroir Tea Salon exemplifies our commitment to heighten your sensory experience through an education in tea at our tea leaf gallery, aroma bar and Steampunk brewing station. We strive to curate a menu of teas sourced from small growers producing teas that typify the essence of terroir.


832 Fort St, Victoria, BC (778) 747-BREW (2739)

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 41 NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015



EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 42


Find comfort and joy in the simple pleasures.

42 42


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 43

A snowy pavlova looks impressively holidayesque, yet is actually quite easy to make. The keys to a good meringue are using older eggs at room temperature, and a super clean mixing bowl [Tip: lightly wash with vinegar.] The crowning glory is the fruit topping. Use any fresh, or better yet, preserved fruits from those glory days of summer. Remember those jars of cherries, peaches and berries? Winter Berry & Pistachio Pavlova OK. Fresh strawberries aren’t seasonal right now, we get it. But it’s easy to sub in preserved fruit, or break the bank and buy those fancy, outta town berries. It’s a holiday after all! Or just focus on the delight of the crisp outer meringue shell and the inner chewy marshmallow fluff. That’s the stuff dreams are made of.

If using preserved fruit, dry well with kitchen towels before decorating. For a wicked good sauce, reduce the preserving liquid into a thick syrup. Taste and add a splash of balsamic vinegar if it needs some acidity.

Serves 8 1½ cups superfine sugar 2 teaspoon cornstarch 6 egg whites, at room temperature Pinch of salt 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar 2 cups whipped cream Fresh strawberries or preserved fruit Chopped pistachios In a bowl, blend sugar with cornstarch. Using an electric mixer on low beat egg whites with salt until frothy. Beat in vinegar, and then increase speed to high and beat until soft peaks soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar mixture, a small amount at a time until stiff glossy peaks form. Drop meringue by spoonfuls on a parchment-lined baking sheet into an 8-in circle. Using a spatula, smooth top and sides and form a slight indentation in the centre. That makes a well for the whipped cream later. Bake at 225°F for 1½ hours, and then let cool in oven for 1½ hours. Resist all temptation to open the door and peek. If making ahead, store in a cool dry place up to 2 days. Just before servings, top with whipped cream, and then decorate with fruit and pistachios. Drizzle with a berry sauce if you’re up for it!

Quick Berry Sauce Simmer 2 cups mixed berries (raspberry and strawberry or blueberry and blackberry) with 1/3 cup sugar until berries burst. Puree with 2 tsp lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Strain to remove seeds. NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 44

Sicilian Cutlets Gone Wild 44


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 45

Sicilian Chicken Cutlets Think scaloppini meets caponata – but without any eggplant. Big bold caper berries, tart roasted tomatoes, tingly chilies and plenty of olives and peppers create delicious havoc in this one-dish dinner. Serves 4 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts Sea salt & pepper, freshly ground ½ cup flour 2 tablespoons each butter and olive oil 16 roasted cherry tomato halves* 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 dried chili, split or pinches of chili flakes 2 teaspoons cocoa 1 cup each red wine and chicken broth ½ each chopped red and yellow bell pepper 12 Sun-dried black olives 8 big caper berries 1 dried chili or pinches of chili flakes ¼ cup chopped parsley or cilantro Slice each chicken breast in 4 pieces. Pound to flatten each piece. Generously season with salt and pepper, and then dredge in flour. Heat 1 Tbsp each oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Working in batches, add half the chicken pieces and sauté until browned on both sides and just cooked though, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a low oven. Repeat with remaining 1 Tbsp butter and oil and chicken pieces. Add half the tomatoes to pan and add garlic, chili and cocoa. Stir until fragrant, 1 min., and then pour in wine. Scrape up and stir in any brown bits from pan bottom. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until mixture has reduced by half and has thickened to saucy consistency. Add peppers and olives. Cover and simmer until soft, about 5 min. Stir in remaining tomatoes, capers and parsley. Divide chicken on plates and spoon sauce overtop.

*Roasted Tomatoes Slice large cherry or Campari tomatoes in half. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Drizzle with olive oil. Tuck in fresh thyme sprigs. For deep rich flavour, slow roast in 250F oven until shriveled. This may take up to 2½ hours. No time to spare? Roast in 375 oven for 30 minutes.



EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 46

When planning your holiday parties, consider the can.


In London’s hip Soho district (and soon in New York), the stylish pop-up Tincan offers can fans a selection of carefully curated, tinned seafood from around the world. Eaten straight from the can, with a side of bread and greens, it’s an instant canned food fix. Closer to home, Toronto chef Grant van Gameren is breaking new culinary ground by serving $68 cans of Spanish cockles and $26 tins of razor clams at his new tapas Bar Raval, the kind of canned specialties you’ll find along Spain’s Galician coast. He also cans his own shellfish, like rare Vancouver Island gooseneck barnacles, for his fine finger food menu. The canned tapas trend extends to the west coast, too, with smoked sardines on toast served at The Sardine Can in Vancouver’s Gastown and pintxos of stuffed peppers topped with silvery fish and offered with a flight of sherry, at Bodega in Victoria.

what’s in the can?

Gary Hynes

Tuna belly, sardines, octopus, razor clams & scallops... just add rosé, bread, salad and spicy, guindilla peppers.

Canned goods have new cachet, even cult status, among those with a taste for the world’s finest artisan foods.

Banish those childhood memories of stodgy tuna and mushroom soup casseroles. Instead, let your mind roam to a tapas bar in San Sebastian—a perfect anchovy and a sweet sliver of roasted piquillo pepper on a tiny toast. Imagine a silvery sardine, plucked from the Mediterranean sea and bathed in fine Sicilian olive oil, or a jar of foie gras pâté from the south of France. Canned food has come full circle, from its origins as a way to feed French armies on the move, to a posh pantry staple for movable feasts and impromptu parties. Far from pauper’s fare, today some of the world’s finest comestibles are preserved in a jar or a can. A tin of good sardines will run you $10 or more while a one-ounce can of caviar can cost nearly 10 times that much.

tin fish fans

With a good can of seafood in the cupboard—think Portuguese sardines, Galician urchin caviar or Italian ventresca (white tuna belly)—it’s easy to entertain on a whim says Barbara-jo McIntosh, owner of Vancouver bookstore Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks and author of the newly revised Tin Fish Gourmet (Arsenal Pulp Press). “Get a good can of fish and serve it with some smoked paprika, good olive oil, pickled onions and condiments—and, of course, good bread,” says McIntosh. Her book, which was originally published in 1998, was recently redesigned and updated with 24 additional recipes and a foreword by Michelin star chef Michel Roux. The book includes dozens of ideas for this underrated ingredient. “Tinned fish was part of our lives in the past, but it’s different now, there’s been a complete revival,” says McIntosh, recalling a recent meal in a tiny Portuguese café in Paris, where “one wall was dedicated to fish in the tin. I ordered sardines in pimento oil. The plate had a tin of sardines, opened, fresh sliced baguette and a green salad. A glass of rose wine complemented the delight.” A new generation, wooed by the quality and simplicity of these artisan products, is igniting an exploration of all things canned. Whether it’s a tin of tender baby squid cooked in its own ink or a jar of meaty Italian anchovies, each carefully cleaned and packed by hand, these pantry staples can make a party—or even a restaurant menu.



While fish was once canned across North America, most of our canneries closed as the salmon, tuna and sardine canning businesses gradually moved offshore to large processors in Asia. We’ve fallen far behind Europeans when it comes to consumption of artisan canned fish and shellfish, and you may be hardpressed to find anything like the famed Catalonian latillas (little cans) or fine Portuguese conservas in local shops. Still, we are fortunate to have St. Jean’s Cannery & Smokehouse in Nanaimo, one of the last small-scale canneries in North America, where they still smoke their own oysters and pack raw salmon and tuna by hand. The result is an artisan canned fish product, with all of the natural juices, flavours and healthy omega-3 fats intact. Nearly all of the world’s canned tuna and salmon is now processed in big industrial canneries, the fish precooked and packed by machine with added water or oil. But at St. Jean’s, it’s done the old-fashioned way. Local fish go straight from the filleting station to the women at the packing table who carefully trim the fish and place it in the cans. It’s then transferred to the small canning line with nothing added, save a pinch of sea salt, before being sealed and processed (“cooked once in the can,” as they say). It takes more time, more staff and more care to can fish this way, so you will pay more for a tin of this quality fish. But you won’t find a locally canned source of sardines, herring, mussels, scallops, razor clams or other shellfish, the kind of artisan canned fish that demands premium prices in Europe. A survey of local supermarkets uncovers a small selection of canned fish beyond the usual commercial brands of salmon and tuna, including sardines, smoked sprats, kippers, oysters and herring. Some are packed in water, others in olive or canola oil, even mustard or tomato sauces. You’ll also find some canned seafood and other gourmet foods at delis, fish shops and specialty grocers. At Ottavio in Oak Bay they sell salted Sicilian anchovies, bocarones (marinated white anchovies),

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 47

jars of caviar and foie gras pâté from France. The big tins of salted anchovies from Agostino Recca, with their colourful labels, make a statement on the table (800 g for $23). You’ll also find quality Italian tuna in olive oil. Steve Hughes, general manager of the family-owned St. Jean’s Cannery, says the company cans local butter clams when available and may consider adding other local shellfish to their canning line if demand warrants. “Perhaps we will play around a bit this winter,” says Hughes. “It is interesting what is happening with some of the tinned restaurants and with leading chefs creating flavour profiles specifically for canning.”

the taste test

While it comes with a premium price, the hand-packed salmon and tuna from St. Jean’s Cannery (both the natural and smoked St. Jean’s and Raincoast Trading brands) is tasty and juicy to serve straight from the can. Estevan Tuna from Comox, the only Canadian tinned tuna packed in olive oil, is another top choice. Estevan Tuna is canning its sustainable Oceanwise fish in “organic extra virgin olive oil.” Selecting sardines and herring proves more challenging. Unfamiliar with most of these little fishes—and their apparently interchangeable monikers—there is some trepidation as I remove the colourful wrappers and pull back the curling metal lids. As expected, what’s in these tins runs the gamut, with price defining quality. The smoked stuff, whether labelled kippers or sprats, is tastiest while the waterpacked fish is softer than the oil-packed choices. While some have obviously been carefully packed by hand, others, like the inexpensive Clover Leaf brand of kippered herring, appear broken and haphazard, likely the work of a machine. The $3 Rigas Zelts are a fabulous find (available at Fig Deli in Victoria). The small, silvery and richly smoked sprats from Latvia are perfectly arranged in a round, black and gold tin that looks like it should be surrounded by shot glasses of frozen vodka. Definitely beautiful enough to serve straight from the can. The familiar Brunswick sardines are the least expensive of the bunch. Packed in water at the Black Harbour, New Brunswick plant, the last sardine cannery in North America, they taste bland by comparison, but the five fat fish are tightly packed in the tin, apparently by hand. The Portuguese sardines, S&F Brand, are a decidedly different kind of pilchard—firm and reddish in colour as compared with the greyfleshed domestic sardine. There are just four in the tin, swimming in olive oil, and with a more pronounced fish flavour.

party time

There’s nothing tacky about serving quality canned fish appetizers, says McIntosh. In fact, it’s totally on trend. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver champions tinned pantry essentials like Ortiz white tuna and anchovy fillets, and bloggers trumpet the joy of canned fish in dishes ranging from smoked sardine pâté to chef Mario Batali’s Fritelle Sardi (spicy fried sardine fritters). When you find a tin of imported canned cockles or smoked local mussels or sprats, stash them away for your next party (these shelf-stable products can last years). Open a can of decent sardines, top them with some good olive oil, chopped Italian parsley, lemon zest and a splash of balsamic, and serve on toast with olives or cornichons. Make an easy nosh of smoked tuna with a dollop of wasabi mayo on a seaweed rice cracker. Stuff a small roasted pepper with artisan tuna salad and top with a sliver of sardine. Or mash a can of sockeye with mayo and fresh dill to scoop up with crackers. Look for local canned crab and even chunky Atlantic lobster meat in cans (from the freezer at better fish stores) to serve in crab cakes or creamy Thermidor in bite-sized toast cups. And if you can afford a can of sustainable Northern Divine black sturgeon caviar (produced on the Sunshine Coast at $88 for a 1-oz. tin), serve it with tiny blini and sour cream. For casual gatherings, take McIntosh’s advice and simply create a seafood charcuterie board. Just open the tins, slice a baguette and let your guests dive in. Canned fish—especially the oily little sardines and herring—is healthy stuff, loaded with calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. Many of these small fish are still plentiful in the sea and considered sustainable, a great source of inexpensive protein to add to your daily diet. And when you want to splurge, it’s fun to find a fine tin of fish and just pull the tab. Instant elegance. NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


Going Coastal

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 48

On the flavour trail from Sooke to Jordan River.



With its rugged coastal beauty, Highway 14 from Sooke to Jordan River lures hikers, bikers, fishers, foragers, surfers or anyone wanting to commune with the great outdoors. However, the winding and scenic road is also a flavour trail worthy of exploring for its farm-to-table dining, artisan salt and the latest craft spirits, to down-home comfort foods and genuine hospitality. Whether it’s a daytrip or weekend getaway, the road ahead has never looked more delicious.

Stick in the Mud

LOCALLY ROASTED AND ETHICALLY SOURCED IS the premise behind the beans of spirited owner Dave Evans and his coffee shop. Stay alert with the VOS INO, an Americano named for Sooke’s former postal code (for extra Sooke cred, buy the postal code bumper sticker). Or choose from the list of sense-of-place-flavoured lattes named for the many beaches in the area. Twelve bean varietals are roasted on site, and a signature bottled cold brew coffee is ready for take home. Hunger is abated with on-site-baked treats, wraps and breakfast sandwiches and you’re good to go. For those in a hurry to get to the beach or the trail, steer over to Speed Stick, Evans’s beverageonly outlet next door. Stick in the Mud, 6715 Eustace Rd., 250-642-2477,

flor de sal, the popular sweet-smokey maple salt, or a sinful dessert salt of caramel and chocolate. The salt can be found in the kitchens of Sooke Harbour House and Wild Mountain. Saltwest, 7585 Lemare Cres., Sooke, 778-977-3994, Open for tours, Wed.-Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Wild Mountain Food and Drink OVERLOOKING SOOKE HARBOR NEAR THE Government Wharf, Oliver Kienast and Brooke Fader’s charming restaurant (see Restaurant Reporter, July-August 2015) offers a casually elegant room and menu at affordable prices, using all local ingredients from sea to farm. Although it’s dinner only, diners can pop in for an early snack (dinner service starts at 5) with a glass of wine or craft brew, or early dinner before the drive home. The adjoining house is also available for overnight stays and can be booked in advance for a farm-to-table-to-bed experience. 1831 Maple Ave. South, Sooke, 250-642-3596,

Sooke Harbour House

Stick in the Mud bumper sticker

Saltwest JESSICA AND JEFF ABEL HAVE TRANSFORMED A salt-making hobby into a full-time enterprise. Buoyed by their success selling at farmers’ markets, they built a commercial kitchen with storefront and two large solar greenhouses for evaporating salt, laying claim to creating Western Canada’s first solar-evaporated sea salt. Their snowy white salt, the result of the ocean’s fast-moving currents where the water is gathered, has a bright smooth flavour with a gentle lingering finish. Visitors can tour the greenhouses and taste and purchase a range of Saltwest products ranging from organic herbal infusions to a flakey


THIS ICONIC INN AND RESTAURANT IS CELEBRATED for its charming seaside setting, edible gardens and steadfast focus on local, regional and wild foods. A culinary destination created 36 years ago by owners Frederique and Sinclair Phillip, the celebration continues with news of The Copper Room, a casual, 40-seat dining room slated to open late fall/early winter. Housed in the main floor’s Garden Room, diners can sink into comfy couches around the fireplace or view the edible gardens on the patio to enjoy a bistro-style menu for lunch and dinner. This makes daytrips enticing and is in addition to the regular dining room where both menus are overseen by returning chef Brock Windsor. (He recently owned and operated Cowichan’s Stone Soup Inn.) Working with Sooke farmers and purveyors, Windsor is increasing the menu’s local mandate with renewed vigour. Also in the works, an expansion of 22 new guest rooms, along with a private beachside spa facility. 1528 Whiffen Spit Rd., 250-642-3421,


Colourful Shirley Delicious

Tugwell Creek Farm and Meadery PASSIONATE BEEKEEPERS, EDUCATORS AND mead-makers Bob Liptrot and Dana LeComte tend more than 100 hives, whose bees luckily feed in the Sooke wilds on unsprayed forage, creating diverse honey and mead profiles. Their sustainable farm and meadery (B.C.’s first), which opened in 2003, is also part of Économusée, a network of artisans providing unique experiences in tasting and learning. (The only other member in Western Canada is Merridale Estate Cidery in Cobble Hill.) Visitors can view the gardens, learn about the importance of bees in our lives and taste honey as well as a selection of their award-winning “bee-to-bottle” meads, including one on tap. Don’t miss the Solstice Metheglin, a wildflower mead flavoured with ginger and spice, aged six months in French oak. 8750 West Coast Rd., 250-642-1956,

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 49

Kemp Lake Music Café IT’S NOT OFTEN YOU PICK UP A LITRE OF MILK while attending a musical interlude, but the Kemp Lake Music Café offers just that. And more. Owners Eric Shelkey, his wife Wendy Palynchuk and cousin Merl Brethor keep the vibe laid-back with an eclectic offering of cornerstore, café, vintage vinyl, guitar accessories and performance space. Both men are musicians and take turns serving customers, jamming on guitar with regulars or tending the till while Wendy cooks up hearty fare of bacon and eggs, soups, sandwiches and baked goods. The chicken poutine, a heaping mound of Kennebec fries, cheese curds, bacon, caramelized onions and gravy, is the cult favourite. And open mic nights every Sunday are a community affair where you can hear anything from Hendrix to Dylan covers and ’60s pop hits. 7875 West Coast Rd., 250-642-7875

The distillery sits atop their 11-acre property with views out to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Pillar Point, a notorious rum-running area.

Other intriguing food and lodging enterprises beckon along the next leg in this route, the 50-minute drive from Jordan River to Port Renfrew. Clearly, the flavour trail has only just begun.

Shirley Delicious FURTHER ALONG THE ROUTE, SHIRLEY DELICIOUS, the wooden A-frame eatery, beckons with its colourful patio chairs and flower gardens. Since 2013, perpetually happy co-owner Phillip Du Preez has been holding court, serving up wholesome breakfast, lunch and Sunday brunch menus. Originally from South Africa via Salt Spring Island, Du Preez moved to Shirley for a life change. The former army chef, business owner and coffee geek was struggling to make ends meet in this tiny community when someone encouraged him to take on the former Country Cupboard location. He snatched the “dangling carrot” and vowed to give the turnkey operation a year. Within eight months, he’d proudly scored #1 on TripAdvisor for the Sooke area and has never looked back (the café is still #1). The place fills for weekend brunches of shakshouka eggs in a spicy tomato sauce. And the sausage rolls, made with pork, caramelized apple and sage, are the house favourite. 2794 Sheringham Point Rd., 778-528-2888

Sheringham Distillery UNEARTHING ANTIQUE LIQUOR BOTTLES ON A 1930s rental property, hearing tales of seedy hotels, moonshine and clandestine stills—these are some of the inspirations behind Sheringham Distillery, the newest addition to the Sooke to Jordan River trail. Launched this past June, Jason and Alayne MacIsaac’s distillery sits atop their 11-acre property with views out to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Pillar Point, a notorious rum-running area. Their grain-to-glass vodka and William’s White, an aged grain spirit—a modern-day moonshine—are small batch, crafted from local organic grains, malted barley and spring water from an on-site aquifer. The vodka is smooth and buttery with anise and vanilla notes, and the William’s White has a peppery finish. The packaging evokes an oldtimey feel with bottles and logo that mimic one they unearthed on the property, and Sheringham was the original name for the town of Shirley, where they’re located. 2631 Seaside Dr., Shirley. 778-528-1313, by appointment,

Sherrington Distillery owners Jason & Alayne MacIsaac

Point No Point TAKE SHELTER AT THIS 25-CABIN RESORT DATING back to the 1950s, set on a bluff above the coastline. Its beach trails and roaring surf offer wild coast appeal, an ideal location for whale or otter spotting. Lunch at the restaurant makes for a great daytrip for the chicken confit, but the dinner hour is when longtime chef Jason Nienaber shines with an accomplished menu of local and housemade ingredients that would be at home in any big city. 10829 West Coast Rd., Shirley, 250-646-2020,

Last Stop, Jordan River TAKING CUES FROM SHAKIE’S, THE FORMER ICONIC Jordan River burger shack, chef and avid surfer Murray Higgins joined forces with Josh Constandinou and Christine Winsby to open the Cold Shoulder Café late last year. Find it facing the water at the end of Jordan River’s tiny commercial strip (which it shares with the recently opened Far Out Pizza café and photography gallery) as the road bends abruptly north. Part café, part shiny red food truck, “beach fast food and awesome coffee” was being served up to travellers, locals and surfers. Freshly baked scones, muffins and cinnamon buns continue to be the café’s specialty, and that “awesome coffee” is brought to you by Stick in the Mud, where the journey began. Higgins has since uprooted the truck to 6509 Sooke Rd, renaming it the Curry Bomber. Curry in its various permutations from West Indian Style to Thai Green will rule the roost. 11950 West Coast Rd., Jordan River, 250-646-2181

Murray Higgins

Where to Stay Soule Creek Lodge (Port Renfrew) Sooke Harbour House Point No Point Resort Cold Mountain guesthouse

What does the future hold for the area? One highly anticipated opening is Sooke Oceanside Brewery. Ryan Orr, a chef and Sooke resident currently cooking at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, is putting the finishing touches on his craft brewery. Already being referred to playfully as SOB, the brewery will be housed in an as-yet undisclosed… NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 50

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



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

The Happy Goat Cheese Company is located in the idyllic Glenora Valley, just south of Duncan. Using traditional methods, we make aged, raw milk cheeses using fresh milk from our own herd of happy goats. 5060 McLay Road, Duncan, BC 250-701-7533

THE COMMUNITY FARM STORE The Community Farm Store organic health and whole food market in Duncan. Open 7 days a week. 10,000 sq. ft. of planet-friendly market-style shopping—with heart! GMO-free, with plenty of gluten-free and vegan options. Good for you, good for the planet. 5380 Trans Canada Hwy, Duncan BC 250-748-6227




farmers’ markets: Visit us at your local farmers’ Market,, armers’ Market Esquimalt FFarmers’ Market, Esquimalt Farmers’ Market, Cowichan Cowichan Farmers’ Market.. armers’ Market Cedar FFarmers’ Farmers’ Market & Cedar Duncan Farmers’

Grab it and Go or stay for a bit. Famous for organic vegetarian meals, organic from “scratch” baking, great coffees and smoothies, we’ve become the meeting place in the heart of the Cowichan Valley. 330 Duncan St., Downtown Duncan (across from the railway station) 250-748-6223

Progrram Local Program BC’s’s Buy Local t by BC Supporrted Supported




SPECIALTY SHOPS FIG DELICATESSEN Part kitchen, part market, Fig serves everything from shawarma to roast lamb. Cooking at home? Our extensive grocery selection will provide you with all the ingredients for your own recipes. 1551 Cedar Hill Road (south side between Cedar Hill Crossroad and Shelbourne), Victoria, BC 250-727-3632

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 51

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

HASTINGS HOUSE DINING ROOM Voted the World’s Best Romantic Hotel in 2014, "Hastings House offers both Fine and Casual dining in either the main dining room or in our newly designed Bistro. Both menus are inspired by award winning chef Marcel Kauer using the freshest of local ingredients". Now open through January 2nd., 1-800-661-9255 160 Upper Ganges Road, Salt Spring Island

MONDO TRADING COMPANY New Arrivals Every Week! Step into Our World and Discover Fairly Traded and Ethically Sourced… Hand Picked Treasures from Artisans around the Globe… 118 Lower Ganges Rd. Salt Spring Island, B.C. 250.931.2553 Open 7 days a week

SALTSPRING KITCHEN SaltSpring Kitchen produces a unique line of preserves that are handmade in small batches. Thoughtfully designed to pair with local cheese and charcuterie platters. We make your holiday entertaining simple. Available at select retailers and online at 250-858-6219

MATTICK’S FARM ADRIENNE’S RESTAURANT & TEA GARDEN Our restaurant offers daily changing specials for your dining pleasure. Throughout November and December, we will be offering specialty winter-themed items such as German Christmas Stollen, Rum Balls, Mincemeat Tarts, and Christmas High Tea. We are open daily for Breakfast, Lunch and Afternoon High Tea in our Restaurant, Deli, Bakery and Ice Cream. 5325 Cordova Bay Road, Victoria, BC, 250-658-1535

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

WHISK Lots of Christmas decorations, stocking stuffers, linens and beautiful shortbread pans. Everything to help you create a delicious holiday dinner. New, locally crafted charcuterie boards from Village Endgrains and for bakers, Silpat for bread. At the Victoria Public Market, 778 - 433 - 9184 Facebook and Instagram Open 7 days a week

Victoria Public Market 778 433 9184 NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 52


Brandy is Dandy

This tipple of kings makes a fine cocktail.


randies and, more specifically, Cognacs have always been seen as an elitist spirit, set aside for dignitaries, kings and dukes to consume after dinner. Its transformation from a fancy spirit draped in its high society status to a daily consumable has long been fought over by producers from Spain and the BNIC (Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac) in the heart of Cognac. Cognac’s history and reputat ion have always been held in higher esteem than that of its Armagnac neighbours and its Spanish counterparts, drunk by successive kings of France and even given the classification of Napoleon (which an old classification for XO) in honour of the famous warrior who imbibed plenty of the region’s bounty. But in recent years, brandies worldwide have been getting the attention they deserve, and that attention has, in part, been due to products from the lesser-known regions. Brandies worldwide are made mostly of indigenous grapes or grapes that have been planted in the region for centuries. In the case of Cognac, it is predominantly Ugni Blanc or Trebbiano that is planted and used. In Spain, it varies from Palomino and Airén in Jerez to Paralleda and Folle Blanche in Catalonia. In Greece, Muscat grapes along with mature distillates made from sun-dried Savatiano, Sultana and Black Corinth grape varieties are blended with an aged Muscat distillate. As you can see, brandy

RESTAURANT At The Gatsby Mansion

Book Your Christmas Party

Brandy Crusta  

Most Treasured Heritage Mansion

2 oz Cognac or, for a different drink, try Spanish or regional brandy 1-2 dashes Ferrand Dry Curaçao 3-4 dashes gum syrup or rich simple syrup 1 dash lemon juice 2 dashes Elmegirab Boker’s Bitters or Angostura Lemon peel

Gary Hynes



can be made from many different grapes as long as they are high in acid and lower in sugars. Each grape, country, distillation method and aging process gives each brandy its own unique flavour. I was originally going to showcase the Sidecar, arguably the most famous of the brandy cocktails and the one most people have heard of. However, on reflection I decided that would be too easy. Instead, I decided to look at its predecessor, the Brandy Crusta, a delicious cocktail that was the first of its kind. The Crusta family of cocktails can be made from any spirit using the same ingredients and is similar to a Collins or, in modern times, an Old Fashioned. It also has the distinction of being a cocktail that you garnish before you make. First published in Jerry Thomas’s innovative bar book How to Mix Drinks in 1862, the Crusta emerged from that era of “fancy” or “improved” cocktails when bartenders were prone to adding to a drink to improve upon its predecessor, in this case the original Martinez cocktail, the Old Fashioned and other cocktails of the era. Bartenders are born salespeople, always pushing their customers to the next best thing. Thus the Crusta was born, based on brandy, the more popular spirit of that time. Some sources say it emerged in the 1850s in the French Quarter of New Orleans by bartender Joseph Santini at an establishment called Jewel of the South. E

Wet the rim of a small wineglass with a lemon wedge and coat the outer rim with superfine sugar. Line the glass with the thin-pared peel of half a lemon, peeled in a single, wide strip. Stir ingredients with ice until well chilled, then strain into the lemon-lined serving glass.

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 53

g A BEER AND A BITE By Colin Hynes

The Beer: Doan’s Craft Brewing Rye IPA The Bite: Holiday Bits and Bites (Or Nuts and Bolts)





Purveyors of holiday spirits, wines & ales.

Victoria | Brentwood Bay | Campbell River | Kelowna |

Colin Hynes



Doan’s Craft Brewing Rye IPA - 6% ABV, 60 IBUs (East Van BC) This IPA is the perfect beer to serve on a cold night in the winter when friends get together, because it warms, but won’t get you wasted! Even though this is an IPA, it feels full, fatty, and very well rounded because of the rye grain that has been added; hop-heads and lager-types can both enjoy this one because it doesn’t lean in either direction very hard. (

Holiday Bits and Bites (Or Nuts and Bolts) Standard fare during the holidays. Really enough said. Bits and Bites are something that so many families grew up with, everyone’s recipe is a little bit different but all are equally delicious. The saltiness pairs perfectly with all types of beverages, and puts something in your stomach before dinner.

TOGETHER: Doan’s Rye IPA & Holiday Bits and Bites (Or Nuts and Bolts) A match that is perfectly suited for the winter. The rye IPA sits in such a neutral state, it can sit back and soak up all the salt from the Bits and Bites. In turn, the food can tame any of the hop characteristics that may have over-powered some of the flavours in the food. NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 54

SEEN By Jeremy Ferguson g TERROIR

By Michelle Bouffard

Greek Revival

The country’s dense, structured, mineral-infused wines have never been so good.

Greece first cast its spell on me at the age of 17. It was my very first trip to Europe, and I was there for two months to study history and archaeology. But the country’s sensuous food soon took over the pages of my daily journal. I was hooked. I was just as smitten by the country when I finally returned last May. Greece’s wine culture is rich in every way. Yet, despite its long and important history, its image has been tarnished. Mediocre bottles of Retsina (it can be fantastic), opened mostly for Greek-themed dinners, have left a bad taste in wine lovers’ mouths. But things have changed. Don’t be surprised to find numerous Greek wines by the glass at New York’s highly regarded Daniel Boulud restaurant. Top sommeliers and wine journalists have been excited about Greek wine for the past decade. Greece has many characterful indigenous grape varieties to be discovered. On the idyllic island of Santorini alone, there are about 50. Among this diversity, some have particularly stood out since the 1990s. Thanks to Greece's strategy to focus and promote local indigenous grapes. This was a big turning point for the country wine industry. The white grape Assyrtiko is one of the finest. Grown on volcanic soil in Santorini, vines are trained low on the ground and form a circle basket shape. The grapes are grown inside these baskets which protects them from the heat and the strong winds coming from every direction. Grown inside these baskets, the grapes are impressive to look at. Paris Sigalas of the highly regarded winery Sigalas explains that he is not sure how old some of his vines are, but he guesses they have been growing continuously for 200-300 years. The combination of sea air, volcanic soil, heat and old vines produce characterful wines that are dense and structured with an unparalleled combination of searing acidity and minerality. The spectrum of flavours includes Meyer lemon, orange peel, honey and dried herbs. The best of them age well, and, with time, they take on interesting diesel and roasted hazelnut notes. At the table, Assyrtiko is simply magic. It is seafood and garlic’s best friend. Octopus and Greek salad are a classic match, but it also shines with salty cheese and sushi. My biggest revelation was Assyrtiko served with simply prepared lamb (grilled with dried herbs and a splash of lemon and olive oil). Brilliant! Moschofilero is another standout white. Visiting Yannis Tselepos of Tselepos, the “king” of Moschofilero, as I like to call him, was a true experience. We often identify the grape as a simple aromatic white, but it’s much more than that. It particularly excels in the Peloponnese on the high plateau of Mantinia. The expression of the wine varies according to the altitude of the vineyards and the clones. Tselepos’s Moschofilero’s are planted at higher altitude, which preserves the acidity in the grapes. His wines gave me a new take on Moschofilero. I was seduced by the exotic combination of pink grapefruit, minerality, orange blossom, dried herbs and the slight bitter notes on the finish. The locals will toast you with seafood, but Asian food is also a dream!



EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 55

Staying in the Peloponnese, red Agiorgitiko thrives in Nemea. Although the grape has certain distinct qualities, the style is far from being homogenous. Altitude varies, the soil is extremely diverse and vinification differs from one producer to another. Sometimes it stands alone, other times it’s blended with international grapes to appeal to the export market. Most are simple and fruity and best in their y outh. Others are dense and oak-aged and benefit from aging. Rosé is also fashionable. The best Agiorgitiko wines exude fresh, lively red cherry and black plum with a slight bitterness on the finish, making the wine a brilliant partner at the table. Grilled meat, charcuterie or rabbit cooked with prunes? You pick. If Assyrtiko won my heart for the whites, Xinomavro did for the reds. From the northern region of Naoussa, the wines have haunting aromas that are reminiscent of Nebbiolo from the Piedmont region. Expect high acid and high tannins with notes of bright cherries, tar and leather. Improved winemaking techniques have made the wines a lot friendlier. The best will age well. I had the chance to try 20-year-old Xinomavro during my last trip, which was brilliant. Lamb: yes. But you could easily serve the wine with grilled rabbit, osso bucco and mushroom risotto. The renaissance of Greek wine has just started. While these four grapes stand out, I expect other gems to shine on the international market soon. Grapes like Malagouzia, Robola, Vidiano, Athiri, Vilana, Kotsifali, Vertzami, Mavrotragano and Madilaria might not exactly roll off the tongue, but they too deserve some attention. Re-acquaint yourself with Greek wines. They have never been so good and there’s never been a better time to support Greece. Yamas! E

Whites 2013 Boutari Moschofilero Mantinia OPE $16-18 (SKU: 177154) Fresh and aromatic with notes of lemon peel and mandarin. Simple but well made. Asian food, please!



Gifts Galore are in our Store!

VQA Wine Shop at

MATTICK’S FARM Open 7 days a week

5325 Cordova Bay Rd. 250-658-3116

Established 1998

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



250-388-4949 104-1175 104-1175 Cook Street

Victoria's Newest Foodie Hot Spot, offering breakfast all day and West Coast inspired International Fusion.

Monday and T T 

sday 7:30 am to    pm Saturday a a   Sunday  :00 am -  ::   pm

2012 Boutari Naoussa OPE $16-19 (SKU: 23218) A friendly introduction to Xinomavro. Bright red cherries, tar, leather and wild strawberries. Charming and easy to drink. My new Monday night wine. Roasted chicken or mushroom risotto?

2008 Boutari, Grande Reserve Naoussa PDO, $23-27 (SKU: 140111) It’s a treat to find a good, aged Xinomavro at a great price. Savoury with firm tannins and notes of orange peel, cherry and tar. Nice mineral notes. Lamb it is!

2008 Alpha Estate Syrah Single Vineyard Turtles, Florina PDO, $23-27 (SKU: 231290) A northern Rhône Syrah with a Greek flair. Deep and full bodied with evolved leather, meaty, plum, violet and iodine notes. Drinking perfectly now; especially with game meat. Other producers to seek when you are on the road. Sigalas, Argyros, Hatzidakis, Gaia, Thalassitis, Thymiopoulos, Foundi Tselepos, Papaioannou, Tetramythos, Gerovassiliou, Mercouri Estate, Papagiannakos Want to learn more about Greek wine? Check out this site! Prices exclusive of taxes. *Asterisks denote wines that are only available at the winery or select private liquor stores. NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 56


Moss Moss St St Market’s Market’s

EAT, DRINK AND BE A HERO TO YOUR FAVOURITE FOODIE Give the gift they want to receive. At the Wickaninnish Inn, we have gift certificates sure to please the gourmand on your list. tel 1.800.333.4604

Moss St. Market

Saturday and Sunday Dec 12+ 13, 10am to 4pm

Cards, crafts, clothing, jewelry, purses, bags, toys, glass works, pottery, bath products, preserves, chocolates, baked goods, hot food, winter vegetables, meats, fish, and much more... Sir James Douglas School & Fairfield Community Centre 1330 Fairfield Road

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from everyone at EAT

Breakfast with Santa From From Dinner Shows to Movie Nights, Breakfast to Gift Car rds, ds, if you ar e looking for a festive get-together Cards, are this year r,, we have Christmas all wrapped up. year,


Hard Cider Rules

What do you get when you mix craft beer with traditional hard cider? Spinnakers brewmasters found cider ripe for innovation.

Spinnakers, the pioneering local brewpub, has branched out into the world of cider produced from a range of apples and pears from Victoria’s private gardens and backyard orchards as well as the Okanagan Valley. Spinnakers ciders are traditionally made: unfiltered, sulphite- and gluten-free, unpasteurized and fermented in-house. Spinnakers House Cider is a dry sparkling beverage made from Gala, Granny Smith, Spartan, Golden Delicious and Jonagold apples from DeSimone Farms in Kelowna, a fourth-generation, family-owned orchard. Another new creation, Spinnakers Dry-Hopped Cider, is made from a blend of Granny Smith and Gala apples finished off with a bundle of the local brewmaster’s Galaxy and Amarillo hops during the conditioning process. Spinnakers is also experimenting with pears collected from Victoria backyards by LifeCycles Project and



Our Best. Always Always..

raspberry juice from the Okanagan blended with the House Cider. For its 31st anniversary this past May, the brewpub blended Spinnakers Lager with equal parts of its House Cider to produce Snakebite, a refreshingly tart and bubbly combination with a six percent alcohol count. They’ve also experimented with blending House Cider with Raspberry Lager for an extra kick of fruit. Apple Knocker is a smooth and spicy blend of Dragonfly Rye Saison brewed with Canadian Pilsner and rye malt, American hops and a French Saison yeast, then blended with Spinnakers House Cider. This season they’ve also created a Festive Spiced Saison with House Cider. It has been called “Apple pie with a kick!” With the introduction of the Spinnakers’ line-up of ciders, it one more great reason to get up to speed on the burgeoning local cider scene. —Joseph Blake

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 57

g LIQUID ASSETS —By Larry Arnold WHITE WINES: Giant Head Blanc de Noir 2014 Okanagan $32.00-35.00 A newcomer to British Columbia’s stellar lineup of sparkling wine producers, Giant Head Winery is off to a good start. This lovely Blanc de Noir made from estate grown Pinot Noir is pert and lively with a copper-salmon hue and a gentle mousse of tiny bubbles. Very fresh with subtle red fruit and mineral flavours, lively acidity and a clean dry finish. King Estate Acrobat Pinot Gris 2013 Oregon $17.50-19.50 By the time the financial realities of the Oregon wine industry and the BC government have had their way with us, it’s a miracle anybody north of the 49th has ever tried an Oregon Pinot Gris for under twenty bucks, tax in! Crisp and clean with citrus, pear and melon flavours nicely balanced with brisk acidity and a long refreshing finish! Culmina Dilemma 2013 Okanagan $28.00-35.00 Culmina is the latest venture of Canadian wine legend Donald Triggs and his wife Elaine. The 56 acre-vineyard and winery located on prime real estate in the heart of the Okanagan Valley’s “Golden Mile.” The recently released 2013 Dilemma is 100% Chardonnay, very concentrated and intense with lovely citrus, peach and spice aromas! Rich and creamy with great structure and a tightly wound core of citrus, spice and mineral flavours and nicely integrated oak. An absolute stunner! Things are looking good in the Okanagan. Synchromesh Riesling 2014 Okanagan $15.00-18.00 Synchromesh is a small family owned winery focused on Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir. Bright and lively, with heady apricot and mineral aromas and concentrated peach and apple flavours. Great balance with tangy acidity and a very long, dryish finish.

RED WINES: Monstant Hahn California Pinot Noir 2013 California $22.00-25.00 Soft and round with delicate strawberry, cherry and spice scents. Very supple with a silky texture, plum and black cherry flavours nicely balanced with refreshing acidity, soft tannins and good length. Louis Max Climat Haut Vallée Pinot Noir 2013 France $17.50-19.50 Tired of feeling let down every time you pop a bargain priced Pinot? Yes, you grunt! Well in that case give this frisky little red from just off the beaten path a try. Soft and supple with spicy cherry, leather and warm earth aromas and a burst of flavour that gets you thinking Burgundy at a price that leaves a little something for a crusty loaf and a piece of cheese. Chateau Haut-Vigneau Premieres Cotes De Blaye 2009 France $23.00-25.00 Who says good Bordeaux has to be expensive? Just about everybody, you say? Well give this petite chateau a try, and you may find yourself pleasantly surprised. Deep ruby with some hints of age on the rim but still very generous on the nose and palate with subtle notes of currant, earth and cigar box on the nose, medium-bodied, with mature fruit flavours nicely balanced with a blush of fine grained tannins. Great Northern Vineyards Syrah 2012 Naramata $27.00-29.00 This slick red from Cawston, in the Similkameen Valley is 95% percent Syrah with a splash of Viognier thrown in just to get you thinking! Having said that, aping the wines of the Cote Rotie is not such a bad thing to do. This Syrah is not a behemoth and it is all the better for that. It is very polished with glossy fresh fruit flavours that lean towards the floral side. Concentrated but not over extracted with soft, fine-grained tannins and lovely length. Sleek and elegant. Delas Crozes Hermitage Les Launes 2011 France $26.00-28.00 Medium to full bodied with raspberry, black pepper and subtle earthy flavours, nicely balanced, with a blush of fine-grained tannins and a long tasty finish.

DESSERT WINES: Mt. Boucherie Family Reserve Riesling Icewine 2013 Okanagan $40.00-45.00 anagan Icewine with lovely viscosity, concentrated citrus and apricot flavours, great E acidity and a finish that just won’t quit. Superb. E NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 58

The Buzz VICTORIA: November is suddenly upon us, which inevitably means Christmas music and candy cane decorations everywhere you go. If you aren’t ready to break out the eggnog just yet, and feel like you

standard to the industry and to change the way people enjoy their tea. Understanding terroir holds the key. After personally sourcing from small growers and cooperatives who produce teas that embody the terroir, we curated a tea menu that brings these unique flavours and aromas to your cup and heighten the senses.” ( —REBECCA BAUGNIET

didn’t quite get your fill of the ghoulish over Halloween, Camille’s Restaurant has partnered with local historian and storyteller John Adams to present a Ghostly Dinner on Nov 13. Enjoy a three-course meal from the Camille’s team accompanied with hair-raising tales and legends from the host of Victoria’s Ghostly Walks Tour. $65 per person. ( Also in early November is the annual Souper Bowls of Hope fundraiser for the Victoria Youth Empowerment Society, hosted by the Inn at Laurel Point. Local potters and schoolchildren create one of a kind ‘Souper Bowls', one for each guest to take home. Gourmet soup is ladled by local celebrities, politicians and media personnel. 11am-1.30pm on Nov 10. ( To gently ease you into the holiday spirit, Canoe Brewpub is hosting their 4th annual Winterbrau event at 1pm on Nov 14. This is a celebration of the best winter seasonals, including their own Canoe Winter Ale as well as brews from over 15 other local breweries. $60. ( Local cooking schools once again have a lineup of tempting workshops to see you through the holiday season, whether you are looking for edible gifts or strategies to stay healthy throughout the festivities. The Greater Victoria Public Library is presenting Indian Fusion Cooking: Holiday Entertaining with Spices at their Oak Bay branch on Nov 21. Letitia Annamalai, owner/operator of Tishanna's Cooking School will demonstrate how exotic Indian spices can elevate your holiday dinner parties. (Register online at Cook Culture is offering Fresh and Healthy Holiday cooking with chef Michael Williams (Shaw TV’s “Island Chef”) on Dec 2, and will focus on nutritious snacks, sides and entrées that offer a lighter alternative to the usual heavy holiday fare. ( The London Chef is hosting Gifts from the Holiday Kitchen on Dec 13, where you can make a festive spiced pear and cranberry chutney, a layered chocolate chunk cookie mix complete with baking instructions, and more. ( Winter is always a good time for fans of baked goods, but this year it is a particularly good season, because new locations of some of our favourite places are popping up around town. Fol Epi is getting closer every day to opening their long-awaited second location on Yates St (beside the Odeon Theatre). They will be featuring an expanded pastry and lunch menu made up of contemporary regional, local based cuisine and in-house charcuterie. This location will be licensed and will also have an outdoor patio. ( A little further east, Pizzeria Prima Strada is poised to open their third location at the corner of Fort St and Foul Bay Rd. (former location of Eugene’s). ( There is also a brand new baked goods destination to check out in town. Husband and wife team Robert Dean Smith and Susannah Ruth Bryan launched their wholesale and catering business in Vancouver in 2012, but relocated to Victoria earlier this year and opened Ruth & Dean Luncheonette + Baked Goods at the end of September. If you missed the photo of one of their gorgeous pies in our summer issue, take a scroll down their Instagram feed (@ruthanddean) to see why they deserve a visit. ( You don’t have to travel far to find some tea to go with that cake. The sign is hanging outside 832 Fort St announc-

COWICHAN VALLEY | UP ISLAND: This holiday season is fast approaching making it the perfect time to savour a bit of decadence to counter balance the frenzy. For those of you that are new to the experience, at the click of your keyboard you can order up locally grown and harvested foods produced in the Cowichan region from The Cow - Op Online Market. Place your order by Tuesday and pick it up at The Station in Duncan on Thursday. Choose between a variety of fresh produce, meats, dairy and eggs, or pick up a gift certificate for that special someone on your list. ( Deerholme Farm is hosting two extravagant dinners this season; November 21st celebrates the Asian Pine Mushroom through a 6 course tasting menu, including a dessert featuring candied pine mushroom, and on December 12th don't miss the ultimate indulgence - the Christmas Truffle Dinner. After a series of carefully paired truffle dishes you are sure to feel pampered! ( Of course spirits are a big part of any celebration; it's always nice to try something new that will carry you through the new year or give that special bottle of something your host won't have experienced. Early this fall Merridale Cider produced a lovely, floral Craft Gin made entirely from B.C. fruit, featuring more than 20 wild and native botanicals foraged from the Cowichan Valley. On November 4th they released Cowichan Copper Gin - barrel aged in used French Oak that was previously home to Cowichan Valley red wine - taking on a distinct copper color and subtle wood character. At the same time they also released Cowichan Vodka made from B.C. fruit and distilled in copper to give it a silky, soft finish perfect for sipping or mixing in your favorite cocktail. ( Not to be outdone, Ampersand Distilling Co. of Cowichan released this past September - at the hugely successful Barge on In Savour Cowichan event - Per Se Vodka, made with the same thought and care as their Gin and perfect for that chilled dry martini, or bloody caesar with all the trimmings. ( Hopefully by the time you are reading this issue, the new Sawmill Taphouse Restaurant will be perfuming the air in the heart of Chemanius with their wood fired pizza oven and commercial smoker along with 40 rotating taps to be filled with craft beers, ciders and local wines some of which will eventually be produced in the brewery next door. Take your visiting guests out for an evening of modern food with a gastropub feel, and enjoy a night away from the stove. ( It might just be possible to take a new and uniquely different libation to each one of your parties this year because Nanaimo is home to the new Arbutus Distillery, making Empiric Gin, Coven Vodka and Baba Yaga Absinthe. All of these spirits - Cowichan and Nanaimo's - are distinctly different from each other, highlighting the innovation, dedication and terrior of our Vancouver Island producers. ( Some of you may already be familiar with Man Lee's in Nanaimo, but if you haven't yet taken the time, be sure to investigate the many flavours of Asia in this well stocked market. You will have no problem

ing the imminent arrival of Terroir Tea Merchants. From their website: “Our vision is to bring a new

yuletide gr greetings eetings with... S E A F O O D


Crab Fes Crab Fest F ‘15 CR AB A B FE ST 20 15 5

Yuletide seafood seafood freshness freshness meets breathtaking breathtaking harbour Yuletide seasonal Crab Crab Fest Fest November November - December, December, 2015. 2015. views at our seasonal for seating seating at or call 250.480.1999 250.480.1999 Book for In CCoast oast Vict Victoria oria Harbourside Hotel & M Marina arina



the_bluecrab the_bluecrab

/bluecr /bluecrabseafoodhouse abseafoodhouse

EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 59

The Buzz finding a new exotic flavour to change up your traditional holiday dish, leaving your guests wondering what amazing ingredient you used. ( The owners of Seadrift Fish Market answered the call for a fresh food market in south Nanaimo by opening Riverside Fresh Food on August 29th. Aiming to be a one - stop shop for all your local - first products, you'll find good quality food that tastes good, fruit that has flavour and steaks without

The Buzz

antibiotics in addition to the fresh seafood you've become accustomed to - think oysters on the half shell topped with a champagne vinegar mignonette! ( So, you see, it is possible to navigate the lead up to the holidays while still taking time out to indulge yourself, your friends and your families. It all flies by in a flash; make the most of every moment and enjoy a safe and happy holiday season. —KIRSTEN TYLER

TOFINO | UCLUELET: Fall is in the air and that makes me think of oysters. That may sound a bit strange, but not when you consider the dates of the Clayoquot Sound Oyster Festival. For the weekend of Nov. 20-22, you can literally eat your body weight in oysters in Tofino by attending the many events that surround this popular festival, now in its 19th year. The fall is when the area’s favourite bivalves are harvested, and a whopping 50,000 gallons are harvested here each year. It seems like many of those, or around 8,000 according to organizers, are consumed during this weekend. Events to celebrate this sustainable aquaculture industry during the festival weekend include oyster farm tours, restaurant events, a costume party, and a gala evening featuring chefs competing for the best oyster recipe. Tickets are on sale and will sell out for the two main events – the Mermaid’s Masquerade on Friday, Nov. 20, and the Oyster Gala on Saturday, Nov. 22. This year’s festivities will take place at The Shore building at 368 Main St. Please visit for more information and to get your ticket. October brought with it a new event to town – Intro to Cheese 101. This was a joint effort between Tofino’s lady butcher Tina Windsor of Picnic Charcuterie and the Whalers on the Point Guesthouse, who brought in the cheese poet Erin Harris for the evening. Participants learned the important aspects of pairing wine with cheese. And here I thought as long as you had both you were doing well! Picnic Charcuterie carries an impressive array of Canadian and European cheeses as well as house-cured meats, and Windsor lent her vast expertise to the evening, and Harris, a Red Seal chef

1715 Government Street 250.475.6260

Dinner 5:30 - 11 pm Tuesday to Saturday

and cheesemonger who also specializes in wine pairings, delighted the crowd with her many pointers. The crowd was also delighted by the samples. We’re hoping this won’t be the last such culinary event these ladies team up on. ( ( ( Seven local restaurants are participants and partners in the Ocean Wise program, one that focuses on the use of only recommended, sustainable seafood products. Local Tofino participants include Jamie’s Rainforest Inn, Long Beach Lodge Resort, The Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn, and Wildside Grill. In Ucluelet, The Canadian Princess Resort, Fetch Restaurant at Black Rock Oceanfront Resort, and Norwoods Restaurant are participants. Ocean Wise has a comprehensive online guide to seafood choices, as well as an online directory of its partners. ( There are two new food establishments on the horizon in Tofino, but neither was open by press time. Crab Dock Pizza is describes itself as “West Coast

inspired wood fire pizza”. The newest

player in the Tofino pizza game was set to open in October at 451 Main St. Look for more in an

Local Free Range Meats & Poultry

upcoming column. A well-known local family is looking to open a Trinidadian restaurant in town, but as yet have been

Artisan cheeses

unsuccessful at finding the right location. Ricardo

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

Check out the many locally-sourced and fair-trade holiday gift ideas in our old world, 21st century general store!

Manmohan and Emily Coombs, along with

and our own

Ricardo’s parents have plans to open Calypso Roti Shop as soon as they can locate the spot. We


all know that in Tofino this can be a challenge, so we wish them well. The plan is for authentic West In-


dian cuisine with rotis, curry, vegan options, and more. Ricardo says Calypso will be aimed at locals, many of who already enjoy the elder Manmohans’ traditional cuisine. I look forward to writing more about this new venture soon! —JEN DART

2577 Cadboro Bay Road,VICTORIA

592-0823 NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015


EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 60


Cookware | Bakeware | Tableware | Accessories

Eat magazine nov | dec 2015