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l 2012 | Issue 16-06 | FREE |


Old School

Blackberry Lemon Trifle




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E Every very S Sunday unday 10.30am ~ 2.30pm


RECIPES Old Schoo Boozy Yea


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Zambri’s take on the benny

MEATBALLS & EGGS Warning: this may cause severe addiction


Jeremy Ferguson

The ultimate in non-stick diamonds and nano technology make the difference.


The omelette, upgraded Full menu at

for people who love to cook

Dordogne truf truffle. Pg 8



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RECIPES Old School Yule . . . . . . . .....22 Boozy Yeast Cakes . . . . .....26 FEATURES Oyama Sausage Co. . . . . ...46

Tapas Concierge Desk . . . . . . . 06 Epicure At Large . . . . . . .08 Food Matters . . . . . . . . . .09 Good For You . . . . . . . . .10 Get Fresh . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Reporter . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Eating Well For Less . . . .16

we’re ready for you

Travel Close to Home . . .20 Books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Wine + Terroir . . . . . . . .32

Jeremy Ferguson


Main Plates

Liquid Assets . . . . . . . . . .36 Wine & Food Pairing . . .38 News from around BC . .40 Dordogne truffiste Henri Dussolras noses a summer truffle. Pg 8

VINcabulary . . . . . . . . . .42 Chefs’ Talk . . . . . . . . . . .47

Cover photography: “Blackberry Trifle� by Michael Tourigny


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

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Publisher Pacific Island Gourmet | EAT ÂŽ is a registered trademark. Advertising: 250.384.9042, Mailing address: Box 5225, Victoria, BC, V8R 6N4, Tel: 250.384.9042 Email: Website: 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.



editor’s note

The end of a very good year of eating

IT’S THE END OF THE YEAR, and once again we are voting for our favourite Exceptional Eats! This is the fourth year that EAT has been hosting these awards and, as always, I let readers choose the best places to eat and drink in their community themselves. Why? Because I value the opinions of the people who are out there dining, shopping for food, wine, and beer, taking the cooking classes, going to the festivals and meeting the people who are doing extraordinary things; and because readers vote with their wallets—they put their money where their mouths are, if you will. If an experience is fantastic, they remember it and go back. Think of the Exceptional Eats! Awards as a portrait of who we are as an eating and drinking community. Who gets the buzz this year? What trended up and what didn’t? Which restaurant dish got the most rave reviews? Who’s been following sustainable

practices, and where you will find a great lunch. Put all these opinions together and you have the Exceptional Eats! Awards—the ultimate readers’ list of good things to eat and drink—right here, right now. Each year, when the award winners are announced in March, I take this collected wisdom (I call it the “readers’ eating guide short list”) and use it to discover new places and new things to eat and drink. Let’s be thankful that we have so many choices—the ability to eat sweet and briny oysters straight from the sea, the option to dine on an a delicious sandwich or a complex Asian dish, to drink a gorgeous cocktail at a high octane bar, and the freshest produce in the country. And let’s remember to share. Applaud your favourites and vote in the 4th Annual Exceptional Eats! Awards Reader Survey. To be part of this year’s Exceptional Eat! visit and click on VOTE. The polls are open. Wishing everyone a Merry Holiday and a Happy New Year, —Gary Hynes, Editor



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The time has come! Announcing The 4th Annual Exceptional Eats! Reader Awards

Exceptional Eats!

Who has the BEST food? drinks?


Cast your vote at ENTER TO WIN A two night stay and gourmet dinner at the Marriott Victoria Inner Harbour * details below ood day and welcome back to the Exceptional Eats! Readers Choice Awards. It has been another year of promising new haunts and fantastic old faithfuls. Looking back, how has your year in food been, both at home and out and about?


Each year Eat Magazine sits back and considers what has been going on over the year. You may notice new questions reflecting some of the culinary shifts and evolutions of 2012; other questions have been left alone this year. Food and food culture is deep rooted, and organic and shifting. As such, we at Eat Magazine think it only right to integrate this reality into our Exceptional Eats! Readers Choice Awards in keeping the questions current and vital. Please do take your time and answer the questions that you want to and can answer. It is important and valuable to celebrate what is happening in food and drink and those who are making it happen. Discuss the Exceptional Eats! questions with friends, family or a spouse, or simply mull them over with a glass of your favorite libation. Plus, it is fun to fill out compelling surveys that could land you a delectable prize! Thanks for your time, and now – we begin.

Go to - click on VOTE and be heard. It will take only a few minutes and at the end you will be rewarded by being entered into this year’s prize draw. Results will be published and the winners announced and celebrated in our March/April 2013 issue. The past results and winners for the 3rd Annual EE Reader Awards can be seen online at RULES • Only one ballot per person • Polls close at midnight on Monday, December 31, 2012 • Awards results will be announced in the March/April 2013 issue of EAT.

* Visit and click on VOTE. Once you have completed the poll you will be entered in the draw for a two night deluxe stay and 3-course gourmet dinner with a bottle of wine at the Marriott Victoria Inner Harbour



Culinary intelligence for the 2 months ahead

the concierge desk


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BAKERS MARKET (VANCOUVER) A gathering of professional, amateur, student bakers who get together to buy and sell their baked goods to the community. Talented budding, professional home bakers selling freshly baked artisanal breads, German pretzels, French macaroons, croissants, gourmet cookies, hand made chocolates, brownies, Belgian Liege waffles, cupcakes, cake pops, scones, organic muffins, gluten-free, vegan baked goods, preserves, tarts and much more. Indoors at Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre on Saturdays through November until Dec. 8th

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KOOTENAY WINE FESTIVAL (COLUMBIA VALLEY) The 11th Annual East Kootenay Wine Festival at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort takes place November 3rd Friday.

WINTER FARMER’S MARKET AT MARKET SQUARE (VICTORIA) Following the great success of Eat Here Now 2012 on September 9th, the Victoria Downtown Public Market Society is pleased to announce that they are putting on two local food markets a month to be held on the first and third Saturdays in Market Square from November to March. November 3rd and 17th, December 1st and 15th. BC BITES & BEVERAGES (VICTORIA) Nov. 8. Food from the Home Front is the third event in the six part BC Bites and Beverages series. Author Carolyn Herriot hosts the evening as guests learn about ‘Victory Gardens’ and agriculture practises on the home front. Appetizers and tapas created from the BC Archives recipe books will circulate the room as people mingle and explore the world of local agriculture. AN EVENING WITH ERIC AKIS (VICTORIA) Nov 8. Food writer, author and food consultant Eric Akis joins the London Chef to share his favourite stories, tips and recipes from his new and seventh book Everyone Can Cook Everything. During the evening Eric will demonstrate four recipes from this beautiful, photo-rich, 400-pages-plus hardcover volume. Each participant will leave with a signed copy of Everyone Can Cook Everything. For more information about Eric Akis, visit For more information on the event, or to register, visit CORNUCOPIA (WHISTLER) Celebrate gourmet food coupled with fine wine at Whistler from November 7th-11th. Sit in on fascinating seminars with wineries, critics and wine professionals, or attend winemaker dinners where sumptuous multi-course meals are paired with a variety of wines. Swirl, sniff and sip a selection of vintages at various tasting events or take a Chef's Trip to the Farm. Visit the Whistler Cornucopia website to buy tickets and see full event details www. OTTAVIO’S SWISS WEEK (OAK BAY) Celebrate Swiss Week at Ottavio’s November 8-12th. 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. 2272 Oak Bay Ave. COOK CULTURE’S HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE (VICTORIA) Cook Culture is hosting their 2nd Annual Holiday Open House on November 10th. They will have chefs in the kitchen all day long with loads of in store specials to help wipe most things off your holiday list. WINEMAKERS DINNER (SAANICH) Muse Winery’s Annual Winemakers Dinner with Deep Cove Chalet Restaurant will take place November 10th. More details to follow on their website Reserve by contacting Muse Winery 250-656-2552. 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



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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 November 15-17, the community of Tofino in beautiful Clayoquot Sound will go to great lengths to honour the humble oyster. 2012 GOLD MEDAL PLATES CULINARY COMPETITION (VANCOUVER) Gold Medal Plates is the ultimate celebration of Canadian excellence in cuisine, wine, sport and entertainment. The Vancouver competition is one of ten that will be staged in Canadian cities this fall, with the winners from each city competing in the Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna next February. November 16th at the Westin Bayshore. For more information, visit

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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. November 18th. Visit for more information.

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TRAINS DELUXE PRE-CHRISTMAS GALA DINNER (CRANBROOK) These gourmet gala dinners have been presented for many years in the Museum's sumptuous award-winning (2007 Heritage Canada's Restoration Achievement) Royal Alexandra Hall. A pre-dinner Champagne Reception, followed by 9 courses, with selected wines and professional entertainment between courses. A great start to the Christmas season in the Rockies. Dinner served Nov 24th.

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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 pecans. Then gather around our table to decorate your goodies with a selection of holiday ribbons and other festive craft supplies. Class costs $90 and is offered December 2nd or 9th. 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. Saturday, Dec 15th. THE 3RD ANNUAL GINGERBREAD HOUSE EVENT (KELOWNA) This event is “Bringing Gingerbread to Life� on December 16th, and aspires to bring the community together to experience the enjoyment, creativity, and beauty of gingerbread houses in support of the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs. Get involved and marvel in the beauty of gingerbread. JANUARY WINTER OKANAGAN WINE FESTIVAL (OKANAGAN) From January 12 to 20, 2013, Sun Peaks Resort and the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society offer those who love wine and winter recreation the most novel of wine festivals. Set amidst the charming pedestrian village, the annual Winter Okanagan Wine Festival is a unique marriage of culinary events, wine tastings, educational seminars, and outdoor recreation showcasing the famous wine varietals of BC's Okanagan Wine Country. THE SEVENTH ANNUAL OREGON TRUFFLE FESTIVAL (Oregon) The 7th Annual Oregon Truffle Festival will be held in and around Eugene, Oregon over three brisk winter days from January 25-27, 2013. 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 2012


epicure at large — by Jeremy Ferguson

The Black Queen of Cuisine The round, ripe, aromatic Périgord truffle, Tuber melanosporum, is pure truffle royalty. MY FIRST TRUFFLE was in the Dordogne, Périgord of yore, the heart of gastronomie. It was a soft summer dusk. We were dining on the perched terrace of our hotel, a 14thcentury chateau. The kitchen could have served us boiled newts and we would have loved it. The dish was whole black truffle in puff pastry, and it was almost the cost of a mortgage payment. As we cut into the pastry, a gust of truffle hit us smack in the chops—dizzyingly aromatic, musky, sweet. And gilding his gastronomic lily, the chef had set the truffle on a slice of foie gras. I haven’t eaten anything like it since. This truffle was the real thing, tuber mylanosporum, the round, ripe Périgord truffle known as “the black queen of cuisine.” Truffle royalty, she seizes you by the olfactory lapels and has her way with you. The truffle was a delicacy in Mesopotamia in 1800 B.C. The ancient Egyptians cherished it poached in goose fat. The Romans declared it aphrodisiac, and the association lingers to this day—maybe because the truffle’s musky aroma is caused by the same sex pheromone found in male sweat. In the Middle Ages, the truffle was vanquished as the work of the devil and almost literally stomped out. It staged a comeback in the Renaissance. Louis XIV consumed a pound a day This subterranean fungus materializes around certain oak trees in extremely poor soil. Pigs and boars adore it, but the day of the truffiste—the truffle hunter—roaming the woods with ecstatic swine is long gone. Now dogs, not hogs, root out the prize. In the Dordogne, we went hunting with truffiste Henri Dussolras, whose sidekick was Kiki, a mutt with a Cyrano snout for the good things in life. “Cherche, Kiki, cherche!” shouted Henri as we forged through stands of oak trees. Kiki was more interested in marking his territory. “No pee-pee, Kiki!” cried Henri.

The dog burrowed his nose into the soil, pointing the way to a large grey-black lump. It was a summer truffle, a black queen lookalike, but vastly milder in aroma and flavour. Kiki didn’t realize he was big business. At $1,000 per pound, the truffle ranks as the most expensive food in the world. Earlier this year, the world’s largest Périgord black truffle, weighing 1.3 kilos, sold for about $2,000. The truffle-laden hamburger at New York’s DB Bistro Moderne sells for a cool $150. But the world supply is on the increase. Dramatic breakthroughs in truffle cultivation are changing the international picture. Eugene, Oregon, hosts an annual Truffle Festival. Vancouver chefs David Hawksworth and Pino Posteraro swear by Australian truffles. New World countries including Canada, New Zealand and Chile have tossed their hats in the ring. And China stands accused of truffle knock-offs, flooding the market with nasty facsimiles, often with bogus French labels. Prices remain stratospheric, but cunning spinoffs are making the celestial sensation accessible to the peasantry. Here in Victoria, Ottavio and Choux Choux Charcuterie offer whole black truffles, truffle slices in oil, truffle salt, truffle paste, truffle butter, truffled cheeses and truffle oil. The oil—truffle-flavoured olive or grapeseed oil that usually contains nary a speck of real truffle—does the trick for pasta sauces, truffled frites and, most amusingly, popcorn. A sprinkle of truffle salt glamorizes everything from fried eggs to potatoes. Truffle paste— truffle mixed with mushrooms—is dandy on toast for breakfast, layered in puff pastry as an app or stirred into sauces. And although the BC Liquor Board doesn’t see fit to give us a shot at it, Black Moth Vodka comes infused with Perigord truffles. My wife Carol lovingly follows a recipe for the signature dish at Truffles, the late restaurant at the Four Seasons Toronto: spaghettini with Perigord black gold and truffle emulsion sauce. She begins by stirring a mixture of truffle paste and truffle oil into hot chicken stock. She folds the mixture into whipped cream. She boils and drains the spaghettini, tosses it with half the sauce and arranges it on a plate. To finish, she drizzles the remaining sauce over the pasta then gilds each plate with chervil and several slices of black truffle. Guests have been known to emulate the host and faint with bliss.

Where chefs, foodies and knife nerds shop



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Retool the Yule For some, holidays don’t automatically mean turkey. ROAST TURKEY with all the trimmings may remain Canada’s most popular Christmas dinner, but it isn’t the only game in town. With our country’s many cultures and culinary diversities, more and more Canadian are opting for twists on traditional roast turkey—or skipping the bird altogether. For those diehard turkey fans, roasting or slow-barbecuing a brined, free-range bird is now a growing trend. And turkey can easily be a cultural cross-dresser. My Asian sisterin-law stuffs turkey with seasoned sticky rice and sautés Brussels sprouts with Chinese sausage and soy sauce. The result is surprisingly delicious. Sausage has always joined the turkey in my parents’ home as well. Since immigrating to Canada from the U.K. more than 50 years ago, my mother has yet to miss a year of whipping up a huge batch of sausage rolls—seasoned fresh pork wrapped in pie, not puff, pastry for Christmas morning. She roasts a traditional turkey but pops a few sausages in the pan, including a few hot Italian links, keeping happy my Italian brother-in-law, who insists on a bowl of pasta before tucking into a drumstick. My boss at work, Arnauld, born and raised in France, goes each year in search of a capon, which his family used to buy fresh-killed and plucked at the local market in Nimes. Sadly, his quest often comes up nil and he settles for ham instead. Donna, a nurse in Igloolik recalls, "Community turkey dinners were accompanied by caribou or arctic char, giblets roasted as is inside the bird—no stuffing or veggies or potatoes, just bannock and tea". Food, really, took a back seat to an evening of games. I go for goose or duck. My bird for 2012 will be a plump organic duck, purchased fresh from Hills Foods. Apricots instead of cranberries will govern the dressing, and I will likely braise kale with nuts and pumpkin seeds as a side dish. Potatoes roasted in duck fat turn out beautifully golden and crunchy. After turkey, beef is probably the most sought-after festive roast. A chat with an Alberta beef farmer revealed, not surprisingly, that his family’s Christmas Day meal consisted of

roasting an enormous AAA prime rib, a mile-high mound of mashed Idaho potatoes, popovers, and the beefy jus made into a thick gravy. You’re likely to find some Wild Rose ale on the table too. Then there are those who don’t do roasts at all. For Brenda Watt, a Portuguese/Trinidadian who has relocated to Toronto, the custom of dishing up piquant garlic pork and fresh soft bread right from the oven vies with pastelles, a cornmeal flour pastry stuffed with olives, ground beef or pork, raisins, onions and “special spices.” In Khristian Laroche’s house, his Colombian mom made tourtiere (green ketchup on the side) for Khristian’s French-Canadian dad accompanied by their Swedish uncle’s glögg. Now there’s an example of a festive cultural mosaic. Joanne Pottier, an Acadian from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, has a gang over for Rappie (corruption of rapé, French for grated) following midnight mass. I know first-hand how this humble mixture of grated potatoes, shredded chicken (or pork) and onions goes down a treat with a few beers on a blustery Christmas eve. But here’s my favourite submission to the impromptu survey I conducted while writing this column. Pam Wamback of Tourism Nova Scotia celebrates Christmas with creamed lobster, the only time of the year she prepares the crustacean this way. The family gathers to shell and cook a haul from her lobster fisherman brother. On Christmas Day, the shelled lobster gets a slow bath in a pound of butter. Half and half cream is blended with the lobster just prior to serving. The pan of lobster is set in the middle of the dining room table and Pam says, “Dive in!” “I dish up my creamed lobster directly over my mashed potatoes … it’s easily my favourite meal of the year!” She continues, “I remember hearing people talk about having turkey for Christmas dinner and used to think “how odd.”




good for you — by Pam Durkin

Gobbledygook Turkey labels demystified.

EAT magazine • Nov+Dec 2012 edition



CHOOSING A TURKEY for Christmas dinner can be a daunting task. Faced with an array of often confusing labels—grain-fed, hormone-free, free-range, organic—how can health-conscious consumers discriminate between the options and select a bird that will deliver the most flavour and nutrition? When it comes to poultry labels, knowing what is valid and what amounts to marketing hype is crucial if you want to purchase a quality bird. Let’s “talk turkey” and find out what you need to know to ensure the centrepiece of the holiday meal doesn’t disappoint. Grain-Fed Since all “conventionally raised” turkeys in Canada are given feed that contains at least 88 percent grain, this label is pointless. Producers use it as a marketing ploy—grain-fed sounds wholesome and healthy. What this label doesn’t tell you is that the remaining 12 percent of the feed can contain animal by-products. And there’s no guarantee the grain used in the feed (corn, soy) wasn’t genetically modified. Vegetable Grain-Fed This means the turkey’s feed was 100 percent grain-based and contained NO animal by-products. Hormone-Free While not exactly dishonest, advertising a turkey as “hormonefree” is somewhat misleading. It is illegal to use hormones in poultry in Canada and despite popular belief has been since the 1960s. The term is redundant. Antibiotic-Free Since antibiotics ARE routinely used in commercial poultry production in Canada, this label has significance. Many health experts have expressed concern that the widespread use of antibiotics in farm animals poses a threat to human health. “Antibiotic-free” on the label guarantees the turkey was not medicated with antibiotics. Pasture-Raised Pasture-raised turkeys spend most of their time outside pecking for grass and bugs, so their food and activity level—both of which affect the flavour of their meat—differ from those of their 100 percent grain-fed cousins raised in confinement. Pasture-raised turkeys are also likely to be heritage breeds. The industrially farmed birds, genetically engineered to have heavy breasts and short legs, can’t thrive out in the open. Free-Range Though there is no legal definition for this term in Canada, it refers to turkeys given free access to the outdoors, for at least part of the day. They may still spend a large portion of their day in a crowded barn however, unlike pasture-raised birds. Free-Run It may shock you to learn that this is another meaningless label. Free-run simply means the turkeys were allowed to move around freely in the barn—not that they had access to the great outdoors. Since turkeys are not caged—they’re simply too large—all turkeys raised for meat in Canada are, technically, free-run. Organic Turkey sold as “organic” must be raised to a specific standard as laid out by the Canadian General Standards Board, in addition to the standards set by the provincial organic certification board. In general, organic turkeys are reared with certified organic feed that contains no animal by-products or antibiotics and any supplements they are given must be approved by the provincial certification board. Organic turkeys are pasture-raised, meaning they got lots of exercise—a factor that affects the nutritional profile of their meat, in addition to making it richer in taste. The Bottom Line If taste and nutrition are the determining factors in your ultimate selection, there is no substitute for an organic, pasture-raised turkey. Evidence suggests pasture-raised animals contain higher levels of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Their meat is also lower in calories and overall fat content. It is also decidedly more flavourful than the meat from conventionally reared birds who spend their time in dark, overcrowded barns. As Pat Peach from Cowichan Valley Farms Ltd. points out, “Turkeys who live happy lives roaming freely in nature make delicious meat and memorable meals.” For information on where to buy local, organically raised turkeys visit: or

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The Uber Tuber The humble potato always delivers the goods. They have been heralded in song lyrics (“potato, patahtoâ€?), celebrated in dance (the Mashed Potato) and have inspired innumerable culinary creations. From the simple pleasure of a baked potato to the classic potato leek soup Crème Vichyssoise GlacĂŠe, the humble potato delivers the goods. For optimum results, choose the appropriate potato type. Baking potatoes, such as russet and Idaho, are high in starch. These floury taters are ideal for baking, mashing, French fries and gnocchi. Waxy boiling potatoes, e.g. “round white,â€? “redâ€? and “yellow,â€? are low in a starch called amylopectin, which holds them together in liquids. They can be roasted or used in soups, stews and potato salad. All-purpose Yukon Gold, “long whiteâ€? and Peruvian Blue are suitable for roasting, pan-frying, soups and stews. One of the spud’s chief charms is its ability to become crunchy on the outside and delectably creamy and tender on the inside, the yummy mouthfeel combo behind our craving for roasted potatoes, French fries and potato pudding. Cheese, bacon, cream, leeks, garlic and rosemary are scrumptious tater companions. Potatoes have such global popularity, you could spend all winter riffing on potato dishes from different countries. Pommes de terre are so beloved in France, chefs have a whole glossary of terms for preparing them, including: duchesse (mashed, mixed with egg, piped through a pastry bag, then baked); dauphine (mashed, mixed with choux pastry dough, formed into dumplings and fried); gaufrettes (thinly sliced in a waffle pattern and deep fried); gratin dauphinois (scalloped potatoes, thinly sliced, layered with cheese, milk and eggs, then baked); and sarladaise (sautĂŠed in duck or goose fat with truffles). Torta EspaĂąola, a simple Spanish potato and onion frittata, becomes a hearty meal with the addition of chorizo, mushrooms, peppers and cheese. Italy is the birthplace of gnocchi, tender little dumplings made with patatas, flour and eggs that can be boiled, baked or fried. Knock out a big batch of gnocchi, dust them with flour and freeze uncooked on waxed-paper-lined baking sheets. Transfer to freezer bags and you’ll have enough for a month of delicate morsels. If a plain potato is the sow’s ear, gnocchi are the silk purses. Warm up winter meals with spicy East Indian dishes, such as Aachar Aloo, cubed potatoes fried in a paste of roasted red chilies, fenugreek, mustard seeds and tamarind. Try Aloo Bhaja, thin potato strips fried with green chilies, black cumin and turmeric, served with rice and dal. To make Dum Aloo, potato skin halves are stuffed with chopped potatoes, onions, green peppers, peas and spices, rejoined and secured with toothpicks, fried and then steamed in broth. Accordion potatoes have a playful presentation. Slice small potatoes Âź- inch thick without cutting all the way through. (To facilitate slicing, nestle each potato between wooden spoon handles). Carefully place chopped rosemary and garlic between slices, brush potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes in a 400°F oven until crispy and brown. Latkes, potato pancakes fried in oil and eaten with apple sauce or sour cream, recall the miracle celebrated on Hanukkah, December 8 to 16 in 2012. Potatoes are a featured vegetable at Christmas feasts and a source of endless inspiration for winter meals.

My Mother’s Potatonik

My mother hand-grated potatoes to make her potatonik; I use my food processor. The outside of this jumbo latke will be dark brown and crispy, and the inside will melt in your mouth.

10 baking potatoes, peeled and quartered 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered 2 eggs, beaten 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper 2 Tbsp flour 1 heaping tsp baking powder Oil

Using a food processor, grate potatoes and onion. Drain excess liquid from the mixture and place in a bowl with eggs, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Pour a generous amount of oil (1/4-inch deep) into a 9-by-12-inch glass baking dish and place the dish in the oven until the oil is hot. Remove the dish from the oven. Spread the mixture evenly into the hot oil and bake for an hour until golden brown. Turn the potatonik over (cutting it in half makes it easier) and place back in the oven to ensure both sides are brown.

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reporter — Victoria & Vancouver Island Chorizo & Co. Chorizo and Co. | 807 Fort St., Victoria | 250-590-6393

Elizabeth Nyland

Turning off Blanshard onto Fort, we sidle past a small sandwich board and enter Chorizo & Co. This Spanish delicatessen is yet another reason to rename Fort Street. Antique Row no longer seems appropriate; something more like Appetizing Alley or Succulent Street would better portray the culinary gems along the historic avenue. We peruse the blackboard menu, mouths agape like famished and eager baby birds. We choose the Chorizo Bocadillo (sandwich), the Sopa (soup) and the La Mancha Bocadillo. And a side salad; just to add something light. Tomas Dosil, one of the co-owners, is at the counter, warm and welcoming. Antonio Escude, his counterpart in the kitchen, is head down, focused on something sizzling in a pan. When the food arrives, I am thrilled and slightly cowed by the dense mess of potato salad in front of us. Skipping the Discovery Coffee for now, we head upstairs to tuck into our feast. Chorizo & Co has both main and loft seating, more spacious than it appears from outside. Upstairs is bright, a long shared table with a few deuces. It is a sunny day, and the rays pour across a bookshelf replete with Spanish cookbooks, from Claudia Rodin’s The Food of Spain to Mario Batali’s Food of Spain and more. Dosil, who has spent the last 16 years in the hotel business, is originally from Valencia, though his family moved here when he was young. Escude’s roots are found just outside Barcelona. The chorizo sandwich, made with a housemade chorizo Gallego, spicy aioli (mayonnaise), arugula and cheese, is held by a large soft fresh bun. It is a mild yet fullflavour chorizo, juicy with a kick of tang from the oregano, pimentón, white wine and garlic. “It is similar to what my dad makes and hangs over the stove to dry,” shares Dosil. My lunch companion slowly sinks deeper into her half of La Mancha, a baguette holding Manchego cheese, Serrano ham and tomaquet (tomato). Her brown eyes glaze over as she sighs, “This reminds me of Spain. I had this sandwich for breakfast in Seville.” Next, I sample the sopa, a tomato-based chorizo and chick pea soup. It is delicate and well balanced. I will order it again should I seek something light. The potato salad is next. Damn. Olives, aioli, potatoes, parsley. So simple, right? Chorizo and Co. also offers a potato salad with chorizo on other days. I vow to meet that salad soon. Chorizo & Co. has a small deli area with specialty olive oils, spices and soups, and they carry housemade and the Whole Beast meats. The chorizo Castellano from the Whole Beast is dense and dry, the flavours similar to the Gallego but more intense. “It is like the difference between ham and a Serrano ham; the curing process brings out the flavour,” says Dosil. Marvellous. By the time this is published, they should be licensed, with a selection of Spanish wines and local, microbrewed beer. Chorizo and Co. is both photogenic and exquisite in taste. Welcome to Antique Row, I mean Luscious Lane. BY GILLIE EASDON Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

The chorizo sandwich at Chorizo & Co.

Mother Nature’s Market & Deli Mother Nature’s Market & Deli | 240 Cook St., Victoria | 250-590-7390 |

Elizabeth Nyland

Brenda Tobin worked for 20 years in the restaurant business at the James Bay Inn before joining four other partners in launching Mother Nature’s Market and Deli in Cook Street Village. Three of the owners, including Mother Nature’s store manager Craig Hermanson, worked at Planet Organic. Hermanson also worked 20 years at Save On Foods. The 5,000-square-foot market opened in mid-August after two months of construction, much of the painting and black-andwhite tile flooring the work of the partners in what Tobin described as “a lot of 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. marathons.” Tobin grew up in Victoria before travelling to Australia, where she met her British husband in a pub. They have two sons, and four-year-old Rocco is the new store’s “unofficial taste tester.” “Rocco-approved” items are noted throughout the store. Guiding me around recently, Tobin points out her favourite items. “I’ve always been in the restaurant business, so I love our housemade deli items. We’re getting new deli products in all the time. My current favourite is the quinoa salad. I have that at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’m a huge fan of our homemade pesto too.” The store’s stated mandate is to promote sustainable agriculture and the local economy. That philosophy underlines Hermanson’s answer to why he helped start Mother Nature’s. “Our goal is to provide an all-natural grocery store. We try to find interesting specialty products and offer a full-service deli. We also showcase high quality, local and organic produce.” “We carry baked goods from local outlets like Bond Bond’s, Wild Fire and Irene’s,” Tobin adds when she returns from a big hug from a customer who enthused passionately about “all these gluten-free products!” Mother Nature’s inventory represents 150 suppliers, mostly small companies and farms that can’t produce the volume required by larger grocery stores. “We really focus on local products,” Hermanson explains. “One of our most popular products is Luv Bits Dog Treats made just down the street.” I notice producer/distributor info on the shelf tags throughout the store, noting a large line of Wild Ocean fish products and North Saanich’s Kildonan Farm’s free-range chicken. In the butcher case, Two Rivers and McLean Meats provide antibiotic-free, grass-fed beef. Staff behind the counter enthuse about future additions to the stock, including select cuts of bison and more exotic meats. “Our staff can provide nutritional and supplement information too, and one of our guys in produce has Black Rooster Farm in the Comox Valley,” Tobin adds. “He really knows produce and just brought down the farm’s garlic crop. Maybe most important, all five owners are friends and share a common vision to promote health and a healthy local economy. BY JOSEPH BLAKE

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The Sardine Can


The Sardine Can | 26 Powell St. | 604.568.1350 | Walk-in only It’s tucked away on Powell near old-time favourites like The Sitar, and relative newcomers like The Diamond, and feels like it’s been there forever. You can thank Andrey Durbach and Chris Stewart, the pair behind Pied-à-Terre and La Buca, for hitting another home run with The Sardine Can and bringing traditional Spanish tapas back into the culinary forefront. The room is small—19 seats spread between a bar and a few high-tops—but bright and—like a good dish of olives—simply dressed in the Gastown uniform of brick walls and wood beams. There’s a daily list of specials for food and wine, but the menu is interesting enough that a first visit doesn’t need to wander. The wine list alone is reason to rejoice—well, that and the restaurant’s early opening time of 3pm. Exclusively Spanish, for a start, it’s a healthy mix of sherries, brandies, cava and wine, almost all of which are available by the glass. A glass of Cordoniu’s rosé cava ($9) was such a nice start that we kept it for the meal, but for dessert a small snifter of Lustau Solera Reserva ($10) went down very well. As for the menu, they say small plates and they mean small plates—at least as far as price goes. Everything, with one exception, is priced at either five or ten dollars (mushrooms in cherry cream sauce are $7.50). Smoked sardines on toast may sound drab, but when chopped into pâté submission, becomes something elegant and full-bodied, like the cava. A rich chorizo and octopus concoction cooked in sherry is only topped by the tender meatballs that follow, cooked in Rioja and tomato. A finish of dulce de leche flan was a beautiful, and not-too-sweet note, but the phenomenal chocolate terrine with chili, olive oil and sea salt, served with toast (yes, toast) was the chart-topper. It hit every flavour profile with each bite, and the contrasting textures of cream and crisp reminded me of the wines of the Rioja—rich, elegant, with a tight structure and a good finish. BY ANYA LEVYKH

Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria | 6011 Hasting Street, North Burnaby | 604299-8002 | Hastings Street has been getting all glammed up in recent years. Spots like Campagnolo Roma, The Red Wagon and Au Petit Chavignol are dotted along it expanse like markers in a constellation, but the Burnaby side of Hastings didn’t have much going for it—until now. Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria is more than just another Verace Pizzeria Napoletana - certified joint—but, of course, the certification never hurts. It’s housed in the old Anducci’s space and has retained the original bones, along with all of the polished wood, Carrara marble and exposed brick. It’s a big room by downtown standards, with about 50 seats in the main dining area and another 40 on the covered patio. There’s also a beautiful communal table that seats 14 and is made from a single piece of reclaimed fir. EC and managing partner Alex Tung took the wine list in a good direction, focusing on B.C. and Italian grapes, with a handful of FreshTap offerings (think Enoteca, but straight from a barrel). What this means is that there are over a dozen quality wines available in 150 mL and 500 mL pours, as well as an impressive bottle selection. The drinks don’t stop there, however, as Tung is also fond of barrel-aged cocktails, like the Negroni, aged two months in house oak. The housemade limoncello appears in cocktails with vodka and Prosecco (together), which, oddly enough, works, and the craft beer list (mainly from B.C.) is outstanding. It’s the food, however, that is the diva here. It’s mainly straight pizza and pasta, but done with inventive twists, like the house pizza ($15), made with Yukon Gold potatoes, Sloping Hill pancetta, fried Brussels sprout leaves, a light Gorgonzola and fonduta. Start with the polpetti ($10), housemade meatballs in tomato sauce, served with fried pizza dough. Then share some tagliatelle Bolognese ($12/$21) made with a smoky ragu, more of the Sloping Hill pancetta, ground Pemberton beef and parmigianoreggiano. Panna cotta has lately been my dessert of choice, and the tiny vanilla bean version here ($8) is rather tasty paired with lemon curd. It made a nice finish to lively meal, one I’ll be looking to repeat soon. BY ANYA LEVYKH



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Wildebeest Wildebeest | 120 West Hastings St. | 604.687.6880 | It's easy to feel blasé about another local, seasonal, sustainable, organic restaurant opening up, but the latest venture from James Iranzad (Abigail's Party, Cartel Tacos) and Josh Pape (The Diamond) has a secret ingredient that other farm-to-table restaurants don't have—David Gunawan. This culinary maestro has created a symphonic poem in Wildebeest, and every movement is better than the last. Despite the game-y implications of the name, Wildebeest is all about sustainable animal proteins, wherever they may be found. It's a nose-to-tail philosophy that lets nothing go to waste, but, more importantly, it's a root-to-stem ethos that repurposes ingredients like nasturtium and uses the stems as part of an herbed emulsion for dishes like the rich lamb tartare ($14). The edible flowers grace the dish, adding soft balance to lightly pickled ramps, but it’s the lightly grilled bits of lamb heart that give this dish a whole new dimension. That balance manifests itself across the menu, like with the lightly roasted beef tongue ($14) that has an interior texture redolent of foil gras, but a crispy exterior that almost crackles on the tongue before giving way to the rich buttery goodness within. Dressed in sherry jus and a mushroom “marmalade,” it’s a perfect fall dish—earthy, slightly feral and incredibly delicious. Gunanwan's approach focuses on showcasing the ingredients to their best possible advantage, rather than masking them behind complex flavours, but a bit of molecular gastronomy makes its presence known, as with the radish salad ($8). Leafy radish chunks drizzled with honey yogurt sit in a beet sorbet along with crispy whey bits transformed into "dirt." As one finishes the salad, what is left is the beetiest of chilled beet soups, a simple pleasure that refreshes the palate and prepares it for the next course. As for beverages, while vines and hops are present, it's Pape's stunning and elegant cocktail menu that steals the show. The Fitty Fitty ($11) is as good of an example as any. Subtle and herbally, thanks to the nasturtium-infused gin and housemade vermouth, it’s got a lick of salt that makes it a perfect pairing to the beef tongue—and pretty much everything else on the menu. BY ANYA LEVYKH Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 5pm to midnight

Sooke Harbour House Wins Best Overall Wine Program The celebrated inn took top honours at the Taste Wine List Awards. Their cellar has been recognized as one of the best in the world, receiving Wine Spectator Magazine’s coveted Grand Award for 10 consecutive years. So it’s no small surprise that Sooke Harbour House took top honours, Best Overall Wine Program, at this year’s Wine List Awards, presented by Eat Magazine at Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine. According to cellar master Brooke Fader, the celebrated inn currently has close to 1,000 selections on its list, with about 20 percent of those from B.C. The list has ebbed and flowed with the Sooke tides (and world economy) over the years. At its largest, it hovered around 2,200 selections, with a very strong international focus. On the current direction of their legendary list, Fader notes, “Our focus has always been to promote the family-owned wineries of British Columbia and this has only intensified in the last few years as we have decided to offer less international selections. As the notoriety and quality of B.C. wines, and especially Vancouver Island wines, has increased, our guests have preferred to have a completely regional experience by having the food and wine of our bountiful area. Now, we rarely ever buy a wine that is not from B.C. and are proud to offer a by-the-glass list that is entirely from our province, including sparkling, rosé and dessert wines.” Wines are carefully stored at optimum temperatures and humidity in three separate underground cellars, their construction dating back to 1929. There are numerous wines by the glass (approximately 30 at any given time), and selections fluctuate regularly, complementing the ever-changing, seasonally celebrating menus. Fader works closely with a team of wine stewards who all share a passion for wine and the stories behind the bottle. Of course, the cellar’s inception and renown is due to Sinclair Philip, co-owner of Sooke Harbour House. His travels have taken him to most of the world’s wine regions, and his palate and knowledge of wine are legendary. As well, his appreciation and collection of the classics, blended with unwavering support for regional vinters, has influenced B.C.’s wine lists for more than a decade. As befits the restaurant’s pioneering promotion of locally grown food and producers, Fader sums up the list with an obvious point that bears repeating. “As we have always maintained, ‘what grows together, goes together.’” BY TREVE RING NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2012


Eating Well For Less Food Truck Tucker: From the playful to the artful, it’s all on wheels and all good. — by Elizabeth Smyth Monk FOLLOW THAT FOOD TRUCK! This summer I sourced some fun food carts and trucks in the city for this special-focus Eating Well for Less. Here are some things you need to know about food truck culture. Uh … food trucks move. That said, most of them have fixed places they can be found at more-or-less fixed times, unless a festival has pulled

them from their usual spot (less likely in the winter). The convention, if you know you want a particular food truck, is to doublecheck their day’s location on Facebook or simply phone. If phoning, your call will be picked up; food truck owners have their cells strapped to their bodies.

Farm’s Gate, Saturday Market in Duncan | September to June | 250-743-0639, Facebook: Farms-Gate-Foods-Catering

Elizabeth Nyland

Farm’s Gate is the epicurean little gem of the food truck scene. Co-owner Steve Elskens was the chef at Steeples when it had a five-star rating and was also a co-chef at Amusé. Here is where you can get sophisticated food while at a market or festival, for under $12, or you can hire them to cater an event. Simply reading a list of some of their offerings depending on the season will give you the idea: wild sockeye kebabs, chipotle mac ’n’ cheese, raw zucchini and pea salad with mint, greens with chocolate balsamic dressing, potato chorizo fritters, quinoa and kohlrabi salad, and chickpea fries. Farm’s Gate is especially famous for its chickpea fries—another food truck owner told me to go try them! They are cumin-infused, lightly salted, crispy golden on the outside and soft on the inside. They are served with chipotle mayonnaise, which is totally gilding the lily. The quinoa in the quinoa and kohlrabi salad is nutty and filling, seasoned with a curry vinaigrette and decorated with Farm’s Gate’s signature flair—an edible flower. Zucchini and pea salad is another feast for the eyes, with thin slivers of fresh zucchini, sweet peas cut on an angle so the pods are peeking out, and dainty lavender-coloured flowers on top. The Cajun salmon is mildly spiced, with moist flakes falling off the skewer. Everything is elegant. I just wish their truck didn’t look so uninspiring—it’s a dull, uninviting white box that is easy to walk on past. It should have a fresh mural of Cowichan farms, or sunflower sprouts—or me eating chickpea fries. Something that conveys the goodness inside.

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Elizabeth Nyland

Pictured left: Owner/operators: Steve Elskens and Christle Pope right: Cajun wild salmon kabob, heirloom tomato salad with roasted garlic dressing and the potato and chorizo fritters. 16


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Dog Nation, 638 John St. near Government | 778-350-3647 |fb: HotDogNation Childhood memories of mine involving food carts involve hot dogs. Dog Nation has taken this classic and jazzed it up with multicultural toppings, taking hot dogs from dull to playful. Names like Pizzeria, Caprese, Tijuana Danger Dog and Canadian Eh! tell you you’re in for something different. The hot dog is a simple all-beef Ziggy brand, though smokies and veggie dogs are also available. The winner of the one-I-didn’tthink-I’d-like-but-liked-a-lot award was the Canadian, which patriotism compelled me to try. The hot dog, which is drizzled with maple syrup, disappears under a blanket of poutine gravy, melted mozzarella and bacon. I found it rich and delicious. The Pizzeria was a less rich choice, with a light tomato sauce (no need for ketchup here) and pineapple. The Dynamico was another surprise. Mayonnaise, guacamole and sauerkraut come together to add both creaminess and tang to the humble hotdog. Kids tend to like the ones with melted cheese, which is dramatically toasted with a blowtorch before being served. They might like the French Dip with its beef drippings and melted mozzarella, and for sure the Colombian, which is sprinkled with crushed potato chips. The hotdogs start at $4.75, and drinks are only $1.50. With their flaming torch and bold toppings, these guys are the cowboys of the food cart scene. You can find them behind the BMW dealership on John near Government.

Chef Corey Pelan, The Whole Beast (Past President, Island Chefs’ Collaborative) with Miyabi knives NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2012







A fresh new approach to seafood and sushi at Victoria’s most spectacular seaside setting. Enjoy our Chef’s seasonal menu featuring ingredients harvested from the sea and grown fresh on Vancouver Island. Try our new “locals deal” 3-course tasting menu for just $39 plus stay the night for just $199

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Book your Christmas Party at Victoria’s only 5-Star Oceanfront Resort


849 Verdier Ave Brentwood Bay, BC


Elizabeth Nyland


Owner: Paulina Tokarski (she is pictured peering out of the truck.) Pictured below are Japanka perogies

The Hungry Rooster | 733 Courtney St. | 250-888-5200 | Fb: HungryRoosterFoodTruck The Hungry Rooster knows how to pull people in. The bright green truck with the jovial rooster on it tells people that something playful is in the box. The base here is perogies, made by owner Paulina’s mother on Salt Spring Island. These go from basic to fun with multicultural toppings such as Japanese, Indian and Mexican. At first it sounds weird, but why not? The Japanka perogies come with a delicious and complex miso gravy, which includes roasted garlic, sesame oil, honey and a final assertive burst of fresh ginger. The Curanka’s mild, rich, tomato-based curry has forward notes of turmeric and coriander, and a cooling mint raita served on the side. Why should curry just be married to rice? The Mexicanka is beautiful to look at. Dense potato perogies are drizzled with chipotle cream and served with jaunty spoonfuls of sour cream and housemade salsa. Platters are all $8.50 and filling as they include six golden fried perogies and crunchy coleslaw. I took a walk on the silly side by also ordering “The Extreme Slapdown,” basically a psychotic grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with a perogy, sauerkraut and sliced kielbasa. Silly, messy and good! And it’s ethical silliness since the kielbasa meat is hormone-free and ethically raised. For a hit of this at home, the handmade Hungry Rooster perogies are available at Market on Yates, Lifestyles and Mother Nature’s.

Elizabeth Nyland



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travel close to home

Eating the Island Jeremy Ferguson reviews four of the best Ucluelet restaurants.

Chef Chef Audrey’s Audrey’s Daily Daily

3C Course ou r s e Dinner D inner * Carol Clemens

& P r i me R ib Dinner Dinner Prime Rib Every E ve r y S Sunday u nd ay Duck breast prosciutto with smoked pecans, blue cheese and kumquats at Fetch restaurant in Black Rock Oceanfront Resort

Fetch at Black Rock Oceanfront Resort Long dismissed as Tofino’s frumpy sibling, Ucluelet—or Ukee as the locals call it— now boasts wilderness luxe by way of Black Rock Oceanfront Resort and its restaurant Fetch. But Fetch is no perfunctory resort resto; it’s, well, fetching—and one of the most inventive restaurants on the coast. The room falls in line with the resort’s overall understatement, its wood textures, slate floors and picture windows all stepping back to accentuate the panoramic view of Pacific rollers and often brooding basalt coast. Chief toque is Hong Kong-born Louise Pickles, who opened the room with Andrew Springett three years ago. Her menu prances with teasing accents: citrus pearls, smoked pecans, char-grilled lime, shaved bonito, toasted cumin, smoked shellfish oil. And they’re not just on the menu, like fake jewellery; they deliver memorable performances in the theatre of the palate. Our amuse is a sweet, chunky Qualicum Bay scallop seasoned with thyme and truffle and garnished with preserved lemon and baby shimeji mushrooms, a gastro-constellation in two bites. What an opening salvo. It sets the bar for everything that followed (and follows without missing a beat). Among apps, the standout is Yarrow Meadows smoked duck breast prosciutto, cured with Chinese five-spice (get the feeling this is a global village kitchen?) and melodiously orchestrated with Little Qualicum blue cheese, smoked pecans and micro-greens dressed with sherry vinaigrette. Mains fly in with Cornish hen, the leg battered in polenta and deep-fried and the pan-roasted, thyme-stuffed breast crispy-skinned in a crust of herbs, the starch a mushroom barley risotto. Beef tenderloin, albeit a conservative choice, turns up the heat with smoked fingerling potatoes and a senses-blowing “bar” of braised veal cheek and foie gras capped with black garlic. A Naramata Syrah from Nichol Vineyards makes us want to applaud the wine steward and the servers too; they know what they’re about. Out here in the black-rock wilderness, you’re in good, good hands. CONT’D ON PAGE 44



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oldschoolyule Celebrate it with a hearty seafood soup and luscious blackberry trifle.

The holidays are steeped in tradition. Certain foods are eaten on certain days and there’s a satisfying joy that comes in preparing those special dishes every year. In San Francisco, Italian immigrants brought a seafood soup called cioppino to the west coast and began the tradition of eating it on Christmas Eve as part of their Feast of the Seven Fishes. Sounds like a great new tradition for our more northern shores. The hearty, tomato-based soup is chock full of fish and seafood and while clams are a must, scoop up what looks fresh and best from your local fish store. When it comes to dessert, trifle is a classic for holiday fare. At my house, we eat it after the turkey feast, but the blackberries and Salt Spring Vineyard blackberry port in this trifle make this a distinctly west coast dessert—a perfect capper for a distinctly west coast soup.

West Coast Cioppino Whatever you’re celebrating, make this glorious mix of our finest fish and shellfish from the Coast. This seems lengthy in ingredients and process, but it’s really quite easy to make. Olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

4 garlic cloves, minced

28-oz can plum tomatoes

2 bay leaves

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1 sweet onion, chopped

6 to 8 cups fish stock

1 head fennel, cored and chopped

1 lb Salt Spring Island mussels

1½ Tbsp dried oregano leaves

1 lb clams

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8 oz halibut fillet

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1 lb shrimp (use frozen spot prawns) or Qualicum beach scallops

1½ cups white wine

1 cup cooked crab, flaked Handful chopped fresh parsley CONT’D ON NEXT PAGE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2012


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Coat bottom of a large wide saucepan with oil and heat at medium. Add garlic, bay leaves, onion and fennel. Stir often, until onion is very soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with oregano, chilies, salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high, then stir in tomato paste. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

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Splash in wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat so it simmers. Stir often until wine reduces by half. Pour tomatoes (including juice) into saucepan and add basil. Using a potato masher, coarsely crush tomatoes. Stir fish stock and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 15 minutes to let flavours blend. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days. Just before serving, pour remaining 1 cup fish stock into another saucepan. Bring to a boil, then add clams and mussels. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until shells open. Scoop them out and set aside. Return stock to a gentle simmer. Season halibut with salt and pepper. Add fish to saucepan. Adjust heat so liquid is barely bubbling. Cover and simmer until halibut is cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Scoop out and set aside. Pour cooking liquid into soup. Take half the mussels and clams out of their shells. Using a fork, gently cut halibut into small pieces. Bring soup to a boil, then add shrimp (or scallops) and crab. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes so shrimp cooks through and crab warms. Stir in all the mussels, clams and halibut. Ladle into warm bowls and garnish with parsley.

Blackberry Lemon Trifle Tart, sweet and boozy all in one bowl. I love this trifle for the lemon curd alone. A

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To make the lemon curd, beat butter with ž cup sugar using an electric mixer until

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mixed. Slowly add 2 whole eggs, then 2 egg yolks. Beat for 1 minute, then beat in lemon juice. Mixture will curdle and look disastrousâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;have faith. Pour lemony mess into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and set over low heat. Cook, stirring often, until mixture smoothes. Increase heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. (Do the spoon test: remove pan from heat. Dip in wooden spoon, draw finger through curd on back of spoonâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;is it thick?) To make the creamy filling, beat cream cheese using an electric mixer to loosen, then beat in ½ cup sugar and vanilla. In a separate bowl, beat cream until peaks form when beaters are lifted. Stir Âź of whipped cream into cheese mixture, then gently fold in the rest. CONTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;D at the bottom of Pg.29

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T 250-380-7862 2 5 0 -3 8 0 -7 8 6 2 | SSOR OR A ASPA.CA S PA . C A | p a @ h o t e l g r a n d p a c i fi c . c o m NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2012


master cooking class

These rich, yeast cakes soaked in spiked syrup and filled with pastry cream come from a centuries-old recipe.

Sugar dusted Savarin bursting with nuts and tipsy fruit



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Christmas Text and food styling by DENISE MARCHESSAULT Photography by CAROLINE WEST


Rum Babas studded with currants and served with pastry cream mousseline NOVEMBER | DECEMBER2012



very recipe has a colourful history, and one of my favourites is the lore surrounding a particularly delicious festive cake. Several centuries ago, when King Leszcynski of Poland found his gugelhupf too dry, he dunked it in a sweet syrup and named it Ali Baba, after his favourite folktale character. The recipe eventually made its way to France, where two brothers baked the baba dough in a ring-shaped mold and christened it “savarin,” after the celebrated French gourmand Brillat-Savarin who, supposedly, gave them the secret for making the spiked syrup. Whether the story rings true or not, these cakes have endured for good reason: they are exceptional. The cake batter, a simple yeast dough enriched with eggs and butter, comes together very quickly. If you’re nervous about working with yeast, this recipe is very forgiving (read hard to screw up); the dough rises quickly and bakes even faster. The cake is dry—so dry it soaks up the spiked syrup like a parched sponge, leaving it plump and impressively moist. What’s more, the cake can be baked and frozen ahead of time—sweet relief for the Christmas crunch. Savarins are baked in a ring mold, but any bakeware with a hollow centre—an angel food cake or bundt pan, for example—will do nicely. The centre can be filled with whipping cream, but I prefer to fill mine with pastry cream mousseline: pastry cream “lightened” with whipping cream (as only the French can get away with). In the summer, I garnish my savarin with fresh berries, but in the winter I prefer nuts, caramelized pears and dried fruit steeped in a spicy brew of wine, pomegranate syrup, ginger, star anise and peppercorns. Pastry cream is a fundamental custard that will round out your dessert repertoire. It’s easy to make, lasts for days in the fridge and is so delicious, you might be tempted to forgo the cake and enjoy it on its own. Combined with whipping cream and topped with fruit, it makes an impressive yet simple dessert. Pastry cream can be flavoured with chocolate, coffee, citrus fruit—you name it— and it make a luscious filling for cakes, tarts, pies and éclairs. It is a pastry chef’s best friend. Traditionally, savarins are soaked in a sugar syrup spiked with Kirsch, a colourless cherry brandy, while babas are bathed in a rum-spiked syrup. If you’re inclined to tinker, you can infuse the syrup with anything you like—pear liqueur, citrus zest and ginger are but a few tasty options. For a little festive sparkle, I’ve trimmed my savarin with a few wispy sugar garnishes. Cooking sugar isn’t difficult, but it does require a heavy-bottomed pan and a vigilant eye—don’t even think about answering the phone! Sugar is transformed with heat: when sugar melts it turns to a clear liquid, about 10 minutes later the liquid turns a lovely shade of gold and a moment later, a black, smoldering tar. The trick is to drizzle the very hot golden sugar onto a baking pan lined with a silicone baking mat (or parchment paper). When the sugar cools slightly, it becomes malleable and the sugar-coated baking mat can be gently curled around a canister or a rolling pin to create a lovely curve. Once the sugar has cooled and hardened, it can be easily peeled from the baking mat. The rum-soaked babas are studded with currants and lacquered with apricot jam. Babas can be baked in individual ramekins or any small, oven-proof containers you have on hand. There’s no need to rush out for special molds. Babas can be served on their own or garnished with fruit and pastry cream mousseline. This holiday season, trying something new is simple with these scrumptious, fabled cakes.



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Makes one savarin or eight rum babas (depending on the size of molds) Dough 1 Tbsp instant yeast ¼ cup 2% or whole milk, lukewarm ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted 2 Tbsp sugar Pinch salt 3 eggs Zest from 1 lemon 1 cups of flour, plus more as needed For the babas: 1/3 cup of currants (or any dried fruit), finely chopped Soaking Syrup 1 cup water 1 cup sugar For the babas: ½ cup dark rum For the savarin: ½ cup Kirsch Optional flavouring: vanilla pod Glaze Apple or apricot jelly, warmed Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush mold(s) liberally with butter and dust with flour. If mixing by hand: Dissolve the yeast with the lukewarm milk in a medium-sized bowl. Add the melted butter, sugar, salt, eggs and lemon zest and mix with a fork until well combined. If making babas, add the currants. Add the flour all at once and when the mixture becomes too difficult to mix with a fork, transfer the mixture to a floured work surface and knead by hand, adding additional flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking. If mixing by machine: Dissolve the yeast with the lukewarm milk in the bowl of a standup mixer. Add the melted butter, sugar, salt, eggs and lemon zest and mix until well combined using the whisk attachment. If making babas, add the currants. Change the attachment to a dough hook and add the flour all at once, mixing at medium speed until the dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl. You may have to add additional flour, one tablespoon at a time, to prevent the dough from sticking. You will know that you have mixed the dough enough when you can stretch it into a thick, long rope (about 12 inches), without breaking it. The dough will be slightly sticky to the touch. Savarin mold: Stretch the dough into one long rope, place it in the circular mold and pinch the ends together. The dough should fill the mold only halfway to the top. (As it rises, the seam will disappear.) Baba molds: Place the molds on a baking tray and break off the dough in uniform pieces, filling the molds only halfway to the top. Allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free area for about 30 to 45 minutes or until the dough reaches the top of the molds. While the dough is rising, make the syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir, heating gently until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add the rum or Kirsch. If using vanilla, split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the minute seeds from the pod. Add the vanilla seeds, and the pod, to the cooling syrup and infuse for 30 minutes. (If you don’t want specks of vanilla seeds in your cakes, strain the syrup through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer.) The syrup should be gently reheated before pouring it onto the cake(s). When the dough has risen, place the mold(s) in the preheated oven and bake until their tops are golden and the dough is cooked through. Babas take about 12 to 15 minutes, savarins about 25 minutes. Carefully remove the mold(s) and cool on a rack. Using a fine skewer or a toothpick, prick the cakes in several places (this will help to draw in the flavoured syrup). Babas: Warm the syrup and pour it in a shallow bowl, such as a deep-dish pie plate, and place the cooled cakes in the syrup, turning them over to saturate them completely with the syrup. Place the babas onto individual serving plates or dessert bowls and brush with the warmed jelly. Serve with pastry cream mousseline and/or fruit. Savarin: Position the savarin on a rack placed over a baking pan and pour half of the warmed syrup over the cake. Gently turn the savarin over and repeat on the other side. Place the savarin onto a cake platter and brush with the warmed jelly. Fill the centre with pastry cream mousseline and garnish with fruit. Dust with icing sugar, if desired.

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Dried Fruit Steeped in Wine 1½ cups dry white wine ¾ cup pomegranate molasses 2 cups dried fruits (figs, apricots, cherries, etc.) 1 piece candied ginger 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthwise 1 star anise Pinch of peppercorns Handful of cranberries, if desired (thawed, if frozen) In a saucepan, warm the wine and molasses and remove from the heat. Add the fruit and remaining ingredients to the warm wine mixture and allow to steep for about 30 minutes. When the mixture has cooled, place in a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Serve at room temperature with pastry cream mousseline, savarin or rum babas. Sugar Decorations 1 cup of sugar 4 Tbsp water 2 Tbsp light corn syrup Read the instructions to the end before you start this recipe. Line a baking tray with a silicone baking mat or a sheet of parchment paper brushed with a thin coat of butter. In a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, without stirring. When the sugar starts to colour, in about 5 minutes, swirl the pot to evenly distribute the colour. When the sugar turns golden, in about 8 to 10 minutes, quickly, and carefully, drizzle the hot sugar onto the prepared baking tray. When the sugar cools slightly and becomes malleable—this happens very quickly—carefully drape the sugar-coated mat (or parchment) over a canister or rolling pin, sugar side up. Once the sugar has cooled and hardened, peel it from the baking mat. To clean the saucepan of hardened sugar, fill it with water and bring it to a boil.

Pastry Cream Mousseline Yields 4 cups 2 cups milk (2% or whole) 4 egg yolks ½ cup sugar ¼ cup flour (or 2 Tbsp. cornstarch) 1 1/2 cups whipping cream (35% cream) In a small saucepan, combine the milk with half the sugar. Heat the sweetened milk until the mixture starts to boil. Remove it from the heat. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks with the balance of the sugar and whisk until smooth. Add the flour and whisk until well incorporated. (The mixture will be very thick.) Add about a cup of the warm milk to thin the mixture; mix well and return the mixture to the saucepan of sweetened milk. Return the saucepan to the heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly for about a minute. The mixture (now a custard) should be thick and free of lumps. Pour the hot custard into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and, when it is not longer hot, refrigerate until well chilled. When you are ready to serve, whip the whipping cream to a soft peak and fold it into the chilled pastry cream. Serve with fruit, if desired.

Trife (CONT’D FROM Pg.25) To assemble trifle, cut pound cake into slices. Line bottom of bowl with cake, breaking pieces to fit so they snug together. Brush cake with half the port. Top with half the berries. Cover with lemon curd, then spread cream mixture overtop. Gently arrange another layer of cake slices overtop and brush with remaining port. Cover with remaining berries. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs. NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2012



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By Rhona (Hardcover

When Rhon BC after man in the UK University Sciences in I to find how a become. She corporations traditional a that our foo severely com the food we Vancouver Is to do some Victoria foo and this boo urban agricu City, McAdam policies an developed to of our food the reasons action imme president a Food Intern “Digging th understand farmers and inspiration wish to chan food.”

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FLAVOURS OF THE WEST COAST By Steven Walker-Duncan, Touchwood Editions, $29.95

When Rhona McAdam returned to BC after many years living abroad in the UK and studying at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy, she was shocked to find how appalling our food had become. She found profit-driven corporations were dismantling the traditional agriculture systems and that our food security had been severely compromised. Only 5% of the food we eat is produced on Vancouver Island! She felt she had to do something. McAdam is a Victoria food writer and activist and this book is her manifesto on urban agriculture. In Digging The City, McAdam explores the various policies and solutions being developed to counter the decline of our food systems and lays out the reasons why we need to take action immediately. Carlo Petrini, president and founder of Slow Food International, puts it best: “Digging the City helps us to understand how to become urban farmers and is a good source of inspiration for those of us who wish to change the world through food.”

Flavours of the West Coast is all about supporting BC farmers, chefs and food producers. In his TV cooking show (of the same name) Walker-Duncan travels throughout BC telling the story of local food. This book brings the best of the TV series recipes to print. Chapter titles reflect the source of the ingredients. For example: Warm Morel, Kale and Burdock appears in the Forest and Field chapter, Ultimate West Coast Seafood Eggs Benedict is under River and Sea and Organic Beetroot Salad with Creamy Dressing is found in Farm Fresh. Chefs that have appeared on the show have contributed many of the recipes in the book. You’ll find Steamed Halibut Fillet on Spanish Chorizo from Gilbert Noussitou of Camosun College, Chokecherry Soufflé from Philippe Renaudat of the Cutting Board Restaurant in Lytton, and Green Bean and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Chardonnay from Jeremy Luypen, of Terrafina at Hester Creek. Flavours Of The West Coast is a culinary road trip through the local foods landscape of BC.

By Rhona McAdam, (Hardcover) $16.95

EAST MEETS WEST By Stephanie Yuen, Douglas & McIntyre ($29.95)

BLISSFUL – RAW FOOD RECIPES FROM CAFÉ BLISS By Heather Cunliffe, ISBN 978-0-9876757-0-5 Devotees of Victoria’s Café Bliss (opened 2008) will be happy that many of their favourite dishes are now available in recipe format. Author, chef and café owner Heather Cunliffe has organized her book into tempting and unique chapters such as Smoothies, Crackers and Condiments, Pizza, Treats, and Pies & Cakes. Of course, the popular Bliss Bar (looks like a Nanaimo bar) is in the book along with other notables like Carrot Coconut Curry Soup, Hawaiian Pizza and Hazelnut Chocolate Torte—none of which have been cooked or baked. Other must-tries include the Spicy Nori Stix, a vegan pepperoni stick, and Chocolate Raspberry Orgasm Cake, a dairy-free cheesecake. Making the recipes in Blissful will give you high quality meals, prepared from raw plantsourced ingredients designed to be delicious and rich in flavour.

Kudos to Stephanie Yuen for finally bringing to print the distinctive Asian dishes of the best Vancouver restaurants. This 88-recipe collection of Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese, Philippine, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes showcases the enormous talent of a broad range of chefs working in BC kitchens today. From Singapore Chili Dungeness Crab (Tamarind Hill) to Braised Five-Spice Beef Shank (Long’s Noodle House) to Poached Chicken Salad (Bao Bei Chinese Brasseries), see what makes Vancouver’s Asian food scene one of the best in the world. I especially like the informative pages on Vancouver neighbourhoods— like Richmond’s Golden Village—sprinkled throughout the book. And the dictionary of Asian vegetables and legumes is helpful. Can’t wait to start cooking from East Meets West.

EASY ELEGANCE FROM FABULOUS FAIRHOLME By Sylvia Main, Whitecap (Hardcover) $29.95 The follow-up book to the very popular Fabulous Fairholme gives readers more of what they want: delicious and elegant, but easy to prepare, recipes for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Main knows how to entertain and, as the owner of the Victoria B&B gem Fairholme Manor Inn, she certainly has had the opportunity to kitchen-test the recipes on her guests. As a result, you will want to add many of the recipes to your favourites list: Individual Baby Potato, Cheese, Bacon & Thyme Frittatas; Raspberry Upside Down Buttermilk Pancakes; and Blueberry Caramel Cinnamon Buns, to name a few. Beyond the superb breakfast, brunch and lunch recipes, Easy Elegance offers special occasion menus, cocktails, breads, sauces, syrups, spreads, and desserts. The photography of both the food and the inn is beautiful. Easy Elegance is a book that is not only a great pleasure to browse, but it will inspire you to get in the kitchen and cook for yourself, your family and your best friends. —Staff NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011


terroir — by Michelle Bouffard and Michaela Morris

The Twelve Reds of Christmas Nine Malbecs dancing, eight Syrahs a-milking, seven Cabs— you get the idea. Reds rule for the yule.

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2232 oak bay Ave T (250) 590-7424 open daily lunch & dinner 11am till late

LET’S FACE IT, those days leading up to Christmas can be hectic and stressful. We heartily suggest you fortify yourself with good red wine and feed your soul with food that nourishes. These favourite winter matches will see you through the holidays and inspire you to cocoon when the festivities are finally over. Pizza Making pizza from scratch is a fun rainy afternoon activity. But keep it simple! The Italians top their succulent dough with only a few quality ingredients. Our favourite, Margherita, consists of basil, tomato and mozzarella. Chianti is a natural, but we recommend something closer to pizza’s origins. Despite protests from the Romans, the Neapolitans are credited with inventing pizza. Napoli is the centre of Campania where the characterful red grape Aglianico shines. On the steep volcanic soil, this grape produces wines that are equally intriguing and friendly. 2009 Terredora, Aglianico, Campania IGT, Italy $20-23 (SKU #144808) Dark plum with leather and tar notes. Firm structure and savoury acidity refreshes between bites, giving you room for one more slice. Indian Feast Our friends from India perpetually demonstrate their culture’s love of celebration and feasting. Why not introduce their tasty food into our own festivities? Whether you try your hand at classic butter chicken or curry, the complex palette of spices makes it challenging to pick the appropriate wine. We gathered with friends, putting a number of wines to the test. Lighter alcohol and slightly off-dry aromatic whites like Riesling triumphed, but we discovered some reds that worked surprisingly well—like Zinfandel. The key is choosing one with ripe soft tannins and sweeter fruit. 2009 Ridge, ‘Three Valleys’ Sonoma County, California $35-39 (SKU #250985) Zinfandel-based blend with ripe juicy fruit, vanilla and exotic spices matches the complexity of flavours in Indian cuisine. Roasted Chicken Our staple weekday meal is roasted chicken. Sure, you can buy one from the supermarket, but it’s never as satisfying as roasting your own. We enjoy the whole ritual of prepping, cooking and eating it. After picking every piece of meat off the bones, we make a stock that becomes the base for homemade soup. Serve your chicken with our beloved go-to red: cru Beaujolais. 2010 Dominique Piron, ‘Combiaty’ Brouilly AOC, France $23-27 (SKU #142836) Bursting with fresh succulent red berries. Light, lovely and gulpable. Lamb Stew We recommend ordering an entire lamb from a local farmer and splitting it with friends. This forces you to try cuts you wouldn’t normally buy. Slowly cooked lamb shoulder with almond, preserved lemon and dates is a favourite. The weight of the dish and the flavours of sweet dates command a full-bodied red with lots of sweet black fruit. Look to the Spanish regions of Ribera del Duero and Priorat for inspiration. 2006 Casajus, Seleccionada, Ribera del Duero DO, Spain $25-28 (SKU #148395) A powerful expression of Spain’s Tempranillo grape offering blackberry, roasted coffee, leather and chocolate. Duck Confit How do you juggle an elegant dinner party amongst all of the holiday preparations? Duck confit. Many butchers carry this delicious treat. The duck leg is already cured and poached in its own fat so you just have to pop it in the oven. Though rich, the meat isn’t that strong. A delicate red with enough acidity to cut through the richness is appropriate. Pinot Noir from Burgundy is a sophisticated match. 2009 Jadot, ‘150th Anniversary’ Beaune 1er Cru AOC, France $55-61 (SKU #185900) Beautiful purity of red fruit. Silky, refined and long with cleansing structure. Simple Pasta Quickly prepared pasta is an antidote to the feeding frenzy of last-minute shopping. Fry sage leaves and porcini mushrooms in butter and simmer with white wine. Add



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cherry tomatoes and pine nuts, then toss with fresh pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan and you’re ready to eat. With its backbone of acidity, our Piemontese friend Nebbiolo will counter all the butter and cheese, and its earthy notes will match the mushrooms. 2009 Produttori del Barbaresco, Langhe Nebbiolo DOC, Italy $29-33 (SKU #42655) Fragrant floral aromas and seductive earthy truffle notes. A great introduction to Nebbiolo.

Four locations to serve you

Carbonade Flamande When you’re staying home to deck the halls, a fragrant stew simmering on the stove will make the task pure pleasure. Carbonade Flamande is particularly intoxicating. Beef is braised slowly with caramelized onion and dark Belgium beer and seasoned with bay leaves and thyme. This sweet/sour dish works particularly well with the sweet ripe fruit and savoury herbs found in a well-made Chilean Carmenère. 2009 Emiliana, ‘Novas’ Carmenère Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua Valley, Chile $18-21 (SKU #771840) Cassis and black plum are lifted by notes of sweet tobacco. Full and round with ripe tannin. Chinese Takeout Another arduous day of gift shopping? Who wants to cook? When we don’t, Chinese takeout comes in handy. The varied and contrasting flavours in Asian cuisine can be tough on wine, but this shouldn’t stop you from indulging in a well-deserved glass. When red is the colour of choice, look for fruit-driven examples with lower tannin. Works particularly well with Peking duck, ginger beef and spareribs. n/v Sokol Blosser, ‘Evolution Red’ 1st Edition, $23-26* Syrah-based red. Flavours of cherry and clove dominate with soft tannin and bright acidity. Empanadas This Latin-American staple is always showing up at parties and gatherings. In Argentina, they can be filled with myriad ingredients, but the most common is, of course, beef. Often spiced with cumin and paprika, they work like a charm with the locally prized Malbec. Across the Andes, Chileans also favour beef in their empanadas, but you’re likely to find onions, raisins and hard-boiled eggs mixed in. Chilean Cab perhaps? 2008 Altos las Hormigas, Malbec Reserva, Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina, $3438 (SKU #522870) Displays savoury high tone floral notes associated with the higher altitude vineyards of Uco Valley.

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Meat Pie With the holidays comes the ritual of preparing traditional recipes. Each culture has its own symbol of celebration and in Québec meat pie makes its way to almost every meal. Whether it accompanies brunch or turkey dinner, meat pie deserves a fullbodied red. Cool climate Syrah gets our vote. Opt for a wine from the Rhône Valley, preferably one with a high dose of Syrah. Floral and gamey notes are the perfect companion. 2009 Chapoutier, ‘Les Meysonniers’ Crozes-Hermitage AOC $25-28 (SKU #131078) Fresh, youthful and floral with a touch of pepper, black currants and firm dry tannins. Turkey The blessed bird has a notorious reputation for being tricky to pair with wine. It isn’t, in fact, the turkey’s fault at all, but rather all the side dishes it comes with, from cranberry sauce to sweet potatoes and thick brown gravy. Choose a red wine with sweet fruit and low tannin. An older wine from Rioja is a treat, and its baking spice notes will echo the flavours on the table. Equally delicious is a soft and fruity Grenache-based Rioja from a more recent vintage. 2010 Alvaro Palacios, ‘La Vendimia’ Rioja Crianza DOCa, Spain $27-30* 65% Garnacha/35% Tempranillo. Fresh flavours of pomegranate, peach, nectarines and crushed raspberries. Baked Ham In some homes, ham holds the place of honour at special occasions. We fell in love with a baked ham brushed with port and orange rind and studded with the requisite cloves. Think of it as ham candy. The ideal partner is a new world Pinot Noir where the ripeness of fruit harmonizes with the sweetness in the dish. 2009 Kenwood Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, California $25-28 (SKU #219881) Medium-bodied with ripe flavours of strawberries and vanilla that charm the palate instantly. DRINKING Guide: How to use our purchasing information. *Asterisks denote wines that are only available at the winery or select private liquor stores. Some may be in limited quantities. All other wines are available through BC Liquor Stores. Prices may vary. NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2012



The Sunshine Coast A ribbon of road along a craggy shoreline holds a multitude of food treats for travellers. BY SYLVIA WEINSTOCK echelt, a village by the sea on the Sunshine Coast, was the first place I lived when I moved from Toronto in the early 1970s. It was an idyllic introduction to feasting on the bounty of land and sea. I breakfasted on wild blackberries, salmonberries and thimbleberries and savoured clams and oysters from a pristine bay. Fruits de la terre and fruits de mer were free for the taking under blue skies by the sea, by the beautiful sea. I hadn’t been back for decades, so I was curious to discover what culinary delights await Sunshine Coast visitors these days. Forty years later, the Coast retains its island ambience because it’s still accessible only by BC Ferries (a 40-minute trip from Horseshoe Bay), water taxi and sea plane. Stretching 110 miles from Howe Sound to Desolation Sound, this rugged shoreline is attached to the Lower Mainland, but the precipitous landscape prohibits building an access road. Seaside towns worth seeing include Lund, Powell River, Madeira Park, Halfmoon Bay, Sechelt, Roberts Creek and Gibsons. The region offers gorgeous scenery, more than 20 provincial parks, old-growth forests, lakes and beaches. Visitors can work up an appetite hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, diving, snowshoeing and skiing, indulge in great food and stay in relaxing accommodations ( I’ll start with a multi-million-dollar Sunshine Coast success story. Holy Crap, a glutenfree, vegan, certified organic breakfast cereal was created by Corin and Brian Mullins, a retired Gibsons couple, as a survival food. This high-protein cereal contains chia, hemp hearts, buckwheat, cranberries, raisins and apples. The Mullins’s HapiFoods products now include Skinny B (raw, no fruit, twice as much chia) and Wild Chia. The concentrated cereals can be sprinkled on cereal, smoothies, yogurt or fruit. They are sold in stores across Canada and shipped to 21 countries ( Northern Divine Caviar is another notable Coast product. This Ocean Wise™ caviar is harvested from white sturgeon aqua-farmed by Target Marine Hatcheries in Porpoise Bay, Sechelt. Rated among the world’s top five sustainable caviars by Travel & Leisure Magazine, it is subtly salty, with a firm, buttery texture. Overfishing of sturgeon has closed most of the world’s caviar-producing fisheries, so this eco-friendly roe is now one of Canada’s most valuable food products ( In Gibsons, Chaster’s restaurant at Bonniebrook Lodge ( has an inventive menu and a stunning ocean view. SweetWater Bistro and the Saltwater Chophouse are other popular destinations. La Petite Souris, a handcrafted chocolate company, opens a retail store here this winter ( A few miles up the coast,




in the charming hamlet of Roberts Creek, the Farm Gate Winter Market runs Thursday afternoons December to March at the Hall Kitchen (Wednesdays in spring and summer). Next is Sechelt, where Pebbles Restaurant ( serves up west coast cuisine and an outstanding vista of Georgia Strait. Another 10 miles along, in Halfmoon Bay, Rockwater Secret Cove Resort offers west coast fine dining in a romantic setting. Among many other accolades, the resort was named one of the top 12 dream destinations in the World Calendar 2013 ( The town’s spring/ summer Farmer’s and Artisan’s Market is held Saturdays. A little further up the coast is Madeira Park. Check out chef Spencer Watts’s spin on fresh local seafood at the Painted Boat Resort’s restaurant ( At Trattoria Italiano (, chef Aldo has got game, cooking up wild and sustainably raised boar, elk, musk ox, ostrich and emu, as well as pasta and seafood. In Powell River, two hours along the coast (with a 50-minute ferry ride between Earls Cove and Saltery Bay), the Alchemist ( features French and Mediterranean cuisine. International flavours and an eclectic menu can be found at the Tree Frog Bistro ( Costa Del Sol ( serves tasty Mexican and Latin food. Little Hut Curry ( is known for its homestyle North Indian and Kashmiri food. Powell River’s Winter Market runs Saturdays, 10 a.m. to noon, at the Community Resource Centre. The city’s open air market operates weekends in the summer. Powell River’s Regional Economic Development Society is encouraging young farmers to get into business in the region. To find out more, read Home Grown, a publication focused on Sunshine Coast food. ( The quaint seaside village of Lund is the end of the line—Mile 0 on the coastal highway 101. Dining options with spectacular views include the Boardwalk (, the Laughing Oyster ( and the Major Rock Restaurant in the historic, renovated Lund Hotel (


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liquid assets —by Larry Arnold SPARKLING Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee Rosé NV New Zealand $25-28.00 New Zealand is not exactly my go-to country when only a glass of fizz will do, but this delightful sparkling roséfrom the south island will open your mind to the possibilities. Surprisingly light with a beautiful apricot hue and a fine tight bead that practically dances in the glass. Fruity with subtle peach and apricot flavours and a soft, clean finish.

Brunch and dinner

in the country.

WHITES Matua Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 New Zealand $18-20* There are countless good Sauvignon Blanc’s from New Zealand but for my money this one is hard to beat. Crisp and refreshing with gooseberry, citrus and melon flavours, zippy acidity and a long fruity finish. Alain Brumont Gros Manseng-Sauvignon 2010, Gascony France $16.00-18.00 * I have always being a big fan of the whites of Gascogne and this scrumptious, little quaffer does not disappoint. Fruity, dry, crisp and refreshing with bright citrus and pineapple flavours and a wonderful balance of richness and acidity that keeps you coming back for more. Church & State Church Mouse Chardonnay 2011 Okanagan Valley, BC $17-19 * Generous and supple with ripe apple, citrus and buttery flavours, a soft creamy texture and a delicate lingering finish.

(250) 743-4293

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Kettle Valley Pinot Gris 2011 Okanagan Valley, BC $24-26* The 2011 vintage of their star Pinot Gris is a dazzler, as much a pleasure to look at as it is to drink. Copper-peach in colour and utterly delicious with a thick ripe fruitiness and an expansive mouth-filling texture! Soft and just off-dry. Marcel Deiss Bergheim Muscat d’Alsace 2009 Alsace, France $33-35* The Deiss estate has been biodynamic since 1997 and farmed organically for 20 years prior to certification. Intense but not heavy or ponderous. The nose is striking with damask roses, pink grapefruit, anise and mandarin orange peel. Very complex and very aromatic and very dry with a plenty of power and a long haunting finish. ROSÉ Cupcake Côtes de Provence Rosé 2011 France $17-19* A flowery little delight to quaff and put behind you. So what’s the matter with that? Gorgeous peachy-copper colour, with delicate aromas of rose petals and strawberries. Dry with loads of character and a finish that lingers on and on. Just pure, simple pleasure.

Perfectly placed in the South Okanagan

REDS Kettle Valley Pinot Noir 2009 Okanagan Valley, BC $25-28* Another delicious Pinot from the Naramata Bench. Very expressive and on the earthy side - animal, some might say - with spice and autumn leaves. Silky smooth and long on the palate with soft tannins and lovely balance. Marimar Estate La Masia Pinot Noir 2007 Russian River Valley, California $38-43 Located in the heart of the cool Green Valley, Marimar is 100% organic. The nose is very complex with black cherry, mocha and a touch of oak. Easy and seductive with great mouth feel and a long spicy finish. Brancott Central Otago Pinot Noir Reserve 2006 New Zealand $20-22* Sourced from fruit grown in the Central Otago, one of the most southerly grape growing areas on the planet, this is a big, richly flavoured wine that leaves an impression. Very dark for a Pinot, with black cherries, earth and violets on the nose. Silky smooth and intense with great balance and a long supple finish! Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2010 Okanagan Valley, BC $26-28* Amazing to think that this is their entry level Pinot - what an aroma and what fabulous intense flavours. It is simply delicious! The spicy floral bouquet leaps out of the glass with a hint of forest floor. Sappy but with great complexity and structure.


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



Davis Bynum Pinot Noir 2010 Russian River Valley, California $35-40* Deep and generous, classic Russian River Pinot Noir. Aged for 9 months in French oak, this Pinot is luscious with soft cherry, spice, vanilla and subtle oak flavours. Round and supple with soft silky tannins and clean acidity. DRINKING Guide: How to use our purchasing information. *Asterisks denote wines that are only available at the winery or select private liquor stores. Some may be in limited quantities. All other wines are available through BC Liquor Stores. Prices may vary.

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M O N T H ’ S

what to drink with that


Amorita Adair (AA) The Wine Syndicate

After discovering the joy of wine through multiple trips to Okanagan wineries and a part-time retail position in Vancouver, Amorita enrolled in both the International Sommelier Guild and the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Amorita was a part of the opening team of Legacy Liquor Store, Vancouver's largest private liquor store. Amorita aids in marketing and sales for The Wine Syndicate.

Mike Bernardo (MB) Wine Director, Vij’s Restaurant Mike’s love for wine began while working at the five-star hotel The Balmoral in Edinburgh. After returning to Canada, he became manager and sommelier at Dock 503 in Sidney, B.C. Mike is currently the director of operations and wine director of Vij’s companies in Vancouver, leading the Vij’s wine program to win several awards, including the Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. Mike also penned, with Vikram Vij, the accompanying wines for the recipes in the 2006 cookbook Vij’s Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine.

Roast Prime Rib and Port Pan Sauce with Yorkshire pudding, Anna potatoes, fine beans, roast shallots and fresh horseradish


AA I feel like an old pro picking a wine to pair with this dish, as it has been a classic at my family Christmas dinners for as long as I can remember! During the holidays it’s always acceptable to splurge, so I would bring a bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape (CdP) to the table—ideally a Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre blend. The Syrah and Grenache would provide the herbal quality (rosemary, thyme, sage, bouquet garni) to pair well with the savoury sauce and earthiness of the beans and roast shallots. Mourvedre would provide the tannic structure needed to hold up to such a big cut of beef. However, if your family is anything like mine, the wine usually doesn't make it to my end of the table before it’s empty, so a more value-conscious Côtes du Rhône would also pair very well with this traditional meal.

MB This dish is all about the fat and richness of the meat. I would land in northern Italy with a nice full-bodied Barolo. The fat in the roast can take away from a softer, less tannic wine. If you want to drink outside the box and be more extravagant, you could try an aged vintage port, as the high alcohol and the sugar will cut through the fat while complementing the sauce nicely.

IS Prime rib has been on my favourite list forever now. My typical start to this dinner is to have a nice cold lager or pilsner while preparing (cooking is hard work!). With a traditional meal like this, I truly enjoy a Merlot-dominant Bordeaux blend—something with ripe tannin, gentle dark berry fruits and hints of cedar and chocolate. I just love this combination, and I feel a more fruit-forward and softer tannin wine really brings out the flavour of the beef and port combination.


Ike Seaman (IS) Director of F&B, The Wickaninnish Inn Ike has been in the hospitality industry for his whole life, starting in Summerville Beach, Nova Scotia, where his parents owned a small canteen and a couple of cottages. He moved to Tofino in 1994 and started working at the Inn in 1996, holding many positions over the years. He now oversees the large wine cellar and bar and works very closely with the culinary team to decide on weekly wine pairings for The Wick’s west coast cuisine.

Festive Challenge DRINK editor Treve Ring


asks local wine experts how they would approach pairing dishes and

flavours. For this holiday edition, we are pairing to both traditional and alternative festive dinners:

ROAST PRIME RIB and PORT PAN SAUCE with Yorkshire pudding, Anna potatoes, fine beans, roast shallots and fresh horseradish

TURDUCKEN (de-boned chicken stuffed into a de-boned duck,

which is stuffed into a de-boned turkey) stuffed with a mixture of smoked sausage, oysters, paprika and cornbread

Turducken (de-boned chicken stuffed into a de-boned duck, stuffed into a de-boned turkey) stuffed with a mixture of smoked sausage, oysters, paprika & corn bread AA Wow, what a challenge! I would choose a couple different options here, depending on whether the table likes red or white. If red is the preference, I would stick with Burgundy, preferably a good value Fixin, Givry or Mercurey: something with earthy notes to work with the duck and sausage. The duck will have some fattiness to it as well, so brisk acidity will help cut that. If white is preferred, I'd head towards Rhône varietals. A juicy Marsanne/Roussane blend would have decent acidity, and the weight of the wine would match the weight of the meat. I also think this white blend would be so delicious with sweet and smoky cornbread. In addition, the earthy notes and higher acidity of both the red and white options would cut through this intriguing stuffing! MB This can be a fun one to pair with as you can go in so many directions, both white or red. For me, I would land in the Rhône Valley and go with a white Chateauneuf-du-Pape. This wine offers a beautiful aromatic nose with a full-bodied, rich and oily mid-palate, yet has refreshing acidity on the finish; a little something to go with each ingredient. IS All those lovely birds with the smoky, briny and sweet combinations lead me to Riesling right away—a rich wine with bracing acidity to complement all the flavours. I have also been enjoying Sangiovese a lot these days and think that it would partner with the wonderful spices and smokiness. I would not want the wine too overpowering so would aim for soft fruits and tannin with a bit of acidity. Sangiovese is a great food wine because of its range in weight, fruit and bright acidity, allowing it to be paired with a wide variety of foods, flavours and combinations.


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The Buzz


VICTORIA: Tis the season of comfort food. Menus, both in restaurants and at home, shift their focus towards soups and stews, baked pastas and anything au gratin – all the tastes and flavours that evoke ‘cozy’. If this weather has you in the mood for something like carbonade with locally crafted brew (AKA beef and beer stew), then don’t miss chef Dwane MacIsaac’s ‘Braising and Stews’ class at Cook Culture on November 29th. ( Sounds like perfect pairing for some of the local seasonal brews, such as Vancouver Island Brewery’s Storm Watcher Winter Lager, which promises to warm you with notes of caramel and finishes of toffee and malt. ( Canoe Brewpub is also brewing their Winter Gale Strong Ale with spicy hints of cinnamon, ginger and clove. I’m feeling cozier already. ( ’Tis also the season of beautiful baked goods. From panettone to stollen, this is the time to place your orders early so nobody will be disappointed at your holiday brunch. I’m looking forward to seeing what is on offer at the newly opened Fry’s Red Wheat Bakery on Craigflower Rd. If the alpine cinnamon buns are anything to go by, there will be something promising to add to the spread. Over at The London Chef, local food writer Eric Akis will be spending an evening demonstrating recipes from his new cookbook Everyone Can Cook Everything. This festive feast event costs $95 and includes a signed copy of his 400+ page hardcover volume. November 8th 6-9pm. ( New to the Hudson is Olive the Senses: A tasting experience. This gourmet food store specializes in fresh extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar. Working sustainably with olive groves in both hemispheres, Olive the Senses is able to provide a fresh press of olive oil every six months, including harvest date and full chemical analysis. With balsamics aged up to18 years, including white balsamics, and olive oils with fresh infusions, tasting before you purchase is a must and all your favorites will be bottled on demand. ( Another new downtown spot for specialty foods is Chorizo and Co., a Spanish delicatessen which opened at 807 Fort St. late this summer. In addition to a great selection of Spanish deli items, they serve housemade soups (such as caldo verde - kale, potato and chorizo) and bocadillos (sandwiches). They are also quickly becoming famous for their fresh churros with chocolate for dipping. ( Kate’s Café is the Oak Bay Beach Hotel's new neighbourhood street-side café. Outfitted with many physical elements of the old hotel, including the original hotel entrance and several hand-hewn beams, Kate’s Café is a cozy place to enjoy goodies along with a glass of wine or a perfectly prepared latte. The menu features homemade soups, fresh sandwiches and an assortment of baked goods, both sweet and savoury. Open daily 6am-9pm. Over on Saturna Island, locals and island hoppers have a new coffee house with full espresso bar and serving breakfast and lunch daily. Wild Thyme Coffee House is located in a vintage 1963 Leyland Lowlander double decker British bus! Aleah Johnson’s new business supports as many local business as possible. The menu is made from scratch with local foods and sustainable practices. In addition, packaging is compostable and they offer a full recycling program. ( Looking forward to 2013, Bin 4 Burger Lounge will be opening a new location on the Westshore at


716 Goldstream Avenue ( ). —Rebecca Baugniet VANCOUVER: Food gives back…The recently-opened East of Main café ( donates its profits to Project Limelight, a DTES-based arts education program for children, founded by café owners (and sisters) Maueen Webb and Donalda Weaver. The menu focuses on Spanish, Moroccan and Greek influences, with a solid craft brew list. Former Cibo EC Neil Taylor and GM Ed Parrow have joined forces to open Espana ( on Denman Street in the West End. The menu, as might be guessed, has a Spanish theme, heavy on tapas, charcuterie, and Spanish grapes, including a rather nice sherry list, with flight options. Chef Andrea Carlson, formerly of Raincity Grill and Bishop’s, has landed at Harvest Community Foods (, a small grocery and eatery that celebrates all things local and sustainable. Carlson has revamped the menu with pork belly ramen, steam buns and other Asian-inspired delicacies. Pidgin near the park…Makoto Ono, the 2007 winner of the Canadian Culinary Championships and owner/chef of Makoto in Beijing and Liberty Exchange in Hong Kong, has arrived in Vancouver with plans to open Pidgin ( on Carrall Street, just across from Pigeon Park. Look for the opening sometime this month (fingers crossed). Mocktails make a comeback…Designated drivers are all the rage, and even restaurants like Hawksworth ( are getting in on the hooch-free action with their new Zero Proof cocktail list, featuring fresh juices, herbs and housemade aromatic sprays, and designed to work as food-pairing options for those holding the key for the night. Federico’s Supper Club ( on Commercial Drive has a new EC. Nick Grant, formerly of Lupo, has revamped the menu with authentic dishes made with fresh ingredients. The next, next course is…The Listel Hotel, after closing O’Doul’s at the start of summer, created The Next Course (, which has now morphed into Forage. The restaurant is a unique collaboration with, among others, BC Hydro and The Green Table Network. Think home canning, seasonal (and, yes, foraged), ingredients, a zero-waste program, and wines and craft brews on tap. Opening this month. Two Chefs and a Table ( has launched Test Kitchen Tuesdays at their Railtown bistro. Every week the kitchen will be open to allow guests to try out new dishes and ideas as part of a prix fixe deal. A minimum of three courses for $28 will be offered each week, and corkage fees are waived for participants. Plus you can interact with the chefs and give them your two cents (plus tip) on the spot. Reservations required. Steamworks (, the popular and long-running Gastown pub, has launched a brewery, with initial offerings including Pale Ale and Pilsner, as well as seasonal offerings like Oatmeal Stout and Pumpkin Ale. Look for the bottles at numerous B.C. liquor and beer stores, as well as on home turf. —Anya Levykh TOFINO: As we turn our minds to stocking the freezer for the winter with fish and fruit, fall and winter events are taking shape on the west coast of the Island. The Clayoquot Sound Oyster Festival Cont’d on the next page



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The Buzz

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( is more than just a celebration of bivalves – it’s really a chance for locals and visitors to celebrate the abundance of the region and its fine culinary talent. The four-day festivals puts a serious dent in the over 50,000 gallons of oysters that are grown here, as attendees consume some 8,000-9,000 oysters during several events. This year the date for the 16th annual festival is from November 14-17th. At the main event, the Oyster Gala, local chefs prepare oysters in a variety of ways for sampling. Live music, slurping contests, costumes are all part of both the gala and the Mermaid’s Ball, and both also feature BC win e and beer. Join local tour operatiors for oyster farm tours in Lemmens Inlet during the festial. For tickets and event infor mation, contact Wildside Booksellers at 1-800-8634664 or email The owners of Tacofino Cantina ( have opened a non-mobile space in Vancouver at 2325 E Hastings. Partners Kaeli Robinsong, Jason Sussman and Ryan Stong operate a total of three mobile food trucks: Tacofino in the Live to Surf complex in Tofino, and the orange and blue Tacofino trucks at locations in Vancouver. Now the commissary also reflects the Mexican-influenced food trucks menus, but is much more diverse. It includes such delights as poke tostadas, chicken hearts on a stick and tamales, as well as Tacofino favourites like burritos and gringas. Add spirits, cocktails and Tofino Brewing Co. beers on tap and you’ve got a great Tofino fix in the big city. We’ve also got a little bit of Vancouver in Tofino these days, with Vij’s Restaurant take-out line now available at two locations. According to Vij's website ( the meals are frozen and ready to eat packaged meals originally developed in Vij’s Restaurant. Pacific Sands Resort ( carries both some of Vij’s take out items, as well as SoBo ( meals and ice cream sandwiches. Stockham and Dawley is a new store opened at ground level in the Shore building at 368 Main St. ( by the building owners. In addition to an eclectic mix of stock, the store is also carrying Vij's take-away dinners, as well as an assortment of Vancouver Island-focused gourmet items. The Weigh West Marine Resort has recently been rebranded as Marina West Motel ( The accompanying Dockside Pub now called Jack's Waterfront Pub and the restaurant is the attached restaurant is the Greenroom Diner. The resort recently hosted the Tofino Beerfest Sept. 29. Craft breweries from around the province were in attendance, with live music by the local Poor Pistols and the Jilli Martini Band. The Tofino-Ucluelet Culinary Guild ( is tooling around town in a shiny new red van. The van allows coordinator Bobby Lax to transport a greater amount of goods from B.C.'s independent producers to the organization's west coast members. The truck is a diesel one that will eventually be converted to biodiesel. Happy storm watching season! —Jen Dart

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COWICHAN VALLEY: As if Merridale Estate Cidery’s range of delicious ciders and liqueurs wasn’t impressive enough, Cowichan Valley’s favourite cidery has just released a new, entirely fruit based vodka with a touch of fizz. Frizz vodka takes its name from the Italian term “frizzante”, and is free of the harsh flavours typical of a potato or wheat based vodka. Stock your holiday bar with a bottle by visiting Merridale Ciderworks directly or requesting it at your local liquor store. (; 250-743-4293) If an exquisite seasonal feast cooked by a renowned local chef is on your Christmas list this year, you’re in luck. On December 15th Bill Jones will be hosting his annual Christmas dinner at Deerholme Farm. The menu will feature an Old English theme using lots of local ingredients, including island raised prime rib roast and lots of foraged mushrooms. A portion of the proceeds from the dinner will go to help the Cowichan Valley Basket Society, and guests are encouraged to bring additional food donations as well. Last year the dinner contributed an entire truck bed load of food! Tickets and full menu details can be found online (; 250-748-7450). ‘Tis the season for holiday parties and nobody wants to arrive empty handed! Having a good supply of host/hostess gifts on hand will ensure no last minute panics as you head out the door. Stop by Rocky Creek Winery (; 250-748-5622) to grab a few bottles of their newest red, On the Mark, and while you’re there try a tasting of their festive wild blackberry and Pinot Noir mulled wine. Alternately, Zanatta Winery’s (; 250-748-2338) effervescent white Damasco wine brings a touch of celebration to any gathering and Silverside Farm and Winery’s award winning blueberry port would be welcome at any dessert table (; 250743 9149). Have you ordered your Christmas turkey yet? The Cowichan Valley is home to a number of farms that can provide you with a free range bird that’s been raised free of antibiotics and hormones. Buying Cowichan Valley turkeys is a delicious way to support local farmers and put a healthy bird on your family’s table. Some of our numerous local turkey farms include: Cowichan Valley Farms (; 250-746-5601), SOL Farm (; 250-737-1879), Terra Nossa Family Farm (, Quist Farms through Cowichan Valley Meat Market (250-746-8732), Myson Farm (250-929-7115), and Stonefield Farm (250-743-3861). 2012 has flown by! Popping the cork from a bottle of bubbly is an iconic part of New Year’s Eve Cont’d on the next page



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The Buzz celebrations and the Cowichan Valley offers several excellent sparking wines to help you ring in 2013. Venturi Schulze Vineyards (; 250-743-5630) offers an elegant classic in their Brut Naturel KS Cuvée and Rocky Creek Vineyard’s Katherine’s Sparkle is an Ortega, Gewurtz and Bacchus based Brut that has earned acclaim in the local wine world. Zanatta Winery has a range of traditional method sparklers for sale, including the Fatima Brut ‘05, and Glenora Fantasia Brut. —Lindsay Muir NANAIMO: By the time you read this, our impossibly beautiful fall will have passed and everyone will be thinking of Christmas; however my mind trails back to one of those endless sunny days that took me to Nanaimo where celebrity chef David Wong has opened a new restaurant called Jar. It’s a modern, bright, locally sourced breakfast and lunch place that David felt filled a niche in the area. It would seem that he is right since the place was bustling with locals on opening day, out to try his twist on sandwiches and other tasty treats. House made pastrami that he’s taken to the next level with just the right balance of smoke, a beautiful roasted pear and beet salad and fresh squeezed orange juice – what could be better? Chef Wong has lined the shelves around the room with his jewel coloured jars of jam, under his label JarD. The plum jam was divine, and would go perfectly with a bowl of Udder Guy’s vanilla ice cream. ( 6595 Applecross Rd Nanaimo. There’s a new cheese shop developing in old Nanaimo, Danforth Deli & Grill where Ben Bryce is gradually expanding his cheese offerings. He hopes to have some cheeses from Quebec on hand in the near future, along with a particularly special smoked blue cheese called Blue Haze. It’s rumoured to have hints of bacon…! Most people don’t realize it but 95% of all North American cheese is produced using the milk from Holstein cows, but some dedicated farmers are resurrecting the La Vache Canadienne breed of cow that produce the milk used to make Le 1608, an organic, unpasteurized raw milk cheese made in the Charlevoix region of Quebec. Check the website for their arrival. ( 39A Commercial St. In the extensively reclaimed and revitalized heritage Nanaimo Train Station, long time Fox & Hounds owner Trevor Ivens has opened the new Fibber Magees Station Pub. The pub boasts 32 different beers from around the world and showcases several local beers from Nanaimo and Victoria. Some you may be familiar with and some are seasonal so get them before they run out. To accompany the beer and pub atmosphere will be live music to enjoy with your pint this festive season. ( Keeping the talent in the family, restaurateur Gaetan Brousseau and his wife, Linda Allen, formerly of the award winning Wesley St.Cafe have staked a claim at Westwood Tennis Club with the Bistro at Westwood. A stunning lake view setting in a beautiful dining room where chef is featuring pacific scallops from Island Scallops in Qualicum, Salt Spring Island mussels, fresh caught spot prawns and local ling cod. For visiting meat eaters he has sourced flavourful Berkshire pork in a Merridale Cider reduction. ( —Kirsten Tyler

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I STILL REMEMBER my entry-level wine class all those years ago, working through basic characteristics of key grapes. I knew next to nothing, and felt overwhelmed by all the material – new terms, foreign words, spitting in public. I recall how my ears perked up when my instructor passionately began to tell us about Riesling. “Many wine lovers believe this is the greatest grape variety in the world, capable of extraordinary feats of vinous magic.” Zing. Like the first lick of Mosel Riesling on the tongue, I was struck. My love affair with this ancient and noble grape had begun, and strengthened along with my wine knowledge. This highly aromatic grape, dating back to the 15th century Rhine Valley in Germany, is aptly capable of making a wide range of styles – from achingly crisp and bone dry, to unctuously sweet and everlasting, plus bright and lively sparkling. Quite a hardy grape, Riesling does best in poor soils that are well draining (ideally slate and sandy clay) and responds best to a long, slow ripening period. Unlike many whites, this grape is all about purity of fruit; the use of oak is rare, as it can muffle and overwhelm the delicate, floral, citrus aromatics and flavours. But Riesling’s most potent draw is its natural and piercingly high acid, providing the wine with tremendous aging potential and allowing it to nimbly balance out ridiculous levels of residual sugar. The highwire balancing act between razor acidity and ripe sugars is an addictive effort – both for the vintner and the consumer. Perhaps the most important point to understand is that Riesling is highly terroir-expressive. This means that the grape variety easily translates its provenance, and expresses the site of where it was grown. The wines below are all undeniably Riesling, united by acids, apples, honey and minerality, but individually they stand alone and reveal a real sense of place. Mosel to Eden Valley to Kelowna: presenting as separate as the geography itself. An extraordinary feat of vinous magic indeed.







Deinhard Lila

Charles Smith Wines

Pewsey Vale


Maison Trimbach

Dr. Loosen

Riesling Brut Sekt NV

Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2011

Riesling 2011

Riesling 2009

Wehlenser Sonnenuhr Kabinett 2011

ORIGIN: Rheinhessen, Germany THE WALLET: $15.50-18 ALCOHOL: 12.5% abv TASTE: Fresh apple, soft perfume and sweet candy necklace. The frothy palate is bright and cheery, with a citric sour gummy bear finish. Easy to find, easy to enjoy, this sekt is crowd pleasing and party-ready

ORIGIN: Columbia Valley, Washington State THE WALLET: $25-29* ALCOHOL: 11% abv TASTE: Kung Fu Girl can stand up to many foods, balancing ripe, tropical lychee, apricot and gooseberry with piquant citrus acidity. A lime zest finish and sweet/sour buoyancy makes it a natural for Asian flavours and spice.

Individual Vineyard Selection Eden Valley Riesling 2011

ORIGIN: Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia THE WALLET: $24-28* ALCOHOL: 12.4% abv TASTE: Ever felt a wine sing in your mouth? With vibrant, crisp granny smith apple, minerality and honey, this off-dry wine’s acid literally leaps across the lively palate. Focused lime rind extends through the juicy, lengthy finish. One of North America’s top Riesling producers.

ORIGIN: Alsace, France THE WALLET: $29-33 ALCOHOL: 13% abv TASTE : Dark and inky, this powerhouse opens with thorny black fruit, sweet ripe plums, tar and a puff of smoke. Dense cassis, wild blackberries and toasted wood fill the palate, finishing juicy and long. This is a big, bold wine, handled confidently, and using its power for good (BBQ!)

ORIGIN: Eden Valley, South Australia, Australia THE WALLET: $24-28 ALCOHOL: 12.5% abv TASTE: Slate and sweet lemon curd aromas lead to a bone dry palate, with dried herbs, prominent stoniness, red apple, spiced bitter melon and subtle eraser notes. Wild meadow flowers linger on the finish.

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




ORIGIN: Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany THE WALLET: $26-30 ALCOHOL: 8% abv TASTE: This might be the most focused, concentrated 8% that you’ve ever tasted. An exceptionally steep and rocky blue slate site in the Mosel yields this elegant wine. Expressive ripe pear and bruised, perfumed white blossoms entice to an off dry palate. Floral spring perfume, pear, white peach and delicate citrus comes to life through crisp acidity and electric minerality. Red grapefruit through the long finish.

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COOK CULTURE TO RAISE FUNDS FOR ICC WITH TICKET DRAW Cook Culture has announced an awareness and fundraising campaign for the Island Chefâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Collaborative, from November 1 to December 24th, 2012. All proceeds will go to support their ongoing micro-loan and grant program. This program provides a pool of funds to enable growers, harvesters and processors to invest in equipment and materials which will allow them to increase the supply of food in the region. Cook Culture will be selling tickets for a draw that will take place on December 27th, 2012. The grand prizes are: â&#x20AC;˘ A Chefsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Invasion Dinner at the winnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home for up to 8 people, with four distinguished Victoria Chefs and ICC Board Members: Cory Pelan - The Whole Beast, Anna Hunt - Victoria Spirits, Tara Black - Origin Bakery, Dwane MacIsaac - Passioneat Foods $2,500 Value. â&#x20AC;˘ 10 Pc Set TruClad Cookware $575 Value â&#x20AC;˘ Swissline Bamix Set $300 Value â&#x20AC;˘ 3 Piece Set Global Knives $280 Value

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â&#x20AC;˘ 5.8 Litre Round Staub Cocotte $300 Value â&#x20AC;˘ Vancouver Island Salt Gift Set $50 Value â&#x20AC;˘ 1 of 10 $50 Gift Certificates $500 Value Over $4,400.00 in prizes to be won. Tickets are available at Cook Culture as of November 1, 2012. $5.00 each or 3 for $10.00. 1317 Blanshard St Victoria, (250) 590-8161 To find out more about the Island Chefs Collaborative (ICC) visit To find out more about Cook Culture visit

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Black Dog Publishing is offering EAT readers 40% off Meat Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;An Insiderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Guide. Divided into concise chapters covering â&#x20AC;&#x153;Restaurants & Pubsâ&#x20AC;?, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Street Foodâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Butchersâ&#x20AC;?, Meat London covers all budgets, tastes and levels of adventurousness, whether you are intending to eat out on the run, settle into a fourcourse meal or barbecue your own pig. More than your average guide book, Meat London also takes into consideration important attitudesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; concerning the supply of meat, seasonality and provenanceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;in our pproach to food and the establishments featured. Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s broad multicultural constitution makes it the perfect city in which to sample dishes derived from and progressively influenced by diverse cultural traditions. Whether you are after a venison scotch egg, a 20-ounce steak, marinated goat, hand-made black pudding, brains or kidneys, or a fine roast, Meat London is a wide-ranging and informative resource for restaurants, butchers and markets specialising in meatcentric eating. To order this book at the discounted price, EAT readers simply need to email with your delivery address and the book will be despatched with an invoice. NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2012


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CONT’D FROM PAGE 20 pleasure quotient. The chef’s take on cooking leans to largesse, masculine portions and flavours to match. An ideal Norwoods dinner begins with warm sourdough baguette and flavour-forward black olive tapenade. Apps thereafter range from local oysters three ways—deep-fried with caper aioli is the showstopper—to a spaghettini puttanesca (the sauce the whores of Naples kept simmering on the stovetop to sate their customers’ other appetite) with octopus, the most overlooked and underrated seafood on the coast. Salad of baby romaine, pork belly and Parmesan crisps cools while titillating the savoury palate. Baja scallops, a signature, pairs off with octopus, served with truffled potato puree. But the Baja mollusc is no match for its big, sweet Qualicum Bay counterpart, and the octopus steals its Grilled spring salmon with asparagus at Norwoods in Ucluelet thunder. Tourists expect fish on the coast. Norwood’s catch, seared Norwoods and grilled, includes lingcod, albacore tuna and spring and sockWhen Toronto-bred chef Richard Norwood did it his way and eye salmons in season. In an insolent frame of mind, I eat B.C. located his first restaurant in sleepy Ucluelet, it would have pork rack, a massive, juicy, char-grilled chop gone global with seemed prudent to predict failure. But villagers and tourists Indian spices. It proves that B.C. pork doesn’t have to be tasteinstantly warmed to Norwoods and he’s been pleasing both less after all; just buy it from an artisan supplier. publics in a big way ever since. Ucluetians—yes, Ucluetians, just The dessert? Amazingly, we pass on the impressive Quebec as people from Tofino are Toficians—couldn’t be prouder. and B.C. cheeses and instead split the cheesecake—a goat cheese The 34-seat boite on Peninsula Road is part acrobatic open cheesecake, that is, with strawberry compote and toasted kitchen, part close dining area in which patrons perch on hazelnuts, transporting us to a creamy, dreamy finish. Wines by bar-height stools (we, the height-challenged, feel we’re the glass are unusually thoughtful and, still more, remarkably airborne). A cloud of butter and garlic hangs over the room. The generous. No four-ounce pours around here. And snappy servers conversational din signals a restaurant with an oversized provide sensible guidance.

Ça Va

1296 Gladstone Ave Victoria, BC


bistro moderne

opening dec 1 250.590.7982


Eat, drink & be festive NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2012


producer series: Get to

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What you’v

Talking Pork with John (Jan) van der Lieck Julie Pegg

of Oyama Sausage Company


love pork—chops, roasts, hams and, for breakfast, sausages and crispy bacon. I love pork pie. And black pudding—blood sausage bound by oatmeal and barley. I even have a taste for headcheese, or brawn as Brits refer to the jellied knobs and bobs of the pig’s head. Over the years, European travels have introduced me to salumi and genuine Italian mortadella (not that horrid corruption known as bologna) that is flecked with lard, pepper and sometimes pistachios. Then there are German wursts, Spanish chorizos and, ultimately, chunky, bacon-wrapped French terrines. But for all these porcine forays, I have looked little beyond the display case— until a recent visit to Suffolk in the U.K. There, plump, pale-skinned pigs roam about the fields or settle in front of their domed huts. They look so happy and healthy—and are rather endearing. I figured all pigs were Miss Piggy pink. I found out otherwise in London’s Borough Market, where meat vendors also tout the naturally raised ginger-haired Tamworth, the white-snouted and socked black Berkshire as well as the Large English Black, from which come their fresh, cured and cooked pork products. The pigs I saw roaming the Suffolk pastures were likely Middle Whites. Which caused me to wonder. What are the differences among breeds, and the benefits of rearing them naturally? Back in Vancouver I meet with John (Jan) van der Lieck at Oyama Sausage Company’s spanking new production facility in South Vancouver to talk pork. The tall, fit, rosycheeked butcher has been up since 5 a.m. and has already finished a good morning’s cutting and curing. Like he and his assistants, I don the customary “shower” cap and white “lab” coat. Van der Lieck, a master butcher, fifth-generation sausage maker and certified charcutier, is a walking, talking encyclopedia regarding the family Suidae. He is also schooled in animal husbandry (the care and breeding of livestock). I can’t scribble fast enough. Van der Lieck dispels immediately the common misconceptions about the pig, how they are often looked upon as dirty, stupid and lazy—none of which is accurate. Swine are intelligent, sensitive and social. They hate being penned. Left free to roam forest and field, they are great foragers, happy to graze on bracken, beechnuts, acorns, windfall fruit, beet tops, turnips, potatoes, clover and grass. Their penchant for a cool mud bath (and a cold shower) is because they lack sweat glands and sunburn easily. They can also run like hell. And when ready to farrow, the smart and very maternal sow will construct a comfy nest from twigs and straw. Battery-raised pigs, which are confined, treated with antibiotics and given no straw on which to bed down or give birth, suffer extreme stress Their corn/soy-based diet often produces pale bland meat. But a pastured pig is a happy pig, resulting in pink, juicy flesh. As Van der Lieck says—“a better life means better meat.”



Increasingly, butchers and charcutiers (strictly speaking, charcuterie is made only from pork) are forking over dollars for naturally raised heritage breeds. The most popular rare breed in B.C. is the Berkshire, which is market-ready in about nine months. Fat content varies from hog to hog—“just like humans” says van der Lieck. By and large, though, the Berkshire is well marbled, the meat moist and flavourful. Van der Lieck’s main go-to for Berkshire pork is First Nature Farms’ Jerry Kitt in Alberta, whose pastured pigs thrive on organic grains, flax and peas. The meat is rosy pink, tender and juicy. Back fat is snow-white “veggie” fat and not too thick. It makes lovely lard. Van der Lieck also sources free-range, grass-fed Berkshire pork from Cutter Ranch in Clinton, and some from Fraser Valley. He would like to work more with the rugged Tamworth, one of the oldest rare breeds. A direct descendant of the wild boar, it is content rooting around forest floors. At the moment, though, van der Lieck is focused on acquiring more English Blacks, which have it all—resistance to sun (white breeds burn easily), expert foraging abilities and docile manner. They are prized for large hams, good belly and succulent fine-grained meat, not unlike game. Van der Lieck is almost as fussy about spicing sausages as he is about sourcing meat. To prove a point, he smashes a juniper berry with a measuring cup. The berry sticks to the bottom. “That is the difference between a fresh and stale berry. Old fruit that has lost its resin would simply fall off.” He passes commercial white peppercorns under my nose for a sniff—then premium peppercorns. The first elicits an immediate sneeze. The second batch I nose like wine—the corns are delicately floral and lightly pungent. Then I get a lovely perfumed whiff of fine marjoram. If, according to van der Lieck, “white pepper is the queen of spice for pork” then marjoram must be the king of herbs. The proof of quality is in the pudding. Oyama’s Scottish-style black pudding is mild, grainy and crisps nicely in the pan. So does a creamy breakfast sausage flecked with the aforementioned pepper, marjoram and onion. Pickled headcheese is delicate and delicious. Black pig Muscato salami and prosciutto melt on the palate. Wild boar sausage (from undomesticated male and female pigs) is highly flavoured but not gamey. As I bid John van der Lieck adieu, he wraps up a chunk of snow-white fat for me, which I will render slowly into lovely lard. He also lends me a book, Mourjou—The Life and Food of an Auvergne Village by Peter Graham. I turn at once to the chapter titled “Pork.” Oyama Sausage, First Nature Farms, Cutter Ranch, (but also Berkshire pork!) Mourjou: Life and Food of an Auvergne Village (Prospect Books, new edition, 2003) See for a recipe from this book.

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chefs talk— compiled by Ceara Lornie

What’s the most memorable dish you’ve ever cooked for the holidays? Andrew Langley – Primastrada Pizzeria (Cook Street Village) 250.590.8595 A big, juicy succulent prime rib—one of my favourite things to cook any season but it's better suited to winter. And, even better with a big bottle of red wine and a fireplace. No turkey for me, thanks. Jamie Cummins - Relish 250.590.8464 My most memorable dish is sautéed Brussels sprouts with shallots, preserved lemon and toasted pecans. It was the first time everyone at the table ate them. Jena Stewart - Devour 250.590.3231 Pumpkin pie! Over a decade ago, I decided to host a nice friendly Thanksgiving dinner in my tiny home kitchen. I chopped and roasted fresh pumpkins for pie. It took a long time to peel and roast the pumpkins, and was quite messy. The crust was finished and just as I started looking for my beautiful pumpkin filling, I found out that my unpaid sous chef for the day thought my filling was garbage, and threw it out while I wasn’t looking. Annie's organic pumpkin filling from a can, was quickly purchased, and was a really good stand in, and I have never attempted to make my pumpkin pie filling from scratch again. Sam Chalmers - Black Hat Bistro 250.381.2428 Our Thanksgiving tradition is a take on turducken that we call turdufoie. A lobe of foie gras stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey. The gravy is amazing! Matthew Batey - The Terrace at Mission Hill Family Estate 250.768.6467 As we have many young cooks from outside of the Okanagan join us for the season at Mission Hill Family Estate, my wife Jennifer and I host an annual orphan’s Thanksgiving dinner. These meals are always memorable because the two of us are often the only return guests from the previous year’s events. The 2011 menu included an awesome yam, walnut and sage salad, roasted elk tenderloin plus the obligatory turkey. The night was topped off with a smattering of tasty sweets including sugar pie pumpkin pie, pear frangipane tart and lots of incredible vino.

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Garrett Schack - Vista 18 250.382.9258 It was Christmas (can I still call it that?) dinner and I remember cooking a turkey, and the usual accompaniments: mashed potatoes, turnips, stuffing etc., however the Brussels sprouts stole the show. Fresh from the garden, steamed then sautéed with thick cut double-smoked bacon, onions and fresh chanterelle mushrooms they had the entire table silent in degustation. It’s moments like those that make cooking so rewarding. There is no better feeling than bringing family and friends together around the table. Laurence Munn - Cafe Brio 250.383.0009 Well most holiday meals are memorable as we are usually at my parent’s house and there is a distinct lack of organization (to be polite), so I have to take over cooking or no one will be eating anytime soon. Last Christmas it was just me and my girls and we did southern fried tofu, a sous vide rib roast, Brussels sprouts and the whole bit. Just my family and good food was the best. SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2012


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The Buzz OKANAGAN: Ahh -nothing says weekend brunch like Eggs Benedict. In the Okanagan, this heavenly morning delight is a regular staple at many breakfast eateries or dished out only on the weekends. Take a drive to lake country’s The Jammery Restaurant (8038 Highway 97N), a tradition for locals for their all day breakfasts including eggs benedict. The Bohemian Café (524 Bernard Avenue), one of Kelowna’s best brunch spots serves this up Wednesday to Saturday for breakfast and all day Sunday. If you haven’t yet discovered Okanagan Street Food (812 Crowley Avenue), this gem of a modern day diner is located in Kelowna’s industrial district and Chef Neil Schroeter serves up his homemade Eggs Benedict only on Saturday. Summerland’s charming Good Omens Coffee House (13616 Kelly Avenue) with to die for lattes also makes Eggs Benedict often with a local twist only on Saturday mornings. Penticton’s Valentini’s Café (1475 Fairview Road), killer eggs benedict are available only thru the week as this popular café is closed on weekends. Downtown Penticton’s The Dream Café (67 Front Street) open Wednesday thru Saturday features Eggs Benedict as a staple on their breakfast/lunch menu. The Bench Market (368 Vancouver Avenue) highlights Eggs Benedict as a weekend treat on Saturdays and Sundays. In Osoyoos, Jo Jos Café (8316 Main Street) makes eggs benedict every day of the week and Dolci Deli (8710 Main Street) celebrates as a weekend treat on Saturdays where you can order yours with the in-house cured bacon. Eggs Benedict (or whatever your spin-Florentine, Hemmingway, Okanagan twist) is the perfect dish for a leisurely brunch. Got a food-lover on your holiday shopping list? In Kelowna-head to Lakehouse Home Store (510 Bernard Avenue) where there is a kitchen gadget, dish or roasting pan for every budget. A handmade knife from uber-cool Knifewear (2983 Pandosy Street) will delight both the professional and amateur chef. Valorosa Foods (1467 Sutherland Avenue) imports special items directly from Italy just for the holidays and if in a rush, simply stop by the new and chic Urban Fare (3155 Lakeshore Road) for a gourmet gift basket. Share the magic of the holidays with a bottle of British Columbia’s award-winning frizzante or Sparkling wines. The View Winery’s ( 2011 Distraction Rosé, 8th Generation Vineyard’s ( 2011 Integrity or Confidence, and just released this year Orofino Winery’s ( 2011 Moscato are excellent choices for frizzante. For BC’s best sparkling try Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s ( Cipes Gabriel or Cipes Brut, Sumac Ridge Estate Winery’s ( Stellar Jay’s Brut, Blue Mountain Winery’s ( Brut Sparkling , Bella Wines ( 2011 Sparkling Rosé, and Road 13 Vineyard’s ( Sparkling Chenin Blanc. Okanagan holiday cocktails: The Sparkling Santa –in a champagne flute add 2oz of Rustic Roots winery’s ( Santa Rose (an award-winning plum dessert wine) and top with frizzante or sparkling BC wine. The Okanagan Sparkling Royale - add 1oz Okanagan Spirits ( Blackcurrant Liquer and top with frizzante or sparkling BC wine. Wishing you and yours all the very best over the holidays. —Claire Sear

CONT’D FROM PAGE 50 potato baked in a flour tortilla) or the fish taco and fries (red snapper, cabbage, cilantro, avocado and lime). Tasty Treasures’ Chocolate Chip Cookie reigns as one of my favs and now that the store has a permanent location in the food fair at Orchard Park Mall, I can indulge anytime. Soban Korean Bistro, in downtown Kelowna, makes mouthwatering Korean Beef Tacos—marinated beef, slaw, feta cheese and salsa in a soft tortilla—and Wasabi Izakaya makes the best Takoyaki—if you haven’t had Takoyaki (an octopus dumpling), go and try some; they are seductive. Poppadoms-Taste India! is the first Indian restaurant that has localized their menu and features heart-healthy, innovative, and delicious cuisine. Try the Gindian cocktail (G&T with star anise) with the South Indian Spiced Crab Cake—delicately-spiced, fresh Dungeness crab and potato with a crispy breadcrumb coating. I love taking visitors to see the fabulous array of local bounty at the Kelowna Farmers Market. Try the Triple Island Gouda and Green Croft Farms organic produce. Next stop is Summerhill, where Summerhill Winery’s Sunset Organic Bistro is the best place to enjoy a bottle of bubbles (no mark up!) along with the Grilled Romaine Hearts with Merlot Caesar dressing, caper berries, and Parmesan cheese and Pizza “Cipes” with roasted garlic goat cheese, tomato, and chilies. Finally, heading a bit north to lake country, you can dine at Ricardo’s Mediterranean Kitchen (make reservations – they are always full). Don’t be alarmed when driving there – no, you are not going the wrong way; the restaurant is in the middle of a trailer park! Go on Thursday for live jazz and order the spaghetti & meatballs. You’ll always leave there feeling like you were just at a big Italian wedding.

Take our show on the road Details Catering by Waterfront Wines NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2012


Okanagan Year End Revew & 2012 MUST-EAT LIST by Jennifer Schell

Jennifer Schell

From left to right: Harker’s Vegetable Stand, King Cole at Upper Bench Creamery, Pizza at Terrafina, Making Chocolate Bread at Monika the Baker


he Okanagan Valley overflows with delicious produce, flavourful wines, and beautiful views. I could write pages on all there is to eat and drink, but space only allows for some highlights of my favourites. In Osoyoos, Dolci Deli & Catering is a must with delicious in-house eats. Try owner Jorg Hoffmeister’s house-made prosciutto, which is fantastic. In Oliver, head to Terrafina Restaurant at Hester Creek Winery for the Potato & Truffle Pizza (aged grana padano, white truffle oil, peppered rocket, and bacon artichoke aioli. Yum.) With a view to die for and seriously amazing brunch and dinner menus, Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek Winery is always on my list (ask for the corner table on the patio in good weather). Next stop, Covert Farms for their organic corn, known as “crack corn” because it’s so addictive. I try to drive through the Similkameen Valley as much as possible. It is one of the most dramatic entrances into a valley I have ever seen; one feels a sense of peace coming over you as soon as you enter the town of Cawston. I hit whatever wineries along the way that I can - Orofino, Seven Stones, Forbidden Fruit, Eau Vivre and I always end up at

Harker’s Vegetable Stand to load up on their heirloom tomatoes. Morning drives to Penticton entail a breakfast stop at The Bench - latte, breakfast sandwich and a chocolate chip cookie to go. If you’re there on a Saturday, the Penticton Farmers Market is a dream. Head directly to Little Farm’s stall for a chocolate baguette and Joy Road Catering for a jar of pickles. At lunchtime, or anytime hunger hits, a must is Burger 55. Naramata Bench is one of my frequent destinations – so much deliciousness on one stretch of road. Right before the turn onto the bench, you’ll see Upper Bench Wine & Creamery—STOP THE CAR—and pick up some wine and cheese; try one of everything and you are good to go. Hillside Winery Bistro has a fabulous menu including the notto-be-missed Duck Leg Confit "Grilled Cheese" Sandwich. In Summerland, the pit stop for a latte and tree hugger cookie is Good Omens Coffee House. If time and weather permits, enjoy them on the fabulous garden patio out back. Visit the newly-opened True Grain Bakery on Main Street for hand-made artisan breads. In Kelowna, I make daily trips to GioBean Espresso for a latte and biscotti. Another coffee house favorite is The Bean Scene (there are three locations) – I love the Espresso Graf beans for grinding at home. For baked goods, Monika the Baker’s Okanagan Grocery has the best baguettes, scones, and croissants at their two locations. And I get giddy each time I set foot in Sandrine’s French Pastry & Chocolate Store and remember anew that we have a little bit of Paris right here in Kelowna. Must haves are: the pate; Chocolate Love (a beautiful mousse cake for one); Quiche Lorrain; the macarons are lovely, and come in an array of flavours. My fav? Lime Basil! One of the best restaurants in Kelowna is Raudz Regional Table—I fantasize about chef Rod Butter’s Gnocchi with Arugula Pesto. DeBakker’s Kitchen, a neighbourhood restaurant in Glenmore, is an undiscovered gem. Hmmm, maybe I shouldn’t tell you about it, as I might not get in once people try the amazing wood-fire oven pizza. Okanagan Street Food was Kelowna’s first food truck and, thankfully, is now a permanent diner where I can indulge my addiction for chef Neil Schroeter’s famous market breakfast wrap (house-smoked bacon, eggs, fresh salsa, aged cheddar cheese and


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