RESTAURANTS | RECIPES | WINES | CULINARY TRAVEL
NOVEMBER | DECEMBER
l 2011 | Issue 15-06 | FREE | EATmagazine.ca
CELEBRATING THE FOOD & DRINK OF
Mini Baked Alaska filled with chocolate brownie and apricot gelato. Pg 22
Featuring the award winning creations of chef Andrew Dickinson
Long Tabl Celebrati
Save the Honeybee PLUS
Honey Recipes ...44
Sweet Ch The EAT Preservin
146 Kingston Street | www.bluecrab.ca | 250.480.1999
EAT is delive locations in home delive
Sarah Armstrong, mover & shaker.
chops purees beats mixes blends stirs emulsifies Complete with: multi-purpose blade, whisk, beater, 600 ml beaker and wall bracket Broadmead Village, Victoria 130-777 Royal Oak Drive 250-727-2110
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Communit Nanaimo: Okanagan:
Not just a Wine Bar
Contributo Danter, Jen D Tracey Kusiew Martin, Sand Claire Sear, S Sylvia Weins
Open 7 nights 5pm | midnight T Tues ues - Sat 5pm | 10pm Sun-Mon 250.388.4222 1307 Gladstone Av Avenue, A venue, V Victoria ictoria www.sta www .stagewinebar.com www.stagewinebar.com
Tel: 250.384 Email: edito
Since 1998 | E
without the wri
in the articles ar
the right to refu
EAT magazine november & december 2011
Main Plates Long Table Dinners . . . . ....12 Celebration Salmon . . .....22
Tapas Concierge Desk . . . . . . . 05 Chefs’ Talk . . . . . . . . . . .06 Epicure At Large . . . . . . .08 Food Matters . . . . . . . . . .09
We’re ready for you!
Top Shelf . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Save the Honeybee
Get Fresh . . . . . . . . . . . .15
Reporter . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Good For You . . . . . . . . .44
Honey Recipes ...44
Eating Well for Less . . . .19 Wine + Terroir . . . . . . . .32 Wine & Food Pairing . . .34
Sweet Christmas . . . . . . .....26 The EAT Gift Guide . . . .....30 Preserving the Harvest .....46
Liquid Assets . . . . . . . . . .36 Out & About . . . . . . . . . .38 News from around BC . .39
Cover photography: Mini Baked Alaska by Michael Tourigny
EAT is delivered to over 200 free pick-up locations in BC and through the Wednesday home delivery of the Globe and Mail.
Editor in Chief Gary Hynes Contributing Editor Carolyn Bateman, Vancouver Contributing Editor Julie Pegg Okanagan Contributing Editor Claire Sear Online DRINK Editor Treve Ring Community Reporters Nanaimo: Karma Brophy, Tofino | Uclulet: Jen Dart, Vancouver:: Julie Pegg, Okanagan: Jennifer Schell, Victoria: Rebecca Baugniet, Comox Valley: Eli Blake
Contributors Larry Arnold, Joseph Blake, Michelle Bouffard, Eva Cherneff, Jennifer Danter, Jen Dart, Pam Durkin, Gillie Easdon, Jeremy Ferguson, Nathan Fong, Holland Gidney, Tracey Kusiewicz, Kathryn Kusyszyn, Anya Levykh, Ceara Lornie, Denise Marchessault, Sherri Martin, Sandra McKenzie, Michaela Morris, Julie Pegg, Genevieve Laplante, Treve Ring, Claire Sear, Solomon Siegel, Elizabeth Smyth, Adem Tepedelen, Michael Tourigny, Jenny Uechi, Sylvia Weinstock, Rebecca Wellman, Caroline West, Melody Wey. Publisher Pacific Island Gourmet | EAT ® is a registered trademark. Advertising: 250.384.9042, firstname.lastname@example.org Mailing address: Box 5225, Victoria, BC, V8R 6N4, Tel: 250.384.9042 Email: email@example.com Website: eatmagazine.ca 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.
thriftyfoods.com www.eatmagazine.ca NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
Welcome The Value of Local Food These days, we all love to talk food. When I founded EAT magazine 13 years ago, no other local magazine, TV channel, radio, website or newspaper thought local food was worth a sentence, let alone an article. In the past decade I’ve watched as TV, the established media, lifestyle magazines, and bloggers have all “found” food. Food is now a glamourous topic with chefs as celebrities. At this time of year, we are giving thanks for and celebrating family, friends, and the good food on our table, so it’s worth reflecting on what makes that food good. Sure, great food comes from our favourite, local restaurants and is now more easily than ever bought from an increasing number of small shops. But sometimes it’s easy to overlook the people who produce the foods we put on our tables—the farmers, the fishers, the pasta makers, the smokers, the salt producers, the vinegar makers, the wheat growers and grinders—all those who provide the food that our favourite restaurants and shops add value to and then sell to you. It’s a complete, farm-to-fork circle that starts with the grower/producer and ends with you. In the year ahead, EAT will be introducing you to those food producers. We’ll tell their stories, evaluate the products, and tell you where to find their foods. And your favourite reporters and columnists will continue to bring you the profiles of the local restaurants, chefs, food and wine/beer stores that you ask for. While we’re at it, we also think it’s important to talk about some of the issues and challenges facing us. In this issue, Pam Durkin takes a look at the Plight of the Honeybee—why bees are essential to life, why they are disappearing, and what we can do to bring back the honeybees. But this is not all academic. In true EAT fashion, we also bring you some fantastic recipes–both sweet and savoury–that feature honey. Again, that farm-to-fork circle. Wishing you and yours all the best this holiday season. Good eating! —Gary Hynes, Editor
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For more events visit www.eatmagazine.ca
EAST KOOTENAY WINE FESTIVAL The 10th Annual East Kootenay Wine Festival at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort takes place Saturday, November 5th. Friday, November 4th sees the return of the gourmet pre-festival wine-paired dinner. Visit the website for more information. (www.fairmonthotsprings.com) BAKERS MARKET IN VANCOUVER A gathering of professional, amateur, student & Mommy 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. 10th (closed Nov.19th). (www.bakersmarket.com) 2011 GOLD MEDAL PLATES COMPETITION Top Chef Canada winner Dale MacKay will go for the top prize at the 2011 Gold Medal Plates competition in Vancouver on November 4th in a battle against ten of B.C.’s most talented chefs. For ticket information for the 2011 Gold Medal Plates competition in Vancouver, contact Vancouver@goldmedalplates.com or 604-646-3580. For more information, visit the Gold Medal Plates website www.goldmedalplates.com. GOURMET CHRISTMAS COOKIES CLASS AT COOK CULTURE Christmas is coming and so are the cravings for Christmas cookies. This cookie class will teach you how to make four types of cookies; a classic shortbread-elegantly garnished, a lightly spiced linzer sandwiched cookie, a French macaron and one more. Nov. 7th, 1-3pm. $65 (www.cookculture.com) OTTAVIO’S ESTATE OLIVE OIL TASTING November 10, from 7-9 pm. Don’t miss your chance to taste over 20 estate produced olive oils from Italy, France, Morocco & Spain along with an education on the farming, harvesting & production practices of the finest producers. Advanced reservations are limited to 25 for this event and can be made in the delicatessen for $25/person, dessert & illy coffee included. Discounts on all olive oils at the event. (www.ottaviovictoria.com) WHISTLER’S CORNUCOPIA Celebrate gourmet food coupled with fine wine at Whistler from November 10th-13th. 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, & 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. whistlercornucopia.com). CLAYOQUOT OYSTER FESTIVAL The Clayoquot Oyster Festival is a memorable celebration of one of the ocean's most coveted culinary delights, the oyster. As a region, Clayoquot Sound is a great cultivator and consumer of this special bivalve, annually growing over 50,000 gallons of oysters a year and over the festival weekend slurping back over 8,000. From November 17-19, the community of Tofino in beautiful Clayoquot Sound will go to great lengths to honour the humble oyster. (www.oystergala.com) VANCOUVER AQUARIUM'S OCEAN WISE CHOWDER CHOWDOWN November 23 at 7 p.m, join the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown as twelve of the city’s best chefs compete head-to-head in the ultimate competition. Taste twelve original ocean-friendly chowders paired with local brew and vote for your favourite, all in support of Ocean Wise sustainable seafood. Tickets available online.(www.vanaqua.org ) HOLIDAY CHEER LOUNGE NIGHT Get in the holiday spirit with Silk Road’s Holiday Cheer Lounge Night, Thursday November 24th, from 5 to 9 pm. Sip on a tea cocktail, enjoy tasty nibbles, and be CONCIERGE is continued on page 7
chefs talk— compiled by Ceara Lornie
The Ask In a world where things are premade, prepackaged, pre-everything, what do you think home cooks should really take the time to make? Sauces? Fresh pasta? Fresh bread? Ice cream? Where should we spend our time? Sean Brennan | Brasserie L’Ecole | 250.475.6260 In the garden turning flowerbeds into vegetable patches. Robin Jackson | Sooke Harbour House | 250.642.3421 The biggest loss to home cuisine is the practice of making and eating meals together. Because most people are not making sauces, breads and pastas from scratch at home, the next generation will not be able to continue the culture of the family meal. Having time to cook is always a huge factor, but if we try to make something from scratch each time and eat together it will make a big difference. Jena Stewart | Devour | 250.590.3231 I have no doubt the proof is in the sauce! Start easy with the things you love to eat, say tomatoes. Make a sauce and if you don’t like it, write down what you would change. The best thing about starting with sauces: you don’t have to throw it out if it doesn’t work—just make soup… that's where soup came from right? Screwed up sauces… Alex How | Pizzeria Primastrada (Cook Street) 250.590.8595 (Bridge Street) 250.590.4380 Eating anything made at home makes you feel good. The “I made this” sense of satisfaction is hard to beat. I'd say make your own stocks. Easily frozen and the key to good soups and sauces. Matt Rissling | The Marina Restauarant | 250.598.8555 Lots of people fall back on using convenience foods to get through the week and I am no exception. I'm busy, my wife is busy, my kids are busy, so sometimes a jar of pasta sauce with a few veggies thrown in, dried noodles, a loaf of bread and a bag of salad is all there is time for between work, school, gymnastics, Scouts, homework, bath and bed. There's nothing wrong with using ready-to-eat products as long as you're using the time you save to sit down and eat with people you like! Anna Hunt | Paprika | 250.592.7424 I think we should all take a little time and try to grow more of our own veggies. We are blessed with the climate here, and it really doesn't take much space. So take some time and try to grow your food. Genevieve Laplante | Sips Artisan Bistro | 250.590.3519 & Cook Culture | 250.590.8161 It's simple, start with what you love and go from there. If you love bread--learn to make bread. If you love soup-- learn to make a delicious soup. Cooking should not be a chore, but instead a true pleasure. There are also fantastic, locally made prepackaged items from inspired Victoria businesses, so if cooking isn't your thing, at least buy the best our region has to offer! Ottavio sells house made stocks and lasagna, Choux Choux Charcuterie makes crazy good hot dogs, Feys+Hobbs Catered Arts makes meals to go, and don't even get me started on how yummy Cold Comfort's ice cream is! Peter De Bruyn | Strathcona Hotel | 250.383.7137 I think that people should spend their time making sauces. Sauces made from scratch with a few simple ingredients taste far better and are cheaper than anything purchased in grocery stores. I love finishing a pan-fried salmon dish with capers, lemon zest and butter. Simply add the capers and lemon zest to the pan once the fish is removed turn off the heat and whisk in cold butter slowly. This makes a beautiful sauce you can’t buy in grocery stores. Fresh homemade bread can be great, but there are so many small bakeries making fabulous products!
EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
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pampered with free mini spa services while you kick off your holiday shopping. The staff will be on hand, offering samples of holiday teas and recipes for entertaining. Also Nov 26 - Toast the Holidays. (www.silkroadtea.com) TRAINS DELUXE PRE-CHRISTMAS GALA DINNERS & BRUNCH 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 25th-26th, Brunch on Nov 27th. (www.trainsdeluxe.com) THE 2ND ANNUAL GINGERBREAD HOUSE EVENT This event is “Bringing Gingerbread to Life” on November 27th, 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. (www.gingerbreadevent.com) VEGETARIAN APPETIZERS Get ready for the holiday season. In this cooking class, learn how to make fabulous appetizers from around the world, with lots of make-ahead tips for this busy time of year. Recipes include Moroccan-Spiced Filo Triangles, prep-ahead Bruschetta, mouthwatering dips, and much more. Includes samples of every recipe made in class. Nov 28th, 6-9pm. $90. (www.thelondonchef.com)
A CHRISTMAS INSPIRED Visit Muse Winery December 10th and 11th for an annual event that allows you to meet the artists, and enjoy work by sculptors Craig Benson and Paul Harder, painter Barry Tate, photographer Dave Hutchison, glass artist Pauline Olesen, goldsmith Terry Venables and kelp weaver/sculptor Grant Warrington. The winery will also have on hand a wonderful selection of wine gift baskets perfect for clients, hostesses and friends. The Tasting Room will be open throughout the show, so you can leisurely take in the art with a glass in hand. FINE VINTAGE LTD. CERTIFICATION BUSINESS OF WINE This course looks at how to develop a career in the wine industry and how to make money. Students will learn what's involved in working in a whole variety of professions in the wine industry, along with approximate salaries. Viticulturalist, Winemaker, Sales Manager and rep, Export Director, Retailer and other roles. Find out the steps to take to help you achieve your goals and the education you will need to ensure you're qualified. Owning and operating a winery and its associated costs are also discussed. A tasting of 8 wines will enhance the afternoon. Saturday, Dec 10th. (www.finevintageltd.com)
WINTER OKANAGAN WINE FESTIVAL From January 14 to 22, 2012, 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. (www.thewinefestivals.com) THE SIXTH ANNUAL OREGON TRUFFLE FESTIVAL The 7th Annual Oregon Truffle Festival will be held in and around Eugene Oregon over three brisk winter days from January 27-29, 2012. 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. (www.oregontrufflefestival.com)
www.eatmagazine.ca NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
epicure at large — by Jeremy Ferguson
hillsideliquorstore.com Follow us on facebook and twitter/hillsidelrs
EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
The Demon Salt
Our universal craving for sodium chloride is primordial, powerful and probably eternal.
Salt, like fatty salmon, like red wine, like coconut oil, is off the hook: According to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the demon salt does not significantly contribute to high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease. No surprise here: When the nay-saying, finger-wagging health zealots, nutritionists, academics and government all gang up on something, you know it can’t really be bad for you. I’ve long learned to take such hysteria with a grain of ... Too much salt can kill you: One gram of salt per kilo of body weight will do the job. This was once a preferred method of suicide in China, among the nobles: Salt was expensive and it was a final way of showing off. But you won’t die from salting your popcorn. Salt is the purest and most ancient of substances, and it’s had a spirited romp through history. It was with us when we crawled out of the sea. Its ability to preserve food is regarded as a building block of human civilization. Our universal craving for sodium chloride is primordial, innate, powerful and probably eternal. Jesus told his disciples they were the “salt of the earth.” It was an expression of the highest appreciation. The Middle Ages saw salt roads, comparable to silk roads, with caravans of 40,000 camels trekking to the far-reaching markets, including Timbuktu, of the Sahara. By the ounce, salt fetched as much as gold. The caravans returned laden with gold dust, ivory and slaves. During the American Revolution, a Loyalist tactic was to cut off salt shipments and thereby sabotage the Revolutionary food supply. Through the millennia, the sharing of salt has been treated as a bond. “It is a true saying that a man must eat a peck of salt with his friend before he knows him,” wrote Cervantes, as Don Quixote. Mark Kurlansky’s Salt: A World History is the definitive read. It comes sprinkled with esoteric tidbits: Kurlansky tells us that ancient Egyptian priests were denied salt because it was viewed as aphrodisiac. That in Germany, the shoes of brides were sprinkled with salt for the same reason. That Parmesan is immersed for weeks in a salt bath to give it its savoury magic, the very essence of umami. Rock salt refined with iodine and magnesium carbonate is the customary tenant of the shaker. Now it’s being evicted by sea salt, in which we find superior flavour, texture and mouth-feel. The designer salts are rolling in from France, Hawaii, Australia, Cyprus, Peru, Bali and even the Himalaya. They come in white, black, pink, apricot and forthcoming, maybe, puce. We have fleur de sel, the salt of salts, from the premium top layer of the salt bed, said to have a faint aroma of violets. We have salts smoked over exotic woods, coconut shells and, for all I know, the ashes of deceased movie stars. We have salts with more flavours than Baskin Robbins. Vancouver’s Maison Côté proffers an encyclopedic list of salts infused with arbutus, balsamic, blackberry, hibiscus, Korean chili, rose petal, star anise and scores of similar exotica. And our very own Vancouver Island Salt Co. has added a quartet of flavours to its product line: garlic, mustard, balsamic and banana pepper. The garlic is rich and rounded and my own favourite after the Italian truffle salt sold at Choux Choux Charcuterie. Cobble Hill saunier Andrew Shepherd attributes his integrated flavours to blending his elements when the salt is a wet slurry rather than adding infusions at the end. At home, my wife uses salt in brines for juicy smoked salmon, pork loin roast and venison. She makes salt crusts for sunchokes and roast chickens. Salt allows her to produce a delectably crispy skin on duck confit. Just for me, she buy fresh anchovies when they’re available, cleans them and layers them with salt; they’re subtle, silky and addictive. I love salt, no apologies tendered. Tomatoes, corn on the cob, fish and chips—I adore foods that call out for a salt typhoon. When I go to a movie, I bring my own salt for the popcorn. I’ve been seen slinking away to dark, secret corners clutching foil bags just for a salt hit. And don’t get me going on Cheezies. When, in the epic movie Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s wife was turned to a pillar of salt, I thought it was a happy ending. Am I imperilled by my salt fetish? Does my blood pressure soar? At my last checkup, my doctor ordered me, for reasons too complicated to describe here, not to cut my salt intake. I fainted with excitement.
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Barely is the Thanksgiving bird divested of its flesh and the last sliver of pumpkin pie consumed when ideas for holiday entertaining begin to percolate. Many of us are gearing up to host our annual Christmas drinks party. Others of us may be considering a more intimate supper or soiree. Whatever the circumstance, the holiday season is the perfect time to run with some classic food and drink pairings. To help with your festive gatherings, then, here are a few good old-fashioned food and beverage matches (some with a bit of a twist) guaranteed to put the punch in any party. Go nuts with a martini or manhattan. Nuts are the ideal match for alcohol. Instead of popping the top off a can of mixed nuts, go with spicy walnuts (deftly avoiding the pitfalls of peanut allergies in the process). Sauté a goodly amount of walnut halves in a butter/Worcestershire/Sirachi sauce mixture until toasty. Drain nuts on paper towels. In a zip-lock bag, toss together one teaspoon each of onion and garlic powders, and a lashing of peppers, black and cayenne. Shake the nuts about in the spice mixture. Place small bowls filled with the spicy nuts within easy reach. To go with beer, what else? Pickled eggs and a shaker of salt. Boil eggs just six minutes to avoid rubbery ellipses and that unsightly black ring that can link yoke to white. Pop eggs into a mason jar filled with hot vinegar. Add slices of red onion. Let eggs and vinegar get acquainted for two days before serving. Pour beer into British pint glasses. If you can, ferret out a vintage-style iron egg-holder and clunky glass saltshaker. Add flaky cheese straws direct from the oven to the mix, sure to warm the cockles on a frosty night; www.epicurious.com offers an excellent recipe for this perfect cocktail nibble. Feel free to gussy up straws with garlic and/or herbs. Never too filling, and always elegant, is a platter of raw oysters set on a bed of ice. At our house, we gravitate toward crisp Chablis, Sancerre or Blanc de Blanc champagne (or, possibly, dark beer) to match with the briny mollusks. Carrying far less of a price tag is another classic match from the Loire in France—Muscadet, also called Melon de Bourgogne and not to be confused with the sweetish Muscat. A good bottle is bone-dry, buoyant with bracing acidity and a touch of citrus. Best drunk in its youth, Muscadet should also possess lip-smacking saline and mineral flavours); great with the salty tang of kusshis or kumamotos. For folks tucking into tourtière on Christmas Eve, the obvious quaffer is Quebecois beer. However, if the pie is made with veal, rabbit or pork, defy tradition and pop the cork on a dry, new-world Riesling or buttery Chardonnay. If game or ground beef dominate, a peppery Syrah from the northern Rhône or a medium-bodied fruity Zinfandel works wonders with this French-Canadian treat. Over the New Year, northern Italians celebrate with Cotechino, a coarse-grained spiced sausage dished up with lentils. Valpolicella “Ripasso” from the Veneto or a Piemontese Barbera both possess enough fine tannins, structure and acidity to measure up to the plump sausage’s texture and taste. Homage has to be paid to the sublime marriage of vintage port and English Stilton. However, that wonderful sweet-and-salty zip/zap on the tongue can be had with a quality Oloroso and a wedge of Cabrales, a heavily veined blue cheese from Spain. A nice twist on the classic. Chocolate lovers can go in search of Banyuls, port’s cousin and made in the south of France. Fashioned in the same way as port, but showing less sweetness, this fortified wine partners well with bitter chocolate. A thimble full of Banyuls accompanied by a chocolate madeleine or square of top-notch dark chocolate bids a gracious adieu to a festive meal. The pairings listed here are only a few of the classic food and drink matches ideal for the holiday season. They provide plenty of pleasure anytime, but none better than on a winter’s eve or a festive occasion among family and friends.
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A Local Story. Every week a batch of Hollie Wood’s fresh Satori oysters makes its 100 mile journey from Denman Island to the Marina Restaurant. And every week we send any extra oysters back to be re-seeded. Nothing wasted, unbelievably fresh. Just one of the stories that make up our plates each day.
Stunning Views Lunch • Dinner • Sushi • Sunday Brunch
250-598-8555 1327 Beach Drive at the Oak Bay Marina www.marinarestaurant.com OB 5027 Oak Bay Marine Group www.eatmagazine.ca Eat Magazine 4.375" x 9.8125" prepared July 28, 2010
NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
top shelf Victoria designer JC Scott believes slow food principles are a natural for interior design.
100-Mile Design D E L I C I O U S F O O D. G R E AT S E R V I C E . S P E C TAC U L A R V I E W S . B U I L D YO U R H O L I DAY W I T H U S .
Reserve your group of 6 or more and each receive a glass of bubbles on arrival at Lure Restaurant.
Oﬀer limited to 1 glass per person for bookings in November & December
45 Songhees Road 250.360.5873
by Sylvia Weinstock
Interior designer and hospitality planner JC Scott has amassed an impressive body of work, including 23 notable restaurants and pubs in Victoria and Vancouver, as well as high-end residences, resorts and stores. Scott is the visionary behind The Teahouse in Stanley Park, Victoria’s Marina Restaurant, The Oyster Bar in Pescatore’s, The London Chef and Swan’s Hotel, as well as many distinctively beautiful Victoria buildings and homes. In his spacious, green workspace/gallery/home in Fan Tan Alley, Scott has been immersed in applying 100-Mile Diet principles to sustainable interior design. The fruits of his aesthetic imagination can be seen at his eco Design Gallery in Chinatown and at HeartH eco Design Gallery, Sidney, where furniture with a Zen sensibility, built by local artisans from locally sourced materials, is displayed. “My concept of 100-Mile Design is partly a tribute to the locavore movement and the 100-Mile Diet,” says the long-time environmentalist. “I believe the same principles can be applied to design, by supporting local artisans, materials and suppliers and lowering the carbon footprint. Pursuing those goals in the food we eat and our surroundings also supports the local economy. I’d like to see people take full responsibility for what they eat and the environments in which they do it.” Scott believes slow food movement fundamentals—terrain, product, place and social activity—can be employed in interior design. “It comes down to repurposing a sense of community around food,” says Scott, who has put considerable effort into trying to get a permanent year-round public market established in Victoria. Scott’s ultimate fantasy design project is a restaurant that marries 100-Mile Design principles with 100-Mile Diet principles in all aspects, from ingredients served to building materials. “That would include wood harvested on Vancouver Island and stone quarried on the island where streams aren’t being polluted. I’d love to find a client committed to having a locally sourced menu in a locally sourced environment.” “I envision a restaurant as local and West Coast as possible, a bouillabaisse of authentic Vancouver Island cuisine and Vancouver Island design aesthetic. Let’s go further,” Scott says, “and merge our regional cuisine with regional design.” Contact JC Scott at eco Design Gallery, 17½ Fan Tan Alley (2nd floor), by calling 250-385-9545 or at www.jcscott.com. HeartH eco Design Gallery is located at 2348 Beacon Ave., Sidney.
EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
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facebook.com/metroliquorstores twitter.com/metroliquor Tuscany Liquor Store | 101-1660 Mckenzie Avenue | (250) 384-9463 | metroliquor.com | Please use alcohol responsibly www.eatmagazine.ca NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
trending — by Elizabeth Smyth
medieval Ch per year. Bu dining in re Brooklyn an style dining. Catering pre and Sunday Estate, wit incorporated pea soup charcuterie. summer, wit coming n Restaurant meals at No Mission Hil menu items zucchini flow In Vancou tables. At Sa dinners are h cuterie and a about family What is sp Cs: commun different rest qualities in m
Nights of the Long Table Long table dining is all about the three Cs: community, conviviality and cost.
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A long table gathering at Pizzeria Prima Strada “At dinner parties more than anywhere else, life is lived in company.” – Cicero Once a month, 30 people gather in Victoria. A few know each other already; most do not. Some come with one other person, some come with a small group, some come alone, but none of those configurations matter by the end of the evening. For by then, those small groups have merged into one big group, at one moment listening raptly to information about different regions of Italy, at another rapturously enjoying foods of—or in the style of—the region. At the end of July, the focus was the Campania province, and the menu included insalata caprese with soft buffalo mozzarella and exquisite, silky oil; Pacific halibut with butter sauce and sofrito-roasted fingerling potatoes; hand-stretched, wood-fired Pizze Napolitano; and fresh berries with limoncello zabaglione. My fellow guests and I were at the monthly long table dinner at Pizzeria Prima Strada in Victoria, where each month manager Andrew Johnson presents a different menu based on a different province of Italy, complete with matching wines. Coming together to share a meal, of course, goes back to ancient times and was a big part of
EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
medieval Christian life, with approximately 50 feast days per year. But lately there has been a surge of long table dining in restaurants. In the U.S., Frankies Spuntino in Brooklyn and the East Village is offering regular banquetstyle dining. Closer to home, in the Okanagan, Joy Road Catering presents a Thursday Winemakers Culinary Series and Sunday Alfresco Vineyard Dining at God’s Mountain Estate, with local ingredients incorporated into dishes like cold pea soup and house-made charcuterie. In Pemberton this past summer, with the promise of more coming next summer, Araxi Restaurant held three long table meals at North Arm Farm featuring Mission Hill wines and intriguing menu items like duck liver parfait with rosemary, and zucchini flowers stuffed with Okanagan goat cheese. In Vancouver, Salt and the Irish Heather have long tables. At Salt, winemaker (or brewmaker in some cases) dinners are held weekly, served with Salt’s signature charcuterie and artisanal cheeses; at the Irish Heather, it’s all about family-style dinners. What is spurring this revival in long table dining? Three Cs: community, conviviality and cost. A look at three different restaurant’s schedules and formats reveals these qualities in more depth.
ady; most do , some come For by then, ening raptly joying foods e Campania ozzarella and d fingerling berries with
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body should not be divorced from the higher pleasures of feeding the mind.” This deeper understanding of culture builds community. In New York City, Mario Batali’s Babbo is also doing a monthly dinner and talk with wines lovingly selected from the restaurant’s cellar; here the culture comes with quite a price; the cost can go up to $695! A long table can also be an annual event; Ottavio’s in Victoria held an Italian family dinner in August as a fundraiser for the Single Parent Resource Centre. Peter Zambri cooked, Jo Zambri served and Ottavio’s owners, among others, donated time and food. For $100 per person, guests enjoyed Oyama charcuterie, Metchosin leg of lamb and playful “gelato surpriso” with fizzy, bubbling, hot rock candy tucked inside. More important, hard-pressed single parents in the community get to benefit from the restaurateurs’ and guests’ contributions. A long table dinner as a fundraiser clearly fits into the “C” of community building, while the guests simultaneously enjoyed the conviviality of the event. But long table dining may not be for everyone. On a Bon Appetit blog post in June of this year, Los Angeles food writer Jason Kessler declared, “I’m sick of communal dining!” He explained how he has eaten at some communal tables where people start their meals at different
eating at the long table is a coveted experience.”
The Irish Heather’s long table dinners happen four times a week. The emphasis is on hearty, with different nights
featuring roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, grilled pork ribs, lamb burgers, leg of lamb, half a Cornish hen, and more. Community and conviviality are certainly goals of these dinners; the website describes the long table as “an intimate gathering of friends, old and new,” and “like coming home to Sunday dinner.” But where these long table dinners stand out is cost; the meal is $16, including
an artisan beer. This highlights one reason for the revival in long table dining – haute cuisine is not affordable for some during a recession, and in the United States in particular, restaurants have had to adjust. To be frank, a long table is also economical for a restaurant; for instance, a group of tables that would normally serve 12 can be combined to feed 20 in the same space. The monthly format of Pizzeria Prima Strada comes with a strong cultural component, as guests get to enjoy some education about the region. Interestingly, this connection between food and education hearkens back to Greek and Roman feasting traditions. As Roy Strong says in his book Feast: A History of Grand Eating, the Greeks and Romans believed that “the pleasures of feeding the
Continued on the next page
chocolaterie patisserie cafe
Founded in the traditions of internationally acclaimed maître pâtissier Thierry Busset’s native France, Thierry offers a contemporary approach to the finest handcrafted chocolates, macarons, pastries, and desserts. Whether you drop by for a mid-morning cappuccino and croissant, a leisurely lunch, or a post-dinner dessert and drink on our licensed patio, Thierry is designed to uplift the spirits.
m – f 7 am – midnight s+s
9 am – midnight
1059 alberni street (thurlow/burrard) 604 608 6870 toptable.ca
www.eatmagazine.ca NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
left: The Araxi Long Table at North Arm Farm in Pemberton top: An intimate gathering at one of Irish Heather’s Long Table Series (LTS).
Pizzeria Prima Strada, 2960 Bridge St., Victoria, www.pizzeriaprimastrada.com Salt Tasting Room, 46 Blood Alley, Vancouver, salttastingroom.com The Irish Heather, 210 Carrall St., Vancouver, www.irishheather.com Frankies Spuntino, 457 Court St., Brooklyn, NY, www.frankiesspuntino.com Joy Road Catering, Okanagan Valley, www.joyroadcatering.com Babbo, New York, NY, www.babbonyc.com Araxi Restaurant, 4222 Village Square, Whistler, www.araxi.com Ottavio Italian Bakery & Delicatessen, 2232 Oak Bay Ave., Victoria, www.ottaviovictoria.com
Courtesy of the Irish Heather
Courtesy of the Top Table Group
times, with the result that some are finishing while others are just beginning. He also complained about not wanting to interact with more people after a day rubbing shoulders with New Yorkers and likened sitting beside a stranger at dinner to eating in a subway. It is in fact worth noting that the term “long table” is used for two different formats. The one I went to at Pizzeria Prima Strada, like many others, started at a fixed time with a fixed menu; in contrast, some restaurants have a long, communal table where people just join when they come. When Sean Heather started his at Salt in Vancouver, he definitely had to train his customers to sit there. In fact, he laughingly admitted to me that he had to resort to outand-out trickery to get some people to give it a try, telling people the two-person tables were reserved so they had to try out the long table. It took about five weeks for Vancouverites to get it. Now eating at the long table is a coveted experience. My experience with long table dining at Pizzeria Prima Strada was one of being … embraced. The restaurateur greeted everybody personally as if he were inviting them to a party, which, in effect, he was. I went on my own, but the guests around me immediately turned and introduced themselves to me and included me in their groups. After all, we were sharing a passion for food and an openness to being part of a food-loving community. Amazingly, not a single cellphone was answered. As Ottavio, head chef Derek Laframboise wisely puts it, “Dining in the company of others is an antidote to the modern digital age.” Long table dining will not be a passing trend but a long-term shift because it speaks to a fundamental human drive – to connect not just to food but to one another.
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EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
The Holiday Nut
Almonds are versatile enough for goose stuffing or dainty pastries.
Courtesy of the Irish Heather
get fresh COOKING BY THE SEASON â€” by Sylvia Weinstock
Almonds, the most nutritious of all tree nuts, are indispensable for Christmas and Hanukkah cookies, cakes and confections. They also shine in the savoury realm, in turkey or goose stuffing and many other seasonal dishes. These versatile nuts can be blanched, toasted, spiced, sugar-coated, chocolate-covered, made into almond extract, ground into flour, or pulverized and strained to make almond milk. Almonds are an ideal companion for trout, green beans or baked brie and enhance tagines and pilafs. Slivered almonds are used to make East Indian chicken patiala. Ground almonds are used to thicken Spanish romesco sauce, which is served on seafood, chicken or vegetables, and they add crunchy texture to chicken korma. Almond bark, frangipane (almond meal pastry cream used to fill or top cakes, tarts and pastries), mandelbrot (Jewish almond biscotti), rugelach (crescent-shaped Hanukkah cookies, made with cream-cheese dough and various fillings, including apricot jam and almonds) and panforte (a dense, chewy, Italian spiced cake laden with almonds, hazelnuts and candied citron) are popular seasonal treats. Almond paste (finely ground blanched almonds, sugar, egg whites and almond extract) and marzipan (almond paste with added confectionerâ€™s sugar and flavouring) are used to make holiday pastries, cakes, macaroons, pies and confectionery. In-shell almonds, and other yummy nuts in their shells, are available in early winter, the perfect time for the leisurely pastime of cracking nuts by a crackling fire. Every European country has its almond dessert specialties. Spanish almond cookies (polvorones), almond crumble cakes (mantecados) and almond nougat candy (turrĂłn) are delectable treats. Almond torte (glykisma amygthalou) and amygthalota, a pearshaped cookie made with ground almonds, semolina and orange flower water, with a clove at one end as the pear stem, are beautiful Greek desserts. Brazilian marzipanstuffed wrinkled prunes are cheekily known as â€œmother-in-lawâ€™s eyes.â€? Spicy pfeffernĂźsse and mandelspritzgeback are classic German Christmas almond cookies. Italian almond desserts include amaretti cookies and calcionetti (â€œfritters of the Christmas vigil,â€? nicknamed â€œlittle kicksâ€?). French cuisine offers bresiliennes (rum, coffee, chocolate and almond balls), amandes glacĂŠes (such as ginger-glazed almonds with a hit of cayenne) and almond cookies like les dames blanches and cuisses des dames (ladiesâ€™ thighs). A popular Portuguese dessert, sweet scrambled eggs with almonds and port, would make a wonderful Christmas breakfast. Drink a toast to the season and to delicious almonds with ratafia (brandy flavoured with almonds and fruit) amaretto, or glogg, a hot spiced punch made with almonds, raisins, aquavit or brandy, traditionally served during Advent.
1 0 0 % O R G A N I C | FA I R T R A D E | L O C A L LY OW N E D | S U S TA I N A B L E
Spread holiday cheer with locally made teas, exquisite teaware and wonderful tea gift sets. Make spirits bright with a gift certificate to our in-store spa, or a gift basket of our locally made organic body and skincare products.
A traditional Jewish dish perfect for any festive seasonal dinner. Makes 6 servings. 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts 2 Tbsp flour Salt and black pepper, to taste 3 Tbsp olive oil 3 Tbsp butter 1 cup blanched slivered almonds 2/3 cup orange juice 2 tsp grated lemon rind 1 1/4 cups chicken stock 2/3 cup semi-dry white wine 1 Tbsp honey 2 small oranges, peeled, thinly sliced, and cut in half Juice of half a lemon 1/2 cup large black raisins Preheat oven to 350Â°F. Sprinkle chicken with flour, salt and pepper. In a large frying pan, heat oil and butter and sautĂŠ almonds until golden. Remove nuts and
drain on paper towels. Use the same fat to sautĂŠ chicken on both sides until golden brown, then transfer to a large baking dish and arrange in one layer. Discard as much fat as possible, but retain the browned bits in the pan. Add orange juice, lemon rind, chicken stock and wine to the pan, stirring to incorporate pan residue. Stir in honey and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 3 to 4 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken, cover and bake 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to an ovenproof serving dish and arrange orange slices on top. Cover and keep warm in a low oven. Pour sauce into a small pan with lemon juice and raisins and bring to a boil. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes, until thickened. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle with almonds and serve.
Festivitea Chai Rum & Egg Nog Infuse 6 tbsp. Silk Road Chai tea in 2 cups Rum. Wait 20 min & strain out tea leaves. Combine 2 oz. Silk Road Chai infused Rum & 6 oz. Egg Nog over ice in tumbler. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg & cinnamon sticks.
7RJHWLQWKH KROLGD\VSLULW WU\RXU Join us for more holiday recipe ideas: SilkRoadVictoria @silkroadtea
silkroadtea.com 1624 Government St. Victoria Chinatown
www.eatmagazine.ca NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
Edible C Vancouve
Shine Café’s Canadian Benny with roasted tomatoes and Scottish potato scone, plus cappucino
Shine Café | 1320 Blanshard St., Victoria | 250-595-2134 | www.shinecafe.ca I’d been mulling over what could go in the Demitasse’s old space at Blanshard and Johnson for a couple of months. What would work there? A tricky location, what with the Atrium food hive and hub nearby. I even dallied with the idea of a retail spot; hats and sunglasses, anyone? Then I saw the sign: Shine Café. A downtown location to complement the popular Fort and Belmont spot. I smiled wide and shook my head. Well, played, sir. A solid chess move I would not have divined. Upon arrival I am greeted a few times by a cluster of friendly, bustling servers. It’s 10 a.m. on a Tuesday and the first section is chockers with a table of workmen, a few couples and two singles all chatting, eating and absently wiping various versions of hollandaise from their chins. They have renovated the old space and it is spacious, bright, vibrant and energetic – the sunbeams fanning off the back wall direct me to read the blackboards: Farmer Ben’s eggs from Duncan, locally sourced meat from The Village Butcher, Fernwood Coffee, gluten-free and vegan options. The walls set off the stained glass windows and the room seems to have doubled in size and height. Wonderful and welcoming. I order a cappuccino and the Canadian Benny with bacon, brie, sautéed mushrooms, bell peppers and hollandaise. It is gorgeous. The hollandaise is a rich velvet, commingling with the brie and the chopped crispy bacon’s saltiness, which settles in with the slippery mushrooms. The eggs are medium poached perfectly, and the fried tomato slices are firm and a bit tart. The cap is, well, fine. I should have just gone with the drip. Shine is not all about the coffee. I appreciate that. My friend enjoys the blintzes: two sweet cheese crêpes with house-made blueberry and lemon compote and sour cream. They are fresh and sweet but also well balanced and grounded by the slight
EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
crust and the thin but solid crêpe. Shine Café’s menu is extensive, fairly priced and yummy. They also offer a lunch menu as they are open seven days a week, 7 to 5. For those who love Shine’s other location but find parking a bit tricky or simply too packed on the weekend, problem solved. Check mate. —Gillie Easdon
Restaurant Watch OPENING SOON Bigwheel Burger, Victoria, (soon) Smoken Bones, Victoria, (Dec 2011) Bin 4 Burger Lounge, Victoria, (soon) The Union, Vancouver (Dec 2011) L’Officio, Vancouver (spring 2012) New Wild Rice, Vancouver, (late fall 2011) Bitter, Vancouver (soon) Riso Foods Inc, Lantzville (early winter) RECENTLY OPENED The Black Hat, Victoria, www.theblackhat.ca/ Bella Montagna, Victoria, bearmountain.ca/Dining/BellaMontagna Bubby’s Kitchen, Victoria, bubbyskitchen.ca Shine Café, Victoria, shinecafe.ca Le Petit Dakar, Victoria (no website) The Mint Upstairs, Victoria, themintvictoria.com Flavour, Victoria, 123 Gorge Rd East Terrain Regional Kitchen, Cowichan Bay Edible Canada, Vancouver, ediblecanada.com
Trilussa Pizza and Pane, Vancouver, trilussa.ca Save On Meats, Vancouver, saveonmeats.ca Ensemble, Vancouver, ensemblerestaurant.com Campagnolo Roma, Vancouver, campagnoloroma.com Pink Elephant Thai, Vancouver, pinkelephantthai.com Outpost Café, Vancouver, theoutpostcafe.ca Flying Canoe West Coast Pub, Courtenay, flyingcanoe.ca Café Regalade, Vancouver, caferegalade.com Oakwood Canadian Bistro, Vancouver, theoakwood.ca Pronto, Vancouver, prontocaffe.ca Fray, Vancouver, (no website) The Rumpus Room, Vancouver (no website) Hawksworth Vancouver, hawksworthrestaurant.com Ora Kitchen & Bar, Kelowna, orakitchen.ca Latin Fiesta, Kelowna, (no website) Dawett Indian Restaurant, Kelowna, dawett.ca Gaby’s Grill, West Kelwona, (no website) Saint German Café Gallery, Penticton, saintgermaincafegallery.wordpress.com
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Edible Canada | 212-1551 Johnston St., Granville Island, Vancouver | 604-558-0040 | www.ediblecanada.com
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Birch Syrup & Kasu Marinated Sablefish
Edible Vancouver was born in 2005 and very shortly after became the rather small but vital Edible B.C., both culinary tourism ventures designed to showcase the province’s abundance. Now, in a former woodworking co-op that lies catty-corner from Granville Island’s east entrance, is 3,500 square feet of Edible Canada under whose fir-beamed roof are a 150-seat bistro with bar and open kitchen, a separate demonstration kitchen, a retail store and a large patio complete with handy take-out Salt Spring coffee window and framed by window boxes filled with herbs, kale and chard. Inside, seating is crafted from recycled materials. The theme of Edible Canada may well be pan-Canada cuisine, but it is more of a work-in-progress than a sea-to-shining-sea wave of the maple leaf. Vancouver chef, hotel consultant and entrepreneur Eric Pateman, who has been the brains behind all of these ventures, admits it will take time to phase in national products. So the menu remains chiefly “B.C.” with chef Jennifer Dodd trotting to Granville Island Market daily for local ingredients. The out-of towners who packed the patio on a sunny August Sunday clearly were not quibbling with the eatery’s culinary nod to the nation. They were far more fixated on their Canadian burger, a thick chunk of Fraser Valley beef that gets additional help from Oyama’s double-smoke bacon, smokehouse cheddar and a top note of delicious house-made ketchup that owes its zing more to the tomato than to sugar and vinegar. The gluten-free, rice-flour-battered fish and duck-fat-fried chips, as well as onion rings with buttermilk aioli, were also a big draw. Others slurped seafood soup, abundant with side-stripe prawns, clams, mussels and whitefish in a pool of perfumey coconut and lemongrass broth. The concoction reminds you of Indonesian laksa without the noodles. (Incidentally, Pateman defends his use of imported Asian ingredients since they are acquired from “the market.”) Quesnel’s Sweet Tree Birch Syrup, for purchase on the retail side, outstrips maple syrup sales four-to-one. It also makes its way into the kitchen. The treacle-like liquid meets something called kasu (the lees left over from Vancouver’s own Osake sake) to splendidly glaze sablefish. The gently sweet fish (aka Alaska black cod) is roasted just enough to maintain its buttery integrity. Far less successful is the over-sauteed medley of beans on which the fish reposes. A preview of the winter menu promised homey-with-a-twist comfort fare such as elk tourtière and a roasted cauliflower soup with Benedictine blue cheese from Quebec. Written down as well were Peace Country smoked bison short-ribs, braised Saskatchewan lentils and winter kale, and a tasty-sounding salad of albacore tuna, squash and fingerling potatoes tossed in a mustard sherry vinaigrette. Shaved cauliflower, broccoli and kale will hopefully be a more comfortable bed than the summer’s bean mixture. The drinks list offers decent geographic scope. Sommelier Treve Ring does an admirable job sourcing beers, whiskey and wines from the provinces (and Yukon territory). And a Pemberton’s Schramm vodka Caesar garnished with crispy bacon and rimmed with bacon salt is a paean to that Canadian invented cocktail. So is Edible Canada a definitive Canadian restaurant? Not really. Will it be? Time will tell. It is early days and this is still very much a work-in-progress. The proof will be in the pudding—or, more accurately, in the butter tart or the Nanaimo bar. —Julie Pegg
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.
Reporter cont’d on the next page
www.eatmagazine.ca NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
— by Eliz
Trilussa Pizza and Pane |4363 Main St | Vancouver |604.558.3338 | www.trilussa.ca ROASTING - EDUCATION - EQUIPMENT - DISTRIBUTION A FAMILY TRADITION OF BEVERAGE EXCELLENCE SINCE 1973...
A CARBON NEUTRAL COMPANY
EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
While the Napoletana style of Italian thin-crust pizza seems to have covered Vancouver with a fine cloud of buffalo mozzarella, it’s no longer the only game in town. The Lazio region of Italy, home to the Eternal City, has its own style of pizza, and Alessandro Fonseca’s dream child, Trilussa, has been bringing that style to Little Mountain locals since mid-June. Fonseca himself is a born-and-bred Roman, a member of the Associazione Pizzerie Italiane and a former baking instructor who has served Roman flatbread at the Vatican. His expansive personality extends to everyone who enters his small café, and he hands out his fresh-from-the-oven pane to everyone who walks in the door with a “go-ahead-I-dare-you-not-to-love-it” joy. He specializes in the classic Italian thin-crust pizza, but in the classic Roman style. What makes it different from the pies in Naples? For a start, the pizzas at Trilussa are sold al taglio, meaning “by the slice,” as well as whole. This also refers to the shape of the long rectangular crusts, which are slightly thicker than a traditional Neapolitan crust—but still less than a centimetre thick—and have a bit more chew to them, along the lines of a moist English muffin. The prices range from $5.25 to $7.95 for a few square slices, or get a whole 30-inch long flatbread for around $25 (half-sizes also available). He even has a dessert pizza that changes with the day and the season (my last visit saw a strawberry version). As for toppings, while the menu includes classics like the Margherita (tomato, basil, mozza) and Milano (prosciutto cotto, mozza), the real winners are the cold specialty pizzas like the Caprese (tomato, bocconcini and organic salad) and the Vancouver (salmon and organic salad). The Capri (potatoes, pesto and pecorino) is another winner from the hot list, as are the pane bianca, fresh loaves of bread that come out of the oven all day, and can be bought whole to take home ($5.95 for a large). Fonseca also uses those same pane for the panini he crafts, like the Ischia (Italian tuna salad) and the Paris (marinated portobello mushroom, brie and avocado spread). Trilussa has made pizza-by-the-slice cool again. Want to bet this is the next gastro-trend? —Anya Levykh
Owner, Alessandro Fonseca with a selection of his Roman style pizzas
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Eating Well for Less
— by Elizabeth Smyth
(l)The wild mushroom ravioli at Bubby’s Kitchen. (r) Baked goods on display
Bubby’s Kitchen | 355 Cook St. at Oscar| 250-5908915 Bubby’s Kitchen is a new venture in Cook Street Village, serving dinner for the first time in the Bubby restaurant family history. This new space is the next best thing to being at the beach. It’s sunny and spacious with a woodsy, eco theme. Guests sit on a cob bench studded with cordwood, local driftwood gracing the tops of the seats. The tables are made of pulverized sunflower seeds, some of the walls are American clay plaster, and cabinets are made of pressed wheat kernel. The Farmer’s Market Salad is in keeping with this outdoorsy theme—a generous and jubilant mix of greens, grated beet, string beans cleverly julienned, rounds of onion, radish, almonds and pepitas with basil agave dressing for $8. Another light choice is the soup of the day for $5.95. The day I went it was roasted red pepper and lentil in a coconut milk base and served with a soft and buttery buttermilk bun from the Bubby Rose’s Bakery up the road. The Thai chicken and noodle salad is simple and good, with its scoop of noodles, bean sprouts, cucumber sticks, sliced red peppers, grated carrot and sliced. My only quibble is that the entire salad could use more of the Thai peanut sauce that’s on the chicken – it turns out the server will happily bring you extra if you ask. But Bubby’s Kitchen also offers more filling, down-home food in the form of burgers and a “hot dog” from carefully sourced, hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken, beef and bison. Burger prices range from $10 to $15. Jesse’s Bleu Bison Burger is definitely a grown-up’s burger. A thin butter bun with lots of sesame seeds is stuffed with bison, caramelized onions, shallot aioli and blue cheese. To complete the range on the menu, the Wild Mushroom Ravioli, at $14, is a fine bistro meal for a casual café. Ribbons of leek, fennel and tender portabella are draped over wild mushroom ravioli. The citrus peppercorn cream sauce has whispers of both orange and lemon and undertones of leek and scallion. All this can be enjoyed with another update to the Bubby’s line – a glass of wine or a beer.
Hope Key Restaurant | 1313 Douglas St. near Johnson | 250-382-6048 I’ve walked past the stuffed-animal-festooned front windows of this place for years, not especially enticed by them to go in until a broker friend of mine revealed that he eats the war won ton soup here at least once a week. The warm greeting must be part of the reason. Co-owner Brenda seems to be basically a foster mother to Asian students and stockbrokers alike and knows many of her regulars by name and favourite order. Cont’d on the next page
www.eatmagazine.ca NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
Dave’s favourite, the war won ton soup for $9.95, contains red-edged barbecue pork, plump shrimp, baby bok choi, broccoli and red pepper in a delicate broth, a refreshing change from the over-salted ones I sometimes get. The vegetables are fresh and, equally important, crisp, which tells me they haven’t been simmering in a pot all day. On Tuesdays, it’s offered as a dinner special for $12.95, along with an appetizer and dessert, so that can’t be beat. Other dishes I sampled were similarly light, fresh and not heavily sauced and flavoured. Hope Key does something unusual for a lower-end Chinese restaurant; they emphasize fresh vegetables, hand selecting them from Old Farm Market in Duncan, and they de-emphasize sauces, only lightly seasoning their stir-fries and inviting guests to help themselves to an array of bottled sauces at the sauce table. You might like this approach, you might not. My Vegetarian Special, cashew nut vegetable chop suey, for $8.95, was a generous platter of fresh vegetables, silky tofu, nuts and shitake mushrooms. I chose to supplement it with some black bean sauce. Hope Key restaurant also has a following for its bubble tea, something I’ve avoided in the past, but it’s so prominent on their menu I was obliged to be brave. Happily, I can now see why this is the place to go for bubble tea; theirs are actually fresh fruit smoothies, and the little star jellies are really cute. If you have children, you must go here – they will receive a hero’s welcome. Besides, there are those stuffies in the window to play with.
The Fish Store | Fisherman’s Wharf | 250-383-6462 | www.floatingfishstore.com Restaurant food is now available at Fisherman’s Wharf. Traipse down the ramp, past Barb’s Fish and Chips and stop at The Fish Store, which is much more than a fish store. Your fish and chip craving can certainly be gratified here. Try a crisp, golden, nongreasy halibut fry-up served with the best tartar sauce I’ve had (made zesty with two different kinds of pickle). It is this kind of detail that makes me call this “restaurant food.” There’s a similar attention to detail in the fish tacos, which include housesmoked tomatoes in the fiery salsa. Halibut and prawn fritters are, of course, made inhouse. These deep amber balls of goodness have chunks of seafood seasoned with shallots, lemon zest and cilantro and are served with a citrus cream. You’re getting the hearty food you want when you’re sitting dockside on a picnic table, but with a touch of sophistication. The smoked fish platter is beautiful to behold: a generous amount of deep red smoked salmon, four triangles of very smoky tuna and mixed greens topped with a swirl of lacy carrots and an upright wedge of Portofino bakery bread. Once again, that signature sophisticated twist – the sparkling salad dressing includes preserved lemons and Japanese ponzu sauce. Soups are also good – Halibut Malu has fish stock, red lentils, curry and lime, and the seafood chowder is suitably fresh and Cont’d on the next page
EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
Hope Key restaurant’s Wor Won Ton soup. Owner Brenda Deng.
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1001 WHARF STREET @ BROUGHT BROUGHTON ON The Fish Store’s smoked fish platter creamy. Of everything listed above, the most expensive item is $13. Finally, seafoodloving EAT readers will be thrilled to know that the Fish Store does Buck-a-Shuck oysters after 3:00 p.m., complete with fabulous mignonettes; they’ll even do take-out, popping the oysters slightly for you before you take them home. Call ahead to see which ones are on offer that day. An important note – they’re open all year round and at press-time were close to finalizing a tent on the dock for shelter.
THE BEST BURGER IN BC? Burger 55 | 85 Westminster Ave East, Penticton | 778.476.5529 | www.burger55.com It all started with two blokes, Chris Boehm and Steve Jones, taking a Vegas road trip and getting more than a little tired of the lacklustre fare along the way. A dozen bland burgers later, the idea for Burger 55 was born. You wouldn’t think much of it if you drove by. A tiny shack sits on a back road off Main Street in Penticton. Some picnic tables on each side mark the dining area. Inside, there’s just enough room to order your food while watching the two aforementioned multitasking wonders behind the counter build towering constructs of meat, bread and bloody good toppings. There’s always a rush at lunch, and the fax machine behind the cash register is constantly busy spitting out group orders. Ordering is done off a large form. Once you’ve checked your choice of beef, turkey, wild salmon, portobello mushroom, etc.—all starting around the six to seven dollar mark--it’s time to move on to bread—or a wrap or salad—and toppings. Here’s where things get really interesting. Once you decide on some “basics” like sprouts, cilantro, roasted garlic, pico de gallo or beet strings (any four are included), you can jazz things up with drunk caramelizes onions, a fried egg, eight different kinds of cheese, and sauces ranging from the secret house sauce to tzatiki and even peanut butter. If you’re brave, check off the “freestyle” box and let the guys surprise you with one of their custom masterpieces. My first visit, I took my cholesterol in my hands and went freestyle. The result was a moist, rich beef burger on a cheese, herb and onion bun, topped with house sauce, beet strings, grilled peaches, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions and goat’s cheese. Once I’d figured out the mechanics of eating it (get ready to open wide and don’t even think of going in one-handed), it was a raunchy burst of flavours and textures. The side of whiskey onion rings turned out to be superfluous as far as hunger went, but made a nice afternoon snack on the drive home. It might have been the best burger I’ve ever tasted—but I’ll be going back regularly just to be sure.—Anya Levykh
RESER VATIONS: 250-380-2260 RESERVATIONS:
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ENTERTAINING easy does it
Top: Wild salmon says “special occasion” but is easy to prepare and serve buffet-style Bottom: Heap a platter with healthy roasted squash & braised kale Facing Page: These mini baked Alaskas look fantastic yet require minimal effort.
Recipes and food styling by JENNIFER DANTER • Photography by MICHAEL TOURIGNY • Wine pairing by TREVE RING 22
EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
chic + casual
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www.eatmagazine.ca NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
he knack to enjoying entertaining is to choose a menu that’s easy to prepare and serve. Stress levels go through the roof this time of year, so choose food you are comfortable cooking. Dishing it up buffetstyle keeps things casual and creates an informal atmosphere that’s relaxed yet still elegant – and do mix old silver treasures with modern serving pieces to fashion a ontemporary look. This menu is designed for speed, ease and full flavour without working around the clock.
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Celebration Salmon A big side of salmon says “special occasion” and looks spectacular without giving away how easy it is. Smothering it with crème fraiche boosts flavour and helps lock in moisture. Serves 8 2 to 3 lb side of wild Pacifc salmon, pin bones removed Sea salt and ground black pepper 11/2 cups crème fraiche, store-bought or homemade (then you’ll need buttermilk) ¼ cup grainy Dijon mustard ¼ cup chopped chives ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, cilantro or tarragon 1 orange Preheat oven to 475F. Generously season fish with salt and pepper. Mix crème fraiche with mustard and herbs. Spread 1/3 of mixture evenly over fish, then grate peel from orange overtop. Place salmon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in oven until salmon is cooked as you like. If your fish is about 11/2 in. at thickest part. Roast 10 to 15 minutes. Roast 8 to 12 minutes if you like it pink in the centre.Slice into 8 portions and arrange on a platter. Dish up with remaining crème fraiche on the side. DIY Crème Fraiche: Heat 2 cups 35% whipping cream until warm. Stir in 3 Tbsp. buttermilk. Pour into a glass bowl and loosely cover. Let stand, in a warm place (try top of the fridge) until slightly thick, about 24 hours. If it’s still too runny, move to a warmer place and leave for another 6 to 12 hours. Refrigerate until ready to use – it will keep well up to 1 week.
Roasted Squash & Braised Kale Roast the squash a few hours ahead of time (then reheat) but cook the kale just before serving – it will look and taste better. "look for organic or farm fresh herbs and vegetables. 4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash 1 acorn or delicata squash, cut into rings 1 red onion, sliced Fresh thyme sprigs Olive oil Sea salt and ground black pepper 1 bunch kale 2 slices bacon, chopped (an artisan, thick-cut, dry cured bacon won’t curl) 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/3 cup dry white wine (a non-oaked, BC will keep it local) Place both types of squash in a large bowl and add onion and thyme. Drizzle with oil and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss, then spread out on a baking sheet. Roast in preheated 425F oven until squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cut out large centre ribs and stems from kale. Cut leaves cross-wise into thick slices. In a large wide frying pan, sauté bacon over medium heat. When crispy, add garlic and cook until light golden, about 1 minute. Remove to a small plate but leave bacon fat in pan. Increase heat to medium-high. Add kale stir-fry for 1 minute to absorb bacon fat. Pour in wine. Stir constantly until kale has wilted, 5 minutes. Turn into a large bowl and add bacon and garlic. Add cooked squash and onions. Toss to mix, the place on a serving platter.
EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
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MBA’s: Mini Baked Alaska’s These wintry snowballs look fantastic yet require minimal effort. And there’s lots of wiggle room for the non-baker: buy pound cake or chocolate muffins or a pan of store-bought brownies for the base. Stop by your favourite food shop and pick up the most eye-catching gelato or sorbet for the filling. 1 loaf pound cake or 4 chocolate muffins or 8-inch pan brownies 8 large scoops gelato, ice cream or sorbet (many local producers make a range of flavours) 8 egg whites, at room temperature (buy farm fresh eggs for the freshest taste) ½ tsp cream of tartar ½ tsp vanilla extract Pinch of salt 1 cup granulated sugar Cut pound cake into 8 thick slices. Using a 2-inch circular cookie cutter or knife, cut or trim slices into rounds. If using muffins, cut in half horizontally and trim so halves sit flat. Cut brownies into 8 small rounds. Eat the scraps! Place rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Top with a generous scoop of ice cream and pack down to remove air bubbles. Try to press ice cream into pucks that evenly fit the round cake base. Keep in freezer while making meringue. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites with cream of tartar, vanilla and a pinch of salt until frothy. Continue to beat and gradually add sugar, a spoonful at a time, until stiff, glossy peaks form. Place cake rounds on a baking sheet. Divide meringue and spoon over rounds, covering completely. Swirl with the back of spoon to make peaks. Freeze at least 30 minutes or overnight if making ahead. Bake in preheated 450 oven until meringue is light golden, about 4 minutes. Or using a crème brulee torch, lightly brown meringue.
WINE PAIRING Celebration Salmon: Go with an earthy, lighter red wine from a cooler climate - like JoieFarm's PTG (Pinot Noir & Gamay blend) from Naramata in the Okanagan, or a 100% Pinot Noir from Oregon's Willamette Valley Dundee Hills area. —Treve Ring
www.eatmagazine.ca NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
master cooking class Text and food styling by DENISE MARCHESSAULT Photography by CAROLINE WEST
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Sweet clouds of meringue are laced with tart cranberry purée. 26 EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
y holiday mantra this year is “keep it simple (and sweet).” Holidays are already busy
enough with shopping, decorating and entertaining, so this season I’ve opted for an easy approach to festive treats, one that meets my holiday criteria of simple, beautiful
and delicious. I’ve provided three sweet and easy recipes that dazzle without difficulty: cranberrylaced meringue, gingerbread ornaments and frosted cranberry jellies topped with sugar-dusted berries. Beautiful swirls of billowy meringue will be piled high on this year’s holiday dessert table. Crisp on the outside, soft and marshmallow-like in the centre, meringues are a treat to enjoy au naturel or served with fruit and whipped cream, pavlova style. Meringue wasn’t even on my culinary radar until a trip to France this summer opened my eyes to the beauty of these delicate
indulgences. From Bordeaux to Paris, every pastry shop I visited had some sort of meringue offering on display. From small and compact to enormous and free-form, meringues of every shape stood unadorned and stoic next to the more fashionable macaroons. My version includes a swirl of cranberry purée for a splash of colour and a hint of tartness to offset the sweetness. With the help of an electric mixer you can whip up these festive treats in no time. Egg whites and sugar are easily transformed into a satiny cloud of meringue and spooned (or piped) onto a tray and baked at a low temperature until crisp. Meringue lends itself to all sorts of creativity, so don’t hesitate to get imaginative: it can be streaked with fruit purées or jam, dusted with cocoa or nuts, coloured with food dye or sprinkled with crushed candy canes, to name but a few alternatives.
“These easy holiday recipes dazzle without difficulty. ”
Sugar-dusted berries are perched atop cranberry jellies with a Grand Marnier kick.
Every family has its own holiday tradition and ours is baking gingerbread ornaments to adorn the Christmas tree. The unmistakable fragrance of gingerbread is our official start to the season, and just a whiff of the dough is enough to send me on a nostalgic reverie of Christmas past. These aromatic cookie hearts are a breeze to decorate, delicious to eat and sturdy enough to last on your tree throughout the holidays. Icing piped from a small cone, fashioned from a triangle of
Gingerbread ornaments are a sweet holiday tradition.
parchment paper, allows you to decorate with fine, rather than clunky, embellishments. (Paper cones are easy to make and there are plenty of how-to videos available online.) Royal icing, made from egg whites and powdered sugar, is ideal for decorating because it firms up and doesn’t turn your ornaments into a sticky mess. The key to keeping your cookies picture-perfect is to keep your design simple and your icing thin. What to do with all those leftover cookies? When you’ve had your fill of decorating and munching, leftover gingerbread can be tossed into the freezer and eventually transformed into delicious crumb crusts (heavenly with pumpkin cheesecake) or used as toppings for fruit cobblers, ice cream, trifle and such. These make-ahead sparkling cranberry jellies are refreshingly light and a welcome addition to a cocktail party or a dessert table. Made of cranberry juice and a splash of Grand Marnier, the little grown-up jellies are both sweet and tart. I’ve dusted the rims of sherry glasses with fine berry sugar before pouring in the fortified juice. Once the gelatin does its magic in the refrigerator, the jelly can be topped with a boozy little cranberry marinated in liqueur and dusted in sugar. Simple and delicious. This holiday season, forgo the fuss and keep it sweet and simple in the kitchen. No one need know how truly simple it is.
WINE PAIRING Bubble, bubble, bubble. For sweets, look for something off dry (sec or demi-sec). A rosé bubble would match well, especially with the cranberry festivities.—Treve Ring
laced FIND THE RECIPES ON THE FOLLOWING PAGES
www.eatmagazine.ca NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
FROSTED CRANBERRY JELLIES Makes 2 cups. 2 cups cranberry juice 2 Tbsp Grand Marnier 1 package (1 Tbsp) unflavoured gelatin Optional garnish: whole cranberries, soaked overnight in Grand Marnier and rolled in fine sugar just before serving. In a small saucepan, heat one cup of cranberry juice. When the juice is warm, add the gelatin and stir until dissolved. Pour the mixture into a large measuring cup with a spout and add the balance of the cranberry juice and the Grand Marnier. Mix until combined and cool slightly. If you wish to add sugar to the rim of your glassware, do this before you add the cranberry juice. Pour the sugar onto a small plate. Dip the rim of your glassware into a bit of water and then onto the plate with the sugar. Fill the sugar-rimmed glassware with the cooled cranberry juice mixture. Refrigerate until set. If desired, garnish with marinated cranberries. Serve chilled, with small spoons. Note: Port can be substituted for the Grand Marnier if you don’t mind an opaque, rather than clear, jelly.
CRANBERRY-LACED MERINGUE Makes makes about 10-12. 4 large egg whites at room temperature 1 cup extra fine granulated sugar (berry sugar) 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch 1/2 tsp white vinegar Optional: 1/4 cup cranberry purée* or raspberry or strawberry jam
The whole beast
Meringue Note: Your mixing bowl and whisk must be scrupulously clean (the egg whites will not increase in volume if inadvertently mixed with traces of fat or yolk). Preheat oven to 250°F. Using a stand-up or hand-held mixer, beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until the volume has tripled. Slowly add the sugar in small batches, continuing to whip as you do so. Increase the speed to high and whip until you have glossy, stiff peaks. Reduce the speed to low, add the cornstarch and vinegar and whisk until incorporated. The meringue can be gently spooned into 3” - 4” portions on a parchment-lined baking tray or spooned into a pastry bag and piped onto a lined tray. A piping bag, available at cookware stores, will give you a more professional result. (I use a piping tip with a 3/4-inch opening.) Alternatively, you can draw uniform circles on the underside of the parchment and spoon the meringue inside the circle templates. (A teacup rim is an ideal size.) If desired, dip a small knife into a bit of fruit purée and gently drag the purée around the unbaked meringues to create a marbled effect. Bake for about an hour until the meringues are dry. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven until they cool. The meringues will crack slightly. *Cranberry purée 1 package (300 grams) frozen cranberries, thawed
EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
Process thawed cranberries in a blender or food processor and strain through a finemesh sieve. Heat the strained liquid in a small saucepan and slowly reduce until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Leftover purée can be used in various desserts, including muffins, pancakes, cookies and ice cream. The cooled meringues can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for a few days.
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GINGERBREAD ORNAMENTS This recipe is adapted from one in my tattered, butter-stained copy of The Joy of Cooking. Makes 32 3-inch, heart-shaped ornaments. You will need Christmas string or ribbon, cookie cutters, parchment paper and plastic wrap to prepare the ornaments.
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6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened 3/4 cup light brown sugar 1 large egg 1/2 cup dark molasses 3 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 tsp baking powder 2 tsp ground ginger 2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground allspice 1/4 tsp salt Water as needed Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, whisk the softened butter and the brown sugar until light and fluffy. (A stand-up mixer makes this job a breeze.) Add the egg and molasses; mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients. Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and blend well. (If using a stand-up mixer, change the whisk to a paddle attachment because the dough will be too firm for a whisk.) Add the remaining flour and mix until you have soft dough. If your dough is too firm, add a bit of water, a spoonful at a time, until you have a pliable dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until completely blended. Shape into a round disk and cover with plastic until ready to use. To prevent the dough from sticking to your work surface or rolling pin, roll out the dough between a sheet of parchment and plastic wrap (parchment on bottom, plastic wrap on top). Roll the dough, from the centre outwards, into a large disk approximately 1/4 inch thick. Remove the plastic wrap, cut into desired shapes, transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 -12 minutes. While they are still warm, use a skewer to carefully poke a hole into the still-soft dough, large enough for your ribbon. Cool completely before decorating with icing sugar. Note: I tend to bake cookies for ornaments a little longer than those destined for eating because the longer they cook, the firmer they become. Royal Icing This recipe makes more than enough for decorating cookies, so you’ll have plenty leftover for all of your edible holiday projects. Fortunately, the icing colours beautifully with a drop or two of food dye and it keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to a week. Makes 2 cups. 3 cups sifted icing sugar 2 egg whites Using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites with the sifted icing sugar at mediumhigh speed until you have a glossy, meringue-like texture, about 3 minutes. Spoon your icing into a small piping bag (available at cookware stores) or fashion your own piping cone from a triangle of parchment. (How-to videos are available online.)
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2524 estevan ave | victoria | paprika-bistro.com www.eatmagazine.ca NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
INSIDER INFORMATION The EAT Holiday Gift Guide
GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE
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EAT magazine • Gift Guide 2011 EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
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www.eatmagazine.ca NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
wine + terroir
WINE MYTH BUSTING False notions about wine can keep us from sipping some delicious gems.
The world of wine is wonderfully complex, and it’s those intricacies that keep us coming back for more. But we also realize that it can be complicated. When you’re in need of a glass of wine, you just want simple answers. Unfortunately, in the quest to simplify, many misconceptions have arisen, and sometimes wine drinkers make decisions based on these myths. The tragedy is when those myths discourage you from trying certain wines. Don’t let false prejudices make you turn your back on delicious gems. Below, we address five common myths and have included recommendations that will suit the holiday season. Myth: Chardonnay is too oaky Too much of a good thing is simply too much. This is the unfortunate conundrum with oak. Barrels made of oak have long been used as vessels in which to age wine before bottling. They influence the wine in various ways, but the most obvious are the toasty aromas and flavours a new barrel imparts. The newer the barrel, the more oak flavours the wine will soak up. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as the wine is concentrated enough to support the oak. The key is to enhance the wine rather than overwhelm it, just like a good chef uses his ingredients judiciously. Too much spice can kill a dish. Chardonnay has suffered the most from overuse of oak. Once upon a time, wine drinkers couldn’t get enough of fat, buttery Chardonnay oozing with toast, caramel and vanilla. These obvious aromas and flavours were easily
recognizable, and California and Australia were particularly successful at filling the demand. Eventually, however, people tired of these over-oaked wines, and both Chardonnay and oak gained a bad reputation. The ABC club was born: Anything But Chardonnay. People turned their backs on Chardonnay, yet the whites of Burgundy continue to be some of the most sought-after. Names like Meursault, PulignyMontrachet and Corton-Charlemagne carry plenty of cachet but don’t indicate on the label that they are actually Chardonnay. Today, the pendulum has swung the other way and producers around the world, including California and Australia, have refined their use of oak. Oak doesn’t have to hit you over the head like a two-by-four. It can add a layer of complexity, a nutty quality, a whiff of spice or smoke. Sadly, the preconception about Chardonnay remains. If you truly prefer your wines without any influence of oak, don’t give up on Chardonnay. Some producers avoid using oak altogether and indicate “un-oaked” on the label. Beyond this, the wines of Chablis are a safe and delightful bet. They are made from 100 percent Chardonnay and most see little to no oak. Oak isn’t exclusive to Chardonnay. Other whites and many reds are aged in oak. The same requirement of balance applies to them. 2009 Jean-Paul & Benoît Droin, Petit Chablis AOC, France $27-31 (SKU #809301) Juicy green apple and a refreshing minerality. We love this crisp, unoaked Chardonnay with its classic pairing of oysters. Serve on New Year’s Eve. 2008 Vasse Felix, Chardonnay, Margaret River, Australia $32-37* Nine months in a third new oak keeps things in check. A fine balance of toasted nuts, peach, lemon zest and subtle spice. Enjoy with a crab feast on New Year’s Day. Myth: Colour is an indication of style and quality Just as you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, don’t judge a wine by its colour. The “robe” should definitely be admired and can give some clues about the wine, such as grape and age. However, colour doesn’t tell the whole story. Contrary to what some people think, darker doesn’t necessarily mean better. Is someone with dark chestnut brown hair superior to another with light golden brown locks? A silly question indeed! There are thousands of different grapes and their particular genes
EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
play a role in determining whether the wines they make are paler or darker. Thin-skinned Pinot Noir tends to be paler yet can produce some of the most profound wines. Similarly, Nebbiolo, the grape responsible for Barolo and Barbaresco, starts life with a paler garnet hue. Yet on the palate it is full bodied with a firm tannic backbone. Wines dominated by Sangiovese (Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino) often sport a brownish hue. Grenache is another grape that is lighter in colour. The false perception that darker is better has influenced some winemakers to try coaxing more colour out of the above grapes. They often end up over-extracting the wine to the detriment of quality. Please don’t encourage them by demanding darker wines. Colour also changes as wine ages. Reds become paler, taking on a brick hue, while whites darken becoming amber in colour. Rosé is often unfairly judged by its appearance. That pretty pink colour may remind you of Kool-Aid, but that doesn’t mean the wine is sweet or of poor quality. Wines like Mateus and white Zinfandel have given a bad rap to our beloved rosé, yet these aren’t representative of the category. Europeans have been making dry rosé for ages. Rosé makes a great aperitif and is extremely food friendly. It can also bring a ray of sunshine when it’s rainy and dark outside. 2008 Kenwood Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, California $24-28 (SKU #219881) Medium bodied with ripe, juicy flavours of strawberries and vanilla. Delicious on its own and a great match with grilled salmon, tuna, chicken and, of course, turkey. 2010 Château Miraval, ‘Pink Floyd’ Côtes de Provence Rosé AOC, France $30-35 (SKU #505099) Pale, onion-skin colour. Light, delicate and, yes, dry. Subtle nectarine flavours with a hint of spice. Surprise family and friends at Christmas dinner. 2007 Fontodi, Chianti Classico DOCG, Italy $34-39 (SKU #533315) Polished and elegant with savoury flavours of cherries, cinnamon and lingering mineral notes. A treat with fowl of all kinds as well as tomato-based pasta. Myth: “Sweet” wines are always too sweet The term “sweet” is used to indicate wines that have some residual sugar, meaning not all of the sugar was converted into alcohol. Sweetness ranges from off-dry, medium sweet to fully sweet. Unfortunately, these wines tend to be less fashionable. Many people claim to hate sweet wine yet guzzle syrupy soda pop. We encourage you to put your prejudices aside. When sweetness is balanced by vibrant acidity, the wine can be refreshing and even chuggable. Good Germany Riesling is a quintessential example. Offdry wines are perfectly appropriate with your main course while fully sweet wines are best enjoyed with dessert.
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It’s easy to confuse fruitiness with sweetness, especially when you’re onto your second glass. Just because a white is bursting with peach and apricot, doesn’t mean it is sweet. A wine can possess all those aromas and flavours, but still be dry. In this case, we describe it as aromatic and fruity. When it comes to reds, wines dominated by jammy flavours may mistakenly be deemed sweet. Some people love this style of red while others prefer wines that are less fruit forward, firmer and have more tannin. If the latter is your preference, ask for something that isn’t too fruity (rather than saying you don’t like sweet wine).
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2009 Wolf Blass, ‘Yellow Label’ Riesling, South Australia, Australia $16-19 (SKU # 128660) A reminder that not all Rieslings are sweet. Dry with concentrated flavours of lime and pink grapefruit that work like a charm with Asian food and seafood. 2009 Dr. Loosen, Riesling Kabinett, Urziger Wurzgarten, Germany $26-30 (SKU #157578) Minerally with spice, yellow apple and a taut backbone of acidity that cuts through the sweetness. Great option for Christmas dinner. Taylor Fladgate, 10 year old Tawny Port $40-45 (SKU #121749) All nuts and dried fruit. Definitely sweet and best with dessert. Bring on the holiday treats or try with the cheese course. Myth: White with fish and red with meat Fish is on the menu but you’re craving red. Is this a pairing faux pas? Absolutely not! The old “white with fish/red with meat” tenet is based on the sound concept that a light dish works better with a lighter bodied wine while a heartier meal needs a bigger wine to stand up to it. As whites are generally lighter and reds fuller, they have been relegated to fish and meat respectively. But rules, of course, were meant to be broken. In particular, more robust fish like salmon or tuna work a treat with lighter reds like Pinot Noir and Gamay. Remember, the way you prepare your dish will influence its weight. Grilling or broiling as well as accompanying fish with a heartier sauce will definitely “beef” it up. As for white with meat, try fuller wines such as Chardonnay, Viognier and Alsace Pinot Gris with goose, pork and veal. If the white is intense enough, weight doesn’t matter anymore when choosing a partner for potent and exotic meat dishes. Think Riesling with barbecued ribs and Gewürztraminer with Thai beef salad. 2009 Pfaffenheim Pinot Gris, Alsace AOC, France $20-24 (SKU# 61644) A fuller, richer white with unctuous flavours of pear, lychee and slight mushroom notes. Perfect with turkey. 2009 G. Descombes, Morgon AOC, France $29-33 (SKU #162248) This Gamay from the region of Beaujolais is packed with pure flavours of succulent cherry, bright raspberry and roses. A fabulous red for the traditional holiday meal and equally lovely with salmon. Myth: Sulfur in wine can be be avoided Cease your quest for sulfite-free wines; they don’t exist. Sulfur is a by-product of fermentation and a natural element in soil. It’s therefore present in all wine. Furthermore, sulfur is commonly used in wineries to clean equipment and discourage bacterial flaws in wine. Producers add sulfur to ensure that the wine doesn’t oxidize by the time it reaches your glass. (Just think of an apple turning brown after you cut into it. This is oxidation.) Each wine region has a maximum permitted amount of sulfur allowed in wine. The best you can do is seek producers that are adding only the minimum necessary for the wine to be stable. This is more common among smaller boutique wineries. In general, large commercial producers tend to have a heavier hand with sulfur. There is actually a movement among organic and biodynamic producers who are shipping wine without adding any further sulfur before bottling. Beware: the quality of these wines varies. While they can be fantastic and surprising, others can taste fully oxidized; an acquired taste for sure. We do see small quantities of these low/no-sulfuradded wines on our shelves. Some of the most successful offerings come from Marcel Lapierre, Larmandier-Bernier, Jean Foillard and Catherine and Pierre Breton, all French wines. *Available at private wine stores. All other wines available at BC Liquor Stores.
think global. celebrate local. www.victoriaspirits.com
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Ales Wines & Spirits from around the world value brands to classics
www.eatmagazine.ca NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
what to drink with that—by Treve Ring
Which wines go best with cheese? DRINK editor Treve Ring asks local wine experts how they would approach pairing dishes and flavours. This month’s challenge is Triple Cream Brie, Salty Aged Hard Cheese and Strong Blue.
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Frances Sidhe (FS) Sommelier, Zambri’s Frances Sidhe received her Certification in 2001 and has worked as a Sommelier at Zambri’s since then. She loves the rich diversity and unique nature of Italian wines. Her wine program recently won both Most Diner Friendly Wine Menu and Best Overall Wine Program in the 2011 Taste Wine List Awards.
DJ Kearney (DJ) Wine Instructor, Consultant, Chef 2272 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria, B.C 250 - 592 - 4080 phone/fax
DJ Kearney is a Vancouver-based wine educator, wine writer, judge, presenter and chef. She has trained hundreds of sommelier candidates from across North America in Vancouver, Victoria, Portland, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, to name a few of her regular lecture destinations. A diverse background in wine, food and geology makes her uniquely qualified to guide the discovery of the world’s wine regions, the sharpening of palates, the understanding of terroir and the chemistry of food and wine harmony.
Terry Threlfall (TT) Sommelier, Wine Director, Hawksworth Restaurant Guided by his love for wine and dedication to his craft, Terry has compiled an exciting wine collection at Hawksworth Restaurant to compliment the contemporary and seasonal cuisine. Threlfall’s expertise stems from over a decade spent in London, working as Head Sommelier and Wine Buyer at Michelin starred restaurant, Chez Bruce. His team won a number of international awards under his watch, including “overall UK Wine Establishment of the Year” and “European Wine Restaurant of the Year”.
Triple Cream Brie DJ - Opulent, rich yet earthy brie demands an equally weighty wine with ample acidity to tame the decadent cream content. Acid-driven whites with a rich core of fruit and minerality like Chablis or Meursault (ideally with a touch of age); dry chenin blanc from Vouvray or Savennieres; well-oaked new world chardonnay too, as long as the wood is well integrated in the wine. Reds can shine with brie but ensure they are fruity and fleshy with decent acidity like Priorato, southern Rhone or new world blends. FS - My best choice would be a relatively young Macon Village Chardonnay. With a cheese this creamy you need to match weight for weight. These wines also have well balanced acidity while some other choices that might work are just too acidic which results in an unpleasant sourness. TT - Brie is a tough cheese to pair with wine because it's so creamy but my pick would be a well aged vintage Champagne. If I had to pick only one producer, my personal favourite would be Bollinger R.D. 1988
*Visit DRINK at eatmagazine.ca for the extended version, including the experts’ recommendations for our bonus questions - what would you pair with Local Chevre, PLUS how would you pair a mixed charcuterie platter. 34
EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
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Salty, Aged Hard Cheese DJ - Salt is a catalyst for sublime wine and cheese pairing. It can uncover background fruit in savoury, aged wines, like Bordeaux, Barolo, or Tuscan heavy hitters, and mature Amarone. Young, powerful reds (BC meritage, Cali cab, northern Rhone) work well too, where fat and protein wrestle young tannins into submission, and salt complements exuberant fruit. Mature wooded white Rioja and briney sherries are also sophisticated pairings. FS – Here, I absolutely love a younger Cabernet/Sangiovese blend from Tuscany. The bright fruit of the Cabernet and the approachable acidity and tannins of the Sangiovese pair beautifully with the briny taste and texture of this cheese. TT – I would pick full bodied, full flavoured reds from Piedmont or Veneto.
Strong Blue Cheese DJ - Blue welcomes sweet reds and whites in a special way. Pungent, creamy and salty flavours require intensity and persistence in the wine, so choose ruby or tawny port, or the classic dessert whites like Sauternes, Tokaji or Australian stickies. Rich Alsatian whites and Auslese riesling can be a treat with strong blues, and funky, minerally whites like dry Furmint from Hungary, or savoury Italian Greco and Vermentino are off-beat, adventurous choices. FS
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Your Friendly Neighbourhood Butcher ... A Cut Above Quality meats, Poultry, Cheeses, Specialty Products & Condiments
2577 Cadboro Bay Road,VICTORIA
liquid assets —by Larry Arnold Kettle Valley Winery is celebrating twenty years of making wine at their family farm winery on the Naramata Bench. EAT picks Kettle as our Winery of the Month and the Kettle Valley Starboard NV as our Wine of the Month. (see the review under Dessert Wine)
RED WINE Bleasdale The Library Reserve 2005 Australia $22.00-24.00 It is not often you come across a new release from Australia with some age on it. Generally speaking they are released early and consumed just as quickly. Bleasdale Vineyards is Australia’s second oldest family owned winery established in 1850. Fullbodied and concentrated, this Cabernet-Malbec-Merlot-Petit Verdot blend virtually oozes with hedonistic layers of blackberries, violets, spice and eucalyptus flavours. Very ripe with soft tannins and subtle oak nuances. Delicious! Fort Berens Meritage 2009 BC $30.00-35.00 Fort Berens is Lillooet’s first winery! Strategically located on the highway to Cache Creek, Kamloops and all points north, this little winery is worth a stop and a sip. The wines are good. The Meritage is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Medium-bodied with rich bramble, vanilla and cassis flavours, a patina of finegrained tannins and a long elegant finish. Worth the stop. Chateau Feret-Lambert Bordeaux Superieur 2009 France $22.00-25.00 I think it would be fair to say that this dense, brooding claret is not typical of the genre. For one, it is big and concentrated, more a heavy weight then a welter weight and at 14% alcohol, packs a punch. Predominately Merlot (90%) with a dollop of Cabernet Sauvignon, this Bordelais behemoth is redolent with ripe raspberry, cedar and earth flavours, with a firm tannic finish. A keeper that is delicious now but will reward a few years of patience and at this price definitely worth picking up a case or two. Delas St. Espirt Cotes Du Rhone 2009 France $18.00-20.00 Soft and juicy with delicious raspberry, cherry and earth flavours, medium to full bodied with a blush of fine grained tannins and a long tasty finish. Joie PTG 2009 BC $26.00-30.00 Located on the Naramata Bench, just outside of Penticton, Joie Farm gets better with every vintage. Blessed with great fruit and solid winemaking skills, Joie specializes in cranking out spins on European classics. Passetoutgrain (PTG) is a blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir made in Burgundy. Joie’s PTG is a blend of 63% Pinot Noir and 37% Gamay from the Naramata Bench. It is very pale in colour but don’t let this fool you, PTG is loaded with strawberry and spice aromas. The palate has some weight and a silky texture with ripe red berry, spice and warm earth flavours. Nicely balanced with good fruit, acidity and a blush of nicely integrated tannins. Another good wine from Joie.
WHITE WINE Cedar Creek Riesling 2010 BC $19.00-21.00 Bright and lively, with heady floral and apricot aromas and concentrated peach and apple flavours. Off dry and beautifully balanced with a nip of tangy acidity. This is new winemaker Darryl Coopers first vintage with Cedar Creek and from what I have tasted so far we have much to look forward to.
EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
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Stoneboat Vineyards Pinot Gris 2010 BC $20.0023.00 If you crave crisp bright acidity, this wine is made for you! Clean and fresh, with subtle citrus, peach and mineral flavours and a bite of mouth-watering acidity that races across your palate like a lightening bolt but leaves you craving another sip. Fantastic with shellfish or sole. Pentage Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon 2008 BC $22.00-24.00 Pentage Winery is a lovely little boutique winery overlooking Skaha Lake near Penticton. The view is incredible; the driveway terrifying! Pale gold with a lovely bouquet of gooseberries, pink grapefruit and passion fruit that develop on the palate and linger through the finish. Foxtrot Vineyards Chardonnay 2010 BC $50.0055.00 Located on the Naramata Bench Foxtrot Vineyards opened its doors in 2003, the focus being Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Concentrated and intense with powerful citrus, vanilla and hazelnut aromas! Round and creamy with tropical fruit flavours and nicely integrated oak. This wine could easily be mistaken for top-flight Burgundy. Not cheap but damn good! Araldica Piemonte Cortese 2010 Italy $16.00-18.00 In a world awash in a sea of banal overworked Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, this fresh, subtle Cortese from Piedmont comes as a refreshing surprise. Restrained, elegant and alive with spring flowers and citrus aromas, gentle acidity and a clean minerally palate! If it had Gavi on the label it would sell for almost twice the price.
DESSERT WINE Kettle Valley Starboard NV BC $20.00-23.00 Made from Malbec and Petit Verdot, fortified and aged in French oak for 18 months this superb ruby port style is black as pitch with layers of sweet blackberry, raspberry and plum flavours. Soft and supple with a lovely silky texture and enough grip to hold it all together. A lovely way to finish an evening. Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Port Portugal $28.00-30.00 The Grahams style puts the emphasis on the big sweet flavours of fully ripe fruit. I am happy to report “Six Grapes” stays the course. This super ruby is as sweet and mellow as those in the know expect from this fine Port shipper. The palate is soft with rich berry flavours, plenty of heft and just enough grip to remind you of its pedigree.
Join the new Bench Club at Hester Creek and find your own Character among the wine. For more information on the club, email Sarah: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hestercreek.com
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www.eatmagazine.ca NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
Out & About—by Rebecca Baugniet
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cozy up... New Winter Hours —Rebecca Baugniet
250 924 1110 877 860 6866
Maritza Sanchez, owner of the Mexican House of Spices (left) with her son and her mother.
MICHAEL TOURIGNY STUDIOS 250-389-1856 2001 Douglas Street - Unit F email@example.com
A True Emporium of International Flavours Tucked into a storefront on the west side of Douglas St., between Discovery and Pembroke, sits a true emporium of international flavours. The Mexican House of Spices opened earlier this year and meets a demand that was already present, explains owner Maritza Sanchez. Before the store opened, members of Victoria’s Latin American, Jamaican and African communities would travel to Vancouver to shop for traditional ingredients. Now they can find everything they’re looking for downtown. This little shop is much more than its name implies, and spices are only one of the many products available. Aisles are packed tightly with the tastes of many nations, from the exhaustive selection of hot sauces (23 kinds!), canned fruits and authentic moles to salsas, baking supplies for regional specialties and dried goods. These include the spices that line the walls—where you’ll find eight types of dried chilies and kits for making African pepper soup—either whole spice or ground. Bulk supplies are available as well, such as dried organic blue corn from Peru, beans and several varieties of flour. A small selection of fresh produce, including plantain and tomatillos, is also on display, though these items often sell out quickly, Maritza tells me, citing the African yams she has trouble keeping in stock. The refrigerated section displays several types of Mexican queso (cheese), Salvadorian crema, three kinds of chorizo, and soft drinks from several Latin American countries that are not available elsewhere in town. Frozen pulpas (concentrate from tropical fruits such as curuba, passion fruit and tamarillo) are on offer in the freezer, as are frozen Columbian arepas and dough for empanadas. Fresh corn tortillas are delivered every Monday, and banana and corn leaves are stocked for those making tamales. Maritza tells me that the Latin American snacks and sweets are big sellers as well, pointing out cassava, plantain chips and the popular Mexican Gausito treats. Maritza and her parents offer Mexican cooking classes once a month at the Nazarene Church Hall on Craigflower Road. Mexican House of Spices | 2022 Douglas St., Victoria | 250-388-6602 Visit the Mexican House of Spice Facebook page for more information. Monday- Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
VICTORIA: Th season. Buildin Society will be on the first and Fans of Italia spectrum, Luca Douglas St, ser (www.lucascuc opened Bella M Golf Resort a realized a sha Italian kitchens Bella Montagn visited. “The he and fresh herb of gluten-free p creamy gelatos ing at 5 pm Be ads and sauce dessert. But that’s not first Vancouver Napoletana, Strada location dicating their p In the drinks location on the Hudson Jone cinnamon buns team behind Ja soon to open o to look out fo Hermannator, t Down on W Saffron Bistro Crab Bar & G some gorgeou shotel.com/bist If you’re look have schedule Christmas Coo Culture. (www. and Figures, Yu (www.creatingo did, though the Visit websites fo Ooh La La (oohlalacupca authentic Sene a combination
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VICTORIA: The temperature may be cooling down, but there’s still a lot in town to warm us up this season. Building on the success of last year’s winter markets, the Downtown Victoria Public Market Society will be holding twice monthly markets in Market Square. This year the market days will be held on the first and third Saturdays of the month, beginning on November 5th and running until March 17th. Fans of Italian-inspired fare have two new restaurants in town to try out. At the more casual end of the spectrum, Luca’s Cucina and Taphouse has taken over the former Macaroni Grill location at 3195 Douglas St, serving pizza, pasta and more with lots of local beers on tap and BC wines on the wine list. (www.lucascucina.com). Offering an authentic Italian menu that is still family-friendly, is the recently opened Bella Montagna. When Adam Walker, Restaurant Manager at The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa, shared stories of his cycling races in Italy with Executive Chef Iain Rennie, both realized a shared passion for this region’s wines and food, and the spirit of humanity that embraces Italian kitchens. Now, twelve months later, the team has acted upon their passions in the creation of Bella Montagna, an inspired Italian restaurant boasting rich foods true to the many regions Adam visited. “The heart of Bella will be the house-made pastas, prepared fresh daily, with traditional sauces and fresh herbs grown right here in Bear Mountain’s own herb garden. We will also feature an array of gluten-free pastas, and we will be harvesting our organic honey for the creation of our signature creamy gelatos made fresh at the table with liquid nitrogen” says Executive Chef Rennie. Every night starting at 5 pm Bella will offer a “Family Table” for $18/adults & $9/child. Plates of heaping pasta, salads and sauces are all served “family style” straight to your table, then finished off with your choice of dessert. But that’s not all the news in the Italian food file! A big congratulations to Pizzeria Prima Strada, the first Vancouver Island restaurant to have their pizzas officially certified by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, which evaluates the authenticity of Neapolitan pizzas around the world. Each Prima Strada location will receive a certification parchment from Italy with a unique membership number indicating their pizza is VPN certified and the pizzeria serves authentic Neapolitan pizza. In the drinks department, James Bay residents welcomed the arrival of Discovery Coffee’s third location on the corner of Menzies and Michigan at the beginning of October. They share the space with Hudson Jones Bakery – who are quickly acquiring a devoted following with their fresh-baked cinnamon buns, muffins, cookies and other treats. At the time of writing, Miyuki and Jared Nyberg, the team behind JagaSilk Teabar were hard at work on their new project – a space called Spiced Water, soon to open on Government St, not far from their Nootka Court headquarters. It’s also the time of year to look out for local breweries releasing Christmas brews, like Vancouver Island Brewery’s Hermannator, their limited release Eisbock. Down on Wharf St., Nautical Nellies is celebrating their 15th Anniversary, and Swans’ Wild Saffron Bistro has launched a new menu, created by Executive Chef Keith Lefevre (formerly of the Blue Crab Bar & Grill) and featuring Ocean Wise seafood choices. To view the new menu (and admire some gorgeous photos by our own Rebecca Wellman) visit the bistro’s new website. (www.swanshotel.com/bistro) If you’re looking for some guidance as we head into the entertaining season, the local cooking schools have scheduled some helpful sessions. Chef Megan Hennis will be teaching a class on Gourmet Christmas Cookies in early November and one on Elegant Christmas Desserts in December at Cook Culture. (www.cookculture.com). Creating Occasions is offering special workshops on Marzipan Fruits and Figures, Yule Logs, and Gingerbread Building classes for kids and adults throughout December. (www.creatingoccasions.com) Register early before they sell out, as French Mint’s Roman Christmas did, though there are still spaces in the Comforting Winter Fare and other classes. (www.frenchmint.ca) Visit websites for full calendars and registration info. Ooh La La Cupcakes opened their fourth location at the corner of Broughton and Gordon. (oohlalacupcakes.ca). Le Petit Dakar has just opened on Douglas St. in the 700 block, featuring authentic Senegalese specialties such as Domoda (Senegalese beef bourguinon, $8.75), Supu kanja a combination of marinated meat and seafood cooked in an okra sauce, $9.75). —Rebecca Baugniet NANAIMO: The mid-island is abundant with all sorts of comfort foods this winter season! At the top of my own list of standbys are the meat pies at the Crow and Gate in Cedar (www.crowandgate.com), the roast beef and yorkshire pudding appy at The Nest Bistro (486A Franklyn St, Nanaimo; 250-5912721), the cinnamon buns at Bocca café (427 Fitzwilliam, Nanaimo; 250-753-1797), the Chef’s Choice and tempura from Nori Sushi (203-6750 Island Highway, Nanaimo; 250-751-3377); the Thai Noodle Bowl at Noodles of the World (NOW) (161 Station St., Duncan; 250-597-0313) and the Pomme Frites at Bistro 161 (www.bistro161.com). Cont’d on the next page
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Our service can best be described as “Knowledgeable, yet not pretentious… …approachable, with a hint of sass!”
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Comox, Nanaimo, Okanagan, Tofino, Vancouver, Victoria
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www.eatmagazine.ca NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
M E R R Y " F I E S TA " C H R I S T M A S M E R R Y " F I E S TA " C H R I S T M A S
M E R R Y " F I E S TA " C H R I S T M A S
HAUTE CUISINE 1210 BROAD ST., VICTORIA, BC 250.388.9906
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Nothing comforts the heart and soul quite like Chef Sarah Wallbank’s specialties and it is about to get even better with the opening of her new bakery and bistro in Lantsville (7217 Lantsville Rd. [5 min. North of Woodgrove]; 250- 740-1775). When the doors fly open mid November Riso Foods Inc. will offer artisan breads and pastries, as well as a regional lunch and dinner menu featuring European inspired wood oven pizza. This is the place the mid-island’s devout foodies have been waiting for! If I were told I had to choose one place to eat lunch for the rest of my life, the fresh, fast food at the new Real Food location in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter would definitely be in the running! Start your visit with a stop at their tasting bar where samples of outstanding soups and other goodies await to tempt you. Also check out their hot and cold sandwich board and deli case. All items are crafted from scratch by owners/chefs Tracy and Dallas Collis using generous helpings of local island ingredients (#3 - 321 Wesley St.; 250-741-0004). For delicious Indian cuisine in Nanaimo Gateway to India is back in business after extensive renovations to their kitchen and restaurant (www.gatewaytoindia.ca). If you haven’t already been, I must recommend a visit to St. Jean’s Cannery and Smokehouse in South Nanaimo (www.stjeans.com). Here you will find tins of locally harvested seafood that tastes surprisingly fresh, plus some unique accompaniments such as canned chanterelle mushrooms. This is the place to find unique Christmas gifts for all the foodies on your list. Nesvogs Meats and Deli in Terminal Park (1533 Estevan Rd; 250-5912422) have just finished their expansion adding an impressive 2200 square feet to their store. The old favorites are back in the expanded meat and deli cases with more specialty and artisan food items than ever filling the shelves. Chef Monica McGregor joins Ingrid and Arnold’s crew to bring back lunch offerings featuring homemade soups and sandwiches piled high with house-made deli meats and condiments. She has also added some scrumptious additions to the take-home dinner menu worth checking out. In Parksville, the Crown Mansion is now offering West Coast fine dining in their restaurant Butlers at the Mansion where the small elegant lunch and dinner menu is both simple and inviting (www.crownmansion.com). In Cowichan, it’s not just the cool name that has dessert lovers intrigued by Twisted Sifter Cakes and Cupcakes. It seems that sister bakers Angie Munroe and Tonie Krueger have perfected the coveted red velvet cupcake as well (www.twistedsifterscupcakes.com). Also in Cowichan, a perfect pairing has taken place with Amuse Bistro (www.amusebistro.com) moving to the recently opened Unsworth Vineyard property (www.unsworthvineyards.com). With a bounty of farm fresh foods also growing here, Chef Bradford Boisvert’s new terroir cuisine menu is not to be missed. At the Cont’d on the next page
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EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
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The Buzz Bistro at Merridale the Field to Table Dinners continue through to the end of the year every Saturday at 5:30pm. Guest speakers. (www.merridalecider.com). Wishing you much comfort on your fork or spoon this winter!. —Karma Brophy COMOX VALLEY: I appreciated all the hard work of farmers and purveyors way more than I should have this fall. With the Thanksgiving weekend behind me, I have some serious training before hitting the slopes of Mt. Washington. You can have a vacation before the holiday season starts, visit www.mtwashington.ca for pass, event, weather and accommodation information. Looking for the best powder on the island, look north and you will find Mt. Cain with all its rugged and natural terrain. Go by www.mountcain.com if your travel plans include a classic snow experience. Before your day on the slopes fuel up at Atlas Cafe with generous breakfasts like the eggs Benedict selections, or after the hill for cocktails and après bites. Go by www.atlascafe.ca for menus, hours and treat yourself and your friends. With the holidays fast approaching, I have prepared a shopping plan. Not only will my budget be maintained, but nobody will be forgotten. My first course of action is visiting the two valley kitchen stores for those useful, yet unique gifts. Who doesn’t want a peppercorn grinder or stemless wine glasses; in the heart of Comox you will find Otters Kitchen Cove. You can have a look at www.otterskitchencove.com for the shops product lines and location. Across the valley on the cute shopping strip known as 5th street in downtown Courtenay,
Beyond the Kitchen Door sells great gift ideas like locally made cutting boards and grand espresso machines. Why wouldn’t anyone want the Porsche of coffee makers parked on the counter for a morning coffee, gift certificates are always an appropriate gift idea. At www.beyondthekitchendoor.com you will find all the information you’ll need for planning a shopping trip for yourself or someone else. Gift certificates really are a great present, and I recommend giving a trip to the butcher shop . For over 26 years The Butchers Block has been providing the valley with great local products and butchering services. Visit them at www.thebutchersblock.ca. Check out Kathy Jerritt and Tria Culinary Studios newest adventure in the space that is the butcher shop entrance. Gourmet on the go meals and tasty sandwiches are available, I enjoyed the Rockin’ Moroccan sandwich. Kathy has had an exciting summer with the harvest dinners on the farm and you can see what else is happening with Tria at www.triaculinarystudio.ca. Courtenay VQA Wine Store enjoyed teaming up with John Challender while offering the Wine Appreciation Course. Over four nights John and wine enthusiasts tasted BC wines against international products, while learning more about the history of wine. Contact Cindy at www.courtenayvqawines.com for how you can enjoy wine more, or visit her at the store and enjoy more wine. Avenue Bistro has BC bubbles on ice for the holidays, come by with your friends and family to enjoy Summerhill Cipes Brut, Blue Mountain Gold Brut and Vancouver Island sweetheart Venturi
Schultze Brut. Christmas party bookings are available at Coastal Black Winery for groups of up to 30 people, a great way for families or businesses to enjoy the event while sipping local wines. Visit www.coastalblack.ca for info about the winery and features that the property boasts. Go Mango in the Avalanche Hotel has the tastiest Indian food in the Valley, the samosas was highly recommended and I have returned instinctually now ever since. As the sandwich board says out front, ‘curry up and go’. Food & Beverage Manager Laura Kempling, (formerly from Hotel Grand Pacific), Executive Chef Chris Thrift (formerly from Hotel Rialto) have been very busy since leaving Victoria to join the Executive Team at the Westerly Hotel & Convention Centre in downtown Courtenay. In early March Hotel General Manager Michelle Le Sage, announced the opening of their brand new pub Flying Canoe West Coast Pub www.flyingcanoe.ca. Now the team has since launched a new catering company, Westerly Catering Co. www.westerlycatering.ca and rebranded the hotel lobby lounge as well as their full service restaurant. Chalk Spirits, Tapas & Billiards. Upcoming events at the hotel included the much anticipated New Year’s Eve Celebration featuring 4 unique parties under one roof and the 2nd Annual Comox Valley Whiskey Festival which will take place on Feb 3rd and 4th. Visit www.comoxvalleywhiskeyfest.ca and make plans now for this event, as it is very popular and sells out quickly. —Eli Blake
TOFINO: Foraging chanterelles and blackberries, clam digging, and stocking the freezer with salmon and halibut for the winter are all hallmarks of fall in Tofino. This is all in preparation for the wonderfully long and comforting feasts of November and December when the fruits of a west coast kind of harvest are appreciated against a stormy backdrop. Memories of eating oysters and mussels right off the beach might be dim by now, but there are a few events to look forward to in these parts. One of them is a celebration of that particularly tasty bivalve, which is grown in abundance in Clayoquot Sound. In fact, over 50,000 gallons of oysters are grown on farms in Lemmens Inlet, and some 8,000 gallons of oysters are consumed in the area. A good number of those consumed are shucked on Clayoquot Sound Oyster Festival weekend, Nov. 17-19th this year. Events surrounding the festival include oyster farm tours, oyster and wine tastings, educational seminars, and special dinner events at local restaurants. The main events are the Mermaid’s Ball Nov. 17th and the Oyster Festival Gala Nov. 18th. Both take place at Tofino Community Hall. Oyster slurping contests, live music, costumes, and of course a lot of oyster consuming take place both evenings. The full schedule of Oyster Festival events was not available before press time, but please visit www.oystergala.com for more information. Also this fall is at Black Rock Resort, a Macallan Whiskey Tasting Dinner with Chef Morne Van Antwerp. This event takes place Nov. 5th and tickets are $150 per person. Look for news on the Cont’d on page 40
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EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
return of Black Rock BBQ Blues event Nov. 27th. Visit www.blackrockresort.com or call 250-726-4800 for more details. Tofino locals are buzzing about the availability of Collins Farm meats in town. Bob and Ann Collins’ farm is located off Hwy. 4 on the outskirts of Port Alberni. Their free range, hormone-free chicken and beef can be obtained in Tofino and Ucluelet from their son Donny, who lives in Tofino. Call 250-7266506 to reach him (he operates Ebb and Flow Guesthouse), and visit the Collins’ Farm and Arrowvale Campground website for the location of the farm at www.arrowvale.ca. Jingle Into Christmas is a fun event in Tofino each year, held just prior to the start of the holiday season. Local merchants and restaurants offer specials on a Friday evening in late November (date yet to be determined). A great way to welcome the season – with a glass of good cheer with friends. I’ve recently been made aware of a fun new phone application that several friends are using. The Wine Guru is a free download (at the moment). Developed by sommeliers on the lower mainland, including Eric Ferris of Restaurant 62 in Abbotsford, the Wine Guru will pair a wine with whatever you’re eating. You can give parameters, such as New World or Old World, and price range. Visit www.the-wine-guru.com for download information and happy pairing! —Jen Dart
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VANCOUVER: Jennifer McLagan, author of the wildly popular Fat, has now followed up with Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal. Think shank, cheek, brisket, ribs, chuck and kidneys. Was this the real food trend of 2011? Long known as local chefs’ favourite secret shopping spot, Galloway’s (www.gallowaysfoods.com) is celebrating their 75th anniversary this year. The gourmet grocery, with locations in Burnaby and Richmond, specializes in specialty items like exotic flours (think kamut, spelt, red wheat and quinoa, for a start) and ethnic foods, as well as spices, herbs, baking and health products (lots of stuff for alternative diets here). Vij’s (www.vijs.ca) has gone beyond the street and into the stadium—BC Place Stadium, to be exact. In conjunction with the stadium’s grand re-opening, Vij’s will now be offering their popular curries to game spectators. Hockey and dahl, anyone? Kitsilano has a few new faces. Steeve Raye Pastry on West 4th Avenue has morphed into Café Regalade (www.caferegalade.com), a casual French bistro serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Try the Lyonnaise breakfast, served hot in the skillet, for a savoury surprise. Bonus: Steeve’s pastries are still on the menu. Newcomer Oakwood Canadian Bistro (www.theoakwood.ca), also on West 4th, is jonesing on local-sustainable fare. Everything is made in-house, from the bread and pasta to the cured meats and sauces. Open for dinner and weekend brunch. And the all-things-pork trend continues onto Cambie Street with the opening of Pronto (www.prontocaffe.ca), a small, Italian café-resto that specializes in porchetta and housemade pastas, as well as a small, but excellent wine and microbrew list. The East Side is also continuing with its restaurant renaissance. Fray (www.fray.me) on Fraser Street is hawking fresh, local fare done up as “creative comfort food.” The pulled pork sandwich on a purple yam bun was an intriguing twist, as were the portobello fries. This casual eatery also boasts an excellent selection of microbrews. On Main Street, The Rumpus Room (2689 Main St; 604.839.5780; no website) is offering up 70sinspired classics like deep-fried pickles, free-range burgers, boozy floats, and housemade ketchup, mayo and sauces. And just off Gastown, Save On Meats (www.saveonmeats.ca) has opened its all-day diner, butcher and sandwich counter operation on West Hastings Street to loud and appreciative grunts, thanks to dishes like the breakfast poutine and classics like the Damn Fine Ruben. Okanagan Crush Pad (www.okanagancrushpad.com) has officially launched their custom crush operations, and have branched out to in-house wine-making with three wines to date: Haywire, Bartier Scholefield, and Bartier Bros. Jack Evrensal’s Top Table Group of Restaurants (www.toptable.ca) has launched their own Director’s Blend house wines in partnership with Laughing Stock Vineyards (www.laughingstock.ca). The name refers to the restaurant group’s four wine directors—Samantha Rahn of Araxi, Andrea Vescovi of Blue Water Café, Cin Cin’s Sarah McCauley and West’s Owen Knowlton—whose brainchild this label is. The 2010 white is a bright and juicy blend of 50% pinot gris, 20% viognier, 15% pinot blanc and 15% sauvignon blanc. The 2009 red is a fruit-forward and complex blend of 40% cabernet sauvignon, 35% merlot, 15% syrah and 10% cabernet franc. Look for velvety tannins in the latter, with a slightly spicy finish. —Anya Levykh OKANAGAN: Kelowna - Metro Liquor Store known for their excellent selection of local wines including Okanagan “cult” wines has moved to their new 3500 sq ft building beside the newly opened Old Train Station Pub, walking distance from their old location with the added bonus of free parking. Waterfront Restaurant and Wine Bar will be closed starting in December for renovations. Okanagan Spirits has opened their first retail location in the heart of downtown Kelowna on Bernard Street. The Best Western Hotel has opened Ora Kitchen & Bar with Executive Chef Kevin Boreham
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The Buzz formerly with Earls. The charming Organic Cupboard has opened in Tutt Square with a focus on everything organic. In the Lower Mission, Fresh Green Grocer, a full service grocery store is now open at 4624 Lakeshore Road. Bean Scene Coffee Works has a cool new location in an airy industrial space at 1615 Dickson Avenue. Latin Fiesta, which opened in April has already garnered a loyal following and is worth the drive to Rutland (400B Hwy 33) for authentic Mexican and Salvadorian food. Valrosa Foods, Kelowna’s “Little Italy” and the place to go for anything and everything Italian including gourmet grocery store, deli, coffee/sandwich bar, has a brand new exterior for their retail location - 1467 Sutherland Avenue. Dawett Indian Restaurant has been transformed into a modern and sleek restaurant perfect for their 1435 Ellis Street downtown location. Coast Capri’s Vintage’s Room, has re-opened after renovations just in time to celebrate the holidays with Chateaubriand for Two. Enjoy dinner and theatre at the newly renovated Kelowna’s Actors Studio which now offers table dinner service with Neil Schroeter of Okanagan Street Food as the Executive Chef. Tim and Lucia Martin are the new owners of DJ’s Kelowna Cantina on Water Street. West Kelowna has a delicious new Lebanese Bistro - Gaby’s Grill, 875 Anders Road, in the space previously occupied by Georgio’s. In Summerland, Good Omens is now licensed and will be serving local Summerland wines as well as a large selection of micro –brews. In Penticton, Bradley Greggor and Executive Chef Shane Christoff are the new owners of Amante Bistro, now open for both lunch and dinner. Saint German Café Gallery has opened downtown on Main Street and is a delightful café within a commercial art gallery serving wonderful French baguette sandwiches, salads/soups and art. The hip Opus Café in the Cannery Loft Building is now licensed and neighbor Cannery Brewing is on tap. In Naramata, the Poplar Grove Winery will be open year round and the Hillside Winery’s Bistro will remain open until December 18th. And that’s the Okanagan buzz. —Claire Sear
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Darin Patterson is a kitchen hero with a passion for culinary tradition. Owner/chef at Bogner’s in Penticton, the burly, bearded father of two young children also recently began offering a MayOctober lunch menu of soups, salads and creative grill dishes at Red Rooster Winery, a short walk from his two-acre organic produce farm on the Naramata Bench. In addition to running both operations and growing enough potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, arugula and various herbs for his kitchens, Patterson also operates a popular catering service. He is a busy man. “I’ve always loved getting my hands in the dirt. I was in horticultural club when I was seven and grew up growing food. I’ve worked since I was 14, and after graduating from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology helped open four Edmonton restaurants including the famous Black Dog Freehouse.” Next, Patterson travelled around the Middle East and worked four years at a 24-hour kitchen service for the Saudi royal family where he “would get 25 fresh lambs a day and other days learn to deal with having nothing and making something grand from it.” During his travels, the chef met his wife and moved to Sweden where he worked with Christer Svantesson, that country’s first chef to be awarded a Michelin star. Patterson ran the largest catering company in Stockholm, catered Nobel Peace Prize dinners in 2004 and 2005 and a European Congress formal dinner for 3,200 people. He also cooked for pop stars like Sting, Wyclef Jean and the Pet Shop Boys. “I love the confit tradition, cooked in the fat of its own ancestors. I always remember a meal I shared with Christer of fried liver, thick-cut bacon, capers, brown butter and mashed potatoes.” Patterson moved back to Canada and bought Bogner’s in 2006. The 1915 Tudor-style heritage house had been a Penticton family restaurant since 1977. Patterson’s extensive renovations included garden beds planted with potatoes and salad ingredients in every available space, and while dining there I watched as the chef used some of his herbs to garnish a plate. “They talk about the 100-mile diet, but we get our organic produce a little closer to home.” —By Joseph Blake
www.eatmagazine.ca NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
good for you — by Pam Durkin
Honey (bee), Won’t You Please Come Home! They pollinate a third of all the food you eat. And they’re disappearing. Here’s how you can help.
Lemon Honey Panna Cotta with Honey Ginger Florentines
So what can you do to help the honeybee and ensure the sustainability of our food supply? Plenty—visit www.eatmagazine.ca for things you can do right now to make a substantial impact. Search: Honeybee
RECIPES — by Nathan Fong
Honey is a natural organic sweetener and has been used since the dawn of humankind. No additives and healthy to the body’s system, it also has great nutritional properties. Delicious simply spread on hot buttered toast or to sweeten tea, honey has been used in cooking for centuries. Here are six of my favourite recipes using honey, including sublimely crisp honey-glazed duck legs, an intense, honey-infused tomato jam, spice-scented poached pears and a delicate panna cotta. Each recipe’s sweetness comes from the honey, but the subtle flavours and aromas will differ depending on the style of honey used.
An agricultural crisis has been looming for the past five years. The honeybees are disappearing. You may be wondering what this has to do with agriculture and why you should care. Honeybees don’t just make honey—they pollinate one third of all the food you eat. And without pollination, plants can’t produce all the nourishing fruits, vegetables and nuts that keep us healthy. No one is certain what’s causing the bees’ demise, but leading experts and preliminary evidence suggests human abuse of the environment is the chief factor. Let’s take a closer look and find out what needs to be done to reverse the disturbing scenario. The term “Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)” was first applied in 2006. That was the year of a drastic rise in the number of honeybee colonies that disappeared in North America. Authorities scrambled to find a single cause for CCD but could not pinpoint an exclusive factor—and still can’t. Bob Liptrot, co-owner of Tugwell Creek Honey Farm and Meadery in Sooke, isn’t surprised. According to Liptrot, who holds a master’s degree in apiculture from Simon Fraser University, the cause was, and remains, multi-factorial. “It isn’t just one thing,” he states, “there are a number of factors, both biotic and environmental, that are creating the perfect storm—pesticides, global warming, industrial-farming practices, genetically modified crops—all these things weaken the bee’s immune system, leaving them more susceptible to disease.” Initial analysis of bees from collapsed colonies indicates their bodies contain more pesticides than non-CCD bees. Until the spring of this year, Liptrot and his beekeeping brethren on Vancouver Island had a valuable weapon in their fight to keep their colonies healthy. A quarantine issued by the Ministry of Agriculture kept bees from being imported onto the island, effectively creating an isolated zone that allowed island beekeepers to maintain a relatively disease-free stock. In a questionable move that left many beekeepers angry, the Ministry lifted the quarantine on May 1st. “They simply caved in to some heavy lobbying by a few large commercial operations, and by one in particular that was teetering on financial ruin and wanted to import bees from the mainland to keep the operation viable,” explains Liptrot. “That business threatened to sue and the quarantine was lifted.” The frustration with the provincial government continues. Liptrot is currently working with UBC, the University of Manitoba and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on a genetics program with the aim of breeding heartier stock that are less susceptible to disease. Donations from the participants and from private donors are providing funding for this project and others like it—the provincial government has thus far refused to offer financial support for bee research. “It’s frustrating,” sighs Liptrot, “The Ontario government is providing funding for bee research; they recognize how crucial the work is, but so far our provincial government has refused to support us financially.”
Lemon Honey Panna Cotta Panna cotta is one of my favourite Italian desserts. It’s a balancing act to have just the right amount of gelatin to “hold” the sweetened milk, without it becoming too heavy a texture. Use a good honey from a local small producer with a stronger flavour such as lavender, buckwheat or wild flowers. Panna cotta is such a subtle dessert that it will take on either delicate or strong honey flavours. Makes 6 3/4-cup ramekins. 1 1/4 cups homogenized milk 2 1/2 tsp gelatin Peel from 1 lemon, about 1-by-6-inches 3 cups whipping cream 1/2 cup honey 1/8 tsp salt Pour the milk into a bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Set aside to soften, about 5 minutes.
EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
Meanwhile, heat the peel, cream, honey and salt until steaming hot but not boiling, stirring until honey is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in milk mixture, stirring until gelatin has dissolved. Place bowl into an ice water bath and stir until temperature reaches 50°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove lemon peel. Divide mixture evenly among serving glasses or ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, 4 to 5 hours, or overnight. Drizzle with extra honey as a garnish or serve with Honey Ginger Florentines (see following recipe)
Honey Ginger Florentines Makes about 1 – 1 1/2 dozen wafers. 4 Tbsp unsalted butter 3 Tbsp honey 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 tsp ground ginger 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (sifted before measuring) 1/4 tsp salt
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Preheat oven to 400°F and set oven rack to middle. Butter or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small saucepan, heat the butter, honey, sugar and ginger over low heat, until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the flour and salt. Drop a heaping Tbsp of batter on the prepared baking sheet, allowing room for spreading (maximum 6 per baking sheet). Place one baking sheet at a time into the oven and bake until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. While they are baking, lightly butter the back of a rolling pin. Remove the sheet from the oven and replace it with a new sheet of unbaked cookies. Allow the cookies to cool for a few seconds to set, then lift one with a metal spatula onto the rolling pin allowing it to curl over the back. Or the cookies can be formed into small cigars over the greased handle of a wooden spoon. Place the warm cookie over the handle and quickly wrap it around with your hands. If the cookies harden before you get to them, return to the baking sheet and place the baking sheet back into the oven for a few seconds to soften. If the first set of cookies do not spread or curl properly, add a small amount of butter or honey to the batter before continuing. Cool completely before storing in an air-tight container. These will keep up to a week. The cigars can be filled with sweetened whipped cream using a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. These should be served immediately.
Honey Poached Pears with Lemon Balm and Raisins This Chinese-inspired dessert is simple to make. The combination of honey and water is a traditional preparation and is used both to cook and as a dessert syrup. In this recipe, the honey and water are gently infused with aromatics of ginger, tangerine peel, star anise and lemon balm. Use large piece of zest from a fresh lemon (1-inch-by6 inches) if fresh lemon balm leaves cannot be found. Serves 4 13 cups water 1/2 lemon 4 6-oz Bosc pears (or similar size) 1/3 cup honey 1 thin coin slice of ginger 2 pieces dried tangerine peel (1-by-2 inches), soaked in hot water for 20 minutes or until softened (available at Chinese supermarkets) 1/2 cup raisins 1 star anise (optional) About 18 sprigs (7-inches long) lemon balm, 1 to 2 bunches 4 sprigs mint Place 6 cups of the water in a bowl and squeeze the juice from the lemon into the bowl and add the lemon as well. Core the pears from the bottom and peel, leaving the stem intact. Place into lemon water to prevent discolouring. Place the remaining water and honey into a large pot and stir to dissolve the honey. Add the tangerine peel, raisins and lemon balm as well as the pears. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, leaving the lid cracked, for 1 hour. Test the pear with a knife. It should be soft and poached with a light beige colour. Turn off heat and remove peel, lemon balm and star anise. Transfer each pear, standing upright, onto a serving soup plate. Divide the sweet soup and raisins among the serving dishes. Garnish with mint and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. For Nathan’s recipes for Honey-Roasted Duck Legs with Honey Plum Tomato Compote and Honey Orange Ice Cream go to www.eatmagazine.ca and search: Honey-Roasted Duck Legs and Honey Orange Ice Cream
Around here, most holiday magic happens in the kitchen. This season, let us take care of dinner. AURA waterfront restaurant + patio – Victoria’s premier dining destination.
DID YOU KNOW? Honey contains chrysin, a flavonoid that has been proven to KO cancer cells! Honey is also antibacterial—up until World War II it was commonly used to
treat skin wounds. Cheap honey sold in chain super-stores is often not real honey but an analogue; a mixture of synthetic and natural sugars blended to taste, smell and feel like honey.
Inn at Laurel Point | 680 Montreal St. | 250.414.6739 aurarestaurant.ca |
www.eatmagazine.ca NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
farm to plate — by Claire Sear
Preserving The Harvest—Okanagan Style Canning brings the epicurean’s summer joy to the cold winter.
A selection of preserves from the Okanagan: (l) RauDZ Regional Table (r) Joy Road Catering Cuisine du Terroir
es—canning is very much back in vogue and the “it” hostess gift of the moment is a jar of homemade preserves-preferably whole fruit or vegetables artistically displayed in beautiful mason jars or exotic chutneys and sauces with handwritten labels. Luckily for those who didn’t manage to add canning to their repertoire or who simply demand the best of the best, small quantities of hand-made preserves made at the peak of the Okanagan’s spring, summer and fall season can be purchased directly from some of the Okanagan’s finest chefs exclusively at their restaurants. Executive Chef Matthew Batey’s handmade preserves showcase in a jar why Mission Hill Winery is one of the Okanagan’s best restaurants. Small quantities of the handmade preserves are released for sale at the winery including Oculus Cherries, Rainier Cherries, Vanilla Pears, Sweet Cherries, Sweet & Sour Estate Rhubarb, Green Tomato Chutney, Speared Asparagus and Cascade Tomatoes. The Oculus Cherries at $14.95 a jar are a steal when compared to a bottle of Oculus wine which retails at over $70.00 per bottle. Sinfully decadent over chocolate ice-cream or on top of homemade cheesecakeany dessert becomes exceptional with their presence. The Vanilla Pears are made exclusively from estate pears grown alongside the Riesling grapes on Mission Hill’s Martin Estate Vineyard. For a brilliant terroir pairing, enjoy the vanilla pears with prosciutto and a glass of the Mission Hill Family Estate Martin’s Lane Riesling. Beautifully displayed in glass mason jars, Mission Hill preserves are works of art that when opened release the sunshine of summer on a bleak winter’s day. Executive Chef Rod Butter’s RJB preserves, available exclusively at Kelowna’s RauDZ restaurant, made their debut in 2009 and immediately developed a cult following with RauDZ devoted clientele. Made exclusively with the best of the Okanagan, RJB preserves are one hundred percent local with no preservatives. The Hamburger relish is wrongly named as it takes cheese or any sandwich to new heights. The “Simply the Best Pickles” live up to their name and the Blackberry ketchup has a loyal following. The “drunken cherries” made with Sandhill Merlot are a must-simply pair with whipped cream or Devonshire double cream and shaved chocolate for an easy dessert or spoon straight from the jar. Pickled carrots (perfect with a Caesar cocktail), Roasted Tomato Sauce and Balsamic Bings are also amongst the offerings. Despite demand the RJB preserves are for now only available from RauDZ. In the culinary world, much of the creative cooking talent currently in the Okanagan
EAT MAGAZINE NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2011
has at one time worked or been under the mentorship and guidance of Executive Chef Bernard Casavant who has quietly been selling his preserves and heavenly marinades made with no preservatives at the Wild Apple Restaurant at Manteo Resort. When chef’s stop by to purchase the “Star Anise Marinade” for cooking at home, you know it’s worthy in any home kitchen. Look for the Roasted Onion Dijon Vinaigrette, Orange Ginger Stir Fry and the simple but delicious Apple Butter. To the gratitude of locals and epicureans in the know, most dining guests at Burrowing Owl’s Sonora Room restaurant simply miss the bookcase tucked away in the corner filled with handmade pantry treasures. Executive Chef Chris Van Hooydonk and Executive Sous Chef Jonathan Thauberger, have a friendly rivalry keeping the bookcase stocked with their hand-made preserves. The famed organic hot sauce and Sonora Room Sambal sauce has fans buying it by the case and don’t miss the winning Cherry BBQ sauce as well as homemade mustard, jams and chutneys. Penticton’s The Bench Market has started selling their own handmade preserves from Executive Chef Stewart Glynes including Quince jelly, beautiful black plum sauce made with locally grown black amber plums and gorgeously preserved Butter Bottom pears. Toronto’s Executive Chef Jamie Kennedy, a pioneer in the canning resurgence and one of the first to use jars of beautiful hand-made preserves as colorful works of art that were brilliantly displayed along the walls of his former downtown Toronto landmark the Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar. The art of canning was clearly passed to his protégés, Dana Ewart and Cameron Smith, the owners of Penticton’s Joy Road Catering whose handmade preserves are exceptional and worth seeking out at the Penticton and Naramata Farmer’s Market or contact directly at Joy Road Catering. Dana explains that much of the fruit used in their jams is allowed to tree-ripen to perfection and then handpicked by the Joy Road Catering team and quickly preserved providing nature’s abundant sweetness. Beautiful Heirloom tomatoes are perfect for homemade pasta sauce and their pickles are outstanding with the added bonus for athletes that a pickle plus a good dose of pickle juice a day keeps the muscle cramps away. A well stocked pantry of the best preserves-jams, jellies, drunken fruit, pickled vegetables, chutneys and sauces is a good investment and a source of comfort in today’s volatile stock market. A rich man’s staple and a poor man’s treat, hand-made preserves are an epicurean’s summer joy for the cold winter.
Upscale urban casual dining in a relaxed rural setting. thelocalgroup.ca T: 250.494.8855 t 12817 Lakeshore Drive S. Summerland, BC Local Gift Cards make the perfect gift. Available in any denomination.
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