Diner: The Rabbit And The Wine
First, I present some delayed optics. Here’s a collection of clips and photographs from our trip up to Penticton, Oliver, and Kelowna during the Fall Wine Festival. Michelle and I had the great pleasure of staying at Apple d’Or; dining very well at Amante Bistro with David and Cynthia Enn of Laughing Stock; fossil hunting at our secret patch; checking out the Penticton Farmer’s Market; hanging and lunching with Ned Bell at Cabana; visiting with Heidi and Michael Noble at Joie; partying at Tinhorn Creek; and checking out Road 13 for the first time since their very cool rebrand. As you will see in the video, I also drank and gawked my way through Grape Stomp, one of the most absurdly debaucherous and “loosely interpreted” competitions I’ve ever been press ganged into judging.
With that out of the way, welcome to the beta version of Scout. There are still several tweaks that we’re trying to fit in, and you’ll likely see a few changes in the coming weeks. I’m sorry it has taken so long, but things took a left turn a few weeks ago and the delay couldn’t be helped.
At school in Africa one of my best friends and fraternity brothers was a brooding Romanian mathematician turned amusing drunk who told very good (if sometimes depressingly solemn) jokes. They always involved the various animals that lived in a dark Carpathian forest near his home, and the protagonist was invariably a rabbit. My favourite – told with a Bucharest accent and in a voice slurred by cheap vodka – went something like this:
The rabbit, he goes to forest supermarket early. When he gets to supermarket, he finds big line. So he start to weave in and out of squirrels, bears, deer, and foxes like so, until he comes to front door. Before he opens door, wolf grabs rabbit and says “Stupid rabbit, get to back of line!” and throws rabbit far. Boom. Like so. The rabbit, he picks himself up, dusts himself off, and starts again through line, all way to front. Again, wolf yells “Stupid rabbit!” and throws rabbit many feet this time. So, the rabbit, hurting plenty much, picks himself up, dusts himself off, and goes through line for third time. The wolf, angry, he waits for rabbit. He grabs rabbit by ears, and throws so far that when rabbit lands on ground he can not get up for long time. So, rabbit, very carefully, picks himself up, dusts himself off, and says “I guess I won’t open supermarket today”.
I don’t know why, but I like that rabbit very much.
I haven’t been all that idle these past three weeks. Scout has been a wonderful bitch to build, Halloween has come and gone (Pip was a ghost, Jack was a storm trooper, Michelle was Cat in the Hat, I was a cowboy), and I’ve been out for several quality meals. Life goes on.
I’ve been trying to track down the last few remaining recipe’s for Vancouver Cooks 2.0, the new cookbook we’re putting together at the Chef’s Table Society with 60 of our best chefs. Just this past week we put pen to paper and signed our contract with our publisher, Douglas & MacIntyre. We also had our first meeting with Pino Posteraro as our new President, which turned out to be very spirited (extra special double plus thanks to Nu for hosting us). Jamie Maw, Sid Cross, and I are now moving into the editorial stage, writing up all the bios and the section intros. Everything appears to be running on schedule for a November 2009 release. Stoked.
The Westender has also kept me busy with my column. A couple weeks back there was a run down of the competing chefs at this week’s Gold Medal Plates, and in circulation right now is my unapologetically gushing review of Voya, the brand new restaurant in the just-opened Loden Vancouver hotel. I’m currently working on next week’s piece, which will preview this year’s Cornucopia gorge fest up in Whistler. It’s really one of my favourite events of the year, and I’m looking forward to a weekend full of the kind of debauchery that I’ll be hard pressed to remember the following week (hence the wisdom of writing about it before rather than after). I’ll be having dinners at Bearfoot and Araxi, plus a couple of killer lunches (one by Ned Bell of Kelowna’s Cabana), and attending some walk-in seminars. Crush and Bubbles will keep me in my cups, and the Four Seasons will help in the bed department. You can expect plenty of video and some wayward reporting once I return down the mountain.
That’s all for now.