by Lisa Giroday, Sandra Lopuch and Sam Philips | Who loves potatoes? We do, and their season in full force! While starch isn’t totally in vogue, this crop remains a staple worldwide, and late summer potatoes are so good freshly uprooted from the garden and made into a fresh potato salads to accompany your end of summer BBQ’s and beach picnics.
Potatoes, or Solanum tuberosum L., are actually a perennial in the nightshade family, but we harvest the tubers annually. The name comes from the Spanish patata, which is a compound of the Taino batata (sweet potato), and the Quecha papa (potato). They’re indigenous to the Andes; humans having domesticated them in southern Peru and northwest Bolivia between 8000 and 5000 BC. Today, they’re the world’s fourth largest food crop (after corn, wheat, and rice), with 1/3 being grown in China and India. There are about 5,000 varieties of potato, with 3,000 of them being found in the Andes alone, mainly in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Colombia. Wild potato species can be found throughout the Americas, from the US to southern Chile. It’s too bad that we only see a few varieties of potato in the grocery store. But if you go to the Farmers Market on the weekend, swing by the Helmer’s Organic stand and get acquainted with their wide array of potato varieties, shapes, colours, and flavours.
After the Spanish conquest in the 16th century, the potato was introduced to Europe. By the 19th century, after a slow but steady adoption of the now staple tuber, potatoes played a huge role in the population boom in Europe. Alas, due to the lack of diversity in the varieties introduced (do we ever learn?), potatoes became more susceptible to diseases like blight, and this resulted in massive crop failures, the most consequential of which leading to the disastrous “Irish Potato Famine” of 1845.
Potatoes grow really when in the Lower Mainland, and they’re ready right now. And while they aren’t typically considered to be the healthiest of vegetables, did you know that just one medium-sized sucker will provide you with 45% of your daily vitamin c needs and 18% of your daily potassium? It doesn’t hurt that they’re super tasty, too. Nor variety of cooking methods and presentations is endless.
So what are you waiting for? Go get some freshly harvested potatoes – boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew – or make a tasty frittata for Sunday brunch!
Its the brainchild of Fadi Eid, who has been working on the project since April with designer Adrienne Kavanagh. Eid comes to Vancouver from Lebanon by way of Abu Dhabi. The hospitality management grad has been working in the trade since his teens, having gotten his start toiling in his uncle’s bakery (of late he’s been working front of house for the Fairmont).
The restaurant’s communal, casual concept will see home-style Lebanese food served in sharable “mezze” fashion (eg. falafel, labneh, mjadra, makanik), with equal focus paid to flat breads (“saj”), traditional stews, and a variety of flavoured humus and dips (eg. beet, avocado-cilantro, etc.). The latter will also be sold in branded jars that customers can re-use by bringing them back for refills at a discounted price. The restaurant’s flat bread, flavoured olive oilsm and spices will also be retailed. You can read a draft of the menu here. Lunch will change daily, but the dinner card will be more or less fixed.
To pair with the food, the short bar will be serving local beer and wine, as well as cocktails employing Mediterranean herbs and Levantine spices.
I’ve included Kavanagh’s design renderings with the image set below. The models make it look super clean and modern, but she’s found some cool pieces at Scott Landon Antiques to give the 32 seat space some character, and you never know what an open kitchen can do to the feel of a place when it pumps out the intoxicating aromas of exotic spices and freshly baked breads.
Opening day at Jamjar (2280 Commercial Drive) is set for the end of September.
The GOODS from Mamie Taylor’s
Vancouver, BC | Mamie Taylor’s is searching for full-time and part-time front-of-house staff for both the dining room and lounge. About Us: Laid-back and casual regional American dining. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we’re very serious about what we do. About You: Fun and easy-going with a minimum of three-years serving experience. Some wine and cocktail knowledge a definite plus. Must love (or at least tolerate) taxidermy. Email us in confidence at info [at] mamietaylors.ca. More info after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Burrowing Owl Estate Winery
Oliver, BC | Burrowing Owl Estate Winery is seeking a new Guest Experience Manager. This is a full time, year round position based in Oliver, B.C. The successful candidate will manage day to day operations in the Wine Shop (including staff supervision and Wine Shop Merchandising), on-site grounds care taking, and some Guest House operations in a manner which actively promotes the premium nature of the Burrowing Owl brand.
The successful candidates will have a University degree in communications, sales, wine education, and or tourism/hospitality as well as 3+ years working in a related area of the Wine Industry. Retail merchandising experience is a must. Strong computer skills are required, and the ability to communicate effectively with guests and staff alike.
Other skills that are beneficial include the ability to pay acute attention to detail as well as possessing versatility, flexibility, and a willingness to work within constantly changing environment. The successful candidate will frequently be required to walk, kneel, bend, stand for extended periods, and lift 35-50 pounds. Interested candidates should forward their resumes and a cover letter that includes compensation expectations to firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more
by Chuck Hallett & Andrew Morrison | There’s a reason breweries are located in industrial districts. Brewing beer is, at its heart, a result of light industry. It’s a chemical manufacturing process what converts a standard set of input ingredients (barley, hops, yeast and water) into an end product. It differs from producing wood pulp only slightly, and most of that is because the end product is that magical elixir we call beer.
Smaller breweries often play down the technical aspects of beer production simply because they can. Polished concrete countertops and wood-panelled tasting rooms are sexier than the industrial patchwork of tanks, pipes and coolant they conceal.
Once you bust past a certain size, though, the process of actually making beer takes centre stage, as well it should. This is the case with Mount Pleasant’s newest craft brewery: Red Truck. The company has expanded out of their 3,600 hectolitre micro-brewery on the North Shore and into a 40,000sf, 25,000hl facility directly on the spot where the old Brewery Creek emptied into the now-filled False Creek Flats. The added capacity is already allowing them to crank out a steady stream of packaged lager, IPA and pale ale, along with (soon) the odd limited bomber release of something more interesting.
This is a cavernous warehouse of a brewery, with a forest of gleaming 2 storey tall fermenters dotting the snazzily tiled floor. Piping interconnects and steel cat walks criss cross left and right, and a control station on a 2nd floor outcrop monitors the whole operation like it’s some sort of fermentation DJ booth.
Capping off the whole operation is a fully restored vintage red delivery truck, which is suspended from cables above the heads of the workers below. Waxing and washing it is a task that will presumably fall to the interns.
Still to come on the sunny south-side of the building is a retail kiosk and growler station, plus the highly anticipated 70 seat old school Red Truck Stop diner, which will serve burgers, hot dogs, wings, liquor and plenty of booze in addition to beer. Bonus: a sun-drenched 40 sat patio — a feature not allowed under the more popular Brewery Lounge license.
The numbers above might seem huge but in reality they really aren’t. The 60hl brewhouse is the next logical step for a growing craft brewery, and a 25,000hl/year production target doesn’t even crack the top five list for BC. For comparison, Deschutes Brewing in Oregon’s annual production is just about 750,000hl, proving it is possible to make delicious beer in large quantities.
As mentioned up top and made evident in the images below, the brewery is already making beer. They’ve had their state of the art bottling and packaging line whirring, plus the machine that goes bing has gone bing. There’s not that much left on site to do save for cladding the building’s exterior, finishing/furnishing some of the offices and conference rooms (installing AV, etc), and giving the whole thing a good once over with a broom and a hose.
It’s more complicated than that, of course, but you get the point. They’re close. Hours aren’t yet set in stone, but 10am to 10pm might be right. We’re crossing our fingers for it to be part of our lives by Christmas or New Years.
* Correction: the draft published yesterday stated that Red Truck was owned by the Mark James Group. This was incorrect and we apologise for the error.
The GOODS from The Stable House
Vancouver, BC | The Stable House Bistro is pleased to announce that Chef Brad Hendrickson is now at the helm of the kitchen and menu design. Brad comes to The Stable House via the US but since marrying and settling in Vancouver, he has quickly become one of us. His focus is on fresh, seasonal products prepared using modern french methodology – techniques he learned while working under Daniel Boulud in New York (Daniel) and Dale Mackay right here in Vancouver (Lumiere). As always, the menu is based on great food – paired well and all meals, charcuterie and cheeses complement the ever evolving wine list. In addition to Brad’s new menu, the restaurant has a new patio and happy hour to help keep Summer 2014 alive as long as possible. Read more
The GOODS from EXILE BISTRO
Vancouver, BC | Exile Bistro in the West End is looking for a dynamic individual for a part-time position as a bartender/server. Essentials qualities include strong cocktail and service skills, great attention to details, the ability to take the initiative, and an affinity for team work. We offer competitive wages, a great atmosphere, and amazing food and drinks to work with. Please forward your resume at exilevancouver [at] gmail.com. Thank you, and stay wild at heart! For more info about the bistro, click after the jump or visit exilebistro.com. Read more
Pay a visit to Nelson The Seagull in Gastown today. They’ve just scored their patio license, as evidenced by the shot above, which we’ve reposted from their Instagram feed. (“Better late than never,” reads the caption. Indeed!) Below you’ll find a couple dozen shots from the days when they were just starting out back in May, 2011.
THE GOODS FROM Le Vieux Pin & Lastella
Oliver, BC | The outdoor dinner event of the summer is set to take place outside Whistler, BC at Lost Lake on Saturday, August 30th. It will showcase the cuisine of Araxi paired with the wines of Le Vieux Pin and LaStella. A long table set amidst a beautiful alpine lake will set the stage for this idyllic alfresco supper, the third in the restaurant’s highly anticipated summer series.
Chef James Walt has created a seasonal menu with fresh local organic ingredients to be paired with wines chosen by Araxi wine director Samantha Rahn and 2013 Sommelier of the Year. Each dish created specifically for the best of what these two wineries produce. Guests will have an experience like no other at these farm to table 4-course dinners. Read more
by Andrew Morrison | Following up on the success of their Chinatown pop-up, Lukes General Store is set to open a permanent location at 49 West Hastings on the Downtown Eastside. If the address doesn’t ring a bell, that’s because it’s the brand new glass, concrete, and steel mid-rise between the Acme Cafe and Save On Meats. It hasn’t fronted a tenant until now.
“Vancouver has been really great to us”, says owner Gareth Lukes, whose family has operated Calgary fixture Lukes Drug Mart since 1951.” We love being here. There is so much great energy in this city right now and great communities with a lot of interest in the products and experiences we offer.”
The move to the larger, fixed address will allow Lukes to broaden their retail offerings and table a cafe experience featuring donuts from nearby Cartem’s Donuterie and coffee from the Bay Area’s highly regarded Four Barrel. If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, it’s the outstanding stuff they brew at San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery. This will be the first time their beans will see retail action in Canada.
For the shop’s shelves, Dry Goods Manager Veronika Rezucha (formerly of Lark on Main) will be bringing in bars from Mast Brothers Chocolate and products from Malin + Goetz Apothecary, Baxter of California Shaving, Juniper Ridge, Pendleton Woolen Mills, and McClure’s Pickles (to name just a few). Music aficionado Shaun Cowan, formerly of Scratch Records, is on board to manage the store’s vinyl selection.
And speaking of music, it sounds like we’ll be hearing plenty of it at Lukes. From an imminent press release:
“We have a reputation in Calgary as a key part of the music and culture scene. Not only is it a cool spot to hang out and buy music, but we’ve thrown great events and free concerts there with artists such as Shad, Rural Alberta Advantage, and Ladyhawk,” says Aaron Schubert, who, in addition to setting up Lukes’ Vancouver location, has deep roots in the local music scene as manager of the the Pack AD as well as booking venues such as the Biltmore Cabaret and the Rickshaw Theatre. “We’re definitely looking forward to doing some similar music and art events at the new Hasting Street location. We’re really excited to become a permanent fixture of Vancouver’s exciting and diverse cultural scene.”
Construction is already underway. If all goes according to plan, the doors will open in September.
The GOODS from Pallet Coffee Roasters
Vancouver, BC | We’ve had plenty of requests about expanding our hours and so we are happy to say that as of September 2nd we’re going to make it happen. We will be expanding our weekday hours to 8am to 5pm, and on weekends – both Saturday and Sunday – from 9am to 5pm. We’re looking forward to serving you. Learn more about Pallet after the jump… Read more
We ate the living daylights out of this dreamily-textured asparagus-stuffed omelette last Saturday at The Oakwood in Kitsilano. It came mounted with a healthy dollop of truffled creme fraiche and next to a pile of crispy fried brussels sprouts (halved). Everything lay in a shallow pool of impactful tomato sauce, the acidic zip of which had been tempered by a smoky char. The whole thing was flawless – as good an edible start to the day as can be had in Vancouver. Be sure to pair it with one of their gently spiced Micheladas. If you’re going to hit them up for brunch this weekend, be wise and book ahead because their queues – between 10am and 2:45pm on Saturday and Sunday - are starting to get rather Medina-esque.
Asparagus Omelette | $14 | The Oakwood | 2741 W. 4th Ave. | 604-558-1965
The GOODS for Siena
Vancouver, BC | We are looking for a great cook to join our team as Sous Chef at Siena restaurant in September. You will have the opportunity to work with chef Jessica Howery and a strong kitchen team in a quality-oriented, fun, and fast-paced environment. Previous experience with Italian cuisine is an asset, but all applicants with a relevant background will be considered. Apply in person at the kitchen door between 2:30pm and 4:30pm, or email service [at] eatsiena.com with “Sous Chef” in the subject line. We thank all applicants in advance for their interest, though we will only be able to respond to those selected for an interview. Read more
The GOODS from Oakwood Canadian Bistro
Vancouver, BC | The Oakwood Canadian Bistro is proud to welcome Ryan Murphy as the new executive chef. The Halifax native has spent years traversing the globe in pursuit of his culinary passions. Murphy gained extensive experience working in international kitchens including Vue de Monde in Melbourne, Australia; Restaurant Fifty Three in Singapore; and Restaurant Frantzen in Stockholm, Sweden; and numerous well-renowned eateries around Vancouver.
With this changing of the guard, previous Oakwood executive chef Mike Robbins will leave behind this vibrant dining destination. “The Oakwood team wishes Mike Robbins all the best as he moves on to new culinary ventures,” says Oakwood’s Mike Shea. “Mike was instrumental in building the brand, outstanding reputation, varied menu and the loyal customer base. We look forward to supporting his next projects. We are thrilled to have Ryan Murphy step in and are excited about what’s to come.”
The up-and-coming culinary talent has had a deep respect for Vancouver’s dining scene and the rigours of kitchen life since he moved here in 2006. “It wasn’t long before I fell in love with the pace here and the endless avenues of working with food and flavours,” he says. “I look forward to leading the kitchen team at the Oakwood and building on the restaurant’s success.” Read more