The GOODS from Pidgin
Vancouver, BC | On May 7, 2014 at 6:30pm, Visa Infinite cardholders are invited to Gastown’s Pidgin to experience an unforgettable menu inspired by global flavours from Japan, Korea, Spain, France and Canada with Vancouver’s chef Makoto Ono (Pidgin) and Toronto chef Grant van Gameren (Bar Isabel) sharpening their knives for an evening of culinary collaboration. Both chefs were included on enRoute magazine’s list of Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2013. For one night only, the duo presents a multi-course menu carefully matched with unique beer, wine, cocktail, and sake parings.
Celebrated for his attention to detail and flavour, chef Makoto Ono takes a delicate and playful approach, crafting highly composed dishes. Chef Grant van Gameren, known for his approachable, Spanish-inspired fare, creates unfussy plates bursting with imagination. Guests can expect a cutting-edge and inventive menu as these two nationally famous top chefs push one another to produce one-of-a-kind cuisine. Details after the jump… Read more
by Ken Tsui | For years, the Sunny Spot Cafe on Main Street has been a tiny, unremarkable greasy spoon cafe. But new management is flipping the script, embracing their culinary roots as Shaanxi province natives by introducing northern Chinese flavours to the menu. Originally hailing from a food stall at the Richmond Night Market as “Zhang’s World Famous Xian Burger and Terracotta Noodle”, Sunny Spot Cafe is now their home during the market’s off-season, and they are literally too legit to quit.
The new menu reflects the Shaanxi focus on hand-pulled noodles, breads and soups invigorated by aromatic chili oils and dark, tart vinegars. Get a taste of the region with their signature rou ji mou (house-made flatbread “xianburger” filled with braised beef shank, cilantro and cucumber) or handmade biangbiang noodles. Alternatively, get adventurous with their punchy, hot and sour soup with glass noodles and tripe.
Sunny Spot Cafe feels ad-hoc with a hodge podge of chairs and tablecloths reflecting the restaurant’s unique transition. The hot sauce for the fried eggs are in the same condiment holder as the vinegar for their fresh, house-made dumplings, but so what? As they get settled in, their new direction remains a delicious new option for Mount Pleasant food lovers.
Sunny Spot Cafe | 2543 Main St. | Vancouver, BC | 604-872-1816 | No Website
The GOODS from Wildebeest
Vancouver, BC | Wildebeest is on the hunt for full-time line cooks/chefs de partie. The ideal candidates are calm under pressure and has at least four years of practical experience cooking on line in upscale casual or fine dining settings. We offer a safe, consistently busy, and positive place of work with industry-leading wages and benefits. Please email your resume to eat [at] wildebeest.ca. Qualified applicants will be contacted confidentially for an interview. Read more
The GOODS from Market by Jean-Georges
Vancouver, BC | On April 20, 2014, MARKET by Jean-Georges will be welcoming in Spring with an Easter Brunch fit for all ages. From an exclusive three-course brunch menu to a live jazz band and a Kids Zone hosted by Granville Island Toy Company, MARKET promises a fun, easy and sophisticated Easter for everyone.
The Easter Brunch menu prepared by Chef de Cuisine Montgomery Lau, highlights cuisine inspired by the classics of Jean-Georges’ “greatest hits” with fresh, locally produced ingredients emphasizing comfort and creativity–including new flavour combinations that explore spices from other regions, all while remaining close to home. The $45.00 brunch using locally sourced products, consists of a choice of appetizer, main and dessert with menu items such as Carpaccio of Beef and Smoked Mozzarella with Lime and Basil and Crunchy Roasted Halibut with Glazed Mushrooms with Green Chili.
A Children’s Menu will also be on hand with classic kid-friendly dishes such as Nutella Crepes ($8.00) and Scrambled Eggs with Bacon ($8.00). To ensure the children don’t miss out on the Easter fun, the Granville Island Toy Company will be setting up children’s tables and toys, a bouncy castle, and coordinating a visit from the Easter Bunny himself. Read more
The GOODS from Chocolate Arts
Vancouver, BC | Vancouver’s Chocolate Arts chocolate shop and café is your one-stop shop for sweet surprises this Easter. Offering a tempting selection of edible artistry, from bite-sized confections to show stopping centerpieces, award-winning chocolatier Greg Hook lends the harried Easter Bunny a hand.
Chocolate purists will delight in Chocolate Arts’ high-quality cacao selection of solid, dark or milk chocolate eggs in a variety of sizes. Mini eggs are available in elegant 3-or-9-piece packages and optionally embossed with silly faces for the young at heart. For co-workers, friends and neighbours in need of a vacation, offer a tropical twist with limited-edition dark chocolate-coated Coconut Lime Eggs, filled with white chocolate, organic lime reduction and organic coconut milk ganache. For an element of surprise, let your Easter hunters crack open 40g and 240g chocolate eggs filled with either a single foiled solid chocolate or five mini chocolate figurines, and decorated with cocoa butter in your choice of several colourful designs.
For those who prefer hares over hens, Chocolate Arts provides the demure and decadent Fleur de Cao Bunny, made of silky single origin 72% dark chocolate. Also available from the rabbit warren is the charismatic Chocara Charlie, a handsome handcrafted chocolate bunny available in dark or milk chocolate, filled with five bestselling mini Chocara bars carefully crafted of house-made caramel, peanut butter and organic rice crisps. The adventurous chocoholic will enjoy the decidedly unconventional Pop Rocks Bunny made of rich milk chocolate and effervescent popping candy.
To complete the Easter menagerie, Chocolate Arts offers their aww-inducing chocolate Cheeps—dark chocolate eggs filled with a bright and playful house-made passionfruit marshmallow and decorated as plump chickadees—and the portly, wide-eyed chocolate Piggy, concealing a small fortune of foil-wrapped chocolate eggs in its generous potbelly. For the truly deserving, pick up a Chocolate Arts statement Signature Egg. Available in two sizes, in either dark or milk chocolate, they boast intricately decorated lids and are filled with a curated selection of assorted and seasonal chocolates and truffles. Read more
The GOODS from Burrowing Owl Estate Winery
Oliver, BC | Burrowing Owl Estate Winery has just taken further steps to help BC’s endangered wildlife, including the burrowing owl for which the winery is named. The winery used funds raised in their tasting room to purchase land and return it to the South Okanagan Rehab Centre for Owls (SORCO) and the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of BC (BOCS).
In 2003, The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC) saved the day for SORCO founder Sherry Klein, by purchasing her land that was the home of her rehabilitation centre for injured birds of prey. The site also attracted the BOCS. These two societies thought their future at that location was assured. In early 2013, however, TLC went into creditor protection and every property in its portfolio was at risk of being sold to satisfy creditors. This put both societies in a state of uncertainty, which has affected almost every decision they have made over the last year. It could also have had a negative effect on the amount of financial support the societies receive.
Jim Wyse, the Chair of Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, was able to convince the court that, for a modest fee of $50,000, this property should be released from creditor protection and conveyed to the two societies so that this situation would never repeat itself. Jim, who has been a director of both societies at various times, and has a land development background, was able to stickhandle through the bureaucratic maze to acquire the property with the court’s full approval. Read more
The GOODS from The Irish Heather
Vancouver, BC | Join in the festivities this Easter Weekend with a sumptuous feast at the Irish Heather on Sunday April 20th and Monday April 21st. In true Long Table style, guests will gather round a communal table for an evening of good food, fine drink and much merriment, all at an unbeatable price.
The Long Table Series was originally designed as an alternative dining option when the recession was hitting hard and hindering folks from enjoying a night out. It has endured as a popular weekly event because it remains a unique and affordable experience that brings together all those who share a common love of food and good company.
This festive gathering marks the launch of the new Long Table Series menu for the season, and guests this weekend will enjoy what will become the Sunday special; Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding, Roasting Jus and Roast Potatoes, all washed down with a crisp pint of Grimbergen. Bring family and friends, or come to meet some friendly faces over a hearty home-cooked meal. At only $17 including the artisan beer, it’s hard to find an experience around town better suited for this holiday weekend. Details after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Mamie Taylor’s
Vancouver, BC | Since opening in August of 2013, Mamie Taylor’s has built its reputation on Chef Tobias Grignon’s contemporary comfort food and a thriving lounge and bar scene. It only follows, then, that Chinatown’s modern American restaurant offer a Southern-themed brunch, whether as an informal weekend stop-in or a much-needed and consoling pick-me-up for the day after the night before.
Served from 11am to 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays (beginning Saturday, April 26), brunch at Mamie Taylor’s will introduce Vancouver diners to unique regional specialities direct from the America’s southern states.
The Kentucky Hot Brown is inspired by its namesake, Louisville’s iconic Brown Hotel, where the hot sandwich of house-smoked confit turkey, tomato, crisp bacon and Mornay sauce has been welcoming weekend warriors since 1926. Egg and Grits, a staple south of the Mason-Dixon line, folds aged white cheddar into hominy grits. Topped with an egg and baked, it’s finished with tomatillo salsa verde, minced jalapenos, and scallions. Of course, no Southern-inspired menu would be complete without Chicken Fried Steak, served with charred green tomatoes and a drizzling of decadent white bacon gravy.
The new menu will also feature classic brunch fare, jazzed up in Mamie Taylor’s signature down-home style. The Biscuit Benny (choice of Smoked Pork Belly with Apple Chutney or vegetarian Poblano Chili and Goat Cheese) is stacked on a lighter-than-air biscuit, then smothered and covered with Hollandaise. Cobb Salad boasts fresh peaches and a house-made Avocado Ranch dressing. With an ironic nod to Americana, Freedom Toast substitutes French toast’s brioche for pan-seared buttermilk biscuit and is served with a seasonal fruit compote, clabbered buttermilk ricotta and a crumbling of candied pecans. Learn more after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Homer St. Cafe & Bar
Vancouver, BC | Homer St. Cafe and Bar is now recruiting for kitchen positions. We are looking for motivated candidates with a background in casual dining to join our award winning team. We are looking for team players who excel in fast-paced, high energy environments and are legally entitled to work in Canada. We value the interest of all applicants; however only those selected for an interview will be contacted. All interested candidates please forward your resumes to tret [at] homerstreetcafebar.com. Learn more about Homer St. Cafe after the jump… Read more
This is the seventh in a nine-part story chronicling Dageraad brewer Ben Coli’s exploration of two questions he had to answer before taking the gamble of his life in starting a brewery: What is Belgian beer and can it be brewed here?
by Ben Coli | In Belgium’s forested, hilly Ardennes region, there is a valley called Vallée des Fées (Valley of the Fairies) and at the bottom of that valley there is a tiny village called Achouffe. In this village there was once a cowshed, and in that cowshed a tiny brewery was born.
Brasserie d’Achouffe was started by Pierre Gobon and his brother-in-law Chris Bauweraerts in 1982, which was a dark time for Belgian brewing. With the number of excellent breweries thriving in Belgium today, it’s easy to forget that Belgium, like North America, went through an age of industrial lagers.
Of the more than 3000 breweries that operated in Belgium in the early 1900s, only 750 survived both world wars. The wars were tough on Belgium’s small breweries: those that weren’t outright destroyed had their equipment requisitioned by the metal-hungry German army.
When the smoke cleared and reconstruction began, things got really tough for small Belgian brewers.
Light, pilsner-style beers came into style in a big way, and improvements in refrigeration and transportation made it easier for enormous industrial breweries to distribute nationally. All across Belgium, small breweries that had been making regional styles of beer for generations went bankrupt. By the end of the 1970s, seven breweries were responsible for 75% of the beer made in Belgium. More than half of the country’s beer was brewed by just two breweries: Artois and Jupiler.
Today we can only imagine how many amazing styles of beer were lost with the closing of so many small breweries. In fact, witbier, that classic style of Belgian wheat ale that is now the darling of British Columbia’s craft brewers, was actually extinct.
But in the midst of the carnage, Belgian brewing still had glimmers of hope. In 1966, brewer Pierre Celis resurrected witbier when he opened a brewery in the village of Hoegaarden. Then in the early 1980s a few upstart breweries began to emerge from the metaphorical rubble. Anyone who has witnessed the explosion of craft brewing in the US and Canada over the last 30 years will recognize the story of Belgium’s beer renaissance: a few dedicated homebrewers, bored of industrial lagers and nostalgic for what beer tasted like in the “good old days”, started tinkering in their kitchens. They got their hands on some old tanks from the dairy industry, cobbled together makeshift brewing equipment and started a revolution.
Among them were Achouffe’s Pierre and Chris. Brewing with a lauter tun crafted out of the drum of a washing machine, they began hand-filling and hand-corking repurposed champagne bottles and selling their brew to locals.
To compete with the flood of industrial lager washing over Belgium, Pierre and Chris would need an amazing yeast, one that could complement their blonde ale with a balance of subtly spicy phenols and juicy, fruity esters. Fortunately for them, when they went to one of the few remaining local small breweries with a bucket, they got a yeast capable of turning their hobby into an empire.
La Chouffe image with permission from La Chouffe | Map: Eli Horn | BREWER’S BLOG ARCHIVE
Ben Coli is owner and brewer of Dageraad Brewing, British Columbia’s first brewery specializing in Belgian-style ales. An award-winning home brewer, Ben formalized his brewing knowledge at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts and at Brewlab in the United Kingdom, earning a certificate from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. Before his beer obsession took over, Ben was a writer of books, magazine articles and marketing content. He is currently writing a book titled “How to Love Beer.”
The GOODS from Red Truck Beer Company
Vancouver, BC | The 2014 “Fest Of Ale” event was held on April 4th and 5th at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre and had 35 brewers from BC and beyond. Each of the participating breweries put forward their best brews for judging. The awards were determined by industry experts Joe Wiebe, Craft Beer Revolution; Jim Martin, Metro Liquor; David Beardsell, brewery owner/consultant; Mike Garson, Mike’s Craft Beer; and Allan Moen, NorthWest Brewing News. The Judges awarded Best in Class for Pale Ale to Red Truck Ale made by Vancouver’s own Red Truck Beer Company. Take a look at the other award-winners after the jump… Read more
by Andrew Morrison | Frankie Harrington, Cord Jarvie, and Joseph Sartor are opening a new location of Meat & Bread - their third – at 721 Yates Street in Victoria, BC’s old Churchill Building. That’s between Douglas and Blanshard, so right in the heart of the city. It’s a heritage space – a little bit bigger than Meat & Bread’s Gastown location – and they have Craig Stanghetta reprising his role as designer. I don’t expect they’ll veer too far from the original modern-meets-heritage aesthetic, and the menu will still be anchored by their famous porchetta sandwich and either a vegetarian or grilled cheese. We can also expect a location-specific signature sandwich, much like Gastown has its meatball and Coal Harbour has its corned beef. They’ve only just taken possession and hope to start construction in early May for a July opening. Need work? They’re setting up interviews for core staff as we speak. Email your resumes to info [at] meatandbread.ca.
The GOODS from Fort Berens Winery
Lillooet, BC | The weather is heating up, the sun is shining and the season is off to a great start for Fort Berens Estate Winery in Lillooet. With some major milestones behind them, including the groundbreaking of their new winery in the fall and winning White Wine of the Year at Cornucopia in November, the team is bursting with excitement as spring blossoms. For Fort Berens, this spring brings new growth to their team, the blossoming of their winery construction project and a bountiful spring release of their favourite and new varietals.
Rolf de Bruin, founder and one of the owners of Fort Berens, announced, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Megan de Villiers and Danny Hattingh to the Fort Berens team. Megan is our new Vineyard Manager and Danny is our new Winemaker. They are a couple in real life and also in the vineyard and cellar. They have worked together as a winery team for a number of years and join our team with experience from South Africa, the Southern Gulf Islands and the Okanagan. When Heleen and I met with Danny and Megan, we felt an immediate connection with them as we discovered that their journey was not unlike ours. We have all enjoyed many great adventures along the way. While our paths were different, those paths led all of us to Lillooet, and we are so pleased that Megan and Danny are joining us here.” Read more