The GOODS from Market by Jean-Georges
Vancouver, BC | Grab your gourmet popcorn and a seat, and join MARKET by Jean-Georges for a culinary journey with an inspired take on the classic pairing of dinner and a movie. Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver will be opening the doors to its private Blue Moon Theatre for an exclusive screening followed by a private four-course dinner at MARKET by Jean-Georges for. Kicking off the Movies at MARKET series, on April 23 and 24, will be the Vancouver premiere of Spinning Plates, an award-winning documentary about three extraordinary restaurants and the incredible people who bring them to life.
In Spinning Plates, a world-renowned three-star Michelin chef competes for the ultimate restaurant prize in Chicago, while privately battling a life-threatening condition. A 150-year-old restaurant in Iowa is still standing only because of an unbreakable bond with the community. And a fledgling Mexican restaurant in Tucson struggles as its owners risk everything to survive and provide for their young daughter. Their unforgettable stories of family, legacy, passion and survival come together to reveal how meaningful food can be, and the power it has to connect us to one another. Details after the jump… Read more
This is the sixth 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 | When Erin and I found the address we’d been given for Brouwerij De Glazen Toren, we were sure there’d been a mistake: we were standing in front of a suburban-style house with a large garage on a residential street in a little village. It turned out that the large garage was actually a very small brewery run as a retirement project by Jef Van den Steen and two friends.
We barely had a chance to say hello to Jef’s partner Dirk De Pauw, because as we arrived he was loading a case of beer into his car and leaving on a run to a nearby brewery to trade beer for yeast. Glazen Toren is too small a brewery for yeast propagation equipment, and they brew too infrequently to maintain all of the different strains they use for their various beers. Instead, they decide which local brewery’s yeast would work well with that week’s brew, and they trade beer for it.
In the old days, yeast was an extremely local ingredient of beer. Beer was fermented by whatever wild yeast happened to float by on the wind, which varied with local climate and geography. The beer would be fermented by whatever yeast lived on the fruit skins from a nearby orchard. A couple of kilometers down the road there might be another orchard with different fruit and a different airborne fermentation culture that produced different-tasting beer.
When brewers began to domesticate yeast by reusing slurries that had made good beer, a newly-domesticated strain of yeast would be confined to one brewery. But when the brewery down the road had a fermentation problem, the brewer might come to borrow some yeast and carry a slurry of that particular strain home with him in a bucket, making a house yeast into a village yeast. If it was an exceptionally good yeast, it might be shared again and again and become a regional yeast.
Breweries sharing yeast used to be common practice. A healthy fermentation produces much more yeast than is needed to brew the next batch of beer, so if it isn’t given away, that excess yeast would just be discarded. Some breweries are getting more tight-fisted about sharing the biological property that is responsible for so much of their beer’s unique character, but there are other ways to get yeast now.
Trading beer for yeast sounds like a nice way to operate, but nowadays most breweries get new yeast from labs run by universities and private companies. These labs maintain libraries of hundreds of strains of cryogenically frozen yeast, which they will propagate on demand for breweries.
In Vancouver, we’re lucky to be close to the American west coast, the epicentre of that country’s beer revolution. In Hood River, Oregon, Wyeast maintains and propagates world class brewing yeast and sells it to both commercial breweries and home-brewers.
It is a strain of their yeast on which Dageraad’s core beers will be based. I first came across it at Dan’s Homebrew Supplies on East Hastings. The first beer I brewed with it absolutely hooked me. It was a beautiful Belgian blonde, fruity, complex and subtle. It was beginner’s luck. It would be a year before I’d manage to brew another beer as good as the first one.
But Wyeast doesn’t create its yeast strains from nothing. They scour the world’s breweries for their yeast, capturing, cataloging and storing the brewing world’s biological treasures and making them available to brewers everywhere.
Wyeast doesn’t say which particular brewery each yeast strain comes from, but certain brewing experts have some educated guesses, and these experts and my palate agree Dageraad Brewing’s yeast strain comes from a brewery in a tiny village in the Belgian Ardennes.
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 Odd Society Spirits
Vancouver, BC | The 14th annual San Francisco Worlds Spirits Competition officially announced their 2014 winners yesterday. Odd Society Spirits received multiple awards for their East Van Vodka, taking home gold for package design, and silver in the vodka category. The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is regarded as one of the most respected spirits competitions in the world. Products are evaluated by leading spirits professionals and are judged blind, making this annual competition one of the most reputable and recognized competitions in the spirits industry.
Thirty-nine spirits experts convened at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco for the 14th Annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition March 20 through March 23, 2014. Distillers and importers from 63 countries submitted 1,474 spirits into 89 different categories. The packaging portion of the competition was judged independently and took place in a single day. A panel of four distinguished graphic and packaging design professionals awarded 78 medals for excellence in design from 201 packaging entries.
“It is an absolute honour to have our vodka recognized in multiple categories at such a prestigious competition,” says Gordon Glanz, Founder and Distiller of Odd Society Spirits. “Being able to compete on an international level is thrilling. Being awarded for our packaging as well as our spirit is overwhelming.”
The East Van Vodka recipe was perfected by Distillers/Co-Owners Gordon Glanz and Joshua Beach, while the package design was created by the brilliant team at Cause + Affect. East Van Vodka was created as a tribute to East Vancouver, where the distillery is located. Made from 100% malted barley grown in Prince George, East Van Vodka is distilled in custom-designed European-made copper stills and proudly blended with purified Vancouver tap water. The whimsical label features artwork of an owl named ‘Cornelius’ sporting a mustache, pipe and naval uniform, illustrated by local artist Shwa Keirstead. Read more
The GOODS from Dockside
Vancouver, BC | Dockside Restaurant is pleased to announce the return of the popular Pelican Bay Spring Splash Wine Tasting presented by Coal Harbour Liquor Store. On May 14th from 5-8pm, over 15 of the best wineries and distributors in British Columbia will be on hand pouring over 60 wines in Dockside’s award-winning waterfront setting. The Pelican Bay Spring Splash is the antidote to convention-hall sized tastings, offering a well-curated range of delicious seasonal offerings and perennial favourites in a spectacular setting. Get all the details and ticket info after the jump… Read more
We’ve invited Gastown charmer Notturno to join the Restaurant section of our GOODS program as a great place for a bite and a glass. They are now proud members of Scout, and as such we will be sharing their news and employment needs on our front page in addition to hosting a page for them in our archive of local and independent goodness. We would like to thank them for their support and for making Vancouver a more entertaining and delicious place to be.
Chef, a new comedy about an executive chef’s life and times following a dust-up with a critic, is coming out next month. From the looks of the trailer above, what makes it authentic isn’t Scarlett Johanssen as a hostess, the food critic’s beautifully expressed assholery (Oliver Platt is always amazing), the social media errors in judgment, Dustin Hoffman’s restaurateur hissy-fit, or all the food porn, it’s John Leguizamo shaking corn starch on his testicles. Whoever their kitchen consultant was deserves an Oscar!
The GOODS from Les Amis Du Fromage
Vancouver, BC | Les amis du FROMAGE, Vancouver’s most critically-acclaimed cheese shop, is set to deliver their famous macaroni and cheese directly to the doors of Lower Mainland residents thanks to their new partnership with SPUD – Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery. The aptly named “Best Macaroni and Cheese” can now be ordered online at spud.ca.
The Best Macaroni and Cheese from les amis du FROMAGE is based on a family recipe and is lovingly produced in small batches with quality ingredients at their East Vancouver location, just down the road from SPUD. Priced at $7.99 for 400g and $18.99 for 950g, this decadent four-cheese macaroni blend includes Cheddar, Gruyère, and Stilton. Each order is delivered frozen and ready to heat.
“I was honoured when SPUD asked if they could add our macaroni and cheese to their stellar line-up of ready to eat products,” says Joe Chaput, chef and co-owner of les amis du FROMAGE. “We are now able to reach areas well outside of Vancouver, including West Vancouver, Richmond, Langley, Mission, and Chilliwack.”
SPUD delivers local organic groceries to the doorstep of houses, apartments, and offices within Vancouver and surrounding municipalities. Customers simply sign up online and shop; their selected groceries are then delivered on a set day that following week. Read more
The GOODS from The Acorn
Vancouver, BC | Chef Brian Skinner has created a new menu to kick off The Acorn’s second Spring season! Starting Thursday, April 10th, The Acorn will be serving sauteed fiddleheads with polenta, artichoke pate, cavatelli pasta with grilled asparagus and fava beans, and more. Slip in before Thursday to enjoy the last days of the Winter menu (cauliflower mac & cheese or ricotta gnocchi with coffee scented celeriac puree). Learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more
by Andrew Morrison | I was raised, so to speak, on “Spag Pomo”, the ubiquitous Neapolitan bowl of pasta with tomato sauce. My mom co-founded an Italian delicatessen that made fresh pasta for restaurants (my first job), and in my late teens (and again in my 20′s) I worked in a well known Toronto eatery where the kitchen was run by (now) celebrity chef Massimo Capra – he of the immaculate moustache. Spaghetti Pomodoro wasn’t on the menu, but Massimo would table massive hotel pans of the stuff for our staff meal, which was served alla famiglia at the end of the night. Those late suppers with the staff – one third Bengali, one third Italian, one third “mangiacake” (that’s me) – remain my favourite memories of working in the restaurant business. We’d talk shit/shop about the night’s customers, pool a percentage of our tips to buy/share bottles of wine, and refuel the hell out of our exhausted selves with this very particular pasta. It’s the most nostalgic food I know of.
There’s just something so simple and straight-forward about the satisfaction it provides. The balance of sweetness and salt underpinned by licks of spice (chili flakes); the evocative, garden-fresh fragrance of the hand-torn basil; the al dente texture of the noodles; the sharpness of the cheese…I would happily trade a whole lobe of foie gras for one perfect serving of it. And the weird thing is that – despite its seemingly simple assemblage of ingredients – it’s hard to find a good one in Vancouver. A lot of places do a version, but the ones that best approximate the bowls of my dreams are at Lupo in Yaletown and Campagnolo on Main Street.
Chef Julio Gonzalez-Perini and I used to work together many years ago (before he opened Lupo), and he was kind enough to make me Spag Pomo for my staff meals. Unfortunately, you won’t find it on the current menu at Lupo, but sometimes it’s there (if you ask nicely, maybe he’ll make a bowl for you). It’s a guarantee at Campagnolo, where it’s been one of their signature items since they opened back in 2009. Their version is as close to Capra’s (and my own) as I can find. They don’t spice the sauce, but they do provide a little side plate with lines of oregano, dried chili flakes, and parmesan to help yourself with. Use all the cheese, incorporate a pinch of the flakes, and forget the oregano, which would only upset the basil. And buon appetito!
$15 | Campagnolo | 1020 Main St. | 604-484-6018 | CampagnoloRestaurant.ca
The GOODS from L’Abattoir
Vancouver, BC | L’Abattoir is hiring for its front of house team. The service position starts at 2-3 shifts per week without any “I can’t work on Sundays cause I watch football” restrictions. The successful applicant will have a minimum of 5 years fine dining experience with appropriate wine and food knowledge. Apply to paul [at] labattoir.ca. Learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more
by Lisa Giroday, Sandra Lopuch and Sam Philips | Remember how smart you felt as a child when you asked someone if they thought peas were a fruit or vegetable and then smugly told them that they were actually a “legume”? Everyone has a childhood memory that involves peas, whether it’s the meditative act of shelling them or marvelling over a huge mountain of them at the farmer’s market and being tasked to pick a bag of the most plump ones to take home. Peas it seems, have few foes. And how could they? They’re got a sweet track record.
When can you plant them? When it’s still kind of cold in the spring, and again before it starts to cool off again come late summer. While having a giant overload of peas and pea shoots isn’t the worst thing to have in your garden (a little olive oil and your choice of herbs make for an amazing stir fry) it’s best to successionally plan and plant peas so that you have an abundance of both pods and tips through the entire season. Plant a section of your trellis in March, April and May and then again in July and August for a Fall harvest. Don’t be afraid to plant them close together, as these guys know how to climb over and around one another and don’t really care for personal space. Always try to take advantage of those last two Fall plantings at the end of the Summer – you’ll thank us when it’s become sweater weather and you’re still gorging on delicious fresh peas off the vine.
Peas get by with a little help from their friends….like inoculant, a pea seed’s bestie. Before planting, pop the seeds in a jar with a cup of water and a large spoon full of inoculant, a brown powder made up of bacteria that helps kick start the nitrogen party that is the life of a pea. It’s called Rhizobia, and it’s also found naturally in most garden soils but tends to be less active in cool, damp climates like ours, so a little boost, like a cup of coffee in the morning, is always a good idea!
So other than being delicious, why would we plant peas? They could be categorized as an environmentally-friendly food because of their beneficial and gentle effects on the soil they occupy. Being a “nitrogen fixing” plant, they take nitrogen from the air and convert it into a more useable form for their buddies sharing the soil, making it less necessary to fertilize. They’re also often used as cover crops because their root systems are so shallow and break down easily while also nourishing the soil. They’re a great rotational crop, keeping soils healthy and pests to a minimum.
Who do peas like to hang out with in the garden? They’re friends with pretty much everyone except for the allium, or onion family, so keep those separate, but feel free to pair them up with everything from herbs and brassicas to roots like carrots and radish, hot plants like cukes and tomatoes, and, of course, their cousin, the bean. Don’t forget to maximize your vertical space and seed peas anywhere you have space for them, thus creating walls of green where there might not have been green before.
Victory Gardens is a team of local urban farmers for hire. Lisa, Sandra and Sam help transform tired or underused residential and commercial green spaces into food producing gardens. Their goal is to challenge the way communities use space and to participate in the change needed to consume food more sustainably. For the rest of the growing season, they’ve hooked up with Scout to share some cool tips and tricks on how to get the best from of our own backyards.
The GOODS from Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Kelowna, BC | Canada’s premier family-owned certified organic and biodynamic winery, is pleased to present their 2013 Ehrenfelser, the first BC wine made with the use of a nitrogen generator for the purpose of reducing unnecessary sulphite addition in winemaking.
According to Summerhill winemaker Eric von Krosigk, the Ehrenfelser is “a beautifully expressive wine that is the essence of freshness and terroir due to minimal sulphite addition. The wine is crisp and bright with a gentle fizz from the natural CO2 preserved from the fermentation. It’s perfect for al fresco dining and for sharing with friends.
“We are on a no-sulphite program at Summerhill, which means we use little or no sulphur wherever we can,” von Krosigk continues. “However, we will not sacrifice a wine to oxidation if it does need some. We have adjusted everything to make this work, and continue to research new and old techniques to reach the goal of zero added sulphites. While sulphur has been used for 5000 years in winemaking, it has its own taste and smell that takes away from the wine, so we are very focused on making improvements at every stage from bud to bottle. We hope at some point to put an ingredients list on the bottle with a single entry: grapes. That is our goal.”
The wine, $19.95 CDN per bottle, can be found at the winery, purchased online, or wherever fine VQA wines are sold. For trade interested in carrying this special wine, Summerhill is represented in western Canada by Renaissance Wine Merchants. Read more
by Treve Ring | In my line of work I get to
drink taste a boatload of wines, many good, most average, a lot of plonk, and a slight few, awesome…
Domaine Baumard | Clos Saint-Yves Savennières 2009 | AC Savennières | Loire, France | $35
Old Vine Chenin Blanc. That’s enough to get my attention. Throw in this small, specialized Savennières, a sub-appellation of the Anjou AOC, and highly regarded for long-lived, dry chenin blanc and you’ve got enough for me to queue, screw in one hand and glass in the other. Domaine des Baumards is run by Florent and his recently retired father, Jean. The property has been in the Baumard family since 1634; let’s just say the Baumards know their land. The Domaine is regarded as one of the greatest producers in the Loire Valley and has been called one of the greatest producers of white wine in the world. Yields are low and the grapes are sustainably and organically harvested. In The World’s Greatest Wine Estates, Robert Parker pens “For decades Jean Baumard’s wines have been benchmarks for Savennières, Côteaux du Layon, and Quarts de Chaume – his wines have every component in place, so technically perfect and so polished they seem to be the product of a scientist. Florent, who is taking over from his recently retired father, has added some soul. There is no doubt in my mind that Florent Baumard is one of the shining lights in France’s winemaking present and future.”
The Clos de Saint-Yves is a bone dry Savennières, considered as the entry point of the house, and what an entrance. Chenin is a terroir-transmitting grape, and it’s signaling clearly the schist, sandstone and sand that these 35+ year old vines were grown on. This is not an easy wine, but it’s worth the effort. Expressive and wily temperamental, every few minutes you get something new in the glass.
Savoury schisty minerality, sea salt, wild honey, yellow pear, dried quince, citrus, chamomile and redux apple skin notes all jockey for position atop an oily, full and vibrant palate. I recommend decanting for a few hours before launching in. This is a complex wine – one that deserves contemplation, possibly grilled scallops or a fresh briny oyster. And definitely deserves awesome.