Those who follow us on Instagram might remember this shot from last weekend. Taken at Bestie’s first ever brunch service, it shows a “Bennywurst” (sliced pork thuringer sausage with poached egg, and a mess of first-rate hollandaise on golden hashbrowns) above a special plate of asparagus with fried egg and ham. And yes, they were both as delicious as they look. Bonus: hot Elysian coffee!
Brunch service: 11am-3pm on Sat & Sun | 105 East Pender St. | 604-620-1175 | bestie.ca
The GOODS from Odd Society Spirits
Vancouver, BC | Odd Society Spirits has been quietly selling their wares at Vancouver Farmers Markets since the province and the city announced liquor policy changes allowing alcohol sales at select farmers markets earlier this summer. Odd Society is sampling and selling their complete line of spirits and liqueurs including Wallflower Gin, East Van Vodka and Creme de Cassis at select markets until the season ends.
With the first day of fall fast approaching, it’s easy to forget that there is still a ton of fresh seasonal bounty to be harvested and enjoyed. While searching for fresh finds at the market, don’t forget to pick up a locally crafted bottle of Odd Society Spirits made with agricultural inputs sourced solely in B.C.. You can visit Odd Society Spirits at the Mt Pleasant Market on Sunday, September 14 and Sunday, October 5, and the Yaletown market on Thursday, September 18. Read more
The GOODS from The Parker
Vancouver, BC | The Parker is excited to offer a unique way to celebrate the holidays this year. Through Mealshare, the restaurant will feed 100 individuals in need for each and every private party booked. We’ll be celebrating the season of giving by giving back.
Mealshare, the buy-one give-one non-profit that feeds people in our neighbourhood and abroad, has made an immediate impression on the dining scene in western Canada. The Parker is proud to be one of its first members in Vancouver.
The Parker’s intimate room paired with thoughtful service and beautifully crafted menus helps create the perfect private holiday celebration for the discerning diner. Our award-winning innovation and sustainable practices make it a unique choice for companies looking for something different this year. And helping to feed those less fortunate at the same time is what the spirit of the season is all about.
For bookings, the restaurant is ideal for groups of about twenty to thirty. Please e-mail us at info [at] theparkervancouver.com for details. We look forward to creating an unforgettable holiday event with you and your company this year. Read more
The GOODS from Campagnolo
Vancouver, BC | ‘Upstairs’ at Campagnolo, a late night oasis for cocktail aficionados, is setting their alarm clock early in order to open on weekend mornings for brunch. Starting Saturday, September 13 brunch will be served on weekends and holidays from 10:30AM until 2:00PM.
Chef Nathan Lowey of the award-winning Campagnolo Restaurant, first expanded his menu to coincide with the opening of the bar located above Campagnolo, appropriately referred to as ‘Upstairs’, in February of 2014. Upstairs does not adhere to the strict dedication to Italian cuisine as Campagnolo but does honour the same ideology that respects British Columbia’s bounty and the culinary skill required to make the most of it all year round. “Our brunch menu offers the style of brunch I like to eat,” says Lowey. “I want quality ingredients prepared with love by professional chefs, but I don’t want to feel like I have to get dressed to the nines to enjoy it.”
Lowey’s brunch menu boasts hearty comfort foods with an emphasis on fresh baked pastries and bread, house made sausage and bacon, and locally sourced seasonal ingredients. A sampling of the many brunch dishes on offer include dangerously addictive sticky buns, fresh made brioche and honey butter, heirloom tomato salad, free range fried chicken and biscuits, baked eggs with pimento cheese and basil, house smoked wild BC salmon Benedict, blueberry flapjacks, and the infamous ‘Dirty Burger’.
The brunch beverage list created by Barman Peter Van de Reep, showcases simple yet thoughtfully created cocktails, local craft beer, fresh squeezed juices, fruit smoothies, plus cold pressed and drip 49th Parallel Ethiopia Chelelektu coffee.
The door to Upstairs is located to the right of Campagnolo’s front entrance at 1020 Main St. and will officially open for the first time during the light of day this coming Saturday. Read more
The GOODS from Doi Chaang Coffee Co.
Vancouver, BC | It’s 8:30 a.m. and you’ve returned to work after a few blissful days of vacation. It can be an adjustment, which is why one local coffee company wants to help you with its organic, ‘beyond fair trade’ coffee. Thai Doi Chaang Coffee Company wants you to get back into the swing of things with ease by adding a buzz to your mornings (or afternoons and evenings, if that’s more your speed.) The 50% farmer-owned company is offering 15% off on one of its special blends, Hardwired, all Fall-long. Learn more after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Forbidden Fruit Winery
Cawston, BC | On the banks of the Similkameen River near Cawston, Forbidden Fruit Winery has been welcoming guests to its tasting room for ten years. The winery gets its fruit from the family-owned Ven’Amour Organic Farms, which encompasses 142 acres of orchards, vineyards and natural habitat. The farm is bounded to the east by pine and sagebrush slopes, and to the west by a cottonwood riparian forest nestled into a bend in the river.
The tasting room is in a modest bungalow. Open the door, and the character and passion of the owners Steve Venables and Kim Brind’Amour are immediately evident. Kim’s brilliant-hued paintings, mosaics designs and jewellery glow from walls and shelves, reflections of the fruits, flowers and natural landscapes of the farm.
Steve purchased the property in 1977 and by 1984 it was a certified organic farm. On most summer days, Steve is behind the tasting-counter so visitors can hear first-hand how the wines are made and how the winery developed. Forbidden Fruit is best known for its stellar fruit wines with cheeky titles such as “Crushed Innocence”, “Adam’s Apple” and “Pearsuasion”. “Caught”, an apricot mistelle, recently won a Gold Medal at the 2014 WineAlign National Wine Awards. Read more
The GOODS from L’Abattoir
Vancouver, BC | Originally offering an evenings-only menu, Gastown’s French inspired L’Abattoir restaurant will now be opening its doors earlier to include lunch during the week.
From Monday to Friday between 11:30 and 2:30 a simple and elegant menu has been crafted to please afternoon appetites. The classic and clean flavours that characterize L’Abattoir’s nightly fare have been carried onto their lunchtime menu. Highlights include Steelhead served with fried potatoes, dill and horseradish; a shrimp, tomato and potato frittata finished in creamy hollandaise and peppery arugula; and a beef dip with tongue, salad, thickly cut fries and jus gras for dipping. Diners can choose between a two or three course menu or select a meal a la carte.
Behind the bar, resident expert Shaun Layton has designed some new cocktail creations to compliment lunchtime dining. This includes the House Aperol Spritz, which bottles charged white wine with Aperol, seltzer and orange, as well as their daily feature Vermouth on the rocks served with a seasonal garnish. In homage to the power lunches of the past, a martini also graces the midday menu, made with Tanqueray 10, Dolin Dry and pickled onions. Non-alcoholic options include daily bottled house made iced teas and bottled cold brewed JJ Bean coffee.
Lunch aside; L’Abattoir is also pleased to announce the debut of their private dining room. This 1,200 sq ft. facility is situated just adjacent to the regular dining room and features historical architectural elements complimented by a contemporary design aesthetic. Exposed brick walls, beamed ceilings and steel framed windows speak to the history of the space while sleek glass, steel accents and custom chandeliers add a modern finish.
Entering through the kitchen the vintage Bonnet range oven takes center stage and denotes the quality dining experience awaiting guests. While large enough for 50 people seated or 80 standing, the room retains an intimate ambiance and a noise-reducing barrier blocks out the nightly hustle and bustle of the regular dining room. Basked in ample natural light, the private dining room at L’Abattoir is an elegant space with old world charm easily suited for any occasion, from private gatherings and celebrations to corporate functions and meetings. Read more
The GOODS from Chocolate Arts
Vancouver, BC | On Saturday, September 20th, Vancouver’s Chocolate Arts chocolate shop and café releases Allure, a signature chocolate created in collaboration with renowned French chocolate house Cacao Barry. The first artisan chocolatier in Canada to visit the Or Noir laboratory and blend his own signature chocolate, owner and head chocolatier Greg Hook visited Cacao Barry’s headquarters to undergo a rigorous development process for his new product. The outcome is Allure, a highly personalized product embodying the flavour profile and characteristics Greg desires in his chocolate.
Each phase of the meticulous multi-step process building on the outcome of the one before, Greg’s research began while still in Vancouver, with a blind taste test of pure 100% chocolates demonstrating various key flavor profiles: bitter, sweet, aromatic, fruity and cocoa. Next he travelled to France, where he went through another round of single-origin chocolate tasting, sampling and selecting various cocoa beans. With the help of Or Noir experts, he then tried his selections combined in various quantities: as cocoa liqueur, ganache and paired with various fruits and nuts in order to evaluate compatibility. The result was Allure, a dark chocolate comprised of cocoa beans from Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Peru.
Allure demonstrates a strong cocoa start that carries through a round fruity finish. While traditionally most fruity chocolates lack a strong cocoa punch and cocoa-heavy varieties lack fruit, Chocolate Arts’ personal blend manifests and harmonizes these flavours, effectively capturing chocolate’s inscrutable universal charm and appeal.
Allure will be available in various prêt-à-manger chocolates and pastries at Chocolate Arts chocolate shop and café, as well as in various formats for home use. Read more
The GOODS from Cannery Brewing Company
Penticton, BC | It was a long and busy summer for our nation’s wildland firefighters and emergency service workers that bravely fought so many forest fires in our region this year. As a tribute to those that work so hard to fight these fires, Cannery Brewing has brewed another limited release batch of Wildfire IPA.
Patt Dyck, owner of Cannery Brewing explained, “This unique dark IPA (India Pale Ale) started as a one-time limited release, but due to ongoing requests for this beer, it has now become an annual tradition that many look forward to. We are pleased to launch our 2014 Limited Release Wildfire IPA as we again thank the firefighters and emergency service workers that we desperately rely on each summer. We had so many fires burning in our region this year and we are so grateful for all that they do to keep us safe.”
As in previous years, to further acknowledge the work of these brave men and women, Cannery Brewing has partnered with the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation (www.cfff.ca) and will provide a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this beer to the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
Wayne Jasper, Director / LODD Application Committee Chairman for the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation is thankful to partner with Cannery Brewing again this year. “The partnership between Cannery Brewing and the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation is a partnership that I am pleased to help grow each year. We appreciate both the financial support and the awareness that Cannery Brewing’s Wildfire IPA brings to the hardworking firefighters across our country and to the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Our mission at CFFF is to honour and remember firefighters who have been killed in the line of duty and to support their families. Partnerships like this help us to deliver on these goals.”
Patt describes the Wildfire IPA as “intensely dark, but with malts that are subtle and smooth. While this beer has all of the hop bite that is expected of an IPA, that bite has been tamed by the addition of dark malts. It features both Simcoe and Amarillo hops. The dark colour is surprising and the layers of flavour are rewarding.”
The 2014 Limited Release Wildfire IPA is available now in Penticton at Cannery Brewing and at select liquor, craft beer stores and restaurants throughout BC. For a full list of locations carrying the Wildfire IPA, click here. This limited release is sure to fly off the shelves again very quickly. Once it’s gone, it’s gone again for another year. Read more
THE GOODS FROM Le Vieux Pin
Oliver, BC | With past reviews giving the Èquinoxe Syrah and Cabernet Franc 90 points plus, this year’s highly anticipated release of both wines has the Le Vieux Pin team very excited. For the Èquinoxe Syrah, most of fruit grown was grown from a single vineyard in North Oliver on an extension of the Black Sage Bench. This flagship wine captures the unique characteristics of the South Okanagan, with the heat of the desert days marrying the cold of desert nights. It’s an intensely aromatic wine with a refined elegance. The Èquinoxe Cabernet Franc was produced from just one row in the Feuille D’Or vineyard, resulting in a single barrel. More vines have been planted but won’t be included until they reach the same levels of maturity and flavour profile as the already established old vines. Le Vieux Pin will release these wines on September 20th to their wine society members first, before it is available to the public. However, all pre-release orders are now being accepted at sales [at] levieuxpin.ca. Learn more about the wine after the jump… Read more
by Shaun Layton | “I’ll be back in fifteen, going for a cheeky…” is what you’ll hear in Gastown bars whenever there’s a lull in the action. In this job, we don’t get one hour lunch or coffee breaks. Because I don’t smoke, the only time I have for quick refreshment is after the dinner rush ebbs. The spot where I used to end up was Boneta (RIP). Now it’s around the corner in Blood Alley at a place called Gringo.
Now one year old in the space formerly occupied by Sean Heather’s Judas Goat, Gringo is now bursting at the seams on most late nights. It was started by Vancouver service industry vet Shoel Davidson, and the “Queen of Gastown”, Christina Cottell.
From where I stood, it looked as if the little lighthearted Mexi-Cali hole-in-the-wall sort of stumbled out of the gate. I think it took people (including myself) some time to understand where they were coming from and what they were trying to do. They didn’t spend a cent on PR, so it’s been a word of mouth trade to date. Online and print reviews – some funny, others scathing – probably helped, too.
“I always believed that if good people came in and enjoyed themselves, then they would tell their friends and so on,” Shoel says. “Now, low and behold, we have an ever-increasing circle of incredible patrons. It’s they who’ve really given Gringo its fun and laid back vibe.”
Speaking personally, the thing that keeps bringing me back isn’t the nachos or the slim draft beer options ($3.50!), it’s the great staff that Shoel has put together. They always remember me by name, and they know what I like to drink. While it’s true that I know nearly everyone in the industry hereabouts (which is to say that I sometimes get extra special treatment), I’ve been in a few times when a new guy doesn’t know me yet, and I’m still greeted with an introduction, a handshake, and a warm welcome.
I think this comes from Mr. Davidson’s hospitality background; he manned the wood at The Irish Heather for several years. “Treat people like people, not like a number. Especially in Gastown, which has such a tight-knit community” he says. Shoel’s also a clean freak, which I respect. He once sat and watched us clean down the bar at L’Abattoir one night and was the only bar nerd not admiring our Amaro selection. Instead, he liked how we scrubbed our stainless.
I hope that didn’t sound too creepy…
The branding (Christina’s department) literally shines. I see the bright neon trucker hats stumbling all over Gastown, and the staff all wear them with pride. They also have coasters with bad reviews printed on them — I love it when a place can LOL at itself like that. The music they play can be anything from rock ‘n roll to old school stuff like A Tribe Called Quest. There’s also a TV set showing some seriously arbitrary shit (I walked in one night and Star Wars was on).
I’m not going to talk about the food (monster size tacos, beer-friendly bites, etc) or the simply made, easy-drinking cocktails. The truth of it is that I’m there to drink beers after the rush. It’s the leading spot in the hood for kitchen staff, so that tells me the food is good enough. One thing to take special note of is Gringo’s ever-increasing bar of “haute” hot sauces. It’s similar to our collection of exotic tall boy beer cans at L’Abattoir, so if you want to drop them a bottle of something rare or interesting they’d likely be appreciative.
Shaun Layton has helped to maintain a top notch bar scene in Vancouver for ten years, and since day one at Gastown’s L’Abattoir, where he is the Bar Manager. He also runs his own consulting company, designing bar programs and training staff locally and as far away as St.John’s, NFLD. Layton has competed and travelled throughout the USA and Europe, touring distilleries, breweries and bars. He was recognized in 2012 as the Bartender of The Year by Vancouver Magazine.
The GOODS from Campagnolo Roma
Vancouver, BC | Chef Joachim Hayward of Campagnolo Roma is proud to present Tutto, a dinner celebrating the whole ingredient. “During my time spent in Italy, I gained a strong admiration for cooking with whole ingredients,” says Hayward. “A little seasoning and technique was all that was required to allow the flavours and natural beauty of quality ingredients to shine.”
On Wednesday, September 24th, guests will gather around communal tables to feast on a variety of dishes honouring ingredients in their natural form, served alla famiglia and complemented by beer from Bomber Brewing. Each satisfying dish will showcase one local delicacy including freshwater smelts, wild BC Sockeye salmon, crispy Braeburn Farms chicken, Sloping Hill Farm porchetta, Stoney Paradise tomatoes, Chilliwack corn, Okanagan peaches and cherries, and many more regionally sourced seasonal ingredients. Tickets are $79, inclusive of tax and gratuity. Read more
The restaurant community is joining forces in support of their friend and colleague Tina Fineza who was diagnosed with aggressive stage 3 bilateral breast cancer in June of 2014. Tina’s treatment consists of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation which will result in her taking a leave of absence from her consulting company, Service Excellence for a minimum of 1 year.
UPDATE | THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT | You can still help by making a donation here.
Mise en Place will take place on October 19. Twelve chefs from Vancouver and beyond will be serving up delicious bites from their designated kitchen at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts’ Bistro 101, plus canapés and desserts will be served. The evening will start off at 5:30PM with a reception and later guests will move through the various professional kitchens, sampling creations from these incredibly talented Canadian chefs.
Tickets are $74 and include welcome canapés, small plates and desserts throughout the evening. Beverages are served by donation, plus a raffle and silent auction featuring incredible culinary treats and experiences will be available to bid on and win. So bring cash! Tickets for Mise en Place can be purchased here.
Mise En Place Participating Chefs and Restaurateurs:
Bruno Feldeisen – Four Seasons Hotel, Vancouver
Christophe Langlois – Artisan Eats Cafe & Fine Food, Bowen Island
David Robertson – The Dirty Apron Cooking School, Vancouver
Dave Wong & Dawn Doucette – Earls Chefs Collective, Vancouver
Ed Perrow & Neil Taylor – Espana, Fat Badger, Vancouver
Jefferson Alvarez – Secret Location
Iori Kataoka – Shuraku Sake Bar and Bistro, Vancouver
Angus An – Maenam
Eleanor Chow & Slavita Johnson – Cadeaux, Vancouver
Frank Pabst – Blue Water Cafe & Raw Bar, Vancouver
Jason Apple & Jory Simkin – Roaming Dragon Food Truck, Vancouver
Jesse Grasso – The Black Hoof, Toronto
Jennifer Peters & Hamid Salimian – NextJen Gluten Free Flour, Vancouver
Marcelo Ramirez – La Taqueria, Vancouver
Margaret Chisholm – Culinary Capers Catering, Vancouver
Mary Mackay, Terra Breads, Vancouver
Michael Noble – NOtaBLE, The Nash, Calgary
Merri Schwartz – Growing Chefs, Vancouver
Taryn Wa – Savoury Chef Foods, Vancouver
If you are unable to attend Mise en Place but would still like to help, you are welcome to make a donation at https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/1qv86.
We are so pleased to also announce that The BC Hospitality Foundation has generously offered to match up to $5,000 in funds raised on October 19.
Honour Bound details the many cool things that we feel honour bound to check out because they either represent our city extremely well or are inherently awesome in one way or another.