HEADS UP | Vancouver’s Best Restaurants Get Set For Chinatown “Dumpling Cook-Off”

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Some plump, extra-delicious news from the inbox:

“Passports go on sale today for the 2nd annual Golden Dumpling Cook Off and Derby. Last year’s Cook Off was a sellout, so advance purchase is encouraged at www.goldendumpling.ca. On August 10th from 12pm–5pm, in conjunction with the Chinatown Festival and the Vancouver Chinatown Business Improvement Association, 20 restaurants will compete for the top prize. Competitors include Ask For Luigi, Bestie, Harvest Community Foods, Homer St Cafe and Bar, Maenam, Wildebeest, Vij’s, Winner Winner and returning champion, Pidgin.

All those who purchase a Golden Dumpling Passport can fill their bellies by travelling to each of 20 restaurant stations, where they’ll receive a passport stamp and a freshly prepared dumpling. One restaurant will be crowned the winner and will receive the one-of-a-kind Golden Dumpling Trophy, designed by local artist Diane Espiritu. The contest will be judged by Scout Magazine’s Andrew Morrison, Bao Bei’s Joël Watanabe, food stylist and food and travel journalist Nathan Fong, and Global BC’s Sophie Lui.

In addition to the Cook Off, don’t miss the excitement of the Dumpling Derby, where speed eaters will bring big appetites to the table for the ultimate showdown. Men’s and women’s heats will see one winner in each category taking home coveted prizes and undisputed bragging rights. Heightening the tension is last year’s winner, John Jugovic, who will be returning to defend the men’s title and confirm his legendary status in Dumpling Derby history. Contestants are limited to eight men and eight women, so those with cavernous bellies and a competitive nature are encouraged to sign up immediately via the website.

Proceeds from the Golden Dumpling Cook Off will be donated to the Chinese Elders Community Kitchen, a program of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. The Program creates a safe space where Chinese elders gather each week to cook and share a meal, and have the opportunity to connect with each other in a social setting. The Chinese Elders Community Kitchen allows participants to engage in educational activities such as learning about food safety and healthy eating. Over 80 Chinese elders participate in the Program year-round and the demand continues to grow.

To purchase Golden Dumpling Passports for the Cook Off and Derby, or to throw your hat in the ring as a Derby contestant, please visit www.goldendumpling.ca. Purchase online in advance for $30 plus Eventbrite fee, or plan to arrive early on the big day; 100 passports will be available at the door for $35 each.”

Some shots from last year…

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SMOKE BREAK #1117 | “Munchies” Digs In For Chef’s Night Out At Chinatown’s Bao Bei

It’s been about four and a half years since Bao Bei opened on Keefer Street. Despite its many awards, accolades, and nightly queues, sometimes it takes the jolt of an outsider’s perspective to be reminded of its unique awesomeness. This Munchies video from Vice certainly does the trick…

Tannis Ling is an ex-bartender and chef Joël Watanabe is a French Japanese ex-Montrealer. Together, they run Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown district. They let us follow them around for a night to their favorite Vancouver haunts—Keefer Bar, Damso Modern Korean Cuisine, and Cascade. But to finish off the night right, the crew headed back to Bao Bei, where Joel cooked up copious amounts of fried chicken and pork belly.

Beyond the food porn (mmm, truffled dumplings!), dig the natural symbiosis between Bao Bei and The Keefer Bar down the block.

TAKE ANOTHER BREAK

Mamie Taylor’s

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DETAILS

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251 East Georgia Street | Vancouver, BC
Telephone: 604-620-8818 | Email: info@mamietaylors.ca
Web: www.mamietaylors.ca | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

GALLERY

THE PEOPLE

Mamie-Taylor's-Co-owners-Simon-Kaulback-and-Ron-Oliver

Owners: Ron Oliver and Simon Kaulback
Chef: Tobias Grignon

ABOUT MAMIE TAYLOR’S

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Named after its signature cocktail—a Golden Age concoction of scotch, fresh lime juice, ginger beer and Angustora bitters— Mamie Taylor’s is an 85-seat regional American restaurant specializing in Southern comfort food with a contemporary twist.

At the vanguard of Chinatown’s new culinary scene, the relaxed and casual ambiance of exposed brick walls and kitschy Canadiana play into the neighbourhood’s up-and-coming charm.

We also have taxidermy. Lots of taxidermy.

GOODS | The Chinatown Experiment Set To Host New Series Of Pop-Ups Through July

The Chinatown Experiment is located at 434 Columbia St. & 585 East Broadway | chinatownexperiment.com

The Chinatown Experiment is located at 434 Columbia St. & 585 East Broadway | chinatownexperiment.com

The GOODS from The Chinatown Experiment

Vancouver, BC | The Chinatown Experiment is set for July with five new pop-up shops. There’s a full line up of one-of-a-kind shops in Chinatown this month. The space begins as part architectural installation and part café, and then transforms into a street art gallery, a women’s clothing store, a hand-crafted Japanese knife shop, and finally into a home for the new collections of five Montréal-based designers. As always, expect a dynamic storefront showcasing the unexpected. To stay on top of it all, like The Chinatown Experiment on Facebook for updates.

July 2 – 16 | FARADAY CAFÉ | Social artist Julien Thomas and Hughes Condon Marler Architects (HCMA) are opening the first coffee shop that repels wireless signals. In a space devoid of cell phone or digital connections, the team hopes to create personal ones instead. To achieve their desired effect, the team has completely enclosed the café in mesh that shields electromagnetic signals while producing a distinct visual form. They’ll be serving a rotation of artisanal coffees by donation (Heart, Bows & Arrows, Ritual, & more) and will be home to events. Expect pop-up dinner parties Wednesdays at 7p.m., afternoon DJ sets on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays starting at 3p.m., and even a storytelling night on July 15. Open daily 10am – 6pm, closed Sundays. Follow them on Instagram for daily updates. #faradaycafe

June 17 | STREET SCRIPT: DEBUT GALLERY | Street Script is the intersection of Art & Hip-Hop. Local street artist & designer MEGA is presenting her debut gallery ‘The Vapours’ for one-night only exhibition. Her hand-painted, classic hip-hop lyrics can be spotted in the streets of Gastown and Chinatown. Through lyric design and illustration, MEGA is creative a movement that transcends cultures and generations. The gallery will feature all brand new original pieces by MEGA. DJ Icy Touch will be spinning fresh cuts for the evening with collaborative works by The Dark, Doug Weir, and JB. Bonus: Watch this short film about MEGA & StreetScript. The show goes from 7pm to midnight. Arrive early; it’ll be a packed house. #streetscript

July 18 – 20| LUCKY BABE POP-UP SHOP | The local online women’s clothing brand is launching soon and has put together a pop-up shop to celebrate. For their first release, expect leggings and clutches in store. It’s the first foray into fashion for founder Mafidon (Lucky) Osaigbovo. Although, fashion has always been in the family and largely influenced by the women in the West African born Mafidon’s family, starting with this mother and sister. A percentage of proceeds from the pop-up are supporting the Salvation Army. Open Friday, 4pm – 9pm and Saturday/Sunday 11am – 7pm. #luckybabeshop

July 22 – 27| KNIFEWEAR: HAND CRAFTED JAPANESE KNIVES | The chef-owned independent Knifewear opened in their doors in 2007 and already have fives stores across Canada from Ottawa to Kelowna. For the first time ever, owner/knife-nerd Kevin Kent is bringing Canada’s first Japanese knife shop to Vancouver with a one-week pop-up. Expect to find hundreds of knives from more than 40 of the best Japanese knife brands including, Masakage, Fujiwara San, and Moritaka Hamono. They’ll also have chef-curated cookbooks, beautiful made in Canada Larchwood brand cutting boards, and exceptional kitchen gadgets. There’s also the classic shave shop with high quality shaving gear; straight razors, safety razors, soaps, aftershaves, badger and horsehair brushes. “Cooking is the new rock and roll,” Kent says. “And the new black leather pants are Japanese knives.” Open daily 11am – 7pm. Follow them on Facebook for updates. #knifewearpopup

July 28 | THE STOWE: SERIES 3 LAUNCH | Montréal-based The Stowe is coming back home for the launch of their Series 3 collection. Founded by designer Molly Spittal, The Stowe began out of a desire to produce beautiful, functional accessories. Using carefully selected materials sourced in North America, the studio reflects the values of traditional craftsmanship and classically designed products to compliment one’s life. The Stowe is joined by Box Agency, representing five exceptional designers from Montréal including Ursa Minor, Little Houses Clothing, Assembly Home Goods, Elaine Ho Jewelry, and Amanda Moss. Open by appointment only. Industry may contact Box Agency at info [at] agenceboite.com

July 29 onwards | OPEN BOOKINGS! | Do you have an idea in need of a storefront? Get in touch with us info@chinatownexperiment.com for your pop-up shop, exhibit, or gallery.

GOODS | A New Line Of Local Bitters Is Now Available At Chinatown’s Modern Bartender

The Modern Bartender is located at Unit 28 East Pender Street in Vancouver, BC | 604-684-1747 | www.themodernbartender.com

The Modern Bartender is located at 28 East Pender St in Vancouver | 604-684-1747 | themodernbartender.com

The GOODS from The Modern Bartender

Vancouver, BC | The Modern Bartender is excited to announce the arrival of a fantastic new line of small batch bitters – “Apothecary Bitters” – which are made right here in Vancouver. We will be stocking all flavours, and as soon as their new seasonal and barrel-aged bitter are ready we’ll have those too! These small batch craft bitters are loaded with flavour and incredibly deep and complex, so come by and pick up a bottle or three… Read more

HEADS UP | New Exhibit.001 Photography Show Opening Tonight At “Catalog Gallery”

@RACHEYCAKES-RACHAEL-FOUCHIER-3

Catalog Gallery (top floor of Tinseltown Mall) has an interesting show opening tonight. Exhibit.001, as it is called, showcases Instagram shots by Vancouver photographers using the common hashtag #streedreamsmag. Street Dreams Magazine, a slick little publication that has just started out, is motivated by a desire to build community through photography. The editors were so inspired by the gallery of images that took shape that they decided to round up a bunch of the shooters and have them display printed versions of their digital pics in old school fashion (ie. hanging from the walls).

Friday, June 20 | 7pm | Catalog Gallery, 2061 – 88 West Pender (aka Tinseltown Mall) | Free

DIVE BARS | Loving Cheezies And Pacificos After Work At “The Brickhouse” On Main St.

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by Shaun Layton | “The Brickhouse? Wait, where’s that?” That’s the reply you’d likely get if you mentioned one of my favourite dive bars in the city. Still, on occasion, you might just get an enthusiastic “I fucking love that place!” in response. And for good reason.

The Brickhouse, located on Main St. between East Georgia and Union, has been pouring beer and whiskey to DTES, Chinatown, and Strathcona locals for around 25 years. It’s definitely one of my “go to” spots for an after work solo pint, a game of pool with the lads, or a stop on the list if I’m touring out-of-town industry friends around town.

When you walk in on busy nights you’re greeted by a hostess at the front door. On slow nights, you can enter through the back in the alley by the Jimi Hendrix shrine. Old brick arches carry you through the cavernous space through to the main room, where you’ll be delighted by the character bar. Expect big fish tanks, lava lamps, shitty old red couches, pool tables, dart boards — it’s pure magic. One should never be bored sitting in this spot; the walls are covered with so much nostalgia. I’m not sure what the space used to be, but let’s hope it’ll never be anything else. It has such an interesting layout.

The atmosphere is incredible during either busy or slow, and the service is as adequate and genuine as it needs to be (as sure a sign of a great bar as there is). I recently visited a new self-styled “neighbourhood dive” and experienced quite the opposite. The place was empty (early on a Sunday) and the cool kid staffers couldn’t have cared less about the four guests in the bar. Service was non-existent. But perhaps that’s what they were going for, that whole “you should be honoured to be in such a cool bar” vibe. Alas, this isn’t Bushwick, or whatever part of Brooklyn they were trying so hard to emulate. That shit doesn’t fly in Vancouver.

That being said, a good dive bar should never be concerned with doing anything especially well, except keeping glasses full, music flowing, and me (the customer) coming back. The Brickhouse does exactly that, all while being laid-back and completely unpretentious. The two bartenders I’ve encountered are a younger lady who’s been there for over 8 years, and the owner, “Leo”, whose reputation precedes him in industry circles. Both are great bartenders, but only one is a legend.

The younger lady is very friendly, remembers what you drink, and keeps ‘em coming. Leo, one the other hand, is just something else altogether; a three-way cross between Seattle’s favourite bartender, Murray Stenson (pouring for over 30 years), a very regimented and stern blackjack dealer, and the soup nazi. Leo epitomizes efficiency; he doesn’t even look like he’s moving that fast (he isn’t), but every move he makes is calculated and with purpose. He just gets things done. On a Friday night, watching this guy take orders from the weekend warriors is something else!

I prefer the place early week, and so should you. On a quiet Sunday you’ll find locals reading books, out-of-towers (who must have cool friends who told them about it), and industry staff enjoying their “weekend”, such as they are. A B & T crowd kinda spoils the joint on Fridays and Saturdays, but that’s true of most places worth going to city-wide.

Oh, I nearly forgot! The food. A great selection of bags of chips is on offer here; my favourite being a bag of Cheezies to go with my Pacifico. It’s the perfect combo as I wind down after work, listening to the oldies rock ‘n roll soundtrack. If you haven’t been before, bring only your worthy friends, and don’t tell too many people. Places like The Brickhouse need to stick around!

IMG_6220Shaun 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.

GOODS | Chinatown’s “Mamie Taylor’s” Now Serving New Night Owl Menu On Weekends

Mamie Taylor's is a new restaurant and bar at 251 East Georgia Street in the heart of Chinatown | mamietaylors.ca

Mamie Taylor’s is a new restaurant and bar at 251 East Georgia Street in the heart of Chinatown | mamietaylors.ca

The GOODS from Mamie Taylor’s

Vancouver, BC | On the cusp of its first anniversary, Mamie Taylor’s has been granted extended hours by the City of Vancouver, meaning Chinatown’s good-time gal will continue service until 1am on weekends. To mark the occasion, Chef Tobias Grignon has unveiled a celebratory “Night Owl” menu. Perfect for snacking, the late-night sheet features full-meal favourites like Fried Chicken with grilled Summer Corn and Grilled Pork Chop with Cherry gastrique, roasted Sunchokes, Green Beans, and a sprinkling of Chicharrón (crispy pig’s ear), as well as smaller share plates such as the Scotch Egg Turducken served with Tomatillo Salsa Verde and Espellette Pimento Cheese Cannoli with Salad O’Celery. The “Night Owl” menu is available weekends from 11pm until late.

DINER | A Look Inside “The Abbey”, A New Tavern Opening At The Gates Of Chinatown

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by Andrew Morrison | I toured the construction site of The Abbey late last week. The highly anticipated tavern/gastropub from chef Andrey Durbach, Chris Stewart, and Michel Durocher (see also The Sardine Can, La Buca, Pied-a-Terre), is coming together nicely in the old Wild Rice location at 117 West Pender Street.

Granted, it was a bit odd seeing the iconic space without its defining turquoise, under-lit bar, but I think its replacement – a thick, darkish, acid-treated treated lovely with smooth edges – will gel with the overall vision for the space, which I suspect leans toward the slightly ecclesiastical given The Abbey’s branding, curved staircases, and the inescapable light that pours in from its brace of skylights (I also spied a little stained glass action in the signage – which is now visible to passersby outside).

When it’s finished, we can expect to see the main floor and the front and rear mezzanines set with solid wood chairs and bar stools, plus wood paneling covering up the beige walls. In other words, it’s going to look completely different than how it appears in the images below. I’m imagining a kind of modern, 21st century treatment (as dictated by the existing clean lines of the space) of a late Norman church, of a sort built to house the holy relics of Julia Child instead of the Venerable Bede.

The menu is also under construction, but I’ve gotten wind of a few items that’ll whet the appetite: organic crisp chicken with togarashi pepper and spicy mayo (karaage); Welsh rarebit with melted Lincolnshire Poacher, ale + pickled onion; foie gras torchon with fruit preserves and brioche toast; wild mushrooms on toast; butcher’s cut steak with triple cooked duck fat chips and garlic butter mushrooms; and grilled rare sockeye with warm vegetable + quinoa salad, beet juice, ginger, and walnut oil. I’ve also been told to expect a Fresh Sheet that will bring back some favourites from chef Durbach’s Parkside years.

On the staffing front, we’re glad that Ben de Champlain – formerly of Boneta and the winner of Scout’s Bartender of the Year competition in 2012 – will be holding court at the bar when The Abbey opens later this summer.

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

GOODS | Chinatown’s Keefer Bar Launches “Yum Cha” Saturday Service Today 11:30am

The Keefer Bar is located at 135 Keefer St in Vancouver, BC | 604-688-1961 | www.thekeeferbar.com

The Keefer Bar is located at 135 Keefer St in Vancouver, BC | 604-688-1961 | www.thekeeferbar.com

The GOODS from The Keefer Bar

Vancouver, BC | Over the past 4 years the Keefer Bartenders have been arriving to work on sunny Saturday afternoons, propping open our folding front windows like a workshop and racing the clock to 5pm. Juicing, slicing, shaking and boiling our mis-en-place into top form to be able to support the bar team through the busy night ahead. What started with curious passers by poking their heads in to find out when service begins, bolstered by the growing public interest in the evolution of the area, turned into the almost never ending requests for afternoon cocktails and snacks in the sunshine.

So for summer 2014 we have succumbed to the pressure and are extremely excited to present The Keefer Bar’s Saturday Yum Cha! Beginning this weekend and for the remainder of the summer, The Keefer Bar will be opening its doors at 11:30am on Saturdays (when most of the city’s bartenders are still in bed) and presenting a style of brunch and cocktails not yet seen in downtown Vancouver.

Featuring breakfast sandwiches with onions, mushroom, carrot and leeks on steamed buns, daily Chinatown fruit and salad offerings, Peking duck green onion pancakes plus a host of other dim sum steam basket possibilities.

Of course it wouldn’t be a Keefer Yum Cha without a new selection of cocktails. We will be bringing fresh daily tea cocktails, ginger mimosas, as well as a choice of healthy, TCM influenced breakfast smoothies, not to mention all the Keefer seasonal and alumni cocktails on offer all the way through until the small hours of Sunday morning!

We’re looking forward to seeing you much earlier than usual this summer and being able to share the warmth of our patio with you while the sun is shining so jump on your bike or take a walk over to come and say “Ni Hao!” and Yum Cha with us this Saturday, June 7th. Read more

GOODS | The Chinatown Experiment Set To Host 8 Pop-Ups During The Month Of June

The Chinatown Experiment is located at 434 Columbia St. & 585 East Broadway | chinatownexperiment.com

The Chinatown Experiment is located at 434 Columbia St. & 585 East Broadway | chinatownexperiment.com

The GOODS from The Chinatown Experiment

Vancouver, BC | This month at The Chinatown Experiment brings the most dynamic line up yet with a series of eight pop-ups across two locations including 434 Columbia St. and the new #SPACE196 at 196 Kingsway Avenue on the corner of 10th. This new space will be home to two pop-up shops this month and many more in the months to come. For the first month of summer, expect mostly fashion shops as brands introduce their SS14 lines, as well as a week-long multidisciplinary art event and two non-profit fundraisers. Get your out calendars out and mark these dates…

Open now – June 3 | Kate Duncan presents ADDRESS (434 Columbia St.)
ADDRESS is a collection of furniture, lighting, textiles, horticulture, as well as artwork and sculptural vessels by designers from Vancouver, Calgary, and New York. The two-week pop-up will feature the fine furniture by Kate Duncan, as well as works by Troy Moth, Allied Maker, Le Fil Rouge Textiles, Golem Designs, and many more. This is what’s hot in interior design and home décor right now.
Open daily 11am – 7pm #ADDRESSyvr

June 3-8 | Hey Jude Spring Shop (196 Kingsway Ave.) #space196
Vancouver based vintage stylists, Lauren Clark and Lyndsey Chow, will be opening the doors to their newest pop-up boutique. The shop will be featuring a new Spring/Summer collection of hand picked and trend forward vintage pieces for one-week only. Set in a minimalist and curated atmosphere, the shop aims to present vintage shopping in a fresh and approachable way. Expect to see pastels, metallic and monochromatic neutrals alongside unique accessories and jewelry. The shop will also showcase a menswear collection full of crisp button-ups, bombers and athletic inspiration. Open daily 11am – 7pm #heyjudeshop

June 5 | Thank you Chinatown! (434 Columbia St.)
Our founder, Devon MacKenzie is moving on from The Chinatown Experiment and as a thank you to the neighbourhood, he has organized a one-night fundraising event benefiting the DTES Women’s Shelter. The photos are finished in handcrafted frames made from reclaimed fir from the Chinatown Experiment building. We will be raffling off one 6×15-framed print and six one-of-a-kind 8×10 framed prints. There will also be framed 4×6 prints on hand for purchase. Open for viewing 1pm – 4pm and event starts 6pm to 10pm.

June 6 – 8 | Halfcourt Sportswear & Whiskey Teacup Pop-Up Shop (434 Columbia St.)
Halfcourt Sportswear and Whiskey Teacup come together for a weekend pop-up shop. Halfcourt will be celebrating the launch of their first collection featuring silhouettes inspired by classic sportswear pieces and bold contrasting materials. Whiskey Teacup will be releasing their sophomore collection, which will be available for the first time in store. Open daily 11am – 7pm.

June 11 – 18 | Young & Only Pop-Up Shop (434 Columbia St.)
Young & Only is an online men’s and women’s clothing store and lifestyle blog catering to stylish individuals who are culturally informed and socially conscious. You can expect brands such as Publish, Cameo, Someday’s Lovin, RVLT, and B.C.’s very own London Alexander and Beaux Ties. Young & Only has also teamed up with a couple of friends including Gastown florist Greenstems, and the beautifully talented local artist Ola Volo. Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 11am – 7pm, Friday to Saturday: 11am-9pm #YOPOPUP

June 19 | Apron’s for Gloves Restaurant Rumble Fundraiser (434 Columbia St.)
The Chinatown Experiment is throwing its weight behind heavyweight contender Peter Marshall representing Louis M Martini Winery for Peter’s Restaurant Rumble Fundraiser campaign. There will be beer, cocktails, wine, art, and athletic apparel for sale. All proceeds will benefit the East Side Boxing Club. Event starts at 6pm. #teamsweetPete

June 20 – 26 | ONE Colour Exhibition by Glitz Entertaiment (434 Columbia St.)
ONE Colour is a multidisciplinary art event presented by the production team behind the growing Lab Art Show. They have taken their one night event and expanded it to include a week-long pop-up featuring live painting, cirque performances, short films, improv, instillations, and even a night of sangria. Expect a full line up with a uniquely different event on each night of the exhibition.

June 23 – 29 | WHEAT (196 Kingsway Ave.) #space196
WHEAT is a Danish-designed clothing line for babies and kids. It’s the epitome of comfort and classic, yet still practical and stylish, in kids’ clothing. Parents will love WHEAT for its simple, old-soul inspired designs that will take kids from play dates to family functions. Available exclusively online in Canada, WHEAT is excited to be popping up in Vancouver from June 23rd to 28th. Featuring spring and summer styles from sizes 3 months to 14 years. Open daily 10am to 7pm.

SEEN IN VANCOUVER #497 | The “Barate Kid” Cocktail Competition At The Keefer Bar

by Shaun Layton | I was one of 16 bartenders invited to participate in the third annual Barate Kid Bartending competition at The Keefer Bar this past Monday, May 19th. It is what the majority of Vancouver bartenders consider to be the best competition of its kind, and I was glad to be in the mix again. If you recall, Josh Pape won the inaugural in 2012 (representing The Diamond) and Ben Champlain won it last year (representing Boneta).

The idea for it started when co-creators Keenan Hood (Bar Manager at The Keefer bar) and David Greig (my former sidekick/Jude Law lookalike at L’Abattoir) were getting tired of the same old competitions. Cocktail comps tend to drag on for hours, get way too serious, and the amount of homemade bitters, cedar-aged Chartreuse, barrel-aged moustache wax, and bow-tied bartenders can be a bit much. They’re not always the way every barkeep wants to spend their night off. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of these competitions are great and I have personally competed in many (and traveled the world doing so), but sometimes they just end up being like ego-stroking meetings of the Mutual Admiration Society, with the same old judges and the same top three finishers. So David and Keenan thought, I wonder how all these people would fair if they just had to make the drinks we all make on a day to day basis in a packed bar, a la minute, while being judged on timing, taste, and Barate skills (a mix of showmanship, style, technique, cleanliness, etc)?

The response, of course, has been incredible. This year saw a $50 buy in, winner take all, bracket-style competition. It was a one-on-one format where the judges would call out 4-7 classics. From the get-go, it was on!

It was so rad seeing guys like Nick Devine (Cascade Group), Steve da Cruz (The Parker), and Jacob Sweetapple (Absolut Vodka) come back behind the bar and throw down! A good mix of the new brigade also showed well (Grant Sceney of the Fairmont, you better watch your back). As far as I know, there was even a waiting list of people who wanted to compete, just in case there were any no-shows. Other competitors were JS Dupuis (Homer st Cafe), Evelyn Chick (Blue Water Cafe), Robyn Gray (Hotel Georgia), Cooper Tardivel (Hawksworth), H (Notturno), Josh Pape (Wildebeest), Gezza McAlpine (The Keefer), Dani Tatarin (The Keefer), Yours Truly (L’Abattoir), Jay Browne (Calabash), Ben De Champlain (Former Boneta), and Thor Paulson (Wildebeest).

This was by far the most fun bar-related event ever thrown in Vancouver (and probably the rest of Canada, too). The place was packed out the door and into the empty street from 5-11 on a long weekend Monday. Keeping spirits high were little side comps (free pour contests!), a mini back bar to help hydrate all the off-duty barkeeps not competing who showed up to watch, and a ridiculous DJ playing 80’s tracks from The Karate Kid soundtrack. Even the judging panel was great: Vancouver bar guru David Wolywidnyk; former Vancouverite and now owner of Canon in Seattle Jamie Boudreau (he’s so hot in Germany right now, even bigger than Hasselhoff), and Corby rep (ex-bartender) Casey Mackay, who generously donated a lot of booze for the event.

Highlights from the opening rounds included H dawning his high heeled boots (don’t ask), the Aussi vs Aussi matchup of mentor and student (Sweetapple vs Sceney), #BarateGate2014 Layton vs Tarvidel (wherein the scoring was originally counted incorrectly), and James Iranzad (natch) running a Vegas-style racket.

In the end it was down to Josh “cooler than the other side of the pillow” Pape versus The Keefer’s own Gezza “is this guy on P.E.Ds?” McAlpine. Gezza ended up taking the title in a performance that was fast, efficient, and with spot-on drinks. All in all, it was a totally legit comp. There was a clear winner, no tears, and most important of all, everyone had a great time on their day off. Cheers to Keenan and the Keefer Bar crew for this awesome competition. You should take it national!

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS | Chinatown’s “Bao Bei” Is On The Hunt For Experienced Cooks

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie is located at 163 Keefer St. in Vancouver's Chinatown | 604-688-0876 | www.bao-bei.ca

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie is located at 163 Keefer St. in Vancouver’s Chinatown | 604-688-0876 | bao-bei.ca

The GOODS from Bao Bei

Vancouver, BC | Bao Bei is looking for experienced cooks to fill full-time positions in our kitchen. The successful candidates will be able to handle working high volume in a fast-paced environment. Those interested are invited to email their resumes to info [at] bao-bei.ca or come down to the restaurant in person between 2pm and 4pm. Learn more about us after the jump. Read more

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS | “The Parker” Is On The Lookout For An Experienced P/T Server

The Parker is located at 237 Union St. in Strathcona/Chinatown | Vancouver, BC | 604-779-3804 | theparkervancouver.com

The Parker is located at 237 Union Street in Vancouver, BC | 604-779-3804 | www.theparkervancouver.com

The GOODS from The Parker

Vancouver, BC | The Parker is an award-winning vegetarian restaurant in Chinatown featuring Executive Chef Curtis Luk’s seasonal menu showcasing the best of our region and beyond. Owner Steve Da Cruz and manager Nich Box deliver an innovative bar program and a well thought out wine list with a deft touch and thoughtful service. Thanks to our amazing location and clientele, we’re growing! The Parker is seeking a bartending server with five years experience who is comfortable in all areas of service, expedition, and wine pairing. This is a part-time position to start, with many shifts opening up soon after. Send resumés to info [at] theparkervancouver.com. Read more

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