by Andrew Morrison | Vancouver’s top bartenders recently sat for a gruelling 50 question exam at The Diamond in Gastown to mark the first round of Scout’s Bartender of the Year tournament. Today we announced the sixteen with the highest marks on our Twitter feed. They are…
16th (tie) David Bain – Diva at the Met
16th (tie) Josh Boudreau – Veneto (Victoria)
15th | Ryan Malcolm – Sauce (Victoria)
14th | Ally – Revel Room
13th | Dani Tatarin – Keefer Bar
12th | “JS” - Tableau
11th | Jay Browne – Calabash
10th | “H” – Jules Bistro
9th | Brendan Brewster – Fiamo/Svelte (Victoria)
8th | Brooke Levre – The Marina (Victoria)
7th | Jon Smollensky – Hawksworth
6th | Marc Smolinski – Max’s
5th | Gez McAlpine – Keefer/LA/Somewhere lucky
4th | Josh Pape – The Diamond
3rd | Ben de Champlain – Boneta
2nd | Simon Kaulback – Boneta
1st | Shaun Layton – L’Abattoir
It’s a great collection of talent, and how cool is it that Victoria is so well represented!? This group now moves on to an insane day of competition at The Keefer Bar in Chinatown on July 2nd.
The final will begin with a blind tasting of 5 different alcohols with each bartender having to guess what is what (extra point opportunities for accuracy). Then a select group of professionals will blind judge an original cocktail from each bartender who will also furnish a written description of the drink as it would appear on a cocktail menu (no more than 50 words). Points will be awarded for taste, presentation and originality.
The scores from these two competitions will be added together – 20% coming from the entrance test, 40% from the blind tasting, and 40% from the cocktail. The top 8 will then compete in a live action tournament that will decide who will take the title.
We wish all the final competitors luck, and thank every bartender who took the time to sit for the exam. The marks were especially tight, and every participant represented their bar extremely well.
by Claudia Chan | The 5th annual Car Free Day Fest will be celebrated on our city streets this Sunday. Whether you’re by Commercial Drive, Main Street, the West End or Kits (both Saturday and Sunday), there will be all sorts of festivities happening in a hood near you. So leave your cars at home, bring out the bikes, trikes, buggies, rollerblades, skateboards and other rollies to get yourself there. And don’t forget to bring your Pops, because Sunday is Father’s Day!
Andrew Morrison | Kaeli Robinsong and Jason Susman, the pair behind the Tacofino food truck, have just taken possession of 2327 East Hastings with plans for a wheel-free location of their popular mobile brand (just a few doors down from Campagnolo Roma and The Red Wagon). The 1350 sqft space used to be the undersung Seri Malaysian, a very good restaurant that – for one reason or another – was never as busy as it should have been. The new Tacofino – the top to bottom renovation of which began today – will arrive this May and seat approximately 50 people. We should expect plenty of items from their much-loved food truck menu (mmm, fish tacos), but we can anticipate that they’ll also be exploring their love of Asian/Californian flavours a little more as well. Oh, plus aiming to get a liquor license so they can set up a bar specialising in tequila, a spirit they both love but can’t do a thing with on account of the limits placed on food trucks. This is some great news both for lovers of Vancouver’s street food scene and residents of Hastings-Sunrise. I can’t wait for this one!
Owners: Tyson Reimer & Ryan Murfitt (above)
Chef: Anatoli Belov
About Woodland Smokehouse and Commissary
Designed and conceptualized by restaurateurs’ Tyson Reimer & Ryan Murfitt [Cobre, Peckinpah], Woodland Smokehouse & Commissary is the proverbial, food factory and market. Nestled on the corner of Commercial Drive and Hastings Avenue, (Just off of Woodland Avenue), the 6500 square foot complex provides every necessity needed to produce, package, sell and ship fine food to virtually anywhere in the lower mainland.
Providing both the studio and gallery space, Woodland S&C has a seemingly endless canvas for any culinary artist to reach their full their full potential. Chefs & Restaurateurs have access to a retail storefront, which is branded and designed to take restaurant quality meals, back into the home. An entirely new concept for the Vancouver culinary community, Woodland S&C focuses on the professional chefs & food artisans providing meal solutions. Set to launch in early February Woodland S&C is destined to brand its logo on the Hastings-Sunrise community. Come in for a tour anytime, we are always interested in what others can, bring to the table.
The GOODS from The Waldorf Hotel
Vancouver, BC | You’ve been asking for it so here it is… the lineup for our four-day, property-wide Halloween bash. Aside from top entertainment in multiple rooms, your ticket to any of these nights gives you access to all the other goings on at the hotel… Read more
We’re really excited about BETA 5, a new chocolate maker/vendor that should be opening up in our neighbourhood this Saturday, October 1st. Here’s what I wrote about it in the paper a few weeks ago, as well as some shots that show owners Adam Chandler and Jess Rosinski hard at work in the space…
Hardcore chocoholics will rejoice at the soon-to-arrive Beta 5 shop, so named after the form-5 beta crystal structure, the most stable form of cocoa butter crystallization which is arrived at with the controlled melting and subsequent cooling of liquid chocolate. It’s a new high quality chocolate company from Adam Chandler and Jess Rosinski, whose business philosophy is of the “do no evil” sort. In this case, that means all of their high quality plantation chocolate will be ethically sourced from France’s storied chocolatier Michel Cluizel, who takes ingredient traceability, land stewardship, and fair labour practices very seriously. I’m told that we can expect plenty of truffles, lots of different types of chocolate covered fruits and nuts, a line of branded chocolate bars and hand-painted chocolates (ie. not done with commercially available transfer sheets). “Our visual aesthetic will be unique,” says Chandler, who once upon a time worked for chef Marc-Andre Choquette at Voya and toiled alongside David Wong at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel. The 4,000sqft production facility will supply hotels and gourmet food shops, and will include a retail front. Unfortunately, when Beta5 opens later this month, it will only be on Saturdays, which is to say don’t budge! I’m quite certain that I was ahead of you in line…
Beta5 | 413 Industrial Avenue | Beta5chocolates.com | Opening October 1st
I’m quite in love with Fall’s new colours, new foods, new schedules, and seeing the change of season manifested in fashion choices on the street. I’m particularly loving the Banff skirt from Smoking Lily (also available in camel (which will look adorable with green wellies).
Banff Skirt | $92 | Smoking Lily (3634 Main Street)
by Andrew Morrison | In this week’s issue of WE, my column targets five mentionable eateries that are currently under construction in Vancouver. One of these was Tyson Reimer and Ryan Murfitt’s new roll of the dice, a massive commissary kitchen anchored by store/deli frontage on Commercial Drive (formerly Pine House Bakery).
Tyson Reimer and Ryan Murfitt of Gastown’s Peckinpah have taken over the old, 10,000sqft Pine House Bakery location at 485 Commercial and are planning on turning it into a multi-tasking, one-stop shop for a range of unique suppliers to peddle to foodies. The front of the space will pull triple duty as a cafe, delicatessen and butcher shop offering up cured meats soups, salads, sandwiches, sausages, turkeys and a plethora of prepared foodstuffs (think branded restaurant retail sauces, marinades, etc. from Peckinpah, Cobre, Deacon’s Corner and more). The rear of the space – the part we don’t get to see – will act as a massive commissary kitchen that Reimer and Murfitt have built with local food cart operators in mind (to be rented out as micro-commercial kitchens). Aside from burners and ovens, the commissary comes equipped with everything a budding street foodist could need, from curing rooms and deep freezers to smokers and dry storage. They haven’t picked out a name for the project just yet, but with so many local products and opportunities to small businesses being tabled here, branding is something of an afterthought to what sounds like an amazing concept.
They still haven’t nailed down a name, though I’m told they’re leaning toward “Peckinpah Commissary”, which sounds vaguely socialist (ie. a good fit for the community). The pair hope to have in up and running before Fall is through. Take a look…
by Michelle Sproule | It was at the Emily Carr Grad show that I became besotted by the Tin Can Studio, the joint graduating project of ECUAD students Caroline Ballhorn (Fine Arts) and Brodie Kitchen (Industrial Design). It’s an 18ft 1972 Streamline trailer re-imagined as a portable gallery and studio space. As Caroline and Brodie explain: “Tin Can studio represents for us the notion of coming together to create something that addresses our common awareness of shrinking space for creative production in Vancouver. Through a mutual desire to create meaningful work that actually engages people, that functions as a hub for strengthening community bonds, that plants seeds in neighbourhoods about making creativity and art accessible, we hope to empower others towards connecting and collaborating.”
They’ve done just that. When I recently visited the project, it was parked just in from the corner of Victoria and Napier. Shaded slightly by a tree, it was playing host to a mini exhibition created by friends and neighbours who had been using the studio over the summer. The show was called Monsters & Bikes and was comprised of pictures of monsters, bikes and monsters on bikes, all hand drawn or painted by Tin Can attendees of all ages. Check out a handful of images here.
Anyway, I got chatting with Caroline, and it was as she was running through the litany of super cool events that had gone down in the micro-space (artist talks, performances, discussions, concerts, pirate radio broadcasts and secret events) that I learned of a small dinner about to take place in the same studio the very next weekend. I jumped on it before the guest list hit capacity (10) by contacting the co-organisers and foodies Eat Together to book a seat as soon as I got home.
Eat Together is a two person show. Food enthusiasts Ken Tsui and Ellen Lee got it in their heads a while back that it would be fun to gather a bunch of people together and feed them good food (a pretty solid idea). With a few day-jobs each, it’s a hobby sort of thing. When they can find the time, they team up to cook a small feast to share with friends and friends of friends. Tin Can was a perfect venue for this low-key, small-scale, food-sharing event.
And so it was that on the next warm Sunday evening we arrived to find dinner guests starting to gather outside the Streamline. We milled about on a sprawling lawn and sipped on ice water as a make-shift ‘kitchen’ was assembled on the boulevard. Inside, the table was set simply with white plates and jam jars for glasses. Dinner was just as straight-forward. It began with radishes and cold salted butter, followed with heirloom tomato tart, and then came a lovely beet risotto. To finish: fresh figs and end-of-the-summer blackberries with Ellen’s amazing honey ice cream.
Sadly, both Eat Together and The Tin Can Studio are primarily fair-weather gigs. The Streamline will hibernate for the cold, wet months and the Eat Together folks don’t plan to brave rain storms in their outdoor kitchen. Sorry about that. But there is some good news…
One half of the Eat Together team (Ken) is involved with long table dinner at Southlands this weekend (September 25), it’s called Fly South and will accommodate 30 people. He’ll be cooking with Alex Dadzis of Ludzu and the Dunlevy Snack Bar, plating a meal of local oysters, smoked duck and fresh veggies. The dinner is filling up quite fast, so reserve a spot lickety-split by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To keep up to speed with what Tin Can studio is up to, check out their website. There are hints that the sleek little Streamline might make an appearance at The Western Front Toque craft show this winter. Fingers crossed!
The GOODS from The Waldorf Hotel
Vancouver, BC | The Waldorf Hotel’s Chef-in-Residence program brings carefully selected talent to provide exciting, culinary adventures within one of the most unique spaces in the world. The new menu co-created by Rodolfo Sanchez, Cesar de la Parra and Ernesto Gomez features modern takes on the Argentine Asado: a sacred ritual where a nation’s obsession for fire, meat and wine are one and the same.
Details after the jump… Read more
As we mentioned last month, the photobook This is East Van 2 is in the works. Tomorrow is the last day that they’ll be taking submissions, so if you’ve been kicking around the east side with your camera snapping shots of this diverse, photogenic and culturally rich neighbourhood of ours, send in your best one tonight! Get all of the details here. Read more
by Joe Chaput | One of the more easily recognized products in our store is the Fougerus; a soft brie-like cheese that is considered part of the Coloummiers family. Robert Rouzaire (of the Fromagerie Rouzaire) originally produced it in the 1960’s for personal use, but its popularity increased over the years to the point that it has become a huge commercial success. While Rouzaire is not a small company by any means, it is nevertheless family-run and independent, and the cheese is the end result of three generations of cheese0making and affinage.
The name Fougerus comes from the word “Fougere” which is French for “fern”. Because the fern frond is added just prior to packaging, it doesn’t impact the flavour, but it does looks pretty on top. While I’m sure it’s edible, I don’t recommend eating it.
Milk is collected daily from 25 farms in Seine & Marne, part of Ile-de-France, which is east and south of Paris. The herd is composed of around 900 Prim Holstein cattle. Natural grazing in summer and winter feeding of farm-produced hay is encouraged. All farmers are members of the Good Production Practices Charter. It takes 6 litres of milk to make one 750 gram wheel of Fougerus. Everything is done by hand, including cutting the curd, ladling the curd into the moulds, turning, flipping, and salting. After production, the cheeses are then ripened in their old underground cellars in Tournan en Brie.
The outside of the cheese has a white bloomy rind, and is distinguished by the sole fern on top. The interior is straw coloured. The pate is firmer when young, and runny when fully ripe. I personally like it when it still has that slight band of chalkiness in the center. Fougerus has earthy, almost vegetal aromas. The flavour is also vegetal, with hints of mushrooms when younger, and leaning towards turnip or cauliflower when riper. You may find it a bit saltier than other brie, with a lingering sharpness on the finish.
Fougerus is $4.50 per 100 grams, and is only sold by the quarter wheel. Enjoy it with a full-bodied chardonnay or pinot noir.
Joe Chaput is the Cheese Editor of Scout Magazine (because of course we have a Cheese Editor!), the co-proprietor and fromager of East Hastings’ Au Petit Chavignol, a member of the Guilde des Fromagers Confrerie du Saint-Uguzon and a Red Seal-certified cook. His by-weekly column – Beyond Cheddar – deals with all things stinky, oozy, sharp, soft, creamy and delicious.
The GOODS from The Cascade Room
Vancouver, BC | They’re back! The Cascade Room’s Nick Devine follows up his popular Winter Olympic “Bobsled Shots” and World Cup 2010 “Sub Bench Shots” with the Rugby World Cup’s “Line-Out Shots”. These “Line-Out Shots”, with flavours inspired by 11 of the 20 competing nations, hold 4 shots each and come complete with a Rugby World Cup trivia card for each country. Read the stats, test your knowledge and drink up! The Rugby World Cup taking place in New Zealand is shaping up to be a cracker, and the Cascade Room will be showing all the games (bar a couple that are shown outside of our licensed hours: please refer to our schedule at the Cascade Room – www.thecascade.ca). See you there! Read more