Food Media Omnibus #551: On 2011 Wrap Ups & Vancouver’s Best New Restaurants

December 28, 2011 

by Claire Lassam | One of my all-time favourite writers, David Tanis, makes a simple but elegant NYE dinner for The New York Times.

If you’re just doing tapas to ring in the New Year, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall has you covered in The Guardian.

Janet Finch reflects on Christmas in the LA Times.

The Georgia Straight talks about Mount Pleasant’s new French Baking.

If your kitchen is anywhere close to the size of mine, you probably need ways to use your space more efficiently. The Kitchn gets us sorted.

The Province checks out the facts on tea. As I’ve long suspected, it’s very, very good for you.

VanMag posts its Wine Awards winners.

In The Sun, Juanita Ng serves up The Daily Meal’s food trend wrap up.

In the Westender, Andrew Morrison gives his top 10 new restaurants in the city.

If you’re trying to fatten up your post-Christmas, pre-New Years resolutions, these non-yeasted donuts in design*sponge will surely help.

Finally, Alexandra Gill gets excited about oyster season in the Globe and Mail.

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Claire Lassam is a baker, blogger, and freelance writer based in East Van. She has been cooking and baking her way through the city for nearly five years, working in restaurants ranging from Cioppino’s to Meat & Bread. She currently works at Beta 5 Chocolates and runs the baking blog Just Something Pretty.

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Food Media Omnibus #550: On “Dine Out” & Wrapping Up The City’s Year In Restaurants

December 20, 2011 

by Claire Lassam | Presenting Scout’s weekly Food Media Omnibus, a collection of links to the local and international food stories of the day…

If you have a tiny apartment-sized oven like me, but the patio and BBQ of your dreams (also like me), The Guardian recommends using that instead for your turkey.

The amazing Mark Bitman makes one kind of cookie dough that makes 4 kinds of cookies. That man is seriously clever.

Dine Out, the least favourite event of nearly everyone in the industry, now includes food carts. The Georgia Straight checks in.

Andrew Morrison wraps up the year in Vancouver restaurants in the Westender.

If you aren’t as clumsy as me and aren’t as likely to break good wine glasses, I recommend this briefing on the best of them in the North Shore News.

While I’m not Jewish, I passionately love Jewish food. So does Saveur, which gives us the classics. In The Province, they make it modern.

The Kitchn shows you how to impress with salted caramel sauce.

On Design*Sponge, the chocolate world at home gets exciting with the additions of coriander and rosemary.

Alexandra Gill is not impressed by the Rumpus Room.

The staff at the LA Times picked their favourite cookies and made an ebook.

An easy alternative to mashed potatoes gets served up in The Vancouver Sun.

Finally, if you’re getting out of the city for the holidays, you might have to endure a flight or three, so Bon Appetit‘s editors have picked their favourite airport restaurants (Triple O’s isn’t on the list).

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Claire Lassam is a baker, blogger, and freelance writer based in East Van. She has been cooking and baking her way through the city for nearly five years, working in restaurants ranging from Cioppino’s to Meat & Bread. She currently toils at Beta 5 Chocolates and runs the baking blog  Just Something Pretty.

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Food Media Omnibus #549: On The Rumpus Room, Christmas Wishes & No More Butter

December 12, 2011 

by Claire Lassam | Presenting Scout’s weekly Food Media Omnibus, a collection of links to the local and international food stories of the day…

The New York Times shows you how to keep it simple with food for holiday parties, and how to go completely overboard with cocktails.

The LA Times provides a solid cookbook gift guide. Just to throw it out there… I want Paula Wolfert’s new book, The Food of Morocco, the Odd Bits by Jennifer Kagan, and, of course, the Momofuko Milk Bar cookbook. Just saying…

TheKitchn has 23 ways to bake bread at home on any schedule. Some take less then half and hour. Bake bread!

Piast Bakery on Cambie St. gets the Westender raving.

Main St. gets a blast of the 70′s in the Rumpus Room. The Georgia Straight checks in.

Vancouver Magazine looks into the best local beers, and finds a great selection.

I, for one, am seriously happy about Bon Appetit’s idea about a cookie for each day of December. I make pistachio nougat every year, but this year I’m putting cherries in there, too. So clever.

Did you know that in between 1876 and 1924, nearly one third of Italy’s population moved to America? Find out where they settled, by which I mean where they put up the best restaurants in the best Little Italy’s in Saveur.

Norway is having a butter shortage. A fate worse then death!

And just in time, the North Shore News gives us some tips on holiday bubbly.

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Claire Lassam is a baker, blogger, and freelance writer based in East Van. She has been cooking and baking her way through the city for nearly five years, working in restaurants ranging from Cioppino’s to Meat & Bread. She currently toils at the soon-to-open Cadeaux Bakery in Railtown and runs the baking blog  Just Something Pretty.

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Food Media Omnibus #548: On Xmas Drinks In The Globe & Rice Lessons In Bon Appetit

December 5, 2011 


by Claire Lassam | Presenting Scout’s weekly Food Media Omnibus, a collection of links to the local and international food stories of the day…

It’s time for eggnog! Design Sponge shows you how.

If eggnog is not your thing, Alexandra Gill shows you a few holiday drink fixes from Vancouver’s top barkeeps.

The New York Times talks about one of my favourite chefs of all time, Yotam Ottolenghi, and he turns out to be just as cool as I hoped he would be.

Andrew Morrison feeds a cold in The Westender.

Not surprisingly, thekitchn makes fudge look cute.

The North Shore News gets excited about the Chilean Wine Fest.

The Province gets philosophical about the meaning of culture and food.

Get ready for latke season with this simple gravlax recipe in the Vancouver Sun.

The rise of citrus fruits is examined in The LA Times.

Bon Appetit tells you what you’re doing wrong when you cook rice.

If your trying to stick to a budget this Christmas, check out Saveur’s edible DIY gifts. Tequila hot sauce, anyone?

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Claire Lassam is a baker, blogger, and freelance writer based in East Van. She has been cooking and baking her way through the city for nearly five years, working in restaurants ranging from Cioppino’s to Meat & Bread. She currently toils at the soon-to-open Cadeaux Bakery in Railtown and runs the baking blog  Just Something Pretty.

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Food Media Omnibus #547: On Merguez At 3am And Being Too Full To Keep Drinking…

November 28, 2011 

by Claire Lassam | Presenting Scout’s weekly Food Media Omnibus, a collection of links to the local and international food stories of the day…

If anyone could make China open up about arts and culture, it would be the amazing Alice Waters.

If you, like me, don’t have a yard, The New York Times checks in on growing mushrooms indoors and Britta Riley does a TEDTalk on turning a hydroponic harvest with a window. Fascinating and inspiring.

The LATimes waxes poetic about the Warren pear.

Nigel Slater gets excited about Polish food in The Guardian

Alexandra Gill gets out of the rain and into Cafe Regalade.

Andrew Morrison talks about off cuts, bacon bitters, and the thing that ties them to Vancouver, which is of course the upcoming Wildebeest.

The Province gets in on a food trend. Macarons are the new cupcakes.

Too full to keep drinking? Bon Appetit has you covered.

If only for this line -“You’re not a real Parisian until you’ve had a merguez sandwich stuffed with frites inside, at 3am” - you should read this article by David Leibovitz.

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Claire Lassam is a baker, blogger, and freelance writer based in East Van. She has been cooking and baking her way through the city for nearly five years, working in restaurants ranging from Cioppino’s to Meat & Bread. She currently toils at the soon-to-open Cadeaux Bakery in Railtown and runs the baking blog  Just Something Pretty.

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Food Media Omnibus #546: On Eating Bugs At Vij’s And Forking Out $17 For Vanilla Salt

November 19, 2011 

by Claire Lassam | Presenting Scout’s weekly Food Media Omnibus, a collection of links to the local and international food stories of the day…

The New York Times preps you up for holiday parties with 12 classic drinks using only gin, bourbon, and sweet vermouth. And there goes my weekend…

With food carts popping up everywhere these days, it’s nice to know that at least somewhere the lowly-but-wonderful hot dog is still going strong, even if it means sticking it inside a hamburger, which doesn’t sound like my cup of tea.  The LA Times checks in.

The Georgia Straight catches up with David Hawksworth’s latest at the Bel Cafe, and chats up Jacob Sweetapple about the new drinks at Chambar.

Anthony Sedlak’s latest gig heading up a cheesesteak chain is discussed in the Westender. Even after reading several articles on the topic it’s still weird to see those words next to each other. Anthony Sedlak + Cheesesteak?

Foodist gives a rare restaurant review in praise of Le Crocodile.

As someone who buys $17 vanilla salt, I should probably print out this article in the Guardian on high end salt and take it with me the next time I walk into Gourmet Warehouse. Oy.

When I first moved into my apartment, I ate Memphis Blues pulled pork sandwhich and a glass of champagne as my first meal. The North Shore News now tells me that a Pinot Gris would have been a better pairing.

Alexandra Gill eats bugs at Vij’s and sounds pretty okay with it.

The Province gives some insight into what makes supermarket food “artisan”.

I realize I’ve given you a few links to drinks this week, but seriously…honey bourbon. I think you need this. I think I do too.

For breakfast tomorrow, you should probably make these quince pancakes from Saveur.

And lastly, my idol David Leibowitz made an iphone app for pastry shopping in Paris.

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Claire Lassam is a baker, blogger, and freelance writer based in East Van. She has been cooking and baking her way through the city for nearly five years, working in restaurants ranging from Cioppino’s to Meat & Bread. She currently toils at the soon-to-open Cadeaux Bakery in Railtown and runs the baking blog  Just Something Pretty.

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Food Media Omnibus #545: On The Aptly Named “Meat Fest” And Scarfing Macaroons

November 6, 2011 

by Claire Lassam | Alexandra Gill is pleasantly surprised by Vancouver bakeries in the Globe and Mail.

The North Shore News tells you all you need to know about the Cornuccopia Festival in Whistler.

The Province talks to Dale MacKay about takeout pizza and zip-lining.

The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences gives a big nod to the Loden Hotel with a Five Diamond Award, a Chefs Plate Award and Medallion Award to chef Marc-Andre Choquette in the Georgia Straight.

I’m not entirely sure what Bonfire Night is in the UK, but apparently candy apples are a tradition, and I do love candy apples, even though The Guardian calls them toffee apples.

The Vancouver Sun talks about the romance of canning. I have a whole cabinet full of the fruits of this seduction.

Butter on the Endive chats about the very aptly named Meat Fest in Penticton.

Whiskey mixed with apple cider is sounding like the perfect Fall drink right now. Thank you, Saveur.

Bon Appetit does the math on heritage birds vs. the supermarket variety.

Lastly, oh to be a food writer in NYC! The New York Times talks Parisian macarons, and samples 209 of them just be sure (unsurprisingly, Lauduree takes the top spot).

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Claire Lassam is a baker, blogger, and freelance writer based in East Van. She has been cooking and baking her way through the city for nearly five years, working in restaurants ranging from Cioppino’s to Meat & Bread. She currently toils at the soon-to-open Cadeaux Bakery in Railtown and runs the baking blog  Just Something Pretty.

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Food Media Omnibus #544: On Vegetarians Banned In France And Newfoundland Wins!

October 29, 2011 

by Claire Lassam | Presenting Scout’s weekly Food Media Omnibus, a collection of links to the local and international food stories of the day…

Oh, the French. Just when I thought they couldn’t get any crazier, they go ahead and ban vegetarianism in schools. Read about it in the Guardian.

On the flip-side, they just passed a law banning shark fin soup in Toronto, despite Mayor Rob Ford’s protests. Don’t even get me started on that man!

The Westender gets excited about Chinese food and the upcoming Signature Dish festival.

Call me closed-minded, but I didn’t expect Newfoundland to take the #1 spot on EnRoute’s best restaurant list!

The North Shore News gives us a calendar of upcoming local food events.

Alexandra Gill takes a look at how multicultural cities are changing the way we eat at holidays. I wish my mom made Peking Duck for Thanksgiving!

The New York Times explains just how small you can make a pastry and still market it (one ounce cupcakes anyone?), and Sam Sifton tries gastrochemistry at home in celebration of the upcoming Eleven Madison Park Cookbook, which comes with the chefs personal email address – in case you get confused on a recipe. I think that’s a nice touch.

The Province goes urban foraging, which is all kinds of wonderful.

And speaking of foraging, the Huffington Post talks about the eating in the Noma age, when chocolate dirt and lichen are both on the menu.

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Claire Lassam is a baker, blogger, and freelance writer based in East Van. She has been cooking and baking her way through the city for nearly five years, working in restaurants ranging from Cioppino’s to Meat & Bread. She currently toils at the soon-to-open Cadeaux Bakery in Railtown and runs the baking blog  Just Something Pretty.

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Food Media Omnibus #543: On Cooking Apps & Being The Restaurant Critic For the NYT

October 21, 2011 

by Claire Lassam | Presenting Scout’s weekly Food Media Omnibus, a collection of links to the local and international food stories of the day…

The Georgia Straight gets the goods on the new Save On Meats reality TV show.

The new issue of Van Mag has local novelist Tim Taylor reviewing Vancouver’s chain restaurants.

Quails Gate Winery gets a little help from its American friends in the North Shore News.

Sunset Burgers is more kitsch than taste in the Westender.

Sam Sifton gives the low down on being a restaurant critic for The New York Times. Dare to dream.

The Guardian tells us that the size of our kitchens don’t matter. My 3 sqft countertop disagrees.

Melissa Carke (my very favourite NY Times writer) gives a wonderful interview at Expendable Edibles.

The Province gives Micheal Ruhlman’s new cookbook a winning review (of course).

David Lee serves up brussel sprouts even I might like in the Globe and Mail.

The LA Times picks their favourite 2010 red wines from Paso Robles to Austria.

Bon Appetit rates the best cooking apps. If you’re less likely to spill something on your iPhone than me, bring it into the kitchen!

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Claire Lassam is a baker, blogger, and freelance writer based in East Van. She has been cooking and baking her way through the city for nearly five years, working in restaurants ranging from Cioppino’s to Meat & Bread. She currently toils at the soon-to-open Cadeaux Bakery in Railtown and runs the baking blog  Just Something Pretty.

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Food Media Omnibus #542: On The Shark Fin Debate & Scarfing “Kobe” At Sunset Burgers

October 17, 2011 

by Claire Lassam | Presenting Scout’s weekly Food Media Omnibus, a collection of links to the local and international food stories of the day…

The new Top Chef Canada makes an easy meal at home on video for The Sun.

Yaletown’s new Nagel-backdropped Sunset Burgers passes the test in the WE.

The North Shore News gives us the heads-up on the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival winners.

The Guardian shares pointers for pairing wine with chocolate (and that is amazing).

Bon Appetit does a one-pot-wonder spread. Lamb Tagine anyone?

Saveur blows new life into chips and dip.

The Wall Street Journal investigates the entirely addictive act of online wine buying.

The Georgia Straight swims into the shark fin debate.

Reb Steveston makes cupcakes for dudes!?

BONUS: The NorthWest Chocolate Festival goes down next weekend in Seattle.

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Claire Lassam is a baker, blogger, and freelance writer based in East Van. She has been cooking and baking her way through the city for nearly five years, working in restaurants ranging from Cioppino’s to Meat & Bread. She currently toils at the soon-to-open Cadeaux Bakery in Railtown and runs the baking blog  Just Something Pretty.

Food Media Omnibus #541: On Keller’s Pop-Up And Advice For The Chefs Of Tomorrow

by Claire Lassam | Presenting Scout’s weekly Food Media Omnibus, a collection of links to the local and international food stories of the day…

The New York Times discusses the merits of cookbooks becoming ebooks.

The Globe and Mail takes on the gender of condiments.

The Georgia Straight gives you every tip to make this Thanksgiving easy.

The WE dreams up the restaurants Vancouver really needs.

Learn to cure your own pork at Foodists.

The world’s most influential chefs pen a letter to tomorrow’s chefs on Butter on the Endive.

The Guardian raises an eyebrow at a pub getting 2 Michelin stars.

Grace Bonney (who may or may not be my idol) gives tips on home entertaining at Bon Appetit.

Saveur lists the top 55 food blogs in the world, which includes one of my favourite blogs from South Africa, Nook Eatery .

Energy drinks get political in The Province.

The Ethical Kitchen gets its organic meat recalled in the North Shore News.

Thomas Keller chats about the process of opening a pop-up French Laundry in London.

If you’ve ever eaten those beautiful micro greens at a high end restaurant, they probably came from the Chef’s Garden. Psst! You can grow them at home.

Claire Lassam is a baker, blogger, and freelance writer based in East Van. She has been cooking and baking her way through the city for nearly five years, working in restaurants ranging from Cioppino’s to Meat & Bread. She currently toils at the soon-to-open Cadeaux Bakery in Railtown and runs the baking blog  Just Something Pretty.

Ten Excuses For Cooks To Dislike Writers

Our weekly distillation of who wrote what about food and drink in this week’s city print…

Alexandra Gill gets a drink poured for her by Chambar’s Wendy McGuinness before waxing glowingly on DB Bistro in the Globe and Mail:

I roll up for my first visit on a snowy Sunday night and the place is packed. Everyone on the floor – from the timid hostess who isn’t quite sure what to do with our coats to the restless manager who circles the room anxiously rubbing his hands – looks jumpy and nervous.

And they haven’t even recognized me yet.

If they had, I sincerely doubt that the woman seated beside me would still be waving a bill holder in the air as she tries to catch her waiter’s attention. Or that we would have to wait this long to order drinks.

We’re still waiting, quite thirstily, when executive chef Stephane Istel pops out of the kitchen and looks over. He probably spied me on the video monitor. (Mais oui, there are hidden cameras in the dining room with a view of every table so the cooks know when to start prepping the next course.)

Et voilà, the whole atmosphere changes. The reinforcements swoop in. The cocktails (spicy Bloody “Bulls” stirred with veal stock) arrive promptly. And the woman beside us has her credit card processed, tout de suite.

C’est la vie.

A most amusing story.

A Texas writer stays at the Wedgewood, dines at Bacchus, and leaves a great big puddle with her opening para:

Some say that the best city in the world is Vancouver. It’s beautiful, clean, green and hip. It gets nice and cold, but rarely snows. You can go from boating to golfing to snow skiing within hours. It has unbelievable scenery and trendy arts, clothing and music scenes. It’s also the starting point for thousands of cruises each year. Vancouver is worth a vacation of its own but throw in the winter Olympic Games 2010 and you’ve got a Destination!

In a different piece, she heads over to The Wick outside Tofino, where the gushing continues with good ‘ol Charles McDiarmid, the coolest hotelier I’ve ever met, playing along pitch perfectly.

Over dinner, McDairmid tells us about the best travelers – “Italians and Texans are the best groups to host. They travel to have a good time and they never forget they’re on a vacation.” While The Wick provides the ultimate in romance, comfort and attention to detail, McDiarmid’s eyebrow arches as he smiles and says, “Nature is still in charge here.” Thank goodness.

Oh Charlie, you devil.

In the Westender, I review Railtown’s new diner, Deacon’s Corner. It’s good. Go.

From Saltaire in West Van to the glory of James Beard House? Apparently so. Vancouver-schooled and trained Derek Myers, now plating in Bermuda, has been invited to cook at the JBH in New York.

In the Vancouver Sun, Mia Stainsby loves the food at Whistler’s Araxi. Not so much the stuff out front.

The service isn’t at the level of sister restaurant West, not surprising in a town dependent on a fairly transient, young staff, but one wishes for better when you’re paying for it.

From the normally generous Mia, that’s an ouch. Also in the Sun was a review of the Richmond location of Browns that I actually missed in the print edition. Happily, the link was sent in by a long-time reader. The subject line read “Are you fucking kidding me?”

Anya Levykh reviews Lumiere in Metro and kicks Rob Feenie in the balls.

Under the former direction of Chef Rob Feenie, it used to be one of the priciest menus in the city, in a room that smacked of nouveau institutional chill. The food was wildly inventive and often amazing, but untended farmland tends to go fallow, and the lack of presence of the main draw (Feenie himself) led to a slump in food and service. Fast-forward to today, and you have a hot New York chef (Daniel Boulud) stepping in and creating a menu that is now put out by an even hotter team.

Untended farmland tends to go fallow. And the Amish man said snap. For Feenie, however, the adoration quickly returns with some puffery in the Calgary Herald.

The Courier’s Tim Pawsey goes to San Francisco and drinks a lot of Zinfandel. Tim is awesome.

Former enRoute food writer Chris Johns and his girlfriend go from spending $300 to $50 a week on food with the help of some of Canada’s top chefs.

High end restaurateurs, meet your new customer: the Globe charts new rules for the bourgeoisie.

And finally, here’s a chef who doesn’t get enough press. Koji Zenimaru, the oddball funny man who runs the crazed kitchen at Kingyo in the West End, gets some profile action. If this guy spoke English, he’d be a star.

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Andrew Morrison is a west coast boy who studied history and classics at the Universities of Cape Town and Toronto after an adolescence spent riding skateboards and working in restaurants. He is the editor of Scout Magazine, the weekly food and restaurant columnist for the Westender newspaper, a contributor to Vancouver and Western Living magazines, and a proud board member of the Chef’s Table Society of BC. He lives and works by the beach in Vancouver.

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Food Media Omnibus: DB & Lumiere Love Fest

Our weekly distillation of who wrote what about food and drink in this week’s city print…

Read more

Food Media Omnibus #265

Our weekly distillation of who wrote what about food and drink in this week’s city print…

Alexandra Gill is besotted by the Chinese Restaurant Awards in the Globe and Mail (and for good reason). It’s interesting how Richmond’s Chinese restaurant community, after years of ho-hum participation in other, more multicultural restaurant awards that only pay their contributions to the local food scene lip service, finally just said fuck it, we’ll do our own and exclude every other cuisine.

Also in the Globe, a story on the economic downturn’s squeezing of gratuities.

Question: what’s the connection between steak houses and assholes?

Canwest’s Michael McCarthy goes to Richmond, finds Chinese restaurants.

Mia Stainsby reviews the modern Vietnamese fare at Robson’s new Chau.

Sue Frause of the Examiner (the what?) visits Campagnolo.

The Edmonton Journal previews next month’s Canadian Culinary Championships in Banff.

Nation Fong gets his Chinese New Years on in The Vancouver Sun.

So does Stephen Fong in the Georgia Straight.

Also in the Straight, Jurgen Gothe pours $10 wines.

In the Vancouver Courier, Tim Pawsey pens on Team Canada’s preps for Bocuse D’Or.

Deana Lancaster reviews The Village Taphouse in West Vancouver.

The Times considers Canadian cuisine (extra).

Unrelated: Victoria’s Times-Colonist (via the Montreal Gazette) tries to unravel the mysteries of Canadian food culture in less than a 1000 words.

The Westcoaster on how to retain staff.

So.cial at le Magasin’s Romy Prasad preps some veal for 24.

And in my Westender column this week, I check out Wild Rice twice during Dine Out.

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Andrew Morrison is a west coast boy who studied history and classics at the Universities of Cape Town and Toronto after an adolescence spent riding skateboards and working in restaurants. He is the editor of Scout Magazine, the weekly food and restaurant columnist for the Westender newspaper, a contributor to Vancouver and Western Living magazines, and a proud board member of the Chef’s Table Society of BC. He lives and works by the beach in Vancouver.

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