THE GOODS FROM URBAN DIGS FARM
New Westminster, BC | Factory farming, mislabeled organics, and GMOs are just a few of the issues troubling our food system, and with daily news reports on the topic, eating sustainably is more confusing and complicated than ever before. The subject will be on the table on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. at River Market at Westminster Quay, when Urban Digs Farm presents Mindful Meat, an interactive evening exploring sustainable tables and ethical eats.
The evening will feature a special screening of American Meat, a solutions-oriented documentary about pork, beef and chicken production. Thought-provoking and well-balanced, the film centers around farmer Joel Salatin, who uses a system of pasture rotation to produce pork, beef and chicken in a way that is both economically and environmentally sustainable. The film also respectfully presents conventional ways of meat production through the eyes and stories of commodity farmers. While the film features farmers in the United States, the primary issues are just as relevant here in Canada.
Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion exploring the themes of the film and personal choices that support an ethical and sustainable food system. Panel speakers include: Julia Smith, a sustainable meat advocate and co-owner of Urban Digs Farm; Colleen Kimmett, a Vancouver-based journalist who writes about food, science and the environment; Lori Law, a local food enthusiast who endeavours to make a tangible contribution to food citizenship; and Michael Kaisaris, the co-owner of Re-Up BBQ, who will speak about the challenges and benefits of sourcing local, ethical meat from the perspective of a restaurateur; Orlando Schmidt, a Regional Manager with the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Lorne McMillan, Red Seal Chef & head butcher at West Broadway Meats; and Eleanor Boyle, educator and author focusing on food systems and their social, environmental & health consequences.
The screening and panel will be preceded by a reception with bites from Re-Up BBQ and Longtail Kitchen, made from locally sourced, sustainable meat, as well as local craft beer from Coal Harbour Brewing. A limited number of tickets are available for $27.50 per person and include food, one beer ticket, film screening and panel discussion. Tickets may be purchased here. Read more
I was a huge fan of Aurora Bistro and so was not a little disappointed when it closed. While it’s been great watching former owner/chef Jeff Van Geest doing great things at Miradoro up in the Okanagan ever since, there’s no denying that this city’s food scene took a hit when he skipped Main Street. That was back in the Fall of 2008, at the height of the financial meltdown, so there wasn’t that much going as far as fine food is concerned in those parts until recently, when Burdock & Co. opened (fun fact: both Van Geest and Burdock chef Andre Carlson worked in the kitchen at Bishop’s).
Anyway, Van Geest just sent me an email saying that he was coming to town to resurrect Aurora Bistro for one night only on February 8th, 2014. Read all about it below:
Join Chef Jeff Van Geest for an evening of classic Aurora Bistro dishes paired with delicious B.C. wines from Tinhorn Creek Vineyards on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at 7pm, at Longtail Kitchen.
Jeff, along with Longtail Kitchen’s chef and owner Angus An, Aurora Bistro alumni Dan Tigchelaar, Hugh Carbery, Kurtis Kolt and Katharine Manson will host a nostalgic and fun evening to be shared with friends. Guests will gather around long communal tables and indulge in a 4-course prix fixe menu comprised of fan favourites made from locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.
Tickets are priced at $95 (inclusive of wine pairings and gratuity) with partial proceeds being donated to the BC Hospitality Foundation. Limited seating is available. Menu/details after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Re-Up BBQ
Vancouver, BC | The Re-Up BBQ is collaborating with their favorite neighbour, Longtail Kitchen (Angus An’s latest Thai restaurant) to throw down a significant amount of fried chicken in all sorts of styles, with all sorts of sauces. Eat fried chicken til you drop, and then wash it all down with a delicious pilsner from Ninkasi Brewing in Oregon, courtesy of artisanal beer supplier, Copper and Theory. And that’s it, folks! Fried chicken and beer. One night only. Don’t miss out. Purchase your tickets here. Read more
The GOODS from River Market
New Westminster, BC | Since opening its doors late in 2010, River Market at Westminster Quay has welcomed the curious. The 72,000-square-foot market is divvied into the Hungry Floor on the first level — with tempting tastemakers like Wild Rice, Re-Up BBQ and the new Longtail Kitchen — and the Curious Floor upstairs, where visitors can try a circus class, record a CD, take in a temporary art exhibit or rent desk space by the hour.
Now, River Market gets “curiouser and curiouser” (apologies to Lewis Caroll), with the introduction of Curious Flea, a shopping and social event taking place June 1 and 2, where customers are invited to hang out, engage and explore. “Our goal is to create a new kind of flea market that’s social and fun,” says Curious Flea organizer Erin Jeffery. “Many flea markets today feel gloomy and transactional; customers get in and get out as quickly as possible. We hope to entertain and amaze our visitors, entice them to spend some time with us, and help them discover some exceptional finds to take home.”
On the first weekend in June, River Market will welcome the carefully curated, mid-century modern, antique, and collectible wares of more than 20 vendors. Although some will be bringing upcycled items — crafted from vintage and recycled parts — the flea will not feature anything new. Curious Flea is not a craft fair; it’s focused on treasures from the past. Vendors include Brick & Mortar Living, Vintage Pop, Robyn’s Vintage Nest, My English Country Garden, Your Ottoman Empire, PAVA Creations and more.
River Market is the perfect location for this modern kind of flea market. It’s already home to quality vintage goods, thanks to merchant Mid Century Modern Home. Owner Jenny Cashin — who is helping curate the finds at the flea — has developed a following for the shop’s beautifully restored Danish Modern and Mid-Century Modern furniture, art, lighting and decorative pieces. And, just steps away, is New Westminster’s historic Antique Alley: Front Street’s colourful clutch of antique stores. They’ll be represented with their own table at Curious Flea, and visitors are encouraged to complete their day by strolling over to the shops on Front Street.
Highlights of Curious Flea include live music, a Vancouver Circus School performance, and the Battle of the Curious: a match-up of unusual items that everyone is invited to take part in. Have something jaw-droppingly weird tucked away in the back of a closet? Bring it to the flea on Saturday, June 1. The most curious object will be immortalized forever in the Curious Hall of Fame, and the winner will receive $100 to spend at the flea market. Finally, of course, there’s the food. At no other flea market can shoppers take a break from browsing to enjoy award-winning restaurants alongside a spectacular riverside view. Read more
Robyn Yager | One of the best feelings is stumbling across a treasure where and when you least expect it. Such was the recent case when I found myself inside an adorable shop in New West – Brick & Mortar Living – quite by chance. They had everything from home goods and jewelry to accessories and bars of chocolate from Vancouver’s own Beta 5. They also sell vintage pieces like luggage and other well worn goods. I was besotted by the selection and all the attention to detail. Owned by Julia Dewhurst, Emma Nash, and Jennifer Pistone, the store opened a little under a year ago (June 7th, 2013 marks their one year anniversary). What makes them particularly special is their loyalty to place. Brick & Mortar offers diverse products, mostly from BC. Even when they source farther afield, the items tend to be from within Canada. It’s clear that they have a serious love-love relationship with where they are. Check them out on your next trip to River Market!
Robyn Yager is the style reporter for Scout Magazine. She is enthused by anything out of the ordinary, loving art, striped shirts, macchiatos, classic literature and picking through thrift stores for unique treasures. Her mission is to inspire Vancouverites in their sartorial choices and to see beauty and style everywhere.
by Andrew Morrison | Chef/restaurateur Angus An of Kitsilano’s multiple award-winning Maenam restaurant is opening a new counter-service eatery called Longtail Kitchen in New Westminster’s popular River Market. An, you might recall, trained at New York’s French Culinary Institute and worked in such famed kitchens as Jo-Jo, The Ledbury, The Fat Duck, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Nahm before opening Maenam in 2009. He’s one of Vancouver’s top culinary stars. His new joint is named after Thailand’s ubiquitous, iconic, and often turbo-charged “longtail” water taxis) — a cool name that fits that address’ Fraser River waterfront location and Thai theme.
The lease was just signed this week, but it’s been in the works for many months. And it’s no wonder. Between shuttling to and from New York City where An consults at the famed Kittichai restaurant, overseeing the perennially busy Maenam, and raising a young family, An is a busy guy. You’d think opening another establishment would seem a daunting, overly complicated prospect, but he shrugs the notion off. “I wouldn’t have done this if it didn’t feel right for me,” he says. “It’s a fine balance, but I can do it comfortably.”
The 25 seat, 880 sqft Longtail will focus on sea-centric Thai street food. “Quick and easy Thai fisherman comfort food”, is how An likens it, adding that there “will be noodle dishes, fish stews and fish curries, with price points ranging from $8 to $12.” Sadly, there will be no liquor license to start off with, but the application is under way. They’ll also be trying for a sectioned-off patio (which would work beautifully with garage door frontage), but if you’ve ever been to the River Market, you already know how easy it is to take your meal outside and sit just about anywhere (the gull population mercifully appears to be about 1/50th that of Granville Island market).
Longtail is being designed as a multi-functional space. By day it will concentrate on regular service with a retail component (selling An’s signature curry sauces, spices, cookbooks, etc.) and then at night it will host cooking classes, private functions and special chef-collaborative suppers. “I’m a longtime fan of Angus’ cooking,” says Mark Shieh, the River Market’s Director. “He and I have talked a lot about the future of restaurants. One of our goals at the Market is to reconnect with food in a meaningful and playful way. Angus’ imagining of a restaurant as a multifunctional seaside kitchen is a great fit with our Food 360 approach.”
Longtail Kitchen is another big “get” for River Market (already home to Wild Rice, Re-Up, Wally’s Burger, La Grotto del Formaggio, among other food fetishist faves). Opening day is scheduled for early May, 2013.
We’ve been fans of Wild Rice since it opened way back in 2001. Over the years it has proven to be one of the most consistent restaurants in town, staying true to owner Andrew Wong’s original concept of a restaurant that was modern and open in design and outlook (both gastronomic and environmental) but true to his Chinese heritage. And as a founding member of Ocean Wise and Green Table, it has been a leader in sustainability since long before it was sexy. Behind the consistency is the chef, Todd Bright, whose passion for local product and unique preparations are deliciously evident on the plate, 7 nights a week. Wild Rice expanded this time last year by opening a new location in the revamped River Market out in New Westminister. Bright came on as a chef/partner in the new enterprise, which is to say we’re very grateful that he took time he couldn’t spare to answer the following questions…
Where did you go to school? Toowoomba, Australia.
If you had a motto, what would it be? Work hard, play harder.
What’s the thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating? I love chicken skin! I know lots of people are opposed to eating poultry skin for health reasons these days, but it’s the best part.
What ingredient grosses you out the most: We would never use this at Wild Rice, but you know what natural raspberry flavouring is made of right? Natural raspberry flavor, or castoreum, comes from the anal extracts of a North American beaver.
Default drink of choice: Beer — anything local and cold.
What are you the most proud of: I’m really proud of the team we have built at Wild Rice, and that we get to be part of the River Market renewal process.
What are you the least proud of: I’m the least proud of not being able to answer this question honestly.
Your favourite smells: Roasted chicken stock is pretty awesome.
Your least favourite smells: The smell of something burning. I hate the smell of something burning!
Your chef role models: Neil Perry, Tetsuya, and Marco Pierre White.
Your favourite sound: I really like the sound of a busy restaurant. The roar of the hood vents, sizzling pans, communication from my crew, laughter and chatter from the dining room. It’s music to my ears!
Your least favourite sound: Dropped cutlery. It pings through the entire restaurant. It’s horrible.
The best way to die: Fat, happy and with no regrets. Read more
by Claudia Chan | There’s a brand new farmers’ market in town happening in South Van and they’re scouting out farmers for the harvest season. During their six-week launch from September 15th to October 27th, 2012, the River District will be holding a market down by the waterfront on Saturdays from 10:00AM to 2:00PM. The market will take place next to the riverside, pier, restaurant and 7,000 lovely homes. It’s considered one of Vancouver’s new up in coming communities. The market features 21 vendors, as well as 4Cats Art Studio hosting children’s activities.
If you’re an artisan, a local farmer or know of one, this is an opportune moment to showcase the fruits of your labour and connect with and sell directly to the ever-growing River District community. To become a vendor or for more info, you can contact Wendy Hainstock, market manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The GOODS from Wild Rice
Vancouver, BC | Chinese New Year’s Eve, on Sunday, January 22nd, heralds the Year of the Dragon (lunar year 4710), a time when family and friends gather to celebrate with special meals the New Year’s opportunities and beginnings. Unlike in Western culture where dragons are considered evil, fire-breathing creatures; in Chinese culture the Dragon is revered as a benign, powerful, divine being – a symbol of heaven, the ‘yang’ principle (male, fire, vital energy) and China itself. In Chinese mythology, Dragons control the rain and by doing so, bestow fertility upon the land and its people. An ancient Chinese legend has it that a carp (which swim up stream to breed as do salmon), if it swims through the gate at the stream’s beginning deep under the mountains will be transformed into a Dragon. Dragons are a big deal, a very big deal and this year is the Year of the Water Dragon – an especially powerful and unpredictable Dragon. To celebrate, Wild Rice Proprietor Andrew Wong and Executive Chef Todd Bright will offer a special Year of the Dragon Menu that pays homage to the Water Dragon… Read more
The GOODS from Wild Rice
Vancouver, BC | Hankering for har gow? Desiring dumplings? Craving cha siu bao? Yearn no longer. Wild Rice Executive Chef Todd Bright, a master of the art of new-style dim sum, will be conducting three intimate cooking classes in dim-sum making at the newly opened Wild Rice in New Westminster’s River Market starting next Monday, December 5th. Subsequent classes will be held on the following two Mondays – December 12th and 19th respectively. Details after the jump… Read more
by Andrew Morrison | The new Wild Rice (aka Wild Rice Too) is only a few weeks away from opening. I toured the space at New West’s River Market with owner Andrew Wong yesterday and they’re looking very much on track. The skinny: the garage-door fronted, water-view dining area will seat 52 at square, interchangeable tables and sport a living wall of herbs and greens; the lounge will see a 12 seat bar, 3 couches, 2 armchairs and a host of low-slung coffee tables (a la the original Wild Rice on Pender); the open kitchen will include a line-fronting chef’s table of 8; and the patio – oh, the patio! – will seat about 35. Take a look. There’s clearly still a lot of work to do, but wow…
Get a load of architect Marianne Amodio’s gorgeous vision after the jump… Read more