These are the things we saw and shared on Instagram this month. Favourite moments from the road include camping at Diamond Lake and Big Sur, exploring the rim of Crater Lake, being dwarfed by Coastal Redwood trees in California’s Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, and watching whales (Humpbacks) feed off the coast of Carmel. Closer to home, we dug the new brunch program at Bestie, the gyozas at the newly opened Gyoza Bar, and returning to Bufala for one of our favourite pies on the planet — their disc of ham, pea, taleggio and truffle oil. Plus the rain. Always the rain!
The GOODS from Notturno
Vancouver, BC | October’s new menu celebrates the arrival of Autumn Italian-style with a variety of new fish, meat and vegetarian dishes, not to mention rice pudding with Italian brandy and orange crema for dessert. And what better way to toast the arrival of Fall than with whiskey? This month’s cocktail features have you covered from North America to the British Isles. Take a look at the new menu and cocktail additions and learn more about Notturno after the jump… Read more
by Michelle Sproule | The main objective of this website is to scout out and promote the things that make Vancouver such a sweet place to be. We do this with an emphasis on the city’s independent spirit to foster a sense of connectedness within and between our communities, and to introduce our readers to the people who grow and cook our food, play the raddest tunes in our better venues, create our most interesting art, and design everything from what we wear to the spaces we inhabit. The Scout List is our carefully considered, first rate agenda of super awesome things that we’re either doing, wishing that we could do, or conspiring to do this week. You can also check it out in the Globe & Mail, from our calendar to theirs…and yours!
GIG | Chan Marshall (aka “Cat Power”) is bringing her unique and bluesy, soulful, folkish, punk and sometimes electronica sound to the Vogue Theatre this Thursday night.
Thu, Oct 2 | 9:30 pm | Vogue Theatre (918 Granville St.) | $38.50 | DETAILS
PEROGIES | Nothing says Fall like extra carbs, right? Hustle over to the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral off Main St. and load your plate up with old-school Ukrainian perogies handmade by church volunteers. A “regular dinner” consisting of 6 perogies, 2 cabbage rolls, sauerkraut or salad and Ukrainian sausage costs just $12. The vegetarian version comes with 6 perigees, 3 cabbage rolls and sauerkraut. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, borscht served with rye bread is only $4.50.
Fri, Oct 3 | 5-8pm | Holy Trinity Ukrainian Cathedral (154 E 10) | $3.50 – $15 | DETAILS
DRAMA | Why not make your way out to UBC’s Frederic Wood Theatre for a spot of Shakespeare this weekend? The UBC Department of Theatre & Film presents the Twelfth Night. Cross-dressing, unrequited love, mischief, and director Stephen Heatley’s adaptation to modern day New Orleans during Mardi-Gras guarantees a fine night out.
Now to Oct. 11 | 7:30pm | Frederic Wood Theatre (6354 Crescent Rd., UBC) $24.50 | DETAILS
INDULGE | Stuff your face with artisanal breads, scones, cookies and cakes at the Bakers’ Market this weekend. Expect all manner of treats from macaroons and madeleines to cupcakes, fresh bread, and pies – we’re guessing there will be a respectable amount of pumpkin flavoured items and even a few hints of gingerbread on the scene. Lots of gluten-free and vegan options…the whole shebang. Remember to take your own containers and bags!
Sat, Oct 4 | 11am–3pm | Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre (7646 Prince Albert) | DETAILS
BOOKS | The Vancouver Antiquarian Book Fair sets up shop at UBC Robson Square this weekend. Peruse rare antiquarian books, collectible ephemera, old maps and unique prints – all with that awesome ‘old book’ smell. Expect shelves and tables full of beautifully bound, meticulously cared for and clearly respected books. If you’re a book wonk, this is also a fine place for conversation with knowledgeable dealers.
Oct 4 + 5 | Sat 11am-4pm; Sun 11am-4pm | UBC Robson Sq, 800 Robson | $8 | DETAILS
OKTOBERFEST | The best thing about October? Better than pumpkin pie and falling leaves and the beginning of hockey season? Beer. In You’re entitled and encouraged – even expected – to guzzle German pints is celebration of Oktoberfest. If you’re looking for somewhere to get in to the spirit, The Alpen Club does it right. From ‘Ohhmpah pah, classic German Schlager Songs’ to Bavarian Buffet and lounge, the club’s slogan says it best: “Real Oktoberfest by Real Germans.”
Oct 4 & 5 | Doors at 7:30pm | Vancouver Alpen Club (4875 Victoria) | $30/$80 | DETAILS
EAT | Love good street food? Good news: The Hawker’s Market goes down this Saturday night and, as always, street food will be the main draw of the evening. In addition to a fine line-up of vendors cooking up fantastic food there will also be drinks (your ticket comes with a 33 Acres Beer), music (loud and performed by BESTiE), and a large crowd of cool people looking to have a good time. Tickets are 10 beans when you grab them in advance and $15 at the door.
Sat, Oct 4 | 4pm-late | 188 Kingsway | $10/15 (includes a beer) | DETAILS
WATCH | The Vancouver International Film Festival is on and it’s big. How big? Over 350 films big. That’s almost overwhelming, right? Narrow things down by browsing by series (films are classified into a number of series such as 3D, Cinema of Our Time, BC Spotlight, Nonfiction and Special Presentations) as well as by genre and venue. Still, 350 films? That’s a lot to take in. Have a look at Scout’s ”Nine Movies You Need To Catch At VIFF“.
Now – Oct. 10 | Various Times and Locations | DETAILS
WATER’S EDGE | The Georgia Strait Alliance is an organization focused on protecting and raising awareness about the marine environment in and around the whole Strait of Georgia. In an effort to put Vancouverites in touch with the beauty and importance of the shoreline, the Alliance is hosting a city wide day of free activities that, on the water or off. Expect boat tours, canoe and kayaking, water themed art workshops, free admission to the Maritime Museum – you can even slip your hand into a Vancouver Aquarium’s mobile touch tank to feel the slimy skin of a sea cucumber. For a full list of events visit www.georgiastrait.org.
Sun, Oct 5 | 10am–5pm | Various times and locations | FREE | DETAILS
NATURE | Put those Youtube videos of rabid bats out of your head! They’re good to have in the city. They eat bugs (like mosquitos and crop killing insects), help to pollinate and disperse seeds, and they produce an amazing poop called guano that is great for your garden. Yay, bats! Head to UBC Farm this weekend for a bit of bat love. The South Coast Bat Action Team will be on site to teach you how to build a bat house and they feed you tons of information that will dispel the creepy blood-sucking stereotype. This workshop is kid-friendly and super cool.
Fri, Oct 3 (2-5pm) + Oct 4 (5-8pm) | UBC Farm (6182 South Campus Rd) | DETAILS
Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended University in Australia and the University of Victoria before receiving her graduate degree in Library Sciences from The University of Toronto. She lives in beautiful Strathcona and enjoys wandering aimlessly through the city’s streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy (but faithful) camera.
The GOODS from Pied-a-Terre, La Buca, Sardine Can, The Abbey
Vancouver, BC | Now in its ninth year, the Game and Wild Mushroom Festival takes place October 15th to November 2nd with three or four course prix fixe menus at La Buca and Pied a Terre, and daily chalkboard specials at Sardine Can and The Abbey.
Chef Andrey Durbach celebrates fall with special menus at all four restaurants featuring wild, local mushrooms, deliciously rich game meats, and other speciality foods. “This is my favourite season to cook,” Durbach says. “It’s the best time of the year for mushrooms and it’s also traditionally hunting season. It’s a time of year we turn our attention to foods that are deeply satisfying.”
The fest is a chance to taste the rich, earthy flavours of freshly picked in-season mushrooms—including chanterelle, matsutake, porcini, and black trumpet—and rarely featured game such as red deer, wild boar, and elk.
For the first time, the newly opened The Abbey joins La Buca, Pied a Terre, and Sardine Can in the annual foragers’ and food lovers’ extravaganza, with each restaurant offering unique menu items and wines to accompany them.
La Buca will feature a delectable three and four-course menu for $52 and $60 respectively. Highlights include mustard and black pepper crusted carpaccio of elk; taglierini with butter, sage, truffle, and porcini secchi; grilled venison, soft gorgonzola polenta, quince preserves, and marsala wine; and osso buco with wild mushroom risotto.
Diners at Pied a Terre, which offers a three-course menu for $52, can look forward to an assiette of red deer three ways: roast loin, grilled sausage, and braised cheeks; roast quail stuffed with foie gras and brioche; wild mushroom bouillon with quenelles of pheasant and oloroso sherry; and a frisée au lardons with wild boar bacon, poached duck egg, and mushroom crouton, among many other standout dishes. Sardine Can and The Abbey will feature extensive Game and Wild Mushroom fresh sheets. “B.C. is one of the best mushroom regions in the world,” Durbach says. “These foods also pair beautifully with intensely flavourful wines.” Read more
by Stevie Wilson | Lauded as one of Vancouver’s most popular tourist attractions, the VanDusen Gardens is a beautiful spot catering to families and flora fanatics. Opened to the public in 1975, the expansive gardens sit on Shaughnessy land that once belonged to the CPR Railway and previously operated as the Shaughnessy Golf Course. The grounds were named for lumber industrialist Whitford Julian VanDusen , a founding member of the Vancouver Foundation and a major funder of the site. The intricate gardens also include one very special feature: an Elizabethan hedge maze.
The maze is said to be one of only six of its kind in North America, and although some might say it’s best enjoyed by children, I’d have to politely disagree (I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve gotten lost in there before). Justice, Webb & Vincent Landscape Architects, the garden’s design team, featured original members of the first Vancouver firm to specialize in landscape architecture. Their multicursal labyrinth is modelled after the great English designs of the late 16th century and is comprised of 3,000 pyramidal cedars (Thuja occidentalis ‘Fastigiata’) that were planted in 1981. Bonus: an annual Easter egg hunt is held inside the maze each year.
We’ve invited Vancouver’s excellent Six Acres to join the Restaurants section of our GOODS program as a recommended place for a sip and a bite. They are now proud members of Scout, and as such we will be sharing their news and employment needs on our front page in addition to hosting a page for them in our archive of local and independent goodness. We thank them for their support and for making Vancouver a more delicious place to be.
by Sean Orr | You say “Potato”, I say “Israel”: Unreal exchange in House of Commons over Canada’s involvement in Iraq. You know you’re in trouble when Global TV uses the word “unreal” to describe your parliament. Nevertheless, if there was justice in the world, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair would get every vote possible for his beatdown of Conservative MP Paul Calandra. Macleans goes further: “They call it Question Period, not Fundamentals of Human Dignity Period…”
Update: Calandra is sorry. Really, really sorry.
The mask of Janus: Critics question use of official photographers to capture Harper’s good side. Man, a 360 degree, Matrix-style drone helicopter couldn’t capture Harper’s good side.
Potential new ex-Premier: Premier proposes name change for Temporary Foreign Worker program. “So maybe if they are overhauling the program they can change the name from temporary foreign worker to potential new Canadian…” If you work hard, swear allegiance on a stack of maple leaves, worship your new god Hockey, eat at Tim Hortons every single day, and aren’t a terrorist (that’s a big one), then maybe you can become one of us.
Malcolm X in the Middle: Vancouver Sun’s Jordan Subban photo caption sparks outrage. “Dark Guy in the Middle” sounds like a quirky premise for a sitcom. Perhaps they just meant spiritually dark and this is all just a misunderstanding…
Speaking of outrage: The new, tiresome culture of outrage. This article makes me more outraged than, say, knowing that Missouri cops are wearing ‘I am Darren Wilson’ bracelets.
City trying to close Oppenheimer Park tent city, move homeless to upscale Vancouver neighbourhood. What neighbourhood isn’t upscale compared to the DTES? “You always have to worry about tipping the balance and I think we’re getting close to tipping that balance (in False Creek)” – George Affleck (seemingly unaware that this is the exact argument used by anti-gentrification protesters).
The rich should form a counter-protest and buy up a bunch of housing and just leave them empty. Oh, wait…Vancouver’s empty, run-down million-dollar homes receiving global attention, local anger. It would suck if someone were to, oh, I dunno…leave the water running.
Meanwhile, Judge dismisses challenge of Vancouver’s street vending bylaw. So a rich person can leave an entire house empty if they are going to sell it but a poor person can’t have a garage sale on the street. Sounds about right.
UnfairBnb: Airbnb to begin collecting San Fran hotel tax. In Vancouver, only the Green Party has added an AirBnb tax to their platform. Vancouver hotels currently pay 16.5% tax; AirBnb pays 0%.
by Ken Tsui | Comedian Chris Rock once famously quipped that “after you have Popeyes, you need one of those ‘Men in Black’ memory sticks to erase your memory or else you will just keep coming back to this place every day.” I feel the same way about LA Chicken. Really, the only thing stopping me from a daily visit is the fact that it’s located in a banal strip mall buried deep in Richmond. They follow the fundamental of good fried chicken: a crispy exterior guarding a juicy, tender interior, all without being too greasy. A two piece supper complete with fries, salad, and “down home” gravy is just $10. Bonus: onion chips, McCain cake, and sun-bleached fast food decor from the 1980s.
LA Chicken | 11780 Thorpe Road | Richmond, BC | 604-278-4737 No Website
The GOODS from The Vancouver Club
Vancouver, BC| The Vancouver Club is a prestigious world class club, always looking for professionals with passion and drive to make the experience for our members second to none. The Club is now accepting applications from creative, talented individuals for the position of Line Cook. Please contact rwindsor [at] vancouverclub.ca with a resume and cover letter. Read more
by Treve Ring | Dubbed “The World’s Most Intimate Martini Bar”, the Grey Goose-commissioned camionnette van fits only two guests plus a bartender, whose express role is to create bespoke martinis based on guest tastes. The Citroen H’s exterior displays baguettes made from the same wheat used to create Grey Goose vodka, and a peep hole allows the curious/envious a boo inside at the marble, leather, bronze, etched glass, and deuce of happy imbibers. We’d previously desired something similar with wine (the Union Wine Co. truck in Portland), so why not cocktails?
The GOODS from Hawksworth
Vancouver, BC | Yesterday Michael Christiansen (pictured above) won the 2014 Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship competition, held at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver, BC. The 23-year-old, originally from Winnipeg, stood the heat of the kitchen to beat finalists from across Canada for the $10,000 prize presented by Chefs’ Table Society of BC and a stage at an international restaurant of his choosing.
During yesterday’s final, Michael cooked alongside seven other contestants – each finalist created a recipe using ingredients from the Freybe Mystery Black Box which were only revealed that morning, and presented their dishes to the panel of Canada’s most revered chef judges. Michael made it to the final three with 26-year-old Stephen Baidacoff and runner-up 24-year-old Corey Hess, who was named Le Creuset’s Rising Star.
Michael’s main dish and dessert wowed the panel of judges as both creations, including his lingcod, were exceptionally clean and well balanced. He also won points for his technical ability, judged by Hawksworth Restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine Kristian Eligh and the Chefs’ Table Society of BC President, Chef Scott Jaeger in the kitchen. Michael scored top marks from the judges during a taste test by a panel that included: Chef David Hawksworth, Chef Michel Jacob, Chef Normand Laprise, Chef Anthony Walsh, respected Canadian food writer Jacob Richler and La Presse’s restaurant critic Marie-Claude Lortie.
“The calibre of the young chefs this year has been extraordinary and all of the judges have been impressed by the dedication, passion and creativity they showed in the kitchen,” says Chef David Hawksworth. “We created this national competition to find the top young culinary talent in Canada and we’ve found it in Michael. I’d like to thank all of the judges for giving their time and sharing their expertise with these emerging chefs as well as providing them with the inspiration to take their culinary careers to the next level.
“We couldn’t have held this competition without the help of our sponsors and we’d like to thank our founding sponsor the Chefs’ Table Society of BC, the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts for providing an excellent venue and a special thanks to Freybe, GFS, The Gourmet Warehouse and Le Creuset for their generous support. We look forward to next year’s competition and unearthing more young talent across the country in 2015.” Read more
by Grady Mitchell | A short story collection is a tough enough test for a new writer, but author Michael Christie added to the challenge by centering much of his first book, The Beggar’s Garden, around the Downtown Eastside, where he had worked at an emergency shelter for six years. ”It was a place where you paid with a bad story,” Christie says. Nobody who came up to the counter was ever having a peachy day. The stories he encountered there inspired the book.
The dichotomies at play in this city make for rich storytelling. “What’s the difference between Vancouver and Victorian England?” the author asks. “Not much. We’ve got the highest echelons of society bumping right up to the lowest. It’s such a dramatic situation, and I realized I wanted to write about it.” Spinning nine different (but interrelated) stories with as many protagonists – from a Riverview patient with delusions of royalty to a computer programmer struggling in the dating world – allowed him to explore the shared traits among all facets of society, no matter how dissimilar.
“Literature can level the playing field and humanize everyone. I wanted to portray people on all levels of society struggling, being lost and trying to find connection with one another. That’s what I love about literature: it can encompass larger ideas than a simple view of poverty, or a simple view of class.”
Christie’s empathetic approach is key. He never finger-wags at his characters, nor does he romanticize their plight. While a disgruntled banker and a struggling addict face very different day-to-day challenges, they still grapple with the same issues of connection. The author tackles the intricacies of the neighbourhood with eloquence, tact, and enough skill to get the book long-listed for the 2011 Giller Prize, alongside writers like Michael Ondaatje.
Before he was a writer, Christie was a professional skateboarder. Although they seem worlds apart, he sees writing and skateboarding as similar activities. “Skateboarding is totally self-directed; there’s no coach. It’s just you, your skateboard, and the city,” he says. “Writing’s the same thing. No one tells me what I should do next.”
Although at first he faced skepticism as a skater-turned-writer, he won a spot at UBC’s MFA program, where he wrote The Beggar’s Garden as his thesis. “Now I’m a working writer,” he says. “I know it’s a luxury, and I try to remind myself everyday.”
His followup book, a novel titled If I Fall, I Die, is now done and awaiting release in January. It centers on the lives of an agoraphobic woman and her ten-year-old son, following the boy as he leaves home for the first time ever and gets enmeshed in the long-cold mystery of another missing child. To learn more, visit Mike’s website.
The GOODS from CinCin
Vancouver, BC | “It’s a natural evolution of our contemporary Italian cuisine,” says CinCin Ristorante Executive Chef Andrew Richardson.” He is referring to the installation of CinCin’s brand new Grillworks Infierno, a two-metre behemoth of aviation-grade stainless steel, replete with rear-mounted fire cages, a rotisserie capable of hoisting whole lambs, and steel crankwheels that raise and lower the massive grills above apple and alder hardwood and embers.
CinCin Ristorante will be the first restaurant in Canada to have an Infierno.
“The redesign of our kitchen has been a two-year project in concept and execution,” Richardson says. “Our wood-burning forno served us well for 25 years, but this new Grillworks system allows us twice as much room and countless more options – the opportunity to evolve our Italian menus and really use the sorcery of open fire to full advantage. The design is beautiful and intelligent – the adjustable grills mean that cooking temperatures can be controlled precisely and immediately. It’s a remarkable machine.”
Also remarkably versatile, the Infierno can rotisserie roasts, slow-fire many varieties of fish over lower temperatures at greater distance from the heat, or sear-grill prime steaks and chops quickly over very hot embers. The system also creates a “fire to feed the fire” – the rear-mounted fire cage feeds the fruit woods under the grill, combining both wood smoke and the heat of the naturally produced charcoal.
grillGrillworks hand-builds every grill in northern Michigan. The company is helmed by Ben Eisendrath, who revived his foreign correspondent father’s original Grillery® design (a favorite of James Beard himself) then elevated it to the fiery Infierno® series now found in the kitchens of celebrity chefs and restaurateurs such as Danny Meyer, Michael Chiarello, José Andrés and Dan Barber. The Wall Street Journal recently dubbed his creations “Next-level machines.”
“The real evolution at CinCin,” says Toptable Group president Michael Doyle, “will occur as we transition our menus to maximize this new cooking dynamic. It’s a whole new way of approaching our cuisine, and we are confident that our many loyal guests will enjoy it.” Read more
by Treve Ring | The first time you try Fernet Branca, you will hate it. The second time, perhaps assisted by a couple of cubes of ice, you’ll slowly start to warm to its black bitterness and mountain mint charm. The third time, you’re charmed. Your mind thinks clearer, your gut feels clearer and you’re already thinking about buying your own bottle of “the angriest of amaro”. You’ve become one of the countless that have become entranced by this special digestif, known for its healing ways since the late 19th century.
Fernet Branca | Milan, Italy | $30 for 500ml + 674119
Fernet Branca is an amaro – an Italian aromatic liqueur – concocted from 40 different herbs, including trendy St. John’s Wort (though most health tonics aren’t 80 proof / 40% alcohol). The secret recipe was created in 1845 in Milan by spice trader Bernandino Branca. Once the extracts from 4 continents are carefully blended, the heady liqueur sees 12 months in Slovenian oak barrels for balance and taming. Included in the mix are aloe, myrrh, gentian root, rhubarb, chamomile, cardamom, red cinchona bark, galanga, zedoary and saffron. Branca neat is intensely bitter, in the most positive way. I take mine with a cube or two of ice to mellow.
Pointedly herbal, with full-bodied dark bitter, complex spice and apothecary flavours it’s also employed by barkeeps as a heady base for cocktails. Enjoy it after a large meal to aid digestion, or, the following morning to help with the aftereffects. If that’s a bit too much bitterness for you, try a shot of Fernet Branca in a cup of real cola, as the Argentines do.
A newspaper advertisement from 1865 claimed this “renowned liqueur” to be “febrifuge, vermifuge, tonic, invigorating, warming and anti-choleric”, a drink which had furthermore helped the venerable Doctor Fernet (and several members of his family) to live for over a hundred years. It was also marketed as a cure for menstrual cramps, to aid digestion, impede nervous irritation, stimulate the appetite, treat troubles of the “splean,” cure anxiety, quell stomach aches and headaches, and arrest the effects of old age. The drink’s numerous medicinal claims came in handy during the American prohibition; as a medicine, Fernet-Branca was still legal.
Try a shot. Or, better yet, try three.