BOOZER: A Tutorial For Constructing Hailey Pasemko’s Delicious “Cedar Sour” Cocktail

Thinking of all the unique drinks that we sipped this year (and there were many either in competition or repose), there were several that stood out as being revelatory in their deliciousness, but few that we’d want to suffer the labour of when making them at home. One of these was the work of Hailey Pasemko, commander and chief of beverages at Whistler’s Nita Lake Lodge. The Cedar Sour sounds like it might require an axe at some stage of its construction, but after we asked Hailey to demonstrate it for us (with lovely photography by Sonya Tumuluri), we found that it was surprisingly straight-forward, and more rewarding than building a shed. Read more

Field Trip #587: An Araxi Feast In The Great Outdoors At Pemberton’s North Arm Farm…

We recently got away up to Pemberton to take in one of chef James Walt’s outdoor Araxi dinners at Jordan Sturdy’s stunning North Arm Farm. The weather was uncharacteristically cool and the sky more  dramatic than previous visits, but the food and drink (all wines from Mission Hill) stole the show.

RECEPTION

Garden Back to Eden Tomato Gazpacho
Yarrow Meadows Duck Liver Parfait with Rosemary
Tofino Dungeness Crab Roll with Cucumber Pearls
Mission Hill Martin’s Lane Riesling, 2010
Schramm Vodka Cocktails (Pemberton Valley)

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North Arm Zucchini Flowers
stuffed with Okanagan goat cheese, heirloom tomatoes
Root Down organic greens with red pepper vinaigrette
Mission Hill Perpetua, 2008

Cherry Wood Hot Smoked Barkley Sound Sockeye Salmon
roasted North Arm beets, english pea and green tomato salsa
arugula flowers with beet caviar
Mission Hill Quatrain, 2007 (magnum format)

Pemberton Meadows Natural Beef
crispy slow cooked beef cheek fritter, pepper and rosemary roasted sirloin
North Arm rainbow chard and baby carrots
Mission Hill Oculus, 2004 (magnum format)

North Arm Strawberry Ice Cream Bar
strawberry ice cream dipped in dark chocolate with chocolate crust
Agassiz hazelnut financier with Okanagan apricots
Mission Hill Late Harvest Riesling, 2005

Altogether it was a stunner of an evening, and as per usual, we’re telling the story by way of photographs with captions as memory serves (short form: it was amazing). Should you want to enjoy one of these outstanding al fresco suppers, there are two more on the horizon taking place in the very same spot. August 27th will see Araxi pair up with Naramata’s Foxtrot Vineyards and Napa’s Trefethen Family Vineyards, and then September 11th will witness chef Walt plate alongside pours from sister wineries Le Vieux Pin of Oliver and LaStella of Osoyoos. Find out how to attend here.

ARAXI SUPPER ON NORTH ARM FARM

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MORE FIELD TRIPS

Big Upcoming Events For CinCin, Araxi, West and Blue Water Cafe

November 3, 2010 

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Veteran Top Table restaurant staff have been recognised for their contributions to the Vancouver restaurant scene...

News from Scout supporters CinCin, Araxi, West, & Blue Water Café

Vancouver & Whistler, BC | Check out all the details on CinCin’s Truffle Festival, the Mayor’s Arts Award for Blue Water Cafe executive chef Frank Pabst, Neil Henderson’s return to Whistler’s Araxi, the Chefs’ Table luncheon at West and the full calendar of holiday events at each Top Table restaurant (including Araxi’s annual involvement in Cornucopia) after the jump… Read more

Araxi’s “Big Guns” Dinner Set To Return During 2010 Cornucopia

September 28, 2010 

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Araxi Restaurant is located at 4222 Village Square in Whistler, BC | 604-932-4540 | Araxi.com

News from Scout supporter Araxi

Whistler, BC | On Friday, November 12th, Whistler’s premier restaurant, Araxi, will celebrate a compelling collection of wines in an exclusive winemakers’ dinner during Cornucopia: Whistler’s Celebration of Wine and Food.

These five extraordinary wineries—four from the Napa Valley and one from Walla Walla—are all small, family-owned properties engaged in sustainable farming practices. Each of the wineries has achieved critical acclaim and international followings, and through the course of the evening, introductions to each wine will be led by winery principals, including discussion on technique and terroir. This insider’s tour of excellence in winemaking promises to be Cornucopia’s tour de force.

Executive Chef James Walt has created a distinctive five-course menu that highlights the excellence of the Pemberton Valley’s autumn harvest—alongside globally-sourced ingredients—with each plate married to these prized wines… Read more

Mountainous Foodgasms Erupt Up At “Outstanding In The Field”

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Michelle and I went up to Whistler last weekend for a wee bit of gastronomic excess with some journalists visiting from the United States (cool cats all). It was bloody hot out, so we borrowed a pretty sweet convertible for the duration, and cranked old Rolling Stones tracks all the way up, singing “Pleased to meet you, won’t you guess my name, wooo-hooo!” Good times…

After checking in at the Westin (hooray for pools), we headed straight for Araxi, this year’s critic’s choice for Best Whistler at the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. It and Bearfoot Bistro are my two Whistler reliables, as their respective chefs – Melissa Craig and James Walt – are two of the best in BC. We couldn’t get up in time to enjoy lunch at BB with the American journos, but they regaled us with tales of noon-hour excess. One of them even fell asleep at the table after the lunch had ended! I had the opportunity of being a judge when Melissa won the Canadian Culinary Championships in Toronto a few years back, so I have pretty good idea as to the excellence of what we missed. Sigh…it sounded fantastic, like a fisherman’s “one that got away” tale. There’s always next time…

The 10 of us – happily received in Araxi’s private room by GM Steve Edwards – were led through five courses prepared by James and his crew (including recently minted sous chef Owen Lightly). Several of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life have been enjoyed in that room, and this one was definitely in the running. It began with a tiny, Caprese-esque salad of GME heirloom tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, basil sorbet, gazpacho vinaigrette and nasturtiums, crescendo-ed with a plate of Pemberton Meadows shortribs that had been cooking for 72 hours, and finished with white chocolate-pistachio nougat glacé dealt by pastry chef Aaron Heath. Wine Director (and charmer) Samantha Rahn made some great and sometimes brave pairing moves – like saddling the beef up to a seven year old Austrian Gruner Veltliner – but…if I can channel Hopper for a sec, it was pure poetry, man…poetry. Here’s the menu… Read more

Top Table Staff Win Accolades As Major Anniversaries Near…

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Veteran Top Table restaurant staff have been recognised for their contributions to the Vancouver restaurant scene...

News from Scout supporters CinCin, Araxi, West, & Blue Water Café

Vancouver & Whistler, BC | Fresh on the heels of an unprecedented 17 awards garnered at the recent Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, Top Table team members will be recognized with two more accolades.

On September 27th, executive chef Frank Pabst of Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar, and restaurant director Brian Hopkins of West, will be inducted into the British Columbia Restaurant Hall of Fame. These awards signal those “who have demonstrated exceptional professionalism working in the restaurant industry by making their restaurant a special experience.”

The BC Restaurant Hall of Fame was founded six years ago by the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association, and annually honours “the greats” of the province’s culinary community. Jack Evrensel, proprietor of Top Table Group (and 2007 inductee) said, “This is a true distinction and a great honour for Frank and Brian, as well as being a real credit to the other team members in their respective restaurants.” Read more

Top Table Eateries Win Big At The Van Mag Restaurant Awards

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CinCin, Araxi, West, and Blue Water Cafe take home awards at the 2010 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards

News from Scout supporters CinCin, Araxi, West, & Blue Water Café

Vancouver & Whistler, BC | We are pleased to share with you that Top Table restaurants were recognized an unprecedented 17 times at the 21st annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards held Tuesday, May 18th at the Sheraton Wall Centre. A panel of 19 judges acknowledged Araxi, Blue Water Cafe, CinCin and West, before a standing-room only audience of British Columbia’s leading restaurateurs, chefs and service professionals. Read more

Top Table’s New Awards, Spring Menus And Upcoming Events…

Keep up with award-winning Top Table restaurants CinCin, Araxi, West, and Blue Water Cafe at TopTable.ca

News from Scout supporters CinCin, Araxi, West, and Blue Water Café

Vancouver + Whistler, BC | Top Table restaurants were successful again this year at the annual Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival Wine List Awards. Convened on Friday, April 23rd at a luncheon to kick off the final weekend of the 32nd festival, Blue Water Cafe and West won two of only three Platinum Awards, while CinCin won one of five Gold Awards, and Araxi, Silver.

The Wine List Awards draw upon restaurants from across British Columbia and Alberta, with judging criteria measuring each restaurant’s wine program philosophy and how successfully wine and food pairing goals match it. Further criteria include the quality of wine education for staff, an accessible and user-friendly list, and the provision of value at all price points.

We would also like to congratulate Owen Knowlton, wine director of West, who was nominated for Sommelier of the Year, a distinction awarded to Blue Water Cafe’s Andrea Vescovi in 2009 and Chris Van Nus in 2007.

Top Table’s wine libraries are also perennial recipients of the ‘Best of’ Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine. Read more

Top Table Restaurants On The Most Romantic Night Of The Year

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Award-winning Top Table restaurants CinCin, Araxi, West, and Blue Water Cafe are celebrating Earth Hour

News from Scout supporters CinCin, Araxi, West, and Blue Water Café

Vancouver + Whistler, BC | Like yours, our Olympic memories are rife with wonderful individual moments and the spirit that celebrated excellence at every turn. We enjoyed a great mix of our regulars and locals at each of our restaurants – Araxi in Whistler, and Blue Water Cafe, CinCin, and West in Vancouver – along with many visitors, royals and celebrities of an extraordinary diversity. Read more

Bearfoot Bistro Owner Gets Set to Defend His World Record…

February 23, 2010 

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Bearfoot Bistro is located at 4121 Village Green in beautiful Whistler, BC | 604-932-3433 | www.bearfootbistro.com

News from Scout supporter Bearfoot Bistro

Whistler, BC | If champagne sabering were an Olympic event, Bearfoot Bistro owner André Saint-Jacques would have to trade in his gold for silver. Just as Mr. Saint-Jacques prepared to fête Olympic Medalists by sabering a celebratory jeroboam bottle of Moët et Chandon Brut Impérial, comes word that a South African barman has successfully challenged his title for sabering the most bottles of champagne in one minute. Read more

Moët Jeroboams To Flow During Games At “Bearfoot Bistro”

February 12, 2010 

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Bearfoot Bistro is located at 4121 Village Green in beautiful Whistler, BC | 604-932-3433 | www.bearfootbistro.com

News from Scout supporter Bearfoot Bistro

Whistler, BC | At Whistler’s legendary Bearfoot Bistro, every night is a celebration, and as the resort town gets set to throw its biggest party ever, Bearfoot Bistro’s convivial owner André Saint-Jacques is primed to play host. Get all the details after the jump… Read more

WINTER VODKA LAND AT BEARFOOT BISTRO’S NEW BELVEDERE ICE ROOM

February 11, 2010 

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Bearfoot Bistro is located at 4121 Village Green in beautiful Whistler, BC | 604-932-3433 | www.bearfootbistro.com

News from Scout supporter Bearfoot Bistro

Whistler, BC | Stepping off the slopes into Whistler’s Bearfoot Bistro? Après-ski will take on a new twist this winter as Canada’s first sub-zero vodka room opens at Whistler’s Best Restaurant. The Bearfoot Bistro’s new Belvedere Ice Room is a sleek space where guests can step up to the ice bar and sample a range of 50 vodkas from around the world. This cold-as-ice room opens just in time for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and replaces the Bistro’s former Cigar Lounge. Connoisseurs keep warm, while looking oh-so chic in the -18 degree C temperature, wearing Canada Goose down parkas and winter hats.

The Belvedere Ice Room menu features suitably chilled partner plates of gravadlax, oysters and caviar with vodkas from Russia, Poland, France, Sweden, the Czech Republic, United States, and even neighbouring Pemberton, British Columbia to name a few. Guests will be served flights of vodka to sample and sip in an arctic ambience as music blasts the foreground. Behind the frozen bar the standout spirit is showcased in individual ice sculpted display boxes. Read more

Top Table Restaurants Opening Doors And Corks To Medalists

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Award-winning Top Table restaurants CinCin, Araxi, West, and Blue Water Cafe to pop corks for Olympic medalists

News from Scout supporters CinCin, Araxi, West, and Blue Water Café

Vancouver & Whistler, BC | Winning an Olympic medal is no easy feat. The road is long, the sacrifices many, and the support structures that enable athletes to reach the podium are elaborate. But ask an Olympic athlete the key to their success, and the reply is almost always, “My family and friends.”

Araxi in Whistler, and Blue Water Cafe, CinCin, and West in Vancouver, will salute winning athletes during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics by helping them toast family and friends at the restaurants’ bars with a complimentary bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte champagne.

“We want to congratulate the bronze, silver and gold medalists from all countries, and give them the opportunity to toast those closest to them, that took them to the pinnacle of their sport,” said Jack Evrensel, proprietor of Top Table. “Top Table is all about teamwork, and so are the endeavours of Olympic athletes – this is a simple way to show our appreciation.”

Medalists: Reserve in advance through Top Table’s restaurant directors, bring your medal, and the bubbles will begin to flow. Read more

Top Table Cookbook Collection From Vancouver’s Top Toques

December 1, 2009 

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Purchase signed copies of all three Top Table cookbooks (West, Araxi, Blue Water Cafe) this holiday season

News from Scout supporters West, Blue Water Cafe, and Araxi

From the good folks at Top Table comes word of a gift set – “an inscribed collection of the year’s top cookbooks” – just in time for the holidays. More after the leap… Read more

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