by Andrew Morrison | There have been rumblings about this for several months, but today it’s official. As of this morning, the Aquilini Group is now in full possession of Toptable, the collection of eateries developed over the past 33 years by legendary Vancouver restaurateur Jack Evrensel. The official announcement will be released to the media this afternoon.
Evrensel opened some of the most successful and impactful eateries we’ve ever had. These included them Araxi (Whistler) in 1981, CinCin in 1990, Blue Water Cafe and West in 2000 (two months apart), and Thierry in 2011. Many of Vancouver’s top bartenders, servers, sommeliers, managers, and chefs honed their skills under the Toptable umbrella – so many that they’re hard to count. And the staff they currently have on payroll are some of the best in the business.
“Our team has never been stronger nor this rich in talent,” Evrensel is quoted as saying in the official news release that is coming out this afternoon. He attributes this to the commitment and passion of the company’s “award-winning chefs, renowned restaurant and wine directors, and dedicated employees,” but at least some of the credit needs to be pointed his way. I’ve seen perhaps one of two restaurateurs in my life who are as dedicated to the higher standards of hospitality. What has set Jack apart, however, has been his penchant for managing from the background. There’s never been any personal glory-basking or attention-seeking. In all the years that I’ve been reporting on restaurants, I’ve managed to take his photo just once, at an Araxi long table supper on Pemberton’s North Arm Farm several years ago (see above). I remember him shifting his weight to one leg and tilting his head as if to say, “Aw, c’mon” like a little kid. I trust that he’s doing that right now as he reads this.
Evrensel will stay for the next three months in a consulting role to help manage the transition, and operations will continue as normal. On the phone yesterday, he couldn’t tell me what he was going to do after that. “I really don’t know. I’ve never really had a five year plan. I go with the flow. I’m at peace. I don’t know the future, and that’s the way I like it.”
I don’t expect the Aquilini Group – a real estate, development, renewable energy, sports, and entertainment behemoth - will mess around with a good thing. The managers currently in place at every Toptable property are at the top of their game, so the maintenance of the status quo sounds ideal.
All I know for certain is that Jack deserves a round of applause, not only for a long career of excellence, but also for finding and locking down the one deep-pocketed buyer who could afford to take his considerable life’s work off his hands.
Terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
Though Scout is decidedly Vancouver-centric, we often adventure north up the Sea To Sky highway for kicks. Whistler offers so much more than just the slopes its famous for, and both Squamish and Pemberton are magnetic small communities that seduce with incomparable scenery and genuine character. Each town (and the wild spaces in between) is an essential facet of the complete British Columbian experience, and we encourage our readers to get out there and explore each of them.
Right now we see the red of the Peak 2 Peak gondola; the tri-colour of the Whistler Mountaineer train; the peak of Blackcomb when it catches the last rays of the sunset (five colours); drooping epiphytic moss on the trees surrounding Alice Lake; the freezing Vodka Room at Bearfoot Bistro; the tri-colour of the exterior of Nita Lake Lodge; Australian green and gold; charger plates at Araxi; turquoise meltwater off Squamish; and a turkey vulture’s pink head.
BRIGHTLY COLOURED JACKETS FALLING DOWN MOUNTAINS
AN OPEN AIR OBSERVATION CAR ON THE WHISTLER MOUNTAINEER
THE LONG, DEEP “WUP WUP WUP” ECHO OF RESCUE HELICOPTERS
TOURS OF WHISTLER BREWING COMPANY
GREAT STACKS TO BROWSE AT ARMCHAIR BOOKS
PLAYING “AVOID THE BEAR” ON THE 40KM WHISTLER VALLEY TRAIL
DAWN SKINNY DIPPING AT ALICE LAKE
MASS CAVORTING AT THE CORNUCOPIA FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
EXCELLENT FARMER’S MARKETS IN BOTH SQUAMISH & WHISTLER
STELLAR’S JAYS WAKING CAMPERS UP WITH HIGH PITCHED SCREECHES
A LITTLE SNAKE RUN & MELLOW BOWL AT THE WHISTLER SKATEPARK
GLACIAL POWDER BEACH CAMPING ON THE SQUAMISH VALLEY CAMPGROUND
CALM CANOEING ON ALTA LAKE
2,500+ AUSTRALIANS WHO HAVE LEARNED HOW TO TIP
OLYMPIC LEGACY CABINS AT PORTEAU COVE
THE PRETTIEST HOLE IN CANADIAN GOLF (14TH AT FURRY CREEK)
VINYL HUNTING AT KELLY’S ECLECTIBLES
OUTSTANDING IN THE FIELD SUPPERS AT NORTH ARM FARM
16OZ DELMONICO STEAKS AT SIDECUT
BIG GUNS SUPPERS AT ARAXI
HOT STUMPTOWN COFFEE & COCONUT BANANA LOAF AT PUREBREAD
FIVE COURSE TASTINGS AT BEARFOOT BISTRO
BREAKFAST BURRITOS AT ZEPHYR CAFE
BANGERS & MASH AT THE PONY
PRE-SLOPE WARM UP AT LIFT COFFEE
VEGGIE BURGERS AT WILDWOOD BISTRO
PINTS OF GUINNESS AT THE DUBH LINN GATE
DEEP FRIED CHEESECAKE AT HOWE SOUND BREWPUB
SMOKED SALMON EGGS BENEDICT AT FERGIE’S CAFE
SCHRAMM ORGANIC GIN FROM PEMBERTON DISTILLERY
- The great granite monolith known as the Grand Wall of the Stawamus Chief was first climbed in 1961 by Jim Baldwin and Ed Cooper. It took them 40 days to get to the top.
- Pemberton Distillery’s Lorien Schramm was named after the fair forest realm of the Elves in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings.
- Bearfoot Bistro chef Melissa Craig won the country’s biggest cooking competition, the Canadian Culinary Championships, in 2008.
- Squamish’s Britannia Mine produced 56 million tons of copper in its 70 years of operation from 1904.
- The “Sea To Sky” highway from Horseshoe Bay to Whistler is considered one of the most beautiful drives in the world.
- Whistler was named after the call of the Hoary Marmot, North America’s largest (and loudest) ground squirrel.
- Australians make up a third of the workforce at Whistler Blackcomb.
The GOODS from Araxi
Whistler, BC | In its quest to continually raise the culinary bar, Araxi – Whistler’s leader in exemplary food, wine and hospitality – has introduced a dedicated Oyster Bar just in time for the Whistler Film Festival.
As skiers and riders take their final turns of the day on Whistler Blackcomb, an elevated après ski experience awaits at Araxi’s new Oyster Bar. Every afternoon from 3:00 to 5:00 pm, guests can enjoy a platter of fresh-shucked oysters for $15.00 while they unwind in Araxi’s warm yet contemporary setting. Experienced oystermen Patrick Cantin-Gayton and James Tims, who shuck up to a thousand oysters every evening, will also explain the subtle differences from a list that counts up to a dozen varieties delivered fresh daily.
Sleek in design and clad in stainless steel with a classic marble countertop, the Oyster Bar is located adjacent to Araxi’s bar and lounge. A convivial place to meet locals and fellow travelers, or to simply enjoy recommended oyster and wine pairings, Araxi’s Oyster Bar is open late and also provides an oyster du jour special from 10:00 pm to midnight. Read more
The GOODS from Fort Berens Winery
Lillooet, BC | The Fort Berens Estate Winery team is back from their recent adventure to Whistler with some great news. Their 2012 Chardonnay picked up the distinguished title of “White Wine of the Year” at Cornucopia, an annual celebration of food and wine, which was held in Whistler Nov. 7-17th.
Winery co-owner Heleen Pannekoek, who accepted the award on behalf of the Fort Berens team, is absolutely thrilled. Pannekoek explained, “Winning White Wine of the Year at Cornucopia is a huge honour for our team. We founded the winery in 2009, and to win such an important award so early on in our winemaking career shows us we are on the right path. We were so pleased to learn that our Chardonnay won amongst so many other amazing white wines.”
Pannekoek continued, “This award is very special for us for another reason as well. Our 2012 Chardonnay is our first 100% estate grown Chardonnay. This award is confirmation that the terroir in Lillooet is well suited to growing top-quality Chardonnay. Our vineyard team has done a fantastic job of nurturing the vines to maturity and that care is reflected in the 2012 vintage.” For more information on the wine and award, visit here and keep reading after the jump… Read more
The highly anticipated Cornucopia is on the immediate horizon and we can’t wait. It’s the ultimate Fall festival for those who love food, wine, and good times, offering something for everybody with winery dinners, craft beers and spirits, themed food and drink events, interactive seminars, and electric after parties. This year, Cornucopia is even more abundant, running for 11 sumptuous, consecutive days with a diverse range of new events, including the Nourish series focusing on sustainable lifestyle choices. Key events this year include:
House Party: Best of BC – November 7 | Now established as one of the hottest events of the year, House Party combines live music with local foods and domestic wines. Featuring the best of ‘local’ talent in music, food and wine, we invite you to Our House; a party of epic proportions. Indulge in BBQ from our backyard, home-grown vodka, micro-brewed beer and much more from our land of plenty.
CRUSH Gala Grand Tasting – November 8 & 9 | Do you ever look at a wine list and wish you could taste it all? At CRUSH, we help you do just that. The flagship tasting event of Cornucopia, CRUSH creates a vibrant atmosphere to sip, sample and savour your way through dozens of wineries. From New-World to Old-World, Sparkling to Champagne, you may just discover your new favourite gem, or ten! CRUSH is conveniently held over 2 nights – Friday Nov. 8th & Saturday Nov. 9th , in the Sea to Sky Ballroom of the Whistler Conference Centre, and although there is no food included, there will be small tidbits available to complement the wines. Attendees are asked to eat prior to the tasting so as not to over-imbibe, and to be able to appreciate the wines to their fullest extent.
Top 25 Celebratory Reception – November 9 | It takes a lot to be the best. Especially amongst winners. Our panel of expertly trained palates sipped, sampled, savoured and sometimes swallowed a breath-taking number of individually incredible wines to bring you the best of the best. The Top 25 of the Cornucopia line-up will be announced and unveiled at this magnificent tasting gala. Lucky ticket holders will have a chance to sample the wines that made the cut and represent the best of Cornucopia’s offerings paired with the Dairy Farmer’s of Canada’s award winning cheeses.
Cornucopia Night Market: A Taste of Asia – November 10 | Straight from the streets of Shanghai and Shinjuku, Cornucopia presents the second annual Night Market, focusing on incredible Asian cuisine from across the globe. Demonstrating the wonderful adaptability of wines, beers and liquors, we invite you to enjoy this fun-filled evening in a casual yet refined environment emulating an Asian-style night noodle market. Sample different beverages with pan-Asian cuisine to experience the magic in matching with exotic and creative fare. A truly gastronomic experience for the discerning palate.
House Party: Best of Argentina – November 15 | Start the weekend at this rousing party featuring some of the most celebrated wines from Argentina alongside local craft beers and spirits from BC distilleries. Enjoy mouthwatering and meaty bites prepared by the Four Seasons Whistler Resort’s SideCut Restaurant. A DJ will spin tunes and the vibe will be festive, so bring your appetite for good times.
Indulge – November 16 | Hosted in the Emerald Ballroom at the Westin Resort and Spa (host sponsor of the event), the funds raised during the evening support the Whistler Health Care Foundation to enhance the provision of health care in Whistler and neighbouring Sea to Sky communities. The night also celebrates and acknowledges sponsors, donors and volunteers who have supported the Foundation throughout the year. Over the last 6 years, Indulge has raised almost $350,000 for the Foundation. Guests are welcomed on a red carpet to a champagne reception followed by a four course dinner. Each course is carefully paired with selected wines sponsored by some of the most celebrated domestic and international wineries. The experience is enhanced by a silent auction, with items generously donated by the local business and artist community. Sparkling jewelry, local art, restaurant and adventure certificates, and exclusive getaway trips are all up for grabs during the evening. There’s always something for everyone on the auction tables.
There are, of course, dozens upon dozens of other things to do while attending Cornucopia. For a complete listing of all the events, parties, dinners, seminars and courses that celebrate the best of food and drink from Whistler and beyond, click here. Be sure to also follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr. See you up there starting November 7th!
The GOODS from Market by Jean-Georges
Vancouver, BC | For one night only, two iconic dining establishments will be switching venues. On Saturday, November 9, MARKET by Jean-Georges will be taking over the dining room at the Bearfoot Bistro, while on Wednesday, November 13 the Bearfoot Bistro team will be packing up their things and moving into MARKET. Each restaurant will be serving up an exclusive four-course tasting menu featuring the best of the season for $78.00.
The evening was inspired by a glass of wine and conversation between Bearfoot Bistro founder André Saint-Jacques and MARKET restaurant manager David Auer. “At the Bearfoot Bistro we are always looking to be innovative and have fun. I have always been a great fan of Jean-Georges and have had the pleasure of dining at many of his restaurants around the world. Partnering with the MARKET in this crazy idea seemed like a natural fit,” says Saint-Jacques from the Bearfoot Bistro.”
“From the chefs, furniture, front-of-house team and bartenders, each of our restaurants are planning to take this opportunity to be playful and have some fun,” says Auer from MARKET by Jean-Georges. “The plan is to recreate our respective restaurants so that from the moment you walk in the door to the moment you leave, you will think you are in a different place. The switch is a perfect way for us to be able to share our amazing MARKET experience to a different audience in a different place.”
Chef de Cuisine Montgomery Lau from MARKET by Jean-Georges is planning to feature the “Best of MARKET” for the restaurant swap. Jean-Georges’ signature ‘vibrant cuisine’ – a reflection of classic French training, 10 years spent in Asia and the Culinary Concepts’ philosophy of ‘global in reach, local in content’ – features intense flavours and textures resulting from the use of vegetable juices and fruit essences, light broths and herbal vinaigrettes. Executive Chef Melissa Craig has established herself as one of the top names in Canadian cuisine. Commanding a large kitchen devoted to sourcing the best ingredients from home and abroad, Chef Craig’s vision is both approachable and cutting edge. For the night’s tasting menu, Melissa will be featuring classic Bearfoot Bistro favourites inspired by the local harvest season. 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. From our calendar to yours…
VICE | Vice Magazine’s annual photo issue is standard issue amazing. This year, they’ve taken a new approach that sees photographers partnered with other ‘creatives’ to come up with collaborative contributions. In order to promote the awesome results, Vice is throwing a party and photo show at East Van Studio this week. The event features DJ Mish Way of White Lung with refreshments provided by Vancouver Urban Winery. Everything is free. All you have to do is RSVP (19+) here.
Wed, July 31st | 7-11pm | EastVan Studio (870 E Cordova St) from 7-11pm | DETAILS
ART | The Yellow Crane Festival of Art and Design happens on Granville Island this weekend. It’s (literally) a demonstration of the creative process in action as Emily Carr University students and alumni work on projects and pieces – everything from ceramics and book arts to paintings and mixed-media sculptures – in open studios, doing their thing while onlookers observe. Swing down to get a better feel for what is involved in the artistic process. It’s an interactive gig, too. Ask questions, get your hands dirty, take pictures, and buy what you like.
Thu, Aug. 1 – Sun, Aug. 4 | 11am-4pm | Yellow Crane – Granville Island | DETAILS
BACK TO THE FUTURE | The forecast calls for a sprinkling of rain on Friday, so take shelter with an evening at the movies. The Rio Theatre is screening Back To The Future at midnight. Grab yourself some popcorn and a crisp beer and settle in for some time travel adventure. Extra points for film-related costumes, so dig out that old puffy vest, plaid shirt, and Calvin Klein underwear.
Fri, August 2 | 11pm | Rio Theatre (1660 E Broadway) | $8/$6 | DETAILS
ENGAGE | The Powell Street Festival spreads across Oppenheimer Park this weekend. This annual celebration of Japanese Canadian arts, culture and heritage features everything that you’d expect at a fantastic community festival: dance, music, martial arts demos, craft vendors, traditional Japanese food and a freakin’ sumo tournament! This is 37th year that the Festival has been going on. In that time, it has grown from a small community event to a full-blown arts and culture festival that attracts thousands of visitors. Note: don’t drive to this event, as parking will be a bitch. Hop on the bus. The #14 Hastings takes you right there. Have a look at our photos from last year here.
Sat, August 3 + Sun, August 4 | 11:30am – 7pm | Oppenheimer Park | Free | DETAILS
PRIDE | It’s Pride time people. There are oodles of celebratory events going down this week. As always, the big ticket event is the parade. Beginning at 11am this Sunday, the Vancouver Pride Parade travels along Robson street to Denman, down Denman to Beach Avenue, ending at Sunset Beach (where a proper pride party takes place). For all the juicy bits (dance parties, beer gardens, outdoor markets and live entrainment) leading up to the main event and the full scoop on parade details – skip over to the Pride site here. This deal attracts in excess of 650,000 people, so keep that in mind. Leave the car at home and take lots of good, respectful energy with you.
Sun, Aug. 4 | 11am to 6pm | Everywhere around Davie/Denman/English Bay | Free | DETAILS
INDULGE | Whether you’re craving gourmet popsicles, small batch ice cream, exotic (or just plain weird) gelato flavours or kick-ass ice cream sandwiches, Vancouver has some solid offerings on the frozen dessert front these days. Take some time this week to familiarize yourself with your options. Glenburn Soda Fountain and Confectionery in Burnaby Heights is a good place to start. Glenburn has the feel of a tiny 50′s soda shop and a nostalgic menu to match. Milkshakes, malts, Rickeys, egg creams, floats and sundaes – they’ve got all the old fashioned sweet tooth bases covered. Highlights of a recent visit included Funky Monkey ice cream (that’s a banana base with fudge brownie pieces and a caramel swirl for $4), a tall chocolate malted ($7) and a chocolate sundae ($5.50). It’s summer, so celebrate that! Glenburn Soda Fountain and Confectionery is open Tuesday – Wednesday, 1-8pm, Thursday – Saturday 1-9pm and Sunday 2-8pm.
Glenburn Soda Fountain and Confectionery | 4090 Hastings St. | DETAILS
JAMCOUVER | Sunset Beach is the place to be on Saturday. Take provisions (sunscreen, bathing suit, food and water) because starting at 10am you can catch a show of 60 pro skateboarders negotiating a street course as they compete for a $10,000 prize. That’s hardly a ‘small-potatoes’ purse. This is going to be a fine show of ability. Even if you’re not a skateboarder, sit and indulge in a fine display of grace, gnarl and skill. Also expect vendor booths, live music, giveaways and generally rad vibes. This is a family-friendly event appropriate for all ages. Linger into the evening and catch the Celebration of Light.
Saturday, August 3 | 10am-7pm | Sunset Beach | Free | DETAILS
CHILL | Cates Park is a beautiful North Shore waterfront green space worth a visit in its own right, but if it (and it’s adjoining beach) weren’t enough to get you there, how about the fact that it has free public concerts on Saturdays? Take a picnic basket or load up at the on-site Wally Burger concession (think Chuck Wagon burgers, yam fries and chocolate milkshakes). This week you can look forward to local bands Oh Village, Old Mare and Melissa Endean. Music begins in the late afternoon and continues until about 7pm.
Sat, August 3 | 4 – 7 pm | Cates Park 4141 Dollarton Hwy, North Van | Free | DETAILS
EAT LOCAL |Don’t take your local Farmers Market for granted. The day will come when those hard working framers will pack up and retreat back to the cold, winter rains and you’ll be sorry you didn’t get to more markets. Grab locally grown produce from good people at your neighbourhood farmer’s market. Main Street on Wednesday rocks!
Trout Lake Farmers Market | Saturday | 9am-2pm | Duh, Trout Lake
Kitsilano Farmers Market | Sunday | 10am–2pm | 2690 Larch @ 10th
West End Farmers Market | Saturday | 9am-2pm | 1100 Block Comox
Main Street Thornton Park | Wednesday | 3pm–7pm | Main Street Station at Terminal
UBC: Saturdays | 9-1 | UBC Farm | FREE (but make a donation – they needs the support)
Dundarave: Saturdays | 9am–2pm | Dundarave Village
Ambelside: Sundays| 9am–2pm | Ambleside – parking lot beside Police Station (off of Bellevue/13)
SEA-TO-SKY | Pack up and hit the Sea To Sky highway this weekend. Start in West Vancouver at The Harmony Arts Festival for a cold lemonade and a wander through the craft market showcasing loads of one-of-a-kind pottery, jewellery, textiles, woodwork and glass designs all made by locals. Next, head to Squamish for Squamish Days and the awesome Loggers Sports Festival. Not only will there be bed racing, chair carving and a pancake breakfast, but there will also be axe throwing, tree topping and something called the campfire showdown. There’s plenty to eat in Squamish (in addition to loads of festival food, because Saturday is Farmers Market Day), but save your appetite. Further up the Sea-to-Sky in Whistler you will find the The Bull’s-Eye Canadian National BBQ Championships. That’s three days of BBQ-related activities in various locations around town, the highlight of which will be the ‘Whole Lotta Ribs / Whole Lotta Led’ all-you-can-eat rib dinner and Led Zeppelin’ cover band at Dusty’s Bar. Finish your trip off with a Long Table dinner set outdoors at Whistler’s beautiful Lost Lake with Chef James Walt of Araxi. It’s a stunner of a setting and Chef Walt is a genius with local ingredients.
HARMONY ARTS FESTIVAL | August 2-11 | Ambleside, West Van | Free | DETAILS
SQUAMISH DAYS | August 1-5 | DETAILS
BULL’S EYE BBQ, WHISTLER | August 2-4 | DETAILS
ARAXI LONG TABLE, WHISTLER | Saturday, August 3 | $175 | DETAILS
Check the Globe & Mail every Thursday for our Special Weekend Edition of the Scout List
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 shops and streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy, and uncooperative camera.
by Alexa Harder | Vancouver’s a sweet place to call home, but taking a break from city life and heading somewhere a little more relaxed is often necessary in the summer. Whistler undeniably fits the laissez-faire bill, plus it’s one of the most beautiful natural playgrounds around, conveniently located just an hour and a half away from the city with a ton of cool stuff going on. To get you excited and up there, Scout has curated a list of Whistler’s most awesome summer larks. So hop on a bus, get in your car (less preferable), or hitch a ride (least preferable) and do some (or all) of the cool stuff we’ve listed below… Read more
The GOODS from Araxi
Whistler, BC | As summer approaches, we near another exciting season featuring Araxi’s famed Longtable Series. This year, we are pleased to announce a new location as part of the series – in addition to Lost Lake in Whistler and North Arm Farm in Pemberton, Araxi’s Longtable dinner is also coming to Stanley Park in Vancouver! The striking long table has a capacity of 300 people, and guests will have an opportunity to experience Araxi right in the heart of the city.
Award-winning Executive Chef James Walt will craft an exclusive four-course menu, showcasing his internationally recognized farm-to-table creations. Chef James celebrates locally sourced ingredients, and has built close relationships with the regional farming and ranching communities. As part of this year’s Longtable Series, an exclusive Farmers’ Market will be on site at the Vancouver and Whistler events, allowing guests to meet the producers and taste Chef James’ favourite ingredients in their raw form. Participating suppliers will include, amongst others, Root Down Organics and Pemberton Meadows Natural Beef. Guests attending the event at North Arm Farm can look forward to a guided farm tour with proprietor Jordan Sturdy.
Chef James says, “We are very excited about expanding our Longtable series into Vancouver, and offering three very special settings to choose from this summer. We look forward to introducing our guests to our valued producers and showcasing the vibrant flavours of BC’s harvest.”
Samantha Rahn, Araxi’s Wine Director and 2013 Sommelier of the Year, has invited some of the region’s top winemakers to partner for each dinner, giving guests an opportunity to meet and mingle with the industry’s finest talents. Each event will begin with a cocktail reception, followed by a magical family-style dinner thoughtfully paired with select BC wines.
A percentage of ticket sales will go to The Chef’s Table Society of BC, supporting regional chefs, producers and the local food industry. Get all the details and dates after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Araxi
Whistler, BC | A passionate sommelier and world traveler, Araxi Wine Director Samantha Rahn has won the Vancouver International Wine Festival’s 2013 Sommelier of the Year Award. Nominated from the top sommeliers in British Columbia and Alberta, and voted on by a wide cross-section of industry professionals, the award represents the highest level of achievement in Western Canada.
Samantha exemplifies the modern sommelier in her approach to tasting, sourcing, and educating our staff and guests. With formal training from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, and over 15 years of hospitality experience, Samantha is well known for procuring exciting, value-driven wines to complement Araxi’s extensive cellars.
“We are absolutely delighted that Samantha has been recognized,” said Toptable Group proprietor Jack Evrensel. “Samantha is enormously talented, and passionate in ensuring the enjoyment of every guest whom she serves. This award, coming on the heels of the VIWF Gold Wine List Award for Araxi, is truly representative of a very dedicated professional.” Read more
Digging the hell out of these chukka boots from BC’s own Love Jules Leather, a sweet garage op doing made-to-order shoes in Whistler…
A meeting in the middle of my Sperry Topsider style loafers & custom hightops. A product of versatility, these kicks look great dressed up or down, with pants or shorts. Hand everything – cut, stitched, etched & finished by the two of us (Jules & Josh) in our garage based Whistler, B.C., Canada studio. Extremely high quality 6/7 oz tan bullhide, gold brass eyelets (and boot hooks), waxed white thread details, lined with a tan bullhide swede.The inside side panel is a classic blue jean denim. Technical (new) white rubber boat sole, hand stitched, and waxed brown laces. The shoes pictured are a size 9.5 mens, though your pair will be CUSTOM made on order. Available sizes range from 6 mens (7.5 womens) to 13.
The GOODS from CinCin, Araxi, West, & Blue Water Café
Vancouver & Whistler, BC | This autumn we are pleased to present five extraordinary wine dinners at Araxi, Blue Water Cafe, CinCin and West. Our award-winning chefs will craft multi-course tasting menus to complement each evening’s progression of wines. Senior representatives from select wineries will speak to the history and terroir of their estates and winemaking methods. Get all the details on these unmissable evenings after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Araxi
Whistler, BC | As a greatly anticipated annual event, this year’s Big Guns: Icons of the Wine World dinner will feature a spectacular collection of highly rated, rare and collectible wines. On Friday November 9th, seven stellar wineries from the world’s top wine regions will come together at Araxi for an exclusive one-off dinner event. Each critically acclaimed wine has been thoughtfully hand-selected by Wine Director Samantha Rahn, in order to deliver a truly unforgettable tasting experience.
“This year the wines I have selected represent complexity and finesse,” says Rahn. “We want to open our guests’ eyes and palates to some truly unique expressions of grape varieties and diverse regions in a mix of old world and new, tradition and innovation, rule breakers and trend-setters.”
Araxi Executive Chef James Walt will create a bespoke seven-course menu that showcases the excellence of Canadian produce, with standout dishes including Wild Mushroom and Local Beef Cheek Ravioli topped with generous shavings of White Alba Truffles. Guest will be treated to a parade of striking flavours such as Northern Divine Caviar, White Grace Cheese from Salt Spring Island and a tasting of Pemberton’s six varieties of Famous potatoes from Across the Creek Organics. Each course will be carefully paired to these exceptional wines… Read more