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Food Media Omnibus #530: Local Cookbooks Rule A Weird Week


A strange week this was in the local food media. All the critics seem to have taken it off, myself included, preferring to write about cookbooks rather than reviewing restaurants. And as far as my google reader is concerned, Alexandra Gill is AWOL at the Globe and Mail. I couldn’t find her column to save my life (here’s last week’s on Nor Boo to tide you over)…

But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t other worthwhile reads in our national paper. I particularly enjoyed the one about Paris’ famed Tour L’Argent restaurant clearing out its ancient cellars:

Over the years, the chief sommelier had forgotten they were there. And when the four bottles of 1875 Armagnac Vieux were finally unearthed from the labyrinthine wine cellar this week, they were covered in a black fungus that looked like matted cat fur.

The landmark Tour d’Argent restaurant, which dates back to 1582, is cleaning out its 450,000-bottle wine cellar, considered one of the best in the world. It is putting 18,000 bottles up for auction in December, an event that has captured the imagination of French wine lovers.

The restaurant is selling mostly wine but also some very old spirits, like three bottles of a Clos du Griffier Cognac from 1788, the year before the French Revolution, as well as the ancient Armagnac, valued at €400-500 ($595-$743 U.S.) a bottle. The fuzzy fungus is nothing to worry about — it thrives on the fumes of such spirits and often grows on long-aged bottles.

Elsewhere, in this week’s Westender, I do another cover story, this time on Araxi’s cookbook and the Whistler restaurant’s awesome, extra especially very better good year.

In the North Shore News, Deana Lancaster talks to author and executive director emeritus of the Center for Urban Agriculture Michael Ableman, and Tim Pawsey drinks South African wine.

In the Vancouver Sun, Mia Stainsby pays Elements Urban Tapas Parlour a visit while up in Whistler and also test drives the Vancouver Cooks 2 cookbook.

In the Georgia Straight, Carolyn Ali writes up several cookbooks and Jurgen Gothe tastes his way through the portfolio of See Ya Later Ranch.

In the Vancouver Courier, Tim Pawsey also gets into the cookbook swing of things, penning paras on Araxi’s new cookbook as well as Vancouver Cooks 2 (thanks for the kind words, Tim).

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