Brunch with Coleen Christie at Provence

Brunch is a favourite past time shared by many and should be an extraordinary experience, one that you will cherish. Vancouver has some wonderful places for brunch. Each of the places I visit is unique for what is offered along with the type of service and selection of dishes. I am on a journey around the city to find these extraordinary places and, at the same time, I will be joined by a notable personality who may be a Film Producer or Director, Musician, Arts Festival Director, Actor or other well-known individual for Brunch at restaurants in and around Vancouver.

For my thirty fifth brunch in this series, I was joined by Coleen Christie, News Anchor of the CTV News 11:30pm at Provence Mediterranean Grill  in Vancouver talking about News, Eating, Cooking and more!

Coleen Christie

Coleen Christie was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and raised in Victoria, British Columbia, Coleen earned a B.A. degree in English and History at the University of Victoria. Coleen began at VTV, now CTV, in 1997 as a reporter. In less than two years, she became the news anchor and fill-in host for the station’s morning show. In 2001 Coleen moved to CTV News at 5 PM. In 2010, Coleen was a key member of the CTV-BC Olympic broadcast team co-anchoring a daily newscast, on-location in the heart of the city. For the CTV network, Coleen co-anchored a 9-hour, live broadcast tracking the Olympic Torch Relay through Vancouver on the opening day of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. Coleen also fills-in as co-host on Canada AM, CTV’s national morning show. In 2011 she began as anchor of the CTV-BC news weeknights at 11:30.

Have you always wanted to be a TV Host?

Maybe.  I’ve always felt comfortable in front of a crowd. In first year at UVic, I wanted to be a teacher. Guess I ended up being the ultimate teacher.  When I graduated, I got a job doing a lot of public speaking.   I started working at CHEK TV in Victoria doing a lot of things.  It took me a while to decide which side of the camera I wanted to work on.  I started out doing commercials , hosting entertainment announcements, even doing weather.  All the while I was writing, directing and producing promos (commercials for tv shows) for the station. I loved it.  On my  own time — I’d report for news here and there.     I  reached a point where I had to choose between moving to LA to be a producer  or  moving to Vancouver to be a reporter. Guess you know how that turned out.

What is it about the News that you love?

I feel like I am helping people by  providing accurate balanced information, and sometime a little fun too.

What do you want your viewers to learn from your newscast each day?

That they have to tune in every night or they will be left behind because everything changes so fast.

Tell me what some of the notable news stories you have reported on your news show over the years ?

I was on the air for 911; I anchored several hours of live breaking news when a small plane crashed into a Richmond  apartment building.

Most recently, I was live when a small plane crashed on the approach to Vancouver International Airport .  You don’t forget those moments.

If you could guess how many news shows you have done over the years, how many would that be?

Pretty close to 4,000

What are some of your craziest moments?

When Mike Killeen and I were co-hosting the 9-hour Olympic Torch Run special the morning before the Games began, Barenaked Ladies began busking across the street from our outdoor set. A few minutes later, without us asking, they jumped on our set and played. It was such a cool moment! I will never forget how honoured I felt to be broadcasting to the country that day.

How are you able to report on a news story or topic in a positive away if that particular news story is one that you either do not believe in or are personally affected?

It’s not my job to take a stance or voice an opinion. It’s my job as a journalist to be balanced and fair.  Everyone has an opinion.  Mine doesn’t doesn’t take precedence just because I delivering the news.

Has there ever been a news story that you have wanted to cover and not been assigned to cover?

I wasn’t involved in our coverage of the Stanley Cup Riots.  I was just back from medical leave after a major surgery and just walking was a challenge.  Getting into the fray could have been quite dangerous.  It was hard to sit on the sidelines for that one.

When did you develop your passion or interest in food?

When I was a kid . My mom was raised on a farm and learned to cook amazing Ukrainian food .  But her philosophy was , if you can read you can cook  and she would make everything from bread and  soufflés to fantastic pastries. We  hardly ever ate out or had store-bought cookies.  We used to experiment with recipes together.

Omelette

Grilled Chicken Crepes

Coleen had the special Omelette with an order of toasted baguette and Richard had the Grilled Chicken Crepes with an order of toasted baguette.

What is your favourite food?

My mother’s perogies and cabbage rolls. I miss them all the more since she’s been gone.

What are your favourite restaurants in Vancouver?

  • Vij’s because it’s unique and never disappoints
  • Nicli Antica Pizzeria because they do one thing well, and it reminds me of the best pizza in Rome
  • Ulla, it’s a dining experience I look forward to when I visit my family in my home town of Victoria. That…and my dad’s cedar plank bbq salmon.

What is the best food you have eaten recently?

Anything by Jackie Ellis who is the owner of Beaucoup Bakery  and Cafe

How did your food blog get started?

I had developed relationships with a  lot of chefs from having  them  as guests on a national morning show I used to host.  My relationship with the restaurant industry CTVBC’s online manager asked me to start a food blog which I did in 2010.

What was the most recent restaurant that you have eaten at?

Espana

What are your Favourite Out of Town Restaurants?

  • Burma Superstar – San Francisco
  • L’Orso 80 – Rome

What do you do in your off time?

Bake ,  cook , shop, plan home renovations

Do you come from an entertainment family?

No, not even close.

Where was your recent trip?

Palm Springs

Who are your mentors?

No mentors per se. I try to learn from everyone because it is as important to learn what works as it is to learn what doesn’t. Broadcasting icons who influence me include Diane Sawyer for her grace; Oprah Winfrey for her guts, and my former boss, now CTV LA bureau chief, Tom Walters. Nobody crafts a story like him.  I  always look forward to his reports on CTV National News.

What has inspired you recently?

I’m inspired by people in our newscasts and in the world at large every day. People who do what others say can’t be done; people with a never-say-die attitude.

I recently became acquainted with Carrie Gelson. She’s the teacher at Admiral Seymour Elementary who sent the open letter asking for help for her inner-city school last year. What she does day-in and day-out for those kids, some of whom live lives none of us could bare, is truly inspiring. I strive to be more like her. I want to help her change lives.

What’s next for you or what’s on the horizon?

I don’t have a clue and that’s what makes life interesting.

Style: A La Carte

Attire: Business Casual

Time: Saturday & Sunday 10:00am – 3:00pm

Provence Mediterranean Grill

4473 West Tenth Avenue, Vancouver

Menu: http://www.provencevancouver.com/mediterranean/home

For Reservations call 604- 222-1980

Stay tuned to my next guest Interview along with the next Brunch in and around Vancouver.

By: Richard Wolak

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