Posts Tagged ‘Local’

Subscription Based Local Food

Vitae Juices

Vitae Juices

Vitae Juice

Created by two young Vancouverites, Vitae Juice offers fresh, unpasteurized cold-pressed juice with door-to-door delivery service in the Vancouver Area. Using only natural and seasonal ingredients, from 100% organic, non-GMO fruit and vegetables. Vitae Juice has 15 juice varieties with the best tasting flavour combinations while having the maximum nutrients benefits possible.

Twitter: @VitaeJuice

Urban Digs Farm

Urban Digs is a small farm based in South Burnaby. Urban Digs strives to grow good, wholesome food in a way that is environmentally, socially and financially sustainable. Urban Digs offers meat & produce direct-to-consumer through their seasonal subscription programs; The Beasty Box & The Harvest Box. By taking advantage of urban food waste streams, Urban Digs is striving to provide a diet for their animals that eliminates the need for commercial animal feed, is more nutritious and results in better tasting meat.

Twitter: @UrbanDigsFarm

Beta 5

Local chocolate and patisserie offers the Chocolate Union, a monthly subscription that provides members with a box of custom chocolates and confections that reflects our imagination, the seasons, and our desire to keep coming up with interesting flavours and forms.

Twitter: @beta5chocolates

By: Richard Wolak

Growing Chefs Says Thank You

growing chefs 1

Through the events that I organize under the Vancouver Foodster umbrella I am fortunate to select the charities or non-profit organizations that I think can benefit in one way or another. One of those charities that I have been supporting for the past couple of years is Growing Chefs  The other day I received an envelope and it’s what was on the inside that touched me, letters from children who have been participating in the Growing Chefs program at schools around the city thanking me for my kind donation. It’s not only me that they should thank, it is you the readers who have been attending the Food Talks events in which a portion of your ticket price that has been donated to support the fine work that the Growing Chefs organization does, so thank you!

I truly think this is a rewarding organization to support and hope that you will find away to get involved in their projects whether it is donating your time to volunteer, or supporting them financially or attending their events. Growing Chefs! Chefs for Children’s Urban Agriculture is a non-profit society, based in Vancouver, B.C. founded by Merri Schwartz who was one of our speakers at the most recent Food Talks event in June.

You can find out more about Growing Chefs here and follow them on Twitter @growingchefsBC

By: Richard Wolak

Ice Cream in Brown Paper Packages

White Turtle ice cream sandwich

I have always loved ice cream sandwiches, cookies and ice cream, Brown Paper Packages is a local company that sells their home-made ice cream sandwiches at farmers markets around the city.

I had the opportunity to try a selection of their delicious ice cream sandwiches, of course the packaging is as clever as the inventive flavours of the cookies and ice cream. Wrapped in a brown paper package, each ice cream sandwich is labeled with the name and ingredients. Inside are these delicious home-baked cookies that are sandwiched with a scoop of their hand crafted  ice cream, perfect for snacking anytime you have that craving.

Some of the many selections of flavour combinations include the Gingeroo (rhubarb and buttermilk ice cream with a ginger cookie), Affogato (espresso ice cream with a vanilla bean cookie), Razzle Dazzle (chocolate raspberry ice cream with a double chocolate cookie), and Carnival (caramel and apple ice cream with a chewy caramel cookie) ice cream sandwiches.

Brown Paper Packages can be found at many farmers markets around the city, best to follow them on Twitter @BPPicecream

By: Richard Wolak

Juicing it Up with The Juice Box

The Juice Box company is the most recent newcomer to the Juice scene in Vancouver, they don’t have a truck or a storefront, instead they produce their juice in a local commissary and deliver to customers all over the city as well sell their juices through a growing list of Yoga studios who embody similar philosophies as the owners.

I had the opportunity to try a selection of their juices, first of all I loved the packaging, each of the juices comes in a nifty glass bottle, secondly the juices are all 100% organic cold-pressed raw juices which they say lasts 4-5 days. My favourite juices out of the four that I tried were the Orange Cucumber and the Carrot Orange Ginger.

The Juice Box juices are available to order and can be delivered to your doorstep daily, you can follow them on twitter @thejuicebox

By: Richard Wolak

Eating a Local Dinner

Happy Planet Soups & Vancouver Pie Hole

Eating great locally made products is something that is important for our local economy. We have so many food producers in the Vancouver area, here are a couple of companies who have sent me some of their products which made for the perfect lunch and dinner.

I have never been too fond of savoury pies, that was until I tried the Chicken Carbonara Pie made by Vancouver Pie Hole. This pie was a meal unto itself full of chicken breast, onion, bacon and peas in a creamy alfredo sauce inside a delicious pie crust. This local company makes many savoury pies as well as dessert pies, since they don’t have a storefront you can find some of their pies at The Mighty Oak, Norton Commons and Nourish Market, or tweet them @pieholevan

Happy Planet which started out making juices ventured in to soups awhile back, I tried some of the different kinds over the few months, and my favourites are the Somerset Garden Pea and the Tuscan Tomato Soup.

Their Somerset Garden Pea is made with fresh peas and cream, with a hint of fragrant mint, evoking the taste of springtime in an English garden. Happy Planet’s soups are available in the refrigerated sections of grocery stores all over Vancouver. All Happy Planet soups contain natural ingredients and are gluten free. You can follow them on twitter @TeamHappyPlanet

Vancouver is fortunate to have many local producers of great food products to make a delicious lunch or dinner!

By: Richard Wolak

Forage Opening

Serving Duck Confit Flatbread

Last night December 3rd, I attended the opening party of Forage the new restaurant in the Listel Hotel on Robson.

Chef Chris Whittaker

Chef Chris Whittaker talked paying homage to past tradition, finding exceptional local fare through farmer and fisher folk, preserving seasonal flavours, pairing dishes with local drink…all in a casual urban eatery.

Duck Confit Flatbread

Cheeses and more

Served spread of local cheeses from Golden Ears and Qualicum cheese, honey roasted walnuts, kale chips, duck fat popcorn, duck confit flatbread, crab cakes and beets on a stick. Guests were treated to selection of red and white wine on tap as well as champagne, beer and cocktails.

Jim Mockford, General Manager at The Listel Vancouver,

Jim Mockford, General Manager at The Listel Vancouver spoke about the project and how the restaurant has now become a leader in sustainability.

Forage is a leader in sustainability and green tourism practices. As a Tourism Ambassador for Conservation and a Corporate Climate Leader for the City of Vancouver, The Listel Hotel has a zero waste policy, solar panels and a state of the art heat capture program – is a passionate proponent of sustainability.

Project partners and sponsors will be at the forage table, including BC Hydro PowerSmart; Garland Canada; LiveSmartBC; Halton Indoor Climate Systems; Master-Bilt; the Green Table Network and a special appearance by Don Fisher of the Food Service Technology Center.

Forage is located at 1300 Robson Street in downtown Vancouver.

You can find them on the web at http://www.foragevancouver.com/ by phone at 604-661-1400 and on twitter @ForageVancouver

By: Richard Wolak

Crock Pot Beer Chicken

More and more I am now returning to my roots for some home cooking, this article series features a recipe for a dish that I made at home and features a local product from BC, such as beer from a local brewery, wine from a local winery, spirits from a local distillery, tea from a local tea blender, coffee from a local roaster and such.

Crock Pot Beer Chicken      

Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 5 hours Total time: 5 hours 15 mins Serves: 3-4 servings

Beer chicken cooked in the crock pot with potatoes and onions.

Ingredients

2 breasts and 4 thighs of skinless chicken, cleaned and patted dry

3 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

6-8 small or nugget potatoes, halved

1/2 a large onion, roughly chopped

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 12-ounce beer (Stanley Park Brewery Amber Ale or another ale)

Instructions

  1. Clean and halve your potatoes, chop your onion, and add both to your crock pot.
  2. Combine your salt, paprika, oregano, mustard powder and black pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the potatoes and onion, then sprinkle in half of your spice mixture. Toss to coat.
  4. Clean your chicken and pat it dry, rub the chicken with the remaining spice mixture and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  5. Place the chicken on top of all of the vegetables, then pour the beer around the chicken (not directly on top of it). Turn your crock pot on “high” for 5 hours, until the chicken is cooked through.

Now, you can definitely go ahead and serve your chicken straight out of the pot.

The Local Product

I used beer from a local brewery in this dish, the Stanley Park Brewery Amber Ale.

STANLEY PARK 1897 AMBER

1897 Amber is a naturally crafted, unpasteurized, Belgian style amber. Our hand selected Belgian Amber, French and Canadian malts are brewed with the finest English and European characteristic hops to produce a beer of nuance. The mellow toasted malt and even body is perfectly balanced with a soft bitterness and mild hop aroma.The resulting light bodied beer has a subtle flavour complexity and an exceptionally clean finish.

CATEGORY Belgian style amber, handcrafted sustainably

APPEARANCE Medium amber brown

TASTE Subtle toasted malt, lightly hopped, exceptionally clean finish

MOUTH FEEL Light bodied

You can find them on the web at http://stanleyparkbrewery.ca/

You can follow them on twitter @StanleyParkBrew

Stay tuned for my next cooking adventure with a local BC product.

By: Richard Wolak

Vancouver Foodster Pancake Challenge

Welcome to the 1st ever Vancouver Foodster #Local Pancake Challenge. I have invited restaurants from all over the city to create a Savoury or Sweet Pancake Dish to enter into this challenge. Each creation must have a minimum of 3 Local ingredients in the dish, such as using locally grown apples, peaches or thyme; locally produced bacon or other local ingredients. Most of the restaurants have created a special pancake dish just for this challenge. Each of these restaurants will be featuring their pancake dish from October 18-November 18th, if you don’t see it on the menu just ask the Manager or Chef and they will make it for you!

Voting criteria –  some things to help you judge your favourite pancake dishes – keep these things in mind: originality, creativity, uniqueness, traditional, non-traditional, price, value and most importantly taste.

Visit the participating restaurants for lunch, dinner or weekend brunch and try the Savoury and Sweet creations, then visit us at http://vancouverfoodster.com/pancake-challenge/ to VOTE for your favourites between November 15-21st.

Here are the 9 Pancake dishes in this challenge, listed in no particular order other than when they were received by us.

Establishment Local Prawn Pancake

Establishment Local Prawn Pancake

Created by: Executive Chef Victor Bongo

Price: $12

Offered:  Dinner, nightly

Description:  Chickpea flour pancakes topped with B.C. Spot Prawns and a Fraser Valley Quail Egg, with spinach puree, goat cheese & orange creme fraiche, drizzled with Canadian Maple Whisky Syrup and finished with merlot micro-greens and smoked sea-salt flakes.

Local Ingredients:  Local B.C. Spot Prawns, Locally Grown Spinach, Fraser Valley Quail Eggs, Local Okanagan Goat Cheese, Canadian Maple Whisky Syrup

Savoury or Sweet: Savoury

Location: 3162 West Broadway, Vancouver

Twitter: @EstLounge

Web:  http://www.estlounge.com/

 

Fable Kitchen

Pulled Pork Johnny Cakes

Pulled Pork Johnny Cakes

Created by: Trevor Bird

Price: $12

Offered: Saturday and Sunday Brunch 10:30am -2:00pm

Description: Cornmeal pancakes, made with Walter’s eggs, Two Rivers durrock pulled pork, Urban Diggs Julliet tomato jam and pickled jalapeno.

Local Ingredients:  Walter’s eggs, Two Rivers durrock pulled pork, Urban Diggs Julliet tomato jam

Savoury or Sweet: Savoury

Location: 1944 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

Twitter: @FableKitchen

Web:  http://fablekitchen.ca/

 

Catch 122

Flap Jacques

Flap Jacques

Created by:  Rachel Whiting and Chris Hogan

Price:  $12

Offered:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and weekend Brunch (Note: Not available Noon to 2:00 pm Monday to Friday).

Description: Carrot cake pancake with red wine poached local plum, pumpkin cream cheese, toasted walnuts and orange vanilla cream

Local Ingredients:

1. Milk and Whipping Cream and Yogurt – Birchwood Dairy (Abbotsford)

2. Eggs – Green as Grass Farm (Chiliwack)

3. Pumpkin – Richmond Country Farm (Stevenston)

4. Plum – Local Farmer’s Market (Vancouver)

5. Carrot – Local Farmer’s Market (Vancouver)

Savoury or Sweet:  Sweet

Location:122 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Twitter: @catch122

Web:  http://catch122.com/

 

Herons West Coast Kitchen at The Fairmont Waterfront

Fraser Valley Hazelnut and Tiger Blue Buttermilk Pancakes with Apple Beet Preserve & Warm Waterfront Rooftop Honey

Fraser Valley Hazelnut and Tiger Blue Buttermilk Pancakes with Apple Beet Preserve & Warm Waterfront Rooftop Honey

Created by: Chef Ross Johnston

Cost: $16

Offered: Breakfast and Brunch meal periods, 7 days a week.

Breakfast:

Sunday-Friday (buffet) – 6:30 am to 10:30 am

Sunday-Friday (à la carte) – 6:30 am to 11:30 am

Saturdays (buffet and à la carte) – 6:30 am to 11:30 am

Local Ingredients: Fraser Valley Hazelnuts, Tiger Blue Cheese, Okanagan Apples, Fairmont Waterfront’s Rooftop Honey

Description: Fraser Valley Hazelnut and Tiger Blue Buttermilk Pancakes with Apple Beet Preserve & Warm Waterfront Rooftop Honey

Savoury or Sweet: Sweet

Location:  900 Canada Place Way, Vancouver

Twitter: @FairmontWF

Web:  fairmont.com/waterfront-vancouver/

 

Bob Likes Thai Food

Bob’s Pan Cake

Bob’s Pan Cake

Created by: Tai Keattivanichvily

Price: $10.00

Offered:  Lunch and Dinner daily.

Description:  Ground chicken with coriander root, Thai Basil, Rice wrap, Cucumber, red onion, Mayo with home-made plum sauce and ground BC cranberry

Local Ingredients: Cranberry, Cucumber, Local Chicken, Local made rice wrap.

Savoury or Sweet: Savoury

Location: 3755 Main Street & 1521 West Broadway, Vancouver

Twitter: @boblikethaifood

Web: http://www.boblikesthaifood.com/

 

Zachary’s on Robson

Dancing Salmon Pancake

Dancing Salmon Pancake

Created by: Chef Alejandro Vasquez Arias

Price: $7.00 for one pancake

Offered: All day, every day.

Description: BC smoked salmon & candy salmon  BC Eggs, flour, fresh BC dill, BC mushrooms, , crispy rice, bonito flakes with the sauce and ginger on the side.

Local Ingredients:  Salmon, Mushrooms, Dill and eggs.

Savoury or Sweet: Savory

Location: 121 Robson Street, Vancouver

Twitter: @ZacharysRobson

Web: http://www.zacharysonrobson.com/

 

Fishworks

Pancake aux Fruits de mer

Pancake aux Fruits de mer

Created by: Chef Shallaw Kadir

Price: $14

Offered: Lunch & dinner

Description: Pancake with seafood

Local Ingredients: Baynes Sound Manila clams, B.C. Honey Mussels, Squid, Qualicum Beach Scallops

Savoury or Sweet: Savoury

Location: 91 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver

Twitter: @FishworksLOLO

Web: http://www.fishworks.ca/

 

Cove Fine Foods

Autumn Spiced Crepe

Autumn Spiced Crepe

Created by: Chef Kyle Wainwright

Price:  $9

Offered:  Every night as dessert

Description: Autumn Spiced crepe w scented pumpkin mousse, and milk chocolate Callebaut dipped ReUp BBQ Bacon

Local Ingredients: Vanderpol’s Cage free eggs, local pumpkin, ReUp BBQ Bacon

Savoury or Sweet:  Sweet (w savory bacon)

Location: 437 N Dollarton Hwy, North Vancouver

Twitter: @CoveFineFoods

Web: http://www.covefinefoods.com

 

Yolks Breakfast

BC Hazelnut Pancakes with local apple-aged white cheddar fritters

BC Hazelnut Pancakes with local apple-aged white cheddar fritters

Created by: Chef Steven Ewing

Price: $8.95

Offered: Tuesday – Friday: 7:30am -1pm, Saturday: 10am – 3pm

Description: BC Hazelnut Pancakes with local apple-aged white cheddar fritters

Local ingredients:  Eggs, Apples, Hazelnuts, Honey, Cheddar, Milk

Savoury or Sweet:  Sweet

Location: Food Truck at Dunsmuir & Beatty Street, Vancouver

Twitter:@YolksBreakfast

Web: http://www.yolks.ca/

 

Tweeting: Include our twitter address and hashtag whenever possible in your tweets.

@VanFoodster #PancakeChallenge

Make sure you pick up one of the Pancake Challenge postcards available at each of the participating restaurants and keep a record of your favourite pancake dishes. Remember to Vote for your favourites from November 15-21st at http://vancouverfoodster.com/pancake-challenge/

Have fun, eat local, enjoy the sweet and savoury pancake dishes, tweet your dishes and include the restaurants twitter address too!

By: Richard Wolak

From Farms to Forks 3 on October 21

A Growing Chefs! Harvest Kitchen Party

 

Can you imagine being in the kitchen of one of Vancouver best chefs’ while they are preparing gourmet creations? Wander through the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts’ classroom kitchens and watch some of Vancouver’s best chefs in action. At From Farms to Forks 3 you could be sampling food and drinks from the chefs from The Pear Tree, Provence Restaurants, La Quercia and the newly opened Acorn, as well as other spectacular Vancouver restaurants. We are bringing together some of the city’s most prominent chefs and mixologists and the region’s best growers and producers for a fun night of  canapés, B.C. wine and beer pairings, cocktails, and tasting stations!

From Farms to Forks 3

Sunday, October 21st

Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA)

Hosts: CBC’s Margaret Gallagher and Fred Lee
Tickets $150

From Farms to Forks 2 is a fundraiser for Growing Chefs! Chefs for Children’s Urban Agriculture. Growing Chefs! is based in Vancouver, B.C. and the two primary goals of the non-profit are to: to support and encourage the development and growth of urban agriculture and to provide an avenue for chefs and growers to engage in the community and to support food sustainability.

Here’s a sneak preview of just a few of the participating restaurants!

Wine pairings provided by Vincor Canada. Beer by R & B Brewing Co.

Growing Chefs! creates a forum for chefs, educators, growers, community groups, and families to work together to further awareness of food sustainability. Most importantly, we inspire children with the idea that they can grow their own food, even in the city by sending teams of chef volunteers into elementary schools—where they grow vegetables, cook with kids, and get the kids excited about eating healthy food.

To purchase tickets to From Farm to Folks either email [email protected], call 778-885-1308 or purchase them online at http://fromfarmstoforks3.eventbrite.com/.

Eating a Local Breakfast

Bare Butter

Eating a balanced breakfast is the most important thing to do, and eating local is something that I believe in as much as possible. There are many locally produced food products that can fit into your daily routine. These are some new locally produced foods that these companies have sent me recently which I have tasted, of course my flavour preferences may be the opposite of yours.

Choco Haze by Bare Butter

One newcomer to the all-natural nut butters world, is Bare Butter, a company that produces a variety of nut butters and delivers them by bike. I thought this was pretty cool, it’s a great product and its sustainable as well. I tasted several of their flavours and my absolute favourite was the Choco Haze. You can order their products off their website here and then receive you products delivered to you at home or at the office by bike. For now we do online orders delivered to your house by bike! You can find them on Twitter @Bare_Butter

Love Crunch Carrot Cake Granola

Another new product, is the Love Crunch Carrot Cake from Nature’s Path Foods, it was like eating carrot cake with a crunch except in this case it is granola not an actual slice of carrot cake, it is best eaten sprinkled on vanilla or plain yogurt or in a bowl with Avalon milk.

Cloud 9 Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix

If you eat Gluten Free, then you will want to try the Cloud 9 Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix and bake your favourite breakfast cookies and other baked goods at home! You can find them on Twitter @Cloud9NewWest

Vancouver is fortunate to have many local producers of great food products to start your morning!

By: Richard Wolak

Cartems Donuts and the Story

Earl Grey Donut

The other day I heard about a new donut shop that popped up at the corner of Carrall and Hastings. I was curious, and I had to check it out.  Within an hour of them opening just as I got in the door they were sold out. Curious then became furious, how could they sell out of 100 donuts so fast. Cartems Donuterie is owned by 3 partners,  Jordan Cash the guy who dreamt up the concept, along with his partners Mark Tagulao and Rajesh Narine, they opened up last week renting space in Sean Heather’s Penn Bake Shop for a 6 month pop-up donut shop. This is really a social media driven donut shop, even though they have specific hours listed on their facebook page, you have to follow them on twitter @Cartemsdonuts to be kept in the loop on if and when they are going to be open, the donut flavours on hand or that they are all gone. I see a trend @pizzeriafarina does this all so well, when they are running low on dough for the pizzas they tweet it out and within minutes they are sold out, they inform their customers on twitter, first pizza now donuts, what’s going to be next in this social media food game!

Triple Chocolate Donut

The Flavours

I tried the Earl Grey and the Triple Chocolate, I wanted to try the Maple Bourbon Bacon but there were none by the time I got there. They also make up to 40 different flavours for now including sweet snow, gluten free, cinnamon sugar, carrot cake, and sweet heat.

Sourcing Locally

Their ingredients are sourced from as close to Vancouver as possible, the flour comes from Anita’s Organic Mill (Chilliwack), their eggs are from Rabbit River Farms (Richmond), butter comes from Golden Ears Farms (Maple Ridge), the milk is from Avalon Dairy (Burnaby), and their spices come from Gathering Place Trading Company on Cortes Island.

Local ingredients – ethically sourced and sustainable – mean a higher quality donut, could this be the driving force behind this already booming donut company.

Making the Donuts

Now this is where things get really interesting, how do you fry donuts in a pop-up shop that’s located in a bake shop without a fryer. Enter the Woodland Smokehouse & Commissary another newly opened business located at 485 Commercial Drive which is owned by Tyson Reimer and Ryan Murfitt of Gastown’s Peckinpah. Tyson and Ryan opened the Woodland Smokehouse as they ran out of space to expand their product offerings, they needed to expand their meat smoker. One thing lead to another a new commissary was born, the guys from Cartems needed a place to make and fry up their donuts and voila this is just the beginning!

By: Richard Wolak

EDIBLE CANADA AT THE MARKET

1551 Johnston Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-682-6681

Web: http://www.ediblecanada.com/bistro.php

Twitter: @ediblecanada

Advice: Located across from the Public Market on Granville Island.

I love art and more so love art on a plate, visiting for lunch recently I indulged in both. Having had dishes created by Chef Jennifer Dodd and Tom Lee at off-site events it was a must that I dine in their restaurant.

Chicken Taco

Smoked Alberta Bison Shortribs & Frites

Since I was dining solo, I had to choose wisely, to begin I had a delicious Chicken Taco that was served open face on a crispy flat taco, topped with chicken, fresh herbs and edible flowers. I then had the outstanding Smoked Alberta Bison Shortribs & Frites ($16) with red apple, spiced pecan salad and fresh horseradish. Not only was the dish flavourful it was also colorful on the plate with an artfulness character at play and I loved the crispy fries that were cooked in duck fat.

Triple Chocolate Brownie Mousse Cake

For dessert which was the perfect finish to my meal, I had the delicious Triple Chocolate Brownie Mousse Cake ($8) with caramel, grapes and nuts.

There is an open kitchen, great bar set-up, a pantry to buy all sorts of edible goodies, along with a large amount of seating both inside and out. They also have a private space within the restaurant where they offer their market dinners when featuring visiting chefs. Already looking forward to a return visit to try some more inventive dishes!

Review By: Richard Wolak

DIVA AT THE MET

645 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC

Tel: 604-602-7788

http://www.metropolitan.com/diva/about_diva.htm

Twitter: n/a

Advice: Offers tasting menus. Located inside the Metropolitan Hotel.

Over the years I had dined on weekend breakfasts at Diva, a couple weeks ago I followed one of my favourite chefs to his new abode for dinner. Executive Chef Hamid Salimian is a master of artistry and creation and his Tasting Menus are always an enchanting experience.

Black Olive Marshmallow

Cotton Candy Pizza

Piggy Puffs

Baked Potato and Chives

To start some snacks, each snack beautifully showcased, Black Olive Marshmallow, followed by Cotton Candy Pizza, followed by Piggy Puffs and then a Baked Potato and Chives.

Carbonated Grapefruit

To refresh the palate, Carbonated Grapefruit reminded me of Pop Rocks!

Sturgeon with house made salmon caviar and ash scallop

Tuna and Dungenous Crab Cannelloni

Beef Tartare

Fois Gras with fig molasses

Brioche

Next was the Sturgeon with house made salmon caviar and ash scallop followed by the Tuna and Dungenous Crab Cannelloni, next was the Beef Tartare (which was actually cooked) topped with beef tongue powder. Each dish had unique flavours, the next dish was the outstanding Fois Gras with fig molasses with pickled green strawberries and walnuts, with their housemade brioche.

Roasted Chantrelle Mushrooms

Ling cod with eggplant stew

Fesenjoon

Duo of Lamb

Next was exquisite Roasted Chantrelle Mushrooms followed by the delicious Ling cod with eggplant stew, squid noodles and chips. Next was Fesenjoon (Persian specialty)  duck, pomegranate, kale, Muscovy nuts followed by the Duo of Lamb with a study of Pemberton carrots with a Balsamic Lamb Jus.

Slow cooked Apple, yam pudding & Gingerbread cake, maple cotton candy

For dessert, Slow cooked Apple, yam pudding & Gingerbread cake, maple cotton candy.

Chef Hamid is one of those extraordinary chefs whose cuisine should be experienced in fine dining style!

Review By: Richard Wolak

FRAY ON FRASER

UPDATED 7/30/14 BUSINESS HAS CLOSED

3980 Fraser Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-569-3317

Web: http://fray.me/our-menu/

Twitter: @Frayonfraser

Advice: Colouring pencils at each table for kids or adults to colour away a great added touch.

This is one of those not so ordinary places that I am happy is just that. Last week my friend and fellow writer Cassandra Anderton joined me for dinner where we were happy to find a creative, passionate chef who supports local farms on the east side. Chef Antonio Martin has created a fresh, flavour focussed menu with dishes chock full of local farm grown veggies and other local fare.

Portobello Fries

F-Bombs

To start we both shared the addicting Portobello Fries ($8.95) A Jenga tower of breaded mushroom fingers, fried and served with truffle aioli; we then shared their F-Bombs ($7.95) a variation on Devils on Horseback, this is a share plate of Fraser Valley bacon-wrapped fresh figs with a balsamic reduction.

Lamb Pasta

Vegetarian’s Delight

For our Mains, we shared both the outstanding Lamb Pasta ($17.95) Braised lamb with vegetables on fresh tagliatelle that was full of flavour, as well as the ever so tasty Vegetarian’s Delight ($10.95) fresh market vegetables roasted and served on a bed of the most delicious cauliflower cous cous with chick peas and a curry vinaigrette. Although they list the Vegetarian’s Delight as one of their mains we both thought it would be better off being a side dish for two to share.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Banana Spring Roll

For dessert, we shared the delicious and simple home-made Vanilla Bean ice cream ($4) with extra virgin olive oil and maldan salt; along with the Banana Spring Roll ($6.95) Served with homemade vanilla bean ice cream and local fireweed honey.

Looking forward to my next visit which will be for Brunch, must try their French Canadian Toast!

Review By: Richard Wolak

RAINCITY GRILL

1193 Denman Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-685-7337

Web: http://www.raincitygrill.com

Twitter: @RaincityGrill

Advice: Check out their Monday Market Dinners or one of their Tasting menus.

Dishing up local ingredients since opening almost 20 years ago, dining here has always been about the flavours, and purveying what’s local within 100 miles. The star attraction here is the team of talented, creative chefs in the kitchen lead by Chef Jennifer Peters that guide their dining guests on a tasting journey.

Beer Battered Halibut & Wild Mushroom Arancini

Beetroot Salad

Winter Squash Soup

My friend Sophia joined me for dinner and we had a few appetizers to start our meal, beginning with a couple of their Spoons which are just like a taster of some of their larger dishes. My 2 spoons were the Beer Battered Halibut ($4.25) and the Wild Mushroom Arancini ($3) with parmesan mayonnaise. The journey that began continued with the beautifully plated and delicious Beetroot Salad ($12) north arm farms beets, david woods goat cheese cannelloni, apple jellies. Then a large bowl of delectable Winter Squash Soup ($9.50) fennel & birch syrup marmalade, agassiz hazlenut shortbread.

Line Caught Sable Fish

Braised Fraser Valley Lamb Cheeks

Fraser Valley Mushroom Risotto

On to the entrees, Sophia had the Line Caught Sable Fish ($29) north arm farm orca bean & fennel ragu, sunchoke emulsion; I had the tender Braised Fraser Valley Lamb Cheeks ($25) pomme puree, caramelized fennel, mushrooms, pearl onions thumbelina carrots, balsamic lamb jus; and the Fraser Valley Mushroom Risotto ($12) with melted leeks, music garlic foam, as an additional side we had the enticing Braised Helmers Potato Skillet ($12) with BC Farmhouse Alpine Gold Cheese.

Apple Tartin

Walnut Cake

To end our tasting journey we shared the divine Apple Tartin ($9.50) with BC Farmhouse Cheddar Cheese Ice Cream and the tasty Walnut Cake ($9.50) with Carrot Sorbet that was heavenly and left our palate’s in delight. Our server Michaela was wonderful making our visit that much more divine, the restaurant is located steps away from English Bay!

Review By: Richard Wolak

SEASONAL 56

#201-26730 56th Avenue, Langley

Tel: 604-625-5601

Web: http://www.seasonal56.ca

Twitter: @seasonal56

Advice: Check out Chef Beaty ‘s Take It or Leave It daily feature.

Located in the Fraser Valley, Seasonal 56 is a destination Farm to Table restaurant, they source most of their ingredients from farms and producers from nearby areas such as Langley and Abbotsford. The night that I dined I was at a large table with 3 of their producers along with some food and travel writers. Chef Adrian Beaty created a special tasting menu that featured many of the ingredients from these local producers. The meal began with a selection of wines from nearby Lotus Land Winery as well as Mt Lehman and rolls that were heavenly made with locally milled wheat from the Chilliwack area.

Charcuterie plate

House smoked ham and organic split pea soup

Six Masters Farm Rabbit Loin

Six Masters braised Lamb Neck

Gelderman Farms Pork loin

The 1st Course, Charcuterie plate: Thiessen Farms duck rillette, Gelderman Farms prosciutto, and porchetta di test with Fort Wine cranberry chutney. On to the 2nd Course for the House smoked ham and organic split pea soup with poached free range Agassiz Indian Runner duck egg and then the 3rd Course for the Six Masters Farm Rabbit Loin; organic brown basmati rice, apple, and Agassiz Farm House Alpine Gold cheese stuffing; frisee salad with Portobello mushroom confit and then on to the 4th Course which is the moist and delicious Six Masters braised Lamb Neck, rosemary infused pasta, Agassiz Farm House Country blue cheese, and lamb jus (I do not care for Blue Cheese so I moved the cheese off to the side) followed by the 5th Course Gelderman Farms Pork loin, local leek, cured pork jowl, and wild rice sauté; natural jus.

Fort Wine Cranberry upside down cake

To finish off this amazing culinary journey, the 6th Course was Dessert the Fort Wine Cranberry upside down cake with lemon mousse.

Seasonal 56 now has Seasonal to Go retail food store so fans and patrons can have access to products that Chef Beaty uses in his catering, restaurant and cooking classes. Also available are some of their own house-made products such as soups, stocks, entrees, and desserts.

This is a must visit restaurant for all those esteemed foodies!

Review by: Richard Wolak

THE APRON

3099 Corvette Way, Richmond

Tel: 604-303-6565

Web: http://www.westinvancouverairport.com/dining

Twitter: n/a

Advice: Complimentary valet parking available, offers a 5, 7, and 9 tasting menu. Located inside The Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport Hotel.

Amuse Niche Garden

The room was modern and colourful which was a node to the journey of culinary delights we were about to enjoy. Executive Chef Hamid Salimian is a master of creation, I am sure he once was a painter as all of his dishes are representative of beautiful works of art on a plate. My friend Denis and I were enchanted when each of the twelve dishes arrived to our table, it was a wonderful dining and tasting experience. We started off with the Amuse Niche Garden where the presentation alone was stunning.

North Arm Farm Sunchoke Soup

Side Stripe Prawn

Locally grown pickled winter vegetables

Puffed Quebec fois GRAS

Brioche for the Puffed Quebec fois GRAS

Pan Roasted Scallops

Atlantic Lobster Globe

Next was the North Arm Farm Sunchoke Soup ($9) followed by the Side Stripe Prawn ($16) dungeness crab croquettes, next was the Locally grown pickled winter vegetables ($16) pickled winter vegetables beets, black pudding, pine mushroom veal marrow, almond vinaigrette. As the evening progressed I felt as if we were in the National Art Gallery roving the various rooms, the next dish was the Puffed Quebec fois GRAS ($16) house preserved cherries, candied walnut, beets sherry gastrique followed by the delicious Pan Roasted Scallops $16 spiced basmati rice, shaved pineapple, cilantro coconut curry froth and then the Atlantic Lobster Globe ($17) truffle scented potato gnocchi, king oyster mushroom shellfish emulsion.

Pacific Provider Salmon

Duck Confit in a Pomegranite Walnut Sauce

Lamb Duo

At this point our palates were dancing, the next dish was the first of the entrees, the Pacific Provider Salmon ($25) provencal tart, sun choke, basil, braised fennel split coriander vinaigrette. Followed by my favourite dish of the night the Duck Confit in a Pomegranite Walnut Sauce ($17) outstanding spiced duck confit pomegranate, walnut, orange, kale along with the Lamb Duo ($17) braised lamb israel couscous, red bean puree, grilled scallions dry lime parsley foam. We both knew that dessert would be nothing less than extrodinary as it would be the final act in what had been an amazing picturesque meal.

Shattered Baklava with pistachio ice cream

The Apron Chocolate Bar

For dessert we had the Shattered Baklava with pistachio ice cream ($10) broken down baklava saffron pistachio ice cream, cardamom dates, rosewater honey and The Apron Chocolate Bar ($10)  salted caramel ice cream, almond crumble, coco crisp.

The chefs use as much regional and local ingredients as they can source as they strive to create each of their dishes! If you want to experience innovative, creative local cuisine a visit to The Apron is a must and I for one am looking forward to return visit to continuing this culinary journey.

Review By: Richard Wolak

Iron Chef Competition at MOV

David Beers (l), Jennifer Peters, Todd Bright, Steve Burgess

On September 23, the Museum of Vancouver held an Iron Chef Competition as part of their ongoing exhibit Food and Sustainability. This competition saw two local chefs, Todd Bright from Wild Rice and Jennifer Peters from Raincity Grill facing off with two bbqs, and locally grown produce and chicken. They each had a sous chef and exactly one hour to prepare two dishes.

I was the head judge along with a few other judges who were selected from the audience and our task was daunting. We had to sample all the dishes and judge on the presentation, use of local produce and taste. In the end the winner was Jennifer Peters and her Sous Chef of the Raincity Grill.

Raincity Grill Team

Wild Rice Team

The MC’s for the evening were David Beers, Editor of The Tyee and Journalist Steve Burgess. The guests at this sold out event had the opportunity to watch this competition as well as to mingle and eat local vegetables, fruits, cheese and sip on wine.

Check out the MOV and their upcoming events at http://www.museumofvancouver.ca

By: Richard Wolak

GORILLA FOOD

Gorilla Food 001Gorilla Food 008

101- 436 Richards Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-722-2504

Web: www.gorillafood.com

Advice: cash only, the closest atm is a block away in Harbour Centre mall.

Green Taco

Green Taco

Thai Wraps with Ginger Raisin Chutney

Thai Wraps with Ginger Raisin Chutney

If you are looking for RAW food in Vancouver then Gorilla Food is the place to go, the restaurant is fairly hidden, underground between Pender and Hastings. I had lunch with Charles, a friend of mine who is Vegan and who can appreciate the cuisine served here. I had the colorful and tasty Thai Wraps ($5) Three collard leaf wraps filled with a sprouted sunflower seed and veggie pate, sesame seasoned coleslaw and served with a ginger raisin chutney. My friend had the Green Taco ($6.50) romaine lettuce leaf taco wrap filled with a spicy chili walnut pate, fresh guacamole and salsa. The menu has a pretty good selection of colorful, nutty, healthy, proteins featuring salads, vegi burgers, pizza, falafel, appetizers and snacks, treats and sweets. Next time I want to try Chocolate Sesame Halva ($3) and the Dark Raw Chocolate Fudge ($2.50) Pure cacao and date sweetened chocolate. The fresh lineup of juices, smoothies and creamy almond shakes looked good, the people next to me at the Green Glory ($5.50) kale, apple, celery, lemon, parsley, ginger and seasonal greens; Blueberry Daze ($6.50) blueberries, bananas, hempseeds, almonds. Date. The atmosphere is relaxed and unrushed.

Review by: Richard Wolak

Farmers Markets around Greater Vancouver

Shopping for fresh, local vegetables and fruits at the Farmers markets has always been the best way to support your community. Vancouver is blessed to have a great organization called eatlocal.org that is the umbrella organization for Vancouver Farmers Markets.

Our locations are all unique and different and reflect the diverse neighbourhoods that host them. Each one has a different style and character – visit all of them to see for yourself! The 2009 season dates and times are:

Trout Lake Farmers Market

Saturdays, May – October

9am – 2pm each week

May 16 – October 10

15th Avenue & Victoria Drive in the Parking Lot of Trout Lake Community Centre

West End Farmers Market

Saturdays, June – October

June 6 – October 24

9am – 2pm each week

1100 Block of Comox Street across from Nelson Park at Mole Hill

Our Wednesday Market at Riley Park has been moved to:

Main Street Station at Thornton Park

Wednesdays, June – October

June 10 – October 21

3pm – 7pm

Thornton Park across from the VIA Rail Station and near the Main St Skytrain Station

Kitsilano Farmers Market

Sundays, June – October

June 7 – October 25

10am – 2pm each week

10th Avenue and Larch Street, Parking Lot of Kitsilano Community Centre

Gastown Farmers Market

Sundays, August & September (2009 Trial)

August 2 – September 27

11am – 3pm

200 Block of Carrall Street – between Water and Cordova

Winter Farmers Market

Alternate Saturdays, starting November 8, 2008 – April 25, 2009

November 8, 22 December 6, 20

January 3(cancelled), 17, 31  February 14, 28

March 14, 28  April 11, 25

10am – 2pm

WISE Hall, 1882 Adanac Street at Victoria Drive

Holiday Market

Saturday only Annually in December

Saturday, December 12, 2009

11am – 6pm

Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Drive *new location*

Artisan Farmer’s Markets

Lonsdale Quay at East Plaza.

SAT May 9- Oct 24 (10am-3pm). Burnaby at 4949 Canada Way. SAT June 13-Oct 24 (9am -1pm).

www.artisanmarkets.ca

Coquitlam Farmers Markets

Farmers Market  –

Every Sunday May 10 – Oct 25, 9am – 1pm.

Parking lot of Dogwood Pavilion (Poirier & Winslow Sts.).

Pocket Market – Every Sunday May 24 – Oct 25, 10am – 2pm.

Knowles St in front of Port Moody Rec Complex, Port Moody.

www.makebakegrow.com

Surrey Urban Farmers Market

A Farmers Market in downtown Surrey.

Every Wed. June 17 – Sept 30, 1-6pm.

City Parkway and 102nd Ave (in the North Surrey Recreation Centre Plaza).

www.surreymarket.org

Langley Community Farmers Market

Wednesday’s 3-7pm beginning July 8th @ the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Glover Road Parking lot.

778.245.0980

www.langleycommunityfarmersmarket.com

White Rock Farmers’ Market

Visit us at our new home in our 10th Anniversary year.

Every Sunday May 31 – Oct 11, 9am – 1pm.

The new Miramar Village Plaza.

www.whiterockfarmersmarket.ca

Abbotsford Farm & Country Market

Downtown on Montrose Ave at George Ferguson Way through Oct 31

Come for the freshness, stay for the fun.

Saturdays from 9am – 1pm. 604-996-1542.

www.abbotsfordfarmandcountrymarket.com

Haney Farmers Market

A lively Saturday morning Market in Memorial Peace Park in downtown Maple Ridge.

Every Saturday May 9 to October 10 from 9am-2pm. 604-467-7433.

www.haneyfarmersmarket.org

echo get_option('motion_footer') . "\n";