Posts Tagged ‘Point Grey’

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.


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?


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


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

Chef Alessandra Quaglia

Vancouver is home to some of the best chefs in the world, many have worked for the top chefs and restaurants around the world as well as around the city. Dishing with the Chefs is a series of Interviews with some of the top chefs in and around Vancouver.

Chef Alessandra Quaglia (photo credit: Hamid Attie)

Last month I spent the afternoon with Chef Alessandra Quaglia at Provence Mediterranean Grill.

Grew up in Toronto, my mom sent me to Denmark as my graduation present. I loved it and moved back after I got a visa and then worked in Denmark in a hotel restaurant doing breakfast prep. I returned to Canada and attended George Brown School of Hospitality for 2 years, then went to France to apprentice in Nice at Hotel Negresco, Hotel Paris in Monaco and Le Provencal near Nice. I met my future husband at Hotel Negresco – he was one of the cooks. I returned to Canada, then returned to France in 1991 to see John Francis. I worked in his mothers restaurant in Marseille for a year. We then got married and moved to Toronto, but my father had moved to  Vancouver and convinced me to try Vancouver in 1992. I worked at the Wall Centre as a Sous Chef in 1993-94, then I was off on maternity leave. In 1996 I had another baby and in January 1997 we opened our own restaurant Provence Mediterranean Grill. I then cooked in our own restaurant for a year, then moved on to work the front of the house and taking care of my family. In February 2002 we opened our 2nd restaurant – Provence Marinaside.

Who does the new recipe creation at your restaurant?

Essex Balce our chef at the Mediterranean Grill and my husband Chef Jean-Francis does it at the Provence Marinaside.

What is the key ingredient to maintaining a successful restaurant?

Keeping your identity.

How do you maintain a successful marriage when both of you are chefs?

The couple has to respect each others boundaries and give equal amount of support and freedom, we both understand what we want and listen to each other. Always give each other respect, I have always been with the kids where he has taken the Exec Chef role.

What are your favourite restaurants in Vancouver outside of your own?

  • La Buca
  • Irashi Sushi
  • Banana Leaf
  • Golden Ocean Seafood

What is your favourite cuisine to eat personally ?


The First Dish:

Spaghettini with Rapini

Spaghettini with Rapini





Extra virgin olive oil

Parmesan cheese

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

I always start a meal with a small pasta dish and vegetables. I love rapini and wanted to cook with it.

What do you like to do in your off time?

  • Salsa dancing
  • On the board of the Vancouver Int’l Salsa Festival
  • Skiing

What is your favourite wine to pair with one of your dishes, such as your Sablefish or Arctic Char?

Jois Chardonnay

What is your favorite wine to pair with your  Clafoutis dessert?


The Second Dish:

Arctic Char

Arctic Char

Sautéed zucchini

Fresh basil




What was your inspiration behind this dish?

I love arctic char, melted zucchini and those flavours.

When did you start your tomato festival at Provence?

2 years ago

Why did you start your tomato festival at Provence?

We cook with a lot of tomatoes and thought it would be a great idea. Worked with UBC farms and always go to the farm and see what is available.

Did you have an interest in cooking when you were younger?

My father had a few restaurants of his own growing up. He is Italian and he taught me how to cook.

Who cooks at home?

I do

Do you cook at home the same as you do in the restaurant?

Yes for the most part.

How often do you go to France?

About once a year to visit family and to see what’s new.

The Third Dish:

Pear Flambe ala Calvados

Pear Flambe ala Calvados

Bosc pear



Vanilla ice cream

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

It’s my kids favourite dessert, flambed bananas at home and we do a lot of flambéed desserts at home.

When you do flambéed desserts at home, what do you do?

  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Pineapple

Did you ever know your Clafoutis would be so popular?

No, once we took it off the menu to change our desserts, and customers threatened us with calling their lawyers –so we added it back.

Stay tuned for the next chef in the Dishing with the Chef series.

By: Richard Wolak

Tomatoes at Provence and Provence

Last night I dined at Provence Marinaside for their 2nd annual Tomato Festival, it is a 3 course menu promotion being offered through August at both Provence Marinaside as well as Provence Mediterranean Grill.

Provençal Heirloom Tomato Tart

Grilled Halibut

Candied Cherry Tomato and Fresh Strawberry Sundae

There were 3 choices of Appetizers as well as 3 choices of Mains followed by dessert. I had the Provençal Heirloom Tomato Tart with greens which was delicious, for my main I had the perfectly prepared Grilled Halibut with lightly-spiced tomato salsa and for dessert the outstanding and simple Candied Cherry Tomato and Fresh Strawberry Sundae with crema di balsamico.

This 3 course Tomato Festival Menu is $48 at Provence Marinaside and $45 at Provence Mediterranean Grill and runs throughout August until the 31st

Provence Marinaside (Yaletown) 1177 Marinaside Crescent at the foot of Davie St., 604.681.4144

Provence Mediterranean Grill (Point Grey) 4473 West 10th Ave., 604.222.1980

You can reserve for Provence’s Second Annual Tomato Festival by phone at 604-681-4144 or 604.222.1980.

By: Richard Wolak

Point Grey: Eat and Drink during 2010 Olympics

For locals and visitors alike eating in Vancouver during the Olympics and Para-Olympics will have it’s challenges. Obviously being downtown or close to any of the Olympic venues will see lots of people and most of the restaurants, bars, lounges are going to be busy. Vancouver has wonderful neighborhoods and if you’re a local this is an ideal time to explore your neighborhood or other neighborhoods outside of the downtown core.

Here is a compilation of the best places to eat and drink in some of the neighborhoods outside of downtown.

Point Grey Neighborhood

** All locations on the #32 Dunbar & #9 Broadway bus line & the #4 Fourth Avenue bus line

La Quercia

3689 W 4th Ave.

Eat-in | Takes reservations

Tel: 604-676-1007

— Outstanding Italian cuisine for dinner only.

Baru Latino

2535 Alma Street

Eat-in | Takes reservations

Tel: 604-222-9171

— Brazilian and Latin American dishes for dinner nightly.

Mac Falafel

3685 W 10th Ave

Eat-in | Takeout

Tel: 604-739-4403

— Lebanese and Middle Eastern specialties for lunch, dinner and late night.

Simply French Café

3742 West 10th Avenue

Eat-in | Takeout

Tel: 604-568-6180

— Coffee, Tea and baked goods.

Pair Bistro

3763 W 10th Avenue

Eat-in | Takes reservations

Tel: 604-224-7211

— Pacific Northwest cuisine for dinner.


4397 West 10th Ave

Eat-in | Takes reservations

Tel: 604-222-6881

— West coast cuisine for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

Mix Bakery

4430 West 10th Ave

Eat-in | Takeout

Tel: 604-221-4145

— Sandwiches, baked goods, and cakes daily.

The T Room

4445 West 10th Avenue

Eat-in | Takes reservations

Tel: 604-677-2579

— Lunch and Afternoon Tea.

Burgoo Bistro

4434 W 10th Avenue

Eat-in | Takeout

Tel: 604-221-7839

– Comfort food for lunch and dinner

Provence Mediterranean Grill

4473 W 10th Ave

Eat-in | Takes reservations

Tel: (604) 222-1980

–French cuisine for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

The Well Café

3271 Dunbar Street

Eat-in | Takeout

Tel: 604-221-9880

— Coffee, Tea and baked goods.

Compiled by: Richard Wolak

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