Posts Tagged ‘West Vancouver’

Temper Chocolate & Pastry 1st Anniversary

Steven Hodge - owner

Steven Hodge – owner

On February 19, I attended the 1st year anniversary celebration at their bakery café in West Vancouver.

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Guests enjoyed sparkling wine, chocolate covered strawberries, cheese and crackers along with some cakes and chocolate truffles.

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Temper Pastry is located at 2409 Marine Drive, West Vancouver and you can call them at 604-281-1152 and follow them on twitter @Temperpastry

Thank you to our photographer Michelle Hondl for capturing the afternoon so well.

By: Richard Wolak

Temper Chocolate and Pastry Holiday Preview


I visited Pastry Chef/Owner Steven Hodge for a holiday season preview to taste some of their newest chocolate and pastry creations.

Steven Hodge has gotten creative with his seasonal chocolate sculptures to capture the holidays and crafted a handful of playful edible characters.  New for Christmas are the Temper Reindeer, Temper Snowman and Temper-style ‘Grinch’ Tree all adorn with chocolates.  If you’re looking for a uniquely sweet gift, Temper has also created an exquisite dark chocolate box with lid that’s both filled and surrounded by assorted truffles and chocolates.

Eggnog Latte

Eggnog Latte

Enjoyed an Eggnog Latte one of the holiday season offerings that is made with their Stumptown Coffee.

Selection of Holiday treats

Selection of Holiday treats

I then indulged in some of these holiday treats, on the plate is the Walnut Brioche, Croatian plum kiflice, vanilla shortbread, chocolate orange cookies, walnut crescent cookies, chocolate almond biscotti, rum & eggnog truffles, and gingerbread truffles.

Temper has added a selection of seasonal truffles to their popular in-house assortment.  Bite into Gingerbread and Rum & Eggnog truffles (available for a limited time) and enjoy them individually or elegantly arranged in a gift-ready box complete with ribbon.

You may want to pick up a package of Temper’s own candied almond Rocher confections and stock up on stocking stuffers such as chocolate Candy-cane Bark, a chocolate Santa boot, brightly hued chocolate ornaments, individually packaged festive lollipops and mini ‘Salty Balls’ (which won Gold at the 2014 International Chocolate Awards.

Enjoy a few almond vanilla shortbread cookies, jam crescent rolls, Croatian plum kiflice, walnut crescent cookies, ginger cookies or Bûche de Noël.

Temper Chocolate Pastry is located at 2409 Marine Drive, West Vancouver, reach them by phone at 604.281.1152  and follow them on twitter and Instagram @Temperpastry

By: Richard Wolak

Tasting Plates West Van


On September 23, 2014 we presented our Tasting Plates West End event that showcased 7 establishments throughout the area.



Caffe al Mercato


Our Tasting Plate included:

Antipasto sampler plate


Mangia Bevi


Our Tasting Plate included:

1)    Strozzapretti with white truffle oil, portobello mushrooms and porcini-cream sauce

2)    Gluten-Free fusilli with ground chicken, artichokes, oven-dried tomatoes and brandy-tomato sauce



Blue Eyed Marys


Our Tasting Plate included:

1)       Corn, leek and sausage chowder

2)       Multi grain crusted chicken thigh, Riesling apricot butter on a bacon cheddar biscuit

3)       Lemon basil tart, almond sable crust and late summer berries and cassis compote




The Anchor Eatery


Our Tasting Cup included:

1)       Two kinds of juice for each guest.

Our Tasting Plate included:

1)       Wheat free, vegan cookie

Despite the rainy evening attendees had a chance to explore Park Royal, Ambelside and Dundarave Village areas, enjoy eats and drinks inside the restaurants throughout the night. They had a chance to meet many of the chefs, bakers and servers as they showcased the best of what they do in West Vancouver.



Truffle House


Our Tasting Plate included: a selection of rotation of the following items during the event

1)       Truffle French fries- House cut Kenebec Potato’s- Truffle Pecorino-White truffle oil-Fleur de sel

2)       Truffle Arancini- Mushroom risotto ball- Parmesan- Truffle Aioli

3)       Chicken and fig Panini bite- Fig Aioli- Marinated herb chicken- mixed greens- aged cheddar

4)       Chocolate Mousse Cup- Honey almonds, Raspberry coulis

5)       Smoked chicken Quiche- Caramelized onions- asparagus- Smoked bacon

6)       Air dried Cherry tomato Pinwheel- Sundried Moroccan olive tapenade



Temper Chocolate Pastry


Our Tasting Plate:

1)       A variety of chocolate truffles,

2)       Either a mini Ice Cream bar or a double baked Almond Croissant.



Milestones Park Royal


Our Tasting Plate included:

1) Panko crusted Crab cakes with sriracha slaw and chipotle aioli

2) Poblano soup with creme fresh and red corn tortilla

3) Peanut butter and jelly pot de crème


Guests had a wonderful time experiencing many unique and tasty and drinks throughout the evening.

Photos taken by Richard Wolak and Stephanie Trimble (Milestones plate).

By: Richard Wolak

Interview with Chef Tim Kozody

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 Tim Kozody

Chef Tim Kozody

I went to Notre Dame Hockey school back in Saskatchewan. Following an injury, I moved back to Alberta where I had grown up, attending Sait – Southern Alberta Institutional Technology for a couple of years taking their culinary program. I did my apprentiship at Osteria de Medici in Calgary for 4 months. I then worked at Capo in Calgary, the Calgary Saddledome as a Catering Chef, then at Cravings in Calgary, then over to San Remo, working in a fine dining restaurant in Calgary. I then left to Europe for a year, worked on farms across Italy. In Granada, Spain, then to Cortona, Italy and then Nice, France. After a year, in 2009, I moved to Vancouver, and worked at Firehall Bistro in Pitt Meadows for a year, then as the personal chef for Steven Seagal while he was here filming. I then worked at the Maple Grill as the Executive Chef for 2 years, then I spent 4 months on a Yacht cooking, did Food Network “Chopped” tv show filmed in Toronto, and then I joined The Truffle House & Café as their Executive Chef a few months ago.

Did you have an interest in Cooking growing up?

I always loved the kitchen and always played in my grandmas garden, of both sets of grandparents. I have fond memories of picking mushrooms and berries. One of my grandmothers was a mushroom forager.

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Tell me about your interest in Truffles

The first time I had truffles was at Capo in Calgary. Then again in Europe when I went hunting for mushrooms, this is where I fell in love with them and I created a company (Tartufo d’ Alba) to import truffles and truffle products into Canada from Italy. I then came to work as the Executive Chef at The Truffle House & Café in West Vancouver.

What are your favourite dishes using Truffles?

  • Vinaigrettes – honey truffle balsamic on salads is one of my favourites
  • Walnut truffle crème sauce on tenderloin

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What are your favourite foods to eat personally?

Comfort food such as a Duck pot pie, Cuban style Panini, perogies and borscht


1st dish:

Apple and Feta Salad

Apple and Feta Salad

Apple and Feta Salad


Feta cheese


Honey truffle balsamic vinnaigrete

Toasted pine nuts

Pan seared sockeye salmon

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Daily special that is local, using sockeye at its prime right now, truffle house, using truffles and pine nuts for crunch.

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What are your favourite restaurants to eat at in Vancouver outside of where you work?

  • Siegels Bagels
  • Trafalgar Bistro
  • Stableshouse Bistro
  • Maenam

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What do you like to do in your Off Time?

  • Gardening
  • Snowboard
  • Play sports
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Playing with my dog
  • Cooking
  • Learning about Wine
  • Entertaining

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2nd dish:

Slow Braised Shortrib Truffle Parsnip Puree

Slow Braised Shortrib Truffle Parsnip Puree

Slow Braised Shortrib Truffle Parsnip Puree

Cherry gastrique

Local mushrooms: shimiji, crimini, black trumpet

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

End of summer, the cherries coming to an end, locally foraged mushrooms and the parsnip puree for fall.

What is your strategy in Menu planning?

  • You can’t replace a menu when taking over a restaurant from another chef.
  • I analyze the current dishes, then step them up one dish at a time, with my style and flair.
  • Appreciating the farmers
  • Utilizing my background in fine dining skills

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

By: Richard Wolak

Tasting Plates West Van on September 23

Tantalize your taste buds at several restaurants in the Ambleside, Dundarave  and Park Royal neighborhoods in West Vancouver.  This evening tasting extravaganza goes from 6pm until 9:30 pm and is presented by Vancouver Foodster.

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Each restaurant will be serving up Tasting Plates for guests to enjoy and you will have a chance to visit many different types of restaurants throughout the evening, meet some new food loving friends, meet the chefs, and learn about each of the participating restaurants.

If you haven’t been to our previous Tasting Plates events, Novus TV featured one of our previous events on City Lights (view here).

Visit our Tasting Plates site and view our past events, photos and more!

  • Vegetarian options will be available at many of the participating restaurants.
  • Bring along a friend or two, your significant other, your family or come solo.
  • A food networking dinner event connecting Vancouver’s vibrant food community.

Visit each of the participating restaurants at your leisure by bike, moped, transit, car, walking, roller skates, skateboarding or carpooling.

Registration: Caffe al Mercato-this is where you will show us your printed or digital tickets and will pick up your Tasting Plates Cards.

Participating restaurants:


2409 Marine Drive, West Vancouver


Twitter: @Temperpastry

Cuisine: Cafe and pastry shop

Owner and chef, Steven Hodge’s constant drive for perfection and innovation is evident in everything he creates. Using only the highest quality of ingredients, temper offers the richest, handcrafted chocolates, flakiest pastries and melt-in-your-mouth desserts, as well as a selection of gourmet sandwiches, quiches, and roasted Stumptown coffee. Checkout the review on Vancouver Foodster!


Milestones Park Royal

1096 Park Royal S, West Vancouver


Twitter: @milestoneswvan

Cuisine: Westcoast

Milestones has inspired food with a twist that has been created to pair with your life’s milestones. We feature a global dinner menu with everything from seafood to steak, a specialty lunch and an award winning brunch. We also have a seasonal menu featuring dishes to highlight the season and a Gluten free menu.


Truffle House & Cafe

2452 Marine Drive, West Vancouver


Twitter: @TheTruffleHouse

Cuisine: French

The Truffle House & Café is a cozy and comfortable place that offers a delicious combination of French, Italian and West Coast specialties. Checkout the review on Vancouver Foodster!

Caffe al Mercato

2215 Marine Drive, West Vancouver


Twitter: @CaffeAlMercato 

Cuisine: Italian cafe and deli

The owners of Mangia E Bevi Ristorante have opened a cafe and deli. Checkout the review on Vancouver Foodster!

Mangia Bevi

2222 Marine Drive, West Vancouver


Twitter: @mangiaebevi 

Cuisine: Italian

Mangia E Bevi Ristorante in West Vancouver offers a classic Italian-inspired menu, a warm and inviting ambience.

Blue Eyed Marys

1735 Marine Drive, West Vancouver


Twitter: @blueeyedmarys

Cusine: Canadian

Our comfortable restaurant in West Vancouver reflects our unpretentious attitude toward dining, and our service is as honest and without airs as our food. We are informal and familiar and we welcome you to our relaxed atmosphere and delicious food. Checkout the review on Vancouver Foodster!

The Anchor Eatery

1520 Marine Dr, West Vancouver


Twitter: @TheAnchorEatery

Cuisine: Juicer

The North Shore’s hidden gem featuring Açai bowls, Raw juice bar, Fresh baked goods and Paninis.

Purchase Tickets Here:

Advance Tickets: $40 per person. $120 for a 4 pack of tickets or $162 for a 6 pack of tickets (get a group of your friends/family together and save by purchasing a 4 pack or a 6 pack). Regular Tickets $50 per person after September 21, 2014.

Note: Eventbrite fee and GST is extra on all tickets purchased online.

Ticket price includes tasting plates at each of the participating restaurants throughout the evening. (Beverages are included at some restaurants which will be noted, you are welcome to purchase wine, beer, cocktails or mocktails at each of the participating restaurants).

Note: ALL Tickets must be purchased in advance online. All ticket sales are final. No exchanges or refunds; however you are welcome to transfer the ticket to another person for the same event if you notify us in advance with name (s) of who will be attending in your place. Event produced by CMI Chat Media Inc. This is an all ages event.

4th Annual Best of the West

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Last night I attended this wonderful event hosted by the Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver along with House Wine.  The weather was beautiful, the backdrop of the local mountains and Burrard Inlet were magnificent, guests mingled eating delicious bites from North Shore restaurants and sipped on BC Wine.

Chef Mike Mikoda (right) of Pier 7 Restaurant

Chef Mike Mikoda (right) of Pier 7 Restaurant

Smoked Chicken and Waffles

Smoked Chicken and Waffles

Stag's Hollow

Stag’s Hollow

Bene Sushi owners

Chef Jordan and cook of Bene Sushi 

Vegetable and Tuna Fish Wrap

Vegetable and Tuna Fish Wrap

Chef Steve Hodge of Temper Pastry

Chef Steve Hodge of Temper Pastry

Vanilla & Citrus Cheesecake

Vanilla & Citrus Cheesecake

Allison Schoefield (left) from Haywire Wines

Allison Schoefield (left) from Haywire Wines

My favourite pairings of the night were their Smoked Chicken and Waffles with coffee jelly from Pier 7 Restaurant paired with the Stags Hollow 2012 Tempranillo; the Vegetable and Tuna Fish Wrap from Bene Sushi paired with Stoneboat Vineyards 2012 Pinot Gris; and the Vanilla & Citrus Cheesecake from Temper Pastry paired with Haywire 2012 White Bub.

Savoury Road Chefs

Savoury Road Chefs

Coconut and Ginger infused Prawns Cake with pineapple salsa and sweet baby pea shoots

Coconut and Ginger infused Prawns Cake with pineapple salsa and sweet baby pea shoots

Cassoulet with beans, sausage, port and lamb from La Regalade French Bistro

Cassoulet with beans, sausage, port and lamb from La Regalade French Bistro

Braised Beef Short Ribs with green olive and peppercorn sauce with potato latkes from Hugos

Braised Beef Short Ribs with green olive and peppercorn sauce with potato latkes from Hugos

Ahi Poke Cones from Zen Japanese Restaurant

Ahi Poke Cones from Zen Japanese Restaurant

Milestones Grill Park Royal Chefs

Chef Wes Dennis (centre left), GM Phil Locke (centre right), Sous Chef  Josh Lind Peterson (far left), and Cook – Todd Gartland (far right) of Milestones Grill Park Royal 

seared Ribeye on a caramelized onion polenta cake from Milestones Grill.

seared Ribeye on a caramelized onion polenta cake from Milestones Grill

Other dishes that I enjoyed was the Coconut and Ginger infused Prawns Cake with pineapple salsa and sweet baby pea shoots from Savoury Road; Cassoulet with beans, sausage, port and lamb from La Regalade French Bistro; the Braised Beef Short Ribs with green olive and peppercorn sauce with potato latkes from Hugos; Ahi Poke Cones from Zen Japanese Restaurant and the seared Ribeye on a caramelized onion polenta cake from Milestones Grill.

For the 4th year in a row the event was held on the pier on the water at Ambelside, guests were treated to delicious food from restaurants that included, Pier 7 Restaurant, Mangia E Bevi, The Observatory Restaurant, La Regalade, Cactus Club Café, Bene Sushi, Hugos, Forage, Savoury Road, Zen Japanese Restauarant, Milestones Grill and Temper Pastry.

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The delicious food, wine and the dj playing jazz made for a beautiful evening on the pier!

By: Richard Wolak

Culinary arts at Harmony Arts August 1-10

A place to enjoy music, art and delicious food, the Harmony Arts Festival, presented by Odlum Brown Limited, has  a variety of food options to keep festival visitors coming back to try it all!

Harmony Arts Festival Art Market

Debuting a new culinary program this year, the festival has introduced the Fresh St. Art of Food.  Argyle Avenue, the centre of the Harmony Arts Festival, transforms into a culinary experience featuring over 35 chefs, restaurants, food vendors, unique wine and craft beer, and more. Visitors can enjoy a variety of delicious food samplings and tasters, along with the ability to purchase a selection of these unique and special culinary treats. The Fresh St. Art of Food takes place August 5-7 from 5-9 p.m.

Another exciting culinary delight is the opening of the Park Royal Beachside Patio featuring the Glowbal Group’s Fish Shack. This space has seating for 60 and plenty of room for standing, chatting, and enjoying a drink during the entire 10 day festival. Situated next to the Waterfront Lounge, the Park Royal Beachside Patio will also be the centre of a contemporary art exhibition by Matthew Soules curated by the West Vancouver Museum. The project provides a new and alternative way to present art and creative thinking in a non-gallery environment, and is in keeping with the Festival’s objectives.

The Waterfront Lounge returns for all 10 days of the festival and features local wines and spirits with the delightful sights and sounds of the PARC Retirement Living Garden Concert Stage.  Hosted by house wine, the Waterfront Lounge will feature Italian fare by Caffe Al Mercato.


Also returning are the delicious meals and stunning views of the Art Café sponsored by Stromer. This is the perfect spot to relax by the beach in the summer sun! The Art Café is located at the eastern edge of the Art Market at the foot of 14th Street adjacent to the Ferry Building. Artisan Eats sponsored by Canadian In-Home Care and Symmetry Life is also a fun dining space full of vendors and delicious treats and is located on the western edge of the festival in John Lawson Park.

Returning for a fourth year is the annual BEST of the WEST sponsored by Grosvenor Americas. Enjoy an evening on Ambleside Pier featuring 12 BC wineries paired with 12 of the Lower Mainland’s best restaurants in a culinary competition hosted by house wine. Tickets are on sale now for $105 each online and by phone. For tickets and a listing of participating restaurants and wineries visit here.

Keep up to date by following the festival on twitter @harmonyartswv

By: Richard Wolak

Beachside Concessions in West Vancouver

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I took myself on an excursion a couple weeks ago to Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver to visit The Smoke House which is located inside the park towards and above the beach. This beachside concession is unlike any you have seen in and around Vancouver, it has a large beautiful patio surrounded by tall evergreens. There is seating on the outside patio as well as inside the café/concession. Here they smoke their own meats and serve up brisket sandwiches and a whole lot more daily.

Sea Salt Caramel Affogato with a waffle cone

Sea Salt Caramel Affogato with a waffle cone

My mission was to try the Sea Salt Caramel Affogato with a waffle cone served in a glass mason jar, Wowza! It was quite a treat to sit on their beautiful patio at the wooden picnic table surrounded by tall evergreens above the beach hearing the waves hitting the shore.

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My roving lunch started off with dessert here before I headed off to their other location Dundarave Beach Café located on the beach in Dundarave Village.

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This concession sells a wide range of burgers, sandwiches and salads all home-made along with fries and other sides. Their burgers and meats are supplied by Dundarave artisan butcher Sebastian & Co. You will also find beverages both hot and cold to round off your outside beachside dining experience.

Quinoa Black Bean Burger

Quinoa Black Bean Burger

My mission here was to indulge in their delicious Quinoa Black Bean Burger with teriyaki grilled pineapple, and apple fennel coleslaw, Kimchi slaw, with chili lime fries!

You can get more info about The Smoke House and Dundarave Beach Café which are both run my Fox Foods by tollowing them on twitter @foxfoodsvan as well follow them on Instagram to be tempted with their dishes and treats.

By: Richard Wolak

Sebastian & Co

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2425 Marine Drive, West Vancouver

Tel: (604) 925-1636


Hours: Mon – Sat: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Sebastian Cortez

Sebastian Cortez

Sebastian Cortez is a trained professional chef-turned-butcher who once worked for renowned Toronto chef Jamie Kennedy. Wanting to broaden his knowledge about food, he decided to study the art of butchery. After working as head butcher in Toronto, Sebastian moved west to settle down and open his own Artisan butcher shop in Dundarave Village, West Vancouver.

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Sebastian takes his inspiration from the artisan butcher shops of Europe and South America. His passion for food and fine meats is clear the moment you step into his shop. He takes great pains to prepare immaculately frenched racks of lamb, beautifully tied standing rib roasts, and perfect dry-aged steaks that taste even better than they look. With his chef’s background, he is happy to offer cooking tips or suggest different ways to prepare your favorite cuts of meat.

40 days dry aged Canada prime beef steak

40 days dry aged Canada prime beef steak

I enjoyed a 40 days dry aged Canada prime beef steak that I pan fried at home, along with some of his local, house-made charcuterie, including bresaola, salamis, smoked meat, pastrami and bacon. I have also used his own brand of dry rub and salt.

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They also offer a cold case featuring prepared foods, meat pies along with tins of their house rubs, barbq sauces and more. From Tapenades and chutneys to crackers and biscuits along with fine imported olive oils and local and imported balsamic vinegars.

You can follow them on Twitter @SebastianAndCo and on instagram

Review by: Richard Wolak

Trattoria Park Royal Opening

Executive Chef Jonathan Chuy

Executive Chef Jonathan Chuy

On Friday May 9th, I attended the opening of Trattoria in West Vancouver, the newest restaurant from the Glowbal Group. Executive Chef Jonathan Chuy, who comes to the new location from the original Trattoria, oversees a menu showcasing casual Italian fare.

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Trattoria boasts an expansive dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows, a sunny rooftop patio, plus cozy patio-seating out front the entrance of the restaurant. Designed by BOX Interior Design, the 3,650 square-foot space features an open kitchen concept, butcher block-style tables, warm aged-wood paneling, and polished concrete floors. Stand-out design elements include a wine barrel-backed bar and wine bottle chandeliers – large-scale lighting fixtures custom-made using more than 100 wine bottles.

Chef Giuseppe Cortinovis

Chef Giuseppe Cortinovis

Chef Giuseppe Cortinovis is the head pizza maker who recently emigrated from Italy to Vancouver to head the pizza operation at Trattoria Park Royal.

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Guests were treated to white and red wine, beer and cocktails as well as a delightful array of Italian eats including some of their popular flatbreads, my favourite was the Potato Cheese Flatbread along with Risotto Balls and more.

Part of the exciting expansion project at West Vancouver’s popular Park Royal shopping centre, Trattoria is located on the exterior of Park Royal South. Staying true to the Trattoria brand that GLOWBAL has nurtured since opening the first location in 2008, guests to the new space can look forward to traditional Trattoria cuisine, inspired wine selections and friendly service, enjoyed in comfortable surroundings.

Trattoria Park Royal is located at 757 Main Street, Park Royal South in West Vancouver

By: Richard Wolak

Food & Fashion at Fraiche

Chef Jefferson Alvarez (L) & Fashion Designer Kim Cathers (R)

Last week Fraiche Restaurant hosted a wonderful evening of delicious canapés by Chef Jefferson Alvarez and his team.

Duck Confit with fois grais

Prawn Sushi

Mushroom Popped

My friend Kenji Maeda joined me as we ate the delicious canapés and watched the team in the kitchen platting there beautiful food.

Kdon by Kim Cathers

Kdon by Kim Cathers

Kdon by Kim Cathers

We then watched the fashion show that featured Kim Cather’s fall collection of Eco woman’s fashions. Fashionistas and their food loving friends enjoyed the fashion show and delicious canapés and wine throughout the evening.

kdon by Kim Cathers is a fresh line of clothing that is inspired by the earth created with the joy of imagination and finished with precise hand detailing. Kim designs with an innovative style, and is giving Eco fashion a new, strong voice.

Fraiche Restaurant is located at 2240 Chippendale Road in West Vancouver.

By: Richard Wolak

Photos Credit: Kenji Maeda

Celebrate Argentina & Chile Wine at Fraiche Oct 2 & 9

Fraiche Restaurant presents a Wine Series featuring Argentina on October 2nd and Chile on October 9th. You have an opportunity to taste and compare at two special evenings, featuring 5 course menus prepared by Chef Alvarez.

Winemaker Alberto Aruzu

Tuesday October 2nd at 6:30pm, meet Winemaker Alberto Aruzu of Bodega Luigi Bosca in Argentina, learn about their wines over a 5 course dinner paired with 5 of their wines.

Winemaker Francisco Baettig

Tuesday October 9th at 6:30pm, meet Winemaker Francisco Baettig of Vina Errazuriz in Chile, learn about their wines over a 5 course dinner paired with 5 of their wines.

Tickets are $95 for one evening or $150 for 2 evenings, for reservations call 604-925-7595

By: Richard Wolak

2nd Annual Best of the West

Last week I attended this wonderful event for the 2nd year in a row hosted by the Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver along with House Wine. Again the event was filled with wonderful bites from many of West Vancouver and the North shore’s restaurants as well as BC Wine for guests to sip.

Duck Rilette and Saskatoon berry mostarda tart by Fraiche

Roast Suckling Pig with mashed potatoes by La Regalade

Pier 7 Restaurant chefs

Pan Seared Spring Salmon, chanterelle mushroom and bacon saute and pea shoots by Pier 7 Restaurant

Prawn Jalepeno Wrap with asian slaw and chili mango drizzle by Zen Japanese Restaurant

Dale Ferris Catering

Louis Gervais Fine Foods and Catering

Mesquite smoked, Pemberton Valley flat iron steak by Louis Gervais Fine Foods

The setting for this event is beautiful, it was held on the pier on the water at Ambelside, guests were treated to delicious food from restaurants that included, Fraiche Restaurant, Beachside Forno, Pier 7 Restaurant, Carmelo’s, Restaurant Chez Michel, Zen, Mangia E Bevi, Larson Station, The Observatory Restaurant, La Regalade, Dundarave Fish Market Restaurant, Dale Ferris Catering and Louis Gervais Fine Foods.

The delicious food, wine and the trio playing jazz made for a beautiful evening on the pier!

By: Richard Wolak

Fraiche Celebrates 1 Year Leap Anniversary

Chef Jefferson Alvarez (L), Chef Wayne Martin (M), Manager Phil Reigh (R)

On Tuesday February 29th, I attended the 1st year Leap Anniversary (that’s 4 years) Party at Fraiche Restaurant in West Vancouver. Guests mingled over glasses of red and white wine, savoured bites by Chef Jefferson Alvarez. Guests included Chef Wayne Martin who was the opening chef of the restaurant 4 years ago.

Serving Scallop Tartare

Serving Crispy Pork Skin

Passed around bites included Scallop Tartare, Lamb Merquez, Fennel Pannacotta with kelp caviar and crispy pork skin.

Paul Chalmers (co-owner)

Paul Chalmers (co-owner) spoke and recognized their Executive Chef Jefferson Alvarez as well as their Manager Phil Reigh.

Fraiche Restaurant is located at 2240 Chippendale Rd, West Vancouver, BC and online at

By: Richard Wolak

Brunch: Jay Brazeau at Fraiche

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 ninth brunch in this series, I was joined by Actor Jay Brazeau at Fraiche Restaurant in West Vancouver talking acting, life and more!

Jay Brazeau

Jay Brazeau is an actor, director, and writer who has been in over 215 roles in his career thus far. Last year I saw him in the film “Fathers and Sons” , he recently joined me for the Brunch at Fraiche in West Vancouver on a beautiful sunny day, we sat at the corner window with a spectacular view of the whole city.

Jay grew up in Winnipeg, went to Toronto he wanted to become a comedian, he ended up performing at Yuk Yuks and was on the same bill as Howie Mandel and Jim Carey. He then returned to Winnipeg and did animation, then decided to give Vancouver a try and came out West. He knew no one, but got involved with the Vancouver Theatre Sports league. After doing improv with Vancouver Theatre Sports this opened him up to not saying no and going forth in acting.

When did you begin your acting career?

I was 19 years old and I walked into a theatre workshop and asked to be an actor. I was then thrown into “Wacky this Fuddlejake “. Always ended up hanging out, you have to hang out to get the parts. My father took me to movies in Winnipeg, and I loved it. I was then cast in 3 plays – 1) Cyrano 2) Christmas Carol and 3) Creeps

What was your favourite role you ever played in a film?

“Father and Sons ” there was no dialogue, they only mapped out a light story to give guidance.

What were your most recent films?

  • “Living in a Car “
  • “Brothers and Sisters “
  • “Duke “

What was your favourite role you ever performed in a play thus far?

  • “Cyrano ” in Pittsburgh
  • “Drowsy Chaperone ” in Vancouver – originators felt really great about our production.

Did you always want to be an Actor?

No I wanted to be a cartoonist as a kid, doodled like crazy, always wanted to express myself in an artistic way.

Do you ever get nervous?

I get nervous when having to talk in front of an audience as myself, I love to play other roles.

What do you do in your spare time?

  • Used to collect ugly lamps, going to garage sales to find the lamps.
  • Playing scrabble with my neighbor Alex
  • Writing
  • Watching “Breaking Bad ” tv series

Chestnut Chorizo Soup

Traditional Eggs Benedict

Vegetable Omelet with wild mushrooms

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Jay and Richard both had the Chestnut Chorizo Soup ($9), then Jay had the Traditional Eggs Benedict ($16) and Richard had the Vegetable Omelet with wild mushrooms ($15). For dessert, Jay and Richard both had the Sticky Toffee Pudding ($9) with vanilla ice cream.

What is your favourite food?

  • Eggs Benedict
  • Rice Pudding

What are your favourite restaurants in Vancouver?

  • Paros in Burquitlam (Greek –off North Road –owned by Alex – my neighbor)
  • Bons off Broadway
  • Brazza in North Van for coffee

Have you acted in the theatre production of “Hairspray” more than once?

I did the original musical production of it in New York. You are probably wondering how this happened, I came out to New York for the audition and spent the day in New York, then they called me back to audition again. I got the part and then was part of the Broadway production in New York. Then in 2010, I played the same role in the Stanley Theatre production in Vancouver.

What was it like to star in the trilogy of Carl Bessai films where your role was unscripted?

I was only in the last two “Fathers & Sons” and “Brothers & Sisters ” –Before the film I was able to combine film and theatre experience, it was a life changing experience for me.

Is there a role you wanted to play that you didn’t get after auditioning? If so, what was the role and in which play or film?

“Death of a Salesman ” 17 years ago when I had one son, I want to revisit this play again now that I have two sons.

How does a Canadian Actor make it in the film industry?

  1. If you are young you move to the USA
  2. If you are old you find a project that you can do here, then move to the USA, then come back to Canada
  3. You seek out Directors like Carl Bessai or Mina Shum

How many productions (films or theatrical) will you act this year?

  • “Old Love ” as Director
  • “Bah Humbug! ” as Actor
  • “Cat Came Back ” with Fred Penner –theatrical production

How did you get casted in the 21 Jump Street tv series?

It was a Steven Cannel production and they hired local actors for many of the film parts, it was very interesting doing this show.

Do you have any memorable films?

“Were No Angels” with Robert Deniro, Sean Penn and Demi Moore – I learned so much on that show. I was originally scheduled for 26 days and in the end it become 46 days.

Is there a Director you want to work with?

  • Clint Eastwood
  • Larry David
  • Abneszia Holland
  • Ann Wheeler

How many agents do you have?

I have one agent in Toronto for Films & Commercials and two agents in Vancouver, one for Film & Theatre and the other for Commercials.

Tell me about your current production “Old Love”

I am currently directing “Old Love” about middle aged people in their 50s, the play stars my wife and Vince Metcalfe and it is being performed at Presentation House Theatre in North Vancouver.

What is next for you?

I have a play in the works “Fortune and Son” (4 generations of fathers and sons)

What would you like to do in the future?

  • I would like to work with my son on a project.
  • Would like to do a small film
  • Would like to do a murder mystery
  • Find a summer to work with Christopher Gaze in “Bard on the Beach”
  • I want to direct a Musical
  • I want to work with Electric Company
  • I dream to work with Len Carey again

What would you tell a want to be actor?

Always know your audience.


Style: a La Carte

Attire: Smart Casual

Time: Sunday 10am – 3:00pm

Fraiche Restaurant

2240 Chippendale Road, West Vancouver


For Reservations, please call 604- 925-7595

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

By: Richard Wolak

Best Beef Burger & Fries in Vancouver

Over the past 8 weeks I have ate my way through 10 of the best burgers all over Vancouver, West Vancouver and North Vancouver to the places that either were faved by readers alike or were on my must visit list.

You can’t judge the burger on its own, most of the time you will find fries on the side of your burger, hence this quest was not only about finding the best and most delicious beef burger it was about finding the best fries and my results are based on this combination of the burger and fries. There are many aspects of what makes a great burger, starting with the bun (was it home baked or from another bakery), the type of cheese, the sauce, the toppings and most of all the meat!

My Best Beef Burger quest was for the best ‘Premium’ or ‘Upmarket’ burger that is over $10, and not from chain restaurants with over 4 locations.

Note: The prices indicated exclude tax.

In ranking order, here are the Best Beef Burgers & Fries in Vancouver.

1)    The Oakwood – FIRST PLACE

The Oakwood

The Burger

House ground AAA Shoulder, crispy buttermilk fried onions, alfalfa sprouts,  smoked cheddar cheese, secret sauce, texture and flavour of the bun, perfectly done meat juicy and flavourful,  pickles, and tomato.

Everything is home made from the brioche bun to the buttermilk fried onion, to the pickles, and smoked cheddar

My take: This was the most unbelievable burger I had on this quest and one that I would repeatedly order in a flash. Every single ingredient here is a standout from the juicy meat, to the freshly baked poppy brioche bun, to the amazing fries and the home made ketchup.

Cost: $16

The Oakwood

2741 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

Tel: 604-558-1965


Twitter: @theOakwoodKits


2) Stackhouse Burger Bar– SECOND PLACE



Stackhouse Burger

6.5 oz local prime rib patty with pancetta, Portabellini, Guinness cheddar, chipotle aioli and butter lettuce served on a brioche bun with Russet potatoes fries and seasoned to perfection with fleur de sel.

My take: This is definitely the second best burger I had on this quest, Stackhouse specializes in burgers and this beef burger is one that stands out, the meat was perfectly cooked, the brioche buns are baked fresh, the portabellini and Guiness cheddar pack a punch that delivers a sensational taste.

Cost: $15

Stackhouse Burger Bar

1224 Granville Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-558-3499


Twitter: @StackhouseBB


3)       Romers Burger Bar – THIRD PLACE


Man’s Man Burger

All-natural Heritage Farms range-fed Angus beef, Thick-sliced applewood bacon, local creamery amber ale cheddar, onion strings, smoked alder salts, vine-ripened tomato, whole grain mustard. Added a side of the Fresh-Cut Fries with truffle oil and regianno.

You can ‘Pimp Your Burger’ by adding savouries, marvelous mustards, different types of cheeses and more.

My take: Another place that specializes in burgers and this Man’s Man beef burger is another one that stands out, the meat was perfectly cooked, the brioche buns are baked fresh, the onion strings and Amber ale cheddar along with the smoked alder salts made for a mouth-watering experience.

Cost: $11 burger and $7 fries

Romers Burger Bar

1873 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

Tel: 604-732-9545


Twitter: @romersburger


4)    Refuel – FOURTH PLACE


The Burger

Ground chuck 28 day aged beef, smoked bacon, Stony Paradise farms Tomatoes, aged cheddar cheese, mayo, home made bun by their own bakery at Campagnolo. Hand cut fries blanched and fried.

My take: The beef is aged from 28-35 days and the flavour comes from the aging process, the burger is fried on the grill and the meat is juicy and delicious. The ingredients are superb and these sweet red tomatoes with the aged cheddar cheese pull it all together on their home-made bun.

Cost: $16


1944 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

Phone: 604-288-7905 ‎


Twitter: @refuel_bar


5) Au Petit Chavignol – FIFTH PLACE

Au Petit Chavignol

Cheese Burger

Ground AAA beef chuck, toasted bun from Island City Bakery  with Leerdammer cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, pickle, secret sauce, Dijon mustard, ketchup, homemade seasoning salt and frits.

My take: The meat was juicy and tender, but the combination of the Dutch Leerdammer cheese with the caramelized onions have made this burger. The Frites had a good crunch and very lightly salted.

Cost: $12 for burger, Add lettuce & Tomato +$1, Add caramelized onions+$1½

Au Petit Chavignol

845 East Hastings Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-255-4218


Twitter: @petitchavignol


6)    The District –SIXTH PLACE

The District

The No. 13 Burger

Tenderloin & Sirloin beef with tapenade & caramelized white onion mayo, cumin Gouda, secret sauces on a bun made by Fortuna bakery. Awesome fries with seasoning and a good tarragon tartar sauce on the side.

My take: this was a huge burger, the meat tasted good but fell apart too easily which made the burger difficult to eat.

Cost: $16

The District

13 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver

Tel: 778-338-4938


Twitter: @districtsocial


7)    Market by Jean-Georges – SEVENTH PLACE

Market by Jean-Georges

Truffle Burger

Two Angus beef burger patties topped with Brie cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, tasty pickles, truffle aioli on both sides of the bun, fries on the side with a light crunch, ketchup on the side.

My take: This was quite the heavenly rich burger with its 2 beef patties, brie cheese and truffle sauce, my only downside was that the fries could have been just that much better.

Cost: $18

Market by Jean-Georges

1115 Alberni Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-695-1115


Twitter: @MARKETjg_Van


8)    The Teahouse – EIGHTH PLACE  

The Teahouse

Chefs Burger

Canadian Angus beef, aged applewood cheddar, bacon, balsamic braised portabelini, lettuce, tomato, Dijon remoulade, big kaiser bun made by Terra breads, with fries.

My take: The meat was perfectly done, moist and delicious, the balsamic braised portabellini and the aged applewood cheddar was a wonderful combination and the big Kaiser bun just added to the great burger. The fries were disappointing, they were thin and too salty for my liking.

Cost: $16

The Teahouse

Ferguson Point, Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver

Tel: 604-669-3281


Twitter: @The_Teahouse


9)    Beachside Forno – NINTH PLACE

Beachside Forno


House-Made Wagyu Beef Burger, caramelized onions, pancetta, white cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes on a house-made milk bun and house-cut fries and ketchup on the side.

My take: The type of beef used while being top notch wasn’t moist and flavourful like the others relying on the caramelized onions and cheddar to lift it to the next level.

Cost: $16

Beachside Forno

1362 Marine Drive, West Vancouver

Tel: 604-926-3332


Twitter: @Beachside_Forno


10) Gerard Lounge — TENTH PLACE


Beef Sirloin Burger

Canadian Angus beef, white cheddar, bacon, mushrooms, Portuguese bun, horseradish aioli & red pepper relish

My take: Although huge in appearance that didn’t make up for the overall taste of the burger. The meat was a little too dry, and the bun would have been so much better had it been a Kaiser or Brioche.

Cost: $17

Gerard Lounge

845 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604.682.5511



Note: I know there are more restaurants around the Vancouver area that have Burgers & Fries and I was unable to get to all of them on this quest.

Which Beef Burgers & Fries are your favourite from a restaurant around Vancouver or in the suburbs?

Feel free to add your comment here and name the place and their location, the cost of each excluding tax and why you think they are the best!

By: Richard Wolak

Best of the West

Last night I attended a wonderful event hosted by the Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver along with House Wine that was filled with wonderful bites from many of West Vancouver and the North shore’s restaurants as well as BC Wine for guests to sip.

Alain Raye (R) of Le Regalade

Beef Shortribs in peppercorn sauce from La Regalade

Mangia E Bevi

Prawn & Grapefruit Ceviche from Beachside Forno

Dungeness Crab Terrine from The Observatory Restaurant


Fois Gras Tart from Fraiche

Such a spectacular setting for this event, it was held on the pier on the water at Ambelside, the lucky 200 guests at this sold out event were treated to delicious food from restaurants that included Chez Michel, Fraiche, Beachside Forno, Carmelo’s, Zen, Mangia E Bevi, The Observatory Restaurant, The Beach House, La Regalade and Louis Gervais Fine Foods.

Loved the food, wine and the trio playing jazz in a setting that was bar none!

By: Richard Wolak

Harmony Arts Festival Wine Garden July 29-Aug 7

house wine is thrilled to be hosting the Wine Garden at The Harmony Arts Festival presented by Odlum Brown Limited. Located on the water’s edge at the foot of 15th Street in Millennium Park, the Wine Garden looks onto the Pacific Arbour Garden Stage which is programmed with daily and nightly entertainment. Sip on wines selected by house wine and nibble on superb Italian fare from Mangia e Bevi Ristorante as you take in the sounds and sights of this unparalleled waterfront experience. Everyone is welcome!



2009 Prospect Winery, ‘Birch Canoe’ Pinot Blanc, BC

2010 Cono Sur, Viognier, Chile



2010 Vieille Ferme, Rosé, Côte du Ventoux, France



2010 Finca Los Primos, Syrah, Argentina

2009 Rilento, Nerello Mascalese, IGT Sicilia, Italy



R&B Brewing, Bohemian Lager



wine – $7/glass, $35/bottle

beer – $7/glass

non-alcoholic beverages – $3 each


*Assortment of salad, pasta, sandwiches, skewers & daily grilled items available for purchase.

Wine Garden hours:

-Friday, July 29th: 4:00 pm – 10:30 pm

-Saturday, July 30th: 12:00 pm – 10:30 pm

-Sunday, July 31st: 12:00 pm – 10:30 pm

-Monday, August 1st: 12:00 pm – 10:30 pm

-Friday, August 5th: 4:00 pm – 10:30 pm

-Saturday, August 6th: 12:00 pm – 10:30 pm

-Sunday August 7th: 12:00 pm – 10:30 pm

BEST of the WEST August 4th

house wine and the Harmony Arts Festival presented by Odlum Brown Limited introduce BEST of the WEST where West Vancouver will be enjoying BC’s best in celebration of BC Day. Guests will be introduced to food and wine from 10 participating restaurants and wineries. Set at the foot of 14th Street at the Pier, this ticketed event will be an unparalleled waterfront experience.


Date: Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Time: 7:30-10:30 pm

Location: The Pier at the foot of 14th Street* West Vancouver

*Please note that in the event of inclement weather, the location will be changed to a covered venue. You will be notified the day of.

Cost: $75 per ticket

Participating Restaurants:

-Beachside Forno



-La Regelade

-Louis Gervais Fine Foods and Catering

-Mangia E Bevi

-Restaurant Chez Michel

-The Beach House

-The Observatory Restaurant

-Zen Japanese Restaurant

Participating Wineries:

-Black Hills Estate Winery

-Blue Mountain Vineyard & Cellars

-CedarCreek Estate Winery



-Laughing Stock Vineyards

-Mission Hill Family Estate

-Poplar Grove Winery

-Quail’s Gate

-Tantalus Vineyards

click here for purchasing info or call 604-925-7270

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