Brunch with Margaret Gallagher at Lift Bar & Grill

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.

Margaret Gallagher

For my fortieth brunch in this series, I was joined by CBC Radio Reporter of The Early Edition and Host of CBC Radio HotAir Margaret Gallagher at Lift Bar & Grill in Coal Harbour talking about Radio, Cooking, Bicycling and more.

Margaret Gallagher has been hosting and reporting for on the radio for the past 12 years, having been a regular part of CBC Radio One’s The Early Edition since 2001, and was the BC host of CBC Radio 2’s Canada Live.

Prior to joining the CBC, Margaret was active on the arts scene and worked with the Western Front, the Video In and the Independent Film and Video Alliance. She has worked as an editor, a freelance writer, and technical communicator. Her previous work earned her an award of distinction from the International Society of Technical Communicators.

Margaret has won several awards including two prestigious National RTNDA (Radio-Television News Directors Association of Canada Awards) Dave Rogers Award for Best Radio Feature for her piece “Fade to Black”, about the closing of the last drive-in in the Lower Mainland and one for “Gail the Golden Age Goalie” where we met a 77 year old goaltender who shows no signs of slowing down.

Actively involved in community outreach, Margaret has tirelessly donated her time and efforts to many Vancouver events. She has hosted dozens of events for a variety of arts and community groups, including: UBC & SFU Alumni Associations, Asian Heritage Month, The Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the Vancouver International Folk Music Festival and Hapa-pooloza.

In April 2010, Margaret took the reins as host for CBC Radio One’s Hot Air, CBC’s longest running radio program.

You can follow Margaret on Twitter @GallaghMargaret

What got you into Radio, specifically hosting radio shows?

I was a technical writer and teacher at SFU and I wrote for Rice Paper Magazine as well. I worked at Creo and Vertigo beforehand, one opportunity lead to another (my degree was Sociology and Anthropology from SFU, worked in the arts world) then radio. Always a writer …..

How did you get a job with the CBC?

The Editor of Rice Paper Magazine was also an Associate Producer at CBC and he asked me to apply for a job. The 1st piece I did was about a Volvo (my very first car) and the show happened to be in Surrey. Funny piece on the car show and after the piece I got a 1 year contract to start.

When did you join The Early Edition on CBC Radio? And has your role changed over the years since you started?

11-1/2 years ago was my 1st job and I have been hosting HotAir for the past 3 years. My job is still the same to report on community, Arts & Cultural, bring the city into the studio. It has changed because the city has changed with it. There was no social media back then, Hosted Canada Live for 2-1/2 years (60 concerts in one year).

How did you become the host for CBC Radio One’s Hot Air?

Paul was retiring, I always loved music and singing and I had done Canada Live previously. I had a love for music and was lucky enough to be the person to get that job.

Tell me who some of your most notable guests that you have interviewed on your shows over the years ?

  • Harry Ioki – Japanese Canadian musician – for The Early Edition– I get a chance to talk to people that you may not have known.
  • Ian Macdougal – Jazz legend for HotAir
  • Rosemary Brown – love of Opera
  • Tiko Kerr – I went Rowing with him

What foods do you like?

  • Chocolate
  • Lemonade
  • Potatoes

What is your favourite Chocolate?

1)    Cocoa Nymph – Salted Caramel Nymph

2)    Purdy’s – Yard long chocolate bar

3)    Chocolaterie De La Nouvelle France – everything

Tell me about your Cheesecake Experience

Years ago, I worked at Cheesecake Etc for 8 years, within that time frame I spent 4 years baking the cheesecakes and made over 60,000 pieces of cheesecake.

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict

Bison Short Ribs Cassoulet

Almond Chocolate Bar

Margaret had the Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict with two poached free run eggs on toasted English muffins, hollandaise sauce and hashbrowns and Richard had the Bison Short Ribs Cassoulet and then Margaret and Richard shared the Almond Chocolate Bar for dessert.

What are your favourite restaurants in Vancouver?

  • Les Faux Borgouis
  • Pizzeria Barbarella
  • Dai Tang
  • Ken’s Chinese
  • Matchstick Coffee Roasters
  • Yew in the Four Seasons Hotel
  • Whitespot (for my daughter)
  • Boneta

What do you want your listeners to learn if you will from your Hot Air show?

To learn about some of the great Jazz in our city and country. Also, celebrating the music and exposure of our talented BC musicians.

What do you do in your off time?

  • Play hockey
  • Cooking
  • Reading
  • Family time
  • Go to the park

How far in advance do you plan your shows?

HotAir – couple of weeks ahead

Early Edition – sometimes the day of and others a week or so in advance.

What type of music did you listen to growing up?

My mom was an accomplished musician, so I listened to Classical at home and fell in love with Jazz in my late teens (my brothers and I got into Alternative and New Wave in our teens).

Tell me about your catering company, Komodo House that you once had?

Before working at CBC – my friend (Angela Wan) and I was cooking a lot and did some Indonesian dishes. Then did catering for cultural events – SE Asian inspired food. We are still obsessed about cooking.

Do you come from a broadcasting family?

No – but my father is a retired English professor and actor. My mom is a teacher and piano player. My brother is an actor

What has inspired you lately?

People who I interviewed regularly who are inspiring. My daughter is 3-1/2 years old who is inspired by everything. People who are passionate and show kindness. The people I work with who are curious and passionate people inside and outside the office.

What is one of your traditions in your family?

At least once a week we make this dish with Fried Chick Peas, Dried Chorizo, and Fresh Spinach

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

  • Jennifer Chen and I are planning a bicycling holiday special
  • Emcee Nikay Centre fundraiser Spring
  • Emcee Theme of Spain at the Cultch
  • Eventually make some Seville or Marmalade

Who are your Mentors?

  • Yvonne Gall
  • Phillip Ditch Bern
  • Rick Cluff

Style: A La Carte

Attire: Business Casual

Time: Saturday & Sunday 11am – 3pm

Lift Bar and Grill

333 Menchions Mews, Vancouver

Tel: 604-689-5438


Twitter: @Liftbarandgrill

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

By: Richard Wolak

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