Food 4 Thought

FARMACIE Long Table Dinner for Backpack Buddies

1 NIGHT. 1 TABLE. 1 COLLECTIVE SHIFT. Long table dinner on June 5th! Save a seat today!

Come to  Southlands Heritage Farm in South Vancouver for the 5th instalment of the FARMACIE long table dinner series. Chef Marika Richoz will be accompanying Chef Brian Skinner (formerly of The Acorn Vancouver) in the kitchen. They will be whipping up some delicious local fare from B.C. Farmers and Fishermen — this is a #dreamteam you do not want to miss!

All proceeds from this dinner are going to Backpack Buddies.

Backpack Buddies is a unique program that addresses a very real need in the Vancouver community while providing a tangible opportunity for kids to help other kids. Even though it isn’t exactly comfortable to think about, a large number of students in Vancouver’s inner city schools rely heavily on free or reduced price breakfast and lunch programs during the school week.

What we often forget is that hunger doesn’t take the weekend off and many of these kids are going without food for entire weekends. They decided that this just wouldn’t do and that’s lead to the inception of our flagship program. Backpack Buddies engages kids that are fortunate enough to be attending school without worrying about where their next meal is coming. They have fundraisers, hold food drives and pack backpacks full of enough food to feed kids for the entire weekend. Next, the backpacks are delivered to the schools and kids that need them. The act is equally as important as the result. #KIDSHELPINGKIDS

Today, the program provides 800 backpacks full of food to children in need. Every month. Their immediate goals include doubling this number in the next year and facilitating educational programs

* The Fine Print: price includes all food, drink and optional transportation. Please e-mail us directly if you have any dietary concerns. 

Plate Invaders

Plate Invaders Invade For May

You know those underground dinners you always meant to attend? Well they’re back! Plate Invaders serves up a delicious vegan meals made with seasonal local produce in an intimate setting.

On May 20/31 there are two seatings, the first from 6pm til 8pm, the second from 8:30pm til late. TICKETS

If you want drinks, please bring your own bottle and let them know well in advance about allergies. Kindly they also donate 10% of all proceeds to a local animal charity.

plate invaders

The dinner happens in a private East Van location. It is up a flight of stairs and not wheelchair accessible. After you have made a reservation you will receive the address.

For more information visit or contact

santa monica

Santa Monica: Where the City Meets the Sea – Darpan Magazine May 2015

LOVE Santa Monica and went this spring. The article below was published in Darpan Magazine print and online. More travel writing please!

Heading to Southern California has never been easier with many direct flights a day into Orange County, Palm Springs and Los Angeles. While the larger cities may sound tempting, we suggest that you take a true beach-side escape and head to Santa Monica, where you can experience a touch of Hollywood glamour in an outdoor paradise where the city meets the sea.


Taves Family Farms

Visit a Greenhouse on BC Veggie Day May 23

Owners of British Columbia greenhouses are inviting their neighbours and customers to tour four Lower Mainland greenhouses on May 23 and to see for themselves how so much can be produced from so little, and for so long.

To visit a B.C. greenhouse is to look through a figurative, and rarely uncovered, window and see modern science’s solutions to the time-and-space restraints on food production that have challenged humankind since the first nomad planted the first grain seeds 12,000 years ago.

Taves Family Farms

In B.C., greenhouse production of flowers and vegetables accounts for 21 per cent of total agriculture production. Remarkably, that production occurs on only 1/100 of one per cent of all the province’s agricultural land.

In B.C., too, greenhouse production puts fresh local vegetables on the kitchen table 10 months of the year.

The occasion the annual BC Veggie Day promotion organized and sponsored by the BC Greenhouse Growers’ Association, owners of greenhouses in Abbotsford, Aldergrove and Surrey are opening their facilities to the public on May 23.


The greenhouses and their locations are: Calais Farms, 34079 Clayburn Road, Abbotsford; TAVES Family Farms Peppertree Farms, 270 Gladwin Road, Abbotsford; Topgro Farms, 1110 – 264th Street, Aldergrove, and Sunnyside Greenhouses, 1119 – 176th Street, Surrey.

Their open house hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

BC Veggie Day is supported by the B.C. government’s Buy Local Program; delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. with funding from the provincial agriculture ministry.

The growers’ association website is

The association’s Veggie Day website


Spanish Paella Party Vancouver

It’s on, the Spanish Paella Party in Vancouver, a celebration of the culture of this amazing country. June 13 from 2 pm until 2 aam at the Brockton Pavillon.

Spain is trendy: Gastronomy, values, people, rich culture and joy of life have become global and everybody wants to know a little bit of it. Enjoy an  Olive oil tasting, Wine tasting, Live Flamenco, DJ music and dance!


Sangría and Tapas (Paella, albóndigas en salsa, chorizo con garbanzos, tortilla, ensaladilla, montaditos…) from Executive Chef Sandro Oliveri will be served.  Contact to to get your tickets in advance for only 20$ (25$ the day of the event) or get more information.

With your ticket, you will get a plate of our delicious paella and a raffle ticket for valuables prices and several spanish vendors will be present to show you more about Spanish culture.



Brain Food Speaker Series with Whole Foods Market

Culinary Creators, Bloggers, Entrepreneurs, Activists, Authors, and Filmmakers all take the stage at the Royal Bank Room at the UBC Chan Centre to inspire and educate with their stories of food.

Sun., May 31, 2015 at 11:00 am at Royal Bank Cinema

The masterful minds behind Vij’s famous menus, Vancouver’s first cold press juice truck, the most authentic French pastry café in the city, the farms popping up next door to you, the award-winning documentary that has turned into a movement, and how hunger-relief organizations are feeding and empowering the people it serves.

Speakers include Jackie Kai Ellis, Meeru Dhalwala, Zach Berman, Jen Rustemeyer, Emily Jubenvill, Michael Markwick, and Aart Schuurman Hess.

Ticket sales benefit the Whole Kids Foundation. Refreshments and snacks will be provided.

Get updates on Whole Foods Market events, recipes, and sales by joining their newsletter or following them online:

Twitter: @wfmvan
Instagram: @wfmvan




Beauty Night For A Cause

TONIGHT! May 21, 2015! A unique night of mingling and networking combined with all your favourite beauty services. Drink wine and connect while getting a blow out, a Dermalogica MicroZone Skin Treatment, an RMT back massage, a make-up touch up and a manicure. Find out first hand how it feels to help the women of the Downtown East Side through the magic of Beauty Night. 100% of the proceeds will go towards Beauty Night embracing the concept of “women helping women”. Just $50 TICKETS!


Kung Fu

Kung Fu Noodle

My first foray into Chinese Food was as a child at the local food fair in Orchard Park Mall in my hometown, Kelowna. I’d order up a some sweet and sour chicken, mostly consisting of batter and topped with a bright red overly sticky and sickly sweet sauce, and maybe some soggy chicken chow mein, a mess of overcooked noodles and a few sad looking veggies. I was a kid and it seemed more exotic than the other limited choices the mall offered, and the deep fried, sweet mess, somehow did the trick back in those days.

When I moved to Vancouver, I was invited out to eat proper Chinese cuisine and was insanely pleased to try un-battered prawns, lightly tossed in a mild curry sauce, freshly sauteed beans and veggies, hand pulled noodles and all sorts of “strange” dishes with intense spice. I had ventured into Chinatown and Richmond with people in the know and would never return to food fair “Chinese” cuisine again.

There’s nothing better than an evening out with my Chinese-speaking friends who order “off menu” and I eagerly await the still novel dishes arrival. Dim sum is something I now enjoy regularly, although I favour the Shumai and Har Gow over the chicken feet and duck tongues.

When it comes to grabbing a quick bite though, I’ve been checking out some less formal places of late for a quick bite of freshly pulled noodles, a bowl of noodle soup or a non-neon chicken dish. As such, I stumbled across Kung Fu Noodle, a rather non-nondescript spot on the 600 block of Seymour, hidden amongst the English as a second language skills across from The Bay, should you need a non food fair option for a shopping break.

They had a $15 Social Shopper special on for dinner for two people, including two entrees and two drinks (s value up to $27). Includes a choice of crispy ginger beef with rice, General Tso chicken with rice, and either Kung Fu beef chow mein or Kung Fu chicken chow mein plus any two soft drinks. Look for it again soon.


The room itself is very plain, with spacious seating and a view to the kitchen and noodle pulling, as they do make own noodles, which is added entertainment. I asked to take a picture, but was distinctly told no.

Fortunately the servers were friendlier than the anti-photo chef and were helpful in deciphering some of the dishes and didn’t lose patience with me as I asked for a bit of elaboration. I ordered up the Kung Fu Beef Chow Mein and General Tso Chicken (check out some fun history of the dish on Wikipedia) and got some giggles as I was dining solo, but I assured the server I’d wouldn’t burst as I was packing up the remains dinner to go.

Kung Fu Beef Chow Mein

The Beef Chow Mein noodles where nicely done with a flavourful sauce and tender beef, as a nice scattering of cabbage, broccoli and sprouts.

General Tso Chicken

The chicken was a tad greasy, but came with a welcoming dose of spicy peppers and some fresh broccoli, sweet peppers and onions and once combined with the rice, was addictive. There’s no alcohol here, but the tea flows freely.

Good place for a quick bite, I think I’ll return for what seemed to be the most popular order from observing the adjacent tables, the noodle soup. Maybe next time I’ll catch the noodle making!

Kung Fu Noodle 682 Seymour St Vancouver,
BC V6B 3K4

Selfology Spa Salon

Selfology Spa Salon Medi-Spa Package

Selfology Spa is a modern spa and salon  at Granville and 16th in Vancouver who’s primary goal is to nurture you towards better health. Their treatments range from skin care to massage and makeup, as well as hair cuts and styling. This is my second very excellent visit to this spot! There is an awesome SocialShopper deal on now too!

Selfology Spa Salon

It’s a comfortable place with natural wood accents and the treatment rooms enable you to escape for an hour or two and enjoy a variety of healing treatments.

Selfology Spa Treatment Room

My latest adventure at Selfology a including firming and slimming facial using the natural Sea Flora line of products, along with a scalp massage and a detox-massage and heated Sea Flora seaweed body wrap.

The Sea Flora products are made up of marine and thalassotherapy elements of wild seaweed, ocean mud and marine minerals and they are so soothing I’ve started to use them at home.

The facial massage left my skin tight and glowing and the seaweed body wrap in the infrared heat blanket is said to opens pores, and ease sore muscles. It gets a bit hot in the wrap, but you can definitely feel these affects as if fat is melting away! My body felt deep cleaned and after I rinsed off the seaweed in their amazing shower, I emerged feeling a new energy had been unleashed.

All products used at this high-end, modern spa are 100% organic and their professionally trained therapists provide customized treatments should this particular one not be for you.

I will be back soon, as I’m due for a mani and pedi so I can slip into my summer footwear without embarrassment!


Company Website
8 – 3195 Granville St.
Vancouver, BC
V6H 3K2

Selfology Spa Salon

This is a place where miracles seem to occur and luckily SocialShopper currently has two deals for you for:

– Option 1: $82 for 90-minute head to toe medi-spa package for one person, including firming or slimming facial with scalp massage, medi-body contouring or detox-massage and heated body wrap (value $308)

– Option 2: $155 for 90-minute head to toe medi-spa package for two people, including firming or slimming facial with scalp massage, medi-body contouring or detox-massage and heated body wrap (value $614)

*Selfology spa provided the treatments mentioned, but, as always, we only recommend products and services we truly love.


Greasy Spoon

Greasy Spoon Diner Supper

TODAY #3 in the Greasy Spoon Diner Supper Series featuring the amazing Chef William Tse’s!

Chef Tse taken the diner concept in an exciting and unexpected direction with a menu which features classic Asian comfort food delivered with a fine dining spin. Guests can look forward to a feast that includes short rib, pork belly, dumplings, crêpe and much more. The menu reflects Chef Tse’s passion for local and sustainable ingredients and includes paired drinks with every course.

William Tse

Greasy Spoon Diner Supper Series #3  — Chef William Tse

First Course
Corn Soup: Creamed corn, roasted garlic, chicken dumpling.

Second Course
Smoked Pork Belly: Char siu style, rice crêpe

Third Course
Duo of Beef: Hoisin-chocolate glazed short rib, beef cheek risotto

Fourth Course
Chocolate & Bananas: Deep-fried banana, chocolate financier cake, coconut ice cream

Tickets are still available at

A Better Life Foundation

Founded in 2012 by Mark Brand, ‘A Better Life Foundation’ (ABLF) strives to support people in need. The overarching goal of the Foundation is to raise critical funds towards providing food security to women, children, and those in assisted living as well as provide job training and employment opportunities for the community at large. By looking for and working towards sustainable solutions, ABLF aims to contribute towards meaningful change.

In its first two years, the objectives of the Foundation are two-fold. Firstly, to relieve poverty by providing nutritious meals to those in need and secondly, to relieve poverty by providing job skills, training opportunities and job placement assistance for those with barriers to traditional employment. The foundation has had great success to date with both of these initiatives, working with multiple partners – from developmental disability to addiction service agencies.

ABLF plans to run a food program providing one nutritious meal daily to residents of Single Residency Occupancy hotels and assisted living buildings in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). The vision for 2013 is to increase service for over 1500 individuals living in various housing societies and organizations. In addition, ABLF will work towards sponsoring multiple community kitchens and cooking classes. Community kitchens help to create a social outlet and skill-building environment while teaching residents how to access food sources and cook for themselves. Part of the Foundation’s commitment is to ensure that the meals and community kitchens provided are nutritious and, whenever possible, include locally sourced ingredients. With almost two years experience in this program with partner Atira Women’s Resource Center – ABLF has real metrics that the program is not only effective, but successful in changing lives every day.

Through a food provision program, ABLF will provide job training and opportunities to individuals facing employment barriers such as mental illness and/or addiction. By partnering with restaurants and urban farms in the DTES, the Foundation will create work experience and education programs focused on food production and preparation as well as basic life and planning skills.