Back to School With Value Village

The #IGiveAShirt Campaign By Value Village

This back-to-school shopping season, Value Village is challenging people to come together to save 700 million gallons of water through one simple act: replacing one new t-shirt purchase with a thrifted one. If Value Village gets 1 million people to choose a thrifted t-shirt in place of a new one, it’ll be the equivalent of saving over 1,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools full of water, before the first bell rings.
People can show off their thrifted tees and support this effort by using the hashtag #IGiveaShirt.

Back-to-School Savings

The National Retail Federation reported that parents plan to spend over $360 on clothing and shoes in 2016 – but there’s no need to spend that much. Knowing how quickly kids go through clothing, shoes, books and toys, shoppers choosing thrift help the environment and their pocketbook too. In fact, shoppers can save 70-90 percent on back-to-school basics compared to other retailers, with a full wardrobe for $100 or less. 96 percent of all items sold at Savers are priced under $10 and the average sale price of items in the kids section are $3.00.

Value Village

I checked out Value Village recently and here’s what $50 got me! Three brand new-to-me outfits! img 7657

Here’s me out on the farm with Chef Chris Whittaker in my newly acquired wares.

Thrift Shopping Tips 

  • Never have an expectation for finding a certain item, keep an open mind. You might go in for a dress and come out with an awesome top instead.
  • While you’re thrift hunting, look for timeless pieces. Denim, cashmere and silk are fabrics that will never go out of style and can be purchased secondhand for much less than buying new! Also keep in mind that interesting prints are always a fun trend to incorporate and Savers is the perfect place to find those unique pieces.
  • Browse a department you wouldn’t usually shop in and don’t limit yourself to size. Some of the best blazers, cardigans and shirts for women can be found in the men’s or boy’s departments. Interesting fashions can also be found by taking something in a larger size and adding a belt.
  • Get creative and look beyond the clothing that is right in front of you. A little DIY magic can give just about any secondhand clothing item a fresh breath of new life. You can take a skirt or men’s shirt, add a belt and you have a brand new dress!
  • Wear something simple, such as flats, leggings and a tank top so that you can try items on as you shop.
  • When in doubt—grab it, and try it on. You never know!
  • Don’t be shy and look closely at clothing and accessory items so that you can get a sense of the quality and craftsmanship. For example, look for textiles made in the USA, Canada, Italy and Spain – known for high quality fabrics and leather goods.
  • Thrift shopping is always better with friends! Bring a few shopping buddies and make it a competition to see who picks up the best hidden thrift treasure.

Gojoy Goji Berry Muffins

BC Fresh Goji Berries are in season! Whip up some Gojoy Goji Berry Muffins

Did you know that BC grows Goji Berries? They even have u-pick right now out in Aldergrove! Details on Gojoy Berries here.  Do eat these muffins the day they are baked and the berries tend to collapse quickly due to their thin skin.

Gojoy Berries


1 2/3 cup Olympic Dairy Yogurt – any flavour
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large Eggs
1 cup oil or 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup apple sauce
2 cups natural bran
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour + 1/8 cup
3 tsp baking powder
2 cups Fresh Gojoy goij berries


Preheat oven 350°.

Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or spray with Canola Oil or Veg Oil

Measure yogurt into medium bowl and mix in baking soda, it will foam and it is supposed too; set aside.

In a large bowl beat together sugar, eggs and oil.

Add bran and vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix togetgojoy Berriesher flour and baking powder.


Gradually add the flour and yogurt mixtures alternately to the sugar mixture.
Gojoy Berries

Toss Gojoy Berries in 1/8 cup flour

gojoy Berries

Fold in goji berries and Bake 20-35 minutes in paper lined muffin papers sprayed with canola or veggie oil.

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Oakland’s Urban Wine Trail

Visit Oakland Where Wines Aren’t Always Among the Vines

Heading to California and looking for some wine tasting? There’s no need to venture right into the vineyards of Napa or Sonoma, (although we wouldn’t frown upon that) instead hit the new urban wine trail right around Oakland. Oakland’s a quick jaunt from the San Francisco Airport and the trail is even easily bike-able! I ventured down to California this spring and have the scoop on this hip destination.



You’ll want to check yourself into the Waterfront Hotel Oakland in Jack London Square, the only publicly accessible mixed-use waterfront in the East Bay. The hotel has a nostalgic nautical theme and is right on the water with views of passing boats and kayaks. The Square is home to excellent restaurants and retail as well as the weekly farmers market which I was lucky enough to catch.



Book ahead to ensure you’ve got a spot on the East Bay Winery Bike Tours, the experts in the area. They arrived at the hotel with bikes in tow and guided us through the streets to three very different tasting rooms. The tour owner’s wife had even baked some fresh Foccacia for us to enjoy along the way; first class treatment.


First up was Dashe, Oakland’s largest working winery where winemaker Michael Dashe showed off their impressive Grencahe Blanc, Carignane and  and Zinfandel in a rather spacious winery room.


Next we ventured to Urban Legends Cellar Door, a bustling barrel-filled space where owners Marilee and Steve Shaffer greeted us with sensational Rhone varieties, and a stellar Pinot Noir and Italian Dolcetto.


Cycling on to Rosenblum back at Jack London Square we delved further into their food-friendly Zinfandels served up with a lovely cheese and charcuterie plate. And this, all is one afternoon.




We arrived in time for lunch in the Square and choose Bocanova, a seaside spot with an excellent patio and Latin-inspired Fare. The ceviches were superb, duck tacos divine and the Pork Cubano sandwich crunchy, moist and chock full of chorizo, pork, emmentaler and pickled peppers. We had some issues over ownership of the warm croissant bread pudding with Mexican Chocolate ice cream, but we resolved them by ordering a second.


Dinner was also in the square at Haven, a more formal spot with prixe fixe menus that began with a bread, veggie and charcuterie plate that haunts me with its greatness to this day. With pickled veggies, chicken liver mousse, pastrami, a pork terrine, fava-bean fritters and more, this “Breaking Bread” course, as they called it, set the stage for a superb meal.


Continuing on the meat theme, we shared a foie gras dish strewn with pickled green strawberries, a delightful pork belly, asparagus complete with a decadent sauce, a prime-aged rib-eye, a deliciously moist fish dish with with it’ perfectly crisp skin and even managed a chocolate dessert served with ice cream. Had we had another night in town we would have returned. Excellent service, wonderful wine list and cozy but sleek atmosphere all bonuses.

Oakland Farmers MarketOakland Farmers MarketOakland Farmers Market

Farmers Market

The following day my flight back to Vancouver wasn’t until late afternoon so I lingered aboutand caught the farmers market, complete with a chicken roaster, fresh oranges and plenty of sweet treats.

Shrimp N Grits

Brunch was a plate of shrimp at Grits at Brix 581, a spot that looked like it would be hopping at night, and showed signs of action at brunch.


The rain started just as I was leaving so my farewell to California was less painful, but as I write this I am already planning my next adventure there.

What’s Good This Week August 11

What’s good this week in and around Vancouver

Tonight’ (August 10th) the night for our Les Dames d’Escoffier Summerdine dinner, which we’ve been going wild about so I am sure you all already know. Our group raises funds for women’s education as well as Project Chef and Growing Chef, two amazing programs that teach children about food in their classrooms. I’ll be live tonight from Pacific Yacht Charters so stay tuned for some magical food pics and insights (well at least attempts at the pics, but the food will be magical).

What else are we recommending this week? Well Champagne for one.



Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio Champagne Menu til Sept. 21

In celebration of its one-year anniversary Ancora has created a menu curated by the restaurant’s acclaimed sommelier team all based around Champagne.  The exclusive menu highlights five distinct styles of Champagnes available by-the-glass or bottle, and showcases France’s finest sparkling wines produced by top family growers and prestigious estates. Selected to cover a range of styles from leaner to fuller, guests can also try a flight of three, 3-ounce glasses from the Champagne houses of Thiénot, Moutard and Mandois ($43).

To complement the Champagne celebrations, Executive Chef Ricardo Valverde has added a new selection of dishes to the menu to reflect the summer season.

To try the exciting new dishes or enjoy the feature summer Champagne menu (served now until September 21), visit or call 604.681.1164 to book now.  Ancora is also up for Enroute best new restaurant of the year.

Seawheeze Sunset

Lululemon Seawheeze Sunset Festival – August 13

Guess who’s doing the Seawheeze again this year? Slowly, but surely I shall get this done! Although the half marathon may be sold out, this year’s Sunset Festival still has tickets! Get ready for an evening of outdoor yoga, music, tasty food and a brew (or two).
What’s happening at the Sunset Festival?
– you and your buddies dancing the night away to live performances by Chromeo, Dear Rouge and YoungBlood
– a sunset yoga practice led by Global Yoga Ambassador, Stephanie Snyder with thousands of your new friends
– a licensed venue and gourmet grab-and-go food for purchase
– stellar sunset views overlooking the Pacific Ocean from Vancouver’s iconic Stanley Park
For more details please see

wives page

Bard on the Beach Merry Wives of Windsor – til Sept. 24

I just sent my parents to this and they were blown away with the humour and talent in this show.  Set in 1968 in Windsor, Ontario where English ex-pat Sir John Falstaff is hunting for a solution to his money troubles. He sends an identical love letter to two wealthy housewives, hoping to seduce them – and enjoy their fortunes – with no clue that they are best friends! When they discover his scheme, these merry wives set Falstaff up for some hilariously sweet revenge. Don’t miss this one! Tickets


Berries at Joe Fortes

Get your fill of BC Berries at Joe Fortes with their famous Pavlova topped with beautiful local blueberries, strawberries & raspberries. Or try othe August feature, a Blueberry Frangipane prepared by the pastry team available until  August 22nd.



Tacos at Tacofino in Yaletown

Tacofino brings its celebrated brand of California-inspired cuisine with a new counter-service restaurant, bar and patio in the heart of the Yaletown district at 1025 Mainland Street.

Tacofino in Yaletown serves up its trademark lineup of fresh, eclectic tacos and burritos and an array of housemade cocktails and local craft and import beer selections in a refurbished space that features Eighties-inspired, SoCal surf-punk décor. Get your taco on.



Fried Chicken at Juke

Fried Chicken, Chicken Strips, Pork Ribs, plenty of sides and more at 182 Keefer Street at the newly opened Juke Restaurant Bar and take out spot. The dishes look amazing and I’ll be there asap!

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Lobster at The Keg

Go old-school and hit the patio at the Keg on Alberni and you won’t regret it. LOBSTER GRATINÉE with Oven-baked lobster with garlic, herbs and melted Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses or BACON WRAPPED LOBSTER – Succulent Atlantic lobster wrapped in Applewood smoked bacon served with a zesty martini cocktail sauce. Don’t miss CRISPY LOBSTER TACOS Tossed in crispy rice, golden fried lobster on warm tortillas with cabbage slaw and cilantro.

The Good Stuff – Ready-to-blend superfood smoothies delivered to your door

Start your day or finish it with a Superfood smoothie

I’ve recently been making smoothies, but they’re usually just a couple frozen bananas and berries, as the fresh veggies in my fridge usually expire before I manage to consume them all. Recently, though, I sampled the smoothies from The Good Stuff and I tell you, there’s been all sorts of other goodness in my cup.

The Good Stuff smoothies are packaged individually and can be picked up individually at UBC or in North Van, can be delivered in packs of 6-10 to your door, or in bundles of 20 where you choose from a family, weight loss, or athlete bundle. Prices vary depending on the amount you buy each time, but range from $4-$6.

The prepped smoothie-packs are the brainchild of two guys, Tonner and Mike, that went to University together and found they didn’t have the ingredients on hand to make a balanced smoothie; smartly done boys!

Weight Loss Smoothie Bundle

There are six main flavours with a variety of different ingredients and inspirations. The Diesel Monster is a muscle builder, the Easy Greens a cleanse, the Kitsilano Sunrise antioxidant booster, the Madagascar a stress buster, the Thunderbird a performance fuel and the Wise Ninja an anti-inflammatory. You’ll have to try them all once to find a favourite, I’m fond of the Kitsilano Sunrise, fittingly, it’s a combination of Carrot, Banana, Chard, Spinach, Brazil Nuts, Maple Syrup, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Black Pepper.

The ingredients come in recyclable paper cups that you can fill with water, juice, almond milk, kefir, coconut milk or liquid of your choice, blend up and serve. They’re so easy and so very nutritious. I’ll be ordering more this week.phpthumb generated thumbnail


*The Good Stuff provided smoothie packs for this review.

What’s Good This Week August 4+

Vancouver Events

Well I’m a little behind this week as a stupid summer cold has slowed me down, but I’m hoping the worst is over as there’s no time to be sick! This week we are prepping for Les Dames Summerdine happening next Wednesday, Meet the Rancher at Hopcott in Pitt Meadows, which makes a nice little drive, there’s cider to be had at Orchard and the Sea and far more!


Orchard & the Sea – August 5, 6, 7

Head to Gastown for artisan cider and hand-crafted small bites from Chef Jefferson Alvarez at 55 Powell Street 6-11 pm this weekend As I did my food tours the past few weeks I wish I’d had time to stop into Birds and The Beets for this pop up! Perhaps this weekend! Orchard and the Sea


Hopcott Farms Meet the Rancher – August 6

Hopcott Farms is celebrating 10 years this August at Hopcott Meats and has two months of fun-filled events to share. This weekend Meet the Rancher includes a charity BBQ for Alisa’s Wish, live music, free coffee and product samples, and activities for all ages. With an ever-growing number of people concerned about where their foods come from, Hopcott Meats has responded with an opportunity to ‘Meet your Rancher’ where the public is invited to stop by and learn from the ranchers who raise their meat.


Come Forage with Chef Chris Whittaker August 7

On August 7th Come Forage with Chef Chris Whittaker on beautiful Fraser Common Farm, and Laurica Farm. Tour the two farms, all the while learning more about them, and foraging. Then enjoy dinner you helped to forage ingredients for. This event is an annual fundraiser for the ongoing educational programs of Fraser Common Farm. Get tickets here!

Experience Delta Farm and Culinary Tour
Experience Delta Farm And Culinary Tour August y

Join us on Sunday, August 7th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. when a select number of Delta farms, gardens, orchards and vineyards swing open their gates to welcome the public in for a peek and a taste of what life is like on the farm in one of the most significant agricultural communities in all of B.C.  Details

summerdine 2015 27619738692 o

Les Dames Summerdine – August 11

Dine for a cause this coming Wednesday. $79 gets you an amazing dinner and wine pairing. Ticket available at Notch 8 at Hotel Vancouver, Chicha Peruvian on East Broadway, Arc at the Fairmont Waterfront, Nicli in Gastown, Kaya Malaysian (8 dishes) and Boulevard at The Sutton Place Hotel. TICKETS  Funds go to scholarships to women in wine and food and children’s school programs.

provence 2016 virgin tomato tarte 2

Tomato Fest at Provence August 2-31

It’s the 7th Annual Tomato Fest. Take advantage of our exclusive 3-course menu ($55) and optional wine-pairings ($22) that highlight fresh, in-season and locally-grown heirloom tomatoes. Click for details

The Keg Lobster

Lobster at the Keg – Until August 28

Sample steak and lobster, whole lobster, lobster tails, lobster tacos and more at the Keg until August 28th. Details


Les Dames Dinner Parties – Summerdine August 10

Join Restaurants around BC on August 10 for Summerdine, a Fundraiser for Les Dames d’Escoffier

I am a member of a wonderful organization that assists women in the culinary, wine and hospitality industry with scholarships and supports and raises money for Growing Chefs and Project Chef, two programs focused on teaching children about food and food skills in school.


August 10 is our annual event that is one of the best value culinary fundraisers of the year: Les Dames Summerdine.  Dozens of restaurants, vineyards, gardens and cooking schools, from Vancouver Island to Metro Vancouver to the Okanagan, each donate one table for a concurrent dinner party.  Each restaurant is priced exactly the same ($79/seat), with each restaurant donating the food menu and table and a winery donating the wine.

One table or bar seats,  located in the dining room or in a very special location like the kitchen or wine room.  Some locations may offer an outdoor dining experience in the form of a picnic dinner. TICKETS

Most are sold out, but there are a few seats left at these Vancouver hot spots.  But tickets here.

Chicha Restaurant

Chicha Restaurant

Chicha restaurant is a modern Peruvian inspired shares plates restaurant owned and operated by three female friends; Shelome Bouvette (executive chef), Allison Flook (executive chef), and Kumiko Umeno (GM). Chicha focuses on local sustainable west coast ingredients, fresh flavours, vibrant and feminine plating, with a modern Peruvian Latin twist.

 Ceviche Chalaco –  Albacore tuna, sockeye salmon, halibut, side stripe prawns, scallops marinated in green tigre de leche, fresh oranges topped with fried calamari (gf)

Chicha Restaurant

 Causa Camaron-  Aji Amarillo Chili whipped and chilled potato layered with Dungeness crab, mango, avocado and topped with cherry tomato corn salsa, and poached side stripe prawns (gf)

 Chimu Mote Ensalada –  Cherry tomatoes, black olives, fresh cheese, amaranth, arugula, baby greens, orange and champagne vinaigrette (gf)

Chicha Restaurant

 Lomo Saltado –  Medium rare Pemberton meadows hanger steak, kennebec fries, onions, peppers, tomatoes, rich veal Demi stir fry (gf)

Flourless Peruvian Rocoto Chili Spiced Chocolate cake with warm chocolate sauce (gf)

Kaya Malay Bistro – Kaya’s Festive 8 Course Dinner

A true gastronomic delight and proud winner of Best Restaurant Awards, Kaya Malay Bistro offers authentic Malaysia fares with smart west coast twists that are lavishly unique, both in texture and aroma. With profound influences from Portugal, India, Indonesia, and China, Malaysian cuisine is diverse, complex and inviting. Come and experience this intriguing spectrum of flavours and culinary adventures with us.

 Green Papaya & Mango Salad – (Fresh papaya and mango mixed with jicama root, carrot, organic greens served with mango puree and crushed peanuts)

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Roti Canai – (Flaky layered breads known as the Indian community’s greatest culinary contribution to Malaysia, served with curry dip)

Squash and Apple curry Bisque –(South East Asian soup infused with Malay spices, galangal and pepper leaves)

Jumbo Scallops & Prawns Sautéed in a Lamèricaine
(Simmered in our house made sauce prepared with tomato, garlic, chili, wine shallot& egg sauce)

Court-Bouillon Braised Lamb Shank in Malaysian Style (A lamb shank so tender it almost falls off the bone, braised with ginger, leek, carrots, & spinach)

Caramelized Wild Sockeye Salmon with Asparagus (Boneless Salmon fillet topped with caramelized sweet ginger sauce & onion)

Organic Vegetable simmered in Nyona Style Curry (Organic Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrot, Eggplant & Green Bean simmered in Lemak Curry

Deep Fried Coconut “Helado” (The ultimate fried treat is the one that sounds almost too good to be true!)
(Deep fried coconut ice cream)

Provence Marinaside

A refreshed masterpiece in collaboration with Trine Hendriksen “When re-imagining Provence, I wanted to evoke the refined elegance and charm of restaurants you come across in Europe.” The new feature wine wall will add a sense of drama and focus to the room; and with False Creek and the seawall walk across the street, it was an easy decision to open up the window wall to the fresh air, welcoming guests to stay to drink in the view. The whole effect is airy, bright – sophisticated but natural.Full Event Details

 Tomato, Avocado and Local Dungeness Crab Salad Champagne Vinaigrette

Di Mare Clams, Mussels, Scallops and Prawns in a light wine broth radish sprouts, fresh herbs and EVOO

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Seared Fresh Halibut Marcona Almond and Arugula Pesto Citrus Beurre Blanc Forbidden Rice and Grilled Bell Peppers

provence (8)

Crème Brulée Fresh Local Raspberries

ARC at Fairmont Waterfront

ARC offers simply inspired, handcrafted fare in a relaxed setting. With its beautiful West Coast views, it’s the perfect place to partake in a four course dinner for Summerdine created by the Executive Chef.

BURST OF SUMMER Baby vegetables, planted back, roasted almond and herb soil
Tuna poke pizza, crisp tortilla, tobiko, smashed avocado
Seared pork belly and Humboldt squid, Harissa spiced, smoked buttermilk

DESSERT TASTING by Scholarship winners Kirsten and Jessica

Lemon mousse, fresh berries
Okanagan peach, honey shortcake, thyme chocolate sauce
Chocolate bomb


Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

Vancouver’s Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar provides a distinctive showcase for the celebrated culinary vision of Executive Chef Alex Chen and redefines the fine art of dining with subtle, unexpected and playful approaches to cuisine, service and style.

With an innovative approach that blends a respect for the past with a celebration of the present, Chen’s seafood-focused menu is grounded in classical technique and training, while artfully infusing casual West Coast flair and creative hints of his international influences.

Snake River farms Wagyu Carpaccio, Classic Foie gras terrine, brioche, smoked mayo

Slow cooked local Octopus a la Plancha, eggplant, pine nut, Prosciutto

Canadian Prime NY, sweet corn succotash, “Winter” Australian black truffle

BLVD Opera bar, chocolate ganache, coffee buttercream, hazelnut praline


Hart House Burnaby

Hart House Restaurant is one of Burnaby’s hidden treasures.  The restaurant is located in a Tudor-style heritage house situated on a 3-acre estate.  If weather permits, Summerdine guests will enjoy award-winning Pacific Northwest cuisine al fresco on the restaurant’s private patio, which offers picturesque views of the lawns and tranquil Deer Lake.  In the case of rain, the table for four will be set indoors, in the relaxed elegance of Hart House’s sunroom.  The winning combination of great food, attentive service, and a beautiful setting is sure to make your evening one to remember.


SUMMER GREEN SALAD Hannah Brook Farms Greens, Dried Figs, Ricotta Salata, Raspberries,Hazelnuts, Huckleberry Vinaigrette

CARNAROLI RISOTTO Pork Belly, English Peas, Pea Tips, Parmigiano Reggiano

SEARED HALIBUT English Peas, Squid Ink Fregola, Pea Tips, Mussels, Clams, Citrus Beurre Blanc

DARK CHOCOLATE TART Pistachio Ganache, Chocolate Crumble, Cherry Puree, Cocoa-Nib Tuile

nicili pizza


A sophisticated yet family-friendly restaurant, award-winning Nicli Antica Pizzeria is the first VPN-certified pizzeria to bring a lot of attention to Gastown, the culinary epicentre of Vancouver.

Nicli Antica Pizzeria honours the culinary traditions from four generations of the Nicli family. Chef David Tozer’s menu highlights the season’s freshest, local ingredients alongside a robust beverage program. An experience at Nicli Antica Pizzeria will bring to mind the touchstones of Italian culture — family, authenticity, and incredible food and wine.

Cannellini bean spread,
Albacore tuna conserva, oregano and grana padano flatbread

Orecchiette en brodo,
heirloom grape tomatoes,heirloom beans

Local Margherita di culatello,
fire-roasted heirloom pomodoro, Courtenay mozzarella di bufala,
Agassiz “Fermière” grana, Two Rivers 17 month aged Mangalista Culatello,
sweet basil

Olive oil cake with candied lemon,
lemon confit, blueberries, crème fraîche, tonka bean gelato

fairmont hotel vancouver notch8 booth

Notch 8 Fairmont Vancouver

“A restaurant, a bar, a journey.”

Located in the lobby of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Notch8 Restaurant & Bar welcomes you to a new era of glamour.
Named for a train’s highest speed, the luxurious and contemporary design of the Notch8 takes inspiration from the romance of rail travel and the hotel’s rich heritage. Restaurant Chef Jason Saruya offers his modern spin on classic comfort dishes including a daily rotating rotisserie menu, while mixologists shake up both innovative and classic cocktails behind the bar. Notch8 is the perfect setting for everything from casual cocktails with friends, to business lunches, to an intimate dinner with your loved ones.


NOTCH8 WALDORF SALAD apple croutons, poached celeriac, sour grape dressing

RICOTTA RAVIOLI hay & honey infused, locally foraged morel mushrooms, cured egg yolk

SPRING SALMON WELLINGTON lentil duxelle, organic chard, tomato fondue

DARK CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE burnt honey anglaise

Market by Jean-Georges

Market by Jean-Georges is the first restaurant in Canada for three-star Michelin chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and the signature restaurant of Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver. Executive Chef Ken Nakano is a homegrown talent who delights guests with sophisticated yet uncomplicated flavours. With a passion and dedication for authentic farm-to-table cuisine, chef Nakano showcases the finest Canadian ingredients from coast to coast. Market is open seven days a week from breakfast through dinner, and is located on the hotel’s third floor, accessible through the hotel or by taking the glass elevator located next to Urban Fare.

King Crab Jubilee corn royale avocado thai basil sorbet

Seared Foie Gras grilled Okanagan peach tatin ice wine, black pepper pearls

40 Day Dry Aged Cache Creek Beef Striploin smoked potato tomato and thyme jus

Summer Fruit Mosaic bergamont granite lemongrass foam

What’s Good This Week July 27

What’s Good This Week in and around Vancouver

It’s a little too hot for me these days in Vancouver and I’ve got the fan blasting in my ear in an attempt to remain coolish. This week you might be catching the fireworks, watching some Improv (I’m actually on stage – yikes), eating some Canadian Food or catching up with BC’s beer scene. Don’t forget to celebrate PRIDE and sample some tasty pride-themed treats!

Food Day Canada


Food Day Canada

What are you doing on July 30, 2016? We know you always choose a ton of Canadian food products when shopping and dining out, but on this day it’s a must as it’s the official Food Day Canada. This special day is a chance for Canadians from coast to coast to celebrate our farmers, fishers, chefs, researchers and home cooks, and for us that means local pork will be on the menu.

On West Coast there are many restaurants that you can head to for a special Food Day Canada Menu. Restaurants in Vancouver include Burdock, Campagnolo, Bishops, The Fish Counter, West, L’Abattoir, Forage, Royal Dinette, Timber, Cafe Medina, Juniper, Boulevard and more.

Since I’m the BC and Alberta Pork Ambassador, I’ve sussed out some of the menus where you can sample local pork.

Fable Kitchen – Pork and Scallop – Seared corn chowder, clams and truffle oil

West – Duo of Fraser Valley Porkbraised pork cheek, crispy pork belly, Swiss chard, bone broth

Araxi BC Surf and Turf – Fraser Valley Pork Belly with Island octopus, heirloom tomatoes and basil pistou

Cafe Medina – Food Day Canada Frittata – Skillet frittata of spicy smoked pork sausage with locally-grown leeks, potatoes, red spring onions, sweet corn and brie cheese.

Boulevard – Smoked Paradise Valley Pork Shoulder, Creamy Polenta, Zuchini, Pea Tip Salad, Chicharrones


Firecracker July 28

On July 28 I am the guest! Yikes! Come see me make a fool of myself (as usual). Special Guest Cassandra Anderton – Good Life Vancouver, Wine/Food Writer, Life-style Commentator
Firecracker! Dynamite ladies. Explosive comedy. Our all-female show featuring some of the best improvisers in Canada. The resulting comedy is inventive, unpredictable, uproarious and sure to spark your funny bone.

Watch out Vancouver as we light a fuse to Vancouver’s comedy scene – shattering stereotypes and sparking a lot of laughs. Firecracker! features an all-star cast of female improvisers. It’s a different improv experience from mixed-gender casts – women take more risks and play on the edge more when they play with only other women. The resulting comedy is inventive, unpredictable and uproarious. As in all VTSL productions, audience suggestions play a huge role in determining and driving the improvised action.


Coquitlam Kinsmen Craft Beer Festival July 30/31

July 30th, 2016 Town Centre Park, South Field, Coquitlam

Welcome to the 1st. Annual Coquitlam Kinsmen International Craft Beer Festival 2 Days – July 30th & 31st, 2016 (BC Day Long Weekend) at the Coquitlam Town Centre Park – South Field This festival is brought to you by the Kinsmen Club of Coquitlam as part of the official Coquitlam 125th Anniversary Celebrations, and looks to become one of the West Coasts must see yearly events on the ever growing craft beer circuit. Tickets

Pride Weekend Treats – Get Out and Sample Some! lucky's layers of pride doughnut 2 (photo credit lucky's doughnuts)

Lucky’s Doughnuts ‘Layers of Pride’ doughnut

Lucky’s Doughnuts has partnered with local charity A Loving Spoonful for their second-annual pride-inspired doughnut. All proceeds from the sale of these beautifully crafted, vanilla bean-glazed rainbow treats will help ALS offer healthy meal programs to men women and children living with HIV/AIDS in the Lower mainland. You can get your hands on one (or two, or three!) of these between 11am and 2pm at the BMO on Denman Street on Pride Day (July 31) while supplies last.

            What: Lucky’s Doughnuts ‘Layers of Pride doughnut
            When: Sunday, July 31 from 11am-2pm (while supplies last)
            Where: BMO Denman St. branch (958 Denman St.)
            Cost: minimum $5 donation

chambar la diversité pride cocktail (photo credit chambar)

Chambar’s “La Diversité”

Vancouver’s favourite Crosstown haunt has specially crafted a refreshingly bubbly cocktail to accompany the numerous Pride celebrations on July 31. An effervescent blend of gin, Fernet Branca and house-made herbal rhubarb grapefruit soda, La Diversité is a little sweet, a little bitter and a whole lot of fun.

            What: Chambar’s “La Diversité” Pride-themed cocktail
            When: Available during Pride weekend (July 30 – August 1)
            Where: Chambar Restaurant (568 Beatty St.) Cost: $14

boulevard pride week rainbow cocktails

Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar’s Pride Week Rainbow Cocktails

Boulevard’s Beverage Director J.S. Dupuis will be featuring a festive  “rainbow of cocktails” for Pride Week. Their pride cocktail menu has a drink in every colour:

  • Cosmopolitan (red) – Absolut Citron, Cointreau, cranberry juice, lime. $12.
  • The Seeker (orange) – Lemon Hart Blackpool Navy Spiced, pineapple juice, cinnamon syrup, lime, Angostura bitters. $12
  • Sidecar (yellow) – Hennessy VS, Cointreau, lemon juice. $14
  • Last Word (green) – Gin, Chartreuse, Maraschino, lime. $14
  • Blue Hawaiian (blue) – Vodka, Blue Curaçao, pineapple. $12
  • Aviation (purple) – Gin, Maraschino, Violette liqueur, lemon juice. $14

            What: Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar’s rainbow cocktails
            When: Available during Pride Week
            Where: Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster Bar (845 Burrard St.)
            Cost: $12-$14

basil pasta bar naughty penne (photo credit jer baum)
Basil Pasta Bar’s “Naughty Penne”

All Pride Week, Basil Pasta Bar’s Davie Street location will be serving up – wait for it – phallic-shaped pasta. The penne dish is made with Alfredo sauce, veggies and your choice of protein. As for the garnish? Pieces of penis-shaped pasta. $1 from each “Naughty Penne” dish will go to Vancouver Pride Society.

What: Basil Pasta Bar’s “Naughty Penne” Pride pasta
When: July 24 – 31
Where: Basil Pasta Bar (636 Davie St.)
Cost: $9.69

beach bay café pride collins

Beach Bay Café ‘Pride Collins’ Cocktail

Beach Bay Cafe & Patio’s award-winning Bar Manager Adrian Lindner is introducing a new Pride-themed cocktail that they’ll be mixing up during the festivities on July 31. The aptly named Pride Collins is a summer-forward sipper made with rhubarb, lemon shrub, gin and soda – best enjoyed al fresco overlooking the water on Beach Bay’s bustling patio.

            What: Beach Bay Café’s “Pride Collins” cocktail
            When: Sunday, July 31
            Where: Beach Bay Café (1193 Denman St.)

Mission – Hand Crafted Spirits TSN1410 with Joe Leary

Hand Crafted Spirits Radio Show Checks Out Barteneder Marc Smolenski at Mission in Kitsilano

We’re doing some radio again thanks to Joe Leary and TSN1410 on a new show called Hand Crafted Spirits. My segment will involve checking in with a local craft-spirit using bartender along with Joe to find out what’s been shaken and poured in our favourite spots.

Hand Crafted Spirits

The first week we visited Marc Smolenski at Mission Restaurant in Kitsilano, a spot Michael and I recently headed to for date night. Smolenski’s cocktails were so great that night, we had him choose a few more seasonal drinks for this segment and he whipped up a blueberry-based and raspberry-based drinks made with Sid’s Vodka. Such well-balanced drinks with just the right amount of boozy-ness to fruit. I preferred the Blueberry and Joe the Raspberry-version; that worked out well!

cocktail mission2

Here is the audio of the show below.

20160719 163523 Everyday Sunshine #2

15ml / .5oz Blueberry Puree (Fresh Richmond BC Blueberries Blended and strained through a sieve)
15ml / .5oz Appletons White Jamaican Rum
15ml / .5oz Aperol
5ml / 1tsp Elderflower infused SIDS Vodka
15ml / .5oz fresh pressed citrus
.5g citric acid
15ml / .5oz 2:1 / 2oz simple syrup

Shake and double strain into a coupe glass.
Top with 60ml Cava or other sparkling wine
Garnish with fresh blueberry and sorrel on a cocktail pick

Everyday Sunshine #3 

15ml / .5oz Raspberry Puree (Fresh BC Raspberries Blended and strained through a sieve)
15ml / .5oz SIDS Vodka
15ml / .5oz Aperol
5ml / 1tsp Giffard Creme de Peche Liqueur
15ml / .5oz fresh pressed citrus
.5g citric acid
15ml / .5oz 2:1 / 2oz simple syrup

Shake and double strain into a coupe glass.
Top with 60ml Cava or other sparkling wine
Garnish with fresh raspberry on a cocktail pick

Food Day Canada July 30 AND Twitter Party July 26

Food Day Canada is a chance for all Canadians to celebrate our farmers, fishers, chefs, researchers and home cooks

Guess what GLV readers? I am the Food Day Canada Ambassador for Vancouver and am helping with a twitter party – on  July  26th from  5:30  p.m.  to  6:30  p.m.  PDT,  join  the  FoodDayCanada Twitter  Party  at TIMBER on 1300 Robson Street. Join us for drink specials and Canadian food specials and tell  us what  Canadian–grown  foods  you  love.   Follow  @FoodDayCanada  and @goodlifevan using  the  official  Hashtags  #FoodDayCanada  #CanadaISfood.   I’ll be tweeting from @VanFoodTour @GoodLifeVan and @PassionForPork to help celebrate Canadian Food! Food Day Canada will be asking questions and when  you answer you’ll be entered to win some amazing prizes such as a Kitchen Aid Mixer! Pictures below are from Locals in The Comox Valley, one of the Food Day Canada Participants.

Examples are:

food day canada

Q3 Using  the #FDC149 list, what’s the most Canadian dish that you could possibly cook/bake/ serve to show that #CanadaISfood?  #ShopLikeACdn #FoodDayCanada

Food Day Canada

Q6 Our dairy farmers work hard to earn their Blue Cow logo.  What are YOUR fave Blue Cow (100% Canadian milk) products/brands? #CanadaISfood #FDC149 #ShopLikeACdn #FoodDayCanada

Food Day Canada

Q8  Caring for our lakes, rivers, oceans = sustainable fishing.  What fish/shellfish will grace your #FoodDayCanada table? #CanadaISfood  #FDC149 #ShopLikeACdn

Food Day Canada

Q10 It’s not  #FoodDayCanada without … (fill in the blank) #CanadaISfood  #FDC149 #ShopLikeACdn #FoodDayCanada

Food Day Canada will be celebrated on July 30, 2016. This special day is a chance for Canadians from coast to coast to celebrate our farmers, fishers, chefs, researchers and home cooks.

Restaurants in Vancouver include Burdock, Campagnolo, Bishops, The Fish Counter, West, L’Abattoir, Forage, Royal Dinette Timber, Cafe Median, Juniper, Boulevard and more.

And this year, in celebration of Canada’s 149th Year, Food Day Canada is launching Shop Like a Canadian”: a free online grocery list with 149 ingredients that we produce in Canada.

Well-known foods like flour (of all sorts) and tons of dairy products made the list, but there are also dozens of local contributions such as Montreal-made couscous, Taber-refined sugar, and cider vinegar produced in the owners’ orchards. There’s also VQA wine and craft beers from coast to coast and award-winning cheeses from small fromageries all across Canada, according to a Food Day Canada press release.

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Food Day Canada has partnered with more than 250 Canadian restaurants. “Our Food Day Canada chefs understand that local ingredients are fundamental to our dynamic food culture. They are Canada’s real brand advocates. On Saturday, July 30, they will be creating their own hyper-local menus, with ingredients often so specific to their region that they cannot be replicated even a few dozen miles away,” says Stewart.

And on July 30, Food Day Canada is also inviting everyone to share their food stories on social media. Food Day Canada has created a special page on its website,, and Canadians are encouraged to share their food images on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #FoodDayCanada or #CanadaISfood and it will appear on the FDC website.

Food Day Canada

Food Day Canada partners include the University of Guelph, Pulse Canada, All-Clad Canada, Dairy Farmers of Canada, KitchenAid Canada, Taste and Travel Magazine, and, the chef community of Canada.

Good Life Vancouver is all about the good life in and around Vancouver and often far beyond!