Sooke Harbour House

Staying in Sooke – Fall at Sooke Harbour House

I adore fall and find there’s nothing better than a stroll on a  coolish day when the sun is still shining, yet there’s a crispness in the air and a need for an extra layer to insulate one from the impending chill. This is the best time to get away in British Columbia and really take the time to watch the foliage turn colour and the land claim back what’s left in the fields to refurbish its soil.

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Vancouver Island often calls me and I feel so at ease there as I sync/sink into the slower pace almost right off the ferry I take from Tsawassen. It’s a 90 minute  ferry ride to the other side, and another half hour or so until the road brings you to Sooke, and then the trail to Sooke Harbour House, where I recently had a most memorable stay.

Sooke Harbour Hous was built in 1929 as a simple  two-story farmhouse inn with a dining room for visitors. In 1979 Frederique and Sinclair Philip, purchased the, it five small guestrooms, but no private guest bathrooms, and only a small dining room. The couple continued to renovate though to 1986 when they built ten additional far larger guestrooms, then renovated the initial five in 1988 and added 13 rooms in 1998, bringing the total to the current 28. The hotel is known for its luxurious, spacious rooms, superb hospitality, top notch dining and gorgeous gardens, all which are maintained to this day, attracting locals and visitors from all around the globe.

Sooke Harbour House

I stayed in a most spacious room, which was a bit wasted on me as I was solo, but I did my best to use up the most welcoming space, taking a bath in the mid-room tub, sprawling out on the couch to read and occupying the majority of the king bed throughout the night. It was almost too much, but I managed.

Sooke Harbour House

I had met Frederique Philip at a Feast of Fields in Duncan a few year’s back and was thrilled she was joining me for dinner. One could not hope for a more entertaining and knowledgeable dinner companion. While the food was foremost, she unveiled stories of her journeys and the history of Sooke, acting as a fitting backdrop for a remarkable evening.

My photos do not convey Chef Jonas Stadtländer talents properly as the lighting was getting trying as the evening went on and we sampled leisurely through the pairing menu. Stadtlander’s father, Michael Stadlander, led the kitchen at Sooke in the 80’s and it’s quite special to see his son come up the ranks and join this highly regarded resort, with his own approach to the area’s local cuisine.

Local is an absolute that stands out at Sooke, and always has. While farm to table, field to table, foraged and free range are words that are now splattered on menus as often as drinks are splashed on them, Sooke Harbour House always had this mandate. The restaurant followed the seasons and the chefs that came and went from their took this style of cooking with them. Frederique and Sinclair were pioneers in this field, and did not just influence those on the Island, and throughout British Columbia, but created practices that shaped the local movement throughout North America and beyond.

Sooke Harbour House

Highlights of the dinner included the Roasted Pork Belly, balanced with mustard-braised lentils, lovage pork jus, asparagus and morels; these wild mushrooms had just come into season and were superbly dense with earthy flavours.

Sooke Harbour House

Grilled Albacore Tuna came with a Sooke-grown wasabi (held by Fredrique above), a strawberry ginger glaze, tempura radish greens, and radish and foraged sea asparagus, another example of exquisite local ingredients enhanced by international techniques. A Kettle Valley Riesling balanced out the mild spiciness in the dish.

Sooke Harbour House

Cowichan Valley is not far up Island from Sooke and a Pekin Duck had been brought for the next dish, duck breast dish with a savoury jus, buttered spring leeks, tortellini and red and golden beets. Perfectly cooked, quite tender and a stellar pairing for the Pinot Noir from Tantalus Vineyards.

The meal was fulfilling on so many levels and as I drifted back to my room for a final hour or so before that king size bed called, I thought of all the memories that had been created in this very space over the last century and how rare a place this still is to this day.

Sooke Harbour House

In the morning I strolled the property and peaked into some of the other guest rooms (the empty ones of course) and had a breakfast before I had to venture out. A wedding was to take place that day and the prep was well under way. Many more memories were being made as I looked on, and I absorbed many of my very own.

 

Test Drive – Acura TLX

The Acura TLX On The Road to Adventure

Next up in test drives was the 2016 Acura TLX which is a pretty slick looking car, above the price-point of the Honda sedans, but fairly comparable to the higher priced BMW and Lexus but with a much lower cash outlay. 

This car comes with 2 types of engines, the 2.4-litre, 16-valve, Direct Injection DOHC, i-VTEC® 4-cylinder engine with 206 hp @ 6800 rpm and 182 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm and the 3.5-litre Direct Injection SOHC i-VTEC® aluminum-alloy V6 engine with 290 hp @ 6200 rpm and 267 lb.-ft of torque @ 4500 rpm. The former comes with Precision All-Wheel Steer system and  an 8-speed dual clutch-transmission with Sequential SportShift paddle shifters; the latter with a Super Handling All-Wheel Drive  (SH-AWD®)  that replaces Precision All-Wheel Steer system and 9-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift® paddle shifters.

Acura TLX

There’s lots of energy saving when you drive the TLX, the engine stops when you do and start back up when you hit the accelerator, a feature which actually annoys me somewhat as I am yet to get used to this, and the 6 cylinder cuts down 2 cylinders when you don’t need them all.

Acura TLX

The cars have an Integrated Dynamic System (IDS) which has four modes, the economy mode, holding the rpm’s lower, the normal mode, a sport mode allowing higher rpm’s and the sport plus with full manual pedals with a good reaction time. The cars steering is also quicker in the full control mode.

The car is smooth and quiet with quieting foam and a quieting windshield and the seats are comfortable and adjustable. There’s 13.2 cubic feet of cargo space, fold down back seats for more room, and a hidden compartment in the trunk for even more storage. The drivers seats are comfortable and the advance package seats are heated and ventilated with a 10 way adjust driver and an 8-way passenger, along with a tilted steering wheel. The backseat room is 34.5 inches and seats also come heated, authentic leather and wood finishes complete the package.

Acura TLX

There’s two screens for viewing navigation and the parking sensors  on the top and a touch screen for audio, climate control and more. The 4 cylinder comes with 17 inch wheels and the V6 with 18 inch.

There’s lots of safety features, even in the standard, such as tire pressure alerts, anti-lock brakes, 7 air bags, vehicle stability assist, and brake assist.  The advanced adds parking sensors, collision mitigation, seat belt pretension, and the tech version has lane keeping, forward collision, parking sensors, road departure mitigation, and collision mitigation braking.

Acura TLX

With a comfortable cabin, a wack of power and a high-end look, we’d like to be in this car more often. We’ve driven it twice now, over to the Island above with lots of highway time in sport mode and around town this summer where economy was the better choice

*Acura provided the TLX for our review purposes.

Find your Dream Boat at the Boat Show at the Creek

The Boat Show at the Creek Brings Previously Owned, New Boats and Floating Homes to Mosquito Creek Marina

Growing up in Kelowna, boating was almost a daily activity in the summer. Vancouver moorage is a bit more pricey, but when it comes to enjoying the outdoors, there is no better way to do so than on the West Coast. Boating has recently made it’s way back into popularity with people of all ages and backgrounds looking for some adventure.

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In it’s 10th year, the Boat Show at Mosquito Creek Marina is Vancouver’s premiere floating boat show. The show is an excellent way for those who are in the market for a new or previously owned boat or yacht to have a look at various models, check out what’s new and get some sound advice from the experts.

custom built float homes

In addition to attracting boaters, curious ‘floaters’ who want to own and sometimes downsize to waterfront living come through: the marina is home to the Spirit Trail Ocean Village, a small community of floating homes. This community will be expanding in the coming years to accommodate a handful of new micro float homes.

With British Columbia offering some of the best cruising in the world, this boutique, end-of-the-season show provides buyers the opportunity to enhance their boating experience up and down the West Coast.

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The show runs this week from September 8th to 11th, rain or shine at Mosquito Creek Marina (415 W Esplanade).

Times: Thursday and Friday: 12pm-6pm, Saturday: 10am-6pm, Sunday: 10am-4pm

Admission: $12, children under 12 are free, you can purchase tickets here: http://boatshowatthecreek.ca/homepage/

Parking: On-site parking and shuttle service to overflow, valet available. Moorage is also available for those coming by boat, $25 per boatload, (reservations required).

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BoatShowAtTheCreek/

*Sponsored by The Boat Show

Moosemeat & Marmalade Season 2

A Bush Cook and Classically Trained Chef Team Up for Moosemeat & Marmalade

What do you get when you combine a First Nations Bush Cook and a classically trained UK Chef? Moosemeat and Marmalade of course, a show that explores global adventure in the kitchen and out in the wild.  Co-hosts Art Napoleon (acclaimed Bush Cook & Cree Musician) and Dan Hayes (renowned Victoria-based Chef and Owner of the London Chef) tour around the world and dish up humour along with interesting dishes. Now in Season 2 the team takes farm-to-table to the next level, offering a deep exploration of food production and sustainability while providing a unique window into First Nations culture. The Season Premiere of Moosemeat & Marmalade Season 2 will air September 7th on the Aboriginal People’s Television Network (APTN)

Here’s some highlights of the show:

  • Each week, audiences will get an insider look at some of the world’s most noted experts sharing their expertise around distilling, trapping, foraging, ice fishing and more.
  • Recipes from each episode will be posted online for viewers to print and make at home.
  • Online audiences can participate in a parallel interactive experience, giving them access to the personal lives and history of the co-hosts, and the ability to interact with Art & Dan like never before.
  • Moosemeat & MarmaladeSeason 2 premieres September 7- check your local listings.
  • A free interactive e-book (iPad only) offers exclusive additional content and technical step-by-step tutorials for some of the chefs’ favourite dishes from the show: http://moosemeatandmarmalade.com/moosemeatmarmaladebook
  • On social media, viewers can participate in numerous contest giveaways including:
  • A chance to win an exclusive getaway to Canada’s only 4.5 star First Nation’s resort, Spirit Ridge in the beautiful Okanagan.
  • A chance to win a rustic cabin getaway to Mile High Resort, nestled lakeside on Face Lake just outside of Kamloops, British Columbia.

We checked in with the team and grabbed a few recipes for you:

scallops

Dan’s Scallops Dish Grilled Scallops With Seaweed, Chili & Fennel Butter

Chili & Fennel Butter
½ Tsp fennel seeds, slightly crushed
Pinch dry chili
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp crushed or finally cut edible dry seaweed
Few rasps lemon zest
1 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
¼ Lb Room temperature butter
Mix all ingredients together.

 Scallops
18 Live scallops in the shell
Non-edible clean bright seaweed from clean water
 
Shuck scallops, removing the skirt and rinse to remove any grit.  Do not take the meat or coral off the bottom shell. Place a tsp of butter on top of each scallop and put under a very hot pre-heated grill (broiler) until butter is bubbling, slightly browning and the shells seem brittle. This should take 2-3 minutes.  Remove and put straight onto platter of well washed seaweed. Serve immediately.

trout

Art’s Rainbow Trout Dish as on the Show

Pan Fried Rainbow Trout w/Birch Butter & Roasted Roots
8 trout fillets (around 4 med sized rainbow trout)
2 T moose lard
1 T butter
1 handful fresh thyme
1 handful of chives
salt & pepper to taste
¼ cup birch syrup
½ cup Irish ale
sea salt to flavour

Brown Butter
¼ cup butter
¼ Irish ale
1 T birch syrup
1tsp maple sugar

Serve with roasted beets
6-7 med beets red & yellow
fingerling potatoes
1 med purple onion cut into rustic chunks
¼ cup olive oil

Mulled Forest Tea
2T concentrated hoshum (soapberry) juice
1 litre unsweetened blueberry berry juice
handful muskeg (labrador) tea leaves
2 cinnamon sticks & 4 whole cloves
2T maple sugar
1T birch syrup
¼ cup Irish ale

Steps
1. cut up washed root veggies & onion into rustics chunks, coat with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt & place into oven preheated at 375. If your produce is chemical free, there is no need to peel.
2. To make tea, heat up all ingredients (except sugar) along with muskeg tea leaves and bring to a gentle boil in a medium sized pot to extract full flavour of the tea leaves and spices. Stir in sugar until dissolved and allow the mulled tea to simmer over low heat until meal is served.
3. Melt lard & butter in skillet over med/high heat then add a handful of fresh thyme
4. Once butter begins to turn golden, add scaled trout fillets skin side down & sprinkle with sea salt
5. In a separate skillet, heat up ½ cup butter and heat until it begins to bubble
6. Immediately add birch syrup, ale & maple sugar while stirring then remove from heat.
7. In the fish skillet, once fillets begin to brown and crisp on the bottom, add minced wild chives, birch syrup & ale and allow the fish to braise until fish is no longer translucent.
8. Pour the birch butter over the rainbow fillets allowing the hot mixture to cook the top sides.

Serve trout with the roasted veggies & mulled tea. As an option, add previously cooked rice to the fish pan and quickly fry up, allowing the rice to absorb the flavours of the remaining sauce.

CONTEST CLOSED Cocktail Art #Giveaway 2 tickets $150+

 

High-Concept Design Meets Haute Cuisine at Fourth Annual Dinner by Design – Cocktail Art #Giveaway

dxd cocktail art 4 (photo credit jonathan evans)

The fourth annual Dinner by Design, presented by The Social ConciergeCosentino Group and new title sponsor Kabuni, in partnership with IDSwest, is where Vancouver’s twin passions for fine dining and even finer design come together. Two tasteful and tasty nights (September 15 and 16, 2016) will benefit Interior Design Program scholarships at the Visual College of Art and Design of Vancouver(VCAD).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In keeping with the event’s mandate to foster the next generation of design stars, students of the benefiting VCAD Interior Design Program will be tasked with creating a bar and lounge under the mentorship of designers Jamie Banfield, Meaghan Jones of Sherwood Cabinetry and Monica Jeffers.

dxd cocktail art 5 (photo credit jonathan evans)

The collection of tablescapes and room sets and the student-designed lounge will serve as the backdrop for Thursday, September 15th’s, Cocktail Art to showcase Vancouver’s world-renowned cocktail culture. An all-star bar team will concoct a series of signature cocktails, each one conceived to push the limits of mixology. Canapés will be provided by an enviable roster of some of the city’s top restaurants and caterers.

medina design dxd 2 (photo credit jonathan evans)

Location: Harbour Events Centre (750 Pacific Blvd.)

For ticket and event information, please visit www.dinnerxdesign.com
Partial proceeds to benefit the Visual College of Art and Design of Vancouver.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Facebook: /DinnerxDesign
Twitter: @DinnerxDesign
Instagram: @dinnerxdesign

What’s Good In September – Into the Fall

What’s Good In September? So many delicious events in and around Vancouver!

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Thanks to Fiona Forbes and CKNW for having me on to talk about the fall events. Clip here.

Top Drop Wine Tasting – Sept. 8

Annual grand tasting featuring all international, terroir-focused wineries, craft breweries, cideries, food purveyors and more!

Event proceeds proudly go to the BC Hospitality Foundation. For a full list of participants, click here! Tickets $78

Feast of Fields

Feast of Fields 22nd Annual – Sept. 11th

I won’t be missing this one this year, last year I was away and had severe fomo.  From 1-5 pm at Laurica Farm in Aldergrove wander through the farm and chat with farmers, chefs, winemakers and artisans. Live music, lots of BC wine and beer and gourmet creations from BC top chefs.

Feast of Fields is FarmFolk CityFolk’s largest annual fundraiser. Funds raised from these events support FarmFolk CityFolk’s work to cultivate a local, sustainable food system in British Columbia.  Tickets

wraith

Supercar Weekend – September 10/11

Unveiling the Rolls-Royce Black Badge Wraith. A few years back I test drove the Wraith, I wonder if they’ll let me take this one up to Squamish? Black Badge is an intoxicating new incarnation of the Rolls-Royce marque; the most powerful Rolls-Royce, will make its first appearance in Canada at Luxury & Supercar Weekend.  180 innovative automotive designs will be displayed
at the 7th annual Luxury & Supercar Weekend. 11-5 pm at Van Dusen Gardens. At the gardens: Jaguar Land Rover presents “Restaurants in the Round” featuring some of the finest Chefs and gourmet experiences. Tickets

+ Ancora and Executive Chef Richardo Valverde
+ Bamboo Grove Restaurant and Executive Chef Ming Yeung
+ Dynasty Seafood Restaurant and Executive Chef Sam Leung
+ Juniper Kitchen & Bar and Executive Chef Sarah Stewart
+ La Pentola and Excutive Chef Travis McCord
+ Peninsula Seafood Restaurant and Executive Chef Kenji Ikeda
+ The Greek by Anatoli and Executive Chef Chris Krys

Hawksworth in the Garden
David Hawksworth, in association with Luxury & Supercar Weekend, is offering a unique al-fresco culinary experience in the heart of VanDusen Garden. Brunch & Lunch seatings will be taking place on September 10 & 11.  Reservations are now being taken, please contact Hawksworth Group at 604.605.3326 ext.1 or email events@hawksworthrestaurant.com to secure your table.

More Celebrity Chefs in the VIP (Adult 19+) Lounge:

  • Bauhaus Restaurant and Executive Chef Stefan Hartmann in the Dilawri section
  • Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar Lounge and Executive Chef Alex Chen
  • Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver’s Market by Jean Georges and Executive Chef Ken Nakano at McLaren VIP lounge

slow fish

Chefs’ Table Society of BC’s Slow Fish Dinner – September 18

The evening starts with PICA culinary student-prepared canapés, and libations including BC wines. Next, attendees move through the school’s eight professional teaching kitchens to meet the visiting chefs, who will each offer a tasting-sized portion of local sustainable seafood delicacies paired with wines from Salmon Safe wineries: Culimina Family Estate Winery, Haywire Winery, Inniskillin, Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate, Kalala Organic Estate Winery, Sage Hills Winery, Seven Stones Winery, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards with more to come! The event will end with gelato from Bella Gelateria.

The event is presented by The Chefs’ Table Society of BC, whose mandate is to support sustainable food production and BC producers. Leading the event is Chefs’ Table Society chef Darren Clay, executive culinary chef instructor at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. Other participating chefs include:Lisa Ahier, SoBo, Karen Barnaby, Albion Farms and Fisheries, Ned Bell, Oceanwise/The Vancouver Aquarium, Sean Cousins, The Vancouver Club, Meeru Dhalwala, Vij’s/Rangoli, Bruno Feldeisen, Semiahmoo Resort, Roger Ma, Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster Bar, and Thompson Tran, The Wooden Boat.

The intention of the event is to raise awareness for Slow Fish Canada (a Slow Food initiative) and its role in protecting our oceans. The quality and variety of the ocean’s bounty will be in the spotlight at this special dinner.  Tickets.

garagiste

Garagiste Wine Tasting including Dames Wine – Sept 18

Canadian Tire Garden Market- PENTICTON
Sunday, September 18, 2016, 2 – 4:30 pm.  An awesome wine tasting experience that includes small bites by Gregor’s Gourmet & live music from Chicken Like BirdsTix available on Eventbrite- click for TICKETS HERE  OR purchase at the Canadian Tire store in Penticton
*TRADE TASTING is from 5 – 6:00 pm. Trade please RSVP to: 
 
winepartycanada@gmail.com
Find more info on the festivals at: garagistenorth.com
lidiaChefs’ Table Society of BC’s Slow Fish Dinner Returns.
Act Fast to secure your Slow Fish Dinner tickets!
 

Les Dames d’Escoffier honours Lidia Bastianich – September 23

I’m a proud member of the BC Chapter of Les Dames and we are honouring Emmy award winning TV personality, cookbook author and restaurateur, Lidia Bastianich. Renowned as the Nonna of Italian cuisine, Lidia’s four New York acclaimed restaurants, Felidia, Becco, Esca and Del Posto along with Lidia’s Pittsburgh and Lidia’s Kansas City showcase her indisputable roots peppered with family recipes and signature dishes. Sante! Check out the chefs collaborating, stellar menu and tickets here.

Reception Lidia’s Octopus Salad on Potato
Frico, Moscato Poached Pear, Black Pepper Mascarpone
Gnocchi with Rosemary Brined Walnut, Roast Squash and Brown Butter
Margaret Chisholm, Culinary Capers Catering
Taittinger Brut Reserve Champagne

DinnerAlbacore Tuna Tonnato
JC Poirier, Ask for Luigi, Pizzeria Farina and Pourhouse
Tightrope Winery Riesling 2015

Grilled Sea Scallops, Cauliflower Salad and Green Herbs Coulis
Weimar Gomez, YEW seafood + bar, Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver
Duckhorn Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Cannelloni of Chocolate with Duck Confit
Pino Posteraro, Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca
Tenuta Olim Bauda Rocchette Barbera D’Asti 2013

Mixed Mushroom Carnaroli Risotto
with Truffle, Parmesan, Cherry Reduction, Arugula Pesto
Les Dames alumni and Season 2 Chopped Canada champion, Alana Peckham,
Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver/Alligga
Marimar Estate Mas Cavalls Pinot Noir 2008

Lo Stock Farms Squab, Painted Mountain Corn Polenta, Lacinto Kale, Anise
Robert Belcham, Campagnolo and Campagnolo Roma
Tommasi Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 2014

Primo Bistecca Tagliata
Jean-Claude Douguet, Gotham Steakhouse & Bar
Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot 2013

Chocolate Almond Torte, Poached Pears, Pecan Wafers, Blackberry Ice Cream
Rhonda Viani, West
Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny Port

After Lounge Artisanal Limoncello Cheesecake Gelato
James Coleridge, Bella Gelateria
Terra Serena Prosecco – D.O.C. Treviso and Gillespie’s Fine Spirits Lemoncello

Each guest receives a signed copy of Lidia’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine as a memento of the evening. All funds raised benefit the outreach and scholarship programs of the BC Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, including Project Chef and Growing Chefs. Seating is limited for this one special evening and once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet an iconic personality and fellow New York based Les Dames d’Escoffier member, Lidia Bastianich. Come join us for a delicious evening and a taste of Italy. Seating is limited for this sell-out event so register now.

Les Dames d’Escoffier Gala
September 23, 2016
Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver
791 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC  V6C 2V4
Reception: 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Dinner: 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm
After Lounge: 11:00 pm onwards

truck

Chefs’ Table Society Brings Chef Collaboration to Yaletown – September 13

Restaurant and Food Truck Chefs come together
On September 13, the Chefs’ Table Society of BC, in partnership with the Yaletown BIAand the Streetfood Vancouver Society host the inaugural event Chef Meets Truck in Yaletown at the intersection of Hamilton and Nelson. The event will run from 6:30pm-9:30pm and consists of Vancouver restaurant chefs hopping on board local Food Trucks to serve up the foodie event of the season. This collaborative event brings Vancouver’s hottest restaurant and food truck chefs together for the first time ever.
Tickets include food samples from the eight participating food trucks, as well as, wine and beer samples from Nichol Vineyard, Lock and Worth Winery and Brassneck Brewery.
A portion of the ticket sales will be donated to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.
Participating food trucks and chefs include:
Community Pizzeria with guest chef Angus An (Maenam)
Feastro with guest chef Lucais Syme (Cinara)
Fliptop with guest chef Vikram Vij (Vij’s)
Kafka’s Coffee Truck with guest chef Christophe Bonzon (Chez Christophe)
Mom’s Grilled Cheese with guest chef Travis McCord (La Pentola)
Roaming Dragon with guest chef Scott Jaeger (The Peartree)
Le Tigre with guest chef Erik Heck(WildTale)
Via Tevere with guest chef Phil Scarfone (Nightingale)
feast

New Westminster Feast on the Fraser 10 Days. 10+ Events.  1 Mouth-Watering City – September 23+

Feast on the Fraser is a 10-day culinary experience that pairs food and fun with a signature event each day. New Westminster has emerged as an exciting destination for food, arts, culture, and entertainment within Metro Vancouver. Through the collaboration of local businesses and organizations, Feast on the Fraser is sure to ignite everyone’s palate.

RiverFest September 24 – Fraser River Discovery Centre Free Event

Shucking & the Samson V September 24 – Samson V & Boathouse TBA

12th Street Foodie Tour September 25 – 12th Street Buy Tickets – $45

Beats & Eats September 26 – Hub Restaurant Buy Tickets – $25

Cooking Demo & Dinner with Chef Dante September 27 – Wild Rice Bistro Buy Tickets$65

Paint + Sip Nite September 28 – 100 Braid Street Studios Buy Tickets – $65

Royal City Farmers Market Longtable Dinner September 29 – Tipperary Park Buy Tickets

$45 Pizza & Beer Night September 30 – Boston Pizza & Steel + Oak Buy Tickets – $25

Dinner Cruise October 1 – Paddlewheeler Riverboat Tours Buy Tickets – $65

Rise & Shine October 1 – Good to Go TBA

An Ode to Lulu October 2 – Match Eatery & Public House

Vikram_Vij

The Shops at Morgan Crossing Presents: Wine Tasting Event – September 12th at My Shanti

The Shops at Morgan Crossing, My Shanti & The Peace Arch
Hospital Foundation Presents- Uncork the Spirit of Giving
Wine Tasting Event. From 6:30 – 9:30pm at
My Shanti. Featuring all local wines and paired with signature appetizers from My Shanti. Ticket cost is $60 per person, $30 from ticket sold will benefit. The Peace Arch Hospital Foundation to fund the Emergency Building. Tickets

chef wayne morrisfoodbank hesader01sm

Eat Vancouver – October 4-7 pm

In 2016, EAT! Vancouver will focus all of its events on “premium high-touch consumer experiences”. No trade show just some great dinners and culinary experiences. EAT! Vancouver attracts Canada’s culinary stars, food producers and restaurants, from Vancouver, North America and beyond. Consumers, from across North America, will come to the EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival to participate in Vancouver’s vibrant food culture and experience great food from around the world.

On October 6th (also my birthday!) a unique epicurean feast at the EAT! Harvest event. A spectacular evening of incredible value filled with opportunities to meet Canada’s top chefs and sample their exciting new fall dishes.

The event will be headlined by Food Network host Michael Smith and 17 of Canada’s renowned chefs celebrating Fall flavours accompanied by premium California wines and decadent desserts. Proceeds from this event support the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Tickets

Tasting Menu at Ebo Restaurant + Lounge

Journey out to Burnaby For Chef Keith Pears Tasting Menu at Ebo Restaurant

The Delta Hotel in Burnaby is not like most hotels when it comes to dining, while there is some of a more common dishes such as roast chicken and steak on the Ebo Restaurant menu, there is always an interesting take on what could otherwise be classified ordinary. The sablefish comes with a black pepper jam, Chinese sausage fried rice, and grilled bok choy, lamb chops are Moroccan spiced with smoked Greek yogurt and what could be a simple tuna poke is  served with premium Ahi, compressed watermelon, ponzu pearls, nori, avocado, and taro chips. Chef Pears even had the poke on the menu long before the latest west coast craze hit and Ebo also features tasting menus where Pears and his team of dedicated professionals push the boundaries on hotel dining.

keith pears

Chef Keith Pears – Photo from Vancouver Foodster

Pears comes from a family of chefs, his mother and father are both chefs and he’s worked for several of Vancouver’s hot spots, joining Ebo at the Delta Burnaby in 2008. By 2014 he was ready for the Executive Chef position when the then Chef, Daniel Craig, moved on to Toronto.

I’ve seen him compete in many culinary competitions, and sampled his offerings several times, but never had the chance to sit down to a tasting menu and watch him and his front and back of house team rise to the occasion, until recently.

It’s too bad the restaurant isn’t closer, but it’s a pretty easy sky train and brief taxi ride away, and there’s lots of free parking if you are not imbibing during your meal.

Ebo Restaurant

We started with a Yellowfin Tuna dish with avocado, watermelon, cucumber and fava bean that was then topped with a yuzu dashi broth. Gorgeously presented and full of fresh flavours.

Ebo Restaurant

 

Next up Heirloom Tomato Salad, with some beautiful locally grown tomatoes, peach, serrano ham and almond praline. Pears nails textures by adding a crunch just when you least expect it.

Ebo Restaurant

Beef carpaccio can be pretty standard with an aioli and capers, but Ebo mixes it up with mustard, horseradish and Reggiano squid ink crackers.

Ebo Restaurant

Scallop carpaccio with micro greens, showcases the freshness of the shellfish with just the right amount of accent.
Ebo RestaurantLocal salmon was paired with an excellent gnocchi and topped with lemon foam.ebo restaurant

We all adored the incredibly tender lamb served with tabbouleh salad, artichoke and pickled mustard.champagne freezies

Instead of the usual sorbet, the team made champagne freezies. Super fun! Photo Yumi Ang.

ebo restaurant

We were then back to savoury with an excellent chicken duo with truffle, crispy chicken skin, the delicateness of chanterelles, and an incredible Shaoxing sauce.

ebo restaurant

The finale was a hazelnut chocolate with peanut butter powder, white chocolate caramel nitro ice cream and raspberry and kalamansi accents; spectacular. I need more peanut butter powder in my life!

The Okanagan wines were very well-paired with these delightful dishes. I loved the See Ya Later Riesling with the tomato salad and the Quails Gate Pinot Noir was showing so well beside the salmon.

EBO Restaurant is located at 4331 Dominion Street in Burnaby (inside the Delta Burnaby by Marriott hotel). Tasting Menus are featured for dinner nightly for 2 people upwards to 18 people with notice by phone at 604-453-0788. We’ll be back for the fall version!

Chef Curtis Luk at Edible Canada

Chef Curtis Luk Cooks Up Chinese Feast at Edible Canada.

If you’ve eaten at Fable, Bambudda or Mission (in the running for the top new restaurant in Canada btw), you’ve likely sampled Chef Curtis Luk’s culinary creativity. We love Mission for the drinks and the tasting menus and are lucky to have it in handily in our neighbourhood.  On September 19th you can catch Chef Luk cooking up a Chinese Feast at Edible Canada.

Mission Kitsilano

Chef Luk was Born in Hong Kong and raised in Toronto, and discovered his love for cooking while studying at the University of Waterloo.  After graduating, he decided to make his ambitions a reality and entered head-first into the restaurant industry by washing dishes at some of top restaurants in town.

curtis luk

Following jobs at acclaimed Canadian restaurants such as George in Toronto and Atelier in Ottawa, Curtis fulfilled a long-time goal and competed on Top Chef Canada, where he met Chef Trevor Bird.  Drawn by the potential of ingredients on the west coast, Curtis helped Trevor open Fable Restaurant in Kitsilano after the show aired.

Mission Kits

After Fable, Curtis went on to head the kitchens of The Parker and Bambudda before realizing his idea of a west coast-focused restaurant that specializes in seasonally changing tasting menus, where he now resides as chef and business partner with sommelier Chase MacLeod. The stunning space at Mission Kits fits in with his vision perfectly!

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MENU

Dim Sum Amuse Cantonese prawn dumpling, Glutinous rice dumpling with pork, Yuba and albacore tuna with salted plum

Mapo Tofu  tofu, chilliwack pork, chili, sichuan peppercorn

Steamed BC rockfish dried scallop sauce, soy

Crispy chicken garlic, fermented bean curd

Almond gelee, late summer fruits

Chef Luk is well known for his use of fresh, sustainable ingredients and all seafood used in the menu will be Oceanwise. 

Your ticket includes:
Chinese-inspired welcome cocktail
Hand-selected artisanal gift from the Edible Canada retail store
Wine pairings by Okanagan Crush Pad
A multi-course meal prepared and presented by our featured Chefs

Ticket Price: $110
Time: 6:45pm ’til late
Location: Edible Canada Bistro, Granville Island, BC

This is more than a dinner — it is a celebration of BC’s regional bounty in the hands of many cultures.

BUY TICKETS NOW

Face Mapping with Dermalogica

Face Mapping Skin Analysis – Prescription For Skincare

Do you ever fall asleep without taking off your make-up or neglect your skincare routine? I have to admit I sometimes get so busy and tired that I fall asleep on the couch, later crawling into bed and neglect my skincare. Once in a while I have to kick-start my self-care, so I do a check in at a spa for a facial and take some me time.

My latest facial was at Demalogica’s training center where I tried out their the newish technique, based on ancient practices, Face Mapping.

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Face Mapping® is Dermalogica’s unique skin analysis that provides insight into your skin’s past and present, and with the information gathered, the technician prescribes a home care regime crafted especially for your skin.

Rather than analyzing the skin in general terms, the therapist uses Face Mapping® to divide the face into fourteen zones. Each zone is examined inch-by-inch through touch and sight, and findings are notated on a prescription sheet. The sheet serves as a customized visual guide, and notes conditions including congestion, breakouts, dehydration, and/or hyper-pigmentation are present.

My biggest concerns are aging (damn wrinkles), rosacea and the occasional blackheads and whiteheads (yuck!!). My therapist, Cory mapped my face and came up with suggestions for skin care in the “UltraCalming” line of skin care. I’ve been using the UltraCalming cleanser, UltraCalming Sensitive Tint with SPF30, and a Microfoliant to prevent the skin from clogging and my skins doing a ton better. I still have issues with rosacea and broken capillaries, but I think that will take some laser treatments to deal with, such as IPL or some sort of zapping. Looking into that.

Dermalogica

 

Face Mapping® is only available from Dermalogica skin care professionals at authorized skin treatment centers, salons and spas worldwide. Want to get mapped? Find your nearest location here.

Hitting the Road with the 2016 Acura RDX Luxury SUV

2016 Acura RDX – Travelling in Style

We’ve been testing out several cars this year and as far as SUV’s go, the Acura RDX has been a favourite and has gotten us up to the Osoyoos Oyster Festival and around Vancouver in style. Michael’s posing above the Okanagan Valley.

It’s starts at $41,990, and comes with a ton of features that keep us safe and comfortable.  The engine is powerful, getting us effortlessly over the Coquihalla, it’s a 3.5 liter V-6 engine,  and the RDX’s comes standard with all-wheel-drive system with Intelligent Control, stability and performance. There’s a 6-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift® paddle shifters.

Acura RDXThe RDX has AcuraWatch, a suite of technology including
Adaptive a Cruise Control (slows the RDX down to match the speed of the vehicle ahead of it), Collision Mitigation Braking System  (detects slow-moving or stopped objects ahead and warns the driver to apply the brakes)  and Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist and Lane Departure Warning (guides the auto back in lanes). The rearview camera and it’s relatively compact size make it easy to park and it’s crash safety design is top notch.

Acura RDX

The interior feels luxurious and their navigation system got us to our destination with no wrong turns. there’s even air conditioning in the back seats and great passenger seat control, eight-way in fact. Standard features on the RDX include 18-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, heated side mirrors, rear privacy glass, automatic headlights, a rearview camera, a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 5-inch dashboard information display and a seven-speaker sound system with satellite radio, a USB audio interface.

Acura RDX

With great fuel economy, partly due to the cylinder deactivation system and lots of cargo space, the RDX is an excellent choice for road trips.  Bonus points for looking so slick too! Traveling in style!

acura rdx

*Acura loaned us the RDX to test, but we’d keep it if we could! See how nice it looks in our neighbourhood!

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