Category Archives: Cooking Shop News

Food Artisans of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands at Books to Cooks

food-artisansAuthor Don Genova will be at Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks to celebrate the publication of his book, Food Artisans of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

Don will be visiting from Vancouver Island to lead a salon discussion about the food artisans of these regions.

It’s also a celebration the anniversary of Don and his wife who were married in Books to Cook’s Yaletown shop. Another great pairing!

Cost: $35, includes a copy of Food Artisans of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands and refreshments.

  • Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks (map)

Benton Brothers Perfect Cheese Pairings for Dad


Spain (Navarre): Sheep: Raw

Idiazabal is one of the more underrated cheeses from Spain. It hails from Navarre in the Basque country. During production the wheels were traditionally smoked over beechwood, hawthorn, or cherry for 10 days. This technique is no longer used but the cheese still retains a subtle smoky flavor. Idiazabal is unpasteurized and uses mostly the milk of the Laxta breed of sheep. The interior of the cheese is compact and dense with tiny air pockets. The texture is similar to its cousins Manchego and Zamarano. It is slightly smokey, acidic and piquant with the traditional olivey, nutty flavors found in aged sheeps milk cheeses.

Pairing: Great with Navarre wines, Tempranillo and other medium bodied reds and quince paste!

If you like this cheese cheese you may also like: Manchego, Parmigiano Reggiano

 St. Paulin

France (Normandy): Cow: Raw

This monastery style cheese is made with raw cow’s milk by a great Norman producer called Isigny St. Mère. As it ages its rind is washed with a salt-brine solution lending it a grassy and farmhousy aroma. The rind is completely edible however it is slightly stronger than the paste.  This raw milk version is not to be confused with the rubbery, bland, pasteurised imitators found in the grocery store.  Slightly smoky, sweet and grassy with a lingering salty aftertaste, it has a moist, tender paste and a creamy mouthfeel.

Pairing: While great with Alsatian Pinot Gris or Gewurtztraminer, St. Paulin truly shines with lighter style Alsatian or German beer…particularly wheat beer.

If you like this cheese cheese you may also like: Chimay a la Biere, Mont Jacob, Baluchon, Langres

Boeren Goudse Oplegkaas – 42 Month Gouda

Holland: Cow: Raw

This artisan Gouda is handmade in small quantities, following traditional production methods. Its premium quality shows through, with incredible depth of flavour and complexity.  This Gouda retains the subtle flavour and character of the raw milk, and at 42 months, shows lovely crystallization. Notes of butterscotch, honey and nuts are complimented by a piquant tang and hint of salt.  Very different from any other Gouda we have.

Pairing: This toothsome cheese can pair with scotch, bourbon, stout or even IPA to balance the sweetness.

If you like this cheese you may also like: Parrano, Old Amsterdam, Vintage Gouda, Mahon

Colton Bassett Stilton  

England: Cow


Colston Bassett is the smallest producer of Stilton and is regarded by most as the best.  This comes direct to us from the renowned Neal’s Yard Dairy in London. England’s only name-protected cheese, it is predominantly made in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire;  and the cheesemaker must follow exacting guidelines as set down by The Stilton Cheesemaker’s Association.   Almost all Stilton today is pasteurised. The creamy and firm paste reveals layers of honey, leather, tobacco and molasses, which become more pronounced as the cheese ages.

Pairing: This cheese loves Port.

If you like this cheese you may also like: Blossom’s Blue, Cashel Blue, Bleu Benedictine

Avonlea Cheddar

PEI: Cow: Raw

From Cows Creamery on Prince Edward Island comes one of  our favourite Canadian cheddars. This is one of the only cheddars in Canada being made in the traditional English style. Made with unpasteurised milk from local Holstein cattle, the Avonlea is wrapped in cloth and aged for a little over a year. The cloth wrapping allows the cheese to breath during the aging process which helps to give it its distinctive flavour and texture. Slightly crumbly with a deep earthy flavour and slight sharpness on the finish. The Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar won first place at the 2009 American Cheese Society Cheese Awards!!

Pairing:  This versatile cheese can pair with just about anything, and we suggest a nice, simple lager.

If you like this cheese you may also like: Keen’s Cheddar, Red Leicestershire, Blackburn

The Super Stinker

If you really want to knock Dad’s socks off treat him to a washed-rind cheese like Epoisses, Langres or Affiné au Chablis.

Washed in regional eau de vie, these stinky, pungent, delectable cheeses have a silky texture and a rich flavour that is unparalleled in the culinary world.

The Ultimate Cheese Basket

Give Dad a lovely cheese basket or gift box with a variety of goods.

All of our gourmet gifts are custom crafted to fit your specifications, tastes, budget and dietary needs.

 Small Wicker Basket $25 – $40 + hst

Medium Wicker Basket $45 – $70 + hst

Small Pine Gift Box $75 – $100 + hst

Large Pine Gift Box $110 – $150 + hst

 gifts include fine cheeses, crackers + a selection of accompaniments such as:

    • charcuterie
    • preserves
    • dried fruits
    • toasted nuts
    • fine oils & or vinegars

Father’s Day Recipe Contest

Is your dad hard to shop for? Coquitlam Centre wants to help make your shopping easy!

For your chance to win a BBQ prize pack valued at $150, share your favourite recipe OR your dad’s favourite recipe on our Facebook page here:

Feel free to include an image with your entry, really make our mouths water!

Contest closes at 4:00pm on Friday, June 15. The winner will be chosen by the judges at Coquitlam Centre.

Good luck!


Looking for the perfect Father’s day gift?

Look no further than the revolutionary SousVide Supreme!

Whether he’s really into high tech gadgets and innovative equipment or just loves cooking steak, chicken & ribs to perfection, our SousVide Supreme kits will be the best gift he’s received in years!  Right now when you order any SousVide Supreme water oven they’ll throw in a FREE BBQ Sous Vide cookbook!

No more sweating over the grill while your guests party–you can do most of the cooking in advance, quick chill, bring back to temperature and sear on the BBQ when you’re ready to serve

No more worries about undercooked hamburger making someone ill.

No more risk of chicken charred on the surface and still bloody at the bone.

No more need to perfectly time everything and, as often happens, miss and find yourself apologizing when the charred results of the medium rare steaks your guests requested shows nary a trace of pink when it’s cut. Oops. Sorry.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to place an order you can contact me directly at the number & email below or order online at

Followon Twitter for Sous Vide Recipes, Cooking Tips, Industry News and more @CLCulinary


Tofino Sea Kayaking Teams with Edible Canada to Bring Line of Artisan Food Products to West Coast Vancouver Island Destination

Iconic Waterfront “Company Store” to Offer Products from Canada’s Largest Culinary Tourism and Locavore Retail Company

Tofino Sea Kayaking, the iconic waterfront kayaking centre, bookstore and coffee bar, has teamed up with Edible Canada to offer a variety of high quality culinary products to Tofino residents and visitors to the popular Vancouver Island destination.

“Tofino Sea Kayaking is proud to welcome Edible Canada as part of our Company Store,” said Dorothy Baert, Founder and Owner of Tofino Sea Kayaking. “ We will showcase artisanal culinary products that Edible Canada has sourced from across this great nation. The curious adventurer will find items for their picnic basket or tour kit as they launch on their west coast journey, whether to a remote surf swept beach or from their patio overlooking the calm waters of Tofino’s working harbour.”

Tofino Sea Kayaking will feature the top 50 products sold through Edible Canada’s busy retail store on Granville Island – a vibrant space with hundreds of personally sourced and tasted items from culinary artisans coast to coast. Items include Vista D’oro heritage preserves from Langley; Noble Maple, Bourbon and Tahitian Vanilla Syrups from Quebec; and Cocolico sweets and sauces from Vancouver.

According to Edible Canada president and founder, Eric Pateman, the location and partnership is a natural. “We’re very excited to bring our favourite items to Tofino. Sharing the stories and tastes of small-scale, sustainable Canadian producers with interested consumers – both Tofino locals and visitors – is rewarding. As our company offers Gourmet Kayaking Weekends in addition to our retail operations, partnering with Tofino Sea Kayaking is a great fit.”

About Tofino Sea Kayaking

Founded in 1987 and housed in an historical building on the Tofino waterfront at the gateway to Clayoquot Sound, the Tofino Sea Kayaking Centre is the premiere source of kayaking expertise, local knowledge and tastefully selected products to enhance the active, curious traveller’s experience.

About Edible Canada

Edible Canada (formerly Edible British Columbia) is a six year-old business headquartered at Granville Island Public Market, in Vancouver, British Columbia. We are Canada’s largest culinary tourism and locavore retail company, dedicated to sourcing the highest quality culinary products from coast to coast for our customers. Services include our retail & online artisan food store, chef guided Granville Island Market Tours, demonstration guest chef Market Dinners, Gourmet Kayaking Weekends, and popular Amuse Bouche newsletter and blog. In the summer of 2011 we opened Edible Canada at the Market — a vibrant bistro in the heart of Granville Island and at the forefront of Canadian cuisine.

Still Stuck for Mother’s Day – Head to Whole Foods

Here’s to making this Mother’s Day a memorable one with Whole Foods.

For the Chocolate-loving Mom

  • It doesn’t take a lot to show just how much you care. With Whole Foods Market® Assorted Chocolates (in stores just in time for Mother’s Day!), you know Mom will be thinking about just how sweet you are. You’ll find heavenly premium Belgian Milk, Dark & White Chocolates in delicious flavor combinations like white chocolate with vanilla butter cream, milk chocolate with raspberry ganache and dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt…just to name a few.

For the Mom Who Loves to Give Back:

  • Show your appreciation with a gift that lasts longer than its in bloom. By giving Mom a bouquet of Whole Trade® Roses, you’re helping to ensure more money to the producers, better wages for workers and sustainable farming practices in Colombia and Ecuador, where the roses are grown.
  • Wrap your mother’s coffee or tea with a reusable L.I.F.E Jacket Coffee Sleeve and give a gift to two moms this year. These coffee sleeves are hand-sewn by women in Kenya who are working to send their special needs children to school.  All proceeds will go directly to nonprofit Comfort the Children’s programs to help more women support their families. For a complete gift, pair this java jacket with a bag of Organic Peru Codemu Women’s Group Light Roast coffee from Allegro Coffee Company® and help improve the lives of the hard-working Peruvian women who produce this amazing coffee.

For the Gourmet Mom:

  • Give your mom a taste of the best with a bottle of Castaño Organic Monastrell from Yecla, Spain – made from organic grapes from 30-year-old vines, this easy drinking red wine has a bright, fresh raspberry bouquet with dense cherry flavors on the palate.
  • Unlike wine, olive oil doesn’t need to age.  It has the most interesting and intense flavors when freshly pressed! If you’re mom loves to cook, she’ll love our 365 Everyday Value Olive Oils which come in three olive varieties: Koroneiki, Arbequina and Hojiblanca.  Each olive oil has its own unique and distinct taste! Better yet, let her enjoy the wine while you cook up a special meal with one of these tasty oils.

For the Nostalgic Mom:

  • Get the little ones involved and start Mother’s Day off right with a wholesome breakfast.  Make mom a stack of flapjacks with our 365 Everyday Value® 100% Wheat Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix and top it off with a drizzle of rich 365 Every Day Value 100% Grade A Maple Syrup.  And don’t forget to pour a glass of 365 Everyday Value 100% Florida Orange Juice.

For the Mom Who Loves to Be Pampered:

  • Whole Foods Market Organic Triple Milled Bar Soap – Crafted in France, this soap is made with certified organic palm and coconut oil and is triple-milled to ensure a rich, luxurious lather. With a crisp, sweet scent from all essential oils, this premium soap will leave Mom’s skin clean, moisturized and invigorated. Available in Grapefruit Mint, Cucumber Lime, Honey Almond and Lemon Verbena scents.
  • 365 Everyday Value Lavender Oil – This 100% pure essential oil soothes and relaxes the mind, body and soul and is so versatile that Mom can use it every day. Add a few drops to a hot bath for a soothing, steamy aroma, work a few drops into your daily moisturizer for a light, fresh perfume or add a touch to your next load of linens for a calming scent that will invite a restful night’s sleep.
  • 365 Everyday Value Maximum Moisturizing Lotion – This ultra-emollient lotion with macadamia oil and shea butter leaves Mom’s skin hydrated and moisturized. This softly scented lotion also meets Whole Foods Market’s Premium Body Care® Standards.

*Products will vary by store location.


Dream becomes reality as Tracy Stern SALONTEA makes Canadian debut in Vancouver

Sunday, May 6th Salontea opens and CEO/founder and TV personality Tracy Stern will be on-hand for Sunday to sign copies of her ’20 Themed Tea Parties’ book.

Hours are weekends from 10am – 5pm and weekdays from 10am – 7pm

This South Granville’s popular shopping and dining district is set to welcome the May 2012 arrival of sought-after, New York-based Tracy Stern SALONTEA as it sets up its first ever Canadian boutique location at 3010 Granville Street.  Not just your average cup of tea, SALONTEA is a sought-after sipping-must for Royals and celebrities such as Oprah and Rihanna; attracting widespread global attention and demand from as far away as Dubai, Moscow, Guatemala and Cannes.

SALONTEA embraces the rich artistry of tea blending and tasting; fusing it with a unique, modern-day appeal that caught the attention of Vancouver-based, Sarah Ambrose after seeing SALONTEA President, Tracy Stern on an episode of Bravo Televisions, “Mad Fashion.”

This chance viewing literally changed Ambrose’ life who states that, “she was instantly drawn to Stern’s style, outlook, story, SALONTEA product and concept.” This led to an evening of furious research to learn everything she could about SALONTEA – fuelled by her desire to see a lifelong dream to open a tea shop come to fruition.

The following day, Ambrose decided to contact Tracy Stern directly sharing that, “I just went for it and called her up out of the blue to discuss the possibility of expanding SALONTEA into Canada, and found we shared an instant connection.”

That serendipitous conversation took place just three months ago, and since then this hard-working single mother has secured the rights to distribute SALONTEA throughout Canada, left a career in social work and mastered the art of starting a business from her iPhone.

Both Tracy Stern and Sarah Ambrose are excited to bring the special world of SALONTEA (themed tea parties included!) to Vancouver and look forward to introducing people to the extensive selection of teas, accessories and tea beauty care products all part of the SALONTEA line.  In addition, Ambrose recognizes the importance of supporting local businesses and artisans alike and will feature locally-sourced, seasonal goods that echo the sentiment embodied by Tracy Stern herself, “Enjoy Life. Drink Tea. Celebrate Often.”  

Not your traditional tea boutique, SALONTEA’s Vancouver location will offer a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere to patrons in search of a unique tea experience where they can connect, think, write and celebrate.  In addition to more than a dozen tempting, estate blended teas, customers can partake in daily tea service while perusing a selection of baked offerings, sweets and other tea-worthy treats (courtesy of neighbouring Meinhardt’s) as they take in the full spectrum of items the boutique will feature.  Also available at the boutique: signed-copies of Tracy Stern’s popular book, ‘Tea Party: 20 Themed Tea Parties with Recipes for Every Occasion, from Fabulous Showers to Intimate Gatherings’.

Vancouver SALONTEA hours are 10am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 5pm weekends & holidays.


Whole Fish Event at 1Fish 2Fish

Customers Cue Up for the 14th annual Whole Fish Event at 1Fish 2 Fish Fresh Seafood Market
The inquiries started as early as January; the opening date for the annual Halibut season off the Pacific coast hadn’t even been set yet. That’s what happens after 13 years of getting people hooked on fresh, sustainable Pacific Halibut through an annual Halibut Whole Fish event, a 14 year tradition each May. Customers cue up for their cut of the whole Halibut action at 1 Fish 2 Fish Fresh Seafood Market.

With only a few orders on the books in the early years, the annual Whole Fish event starts with Halibut in May, wild Sockeye Salmon in July and wrap up with wild Coho Salmon in August. Each customer places their order complete with custom cutting and packaging instructions. The staff at 1 Fish 2 Fish then custom cut, package, vacuum seal and freeze each order for the customer.

The Halibut event is by far the largest for the Langley-based fish market, cutting over 2-tonnes of Halibut for the event in 2011. “We started out by offering our customers an opportunity to buy a great quality product at a wholesale price to stock their freezer,” says Heather Jenkins, owner of 1 Fish 2 Fish Fresh Seafood Market. “I wanted to provide customers a product and service – something they couldn’t get anywhere else.” Jenkins has done just that, growing her annual Whole Fish event with less than 40 orders in the early years to over 400 orders – just for Halibut in 2011.

The word continues to spread with customers from across the lower mainland calling, emailing, even tweeting their Whole Fish orders so they can get their piece of the Halibut Whole Fish action. “We have customers that come from as far away as Vernon and Kamloops for the event,” notes Jenkins. “The folks from Kamloops collect a group order, drive down to pick up from us and take home their fish to share with friends and family.”

Good news for all of us, the pre-orders for the annual event are now being taken, with order filling starting May 1st. If you are interested, 1 Fish 2 Fish staff will take your orders until the end of May, but be warned; with over 400 orders to custom prepare, you might be waiting a few weeks to receive word that your Whole Fish is ready to enjoy!

1 Fish 2 Fish Fresh Seafood Market has been serving the local community for over 14 years, providing chemical free, wild and sustainable seafood choices for their customers. A proud supporter of the Nickomekl Enhancement Society, an organization dedicated to protecting and restoring wild Salmon stocks in the Fraser Valley, and the lower mainland’s first Ocean Wise™ fish market partner,  

1 Fish 2 Fish Fresh Seafood Market is open 7 days a week with a seafood selection that is among the best in the lower mainland.

Oyama Sausage Choucroute Festival

Presented by Oyama Sausage, Liberty Wines and Granville Island Brewing

Beat the mid-winter culinary blahs and visit Granville Island between Feb 16th and Feb 19th for our Choucroute Festival. Join Vancouver’s premiere charcuterie, Oyama Sausage, and Granville Island Brewing and Liberty Wine Merchants to celebrate this time honored winter classic. Choose from an outstanding selection of smoked sausages, salt pork, smoked pork hocks and Oyama’s homemade sauerkraut.  Pair these with a wonderful array of Rieslings, Gewurztraminers and beers. Tips on preparation methods and food and wine pairing are always provided by these businesses.  Come and take advantage of their wealth of knowledge.

About Oyama Sausage

For five generations the family has been dicing, grinding and spicing to make the best sausages, hams and pates in Vancouver. Their passion is endless and their belief is that good food balances body and soul.  Locally sourced meats and organic options are always available.

About Granville Island Brewing

In 1984 something happened that forever changed the local beer industry:  Granville Island Brewing opened the doors to Canada’s first microbrewery.

No chemicals or preservatives are used in making their beer.  Granville Island Brewing is constantly creating new local flavours and improving their craft.

About Liberty Wine Merchants

Liberty strives to give customers the best wine experience in the Vancouver area. Often recognized as the most popular wine retailer in the Lower Mainland, Liberty is dedicated to evolving its selection for wine lovers to enjoy.

Choucroute Festival takes place the weekend of February 16th to 19th at these three retailers on Granville Island. For more information please contact Oyama Sausage at (604) 327-7407.

Viva Italia presented by Oyama Sausage

Dine InVancouver

If you are looking to avoid the crowds at your favourite restaurants during Dine Out Vancouver, visit Granville Island between Jan 19th to Jan 22nd for Viva Italia. Join Vancouver’s premiere charcuterie, Oyama Sausage, and Granville Island’s Duso’s Fresh Pasta & Sauces and Liberty Wine Merchants to celebrate the best of Italian cuisine with Viva Italia. Choose from an outstanding selection of charcuterie, pasta, sauces and cheese, and pair with hand selected wine. Tips on preparation methods and food and wine pairing are always provided by these businesses, take advantage of their wealth of knowledge when creating your own Viva Italia.

Oyama Sausage has a selection of 15 different fresh Italian inspired sausages made from duck, pork, chicken, turkey, beef, venison and elk.  Choose from such delectables as Guanciale: incredibly flavourful cured pork jowl, Vino Cotto ham:  roasted with wine

Musetto:  a fresh sausage from the Veneto and Friuli regions of Northern Italy, seasoned with pepper, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon, Porcetta: pork slow-roasted with fennel, garlic and rosemary or Cotechino:  a spiced, fresh sausage from the Modena region. After selecting your sausages, head to Duso’s for pasta and sauce recommendations and then on to Liberty Wines for a great bottle of vino to complete your feast.

About Oyama Sausage
For five generations the family has been dicing, grinding and spicing to make the best sausages, hams and pates in Vancouver. Their passion is endless and their belief is that good food balances body and soul.

About Duso’s
Since starting on Granville Island in 1979, the Duso Family has been making authentic, home style Italian pastas and sauces carefully crafted from all natural ingredients.


About Liberty Wine Merchants

Liberty strives to give customers the best wine experience in the Vancouver area. Often recognized as the most popular wine retailer in the Lower Mainland, Liberty is dedicated to evolving its selection for wine lovers to enjoy.

Viva Italia takes place the weekend of January 19 – 22nd at these three retailers on Granville Island. For more information please contact Oyama Sausage at (604) 327-7407.