Category Archives: Good Life Samplings

Richmond OZone’s BC Street

Richmond OZone – BC Street – In addition to the main attractions in and around the Ozone in Richmond (concerts, ice sculpture competition, a ferris wheel, skating and the amazing olympic cranberry ring pictured to the left), BC Street is open next to city hall on the east side of the Ozone.  Here you’ll find the seven regions of the province showcasing their best.  If you’re planning some BC travel this summer, it’s a a great snapshot of what you’ll find in each region.

In the Cariboo Chilcotin, the exhibit celebrates their recent designation as the Forest Capital of Canada.  Dream of owning a log home?  Get all the info here, along with tastes of cariboo jerky, pepperoni, and their unique birch syrup that gives maple syrup a run for its money.  I’m fantasizing of a trip out to the area’s Hills Health Ranch in 108 Mile Ranch where their spa, hiking and riding adventures seem like the perfect break from my far too busy life.

Al Richmond, Chair of the Cariboo Regional District and pictured on the right, is a great resource on the Cariboo region. 

The Kootenay Rockies you can have your picture taken to look like you are heading down the hills on a mountain bike, and look over the Ktunaxa First Nations Interpretive Centre.  Over in the South Okanagan-Similkameen you can sample some of the regions orchard fruit and plan your trip to the over 80 wineries of the region.

The Vancouver Coast & Mountains offers a glimpse into the region hosting the Olympics, with representatives from Tourism Harrison, Langley and White Rock available for a chat.  Sample local cheese, honey, or hazelnuts and try out your golf swing on the simulator.

Comox Valley on Vancouver Island’s east coast is not to be missed.  The area’s Mount Washington has some of the best snow in the country, and was chosen as the pre-training ground for many of the olympic athletes.  The area is also known for its great produce, cheese, seafood and wine, along with all the outdoor activities to burn off these indulgences. 

On the south coast of Vancouver Island, Sooke has a whale replica the kids will love, along with information on the forests of the areas great backpacking route, the West Coast Trail.  Sooke Day is Friday, February 26, where they’ll be handing out 500o samples of the areas smoked salmon. Don’t miss the entering a spectacular get-away package at

The Tofino display , known for its surfing and oysters, shows off locally crafted arts and furniture from master carver Joe Martin, who’s known for his storyteller, and is usually in the booth ready with a tale or two.

On the way out treat yourself to a tasting of Inniskillin’s Icewine in the Icewine Gallery, where a ice-like tasting bar welcomes you and videos of Icewine production play.  Costs are $5 for a 1/2 oz. sample, or $10 for three 1/2 oz. tastes.  Open Monday to Friday, 3 – 11 p.m. and noon – 11 p.m., weekends. Cash and Visa accepted.
BC Street is open daily at the O Zone,  from February 12 – 28, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays, noon to 9 p.m. weekends.

Concord Place Pavilion visits – Sask, Quebec, Ontario

I managed to find my appetite again and headed out to sample the offerings of the Pavilions around Concord Place.  Saskatchewan was my first stop.  There Pavilion is spacious, and they tend not to let too many people in at once, making it quite comfortable.  BUT – be forewarned, they don’t play the Olympic events on the screens inside, instead there’s entertainment and lots of shots of Saskatchewan, which encouraged me to add it to my must visit list.  Items on the menu include a tasty bison burger and a Saskatchewan lentil burger.  They’ve got perogies, and I found a favourite in the sausage on a bun.  Don’t miss the Saskatchewan berry tarts.  Saskatchewan Day is February 23, so visit then for added festivities.


Wayne Gretzky made an appearance at the Ontario House on Friday, and line ups were rather brutal.  He signed a generous amount of clothing and showcased his new wine, which is served at the Pavilion alongside Dan Akroyds.  Celebraties and wineries, there’s now so many of them. 

Opus catering was hired to supply the food, and they’d done a fantastic job of it.  Duck shephard’s pie, Charcuterie plate, Mac and Cheese, Spring Rolls, Mini-Burgers, fries.  Everything a hungry Olympic fan could want.  There’s Ontario Beers and wine, the only downfall is that there’s not much to see in this area.  Aparently the 4D presentation is worthwhile though, right next door.


Quebec House has lots of Entertainment and catering here is supplied by Hotel Chateau Laurier from Quebec.  They’re doing sandwhiches made with smoked turkey and other Quebec meats, on Terra Bread, always a good choice.  Each day the menu changes and note that poutine is not on everyday, which seems to have annoyed many in search of the well known fries, curd and gravy dish.  I sampled meatballs and mashed potatoes. A tad salty, but otherwise rather nicely done.  A lot of the seats are actually outdoors, so give this a miss if it is raining. 

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Olympic Culinary Fever Hits Granville Island

Granville Island is the perfect place to catch some Olympic culinary fever.  The Olympic Line will deposit you right at the foot of the Island and all is within walking distance.  Don’t miss a stop at the Pacific Culinary Institute for a Keta Kebab from Organic Oceans charming Steve Johanson.  He’s the real deal fisherman and a source of great information if you want to inquire into what can be found in our local waters.       


The kebabs are made from Campbell River Chum Salmon and are cold smoked at skewered alongside some butter and wine poached pearl onions.      

A little further into the Island, The Lobsterman is offering a variety of seafood dishes such as bbq oysters, chowders and albore tuna loan.  It’s almost like we’ve got street food in Vancouver.      



A hop skip and jump into the Island and you will find the Atlantic Canada HouseThe Place de Francophone and The Swiss House, all worth a visit if you time it correctly.        

At the Atlantic Canada House the four regions have bound together to bring you eastern fare New Brunswick  |  Nova Scotia  |  Prince Edward Island  |  Newfoundland and Labrador.  It is essential that you check the schedule ahead of time, as the food tastings are at 11:30 a.m., 2:00 and 5:00 pm.  The lineups are crazy, so bring a friend, grab a coffee and catch up.  The best time to go is for the 11:30 a.m.  Here it is all about the seafood.  The culinary agenda is managed by Chef Kevin Boyce, an instructor at The Culinary Institute of Canada in Charlottetown, but there are chefs from every province, and, as Boyce readily admits, students from the various schools who are the ones really pulling it all together (news on the students here). They’ve flown in 1000 lbs of lobster, smoked salmon, salt cod, Digby scallops, oysters and salt beef.  Dishes include items pictured below such as marinated mussels on toast, lobster stuffed potatoes and butter poached lobster atop a scallop mousse on a potatoe pancake.  There are food demos with a different type of mussel each day.      



Chef Kevin Boyce displays the items available on Feb. 18.      

The Swiss House has taken over Bridges for the duration of the games, giving them the distinct advantage of a venue that is well prepared to serve the thousands (the other Granville Island Pavillions have to settle for minimal kitchen facilities).  If you are a cheese lover come here for the fondue and raclette.  If you get there early enough, you’ll can choose to be seating in the restaurant for white tablecloth service.      


These diners were very keen on having their photo posted.  Obviously enjoying themselves.    

There are stations set up outside for sausage and raclette, and the line ups here are minimal.  There are free samples of raclette on Feb. 23 – check the site for daily activities.  


Place de Francophone has French Bistro Fare, but it gets very busy, so be prepared to wait for your meal. They run out of Poutine frequently as the demand is huge.  The owners of La Baguette in the Island) have teamed up with Seb’s Restaurant (on Broadway) to bring you Club Adrenaline, where you’ll find food, and nightly performances.  If you pop in the afternoon between regular lunch and dinner hours, you’ll have no problem finding a spot.  This is also a great place to stop in for coffee or dessert, as the bakery has their delightful treats available.  Food is served until 9:30 pm nightly, after that there are Granville Island beers and BC wines to sip on.   



Some items available:  

P L A T S P R I N C I P A U X / E N T R E E S
Baguette Farcie, Saucisson, Jambon, Fromage, Laitue, Choix de Soupe ou Salade 14.00
Baguette sandwich with ham, salami, cheese, lettuce, choice of soup or salad.
Croissant Farci, Légumes Grillés, Choix de Soupe ou Salade 14.00
Vegetarian stuffed Croissant, choice of soup or salad.
Quiche du Jour, Salade Organique 14.00
Our daily quiche, organic salad.
Brochettes de Poulet ou Saumon, Riz Pilaf et Salade 17.00
Choice of chicken or salmon skewers on rice with salad.
Jarret d’Agneau à la Marocaine, Riz Pilaf 17.00
Lamb shank, Moroccan sauce, rice.
Boeuf Bourguignon, Riz Pilaf 17.00
Beef Bourguignon, rice
Tourtière du Québec, Chutney à la Mangue, Choix de Soupe ou salade 16.00
Pork Pie from Quebec, mango chutney, choice of soup or salad
Crème Brûlée (Caramelized Custard)
Pudding à la Brioche et au Sirop d’Érable (Brioche Pudding with Maple Syrup)
Pâtisseries Françaises (Assorted French Pastries from our display)
Tarte aux Pommes (French Apple Tarte)
Poire Bourdaloue (Pear Tarte with Almond Cream)
On Granville Island, in partnership with
La Baguette et L’Echalote (604.684.1351)
& Seb’s Market Café (604.298.4403)
Place de la Francophonie
“Club Adrénaline, Bistro & Bar”  

In addition to the pavillions on the Island, there’s also the regular spots if you want something a bit quicker.  There’s also artisanal food providers such as Oyama Sausage and Edible BC within the Island for BC food products and cookbooks to pack home.  Don’t forget the Artisanal Sake Maker for locally made sake.  Masa Shiroki, Sake Master, poses with the Olympic torch and former mayor, Sam Sullivan.   


Granville Island also has much to offer for arts and cultural lovers, so plan on spending some time in the area to experience much more than just the cuisine. They’ve got the Winterruption Festival on through February which includes free concerts, performances and a kids zone  There’s also concerts nightly, so check the schedules and plan accordingly.    

When heading to the Island, or for that matter, anywhere during the Olympics, you really have to keep in mind that the players are operating in less than perfect environments, and dealing with far bigger crowds than there would normally be.  If you aren’t prepared to forgive them for a longer wait, or perhaps food that’s not exactly at the right temperature, you should stay home and feed yourself, or head to a place outside the red zone.  You will, however, miss out, as there are many culinary treats that won’t be available post-Olympics, and once you get into the spirit of it all, you can look at the line ups as a chance to meet new people and share this interesting time with your friends.  It’s too bad drinks aren’t being served, but they’ll be plenty to drink once you’re in the pavillion.    

Aboriginal Fine Dining – 2010 Olympic Games

Good Life Vancouver inside scoop – The Kanata Cuisine Aboriginal Experience feast with wine pairings promotion!

Call Theresa at 604-831-1215 and pay half price if you tell her Good Life Vancouver’s Cassandra Anderton sent you: Instead of $245 per person pay  $122.50. 

The BC Aboriginal Culinary Team has partnered with Nk’Mip Winery to bring Vancouver a 2010 Winter Olympic Game culinary adventure.  This seven course meal with select wine pairings features dishes from Chef Ben Genaille, the instructor at Vancouver Community College’s Abolriginal Culinary program, paired with Nk’Mip’s select wines.

Held at the Native Education College’s Longhouse on 285 East 5th Ave in Vancouver, the evening begines with music by Tzo’Kam, performers from the Lil’wat Nation.  Partial proceed from this venture will fund the Aboriginal Culinary Team’s trip to the IKA Culinary Olympics, held in  Erfurt in 2012.

I attended on February 17 for a sampling – pictures below.

“hot rock” poached spot prawn
cattail heart cream, wild onion oil
2008 Riesling

fire roasted corn soup
oolighan oil
2007 winemakers chardonnay

salmon duo
candied & sausages
nass river seaweed bannock crackers
2007 Q2 Chardonnay

crisp duck glazed halibut
mushroom hazelnut ragout
potato, chives
2007 Q2 Pinot Noir

Rhubarb Ice

braised bison short ribs
parsnip mash
2006 Q2 Meritage

cranberry bannock bread pudding
“Indian ice cream”
maple sap ice wine reduction
2008 Q2 Riesling ice wine

~ 245.00 per person ~
gratuities not included
partial proceeds to Aboriginal Culinary Teams journey
to 2012 IKA Culinary Olympics

IMG_1110 IMG_1091 IMG_1099 IMG_1101 IMG_1106 IMG_1108 IMG_1109 Randy Picton Nk'Mip Winemaker BC Spot Prawn Roast Corn Soup Smoked Salmon BC Halibut Rhubarb Ice Bison Short Rib Cranberry Brioche

Savour Canada Breakfast

Photos and Story by Gillian Guilmant-Smith

Savour Canada International Breakfast celebrated Canadian food and agriculture products at the Pan Pacific Hotel on February 11, 2010.  Six of Canada’s top chefs were on hand to create signature breakfast dishes that highlighted the bounty and diversity of Canada’s unique food products and ingredients. 

Despite the early start, chefs cheerfully demonstrated how to put together their delicious offerings and took the time to describe their technique and answer questions about the ingredients.

Tasty treats included French toast, prepared by celebrity chef Michael Smith, and stuffed with blueberry, mint and fluffy cream cheese, drenched in Canadian maple syrup and garnished with brown butter and Haskap berry compote.  Other items on offer were equally appealing, especially the Maritime Lobster and Yukon Gold Eggs Benedict, topped with summer savoury hollandaise and sturgeon caviar.

For more info on Canadian food products and ingredients visit



 Cheese-stuffed French Toast with Cider-Braised Canadian Pork Sausage

Chef Michael Smith – PEI

Oatmeal-crusted French toast stuffed with blueberry, mint & cream cheese served with Canadian maple syrup, brown butter and Haskap berry compote, and a side of apple cider-braised pork sausage

West Coast Smoked Salmon with Slow-Scrambled Eggs

Chef Michael Smith – PEI

Smoked salmon served with slow-scrambled eggs, Canadian Gouda and brown butter hollandaise, with a side of pickled red onions and a Canadian oyster

Maritime Lobster – Yukon Gold Eggs Benedict

Chef Chris Aerni – New Brunswick

Yukon Gold rösti, served with Bay of Fundy lobster and poached Omega 3 eggs, topped with summer savoury hollandaise and short nose sturgeon caviar

French Canadian Pork Cretons on Maple Brioche

Chef Alain Pignard – Quebec

A modern interpretation of old-fashioned pork cretons served with wild lingonberry (airelles sauvages) chutney, Canadian mustard and maple sugar-dusted mini brioche

Canadian-style Dosas with Sweet Potato and Roasted Onion Curry

Chef Donna Dooher – Ontario

Cumin-scented dosas made with Canadian chickpea and buckwheat flours, wrapped around sweet potato and roasted onion curry


Prairie Steak and Eggs with Wild and Cultivated Mushroom Bread Pudding

Chef Rémi Cousyn – Saskatchewan –

Prime 32-day aged Canadian beef rib-eye medallion, fried quail egg and crisp bacon lardons with a spoonful of intensely flavoured mushroom bread pudding

Pacific Rim Congee with Beef –

Chef Daryle Nagata – British Columbia

Three savoury congees – rice, cornmeal and barley, topped with an array of Canadian products: Oven-browned beef short ribs with Asian flavours, braised pork cheeks, geoduck, sea urchin, pine mushrooms, wild rice, lentil caviar, marinated tofu, soya beans, salted duck eggs, peanuts, scallions, fried garlic and Chinese crullers

Hart House Surf and Turf

I once wrote the burb reviews for the Vancouver Sun, and it sometimes was hardly worth my while to drive out to god knows where to review a restaurant.  I did, however, find a few that were certainly worth the journey, and Burnaby’s Hart House falls easily into this category.  And, once you figure out which exit to take off Highway #1 (Canada Way), it isn’t actually all that far from town.  The parking is free and plentiful, and while your surroundings set you back in time (the tudor building was constructed in 1910), your meals are created with innovative cooking techniques.  

There are two acres to wander about after you meal and views to Deer Lake and the service here is attentive and knowlegeable. Edwyn Kumar (ex Lumiere and Cin Cin) has crafted a smart wine list of stellar BC picks and worthy International candidates, and Chef Kris Kabush has very recently been charged with overseeing the kitchen (Full PR News Release).  He had also spent time at Lumiere, as well as The Four Seasons and Cioppino’s.  His cuisine is elegant Northwest in style, with playful touches and balanced flavours. 

Since my boyfriend and my one year anniversary had landed on an evening that we had his four children and, while we had a great night with some tasty tacos, the evening was hardly about us.  This dinner, was therefore a stab at celebrating us, always a good excuse to dine elaborately.  We’d also been meaning to try the Hart House surf and turf, and the special is back again this winter (although not over the Valentines’ day weekend).  I strongly advise you to make the trip while this $38 special is availble.

Hand-picked Greens Salad with Goat Cheese Mousse, Crispy Shallots & Pickled Beets 
Dry-aged AAA Beef Tenderloin & Half Lobster – Smoked Tomato Puree, Wilted Kale, Fork-crushed Fingerling Potatoes 
Pineapple Upside-down Cake with Cinnamon Gelato & Caramel 

We changed it up a bit by ordering the Romaine Salad with lemon garlic dressing, white anchovy, foccacio crisp, soft quail egg and manchego cheese and the Dungeness crab salad with coconut curry yoghurt, crisp taro and micro coriander. The chef kindly sent out a melt in your mouth tuna tartare with sesame oil and a slice of pork belly, slow roasted to a tender forkful.  This chef”s dishes all hit their mark.  This is a place you will want to return to.

Sommelier Kumar is an expert at pairing and suggested the Kung Fu Rielsing with the tuna, Narmata’s Nichol Vineyards Pinot Noir with the pork belly and South African Graceland Cab Sauv with the surf and turf.  We will have to return another time to sample dessert.

Hart House on Open Table 

Harhouse at Night  Tuna Tartare

 Mixed Greens with Beets Crab Salad Steak and Lobster     Romaine SaladSteak and LobserPork BellyHart House Cheese Plate

Bao Bei opens in Chinatown

After Tannis Ling announced she was leaving her bartending post at Chambar to open her own Taiwanese Restaurant, fans of the charming cocktail genius were eager to see her bring a modern touch to Chinese Food.  Last night Bao Bei opened its doors to the public for the first time.  Word was out and supporters flowed in.  Since I am keeping early hours of late, we decided to drop in for some cocktails and snacks almost right at opening just after 5:30 pm. 

We were greeted by Paul Grunberg, also a Chambar alumni.  He was most recently at the Jean George’s Market in the Shangri-La Hotel, but was looking for a more independent project.  He’s an amazing host, catering to diners needs with just the right amount of attention.  In the kitchen Chef Joel Watanabe, last seen at La Brasserie, Bin 942 and Araxi, dished out tasty dishes in a timely fashion.

More on the restaurant as I dive deeper into the dishes and the story behind the concept, in the mean time here are some shots of opening night.

Drinks – Health Tonic (Gin, plum wine with fresh beet and pear juice), Chino Margarita (Tangerine peel infused Cazdores teequila, egg white, citrus and a chili salt/sugar rim), Madame Cinag (Gin, Fernet Brance and fresh grapefruit) and the Bloody Mary (Sichuan peppercorn infused gin, fresh horseradish, cucumger, betel nut leaf, tomato juice).

Dishes – Beef Tartare (Pemberton beef tenderloin, preserved mustard root, crispy shallot, ginger root, quail egg, watercress, burnt scaloion oil and lotus root chips), Mantou (Steamed buns with braised shortrib, hoisin, scallions, pickeld cucumber and roasted peanuts), Squid (Stir fried with pork belly, chili and baby bok choi) and Warm Eggplant (with soy garlic and ginger).

 Bao Bei 046 Bao Bei 025 Bao Bei 027 Bao Bei 051 Bao Bei 058 Bao Bei 059 Bao Bei 075 Bao Bei 082 Bao Bei 079 Bao Bei 008 Bao Bei 004 Bao Bei 039 Bao Bei 063

Glowbal Steak and Satay launch

Once again The Glowbal Group hosted a night that impressed.  Yaletown’s Glowbal ditched their brighter colours and became more serious with chocolate tones and innovative lighting.  Their menu has been relaunched, with a focus on the meaty side of things.  They’ve even changed the name to Glowbal steaks and satay.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of the new space is their meat locker located towards the back of the restaurant.  See a piece you like and they’ll cut it up and grill it for you. 

I arrived early in order to get some pictures of the new room and escaped before the crowds poured in.  Here’s a few shots of the evening.

Eve Abrams and Shannon Bosa Spicy Salmon Popsicles Martinis and Sparkling wine sippers Lobster grilled cheese Owner Emad Yacoub and BT's Dawn Chubai Steak sliders Glowbal kitchen action Glowbal's sliders Glowbal Bathroom Afterglow Ladies at Afterglow Glowbal's bathroom's leopard print tile Glowbal's stellar light fixture Glowbal's dining room Glowbal's light fixture close up Glowbal dining room Wendy Taylow and Glowbal Executive Chef Darren Glowbal Bar Glowbal Meat Locker  

BACIO preview lunch at Mangia e Bevi

West Vancouver’s Mangia e Bevi Ristorante will host BACIO (Because a Cure is Obtainable) in  January 2010.  A three-course dinner menu featured throughout the month for just $40. Stop in each week as they will be featuring the cuisine of a different region of Italy every seven days.

January 2-8:  NORTH – Piemonte and Veneto

January 9-15:  WEST – Toscana and Lazio

January 16-22:  EAST – Abruzzo and Marche

January 23-30:  SOUTH – Campania and Sicilia

On November 25, a few media types were privy to a preview of some menu items when owners Antonio Sauro, Robert Parrott and Doug Grisdale hosted a luncheon to showcase the upcoming dinners.

IMG_2013To whet the appetite we began with Bruschetta and Crostini topped with Bacala.


The Kitchen then prepared a delightfully dense swordfish, Peshce Spada, topped with olives, capers, anchovies and fresh tomato sauce.



Truffle fans cravings were soothed with the Risotto Ai Funghi with porcini mushrooms and truffle oil.


Chef Robert Parrott topped the dish with some shaved white truffles over Doug Grisdale’s plate.  Dana Lee Harris volunteered her time to do the PR for the fundraiser.


Next up were the Guanciale Di Maiale.  Braised pork cheeks with lentils and pork succo.  A bowl stocked full of flavour.  Perfect for a rainy Vancouver day. IMG_2025

We finished with Chestnut Fritters with ice cream and mint sprigs.


Owners Antonio Sauro, Robert Parrott, and Doug Grisdale- fabulous hosts.

On January 31st, the month will wrap up with a dinner, called “Mangere, Bere, Vivere” (to eat, to drink, to live) which will consist of four courses paired with complementary wines, plus a silent auction, for a truly fitting finale to a month of incomparable Mediterranean flavours.  Coast for wine and meal is just $95.

Mangia e Bevi Ristorante

2222 Marine Drive, West Vancouver