Weekly Goods – CandyTown, Bocuse D’Or and More

What to do in Vancouver this coming week!

Okay folks is it just me or does it seem like Christmas is coming even faster this year? I’ve already been through Christmas in November, in Jasper, and been out to Potter’s Nursery and will have a summary of that both of those adventures shortly, and now Vancouver’s streets are all full of holiday hurrah! Why fight it? EMBRACE THE SEASON. #therealsanta

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CandyTown – November 26 in Yaletown

Okay is it just me or do those gingerbread men scare the crap out of you too. Almost like clowns, no? In any case the rest of CandyTown promises to be less freaky and my pals at WildTale are bringing in some Effingham Oysters to shuck and there will be festive cocktails around Yaletown, Santa,  and more!

FEATURED ACTIVITIES: 12 PM – 7 PM

  • “All I Want for Christmas” Gift Market
  • Free Horse Carriage Rides (in front of 1200 Pacific Blvd)
  • Visits with Santa and the Ice Queen
  • Ice Carving Demonstration
  • Live music and street performers
  • Candy Making
  • Christmas Tree Lot

Bocuse D’Or Canada Fundraiser

If you haven’t dined on Chef Keith Peters cuisine you are seiously missing out. He and his team are rocking it out in Burnaby. This fundraiser is the foodie event of the season and a chance to mix and mingle with the culinary elite of our Province. Funds go to send our Canadian Chef to the Bocuse d’Or to compete in ultimate culinary challenge! GO CHEF JAMES OLBERG! Buy Tickets

6:00 PM

Delta Hotels Marriott Burnaby, BC

Wednesday, November 30, 2016  at the Delta Hotels Marriott
4331 Dominion St, BurnabyCanape’s & Cocktails 6pm
Dinner 7pm-10pm
DJ & Dancing 10pm-MidnightCome and dine with Vancouver’s top chefs and Bocuse D’Or alumni to support Canada’s competitor James Olberg.  Attendees will enjoy an exquisitely prepared 5 course meal assembled by Delta Hotels Marriott, Executive chef Keith Pears.  Each course will be paired with carefully selected wine to compliment Keith’s unique ability to present flavours and stunning plate presentations.This is your chance to get to know some of Vancouver’s top restaurant talent.  Each table will be hosted by some of the cities hottest chefs including Victor Bongo, John Carlo, Bernard Casavant, Alex Chen, TJ Conwi, Dennis Green, Donald Gyurkovits, Lynda Larouche, Chris Mills, Patrick Quigley, Hamid Salimian, Jack Tsai, Alex Tung, Jeffery Young and Marcus Von Albrecht just to name a few.

The evening will feature an informative presentation on the highly prestigious Bocuse D’Or competition and Canada’s representative, plenty of prizes and raffels.  All proceeds will benefit Canada’s representative.TICKETS*:

Single tickets $208.25 ($199.99 + $9.25 s/c)

Table of 9 $1870($1800 + $70 s/c)

*Admission includes a chef hosted at your table, complimentary martini and 5 course meal paired with wine. Tables are selling quickly, so don’t miss your opportunity to dine with Vancouver’s top chefs.

Christmas at FlyOver Canada

I love this show, especially at Christmas! We went for Halloween and will be back for this for sure! Christmas at FlyOver Canada offers guests the opportunity to experience a magical twist on the ‘Ultimate Flying Ride’. Riders will embark on a mission to help Santa Claus search for his missing elves during the exhilarating flight across Canada, and on to his magical workshop in the North Pole!

website. November 24, 2016 – January 2, 2017 | Daily from 10am – 9pm*

 

Chef Jesse McCleery Takes Home the Gold at Gold Medal Plates Victoria!

Ten BC Chefs Awarded Gold Medal Plates Emblem of Distinction

Last week we rushed off to Victoria, and thanks to Helijet, we got there in time to catch the Gold Medal Plates Culinary Competition.   If you’ve been following Good Life Vancouver, you’ll know that I am basically a Gold Medal Plates groupie, and that I try make it to the BC Competition in the fall and the finals in February in Kelowna every year.  I interview the chefs beforehand for some insight into their approach, and it’s always a pleasure to run into them at the competition, say hello to the ones I already know and meet the new chefs that have made it to the finals each year.

The BC competition is now held in Victora and the competition was very tough this year, as always, many dishes were contenders for the top spots.

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Gold: Chef Jesse McCleery from Pilgrimme paired with Sea Star Estate Farm & Vineyards.

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Silver: Mark Filatow from Waterfront Wines paired with Tantalus, 2014 Chardonnay and

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Bronze: Ricardo Valverde from Ancora paired with The Hatch “Black Swift Vineyards” 2014 Pinot Noir.

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Chef McCleery will go on to Canadian Culinary Championships, the Gold Medal Plates Finale, in Kelowna on February 3rd and 4th, 2017. Chef McCleery dish was a stunner, he baked and smoked a rutabaga an served with onion, pear and sourdough. Chef Filatow’s dish was smoked arctic char with corn gnocchi and sunchoke carbonara, and Chef Valverde of Ancora crafted a duck confit tortelinni, charred brussel sprouts, red onion marmalade, and aji panca mole sauce. The other chefs competing in Victoria were from: Cacao, Vancouver (Jefferson Alvarez) Toque Catering, Victoria (Nicholas Waters) Ocean Wise, Vancouver (Ned Bell) North 48, Victoria (Sam Chalmers) Big White Ski Resort, Kelowna (Rob Walker) Fairmont Empress, Victoria (Morgan Wilson) Nourish Kitchen & Café, Victoria (Sergio Hernandez).

Judging the 2016 competition in Victoria were: Sid Cross, International Wine & Food Judge; Andrew Morrison, Editor Scout Magazine; Gary Hynes, Editor Eat Magazine; Sinclair Philip, Owner Sooke Harbour House, national head judge James Chatto and Chef Alex Chen from Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster Bar who won gold in Victoria last year.

Each dish was judged out of 100 points, based on visual presentation (20%), texture (10%), technical achievement (10%), taste (40%), wine compatibility (10%), and wow factor (10%). All competing Chefs were awarded the Gold Medal Plates Emblem of Distinction, the gold standard in Canadian fine dining and a guarantee of excellence to all who enter their dining establishments. This Distinction is offered only to Chefs selected to compete at Gold Medal Plates dinners.

Funds raised from this event are granted to the Canadian Olympic Foundation to support highperformance athletes through programs facilitated by national sport organizations and the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (COPSIN).

Chef Morgan Wilson Q at the Empress

 

Chef Morgan Wilson from the Fairmont Empress Hotel doesn’t have far to go to compete for Gold Medal Plates, as he’s Victoria-based, but that doesn’t make it any easier. We learn a little more about his thoughts on trends before the competition.

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Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

Q at the Empress is focused on local flavors of the Pacific North West, with a focus on seafood and seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers, fishers and markets.

Where do you eat in your city?

I like to discover smaller restaurants, one that I’m fond of right now for breakfast is Jam Café, great vibe and food.

What would be your ideal food day?

Somewhere in France enjoying all the great cheese and wine

What trend do you wish would die?

Gluten free baked goods, eating gluten free can be achieved by simply avoiding foods that have flour.

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What trend/s do you wish would be next?

A return to simpler cooking. We, as Chefs, with the rise of molecular cuisine, sous vide etc., have gotten very good at the technical aspects of cooking food and have been exploring that for quite some time. I would like to see that better understanding of how to perfectly cook a piece of meat or a vegetable focused into fewer ingredients on the plate, with less fuss the flavors that are there will shine.

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

Onions, this is a building block for so many recipes I really can’t live without them.

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home?

A good old spaghetti Bolognese.

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

Time machine

What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

Give grandma a call and get a copy of her recipes, always the best food at grandma’s house!

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

Quack quack

cab franc

What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Cabernet Frac

Who is coming with you?

Mark Butschler from Tinhorn Creek will be pouring, I will have a great team of our cooks from the Empress assisting.

Chef Sam Chalmers North 48

 

Gold Medal Plates competitor, Chef Sam Chalmers, is based in Victoria, and I just may have to go for the French Onion Soup he describes below.

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

North 48 is a modern comfort food restaurant. We take classic dishes and put our own spins on them. For example, our French Onion Soup: I salt cure half the onions, caramelize the rest, and put them in a mason jar with bacon & duck stock and cook that for 5 hours. We serve that tableside poured over a slice of toasted baguette & melted white cheddar.

french onion

What trend do you wish would die?

Trends are important to keep food interesting to the diner. I don’t overly wish any of them to die. From every major food trend we get pieces of them, ingredients, philosophies or techniques that will stick around and thats how food and cooking keep evolving. The one thing I do wish is that cooks, especially young cooks, try as hard to master the classic techniques and dishes before trying to master new trends.

What trend/s do you wish would be next?

Sustainable food has been a trend for a while now and I hope it keeps growing. People are more aware than ever to where their food comes from. I think its very important to always think sustainable and local as much as you can. I think we need to remove some negativity that is around farmed seafood. There are people out there doing right and we have to make that the norm, not the exception.

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

I will be preparing Northern Divine Sturgeon. I feel its important for people to understand the stress that we have put on our oceans and our seafood population. Northern Divine is farming fish the right way. This is the future of fishing and I want to showcase that.

Chef Nicholas Waters Toque Catering

One more day until Gold Medal Plates in Victoria and prior to this yearly face off, we try to catch up with all the chefs competing.  Chef Nicholas Waters from Toque Catering in Victoria gave us a little insight into his culinary world.
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Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

We are a full service catering company that custom designs each menu to our client’s tastes. We specialize in Vancouver Island Cuisine.

Where do you eat in your city?

Wild Mountain, Relish & Dad’s Soup & Sandwiches

What would be your ideal food day? 

Culinary food trips to a different city for appetizers and cocktails, several places in one day!

What trend do you wish would die?

Scallops & Pork Belly combined and old school buffets!

What trend/s do you wish would be next?

It’s already starting for the 2017 Wedding Season, Family Style Dinners!

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

Lemons

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home?

Green Thai Curry

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

Paco – Jet

What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

Atelier Crenn – Metamorphosis of Taste

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

Prawns on a Plate, inspired by the West Coast!

sea cider

What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

Pommeau Cider from Sea Cider Farmhouse

Who is coming with you?

The Toque Catering Team

From my Facebook we also had some questions:

If you could only have one small kitchen appliance what would it be?

Vita Mix

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Who is your favourite supplier, and why?

My Herb Farmer from Happy Valley Lavender Farms. She is just so happy everytime she arrives and it makes our whole kitchen smile, no matter how busy it is! Not to mention her herbs are the most flavorful you can find locally.

What’s your “ketchup”?

(I don’t mean literal ketchup, I just mean the one ingredient you use most often.) Mayonnaise

Chef Jefferson Alvarez Cacao Vancouver

 

Chef Jefferson Alvarez has had a busy fall as he’s recently opened Cacao, inspired Latin American plates in Kitsilano. We had a few questions for him as he preps for Gold Medal Plates to compete for Gold, but there were no hints as to what he’ll be serving!

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

We are a latin American restaurant style progressive Latin

Where do you eat in your city?

Where chefs are hands on!

What would be your ideal food day? 

Food from my mom

What trend do you wish would die?

ALL TRENDS SHOULD DIE!

What trend/s do you wish would be next?

NO MORE TRENDS PLEASE! We should evolve and progress like normal people use to.

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

Salt & pepper.

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home? 

Brazilian bbq chicken.

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

A real stove top.

central

What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

Virgilio Martinez CENTRAL

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

No comments.

What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

THE EXPRESS CIDER

Who is coming with you?

MY LOYAL ARMY

Chef Mark Filatow Waterfront Wines Kelowna

 

Our next interview is with Chef Mark Filatow from Kelowna who’s also on his way to Victoria to compete in Gold Medal Plates Culinary Competition.  He’s competed before and taken the gold so it could be a repeat performance if all goes well! Filatow answered a few questions about ingredients he always has on hand, and who’s coming with him.

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Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

We really focus on the seasons and use our travels and research to combine for new ideas. 

What trend do you wish would die?

Picture perfect food that tastes like nothing!

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

Salt

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home? 

Pizza…or meatballs waterfront wines

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

Wood Oven 

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

Worldy Inspired, locally sourced .

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What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

Tantalus 2014 Chardonnay 

Who is coming with you?

Pretty much the entire kitchen!

Bio – Mark Filatow – Executive Chef & Sommelier

With over twenty years of experience, Mark Filatow represents the pinnacle of culinary excellence and is the driving force behind Waterfront Restaurant and Wine Bar. After graduating with honours from the Dubrulle Culinary Institute, Mark honed his culinary skills at some of the most prestigious restaurants in BC including Tofino’s Wickaninnish Inn, Vancouver’s Bishops and Diva at the Met and Kelowna’s Fresco Restaurant.

In 2001 Mark was accepted into the coveted Sommelier Guild, making him one of the only chefs in Canada with this level of skill in food and wine pairing. By 2005 Mark’s culinary prowess was acknowledged by Enroute Magazine when they recognized Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar as one of Canada’s best new restaurants. With these awards and continual stream of industry accolades from Vancouver Magazine, The Calgary Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, Eat Magazine and more, Mark still manages to keep his feet on the ground… and in the kitchen as Executive Chef/Sommelier of Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar.

Recent Accolades:

  • Western Living Magazine – “Top Foodies under 40″
  • Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards
  • “Gold” Best Restaurant in the Okanagan – 8 years running (2009 – 2016)
  • Southbrook Award for Food Day Canada – “Best Wine Paired Menu”
  • Recommended in Phaidon’s New Restaurant Guide “Where Chefs Eat”
  • Winner 2012 Vancouver Gold Medal Plates
  • Food Day Canada – University of Guelph, Good Food Innovation Award 2013 & 2014

Chef Ned Bell Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise Chef

 

Chef Ned Bell is on his way to Victoria this week to compete for the in Gold Medal Plates culinary competition and we posed a few questions in advance to get a feel for just what he might be preparing.

Chef Ned Bell

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

My Focus is on Wild Seafood from the Pacific Ocean, and responsible aquaculture, farming seaweeds, shellfish and fin fish in a responsible way from a clean ocean.  (Chef Neb Bell is at the Vancouver Aquarium)

Where do you eat in your city?

At home with my family, having 3 boys and a very busy wife keeps me close to the family table.

What would be your ideal food day? 

I am a very early riser, usually 4:30 am, and I travel a lot, so my fitness routine and my breakfast are always the same, no matter where I am, it keeps me on schedule mentally and physically. Breakfast and fitness set the tone for me for the day, after that, I will eat whatever I want as long as its healthy and of course indulgent.

What trend do you wish would die?

‘Trends’ in general, Everyone is trying to create the next cronut, lets focus on food as a pathway to health. I am not saying don’t eat your favorite things, but lets put more energy into eating well, then eating trends.

What trend/s do you wish would be next?

Food as a gateway to a healthy lifestyle, when I eat well and exercise, I rest better, have a happier clearer mind, and I am a better father, partner and son.

vancouver island salt co

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

Really Good Sea Salt, I never leave home without it. (Van Island Sea Salt)

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home? 

Kate’s (Ned’s wife) Turkey Spaghetti.

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What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

My wife and I are renovating our kitchen at home, and I have lots of fancy kitchen gadgets at our Cookculture shops, so, honesty, I have all the kitchen equipment I need.

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What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

Well, My first Seafood Book is coming out in Sept of 2017, so I’d say that one 😉. (Can’t wait!)

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

Very fall, roasted, caramelized, foraged mushrooms from Tofino, elderberries, fish and lots of tasty business .

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What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

2013 Canyon View Pinot Noir from Haywire

Who is coming with you?

Friends from all over, chefs from all over BC (Ross Derrick from the Table at Codfathers, Andrew Shepard from Vancouver Island Sea Salt, Matt Horn from Cowichan Pasta, Jed Grieve from Cookculture, William Beere, Sous Chef at Oceanwise).

Chef Rob Walker Big White Ski Resort, Kelowna

Counting down to Gold Medal Plates in Victoria November 17! Top chefs from British Columbia compete for the gold, silver and bronze medals in this ultra-tough culinary competition. Prior to this yearly face off, we catch up with the chefs competing for and next up is Chef Rob Walker.

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

My style is very simple, local, seasonal, and sustainable ingredients treated as simply as possible 

Where do you eat in your city?

Well I have two young children so we don’t get out much and if we do the places we choose to go have to be approved by the kid’s lol.

Breakfast = The Jammery

Lunch = Pearson’s European Deli

Dinner = Cactus Club 

What would be your ideal food day? 

To me this would be a nice quick day trip to the South Okanagan with my wife.  We would start the morning off at The Bench Market in Penticton for a really good cup of coffee and fantastic locally inspired breakfast sandwich. A stop in at Craft Corner Kitchen for some funky spins on Farm to Table dining would be my choice for lunch. Then off to visit some of my very good farmer friends and of course some wine tasting, then to top off the day, a nice romantic dinner at Hillside Bistro on their patio to watch the sunset over Lake Okanagan. That’s an ideal food day for me.

What trend do you wish would die?

Asian Fusion

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What trend/s do you wish would be next?

“Root to Stem Dining”, it’s time as Chef’s to start showcasing all the hard work our local farmers do day in and day out producing fruits and vegetables by creating dishes were the focus is on these and not just the protein. Produce can be so much more than a side dish or accompaniment to something else.

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What ingredient do you always have on hand?

Maldon Salt

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home? 

Danielle’s (my wife) recipe for Meatloaf is top shelf! 

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

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Pacojet

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What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker in The Okanagan. > By Jennifer Schell

 

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

It’s all Local and Seasonally Inspired!

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What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

Liquidity 2014 Estate Chardonnay

Who is coming with you?

All Star Cast! My Kitchen team consists of Chef James Holmes of Craft Corner Kitchen, Chef Danny Capadouca Pastry Arts Instructor Center for Food, Wine, and Tourism Okanagan College. Chef Jesse Croy, Two Rivers Specialty Meats. Sous Chef Boddie Macklin-Shaw, Kettle Valley Steakhouse Big White, Apprentice Chef Matt Martin, Apprentice Chef Carson Bibby. Trevor Hanna the VP of Hospitality at Big White will be on the front line as well Liquidity Wine Maker Alison Moyes and Liquidity Tasting Room Manger Erin Korpisto pour wine.

Chef Jess McCleery Pilgrimme Restaurant on Galiano Island

Chef Interview Series – Chef Jesse McCleery

This week I’m on my way Gold Medal Plates in Victoria to witness some of the top chefs from British Columbia compete for the gold, silver and bronze medals in this ultra-tough culinary competition. Prior to this yearly face off, we catch up with the chefs competing and first up is Chef Jesse McCleery who I was fortunate enough to catch within cell phone reception last week!

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Chef’s dish – SQUASH, ONION, PEAR, BEEF HEART – Growing Chefs Fundraiser 2016

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

Pilgrimme is a small restaurant on Galiano Island with a focus on vegetables, Canadian grains and what grows wild on and around the island.

Where do you eat in your city?

When I head over to Vancouver I always try to get a bowl of ramen at motomachi and usually steer towards all the amazing Asian foods in town , one of the things I miss most about the city.

What would be your ideal food day? 

Guests willing to try new things.

What trend do you wish would die?

Food trends in general. We tend to over consume the latest trendy veg or whatever which in turn sees a lot of destruction in other countries when there is big money to be made supporting North Americas over consumption of latest said food trend. Everything in moderation!

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Chefs at Growing Chefs Fudraiser – Chef McCleery far left.

What trend/s do you wish would be next?

Conversation up and phones down at the table.

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

One type or another of a gulf island seaweed.

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home? 

Grilled cheese.

rational

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

A rational.  (For those who don’t work in a pro kitchen – “A cooking appliance that senses, recognises, thinks with the user and ahead, learns and communicates with its user. The first appliance on the market that does not work according to pre-set programme.” – Food Stuff Africa).

fool mag

What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

A subscription to Fool magazine

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

The humble rutabaga

What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

Seastar wines from our neighbour Pender island

For more about pilgramme and Chef McCleery head to Food Day Canada for Anita Stewart’s brilliant write up – pilgramme.

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