OPENING SOONBC Restaurant Industry NewsAh, January, the time of snow, monsoon, occasional sunshine, early daffodils, and rapid restaurant change. Read on . . .Downtown VancouverWHEN GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE DEPT.
Upon his return from Lyon, France where he’s once again attending the Bocuse d’Or culinary competition (but this time as a judge—Team Canada placed 8th under chefs Morgan Wilson and Ryan Stone from the Marriott Pinnacle), Michael Noble
(ex-Four Seasons Hotel
, Metropolitan Hotel
, Calgary), will join Earls
as Head of Culinary Development
. After an introductory tour of Earls and affiliated properties throughout Canada and the U.S., Noble’s first launch will occur shortly at Paramount Place
. “Everyone in the Earl’s organization is thrilled,” Stan Fuller
, the president of Earls told us today. “We chose Michael and he chose us.”
Noble, in addition to pioneering the renaissance of our local cuisine via the aggressive sourcing of local ingredients, is also rightly known for the formidable apprenticeship and mentoring programs he implemented at the various properties noted above.
We recently reported in Vancouver
the westward movement of the new-build downtown restaurant nexus. Where restaurants sprouted along the Yaletown corridors over the past decade, there’s movement back to Robson and especially Alberni, spurred by the potential footfall traffic generated by the Shangri-la and Paramount Place multi-use developments. The Granville Mall remains the Great Divide for quality dining. So watch carefully the former Bruce fashion space on Alberni (just west of Burrard). There are some exciting designs for a 200+ seat CFD restaurant and bar
in the clear-span space—nails bang shortly for a planned Labour Day launch. More news soon.
Nearby, Romy Prassad
, ex-executive chef at Jack Evrensel’s CinCin
, is refreshing the second-floor former Settebello
space. With partner Dee Anand, he plans to open the to-be-named restaurant before spring break.
Replacing Prassad at CinCin will be Andreas Wechselberger
, previously executive sous at CinCin and prior, executive chef at Teatro
, Calgary, where he replaced Mission Hills’ Michael Allemeier
Perhaps the solution for the Granville Mall
will be the proposed refurb of the 900-block, continuing south from the recently revamped 800-block, now recast in retail, restaurant and office space. With the Capital Six slated for redevelopment (on the podium: Orpheum extension, rehearsal hall and music school) with a large-scale residential tower above. Farther north of The Bay, The 440-suite Hudson, again with commercial and other amenities at street level, should combine to offer the city both more centrally-located restaurant opportunities and the night-time street life that drives them.False Creek Harry Kambolis
, the quietly successful proprietor of Raincity Grill
, has inked the lease to Riley’s
, the well-located but under-used False Creek space just a smoked octopus’s throw from that gem called C.
Concept is being refined, menu developed, but look for an informal approach to seafood and more—watch this space . . . .Whistler
Meanwhile at Whistler, CinCin sib Araxi’s
exec chef James Walt
decamps for a year to Rome. Replacing him is Andrew Richardson
, formerly opening sous chef at West in 2001, and then Carter House Inn in California. Richardson also worked at Cioppino’s
and Sooke Harbour House.YaletownLilyKate
—a 2,700 square foot restaurant (70 indoor seats in dark wood, espresso-coloured banquettes and a zinc bar; 35 patio) and shop—will open February 7th at 1265 Hamilton Street (604-687-5885). Offering “the comfort food people long for and crave”, proprietor Britta Joyce
will show a home style menu of mac and cheese, meatloaf, and apple-stuffed pork chops from exec chef Elke Brandstatter.
Pastry chef Carley Makela
will offer pecan sticky buns, whoopee pies, German chocolate cake and New York cheesecake. The shop will feature pastries, foods, prepped meals and quality condiments.
Chef Frank Pabst
has launched (suspended during Dine Out) a 7-course “Unsung Heroes” menu that celebrates many of our under-recognized coastal species such as anchovies, mackerel, sardines, sea urchin, sea urchin, geoduck, cuttlefish, squid and periwinkles. Sounds an interesting bargain at $79, runs until February 28th; individual tasting plates are available--I'll take mine at the bar with some neat Smirnoff
--it won this week's New York Times
tasting against all the big quadruple-filtered boys. Wine Country
Driving from Kelowna to Sun Peaks for the annual Ice Wine Festival
last weekend, Mission Hill’s Director of Sales Ingo Grady
proudly shared some news: Mission Hill’s Anthony von Mandl
will soon become the first Canadian president of the International Wine and Spirit Competition,
an accolade indeed. Other notables who have served the position include Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, Robert Mondavi
and Wolf Blass
(and you thought it was just another crafty marketing brand). Von Mandl knows the competition well—it was a Mission Hill chardonnay (winemaker John Simes
first vintage, a 1992, in fact) that won the IWSC’s Avery Trophy
for Best Chardonnay in the World, at the London competition in 1994.
Famously, the French judges at that competition professed an inability to pronounce the word Okanagan let alone know how to spell it. They insisted on a re-tasting. Mission Hill won again.
The best of the wine dinners was at The Val
, where Grady (Mission Hills and Gehringer Bros. co-hosted) and I ate some well-prepped tuna and a hearty turn of duck. Nice job.
Restaurant near Prospera Place plays to packed houses most nights. It’s from the same Richard and Martine Toussaint
who used to run Vancouver’s Café de Paris
and short-lived Cyrano,
now occupied by CRU
; chef André Bernier
pushes out quality bistro food with plate bending accessories, often including miniature vegetable timabales, terrines, scalloped potatoes or good frites. You might not often associate the words bistro with vegan, but a call-ahead request for one of our guests showed a four-course vegetable tasting menu laden with flavour—a tough stunt at this time of year. Free advice: Order the satisfying cabbage and bacon soup.
The attractively designed next-door Waterside Wine Bar
(it’s not) offers many by-the-glass locals and a short menu. The only caveat—nearby parking spaces are few, especially on hockey nights. Bundle up.Pierre-Jean Martin
and his wife Sandrine Raffault
have opened La Boulangerie
, a day-only room in a former fast food taco space on Lakeshore just south of KLO. Restorative soups, quiches and husky sandwiches en baguette and a terrific retinue of pastries and breads. Martin uses only French flour, by the way, and the drive-thru window raises obvious and attractive questions. La Bussola
has moved west into new downtown premises. Scampi and veal rate well, pastas well-made, solid cellar.
Farther south, Joie
is changing its name to reflect that accommodation will only be available for folks attending its cooking school this season. Other BusinessThe BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association
(BCRFA) recently announced the first inductees to its new BC Restaurant Hall of Fame.
Herewith, their press release:
“We founded the Hall of Fame to celebrate and promote excellence in BC’s culinary traditions and pay tribute to the outstanding individuals, past and present, who have shaped this vibrant industry,” said Richard Floody
, Chair of the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association.
“British Columbia ’s restaurant scene is one of the most dynamic in North America , if not the world and we are proud to honour those who have made it the success it is today,” said Bing Smith
, Chair of the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame Committee.
Leading the list of the first 16 BC Restaurant Hall of Fame inductees are Erwin Doebeli of the William Tell and Umberto Menghi of Umberto’s
who were named in the Active Category, which celebrates the exceptional restaurateur who is currently active in the BC restaurant industry.
Inductees in the four categories (Active, Pioneer, Industry, Friend of the Industry) are:
Celebrating exceptional restaurateurs currently active in the BC restaurant industry.
· Erwin Doebeli: The William Tell
· Umberto Menghi: Umberto’s
Pioneers of the BC restaurant industry, either retired or deceased. · Hy Aisenstat: HY’s Steakhouse
· Nat Bailey: White Spot
· Frank Baker: The Attic
· Mario Corsi: Park Royal Hotel and Corsi Trattoria
· Frank & Eva Iaci: Iaci’s
· Mike McLaughlin: Old House Restaurant, Comox
· Louis Stervinou: Devonshire Seafood House and Ondines
· Peter Szasz: Szasz Restaurant
· George Tidball: Keg Restaurants
· Joe Troll: Troll’s Restaurant
Individual—retired, deceased or active—who is or has been a chef, server, manager, bartender and who has demonstrated exceptional professionalism working in the restaurant industry. These individuals will be recognized for making their restaurant a special experience for customers.Back of House
· Bruno Marti: Chef/Owner, La Belle Auberge Front of House Ann Bentley: General Manager, Aqua Riva Friend of the Industry
An individual who has provided exceptional support to the restaurant industry – either a supplier, restaurant reporter, or politician who has consistently supported BC’s restaurant industry. · Harry McWatters: Sumac Ridge Winery
· Peter Whittall: Neptune Food Service
Inductees were chosen by a panel of 50 judges made up of industry leaders from throughout the province.
The Hall of Fame presentations will be made during a special industry celebration on March 7, 2005 at BC Place Stadium. The permanent home of the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame will be at the new Center of Excellence in Hospitality at the downtown campus of Vancouver Community College .
Limited tickets available.
TO PURCHASE TICKETS: call Kathy Rutherford at (604) 669-2239 or (800) 663-4482.
It was, as they say, an honour to be nominated, but certainly more befitting that the longtime vets mentioned above be given their just desserts. Congratulations to all.
Edited by jamiemaw, 28 January 2005 - 04:42 PM.