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Everything posted by jamiemaw

  1. But it has a 5 star rating! ← Thank you for partially restoring my reputation around here, Jasmine. I believe the bar we were in was five-starred too.
  2. I'm glad you chimed in Chris, because after reading your foodblog, it was clear that culinarily, Providence more than lives up to its name.
  3. You bought that YOURSELF? ← I know. The shame, the shame. As the Brits say, I must have been feeling tired and emotional. One should never drink and then walk through the smallwares department. The only good news is that it wasn't a car lot or I might be driving this sports futility vehicle.
  4. We use a lot of Australian and New Zealand lamb produst here in Canada and like the distinctive grassy finish. Much North American lamb is very mild; like toast, it's all about what (sauce, curry, herb treatment etc.) it's marinated in or served with. We especially like the smaller size of Australian lamb shanks - they make for a great osso buco.
  5. DD. But not for the reasons you might think. Like Luther Vandross's career, KKD shares have been in the hole for quite a while now, trading as low as 10% of their peak value of $44. Not only was the rise of Krispy Kreme hard on our teeth, but signalled moral decay as well. So these bald stabs at publicity should warrant the same cynicism as the flaccid product itself. Clearly this is a thinly-veiled conspiracy and I sense an Oliver Stone movie in the making.
  6. What a lovely turn of phrase, Maggie. And surely the resurgence of dining in Los Angeles has removed the vestiges of feeling as if one were eating inside an animated feature - such as at Spago. Having been conceived in Chicago, I feel a post-partum allegiance. Perhaps the gastro-landscape of some cities becomes more inward-directed. I think that's probably true of some self-congratulatory places that, not coincidentally, are also media capitals. If only they would invest that capital as diversely as the mother cuisines that begat them.
  7. Very much enjoyed reading several of your dispatches, Paul. Those all-day breakfasts can make one positively Eire-ate. Best to eat them pissed. Sorry to hear you've given up liver for Lent though, because after the successful consummation of St. Paddy's last night, mine is now available for hire.
  8. Such as the Central Sierra foothills, per se?
  9. Sounds shockingly regional, Outie even. In fact Atlanta has been amazingly receptive to culinary influences from outside as its economy flourished from the early 90s onward. I was a willing accomplice when much of our family business was based there. I couldn't help noticing that one of the restaurants that presaged Atlanta's turn in dining to "Frankly, Scarlett, I do give a damn" if memory serves me, Pano's and Paul's was relegated out of the premier division of Top 50 restaurants this year. What that tells me is either that time has passed it by, or, more likely, 50 other restaurants have. they came from somewhere, and carried influences that excited at least the AJC food writers. Sorry about the thinking part, but after you deal with that stiffy, how about some culinary provenance? You're a peach.
  10. Northern California has identifiable cuisine? Perhaps I can't see the forest for the trees and didn't even realize that we have one. Please explain what it might be, if you will. I'm lost here. ← Colour me flummoxed - by your reply. Surely northern California has a clearly identifiable regional cuisine, rooted in its fields and the local foddstuffs that led a resurgence of ingredient-forward cookery in the 80s. Thank Alice Waters, Jeremiah Tower and many others for recalibrating offshore methods to those local ingredients, and in an unfussed but focused way. And I'm not talking hangtoiwn fry here. And surely northern California is an 'Outie' for other reasons as well, not least being the remarkable merging of Asian influences and techniques onto local menus. What emerged was not only distinctive, but set a template for other areas in the US. As to the heirs of that emergent regional cuisine, I can think of no better than David Kinch of Manresa: His fish cookery alone is no fluke.
  11. jamiemaw


    it's been likened to the difference between being embraced by an oncoming freight train or a beautiful woman.
  12. I was just about to post the same thing. LOL. ← Your Outie is outed. And come to think of it, I've navel-gazed most contentedly, in your fine restaurants but especially on your beaches.
  13. Is your city or town a culinary Innie or Outie? Does it embrace new styles of cooking that may have arrived from far away? Or does it shy away from them? Just as our belly buttons are tangible reminders that we were all intimately connected to our mothers at one time, so do our culinary portals connect us to the mother cultures that begat the way we eat today. In certain places, that is. I was given pause, and a reason to ask this question during a culinary scouting trip through Umbria and Tuscany. It was Sunday night at a rural cooking school and the only thing that stood between me, a strutting chicken and dinner - was a sharp axe. But when I asked the head instructor how we might prepare the fowl –“coq au vin, or perhaps a nice curry?” I enquired – she looked at me as if I might want to pluck off too. “It’s Sunday and we will, of course, be roasting the bird with fresh herbs,” she said, as if to deter from this seasoned formula might prevent Italian trains from running on time. Several nights later, after many consecutive meals of the other white meat near Munich, I had a hankering for Chinese. That too was about to go unrequited. Certainly New World cities such as Sydney, Vancouver, and San Francisco are culinary melting pots – they’re outies, displaying convex navels for all to see. Here in Vancouver, you can watch the culinary DNA warp and weave nightly before your eyes. And as a bonus, and say unlike Toronto, there’s an identifiable regional cuisine, the way there is in Seattle, Portland and northern California. Other cities might look more inward. As Innies they might tend to support less diversity of cuisines - even if equal profusion of restaurants. The raw ingredients might reflect a more historic and less quickly evolving culinary culture as well. Is this effect the result of longevity, attitude, and gastro-chauvinism? So what is it? Does your city or town continue to embrace mother cuisines and celebrate them? And has it developed an identifiable regional cuisine, with ingredients, flavours and techniques integrated from elsewhere? Or, with the effluxion of time, or attitude, or the effect of local terroir and merroir – has it slowed, or even stopped, in its evolution?
  14. I'd noticed that a "Closed for Reovations -- Re-opening early March 2006" bulletin was placed on the doors of The Quay on Marinaside some time ago. Well, it's now mid-March and the renovations seemingly haven't started yet. An awkward room that became more bar than restaurant, it's seemingly not going anywhere fast. Anyone heard anything?
  15. As a Virgo, Henry, I like the structured itinerary you've put up. And as a builder, I'll be intrigued to see how you link the two functional arts (and sciences) of food and architecture beyond structure. Jamie
  16. Fabrications like 'conversate' remind me to always lick the condescension off my beer mug: Talk is good.
  17. In a week when crisps and fizzy drinks were outlawed in schools across the realm; government 'traffic light' healthy eating labels were given the cold shoulder; organic baby food was found to be deficient in 'essential nutrients'; the chairman of the Food Standards Agency warned against eating raw eggs (avian flu hazard); and Pizza Express alumni Luke Johnson (Giraffe) and David Page (Gourmet Burger Kitchen) squared off against each other to acquire Urban Dining (Tootsie’s); something even more apocalyptic happened to alter the landscape of British dining, perhaps forever. And as soon as I get my breath back I'll tell you about it. . . That, of course, was the declaration that Nottingham has emerged as the culinary capital of Great Britain. The Frequency of Overseas Dishes (FOOD) study, undertaken by MSN, found that Nottingham had six different “world cuisine” restaurants per square mile. FOOD found that diners there “can visit an Indian restaurant every month for three years, a new chippy shop each week for 18 months and a different Italian restaurant each month for two years.” The report named Glasgow as Britain's Little Italy and Southampton was hailed as the country's traditional food capital. As it appears Nottingham has but 36 curry shops, how do you like their math? Or is this simply another case of robbing from the rich to give to the poor?
  18. Does the broadleaf evergreen (also called madrone or madrone) for which this restaurant is named occur in the UK, or is it a reference to elsewhere?
  19. Thanks again Jamie - I have that on order in fact. And for you - do you know the work of the medievalist Kathryn Reyerson? Both of these might interest you: The art of the deal: intermediaries of trade in medieval Montpellier (Leiden, Brill, 2002) Society, law, and trade in medieval Montpellier (Aldershot, UK, Brookfield, USA, Variorum, 1995) madumbi ← Thanks for the leads, madumbi. I think that you'll fine de La Pradelle's book fascinating: there are many elements, especially relating to ethnicity, of special interest. Once you've had a chance to have a read, I'll look forward to resuming the chat.
  20. For an article on local oystering, I just reread 'Consider the Oyster' by the perhaps aptly- named Fisher. It has aged as gracefully as a witty doyenne at the bar, and is a rather more focused read than Mark Kurlansky's recently published but less roistering look at 'New York on the Half Shell'. Let it be said that although the central theme of both books was the hermaphroditic mollusc, neither suffered cross-dressing issues. Nor questionable wigs. On the whole, and comparitively speaking, Bryan Miller's NYT reviews have aged rather gracefully too.
  21. from the Department of Florid Press Releases Press Release March 1, 2006 Bienvenue! West Vancouver's Bistro 1734 is Now Open Picture a room filled with soft lighting, cozy tables made intimate under the gentle glow of candlelight, and a room surrounded by light and airy walls adorned with the art of framed Rothschild wine labels. The soothing strains of jazz underlie the hum of conversation, and warm, mouth-watering aromas drift from each plate as it is carried past by a member of the friendly and accommodating staff. Imagine the relaxing atmosphere that greets you as you embark upon what will surely become a memorable dining experience, and you just might begin to understand what awaits you at Bistro 1734. What remains is the pièce de résistance, of course: indulging the palate with rich, vibrant flavours. Owners Daniel Thomas and Bill Mari invite diners to discover what Chef Patrick Lynch provides in spades - amazing classic French cuisine with a modern twist - accompanied by some of the finest wines from both the old world and the new. The aim of Bistro 1734 is not to simply become another destination for French fine dining among the plethora of choice establishments that Vancouver already boasts. Rather, their vision is "apples and oranges compared to the classic French restaurant," according to the Cordon-Bleu-trained Chef Lynch. The difference is evidenced in hors d'oeuvres and dinner selections alike. For example, Lynch takes a modern approach to the traditional Escargot starter by serving it in puff pastry with an Indian curry sauce. Another traditional favourite, Duck Confit, is served in a chive crepe glazed with ginger, blood orange and Chinese black vinegar - a condiment Lynch believes is "underutilized by Vancouver Chefs". Likewise, the Poitrine de Porc entrée is served with sweet and sour cabbage that awakens the taste buds with a burst of flavour derived from apple cider jus. And no dining experience is complete without dessert, of course. Enter pastry chef Maria Laurecellia - formerly of Cin Cin - and her amazing selection of divine cakes, tartes and brulées. A particular favorite of returning diners is the decadent Fondant au Chocolat, a warm, rich chocolate cake with chestnut coffee cream. A new approach to classic French cuisine can only be accomplished successfully by seasoned restaurant operators, and that is just the experience Daniel Thomas - formerly of Vancouver's Café de Paris and Le Railcar - and Bill Mari, from Taylor's Crossing, provide. Creativity and vision meet tradition at Bistro 1734, and when they are combined with the welcoming atmosphere this little bistro in West Vancouver has to offer, diners are assured to experience the very best in good food, fine wine, and relaxation. -30- For more information contact: Daniel Thomas 604.922.8198 Bistro 1734 1734 Marine Drive, West Vancouver, BC V7V 1J3 bistro1734@telus.net
  22. So far, so good with the Dutch oven and lasagna pans. Very well priced. Lovely deep enamel colours. The test, I think, will be if the rims chip over time.
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