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Everything posted by jamiemaw

  1. With 23 million overnight stays in 2005, BC tourism numbers are up despite American stay-at-homes constrained by our rising dollar.
  2. Eric's 'bonus fund' system is a terrific suggestion; its similar to how some contractors/developers are bonusing the trades (especially the skilled trades) in our stretched construction labour environment.
  3. I'm pretty thrilled that you elected to excute this recipe with silken thighs and not, say, hairy backs. Mother-plucker.
  4. Tonight's segment dealt with the real estate conundrum facing fruit growers, where ther's little money left in stone fruit, apples and berries. So they're pulling and burning and re-planting in grape; with another 24 wineries awaiting licensing (bringing the BC total to 158) it's not much of a conundrum at all. Good grape acreage is now selling for $150,000+ in the south valley, a monumental (triple) increase since 2001. But there's a certain wistfulness in pulling down those orchards . . .
  5. I think it probably depends on what you count as BC wines and how you count them. I believe there's lots of low-end "BC" wine sold to those looking for quantity over quality. Are the Chilean wines bottled in BC counted as BC wines? ← BC Wine is wine with a BC label that is bottled in the provinve. VQA wines comprise only a portion of the total.
  6. jamiemaw

    Pomeroy Mustard

    Pommery's green peppercorn variety is terrific with steak (in lieu of horseradish) or as a glaze for chicken, game or rack of lamb. Their Fireman's provides some extra heat. Pomeroy is a mis-spelling that mysteriously lives on as many menus and recipes attest. Pomeroy's was Rumpole's wine bar of choice in London where he famously drank Chateau Thames Embankment. Little Known Fact: Many European mustards (especially German and Belgian) are actually made with Canadian mustard seed. We joke when our friends from Dijon come to visit and offer to repatriate a pot or two. In defference to Grey Poupon, we usually say that we'd prefer that they "possibly bother us with some fricking claret." Not sure how much of our seed makes it into their product, but the prospect of overpaying for a jar here is amusingly annoying. I know that the sweet Bavaian for my bratwurst probably began its life in Saskatchewan.
  7. CR did Christmas ornaments this year, good for a snort to invoke the purple haze when tossing tinsel.
  8. It's Fance's turn and apparently just in the nick of - their market share here has slipped to less than 6 per cent. Last night saw us to West for the Select Wine Merchants dinner with several big labels, and a terrific find. David Hawksworth offered a French-influenced menu that married convivially with each bottle; he began with canapes of tuna tartare with radish; crispy brandade with beetroot creme fraiche (!); spiced lamb balls with saffron aioli; and lobster salad. Terrific company in the room as well (which was wisely kept to about 60 covers), which is what really sets this Wine Festival apart from pretenders: Etienne Hugel, Nicolas Jaboulet, Julien de Rothschild and Cyril Henriques, whose very reasonably-priced dessert wine stole the show from the hefty reds, although the still-young Hermitage is a beauty as well. The Henriques is an oxidized granache blanc and macabeau blend that enjoys thunderous notes of Spain (it's grown only 15 kilometres from the border). It's available by special order through Select Wine Merchants. I found it particulalry good value as it comes in 500ml bottles ($21.45!) and is very good with cheese, especially the bleus brothers. A very cheerful evening: Canapes Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial NV ($62.95) Yellowfin tuna and scallop carpaccio, smoked tea trout caviar and watermelon radish Hugel Reisling Jubilee 2001 ($43.95) Terrine of Quebec fois gras with pear and saffron chutney, toasted brioche Hugel Reisling Vendage Tardive 2001 (S/O) Pot au feu of squab with black winter truffle, porcini essence Hermitage La Chappelle 2001 ($164.95) Toasted almond-crusted venison loin with braised red cabbage, Squash Ravioli Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1996 (S/O) Pear apricot tart tatine with melted brie, caramel fennel ice cream Henriques Rivesaltes Hors d'Age Domaine de Forca Real 2003 (500 ml/$21.45) Petit Fours I'm looking forward to hearing of your finds.
  9. Thanks Lee. I'm a little nervous that this might catch on. Hopefully Neil won't put it on his specials sheet anytime soon: "Ordering: One roasted cauliflower, side of thighs."
  10. Jamie, where do you find this stuff ? ← I read it first in Modern Janitor.
  11. Well, ah, hmmm, Abra. Finally, all is revealed and now everyone knows why attractive Latino women line-up to roll cigars on my thighs. I am so outed, but at least you didn't tell them that I moisturize too. On topic, that sauce is mighty fine and your concoct as well. I'm going to forward your recipe to chef Allemeier at MH.
  12. Not quite, Pam, but here's a pretty good description of the process: For anyone interested in how the book came together (it was a largely volunteer project), I reprise the article recently published in Vancouver magazine below. But first a few factoids, each of which might be made the more relevant given the recent controversy surrounding the James Beard Foundation. Vancouver Cooks is a product of The Chefs Table Society of British Columbia, a registered not-for-profit owned and administered by the 54 chefs who contributed their time to this project. Those chefs, no matter what dialect they cook in, are dedicated to sourcing local, seasonal, sustainable ingredients. Further, partial proceeds from the sale of the book go to the Chefs' Table Society of BC for scholarships and bursaries to sustain emerging and apprenticing chefs. Based on our budget, we anticipate that about $40,000 will flow through from the book, a little more than JBF reportedly spent on the same last year. Lastly, while the book draws attention to both individual restaurants and to the entire province (culinary tourism), it has also broughts chefs together to collaborate rather than compete in one of the most interesting culinary laboratories extant. I hope what follows might become a useful template with application for other cities. It has certainly drawn together and empowered the culinary community here. EAT THIS BOOK! The Making of a Cook Book Vancouver Cooks The Chefs’ Table Society of British Columbia Edited by Jamie Maw and Joan Cross With a foreword by John Bishop Douglas & McIntyre; 224 pp; CDN$40 National Release Date: October 12, 2004 “Chefs. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.” So begins Canadian saint Vicki Gabereau's stirring cover endorsement of Vancouver Cooks, a collection of more than 120 recipes from the province’s leading chefs. Like many of the best ideas, this one was hatched over platters of very good food and more than a few glasses of wine at a regular meeting last year of The Chefs’ Table Society of British Columbia. A collaborative of more than 50 professional chefs, the society is dedicated to aggressively sourcing and sustaining local ingredients: all pointed toward the support of our emerging regional, ingredient-driven cuisine. The chef who suggested the idea, Rob Feenie, is a veteran of the cookbook wars himself. The chefs in that room that day immediately took up the cause. And several others of us, caught up in the enthusiasm, perhaps slightly naively volunteered our time. “What could be simpler?” we collectively thought. Collect a hundred or so recipes, put them in a nice wrapper, roll it out. Thousands of hours later, we’re coming up for air, the pain of the birthing behind us, our collective ambition to sell the book across the country lying just ahead. We didn’t want a coffee table book that people would buy and not use. We wanted a concise book that would become an instruction manual, not too big, but brimming with useful recipes and cogent detail. We wanted a book that would wind up in home kitchens and summer cottages and on boats. And we wanted a book that tourism agencies, hotels and culinary associations would use as a calling card. Our collective also wanted the proceeds to benefit, via an adjudicated scholarship and bursary program, emerging young chefs who are passionate about cooking local. But that would mean a largely volunteer project, a tough task rife with grace and favours. Our supportive publisher, Scott McIntyre, was a little disbelieving of our initial budget. The most expensive component of cookbook production is the photography and food styling. Well done (the consumer hears the music of the images long before the lyrics) and it sells books by seducing the shopper. Poorly executed and they’re aimed directly to the remainders bin. We came up with a plan. But then the games began in earnest. A meeting of the city’s top culinary public relations handlers resolved the indelicate task of herding the chefs. Recipes began to arrive. Some of them, especially from hotel chefs, were hardly directed at the home cook. “Secure 18 pecks of Coldstream infant morels, several Saltspring Island lambs and nine litres of Pemberton Valley wild rosemary-infused lamb demi-glace. Reduce the demi further on medium heat over two days until glue-like and pungent . . .” began one correspondent, perhaps used to cooking for larger groups. Well, I jest, but not entirely. Joan Cross, a gifted home cook and culinarian, began the complex task of recipe testing, the most arduous stage of cookbook publishing. The shopping alone would stagger most civilians, and our protocol demanded that the ingredients be reasonably handy. Truth be known, most are available at Granville Island, along West Broadway, or in local specialty shops. And then she began to cook. And provision. And cook again. And host pot luck dinners where volunteers on the project would shop for and cook a dish, makes notes of adjustment, then present the finished product to a tough crowd. We threw out a few recipes, recalibrated many, and slowly began the process of weeding through to find, say, the best and most workable halibut recipes of more than a dozen submitted. We talked daily during this stage, celebrating small victories, and talking about recipes that had to go into turnaround. Joan was unfailingly gracious. “The most challenging part was trying to take recipes from professionals who come from so many diverse backgrounds,” she said, “and make them friendly for the home cook and consistent throughout the book.” I’m a self-admitted glutton, but Joan Cross is clearly a glutton for punishment. “The most enjoyable part was testing the recipes,” she says today, breezily, “and asking others to test-drive them too. That’s because you can give the same recipe to ten people, but just like snowflakes, no two outcomes will be identical.” Much of the workload was accomplished by a crack team who worked for modest honorariums. Jane Mundy, who writes for our Eating + Drinking Guide to British Columbia, tested some of the recipes and assisted with additional research. Logistics were managed by Sue Alexander and Tiffany Soper of Alexander Ink, a downtown culinary public relations firm. I wrote 54 chefs’ bios while on holiday. Twice, as it turns out, due to a suspect hotel computer. I feel I know these chefs quite well now, even if my fiancée began referring to my little vacation project as biohazards. Publisher Scott McIntyre’s early suspicion about the photography was confirmed by the realities of the business. He’s published Rob Feenie, John Bishop and many other chefs and knows full well what photographers charge to painstakingly light and shoot finished dishes in the studio. And the process of coordinating and cooking the dishes, then styling them, can be daunting—there’re a hell of a lot of moving parts. Fishy moving parts. That task would fall to Murray Bancroft, the skilled food stylist, restaurant consultant, food writer and international diplomat. Our solution to the photography conundrum was to approach two experienced culinary shooters whom we thought would buy into the project. John Sherlock, who shot the food, and Shannon Mendes, who captured the human images, agreed to discount their industry rate and accept partial payment in restaurant gift certificates. Suddenly we had more contras than Oliver North. With Murray Bancroft on board, the project was blessed. All of them will eat very well over the next six months. John Bishop’s elegant foreword arrived. Bishop, who is the godfather of British Columbia’s regional cuisine, writes of the strange circumstances that greeted him when he first arrived here from the UK, half a generation ago. “Restaurants were serving ‘imported delicacies’”, Bishop remembers. "Icelandic scampi, eastern seaboard lobster and so on," he says, “but we’d turned our backs on our own ocean and backyards.” Like the local and organic menus that Bishop serves in his own restaurant, Bishop views this book as a benchmark of where we live. The editing process, which began with Douglas and McIntyre’s experienced cookbook team, moved to me and then back to their senior editor Lucy Kenward, It was a detailed but agreeable process, much aided by good nature and a sense of common cause. At this stage, Joan’s husband Sid Cross, the retired lawyer with the legendary olfactories and wine mnemonics the size of Latvia, inserted his British Columbia wine pairings for each dish. Like Sid himself, they are direct, informative and useful. Later, with the assistance of the publisher and Barbara-jo McIntosh, we formed a plan to launch the book, both through conventional bookshops across the country, but also in the 54 restaurants whose chefs participated in the project. [Note: Those restaurants ordered almost 2,000 books and have re-ordered 500 already—talk about empowering the chefs. Tourism Vancouver ordered 260.] So just who are these chefs? Well it’s a diverse group that includes many ethnic backrounds but with a passion aimed squarely at our merging regional cuisine and the sourcing of the ingredients that support it. You’ll see recipes from Michael Allemeier of Kelowna’s Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, Pino Posteraro of Cioppino’s, David Hawksworth of West, Rob Feenie of Lumiere and Feenie’s, Vikram Vij of Vij’s and Rangoli, and Peter Zambri of Victoria’s Zambri's. And you’ll find Andrey Durbach from Parkside, Michel Jacob of le Crocodile, Thomas Haas of Senses, Rob Clark from C, Bernard Casavant from Whistler’s Chef Bernard’s, Gord Martin from Bin 941/2 and Go Fish! And a host of others, including Karen Barnaby, whose recipe for a superb “chicken stew in the style of fish soup”, reprised below, will keep you entertained until the book comes out. We hope that you’ll cook from it early and often, astonish your friends, and delight yourself in the process. But perhaps it’s Vicki Gabereau, so expert in synthesizing our national ambition, who said it best in her full cover testimonial: “Chefs, can’t live with them, can’t live without them. An outstanding chronicle of Vancouver’s culinary coming of age.”
  13. Big 10-4 to that little buddy. Pull over NOW and back away from the vehicle slowly.
  14. Pam, Have you thought about doing a ]cookbook? This speaks to the methodology. It's a lot ow work to bring together 50 chefs and 100 + recipes, testing et al, but it does garner attention for the city's culinary ambitions. Here's an image of the cover.
  15. Passive tourism assets such as museums, galleries and historical sites can get stale quickly unless they have international significance; they suffer from a “been there, done that” disadvantage. Culianry tourism reinvents itself with the seasons though and that’s why, in many provinces, culinary tourism is the leading growth sector, despite our rapidly risng dollar and the threat that the new US passport doctrine portends. On first blush, the numbers are discouraging, with Stats Can saying that year-over-year Manitoba F+B sales were down in 2005 0.3% versus +13.1% for Saskatchewan, +10.7% for Alberta, +10.6% for Ontario and +6.8% for Canada as a whole. Good thing that this adversity has drawn out a collaborative of chefs and proprietors to actively market. And collaborative should be the operative word, because successful culinary tourism marketers tend to have these things in common: 1. Collaboratives of chefs and proprietors such as The Chefs' Table Society of BC and The Island Chefs’ Collaborative. 2. Strong culinary tourism marketing from local and provincial tourism authorities. What a shame that Travel Manitoba’s forthcoming April conference barely mentions food at all on its agenda. Saskatchewan, conversely (and most of the other provinces) markets its culinary tourism trail of farms and restaurants on its extra-provincial marketing trips. 3. An annual civic dine around such as Dine Out Vancouver. 4. A strong hosting program for foreign culinary journalists that promotes Winnepeg's strong suits in emancipated ethnic dining and that pushes the value button.
  16. As usual, cher Jamie, you have managed to "nail it" (as we say here dans le Sud d'Amerique) comme d'habitude ... and one other piddling point as well, wasn't this maneuver (manoeuvre) named for US surgeon Henry Jay Heimlich? ← I believe that each culture has its own name and methodology for abdominal thrusting protocols, Melissa. In our own, the preferred technique to dislodge unwanted food matter is invoked with a sluicing of Dutch lager. In the unhappy event of a more severe blockage, another preferred method is to volunteer as brakeman in the two man luge. At the forthcoming Vancouver Olympics in 2010, we will be introducing the Mixed Luge, the Party (8-person) Luge, and Extreme Curling, which is essentially four burly men in Speedos, toques and lumberjack boots sweeping vigorously and drinking beer from stubby bottles. Same rules pretty much apply here too, TT, I mean about stuffing your face whilst driving. While not strictly illegal except in the province of Prince Edward Island, making love while motoring has dropped in popularity relative to the other popular forms of oral gratification that you suggest. Sadistics Canada, our federal research agency, largely puts this up to the spike in gasoline prices and suggests that many Canadian couples are now making love in the garage, or, on warmer days, in the driveway. They also put the increased popularity of hand-rubbed woodworks up to this phenomenon. I hope this helps, Jamie
  17. Some of the images of old bottlings were truly amazing. Baby Duck, MH Mulled Wine, Calona 'Dry' Red, but wait . . . where was my weapon of choice? . . . Andrés 'Still Rosé'? As I recall it retailed for $1.95 a bottle; mind you at the time, Kraft Dinner was on special at the 4th and Alma Safeway for five for a dollar. It was a wine pairing made in heaven and when we were flush we'd put bacon in the KD and invite girls over. I used to leave big screw-tops of Still Rosé under the bonnet of my Beetle (Vintage 1971 - a wonderful year both in Germany and the OK Valley) up at Whistler, until it got slushy. Our little condo there at the aptly-named Alpine 68 (condos were a new concept; it was certainly no chalet) welcomed a lot of wet wool, Rossignol skis and puff-Daddy jackets. Dinner was typically spaghetti Bolognese - once I used Mum's Slazenger Queen's tennis racquet - strung with cat gut - as a colander. I don't recommend this. Bob Dylan, David Bowie (Ch . . Ch . . Changes) Carole King (You've Got A Friend) and the Stones measured big on the Lear 8-track. Parsley was of the old school variety, or part of a Simon and Garfunkel song. Yes, we were sensitive, new age guys with very bad sideburns. At the old Whistler Keg, down in the hollow, we innocently ordered teryaki 'baseball sirloins', sautéed mushrooms and onion rings and Spanish coffee closers. One night a tourist from Denver wedged his Winnebago under the port-cochére. The eave had peeled back the roof like a can of Brunswick sardines and big wet snowflakes filled the cockpit. We backed him out and tarped the damage. He wisely gave us $20 - a drinking fortune - and we not so wisely went back inside to investigate further coffee drinks. I believe that maraschino cherries were involved. I suppose that in a certain kind of a way I miss Uncle Ben Ginter and his tartan-labelled stubbies and vile wines. Hell, in that era, Kressman's screw-tops, in the handy one litre format, were a big step up. BC VQA wines sales, at least in the '04 vintage, surpassed $124 million last year, a huge climb from just three vintages before. The big losers are the French, whose market share has dropped from about half in the 80s to only 5% now. The Fench winemakers that I ate dinner with last night are keenly aware of their loss of place and have embraced the theme of this year's wine festival.
  18. And here I thought they were just invented to keep our marbles warm.
  19. No worries. This saison, the theme - perhaps even the cru - of the Vancouver International Wine Festiva is France. Please come and join us! It's the biggest wine festival in North America and licks even the extremities with fun! Cheers aye, and yours in premier crew, Jamie + Eva
  20. jamiemaw


    Three more weeks in the brine...and it is being made from caribou! ← This is very good news Brian as it will allow me a head start on cooling the cleansers.
  21. jamiemaw


    Great shots and descriptions, but not a whit of pastrami. What gives?
  22. Especially if they knew those matinée-idol looks were just inside the door.
  23. Global is running a BC Wine feature on their 6pm newscast tonight. It's always interesting to see how the general media view and transmit wine information. Let the discussion begin, say about 7?
  24. I have found myself very involved with the Canadaline ( formerly RAV ) station in Yaletown. I will be participating in a small workshop group with RAVCO tonight in laying out some thoughts on the "look" of the above ground stationhouse in Yaletown. It has been a very interesting look at how the system works. I am going to bring up the issue of the station name this evening. I recall there being some thoughts on tying the name to the Roundhouse, but I would like to see it called something like Hamilton Street Grill Station. or The Vancouver Portal to Hanger Steak. or simply Gingerbreadpuddingland Station. It will be interesting in seeing how we get the athletes from the Olympic Village to dining destinations around town. we are looking at a dedicated Aquabus across False Creek, right into Gingerbreadpuddingland ( formerly known as Yaletown ). AS Jamie has mentioned, it is only a two week event and I do not see any serious operators setting up shop around the Village for the run of the Olympics. ← Modest chap that you are, build it the size of a hangar, but with an escalator that terminates at your door.
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