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Everything posted by eatrustic

  1. I just caught up on both the New Orleans and London/Edinburgh episodes after finally getting over my disappointment with the "by the numbers" Vancouver episode. I have to say that all was forgiven (sort of) with the New Orleans episode as it has to be his masterpiece in this series. It reaffirmed all that is still not right with New Orleans and yet blew me away with the spirit in it's inhabitants, from the average joe to the local food writers. Well done, documentary quality and award worthy. The London Edinburgh episode was very good and on a par with his better shows. My only bitch is with his self indulgent side trips to do things things like being a bad actor in a movie (Vancouver) or indulging in lame spoken word recordings with Morcheeba. If I could do these things, and they were personal interests, I'm sure I would as well but putting them in the context of a travel/food show seems like a waste of good information sharing. I couldn't get enough of all the London segment food scenes and was especially impressed with what Marco Pierre White is doing with traditional British fare. All the butcher market food scenes were fantastic as well. Fergus rules. Edinburgh was fun with Rankin as a guide although it seems no visit to Edinburgh is complete without showing off what's possible to stick in stinky old deep frying oil.
  2. Possibly a result of the Parkinson's disease he suffers from....
  3. Wow! That is great news. Not bad at all for subbing for Pino when he backed out. Congrats to Melissa! B.C. rules!
  4. Two areas that are very close to G.I. (4th and South Granville). Basically 3 - 5 minutes depending on traffic. You already have Vij's on your list but I would absolutely recommend Rangoli (his "fast" food place right next store). I love the food and the prices and you can sit inside or out (depending on the weather). Otherwise Fuel has been recommended (on 4th, a block from Burrard), and personally after 3 visits I would rather sit at the bar and watch the cooks prep while I eat a nice lunch as opposed to going for dinner which I have found to be hit and miss.
  5. What are you gonna do? If you have star power, issues with former partners still to be resolved, and a pregnant wife I bet you'd do the same to pay the bills if someone offered you a fat cheque. What interests me more is whether it makes any difference in the food. I don't recall that any of the former big name chefs who have signed on with Earls etc. have really made any difference in the menus. (Am I wrong?) It seems it's more about bragging rights for the chains and the hit of publicity that they will get vs any real thought that the food will evolve or markedly improve.
  6. Thanks for all the descriptions of the real thing! At least I know it's worth working towards. I'll dig out my antique, plunger style donut maker, figure out a recipe and see how close I can get. It looks like that's the style I need to try. (Of course I could always order a bag of cider donut mix from one of the Cider mills but that would be too easy.)
  7. Helmer's are the best producers of potatoes we have and they usually have a fantastic variety (depending on the season), including the Ratte (which I bet is no longer available until next year). They're from Pemberton and are often at the Winter (and Summer) farmer's markets here in town. They may be at the Winter market this coming weekend at the Wise Hall. Here is their contact e: helmer@direct.ca
  8. I'm thinking that the Cider mills make them using a batter type of donut mix with a plunger. I've been using a soft dough that I cut out and butter instead of shortening (which I don't want to use). Perhaps this is why mine are heavier.....
  9. For some reason I've never had the chance to try Cider Donuts but just the idea of reducing a cup of cider to almost a syrup and using this to make my donuts sounded really appealing. Alas, I've tried a couple of recipes but I find them to be somewhat oily and dense. Is this the way they are or do I not have the right recipe (or perhaps technique)? They all seem to be buttermilk based. Are they one of those seasonal treats that needs to be eaten on a beautiful Fall day at the apple orchard where they are made to be properly appreciated? They, of course, fry up fairly dark due to the cider in them but as I said they are not what I imagined. For those who have tasted them, what are they like texture and taste-wise?
  10. Looking forward to Sunday's (todays) episode on at 3:00pm from Seattle all about bread: Paris, Tuscany and an artisan baker in the U.S. Good thing I saw this thread or I would never have remembered to tape it at this time! Thanks.
  11. Wow! Now there's a line. Sounds like Hopkin could give lessons on descriptive restaurant criticism to Andrew Morrison who's standout quote, contained in the buildup to his review of Pinky's, in the West Ender this week: "And then my appetite shrivels like a hot-tub nipple."
  12. Ok, thanks for the info. This does sound like French linen which is a sort of dark grey natural fiber and is usually very expensive in fabric stores (not to be confused with canvas which is heavier and may work as well). I've bought it in the past at artist's supply stores (untreated of course). Yes, it does work really well, for bread doughs at least. It should be hemmed as it will unravel as time goes by, washing it is tricky as it tends to shrink a lot. If i'm using it on a regular basis I usually just shake it out really well and make very sure it hangs to completely dry to avoid mildew.
  13. I've recently been making fairly sticky pastry dough and the recipe suggests a pastry cloth. What exactly is this? I'm familiar with bakers linen which is natural raw linen fabric that is fairly stiff and resists dough sticking and wonder if it is the same thing? I tried a couple of the local kitchen stores but all they had was rolling pin covers.
  14. I've got the whole series and they are great fun to watch. This one comes in after all his other shows about establishing River Cottage. (I don't recall if they were ever shown on the Food Channel here). Not my favourite of all his shows but still miles above most of the stuff we currently have. My other favourites are all the Rick Stein series up to British Food Heroes.
  15. James Barber was sent off in style today when 250 of Vancouver's top chefs, restaurant owners and media along with friends and family gathered at Sun Sui Wah restaurant on Main St. for a feast of Dim Sum, Braised Abalone, Chili Crab, Roasted Squab and more. James had asked for a get together in a chinese restaurant with friends to celebrate his passing and it was a great occasion with tons of remembrances and laughs to send off one of the true greats of the Canadian food world.
  16. Ken's Chinese Restaurant (1097 Kingsway 604 873-6338)has your typical Congee Noodle House kind of menu with a couple of twists and in a nicer room although not at all upscale. I've only been once as the guest of a friend who is a regular. The pork belly (and here goes my godawful phonetic pronunciation: Kow gnoc wooho - ouch!) needs to be ordered early on as it was the last dish out for our order. Our friend says it was slightly different this time as she is used to it being layered with the tarot, not sure how that works but she was still happy with the dish. Something else of interest is the crab, which we did not order, but every single table (besides ours) ordered it. It reminded me of the chicken wings at Phnom Penh! It is ( according to the manager) a house specialty. It's wok fried I would imagine and has a really appetizing crust on it which the manager said was egg yolk, garlic and some different spices. My question to him was could you do this with chicken wings!!? He didn't think so.
  17. Just catching up with this show Mark Bittman's The Best Recipes in the World as I seemed to have missed it when it was first came along about 6 months ago. Coming on at 12:30 pm on a Saturday (PBS) guaranteed it was off my radar, but thanks to Tivoesque technology I'm finally able to appreciate it. The latest episode and next to last in the series (13 in all) was Never Basta Pasta with his buddy Mario for the European leg making Pinci in Tuscany. I love this show and it's easily worth ten of any reality cooking show and (naturally) is only 30 minutes instead of the hour it should be. Some of the segments beg for more time before he heads off to the next place. Agree with the comments above that this is a low budget, most likely shot all in one go (at least on the European leg), but who cares, all the interesting stuff is there to see. I like that Mark doesn't kiss ass and go into raptures at everything he tastes and expresses skepticism when necessary. Here's hoping there's another series (1 hour please!) in the works for the near future as there is so little pure travelogue style cooking on tv these days. On a side note I really worry about Mario Batali's health. This show is probably at least a year old but man is he packing it on!
  18. This has to be the single best dish I've had so far this year: Pork Belly with Tarot and Preserved Vegetables from Ken's -1097 Kingsway. First time I've had this in an Asian restaurant so can't compare it to other versions but man was it good. The texture was like custard and believe me three slices was more than enough! Their Beef with Bitter Melon wasn't bad either.
  19. Hmmm... I don't have that level of Shaw cable and get a friend to download the shows that interest me. I didn't realize that they were out of sync with the U.S, sorry about that. I checked an episode guide and Singapore was #42 and Vancouver is #44 with Berlin in between, so it shouldn't be long. At least you know you won't be missing any revelations of hotspots!
  20. Moderator note: merged from discussion in Vancouver forum. Did anyone catch Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" Vancouver Episode on the Travel Channel the other night? There is more discussion over in the Food Media Arts section but I thought it would be interesting to get the local take on his visit. The show was taped last July (during a miserably rainy week) and the food highlights were: Tojo's, Cioppinos, Vij's and .... Japadog. On an excursion to Vancouver Island he visited (can you guess?)....Sooke Harbour House. Now, I know that every local will yawn at these choices (I sure did) and I understand that on a global perspective we need to showcase our best (and these are all solid places). It just seems that for a guy who has been here before he could have tried a little harder and dug a bit deeper into equally solid and more interesting choices. A throwaway segment he filmed in Gastown could have easily been a visit to Salt. Worst sin of omission? Not a single Chinese restaurant or even a mention of the Chinese food scene. This series is, of course, a travelogue and not wholly dedicated to things food but I really hoped for more from the old food maverick.
  21. I guess this brings up the thought that any Bourdain fix is arguably miles ahead of 90% of any other food related tv these days? Having said that I still feel I have to call him on what I perceive as a lazy planning exercise (although satisfying it seems for the great majority of viewers who have not visited Vancouver). Interestingly he mixes unattainable aspects: visiting Electronic Arts campus and filming a bit with the world's worst director Uwe Bolle, combined with the most obvious restaurant choices. That bit of him playing the prima donna star with his hapless producer was lame and tired after the umbrella sequence. Is that what is needed to help market this to the masses or just inexpensive filler? There was a comment farther up about every town having a Chinatown and it gets redundant doing a feature all the time. No more than sushi or Italian food. The point I wanted to make about our Chinese food culture here is that our Chinatown is actually a very modest part of the whole Chinese scene which is easily one of the premier in N. America (if not the top). This may be good Bourdain to many but I have the feeling that this is him giving about a 50% effort.
  22. Funny, my take on it (being a Vancouverite) was that this was a by the numbers visit. You could have taken any Frommer's or upscale tourist guide and chosen these restaurants (especially the Sooke Harbour House). The only slightly quirky place he visited was Japadog which is a great little hot dog stand in front of a major downtown hotel. Not that the restaurants that he visited (Cioppino's, Tojo's, and Vij's) are not worthy, they absolutely are but they are the ones that have been done by every travel writer for the last few years. That there was nothing done on our incredible Chinese restaurant scene is almost beyond belief. I would have hoped for a mix of the obvious along with a couple of the savvy insider places.
  23. Looks like Fish restaurant on 4th has called it a day. Windows papered over, sign gone.
  24. eatrustic


    No problem. Just wrap it in Saran or in a plastic bag to keep the moisture in. Since the Germans like theirs dryer than we do yours can only get more authentic! I even gild the lily by putting butter on mine once they get past 10 days or so. Happy New Year!.
  25. eatrustic


    Finally scored a Four Seasons Stollen yesterday and since I was heading to the North Shore anyway I thought I might as well do a comparison of the two "carriage trade" Stollens. I actually bought both sizes of the Thomas Haas as I wanted a large for Christmas and took one for the team and bought the smaller size as well since it would give a direct comparison to the Four Seasons version. As you can see they are almost identical in size - 6"x 3 1/2" (the Haas is cheaper at $16.) Most recipes I've seen for Stollens call for the yellow raisins but personally I like either version. The golden raisin version is Four Seasons and the dark raisin is Thomas Haas. And whose Stollen reigns supreme? I have to say that they are so close at first tasting that I honestly can't say which is better. Both are nice and moist and the almond paste in each one is of high quality. The Thomas Haas Stollens might get the edge as the small size is cheaper by about $3. (if bought at his shop) -otherwise the same price if bought at Edible Vancouver (G.I.). The larger Haas is still the better deal overall as it is easily twice the size and has the traditional shape. Both make very nice gifts as they come beautifully packaged and in fancy carrying bags. I can't see there being any better Stollens in Vancouver and perhaps in Canada at this point. All that's left for my search is to order from one of the really famous artisan bakeries in Germany. They do mail order all the time and this would tell me what the state of the art really is since I've never been to Germany. It'll have to wait until next year though. Time's just about up!
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