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Everything posted by stovetop

  1. There is somewhat of a resurgence of searching for traditional foods; foods like what was cooked at home, or something grandma would bring over. People are cooking at home a lot more and the whole farmers market scene and specialty food markets are growing; there is a growth in this sector. Cultural foods are growing also and all the veggies and pantry items are flowing into the store shelves. Ethnic restaurants are on the rise and retail and restaurant food sectors are seeing more and more customers looking for healthier and sustainable food choices. Homemade baking, soups and canned items and traditional relishes, antipasti and green tomato relish and all those other similar things are in demand. Do kids who become adults really reminisce about, " oh geese I remember when grandpa took me to Ronnie’s, oh those days"; Are they really missing the food. That eating really is just a function, hungry, I must eat. As a cook I notice a lot of people feeding there kids chicken fingers and people who do not like any veg like lettuce, tomato, pickle, they have a very simple food tastes; meat and potato. I think though there will always be somewhat this level in food but there is more of this type of demand but it is being countered with the opposite. So yes; there is somewhat a polarization of food demands but there is less service in the specialized markets and the big food players are not really going big guns in that market. The issue lies though with the big corporations; food has become a commodity, like a car, how can we produce that car the cheapest. They loose all the cultural value to food and dinning. How many people can sit for more then five minutes after they stuff their faces, it is dressed down to just a human function. Lost is the cultural and communication side. Sitting around a table taking and sharing good food. Food politics is going to become a very big topic but like religion and other political issues people tend to tone down their real opinions, we need to learn more about where our food comes from and not just trust something because it is labeled organic. steve
  2. I believe that everything is within the context of the diet, there are many variables to a Mediterranean diet and olive oil is just one of those variables. There are so many food studies these days and many of them are just recycled ideas. We have been eating as humans all our lives and some of these studies make it sound like they just re- invented the wheel.Olive oil for me is a great cooking medium and I have always hated Margarine and my belief from the beginning is backed up with "science" NEW findings on cooking with margarine, also with the new findings on Cholesterol. Sidebar ( Corporations pay for these studies). Back to olive oil; there are oils (olive) that should be used if you are approaching things from the medicinal perspective, you should use only cold pressed and source out oils that are fresh. There is nothing good about rancid olive oil. Also we need to be more consistent in our eating habits and not jump from one fad to another. Olive oil though has been around since god; so I am sure that there must be something right about it but like I said before it should be placed in context of the lifestyle and diet, maybe a Mediterranean diet is just more the what the put in their mouth, to me it is about the whole mind set and way they live; I believe health is really based on how you think and behave not just what you eat. We must always be constant in our diets and be true to our bodies, there is nothing worse then just jumping around from one heath approach to another. Your body is the judge and eat what you feel it is the best judge but be consistent and you can not live just off chocolate cake long live olive oil Steve
  3. I do not get it? Where is the enjoyment. sorry not a fan steve
  4. "One of my pet peeves is the way restaurants fancify their potpies with a meretricious cover of puff pastry" steve
  5. Hi Jamie I saw your article in the globe today. Good to see Bell getting some western based content. It was amazing how the strike affected so many of the food establishments around the dome. It is great to see everyone all pumped up to get back their reg. customers and all the extra employment for the restaurant worker. go cunucks go!! steve
  6. Add my vote to scott kidd I worked a little with him He is a true Canadian chef and west coast dude steve
  7. My observations are from the point of view as a chef not a customer, so I can not engage in regards to your feelings of the value of the meal. Although I can tell you if you did not find any value in the food or your dinning experience was lacking, what is your basis on which you are judging. How can anybody complain about price a point in Vancouver, the city is like one of the cheapest eating cities in Canada? Compared to the house prices and rents, the cost of eating out is very fare. I also think you missed my point; ethnic food in Vancouver has evolved beyond stereotypes and is becoming its own self, when does culture become Canadian and when does multiculturalism become Canadian. Vancouver has its own style and the people in the business come from all over the world, the kids have influenced each other, it is no longer white bread, ice burg lettuce and radishes. I will say once again, that I am glad that Vij's is in Vancouver and I too agree if he was not there the restaurant and dinning scene would lack because of that void steve
  8. Vij's is a restaurant master and he influences all cooking styles in Vancouver. He excels in every aspect of the dinning experience and pushes all restaurateurs to be honest in their culinary pursuits. There are a handful of food leaders in Vancouver and Vij's is one of them. I look forward Andy to reading about your culinary experiences in The Canadian West Coast. PS- I think that Ethnic Influences in Vancouver have gone beyond the traditional ethnic influences of the cultural diets of any one country. So I would say that a real Vancouver Cuisine is emerging from the experiences and influence of all foodies- chefs- restaurateurs in the city. It is after all about raw product; then the cultural influence of the root culture then add the multitude of other influences that are uniquely Vancouver. That is just my opinion steve
  9. Do not always belive what you read about butter Island farms Avalon dairy (they have butter) Agropur Do not always believe what you read, there is not much butter production left in BC, a lot of product is shipped into BC as bulk then maybe it is cut into Lb blocks, if at all. Even in our own country we do not have free trade between provinces. The way that dairy companies have managed to bridge the gap between trade barriers is to buy all the dairy companies in Canada, we know BC has only two maybe three independent dairy companies left. Island Farms was bought by what I call the wolf in sheep clothing that great Co-op in Quebec called Agropur. It is hard to find information on this company because it is treated like a private company not like a corporation; you see only the top of the ice burg, all the while hiding as a co-op. When all books are public, it is very transparent. Agropur is two companies; the liquid milk side which is a co-op and then there is the other side, cheeses and secondary products and is one of the biggest dairy companies in north America. So we have Sapputo, Agropur and Parmalat We have 1) Agropur / Natrel (http://www.teamcanada.gc.ca/china2005/profile-en.asp?CompID=1409) “Founded in 1938, Agropur is currently the largest dairy cooperative in Canada, and has sales of more than $1.9 billion. The Cooperative is owned by nearly 4,400 dairy producers and employs over 3,100 people. External resources provide a link between the farm and the cooperative`s plants and numerous distribution outlets in Canada and abroad.” 2) Saputo/ Dairyland-Dairyworld- (http://www.dairyland-ca.com/) (http://www.saputo.com/) “Solid foundations, a commitment to excellence and dedication to growth are the keystones that have enabled Saputo to evolve as the largest dairy processor in Canada, one of the most important cheese producers in North America, the third dairy processor in Argentina and the largest snack cake manufacturer in Canada. Our products, manufactured in 46 plants that stretch from one end of the Americas to the other, are marketed under such well-known brand names as Saputo, Armstrong, Caron, Cayer, Kingsey, Dairyland, Baxter, Nutrilait, Stella, Frigo, Dragone, Treasure Cave, La Paulina, Ricrem and Vachon. Saputo Inc. is a public company whose shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol SAP. Propelled by the same sense of dedication that motivates our 8,500 employees to surpass themselves day after day, we will continue to successfully craft our future. “ 3) Parmalat- (http://www.parmalat.ca/home.htm) (http://www.lactantia.com/) (http://www.beatrice.ca/) “With over 120 years of brand heritage in the Canadian dairy industry, Parmalat Canada is committed to the health and wellness of Canadians and markets a variety of high-quality food products that help them keep balance in their lives. Parmalat Canada produces milk and dairy products, fruit juices, cultured products, cheese products and table spreads with such respected brands as Beatrice®, Lactantia®, Astro®, Black Diamond®, and Balderson®. Our employees' continued commitment to quality and innovation has helped Parmalat Canada become one of the largest, most-dynamic food group companies in Canada, employing more than 2,900 people with 19 operating facilities across the country. Parmalat Canada has operated in Canada as a subsidiary of Parmalat Finanziaria S.p.A, of Italy since 1997. If you want more info read this: “CONSOLIDATION IN THE CANADIAN DAIRY INDUSTRY-- THE PROCESSORS” http://www.eap.mcgill.ca/MagRack/RH/RH_E_97_05.htm http://www.lactantia.ca/our_heritage.htm “In October 1986, Ault Foods acquired Lactantia Ltd.. Parmalat later purchased Ault Foods in 1997. Despite these changes in ownership, the Lactantia brand has remained synonymous with farm fresh goodness.” http://www.beatrice.ca/about/index.asp “Taking on The Great White North The Beatrice Dairy Division originated in Canada in 1969 when Beatrice Companies of Chicago entered the Canadian dairy industry with the purchase of Brookside Dairy in Kingston. In the period 1969 through 1989, the Division grew to over $300 million, primarily through the acquisition of formerly independent dairies in cities outside of the major urban centres of Toronto and Ottawa. In 1978, Beatrice Foods separated from its United States counterpart to become a Canadian dairy - Beatrice Foods Canada Ltd. “ “Increasing Northern Exposure. In August 1987, Beatrice Foods Inc. acquired Sunland Foods ("Sunland"), a Western Canada cookie manufacturer. The Division nearly doubled in size with the acquisition of Eplett's Dairies (with facilities in Brampton and Northern Ontario) in 1989, and Palm Dairies (with facilities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Northern Ontario) in 1990. Immediately following the acquisition, Beatrice and Palm were amalgamated into a single corporation and continued operations under the name "Beatrice Foods Inc." In November of 1993, the company acquired all the outstanding shares of Mont-St-Hilaire Dairy Ltd., a dairy producer based in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec. In 1994, the Division formed a strategic alliance with Unilever, effectively divesting of the Ice Cream and Novelties business while retaining exclusive selling and distribution rights for the Good Humour-Breyers line of Ice Cream products. Into The Future In March of 1997 Beatrice Foods Inc. was purchased by Parmalat Finanziaria S.p.A of Italy. In July of the same year, Parmalat purchased Ault Foods to form Parmalat Canada. In September of 1998, Parmalat purchased Astro Dairy Products. Combined, these 3 acquisitions make Parmalat Canada's largest dairy. Internationally, the Parmalat name is a trademark that identifies the world's largest dairy company, and operates in 25 countries on 5 continents. Today, the Beatrice brand name is synonymous with high quality, fresh and wholesome dairy products, and enjoys high awareness in all if its major trading areas. http://www2.marianopolis.edu/quebechistory...iandairying.htm “Butter. While dairy butter and farm-made cheese were predominant, the butter export trade was the more important. With the introduction of factory-made cheese, butter declined owing to the deterioration of the product in shipping. The first creameries established used the Swarz or shallow-pan system for separating the cream. In 1882 the centrifugal separator was imported from Denmark to Quebec, and most creameries adopted its use. It was one of the greatest improvements in dairy apparatus. With the advent of the hand cream-separator in 1890 it was no longer necessary to deliver whole milk to the factory, and thus was inaugurated the gathered-cream plant. This system now prevails all over Canada, except in Quebec. A third impetus to the manufacture of butter was given by the Dominion government in 1895 in the provision of refrigerator cars on the railways and refrigerated chambers in the Atlantic steamships. This insured the good quality of the butter upon arrival in United Kingdom markets, where previously it had suffered from a bad reputation. Butter export increased until in 1903 it reached the maximum of 34,128,944 pounds. Increase in consumption of whole milk caused a decline in butter production, and in 1913 the imports exceeded the exports by 13,000,000 pounds. During the Great War there was a surplus of exports over imports, but since 1925 there has been a considerable decrease in exports and increase in imports. More than half of the total butter production of Canada occurs in Ontario and Quebec, and the factories in these two provinces are distributed all over the settled areas and are easily accessible to the patrons. The butter industry of the Maritime provinces is relatively unimportant, as only sufficient butter is produced to supply home consumption, and dairy butter predominates. The Prairie provinces have large centralized creameries, manufacture butter of a very high quality, and have a large surplus for export. The creameries in British Columbia are small in size, due to the difficulties of transportation and the scarcity of the milk supply. They are, however, well distributed throughout the dairy districts. “ steve
  10. I know; you are absolutly rght, I am in the same boat. You might as well work for yourself and get the just rewards for the cause. 25 years and I am still here. It has been my life, married to the stove. It sure gets hot Although I would not change it for the world eat to life; life to eat steve
  11. Industry insiders predicted the shortage about 15 years ago, white papers were put out; ideas thrown around, but as usual nothing got done. The chefs assocoation now has about ten branches and is constantly breaking down into more factions. The old boys club and the image of the chef as a star has done more harm to our industry then good. When you are on the top; what are you doing to help Vancouvers professionalism or maybe BC? Every province has a different basis and restaurant culture. I do not think you can really put all the places in the same pile. You will always get different experiences and the page will keep geting off topic, putting the discusion in general in my opinion has not served the discusion, it seemed to me to be on topic and people in the van scene were expresing their feelings, now when you open it up you are going to get an even more wide open topic level. Back to the super star, Most chefs positions in Vancouver are a chef owner situation, so right off the start you loose about five to six jobs, secondly Vancouver is not that big, and they (home owners)are tide up in huge mortgages and do not have the huge cash flow people think they have. There are more high end restaurants then the city needs, it has been at satureation for about ten years, five open, five close. When BC raised the minimum wage it killed the cooks wage, we have not had a increase since 90, it was ten then and it is ten now. Any way we chefs can be part of our own problem or become part of our salution. First we need to put our industry ahead of our own personel goals and have all local chefs associtions speak with one voice and then realy become a profession. steve
  12. I went to the Redfish yesterday and had breakfast; bacon eggs, over easy, brown toast and hash browns. I loved the space and I was at a window seat and the street action in Nelson is top notch, boy there are a lot of yummy mommies there, it is like a small baby boom, must be a great place to raise kids, any how back to the topic at hand. I have been eating out for breakfast for 20 years and the one thing that I look for in what in my opinion make a great breakfast is when a place does not do the straight line and deep-fry their breakfast potato. My god are you trying to kill us; there is enough fat in that breakfast to kill an elephant, that you do not need to kill those beautiful morning potatoes, I do not want french-fries, I like hash browns, pan fried potatoes. Ah!! But we cooks always look for that straight line, so fast and easy but oh so deadly and it ruins a great breakfast. I believe you have six things that a great breakfast makes: 1) coffee 2) the Eggs 3) the potato 4) the bread 5) the meat 6) the sides such as a roasted tomato or sautéed mushrooms The combination of all the above makes my day And yes the action; a place like the Elbow room or Sophie’s in van are great fun Redfish has almost all the great things that make it a great breakfast place. Would I go there again? In a heart beat Cause there is not breakfast joint in New Denver And I must have my fix; I can not function without that morning ritual. I have been known to have breakfast anytime of day. steve
  13. Could it be the location?? It is a beautiful spot in a beautiful city. It is the old city jail, a charm of days gone by. History. An honest effort is that not what Irish pubs are all about? steve
  14. You got my vote for Nat's; the kits location, makes one of the best pizza around, just my opinion. steve
  15. What is that?? sounds like a polimere(sp) is it synthetic sugar?? steve
  16. For restaurants I like bishops for deserts, back in the day when I worked there, they used to get a bit of a dessert crowd at the end of the night. Do not know what is up now though. I have not had the big budget, bit more cash flow now, so I have to go soon! steve
  17. I like this place aswell The music and beer rocks, food is good. I like to be there when the jam starts, thats just me I am going to be in the city next week I think I will go or maybe Keno cafe, another live music place steve
  18. The trail head I think you mentioned was down the street from the Whales tale, the perpendicular road across from the hotel. I was there last summer and they moved the trail down the street, I like the old trail better, it was a wooden walk way through the forest, way cooler. where it is now also existed ten years ago but did not have the big parking lot, a lot less commercialism( development) steve
  19. Different spot The spot I am talking about is by the cement factory, across the road you have Albion turn off, opposite side, the same side of the cement factory, going to tofino, you have some residences, you have to go through the houses, a old trail head starts there, there is no stairs or any kind of constructed path, just oh natural. We are talking about serious path here. Half moon bay and the first white settlement on the coast is about 2 hours from the beach, it takes about eight hours to hike to long beach and I am talking about the most difficult ocean front rock climbing and you can only go on a long low tide, there are many 9 foot jumps across life threatening crags. It was an old native community many moons ago. It is also one of the best fishing spots for commercial and sports fishing out of the bay. A good stream and yes lots of bears and animals about, it is a great place to squat. steve
  20. Daddy-A; great foodblog: If I may add one of only three independent dairies left in BC and the oldest independent dairy in BC. Go Avalon!!! steve
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