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Edible Vancouver

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  1. FYI - the reason for my post is that I am thinking of opening a Villa Based cooking school in the Okanagan Valley (BC's Wine Region) next spring and I want to visit a couple of other schools this fall and winter to see what they are doing. A Google search has revealed very little in terms of what I am looking for. I have no relationship with Umberto's Villa mentioned. Thanks for your help! Cheers, Eric
  2. I am for the inside scoop on the best destination vacation cooking schools in the world. I know Umberto's villa in Tuscany is amazing, but does anyone else have any other favorites elsewhere in the world? Napa, Asia Pacific, France, Canada, etc.? I am looking for places that have onsite luxury accommodation, hands-on cooking classes, local market and winey tours, etc. Your guidance is appreciated! Cheers, Eric
  3. La Grotta Del Fromaggio on Commercial has salt cod in the back fridge.
  4. Hi - here is the rundown from my trip a couple of weeks ago... Be sure to go and check out Red Fish, Blue Fish. It is run by two guys who opened and ran Go Fish for Gord Martin here in Vancouver, and they have improved on the original. The fish tacos and seafood burgers are amazing! Some of the other places I check out that I would recommend include: Brasserie L’Ecole – 1715 Government Street, Victoria (250) 475-6260 http://www.lecole.ca - still the best fries and beer in Canada Café Mela – 748 Humboldt Street, Victoria (250) 33-0288 - awesome little cafe for traditional afternoon tea - skip the Empress Choux Choux – 830 Fort Street, Victoria (250) 382-7572 http://www.chouxchoux.ca - the only true Charcuterie shop in town - perfect for a afternoon picnic Habit Coffee Bar – 522 Pandora, Victoria (No phone or web site) - best coffee and gossip in Victoria Lady Marmalade – 608 Johnson Street, Victoria (250) 381-2872 http://www.ladymarmalade.ca - fantastic breakfasts Marley Farms - 1831D Nount Newton X. Rd, Saanichton (250) 652-8667 http://www.marleyfarm.ca - fun fruit winery in Sidney - the perfect stop as soon as you get off the plane or ferry Niche – 225 Quebec Street, Victoria (250) 388-4255 http://www.nichedining.com - funky, modern room with good food Paprika – 2524 Estevan Ave, Victoria (250) 592-7424 http://www.paprika-bistro.com - my favorite local's place Pig – 749 View Street, Victoria (250) 381-4677 (No Web Site) - yummy lunch where everyone from construction workers to CEO's frequent Plenty Epicurean Pantry – 1034 Fort Street, Victoria (250) 380-7654 http://www.epicureanpantry.ca - the place to find those hard to find spices, etc. Sea Cider – 2487 Mt. St. Michael Road, Victoria (250) 544-4824 http://www.seacider.ca - another place to check out as you get off the ferry - awesome ciders! Silk Road Tea Shop – 1624 Government Street, Victoria (250) 704-2688 http://www.silkroadtea.com - pick up the seamist tea (it will transport you back to the seaside every time you drink it), but also enjoy a spa treatment Stage – 1307 Gladstone Ave., Victoria (250) 388-4222 (No Web Site) - Victoria's version of Salt, but better, as they have a full kitchen. If you are interested, this is where I stayed last time and I would recommend them both. They are very different, but both have their charms and the breakfast at Villa Marco Polo is worth the trip along! Villa Marco Polo – 1524 Shasta Place, Victoria (1-877) 601-1524 http://www.villamarcopolo.com Oswego Hotel – 500 Oswego Street, Victoria (1-877) 294-7500 http://www.oswegovictoria.com If you live in Victoria or are going there and need the services of a caterer, be sure to look up David Feys at Feys & Hobbs. They are doing some of the most creative dishes I have ever seen, and they also have an awesome take out section of ready to go meals. They are so creative, they do not even have standard menus as every client is different, so they design everything from scratch depending on the needs of the person/event. http://www.feysandhobbs.com/ Enjoy your time in Victoria! Cheers, Eric
  5. I had lunch there yesterday and tried a few different things with a colleague. The corn and cilantro soup was disappointing as it was cold and lacking flavor, but the tortilla soup was much better. The Octopus ceviche was very good, as was the ahi tuna with chipotle mayo on a tortilla. We were a little disappointed to not have received a wine or tequila list, so sadly we both ended up drinking lemonades. The room itself feels like it is waiting for something else to arrive - it is very sparse and almost empty feeling, and the tables need something to liven then up. Considering it was only their second lunch, the service was very good. Overall though - I can't wait to go back and try the dinner menu.
  6. Southern Okanagan * Borrowing Owl - the best food in the area hands down * Passetempo - great breakfasts and a great place to stay (Spirit Ridge) * Home Hardware in Osoyoos (Cooking Classes and Kitchen Supplies) - I am not kidding! Dolci Deli - across the street from HH, with great food by a husband and a wife who are both master pastry chefs * Hester Creek Villas - the best accommodation in the Valley (but just behind Burrowing Owl) * Taste of India - awesome Indian food and would be a great fit for your budget night. Plus the food pairs amazingly well with BC wines. Central Okanagan * Fresco - amazing food from one of BC's best chefs * Waterfront Wine Bar - my home away from home in Kelowna and a great value * Mahdina's Patio at Lakebreeze Winery - may not be open quite yet... * Terrace at Cedar Creek - summer only * Terrace and Private Dining at Mission Hill - opens in May I believe * Vanilla Pod in Summerland - very good food in a quaint location * Sumac Ridge Bistro - Chef Roger Planiden has just left the Fairmont YVR to head up this restaurant (as well as all of the other Vincor properties), so it is worth checking out. I am not sure if he will have started by the time you get there, I seem to recall a May start as well. Similkameen Valley * I can't stress enough - if you are driving, go the long way and go through the Similkameen Valley and stop at Orofino, Herder and Forbidden Fruit Wineries. You could also stay in a great self-catered house at Forbidden Fruit with Kim and Steve who would make sure your entire trip is incredible! Wineries * These are some of my favorites... Black Hills (Oliver) Black Widow (Naramata Bench) Burrowing Owl (Oliver) Cedar Creek (Kelowna) Fairview Cellars (Oliver) Forbidden Fruit (Similkameen Valley) Foxtrot Vineyards (Naramata Bench) Golden Mile (Oliver) Hainle Vineyards (Summerland) - amazing ice wines dating back to the early 80's! Joie (Naramata Bench) Laughing Stock (Naramata Bench) Lake Breeze (Naramata Bench) - the best Ehrenfelser for summer sipping La Frenz (Naramata Bench) Mission Hill (Kelowna) Nk'Mip Cellars (Osoyoos) Okanagan Spirits (Vernon) Orofino (Similkameen Valley) Poplar Grove (Naramata Bench) Quail's Gate (Kelowna) Tantalus Vineyards (Kelowna) Therapy (Naramata Bench) Wild Goose (Okanagan Falls) Other Fun Culinary Places Worth Checking Out... Carmelis Goat Cheese (Kelowna) Poplar Grove Cheese (Naramata) Tickleberry's (Oliver) I hope this helps!
  7. I picked up the Lemon yesterday and went back today (Milk Man at Granville Island is $4.05), and bought Apple Pie and Marzipan Orange. Both are fantastic but I would give the edge to the Apple Pie.
  8. I would suggest Paprika or Stage (both owned by the same fellow) as they are two of the best in the area. For a great "locals" place, check out Red Fish, Blue Fish down on the waterfront from fantastic cheap seafood. I will be over in Victoria in the middle of March researching an article I am doing on the best 52 hours of food in the city, so I will be able to give you more up to date details after that trip. Cheers, Eric
  9. I second the recommendation for Araxi. They always do an amazing job with cocktails, and they even have outstanding non-alcoholic ones (as my pregnant wife recently found out). I have also enjoyed some great cocktails in the lounge at the Four Seasons. Have fun! Eric
  10. I just read that the Cannery has turned their lounge into a Chowder Bar. I have not been in to check it our yet, but I have high hopes!
  11. Shameless plug...but we are carrying Thomas's Stollen at our Granville Island location (along with his chocolates, hot chocolate, chocolate bars, sparkle cookies and more).
  12. Go talk to Mark or Deborah at the Granville Island Tea Company in the public market. They have at least a couple dozen green teas of varying qualities. And if they do not have what you are looking for (which I doubt) they will know where to send you.
  13. I am always looking for these too as they make the best pies, but they are usually only found back east. That being said, I did just come across a new cider house in Sidney on Vancouver Island that is making a cider out of them, and all the apples are sources locally, so someone one the Island is growing them. Try calling Sea Cider Cidery and they might be able to tell you where you can find them. I have been meaning to do this, but have not had time, so if you find anything out, please let me know. Cheers, Eric
  14. We carry them down at Granville Island and I am shocked at how many bars we go through. That being said, I am not a huge chocolate fan, and even I find the 73% crunchy bar with the nibs in it amazing and highly addictive. However, I still think his sparkle cookies are the best chocolate indulgence.
  15. I would second the recommendation for Bearfoot (but bring your platinum card). That being said, Melissa Craig is one of the most talented chefs in the country hands down, and her food alone is worth the price. A great wine list, but a little heavy on the markups. I personally have never had a bad meal at Araxi, and they serve great local cuisine. The room can be romantic is you get the right table and the service is always outstanding. Rim Rock and Les Gros are both fairly plain and not exciting, but both offer very well executed food and have comfortable rooms. The Mountain Club and Elements are regular haunts of mine (as I live in Squamish and seem to drive to Whistler for dinner more than Vancouver). Both offer great value and really inventive dishes. I think Elements probably has the best frites in the pacific northwest (sorry Brasserie L'Ecole)! Zen is overpriced for sushi, Fifty Two 80 is still trying to get some consistency in the kitchen. I hope this helps! Cheers, Eric
  16. Shameless self promotion- but if anyone is down at the Island this weekend, stop by Edible BC as we are having our second annual BC Day sale with everything 10-50% off! We are also launching a line of new sandwiches and salads called "EAT LOCAL" by Chef Murray Bancroft. What better way to celebrate BC Day than with great local food! We hope to see you this weekend! Cheers, Eric
  17. As a vendor on Granville Island, I can attest to the fact that the administration of the Island is not trying driving to drive anyone out or raise rents beyond reasonable rates. Attached is a reponse from Granville Island on the matter... "I would like to assure you that CMHC values the contribution that the artisan and the cultural community make to Granville Island. The concentration of these tenants is a key attribute, which helps differentiate the Island from other shopping destinations, and we have no intentions of changing this feature now or in the foreseeable future. When a Granville Island tenant’s lease expires, CMHC enters into a new lease with that tenant to maintain continuity in our tenant mix. If a lease is up for renewal, this does not in any way indicate that the tenant’s future on Granville Island is at risk. Each lease is negotiated individually on a case by case basis, and we have offered to work with each tenant to ensure that any increases are manageable. With respect to the Crafts Association of British Columbia, I would like to assure you that we will be in contact with them to ensure that any increase in rent is in fact manageable for them. Although some tenants may have recently experienced an increase in rent in order to align the costs with those of other Granville Island tenants in the same category, our cultural and artisan tenants continue to receive extremely favourable rental rates compared with commercial rates. This is an intentional decision to support those tenants who generate modest revenues, but who contribute significantly to the character and ambience of the Island. Currently, rents for our cultural and artisan tenants on Granville Island range from $3 to $12 per square foot, with the majority of these tenants paying at least $6 per square foot or more. In comparison, commercial rents on Granville Island range from $45 to $65 per square foot plus a percentage of sales. More specifically, rents on Robson Street – a commercial area – average $100 to $200 per square foot. CMHC’s Leasing Guidelines are available on our Web site at: www.granvilleisland.com/en/island_info/granville_island_administration/leasing_information. If you would like a copy mailed directly to you, please do not hesitate to contact me at (604) 666 8767 or by e mail at lsiracus@cmhc-schl.gc.ca. CMHC also continues to support independent, local businesses with unique offerings, as this is part of the formula that has made Granville Island the huge success that it is today. To that end, we will not be allowing franchise stores or large retail corporations to operate on Granville Island. CMHC continues to embrace the values articulated in the original City of Vancouver Reference Document for Granville Island. You may refer to this online at: http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/000713/Pe3.htm. As you may also be aware, CMHC works with the Artists & Artisans of Granville Island in assisting with the production of their brochure and the recent launch of their Web site, which may be viewed at: www.granvilleislandartists.com. I hope that this letter clarifies CMHC’s position concerning artisan and cultural tenants and allays any concerns that you may have had. Indeed, we prefer to focus on the exciting future in store for Granville Island, a future that includes all of our artisan and cultural tenants. Please accept my best regards. Sincerely yours, Lino Siracusa Director, Granville Island"
  18. Call Richard at North Okanagan Game Meats for some interesting choices all raised on his property... (250) 838-7980 Cheers, Eric
  19. I saw the Spring 2007 issue at the news stand on Granville Island today. ← We have a few copies left at Edible BC on Granville Island.
  20. Thanks for all the tips! I will let you know how the weekend pans out, and report back next week.
  21. I am heading down to Seattle next weekend for Saturday and Sunday nights and wondered which hotels you guys would recommend? I have stayed at the W, the Fairmont and the Vintage Park before (plus a couple I can't remember) but wanted to try something different. I am also taking my little brother (Big Brothers Program) along, so I need some ideas for cool, kid friendly restaurants that have great food which would appeal to me, but which would also appeal to a 12 yo who is very adventursome. His favorite food is sushi so any recommendations on that front would be fantastic. Thanks! Eric PS. The hotel should also be kid friendly (i.e pool) if possible, and within walking distance to fun things to do DT.
  22. My wife and I have just booked our flights to CR for 3 weeks in October (before I read this post). You now all have me very scared, however, I am also intrigued to see if it will be as bad as I am now expecting. We both generally travel solely based on food, so this is a complete depature for us. That being said, I find it hard to believe we will not be able to find decently prepared fresh fish and shellfish, fruits, etc. We will be varying our accomodation choices which will range from the Four Seasons to tents in the Jungle, so we hope to experience all sides. As with all my travels, we will document everything and take lots of photos so I will certainly report back. Just out of curiosity - has anyone else been there in October as it seems we are going in the "greenest" month of the year. What should we expect in terms of weather and restaurant closures? Thanks in advance for your help! Cheers, Eric
  23. Hi Derek, My wife and a girlfriend are heading down tomorrow for some shopping and they are hoping to go to Fork at 7:30, so if you end up there and see two beaufiful ladies sitting and enjoying a fabulous dinner, be sure to say hello! Cheers, Eric
  24. That is really sad...large corporations have way to much power!
  25. I seem to recall seeing a Spud retail store at the ferry terminal in Tswassen (new building) last summer - am I mistaking? Never mind...a quick google search found it. Tsawwassen Quay Market
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