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Everything posted by ssherwood

  1. I really enjoyed the oysters when I was at Parkside. His mignonette was perfect, as always. Andrey and Jason and the entire crew there have such an excellent grasp of how to purely enjoy great food in a very honest way.
  2. It is nice to see that people are beginning to notice this and appreciate it. This has been the focus for us at Fiction for a few years, originally inspired by an article I read by John Bishop easily more than 10 years ago. He would have to be noted as an instigator (2 minute penalty) of this movement. The previous poster was correct, many of the chefs are working this way, notable misses so far (besides fiction, of course) are Chef Andrey at Parkside, Chef Scotty at Pear Tree, and what about Michael and Heidi at Joie, in Naramata? They have that fantastic cooking school/B&B where they do feasts all centred on the local artisinal producers. Hope this helps, please keep spreading the message. We have a bounty here and a responsibility to keep our farmers supported for the fantastic work they're doing.
  3. You're right, Andrew, it was the afternoon. I forgot to eat, methinks, and my mantra of THE LIVER IS EVIL AND MUST BE PUNISHED went a little out of hand. Oh aching head. I still blame Chambar and Baru and Rob Rizk for my hangover. It was akin to the Life cereal ad. 'Give it to Sean, he'll drink anything!' Either way, I'm told it was a fantastic night. Congrats again to the winners. Off to get advil.
  4. ahh, Coop, your wisdom always shines through. I can't count the number of times a chef and I have fought over this... Ego and pride have great assistance in developing a chef's technique and craft, and also provide detrimental pressure when when we are seeking validation. A customer request off the menu always is taken by the chef as a dismissal or rejection of the chef's fundamental philosophies of his or her craft. The customer doesn't intend to offend, nor do they intend to be difficult. What they are looking for is what I am looking for... a fantastic time in our restaurant. Some customers have serious food phobias, and are intimidated by our use of french techniques in explaining our dishes. Others have serious dietary issues and look at me with pleading eyes 'please don't make me sacrifice my philosophies for yours'. Chef Koo, I know it's sometimes difficult to go through the night and sometimes never hear the good with the bad. A night filled with 'no dairy', 'sub starch', 'well done' or even a totally made up one can be incredibly weary on the soul when not balanced with 'table four loves you', 'best meal of their lives' and 'first date successful, thanks for the truffles!' The other night, we had, 'allergic to vinegar', and the table was drinking wine. I couldn't figure it out, but hey, if that's their thing, than who am I to judge? One thing I learned early in this business, if I start excluding the people who don't agree with me, I'll soon have an empty restaurant. If I start excluding the crazy people, I'll soon have a boring restaurant, and if I exclude all the people who don't like me I'll soon have no staff. I hope you can keep it fun in the kitchen, koo, I know it ain't fun sometimes. Come join us on the floor and try a sip from our cup of insanity and you'll appreciate how much back and front have to gain from working together.
  5. I found the show entertaining. I think it's ironic that the developing storyline of 'making the place 'hip'' is exactly what the show itself is going for. I will guiltily admit, to those who hate the show, this show is eerily familiar. I consulted on a friend's project that was very similar to this one, I couldn't stop once the stories started, and the characters are, sorry, but just like reality. Lots of not so bright, or brilliant, not so experienced, or just not very cool people out there. Maybe it reminds me too much of Lucy Mae Brown, damn, I could swear that busboy has worked for me before. . . . The shobiz industry has obviously targeted this show to a crowd that isn't restaurant folk, or foodies or people who are more entertained by the art and craft than the showmanship. We aren't the people they want to like the show, I'm afraid. I think that, love it or hate it, this show will be successful. The full frontal nudity helps, no? Some criticisms. . . the upselling of the chardonnay did definitely seem forced, I could tell he was insincere. If you truly love this wine, it will show through. The dj needs work. He's got great visual, but the poor guy is written like a bad 80's strip club announcer. Dj's these days are more like chefs than cheezeball chachis, lots of ego, vision and attitude. I agree with being very annoyed by the Godiva character, I can see how the writers are very intelligent about making us hate and love, it's how they keep people hooked. The dynamics of the characters may seem wooden right now, but once one gets to know them, we tend to forgive alot. The real question will be whether the producers can get us to love and hate these characters. I see where the show is going, is it good? Well, I can't compare it to the simpsons or the family guy, it just wouldn't be fair. I would watch it again. Bring on the abuse.....
  6. Done. p/m me if your interested. It's an entirely scratch kitchen, so you'll witness bread making, pasta rolling, ravioli creation, butchering, all forms of mise en place (bring a knife), pastry and of course, the glory of clean-up.
  7. Damn you Neil, I've spent years running from my past. I've been in full denial, successfully until you mentioned this. I was a young 15. Geez this is hard. Red Robin. There I said it. I was a dishpig, the type of character building necessary for a young punk suburban kid. I was straightened out. Fell in love with every waitress/hostess there, even convinced a few to date me. I really thought it was cool back then. We would be 4 inches deep in filth until 2am, get drunk with the waiters and they would sneak me into 'holidays'. My ambition while I chased a career as a jazz musician was to be just like the bartender, who had a red pontiac fiero and could do tricks just like in 'cocktail'. Oh, the shame. Obviously, little has changed and it shaped my entire philosophy of dining. Fantastic, if not traumatic thread.
  8. I wish I could take all the credit for those, and thank you for noticing. Oddly enough, when my lighting deadline hit, I'd found nothing and remember stumbling across some art students who'd done some fun lighting. I took a chance on them and it paid off. Propellor Design has since produced lighting for lucy mae, fiction, and my house, and were featured in Wallpaper* mag for it. I just wish I could keep them as my own personal secret!
  9. Ha. Finished the tipping point last year. That's probably where all this verbal diarrhea came from. Great book. I reference it often.
  10. Jamie, you hit the nail on the head. Staple items will always be the key indicators of change. Daily, routine and comfort choices are the baby steps our palates take on the road to evolution and education. The giant strides are made in giant minds of the Ferran Adria's, while Julia holds the hands of the rest of us trying to keep up. The pop quiz, to see what we retained, is on the street corners of robson and thurlow. Who's willing to shell out $4.50 for a coffee? What was once unthinkable, had evolved to Artigiano boasting the world's no.2 barista. Did we ever know what a barista was before? Stape items, for me, are defined by a daily recurrence. Bread, coffee, beer. It encompasses an even broader range, but to understand what happened to this city foodwise, I suggest we look at those three. 1981. My family returned from a trip to Denmark, where my father toured the Tuborg brewery. Upon his return, he began building Canada's first microbrewery, the Granville Island Brewing Co.. Nothing better to a growing boy with a developing appreciation for suds than a father driving the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516 into his head before he can even get past the first sip at dinner. This spawned the beginning of our experience with the now worldwide appreciation of microbrewed, locally represented and unadulterated beer. Date unknown, Starbucks begins phase one of world domination plan. Consumers go from (shudder) double/double, Nabob and Irish Cream Flavoured coffee to knowing the difference between robusta and arabica, shade grown, kona, pea berry and hell, even Cervil Cat Fecal Coffee. We have opinions on how to properly pour a ristretto, what roast the bean should be and whether a burr grinder achieves the best results. Cappucino machines are rolling off the counter at KMart, whose employees 15years ago thought Americano was Italian for Yank. I could go on, please, somebody stop me, the food geek in me is dying to get out. These all make a very relevant impact at roughly the time (1980's) that N. America sees massive growth, a boom in technology and a newfound wealth that chases the middle class into the pursuit of luxury as they can afford it. Namely, the daily consumption of something slightly better, slightly richer, slightly more expensive. Hey, those bre-x shares keep going up! What will be interesting to see, is what starts happening if we get poorer, do we cast these petty luxuries aside? Or do our palates reign supreme now that we've had a taste. Will we simply demand that McGavin's produce a cheap, accesible fig loaf, Timmy ho's will begin it's soy swiss water program and Molson's (hey, they've already done this!) will throw some caramel into Canadian and call it Rickard's Red, a proprietary ""microbrew"" that sits on the shelf beside the Lucky Lager. Or, as some suggest, will the divide between the taste/can't taste grow ever bigger? Will Timmy Ho's coffee reign the niche supreme of the world most tasteless coffee to a market of people who refuse to accept flavour in their morning hot beverage? Big Questions. . . I told you to stop me.
  11. DJ Kris, or Barney, as those who love him know him, met someone in the big apple and they travelled together to Montreal, where he's currently perfecting his already stunning grasp of the craft. Will he return? I'm sure he's not done with this city. He has many ideas and an entrepreneurial bent. Keep an eye on the horizon. . . I know I am. Darrell. Can't say enough. As an actor in the hospitality business (surprised?) he had a full plate keeping up with auditions and numerous writing oportunities he was chasing in Montreal and LA. Everybody misses his pole-dances, his 'baby steps' program and his disturbing level of energy. You might have seen him in such made for tv movies as 'Lockerroom Towel Fight, the blinding of Larry Ziniskie'. I know he was working with Ajatan studios in N. Van doing project development recently. I thought Sonny had been running catering in the upstairs of the old Brickhouse? That place just off Robson he had for a bit, the old goodfellas, that qualifies as one of those tragic locations, no? As for me, thanks Neil, nice being missed. Me and city hall have been playing redtape bondage games with our new brewpub project. That and some serious lurking. I really enjoyed the dine out posts! Happy valentines, rooms filling, panic starting. . . Looking forward to midnight and a bottle of islay .. . .
  12. My contact tells me that all the meat must be from a federally inspected plant and ground on the premises of the restaurant serving it. We hand grind organic sirloin (federally inspected!) for our burger and will cook it to the guests preferred taste. I can't think of any other way to pull it off. I remember Moderne telling me that they make their patties every two hrs. so maybe they will do this as well?
  13. ssherwood


    wow. thanks. A little overwhelmed, I guess that's the newbie factor kicking in. This site is outstanding.
  14. ssherwood


    I'm cooking Turducken for my staff this year and I've found very little info on it, so I'm trying this experiment and I'll post my findings. Turkey, stuffed with duck, stuffed with chicken. We are adding a squab and a sausage in to the mix, so we'll have to rename ours the TURDUCKENAUBAGE. Either way. It's in the oven now at low temp, I'll hopefully have pics tomorrow! Anyone ever try this at before?
  15. Hi David, Yes, sadly, Kris has headed to New York to continue honing his craft, specializing in pastries. It's never an easy adjustment, the courtship starts anew, the philosophies get bantered back and forth, culinary speed dating pursuing not only the best talent, but the best fit. Our new chef is driven, ambitious and has an outstanding philosophy. You play the man, not the cards, right? Sorry I missed you, I'm spending far more time down at Lucy Mae Brown these days, driving between the two ( I can make it in under 8 minutes now ) like a madman. I'm very pleased to hear you enjoyed Tara's service, she's new to the family and will enjoy hearing kind praise. I'm also glad to hear you appreciate the Riedels, I can hear the distinct sound of German engineered crystal smashing from anywhere in the restaurant, and it dulls the pain to know they bring people some joy in their short, but painfully elegant existence. We're cooking Xmas dinner tonight for all the staff and their families. Turducken. I'll post more, later.
  16. Come on down Sean. I'm at 50+ now and going strong, but it's true, there isn't much call for it these days. Just as well, I don't feel like sharing most of them! I'm a huge fan of the shabeen, strong work. I've been watching the gastro pub thing lately, too. It looks like my new project (cross fingers) will be going in that direction, in a very challenging, up and coming location as well. I think you've been reading my mind. I agree with the p.r. shtick, but hey, that's the game. Sometimes I feel like the kid that gets picked last for dodgeball when I read all the glossy food tabloids, but my guests still appreciate what I do, as do yours, if their testimonials to me are any indication. I'm in, let's do a collective. I say that we get all the van city egulleters together and develop a non-profit (like we have a choice ) operation. We can get a heritage designation and organize a group to purchase it, just like how they save rainforests. All we need is a celebrity spokesmodel. Do you think Angelina Jolie will jump on board?
  17. Funny you should mention that. We were just putting together a Fergus Henderson tribute dinner at Fiction. It probably won't be until the new year, when it's really gross outside and the hocks are extra tasty. Is this anything that would pique the interest of other gulleteers? One of the dishes chef did last month was a take on Keller's 'tongue n' cheek', with braised tongue and veal cheek, with a squeek of truffle oil. Awesome. Nice to see some carnivores out there
  18. Wow. Great welcome. Thanx. I'd love to meet chef Fowke, I'm just finishing dinner expo at Lucy's and I'll be heading down to fiction after service myself. Yes Arne, the pimp is dead, got your note btw, thanks.
  19. Over at Fiction, Chef has been simmering a fantastic cassoulet to serve with his leg of duck confit and english pea stuffed marrowbone. I feel like I'm sneaking in the back door of a french farmhouse kitchen when I dig in!
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