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BCinBC

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Everything posted by BCinBC

  1. I've had some great seafood paella in Spain but it still has some meat in it. Stephen ← I had some great seafood paella in Saint Tropez but it also had some meat in it. Oh sorry, this didn't contribute much to the conversation, did it?
  2. BCinBC

    Pepper

    Only 2 posts on this subject? I would have expected way more activity here!
  3. Chufi, Great photos and write-ups. You obviously had an amazing food adventure - I hope you also had a memorable experience outside of the food too! It was great to meet you and Dennis, glad you made it home safely and I hope we can cross paths again soon. Cheers! PS - wrt the Golden Szechuan group photo, I say post away. After all, how bad could it be?
  4. Mario Battali has a line of Le Creuset rivals going, I just saw his pannini pan c/w lid at the Bay the other week. Don't quote me, but I think it was about $140 or so for said pan - regular price. Dunlevy also carries fake Le Creuset, which I hear is pretty much the same (I mean, how badly can you screw up epoxy coated cast iron?), but I've never seen a pannini pan, just the usual Dutch oven-type vessels.
  5. CanadianBakin' - did I see you on Global news this morning? I thought so. Hope things are going well for you, good luck with the fund raising!
  6. Memo you are on a roll. Not a log roll, just a regular one.
  7. WHOA! How the mighty are fallen! So what in hell happened to Larry's that it's died off like this? When I left Seattle in 2002, they seemed to be totally unstoppable ... and this is the first I've heard about this crash-and-burn. Not to wander too far off-topic, but did they just expand too fast, or get bitten by competition from TJ's and Whole Paycheck, or what? ← No kidding. It's been a while for me too, but Larry's was just around the corner from an old girlfriend's place in Queen Anne. 'Course this was back in '98, but I loved the place at the time. Or maybe it was just the wine in a grocery store thing (novelty to Canadians). Ah, memories.
  8. We also just hit Parkside for our anniversary. Really a great place to celebrate an occasion, Andrey and crew will no doubt impress. Dress code is whatever - on Friday there were kids in T-shirts even, but more appropriate might be a collared shirt for your husband and ?? for you. PS - gets a bit warm in the main room after a good summer's day so take that into account, and best of luck with everything CB!
  9. Junior, the place looks great - really comes across as the type of restaurant I love to dine in. Fresh sheet, beautiful colours and plates. Congratulations. And Zuke, you are a world rockin Mama!
  10. Matt, you have to steal them little pieces of food grade tubing on the end of teapots in Chinatown. They are awesome. Just don't steal anything from Don Mee, everyone else is open game. I have lauded Dutch Bakery on this forum my fair share, but they are definitely more greasy spoon in the dining area rather than high tea. Might work for the really-high tea. But yes the cherry tarts, some of the petit fours, and their most righteous meat pies are my favourites in town.
  11. In all my years in Victoria, I never did go for tea. Brunches at the Empress, yes, but no high teas. But after the Empress, The Blethering Place was the 2nd most famous locale for it, at least as far as I ever heard. If it makes any difference, I moved away in '91. The whole pseudo-British persona of the city, though, continues to be a source of very strong love-hate emotions for the citizens. I'm sure it is the source of a good percentage of tourist dollars, but man is it ever annoying to be labeled with anything. On the bright side, I can fake a killer English accent. (Or so I claim after several pints. )
  12. BCinBC

    Salt

    Lara is indeed a very pleasant person.
  13. "Screw" "SOMA" - tired abbreviation and not even geographically correct (Arne don't try to sell me any of that "south of downtown" stuff, when you say south you have to talk in reference to the city itself!). Anywho, turning off the crabby old man persona... Chutney Villa on Broadway just west of Main. I've not been a lot of times, but the times I've been have been quite good.
  14. Mmm, skirt tacos... Forgive my ignorance, but is skirt steak the cut used for "carne asada"? If yes, then I'll be down to Kits shortly. When I was visiting a friend in San Diego a few years ago, I got hooked on carne asada from a little roadside place called Roberto's but have not had the same experience since.
  15. I thought I'd read that phrase somewhere before! (End 2nd paragraph.) Anyway, this is not a Where To Find question as I know it is available from Les Amis, but in the cheese vein I tried the white truffle chevre from Saltspring Island last weekend and it was outstanding. Experimented with it in a salad and with potatoes. I don't usually like goats cheeses, but I really loved the smooth texture and flavour of this one.
  16. Well clearly you didn't have the turkey dinner with all the fixings and a vanilla shake for lunch. Yummy! (Only on the way down.) Phew, good thing he likes the Mediterranean Chicken Salad instead.
  17. I believe they are trying to set themselves up as a destination golf course, getting onto golfbc etc, and therefore providing the accommodations (Westin) and dining to match. Coincidentally I will be golfing there this weekend, and am curious to check it out. My first impression is that it is too close to Victoria to really be a "destination", yet too far from town to necessarily attract a lot of locals. Then again I thought this of Rosemead as well, so who knows. My personal idea of golf cuisine is a good grilled dog at the turn and cold pitchers after the round. That is all.
  18. ^ Just a joke from an old Canucklehead post. (See last photo.)
  19. I went to Shiang Garden with a few friends today for dim sum, and I was quite impressed with the spread. I thought the classics were well-represented, in particular: cheung fun (long rice noodles), both with BBQ pork and with pea shoots; har gow; pai gwut (spare ribs). Killer XO sauce. Oh yeah and those char sui bao's that Moosh talked about back there somewhere, were really nice. Different. I even ate some congee - it was not bad with a lot of picked veg and some XO, consistency nice (not snotty nor watery), but not something that I would have ordered myself. One main "complaint" if you can call it that was the heavy sauces, everything is in corn starch overdrive. Good for winter, could maybe use a lighter coating in the heat though. Nor mai fan (steamed glutinous rice) missed the mark - too plain, no lap cheung or other fat source inside, as did the chow mein (also a bit plain). However, like I said some of the classics were very well represented and the combination of that plus the over-the-top Viennese decadence inside are enough to warrant a return visit. No DNA facial afterwards.
  20. For reference, the Season 1 thread isHERE. A lot of this was hashed out there, like are any of these people actually qualified or properly prepared to be an Exec Chef at a multi-million dollar Vegas resto? (No.) Personally, this is one reality show that I can watch and it is simply because I like Gordo. He is so over the top that as others pointed out, it is no longer in the realm of reality anymore. It's like watching Looney Tunes -- only in these episodes, Wyle E Coyote actually eats the goddam Roadrunner.
  21. I was just joshing with ya, Arne. We've been hearing Shelora's take on this place for awhile now, so it's nice that the Box is a bit easier to access (for Vancouverites).
  22. Their sign also makes a big deal about being the "Victoria" Noodle Box. Does this mean anything to you Victoria folks? ← AWESOME!!There are 2 Noodle Boxes in Victoria. Too early for me to find their web site, but this is a great addition. 4th Ave is the perfect place for them. Concept: Chinese Take-out fast food. Noodles (think Chow Mein) in the old Chinese take-out boxes. Really good! A. ← Oh no, not another food stereotype!
  23. So last night I was teamed with Alex (achiu) and Greg (Gregk). The week before we had decided to do four courses, which at the time seemed a bit ambitious because Greg wasn't there and we didn't know if he was going to be able to make the final class. But he did, and I am glad for it. We were able to get away with a fairly minimal pre-purchase list, I think, though there was some special stuff that Alex had to bring in. You will see. The crab it turns out was boiled for us, which in a way I was disappointed with, but then again time being what it was (short), it worked out better that way. The pheasants though still had to be broken down, which fell to the hands of Greg. Alex shelled the crab while I mise'd like a mad man. Garlic, shallots, ginger, onions, carrots, celery, various herbs... Sometimes I actually don't mind doing mise, I find that I slip into a sort of Zen state somewhere along the line. Plus we had two workstations to ourselves so tonnes of room. Once the crab was shelled, I started a crab stock: I also charred a red pepper and a serrano on the open flame, which has been on my list of To Do's ever since I read The World According to Garp. I have never owned a gas stove, so finally! HKDave had his doubts that the serrano would skin properly, but it worked. (Doubter!) Turns out I added too much water to the stock, because it would not reduce fast enough to make our first time deadline. I was stuck, but fortunately Chef Tony stepped in and applied a little white magic and we finally churned out our first course (a half hour late, sorry!): Crab and roasted red pepper bisque Taste was nice, definite crab flavour in there so I was happy with that. Body was lacking a bit, obviously needed more reduction. However on the plus side I got a couple tips from Chef Tony to tuck away into the ole grey sponge for future use. Second course, and in fact all of our others, we banged out like there was no tomorrow. I guess in retrospect we may have over-mise'd, if there is such a thing, at the beginning. I should have helped with the shelling to get the stock started earlier, and then gone back to do some of the other mise, but there you go. Anyway, next came a crab ravioli. Pasta was also pre-done so we did not have to make it, let it rest, etc. Just roll it out. Assistant Paul, some doofus, and Greg on a big roll out session Crab ravioli with truffle beurre blanc (The more astute of you may have noticed that this was shamelessly ripped off from a local Iron Chef, but it worked!) We used some of Alex's truffle paste in the beurre blanc, and the sauce turned out unbelievably well. I would say it was restaurant-quality. Nice one Alex! Chef Tony said upon tasting this dish that it was so delicate, he felt like bathing a baby afterwards, which I think was a compliment. Oh by the way, our first two courses were paired with the leftover Lindemans sauvignon blanc that I used in the stock. It was nice with the bisque, but too light for the truffles. Next course was an Alsatian-inspired tart. Pheasant confit'ing and onions caramelizing Greg caramelized these onions for probably over an hour, and they were so sweet by the end. Also did a great job with the confit (and initial breakdown). Really wonderful flavour and possibly even better than duck confit (that's right I said it). We cheated with ready-made puff pastry, but there you go. Pheasant confit and caramelized onion tarte with salad greens Since the onion was so sweet and the confit so rich, we went with a bright salad dressing. I found some pear vinegar and did up a vinaigrette with lemon, garlic, olive oil, s&p. Also threw in some ?? cheese, blue-ish, sharp and footy. The dish as a whole worked well I thought. And the piece de resistance, the thing that required all the equipment, was the final course. When Alex talked about this the week before, I was pretty excited as I have never done this before nor even seen it in action. Alex Glad-pressing-and-sealing the pheasant breasts for sous vide! The breasts were poached for about an hour at 140F. Really an interesting exercise. Heat diffuser, thermometer, Glad press-and-seal and Ferran's your uncle. We're not sure if Chef Tony thought it was too frou-frou or not, but he kept calling us Feenie's Weenies after that. To add colour and a bit of crispiness to the skin, Alex decided to pan sear to finish, then deglaze for a pan sauce. Pheasant breasts out of the sous vide and into the fire Greg also blanched some asparagus and did a risotto, using the common pheasant stock that was made from all the carcasses. We also wanted to use our mushroom terrine from the week before, but when it came time to plate, we couldn't figure out how to make it all work. Then someone pulled out a ring mold, and at that point I figured we might as well go up and over the top. Pheasant breast sous vide with blueberry sauce, mushroom terrine and asparagus risotto Shaved asparagus on the outside of the mold, risotto inside, topped with the terrine, then breast slices, then blueberry sauce. And a couple asparagus spears to make it look not quite so weird. In retrospect we probably shouldn't have used the terrine (cold between hots for one thing, just plain excessive for another), but oh well go hard or go home. The breast was very soft, an interesting texture. For our pheasant courses I picked up a bottle of Le Freak shiraz viognier, which wasn't as good as I was hoping. The viognier did not even show, so it was just a peppery shiraz. Not as fruity or well-rounded as others I've tried. Anyway, a busy night and by the end we were all so full and exhausted. And that was just one night and ~20 plates! So chive-flavoured props to all you cooks who work a line, we only got a small taste of how mentally and physically demanding this is. A fraction of the plates turned out by the teams last night As you can see above and in Wes' photos, there was some really quality stuff put out last night. Very impressive. Like Arne, I too was sad that I was unable to taste everything that went out. I had maybe half, and things that stand out in my mind were the other bisque from Derek's group I believe (great crab flavour in that one, nice body too which mine was lacking!) and the pappardelle from Arne's group (very clean and honest flavours, no unnecessary messing around). Anyway, thanks again to my teammates and Chef Tony, Dave, and everyone else. What a great class, worth every penny. Keep in touch Chef, let us know what's in store for Foodie III (This time it's personal!). Cheers, Brian
  24. This morning is a blur - thanks BTW to everyone who left wine behind. Tony, Dave, Derek and I did our best to clean that up at midnight or so. I'm feeling very tired today, but will post pix once I clear some of this fog.
  25. Coincidentally I was there with some friends around the same time, and I would put myself in the "underwhelmed" category too. They had some decent stuff, but the food and especially the serice were nothing to rave about. Wasn't seated clost enough to the hostess / wait station to pick up any good curses in Malay though.
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