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  1. Hi everyone, I thought you might be interested in the diners choice portion of this. Come January they hope to have a definative list of where to get the best dishes in the Lower Mainland (Vancouver) as well as these diners choice categories. From October 21st to November 30, the dining public will be invited to vote on line at To vote for diners choicefor their favourite restaurants under the following categories: 1. Best Dim Sum Restaurant 2. Best Cantonese Restaurant 3. Best Northern Chinese Restaurant 4. Best Hot Pot Restaurant 5. Best Taiwanese Restaurant / Bubble Tea Café 6. Best HK Style Café 7. Best Noodle Soup Restaurant 8. Best Congee Restaurant 9. Best Chinese Bakery Shop 10. Best BBQ Shop / Restaurant CHINESE RESTAURANT AWARDS 2009 1st Annual Awards for Excellence in Chinese Cuisine Critics’ Choice Awards – Best Signature Dish Diners’ Choice Awards – Best Restaurants Presented on Thursday, January 15th, 2009 Edgewater Casino, Plaza of Nations, Vancouver, BC Vancouver, BC - October 21, 2008 Restaurant critics from around the globe have recognized Vancouver as the best city in the world, outside of China, to eat Chinese food. Publications from the New York Times to Gourmet Magazine, in their acknowledgment of the Asian dining scene, are quoted as saying Vancouver rivals even New York and San Francisco. An esteemed panel of acknowledged experts in the cuisine of China were brought together to look at how best to acknowledge and rate the cuisine of Lower Mainland Chinese restaurants and it was decided that the awards would be given in the same way the Chinese community chooses a restaurant, by what to eat, rather than where to eat. The “Signature Dish” Unlike other dining experiences, Chinese restaurants are rated on their cuisine, rather than décor and service. Whilst important, it is the cuisine of a restaurant that drives their popularity, more specifically a particular dish, or signature dish. Asian diners choose a certain restaurant for their fresh King Crab, their noodles, method of preparing fish, or in a wider category, the Dim Sum. In a break from traditional restaurant awards, it was a list of the restaurants top dishes that was chosen as the starting off point, rather than a list of restaurants. Even this was a difficult choice. From the hundreds of famous dishes in the cuisine of China, 25 dishes were chosen and the search for a restaurant that best prepared this dish began. On Thursday, January 15th, 2009, winning Chinese restaurants will be invited to attend the first annual Chinese Restaurants Awards at Stadium Club in Edgewater Casino, fittingly located at the Plaza of Nations, in Vancouver. There, in an afternoon ceremony, the Critics’ Choice for the best of 25 dishes, “Signature Dish” will be handed out to the winning restaurants from throughout the Lower Mainland. Also included in the awards will be the Diners’ Choice Awards, a category open to the general public. In recognition of the knowledgeable dining habits of all Vancouverites, this category, offered in both Chinese and English, will allow the dining public to share their valued opinion on the best locations for Chinese cuisine. With many non-Chinese growing up in Vancouver on Dim Sum lunches, family dinners in Chinese restaurants and favourite dishes, it was important to hear from all those who call Vancouver home. Starting October 21, the dining public will be invited to vote on line by registering at www.VoteDinersChoice.com. Ten members of the general public will also have a chance to win dinner for six at any one of the winning Diner’s Choice restaurants as well as 2 tickets to the awards ceremony in January. Winners will be announced on the website in mid December. The Chinese restaurant industry and high quality of Chinese dining is a driving force in the BC tourism business. Vancouver’s success as a top destination of choice by Chinese travelers is greatly enhanced by its wide selection of high quality restaurants. By publishing a list of both critics’ choice and diners’ choice winners, the Chinese Restaurant Awards will also serve as a guide to locals and all visitors as where to find the best Chinese cuisine in the region. The Judging Panel We thank our esteemed panel of acknowledged experts in the cuisine of China that chose the categories. From there a smaller group was sent out to judge the specific dishes. They were: Stephen Wong (Chairman of Judging Panel) - Cookbook author; Food journalist; Food and Beverage consultant B.C. Lee – Vancouver Councilor Conrad Leung – Department Head, Asian Culinary Program, Vancouver Community College Bensan Li - CBC Radio Asian program host; Vice Chairman of Vancouver Film & Television Lee Man - Food journalist, Vancouver Magazine Iris Yim - Food Editor, Ming Pao Daily Stephanie Yuen – Food Journalist; Chief Editor, Best Choice Food Magazine The Criteria Nominations were based on taste, presentation and creative use of key ingredients as well as the use of local and in season, ingredients. Restaurants were nominated in each of the 25 categories. One winner will be awarded in each category to receive “The Critics’ Choice Award – Signature Dish” Signature Dishes 1. Crab 2. King Crab 3. Shrimp 4. Lobster 5. Cantonese/Hong Kong-style Dim Sum 6. Northern/Shanghai-style Dim Sum 7. Congee 8. Noodles & Rice 9. Chinese Dessert 10. Innovative Dish 11. Chinese Pastry 12. Barbecue 13. Soup 14. Fish 15. Geoduck 16. Scallops 17. Clam 18. Cold Appetizers 19. Pork 20. Beef 21. Lamb/goat/mutton 22. Chicken 23. Duck 24. Squab 25. Vegetarian Diner’s Choice Awards From October 21st to November 30, the dining public will be invited to vote on line at www.VoteDinersChoice.com for their favourite restaurants under the following categories: 1. Best Dim Sum Restaurant 2. Best Cantonese Restaurant 3. Best Northern Chinese Restaurant 4. Best Hot Pot Restaurant 5. Best Taiwanese Restaurant / Bubble Tea Café 6. Best HK Style Café 7. Best Noodle Soup Restaurant 8. Best Congee Restaurant 9. Best Chinese Bakery Shop 10. Best BBQ Shop / Restaurant Award presentation of the Diner’s Choice Awards will also take place on January 15, 2009. Edgewater Casino CHINESE RESTAURANT AWARDS 2009: SPONSORS Title Sponsor: Edgewater Casino Premium Sponsors: MCL Motor Cars - Bentley & MCL Motor Cars– Porsche, Chivas Regal Scotch, Tiger Beer Media Sponsors: CBC Television; CBC Radio One; Ming Pao Daily News Trade Sponsors: AMR Distributors’ Camilla Tea Oil; Aroma Tea House; BC Seafood Alliance; Island Scallops Ltd.; Pagoda Brand Xiaoxing Rice Wine; Stile Wines; Guo Jiao 1573 SUPPORTED BY: TOURISM VANCOUVER OFFICIAL CRA 2009 “SIGNATURE DISH” MAGAZINE: MingPao Friday Gourmet Supplement Chinese Restaurant Awards (CRA) is a not-for-profit organization made up of food & marketing professionals. The goals are to recognize and promote Chinese culinary arts and culture and acknowledge the skill of local Chinese restaurateurs and chefs. Chinese Restaurant Awards highlights, rewards and celebrates the best of Chinese dining in the Lower Mainland. -end- Contact: Western Media: East West Communications - Cate Simpson - 604-730-9626 cell 604-220-6566 simpsoncpr@telus.net Chinese Media: A Mindfuse Marketing & Consulting Agency - Rae Kung – 778-829-6244 rae@justanotherreason.net CRA website: www.ChineseRestaurantAwards.com Diners’ Choice voting site: www.VoteDinersChoice.com
  2. When asked what I could bring for Christmas, my Dad wanted me to track down a Scottish smoked Haddock called the 'Arbroath smokie' Any of you ex-pats out there seen it anywhere? C. Anywhere on the Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island I should say.... BBC Food
  3. I know this is rather late in the day, but I haven’t been on the site for quite a long time but... People! It is not Canadian Thanksgiving! It's Thanksgiving. Unless of course you are living in a foreign country like, say America where they celebrate American Thanksgiving....
  4. A friend brought me back a simply terrific little salt grinder from Sweden 2 years ago. It is very simple - glass, plastic with stainless steel grinder parts. It has been an amazing little gadget as I can put "wet" salt into it like Fleur de sel and it doesn't clog up or get rusty. It is also totally dishwasher safe and as I was able to run it through the dishwasher I also started using it to grind spices and dried herbs as well. Works like a charm! Anyway, I see they are now available in Ikea, very inexpensive $5-6.00 each, a great little tool. They have a clear glass body with a dark blue plastic top. Another tool I bought a couple of years ago at Gourmet Warehouse here in Vancouver is a vegetable peeler with a serrated edge so you can peel things with fragile skins like tomatoes and peaches. As it's canning time, this a great little tool to have as well.
  5. My concern is that Scobey’s does not have the reputation as Thrifty’s (who do practice this) of "buying heavily from local farmers and producers such as seafood producer Finest At Sea of James Bay", as the Vancouver Sun points out. I love that when I am in the Sannich store I am buying dairy products from a local dairy, veg and pork from another and I really like that they have an amazing selection of food suitable to their market - In Sidney, the home of every retired ex-pat it would seem, including my folks, they stock all sorts of wonderful Scottish and English foods that you can't find in other stores. Kippers, steak and kidney pies, melton Mowbray, Piccalilly, bread and butter pickles, Keens mustard, - all the stuff the Brits love! I know it’s wonderful for the Campbell’s that they and their family have made so much money from the business, and I can’t fault them for selling at all. I just hope that the new owners keep the same suppliers and the same values as the Campbell’s had.
  6. Really sorry to hear that the BC family owned Thrifty Foods has sold their 30-40 stores on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland to Sobey's Sobey's Store I believe Sobey's is connected to IGA ? I think Thrifty Foods is the best grocery chain out there and am always sorry they don’t have stores in Vancouver. When on Vancouver Island and on Salt Spring I always shop there and love that they have so many products from local farms and regional suppliers in their stores. In fact, they often have one farm supplying them in one area, like Mitchell Farms in Sanich, and up Island will use another farmer. Sobey's is a "Back East" chain so I don't know it, I only know that Urban Fare, who is owned by IGA currently has Mexican and California fruit and vegetable filling their shelves. Not only do they not have local farmers products, they don't even have Canadian Fruit and Veg!
  7. The Custom Butcher Shop and Deli should be open any day! Although they have been saying that for weeks it has been the permits that have held them up. The permits and licences for the butcher shop and deli are totally different from the restaurant and they have had all sorts of odd things holding them up like having to seismically upgrade the tree in the middle of the room! you will see what I mean when you go there. They were sooooo hoping to have the deli open this weekend for Jazz Fest but it looks like it will be Tuesday now. Chef Sean Cousins has been working on the meats, most of it in their large walk-ins aging. He may have to bring in a few things for the shop from another supplier at first as some of the products are still a month to 6 weeks away from being ready and properly aged but for the most part the products are all his, and in the future should be 100% his. All home cured products are nitrate free so there will be the odd thing, corned beef for sure, and some of the sausages that will not have that red colour people are used to, however it is just as moist, tastes wonderful and you will have the benefit of a healthier product. Once the butcher shop is open guests can walk over and choose their meat cuts as well if they like. These are the items that he will have commonly, although there will be add-ons: Deli Charcuterie (smoked, air-cured, salted, etc. ham) Corned Beef Duck Prosciutto Pork Prosciutto Pork Pancetta Duck Rillette Selection of Terrines, Pate’s, galantines Sausages – Selection to include house made chorizo, crepinette, Potted Foie Gras Local and international cheeses House baked breads Take-away and sit down Soups Sandwiches Coffee, Tea Espresso Butcher Shop Select cut and custom cut Canadian Triple A Beef Select cut and custom cut Pork Game Chicken Opening hours are tentatively set ay 10am - 9 pm daily, but may open earlier on weekends for grocery shoppers.
  8. His name is Rick Forbes and he is a fabulous, larger than life chef about town here in Vancouver. He does work at Meinhardt’s but also does a lot of behind the scenes cooking and catering. I saw the show as well the other night, it replayed at 11:00 pm, and thought it was really quite good. It was also great to see 3 chefs from Vancouver competing, and rather amusing to see our local demographics well represented with a Gay man, Black women and an East Indian. I don't know the East Indian fellow but Lisa Brown is an amazing gal who is an activist who works with youth out in Surrey on cooking programs, a fundraiser and a caterer. She put on an event for many years called Hip Hop for Hunger. I think that Rick has the right stuff to make it on TV but the chef from the Four Seasons didn't seem to like him very much - on TV anyway....
  9. Metro did not want to do any pre-opening PR and marketing for various reasons including wanting to feel un-pressured about the opening date and having an opportunity to work through their menu nice and slowly. It opened very quietly yesterday just in time for a close friends wedding they are hosting there this Saturday night, however, they are not at full steam yet with a few missing pieces of furniture and decor, a lot of the lounge and patio furniture still not in, and a bit of finishing carpentry work to be done. But having said that, because the kitchen’s ready they have decided to open their doors, taking a maximum of 40 people over lunch or dinner and offering a 10% discount on the menu while they remain in "soft opening". In other words, they are not ready for reviews or to be checked out in any great numbers but looking to build slowly to a time that they feel comfortable that all is really finished and ready for full inspection.
  10. I know there was buzz, just not too over the top. They sound like nice people with great food. Looking forward to trying it. Now I just need to get to: Jules Fuel Bistro Bistro Gastropod Century The Red Door Fetch Connor Butler Aurora Bistro Fiction Fat Burger Chill Winston and now Chow! Ahhhhh... So many restaurants to try, so little time
  11. I agree! Gourmet Warehouse has great prices and a great selection of Le Creuset . I collect the mustard yellow Le Creuset and when visiting my parents on the Island often find it at a great sale price at Muffet and Louise in Victoria and Sidney.
  12. Ummmm ... yeah it is CLICK. Although technically it is Haute Normandy now, the region wasn't split until the 50's. I do agree with you on the "pretentious" comment though.. A. ← Well yes, Dieppe is definitely in Normandy, although Wikpedia would not be my equitable source. I have not yet been to Chow but thought their menu looked fabulous! Their web page, which is what I imagine you are considering to be pretentious, I found not to be at all. It looks to me that Chow has decided to do it alone, no PR, no blogs and pre buzz, just a nice menu with a simple description of their philosophy. Very much worth a try based on hearing great things about the food. Why prejudge and second guess a web site visionary statement? I say, try it before you judge it.
  13. If you want privacy you will want to either book out an entire restaurant or choose one with a private room that will take as many as 50. I am assuming you want the space for the entire evening, and not just for the early part of the evening. Private rooms for 50+ (sit down) Club Room at Gotham Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar La Terrazza * Gorgeous Monk McQueen’s Seasons in the Park The Teahouse False Creek Yacht Club Separate private areas (without walls) Back of Beyond Upstairs at Coast Side room at Watermark Upstairs at Gotham (they have 3 private rooms) Small restaurants that might book out Rare Ocean Six17 Bistro Michel (NVan) Cru Connor Butler Infinity Good luck and best wishes for a great wedding! Cate
  14. For those of us who have discussed our preference for Lombardo’s Pizza versus Marcello's pizza and have criticised the service at Marcello’s, here’s another great reason to choose Lombardo’s over Marcello's. I aways had a feeling that this guy was a jerk! National Post story on Marcello's owner
  15. The highest place was Robert Sulatycky who placed 4th in 1999 I only know the following other results: France 1st Denmark 2nd Switzerland 3rd Canada 7th England 10th Australia 12th USA 14th The Bocuse d'Or is one of the premier international cooking competitions in the world. It is organized under the stewardship of famed French chef Paul Bocuse and is held every two years in Lyon, France where two days of intense cooking culminate in the presentation of the Gold Bocuse Trophy to an overall international grand winner. The 2007 Bocuse d’Or takes place January 23 and 24, 2007. The Bocuse d'Or invites twenty-four chefs from around the globe, representing their respective countries, to vie for top honours by preparing two platters for service of 12 persons using two specified ingredients. As Paul Bocuse likes to say, "Cooking is simple!" The two chosen ingredients are described as "everyday products that are not all that simple to cook, thus leaving a great deal of scope for the contestants' culinary skills." And he is correct! - The featured ingredients for the 2007 competition are Norwegian halibut and poulet de Bresse. The difficulty of these theme ingredients coupled with the five-hour time limit for preparation and the intense pressure of performing in front of thousands of cooking fans from all corners of the globe, television cameras and internationally renowned professional chefs provide for a great cooking spectacle. The competition was filmed by award winning Canadian documentary filmmaker Nick Versteeg. Each competing country may send only one representative chef to this competition – Chef Jaeger won the right to compete on behalf of Canada in Lyon at the Canadian Culinary Federation’s National Selection Competition in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island in 2004. The Canadian judge at the competition was Robert Allen Sulatycky, currently Executive Chef of the Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Angeles, California. Chef Sulatycky was Canada’s Bocuse d’Or competitor in 1999. Here are the dishes Scott competed with for Bocuse d’Or CANADA Halibut and King Crab Platter Name of the Dish: Slow-cooked “Rack” of Norwegian halibut, wrapped with Norwegian King Crab, black truffles and braised leeks, Crab and tarragon glaze, tomato “pearls” Garnish #1: Pickled golden beet with Norwegian crab and fennel salad under anise cured tomato Garnish #2: Sweet English pea tart with “cipollini” onion custard Garnish #3: Warm carrot jelly with salsify center and carrot “air” “Poulet de Bresse” Platter Name of the Dish: Poulet de Bresse “en cocotte” with apples, Canadian rye whiskey, black truffles, chanterelles and Artisan bacon, plum apple glaze Garnish #1: Crisp potato cup with poached quail egg and Hollandaise sauce over chicken liver mousse Garnish #2: Warm haricots verts and walnuts over shallot quince jam and confit of Butternut squash Garnish #3: Thyme-roasted mushroom with foie gras and celeriac fondant, Albufera sauce
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