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  1. I stand by Cook's illustrated, as well, as a professional cook. The dishes are simple, but I like reading about the trial and error process - lots of useful information in their failures. I have to disagree with Victoria's EAT, being 'tightly edited.' A great resource, that's come a long way in a short time, tightly edited it is not.
  2. I did some quicky reviews when I was in SF a couple of months ago, at a variety of price ranges - check out my SF page on the Little Piggy
  3. my two bits for the White Heather - great food, served by extremely fussy Scottish ladies. Not at all cheesy, but light on character. I go there often. The Blethering Place - having grown up about 100 m away from it, I have a soft spot. I think it's totally freaky, but it's worth a visit for its peculiarity. The Empress is a rip off for tea service - I agree, that the Terrace is much nicer for the money, but odds are I'd be drinking a gin and tonic (a perfectlably acceptable nod for the anglophiles, I think)
  4. That's awesome - I can't wait to read it! I don't know what's going on with this these days, but there had previously been a big hooha over animal quarantine of water buffalo and Agriculture Canada were forcing a cull of improperly imported animals - I'm don't recall all the details, but maybe someone else does. (It was a heartwrenching story about a nice couple who were being asked to cull the animals they'd invested their farm into and seemingly not entitiled to compenastion because the error had been their own) Anyway, it might be one of those situations where you have to have your herd f
  5. yes, the american guides seem to hold some credibility, but having read and contributed to the local versions I'm a little suspicious of the populist method of review. Have you ever noticed how many crappy restaurants stay in business, because they;ve identified some peculier niche, of loyal, but out-of-their mind customers? The Zagat method does not isolate these incidences well. Similarly, a lot of really uimaginative choices get rated high, because the majority of diners eat in mainstream restaurants and will thereby receive a lot of feedback. It's a very democratic system, but if we let th
  6. if you're reference point is the Aerie, than I can see why you wouldn't be shocked (friendly poke). I agree, however, if it weren't for the a la carte sides, it wouldn't have seemed so shocking. I'm curious if it really is true 'fine dinning', since at that price point you'd have to call yourself that - the menu looked tasty, but not especially innovative. For $40-$50 a complete plate, I'd expect some wowers. I suppose, I'm spoilt by the Rosemeade and their creative menus and reasonable pricing. It's an expectation I can't hold everyone to, but it's not that difficult for me to think of a ha
  7. I'm a culinary instructor in Victoria BC - I work in a occupational rehab program for the health authority. I have cooking trade papers and a master's in adult ed (UBC). In BC, secondary schools have the most rigid requirement among all institutional settings. I think you'll need to do a one-year teaching program at a university. Normally, you'd need a degree, in addition to the year, but I'm pretty sure if you have trade papers, it's considered in lieu of the degree (but you may need a CCC ticket, in addition to a red seal, I"m not sure). The BC College of Teacher's is pretty fussy about form
  8. christabel

    3 a.m. party grub

    poutine like concoctions -- For those not in the know, real poutine is french fries, gravy and cheese curd. Of course, it's common place for people to have their own 'versions' of this dish, depending on their pantry. The purist - If I"m really drunk, i"ll make the fries from scratch, but other times I'll dig around for some frozen hash browns. I defrost some demiglace (I keep it in ice cube trays) and top with a random selection of cheese - mozzerlla would be the classic choice, but brie, camembert or gorgonzola are superdelicious. Not the purist - I start chopping away at anything in frid
  9. Has anyone visited Panache at Bear Mountain? I was reminded by the blurb in EAT mag, but then upon checking the Webpage I was astounded by the prices. I'm not one to be off put by frivolous spending, but these are among some of the highest I've seen in Victoria (compounded by the a la carte style). Unfortunatly, now I'm just painfully curious.
  10. Thanks for the feedback and I agree. I try, but I find it challenging to always write a constructive and balanced review - nobody's perfect, and very few people (or restaurants) are without their good points, but review balance is an elusive animal. Having been a writer in a variety of fields (predominitly food, travel and wine, but as broadly as finance, IT and automotive), I think the 'review' column is the hardest to write from a journalistic perspective. I may be nerd'ing out on a journalistic detail and less a culinary one, but understanding how things 'read,' interests me.
  11. Since it's your business - why don't you go first. ← haha - I was attempting not to be an antagonist (or at least minimise my natural antagonism). I think about restaurant reviews every day - so I"m biased and hypercritical. For that reason, I deemed my opinion not terribly useful to a constructive argument. My opinion however (since you ask), is that while the writers seem genuine, the absence of negative comment makes me as smidge suspicious about how 'critical' the reviews are. I'd like to know how they read to other people? It's an advertising-based publication, largely dependent on
  12. I think EAT is a great mag and I really appreciate its positive contribution to the food and wine scene on the Island, but would anyone like to comment on the usefullness of the restaurant 'reviews' in this publication? It's my business, so am curious how they read to other folks?
  13. staining whatever object the spit hits ... When I was India a number of years ago, I remember some public discussion on banning pan because its use resulted in the defacement of property. I can't imagine anyone ever took that suggestion seriously at a political level, but when you check into your hotel, only to find a wall of your room coated in blotchy pan juice it didn't seem entirely unreasonable. The one time I tried it, the betel variety, my teeth were stained for days - I looked like a vampire. That said, it did have a plesant taste/effect.
  14. I think when you're looking recent vintages of BC vs Bordeaux, with respect to immediate drinkability, the BC blends stack up nicely against their competitors. The problem - the BC wines don't stand up to cellaring. I"ve tried with a few of these blends and the most I squeeze out of them is 5-7 years before an obvious decline emerges. Meanwhile, the Bordeaux is still a baby in the cellar and the BC wine becomes salad dressing.
  15. as a side to this topic - I was recently in San Francisco and noticed that everyone, including the swankiest possible restaurants, were serving Scottish farmed salmon. I asked lots of questions and all the servers assured me that 'Scottish' farmed salmon is the safest and most ecologicaly sustainable in the world. After some brief internet research I discovered that as recently as two years ago the US had banned Scottish imports of farmed salmon for safety concerns and as recently as December, a US study suggested the consumers should eat no more than 2-4 portions of Scottish salmon a year.
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