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Everything posted by nwyles

  1. It is a mad frenzy of activity. The Chef lineup is as follows. Brian Fowke ( Chef Fowke ) Rare restaurant Neil Wyles ( nwyles ) Hamilton Street Grill Sean Heather ( seanheather ) Salt, The Irish Heather, Salty Tounge, Shebeen Whiskey Bar, Pepper and so many other things I can't keep track Colin Johnson ( transfattyacid ) Parkside and Robert Belcham, formerly chef at C restaurant and now about to open his own called Fuel. Rob is a bit of a lurker................not for long ! Auction items are coming in at a good clip. When someone else types up a list, I will post it here. Local news piece this Friday morning and a photo op on Sunday while we are picking up the bits and pieces for the dinner. Brian has a 100 mile rule for Rare and we have to respect that and are using it as a guide when getting supplies for the dinner. Cheers Neil
  2. That is amazing. I had the people from Far Met in for dinner after a long day. They were in awe of the things that they had seen. I heard all about the RCMP piece. It was amazing to see the detail. If I can get three hearts in chocolate by dragging a toothpick through chocolate in a pool of Anglaise, I think I have a flair for dessert plating. Those pictures are amazing.
  3. I do the same thing. Why break with tradition ? Even if I have one too many eggnogs in the afternoon, I know a Detective who could probably get me out of hot water. Christmas is for spending with friends, not hanging out with a turkey all day !
  4. Then I start to hear management threatening to dip into the tip pool to cover breakage costs....I am speechless. Where should it stop, perhaps a portion of the tips should go towards the lease???? Am I the only person who thinks this is ludicrous. Using tips to cover any cost should be purely illegal. Customers are simply not aware, what is going on with that money. Hey, I resemble that remark !!!! If you recall, it was up for discussion and I did go on to say that the staff discussed it and talked to the offending person. The problem was solved immediatly ( nothing like peer pressure ! ) All it took was a few keystrokes to solve a problem that had been going on for months. I had threatened to fire this person if it did not improve and even that did not solve the problem. The threat of dipping onto the waiter's money brought peer pressure down like a ton of bricks. I was paying an EXTRA $600.00 a month in breakage due to sloppy habits and lack of attention and care. You can be speechless all you wish but this problem is solved for now. Sometimes the methods I use on my 5 year old seem to work on my staff....go figure.
  5. Sorry it has been so long between posts. Tina Bacon was in the Hamilton Street Grill last night. It was great to see her. we did a photo shoot with Claudia Kwan ( claudiak on eGullet ). Claudia is a local news reporter, and was going to use these shots in one of the local papers. The restaurant was slammed last night, and pretty much has been for the last little while so any time I have away from the line has been for sleeping. Brian Fowke was in after his restaurant finished it's service but we both have been too exhausted to get into great details about what we are specificcaly going to do. Conversation goes like this........ Amuse bouche ? Yeah How about ... great, with the drizzle of..... Oh yeah, perfect......... HEY, CAN WE GET TWO BEERS OVER HERE. WE ARE DOING SOME INTENSE PLANNING !! Some of my staff have volunteered to help out. They are a little surprised that we are doing this. I have not discussed it with them but were quick to jump in. "wow, Neil that is really nice. I guess you are not a ass kicking prick all of the time" .is my interpretation of their facial expression !!! We will have to get down to the short strokes of sauces and accompaniments this week. we are planning a shopping trip to the Granville Island Market to pick up some of the bits and pieces to go with the locally procured ingredients. I will ask Daddy -A ( Arne ) to come along and perhaps snap a few shot of us getting dinner. Got to go and feed the kids. Ciao Neil
  6. It is fairly common. Think about it though. A $2,000,000 restaurant has $300,000 floating around in tax free income. The temptation is huge to see that the manager gets a taste of the tax free money, as there is so much of it. That is $25,000 a month.
  7. Before I went away for Thanksgiving, I dropped an email to all of the staff that if the breakage problem was not sorted out asap, I was raising tip pool to cover it. It was out of fucking control !!!!! They had a littel team meeting after work on Saturday night and seemed to have sorted it out. It would appear that they told the one major ( MAJOR !! ) contributor to stop walking so fast, focus on what they have in their hands, make sure their eyes and feet were going in the same direction and to stop talking while carrying trays of stemware. Picture this : Walking towards dishpit, carrying on a conversation, maintains eye contact the whole time even though moving swiftly in a different direction. CRASH !! Happens everytime. Gone from broken bucket of glassware a day to three pieces in a week. Problem solved. Tip pool left where it was.
  8. I'm glad you enjoyed. I am over hanger right now but that is probably becasue I have had so much of it. The short rib on the Taste of Yaletown seems to be calling me............ I love short ribs
  9. I will pop in and out over the next 17 days and try and fill you in on what we are up to. The next seventeen days are a dining event here called the Taste of Yaletown, so I will be a wee bit busy ( this is a good thing ). We are happy that the event sold out in about 24 hours. It takes the pressure off of putting on a show and no one comes. Nice to see an outpouring of support. Anyhoo................. I have to go and strain the veal stock and get the foccacia going for a busy evening. Cheers Neil
  10. Go the the Cigar shop on Hamilton Street, get a drink from the Bluewater or the HSG, and watch the TV at the cigar shop.
  11. HAs anyone mentioned the painfully uncomfortable chairs............. perhaps that way so you won't want to stay
  12. 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? ← I thought about making a great paella the last time I was in Burnaby........... and this contributed not much either...
  13. Josh................ It was the easiest thing to do in order to get everybody to participate, and keep the price points similar. You could imagine how it would look if you left the restaurants to their own devices.................a few of them did something like small plates last year and they were not busy. People understand the three course thing and so do the restaurants.
  14. Taste of Yaletown started out and will remain a dining event that highlights the great diversity of restaurants that we have in Yaletown. We lost a couple of restaurants this year, Blue Water and Cioppino's. That is a shame as they are two major players in our restaurant scene in Yaletown but it just did not fit what they wanted to do. We managed to pick up Rodney's and Diner, so that adds some interesting flavour to the mix. We also had to exclude a couple of restaurants as they fell outside of the Yaletown boundaries. They are actually part of the DVBIA area. With the great success of the Dine Out event from TVan, the format seemed a natural to follow. Everybody knew what they were in for. That being said.............. with events like the Pellegrino City Dine and possibly others coming into play, the power of the set menu format might be diluted and possibly confuse people. We will assess the successes and shortcomings of this event later in the year to see how we fared. Initial information is that lots of the restaurants are experiencing higher than normal pre bookings, even compared to Dineout Vancouver, so we are encouraged. I am not saying that this will compare to Dineout Vancouver in it's impact, just that people are learning to book early so they are not left out in the cold without reservations Unlike Dineout Vancouver, we try and tie ourselves to a charity so that our city and it's programs see some benefit from the event. Yaletown has been very lucky to be in such a strong economic upswing while other areas of town are experiencing difficulties. It is only natural that we want to give back. The goal this year to help the Food Bank of Greater Vancouver is over $10,000. Anyways, I should get off the computer as I have some menu tweaking to do for my Taste of Yaletown offering. I was so busy trying to get things organized for the whole event, I did not really spend any time on my own menu. I should have something new up before the weekend so.......... check out Taste of Yaletown
  15. Click here http://www.dinehere.ca/restaurant.asp?r=246 Service seems to be an issue.
  16. I would imagine that Vince will remain a part of the CA scene if he is still doing all of the roasting for them. 49th Parallel will still be the roaster to the entire chain, including all of the new stores that roll out. Expect to see big things from these guys real soon.
  17. Word on the street is that it was a midnight move................the site is not up for development. The El Patio in Yaletown did indeed close earlier this year, as the space was apparently sold for development. I believe it is re-opening in a location on Denmand close to Davie, as a sign announcing that fact has been up for a few weeks. ←
  18. Their sign is a projected light, that only shows when it is dark. They are only open in the evening. I would think they close the shutters to discourage break ins for people still looking for booze.
  19. I am always the first to add the little "ahem" but we will be closed for an Xmas break.
  20. I think El Patio has gone out of business.........at least the one in Yaletown has.
  21. Drag yourself over to Chef Fowke's Rare restaurant, sneak in the back door and get a cup out of his fancy coffee machine. It is soooo good. I try and do this at least twice a day. He is seriously considering charging me for it.
  22. I will try and be there to see you. It's been a while. It is my anniversary so I will be going somewhere that night. My kids think it is all of our anniversary so they want to go to White Spot. Maybe some take out for them when the sitter comes over.
  23. speaking personally, I do not think I have a line on my income statements for that kind of stuff. I do not think I have ever used any charity event I have ever done as a tax write off. If I was a bit more organized about this sort of thing, I would take advantage of it. I just get through the event with that " good feeling" and get back to work. As I usually get involved in something about 8 to ten times a year, I guess that is a fair amount of write off left on the table over ten years. In a business where we monitor the cost of sugar packages and the price of butter is a big deal, I will try and remember to get the write offs.
  24. Yes it was me. I'm doing pretty good so far, thanks for asking. The fund raising is all my girlfriend's plan. We had no idea it was coming. We have been totally overwhelmed with the support! ← I saw that as well. I did not put it together. What was the email ? Trek_for_Tina@hotmail.com Is there anything this crew of food geeks can do ?
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