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Vancouver Cheese Shops (Merged)


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Vancouver Magazine's April 2002 edition suggests that Les Amis du Fromage, operated by Allison and Alice Spurrell, is largely responsible for the cheese at numerous Vancouver restaurants. "The best cheese trolleys are at Diva, Ouest, Lumiere, Chartwell, Bacchus, the Irish Heather, Hart House, Bishop's, Fleuri, Manhattan, Blue Water Cafe and Raincity Grill. We can largely thank" Les Amis du Fromage.  :wink:

Have members resident in Vancouver visited this cheese shop?

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I have not visited this shop but I do know that comment is not totally true as there are 2 or 3 other shops and importers that brought cheese in from around the world.  I worked at Bacchus for a while and the restaurant was one of the first to bring in a cheese trolley. I do not belive we got our cheese from these people.  Our cheese guy came around every Friday with the week's shipment, to show to the staff and we decided what we wanted on the cheese trolley.  There is also Menu Setters on West 10th and I'll Fromage on Commerical Drive that were bringing in cheese before these people.  I'm not sure if I'll Fromage is the correct name but if your on Commerical Drive you can't miss the store itself.  This was about 4 years ago.

Dan Walker

Chef/Owner

Weczeria Restaurant

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I worked at Bacchus for a while

Junior -- If you are comfortable discussing it, what was working at Bacchus like? Also, what are your views on the quality of the restaurant's cuisine and what are its signature dishes (if any)? (I have never visited)  :wink:

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Cabrales, I worked at Bacchus for a short period of time and through two chefs.  The chef I started with Robert Sulataky is in Toronto now at the Four Seasons and the second chef was Camroun Caskie who is now gone and the chef there is Frank Dodd.  The cuisine is very French or was.  Chef Robert had just finished Bocuse and a stage at the Ritz Carlaton in Paris and was hired on Bacchus.  So his food was the rave of the city at the time and was giving Rob Feenie a very serious run for his money.  After Chef Robert left, Chef Caskie took over and pretty much kept to the same food.  High end French food.  Chef Caskie once remarked that what we were doing the equivilent of Michalen 1 Star food there.  I wouldn't really know, it was so busy.  Anyways, the sous chef there, Prakesh who had just come from Paul Bocuse, was the real driving force behind everything there for both chefs.  

As for working conditions, very poor, then again I had worked at Fairmont and was used to being the top percentage for cooks in the city.  You generally started your shift about 2 hours early and stayed about 2 hours later, and were only paid for 8 hours and even then at minimum wage.  Keep in mind that the average apartment rent in Vancouver was around $750 CDN, so it was tight.  The open kitchen is quite nice but the garde manger area and production kitchen downstairs were pretty cramped and not dirty but also not clean.  I don't know if you understand that.  When things got hectic, you just had no space to do more than 2 or 3 things at a time and sometimes you would have about 10 things on the go.  I left right New Years to come home.  X-mas dinner 250 people 8 courses and New Years 250 people 8 courses, alot of 12 to 16 hour days there.  I just plain burner out.  I did learn some good lessons there and it will always provide for good memories, like when the sous chef and the grill guy got into a fist fight over underdone salmon.  

I have one of our dinner menus from when I was there, so here goes:

Apppetizers

Caramelized Sea Scallops  - cauilfolower saute a crus, wild baby watercress

Seared Fois Gras Pains d'Epice Crust - lentilles de puy, peach chutney, sauce perigourd

Cured Atlantic Salmon - potato crisp, horseradish cappuccino

The Second Course

Winter Veg Soup

Salt Spring Island Gaot Cheese - beetroot tartare, arugula salad, avocado oil

The Main Course

Grilled Fillet of Salmon in Lemon Grass - grilled Mediterranean veg and goat cheese pitivier - saffron and vanilla sauce

Roasted Chilean Sea Bass - sauce vierge, melting leeks, sweet garlic roasted potatos

Pacfic Halibut - panfired cheek, baked fillet, sauce americaine spaetzle

Oven Roasted Fraser Valley Duck Breast - duck leg confit, rosemary polenta, fig jus

Organic Range Chicken Breast - sauce supreme, savoy cabbage farce

Roasted Whole Poussin - fumet of chantrelles, gnocchi, jus court

 

Rack of Lamb with a Black Olive Crust - gratin dauphinoise, tain of nicosie vegetables, minted garlic jus

Grilled Dry Aged Angus Beef Filler - pinor noir reduction, pomme pont neuf, pannier of turned vegetable

Daube of Venison - flageolet beans, roasted root vegetables, manjari sauce

Grilled Vegetable and Goat Cheese Pithivier - early winter mushrooms, watercress nage

Desserts

We didn't have a printed dessert menu, the waiters told the customers what we had, now if I can remember some of them.  Souffle, a quatret of lemon desserts, apple pie, chocolate tart and various sorbet.  

I did not write out all of the appies and the second course but that is the main course menu in it's entirity.  Whew.

Dan Walker

Chef/Owner

Weczeria Restaurant

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  • 4 months later...

Junior, Les Amis de Fromage is the new name for Menusetters. It is an excellent place for any type of cheese and once they know what you like they can usually make excellent suggestions. They also can do up cheese platters and gift baskets for any budget that will definitely make a big impression.

You probably can't go wrong with their recommendations, altho there was this Australian blue that probably would have been better in a Monty Python skit than a cracker.

It ain't the meat it's the emotion

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Cabrales:

You should check out the Oyama Sausage Co at the market. I don't know where they're getting their cheese but it's very good. We had a fantastic aged Gruyere from them a couple of weeks ago.

As long as you're there you owe it to yourself to try some of the the pate (campagne, breton) and any of the sausage they make. Altho it's a good idea to get some instructions on how to prepare them.

I was in Les Amis du Fromage on the weekend. They have Jean Grogne (sp?) which is a fantastic aged triple cream type cheese. Goes very nice with their anchovy stuffed olives.

I keep telling myself all this protein will make me trim and svelte and that the unseasonable amounts of sun are causing my belt to shrink. Oh well.

It ain't the meat it's the emotion

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I thought the cheese selection in the Vancouver restaurants I visited sucked.

Lumiere, for instance, offered three gruesome products, one being either a Cantal or Compte (I always mix them up). I balked at the choice and the lovely chef de cuisine (from Quebec) arrived with many samples he had sent to him directly from the Fromagerie du Marche Atwater here in Montreal.

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  • 2 years later...

Being the cheese freak that I am (I once spent $100 on just cheese), I've been searching for good cheese shops that carry a variety of cheeses. Being in Langley :hmmm: there doesn't seem to be that much in my area - so I've decided I'm probably going to have to start travelling into Vancouver to get my fix. So, where do you find the best cheese?

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Les Amis Du Fromage on 10th; Forresters in Kerrisdale used to be pretty good. It's on 41st and West Boulevard. Oyama on Granville Island has been my regular spot lately just because it's easy for me to get to after work. Oh and Whole Foods has a pretty decent cheese counter.

**I'll ask my mom about the outer burbs. She's pretty good at finding out of the way shops.

Edited by peppyre (log)
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Being the cheese freak that I am (I once spent $100 on just cheese), I've been searching for good cheese shops that carry a variety of cheeses.  Being in Langley  :hmmm: there doesn't seem to be that much in my area - so I've decided I'm probably going to have to start travelling into Vancouver to get my fix.  So, where do you find the best cheese?

Les Amis du Fromage

Don't waste your time anywhere else. :raz:

A.

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What about the McLennan Creek Organic Goat Dairy in Abbotsford? I have some relatives that live in Mission who stop by here every now and again. Maybe you'll only have to come into Vancouver for every other cheese run.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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Don't think any less of me for this, but ....

Does anyone get cheese from Costco? Especially this time of year, I find their selection to be quite good. Especially in the brie/camembert/chevre department. That was Costco camembert we served at the Cookie Exchange ...

Please don't take away my eGullet decoder ring!!

I've found specialty cheddars there as well, exactly the same brands as carried at some of your finer cheese shops like Amis du Fromages. I don't need to tell you how the prices compared.

Of course, there are those helpful Costco employees ...

Jeez, that Roquefort looks like its gone bad!

A.

Edited by Daddy-A (log)
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Don't think any less of me for this, but ....

Does anyone get cheese from Costco?  Especially this time of year, I find their selection to be quite good.  Especially in the brie/camembert/chevre department.  That was Costco camembert we served at the Cookie Exchange ...

Please don't take away my eGullet decoder ring!!

I've found specialty cheddars there as well, exactly the same brands as carried at some of your finer cheese shops like Amis du Fromages.  I don't need to tell you how the prices compared. 

Of course, there are those helpful Costco employees ...

Jeez, that Roquefort looks like its gone bad!

A.

Lol - well, we'll let it slide this time. You can keep your eGullet decoder ring - for now. Consider yourself warned! :laugh:

In all seriousness though, I LOVE shopping at Costco and I've bought parmaesan there on more than one occasion. However, since I usually try be in and out at Costco, I can't remember taking the time to look at the selection of cheeses... it might also be that you have to buy like 3lbs at once. :biggrin: But I definitely will when I finally get to one! (I need to renew my card :raz: )

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Don't think any less of me for this, but ....

Does anyone get cheese from Costco?  Especially this time of year, I find their selection to be quite good.  Especially in the brie/camembert/chevre department.  That was Costco camembert we served at the Cookie Exchange ...

Please don't take away my eGullet decoder ring!!

I've found specialty cheddars there as well, exactly the same brands as carried at some of your finer cheese shops like Amis du Fromages.  I don't need to tell you how the prices compared. 

Of course, there are those helpful Costco employees ...

Jeez, that Roquefort looks like its gone bad!

A.

Sometimes I buy the Balderson's 5 year cheddar from Costco, but I've had better 5 year cheddar from Les Amis. I've bought camembert, brie, and chevre from Costco too. In fact, just finished the last of my Costco chevre today. Costco has a decent selection at pretty good prices. But for most of my cheeses (and my current favourite, Shropshire Blue) I go to Les Amis.

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My first post...I'm very excited :smile:

Cheese is definately one of my favourite subjects (next to wine, of course). I very much enjoy being educated on the wonderful world of cheese. In regards to places to buy cheese, after being informed that Poplar Grove cheese was now available in West Vancouver at "The Cheese Shop" at Park royal, I made it a point to put them on my list of places to visit.

Sunday morning, after my usual muffin and mocha, I made my way over there. GREAT spot! 8 different kinds of stilton (who knew?? not I) Prices were pretty good. Glen was alot of help. I love trying cheese at 10am. I was only missing a glass of icewine with the mango and lemon Stilton.

If you live over that way, give them a try

Derek

Edited because I forget to mention that I love Cotco for their Reggiano at @$22/kilo.

And edited a 2nd time because I really don't know how to spell Costco. (I'm sure I'll get the hang of this)

Edited by winegeek (log)

Derek

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Edited because I forget to mention that I love Cotco for their Reggiano at @$22/kilo.

Welcome Derek. You can add eGullet to your list of addictions now. I could tease you about editting your post, and then making a spelling mistake in your edit ... but heck. You're a first timer! :wink: Besides, Ling & Megaroo let my Costco indiscretion slide :laugh:

But cummon! $22/kg! What a steal!

A.

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My first post...I'm very excited  :smile:

[snip]

Derek

Welcome to the madhouse Derek! Hope you're ready to spend lots of your waking life here with the rest of the inmates. :wink:

Joie

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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I find that the Parmessan Reggiano that is cryovaced (like the Costco stuff) soon looses that ethereal flavour the cheese is known for. Instead it ends up tasting like the plastic it comes in. For me, I like it cut from the wheel in the same postal code it's sold in, and then wrapped in plastic wrap and turned over quickly. Try it from a deli that cuts it fresh from the wheel you will notice the difference. BTW parmessan needs to come from Italy, not Alberta. Like Champagne needs to come from.....Champagne.

Edited by Coop (log)

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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