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Keith Talent

Feenies manager

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Rob Feenie needs some sage advice, someone to help his clearly addled decision making processes. The man is a giant of cuisine. A man among boys behind Vancouver stoves. A visionary, truth be told his restaurant is one of the very best in North America, but Rob, who talks you into some of these idiotic decisions you make outside of the kitchen?

You need management. Or if you have it, new management. I'm not talking about the charming articulate interesting staff at the restuarant, I'm talking about your agent/manage/ten percenter. He/she/they need to go.

First we had the dancing Food TV spots. Fair enough, we've all been a half bottle of Laphroig away from some very bad dancing. In fact I'll admit to being closer than that, I've been there, not on a soundstage with cameras rolling mind you but still.

But now we have a lapse in judgement so egregious that an empty scotch bottle won't explain this away. From the Globe on Friday; "And should you doubt his working-class roots, just check out the new White Spot commercials on TV next week. Yeah, that's him and John Bishop who saunter into the kitchen.

"I love White Spot," Feenie says. One of the chain's restaurants sits on the same block as Lumière. "It's the KFC across the street that I worry about." From Alxandra Gill in the Globe and Mail.

White Spot? Seriously? Now I like money as much as the next greedy bastard, maybe more, but White Spot? Memo to Rob Feenie, White Spot is the worst, poorly run, horrid food, bad service atroiciously designed restaurant establishment in the universe. Well maybe not, but I doubt Moxies could afford you anyways. Who helps with these decisions? The sooner we in the city stop feeling some false nostagia for this chain just because grampa got lucky once after a trip home from Marpole after chickin' pickin's the better off we'll be. How a man that can create squash ravioli can eat those soggy fries, (and I use the word fries only as there is no word in english for potatoes slowly boiled in oil) I'll not understand.

Yeah, money is nice, and understandably, you've got a new mouth to feed, but do you want the new kid to look you in the eye, and prompty vomit out the brown wax disc they substituted for the chocolate coin in the pirate pack years ago? I don't think so. I'd say anything for the right number of zero's, give me ten bucks and I'll post on Daddy-A's luxurious locks. But someone need to tell Rob Feenie to back away from the White Spot money and keep just a little self respect and dignity for himself.

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Here here! As someone who 'knew him when', I have frequently been shocked by the overstylization of a once perfectly ordinary fun guy. The crazed South Park character dancing is disturbing, to say the least. So is Feenie's Weenie. What the hell is THAT?

Clearly you are in a loop that I have not even caught wind of, because the White Spot ad is a new one on me. I can't even picture how that would have happened except the sheer greed of the 10%-er egging him on. I wonder what Relais Chateaux would say about that? And he's worried about the KFC? Why, because he can't stay away from it? It's a great KFC, conveniently located next to a Weight Watchers outlet, as I remember fondly :-)

I have been shaking my head over Rob and his obsession with sablefish for a long time...over a lot of things, actually. One more thing for the Dubrulle Alumni to snicker over at the next reunion.


Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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I, like a cruel father and husband, subjected my family to a White Spot dinner last night. I wolfed down a BC Burger, fries, onion rings, caesar salad, gravy (i dip everything I eat here in gravy), and a chocolate shake. I then stole my sons ice cream. None of it ever sits well but I keep going back because, yes...my grandma and grandpa used to take me, my mom used to take me, it herald's homecoming (BC Ferries), and I honestly like the food. If BC has a haggis, it's the White Spot, and if in turn it must have a Robbie Burns, let it be Feenie's dancing weeny - the moment I'd start giving a plop of triple O dung is if the food at Lumiere or Feenies suffered - which I soothe - is doubtful.

But thanks for the imagery. :biggrin:


Edited by editor@waiterblog (log)

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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Oh I'm not saying I don't eat there...I live in Chilliwack, that great culinary wasteland of sub standard restaurants and even worse service. It is, sadly, among the better restaurants here, which just breaks my heart.


Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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Hey, I have posted many times that the little ones dictate our family dining time and off to White Spot we go. But I do not think I would be doing any commercials for them !

But what of John Bishop ? What is he doing there ?? That is more of a concern than the "dancing Feenie". Rob probably got the "chat" from some Food Network exec. about what a good advertiser White Spot was, be a team player Rob, "we can do this the easy way or the hard way", All those Vancouver Chefs who want their TV programs picked up again for next year please step forward" kind of speech. That is pressure !

But again, John Bishop ? I mean really , I don't think the White Spot has any food found in nature so John Bishop is a puzzler !


Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Hey, I have posted many times that the little ones dictate our family dining time and off to White Spot we go. But I do not think I would be doing any commercials for them !

But what of John Bishop ? What is he doing there ?? That is more of a concern than the "dancing Feenie". Rob probably got the "chat" from some Food Network exec. about what a good advertiser White Spot was, be a team player Rob, "we can do this the easy way or the hard way", All those Vancouver Chefs who want their TV programs picked up again for next year please step forward" kind of speech. That is pressure !

But again, John Bishop ? I mean really , I don't think the White Spot has any food found in nature so John Bishop is a puzzler !

I agree Neil.

Rob F actually claimed to like White Spot a few years ago in a City Food "guilty secrets" article, but John Bishop!?!


Cheers,

Anne

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In one clean swoop the food industry in BC has been defined!

Ding Ding Ding...we all lose!

Gosh Darn, we have been struggling for ten years to crawl out from under the shadow of the Toronto food scene, we were almost there!

I guess all hope is lost, back to grilled Ahi, brushed with soya with tropical fruit salsa...


To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art La Rochefoucauld

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Isn't there a KFC across the street from Lumiere ? I think there is also a White Spot on the same side of the street too ? I remember eating with my then girlfriends grandparents at the White Spot in Oakridge mall and them remembering days gone by. Maybe Feenie has been getting his staff meals at White Spot for such a long time they wanted him to do an ad ? :biggrin:


Dan Walker

Chef/Owner

Weczeria Restaurant

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O what calumy has been visited upon us?

Following swiftly upon your reports, I heard today from a regular correspondent. He was profoundly distressed at seeing an ad for Rob (Feenie) on the back of a bus and is even considering foresaking husky cocktails and kuri squash/mascarpone ravioli in favour of KFC.

Could this, a bus ad, combined with the 'OOO Factor' already mentioned in this thread be a malevolent and vexatious one-two punch--a signal that the culinary sky is falling? Or is it merely a sign from above that Paul Martin is attempting to hire the Pope's spin team and that interest rates will rise calmly and and then dramatically in the fourth quarter?

The short answer is that we may never know. But the longer one might be even more concerning because with rising rents, flatlined menu prices and lacrimose customers, it's seems that for restaurateurs fresh revenue streams have become a necessary fact of life.

So what's next you might ask? Vikram Vij for Red Hot Tim Bits? Or Andrey Durbach's rebranding as Telus Parkside? Or F. Morris Chatters for anything?

But wait, pehaps there's hope. Because we don't know yet the true nature of what Messrs. Feenie and Bishop will be promoting.

So before this unruly lynch mob casts further stones maybe we should wait and see if there will be new menu items behind the message. Perhaps John Bishop's pioneering of organic produce and Rob Feenie's espousal of rediscovering our backyards will make the White Spot better. Better enough to lure Keith and the lesser Talents for a Feenie's Blini or Prawn to Bishop-4.

We can only hope.


from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Gosh Darn, we have been struggling for ten years to crawl out from under the shadow of the Toronto food scene, we were almost there!

I guess all hope is lost, back to grilled Ahi, brushed with soya with tropical fruit salsa...

Whaaaa?

Bah. Silliness. Shadow schmadow. We're seeing more and more Onts moving west (including me) than ever before, and so is the National Post.

So before this unruly lynch mob casts further stones maybe we should wait and see if there will be new menu items behind the message. Perhaps John Bishop's pioneering of organic produce and Rob Feenie's espousal of rediscovering our backyards will make the White Spot better. Better enough to lure Keith and the lesser Talents for a Feenie's Blini or Prawn to Bishop-4.

Yeah and if they mess with the Triple-O I'm gonna freak.


Edited by editor@waiterblog (log)

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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Gosh Darn, we have been struggling for ten years to crawl out from under the shadow of the Toronto food scene, we were almost there!

I guess all hope is lost, back to grilled Ahi, brushed with soya with tropical fruit salsa...

Whaaaa?

Bah. Silliness. Shadow schmadow. We're seeing more and more Onts moving west (including me) than ever before, and so is the National Post.

I think (know) you would be surprised if you asked a New Yorker about the food in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Chances are Vancouver would be dead last. Ask a European about Vancouver...bet they have never heard of us, but they know both Toronto and Montreal.

We are doing the best food in Canada, we do not get the recognition for it, YET! It is a very fragile reputation we are building. It needs to be re-inforced and constantly re-proved.

As a whole we, the hospitality industry, need to work towards a common goal and support our strengths, building our international reputation.

White Spot excluded.


To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art La Rochefoucauld

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Vikram Vij for Red Hot Tim Bits

What is going on - I heard a rumour today that Vikram is the new face of Tim Horton's ! If it is on egullet, it must be true.

Seriously, my wife "saw" an ad about White Spot with Rob but could not remember anything about it.

Perhaps with these heavyweights behind them, the Spot could do something about the brown crayon water coffee that they serve ! For a breakfast place, their coffee sucks.


Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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So the objection to this whole thing is that chefs/ restaurateurs of a certain calibre should not, in their right mind, endorse anything that "we" the dining public deign to be inferior. Is that the gist of it?

Frankly that seems a little elitist to me.

White Spot has been an institution in Vancouver since 1928. Rightly or wrongly, they have their place. I think we have yet to get to the bottom of what this current campaign may be about so who are we to cast aspersions. While checking out the White Spot website though, their latest promotion seems to be Spring Salads White Spot Spring Salad Festival... one of which is a calamari caesar salad... sound familiar to anyone? :hmmm:


Edited by appreciator (log)

sarah

Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was. --Unknown

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I may be wrong, but i think that White spot has a new corporate chef. It is the man who was always the corporate chef for Earl's only until recently. My last trip there, i noticed the french fries were the best they've every been there.

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Apparently there is an announcement coming tomorrow (Wednesday) according to this website which says:

"Rob, who showed off his newly-renovated Lumiere today, will be joined by another cuisine luminary, John Bishop and the White Spot's Executive Chef Chuck Currie on Wednesday morning to make a big announcement about some hot new White Spot food ideas in the making."

Cheers!

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maybe one of the issue is that there's NO freaking cash working as a chef!!! Even when you're a big shot.

I am personally so fed up with the restaurant industry than i just decided not to go back on a line...


Eddy M., Chef & Owner

Se.ed Artisan Foods, Vancouver BC

Follow Se.ed's growth at: http://spaces.msn.com/members/fromseedtofood/

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I may be wrong, but i think that White spot has a new corporate chef.  It is the man who was always the corporate chef for Earl's only until recently.  My last trip there, i noticed the french fries were the best they've every been there.

Chuck has actually been with White Spot for a while now, so this isn't new. I think what is new is another menu launch. They did the same thing last year they just didn't have big name chefs behind them. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

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I really enjoyed my take out from White Spot, the chocolate shake was especially good. I'm not sure if this is going to hurt Feenie's credibility as a fine dining chef or simply widen his customer base. There isn't really the same conflict of interests here as when Bayliss pimped for Burger King - its more like Ramsay advertising Walkers crisps in the UK (although that ad was pulled very quickly and he hasn't appeared in another one.)

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Haha the same thing happens in the music industry all the time. New hip band signs contract with big publisher. Next thing you know people are calling them sellouts and shred their CDs in indignation. Never mind that their music is still great.

I wonder what is next though...a Feenie line of cookware? (imagine the Feenie Peelie vegetable peeler). A reality show that follows chefs going to dance class?

I don't care really as long as he keeps cooking great food, I guess that what being a chef is about in the long run. Let's hope he doesn't end up another Rocco DiSpirito but I think that is unlikely.

Plus we need more Vancouver chefs in the limelight if we ever hope to put this place firmly on the global culinary map.


Stefan Posthuma

Beer - Chocolate - Cheese

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Yeah, money is nice, and understandably, you've got a new mouth to feed, but do you want the new kid to look you in the eye, and prompty vomit out the brown wax disc they substituted for the chocolate coin  in the pirate pack years ago?

Feenie and his lovely wife have bun number two in the oven, as a matter of fact. Maybe there's your answer? :blink:


"Never eat more than you can lift" -Miss Piggy

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Great Thread!

I to saw the bus ads for feenies and Lumiere...but there are many more doing the same. (Gee I even saw one for the a funky hot bar in yaletown) I agree with Jamie..with the costs of running your business and the ever shrinking margins you really need to be creative in increasing your check average or creating new income streams

Its great to hear the Chuck Currie is at the helm at White Spot. It will be interesting to see what Chuck will bring to the concept.


Harry Sturhahn chef/owner

Central Bistro & Lounge

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Oh oh.

Rob, seriously, call. Someone should have vetted that script for the "does it make me look even dorkier than the dancing", factor.

I haven't actually seen the spot, but I just heard it. That was enough. Rob as an old west gunfighter, theme from "the Good, The Bad and The Ugly" in the background. Some inane dialogue, ends with Rob giving his compliments to the chef and eating some crap salad. (Not that the salad is actually made of crap, nor have I actually tried it to confirm it's crapitude, but past experince tells me it consists of brown at the edges romaine, and a sickly sweet dressing. Probably a deep fried element too. Rob likes it, I'll take a chance and declare it bad.)

I'm predicting John Bishop is in a Dickens-esque spot, I'm not clear on the setup, but the tag line will be; "Please sir, can I have some more."

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Good for Rob Feenie. I think it's a little "elitist" to cut a guy down from the safety of your suburban basement. Because Mr. Feenie has done well for himself should that mean he is up for public ridicule? So does that make someone like Thomas Keller, Ferran Adria or even Umberto up for defamation? Just because someone feels like they have the "authority and credibility" because they post on e-gullet? Would it be fair to have one of Mr. Feenie's busboys come on to e-gullet and ridicule his boss? You know say things like he knows so much more than him, that he's a funny dancer and a big joke? No, because the second he stepped foot back into Lumiere Chef would destroy him. There is a full circle of consequence.


Edited by paul mitchell (log)

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I like John Bishop, I don't like R Feenie but I think we are hypocrites and elitists to slam them for doing what we would all do if offered the same money. Plus, as someone said above, maybe having the two chefs advertise for White Spot would improve the food.

I also think this is genius marketing by pairing two good talents with White Spot. It may fail but it seems like the majority of this board are too discriminatory and judgemental to have thought of this.

We'll have to wait and see how the general public responds to this.

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I saw the Rob Feenie ad last night. It's not that bad and it's not like he's blatantly shilling. It's a spoof of his Iron Chef gig which is fine. The focus is more of Chuck and the new menu. Exactly what I suspected it would be.

It does seem that everyone has jumped on the "Celeb Chef" band wagon for their advertising. Teresen has just started a campaign for natural gas and last night featured Pino Posteraro and Karen McSherry making burgers.

This is obviously the new trend and it's not going away anytime soon.

Oh and can I say that I am tired of all the elitist and judgemental comments. Enough already.

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