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Saveur Magazine Covers Vancouver Island


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Sept 2006 issue (I know - its more than a month away) has a huge spread on Vancouver Island its great food culture - calling it a Pacific Treasure. I did not realize that there were water buffalo's on the Island - why isn't anyone making real mozz and burratta!?

Its a great read - the Aerie, Brentwood Bay Lodge, Fairburn Farm, Sooke Harbour House, Cafe Brio, SOBO, Zambri's are all highlighted.

The article was written by Max Alexander - is this a local writer/commentator?

Edited by canucklehead (log)
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That's awesome - I can't wait to read it!

  I did not realize that there were water buffalo's on the Island - why isn't anyone making real mozz and burratta!?

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 for a designated period of time before you can make a product for the retail market.

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Hmm,

I hosted Max Alexander and we did a cooking demonstration with a "Haute Cuisine" take on local products (which is in keeping with our chef's French background). We also tasted older and hard to find Venturi-Schulze wines and the dinner was co-hosted with the Venturi-Schulzes. This article will do well for us on the island and combined with the August Travel + Leisure Magazine we should see some increased attention to our destination.

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The article was written by Max Alexander - is this a local writer/commentator?

Max Alexander - a former editor at People magazine - lives in Maine, and currently writes for Reader's Digest, Bon Appétit, and Saveur.

Ríate y el mundo ríe contigo. Ronques y duermes solito.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snore, and you sleep alone.

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There's also a really nice article on Vancouver Island, specifically, the wineries in "Wine Adventure" magazine. I forgot to post when I originally saw it, but practically half the magazine is devoted to BC. There's also an article on some of the Okanagan wineries. There's a whole article devoted to the Aerie. I don't know if there's anything on their website: www.wamagazine.com (My work blocks anything having to do with wine!) Also a good read and good promotion of the Vancouver Island wineries!

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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My issue came in the mail yesterday and I must confess I was a wee bit offended by the claim that someone from T.O. introduced Victorians to polenta.

"When we opened, seven years ago, customers didn't know what polenta was," says Jo Zambri, a Toronto native and co-owner (with her brother Peter) of Zambri's, a lively Italian restaurant in Victoria.

Puh-lease.

Thrifty's has been selling polenta for a gazillion years. More importantly, I can remember the fixings for it being readily available in the 70s at North Douglas Delicatessan (the precursor to the Island's powerhouse food supplier, North Douglas Distributors).

But thank god we have someone from the Centre of the Universe to teach us about things like polenta!

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I haven't read the story, but am I to assume that the once again there is nothing north of Duncan to write about? The 'great unwashed masses' of the mid and north island are to be avoided I guess.

Colin

Colin Dunn

Burnt Out Exec Chef

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The article goes as far north as Duncan and then hits a few spots on the West Coast (Sooke and then out as far as Tofino). It refers to the West Coast as "north of Victoria".

Overall, it was a nice article but, to be honest, I found it a little predictable. There just didn't seem to be anything NEW in it.

Canadian Living's now-defunct Food magazine covered Sooke Harbour House and the use of local ingredients back in the early 80s and, despite being small, Blue Grouse and Venturi-Schulze Wineries are fairly well-known. If I'm not mistaken, Fairburn Farm has been in the news (at least nationally) due to their fight to save their herd in the wake of BSE.

Edited by Jensen (log)
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The Savuer article made me re-read Jeffery Steingarten's essay on whether or not there is an actual PNW cuisine. At the time (1990 or 95 - I think) - his conclusion was 'no'. Great raw materials - but no real cuisine yet.

Things have progressed over the last decade or so. But the Saveur article is over-focused on sourcing rather than what is done with the ingredients. And this where I think that VI dining experience is sold short. One always reads about Sook Harbour House and their (extreme) dedication to VERY locally sourced goods. But as I diner - I am less interested in food dogma and more intrested in good honest food period.

The article left me thinking - wow, what great stuff - but where are all the places that I should go to eat it?

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My issue came in the mail yesterday and I must confess I was a wee bit offended by the claim that someone from T.O. introduced Victorians to polenta.
"When we opened, seven years ago, customers didn't know what polenta was," says Jo Zambri, a Toronto native and co-owner (with her brother Peter) of Zambri's, a lively Italian restaurant in Victoria.

Puh-lease.

Thrifty's has been selling polenta for a gazillion years. More importantly, I can remember the fixings for it being readily available in the 70s at North Douglas Delicatessan (the precursor to the Island's powerhouse food supplier, North Douglas Distributors).

But thank god we have someone from the Centre of the Universe to teach us about things like polenta!

HE may not have invented it, but Peter Zambri freakin perfected it baby!!!!!!!

cook slow, eat slower

J.Chovancek

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I tend to agree with Lee re. the sourcing focus.

I disagree, however, with Euro-centric Mara Jernigan's reference - in the article - to our country having no food-culture traditions. It's another blindspot in recognizing First Nations' food traditions.

Ríate y el mundo ríe contigo. Ronques y duermes solito.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snore, and you sleep alone.

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The Savuer article made me re-read Jeffery Steingarten's essay on whether or not there is an actual PNW cuisine.  At the time (1990 or 95 - I think) - his conclusion was 'no'.  Great raw materials - but no real cuisine yet.

Things have progressed over the last decade or so.  But the Saveur article is over-focused on sourcing rather than what is done with the ingredients.  And this where I think that VI dining experience is sold short.  One always reads about Sook Harbour House and their (extreme) dedication to VERY locally sourced goods.  But as I diner - I am less interested in food dogma and more intrested in good honest food period.

The article left me thinking - wow, what great stuff - but where are all the places that I should go to eat it?

Excellent point about the dogma part.

But. Getting a sense that your not the kind of guy that needs to be told where to go, I think you should just fly, drive or take the ferry over here and find out for yourself. You've had enough gawl darn invitations. Jeez. :smile:

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My issue came in the mail yesterday and I must confess I was a wee bit offended by the claim that someone from T.O. introduced Victorians to polenta.
"When we opened, seven years ago, customers didn't know what polenta was," says Jo Zambri, a Toronto native and co-owner (with her brother Peter) of Zambri's, a lively Italian restaurant in Victoria.

But thank god we have someone from the Centre of the Universe to teach us about things like polenta!

HE may not have invented it, but Peter Zambri freakin perfected it baby!!!!!!!

:laugh:

I recall the first time I had Zambri's polenta and I simply had to speak to Peter about it. He commented that people don't cook it long enough. Sure enough through subsequent experiments, polenta needs long slow cooking and I don't think that most cooks know that - even the wizards at Thrifty's. :smile:

Even though Jo mentioned that when they first opened people didn't know what polenta was, I'm sure they still get customers that ask that very same question.

People aren't as smart as they look.

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  • 1 month later...
People aren't as smart as they look.

That's why there are publicists.

Memo, "I Love Paris (Hilton) In The Springtime"

Ríate y el mundo ríe contigo. Ronques y duermes solito.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snore, and you sleep alone.

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Dr. John McLoughlin (1784-1857)

I believe the articles main focus was the ingredients, the environment and nature. They definitely did not expand or go beyond the normal characters that exist in the area. Who in the media will take the first steps and go beyond the stereotypical dogma we are being spoon-fed?

We do have to go beyond the local buzzwords and perception that there is not Canadian food!

This intraspective analysis is getting tiresome and for me the proof is in the pudding and look around there is a lot of pudding going on!

I am moving to Duncan; will be working at a new restaurant, my goal is to show once and for all that there is Canadian food or PNW- I do not let the 49th bother me, we share all the same history, that border is young ,compared to the experiences by the Native Peoples and other travelers who called this area home.

The Northwest Company and finally Hudson’s Bay was feeding people around Vancouver Washington many moons ago and hardy characters like Dr. John McLoughlin (1784-1857), he is missed by Canadian history but for me he is one of our greatest non Native characters on the coast.

We have a culture and we are always moving and building on that, our world does not always rotate around the British flag, the Cowichan people have an incredible culture and have managed to keep so much of their language and culture moving forward.

Farms on the mid and south islands and inside passage have deep culture and are very old- some have been around since the 1860's. People from all over the world have traveled through the area, many falling in love with its solid beauty and character. This has been going on for hundreds of years and maybe even thousands of years. It is just our eyes do not see history beyond our own realm but many people want to change that and they do not fall within a simple boundary of what culture is.

I do know that they all live there for the same reasons and I am very thankful that I will have the opportunity to work with those ingredients and people and be part of what is going on. The convergence is almost complete, now there is a sustainable market that will keep people alive and making a living year round. This has been south islands biggest weakness but it is no longer- year round tourism and locals will keep farmers, chefs and supporters around and grow it will.

See you out there

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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