Cider newbie BC Tree Fruits Broken Ladder

Cider is one of BC’s relatively undeveloped opportunities. However, that may be about to change, with the arrival of a new cider, Broken Ladder, made by BC Tree Fruits. BCTF is an Okanagan Valley co-operative of over 500 growers, established almost 80 years ago. BCTF (and no, they’re not teachers) says Broken Ladder has been […]

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Nose to tail Smoked bison shanks with beets, pistachio and balsamico, paired with rich and dark but not sweet, Dive Bomb Porter

Nose to Tail at Campagnolo Roma I’m both intrigued and reassured by the resurgence and resilience of nose to tail dining. I’m a big fan of the whole beast movement, for any number of reasons. I’m intrigued because it really is a nod to a bygone era. Reassured because it’s utter common sense that, despite […]

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Vintners brunch winner farm2fork laksa

Vintners Winner Even in matters of food and wine pairing, sometimes the planets align. One of the most challenging / enjoyable / filling parts of last week’s Vancouver International Wine Festival, was judging at the Vintners Brunch. (If you’re not aware of Vintners Brunch there’s some background in last year’s post here)   Here’s how it […]

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Savour Australia and glass

The wine world always makes for an exciting place. It’s perpetually in flux—no matter where you look. Barely a decade ago, you might have been excused for thinking that Australia was all about two things: Yellowtail and Shiraz. In fact, sometimes it seemed it was about only Yellowtail Shiraz. Period. However, after the critter label juggernaut […]

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Amici Miei, a Flavour-packed Family Italian

Rigatoni alla salsiccia with wine glass

I love it when I discover new little places with a whole lot of heart. There’s no question that’s the case at Amici Miei Cucina Italiana (1114 Denman St. 604-563-6610), in Vancouver’s West End. Owners Manrico Serpente  and Marcella Gentile told me they came to Vancouver last year for the very first time, from Abruzzo, […]

Read more February 23, 2015 Dining

4 Sustainable Tastes at Vancouver Aquarium

Vancouver Aquarium jellyfish

There’s something very reassuring about walking into Stanley Park on a perfect, almost Spring evening. This night was spectacular. A crystal clear partial eclipse of the moon was framed by a cascade of brilliant stars, Venus and Jupiter. I was on my way to the aquarium’s first Sustainable Table dinner in their new Vancouver Aquarium Chef Series. […]

Read more February 22, 2015 Dining

Vanessa Vineyard: Similkameen’s Rising Star

Vanessa Vineyard labels

Vanessa Vineyard is at the eastern end of British Columbia’s stunning Similkameen Valley.  The place (which reminds me a bit of New Zealand’s Gibbston Valley) is extraordinarily beautiful. But the other thing about the Similkameen that’s truly striking—and unavoidable—is the rocks. Big rocks—those are some ginormous mountains—and little rocks are what sets Similkameen apart. A couple […]

Read more February 20, 2015 Wine

Terrific First Tastes at Tacofino Tacobar

Tacofino Tacobar salsa

Gastown’s dining renaissance is continuing at a pretty good pace. And it’s being driven very much by the likes of newly opened Tacofino Tacobar, in Blood Alley Square. In recent years, Blood Alley has seen more than few changes, which were kicked off by Sean Heather, when he opened Salt; and further propelled by Heather’s  Judas […]

Read more February 20, 2015 Dining

JoieFarm Founders Go Separate Ways

Joie Farm founders Heidi Noble and Michael Dinn in easier times

My good friends Heidi Noble and Michael Dinn, founders of JoieFarm—one of the Okanagan’s most successful wineries—are going their separate ways. I have immense respect for these two people, what they’ve built in JoieFarm, and everything else that they’ve brought to the Okanagan. While I’m sad to see them part, kudos for them for handling this […]

Read more February 18, 2015 Wine

4 Great Reasons to Fall in Love with Nettles

Stinging nettles

My love affair with Stinging Nettles is a relatively recent occurrence. When I was growing up, in England, it seemed they were everywhere, including at the bottom of our garden. It was definite ‘no-go’ zone, a land of lost tennis balls, rusty cans and who knew what else? At junior school, the shooting range (air […]

Read more February 16, 2015 Dining