Prunelade is Malbec's genetic father

This week I got my nose into a whole bunch of new varieties. Actually, as it turned out, most of them weren’t that new—and some were pretty old. Just east of Toulouse, in Lisle Sur Tarn, is one of  seven regional offices of l’Institut Français de la Vigne et Vin. Not surprisingly, this particular outpost concerns itself […]


sockeye salmon special at Nicli's Next Door

Nicli’s Next Door is one of those places that if you blink you could miss. But you’ll be sorry if you do, because it’s one more very tasty example of what’s driving Gastown’s dining renewal. No prizes for guessing, it’s right ‘next door’ to pizza emporium Antica Nicli, which effectively spearheaded Vancouver’s ongoing love affair […]


Chateau Gaudou winemaker Fabrice Durou

CAHORS, southwest France. Mention ‘Malbec’ and chances are your mind and palate will go straight to Argentina. That’s not surprising: the South American producer has done for Malbec what Australia did for Shiraz, or New Zealand for Sauvignon Blanc. However, the fact that Malbec is now a household name—even if propelled by far away Argentina, hasn’t hurt […]


Salida 7 combination

I’m intrigued by the idea that nothing happens in a vacuum—especially when it comes to Vancouver’s dynamic dining scene. This summer saw the closing of one of the city’s longest running rooms, when La Bodega served its last order of patatas bravas to make way for (what else?) more condos. I could wax on about […]


view from Smoke & Oak Bistro

Last week—on yet another glorious Okanagan summer’s day—we found ourselves on the patio at Wild Goose. Nothing unusual about that. But this was the first time I had managed to get back to check out Smoke & Oak Bistro, which they launched late last year. Some of my best food and wine moments ever have […]


KWV's dynamic young winemaker Izele Van Blerk

One thing about the wine biz: it’s always changing—and usually for the better. It’s been a few years since I was in South Africa. But I vividly recall a visit to KWV’s hallowed Cathedral Cellar, for so many years the heart of the ‘old’ South African wine industry. At the time, the post-apartheid era was […]


Montri's back in Vancouver

This week I spent some time with Montri Rattanaraj. Not only is he one of the most charming people, he’s one of those few I consider a Vancouver ‘original.’ Montri didn’t just ride the wave of Thai cuisine in the 1980s, he was a key player in bringing it into the mainstream. Also, as far […]

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Provençal specialty layered omelette

Yes, it’s a none-too thinly-veiled promo for Provence. Never mind! I love this cookbook that was doing the rounds at about the same time as the recent B.C. Wines from Provence spotlight. Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living (by François Millo and Viktoria Todorovska) is a glorious, unabashed romp through Provence and all […]

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30 Days of IPA poster

I’m intrigued by the notion of the “public palate”—the way in which ‘normal’ people grow into and adopt new ideas and tastes, as opposed to the geekery into which most of us food and wine types fall—because we’re immersed in it every day. A story that’s not going away any time soon is the boom […]


Faubourg Franck Point 1

Franck Point is fanatical about croissants. In fact you could call him a ‘croissant crusader’ and he likely wouldn’t object. Point is the man behind Faubourg Paris, those pretty swish looking, chandelier-trimmed artisan bakery-bistros popping up all around town (there are three so far, all busy), where you might feel yourself whisked right back to that […]