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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Riesling reaching down to the Rhine

Riesling is very much on our radar this summer. Well it always is, but even more so thanks to Wines of Germany’s ’31 Days of German Riesling’ promo, now on across Canada. Drop by any participating resto* and you might just win yourself an all expense paid trip to Berlin—and likely a few slurps of […]

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Sea Star winery home vineyard

Pender Island’s Sea Star Estate is making waves with its newest releases, several of which recently won big at Northwest Wine Summit. These are among the best wines I’ve tasted from the Gulf Islands (and from Vancouver Island, for that matter). Sea Star (which has blossomed on the former Morning Bay property) has plenty going […]

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Left Bank tuna cone

After much soul-searching, John Blakeley has decided it’s time to shift gears. He’s shuttered Le Parisien (the latest name in a series descended from old stalwart Café de Paris). In its place he’s opened much edgier and more updated—less obviously French, he says—Left Bank. It wasn’t an easy decision: Blakeley purchased the onetime landmark bistro […]

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Okanagan Falls: beach at Skaha Lake

The more focused evolution of the Okanagan’s specific wine regions continues, as sub-appellations seem likely to become a reality. Witness the progress of the Okanagan Falls Wineries Association. Last Friday night’s Party in the Park was just that: a delightful evening of wine tasting, excellent barbecued pork (from The Chef Instead) and a good band […]

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