Ace Brewing (Courtenay, BC)

During a couple days off this summer Crystal, me and our MTB buddies Jen and Sean spent a scorching afternoon thrashing around Hornby Island’s beautiful Mount Geoffrey trail network. After packing up the bikes the crew needed shade, food and alcohol and seeing as the local Meadery was closed we headed to nearby Courtenay where the breweries are plentiful and the IPAs flow like Mrya Falls.

The newest of these watering holes, Ace Brewing opened up in 2019 just in time to fill the vacuum left by the now- defunct Forbidden Brewing. This cemented Courtenay’s hipster cred as a two brewery town and gave people a place to enjoy craft beer and a bit of socially-distanced social time during the worst of the pandemic.

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Fresh Polish Farmhouse Sausage (Kielbasa Wiejska)

The pork shoulders are back on sale, so it’s time to clear the counters and get to sausage making! This recipe is for a much subtler, pork-forward sausage than the fresh chorizo recipe I posted previously but comes from the same cookbook: Charcuterie by Ruhlman and Polcyn. The only change I have made to the recipe is to sub water for wine. Fitting as this is a traditional Polish sausage eaten at Christmas and Easter.

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Jess Garner’s Untitled Food Media Project

Getting to sit down with two old friends in the middle of a pandemic was an absolute joy.

Jess (who you may remember from my rhapsodic post about old BBQs) joined Nick (my other brother from a BBQ mother) to talk about comfort food for his Untitled Food Media Project. It was over an hour of nerding out about the things that make us go nuts after a long night on the line.

There are conversations about pho, katsu curry, fast food and (of course) bacon. All of this and more is available on Mixcloud.

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Chicpea Flour Pan Bread (Farinata/Socca)

I recently did a talk at Berwick about the history, biology and nutritional value of legumes and wanted to punctuate the talk with a snack made entirely of Fabaceae. Not willing to subject the residents to a black bean slider or yet another variety of hummus I opted to buy a bag of chicpea flour (Besan) from the local Mega-Lo-Mart and set to researching a dosa or roti recipe to accompany my talk.


What I ended up on wasn’t Indian at all but a recipe from the Ligurian Coast of Italy called Farinata or alternatively Socca depending on which end of the boot you’re on. It’s incredibly simple to make and the chicpea batter adapts it’s neutral, somewhat nutty flavour to many types of seasoning from fresh rosemary to chilies to (my favourite) a bit of Lebanese Za’atar.

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5 BC Beers That Got Us Through 2020

I don’t need to tell anyone 2020 was challenging year, we all felt it in one way or another. People got sick, whole countries burned both literally and metaphorically, our industry got trashed, lots of things went wrong. The subconscious weirdness of the year weighed on everyone and by early fall I was becoming as much a psychiatrist to my crew as I was a chef.. Life on the front lines.

Amidst this chaos my wife and I bought a house. We’d been planning it for years and the perfect fit just happened to pop up. The final months of Armageddon included packing, moving, screaming cats and learning all about house insurance. Oh, and the holidays, lots of fun.

I drank a lot of beer last year. I think a lot of people drank a lot last year. It’s not the best tag line for a post, but here we all are. I tried to do my best to keep my pandemic imbibing under control, and I think I did a pretty good job. I did make friends with a handful of new beers that are worth discussing.

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