Goodbye Uncle Tony

If you’re a professional chef or cook, read food blogs or watch TV you already know the bad news. Chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain passed away yesterday morning in a French hotel room while filming his show Parts Unknown. He was 61 year old and left behind a daughter plus a legion of fans and admirers who run the gamut from industry kin to casual TV watchers.

The response has been immediate and overwhelming. Not since Bowie has the social media collective spoken so warmly about the loss of a prominent media figure and I think it’s probably due to the fact that beyond his celebrity status, Tony Bourdain was a really great person. (more…)

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Spot Prawns!

It was early on a Friday afternoon and despite the breezy grey weather I was soaked to my screaming bones with sweat and cursing Crystal’s Uncle Calvin (who got me into my current situation) under my breath. Brycen (Cal’s son) and I were hauling a very sketchy aluminum rickshaw overflowing with heavy metal crab traps up an impossibly steep gangway. It took both of us to get the beast up and over to Calvin and his new friends; a gang of grizzled old fisherman who did nothing to help us, but sure seem to have opinions on how we’re doing it wrong.

I was trying my very best to look tough in front of this motley collection of bums and pirates, despite my suspicion that there was a better way to go about this whole affair. Of course I was the only one on this particular commercial fishing dock that had no sea legs. Calvin and Brycen both grew up on fishing boats as (I suspect) Cal’s father and maybe even father’s father did. They knew all the moves, the lingo and the unspoken rules of the dock. Me, I was just an extra pair of hands. (more…)

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Salted Radish and Mint Salad

This is the year I got my gardening act together!

Soil is tilled! Weeds are gone! Fertilizer? In! Seeds? You bet! And I’m watering every single day! Boom! And it’s already paying off! First crop is up. My sink is full of radishes!

I’m thinking the best way to use my very own home-grown, seed-to-sandwich produce is to keep it real simple. I’ll make a nice little salad with a bit of salt and the mint that’s also popping up in the herb pots finished with a squeeze of lime. (more…)

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Shelter Point Distillery (Campbell River, BC)

Every time my wife and I drive to Courtenay – Which is pretty frequently ‘cause it’s only thirty minutes away in good weather and full of great places to eat – We drive past the sandwich board for Shelter Point Distillery, and I feel shame. It’s an award winning whisky and vodka distillery and I’m a hack food writer and we are so close, so damn close… Yet in all the years I’ve spent here in Willow Point I’ve never hiked down the road to visit this illustrious institution. (more…)

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