My wife Crystal received a gift certificate from her work (employee of the century!) for Locals Restaurant in Courtenay, a place we had both wanted to try out for a long time. The problem is Locals happens to have the same days off as my restaurant does, and I’m somewhat fascist when it comes to missing work. Lucky for us both, Crystal is a master negotiator. Read More
Last weekend Vancouver’s spiffy new convention center played host to a veritable pantheon of celebrity chefs, food product artisans and industry professionals. For a couple bucks you could spend a couple days nibbling handmade cheeses, haggling over sous-vide machines, watching local chefs out-garnish each other and wander around tastefully buzzed on local wines. The CRFA Foodservice Hospitality Expo was in town and my chef Hiro-san decided that we should, neigh, MUST be in attendance to represent Vancouver Island at this most prestigious (and network-able) of gatherings. It wasn’t hard to convince our mob of Kamikaze cooks to hit the mainland when “free booze” was mentioned. Read More
Back in October (A year ago, incredible! I’m still writing “2012”) Macleans magazine released their 50 Best Restaurants in Canada guide. My Chef, Hiro and I flipped through it one night after clean-up and immediately nerded all over the “Westcoast” chapter.
Vancouver’s own Hawksworth Restaurant got number one in all of Canada! Nice! Bao Bei and Whistler’s Araxi also represented. And, just a couple pages later we were treated to a beautiful two-page layout of Gastown’s gastronomic bleeding heart: L’Abattoir. My eyes were immediately drawn not to the perfectly prepared, meticulously arranged plates of food, but to the restaurant’s gorgeous interior. The sun-dappled dining section with the driftwood/antler chandelier and exposed brick walls really got my art school dropout soul singing. Read More
“The first bowl moistens my lips and throat.
The second bowl breaks my loneliness.
The third bowl searches my barren entrails but to find
Therein some five thousand scrolls.
The fourth bowl raises a slight perspiration,
All life’s inequities pass out through my pores.
The fifth bowl purifies my flesh and bones.
The sixth bowl calls me to the immortals.
The seventh bowl could not be drunk,
Only the breath of the cool wind raises in my sleeves.”
– Lu Tong (Chinese Poet: AD 790-835 – translated by Steven R. Jones, 2008)