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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My Brother’s BBQ

After nearly a decade and a half of constant use, it was with a heavy heart that at the end of this accursed summer I retired my trusty and now very rusty charcoal BBQ. Night after night of white hot coals had eroded The bottom of the barrel to a wafer thin bit of carbon. Another couple of grill sessions and I could easily see the whole burning payload dropping through the bottom and setting our back yard alight… And so, it was time to say goodbye.

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Ten Food Projects For The Lockdown

Call it “lockdown”, “Isolation”, “Self-Quarantine” or whatever else the fact is just about everyone is home right now with quite a bit of free time. Those with families are now coping with a lot of mouths to feed more frequently and a dwindling supply of recipes to keep them happy.

Although I am not among those bunkering down I do have a few suggestions for anyone looking to start a new kitchen-related project and I also know quite a few industry folk who are using this time to hone their skills while hey wait for the food service world to start spinning again.

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Empty Kitchens and Uncertain Futures in a Post Covid-19 World

I always joked that our kind danced on the razor’s edge of insolvency, what with our low pay, long hours, high burn out rate, poor life expectancy for chef-owned businesses and semi-transient mercenary workforce. Chef’s and their kitchens have always been at the mercy of a lot of financial factors, any of which could sink any restaurant pretty handily no matter how well-managed.

Now that precautionary measures relating to the fast-moving and deadly covid-19 virus has effectively shut down all restaurant traffic in North America we as a society are witnessing just how fragile our hospitality industry is. In a single week hundreds of thousands of my brothers and sisters have been put out of work as states and provinces outlaw sit-down service in favour of take-out just to keep people indoors and away from one another. It’s some serious end of the world stuff and as you can probably imagine I don’t make those razor’s edge jokes like I used to.

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