The Cascadian Smash Cocktail

It didn’t take long for summer to pack it up. It went from T-Shirts to raincoats practically overnight, the temperature dipped into the long pants zone and no-one is still wearing flip flops in all this muck. *sigh*It’s time for me to stay inside and organize all the late summer fruit ‘n veg harvested from our garden and out in the wild.

The latest bit of foraging I did yielded three large mason jars full of Oregon Grape Syrup, which retains much of the wild berry’s natural sourness tempered with just a hint of cane sugar. It’s very similar in taste to a Blackberry-Balsamic Shrub which is a type of fruit and vinegar syrup or cordial used to give cocktails a sexy sweet ‘n sour kick. (more…)

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Moon Under Water Brewpub (Victoria, BC)

My wife and I hadn’t visited Victoria in about a year ‘n a half so when we decided to ramble down the Island last weekend there were three things we weren’t prepared for: One – Hotels cost more than University tuition. Two – Half of Vic is being knocked down and remodeled so the roads and sidewalks (or lack thereof) are an apocalyptic mess of crumbled concrete and rebar spaghetti. Three – Electronic bikes that you rent with your phone are freakin everywhere!

To avoid the first problem we stayed outside the city center and spent as little time downtown as possible to avoid problem number two. The Ebikes were what saved us! We found a couple discarded bikes at the foot of the galloping goose trail (seriously people just leave them any old place) we fired up the U-Bike app and unlocked ‘em. Two hours and two dollars apiece later we had biked ½ the trail, looped back, met a bunch of new friends, pissed off some spandex-biker types and rolled up on the Moon Under Water Brewpub to enjoy some craft beers. (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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The Psychic Anchor Cocktail

The first time I remember anyone mentioning Dr. Hunter S. Thompson to me was in college. It was an art school so of course every conceivable image of the counterculture from the 60s to the ‘aughts where plastered on every kid’s dorm room walls and sleeves. A curly-haired rave kid who reminded me too much of myself cornered me during a smoke break and demanded to know how much I knew of his idol, the good doctor.

Being a twenty year old freshmen desperate to prove myself as an intellectual worthy of respect and kinship I blindly answered, “Oh, Raoul King right? He’s the guy from the Jonnhy Depp movie. I loved it!” After I got the stoner-cred shit kicked out of me I went back to my dorm room and got reading up on Thompson and his alter-ego “Raoul Duke”. As it turned out the 1998 movie (which I did love) was only the Hollywood tip of the 60s and 70s literary iceberg. (more…)

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Plums, Pavarotti and Pork Shoulders : Notes From The 2017 Feast of Fields

Recently I discussed at great length how the best part about working in the culinary industry is the people I get to work with. These people are the best people and this past August on a sun-soaked hill in Sannichton I got to be with my people doing what we all enjoy most; serving food to appreciative people surrounded by the astounding beauty of BC at the 2017 Vancouver Island Feast of Fields food festival.

Over forty different food service vendors ranging from restaurants to cola companies all with a “farm to fork” ethos filled ten circus-sized tents and a barn full of more good stuff at Ravenhill Herb Farm. The event raised a ton of money for FarmFolk CityFolk  (a local non-profit that raises awareness of and provides help to local food producers) and gave us cooks a chance to get out of the kitchen and into the late August, fried-eggs-on-tarmac heat for a few hours. (more…)

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