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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Edible Vancouver Island Magazine is Here!

After keeping it under my toque for the last couple months, the wait is finally over and I can talk about another of my extra-curricular writing activities.

This week the inaugural issue of Edible Vancouver Island Magazine is available at fine food purveyors island-wide and features a two page article on my friend and garlic guru Brent Garstin, written by your truly. It’s my very first published bit of writing! I feel so legit!

Big thanks to Dawn, the publisher for bringing me on board and Editor Julie ‘n photographer Danika for making my words better than they have a right to be! Hopefully I’ll be able to do an article or two for them in the future.

Check out the EVI website for tons of online content and a map of where the physical magazines are distributed.

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Duck Prosciutto

My two greatest culinary passions are a) methods of preserving food- the simpler and more flavourful the better – and b) duck! The former being a tether to the distant past when salting and fermenting meant survival for crafty cooks and the latter being the tastiest damn animal know to man.

Now I know I’ve already done a ton of duck recipes, including the great-granddaddy of all preserved duck dishes: confit du canard, but bear with me one more time ‘cause this one’s a keeper. It’s a technique for preserving breasts that results in a semi-cured, dense and beautifully salty-sweet taste reminiscent of prosciutto de parma.  It’s dead-easy and a great entry-level way to get into more serious charcuterie. (more…)

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