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April 08, 2015
News for April 8, 2015

The mild winter and early warm spring weather has made a spectacular display of Vancouver's cherry trees this year - so appropriate for the month long Cherry Blossom Festival which runs to the end of the month.

All entries in the news sections and calendar below have been selected by the Editor and are not paid listings
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RESTAURANT/HOTEL/FOOD NEWS




Today is slated to be the big launch for STRAIGHT OUTTA BROOKLYN pizza, the new shop at 350 Robson St. (across from the Central Vancouver Library Branch). Granted, anything would be a notch up from the sketchy, two-buck-a-slice place that formerly occupied the site, but the owners promise that their shop will be the genuine Brooklyn-style copy, with such iconic offerings as "The Clam" (pizza topped with clams, cream, garlic and parsley). If their pies can match the heavenly clam pizza from Franny's restaurant on Flatbush Avenue, we'll be there.



C|PRIME MODERN ITALIAN STEAK & WINE is the new resto moving into the location of the former Beyond Restaurant at the Century Plaza Hotel & Spa. The chef however, is a familiar face. Moreno Miotto was with the Umberto empire, and at one point led his own restaurant, Bis Moreno, before returning to his hometown of Prince George by way of Italy. His new menu will focus on prime cuts of steak (aged a minimum of 35 days), as well as pasta, seafood and old school options such as sides of spaghetti. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.



Have you considered making your house or apartment available for rent on Airbnb, the home sharing network? The company, which now operates worldwide from its headquarters in San Francisco and Ireland, will be in Vancouver this month to answer questions and help potential hosts get started. They're now taking reservations for three dates: April 29, May 5 and May 28. Locations will be revealed at a later date, however if interested, you'd be wise to register now. More information here. Or email: letshost@airbnb.com.




April 12 is the start of regular service for SECOND NATURE, located upstairs from the original Graze Restaurant. The theme (which will change every 6 to 8 weeks) celebrates the backyard BBQ party. A food truck will be serve up patio food while the beach bar slings refreshing cocktails in Vancouver's newly created and only indoor park - a raised meadow that meanders the entire length of the space. Picnic tables, deck chairs, potato salad, and if that's not enough summery atmosphere there's a 35-foot double-wide projection wall for additional hot images.



Well, this is welcome news, and about time. That space has sat unused for too long. As of this June 20th, Vancouver's Plaza of Nations will be transformed into a new OUTDOOR NIGHT MARKET every Saturday evening throughout the summer, complete with food trucks, craft beer, and local bands. Lindsay William-Ross has the story at VanCityBuzz.





CHEFS




Ensenada on Mexico's Baja coast, is known for its food and wine, and this weekend, Araxi's Chef JAMES WALT will participate at their annual Festival de las Conchas y el Vino. Chef Walt will shop for local ingredients at the market and visit with fish merchants at the docks in order to create a dinner for Ensenada’s Restaurante Manzanilla (one of Latin America’s '50 Best Restaurants’). Fans can follow the chef's cooking demos on Twitter using the hashtag #ChefWaltOnTour, or ask questions in real time via the new live-streaming video app, Periscope.



Chef NATHAN BROWN is the new Executive Chef for the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Raised in the small farm town of Lucan, Ontario, Brown has lived the farm-to-table cooking concept. Trained in the techniques of French and Italian cusinine, he arrives on Canada's west coast after a decade spent at top hotels and restaurants in Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. His most recent post was at the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Beijing, China. 




Do you love the Okanagan wine country lifestyle? Do you love the fabulous culinary stylings of JOY ROAD CATERING? Sometimes the two seem inseparable. Chef partners Cameron Smith and Dana Ewart (plus their team) have just posted their 2015 line up of Summer events including their popular Sunday dinners on God's Mountain and their always sold out Winemaker's Dinners Series. Take a look here and reserve early.
 

 



DRINK NEWS




The new BIG ROCK URBAN BREWERY (in Mount Pleasant) has just released Hollow Tree, named for British Columbia's majestic red cedar trees. Says Brewmaster Jody Hammell, "Hollow Tree is a refreshing Pacific Northwest style red ale with a hop backing from whole Cascade leaf hops. Their citrus, flowery characters are complimented by the rich caramel and toffee flavours of Carastan and Munich malts." With an ABV of 5.8% and IBU of 55 Hollow Tree is only available in BC.




ODD SOCIETY SPIRITS is set to launch their second release of Wallflower Oaken Gin on Friday, April 17. The East Van distillery doubled their production for this limited edition gin by aging 200 litres in American white oak rye casks for six months. Five hundred, 375mL bottles will be produced and will be available at the distillery for a  priced of $28. (Prices will vary at private liquor stores throughout Vancouver.) Guests attending the micro-distillery festival, BC Distilled on April 18 will be among the first to try the new batch.



SHOP



Second helpings of ice cream? Why not? Earnest Ice Cream recently opened a second retail location at 2nd and Quebec and now RAIN OR SHINE ICE CREAM is following suit. Josie Fenton's and Blair Casey's charming scoop shop in Kitsilano with its seasonal designer flavours and local ingredients has a sleek new location in Cambie Village (3382 Cambie St at 15th). Just don't get your nose so deep into the Brassneck Inertia Stout or vegan Coconut Chocolate Chunk you fail to look up and see the clever chandelier made from glass baby bottles.



Vegans and vegetarians, rejoice. IKEA plans to offer an all-plant version of its big seller in the cafeteria - the IKEA meatball.  The Veggie ball, or GRÖNSAKSBULLAR if you want to be all Swedish about it, derives its taste from "hearty pieces of vegetables". It will be made without gluten and will cost $5.99 for an eight piece meal. To quote: "including a wider variety of more sustainable food choices is a natural step for IKEA, building on the vision of creating a better everyday life for the many through the company's People & Planet Positive strategy."






NEW IN THE CULINARY CALENDAR

(To see the full calendar click here.)



April 14, 2015
Food Events - Just Like Dinner at Nonna's - Crispy Tuscan Fried Chicken
Nonna is back at Campagnolo with four bargain-priced, spring-themed, homestyle dinners for April and May.




April 18, 2015
Home & Garden Events - Spring Kitchen Tour
The Kitchen Tour committee, a cadre of fundraising ladies with a passion for public gardens and food, has assembled a stellar list of private culinary spaces for viewing.





April 21, 2015
Food Events - Just Like Dinner at Nonna's - Roasted Berkshire Pork
Nonna is back at Campagnolo with four spring-themed, home-style dinners for April and May.





April 26, 2015
Home & Garden Events - VanDusen Plant Sale
City gardeners wait all year for this - more than 20,000 plants for sale. One day only!




April 27, 2015
Culture + Education - FoodTalks - Session #12
The 12th session of Food Talks features local food industry leaders speaking on the theme of 'Perfectionism in our Food Community'.



April 28, 2015
Wine Events - Naramata Bench Wineries Spring Wine Release - Victoria
The Naramata Bench Wineries are on the road for their Annual Spring Wine Release Events - ART 'N FACTS in Victoria.




April 28, 2015
Food Events - Just Like Dinner at Nonna's - Seared Trout
Nonna is back at Campagnolo with four spring-themed, home-style dinners for April and May.




April 30, 2015
Wine Events - Naramata Bench Wineries Spring Wine Release - Vancouver
The Naramata Bench Wineries are on the road for their Annual Spring Wine Release Event at the CANADIAN FLAVOURS GALA, in Vancouver




May 01, 2015
Ongoing Events - Shipbuilder's Night Market
May 1 to Sept 25. You won't want to miss this year's Shipbuilders' Night Market on Friday Nights. Come down for food trucks, art, music, entertainment and shopping.




May 02, 2015
Cocktail Events - Speed Rack Canada
Serious stirring and shaking is about to happen, thanks to the Canada launch of Speed Rack, the all-female international speed-bartending competition that raises money for breast cancer.



May 02, 2015
Food Events - Tokyo-inspired Dinner at Swallowtail
Chef Robin is back from a month in Tokyo and eager to share her favourite dishes. This multi-course feast will be a good choice for seafood lovers.



May 05, 2015
Food Events - Just Like Dinner at Nonna's - Crispy Ricotta Gnudi
Nonna is back at Campagnolo with four spring-themed, home-style dinners for April and May.





May 07, 2015
Food Events - Yaletown Farmers Market Opens Today
Summer officially begins in Vancouver when the opening bell rings at the first Farmers Market of the season. This one has the latest closing dates as well.




May 28, 2015
Wine Events - Wine in the Garden
Summerland area wineries from the Bottleneck Drive Winery Association are headed to Vancouver to raise funds for Vandusen Botanical Gardens




June 20, 2015
Ongoing Events - Plaza of Nations Night Market and Food Truck Festival
June 20th to the end of Summer. Starting this year, the Plaza of Nations will be transformed into an exciting brand new night market.



















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