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May 13, 2015
News for May 13, 2015

Enjoy your Victoria Day long weekend and don't do anything that would not amuse you.
All entries in the news sections and calendar below have been selected by the Editor and are not paid listings


Signs of Summer. The outside patio at EDIBLE CANADA is now open. And soon, so will their traditional 'Chip Wagon". The wagon returns for its fourth season this Friday (May 15th) to offer the best fish and chips Granville Island has to offer: duck-fat fries; gluten-free, tempura-battered Pacific cod; squid and chips; oysters and chips; the works! And poutine too, of course. See last year's menu page here.

Moja may mean "one" in Swahili, but now there's two. It's been 12 years since MOJA COFFEE, the indie coffee roasting company began toasting single origin Tanzanian coffee beans in a North Vancouver basement, later moving on to a retail cafe at 1412 Rupert St.  But now, to the delight of their cult following, they'll soon be opening the doors at a second location on 1102 Commercial Street - appropriately in Vancouver's original caffeinated neighbourhood. Get the low down HERE

The SHERATON VANCOUVER WALL CENTRE has embarked on a $37 million renovation to transform all 733 guest rooms and common areas. Completion will roll out in two phases: first the North Tower (by Summer 2015), then the South Tower by March of 2016. Some of the features business travellers can look forward to: work stations with custom-designed ergonomic chairs, high-speed Internet, 55” LCD flat panel TVs, MP3 docking stations, all-white 'Sweet Sleeper' beds, an upgraded fitness centre, plus a new Starbucks under the North Tower.

Vancouver’s MILANO COFFEE is going to share its espresso blending and coffee roasting secrets. This spring, espresso master Brian Turko will conduct a Master Class tasting series. Classes take place afternoons on the last Saturday of the month, beginning on May 30 and running through July 25.  Campus is located at Milano Coffee’s original roasting facility at 156 West 8th Ave. Tuition is $100 per person.  Space is limited to eight people per class. Take one class or all of them. Call 604-879-4468 to reserve.

According to, after letting the project cool on the back shelf for over ten years, the city of Vancouver has issued a request for proposals from restaurant operators to build and occupy a new three-storey restaurant on the eastern end of Harbour Green Park in Coal Harbour (near Jack Poole Plaza). The 6,400 square foot, 298 capacity-seat restaurant with rooftop patio will be financed on a model similar to that of the English Bay Cactus Club. Read the story and see artist renderings here.


Some musical chairs for a couple of Top Table bar managers. DAVID WOLOWIDNYK (one of Canada’s most acclaimed bartenders) who has long managed the bar at West, has been appointed Bar Manager at CinCin Ristorante. And to fill the position at West, TT has promoted former Assistant Bar Manager SABRINE DHALIWAL. We last saw Sabrine competing at 'Speed Rack' during EAT! Vancouver, and she will next appear at Dish 'n Dazzle on May 7th. Look for David on the cocktail judging team at the upcoming Vancouver Tequila Expo.

A pan-Canadian team of Food Day Canada chefs are off to cook at the JimB (James Beard House) in New York on Thursday, May 21st, and in the process will showcase some of our country’s finest ingredients: sea cucumber, goeduck, parasol mushrooms, heart nuts, nodding onions, oxeye daisies, and lobster. There will also be Joie Farm and Tantalus wines, a port-style dessert wine made from Quebec maple sap and Canadian craft beers. Representing BC: Chefs Brock Windsor (Sooke Harbour House) and Mark Filatow (Waterfront Wine). See menu here.

If you haven't had a chance to get acquainted with Chef Shelley Robinson of Diva at the Met, here's your chance. Chef Shelley has created an intimate spring Italian feast which she will be serving on May 30th as a long table 'secret supper' in SWALLOWTAIL's sunny but hidden back garden. Look for spot prawns, spring lamb belly, charred octopus and green figs on the menu. To get the details and book your seat, click here.


LAUGHING STOCK VINEYARDS have released their second experimental vintage of wine fermented in two 500L clay Tuscan amphorae. The Viognier and Roussanne grapes were picked and naturally fermented with a wild yeast and were left 'on the skins' for 2.5 months. Tasting notes describe "an aromatic, honey-hued wine with flavour notes of toasted pineapple and a voluptuous mouthfeel ... A beautiful expression of fruit layered with almond nougat, with a hint orange peel on the finish." Alright! Only 162 cases, and available only from the winery.

According to the Wine Institute of California, for the first time in history, U.S wine imports (90 % from California) have surpassed Italy and France for the top spot in Canada. Thus with $1 billion in retail sales and a record 6.1 million cases sold in 2014, Canada is now the largest export market for California wines. BC however, is not the biggest consumer. The largest market for the wines is in Quebec followed by Ontario, while Alberta has the highest market share. At 27 percent, that means one out of every four bottles of wine sold in Albert is from California.

Good manners, hockey, and Caesar cocktails - now that's Canadian. Tomorrow (May 14th), Canadians everywhere will be encouraged to toast Canada's 'official' cocktail during the first-ever NATIONAL CAESAR DAY. Apparently more than 350 million Caesars are poured every year in this country. But it's a different story south of the border. (Just try ordering one on an airplane.) For step-by-step video instructions from Canada's top bartenders on how to create the classic Caesar visit:


Concepts we're buying into now.

With all the 'apple pop' being marketed this summer as "cider", some where it's not even clear that the cider actually comes from apples, it's time to take a sip of the real thing. TWISTED HILLS is a brand produced by a young farming couple from Cawston BC who use a variety of organic apples that are specially grown for the job, not culled and discarded fruit from some commercial crop. Try the semi-dry Kingston Twist that recently won a medal for 'best of show' at the Feast of Ale. Coming up - a pink-tinged "Tangled Rose", made from a blend of organic plums and apples! 


(To see the full calendar click here.)

May 15, 2015
Festivals & Galas - Richmond Night Market 2015
The summer long Richmond Night Market begins this Friday!

May 30, 2015
Festivals & Galas - The Enchanted Garden of Friends for Life
In honour of the 20th anniversary of the Friends for Life organization, the FFL is celebrating with the Enchanted Garden at the Coast Plaza Hotel’s secret garden terrace rooftop.

August 03, 2015
Food Events - Araxi Longtable Dinner - Whistler
Set in a striking outdoor setting, Executive Chef James Walt will craft four-course menus that showcase his skill with farm-to-table dishes.

September 05, 2015
Food Events - Araxi Longtable Dinner - Vancouver
The Vancouver dinner at Bard on the Beach will welcome 250 guests to their long table in Vanier Park. At this event, Chef Walt will be supported by his four Vancouver-based Top Table Group executive chef colleagues.

September 05, 2015
Food Events - Araxi Longtable Dinner - Pemberton
The Pemberton version of the dinner will be the longest table staged at North Arm Farm to date. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the farmers and suppliers, and tour the organic fields.

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