Vancouver Foodster's Food Talks

Vancouver Foodster’s Food Talks Vol 11 on Sept 16

Vancouver Foodster's Food Talks

Vancouver Foodster’s Food Talks

Summer is almost over, and September will mark the start of the school yet, for children, youth, and you!  There is always something to learn, no matter your age.  Vancouver Foodster has been presenting his Food Talks on various topics, with engaging groups of speakers.  Sometime it is on wine, sometimes on food, on being a chef, etc.  There is lots to talk about and learn.  Check out the latest Food Talks info and sign up before it sells out.


This is the eleventh event in this Food Talks series! Come join us to meet and mingle with other foodies, and to hear some enlightening speakers from the food community.

Hosted by Richard Wolak – Founder of Vancouver Foodster and Food Talks

Theme: Innovation in our Food Community

1) Innovating when they started their business

2) How have they achieved their goals

3) Is failing a concern to being innovative

Our Speakers Line-up:

Ken Beattie

Ken Beattie

Beer Educator – Eureka Beer Guide

Ken’s passion for the beer industry began in British Columbia in 1987 when he was hired as a summer student with Molson Breweries. Ken spent 10 years with Molson beginning his sales career in Northern BC and finishing his tenure in Downtown Vancouver. In 1997, an entrepreneurial opportunity in the beverage industry was offered and Ken entered into a three year role as the general manager of a 30 room boutique hotel with a 150 seat liquor primary license in New Westminster.

In 2000, Ken was offered the first district sales manager role for Sleeman Breweries in Western Canada. The opportunity to represent and sell a brand portfolio that included international, national and regional brands that made up the Sleeman portfolio was the next logical step in Ken’s experience. As the provincial manager from 2009 to 2012 Ken oversaw all aspects of the sales process for both the retail and on – premise channels for British Columbia.

Ken is now combining his passion, experience and evolution in the beer industry to pursue his entrepreneurial desire by owning his own company, Eureka Beer Guide, which represents Prud’homme Beer Certification®, Canada’s leading beer training program. This multi-level beer education course has something to offer to everyone from the beer aficionado to the hospitality professional. This opportunity empowers Ken to combine his love of beer, his industry experience and his leadership skills to both industry and non- industry beer enthusiasts.

As of July 2013, Ken is the Executive Director of the British Columbia Craft Brewers Guild, which represents half of the 70, owned and operated craft breweries and brewpubs in BC. These artisans produce and promote premium hand crafted beers that are truly BC and showcase their talents to the world.


Steve Hodge

Steve Hodge

Pastry Chef and Owner of Temper Pastry

Steven Hodge grew up in Dundarave. After graduating from West Vancouver secondary high school, Steven spread his wings and moved to California to attend Whittier college, graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in business administration in 2000. Realizing his undeniable passion for cooking, he went on to complete the le cordon blue program at the California school of culinary arts in Pasadena in 2002. Specializing in none other, than pastry and chocolate.

After spending eight years in California, completing his apprenticeship at Dominic’s Restaurant in West Hollywood, Spago Catering, and Porto’s Bakery. Steven moved back home to Vancouver in 2004, where he assumed the executive pastry chef position at coast restaurant, part of the global group.
 Constantly striving to better his craft, Steven then decided to apprentice with the sugar art team of Patrice Cordier and Dominique Jerry in 2005. Soon after, with a taste for adventure, Steven and his wife Lara moved to London England where he spent three years working in some of the world’s most renowned restaurants; Le Caprice Restaurant, Gordon Ramsay’s 3 Michelin star restaurant, Royal Hospital Road, and the famous, Wolseley Restaurant.

In 2008, Steven and Lara returned home to Vancouver, where Steven was given the opportunity to work alongside renowned pastry chef Thomas Haas. He spent four and half years fine tuning and perfecting his skills under the guidance of Thomas.

In 2014, Steven opened Temper Pastry in Dundarave. Using only the highest quality of ingredients, temper offers the richest, handcrafted chocolates, flakiest pastries and melt-in-your-mouth desserts, as well as a selection of gourmet sandwiches, quiches, and roasted Stumptown coffee.

Rosie Priest

Rosie Priest

Kombucha Purveyor at O5 Tea

Rosie Priest works for o5 Rare Tea Bar in Kitsilano, the shop is dedicated to hosting, entertaining, creating and sharing some of the most unique teas on the planet, and it was here that Rosie discovered a love of fermented tea: kombucha. Having always had a love for beer and fermentation itself, it made sense to start creating fermented tea drinks – which itself works as a perfect effervescent platform to express the teas natural flavors and to make the tea sing. As kombucha popularity is on the rise, Rosie is becoming more and more attracted to the simplicity of expressing simple ingredients, moving away, unlike a lot of kombucha brewers, from heavily flavored kombuchas, Rosie focuses on perfecting the artesian craft of fermentation.


Lauren Elbe

Lauren Elbe

Founder – Nuez Milk

Lauren Elbe is a personal trainer and the creator of the Nuez Beverage Co. a Vancouver based brand that makes organic, fresh made, preservative free almond and hazelnut milks. After her first bite of a European tomato, Lauren began to question why conventional grocery store food was so lacklustre. Lauren has studied holistic nutrition and has become passionate about local food and what “good” food means for flavour, our health, our communities and the environment. “I dream of a world where food can just be food. Where I don’t need to analyze the ingredients list of a product to try to decipher if there are ingredients that aren’t going to serve me, a world where food is made in kitchens and not laboratories.”

Yashar Nijati

Founder – Yummus Organics

bio & photo to come

If you haven’t been to our previous Food Talks events, Novus TV featured our Vol 3 on City Lights (view here).

The Evening: Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea by Lost + Found Cafe followed by a wonderful line-up of speakers who will talk about themselves and their passion related to the food community.  There will be a Q & A where you will have a chance to ask questions and engage with the speakers along with a chance to mingle and network with the speakers and guests afterwards (*Wine and other beverages along with food will be available for purchase).

Buy Tickets via Eventbrite:

Early Bird Tickets: $15 per person before August 29, 2014

Regular Tickets: $25 per person after August 29, 2014

Note: Eventbrite fee and gst is extra on all tickets purchased online.

Note: ALL Tickets must be purchased in advance online. All ticket sales are final. No exchanges or refunds; however you are welcome to transfer the ticket to another person for the same event if you notify us in advance with name (s) of who will be attending in your place. Event produced by CMI Chat Media Inc.

Location & Beverages Sponsor

Vancouver Foodster launches our Tasting Plates Events for September

Summer is almost over (how sad is that?), but that means that September brings in the latest Vancouver Foodster tasting events.  Here is the latest info from Richard.  Enjoy and see you all in September.


Vancouver, BC – Local foodies and tourists alike are invited to tantalize their taste buds at 2 of our Tasting Plates events in our September. Starts off with Tasting Plates Vancouver West End  with 8 restaurants on September 10.  This evening tasting extravaganza goes from 6pm until 9:30 pm and is presented by Vancouver Foodster.

 Each restaurant will be serving up Tasting Plates for guests to enjoy and you will have a chance to visit many different types of restaurants throughout the evening, meet some new food loving friends, meet the chefs, and learn about each of the participating restaurants.

Visit our Tasting Plates site and view our past events, photos and more!

  • Vegetarian options will be available at many of the participating restaurants.
  • Bring along a friend or two, your significant other, your family or come solo.
  • A food networking dinner event connecting Vancouver’s vibrant food community.

Visit each of the participating restaurants at your leisure by bike, moped, transit, car, walking, roller skates, or carpooling.
Participating restaurants:

Morocco West Logo

Morocco West

795 Jervis Street


Twitter:  @MoroccoWest

Cuisine: Moroccan



Milestones Denman

1210 Denman Street


Twitter: @MSDenmanStreet

Cuisine: Westcoast

 PappaRoti Canada


1505 Robson Street


Twitter: @PappaRotiCanada

Cuisine: Café

More restaurants to be announced soon
Purchase tickets here via Eventbrite 

Early-Bird Tickets: $25 before August 9, 2014

Advance Tickets: $40 per person, before September 8, 2014

Regular Tickets $50 per person after September 8, 2014.

Note: Eventbrite fee and GST is extra on all tickets purchased online.



Tasting Plates West Vancouver
Tuesday, Sept 23, 6pm – 9:30pm

Early-Bird tickets on sale now thru August 18

Purchase tickets here via Eventbrite

Tantalize your taste buds at several restaurants in the Ambleside and Dundarave neighborhoods of West Vancouver. This evening tasting extravaganza goes from 6pm until 9:30 pm and is presented by Vancouver Foodster.

Participating restaurants:

2409 Marine Drive, West Vancouver


Twitter: @Temperpastry

Cuisine: Cafe and pastry shop

More restaurants to be announced soon.


Early-Bird Tickets: $25 before August 18, 2014

Advance Tickets: $40 per person, before September 21, 2014

Regular Tickets $50 per person after September 21, 2014.

Note: Eventbrite fee and GST is extra on all tickets purchased online.

Ticket price includes tasting plates at each of the participating restaurants throughout the evening. (Beverages are included at some restaurants which will be noted, you are welcome to purchase wine, beer, cocktails or mocktails at each of the participating restaurants).

Note: ALL Tickets must be purchased in advance online. All ticket sales are final. No exchanges or refunds; however you are welcome to transfer the ticket to another person for the same event if you notify us in advance with name (s) of who will be attending in your place. Event produced by CMI Chat Media Inc. This is an all ages event.


Watch for Upcoming Events in the fall including:

September – TBA – Food Talks Vol. 11 – location and details soon

October 7 – Tasting Plates Vancouver West 4th in Kitsilano — tickets on sale soon

Celebrate BC Day with BC VQA Wines in Vancouver on August 2

Wines of BC logoMeeting a wine maker and talking to them about their wines is always exciting.  Here is a chance for you to talk with some prominent BC wine makers to celebrate BC Day on August 2.  Below is the press release from the BC Wine Institute.



BRITISH COLUMBIA -This BC Day long weekend, the British Columbia Wine Institute is throwing a big party in honour of beautiful British Columbia and the wonderful wines that are grown and produced in the province.


 Consumers are invited join some of BC’s top winemakers at Vancouver’s 39th & Cambie BC Liquor Store anytime from 3-6 PM on Saturday, August 2, to sample some of the 12 BC VQA wines that will be available to taste. The wines will be paired with tasty tidbits of local foods as prepared by Vancouver-based Forage restaurant.

These six acclaimed BC winemakers will also be signing bottles of BC VQA wines, giving fans a chance to ‘meet the makers’ of their favourite BC VQA wines, and the opportunity to discover new BC wines.

Holly Conway with the BEAT radio will be live on-site, broadcasting festive tunes for this FREE consumer event:



Saturday, August 2 at 3-6 PM

Cambie Kitchen

(inside the 39th & Cambie Signature BC Liquor Store)

 5555 Cambie Street, Vancouver

Participating Winemakers:

Howard Soon of Sandhill Wines

Rasoul Salehi of Le Vieux Pin

Michael Dinn of JoieFarm Winery

Hagen Kruger of Wild Goose Vineyards

Stefan of Poplar Grove Winery

Larry Gerelus of Stag’s Hollow Winery


The festivities continue well beyond the tasting event, with 30 scheduled BC VQA wine tastings taking place in BC Liquor Stores around the province throughout the month of August. Qualified tasting staff will lead consumers through tutored tasting flights of three wines at a time, showcasing 12 in total, which demonstrate the bountiful diversity of wines produced in our beautiful province. (Click here for the schedule of tastings and locations.)

August is the ideal month to shop for BC VQA wines in BC Liquor Stores as the stores celebrate all 100% grown and made-in-BC products. An exciting addition to the month long promotion is the newly-implemented ‘Insider Picks’ which will see a growing selection of BC VQA wines within BC Liquor Stores year-round.

British Columbians have so much to celebrate: From the sea to the mountains, from our wildlife to our culture, from our natural resources to our growing industries. What better way to celebrate our province’s abundance of riches than with delicious BC VQA wines!

Sixth Annual Taste Of Tulalip Tickets Go On Pre-Sale July 18

Taste of TulalipI know this post is just a little late, but holidays are needed by us all.  The Taste of Tulalip is one of my favorite events of the year with great food and wine from the Tulalip Resort Casino and Washington State wineries, and more.  This event sells out quickly, so avoid disappointment and get your tickets now.  Here is the latest announcement from the Taste of Tulalip.


Tulalip, Washington — “Buy early; get in,” says Tulalip Resort Casino President/COO Ken Kettler. He is referring to the line of disappointed Taste of Tulalip fans that were unable to enjoy the award-winning November weekend of wine, food and tradition, as the 2013 event sold out. This year tickets will go on pre-sale at 9:00 a.m. PDT on July 18. Seats for the Friday, November 14 celebration dinner may be purchased by calling (360) 716-6888, and the passes for the Saturday, November 15 events can be paid for via Ticketmaster at

The weekend kicks-off with Friday night’s multi-course Celebration Dinner, prepared by Executive Chef Perry Mascitti and his team, paired with premium wines from around the globe selected by sommelier Tommy Thompson. Seating is limited to 400 guests. Saturday is filled with a plethora of wine and food demos, chef challenges, a wine seminar, a VIP Magnum party and is capped with the Grand Taste – featuring over 120 wineries from Washington, Oregon, California, New Zealand and Germany, along with a craft beer “pool garden”. Attendance is limited to 2,000.

Taste of Tulalip’s 2014 culinary guest stars include public television show host and producer Ming Tsai along with wine columnist, author and educator Anthony Giglio. Both will be featured at events throughout the weekend. The honorary winemaker is Woodinville Wine Cellar’s maestro Sean Boyd. Local Fox Q13 television celeb Bill Wixey returns for a second year as guest emcee and will be joined by fellow team member Kaci Aitchison.

Tickets are priced at:

  • Celebration Dinner $195
  • All Access Saturday Pass $350
  • Grand Taste $95

Hotel rooms and spa appointments will become near and dear during this two-day extravaganza. Kettler also suggests that guests reserve their getaway room early at the AAA Four Diamond resort by going to or phoning 1-866-716-7162.

Nicli's Next Door

Visit Nicli’s Next Door to Enjoy Italian Tapas

Bill McCaig from Niclis Next Door introducing us to the restaurant

Bill McCaig from Nicli’s Next Door introducing us to the restaurant

In Spain, small plates of food are known as Tapas.  In Italy they also have small plates, but the name is different: Cicchetti.  Whether you prefer to say Cicchetti or Tapas, the food at Nicli’s Next Door is very good and they have an excellent wine list!  I was invited with a group of other food writers to try out Nicli’s Next Door, which is next door to Nicli Antica Pizzeria (at 62 E Cordova Street, Vancouver).

Nicli’s Next Door was conceived as a place for a small snack or drink, while you waited for a table to open at Nicli Antica Pizzeria, but the chefs, David Tozer and Keev Mah, really produced some fantastic Italian and Italian-inspired dishes, going beyond the small snack, so now you can enjoy a great meal with shared plates with your family or friends.

Our Dishes

We were treated to:

Cicchetti E Stuzzichini (smaller plates)

  • Cold pea and coppa soup, with creme fraiche mousse, and citrus preserve
  • Bruschetta, capecollo, bacon and leek jam, and arugula
  • Arancini with pork ragu and San Marzano tomato sauce
  • “Not Scotch Egg”, made of Italian sausage, fior di latte, runny egg yolk, and smoked egg white aioli

Piccoli Piatti (larger plates for sharing)

  • Eggplant involtini, with house made ricotta, San Marzano tomato, lemon and thyme
  • Braised meatballs, with Marina sauce and house bread
  • Roasted Romaneso and sunchoke puree
  • Reginette with pork ragu napoletana and house bread

I enjoyed all the dishes.  The cold pea and coppa soup, came with the cold pea puree and the creme fraiche mousse separately which you mixed together.  Lovely citrus zing and lightness to this cold soup.

Cold pea and coppa soup with creme fraiche mousse and citrus preserve

Cold pea and coppa soup with creme fraiche mousse and citrus preserve

The bread that came with some of the dishes, btw, is all baked in-house.  It was all nice and crunchy.

The bruschetta had a leek jam that was so full of flavour together with nice smokiness from the bacon.

Bruschetta, capecollo bacon and leek jam and arugula

Bruschetta, capecollo bacon and leek jam and arugula

The arancini was quite large, and could almost be a meal in itself for small eaters. The pork ragu inside the arancini was full of savoury flavour.  One of my favourite dishes.

Arancini with pork ragu and San Marzano tomato sauce

Arancini with pork ragu and San Marzano tomato sauce

The “Not Scotch Egg” was a play on scotch egg, with Italian ingredients.  The egg part, really had an egg yolk in the middle, but around it was wrapped the fior di latte. So you had cheesey, creamy goodness, together with the egg yolk and the seasonings from the Italian sausage.

Not Scotch Egg

Not Scotch Egg

A bit larger plate was the eggplant involtini, which had a thin slice of eggplant wrapped around the ricotta cheese, and served with the San Marzano tomato sauce and the lemon and thyme spices. This dish was light, fluffy and creamy.  An elegant dish.

Eggplant involtini

Eggplant involtini

More savoury goodness from the braised meatballs (made with beef and pork), with the Marinara sauce and house bread.  I liked the fennel in the meatballs and the bright flavour from the Marinara sauce.

Braised meatballs with Marina sauce

Braised meatballs with Marina sauce

For a bit more vegetables we tried the roasted Romanesco and Sunchoke puree, and sunchoke chips.  A Romanesco is a vegetable that is a cross between cauliflower and broccoli.

Roasted Romaneso and sunchoke puree

Roasted Romaneso and sunchoke puree

Our last dish was the reginette with pork ragu napoletana. Reginette are strips of pasta with wavy edges.  To this you add a nice pork ragu sauce, and enjoy.

Reginette with pork ragu napoletana

Reginette with pork ragu napoletana

Wine List

I mentioned that Nicli’s Next Door has a very nice selection of wines, all by the glass, and all Italian.  For some at our table, the short wine list was a bit intimidating, but the list is broken down into a few categories to help you choose: Rustic, Lively, Elegant, Complex, Rose, Sparkling, and House.  If you can’t make a choice, they also have 3 different flights of wine you can try, with each flight having 3 different wines.  I had a glass of the “Elegant” Brancaia Tre Sangiovese blend di Toscana.  I chose it as it would be lighter bodied with a good balance of acidity and fruit flavours, and soft tannins, which should pair nicely with most Italian dishes at the restaurant, and I was right.  Enjoy!

Tricolore flight of wines

Tricolore flight of wines

Some Canadian Wines to Try on Canada Day

Canada flagCanada Day is around the corner.  With your day off, I hope you will have a chance to celbrate our country with family and friends.  If you are having a get together, here are a few Canadian wines that you may want to try.  I’ve tasted these wines since January this year, so you should be able to find them in your favourite BC Liquor store or wine shop.  Enjoy!

Spierhead Pinot Gris 2013 (BC $19.90)

I tried their 2012 last year and noted how much I enjoyed it, with it’s range of flavours from citrus to tropical fruit to apples.  It won a Gold Medal at Okanagan Wine Festival – 2013 B.C. Wine Awards and other awards as well.  Their 2013 was pale to medium lemon with a tint of green in the glass.  On the nose I picked up Granny Smith and Red Delicious apples, together with melons and a hint of vanilla.  With some airing, lemon and grapefuit aromas also became apparent.  It’s dry with medium plus acidity, with an acidic prickle that dances on your tongue.  Medium plus body, round mouth feel, some creamy lees, a hint of honey, and stone fruits, pears, lemons and Red Delicious apple flavours.  Again with a bit of air, I also picked up lychee.  Quite a mouthful of flavours.  Mouth watering finish.  This wine really tastes like fresh fruit to me.  A very nice example of BC Pinot Gris.  With halibut season underway, I would love to try this wine with a griled halibut steak, nugget potatoes, and salad.

Le Vieux Pin Petit Sigma Blanc 2012 ($17)

Why Petit?  Petit wines from France are the second labels of famous wineries.  In some vintages a winery may determine that some grapes did not reach the quality needed for their top tier wine, so the grapes go into their second tier wine.  An example of this second tier is Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux.  This Petit wine is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Viognier, Muscat, Gewurztraminer, Roussanne, Marsanne, and Erhenfelser.  The wine had waxy, lemony, and grapefruit aromas with a hint of flowers.  It was dry with medium plus acidity and some viscosity in the mouth.  I picked up some light tropical fruit that was underlain with full citrus flavours, particularly lemon, but also a hint of lime.  There was also some pear and apple in the background.  Steely on the palate.  Peppery and mouth watering on the finish with some grapefruit rind flavour.  A good wine for your summer, in a screw cap, so meant to be enjoyed now.

Painted Rock Syrah 2011

Very nice nose. A mix of black cherry and very ripe raspberry, with some vanilla in the back. Medium plus body, dry with bright purple fruit, cassis and blueberry flavours, together with vanilla. Silky tannins from start to end leaving you with a soft finish and mouth watering acidity.  Across the tongue you get a salty minerality which was quite interesting to me.  I also did pick up some leafiness on the finish.  A very enjoyable wine.

Bartier Scholefield Red 2011

My last wine, the B.S Red 2011 is a blend of mostly Merlot, with lesser amounts of Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Gamay Noir. This wine was noticeably dark to opaque ruby in the glass. Lots of sweet, purple fruit aromas, along with raspberries, plums, vanilla and a hint of chocolate.  Quite enjoyable to nose.  Wow, lots of layers of juicy fruits on the palate.  Ripe raspberries, red cherries, red and black fruit, and plums.  I also picked up vanilla, sweet spices, and milk chocolate flavours.  This wine has medium body and is soft and silky, coating your mouth.  The juicy fruit flavours were dragging my tastebuds all over the place.  The tannins were not too strong, but there was enough to support the fruit.  On my second day of tasting I noted aromas of violets, and a hint of blueberries on the palate.  An outstanding wine expressing an exuberance of youth in my opinion.  I might try this with some bbq’d baby back ribs.

Tasting Plates Latin American Flavours

Tasting Plates – Latin American Flavours in Vancouver

Vancouver Foodster tried something new today.  Instead of having Tasting Plates cover a small region/neighbourhood in Vancouver, it covered a style of food, in this case Latin food.  It took a short drive from one place to the next, but the tasty food that awaited us was well worth it.  Enjoy the pictures and my short comments about the food and event.

A.G.R.O. Roasters


Tasting Cups will include:

  1. A variety of organic coffees from Latin America including, Columbia, Peru and El Salvador. <The coffee here was very fresh, aromatic, and flavourful.  I sampled the El Salvador beans.>
AGRO Roasters Organic El Salvador coffee

AGRO Roasters Organic El Salvador coffee


Chicha Restaurant


Tasting Plate includes all 3 items:

  1. Ensalada De Quinoa: Mango, avocado, roasted red pepper, red onion, cilantro, mint. Jalapeño Huacatay dressing.
  2. Bolas De Yuca: Croquettes stuff with assorted cheese and chilies. Served with a Huancaina sauce.
  3. Calamari and chorizo Anticuchos: Skewers served with a basil and aji Amarillo mash, Peruvian black olive aioli. <Although I enjoyed all the items from Chicha, the calamari and chorizo skewer was my favourite.  It was interesting to pair the flavour and texture of the calamari, with the spice and oiliness of the chorizo sausage.>
Chicha: Ensalada De Quinoa, Bolas De Yuca, and Calamari and chorizo Anticuchos

Chicha: Ensalada De Quinoa, Bolas De Yuca, and Calamari and chorizo Anticuchos


La Mezcaleria


Our Tasting Plate includes all 3 items:

  1. PACIFIC RED SNAPPER CEVICHE: Tomato, lime, red onion, serrano and cilantro. <This ceviche was wonderful.  Full of citrus and spice.>
  2. GUACAMOLE: Fresh avocado, cilantro, lime, onion, jalapeño and tomato.
  3. TOSTADA OAXAQUENA DE FRIJOLES: Refried cowboy beans with Mexican cheese, fresh tomato, lettuce and sour cream served on a corn tostada
La Mezcaleria: Pacific Red Snapper Ceviche, Guacamole, and Tostada Oaxaquena de Frijoles

La Mezcaleria: Pacific Red Snapper Ceviche, Guacamole, and Tostada Oaxaquena de Frijoles


Las Tortas


Tasting Plate includes all 3 items:

  1. Cochinita Pibil Torta <nice and juicy pork here.  Added flavour from the taquera salsa I added!>  In case you are wondering about how to make a torta, here is a recipe for Cochinita Pibil Torta.
  2. Tortilla chips w taquera salsa
  3. Churros
Las Tortas on Cambie

Las Tortas on Cambie

Las Tortas: Cochinita Pibil Torta, Tortilla Chips, and Churros

Las Tortas: Cochinita Pibil Torta, Tortilla Chips, and Churros

Sal y Limon


Tasting Plate includes all 2 items:

  1. Ceviche tostatas
  2. Chicken tinga tostadas <My favourite tstada of the evening.  The chicken had so much flavour, without being spicy hot.  The ceviche was also top quality.>
Sal y Limon preparing the tostadas

Sal y Limon preparing the tostadas

Sal y Limon Cheviche tostada and Chicken tinga tostada

Sal y Limon Cheviche tostada and Chicken tinga tostada

Guanaco Food Truck


Tasting Plate will include all of these items:

1) Hand-made tortilla filled with pork chicharrón* or ground chicken, vegetables, cheese, loroco and savory refried black beans.

-Chicharrón/Pork <I had this version of the tortilla.  It was a nice mix of pork with the cheese, with lots of flavour and creaminess from the melted cheese.>


2) We will be serving pupusas in appetizer sizes and pieces of fried cassava


1) Our Vegetarian Tasting Plate we will offer bean and cheese, zucchini and cheese or just plain cheese with loroco. (V)

-Queso Y Frijoles/Cheese & Bean -Ayote/Zucchini (V)

-Queso/Cheese & Loroco


Stepping up to Guanaco Food Truck

Stepping up to Guanaco Food Truck


Guanaco Food Truck: Pork Chicharrón tortilla, fried cassava, and salad

Guanaco Food Truck: Pork Chicharrón tortilla, fried cassava, and salad

El Azteca


Our Tasting Plate includes all 3 items:

  1. Ceviche de pescado (fish)
  2. Guacamole mumuca (V)
  3. Cochinita Pibil

 I unfortunately ran out of time so was not able to visit El Azteca, but will put it on my list for the future.

Tostadas are fun to eat and very messy.  Fun I think in the summer on the patio with your friends and family.  Here is a receipe so you can make your own tostadas.  Enjoy!







Haywire Baby Bub

The Arrival of Haywire Baby Bub!

BC Sparkling Rose wine = Summer Treat.  Enjoy it.  Please see the announcement that I received from Okanagan Crush Pad, then stock up!


The team at Okanagan Crush Pad is thrilled to announce the arrival of Baby Bub. On June 20, 2014 at 5:30pm 3,600 – 375 ml bottles, weighing 3,240 Kg, were bottled at the winery, just in time to enjoy summer.

Baby Bub was crafted by Jordan Kubek, Okanagan Crush Pad’s cellar assistant with direction from chief winemaker Michael Bartier. “The Baby Bub is tasting fresh, fruity and fabulous”, noted Jordan, “and I am very happy with the results. We stayed consistent with the 2012 Pink Bub giving Baby Bub six grams of residual sugar. I love the texture as it has quite a bit of yeasty fullness. Although it is a new born, the bubbles are quite fine and you can see the direction the wine will take as it ages.”

The wine was made in the classic style using Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes with secondary fermentation occurring in the bottle. It was hand riddled and warm disgorged with a red wine dosage being added at final bottling. Like its bigger siblings, Baby Bub is closed with a crown cap ensuring that cork taint does not interfere with the wine.

This tiny bottle is a young, bright shade of pale rose and is packed full of raspberry, strawberry patch and lime zest character. Its singularly distinctive taste is gun flint which lends a smokey, stoney edge to the wine and keeps it in balance with its more berry salad side.

The first 100 cases of Baby Bub is being released this July long weekend at the winery and through the order desk exclusively. Priced at $13.90 and delivered in 12 – 375 ml bottle cases, sporting hot pink artwork, Baby Bub is sure to be a big hit this summer.

In Search of Paella in Spain – Part 2

Moving from the small, seaside city of Castellon, I was entertained by the Old World charm of Valencia, and the youthful vibrancy of Barcelona. But with one thing still on my mind: Paella!  The locals say that the best paella is always found at restaurants along the beach.  So while in Valencia, I headed to the beach, with it’s beautiful silky, sand, and sun tanned bodied, and found the restaurant of my quest; “Restaurante La Pepica“.  This restaurant is an establishement to say the least, being located there for more than 100 years, and being visited by such celebrities such as Ernest Hemmingway!  They must know what they are doing with paella, and I was right.

Although Paella Valenciana, made with chicken and rabbit, is the namesake for Valencia, I was on the beach, and needed to try seafood, so I ordered Paella Mariscos.  The paella came, with the rice forming a thin layer in the pan.  I could see that the edges of the pan had bits of “burnt” rice, which is crunchy and one of my favourite parts of a rice dish.  The paella was made simply, topped with prawns, then mixed in the rice were fish, shrimp and squid.  The rice was al dente, but I think that this is normal, as I’ve tried 7 paellas to date and all but 1 were al dente.

Paella mariscos and a glass of rosado wine

Paella mariscos and a glass of rosado wine

Squeezing lemon on the dish allowed the citrus flavours to brighten the earthiness from the spices in the rice, and make the seafood come alive.  This was the perfect paella while I have been in Spain.  To enjoy with this paella, I of course had a bottle of wine; a local rosado from the Valencia region.  It was made from Cabernet Sauvignon, which is quite surprising, but it was very tasty with sour cherries and strawberry flavours and a very smooth round mouthfeel.  A perfect pairing.  If you ever go to Valencia, Spain, visit Restaurante La Pepica, and raise a toast to Ernest Hemmingway!

A Hot Dog from Across The Border – Not to be Missed

What pops into your mind when you hear Mexican food?  Tacos? Nachos?  How about “hot dogs”?   Now the hot dogs that I am talking about are not like the ones you get at Nathan’s Famous or Pink’s.  Hot dogs from just across the border from Arizona are a new taste treat.
Over Spring Break earlier this year I decided to get some sunny, warm weather in Phoenix, Arizona. While there one of my goals was to attend a Cactus League baseball game in Phoenix, and eat a hot dog with the standard toppings.  I watched Seattle play Arizona, and had a fabulous time.  But, I had one other goal during my Arizona trip, and that was to try a “Sonoran Hot Dog”.  But for that adventure, I had to travel about 2 hours south of Phoenix to Tucson.  Some enterprising Mexicans brought their version of the hot dog to Tucson several years ago, where it has received rave reviews; check Yelp.  The restaurant, El Guero Canelo, who brought the hot dog to Tucson, was started by the Contreras family in 1993.  It is in a very unassuming building, and looks more like an outdoor concession stand that you would find at the PNE, except that it has a roof over the seating area.  People from all ages were lined up for their Sonoran Hotdog while I was there.  In fact a ladies baseball team just arrived after me, and they looked very hungry.
El Guero Canelo in Tucson

El Guero Canelo in Tucson

What makes this hot dog different from the one you can buy at a baseball game here in Vancouver, or elsewhere?  For El Guero Canelo there are 4 components: 1) they use a Mexican bolilo bun which is soft and has some sweetness to it, and makes a nice pocket for the hot dog and condiments, 2) the hot dog itself is wrapped in bacon then grilled or pan fried, 3) beans, mayonnaise and mustard are added by the cooks, to which you can add other condiments, and 4) it is accompanied by a grilled jalapeno pepper on the side.

The beans were boiled, but do not have any syrupy sauce as you may imagine from a can of pork and beans.  They are also not mashed or refried, but gives weight and texture to the hotdog.  The combination of the sweet bun, the crunch of the hotdog and bacon, the creaminess of the mayonnaise, and tartness of the mustard made a wonderful flavour combination and made me have to go back and order a second hot dog.  The jalapeno pepper, which you may think would be quite spicy was very delicately smoky flavoured, and not hot at all unless you decided to eat the seeds located at the stem of the pepper.
The Sonoran Hot Dog

The Sonoran Hot Dog

This Sonoran hot dog has inspired me to try making them this summer on my patio, introducing the South of the Border flavours to friends and family, and trying some condiments that I would not have thought of before, like beans and salsa.  I have not checked around Vancouver for bolilo buns, but I think Filipino Pan de Sal buns may work in a pinch, or use a regular hot dog bun.  Give these hotdogs a try.  It might be yours and your family’s new favourite summer treat.  Here is a recipe for Sonoran hotdogs from  Enjoy!