The Elixirs of 2012

Stephanie Y

Food lovers agree; being a foodie in Vancouver is so much more fulfilling! If one decides not to cook for a year, he or she would end up dining in a different restaurant/venue every night. From hole-in-the-wall surprises to elegant luxurious dining rooms; a $5-bowl of noodle to 3-digit wine-paired dinner; home-style chow to award-winning dishes prepared by celebrity chefs; or a special dinner event like no others, the choices are astounding!

As someone who cooks with passion and eats for a living, I appreciate the fact that Metro Vancouver offers one of the best culinary scenes, if not the most vibrant. If I were to say yes to all the invitations - job-related or not - the non-stop food actions would be far too overwhelming for my palate and digestive system. Being a veteran food writer who had the pleasure of doing so for decades; and hats off to getting older and a little bit wiser, I learn to choose and say no, thanks. Yet, every time I bite into a sensational piece of divinely cooked morsel, my eyes will close, my nose wiggles and my palate still sings, “Heleluja!”

[caption id="attachment_1404" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Executive Chef Wiles of Pan Pacific Hotel lures diners with artistic skills Executive Chef Wiles of Pan Pacific Hotel lures diners with artistic skills[/caption]

Allow me to share a few of those “Heluluja” 2012 moments with you.


An intimate ‘Afternoon Tea’ with my mom and sisters, at Shaktea where I discovered the best scones in town at SOMA (South of Main Street).


Watching Dimsum Chef Miao making those thin-skinned xiao long bao in high speed and cautiously biting into a fluffy, juicy, steaming hot one at Lin Chinese Cuisine on W. Broadway.Chef Sam Leung's Prawn appetizer


Those thin cuts of almost melt-in-my-month beef at the “All You Can Eat Prime Rib Dinner” at The Brasserie at the Coast Hotel on Denman. (Available Fridays and Saturdays only)


Prime Rib buffet at Brasserie

[caption id="attachment_1407" align="alignleft" width="300"]At the recent Chef's Challenge at Cornucopia. The hard-to-master Cheese Souflle was the grand winner. At the recent Chef's Challenge at Cornucopia. The hard-to-master Cheese Souflle was the grand winner.[/caption]

 Simple and homey style






         Stuffing my mouth with a thick fat juicy piece torn off from the mega rack of veal with all the trimmings, at Campagnolo near the Skytrain Station on Main.  

Tasting Julia Child’s recipes at Pastis on W. 4th, while sharing food thoughts and laughters with Proprietor John Blakeley.

Sniffing and biting into the warm Durian & Mango Tart at Kaya Malay Bistro on W. Broadway and watching my dining companions shove it away!

Breakfast at Provence at Marinaside, with a book in hand and no appointment to rush to.

Judging and digging into the winning dish (by Araxi) “Cheese Souffle” at the recent Chef’s Challenge to kick of the 2012 Whistler Cornucopia.

Watching the steams escaping from the hot pot of free-range chicken in wine and herbed broth, anticipating the joy of picking up a piece of tender and aromatic chicken piece, at Ken Chinese Restaurant on Kingsway.

Spreading smoked chicken liver and foie gras parfait on piece after piece of baguette at Le Parisienne on Denman.

The skillfully-prepared and plated 8-course dinner at Grand Dynasty, prepared by Chef Sam Leung; with perfectly paired wines from Villa Maria of New Zealand.

Experiencing my first Veggie Burger while uttering “wow, that’s so good” remarks at Luke’s Corner Bar & Kitchen on Granville during the Burger Challenge organized by my dear friend Richard Wolak, the Vancouver Foodster.

Watching Executive Chef Wiles performed his finishing touch on the 4-coursed dinner in the cozy dining room at Café Pacifica.

Yes, life is good for food lovers here in Vancouver!

[caption id="attachment_1408" align="alignright" width="300"]The action-packed Lin Cuisine The action-packed Lin Cuisine[/caption]

Happy holidays to you all!

 simply divine