Dear Mom , this soup is for you!

DIY breakfast or dessert for mom

DIY breakfast or dessert for mom

DIY Sweet Soup for Mom

(Mother’s Day segment on CBC North by Northwest, May 10th)

It is always a big delight to talk food and culture with Sheryl, more so this time because we are both mothers.  I often bring along a sampling of the food and small portions of the ingredients needed. We chit-chat while we sample the food and share the recipe; to me, it is like having friends over for a home-made snack.

A bulb of Jasmine Blossom tea is steeping and blooming in slow-motion in the glass pot. The first cup of tea we pour fills the studio with spring-like floral aroma – we are ready to celebrate Mother’s Day in our own simple but satisfying version.

Enjoy a cup of tea with mom.

Mother’s Day, like any other celebration and festival, has been commercialized. While we don’t see too many ads about taking moms to fast food joints for obvious reasons; commercials of gift-giving and nice dining seem to target affluent sons and daughters or at least those who believe they could afford them and should buy them for Mom. Mother’s Day is, to the busy ones or not, may just be a casual formality to say “Mom I love you” by handing her the gift and/or take her out to brunch or lunch or dinner. The justification? Everyone is busy with work, friends, playtime, social media these days and Mom is only mom who’ll be around all the time, so what‘s the fuss?

What about spending time with her? One day in a year, put down your cell phone; turn off your i-pad; ask your friends to wait! Go sit with her, talk to her and listen patiently. Ask her about her high school days, her romance with Dad; what your childhood was like; or simply, “Mom, how did you spend yesterday, what about last week?”

For this segment, we talk about having tea with mom; cook a simple meal or bake a cake or cookies for her, or with her. Perhaps, all mothers need is YOU, not another scarf, another purse, or another meal in a jam-pack restaurant.

The recipe I am sharing is a dessert soup made with taro, barley, tapioca pearl and coconut milk, one of my favourite S.E. Asian sweet soups.  Enchanting flavour and velvety texture and very easy to make, the cooking time is about 10 minutes. Taro is a good source of dietary fibre, Vitamin C & E, potassium, folate and magnesium; and is sold fresh in ready-to-cook packages in the vegetable section.

A bowl of silky sweet taro and coconut milk dessert

A bowl of silky sweet taro and coconut milk dessert

 

Recipe: Taro Root Coconut Milk Dessert Soup with Barley & Tapioca Pearl

Serves 3 to 4

2 Tbsp. barley

1 Tbsp. tapioca pearl

3 cups water

2 cups taro root, into ½” cubes

60 – 75 gm rock sugar

1 can 400ml coconut milk

  • Place barley, tapioca pearl and water in a medium saucepan, soak for 30 minutes.
  • Place saucepan on stove. Bring to a boil on high heat, add taro and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Turn heat to medium low, add rock sugar. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until rock sugar melts.
  • Turn to medium high heat. Add coconut milk. Stir well. Bring to a soft boil and turn off heat.

Peeled and portioned Taro root

 

 

 

五月飲食賀頌

IMG_9902

(1) 為期一周的2015年度溫哥華飲食烹飪節(Eat!Vancouver) 圓滿結束,留下了幾許美味回憶。Canadian Flavours Gala集合了加拿大15間精英級食肆的創新食譜,和奧根納根酒谷Naramata Bench 的24間酒莊在場獻上特釀。位于Tofino的Wolf in the Fog是2014 全國最佳餐館,當晚的一道香草苗薯絲伴哈利拔,在場中人無不為之傾倒。

Wof in the Fog, Tofino

(2) Rustichella d’Abruzzos新推出90秒意粉 90 Rapida,質感份量口感味道絕無減少,但省時方便得多!

90 Rapida

烹煮意粉基本法:

  1. 煲要大,水要多,夠蓋過意粉,有活動空間,意粉不能堆疊糾纏在一起。
  2. 水必要滾起,加少許橄欖油及適量的鹽巴後才放入麵條。要注意泡煮時間,別放下麵便不管。
  3. 意大利人注重「Al Dente」口感。對他們來說,在煲裡煮至六分熟便可。
  4. 意粉不應泡得過熟,得在口腔中經過細嚼,去享受意粉本身的味道和汁醬的精彩同時,也有助消化。
  5. 意粉汁醬的「鮮」非常重要,不要預先煮好一大煲,用兩吋高鑊烹調是極限。
  6. 意粉不享應「泡」在汁液裡。意粉吃完,汁液也該消失去。
  7. 灼至六分熟的意粉必需在鑊裡先與汁醬結合,期間煮變成七、八分熟方是完美。

(3) 遊奧谷?Okanagan Wine Festivals在等你!

第21屆奧谷春季酒節於上周末揭幕,一直至母親節星期日才結束。春光明媚,不妨帶著母親,齊到奧谷渡周末。那兒有 123 個酒園,已安排好超過90項類節目等候著!網頁查詢: www.thewinefestivals.com

Vineyard beauty

節目預告

(4)斑點蝦節 Spot Prawn Festival – 有牡丹蝦之美譽,粗圓長身的斑點蝦節將于下周日(17號)在西一街碼頭Granville Island 外舉行。蝦船泊岸,漁夫們在上午十時開始出售新鮮斑點大蝦。亦有名廚即席烹煮大蝦套餐出售。收益撥作Chefs Table Society獎學金。現場是嘉年華會,本地廚師輪流在烹飪台上示範烹蝦食譜,包括Kaya Malay Bistro 與南軒。另有夏丘酒莊(Summerhill Pyramid Estate Winery)、 R&B 啤酒廠及Salt Spring Coffee和其他攤位。www.spotprawnfestival.com

Summerhill Cipes BrutPan-fried prawns

(5) 溫哥華國際龍舌蘭節Vancouver International Tequilla Expo www.vantequilaexpo.com

日期:五月三十                                                                                              地點:市中心Burrard 街Hyatt Regency Hotel Vancouver

點祇龍舌蘭酒就咁簡單!這是擁抱墨西哥飲食文化歷史的最佳場合!

Mezcal wines

This Week in Vancouver – No Fun City No More

A rack of divine

 Proudly Canadian Flavours

What a night! We were not just full but were absolutely gratified when we left the   Canadian Flavours Gala where minutes ago, celebrated Canadian chefs across the nation and Naramata Bench wineries gathered to elate hundreds of guests with culinary innovations and local products.

Wof in the Fog, Tofino

An evening of non-stop made-in-Canada delicacies and BC’s fine wines had no doubt satisfied everyone’s palate and stomach but it was our very own Canadian spirit and talents that made me so proud. Thanks to Eat!Vancouver Food and Cooking Festival that created this magical event. There are far much more to come in the 3-day main event taking place at BC Place starting today. Make sure to check it out www.eat-vancouver.com !

Dailo of Toronto

Wait! There is an array of events coming up this weekend. They are not just for food and wine enthusiasts, but will keep the fun-seeking you, your friends and families on the go – a splendid way to start welcoming and enjoying the warmer days of Spring for sure!

 For those heading to Okanagan Valley: Okanagan Wine Festivals

Already in its 21st year, The Okanagan Wine Festival Society proudly unveiled The Okanagan Wine Festivals today. This popular Ten Day Spring Festival celebrating the arrival of Spring in the Valley’s Vineyards & Farms with record number of 123 local wineries showcasing their pride and joy.Vineyard beautyWhen: April 30-May 10

What: The annual Spring Okanagan “Bud Break” Wine Festival, 90 events up and down the Okanagan will officially kick off the wine touring season in the BC interior.

Why: The wine culture of the Okanagan offers a savoury experience for everyone from the foodie to the oenophile to the budding enthusiast.

Where: Okanagan Wine region – Voted the #2 wine tourism region in the world by USA Toda

How: Visit www.thewinefestivals.com for additional information and tickets.

 

THE LUXURY HOME & DESIGN SHOW夢想家園

The 2015 Luxury Home & Design Show is the sole Canadian exhibition featuring curated, exquisitely crafted home products and brands, uniquely integrated into inspirational designs by top interior designers and sheltered in a 45,000 square foot mansion! Join the soiree of industry experts and high-net-worth Chinese and Canadian homebuyers!

2015 Luxury Home & Design Show

When: May 1 – 3

What: Bring home inspiration that no price tag could match and win an ancient Good Luck Charm and  Dream Escape – a 7-day uplifting holiday!

Why: 16 Award-Winning Designers. Design can change your life. Treasure Chest. “Great Walls of China” and much more…

Where: Vancouver Convention Center. 1055 Canada Pl.

How: English Hotline: 888-974-3698.

中文購票電話: (778) 938-2965, (778) 233-2330

Got Craft?

Experience the splendour that comes from the unfettered imaginations of 16 of the West Coast’s most distinguished design leaders, all brought together to create a 45,000 square-foot estate inside the Vancouver Convention Centre West. The first 50 people through the door each day will receive a swag bag full of goods from vendors and sponsors. Also, D.I.Y. lovers will have a great time making their own craft projects at the workshops on site.

GotCraft_Spring2015_Food - preserves

When: May 2-3, 2015. 10am to 5pm

What: Got Craft! Vancouver’s largest indie craft fair celebrating their 17th show.

Why: Savour small batch, hand crafted food at Got Craft? Spring Edition brings a little taste of home with handmade goods. Handmade is the best kind of food, and Got Craft? has foodies covered for all of their cravings. Gourmet handmade butters by The Local Churn, Graveley & Sons’s cocktail infusion kits, and Le Meadow’s Pantry’s old-world luscious jams and bold marmalades are just some of the new offerings that Got Craft?

Where: Maritime Labour Centre – 1880 Triumph Street, Vancouver

How: Tickets are $3 at the door and free for children 10 & under. For more information visit www.gotcraft.com.

 

 

 

 

Canadian Flavours Gala Ticket Giveaway!

Canadian Flavours Gala http://eat-vancouver.com/canadian-flavours-gala/ #CanadianFlavours

Beyondchopsticks is giving away a pair of tickets. This is how: Follow Stephanie on twitter @stephyuenyuen . Follow us on beyondchopsticks.com or email to beyondchopsticks@gmail.com  *** Present blog followers are automatically entered in the draw. (Gala ticket include a complementary ticket to EAT!Vancouver at BC Place, May 01 – 03, 2015)

EAT! Van-2011 054

Spring is no doubt the season to kick off a line-up of noticeable food and wine events. With Eat! Vancouver becoming a week-long Food + Cooking Festival, the coming week will surely be a fun-filled one for food and wine enthusiasts.

No longer just a weekend event, Eat! Vancouver is a world class food expo taking place throughout downtown Vancouver. While BC Place is still the main pavilion to soak in the W5 of today’s food trends and culinary scenes, numerous workshops, collaborative chef dinners featuring top chefs from across the nation, a hospitality symposium and a pastry panel will be unveiled as of today.

One of the main events to take notice is the Canadian Flavours Gals happening at the Terminal City Club this Thursday (April 30th) from 7 – 9:30pm. Famous chefs from 15 supremely-ranked restaurants, including the crowned Wolf in the Fog of Tofino will be flashing their wares and skills under one roof to showcase the best of Canada.

With superb food come great wines. Up the hill from the town of Penticton is the welcoming Naramata Bench, one of the premier wine growing regions in the Okanagan Valley, home to many acclaimed wineries known for their lush vineyards, modern tasting rooms and top-rated restaurants.  The Bench gives visitors luscious reasons to visit and explore. 24 growers-turned; youthful or established wineries teaming up with achieved winemakers to craft wines that represent not only the distinct Okanagan terroir but the wineries’ own characteristics and wine-making philosophy.  Folks come to taste and embrace what Mother Nature has granted to the Naramata vineyards and wineries.Naramata Bench wines For those who may not make it up there in the near future, do not be despair – they are going to the Canadian Flavours Gala this Thursday, thanks to Naramata Bench Wineries Association.  This new event as part of the 13th EAT!Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival promises to be the event-extravaganza that die-hard foodies should not miss.

Participating wineries are: Bench 1775 Winery, Black Widow Winery, D’Angelo Estate Winery, Deep Roots Winery, Elephant Island Orchard Wines, Hillside Winery, Howling Bluff Estate Wines, Kettle Valley Winery, La Frenz Winery, Lake Breeze Vineyards, Lang Vineyards, Misconduct Wine Co., Monster Vineyards, Moraine Winery, Perseus Winery, Poplar Grove Winery, Quidni Estate Winery, Red Rooster Winery, Serendipity Winery, Terravista Vineyards, Therapy Vineyards, Tightrope Winery, Upper Bench Winery, Van Westen Vineyards.

eat vancouver

Sakura and Spring Celebrations

A) Sakura Festival 2015 櫻花節

Japan Fair日本節

www.japanfairvancouver.com

Where: 溫哥華植物公園VanDusen Botanical Garden 5251 Oak Street (37th & Oak), Vancouver

Date: Sat., April 11  & Sun., April 12 , 2015

Time: 10:00am – 5:00pm

Tojo's Sakura menu

Japanese restaurants serving “Sakura menu”

下列十間日本餐館特別推出「應節應景櫻花餐」:

Hapa Izakaya Coal Harbour 909 W. Cordova St., Vancouver 604-420-4272 www.hapaizakaya.com

Special Menu: Laksa Soba $10.99

Juno Sushi Bistro 572 Davie St., Vancouver 604-568-8805 www.junobistro.ca

Special Menu: Two kinds Tuna Tekka Don & Shrimp Mousse Osuimono Soup $15

Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen 2054 Commercial Dr., Vancouver 604-255-5550 www.is.gd/kishimoto

Special Menu: Asparagus Oshisushi $12.95

Kitanoya Guu Kobachi 735 Denman St., Vancouver 604-683-0735 www.guu-izakaya.com/kobachi

Special Menu: Smoked Salmon Mini Chirashi $8, Soy Milk Strawberry Mousse $5, Sakura Kobachi-tini $7.5

Minami Restaurant 1118 Mainland St., Vancouver 604-685-8080 www.minamirestaurant.com

Special Menu: Sakura roll $18

Rajio Japanese Public House 3763 W. 10th Ave., Vancouver 604-558-1679 www.rajiopublichouse.com

Special Menu: Crab & Salmon Roe Hot Stone Bowl $13.20

Seto Sushi 155-8460 Alexandra Rd., Richmond 604-231-9493  www.setosushi.ca

Special Menu: Sakura Sushi Set with Chawanmushi, Miso Soup and Ice Cream $33.50

Shuraku Sake Bar + Bistro 833 Granville St., Vancouver 604-687-6622 www.shuraku.net

Special Menu: 5 Kinds of Sashimi $26.95

Tojo’s Restaurant 1133 W. Broadway, Vancouver 604-872-8050 www.tojos.com

Special Menu: Tojo’s seafood salad with cherry mentaiko dressing $24.00

Zipang Provisions 3068 Main St., Vancouver 604-428-5700 www.zipangprovisions.com

Special Menu: Spring Sweets with Sakura Tea $8.80

Nikkei Centre celebrates Spring 本拿比Nikkei日本文化中心迎春節目

6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby. 604.777.7000 www.nikkeiplace.org

Admission: Free! Info & Bento Orders: 604.777.7000

(B) Glowbal opens 3rd Trattoria in Burnaby意大利餐館進軍本拿比

 

102-4501 Kingsway, Burnaby. 604-424-8779 www.glowbalgroup.com

tratoria entrance

Glowbal Group marches into Burnaby and opens the 3rd Trattoria at an iconic location – the northeast corner of Kingsway and Willingdon.  Within walking distance to Metrotown, Crystal Mall and numerous high-rise apartment buildings, this truly is the “Buzzing spot for homestyle Italian fare”!

(C) Opera Buffet at Café Pacific 泛太平洋酒店周末歌劇自助晚餐

 

  1. Pan Pacific Vancouver, Canada Place, Vancouver. 604-662-8111 www.panpacificvancouver.com/the-hotel/dining/cafe-pacifica/

Opera performing

Still charmingly delicious and entertaining, this long-living Saturday night event takes buffet dining to a higher note.  With the majestic five sails, north shore mountains and glittering ocean painting the evening skyline, the elegant restaurant famously offers the city’s paramount best close-up water front view.

(D) Joey 餐廳集團獻上春日菜單 www.joerestaurants.com

Chef Chris Mills of Joey's

Executive Chef Chris Mills and his passionate team of chefs have been seducing diners with  menu items such as Tandori Chicken Flatbread, Baja Fish Taco and Spanish Paella, but this spring, their Caribbean-inspired menu will be a hit. Don’t forget to sign off with Joey’s house-made naturally-flavoured ice creams. At $4 per pop, do consider getting a double order.

Joey's house-made maple-walnut icecream

 

 

 

Spring is here, so are the cherry blossoms!

Celebrate Spring 2015

This April is “Sweet Dreams Dessert Month” at Cactus Club Café

http://www.cactusclubcafe.com

Everyone is welcomed to take part in tasting feel-good sweetness at Cactus Club Café this month as it marks its 15th year in partnership with Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon.  Cactus Club Cafe locations in B.C. and Alberta will donate proceeds from every dessert sold to Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon.  In addition to raising the funds to grant a child’s wish this year, Cactus Restaurants donates gift cards for families to enjoy a bon voyage meal on their way to wishes coming true.

Banoffee Pie

Meatball Challenge

Presented by vancouverfoodster.com, 14 restaurants across lower mainland are in this month’s Meatball Challenge with their one-of-a-kind meatball creations. Four media judges, including yours truly will be sharing their thoughts and reviews at the end of the month. Be one of the public judges, just send in your votes via social media. For details, log onto www.vancouverfoodster.com.

Asian meatballs

Sakura Benefit Event”

http://nikkeiplacefoundation.org

kohmi_hirose_web2

This Saturday, April 4th, 7 – 10pm. Nikkei Place Foundation presents the first ever Sakura Benefit Event at the Coast Harbour Hotel. This will be an exciting evening of exquisite live music, featuring the performance of Japanese recording star Kohmi Hirose. Having sold over 2.4 million of her album The Best “Love Winters” in Japan, this is indeed a rare opportunity. This intimate concert setting will be accompanied by the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra led by conductor sensation, Kenneth Hsieh. The evening will also feature a special dinner set prepared by Vancouver’s own Chef Hidekazu Tojo of Tojo’s restaurant. Proceeds for this event will benefit the programs and services of Nikkei Place in Burnaby, BC.

Celebrate the 9th Annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival with Aburi Restaurants’s Miku Restaurant and Minami Restaurant

http://mikurestaurant.com  (70 –  200 Granville Street)

http://minamirestaurant.com  (1118 Mainland Street)

Miku and Minami are brightening up their spring menus to welcome the upcoming Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival with the introduction of several Sakura-themed items: two new Sakura Rolls and a special spring cocktail.

Sakura Night

Tojo’s Restaurant on West Broadway.

http://vcbf.ca

A handful of distinguished Vancouver chefs will participate in “The pink tie affair” April 19, 2015.  This is the evening of exquisite Japanese cuisine gathering the city’s renowned chefs from top local Japanese restaurants under one roof as guests partake in a unique dining experience for one-night only.

tojos_headshot_web

Celebrate the Malbec World Day – special tasting events

To celebrate Malbec Day, BC government liquor stores will have Malbec free tastings throughout the month of April. Check with your local BC Liquor Stores for tasting schedules. Everything Wine locations will kick off the celebration on April 11 2pm to 6pm with tastings of different Malbec. Legacy Liquor Store will follow on April 17 4pm to 8pm. April 18, 2pm to 5pm, Marquis Wine Cellar will go all out with tastings of a variety of Malbec to pair with tasty empanadas and DJ music to liven up the atmosphere (RSVP required. (604) 684-0445 www.marquis-wine.com). Donation to the BC Hospitality Foundation is welcomed for this event.

The Osoyoos Oyster Festival

http://osoyoosoysterfestival.com.

The 4th annual Oyster Festival returns to the South Okanagan, April 22-25 and showcases oysters produced by West Coast fishermen, alongside Canadian wines and craft beers.

BC oysters

Programs include:

Miradoro Long Table Dinner, April 22. Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek Winery offers a three-course dinner dedicated to the oyster. $39 pp.

Under the Tuscan Sea – Oysters, Bubbles and Pizza at Terrafina, April 23 Terrafina at Hester Creek Estate Winery invites guests to sample pizza and oysters paired with spring releases from Hester Creek and tastings from the winery’s ‘bubbly’ neighbours. $45pp.

Seaside to Greenside at the Osoyoos Golf Club, April 24 Enjoy oysters paired with exclusive scotch, including Glendronach 2003 KWM Cask 1820 and BenRiach 1997 Cask 4435, along with noteworthy gin from Gallagher Lake-based distillery, The Dubh Glas Distillery. $50pp.

Oyster Catch and Brew Bash at Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa, April 24 An evening of oysters and culinary creations, craft beer and ciders from local breweries and live entertainment. Results from the Oyster Craft Beer Competition will be announced at the event. $32pp.

Oysters in the Garden at Walnut Beach Resort, April 25 An afternoon event held in a beautiful garden setting at Walnut Beach Resort, guests will enjoy freshly shucked oysters with wine tastings from the winning wineries of the Oyster Wine Competition. $30 (Early bird: $25)pp.

Art of the Oyster Pearl Gala at Watermark Beach Resort, April 25 Guests will enjoy oyster creations from South Okanagan restaurants and chefs, wine pairings from Oliver Osoyoos wineries, and freshly shucked oyster and seafood stations. Results from the Oyster Wine Competition will be announced at the event. $48pp.

Amateur Shuck ‘n Suck Competition at The Sage Pub, April 25 Come to compete or come to cheer as teams of two compete to win the coveted title of the Best Shuck ‘n Suck Team in the Okanagan. One team member shucks while the other sucks back the oysters. Registration: $10 per team.

Stay in Osoyoos – Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa, Walnut Beach Resort and Watermark Beach Resort are offering Oyster Festival room rates. Special offer: For every two-night booking at any of the resorts (from April 21-26), receive one complimentary ticket to the Oysters in the Garden event on April 25.

 

 

Celebrate February with sweet harmony and Good Luck wishes

多姿多采多賀羊年    溫馨浪漫情人節

1/ Chinese New Year Buffet at Pan Pacific Hotel’s Café Pacifica

泛太平洋酒店農曆新年自助餐

Cafe Pacifica

When: Feb 22, 2014  (星期日年初四)

What: Chinese New Year Brunch Buffet & Live Entertainment

賀羊年豐厚自助餐、娛藝表演

Reservation and information訂位。查詢:604-895-2480

Adult成人: $52

Senior耆英:$48

Children age 6 to 12 歲兒童:$26 (5 & under: Free五歲或以下免費 )

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Beyondchopsticks.com Give-Away: 自助餐卷抽獎活動

Café Pacifica Chinese New Year Buffet for Two

Email your one sentence Chinese New Year wish to

請將你的羊年願望(限一句)電郵至beyondchopsticks@gmail.com  

Deadline截止: Feb 11 Noon (2月11日正午)

Winner will be contacted by email

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2/ Shangri-La Hotel celebrates Lunar New Year with traditional arts

香格里拉大酒店發發賀農曆新年  請來大師表演功夫茶及變面藝術

Chocolatas - elegance-slider-7pc-tinThe hotel welcomes Che Huadong, tea master and trained expert in the arts of Kung Fu Tea and Chinese Face Changing Opera. The start of the Lunar New Year provides an auspicious occasion to welcome Huadong to his new home at Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver, and to showcase these traditional performance arts that are rarely seen outside of China.

When: 19 February 11am 年初一上午十一時   舞獅、點睛、變面表演及功夫茶藝

Where: Xi Shi Lounge 西施廊

Kung Fu Tea MasterOpera Face Changing

Reservation: 604-661-3352 www.shangri-la.com

Guests can view Huadong’s performances every Saturday and Sunday in Xi Shi Lounge at the following times: 其他表演時間:逢星期六、日

下午一時: 1:00 p.m. Chinese Face Changing Opera 變面

下午三時: 3:00 p.m. Kung Fu Tea Show功夫茶藝

*Guests can also enjoy shorter tableside Kung Fu Tea performances during afternoon tea service, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.

2/ ChocolaTas – Granville Island市場精致巧克力店

Pairing wine & chocolate, Vegan Chocolate and Gluten Free Chocolate

Chocolatas - elegance-slider-7pc-tinChocolatas - elegance-slider-7pc-tin

Chocolate is for everyday celebrations as well as special occasions for the ChocolaTas team. With a Valentine’s Day around the corner master chocolatier Wim Tas and his wife Veve have been busy developing unique beverage pairings to honour this grand fete. So this year make your Valentine’s Day gift to your sweetie even better with wine or whisky. Try the Violet & Raspberry milk chocolate with a full bodied chardonnay or the vegan Almond & Grape Jelly dark chocolate with a spicy Syrah.

ChocolaTas is proud of the diversity of flavours and styles their collection offers and have developed a line of Vegan chocolates using the highest quality of cocoa. These vegan chocolates are available as Valentine’s gifts; choose from vegan lips (vegan fig ganache made with coconut milk instead of cream), vegan heart beats (crunchy hazelnuts), vegan almond and grape jelly or vegan local hazelnut, packaged in a lace heart or a smart reusable tin box. And all of the ChoclaTas collection is gluten free.

分店:101-31060 Peardonville Rd. in Abbotsford or order on-line at www.chocolatas.com.

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This week’s restaurant recommendation:

Novo Pizzeria  — 2118 Burrard (夾西五街) 604-736-2220  www.novopizzeria.com

食評請上中文「以希飲食網」

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Fraser Valley – Sweet Valentine’s restaurants recommendations

**Restaurant62, Abbotsford (In the Gateway building)

2001 Mccallum road (604) 855-3545  www.restaurant62.ca

**Preston Restaurant, Chilliwack (Inside Best Western Hotel)

45920 1 Ave. (604) 701-3070  www.dinepreston.com

**Bacchus Bistro, Langley (at Domaine de Chaberton Winery)

1064 216 St (604) 530-9694  www.chabertonwinery.com

**Seasonal 56, Langley

26730 56 Ave. (604) 625-5601 www.seasonal56.ca

37th International Wine Festival vibrates with the Year of the Ram

Henry Yuen’s Wine Business – Beyondchopsticks.com on AM1470

vines

The 37th Vancouver International Wine Festival:

February 23 to March 01, 2015

Featured wine country: Australia

Themed wine varietal: Syrah

Main tasting room, selected events and seminars: Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre

Other festival events, wine-pairing dinners, winemakers’ dinners: Various restaurants and venues

George Wyndham Founders Reserve 2010 Shiraz - bottle image

If you think there’s still a whole month away from the 37th Vancouver International Wine Festival and there’ll be 8 days of programs to choose from, why hurry? Well, think again!

This annual wine festival is regarded by global wine lovers as one of the top food & wine events in the world, the pool of tickets will be snapped up much quicker than you could imagine; especially the main festival tastings where 750+ wines will be poured for our sipping pleasure; and hot-ticket items such as the Vintners Brunch, the black-tie Gala extravaganza and wine dinners by big-name wineries at fine restaurants.

After the successful Champagne theme and France focus last year, 2015 will showcase Syrah as the varietal and the focus wine country is Australia, with 170 wineries and 14 countries represented. This combo means at least one thing – there will be no shortage of big wines on site!

Australia - 2015 themed wine country

While formal events and more serious seminars are popular amongst the earnest and/or industrial friends, there are other fun and casual events for those who just want to have fun with wine. Wine Minglers will be where spontaneous conversations about the wine, the winemaking process, the wineries…etc. are to be had; the 25 under $25 listing 25 great choices of good wines available in BC for under $25, are the ones I recommend for novices and those who are not yet ready to spend a bunch on unfamiliar wines.

wine-pairing dinner

Plan ahead:

No matter if you are going to the main tasting only; or to as many dinners and seminars as you can, alone, or with one or more buddies; or perhaps need to buy tickets for gift-giving for these events are known to be greatly-appreciated gifts items, plan soon; purchase the tickets ASAP. The first thing  to do, go online and check out the programs, make notes and then order tickets.

Ready to swirl and sip

New this year:

1/ Wine from Croatia: Wines from this East European country will make their wine festival debut.

2/ Wine from New York States: Yes, those New Yorkers can and have developed their own wine regions. They are here to show us their pride and joy.  I look forward to comparing their wines with those of Niagara.

3/ Wines by the case: Wines poured during the Festival Tasting sessions by the wineries will be available to the public for purchase in case lot, marked by special tags right at the booth so the public can place their orders right there and then. These wines are imported under special permit for the duration of the festival and may not be available afterward. Once ordered, the wines will be delivered to local liquor store of your choice for pickup.

4/ Make that a wine-tasting weekend getaway: Check out participating downtown hotels that not only offer special Wine Festival room rates but will throw in a free ticket. Why worry about driving home, or going home when the comfort of a bed is only minutes away.

wine seminars

Reminder:

  • If you plan to sample at least half of the wines at the tasting room, one session will not cut it. Get a tasting room package so you can go in and out at a much more leisure pace instead of jamming in too much at once.
  • Map out a tasting route, work out a system: By country, by varietal, just the reds, or the whites, or any others? Stick to it!
  • For those who aim at sipping all expensive or rare-finds first, make an alphabetical list of the wineries offering them and follow the list.
  • Transportation plan: Do not ‘Drink & Drive’, please use public transits, taxi cabs, or get dropped off and picked up.

Food & Restaurant News

AM1470 Show Bytes Jan 13, 2015

Divine pasta dish with shaved truffles

Divine pasta dish with shaved truffles

13th Dine Out Vancouver, 2015

When: January 16 to February 1

What: Participating restaurants offering 3-course dinner at $18, $28 or $38,  BC VQA wine-pairing, numerous food & fun events…and much more!

Where: For complete restaurant listing and dine out menu, log onto: www.dineoutvancouver.com

Stephanie’s suggestion:

  1. Pick at least one from each price bracket.
  2. Be adventurous – try new restaurants and ethnic cuisines
  3. Book ASAP
  4. To better your chance of grabbing a table, avoid going as a large group.
  5. Do go through the restaurant list, there are gems of restaurants hidden away that you may not be aware of.
  6. Take a look at the menu choices as some are more enticing than the others.

Beautifully plated bento box of appetizer - the 1st course at Gyoza Bar

Going to Granville Island Public Market? Stop by Oyama Sausages to see what their ‘welcome to 2015’ line-up is for the month of January.

1689 Johnston Street #17, Vancouver. (Granville Island Public Market)

(604) 327-7407  www.oyamasausage.ca

Goodies from Oyama

Oyama’s Choucroute Festival : January 22nd – January 25th

Choucroute is a famous Alsatian dish preparing sauerkraut with sausages and other salted meats and charcuterie. Oyama does all the work for you, preparing the sauerkraut, all you need to do is choose from a wide selection of sausages, invite your friends and enjoy. And stop by Granville Island Brewery or your favourite artisan beer and pick up something thirst quenching.

21st annual Taste BC  

www.taste-bc.com

When: Thursday, January 22nd from 4:30-7:30pm

Where: Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel

What: The event features BC wine, beer, cider and spirits accompanied by local fare from restaurants and providers from across the lower mainland.

Why: A fundraiser for the Oak Tree Clinic at BC Children’s Hospital. The Foundation provides specialized HIV care for infected women, pregnant women, partners, children and youth, and support services for affected families.

Opening soon – Pepper Lunch 胡椒廚房   

www.pepperlunchcanada.com

When: February, 2015

What: DIY Teppan

Where: No. Road, near the Waves Coffee and London Drugs, Richmond.

Capacity: 1,600 square feet; 50 seats

Menu focus: Pepper Lunch classics with a focus on using as local as ingredients as possible and Certified Angus Beef for all beef dishes. Black pepper is freshly ground up daily.

Pepper lunch - premium steak

A glance at the menu: B.C. steelhead salmon, Beef and Pork Curry Rice, Sakura Pork Pepper Rice.

Before landing in BC, Pepper Lunch was only available in Asia and Australia.  There are currently more than 350 Pepper Lunch restaurants worldwide in Japan, China, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea, and Australia.

Pepper Lunch brand specializes in creating sizzle plates that hit hungry mouths with big flavours, finest quality cuts of meat, and unique sauces. People can literally see exactly what they are eating and decide how they want it cooked. Diners cook their steak, meat of choice, and seafood to-order on a special, patented hot plate created by Pepper Lunch founder, Chef and Inventor Kunio Ichinose. The plate uses proprietary, electromagnetic cooking technology and is sizzling hot at the table, about 260 degrees Celsius.

New Year Resolution? Eat healthy, live happy with apple cider vinegar and olive oil

Why not start your day with a glass of warm water with 1 tsp. of apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning or olive oil?

IMG_8841

Health benefits of apple cider vinegar

  1. Settles diarrhea
  2. Cures hiccups
  3. Soothes a sore throat and clears a stuffy nose
  4. Lowers cholesterol
  5. Prevents indigestion
  6. Aids in weight loss
  7. The amino acids contained in apple cider vinegar helps boost energy
  8. Cuts down on nighttime leg cramps
  9. Kills odor-causing bacteria – use as mouth wash, or drink a teaspoon (diluted with water if you prefer)
  10. The vinegar helps remove stains, whiten teeth, and kill bacteria in your mouth and gums. Gargle with apple cider vinegar in the morning.

Healthy benefits of olive oil

  1. To prevent snoring – Swallow a spoon of olive oil before bed.
  2. To reduce stomach ulcers and pain – Mix one table spoon of olive oil with a 3/4 cup of citrus juice or vinegar and drink.
  3. Relieve Coughing – Swallow a spoon of olive oil mixed with a spoon of honey. Another option is to massage the upper back and chest with olive oil at body temperature.
  4. Treating swollen / red gums – Wash your mouth with a mix of olive oil and water.
  5. For digestive problems – Swallow a spoon of olive oil every morning on an empty stomach. Another option is to drink a glass of water with a spoon of olive oil and a spoon of lemon juice.
  6. Lowers blood pressure levels
  7. Helps control cholesterol
  8. Prevents heart attacks
  9. Prevents cancer
  10. Fights aging

 

This Christmas…

AM1470 Sound Bytes: beyondchopsticks.com with Deborah Moore

1/鯖魚善賣Buckets/bags of Herring for Charity 4th Fishermen Helping Kids with Cancer

Richmond and Victoria, B.C.

The 2014 Herring Sale will take place this Saturday, December 6 in Steveston, Richmond, from 8am to 4pm (at the south end of Trites Road: 12740 Trites Road) and at Finest at Sea Seafoods in Victoria, BC between 7am to 4pm (27 Erie Street).

Pacific Herring in Buckets

A key factor behind this success is the commercial fishing industry’s commitment to cover literally all costs related to the event, so absolutely every penny raised from the sale of herring is contributed directly to help kids with cancer. “The best thing about the herring sale is that 100% of the money goes to the kids,” says Brent Melan, the Burnaby fisherman who came up with the idea for the event and captains the seiner, MV Prosperity,  that catches the herring for the Herring Sale.  Brent adds, “I am only one of over 100 volunteers who so willingly donate not only resources but endless hours of time to plan and run this event most effectively and efficiently. Key people and companies donate everything for the event from the fishing vessel, unloading facility and fish bags, to their time devoted as boat crewmen, forklift drivers, traffic controllers and fish baggers. In fact, volunteers have bagged more than 10,000 twenty-pound   bags of herring since the event started.”

All you have to do to support this meaningful fund-raising event is to go out there this Saturday and purchase one or two buckets or bagful of herrings! www.fishermenhelpingkidswithcancer.com

1/Traditional Caviar Service at Cactus Club Café 珍品魚子醬 與加拿大鐵廚

http://www.cactusclubcafe.com

Cactus Club celebrates this festive season with Chef Rob Feenie’s newest and creative concepts, fit for both romantic moments and get-together sharing.

My favourites are:

a/ Ocean Wise British Columbian caviar – Divine Sturgeon and Acadian Sturgeon caviar with brioche toast and blinis, served in a beautiful half-moon shape glass sculpture. The theatrical presentation is only the beginning of an exotic culinary journey – savour each and every bite!

A crest of caviar

b/ Ocean Wise Albacore Tuna Sushi Tacos – The unique crunchy yet flaky taco shell carries an Asian touch, perfect for group munching.

c/ Beef Carpaccio – Olive oil lovers behold! Domenica Foire Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Italy that dresses those paper-thin slices of Canadian tenderloin is an award winning product chosen to compliment the sweet flavour and juicy sensation of the meat. For $40, you can purchase a bottle of this ‘World’s Best’ Olive oil, each signed by Chef Feenie. Proceeds will go to The Boys club Network to benefit youths in our communities.

beef carpaccio

Future attraction: An exclusive dinner to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Chef Rob Feenie winning the Iron Chef America title in the Battle Crab episode with his “Dungeness Crab Rolls”. YOU COULD WIN AN INVITATION!!

Iron Chef Dungeness Crab rolls

 

2/ “Forage” Holiday Cheer  $35四道菜節日大餐

Chris Whittaker of Forage is a well-respected and very talented chef. I was fortunate enough to be invited to his home and savoured a one of a kind multi-course “Moose” dinner. This definitely is one of the top ten meals on my 2014 best list.

Chef Whittaker making a moose pot-roast at home

This holiday, Chef Whittake is offering a four-course menu for $35 each for you and three of your families and/or friends to indulge into at his restaurant “Forage”, an award-winning restaurant on Robson. The added bonus is – everyone will take home a house made cranberry preserve.  Please note: minimum reservation is for four people and reservations are absolutely required.

訂位:604-661-1400   網頁www.foragevancouver.comhome-made Tortelloni