Beyondchopsticks on AM1470 with Deborah Moore
1st & 3rd Tuesdays 10:30 – 11am
1) Berry picking, wine tasting and helicopter-riding
Out to Krause Berry Farm we went, on a gorgeous summer day, with sunshine on our shoulders. Welcoming us were heavenly blooms in the new flower garden out front, where U-pick flowers became an added activity of the farm. Even the barn-shop, loaded with all sorts of fresh produce, baked goodies, chilled and frozen yummies, had a facelift. This I often consider as the danger zone when entered on an empty stomach, best to head to the patio café for a bite to eat before browsing in.
Thanks to the newly added venture of fruit wine-making, a country-style wine room and tasting bar was built to make this a true wine-sipping experience. Do take a look at the décor, the wares and the unique crafts lying around. All wines are crafted in-house, a majority of the fruits used for making the wines are grown right here on the farm! For further info: http://krauseberryfarms.com
If you happen to be one of those who fancy aerial views of beautiful FraserValley, wait no more. This summer, SKY Helicopters is partnering with Krause Berry Farm & Estate Winery and will be providing opportunities for the public to experience short flightseeing adventures at the farm for the amazing price of $29.95. A schedule as to the days and times to experience these flights is available at Krause Berry Farm & Estate Winery. http://skyhelicopters.ca
2/ Bill Jones, Mushrooms, The Deerholme Mushroom Book
An old foodie friend of mine, the French-trained Chef Bill Jones is rightfully the guru of wild mushroom and mushroom foraging. One glance at his recent release “Deerholme Mushroom Book”, you’ll agree he has mastered the cooking of mushrooms too. In fact, cooking with wild and/or local produce is what he has been doing at his farm/cooking school/culinary centre – ‘Deerholme Farm’ located at CowichanValley over at Vancouver Island.
“Deerholme Mushroom Book”, Bill’s 10th cookbook publication is subtitled “From foraging to feasting” in which he tells you all you need to know about mushrooms, from the wild to the dining table. While most folks settle with getting them from their neighbourhood markets, enthusiasts go further into the forests to hunt for them. “Be very careful!” Bill warns, “There may be over 10,000 different kinds if mushrooms, but only 40 are edible!” We all believe we’re smart enough to realize not to pick and take mushroom foraging in the wild casually, but can we really tell the difference? For example, do you know what the ‘angel of death’, an attractive-looking mushroom belonging to the amanita family looks like and what happens if you eat it? “Please learn before you go mushroom foraging!” Bills stresses, “Stay away from those colourful ones!” In his book, he explains and describes the fundamentals of mushrooms and shows you, step by step, how to make them delicious. Bill runs mushroom foraging and cooking classes in his farm regularly. You can check out all these fun, educational and delicious Deerholme Farm activities led by Bill on his website. http://deerholme.com
Because of Bill, I came across some wild mushrooms Joe Salvo of Ponderosa Mushrooms & Speciality Foods who specialized in importing and exporting mushrooms brought with him to showcase. For the first time in my life, I had a large piece of a cauliflower/marshmallow-like, white-coloured mushroom Chinese calls the ‘monkey head’ in my hand. Chinese values ‘monkey head’ highly for health and medicinal purposes, thus creates a few soup remedies with them. Locally grown, this fresh, exotic beauty was so soft, tender; yet funky and delicate, I was totally at awe! I took it home, cut them in large pieces and added them into the pot of spicy red-wined spare-ribs. During dinner, the whole family was at awe! http://ponderosa-mushrooms.com
3/ Township7 wines, Beast & Brine bacons, PADS dogs
What we did on last Sunday to celebrate Father’s Day was indeed exceptional!
It took a while for the sun to come out completely but the timing was perfect. As we strolled leisurely at Township7 Winery that was set up for the special fund-raiser “Wine & Swine”, the PADS dogs, big and small, cute and cuddly, were there to greet everyone. Wine & Swine, where Township7 wines were brilliantly paired with 7 types of bacon supplied by Beast and Brine of Surrey, was nothing short of culinary amazement and doggy-style adoration. Listening to Ryan Bissell, partner at Beast and Brine talking ‘Bacon’ and the different process and ingredients required to create such full-fletch flavoured slices, we’ve decided to pay the shop a visit – ASAP! Oh mine, the bacon with apple sauce, paired with Chardonnay kept me coming back for more – 4 slices! The bacon donut as dessert was a joyful adieu to the bacon stations – Act I of this Father’s Day program.
Greeting and petting the dogs of PADS (Pacific Assistant Dogs Society) to dog lovers like us was Act II, naturally. There were two 10-week old lab pups walking around with their trainers. How could we resist those innocent looks and cute paws petting us back? Every trainer/volunteers we talked to wore a big smile on their faces as they shared the lovely stories of their PADS dogs experience. We also talked to ‘clients’ who are living with the service dogs that graduated from the PADS program with flying colours. Wines, bacons and angelic dogs, they did go well together!
4/ Chef Matt Stowe, Cactus Club Café, Top Chef Canada
I was enjoying the Roasted Banana & Coconut Tapioca at Cactus Club Coast Harbour when Chef Matt Stowe was crowned “Top Chef Canada, 2013” in the final episode of Food Network’s third season of this 100% made-in-Canada top-rated show. The whole restaurant cheered so loudly the roar almost shook those Olympic cauldrons erected right next door.
From where I was, the celebration was quite astounding. It began as soon as the official title “Top Chef Canada” was awarded to Chef Stowe, a local talent from Cloverdale who works as a product development chef at Cactus Club Café. Champagne was poured, joyful tears were shed. Richard Jaffray, President and founder of Cactus Club, who supported his team member Stowe all the way as he battled against 15 other up and coming chefs from across Canada; smiled ear-to-ear as he raised his glass to Stowe and his wife who temporarily lost her husband to the intensive competition for 8 weeks.
Those who followed this show religiously knew how tough it was. There were times when Chef Stowe was standing on thin ice but pulled through and stayed on to become one of the three finalists. The final competition which took place in Calgary saw the two chefs working their sweats as they crafted a 5-course dinner to the judges and invited VIPs. Well, the wowing effect of Chef Stowe’s apparently was louder, and for the 2nd time, the Top Chef Canada title belongs to Vancouver, BC!