• Archives
  • Jan10

    David Scholefield, Stephanie Yuen, Alison Scholefield, Whitney Law
    [3 OCP's and Stephanie! David Scholefield, Stephanie Yuen, Alison Scholefield, Whitney Law]

    Vancouver embraces a vibrant and varied Asian dining scene, spanning Richmond to Chinatown and various points in between. Asian families often get together to celebrate holidays over a large meal with several shared dishes.

    Okanagan Crush Pad's Alison Scholefield, Whitney Law, Leeann Froese
    [Okanagan Crush Pad's Alison Scholefield, Whitney Law, Leeann Froese]

    Luckily, BC has a growing and fruitful bounty of wineries to match the range of flavours and spices that go into creating a feast such as the one I recently enjoyed at Kaya Malay Bistro, celebrating the Lunar New Year together one specific winery – Summerland’s Haywire.
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  • Oct12

    Kaya Malay Bistro

    Kaya Malay Bistro is a relatively new player on Vancouver’s West Broadway corridor. I’d missed the grand opening party, so when my friend Stephanie Yuen invited me to dine along with a group of Vancouver food lovers, I marked the date on my calendar, ready for a Malaysian taste experience.

    Kaya Malay Bistro/cocktail hour

    The ambiance is modern, clean, and friendly, with white lighting alongside the entryway leading to the main dining room. We started the evening with a couple of different fruit-based cocktails, while conversing and waiting for the rest of the party to arrive. Our group was then seated in a private room upstairs, an area suitable for about 20-30 guests.

    I haven’t yet been to Malaysia, so my palate isn’t used to authentic food comparisons. That said, many of the dishes that I did try packed a slight to medium heat. Kaya’s main menu ranges from tapas, soups, salads, noodle dishes, to seafood, meat, veggies, and desserts. And while durian and okra are acquired tastes in my book, I greatly enjoyed the sate, sautéed green beans served with pan-fried halibut, and the hearty squash and apple curry bisque, served alongside home made roti with curry dipping sauce.

    Kaya Malay Bistro/Kaya salad
    [Kaya Salad]

    Our first dish was the Kaya Salad, a lovely combination of dried cranberries, peanuts, romaine lettuce, boiled egg, potatoes, mango and deep-fried tofu with a mango and peanut butter dressing. The mango was the only component of the dish that didn’t seem to fit in with the rest; I loved the peanut taste throughout the salad.

    Kaya Malay Bistro/squash & apple curry bisque
    [Squash and apple curry bisque]

    Kaya Malay Bistro/home-style roti
    [Homemade roti with curry dipping sauce]

    The squash and apple curry bisque is hearty and makes a wonderful compliment to the homemade roti served with curry dipping sauce. I’ve tasted Chef Chang’s roti at EBO Restaurant, and while EBO’s forms a good basis for comparison, I found this roti a little less fluffy than their restaurant’s version.
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  • Jun7

    Food Talks Volume 1
    [Richard Wolak, Vancouver Foodster]

    Earlier this week at W2 Woodwards Community Media Arts Café, food lover and writer Richard Wolak launched the first edition in his Vancouver Food Talks series. Appetizers, iced tea, and a glass of Misconduct Wine were served pre-event, courtesy of W2’s Chef Karen McAthy. Five prominent speakers each gave a short talk about what drives their passion within the food industry.

    Below is a quick recap of what each speaker offered; a Q&A session and prize raffle followed. Specially created treats from Soirette Macarons were handed out as we exited the event.

    Food Talks Volume 1
    [Mike McDermid, Manager, Ocean Wise Program at the Vancouver Aquarium]

    Mike McDermid, Manager, Ocean Wise Program at the Vancouver Aquarium:

    1.2 billion people rely on seafood as a dietary substance. Based on current extraction rates, we’re running out of stock and soon. Started in 2005, Ocean Wise helps to empower consumers to make the right choice.

    It’s hard for chefs to know what the impact is of certain fish species caught. Vancouver Aquarium stepped in to help them decide. And the chefs were happy to have the help. At the end of the day, they wanted to know that they were doing right by our oceans.

    People all over North America started to contact Ocean Wise for information. Within six to seven years, the program has grown to 3,100 active sources: an incredible amount of buying power. The Ocean Wise network helps connect sources with the chefs, stores and markets, making it easy for consumers to identify what the right choices are. They’ve started to change the way that seafood is both sourced and its fisheries operated. Fisheries now get value for their product.

    Local, seasonal, organic, fair trade: “We’re just starting to get there with seafood.”

    Food Talks Volume 1
    [Stephanie Yuen, East Meets West author]

    Stephanie Yuen, East Meets West author and food columnist:

    Compared to 30 years ago, there are about 1,000% more Asian restaurants in Vancouver. Asian food in Vancouver does a tremendous amount of good for its food scene. Stephanie went on to talk about her latest book, East Meets West, then discussed the importance of freshly sourced products, avoiding shark fin fishing, and our local Asian food community. Her book will be launched this Saturday, June 9, from 2 to 4 pm at Shaktea, 3702 Main Street.

    Food Talks Volume 1
    [Hunter Moyes, Chef, Waldorf Hotel; founder Vancouver Tiffin Project]

    Hunter Moyes, Chef, The Waldorf Hotel:

    NGO’s have problems bringing out numbers to events, but when food is involved, that number triples. Three key issues that Hunter discussed were local vs. imported produce, waste, and food security.

    CSA (community-supported agriculture) relies on a large number of small-consumption clients. Being part of food industry, why not take that number and get a small number of large-consumption clients to make a difference?

    We’ll fall back onto small farmers as gas prices continue to rise. Moyes has launched a Vancouver version of the Tiffin Project. Originated in India in 1880, this is a meal delivery system where hundreds of thousands of meals are delivered and catered without waste.

    Moyes formerly worked at Burgoo West Point Grey. There he saw how thousands of dollars of take-out containers went out the door. This led him to think about a local campaign. He’s gathered a group of Vancouver restaurants to eliminate take-out waste. Profit margin: $4 of each reusable container goes towards researching ways of eliminating more waste. As well, proceeds will serve to educate the public. Follow his project on Twitter: @TiffinProject

    Food Talks Volume 1
    [Trevor Bird, Top Chef Canada; Fable Kitchen Restaurant Executive Chef]

    Trevor Bird, Top Chef Canada and Fable Kitchen Restaurant Executive Chef:

    Trevor’s all about bridging the gap with sourced food. Fable Kitchen wants to know about the animals they serve. What’s their life span? Where are there genetics from?

    “Just because it’s local doesn’t mean it’s sustainable”. Chef Bird then went on to colourfully describe his experience being on Top Chef Canada and how he respects Carl Heinrich for what he’s learned from him. Bird is glad that the Food Network chose Carl as the winning Top Chef Canada.

    Food Talks Volume 1
    [Roberta LaQuaglia, Vancouver Farmers Markets]

    Roberta LaQuaglia of Vancouver Farmers Markets:
     
    The public has taken to the farmers markets. Community is developed through the markets, creating small villages with temporary stalls. Roberta believes that the public should be educated about their food sources and options.

    Markets have a vibe. Farmer’s markets equate to laughter, good times, music, etc. People get connected with “their market”. There’s a pride associated with it. Vancouver Farmer’s Markets are grateful for their customer base.

    Growers have to feel that it’s worth their while to come in and sell their product. The average age of BC farmers is 54. Therefore, new farmers need to get introduced to the community so that the current generation can retire while passing on their knowledge.

    On a humorous side note, Trevor Bird proposed starting a celebrity farmer movement.

    Tickets for Food Talks Volume 2 are now on sale via Vancouver Foodster. Visit the event link for information and to purchase tickets.

  • May28

    Stephanie Yuen

    Stephanie Yuen, born in Hong Kong and a Vancouver resident for over 30 years, started as a journalist for Sing Tao (Vancouver’s Chinese newspaper) before developing a career as a freelance food journalist. She speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, and English.

    Stephanie later served as a food columnist for CBC Radio 1, and currently writes for both Edible Canada and What’s On Magazine. She also contributes to the Vancouver Sun and makes frequent appearances on both radio and local television programs such as Fanny Kiefer’s Studio 4. You can follow her Asian food adventures at Beyond Chopsticks.
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  • May17

    Food Talks logo

    Richard Wolak, food writer and founder of both Vancouver Foodster and Taste and Sip Magazine has just launched his latest project: Food Talks. This new series of monthly (for now) social gatherings brings together five speakers of different backgrounds and roles from within the food community in and around Vancouver.

    Gravalax with alfalfa sprouts and wasabi mayo
     
    Richard’s new social gathering is more than hearing great people talk about their passion. It’s also a chance for the community to meet and mingle over delicious appetizers presented by the hosting restaurant/event space while sipping on wine poured by a different featured winery at each event.

    A Q&A will follow each of the talks, allowing participants to benefit from a leading panel of experts. The evening will end with everyone taking home a sweet treat from one of Vancouver’s local bakeries.
     
    The Food Talks series kicks off on June 5 with these five well-known food experts:
    Chef Trevor Bird – Top Chef Canada Competitor and Chef/Owner Fable Kitchen
    Stephanie Yuen – Food Writer and “East Meets West” Author
    Mike McDermid – Ocean Wise Manager at the Vancouver Aquarium
    Roberta LaQuaglia – Operations Manager, Vancouver Farmers Markets
    Hunter J. Moyes – Chef at the Waldorf Hotel, Founder of The Tiffin Project
     
    Appetizers will be prepared by W2 Media Café’s Chef Karen McAthy, while this month’s wine will be provided by Misconduct Wine Co.

    Food Talks
    Date: June 5, 7 pm
    Venue: W2 Media Café and Community Media Arts Centre, 111 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
    Tickets: $30 early bird tickets (until June 1; $40 after June 1) available online
     
    For more details, visit the Food Talks website. The series continues on Tuesday, July 10 at EBO Restaurant (Burnaby), and on Tuesday, August 14 (location to be determined).