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Vancouver’s North Shore

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We all have one: that friend who posts pictures of every meal on Instagram; who hosts immaculate dinner parties and amps up the carefully curated cheese board with homemade sourdough and prosciutto cured in their own garage; who frequently visits farmer’s markets or forages for fiddleheads. They’re a foodie.

But who ever said foodies were exclusively adults? With the ubiquity of cooking shows, YouTube tutorials, and wherever else kids get their information these days, Gen Z is ready to make something delicious. And what responsible parent wants to ignore their child’s desire to be in the kitchen? (So long as they learn to clean, anyways.)

Indulge your kid with one of these top-notch cooking classes whether you live in BC or are just visiting; after all, the best way to experience regional cuisine is to make it yourself. Your kids will learn to appreciate different kinds of food and take home some serious life skills too. And, hey, while the kids are in class, maybe you can sneak off to enjoy some nosh or visit a local brewery.

 

Arts Umbrella

Surrey

Image courtesy of Arts Umbrella

Celebrity chef Vikram Vij leads a culinary arts workshop for teens ages 15-19 in his Surrey restaurant, My Shanti. Over the course of this three-hour journey into Indian cooking, youth learn about how to prepare food, what it takes to make it in the restaurant industry, and some super handy kitchen skills. Speaking about his journey from India to Vancouver, Vij shares stories from early in his career, reminding young chefs that everyone starts somewhere and that mistakes are part of the game. Workshops are limited. Check with Arts Umbrella for upcoming dates.

My Shanti
15869 Croydon Dr, Surrey
artsumbrella.com
Suitable for teens 15-19

 

Dirty Apron

Vancouver

Dirty Apron kids cooking class
Image courtesy of Dirty Apron

Designed with young chefs in mind, camps at the Dirty Apron teach kids about food and how to best prepare it. Using fresh, local ingredients, the chefs show participants how to use BC’s bounty to create dishes from around the world like Filipino chicken adobo, French potato rosti, or Mexican soft shell tacos—from scratch! The Dirty Apron is owned by husband-and-wife team Chef David and Sara Robertson, who, with their team, teach over 10,000 students every year. They’ve forged strong relationships with local farmers, growers and suppliers, knowledge they pass down to every students, youth or adult.

Dirty Apron
540 Beatty Street, Vancouver
dirtyapron.com
Suitable for kids 7-11

 

Nourish Café

Vancouver

Nourish Café believes that kids who know how to cook know how to eat better, and they might be on to something there. At their five-day summer camps, participants learn all about food facts but still have plenty of fun with hands-on cooking and silly games. Camps include recipes inspired by world cultures, including Italian, Chinese, Canadian, Japanese, and French cuisine. No matter the inspiration, at Nourish Café the chefs always keep Michael Pollan’s words in mind: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” They believe in using whole, organic foods and use a plant-based approach. They also support local farms and use seasonal ingredients, passing along knowledge about BC’s seasonal harvest to their budding chefs.

Nourish Café & Cooking School
3742 West 10th Ave., Vancouver
nourishvancouver.ca
Suitable for kids 8-13

 

Posh Pantry

Burnaby

Kids in the Posh kitchen learn how to bake and cook classic Western dishes, like mac and cheese, pizza balls, and cupcakes. In other workshops, they’ll get a taste of Mexico with enchiladas and churros, or Spain with delicious, fresh paella. They’ll learn how to mix and measure, incorporate ingredients, and how to be safe in the kitchen. These one-off workshops are perfect for a family that’s in town for just a short while, but summer camps are also available. Posh Pantry provides everything, including aprons, so there’s no need to worry about messes!

Posh Pantry
4548 Hastings Street, North Burnaby, BC
poshpantry.ca
Suitable for kids 4+

 

Sprouting Chefs

Vancouver/Vancouver’s North Shore

Sprouting Chefs cooking classes
Image courtesy of Sprouting Chefs

This non-profit organization is dedicated to the development and cultivation of school garden programs. Founder Barb Koyanagi McMahon teaches not only about kitchen safety, cooking techniques and food preparation, but also about the environmental impacts of choosing local, seasonal ingredients, how healthy food promotes health and wellness, and how to start your own garden. At her five-day summer camps, McMahon incorporates all this and more—like physical activity through foraging, arts and crafts, and team building. All of the recipes are centered on what kids can do at home, with and for their families. Your kid will be doing meal prep in no time!

Sprouting Chefs
Vancouver camp: True Nosh Studios, 2200 Ontario St., Vancouver
North Vancouver camp: Camp Capilano with Fireside Adventures, Capilano Park Rd., North Vancouver
sproutingchefs.com
Suitable for kids 7+

 

Well Fed

Vancouver’s North Shore

Well Fed kids cooking class
Image Courtesy of Well Fed

Being able to cook a delicious meal from scratch is an essential life skill according to Well Fed (they’re right!) and they teach kids the hands-on technical skills they’ll need to succeed in the kitchen. But perhaps more important is that they teach kids how to experiment with food to foster a life-long love of cooking. Recipes used in their five-day cooking camps are well-balanced and use whole foods. Well Fed follows what they like to call the lifestyle eating or 80/20 rule: 80 percent of their meals focus on health, using lean proteins and nutrient-rich vegetables. But that other 20 percent is all about decadence. With summer camps offered most weeks in July and August, you have the flexibility to make the most of your time.

Well Fed Studio
260 1st Street East, North Vancouver, BC
wellfedstudio.com
Suitable for kids 7-17

 

Well Seasoned

Langley

Looking for a short foodie workshop or camp? Well Seasoned offers a variety of one- to three-day camps where kids and teens get hands-on with their cooking. From breakfast and breads, to Japanese, Greek and Thai, to Western-style Sunday dinners and vegetarian feasts, there’s something for everyone. Working with Chef Helena, participants will leave these two-and-a-half hour sessions with plenty of new recipes under their belts. And bonus, the Well Seasoned store carries plenty of gourmet condiments, sauces and snacks, so if you want to bring home flavours from a class, you’re in the right place.

Well Seasoned
117—20353 64 Ave., Langley
wellseasoned.ca
Suitable for kids 7-16

 

by Catherine Dunwoody

No excuses – our West Coast palette is refined, so waxy chocolate bunnies, rock-hard jellybeans and Peeps (what are those even made of anyway?) are just plain unacceptable. We can do better. And we do! Here, three of BC’s best chocolate makers show us what’s new for Easter 2018.

Wild Sweets By Dominique and Cindy Duby’s Spring limited edition chocolate art collection screams “spring!” with the use of fruits, origin cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate and a palette of spring-like pastel colours. Sophisticated flavours include cassis caramels, pistachio praline and cherry caramel ganache, and a liquid strawberry caramel with dulce de leche. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost. Shop at their online boutique or at Wild Sweets’ own retail store The Atelier Chocolate Lab Gallery in Richmond.

Image courtesy of Wild Sweets By Dominique and Cindy Duby

Shop at their online boutique or at Wild Sweets’ own retail store The Atelier Chocolate Lab Gallery in Richmond, BC.

Purdys Chocolatier is about as old-school and iconic as you get. Founded in 1907 in Vancouver, they have a long history of providing the West Coast with melt-in-your-mouth Easter chocolate. But that doesn’t mean the brand isn’t constantly reinventing its collection and bringing out new products non-stop. New this year is the “Bunny Bag”, a cute tote filled with a mouth-watering selection of their most popular Easter chocolates including Bunny Lollies, a Wooly Lamb, lots of mini foiled eggs & bunnies and that decadent Fudge Egg. And a little bunny told us that the popular Peanut Butter eggs are now available in mini. Visit Purdys stores or shop online.

Image courtesy of Purdys Chocolatier

Thomas Haas Chocolates & Pâtisserie from Vancouver’s North Shore has a delightful way of combining charming classic styles like the laughing bunny, with world-class quality chocolate. This Easter the line up includes a variety of whimsical chocolate-sculpted characters including an Easter Bunny, a hen and chicks, with a mother hen and her chicks filled with chocolate creations, Easter Eggs filled with chocolate surprises, and a flower pot with handcrafted chocolate blooms. Easter also sees the return of the signature Easter Stollen, a seasonal bread made with almonds, pistachios and kirsch-soaked organic cherries. Visit the Kitsilano or North Shore shops, or online.

Thomas Haas Chocolates & Pâtisserie | Image by Amy Ho

Mink Chocolates, winners of the 2014 International Chocolate Salon’s best chocolate in the world, have an Easter treat for everyone in the family. Kids will love Kollie the Flop-Eared Bunny (milk chocolate) and her buddy Levi (dark chocolate), while parents will appreciate Easter eggs filled with lime ganache or hazelnut. And for those who don’t quite buy into the bunny, you can pick up a gift box filled with strawberry caramel bunny bonbons and Mink’s stunning bonbon art series, where each bonbon is a tiny piece of art.  Visit Mink at their South Surrey or Vancouver locations or online.

Image courtesy of Mink Chocolates

By Catherine Dunwoody

The award-winning supplier of ethical and sustainable meats sold at some of BC’s best restaurants has opened up shop.

It’s a traditional working butchery, complete with a glass-walled dry-age room; a European-style deli and take-away counter; plus a 32-seat, eat-in restaurant. There’s a stylish terrazzo-floor, 2,500 square-foot industrial space and come sunny weather, an additional 16-seat patio where you can get a hearty lunch or share a charcuterie board.

Chef Tony Starratt | Image by Adam Blasberg
Chef Tony Starratt | Image by Adam Blasberg

Two Rivers Meats selects, prepares and sells only ethically and sustainably raised products from like-minded farms, including Cache Creek Natural Beef, Peace Country lamb, Cheam View Pork, Farm Crest Chickens, Canadian Rangeland bison, Yarrow Meadows Farm duck, and others.

Head Butcher Pasqual Stufano | Image by Adam Blasberg
Head Butcher Pasqual Stufano | Image by Adam Blasberg

Chef Tony Starratt’s kitchen and family-style eatery serves what the Two Rivers brand does so well. Bonus? Guests can dine in and then take home recipe ideas.

Charcuterie & Cheese | Image by Adam Blasberg
Charcuterie & Cheese | Image by Adam Blasberg

Try the 60-day dry-aged burger or the rotisserie chicken with hand-cut fried cooked in beef tallow. Fortify with their house-made chicken or beef bone broth. In keeping with the local vibe, a rotating selection of B.C. beer and wine will be available on tap too.

Two Rivers Specialty Meats
180 Donaghy Avenue
North Vancouver, BC
www.tworiversmeats.ca

By Catherine Dunwoody

If being elbow-deep in the freshest, tastiest seafood around is your kind of feast, then The Captain’s Boil is your new go-to eatery. And with so many options of flavor, spice, and sides, it’s a crowd-pleaser for everyone in the family.

With numerous west coast locations, including Richmond, Coquitlam, Vancouver’s North Shore (coming soon), and Vancouver, this Canadian chain restaurant offers a classic Cajun-inspired seafood boil that you customize to suit your tastes perfectly.

 The Captain's Boil Lobster
Image Courtesy of The Captain’s Boil

Start with choosing from a variety of freshly caught fish and shellfish, then add sides and sauces from a lengthy menu of options. You’ll be given a plastic bib and gloves to protect your clothes and hands from the delicious mess, and you wont find cutlery on the table either. Shellfish crackers are provided and the fun begins.

Try the Cajun crawfish with a side of okra, or the king crab legs with lotus root, or lobster with corn on the cob. Select your sauce, from mild to smokin’ hot, from lemon pepper to garlic. You get the idea. Mix it up, share with your tablemates, and get set for perhaps the most fun you’ve ever had at a meal.

Eat in, or take the feast to your dining room table.

For locations and hours, visit:

The Captain’s Boil
thecaptainsboil.com

By Mary Ann Bell

Cupcakes are little hand-held delights of the baking world. They’re just enough to feel like you’re enjoying a decadent treat, but not so much that you feel like you’ve eaten the entire cake. With as many variations as you can dream up, they come in simple as well as unique flavours, and are topped with everything from frosting and sprinkles to bacon and pickles.

Every February, animal rescue organizations including the BCSPCA are holding their annual National Cupcake Day* to raise money for animals, and what better way to get into the spirit than with a cupcake party?

Bake your own or visit one of these Metro Vancouver bakeshops:

Pink Ribbon Bakery
103-306 6th Street, New Westminster

This funky little shop is New West’s go-to spot for cakes and cupcakes.  With their newly introduced “flavour of the week” cupcakes like Mountain Dew x Doritos, Nanaimo Bar or Dill Pickle, in addition to their more traditional flavours, you’re guaranteed a flavour explosion.

Image courtesy of Pink Ribbon Bakery

Butter Lane Bakeshop & Tea House
6607 Royal Avenue, Vancouver’s North Shore

This cozy, mother-daughter-owned bakeshop & teahouse in Horseshoe Bay has a vanilla cupcake with vanilla bean frosting that will change the way you feel about a “plain” vanilla cupcake.  Perfect for settling in for a quiet afternoon with your cupcake and a pot of tea.

Image courtesy of Butter Lane Bakeshop & Tea House

Cassia Bakeshop
1706 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Self-proclaimed cupcake lovers, the folks at Cassia Bakeshop know their way around a cupcake. Originally a cupcakery, specializing in all things cupcake (including gluten-free and vegan), Cassia recently expanded to offer cakes, croissants, cookies and a tasty lunch menu, but cupcakes remain their first love.

Image courtesy of Cassia Bakeshop

Happy Cakes
101-18640 Fraser Highway, Surrey

Is there any dessert happier than a cupcake? The folks at Happy Cakes don’t think so, hence the name of the shop. Choose from filled cupcakes like Caramelicious which is a vanilla cupcake with caramel filling, caramel buttercream and topped with toffee pieces. For a more traditional un-filled cupcake, try their chocolate cupcake topped with their signature blue frosting and sprinkles. At least fifteen different cupcake flavours are offered daily.

Image courtesy of Happy Cakes

Frosting Cupcakery
20411 Fraser Highway, Langley

Sky-high frosting and mouthwatering flavours are Frosting Cupcakery’s cupcake trademarks. Flavours change daily and seasonal cupcakes like the 100% Canadian Cupcake (all things maple) or the Blueberry Bliss make limited seasonal appearances.  Gluten-free cupcakes are also available every day.

Image courtesy of Frosting Cupcakery

The Clever Cupcakes
109 – 2985 Northern Avenue, Coquitlam

Creating an all-natural cupcake with no artificial flavours or colouring, without compromising taste or looks, is the goal of the team at The Clever Cupcakes.  And they definitely deliver.  Baked daily in a nut-free facility, they offer feature flavours such as raspberry or banana cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Gluten-free cupcakes are also available, in addition to a wide variety of flavours and sizes. Giant cupcake anyone?

Image courtesy of The Clever Cupcakes

Prefer to make your own? Try the Screaming Banshee Irish Cream Stout Cupcakes recipe from Old Yale Brewing Company.

 

*National Cupcake Day™ is a coordinated Canadian event to support local shelters, SPCAs, and Humane Societies. In 2017, animal lovers across Canada raised over $600,000 in support of their favourite societies. The campaign has raised $2.45 million to date!

By Brittany Tiplady

Ah, February, the month of all things sweet. Sure, the weather may still be chilly but you can’t deny that love is in the air and the temptation for sweets is stronger than ever. If you’re an inquisitive chocolate lover you’ve come to the right place! Consider learning more about your favourite decadent treat at one of these workshops:

Wild Sweets by Dominic and Cindy Duby

Richmond (12191 Hammersmith Way #2145)

Wild Sweets offers weekly sessions, every Saturday, for attendees 10 years and older. Sessions include an extensive and educational chocolate tasting, appreciation and pairing, (including wine, beer, and spirits) priced at $45.

Image courtesy of Wild Sweets by Dominic and Cindy Duby

Coconama

Vancouver’s North Shore (264 East 1st Street)

In only two hours the chocolate experts at Coconama will teach you how to make chocolate from scratch by hand, and of course, you get to take your treats home with you! Classes are $40 per person; reserve your spot now-they sell out quickly!

Chocolate with Geoseph

Burnaby & Vancouver

Heighten your senses with Geoseph’s Chocolate Sensory Workshops that delve into the world of fine chocolate. His approach is fun, exciting and comprehensive, exploring technique that is typically only practiced at a professional level.  Peruse the website for an in-depth look at the repertoire and menu and find a location and date that works best for you! Classes are 2.5 hours and $60 per person.

Image courtesy of Chocolate with Geoseph

XOXOLAT

Vancouver (1271 Homer, between Davie & Drake)

Located in the heart of Yaletown, XOXOLAT is here to spread the love of chocolate, and offer some fun educational workshops for the curious chocolate pupil. Check out their Chocolate Tasting 101 class to learn about the many “facets of chocolate from the bean to the bar,” and taste some of XOXOLAT’s best selling products. Classes are only $25, running mainly on weekends-or, if you’re looking to treat your Valentine to something special, you can book a spot for their Valentine’s Day class.

Image courtesy of XOXOLAT

Koko Monk Raw Chocolate Tasting & Decoding Class

Vancouver (1849 W 1st Ave)

Join Paul Dincer, Koko Monk’s chocolatier and founder on a raw chocolate tasting expedition. Koko Monk’s classes will explore the history and transformation of chocolate “while sampling a wide range of cacao beans and single origin, stone-ground, bean-to-bar chocolate.” It’s forewarned: this class is for more refined palate. Tasting and classes packages are $45 for two.

Purdy’s Chocolatier South Granville

Vancouver (2705 Granville Street)

Of course we couldn’t forget Purdy’s.  In these private classes you’ll learn how to make a batch of truffles or chocolate bark using 100% sustainable cocoa. You’ll be sent home with the treats you make, and extra recipes to try at on your own. Classes are two hours and the location is customizable! Host a workshop at your office space, your home, or go the traditional route, and book your class at Purdys Factory Kitchen in Vancouver.

By Catherine Dunwoody

Spoil your sweetheart and yourself with one of these sumptuous treats just in time for Cupid’s big day. Remember nothing says “I Love You” more than chocolate. Or cake. Or pastries. You get the idea.

Every Community in Metro Vancouver is whipping up something special this year; have a look at our picks from each:

Fieldstone Bakery
Surrey

Their Heart Shaped Cake for 2, ($16) is a chocolate cake filled with hazelnut mousseline and topped with a chocolate mirror glaze. Available from February 9th –18th at the store, but pre-orders are always recommended.

Chez Christophe
Burnaby

A new Velour dessert has red velvet sponge, lemon yogurt mousse, pistachio ganache, pistachio beet chocolate crunch, and raspberry jam. Available February 9th – 14th.

Chez Christophe
Image courtesy of Chez Christophe

Cakes N Sweets
Coquitlam

Valentines High Tea features buttermilk scones with Devonshire cream and jam, cucumber and lemon aioli finger sandwiches, red pepper and cream cheese croissant, three cheese quiche, chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate ganache cups, a macaron, and a mini red velvet cupcake. At $22, be sure and call to reserve in advance.

Thierry
Vancouver

How about his & her Romeo and Juliet cakes? With ingredients like pistachio jaconde, chocolate mousse studded with Kirsch-infused cherries, and pistachio buttercream you can’t go wrong. $22 each and available for in-store pick-up only on February 14th.

Theirry chocolates
Image courtesy of Theirry

Temper Pastry
Vancouver’s North Shore

We love the classic chocolate heart showpieces – filled with creamy caramel.

caramel hearts from Temper
Image courtesy of Temper Pastry

Blacksmith Bakery
Langley

As a part of their sensory “I Do Éclair” line, the bakery is presenting a raspberry champagne meringue éclair. While you’re there, grab some cinnamon heart meringues, Valentine’s cookie necklaces and raspberry white chocolate heart Vienna donuts.

Blacksmith Bakery eclair
Image courtesy of Blacksmith Bakery

Wild Sweets
Richmond

Try the Gianduja & Fruits Heart Collection, from $8.25. Think sweet and melty chocolate with soft orange, lavender, and caramel ganache.

Pink Ribbon Bakery
New Westminster

Grab a “babe cake” – a sweet little cupcake topped with a celebrity babe and a cute message, just for Valentine’s day – $3 each! They also have handmade chocolates and assorted cakes.

 Pink Ribbon Bakery Babe Cakes
Image courtesy of Pink Ribbon Bakery

By Catherine Dunwoody

It’s February – have you made your Valentine’s Day reservations yet? Celebrate your most beloved loved one with a special evening for two at one of these restaurants across Metro Vancouver. Champagne optional (but not really – bubbly is pretty much essential).

My Shanti

Surrey

Considered to be one of the best restaurants for Indian cuisine in the lower mainland, this Vij’s owned eatery has an exotic, dreamy vibe that is sure to set hearts aflame. Plus, spicy food helps.

Interior of My Shanti in Surrey
Interior of My Shanti in Surrey | Image Courtesy of My Shanti

Wild Rice

New Westminster, in River Market

Order the share table for two, $60, with $5 from every meal donated to Ocean Wise. Nibble on sautéed prawns, organic Angus beef carpaccio, seared sablefish and more. A sexy sharesie meal indeed.

Share table at Wild Rice
Share table at Wild Rice | Image courtesy of Wild Rice

Horizons

Burnaby
The view is absolutely spectacular in the gardens of Burnaby Mountain Park. Book soon to reserve a table early in the evening before sunset.

Globe@YVR

Richmond

Their interactive pop-up chocolate bar, $40, includes a hand-rolled truffle station, house-made cakes and candies, and even a liquid nitrogen sundae station. Live music and a special cocktail list will make it a fabulous night out.

Globe@YVR | Image courtesy of the Fairmont Vancouver Airport

H Tasting Lounge at the Westin Bayshore

Vancouver

For $120 per couple, indulge in multi courses including local oysters with caviar, aburi sashimi, beef wellington and dark chocolate fondue. Additional wine pairings are $55 extra and they are so worth it.

Image courtesy of H Tasting Lounge

The Lobby Restaurant at the Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier

North Shore

Special for Valentine’s Day, The Lobby Restaurant is offering a five-course dinner, $69 per person, that includes delicious choices like lobster bisque, duck confit, panna cotta and more.

The Fat Cow

Langley

Try a 4 course aphrodisiac dinner for $69 per guest, that includes raw oysters to start (naturally), plus choices of mains including pan roasted salmon and flourless chocolate cake for dessert.

The Fat Cow
Image courtesy of The Fat Cow

Carnivores Rio Brazil Steakhouse

Coquitlam

Why not make your V-Day a carnivore carnival? Meat lovers can share a Rio-style meal with a great glass of red. Who says bubbly and oysters are for everyone, anyways?

Carnivores Rio Brazil Steakhouse
Image Courtesy of Carnivores Rio Brazil Steakhouse

By Brittany Tiplady

Vancouver’s North Shore winters may be chilly and long, but there is always beer- and Kinky Friedman said it best: “Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.”

We know the holidays are long over (thank goodness!) but if seasonal beers are your jam, you’re in luck! There’s still a bevy of winter-themed brews stocked by beloved craft breweries on Vancouver’s North Shore to keep yourself warm for the winter months to come.

 

Green Leaf Brewing

123 Carrie Cates Court, Lonsdale Quay Market, North Vancouver

LoLo Stout 5.5%
Named after Green Leaf’s Lower Lonsdale neighborhood, LoLo is a dark and hearty stout that boasts rich and delicious chocolate and coffee flavours. Perfect for the endless North Shore winters.

 

Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers

2270 Dollarton Hwy #170, North Vancouver

Deep Cove Brewers Winter Craft Beer
Image Courtesy of Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers

Dog Mountain Extra Stout, 7.5% (Cans only)
Deep Cove Brewers lovingly describes the Dog Mountain Extra Stout as a “big wool sweater, but for your tummy,” and boy, is that an accurate description. Bundle up and sip on this stout apres ski and enjoy the rich notes of chocolate and espresso.

 

Beere Brewing Company

312 Esplanade E, North Vancouver

Alpine Start beer | Image courtesy of Beere Brewing
Alpine Start | Image courtesy of Beere Brewing

Alpine Start, 6.5%
A loaded IPA dryhopped with plenty of Mosaic and Chinook. Tropical, smooth, with a piney flavour and a resinous mouthfeel.

 

Bridge Brewing Company

1448 Charlotte Rd, North Vancouver

Bridge Brewing Winter Beer
Image courtesy of Bridge Brewing

The Grinch- Winter Ale, 6.50%
Bridge Brewing is current pouring this winter treat until the supply runs out! This delightful ale has aromas of caramelized malt and dried fruit, but not too overkill on the typical holiday flavours and spices.

Santa’s Sack- Belgian Golden Strong Ale, 10%
This hazy strong ale is not for the faint of heart-you might want to try this one with some food in your belly! Enjoy the classic Belgian yeast flavours of Santa’s Sac with some notes of banana and pear and a dry, floral, and hoppy, finish.

Sleigh booster – Imperial Red, 9%
This bold, bitter, and deep amber beer would be paired well with a hearty feast. Expect flavours of toffee and thick malt, and a delightfully hoppy aroma.

Want more winter craft beer? Check out the seasonal winter beer in Surrey & Coquitlam, Vancouver, and New Westminster & Richmond.

By Brittany Tiplady

We have Europe to thank for the invention of olive oil and balsamic tasting bars. Now, olive oil specialty shops are popping up around Metro Vancouver and making quite the impression on curious foodies.

Artisanal olive oil shops don’t just have bottles of beautiful oils (and most also have a large selection of vinegars) on display, olive oil tastings bars present an interactive and educational experience. Customers can peruse the lineup of fustis, special stainless-steel jars that store olive oil and balsamics, and learn about the flavours, origins, and make of each oil and vinegar. Tasting olive oils offers a sensory experience for the consumer, bringing the flavour profile we usually read on a label right to your palate.

Vancouver Olive Oil Company
Vancouver Olive Oil Company

“Smaller boutique shops get people talking about traceability when it comes to olive oil. Shops like ours educate customers on who you are supporting, and the freshness of the oils; I fell in love with the business concept because of this education. I really enjoy it,” says Vancouver Olive Oil Company owner, Michael-Ann Dodds.

“We started educating the public on extra virgin olive oil and what to look for. When an oil has been made, you should be looking for a harvest date or a crushed date, and consuming the oil within a year of that time.”

Vancouver Olive Oil Company is the first olive oil tasting shop in British Columbia and since, the trend has continued to flourish throughout Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, fueling the farm-to-table food movement right down to the condiment.

Check out the list of artisanal olive oil specialty shops in Metro Vancouver:

The Vancouver Olive Oil Company
A family owned business and the first shop of its kind in the province. This Kitsilano staple has a vast selection of artisanal oils and vinegars to sample and purchase. My personal favourite: the wild mushroom and sage olive oil.
2571 West Broadway, Vancouver. Open Tuesday-Sunday.

vooc.ca

Coastal Olive Oils
A South Delta gem that offers a full tasting room with a bevvy of flavours and varieties to sample and purchase.
1315 56 St Unit 121, Delta (Tsawwassen). Open seven days a week.

www.coastaloliveoils.ca

Heringers Meats
This Steveston staple is not just a butcher shop. Heringers offers a generous selection of artisanal olive oils to complete your shopping list in our place. No lineup of fustis for sampling here, but premium products available all the same.
190, 12251 No 1 Rd, Richmond. Open Tuesday to Saturday.
heringersmeats.com

Kimm Brickman-Pineau and Glenn Pineau of All Of Oils | Image courtesy of All Of Oils, Surrey
Kimm Brickman-Pineau and Glenn Pineau of All Of Oils | Image courtesy of All Of Oils, Surrey

All of Oils-Wholesome Oils and Vinegars
This shop is at the helm of artisanal olive oil shops in the Fraser Valley.  Check out their various locations for extra virgin olive oils, flavoured olive oils, speciality oils, balsamic vinegars, and flavoured vinegars.  Added bonus: you’ll  find many certified organic, gluten free, and kosher products on the shelves.
South Surrey location-#160-2940 King George Blvd.
Langley location-20450 Douglas Crescent.
Abbotsford location-#102A-2649 Trethewey St.
All locations open seven days a week.

Olives on Tap
Since opening in 2012, Olives on tap is the North Shores pioneer of artisanal olive oils and tastings, providing guests with a wealth of knowledge on their selection of premium extra virgin oils and vinegars.

928 16th St W, North Vancouver. Open Tuesday to Sunday.

olivesontap.com

Rain City Olives
Olive oil, like everything in 2017, is now available online. Rain City Olives is an e-commerce shop based in Vancouver that offers naturally fused and infused olive oil from all over the world. Shop online or find Rain City Olives at a local seasonal market.
raincityolives.ca

by Catherine Dunwoody

Chocolatier Thomas Haas has revealed their brand new holiday collection of Christmas-themed chocolates and candies, plus stocking stuffers and baked goods.

Image courtesy of Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie
Image courtesy of Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie

A long-time resident of North Vancouver, Thomas and his wife Lisa own two patisseries, one on Harbourside (where the production kitchen is as well) and the other on Broadway in Kitsilano. The holiday goodies include Rudolph in the Forest— a chocolate crafted Rudolph with a belly full of cocoa nib crunch and caramelized nuts dipped in chocolate, a Truffle Tree, traditional stollen Christmas bread, chocolate lollipops, delicate fruit gelées and so much more.

An internationally acclaimed, fourth-generation pâtissier, Thomas Haas gained experience in Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe and North America before settling in Vancouver in 2005. Haas is a fourth-generation pâtissier, and has held stints as Executive Pastry Chef at the Four Seasons Hotel, Executive Pastry Chef at chef Daniel Boulud’s flagship eatery Daniel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and has been singled out as one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America by Chocolatier and Pastry Art and Design magazines.

Image courtesy of Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie
Image courtesy of Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie

Thomas is not a fan of assembly lines and mass production, and instead has a team of 38 talented pastry chefs and chocolatiers who hand-make each confection with love. Haas carefully chooses his ingredients too, including BC wines, Fraser Valley hazelnuts and berries and Okanagan fruits for many of his products.

Visit Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie for these holiday treats and more.

Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie
128-998 Harbourside Drive
North Vancouver, BC
604.924.1847
(Closed Sunday & Monday)

2539 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
604.736.1848
(Closed Sunday & Monday)

By Brittany Tiplady

What comes to mind when you think of the North Shore’s Deep Cove? Hikes up Quarry Rock amongst a bustling crowd, paddleboarders gliding across the Burrard Inlet, kayaking, lush terrain, stunning mountainous views and a sweet small town-esque vibe.

Heading west from the quay to the picturesque Indian Arm is Deep Cove, and at the centre of this cozy waterfront community is the beloved and highly acclaimed Cafe Orso, a local staple with big Italian influence that serves European-inspired food sourced locally. This brainchild of owner Jonathan Hayward and his wife Lori Steeves was conceived when they were on a European vacation enjoying an apres-hike coffee and cheese board.

“We were [over] mediocracy in this affluent, high-end neighborhood of Deep Cove. And a lot of people in this area were expressing the need for a good coffee shop. So, we came up with the concept, and here we are,” said Hayward.

Photo by Jonathan Hayward

Hayward, an active Deep Cove resident and award-winning national news photographer with the Canadian Press, decided to open his own ideal spot and in May 2015, Cafe Orso was born.

Simple and warm, the cafe is adorned with subtle woodsy accents, featuring a sensational grizzly bear photo shot by Hayward himself. It’s the perfect nook for a latte on a rainy day, or a mid-summer lunch after hitting up Quarry Rock.

The menu, as promised, delivers European-inspired fare bound to please any palate, curated carefully from local vendors that do it just right. The dough for the Liege waffles is sourced from Damien’s Waffles in Steveston (after Hayward did his diligent research in Belgium), BC cheeses, bread fresh from Nelson the Seagull, coffee from 49th Parallel, curried apple coconut preserve from Vista D’Oro in Langley, beer from Deep Cove Craft, house baked croissants from Chez Christophe, and the list goes on.

Photo by Jonathan Hayward

During our interview, Hayward served me the two stars of the menu, starting with the tomato melt: Nelson the Seagull bread, melted aged cheddar, vine-ripened tomatoes, blueberry balsamic drizzle, and arugula. It was a divine marriage of simplicity and comfort.

“If you’re going to put three simple things together, put the best things on the plate that you can find,” he comments.  “It’s not rocket science. And that’s what our whole premise is, [modeling] our menu around the food you see in Europe, where food is simple but really, really good.”

Next up, is the Hayward’s personal favourite, the ploughman’s lunch: an open-faced grilled cheese sandwich served with a daily meat selection from Two Rivers, half of a perfectly sliced avocado, and a side of the aforementioned curried apple coconut preserve from Vista D’Oro (my new obsession that is also paired with the sliced avocado toast on the menu), served on a beautiful wood board, charcuterie style.

An added bonus is that Cafe Orso is fully licensed; if you opt for the more traditional charcuterie board, stop in-during happy hour and add a glass of wine for five dollars.

Quality and detail are everything to the folks behind Cafe Orso. Whether you are dining in, or stopping by for a quick coffee to go, visiting Cafe Orso is a Vancouver-must. Plus, the baristas might make a little bear in your latte art, and if that’s not reason enough to visit I don’t know what is.

Café Orso
4316 Gallant Ave
North Vancouver, BC
cafeorso.ca

By Brittany Tiplady

How do we identify true members of our community? The term community albeit, chalk full of good intentions, has been tossed around so much that we often forget the true meaning of the word.

North Vancouver’s Chef Joel Green certainly has not forgotten the meaning of community-in fact, he embodies it. I met with Green at Lonsdale’s Pinnacle Hotel on the Pier on a sunny Saturday afternoon, opening our interview with light conversation about the early Vancouver snowfall and the beginnings of winter that’s upon us West Coast wimps. He is simply giddy about an early snowfall- “I love it!” he beams. “Last winter was great, I spent 30 days on the mountain.”

We start to chat about Green’s impressive career, his deep and passionate involvement with the North Shore, and the contents of his last meal. It’s evident that Green loves where he lives, loves what he does, and loves to give back to the North Vancouver community.

Green’s joie de vivre for the food industry doesn’t stop at his Executive Chef role at the Pinnacle; he has helped fuel local events like Dinner On The Pier: an August soiree that includes cocktails, live music, dinner, and desert on the Lower Lonsdale pier with proceeds benefiting organizations like Growing Chefs.

“I’m a family guy, who loves the North Shore and enjoys everything it has to offer,” says Green. “I feel like I’m a real part of the community and when I walk out, I almost know everybody and I feel really grounded here. My heart would just be torn out if I had to live anywhere else.”

Chef Joel Green | Image courtesy of the Pinnacle Hotel

BT: How did you start your cooking career and how did that come to be?

Chef Joel Green: I was in Banff when I was 18 and I needed a job to fuel my snowboarding, so I got a job dishing washing at a place called Melissa’s Mistake. And I started to learn prep-work there as I was dishwashing and I really loved the culture of restaurant life, and started to bounce around from restaurant to restaurant. I always oved the environment, and I slowly evolved into this career.

When I finally got into Vancouver, I walked right into Gastown and saw “help wanted” at The Old Spaghetti Factory, and I had never actually been a cook before, but they hired me as one and I was there for six years. I loved it! During that time, I [studied] at [Vancouver Community College] and once I finished that, I went to work at Aqua Riva to work under Deb Conners.

She was a real big lady chef in the city, and she was tough. I learned so much under her and became so passionate about cooking. From there I went to The Beach House, and learned a lot of fast cooking, and how to do specials, and I loved having that freedom.

I started then working part-time at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, and really got a feel for banqueting and hotel work. There I also learned a lot about French cooking and I got my red seal at Hotel Vancouver. Once I did everything I could do there, I went to the Convention Centre, and I eventually developed my own technique and I think it’s the best.

BT: What are some cool accomplishments under your belt?

Chef Green: When I was working at the Convention Centre, I got to go to Washington DC and I did the biggest plate-up of history, a world record. It was 19,000 people, sit down three courses, cooked by myself and 25 other chefs.

About a year later, after [hurricane] Katrina, the Superdome was re-opening and I helped with that re-opening. It was life changing in a way- I saw all the people of New Orleans live through it and heard all the stories, and those experiences really shaped my love of this industry and where it’s taken me.

BT: What brought you to the Pinnacle Hotel?

Chef Green: When this place was being built, I said: “I’m going to be the chef of that place one day.” Later, the Pinnacle restaurant job came up, and I didn’t hear anything. Three months later, I applied again, and they called me right away. It turned out that they had this huge that was in 10 days, and they had no chef. When they saw what I had done banquet wise, they [were eager]. And that’s how it all started I’ve been here now for 7 years.

They really allowed me to grow here and have a blank slate. They really gave me a chance. My concentration at first was to get the banquet department up and running, and eventually I [balanced that] with helping the restaurant succeed. I built a menu that I thought would be good for the place and people started to come and eat here, and now we have quite the local customer base.

It took two years to build this restaurant to where it is, and get our #1 on Trip Advisor. I built a core menu for all of our restaurants in the Pinnacle Group: The Harbour Front Hotel, The Pier 7, and here. And I oversee the production and menu for every location now.

Image courtesy of the Pinnacle Hotel

BT: I have a feeling you love North Vancouver.

Chef Green: I’m a North Shore guy, I’ve been here for 20 years. I live in Lynn Valley and I love the nature. This is my home-I could never leave here.

BT: Let’s talk about your community involvement in North Vancouver. I’ve heard something about a little dinner on the pier you might be a part of.

Chef Green: Alex Troll from The Juicery Co. asked me if I wanted to be a part of this thing called Dinner on the Pier. And I said, “Absolutely! I’d love to be a part of that. What are we going to do?” We had a month and a half to organize the entire event which was 150 [guests]. The last two we hosted have been 300. Tickets are around $150.00 for three courses, with a fourth course on the table when you arrive.

Dinner on the Pier | Image courtesy of the Pinnacle Hotel

Tap and Barrel, Browns Social House, and Deep Cover brewery also vend at the pier during the night at The Pipe Shop, so the whole area gets involved! Dinner on the Pier is an August event that is for a charity called Growing Chefs. [Eventually] I was also able to volunteer and actually taught my son’s grade four class the Growing Chefs program and we had a great time.

BT: Tell me more about the Growing Chefs program

Chef Green: So, you have one class for the season, and you plant a whole bunch of seeds, and over the terms the kids water their little crops, and give them sunlight, and by the end of the term they have a crop. With that, we teach them how to make a salad, or a stir fry and teach kids about vegetables and agriculture, and how in this condensed community that we are now living in, we can still grow our own food.

I also have worked with the North Shore Neighbourhood House. Even though Christmas day is the busiest day of the year here, and we do about 1,500 covers, I sneak off to bring Christmas dinner to the Neighbourhood House, and then they plate it up.

BT: What’s your favourite thing to eat? What would be your last meal?

Chef Green: Probably a rack of lamb with a gnocchi with a shiraz demi glaze and roasted vegetables -just my favourite stuff all the together. That would be my favourite. Sometimes a bouillabaisse is also a nice comfort food option-something filling without feeling heavy. My go-to food is French. I like the look of French cooking, I like the way it’s plated, it’s really lovely food.

BT: What’s the style of food here at Pinnacle?

Chef Green: Pacific Northwest casual. Semi-fine, with everything having a tip of the hat to the French style of food.

by Catherine Dunwoody

Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism Association has partnered with the five (soon to be seven!) microbreweries to host their first-ever craft beer festival, running from October 6-13, 2017.

Vancouver’s North Shore goes from Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay, and participating breweries are offering everything from cask nights to craft brewery crawls, to Brewmaster’s Dinners, and more.

Black Kettle Brewing Company | Image courtesy of Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism Association

Who’s in on the fun? Beere Brewing Company, Black Kettle Brewing Company, Bridge Brewing Company, Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers, and Hearthstone Brewery. Serious about beer? Get your very own Vancouver’s North Shore Craft Beer Week Passport and get stamped as you sip your way to the opportunity to win a prize draw. Think hotel stays, Capilano Suspension Bridge passes, filled growlers, and much more.

The passport is your guide to beer and your ticket to the prize draw.

“We are delighted to introduce this festival, and our craft breweries, to new and old friends alike”, said Jennifer Belak, Executive Director at Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism Association. “There is so much to see and do on Vancouver’s North Shore and our breweries are as varied as our attractions.”

For more information and to download the passport, visit vancouversnorthshore.com/craftbeerweek.

By Kristi Alexandra

There’s a homey vibe when you step into Nourish Market on Vancouver’s North Shore. With crates of fresh produce greeting you at the door, a quiet dining enclave in the corner, and a few rows of neatly arranged grains and bottles, the small mom-and-pop grocery shop is no big box store. Tucked into the pristine Lynn Valley Village, it’s not even the wholesome facade of high-end, organic grocers. Unpretentious, healthful, and local, a trip to Nourish Market evokes friendly feelings of visiting a neighbour to break bread.

“A lot of folks, like us, are tired of the impersonal big box and chain stores. They are looking for a deeper connection to their food and their community. We offer a curated collection of the best of what local producers and artisans have to offer,” says founder Jeff Proseilo.

Proseilo and his family opened up shop in 2011, and have been stocking, and celebrating local food ever since. Earnest Ice Cream, Artisan Bake Shoppe, and Rain City Soups are among the local, artisanal brands they hawk.

“We love local food,” he tells WestCoastFood.

And you can bet Proseilo has the ethos to back it up.

Image courtesy of Nourish Market

“We take pride in knowing the farmers that grow our veggies, raise our chickens, or even grow our oats. We love supporting the small, artisan producers that only make one or two things, but make them incredibly well. We foster deeper connections with the folks who supply our shop because we truly appreciate their efforts. Why not buy from each other and keep the small businesses vibrant and alive? It makes for an even better community.”

The essence of community isn’t just felt in the finely curated foods on offer at the shop, there’s a veritable atmosphere of being right at home. A booth bench nook with four neatly arranged tables makes way for families and individuals to sit and nourish themselves, literally, while shopping for groceries.

“It all goes back to that mom-and-pop shop, community feeling that we love. We really wanted a place where neighbours could meet up for a quick healthy lunch, sip a kombucha, or bring the kids for ice cream cones after a busy day,” Proseilo notes.

“Our purpose is always the same: to share great food with the people we have gotten to know.”

Whether you want a quick bite of caprese salad made with locally-sourced buffalo mozzarella and a bottle of kombucha to sip on at lunch, or are picking out ingredients for your locavore dinner plans, Nourish Market has what you’re looking for.

Nourish Market
143 – 1233 Lynn Valley Road
North Vancouver, BC
www.nourishmarket.ca

By BC Association of Farmers Markets

The BC growing season is in full swing, and you can experience the palette of summer with a trip to some of the 145+ BC farmers’ markets. Whether you’re headed here on a weekend with family or friends, or taking the summer to explore Canada’s West Coast, here’s everything you need to build a farmers’ market visit into your summer travels across the province.

Nat Bailey Stadium Farmers’ Market in Vancouver

Step 1: Know your BC farmers’ markets

With over 145 BC farmers’ markets across the province, you’re sure to discover more than a few that you’ll love to return to year after year. This helpful BC Farmers’ Market Finder tool will help you make the tough choices (popsicles in White Rock, or honey in Richmond?) and you might be surprised to see how easy it is to access more than one farmers’ market closer to home. Here’s a tip: BC farmers’ markets are a smart place to stock up on the freshest summer ingredients. Not only is the food fresh and local, you can get great advice from the farmers who grew it! Ask for tips on produce varieties, preparation, storage, preserving, and recipes.

Step 2: Bring your appetite

High summer is prime time for taste, no matter which region you visit in BC. Nectarines, plums and peaches are all must-buys at farmers’ markets from the Vancouver area to the Thompson-Okanagan, and cherry fans can sample their fill fresh from the Kootenay/Rockies. If you’re looking for blueberries, head to Langley, Richmond, and the Fraser Valley – farmers from Richmond to Agassiz supply 97% of Canada’s highbush blueberries. On Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, look for wild crafted delicacies like seaweed and blackberries, along with delicious cheeses from the Cowichan Valley. And if you need a reminder that farmers’ markets are a perfect place to find locally produced baked goods and handmade treasures, check out the farmers’ markets even further north – Prince George’s award-winning year-round farmers’ market features outstanding baked goods and locally roasted coffee, while markets throughout the Cariboo/Chilcotin area offer locally sourced pasture-raised meat…including interesting products like llama!

Step 3: Put your money where your heart is

BC farmers’ markets are tasty and fun, but they also play a vital role in the local economy. Did you know that for the first time in 20 years, the number of farmers aged 35 and younger in BC is on the rise? But expensive land, and high start-up costs can be challenging for new farmers starting out – choosing to shop at BC farmers’ markets is one way to help these new farmers grow (and keep all farmers productive!) The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets runs the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program , which helps increase access to fresh, local food for lower income families and seniors in BC.

Step 4: Take your time

BC farmers’ markets are the ideal place to connect with “slow food”: investing in local crops and taking the time to prepare food carefully. But while the approach is slow, the market isn’t. It’s no surprise that farmers’ markets are a hive of activity: on any given visit you might find live music, chef demos, family activities, new trends like wild harvested food and products, and artisanal food producers. With more evening farmers’ markets popping up across the province, you can enjoy exploring new foods under the stars.

Ready to tour BC farmers’ markets? Take your camera along for the ride and enter the BC Farmers’ Market Road Trip Contest: just share a photo of your farmers’ market adventures with the hashtag #BCFarmersMarketRoadtrip for a chance to win one of five weekly prize draws for a $50 BC farmers’ market shopping trip! This contest runs from July 17 to August 18, 2017. Follow BC Farmers’ Markets on Facebook and Instagram for details.

By Kathy Mak

The local craft spirit movement has been gaining momentum for the past five years in Greater Vancouver thanks to a burgeoning breed of small-format distilleries that produce atypical products for a thriving cocktail community.  Nowhere is that truer than at the Sons of Vancouver Distillery, based on Vancouver’s North Shore. This self-proclaimed really, really small batch distillery has won over fans and followers with their grassroots energy and well-crafted roster of artisan products – a vodka, a chili-infused vodka and an amaretto liqueur.

The dynamic duo behind Sons of Vancouver are James Lester and Richard Klaus who met during trade school. They are part of a breed of new artisan distillers shaping the craft cocktail landscape in British Columbia.  These two enterprising friends and business partners are not ones to chase conventional dreams.  When they started their adventure as one of a few local early-adopters in craft distilling, they had a clear vision to make exceptional but unique small-batch spirits that would inspire more creative cocktail enjoyment.

Sons of Vancouver’s mission is also to create spirits that enhance the character of a drink, not to just act as a base ingredient.  Unlike the neutral taste of mainstream vodka, the Sons of Vancouver’s craft versions – Vodka Vodka Vodka and Chili Vodka –  have unique flavour profiles that add an interesting touch to popular libations like a dry martini, a spicy Caesar or a Moscow Mule. And, their liqueur – No. 82 Amaretto – has the distinction of being the only craft amaretto made in North America. The Sons of Vancouver’s Amaretto has become so popular it now represents half of the distillery’s total production.

Back when Lester and Klaus agreed to start a distillery from scratch, neither of them had any small business or distilling experience; but, they both had home beer brewing and bartending skills along with a background in process control and instrumentation. Feeling confident that a distillery would lead to more opportunities than a brewery, the lads made the leap into a distilling industry that was still very much in its infancy. At that time, there were only 8 craft distilleries in B.C. Today, there are about 35 in the province with many more openings to come.

Their bootstrapped approach, free-spirit nature, and resourcefulness have worked well for Lester and Klaus. After self-funding, and building their own stills and fermentation equipment from recycled items (including an ex-dairy pasteurizer), they then funded the construction of their tasting lounge with a crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo. After that success, they purchased a larger fermentation Mash Tun with another Indiegogo campaign.

With no manual on how to start and operate a distillery, Lester and Klaus devised their current process largely from tenacious experimentation and experience that Lester picked up while working as an apprentice on weekends at a Seattle-based distillery making bourbon and liqueurs.

From the beginning, Lester and Klaus wanted to do things differently; they claim to be the first to ferment a base spirit from a blend of locally sourced wheat, malted barley and champagne yeast.  According to Lester, wheat gives a strong vanilla note, but too much vanilla can overpower a cocktail. Barley has the character of caramel and chocolate that almost goes undetected in their vodka but helps to create a well balanced clear spirit.

After distilling, resting, oxidizing and filtering, the base spirit becomes vodka (40% alc/vol) and is also used to make the Sons of Vancouver Chili Vodka (40% alc/vol) and No. 82 Amaretto (26% alc/vol). Lester explains that their process for every product takes about six weeks to go from being a dry grain to delicious booze.

The Sons of Vancouver’s hands-on approach includes creating their own extracts / infusions.  For the chili vodka, aquaponic chilies from Richmond are masurated in the base alcohol to produce the invigorating spiciness which lends incredibly well for making Caesars.

For their hugely popular No. 82 Amaretto liqueur, bitter almonds (the cores of apricot pits), Madagascar vanilla beans and orange peels are steeped in the base alcohol to pull the flavour out, then Demerera sugar and B.C. blackberry honey are added. The result is a sweetly balanced, smooth, stylish liqueur with a tinge of nutty-caramel note and cheerful citrusy aroma.  The amaretto is versatile enough to sip as an aperitif or digestive, but can happily co-exists in cocktails such as those recommended by the Sons of Vancouver – Amaretto Sour, Benzooka and OL’ 82 – as well as their own creation called Vancouver’s Brooklyn.  For a more complex flavour experience, also available is a limited barrel-aged No. 82 Amaretto that has rested for 12 months in an ex-Bourbon Sherry cask.

Sons of Vancouver Distillery recently celebrated two successful years since opening their doors and launching their spirits in early 2015.  When asked about the future, Lester and Klaus admit that they are totally satisfied with their really small distillery achievements.  Their goal is to keep raising the bar on quality and increasing the reach of their products, rather than expanding their portfolio. However, they have produced an extra-small batch of rye whiskey which is currently aging in an ex-peated single malt cask.  You’ll just have to wait 4-5 years for its release!

The distillery’s production is still well below the maximum allowed for the craft designation in British Columba, which is 50,000 litres per year. But “craft” for them is not about volume – craft is about the people and the community behind the spirits. They are immensely enthusiastic about the craft cocktail culture, especially being part of a family of local distillers and championing more entrants in the industry. Their passion in all things local is even reflected in their name, Sons of Vancouver, created to pay tribute to the city and coast that they love.

You can visit the Sons of Vancouver Distillery, located close to the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge in the Vancouver’s North Shore enclave of Lynn Creek or also referred to as Lower Lynn. Visitors can sample and purchase spirits, take a tour of the distilling area, as well as hang out with friends in the distillery’s laid-back lounge while listening to tunes and enjoying a range of hand-crafted cocktails.  Lester and Klaus are more than happy to shake or stir up their specialities for you from the house cocktail list, or possibly mix up one of your favourites with a new twist!

The distillery is open:
Friday 5:00pm-9:00pm
Saturday 1:00pm-9:00pm
Sunday 1:00pm-5:00pm

Sons of Vancouver spirits can be purchased at the distillery on Vancouver’s North Shore, online and at various private liquor stores in Greater Vancouver.

Sons of Vancouver Distillery
1431 Crown Street
North Vancouver, British Columba
778.340.5388
sonsofvancouver.ca

by Catherine Dunwoody

No excuses – our west coast palette is refined, so waxy chocolate bunnies, rock-hard jellybeans and Peeps (what are those even made of anyway?) are just plain unacceptable. We can do better. And we do! Here, three of BC’s best chocolate makers show us what’s new for Easter 2017.

Wild Sweets By Dominique and Cindy Duby in Richmond have new chocolate art collections with made in-house designs and from origin cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate. Sophisticated flavours include cassis caramels, pistachio praline and cherry caramel ganache, and a liquid strawberry caramel with dulce de leche. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

Image courtesy of Wild Sweets By Dominique and Cindy Duby

Shop at their online boutique or at Wild Sweets’ own retail store The Atelier Chocolate Lab Gallery in Richmond, BC.

Purdys Chocolatier is about as old-school and iconic as you get. Founded in 1907 in Vancouver, they have a long history of providing the West Coast with melt-in-your-mouth Easter chocolate. But that doesn’t mean the brand isn’t constantly reinventing its collection and bringing out new products non-stop. New this year is “hidden treats”, a cute and customizable tote that you can fill with your choice of chocolates and candy at any of the Purdys locations.  Plus, the tote has space to write names on it, because the Easter Bunny is clever like that. Visit Purdys stores or shop online.

Image courtesy of Purdys Chocolatier

Thomas Haas Chocolates & Pâtisserie from Vancouver’s North Shore has a delightful way of combining charming classic styles like the laughing bunny, with world-class quality chocolate. This Easter the line up includes “hen and chicks”, with a mother hen and her chicks filled with surprise chocolate creations, truffle eggs, and an Easter egg nest. Visit the Kitsilano or North Shore shops, or online.

By Ashley Lockyer

Few places on earth let you enjoy freshly made food from the city in the quiet wilderness of a rainforest: Vancouver’s North Shore is one of them. At Lynn Canyon Park, you can take in sweeping horizon views, test your fear of heights on the suspension bridge, or simply wander in nature with friends and family. Start your adventure at the Lonsdale Quay Market and pack some unique treats for the trail.

Beware: Thin crust pizzas (in flavours like pear and brie cheese with caramelized onions) will attract envious looks on the trail. From Bowen Island Pizza Company.
Savour sweet victory after your hike with a fruity, flaky, freshly baked danish. From Cob’s Breads.
The North Shore’s Lynn Peak hike has been described as a more natural and less busy Grouse Grind. The rugged summit has views that span Vancouver Island, Vancouver tri-cities, the Fraser Valley, and Mount Baker in the USA.
Stroll through a farmer’s field of fresh fruits and vegetables, and harvest a few for a healthy trail bites. From Kin’s Market.
Crack one of these mild pepperoni whip sticks to keep you moving on the trail. They are best described as a “snappable” snack because of their crunchy casing. Try one to see! From Bowen Island Pizza Company.
Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge is free to the public and just as awe (or ahhhh!) inspiring as Capilano Suspension Bridge. If your heart can handle it, you could always take in both in one day on Vancouver’s North Shore!
Chicken empanadas and a selection of portable hand-pies are backpack ready for your trailside lunch. From El Dorado Pies & Treats.
Enjoy BCs finest smoked, candied, and seasoned salmon jerky to get your protein fix. From The Salmon Shop.
Grab some crunchy clusters or bark made with dark chocolate and nuts for an energy filled trail snack. It’s pretty much a protein bar, right? From Olde World Confections.

Zen might be achievable when you pair scrumptious artisan foods with the silencing beauty of the forest. Lynn Canyon Park is a place to feel awe-inspired by nature and flavours fresh from the Lonsdale Quay market.

More information:

Lonsdale Quay Market
123 Carrie Cates Court
North Vancouver, V7M 3K7
lonsdalequay.com

Lynn Canyon Park
3663 Park Rd.
North Vancouver, BC V7J 3G3
lynncanyon.ca

By Jaclyn Jularbal

Right in the heart of Squamish Nation on Vancouver’s North Shore, lies the PR Bannock Factory – a catering business and food trailer owned and operated by Chef Paul Natrall.

Paul began his cooking career a decade ago as a teen involved with the Cook Street Café, a six month program for youth on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. His love for preparing meals led him to enroll and graduate from the Aboriginal Culinary Arts program at Vancouver Community College, where Paul launched his career specializing in traditional Indigenous cuisines. The dream to start his own business came into fruition after finding success as part of Team Canada’s Culinary Team in the 2012 World Culinary Olympics.

Though he’s been working professionally for just a decade his journey to owning his own business has been much longer. Paul’s love for cooking started when he was just a boy. “I’ve been cooking for my family for as long as I can remember. We moved in with my grandma and I started learning from her right after that.”

As a grandson, son, and now father – Paul is busy teaching his young children how to create their own culinary masterpieces. How to cure the perfect salmon is one of those things.

Chef Paul Natrall starts with fresh Sockeye salmon

Cured Salmon – A Delectable Choice

Traditionally, salmon curing was used as a way to preserve food throughout the less bountiful months. Now, cured salmon is a staple on many west coast tables. The classic, hearty taste is a great addition to any meal at any time of day – over eggs, in pasta dishes, and served with cream cheese on bannock.

Left to sit refrigerated in salt, curing is a way for salmon to essentially “cook” itself. The scientific nature of the components creates a concoction that changes the texture of the salmon over time and results in a flavourful, denser, and completely ready-to-eat fish.

The Process

First, the salmon is washed and filleted, and then the tiny pin bones are taken out. You can use salt, herbs, berries, or sugar for desired flavouring. Additions like juniper berries or other mixes will also add to the salmon’s essence. Depending on your meal plans – sweet, sour, or spiced may be just the kind of add you’re looking for.

Chef Paul Natrall has his own secret method of curing salmon, which is of course the key to any successful eatery. Want to eat one of BC’s most traditional foods? Give cured salmon a try.

You can find Paul at the Shipyard Night Market, the Artisan Farmers Market, and local community pow wows, and he is available for catering. View more from Chef Paul on Instagram @prbannockfactory

Cured salmon is also available over the counter at Granville Island Public Market.

With a backyard of clean rivers and lakes, the Pacific Ocean, and rich fertile land, the farmers, chefs, brewers, distillers, fishers, and producers are able to bring their diverse traditions, cultures, and creativity to the plates, cups, and glasses of Canada’s west coast. The taste is hyper local, from Vancouver to the Fraser Valley.

Featured in this video: The Vancouver Aquarium, The Liberty Distillery, Fraser Valley Cider Company, Cherry Lane Farms, Burnaby Village Museum, Bella Gelateria, Crazy Cows, Steveston Seafood House, Campbells Gold, Central City Brewers and Distillers, Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, Trading Post Brewing, Steel & Oak Brewing, Vij’s

By Jaclyn Jularbal

Vancouver’s North Shore boasts some of the most incredible views of the city. Surrounded by lush trees and snow-covered mountains, it’s a great place to enjoy many of winter’s finest things – snowboards, sweaters, and soup. Warm up with some of the tastiest soups in town and try some comforting flavours from around the world.

Tamarind Hill
1440 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver

If you’re a laksa fan, look no further. With delicious noodles, savory vegetables, and the perfect amount of spice – the milky essence of laksa is sure to warm you up from the inside out. Choose from your choice of Assam Seafood, Malaysian, and Singapore laksa. Be sure to pair it with an order of Roti Canai, the sweet fried bread makes a great add-on.

The Neighbourhood Noodle House
1352 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver

Don’t be fooled by the name – The Neighbourhood Noodle House boasts an eclectic menu that doesn’t always include noodles.  As locals know, this restaurant is home to the North Shore’s best wontons (in my opinion) and a curing congee that’ll get rid of all your winter ailments.

The Soup Meister
#103-123 Carrie Cates Court, Lonsdale Quay Market, North Vancouver

Think of a soup place with all of your favourites and more. Chowder, chicken noodle, and decadent daily specials that you can eat right on-the-spot or take home for later. It’s also a local go-to for gravies and a tasty borscht that’ll outdo even your grandmother’s best recipe. Plus, Lonsdale Quay has incredible city views that will make you want to eat outside even if it’s -2.

Take-home soups from The Soup Meister in the Lonsdale Quay Market

The Raven Pub
1052 Deep Cove Rd, North Vancouver

Known in the neighbourhood for their pizza, “The Raven” also serves a tasty Moroccan Chickpea Soup that goes down deliciously after a chilly day up Seymour Mountain. Great on the side with a salad or their famous poutine. Keep an eye out for live music nights and of course their drink specials. (This place is family friendly as well.)

By Jaclyn Jularbal

When you talk about west coast cuisine, the first thing that comes to mind is usually salmon – baked, smoked, candied, and cured. So many species of salmon have flourished around BC and for centuries Indigenous communities across the province have been dishing them up deliciously.

Chef Paul Natrall of Squamish Nation has been specializing in Indigenous cuisines for over 5 years. After his graduation from the Aboriginal Culinary Arts program at Vancouver Community College, he takes a special interest in creating the most unique flavours of salmon candy. His catering business, the PR Bannock Factory, serves up delicious bags by the pound at local farmers markets and on order all-year round.

Chef Paul Natrall fillets sockeye salmon

Salmon candy gets its flavouring from the salt and brown sugar used to flavour it. Left overnight the wet fish texture changes and becomes ready for its next steps towards becoming the almost syrup-like candied texture that it’s known for.  Sockeye works exceptionally well for Paul, who often prepares large batches of salmon candy at a time for customer orders across the city.

Candied salmon is great served on salads, as a side, or in a snack bowl. The rich, mouth-watering flavours can boast anything from teriyaki tastes to the more traditional sweetness. All flavours are great tasting on their own or paired nicely with buttered bannock. The simple, fluffy texture of bannock has its own hearty taste and the two on a plate together, well, they’re delicious.

If you’re looking for west coast food then you have to give candied salmon a try.

You can find Paul at the Shipyard Night Market, the Artisan Farmers Market, and local community pow wows. Candied salmon is also available in different flavours over the counter at Granville Island Public Market.

View more from Chef Paul on Instagram @prbannockfactory or on Facebook at PRCateringCreations.

By Catherine Dunwoody

Canada Place hosted the largest gluten-free food trade show in the country recently, the Gluten Free Expo. An opportunity for the consumer to stop and sample the wares and gain information at the many booths, plus check out some cooking demos and presentations – all geared to folks with gluten-allergies or sensitivities.

Newly diagnosed with celiac disease myself, this show intrigued me both professionally and personally as a food writer with a rather refined palette trying to navigate this New Year eating gluten-free. Here’s my ‘best of the fest’ – products I tried and thought worth sharing, and mostly made right here on Canada’s west coast.

Naked Coconuts from Vancouver makes soy-free teriyaki sauces.  Not only gf, but also soy-free, this organic, non-GMO, sauce has that salty, umami flavour we crave when it’s stir-fry time, and this one has 65% less sodium too.

Free Yumm cookies and bars bake their goodies in North Vancouver, and are especially geared to kids with food allergies, often deprived of the yummy baked goods their friends enjoy. Double chocolate cookies, blueberry oat bars and more mean adults love them too.

Hippie Snacks from Hippie Foods in Burnaby had a few goodies to try, but the Nearly Naked Coconut Clusters were that ideal blend of salty / sweet. I would throw these on a salad or eat nibbled from the bowl.

Based in Burnaby, Quesava Kitchen, known for their Brazilian Quejos buns have a bake-at-home dough that means veggie poppers may appear at my house next time I host a wine and cheese party. The cheese, garlic and spring onion flavour was a warm, melty-cheese-in-the-middle treat.

Wendel’s True Foods started off as a café in Langley, and has expanded to a bakery brand sold at every major grocery store in BC. How does gf black forest cake, apple pie, or ginger cookies sound? I thought so…..

NextJen is a brand started by Vancouver Chef Jenn Peters and her partner Chef Hamid Salimian (of Earls restaurants). Flours, mixes and doughs you make at home, including pizza dough, vanilla bean cake and sprouted buckwheat pancake and waffle mix.

Most kettle chips are gf, but oftentimes the powdered flavourings they add are not, nor are the kitchens they make the products at safe from cross contact. Neal Brothers is a brand based out east that clearly knows lucky we BC lower mainlanders are with Vikram Vij’s restaurants right in Surrey and Vancouver, thus introducing Vij’s Delhi-cious kettle chips. Namaste in with a bag of these on movie night.

Delish Gluten Free is a bakery based in Port Coquitlam, but you can find their goodies at farmers markets all over the lower mainland. Try the Quinoa Carrot Cake Muffins.

By Ashley Lockyer

Wander through old growth forest, over streams and brooks, and you’ll find the perfect picnic place on Vancouver’s North Shore. The moderate Quarry Rock hike in Deep Cove leads to a rocky bluff with clear views of the water, mountains, and cityscapes, and is accessible year-round.

The pre-hike view from Deep Cove is almost as good as the hike itself.

All hikes require energy but don’t worry. This dockside town has plenty of portable portions to fuel your adventure. Stock your snack pack at these charming, locally owned businesses:

Honey’s Donuts & Goodies

Even the name of this place makes hikers hungry. This North Shore Vancouver breakfast cafe is famous for their doughnuts, baking, and all day, everyday brunch.

Grab and go: Bite into a crunchy, chewy, I’ve-lost-my-words Honey’s doughnut. Sample their hoops of goodness in classic honey glazed, chocolate, and maple bacon varieties. Bonus: Doughnuts can double as motivation for the Quarry Rock hike.
Fuel: Every day, Honey’s crafts homemade food from scratch. Savour their baking, breakfasts, or enjoy a freshly made sandwich inside this homey cafe.

Covert Cafe

Apparently, the neighbours are complaining about the addictive scents wafting out of this spot’s door. They bake and make grandma-approved food in a modern and airy atmosphere.

Grab and go: If you need some wholesome, like-grandma-made-it energy, try the “cin-ful” cinnamon buns, scones, or brownies at Covert Cafe. These recipes were handed down to the owner who inherited his grandma’s love of baking.
Fuel: Want a meal-sized cinnamon bun dripping with cream cheese icing? Or, a prefer a handful of the swirling snackables above? Either way, you’ll have stacks of snacks to meet your hunger needs.

Bluhouse Cafe

Local, organic, gluten free, and vegan. Experience the goodness in good taste at this hybrid market/cafe. Also, you’ll find a mini farmer’s market and local craft shop out back to get some groceries and gifts for the road.

Grab and go: Power up your health and enthusiasm with a tasty energy bar. Or, suit your sugar fix with some freshly baked treats.
Fuel: Crepe things happen at Bluhouse. Try their “Naughty Nutella” crepes for some tasteful humour or their “Aloha” ones with housemade coconut mango butter. Yum. Plus, they’re made with buckwheat flour, so you’ll feel full of more than just adventure.

Cafe Orso

Stop by for an urban European cafe experience that sources and serves local food, including beer on tap and fancy coffee. Oh, and get a picture with their bear outside (seeing one on the trail is rare).

Grab and go: Want tons of energy without refined sugar? Is that even possible? Yes. These energy balls come pre-packed with chocolatey deliciousness that can be quickly tossed into your backpack.
Fuel: Choose a pastry that packs some protein. Devour Orso’s flakey, crispy ham and cheese croissants.

Take a short hike out of the downtown and explore the North Shore’s food scene. After completing the Quarry Rock rainforest trail, you may have a hard time deciding which you savoured more: the food or the view.

Either way, make sure you bring some snacks home for your friends or they might send you our on another hike.

By Kathy Mak

These days, consumers wanting or needing gluten-free and vegan options do not have to miss out on delicious baked products, thanks to a growing number of specialty bakeries in Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. But, the only decidedly all gluten-free and vegan bakery in the Vancouver area yet, is Two Daughters Bakeshop. They provide a large selection of oven-fresh, healthy products that are both gluten-free and vegan-friendly, without compromising on irresistible flavours.

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Tucked away in Lolo Lane, between 1st Street East and Esplanade Avenue, the cozy artisan bakery is located steps away from Lonsdale Quay on Vancouver`s North Shore.

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In 2012, Lisa Reichelt opened the bakery, dedicated to making gluten-free-vegan pastries, snacks, breads and desserts. It was inspired by her passion for baking and by her youngest daughter’s need for a celiac diet without eggs, dairy and gluten.

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Two Daughters Bakershop’s mission is to use the finest gluten-free-vegan ingredients that are healthy, all natural, and soy free to make the most scrumptious sweet and savoury fare. All their products are handcrafted and baked at their 650 ft2 North Vancouver shop.

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To achieve the right balance of taste and texture, Lisa has experimented and perfected their signature gluten-free flour blend (rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch) that serves as the foundation for all their baking.

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Made fresh daily, or by special order, the bakery offers a wide scope of elegant baked goods that have big home-made appeal and are both 100% gluten-free and vegan. Most of the ingredients are sourced locally, and where possible are organic.

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Sandwich cookies with velvety icing – chocolate peppermint, ginger lemon, peanut butter or chai jam – are some of the many unique edible delights at the bakery. There are plenty of other sweet choices to satisfy any craving, including: gourmet cookies, pies, tarts, cakes, galettes, cupcakes, loaves, muffins, scones, energy bars, Nanaimo bars, and brownies. The sweeteners used are all organic and low on the glycemic index.

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Savoury fans are treated to choices of pizza tarts, sandwich pockets and bagels in various flavour combinations. For a personal touch, bread (pumpkin flax, chia flax, plain and cinnamon raisin) can be personally hand-sliced by staff for home use.

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The in-house granola is crispy, baked to perfection and packed with nutritious wheat-free oats, quinoa flakes, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, and more.
There are weekly and seasonally rotating features, such as pumpkin tarts made with a ginger crust.
There are weekly and seasonally rotating features, such as pumpkin tarts made with a ginger crust.
Baking fresh batches of gluten-free-vegan cookies at home is easy and convenient with the bakery’s pre-made u-bake-at-home cookie dough.
Baking fresh batches of gluten-free-vegan cookies at home is easy and convenient with the bakery’s pre-made u-bake-at-home cookie dough.
Lisa’s two daughters - Marley (age 16) and Sawyer (age 12) – enjoy helping out at the bakeshop in between school and extracurricular activities.
Lisa’s two daughters – Marley (age 16) and Sawyer (age 12) – enjoy helping out at the bakeshop in between school and extracurricular activities.
The Two Daughters Bakeshop team are committed to making high quality, healthful and flavourful baked products for everyone to enjoy, but particularly for the health-conscious community.
The Two Daughters Bakeshop team are committed to making high quality, healthful and flavourful baked products for everyone to enjoy, but particularly for the health-conscious community.
Customers, with or without dietary needs, come to the bakery from all over Vancouver.
Customers, with or without dietary needs, come to the bakery from all over Vancouver.
Make time to hang out on the bakeshop’s outdoor covered deck with an espresso drink and one of the many baked goodies.
Make time to hang out on the bakeshop’s outdoor covered deck with an espresso drink and one of the many baked goodies.

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Enjoy the goodness and comforting taste of gluten-free-vegan baking at Two Daughters Bakeshop. They are open daily, weekdays 10 am – 6 pm and weekends 10 am – 4 pm. Saturday is the only day that their mouth-watering gluten-free-vegan donuts are available. Tempting toppings include: chocolate, chocolate coconut, lemon, lemon coconut, and cinnamon sugar.

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Get the recipe for Two Daughters Bakery’s gluten-free vegan brownies here!

Two Daughters Bakeshop
121 East 1st Street
North Vancouver, B.C.
Tel: 604.836.2229
Email: info@twodaughtersbakeshop.com

By Catherine Dunwoody

“Fiddleheads should start popping up soon near Vancouver, and we’re looking for lady ferns Athyrium filix-femina and bracken ferns Pteridium aquilinum – those are the best in our area,” says Robin Kort of Swallow Tail Culinary Adventures.

For those new to these wonderful, woodland edible plants, fiddleheads are the delicate, curly-cued, tip of the forest fern, and in season for a very short time. The taste is most often described as akin to a mix of asparagus and spinach. “Our foraging tours start in May,” says Kort. “Most of the tours are held on the North Shore as long as enough of the edibles are popping up there.”

Some insider tips if you do hop on the foraging trail? “ Bracken ferns have carcinogens in them (but so does any char on a BBQ chicken),” says Kort. “I would cook all ferns, don’t eat them raw as the carcinogenic component dissolves in water, thus a good way to render them edible.  I prefer bracken ferns which are eaten tons by the Japanese,” she adds.

How to cook your glorious green bounty at home? “I blanch my fiddleheads and then throw them into cold water, soak them for 1/2 hour, change the water and soak for another 1/2 hour.  Then eat them as you would like them, with olive oil and lemon is a nice way.”

Foraging tours for fiddleheads are scheduled starting Sunday May 29th. For complete details visit www.swallowtail.ca.

by Catherine Dunwoody

Canada’s premier craft and micro-distillery festival, BC Distilled, showcased 27 BC-based artisan distilleries to nearly 500 fans of locally made gins, whiskies, liqueurs, vodkas and more this April.

Clearly the show-stealer was The Woods Spirit Co.’s homegrown Amaro. If you’re the cocktail-culture type, or familiar with this Italian herbal liqueur because it’s been around for centuries (respect!) – you’ll likely be aware that Amaro in Italian means ‘bitter’ and brands like Aperol, Campari and Fernet-Branca are a few well-known names.

Amari (that’s plural Amaro, folks) tend to be sipped straight up after dinner, soothing digestion with their balance of herbal, botanical, elixir-like properties. And in the land of classic cocktails? A Negroni would not be a Negroni, nor a Sprtiz a Spritz – without Amaro.

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Joel Myers and Fabio Martini, co-owners of The Woods Spirit Co. tell us the secret to their Amaro recipe is found on Vancouver’s North Shore sourced Grand Fir needles they harvest themselves – it’s something you can find on a hike up the North Shore mountains. “We use the needles and stems… the tips don’t have the grapefruit, citrus essence that we are after,” they explain. Rest assured their Amaro won’t taste or smell like Pine-Sol, “we use a vacuum distillation process to extract only the desired essence leaving the pine-like notes behind,” says Myers. Need proof? Try this yourself sometime –

“run your hand down pine needles while still attached to a tree, then smell your hands. You should get a grapefruit-like fragrance,” he adds.

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The guys forage for Grand Fir needles right in Fabio’s “backyard” (as they say) on Vancouver’s North Shore. “It’s so fulfilling to be able to walk out ones door and within seconds find or discover all that nature has to offer. We literally walk outside, harvest what we are looking for, and then within minutes back inside putting our vision to reality by getting them in our spirit to macerate.”

The Woods Spirit Co. Amaro is available locally at Legacy Liquor Store.

 

By Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism

North Vancouver’s iconic Lonsdale Quay Market opened during Expo ’86 as a carnival style marketplace. Almost thirty years later it has evolved into a culinary destination for those seeking fresh, local and unique foods.

Recently a crop of new eateries has opened at the Quay, further cementing it as a great place to grab lunch or dinner. Check out The Bowen Island Pizza Company with their amazing thin crust pizzas made with local, organic flour and super delicious toppings. Try The Bite @ the Quay, is a new fusion restaurant with a view, featuring Cantonese and Chinese Dishes on an a la carte and tapas menu. The casually delicious Sandwich Shop has a menu of mouthwatering sandwiches loaded with juicy, fresh ingredients.

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At the Quay, you can pick up a bottle of wine or a growler of craft beer, bring home fresh seafood for dinner and stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables all at once, while browsing cheeses, teas and even jewelry. As a great destination year round, be sure to visit in the summer and fall when a farmers market pops up on Saturdays providing even more choice of fresh, local products.

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Easily accessed from downtown Vancouver by Seabus, it takes about the same time to get to Lonsdale Quay from the downtown core as it takes to get to Granville Island, and depending on transit, sometimes the hop to the North Shore is even faster! If you’re looking for a central location to stay in North Vancouver, the Lonsdale Quay Hotel is a charming boutique hotel located on the third floor of the market.

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Lonsdale Quay Market
123 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver
604-985-6261

By Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism

Hidden away on a busy through street, just off of Marine Drive in North Vancouver, you’ll find a bright little shop where the walls are lined with stainless steel keg-style vessels and rows upon rows of bottles just waiting to be filled. What’s special about this shop is that you’re not filling the bottles with wine or beer, you’re filling them with olive oil. And not just any olive oil, oil with names like Harissa infused, Mild Manzanillo, Robust Picholine, Persian Lime and Butter (it really tastes like butter). This is Olives on Tap and these are not your run-of-the-mill supermarket olive oils.

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Opened by owner Andrew Cameron in 2012, Olives on Tap educates visitors about the complexities of olive oils and the balsamic vinegars that pair so well with them. All of the oils and vinegars are available for sampling, and tasting is encouraged. Staff are friendly and knowledgeable and are happy to share their knowledge about the process of creating olive oil. Did you know that authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil goes through strict testing and can be consumed as early as three weeks from their crush dates? In fact, unlike wine that gets better with age, olive oil loses its flavour and health benefits over time.

The vinegars for sale at Olives on Tap are equally special and selected specifically for how they pair with the olive oils. Imagine Aged Coconut Balsamic Vinegar paired with Persian Lime Olive Oil, or try Strawberry Balsamic with Basil Olive Oil.

Small bottles of oils and vinegars cost $12, medium bottles are $20 and large bottles are $30.

Olives on Tap
928 West 16th Street, North Vancouver
778-232-5421

By Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism

Diners at Pier 7 Restaurant + Bar enjoy what has to be one of the most spectacular views of any restaurant on the North Shore. Located in Lower Lonsdale’s historic Victory Shipyards, the restaurant overlooks Burrard Inlet and the glittering towers downtown Vancouver. The heated patio is the perfect spot for enjoying a glass of wine while soaking up the evening sun and the dining room is warm, cozy, and perfect for savouring any of the memorable dishes on Executive Chef Matthew Phillip’s menu.

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The Pier 7 menu is seafood focused and emphasizes boat-to-table choices as well as seasonal, local fare. An Ocean Wise partner, they includes tasty sustainable seafood offerings including grilled west coast salmon and fresh-shucked oysters. Be sure to head down on a Thursday for “the boil,” an impressive seafood feast that includes Dungeness crab, snow crab, prawns, mussels, clams, grilled corn and chorizo sausage.

Pier-7-Diners

Pier 7 is located on the boardwalk of Shipbuilder’s Square where, from 1906 to 1992, thousands of men and women worked in the shipyard and launched over 450 ships, including merchant marine vessels and victory ships. Designated a primary heritage site, the square has undergone a transformation in recent years and year round destination for residents and visitors. Take some time before or after your meal to stroll the 700 foot pier that reaches out into Burrard Inlet.

PIER 7 Restaurant + Bar
25 Wallace Mews, North Vancouver

By Vancouver’s North Shore

On the North Shore we take a lot of things seriously: hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and the weather to name just a few. We’re also serious about breakfast! It seems when someone finds a great breakfast joint, they do one of two things: they either tell all their friends or they keep it secret, for fear of not being able to get a table the next time they get a craving for eggs benny! Well, we’re going to share our breakfast secrets and let you in on the best spots on Vancouver’s North Shore.

BLVD Bistro
BLVD Bistro is the new kid on the block, but they came out swinging with a delicious all-day breakfast menu. From unique eggs bennies and heuvos rancheros to pulled pork pancakes and a to-die-for steak & eggs, the menu is fresh, local and delicious.
Location: 636 Queensbury Avenue, North Vancouver

BLVD Bistro
BLVD Bistro

Daisy Sandwiches … and Such
This cozy and colourful diner is tucked away in a quiet North Van neighbourhood and keeps locals coming back for breakfast with a stand-out menu. Husband and wife team, Brigitte and David serve up classic, tasty breakfast including bennies, pancakes, omelettes and the popular breakfast burger.
Location: 1089 Roosevelt Crescent, North Vancouver

Daisy Sandwiches … and Such
Daisy Sandwiches … and Such

Tommy’s Cafe
Tommy’s Cafe in Lynn Valley is a favourite among local mountain-bikers and visitors to Lynn Canyon. Small and cozy with eclectic décor, on weekends Tommy’s often has a line-up waiting to build their own omelettes or dig in to a plate of Tommy-hash, corn beef hash and perfectly poached eggs. The staff is friendly, the coffee is self-serve and breakfast is often referred to as legendary.
Location: 1308 Ross Road, North Vancouver

Tommy’s Café | Photo: Glen M via Yelp
Tommy’s Café | Photo: Glen M via Yelp

All Day Café
A long time breakfast staple on the North Shore, the All Day Café opened at Lonsdale Quay in 1989 and continues to serve up a small, but flavourful menu of dishes featuring steamed eggs and fresh, buttery croissants. Grab a coffee, place your order and settle in on the sundeck with a view of the shipyards or across Burrard Inlet to downtown Vancouver.
Location: 123 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver

Cindy’s
A small, but bustling café in the heart of West Vancouver, Cindy’s enjoys a loyal clientele, who come for the fresh, completely home-made meals and friendly service. Everything at Cindy’s is made from scratch, including the hollandaise sauce that they serve on their spectacular eggs benedicts.
Location: 1850 Marine Drive, West Vancouver

Cindy’s | Photo: Mike Wakefield via the North Shore News
Cindy’s | Photo: Mike Wakefield via the North Shore News

The Bakehouse in Dundarave
Comforting and homey, the Bakehouse in Dundarave is full of eclectic wooden tables and the walls are covered in local art. Breakfast is served daily (with all-day brunch on the weekends) and choices range from healthy hot cereal (oats, kamut, rye flakes, flax and dried cranberries served with warm milk and maple syrup) to the mouth-watering “dog’s breakfast” which is a “mess of scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, and grilled veggies, served with roasted potatoes and toast.” Be sure to pick up a loaf of fresh-baked bread or a mouthwatering pie when you visit …the bakery is sensational!
Location: 2453 Marine Drive, West Vancouver

The Truffle House & Cafe
This charming bistro in the heart of West Vancouver’s Dundarave Village has a decidedly European feel to it. Cozy and comfortable they offer an extensive breakfast menu including bennies, omelettes and crepes. Truffles play a prominent role on the menu and diners are welcome to add truffle, truffle oil, truffle sauce, or truffle butter to their meals.
Location: 2452 Marine Drive, West Vancouver

The Truffle House& Cafe | Photo: via Facebook
The Truffle House& Cafe | Photo: via Facebook

Bluhouse Market & Café
Local, organic, house made food is the star of the menu at the new Bluhouse Market & Café in Deep Cove. The owners of Bluhouse are deeply committed to using products sourced from local (in some cases as local as their patio garden) and fair trade farmers, and this commitment is reflected in a menu that changes with the seasons. Start with a cup of locally roasted Moja coffee and then try one of their tasty buckwheat crepes and a smoothie made with your choice of coconut water, coconut milk or almond milk.
Location: 4342 Gallant Avenue, North Vancouver

Bluhouse Market & Cafe | Photo: via Facebook
Bluhouse Market & Cafe | Photo: via Facebook

By Kathy Mak

When it comes to the Shipyards Night Market, the journey and the destination are both rewarding! Catch some of the best views of the city and the North Shore Mountains while cruising across the Burrard Inlet on the Seabus passenger ferry (between downtown Vancouver to Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver). In the early evening, you can peruse the speciality shops in Lonsdale Quay Market on route to the night market, which is conveniently located next door.

In contrast to other open-air night markets, the Shipyards Night Market is located on the waterfront with beautiful views of Vancouver’s skyline and setup at one of Canada’s Historic Places, the Burrard Dry Dock Company (Wallace Shipyards). You’ll be amused by the vibrant selection of amazing local food, drinks, music, arts, crafts and vendors, all the while watching the glow of the sunset fade over the city. Feast on fresh cuisine from over 20+ trucks/carts in the ‘food truck alley’, ranging from organic Bolivian coconut masala prawn tacos to Slavic rolls from Hungary. Quench your thirst with local craft beers in the outdoor Beer Garden. Boogie to the lively music of British Columbian bands playing on the main stage. What’s more, browse the market stalls for unique artisan products that are edible, wearable, hangable, or useable.  Cap the evening off by admiring the lights of the city on your return trip by Seabus.

Location: Shipbuilders’ Square, next to the Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver

Open: Friday nights, 5-10 pm, May 1 to September 25

Cost: FREE

Seabus: $2.75 to $4 regular fare, one way, 12-minute ride

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Dine around the world with cuisine from countries such as India, Thailand, Bolivia, Mexico, and El Salvador
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Fresh tacos with an array of ingredients, from various vendors, are one of the top food picks of the Shipyards Night Market.
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Find fresh fusion flavours from the food trucks. Who wouldn’t love Coconut Masala with local bison?
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A Slavic roll is a traditional eastern European dessert made from sweet yeast dough rolled in cinnamon and sugar before being baked in a rotisserie oven and filled with your choice of fillings.
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Live music from a popular British Columbian band entertains the crowds throughout the night.
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Market stalls can be found both on the outdoor deck and indoors.
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Sew Sandy Sew is one of many local artisans from the North Shore showcasing their handmade products. From tea cozies, soaps, jewellery to clothing, you can find just about anything in the market stalls.
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Around the market, several restaurant and pubs have outdoor patios with panoramic views of Vancouver.
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One of Canada’s Historic Places – Burrard Dry Dock Company (Wallace Shipyards) was Western Canada’s biggest Shipyard with important historical significance in the growth of the west coast. Over 450 ships were built here. Shipbuilder’s Square honours the workers of the shipyards from 1906 – 1992.

By Nikki Bayley

Vancouver’s street food scene is known as being one of the best in North America, with more than 100 trucks dotted around the city serving up a dizzying selection of cuisines from around the world. On any given day you could dine on Mexican tortilla stuffed with cactus, a Thai papaya salad, Polish homemade pierogi or even just a hot dog – Japanese-style –dressed with Teriyaki sauce and seaweed.

The delicious twist with many of the trucks you’ll find around town is that they use seasonal ingredients right from the lower mainland, so you can taste something new and local each month as the fresh harvest comes in. You’ll also see Ocean Wise stickers on many of the trucks, which means that the seafood they serve is 100% sustainable so you can chow down guilt free. Find your new favourite truck with the handy StreetFood app.

Start your day right with a super-local and sustainable breakfast from one of the city’s most distinctive trucks; you’ll find Yolk’s baby blue cart at the corner of Burrard and West Pender. Very nearly everything on their menu is organic, local or free-range. All the herbs on the dishes come from the owner’s (Steve’s) garden, and the beef short rib comes from grass-fed, local organically raised cows.

vij

One of Vancouver’s best known trucks is Vij’s Railway Express, which won the En Route Best New Restaurant People’s Choice award back in 2013, the only time it’s ever been won by a food cart. All of their seafood is Ocean Wise and their meats are hormone and antibiotic-free from Two Rivers in North Vancouver. Vij’s Railway Express also uses local organic microgreens from Sky Harvest, Canada’s only certified Urban Organic farm, who grow their delicious produce right in the heart of the city in East Vancouver.

One of the healthiest carts around, Culver City Salads get their ingredients from Inner City Farms, a community initiative which covers some 20 farms across Vancouver, which in aggregate comprise just short of an acre of farm space within city limits. Each week Culver City Salads gets a supply of freshly-harvested produce that shifts with the seasons and packs a powerful organic punch as each of their salads features at least ten ingredients.

letigre

Fancy something spicy? Then try Le Tigre’s take on Chinese street food with a west coast edge. Le Tigre use local and organic vegetables from the Vancouver Farmers Market to keep their Miso Awesome Quinoa Salad packed with super seasonal ingredients all year round. Plus their seafood is sustainable and comes from Skipper Otto’s community supported fishery that works directly with local fishermen to support them year-round.

Dessert comes with a seasonal twist from Nice Pops and their adorable bike-driven pushcart packed with artisan popsicles made fresh in East Vancouver from local fruits. Taste your way through the summer with frosty fresh flavours such as yellow plum and black cherry, apricot and home made salt caramel, or blueberry and cream. You’ll find them at food cart festivals and farmers markets throughout the summer.

By Joanne Sasvari

Keep going. Over the train tracks. Past the North Shore Auto Mall. Towards the giant Seaspan crane towering above the North Vancouver shoreline. Through the industrial park and across from the high school. And there it is, chocolaty nirvana, in one of the most unlikely locations you could expect.

This is the bijou little shop of master chocolatier and pastry chef Thomas Haas. If you’ve arrived after, say, 10 am, chances are good that there’s a lineup of people waiting for his croissants and cappuccinos and the gorgeous chocolates glittering in the glass case like cacao-scented jewels. Don’t worry, just get in line: everything here is worth the wait.

Temper Pastry shop in Dundarave, West Vancouver, photo by Joanne Sasvari.
Temper Pastry shop in Dundarave, West Vancouver, photo by Joanne Sasvari.

If it’s really busy, Haas himself might pop out to visit. Perhaps he’ll hand around some of his rich, dark “sparkle cookies,” which have been named among the best in the world by Saveur, The Los Angeles Times and The Vancouver Sun. At the very least he’ll stop for a smile and a chat.

Hass, you see, is a man who has found his happy place here on Vancouver’s North Shore.

He’s a fourth generation pastry chef, born in the Black Forest and trained in Germany. He got his experience at Michelin-starred restaurants across Europe before landing in Vancouver, where he worked at the Four Seasons before jetting off to New York to become executive pastry chef at Daniel Boulud’s Park Avenue restaurant, Daniel, in 1998. While he was there, both Chocolatier and Pastry Art and Design magazine named him among the Top 10 chefs in North America.

In 2000, Haas returned to Vancouver and started his own business. Now, no special event in the city is complete without his handmade chocolates.

Chocolatier and pastry chef Thomas Haas, photo courtesy of Thomas Haas.
Chocolatier and pastry chef Thomas Haas, photo courtesy of Thomas Haas.

And what chocolates they are. There are truffles, caramels and chocolate bars, all made from the finest ingredients sourced from around the world. There are chocolates filled with fresh fruit, such as passion fruit and Tahitian vanilla, or nutty delights, like hazelnut praline, or exotic spices such as ancho chilies. The hardest part is deciding which to indulge in. Our solution? Try them all, then go back for seconds.

Now Haas’s influence has spread beyond his own shop. For four years, a rising chef named Steven Hodge worked alongside Haas; now he’s opened his own gourmet pastry and chocolate shop, Temper, in West Vancouver’s Dundarave Village.

For Hodge, it was a real homecoming: He grew up in Dundarave, but trained in California where he worked for eight years before returning briefly, then headed off to London where he worked in famous restaurants, including Gordon Ramsay’s Three-Michelin-starred Royal Hospital Road, for three years. In 2008, he returned to join Thomas Haas and perfect his skills.

Now he makes beautifully rich cakes and pastries, chocolates and treats – and adds one more delicious reason to visit the North Shore.

Thomas Haas
Unit 128, 998 Harbourside Dr., North Vancouver, 604-924-1847
www.thomashaas.com

Temper Pastry
2409 Marine Dr., West Vancouver, 604-281-1152
www.temperpastry.com

By Joanne Sasvari

Here on Vancouver’s North Shore, you could say the meat is, well, a cut above. North and West Vancouver are home to a number of butchers, meat shops and sausage makers who’ve carved out a high-quality niche, often specializing in local, organic, antibiotic-free, chemical-free and humanely raised products.

Two Rivers Specialty Meats

Technically, Two Rivers Specialty Meats is a North Vancouver-based wholesale distributor that sells meat throughout the Lower Mainland. But they’re much more than that. They’re a force for good – after all, they’ve done more than just about anyone to make local, ethically raised meats the popular choice for diners in Vancouver.

You’ll find their products – from highly respected producers like Sloping Hills pork, Thiessen Farms chickens and Pemberton Meadows natural beef – on the best restaurant menus in Vancouver as well as in boxes from the SPUD organic food delivery service.

Now Two Rivers has gotten into charcuterie in a big way. Chef Owen Foster is the in-house charcutier making everything from fresh sausages to cured guanciale and fermented salamis. It’s a “charcuterie dream world,” says his boss, Jason Pleym, who owns Two Rivers. One of the best places to find their cured meats is on meat and cheese boards at the province’s wineries, Pleym says, adding, “The Okanagan’s been crazy for us.”

Next up for Two Rivers is an expansion and, excitingly, a much-anticipated retail store, which is set to open in spring 2016. We can hardly wait.

180 Donaghy Ave., North Vancouver, 604-990-5288
www.tworiversmeats.ca

Prosciutto hanging to cure at Two Rivers Specialty Meats in North Vancouver, photo courtesy of Two Rivers Specialty Meats.
Prosciutto hanging to cure at Two Rivers Specialty Meats in North Vancouver, photo courtesy of Two Rivers Specialty Meats.

Sebastian & Co. Fine Meats

Meanwhile, North Shore residents have Sebastian & Co. Fine Meats. Sebastian is Sebastian Cortez, a Chilean chef who decided to get out of the kitchen and sharpen his carving knives instead. He specializes in organic, free-range, grass-fed and ethically raised meats and is on a mission to raise the profile of humble beef cuts like skirt steak and vacio. His friendly little shop in West Vancouver’s Dundarave Village is part of a community of charming shops, cafés and restaurants. “I like the neighbourhood sense of it,” he says, “everywhere I go on the North Shore, everyone knows me. It’s like a small community.”

425 Marine Dr., West Vancouver, 604-925-1636
www.sebastianandco.ca

Owner Sebastian Cortez at Sebastian & Co. Fine Meats in Dundarave, West Vancouver, photo by Joanne Sasvari
Owner Sebastian Cortez at Sebastian & Co. Fine Meats in Dundarave, West Vancouver, photo by Joanne Sasvari

The British Butcher Shoppe

For years, The British Butcher Shoppe was North Vancouver’s best-kept secret, a celebration of sausagey goodness tucked into a residential neighbourhood near Grand Boulevard. Now they’ve opened a second location in West Vancouver and the secret’s out. This butcher shop carries top quality locally raised meats, but also specializes in traditional UK-style sausages – think Cumberland, Epping, Lincolnshire, steak & Guinness – as well as irresistible meat pies, sausage rolls and a wide range of British imports. This is the place to stock up on your Branston pickle and Walker’s crisps.

703 Queensbury Ave, North Vancouver, 604-985-2444
1531 Marine Dr., West Vancouver, 604-925-2224
www.thebritishbutchershoppe.com

Jolly Meats & Fine Foods

If you didn’t know about Jolly Meats & Fine Foods, chances are pretty good you’d never find it, given that it’s hidden away in an industrial park off Dollarton Highway. And that would be too bad, because this is a real find. It’s a Scandinavian-style butcher shop that’s been in business for over 40 years, offering fine cuts of locally sourced, hormone-and antibiotic-free meat as well as pâtés, terrines and deli items from their three smokehouses. In fact, their smoked pork chops have been named one of Vancouver’s best things to eat before you die. Plus you can pick up pickled herring, salted licorice and other Nordic treats when you swing by.

111 Charles St., North Vancouver, 604-929-7937
www.jollymeats.ca

Hello, Halal

Head to Central Lonsdale Avenue and you’ll find yourself in the heart of Little Persia, where Middle Eastern markets abound amid the kebab shops and travel agents specializing in trips to Tehran. Several of the markets offer halal meats and Middle Eastern deli foods, as well as fresh produce and exotic imported products. It can be a chaotic shopping experience, but a tasty one. Two shops to check out are Vanak Market and Deli (1860 Lonsdale Ave., 604-770-2121) and the straightforwardly named Meat Shop & Deli (1346 Lonsdale Ave., 604-983-2020).