Vancouver BC Food Tour

Alex and I spent last weekend in Vancouver. Saturday was food tour day! Following a visit to the Vancouver Winter Farmers market we headed to Granville Island. Edible Canada is both a store selling artisan food products and a bistro serving local food. I had the Edible Canada breakfast: scrambled eggs, pork and apple sausage and smoked bacon. There were two little smoked tomatoes, bright bursts of flavor, and my favorite thing, potatoes fried in duck fat. I’m going to get a duck and try that myself! Granville Island Public Market is a year-round indoor market stuffed with vendors selling vegetables and fruit, cheese, sausage, tea, honey, grains, maple syrup…it’s overwhelming! Since we couldn’t bring fresh food across the border we loaded up on finished foods, honey, maple syrup, and birch syrup. For dinner we checked out a brand new Vancouver farm-to-table restaurant, Forage. Chef Chris Whittaker is playing with … Continue reading

Vancouver Winter Farmers Market

Alex and I are Vancouver BC for the weekend. Of course the first place we headed this morning was the Winter Farmer’s Market. It’s held Saturdays 10-2 from Nov. 3 to April 27, closed Dec. 29. The location is a great big parking lot, the Nat Bailey Stadium east parking lot. They promised more than 60 vendors and delivered at least a hundred. The market requires at least 60% original food producers, farmers first, and encourage craft food vendors to use products from the farmers. There were lots and lots and lots of farmers. Also bakers, artisan food makers, a few non-food artisans, and a wide variety of interesting food trucks. (I got beignets!) This is recognizably our food ecosystem. The farmers stocked foods that we can get in Kitsap farmers markets. At this time of year: greens; root vegetables, including onions, beets, carrots, potatoes, rutabagas; brassicas, cabbage and broccoli … Continue reading

Southern California cuisine

Last year I had the chance to tour northern California and check out the cuisine, including dinner at Chez Panisse on their 39th anniversary. On my round-the-country trip I wanted to check out a farm-to-table southern California restaurant. My brother and I dined AR Valentien on a Monday night. My brother made an interesting companion for this experience, as he worked in food service for a number of years, ending up as a sous chef at Gerard’s Relais de Lyon before he left the trade. Chef Jeff Jackson comes from the same cooking lineage, although my brother was quick to point out that he himself had learned classic cuisine, and missed the nouvelle cuisine training that changed French and Californian food styles. The restaurant’s web site promotes Valentien as experimental and dedicated to farm-to-table cuisine. The day’s tasting menu featured Maine lobster and the beef hailed from Kansas, neither was … Continue reading

Urban farms

On my 30-day tour of America I stumbled on two urban farms. The first was in New York city at Battery Park. The plots themselves were protected by a pike fence that pointed inward toward the gardens. With the vandalism we have in Bremerton at Blueberry Park, I can’t imagine what it would be like to try to defend a stationary plot in the biggest city in the country. In Albuquerque right outside the transportation center we stumbled on the Alvarado Urban Farm. The raised beds here had clearly just been put in. Very few had anything growing, just a few tomato plants. Obviously this farm will be dependent on a water source. It was so hot and sunny in October, I thought the growing season lean toward the winter months. I didn’t seek out urban farms as I did co-ops and farmers markets, I just found these passing by. … Continue reading