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Archive for July, 2010

There is a lot of stuff that can happen in two years in someone’s life and if you blink you might miss it . . .  Allan and I opened the doors to our family and friends on June 18th 2008, and then we threw the doors open for real 10 days later.

In the two years since we opened the doors, we’ve opened the bistro 7 days a week with the exception of a few holidays and we’ve catered:

  • About 40 weddings
  • 120 odd events . . . not “odd” in weird but every type imaginable
  • Oh, and we can’t forget the 10 days of backstage catering we did at the Junos!
  • . . . and too many other meals to mention

We were able to sit back the other night with some of the most important people in our lives—staff, friends, significant others to celebrate the two anniversary. (Those who were missing know who they are and we wish you could have joined us.)   Anyone in the restaurant business understands how rare and occastion it is be able to sit back and enjoy the night off and have a great meal and wine with friends and staff.

First the wines: it seems that when you’re a chef and you leave places, you seem to get bottles of wine, champagne as thank-yous. Some of it is consumed the minute you leave and some gets put down, saved for later, or even hidden—sometimes behind books or even behind a box in your basement until you remember it or find it. Somehow this way, I ended up with a bottle of 85 Dom!! There were many reasons in the past that I could have used to drink it but it never actually was consumed . . . so there it sat. It wasn’t that hard to decide to pop it open for the anniversary celebration where I would be celebrating 2 years at the Table with two of the guys who were responsible for my first line cook in attendance. Even better, Mark who hired me at PJ’s Allstar Café and Jason who trained me there, were celebrating the anniversary with as they had both been part of the Two Chefs team since day 1.

Allan brought along a great bottle of South African wine from his last gig at Jericho Sailing Centre and we had some excellent stuff from our friends at Poplar Grove (recent winners of a Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for excellence in wine) along with some Icon Wines donated by our friend and wine consultant Paul Watkin.

Ok now for the big deal Dinner !!!!

We asked Frances at Cork & Fin if we could get a table Sunday night to celebrate our anniversary and WOW, we were treated well. The night consisted of a 7-course extravaganza of great food, perfect service and hospitality.

They built and printed a custom menu for us, and once the cocktails and champagne got rolling we ended being there for 5 hours of amazing food and stories and wine. It’s nights like this that make the long hours and days worth it. To sit down and be totally blown away is a great and rare feeling.  If you haven’t been to Cork & Fin yet please go now! It’s great. We owe a huge thanks to Frances and the team down there.

We’re well into our third year now and we have new projects on the go to keep us extra busy on top of the bistro and catering that are going full speed. It’s been a great ride and we can’t wait to look back in another couple of years.

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Two Chefs and a Table Celebrates the World Cup with a Special Menu

Many would argue that a country’s soccer style and cuisine are both a reflection of its culture. Latin countries are famed for their flair and invention while the traditional European powers play with structure and organization and the English can never quite get it right . . .

In honour of the World Cup, Two Chefs and a Table is preparing a special World Cup Wine Drinker Dinner menu that combines dishes and paired drinks from a variety of traditional soccer powers into one delicious night’s celebration. And while some of the greats like Italy, France and Brazil maybe on the sidelines for the finals, the Germans and Spanish are still looking for glory.

The dinner is being held on Wednesday July 7th, during the break between the semis and the final. This World Cup Menu is dinner is $65 per person, not including tax and gratuity. Two Chefs and a Table is located at 305 Alexander Street in Railtown. For more information or to book your table, call 778-233-1303 or email them at info@twochefsandatable.com. Reservations are recommended.

Amuse:  White Prawn Ceviche

Cocktail: Sagatiba Cachaca “The Basil Smash” (Brazil)

First Course: Grilled Asparagus salad: white and green Asparagus, lemon vinaigrette, blue cheese, pork belly lardoons, frisee

Wine:  Dr. Pauly Bergweiler Riesling QbA (Germany)

Second Course: Handmade tagliatelli and meatballs–beef, pork meatballs braised with fresh herbs, olive oil and fire roasted tomato

Wine: Fattoria Luiano Sangiovese “Rosso Assai” (Italy)

Third Course: Surf’n’Turf–seared scallops, triple a beef strip loin, chimmichurri

Wine: Dante Robino Bonarda (Argentina)

Fourth Course:  Beef Bourguignon, slow braised triple a beef, heirloom carrots, pearl onions & our own fresh herbs

Or/

Polderside Sunflower Duck, seared with burnt orange glaze, fresh cherries, polenta, roasted patty pan squash

Wine: Chateau Val Joanis Tradition Red (France)

Fifth Course: Morbier Cheese – with Anjou pear and toasted walnut


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The MINI at Township 7

I mentioned before that one of the benefits of this industry was networking with friends and contacts and how quick folks are to help each other out. Recently, I had the opportunity to help out our friend Chris from Mini Yaletown on his upcoming catering events and at the same time, we worked up the plan to do a wine tour in a MINI and let all our friends know about it. Anytime, I get the chance to get out of the catering vehicle, it’s something I am happy to jump at, so we put the plan in place for last week and hit the road.
Wednesday, Day One, I left Yaletown in a midnight black MINI Convertible and, despite the unseasonable weather, Vancouver rules applied and the top was down as the first sliver of blue sky appeared. I headed to the airport to pick up Colette from her flight from Edmonton and we headed off across Delta and Surrey heading to the Highway 1 and points East of Vancouver.
The first impression was the interior room: I am a big guy and the car fit me really well– no real blind spots, lots of leg room and same for my co-pilot. We hit the freeway and there was no extra noise at all despite the soft top. The car was super fun to drive. We has the iPod loaded and connected and were bound for Penticton with an eclectic mix of The Cure, Eminem, Shinedown and some good old country music to pass the time. 

The basic ingredients of our trip were: parents, sun, wine, sun, and farmers’ stands.

We got to Keremeos and grabbed some of the best honeycomb I’ve been able to find! It came from local Valley farmers and turned up in the store that way. We loaded up with some water and beef jerky for fuel and were ready for the last leg into Penticton.

Once we were in Penticton, it was all about the plan: how many wineries can we hit and then how many fruit and vegetable stands can I get in as well without boring the co pilot too much!! 

We drive out to Naramata and hit some of our favourites:

Township 7: some great wines here, the highlights of course are the Cab Merlot blend from 07 and a off dry Gewürztraminer

La Frenz: not open on Canada day but beautiful vineyard and tasting room nestled in it

Red Rooster: this is a new building I haven’t seen yet and it was quite busy with lots of people tasting and buying

Poplar Grove: great wines here–we do a lot with them in the way of wine dinners and our wine list in general. We bought some of their great Cab Franc as we had ran out of it a while back and we also grabbed a bottle of the Legacy. Great wine!

The trunk on the MINI was getting full because we’d been getting greedy with all our purchase! We hit a couple of fruit stands to see what’s available and then we headed back into town to check out some of the local celebrations for Canada Day.

MINI in the VIneyard

Thursday AM we were up early and out to see what’s at local farms for strawberries, apples and such. We grabbed a quick coffee and some shopping and we were good to go again. As with most of the trips home they are packed with family stories and catching up and with me leaving far too soon every time. It was raining as we left so it was top up and windshield wipers on for the windy road home.

We hit the road with planned stops in Keremeos again and then the express ride home, hopefully in time to catch fireworks from my front stoop. We also made time to stop at a couple of cool lakes on the highway 3, but we mostly just enjoyed the car and had a really fun drive home. We made it in back in time or the show—couldn’t see all of the fireworks but most of them–a perfect way to end a Canada Day adventure.

The MINI was great, we packed it with tonnes of good products and had space to spare, even though it was a convertible. Maybe I have been driving work vehicles for too long–I am not usually a car guy, but I like this one. Hmmm maybe there’s a new company car in the plans for next year!!! 


Thanks to Chris at MINI Yaletown for making this trip a huge success.

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