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Archive for May, 2011

The Bowen Island Lodge recently completed a full set of renovations which have added modern comfort The Lodgeand convenience to this piece of West coast beachfront paradise. With new décor and furnishings throughout and superb linens and duvets in every room, the Bowen Island Lodge offers a rejuvenating escape from the day-to-day hustle just a short distance from Vancouver. It’s easily accessible from Vancouver by ferry, water taxi, floatplane or by private charter on the Mir Havoc, the Lodge’s 48’ Sea Ray Sun Dancer yacht.

Along with the physical renovation, the Bowen Island Lodge has revamped all its operations and is pleased to announce the appointment of award-winning Vancouver catering experts Two Chefs and a Table as official caterer. Offering both la carte menus and fully custom catering, Bowen Island Lodge and Two Chefs and a Table will be able to accommodate the needs of any audience or event.

Two Chefs and a Table is led by Allan Bosomworth and Karl Gregg who, between them, have decades of front and back of house experience in fine dining and superior high volume environments. Their country-kitchen style catering bistro has helped put their emerging Railtown neighbourhood on the downtown food map. Allan and Karl have a successful record of menu development, catering and kitchen management across events and establishments in the Lower Mainland and the Interior. Two Chefs and a Table has successfully catered events from intimate in-home dinners to preparing all the trade and backstage meals at the Juno awards—a total of 9000 meals in only 3 days.

Their innovative and appealing menus are built from the bounty of fresh locally-sourced ingredients that The ViewBC has to offer with an emphasis on seasonality, sustainability. Whether it’s a hearty satisfying menu for weekend of hiking on Bowen’s extensive trail network or most complex menus for weddings and other celebrations, Two Chefs and a Table will prepare the perfect meal with flair, passion and precision.

Bowen Island Lodge was recently acquired by Derek Trethewey, a 3rd generation British Columbian and entrepreneur who also owns and runs two successful lodge resorts in the BC Interior. Like the Cove Lakeside Resort in Kelowna and the Outback Lakeside Resort in Vernon, the Bowen Island Lodge offers guests the best of BC. Bowen Island Lodge is set on three acres of waterfront property including a private beach with views back across Howe Sound to the Lions and the magnificent peaks of Sea-to-Sky country.

For more information on Bowen Island Lodge, visit www.bowenislandlodge.com , for more information on Two Chefs and a Table, visit www.twochefsandatable.com.

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The Big Lou-ongo meatball sandwich has been a big hit in Vancouver during the playoffs and we’ve been on TV a few times. Here are a couple of great clips of our shop and staff from Global and Shaw TV.

Global’s Canucks Food Taste Test

Shaw TV’s the Express

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Two Chefs and a Table/Salt Spring Island Ales Brewery Dinner Menu

This Friday, as part of Vancouver Craft Beer Week, Two Chefs and a Table will host a special dinner event featuring a 5-course menu paired with selections from Salt Spring Island Ales, the multiple award-winning ultralocal brewery from BC’s Gulf Islands. Staff from Salt Spring Ales will be on hand to talk about their brewery, describe the beers being served and answer any questions from the diners.

The local bounty going into this menu includes cheese, mussels, honey, garlic and nettles from Salt Spring Island along with fresh BC spot prawns Sloping Hill Farm pork, wild Pacific Salmon, Big Lou’s Butcher Shop chorizo, local wild mushrooms and Polderside Farms duck. Even the pickles used in the ceviche are made with shoots from the hop grown and used at Salt Spring Ales.

This meal will be a highlight of the year at Two Chefs and a Table. As part of VCBW, reservations for this event are by ticket at a cost of $75 per person (excludes tip/includes HST). Click HERE for online ticket purchase.

Two Chefs and a Table is located at 305 Alexander St. in Railtown and on the web at www.twochefsandatable.com. For more information on Salt Spring Island Ales, visit www.saltspringislandales.com.

Menu

First Course
Spot prawn Ceviche: Salt Spring hop shoot pickles, Salt Spring Island goat’s cheese, chillies
Served with/ Salt Spring Heather Ale

Second Course
Salt Spring Mussels: butcher shop chorizo, fire roasted tomato, roasted Salt Spring garlic, frites
Served with/ Salt Spring India Pale Ale

Third Course
Pacific mushroom and Nettle Risotto: wild nettles from Salt Spring Island, wild mushrooms, thyme, shallots, poached egg
Served with/Salt Spring Heather Ale

Entrée
Choice of:
Polderside Duck cassoulet: sausages from Big Lou’s Butcher Shop, Sloping Hill Farm Pork, Polderside duck confit, white beans
Or/
Grilled Maple Orange Salmon: caramelized lemon, thyme, Salt Spring honey, asparagus, wild rice
Served with/Salt Spring Whale Tail Ale

Dessert
Coffee and a Donut: mini housemade donuts, dark chocolate and coffee pot de crème
Served with/Salt Spring Porter

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Big Lou's Butcher Shop by night

We’re very excited for Wednesday’s portfolio tasting with Salt Spring Island Ales which we’re hosting as part of Vancouver Craft Beer Week. Big Lou’s Butcher Shop will provide an intimate setting for this event where beer drinkers will have the chance to sample the Ales from Salt Spring Island Ales alongside paired food selections made specially to compliment the beers on offer.

There are some tickets available and they’re only $25. This great event is being held  from 6-8 pm Wednesday May 11th.  Click HERE to purchase.

Beer selections and food pairings

Big-Leaf Maple Bud Ale (cask): An original Salt Spring recipe based on the French-Canadian tradition of brewing a sweet tea with Spring Maple buds. Brewed with the delicate Maple buds from our own Salt Spring trees, you can expect a light nutty maltiness, crisp hop aromas and a sweet Maple finish. (cask at Big Lou’s Butcher Shop tasting only)
Food Pairing: Maple Sausage, fresh made sausage with a sweet mustard, bread and butter pickle, roasted ciabatta

Salt Spring Island Ale's award winning Golden Ale

Salt Spring Heather Ale: Salt Spring Island Ales is proud to pay homage to this ancient beer style, which was brewed in Scandinavia and the British isles as far back as 2000 years. Weighing in at 5% ABV., and brewed with local Heather flowers and a sparing amount of hops, Salt Spring Heather Ale has a dark Gold color with a light to medium body, a mild floral & honey aroma, producing a slight mead or cider-like character.
Food Pairing: Polderside Duck Rilettes on a crisp fried risotto cake

Salt Spring Whale Tail Ale: A ‘Salt Spring Style’ Altbier (a pre-Lager German style ale) with a pronounced Pacific Northwest hop character that is perfectly accented by aromatic malts.  Hoppy with notes of caramel, citrus, biscuit, toffee.  Salt Spring Brewmaster Murray Hunter’s favourite, this unique beer is only readily available on Salt Spring Island.  It will be bottled especially for select events at VCBW.

Food Pairing: Orange and Fennel Chicken Sausage, Crisp apple, celery, on rye toast

Salt Spring Golden Ale: Our flagship session beer, this ale boasts nutty & ‘biscut’ flavours, citrus hop notes and a beautiful golden colour.
Twice ranked as ‘Best Golden Ale in Canada’ at the Canadian Brewing Awards and Gold winner for ‘best session beer’ at the BC Beer Awards.

Food Pairing: Dry aged Pemberton meadows beef, goats cheese, olive tapanade, ciabatta

Salt Spring Dry Porter: Dark, full bodied and thick, with flavours of caramelized malt, roasted coffee and dark chocolate.  A somewhat unusual example of the style, our Porter has a dry, crisp finish from the addition of roasted barley and a healthy dose of hops.

Food Pairing: Chocolate Stout roasted sloping hills pork, apple relish, brioche

About Salt Spring Island Ales
Salt Spring Island Ales are 100% made on Salt Spring with our own mountain spring water and locally-grown ingredients wherever possible. Our ‘cottage’ brewery is one of BC’s smallest and one of the few craft breweries actually engaged in growing our own ingredients. We brew fresh, flavourful beers in very small batches using traditional methods.

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We have a huge May and June ahead of us with special events, dinner events and the kickoff of

Prince's Fried Chicken. Warning, this stuff is spicy

wedding season. Thinking that we needed to clear our heads a bit, we decided to go and check out some Southern BBQ, butchery and food and what better place to start than Nashville? Oh wait, the Canucks are playing there too? . . . sounds perfect!

We headed out through Seattle where domestic flights and a strong Canadian dollar make US travel affordable. There’s no better place to stop on the way to airport that anywhere Jamie Boudreau Is bartending. We dropped into Rob Roy’s in Seattle for a cocktail with Jamie–his current haunt–before we headed to SeaTac. It’s a great location and worth checking out when you’re in Seattle.

We got to the airport and realiziing that we were facing a 3 hour delay, we headed back to Seattle and checked into Lolas for snacks. The highlights were spicy chick pea fries, lamb sliders with tzatziki and a killer Greek salad. Once we got in the air, it was a trip around the USA–first to Dallas @830 then onto Nashville for an 1130 landing. We checked into our hotel, changed and headed out to music row for some drinking and eating. There were some great BBQ and Southern-style food options to be enjoyed.

A few quick highlights

Jacks BBQ:  the only thing wrong here was that Francis ordered 2 family packs for us. Wow, that was a lot of BBQ with great coleslaw., beans and sausage on the side

Merchants: a great spot with a great cocktail menu, a ton of bourbons, duck fat tater tots, fresh oysters and their “fish fry”, a mix of calamari, fresh fish, okra and scallops

Rippy’s: great BBQ with shot and sweet sauce, baked wings and smoked , sausage and cheese plate

Breakfast: Great Southern style with fresh biscuits everywhere and white gravy, chicken fried steaks and more

Even Elvis cheers for the Canucks

Noshville: great selection of New York-style dell sandwiches, house made pastrami, and pickles were a highlight

The biggest impression that we were left with was the quality of service. Everywhere we went, we got great service, from the restaurants and bars, but also the hotel staff, the store clerks, even Starbucks! I’m guessing because of the American economy, business isn’t taken it for granted and the attitude was always can-do. I guess what they say about Southern Hospitality is true!

Now that we’re home, I definitely want to work through a bunch of what we saw with Al and start to implement some of the extra touches into our service. Things like:

  • One big impressions was the hospitable feeling, always getting a friendly hi, goodbye and thank-you. We know that Canadians are a bit more reserved but nothing beats a friendly hello when you walk through the door.
  • We noticed an impeccable level of cleanliness–even at some of the bars–but especially merchants. Spotless.
  • Sharp uniforms for staff and managers. Again, maybe it’s not a natural thing in a city as laid back as Vancouver but it made an impression on us.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know we have great staff at our establishments but getting a few days of Southern Hospitality gave us a great look at how things can always be better, so we’re going to work with our team to never settle and never say “no problem, we got this” because we know that we can always do a little bit more. Even if it takes a little road trip sometimes to remind us!

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