Big Time Update

I just realized that I haven’t updated any new content to Chef’s Night Out in close to 4 weeks!  Yowza!  To all of my friends and supporters, I sincerely apologize.  Life has been very busy and very full, of interesting dining adventures, but between “living life and loving it” and an overwhelmingly full plate at Tapenade, little time is left to write about it.  Life has been exceptionally busy and I am continually struggling to find balance between my roles/responsibilities as chef, husband, father, blogger and outlaw.

Working backwards, I’ll shoot you a quick snapshot of some culinary highlights /lowlights in the past month or so.  I’ll hopefully get around to blogging about some of this stuff, but maybe I will, maybe I won’t.   Some of the less memorable meals will likely fall to the wayside and never be thought of again.  These past few days were spent recovering from a serious Mother’s Day hangover; Mother’s Day weekend is traditionally one of the busiest weekends of the year at Tapenade Bistro, so we’ve been working around the clock to get it done and get it done right.  Spot prawn season recently opened on May 6th and we have been and will be featuring spot prawns till the season closes in early July.  I look forward to my first taste every year and when my first delivery showed up last Friday morning, I was not disappointed.  I recently switched the lunch, brunch and dinner menus and during the last week of April, we capped off the Playhouse Wine Festival with our extremely entertaining Poplar Grove Wine dinner.

Over the past while I’ve been checking out a few different restaurants.  Lots of bloggers around town have been talking about Bo Laksa King, so we went to see what all the hype was about.  We had dim sum last week at Kirin at the Starlight Casino and had a very good experience overall.  A trip to Burger Burger in New Westminster was finally made (good cheap burgers) and though my research is still in its initial stages, my search for the best burger in the lower mainland continues.  I’ve had some exceptional meals at Yan’s Garden in the past few months with highlights including a delicious king crab feast, fried squab, Peking duck, stir fried geoduck and mushrooms and their amazing baked coconut tapioca dessert.  We also recently tried an Indian restaurant called Mirch Masala on Scott Road in Surrey, had a meal at an intrinsically wrong Vietnamese/Japanese restaurant in Burquitlam, had breakfast at the Tomahawk Restaurant and lunch at Sushi Town (attached to Mcdonald’s) in North Van.  “Monk” and I celebrated our 4th anniversary a few weeks back at La Quercia and these are just a few of the food highlights of the past while.

A couple of weeks back, “Monk,” “Jazzy,” and I went on a whirlwind day trip to the Skagit County Tulip Festival and on the way, we had breakfast at the nostalgic Dutch Mothers Restaurant in Lynden, WA.  We also met some crazy dude in Roozengarde that smokes  his own local oysters and salmon(amongst other things) and ate some local salmon, oysters and Indian fry bread in Le Conner.  On our way back from Burlington, we cruised up the Chuckanut (I love that word) in search of a true Washington oyster bar and when we only found fancy fine dining places, we ended up eating Mexican food at Jalepeno’s in Bellingham.

Going back even further, there was a huge day of food and wine the day of the Naramata Bench tasting back in the beginning of April.  “Sales Mix,” “The Great Wall” and I started our day at the Corner Suite Bistro Deluxe for a civilized lunch.  We then cruised over to the Westin Bayshore to sample some fantastic wines from the wineries of Naramata Bench.  After lots of tasting, handshaking and forced charm, we then continued on sans “Sales Mix” on a tour of Gastown.  We ended up meeting up with “Godfather” and had a very interesting early evening “tapas tour” with a couple of “food ninjas” at Judas Goat.  From there, we rolled over to the Vancouver Aquarium for the Albion (one of my fish suppliers) customer appreciation event and it too was an interesting event filled with lots of wine, lots of raw oysters, lots of catching up with industry friends and “OceanWise infatuation.”  Finally, we ended up at the Red Card Sports Bar, had some Italian inspired late night eats and finally called it a day.  We really packed in a lot of eating that day and though my mouth was a touch sore from all the smiling I was forced to do, it was a day which provided us with one-liners, that will keep us entertained for months.

So, there’s been lots of eating, just not lots of writing.  I’ll definitely post something about my experience at La Quercia soon and will hopefully have a chance to catch up on some blogging.  Peace be unto you all and to all a good eat.

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