Once in a Blue Moon

So it’s November 1st and I have not blogged since the beginning of June.  It almost sounds like I’m about to start confession, but there will be no excuses.  Bad blogger, very bad blogger.  The truth is I’ve been too busy and too lazy to sit down in front of the computer, but today I felt the overwhelming urge to “git ‘er done.”  Have faith, I still have no clue how to use quotation marks and semi-colons correctly; such is the results of my east coast education.   So what’s been happening these past few months in my food driven world?

Hmmm.  The biggest news for us is “Monk” gave birth to our beautiful son on October 4 and we could not be happier.  “Lex-y” was born hairy, healthy and happy  and we now have a perfect little family of 4.  Apart from the fact that I own two late-model vehicles, which do not fit two car seats and another passenger and the fact that my garage is filled with too many strollers which are configured differently and are for different environmental conditions, life is perfect. “Jazzy” is digging her little brother and I feel very fortunate to have such an amazing family.  Even in my “middle aged-ness,” I still can’t believe that I have two kids and need to be a responsible role model to them.  You would not believe the wacky thoughts that run through my mind on a daily basis and I feel like  I could easily meet up with “The Undertaker” tonight and do some serious “drive-by suckering.”  Long story; we’ll save it for another time, but  trust me, “it wasn’t me, prove it.”  Don’t get me wrong, I live like a Supertramp song, “sensible, logical, responsible, practical,” but sometimes I just feel the need to get a little bit loco.

What other big news do I have?  Well, I recently exited Tapenade Bistro; I am no longer cooking at Tapenade and am no longer involved with the restaurant in any way.  This is Tapenade’s press release from October 31.  Tapenade Bistro Press Release

Prime Rib

The bottom line is I will miss Tapenade a great deal.  My kitchen brigade in particular, the entire rest of the restaurant staff, the loyal guests, my hard working suppliers and the entire community of Steveston; it was like family.  I put in many years of committed, focused, hard work into

Tapenade and am sad to see our relationship end.  Since there are some unresolved issues, I will leave it at that for the moment.  Moving forward, I will be spending the immediate future hanging out with my family and will enjoy some serious “quality time” with them.  My “Parental Units” are visiting for a few weeks, so we’re spending a lot of time cooking comfort foods and eating at home.  We recently celebrated “Lex-y’s” one month birthday and we had a “shark fin-free” banquet in his honour.  Here are some photos of the delicious 12 course banquet at Yan’s Garden.

To quell some of the recent rumors, I have not accepted any position with any Vancouver restaurant.  I’m currently unemployed or as I like to wildly dream, semi-retired.  As I said, I look forward to some down time, am hoping for an epic ski season and will be doing some part-time work as a restaurant consultant, high-end private catering and possibly  teaching a few cooking classes.  I am investigating many different avenues and will be announcing exciting new projects in the near future.

What else is there to report?  Back in September, I took a quick three-day trip to Portland, Oregon.  First time there and previously only heard great things about the city.  I had heard about their amazing food culture, the fantastic food carts and the city’s dedication to the “farm to table” ideal and I wanted to eat it all.  The main purpose of the trip was to experience something different, get a fresh perspective and see what our neighbors to the south were up to.  It’s always nice to observe something new and find inspiration in an environment outside of your day-to-day.  Coincidentally, “Barjonesing” was celebrating his stag in PDX that weekend, so I was fortunate to hook up  with those “wild and crazy guys” to drink and eat our way through the city.  After hitting up 15+ restaurants in three days, I definitely got a feel for Portland’s food culture and have a list of favorites and a list of places to hit up next time.  Some of my highlights were the sipping vinegars and all things pork at Pok Pok/Whiskey Soda Lounge, Margherita pizza at Nostrana, the barrel aged Negroni at Clyde Common, the “Reggie Deluxe” at Pine State Biscuits, the perfect Pimm’s Cup at the Teardrop Lounge, the amazing charcuterie at Little Bird and Olympic Provisions; the list runs deep!

What else do I have for you?  Towards the end of my tenure at Tapenade, me and my boys were working on a new project called “The Burger.”  In all my years, I’ve never had a burger on the menu.  I love a great burger and I don’t use the word love lightly.  I only served a burger once a year and every year for Canada Day, I would serve my “Once a Year Burger.”  Well, I went on a Lower Mainland burger search, had a hard time finding a burger I really loved, so I decided to do my own burger, purely because I wanted access to a great burger at any given time.  After much research and development, I decided on a 70z house  ground short rib/chuck patty, cooked sous vide to medium, aged cheddar “Cheez Whiz”, a soft sesame seed bun, my “Secret Sauce”, compressed vine ripened tomato and crispy prosciutto.    I got to tell you, it was a really tasty burger and when the “lily was gilded” with 30z of seared foie gras, “The Burger Royale” was something special.  One day soon, I’m pretty sure I will be offering up “The Burger” on a menu near you and hopefully you’ll like it as much as I do.

Well that’s it for now.  I hope to be blogging more in the next while and I look forward to some tasty and new food experiences.  Until then, word to the wise, greed is not good and let’s get tasty.  Peace.

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