Weekly Show

March 17th, 2018 – Ireland in an hour!



How better to celebrate St Patrick’s Day than presenting A One hour special from our  2 weeks in Ireland.



We start our tour  in the South of Ireland..through Clonakilty, Cork and we end on the historic streets of Dublin.

Guests include Connor Higgins,   Michael Lawlor (Irish Whiskey Tours), Michael Reddy (Teeling Whiskey) and Willie Ahearn from The Palace Pub on Fleet St.


THE Show




Deasy’s Harbour Bar and Seafood Restaurant. Ring Village, Clonakilty

Chef Caitlin Ruth


Caitlin Ruth and owner celebrate 10 years.


 Even though the address says Ring Village..I drove this part of the coast a dozen times..never really saw a village..a gathering of various houses yes but a village..not so much.

Crumbling ancient buildings and stone walls – yup!

A strong sense of history on this part of the road..you can see what attracted people even 3-500 years ago.

And there, surrounded by the ocean and a small fishing fleet stands Deasy’s.

It came highly recommended by the locals.

The trick was getting there early enough for one of 6 parking spots just off the highway (its on a nasty little corner) and gets busy very quickly.

The reason – the amazing cooking talents of Caitlin Ruth – The Chef.

Originally from the USA, she married an Irishman and found her way back to the homeland from Belgium.

What a fine fine chef she is..

The menu features – as expected – many different fish, in many exceptional dishes. Paired with a very smart wine list.

It used to be an old pub..so it still has that comfortable pub feel but the windows give everyone a brilliant look at the ocean just across the highway.

Highly recommended destination. Memorable meals. Great hang!! Wicked parking.



Then it’s off to  Cork City… South of Dublin on the West Coast of Ireland.

 It’s the home of Café Paradiso, one of the best vegetarian restaurants anywhere.

It’s also the home of Chef Denis Cotter.  Except for a pal Sharon Kelly, Denis is the only person  I know in all of Ireland.

Denis Cotter

Dennis Cotter

We had met at Hastings House on Salt Spring Island several years ago. He was cooking recipes from his award winning book For the Love of Food.

Denis’ frustration with the limitations of the vegetarian industry sparked the opening of Cafe Paradiso in 1993, to create an environment where he could evolve a personal style of cooking focused on the pleasure of food rather than the perceived negativity of vegetarianism.

Among the many awards bestowed on Cafe Paradiso, Denis Cotter was named “Chef of the Year” by the Irish magazine ‘Food & Wine’ in 2005, and “Best Chef in Cork” by the Restaurant Association of Ireland in 2009. Cafe Paradiso is listed as an icon in the “Bridgestone 100 Best Places to Eat in Ireland” guidebook. It was voted ‘Best Restaurant in Munster’ by the readers of ‘Food & Wine’ magazine in 2001, and the restaurant was also voted ‘Restaurant of the Year’ by Les Routiers Ireland in 2004.

Denis Cotter is the author of four cookbooks.  Each has received critical acclaim, shortlist nominations and industry awards, including ‘best vegetarian cookbook in the world’ for the second volume, Paradiso Seasons.

Without any bit of shame I’m able to weasel Denis’ classic Irish Oatmeal recipe out of him.  http://www.cafeparadiso.ie/

 Joining us at the table is the one and only Darina Allen.  


Darina Allen






Darina is the most famous cook in Ireland.


She has starred in her own RTE TV cooking shows, published 10 books starting with the Simply Delicious series, and received a dozen awards and prizes.

Her most recent prize was the 2013 Cookbook of the Year award at the Irish Book Awards  for her 30 Years at Ballymaloe: A Celebration of the World-Renowned Cookery School.

Ms Allen has been growing unusual food at Ballymaloe, Co Cork, for 40-odd years. Her 100-acre farm, with its acre of greenhouses, probably delivers a more diverse range of crops than any farm in Ireland. But the farm has produced something more spectacular than food: the world-famous Ballymaloe Cooking School which invites the world’s top chefs to its doors and its classrooms, and sends out successive waves of alumni to run restaurants all over the World.


A tireless ambassador for Irish food both at home and abroad, Darina has been instrumental in setting up the Farmers’ Market Movement in Ireland. Slow Food is a passion for her, and she is the councilor for Ireland in the Slow Food Movement and President of East Cork Convivium of Slow Food. Through the East Cork Educational Fund, she runs a programme for local primary schools to help local children learn about food from garden to plate.



 Then we’re off to Dublin..some 3-4 hours North.  Taking the train from Cork is a LOT more fun than driving..

L Mulligan Grocer –  Dublin 

L Mulligan’s

The question wasn’t would I visit the famous L Mulligan Grocer in Dublin?  It was how fast could I get there and how long could I stay?

L Mulligan’s

L Mulligan Grocer has been on the Dublin scene for the past few years and has been quietly building a great reputation as a pub. Worth going quite off the beaten track for. It is located in Stoneybatter, a residential area about 20 minutes walk west from Dublin city’s main tourist drag of Temple Bar. It provides thoughtful, well sourced gastropub food, and is possibly the only pub in Dublin that does not sell Guinness. A bold move, justified by its focus on small, high quality craft beers from Ireland and abroad.

Our guests are Seaneen Sullivan Co-Owner and Adam Kilbane  The Manager and Beer Specialist.

Seaneen Sullivan

This was great fun.



 Catherine Cleary – Food Journalist for The Irish Times

Catherine went from working the crime beat to the culinary arts. Or as she says

“I went from Murder to Meringue”

There’s been such an improvement in Irish food over the past 20 years that it falls on someone to tell their stories.

That someone is Catherine Cleary.

Catherine Cleary is an award-winning journalist. She began her career as a news reporter with The Irish Times and became the paper’s drugs and crime correspondent. She later joined the Sunday Tribune as its security correspondent. She began writing about food almost a decade ago and now writes a weekly restaurant column for The Irish Times.



… and we finish our Ireland tour with the highly qualified John McKenna.

John McKenna was born in Belfast and first qualified as a Barrister at Law. In addition to his legal work, John worked as a journalist in Dublin, writing particularly for Hot Press and In Dublin Magazine.

John and Sally McKenna

In 1991 John and Sally McKenna began their research into Irish food, giving up their Dublin flat, and splurging on a broken-down Renault 4. They set off around Ireland to discover what they hoped would be an exciting food culture, and John has written about Irish food ever since.

John and Sally McKenna

John McKenna has won numerous awards for his food writing . A long-time writer for the Irish Times, contributor to RTE television and news programmes, John also has written for various international publications, including The Art of Eating. He is regarded as a leading commentator on Irish food.

John and Sally McKenna’s annual 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland is the most radical guide to the cutting-edge of Irish cooking. With the 2015 smartguide edition, the McKennas rewrite the book, crowning Galway as the finest city to eat in Ireland and, for the first time ever, including food carts and a food shack amongst the 100 hottest places to eat throughout the country.

If you’re travelling to Ireland check out their websites, blogs and books.




It’s fair to say we stumbled onto a small corner lunch place called Oxmantown..where owner Conor Higgins was holding court.


Oxmantown grilled cheese


Oxmantown? At the time of the Norman invasion into Ireland, the Vikings, or Ostmen (East-men), as they called themselves were exiled to the north of the River Liffey where they founded the hamlet of Austmanna-tún, later corrupted to Oxmantown. The district remained distinct from Dublin city for many centuries. Oxmantown celebrates this cultural distinction, its location in the heart of the homestead of the Ostmen.

Conor Higgins is the chef/owner at Oxmantown. Ex of Junior’s and l’Gueuleton – two of Dublin’s most lauded and successful eateries of the past decade – his provenance is distinguished. Applying classic culinary techniques to the art of sandwich making, with Oxmantown, Conor brings something unique to Dublin’s burgeoning café scene.

Oxmantown grilled cheese



The line-up was all the way to the door and out..and a rather bizarre mix of lawyers and judges from the law courts  and farmers from the market around the corner.

You could tell at a glance that this place was very popular and as soon as we stepped inside..you knew they were on to something..

Great small menu… mostly well made and very  inventive sandwiches, salads etc.

Out came the microphone and recorder and in between orders etc, Conner gave us the story… (everyone here has a story)

http://www.oxmantown.com/  site is under construction but you can also find them on

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/oxmantown/info?tab=overview 


 Then it’s a brisk 15 minute walk through Temple Bar (former site of original Viking settlement)..to Fleet Street and  the home of one of Dublin’s historic pubs..The Palace Bar, established 1823.



The Aherne family bought the Palace in 1946..and have run it ever since.

Its right around the corner from the Irish Times newspaper offices..thus many many columns have been written in its corners and nooks.







Its there that we meet three people… first:

Michael Lawlor – Whiskey Expert and sales manager for Irish Whiskey Tours.www.irishwhiskeytours.ie

Michael Lawlor: Irish whisky Tours


I don’t think you can do a food and beverage tour of Ireland and not talk about Irish Whiskey.

Its fallen on some hard times, given the economy, but its making a wonderful comeback today.

I wanted to know from Michael… how their whiskey business made its comeback and why its so different from their Scottish neighbours.

We also talk trends..in craft brewing sand cider making.

Michael gives us a brief history of The Palace Bar, which was  the first bar to bring back the tradition of making in house whiskey.







Next comes:

Willie Aherne – Grandson of the original owner and the man behind the bar on many days and sitting beside him   Michael Reddy, one of the owners of The Teeling Whiskey Company, the first new whiskey maker in Dublin in 125 years.

Willie Ahearn Palace Bar





Yes, we talk all about Irish Whiskey and Dubliners love for it but we also talk about what St Patrick’s Day is like in downtown Dublin.

That last question about March 17 is also answered by other guests.










Many thanks to Irish tourism in Toronto and Dublin. www.irishtourism.com

Meg, Kate and Pete and everyone we met.

And a big hello to DeBarras in Clona



Alex Chen – Gold Medal Winning Chef

John Glavina – Giant Head Wines

Naramata Bench pours on the Coast

Susana Trilling – Seasons of my Heart Oaxaca, Mexico

Craig McAllister – Head Winemaster  La Crema Russian River Valley

John Weber – Owner.  Orofino Vineyards. Similkameen Valley

CC Jentsch – On the Golden Mile Bench

Parksville Untapped and UnCorked





March 10th, 2018- Van Wine Fest part 2!


Hour Two of 2018 VanWineFest




Last week’s show focused of Spain and Portugal.

This week its friends and neighbours.

BC, Washington, California, Nova Scotia and a final Spanish Winemaking Star Alvaro Palacios.

Loved doing this hour.  Winemaking friends from all over sharing thoughts and opinions.

VANCOUVER, BC – FEBRUARY 26: The 2015 Vancouver Wine Festival at the Vancouver Convention Centre February 26, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick)


We talk about the Alberta Wine Ban and its effect.

I felt it was important that I ask the question “What are you pouring here today and why?”

Co-hosts were Sandra Oldfield and Daenna van Mulligen (The Wine Diva). They did a great job!

www.WineDiva.ca  /  https://sandraoldfield.com

Guests include:


DJ Kearney – Wine Director www.NewDistrict.ca

Christine Coletta – Co-Owner of Okanagan Crush Pad (Haywire)   https://okanagancrushpad.com

Galen Barnhardt – Winemaker at Monte Creek. Kamloops https://www.montecreekranchwinery.com/

Chris Turyk – Brand Ambassador Unsworth. Cowichan Valley https://www.unsworthvineyards.com

Bruce Ewert – Co-Owner/Winemaker L’Acadie Vineyards. Nova Scotia www.lacadievineyards.ca

Howard Soon – Head Winemaker Vanessa Vineyards www.vanessavineyard.com

John Skinner – Owner Painted Rock www.paintedrock.ca

Nikki Callaway – Winemaker Quails Gate https://www.quailsgate.com

Kurtis Kolt – The Bottle / Georgia Straight. Top Drop Vancouver. www.kurtiskolt.com

Calla Bischoff – Sileni Estates NZ https://www.sileni.co.nz

Jim Robertson – Stoneleigh  NZ  www.stoneleigh.com

Alvaro Palacios – Spanish wine legend  www.rarewineco.com/producer/alvaro-palacios

Ray Signorello –  Owner Signorello Estates. Napa  https://signorelloestate.com

Randy Ullom  – Chief Winemaker – Kendall-Jackson.  Sonoma www.kj.com

Eugene Mylnczyk.  Master of Wine . Charles Smith Wines. Washington https://www.charlessmithwines.com



Alex Chen – Gold Medal Winning Chef

John Glavina – Giant Head Wines

Naramata Bench pours on the Coast

Susana Trilling – Seasons of my Heart Oaxaca, Mexico

Craig McAllister – Head Winemaster  La Crema Russian River Valley

John Weber – Owner.  Orofino Vineyards. Similkameen Valley

CC Jentsch – On the Golden Mile Bench






March 3rd 2018- 40th Van WineFest with The Wine Diva



1,450 Wines. 16 Countries. 173 Wineries. 51 Events. 8 days. 25,000 wine fans.

It’s Hour One of our coverage of the 40th VanWineFest at Vancouver Convention Centre.
Spain and Portugal are the feature regions and they have sent their very best owners, winemakers, and wines. Many wines tasted for the first time in Canada.
With the invaluable co-hosting help of The Wine Diva Daenna van Mulligen and Sandra Oldfield.


This Saturday’s guests include

The leader of Portugal’s “Duoro Boys” The charming Cristiano van Zeller.
Miguel Torres (founded 1870)
Gloria Collell (winemaker Segura Viudas)
Joan Cusine (prop. Paras Balta/Gratavinum.) Orig vines planted by Romans
Plus The Stars from Campo Viejo, Bodegas Atteca, Bodegas Alvear, Alvara Palacios. Is he The New Spain?
And then we dive into Port. From Portugal David Guimaraens head winemaker at Taylor Fladgate, Rupert Symington of Symington Family Estates (Dow, Warre, W&J Graham)
And Jorge Ramos from Fonseca

We start with special guests:

Cristiano van Zeller (Quina Vale D. Maria) www.quintavaledonamaria.com  Leader of Portugal’s “Duoro Boys”
Miguel Torres (since 1870)  www.torres.es/en/home
Gloria Collell (winemaker Segura Viudas) https://www.seguraviudasusa.com/
Joan Cusine ( Paras Balta/Gratavinum.) Orig vines planted by Romans. https://paresbalta.com/www.gratavinum.com/

Fredrico Lleonart  Campo Viejo https://www.campoviejo.com/

Miguel Gil   Bodegas Ateca  http://gilfamily.es/en/

Fernando Alvear  http://www.alvear.es/index.php/en/

David Guimaraens  Taylor Fladgate https://www.taylor.pt/

Rupert Symington – Symington Family Estates https://www.symington.com/

Jorge Ramos – Fonseca Port Wine  www.fonseca.pt/

Paul Wagner – Featured Speaker  www.balzac.com/    – http://www.rickandpaulwine.com/

We kick the whole show off with these very special friends:

 Harry Hertscheg Exec Director of VanWineFest  www.vanwinefest.ca
DJ Kearney. Wine Director at  www.newdistrict.ca
Sandra Oldfield @SandraOldfield
Co-Host – Daenna van Mulligen/ The Wine Diva www.winediva.ca

Please check out www.vanwinefest.ca   for more information


Please check out www.vanwinefest.ca   for more information



February 17th, 2018 – Alberta Bans BC Wine!


Alberta Bans BC Wine. Here’s the Pushback!        



BC/ Alberta showdown

 Nobody saw it coming.

We all woke up on a recent Monday morning to the news that the Alberta Government in retaliation to the BC Government’s environmental concerns about the interprovincial pipeline took the highly unusual step of banning BC Wines from sale in Alberta.

That’s 30% of BC’s wine sales.

That’s just as many tourism  visits every year from our neighbour.

At first I could definitely hear the voice of Albertans. They were pissed and mad as hell!

BC was messing with their livelihood. After all the highs and lows what they really didn’t need in Alberta was a neighbour creating more hurdles to jump.

BC  responded that they were protecting their invaluable coastline but in the middle of all of this were the farmers, growers, small businesses and stores of the BC wine industry and Alberta partners.

BC Wine Country

So I went to talk to the winemakers and stores. . I sought out people who had a sense of the battle ahead and why they were having a battle at all.

Some remarkable comments here:

 Guests include:

Christine Coletta – Okanagan Crush Pad/Haywire  https://okanagancrushpad.com

John Skinner – Painted Rock Winery  www.paintedrock.ca

John Clerides – Marquis Wine Cellar  https://www.marquis-wines.com

Michael Bartier – Bartier Bros.  (his brother/partner lives in Calgary)  www.bartierbros.com

Bob Shaunessy – Former Albertan and former owner of Tinhorn Creek.  (currently in NZ)

Bruce Ewert – L’Acadie Vineyards Nova Scotia. Removed from the fray but former BC winemaker www.lacadievineyards.ca



Roberto Roberti – Beverage Manager  Fountana Group Canada (Canadian Rockies Whisky)

This interview with Roberto was supposed to be included in our coverage of the Victoria Whisky Festival but we ran out of time in the show.

Roberto Roberti


The interview is timely because their feature whisky Canadian Rockies is made from Alberta grain and corn. It’s  welcomed and sold in BC.

Lots of great whisky information included.








Francesco Ricasoli – Oldest winery in Italy

Alex Chen – Gold Medal Plates wins Gold in Canada. This is how he did it.

2018 Van Wine Fest







Tasting Room Radio February 10th, 2018 – 23 floors up. A Mark Anthony Portfolio Tasting




It was windy and wonderful.

The invite was from The Mark Anthony Group, who distribute beautifully chosen wines to this part of the World.

Would I be interested in interviewing some of their top winemakers from around the World..on the top of the Telus Building on Georgia? Yes Please.

If you’re seeking new fresh wines and winemakers here’s some top level suggestions..


Dlynn Proctor – Winemaking Ambassador – Penfolds ( Australia )

Darryl Brooker – Winemaker – Mission Hill Family Estate. (BC)

David Adelsheim – Founder and Director – Adelsheim.  Willamette Valley, (Oregon)

Thibault Brotte – Export manager – Maison Brotte (France)

Vincent Thebaud – Export Director – – Brumont (France)

Rachael Watson – Canada Manager – Henkell Co. (Germany)

Johannes Hasslebach – Winemaker – Gunderloch  (Germany)

We had time to taste and talk about their wines..what were they pouring and why? Whats available in BC and what are the price points.

Several of these guests were missing harvest back home and couldn’t wait to get back but they had a  story to tell. About their wines and their home.

This was such fun.  Touring the Wine World 23 floors up. Did I mention it was Windy??



Thank You Aimee Williams


We finish the show with Hometown Blues – in memory of Tom Petty.



Two 1 hour specials from VanWineFest.

Alberta Bans BC Wine – Comments Coming next week










February 3rd, 2018 – The Victoria Whisky Festival!


The 13th Victoria Whisky Festival.  Have a Wee Dram.



Harry Hertscheg  on wines at VanWineFest

And pairing Cheese and Wine at The Savvy Series with Pam Cohen/Allison Spurrell (The Cheese Queen)

And Bill Jones from Deerholme Farm on his Foraging Classes.



Harry Hertscheg  – Executive Director VanWineFest


Harry Hertscheg The 40th annual Vancouver Wine Festival is mere days from now   Feb 24 – March 4.

173 Wineries from 15 countries  Featured regions are Spain and Portugal. 

Harry Hertscheg organized a media tasting of some of the participants..more like a serious tease.

I am of course,  never without my trusty recorder and fresh batteries.

Our starting point was over Steely Dan’s Aja Album which I had played on Mulligan Stew that weekend.

I was amazed that it was over 40 years since they released those outstanding tunes.  Harry says “that’s about the same age as this festival – 40 years”  and off we went.  We touch on the wines of Portugal and Spain, some of the many highlights of the festival and as always I ask Harry about his single best tip for the first timer at the consumer tastings which can be daunting.


FYI – Tasting Room radio will have a roundtable studio set up where the Spanish wines are being poured.

Our March 3rd show will be hour one and March 11 show will be hour two.

Guest list next week.


The 13th annual Victoria Whisky Festival


Victoria Whisky Festival

Speaking of daunting, I have very little history with whisky.

At the 13th Victoria Whisky fest  I was well out of my element but eager to learn and discover.

I thank Heather Leary the media contact and thanks as well to  David de Kergommeaux for steering me in the right direction and of course for his invaluable book Canadian Whisky:  The Portable Expert.

I set up shop in the lobby of Victoria’s Grand Hotel. It was filled with whisky experts and fans.  Perfect!

The festival ran from the 18th to 21st of January and just a heads up – it sells out as soon as the tickets are released.  For some, it means sleeping out overnight to be first in line.

Tickets for 2019 will go on sale this November.

How popular is this festival?  This year for the first time anywhere all 11 brand ambassadors from around the World for Balvenie attended, taught and poured in Victoria.

Guests include:

 Davin De Kergommeaux –  Author and host of the Thursday Night Awards Event.


Davin de Kergommeaux

Davin de Kergommeaux describes himself as “a certified Malt Maniac and trained sommelier who has been analyzing, writing, and talking about whisky, as an independent commentator, for nearly two decades.”

He spent six years in university studying whisky grains – barley, wheat, rye, and corn.  You can find his writing in many magazines and at many places on the web including MaltManiacs.org. In the fall of 2011, he was appointed Canadian Contributing Editor to Whisky Magazine.

Frank Hudson – Director and Organizer of the Victoria Whisky Festival

Frank Hudson


Dan Volway –  Errington Americas

Dan Volway

 Dan is the Whisky Brand Ambassador.  Includes Maccallan. The Famous Grouse. Highland Park. The  Snow Leopard. Cutty Sark etc.

Started his career as a Sommelier.

Tish Harcus – Canadian Club Global Brand Ambassador  (Beam.Suntory)

Tish Harcus

 What a life. Canadian Club is Canada’s most famous whisky brand and as such is poured all over the world. That’s Tish’s beat.

She was pouring some rare fine whisky and for research purposes, I tasted a dram. At 11am. On a Friday.

I also did an interview with Roberto Roberti from Canadian Rockies but ran out of show time.  I will air his interview sometime in the next two weeks.



 Pamela Cohen and Allison Spurrell   – The Savvy Series pairing Cheese and Wines. (next wednesday)


Late last year I discovered The Savvy Series at Marquis Wine Cellar on Davie.

It’s back again.

Wednesday, February 7th, the Marquis resident Sommelier, Pam Cohen, and cheese master and Les Amis de Fromage owner, Allison Spurrell, guide participants through a selection of wines and cheeses, paired for the occasion. Learn why certain pairings are matches made in heaven.

.Andrea Rinaldi 2014 Moscato d’Asti “Bug Juice” DOCG   – Piave Vecchio

DOP- cow’s milk

Domaine Octavie 3016 Touraine Sauvignon Blanc      – Chevre Frais

Happy Days Dairy BC

Domaine Albert Mann 2014 Gewurztraminer Ferstentum    –   Fou du Roy

cow’s milk – Quebec

Haden Fig 2014 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley      – Prima Donna – cow’s

milk  – Netherlands

Heras Cordon 2010 Rioja Reserva     – Queso de Cabra Romero    – goat’s

milk- Spain

Monteraponi 2015 Chianti Classico     – Il Classico Stagionato  – cow /

sheep’s milk – Sardegna

Check out the rest of The Savvy Series and events at Les Amis du Fromage




 Bill Jones  – author and chef.  Deerholme Farm  (Duncan)

Bill Jones

 Bill Jones,  the owner/chef at Deerholme Farm has an amazing array of experiences behind him. Bill has cooked in Michelin-starred restaurants in France and England. He is also a renowned author and expert on the foods of the Pacific Northwest. Bill’s unique specialty is wild foods from the forest, fields, and oceans. Many people have visited the farm and when they leave they take with them knowledge, good nourishment, and a little happiness.

Foraging at Deerholme Farm

We’ll talk about his events this year but will pay attention to the very popular foraging classes.  Bill holds a doctorate in Rainforestology (whatever).

Upcoming in 2018:

Annual Happiness Dinner – February 17th, 2018 – Food that elevates your mood

Medicinal Mushroom Cooking Class – February 24th

Mushroom Cultivation Workshop – March 3rd

Mastering Stocks and Sauces Cooking Class – March 10th

Spring Foraging Workshop – March 17th

Spring Wild Foods Dinner – March 24th

Spring Foraging Workshop – March 31

Spring Wild Foraging Weekend – April 14-15 (forage and cooking class)

Morel Mushroom Dinner – April 21






Naramata Pours

Okanagan Falls Pours

What BC wines are they drinking in Alberta

Jim Cuddy – The Cuddy by Tawse

Roberto Roberti – Canadian Rockies Whisky


January 27th, 2018 – New York Times spotlights Canadian foods!


Sam Sifton   NY Times Food Editor: Food and Politics

DJ Kearney – on NewDistrict.ca

Vikram Vij – VIJ. The Life and The Book





The New York Times culinary  writers last week spent 7 days focusing on  Canadian cooking.

Sam Sifton, food editor for The Times lead the team.

Sam Sifton NYT -David McMillan – Joe Beef

In Toronto they were taken with the many Syrian refugees who landed in Canada and immediately started cooking Syrian food to an interested  clientele. It’s not something they would see south of the border. Politics would be involved “down there”.

The team also went to Montreal and met with David McMillan, the famous chef and co-owner of Joe Beef/Liverpool House.

David McMillan – Joe Beef

Certainly about the food but also about the unique politics involved in French Canadian cooking.

They’re very protective of Quebecoise cooking and nobody muddles those waters better than David. He brings British influences  into the mix and politically that’s a no no.

Sam also sent Food Critic. Pete Wells to Vancouver to review Kissa Tanto.

This is a very engaging conversation (mainly on Sam’s part) as the dialogue ebbs and flows around people, places and things.

A two part interview with Sam Sifton that also includes a brief but involved discussion about – The New York Times – as a headline. As a story unto itself.  Being repeatedly called out by The President of the USA.

My first question is “what’s it like in the building these days”?



DJ Kearney  – Director of Wine  NewDistrict.ca


DJ Kearney

Deej is one of the key tastemakers in Canada and most certainly on The West Coast.

She is now making waves as the Director of Wine at NewDistrict.ca

It’s a store and a wine-on-line destination.

Many many wine fans  believe in her taste and instincts.

DJ judges, lectures and instructs but what she does best is choose wines for all of us to consider.

Frankly, I’m like many wine fans. If it’s OK with DJ it’s OK with  me.

This week DJ runs through recent choices and wine trends we should know about.



Vikram Vij  – VIJ   A chef’s one-way ticket to Canada with Indian spices in his suitcase


Vij – The Book

This interview takes us behind the legendary culinary and tv figure that we all know now.

Back to the very beginning..life in India. Coming to Canada… overcoming all odds to eventually open his own restaurant. It’s a fascinating story. So many hurdles to cross and hoops to jump. Fragrant with the smells of cumin, turmeric fennel and cloves, Vij reveals the story of Vikram Vij, one of Canada’s most celebrated chefs and entrepreneurs.

Co-owner of the world-famous Vij’s Restaurant in Vancouver, his story is a true rags-to-riches tale of a college dropout from northern India who made it to Europe’s temples of high cuisine, then with a one-way ticket bound for Canada, found fame serving some of the world’s most transcendent Indian cuisine.






Harry Hertscheg – Update n the VanWineFest

Bill Jones – Deerholme farm gears up for Foraging classes

Victoria Whisky Festival

Van Wine Fest – 2 One hour specials






January 20th, 2018 – Dine Out Vancouver!


It’s  Dine Out Vancouver Year 16 – Now until Feb 4th!


How much fun is this?

There are over 300 restaurants signed up to host Dine Out Vancouver Food Fanatics and every year we keep creating bigger line ups.

It’s a great success story and one Vancouver and Tourism Vancouver can be proud of.

16 years ago it started as an idea.  As one of the originals Tim Pawsey says the idea was simply – “Let’s put Bums in Seats”

Juke fried chicken

This year the food media  gathered in the  H2 Restaurant/Bar   in The Westin Bayshore.  We ate small bites, tasting BC VQA wines and everyone was asking the same question – where are we going?

We were rounded up in groups  of 5 to 10 people and off we went in trolley cars and busses.

Victor at Parq

From what I can remember – this is what happened and who I talked to  –what a night!

  • Lucas Pavan                        Producer of Dine Out.  (Tourism Vancouver)
  • Jason Ocenas                     Manager of Township 7 Langley
  • Allison Scholefield           Haywire. Okanagan Crush Pad
  • Lyndsay O’Rourke           Winemaker/Co-Owner Tightrope Winery
  • Tim Pawsey                        The Hired Belly
  • Amber Sessions                Tourism Vancouver
  • Howard Soon                     Chief Winemaker Vanessa Vineyards
  • Laura Serena                      Serena PR (original Media contact Year 1)
  • Laura Kittmer                     Wine BC
  • Grant Nelson  GM           Victor at Parq Vancouver
  • Valerio Pescetelli             Exec Chef  Victor
  • Filippo Bevilacqua            Bev Manager/Sommelier
  • Jade Dynasty                     Old School Dim Sum
  • Joscelyn Werner              Canadian Craft Tours
  • Justin Tisdall                       co-owner Juke Fried Chicken
  • Jean-Sebastien Dupuis  Homer Street Café  (Beverage Director)
  • Chris West                          Homer Street Café  ( Chef de Cuisine)



Website: tourismvancouver.com/media
Twitter: @TVANMedia
Blog: insidevancouver.ca
Facebook: facebook.com/insidevancouver
Instagram: instagram.com/inside_vancouver 


Moon Cursor

Harry Hertscheg – Wine Fest Update

Sam Sifton  New York Times Food Critic (on Canadian Food)

DJ Kearney – NewDistrict.ca

Coyotes Banff

Bill Jones – Foraging Classes in March

Van Wine Fest  – 2 one hour specials








January 13th, 2018 – Spain & Portugal


The 2018 VanWineFest is fast approaching… we’ll be on site March 1st  recording  two 1 hours shows.

The feature regions this year are Spain and Portugal.

So this week’s Tasting Room Radio will focus on those two wine producing countries.

Spain we know about. Big wines to go with robust foods and lifestyle.

Wines with the heroics of a bullfighter and the grace of a dancer.



Reds aged in bottle for two years before release for a fraction of the cost of other regions.

What’s not to like?



Portugal on the other hand is well under the radar BUT they also produce amazing wines.


Some of their blends have 30-40-50 varietals all in one bottle.

Their wines are going to surprise and blow people’s minds this year.


This week we present  a primer on Spain and Portugal!

Guests include:

Cristiano van Zeller  – leading winemaker and unofficial spokesperson for The Douro Region.

Norrel Robertson – Spain’s only Master of Wine

Norrell Robertson

Domingos Suarez Franco – No relation to James and leading winemaker in Portugal.

Daenna van Mulligen

The Wine Diva returns from a visit to Fonseca in Portugal.

Terry and the Wine Diva


If you’re headed to this year’s VanWineFest, this show is a great place to start.



Feb 24 – March 4




Dine Out Vancouver 2018

Jade Dynasty

Victor at Parq

Homer Street Café

Juke Fried Chicken






Oh Yeah!!!



January 6th, 2018 – Dine out Vancouver


Getting ready for Dine Out Vancouver

Talking Organic with  Ann Sperling

New releases poured in Victoria


  Lucas Pavan – Dine Out Vancouver Producer

Lucas Pavan

 Dine Out Vancouver Festival is Canada’s largest annual celebration of food and drink. Attracting more than 100,000 locals and visitors, the festival takes over the city with 17 days of culinary events, prix fixe menus at over 300  restaurants.

The festival promotes local and regional ingredients, BC wines and the city’s exceptional culinary talent from January 19 to February 4.

There is no better voice for a Dine Out Primer than Lucas Pavan who leads an all-star team that begins to build all these events just as August rolls in.

Lucas walks us through events such as:

Railtown Catering Pop Up Dinner

Dinner on the Rocky Mountaineer

Taste of the market at Lonsdale Quay

Dine out Grand Tasting

East Van Craft Beer and Food Tour

The art of Tea

The Japanese Cuisine and Sushi Tour

Urban Wine and Distillery Tour

Introduction to Dim Sum

Olympic Village Food Tour

BC VQA Wine Brunch at Hart House

Vancouver Craft Beer and Street Food Tour

World Chef Exchange

Best of Granville Island

Street Food City Seven

Mamie’s Low Country Pig Roast

And many many more.



Ann Sperling:  Sperling Vineyards Okanagan.  Southbrook Vineyards Niagara

Team Sperling

 One of the very best winemakers in Canada.

Creating outstanding, award-winning organic wines at Southbrook in Niagara and at her family’s estate outside Kelowna.

Sperling Vineyards has been certified Organic and that’s our starting point with Ann.

Ann Sperling

Why organic?  Other than the obvious decision to take care of the land around them..what else should wine fans watch for with the ever growing organic movement.

After all, more and more we are asking questions of our fish, food, and vegetables.  Where was this grown, is it local, is it wild or farmed, was it organically grown?  Why not our wines?


We spend time talking about her glorious Old Vines Riesling.

Loved listening to Ann. Truly at the top of her game!


IVSA  New Releases

 IVSA (The Import Vintners & Spirits Association) work very hard to keep all of us up-to-date on what’s new in the wine and spirits new releases.

I made sure I had fresh batteries in my recorder..found the Delta Ocean Pointe in Victoria and worked the room.

Couldn’t talk to everyone..the room as busy with lots of seekers but here’s who I was able to get the microphone in front of…

Lionel King – Partner in Bonvida Importers and Distributors   www.bonvidawines.com

Benjamin Phillip – Stile Brands   (Vancouver Island Account Exec)  www.stilebrands.com

Jaime Cowan – Partner  Landmark Selections  www.landmarkselections.com

Teresa Chiesa– Christopher Stewart Wines Vancouver Island Rep.  www.christopherstewart.com

Dan Volway – Edrington Americas   Brand Ambassador / Whiskey  www.edrington.com

Eugene Chae –  Cobees.  Korean Soju   www.cobeesliquor.com


Stories we’re working on

 Moon Cursor

A speed round of Dine Out Vancouver

Van Wine Fest

Kettle Valley

Clos du Soleil

Checking in with our segment sponsors

Okanagan Crush Pad/New District/Road 13/Unsworth