Archive for the ‘By Invitations’ Category

As an attendee of the upcoming Food Bloggers of Canada conference I was invited to a Meet & Greet at Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks (a venue which I should’ve visited/discovered a long time ago!) with Ruth Reichl as she goes on a North American book tour to promote her latest novel Delicious. I was excited to meet not only because she has been the Editor of Gourmet magazine for ten years, but also because she only just recently appeared on the Top Chef Canada finale.

Delicious and Gourmet Magazines

Ruth shared some behind-the-scene details of what happened on the show finale and what she thought of the three finalists. I thought Ruth could be intimidating (scarred by The Devil Wears Prada) but she was so down to earth, approachable and easy to chat with!

Me and Ruth Reichl

At the event we also got to meet fellow local bloggers whether they be recipe developers or restaurant reviewers like me. I look forward to connecting with them again soon.

Meet & Greet at Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks

As parting gift (gifts actually) we each got a copy of Delicious, but we were also treated to a collection of Ruth’s favourite Gourmet magazine covers. (more…)


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Last week I was invited to go on a media preview tour for Made in Strathcona, a new initiative by the Strathcona Business Improvement Association to promote the area. On May 31 and June 7, public can purchase tickets to tour some of the businesses in the area in various disciplines, such as manufacturing, textile/fashion, culinary and woodwork.

Our tour consisted of four of the possible stops. First, we learned a lot about coffee roasting and tasting at the A.G.R.O Roasters. It was interesting to see the bean roaster on-site (they roast their beans in-house!!) but we didn’t get to see a demo. I never realized that light roast actually has more caffeine content than dark roast, even espresso beans. I do prefer the flavours of dark roast and espresso beans though so I wouldn’t switch to light roast for the caffeine.

A.G.R.O RoastersA.G.R.O Roasters

A.G.R.O Roasters

Then we checked out the facility of The Butler Did It Catering Co. The 12,000 sq ft space handles catering orders from 8 to thousands. Sustainability is important to the operation and they compost all kitchen waste, approximately 800-1,000lb per week. Every piece equipment is the mammoth size of what I have at home. The roaster, aka Big Red, can roast 60 prime ribs or 50 turkeys at once, and the 24,000W coffee machine can pump out 1,200 cups worth of coffee per hour!!

The Butler Did It Catering Co.The Butler Did It Catering Co.

The Butler Did It Catering Co.The Butler Did It Catering Co.

Next, we visited YEW Woodshop where 4 Emily Carr industrial designer graduates share a studio working on wood craft projects from scratch. (more…)

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A couple of weeks ago, we were invited to the Tasting Plates Gastown Edition. Gastown is a neighbourhood that intrigues me but I never spend enough time exploring. The event offered me an opportunity to re-visit some restaurants while discovering some new ones.

Instead of duplicating my Twitter coverage through the evening of the event, I have taken a different approach with this recap post. I’ve used Storify to build my story using pictures from the event along with additional comment at each stop. Click on the image or link below to check it out. Find out what I liked and what I didn’t like, and what I wished to have done differently on this tour:

Tasting Plates Gastown 2014 on Storify

Tasting Plates Gastown 2014 on Storify

Tasting Plates Gastown Recap on Storify

Tasting Plates is a good way to explore new and long-standing restaurants in the neighbourhoods. The next one is Tasting Plates Main Street and I hope to see you there!

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With an invitation from my old-time blogger friend Sherman, we tried Mosaic’s latest Taiwanese Tasting Menu. Inspired by his recent visit to Taiwan, executive chef Thomas Heinrich put out this 4-course menu with a wine pairing option. Based on my experience last year, I was quite looking forward to another fantastic dinner.


The dinner started with the Fish Ball with Scallion & Pork Dust. The house-made fish balls were made with ling cod, scallop and ground pork. Because the texture of ling cod and scallop is on the soft side, and I’m used to the bouncy, ping-pong like fish balls from HK, I found these a bit mushy. But the use of a little bit ground pork added some chew to it. The broth was quite aromatic and you could definitely taste the ginger and scallion; it had a homey taste to it. When mixing in the porcini paste on the side of the bowl (although not necessarily the most appetizing looking) there was some additional earthy note to the broth. Unfortunately our server poured a bit too much broth so I couldn’t finish it all.

Fish Ball with Scallion & Pork Dust

Fish Ball with Scallion & Pork Dust (Photo Credit: Sherman Chan)

Our second course was the Hakka Tea Crusted Ling Cod, and it was my favourite plate of the evening. (more…)

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In celebration of Australia Day on January 26, I was invited to an event last week called Restaurant Australia. It’s put on by Tourism Australia and Wine Australia to promote Australia as a food & drink travel destination.

The event started with welcome speeches from Tourism Australia, Wine Australia and Chef John Placko.

Speech from Tourism AustraliaSpeech from Wine AustraliaChef John Placko

Of course, there was plenty of food and wine to go around. The menu, created by Australian-born Chef John Placko, featured unique ingredients found in various regions in Australia.

Food prepping


Here is what I tried:

New South Wales: Sous vide prawns, caramelized onion sponge, toasted macadamia crumbs, dill fluid gel

Sous vide prawns

Queensland/The Great Barrier Reef: Buderim ginger & lime spiked barramundi, wilted greens and Australian olive oil

Buderim ginger & lime spiked barramundi

Victoria: White Stripe Lamb seasoned with forest berry and Murray River salt flakes, minted cucumbers and beetroot meringue (more…)

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