Christmas Cocktail Crawl IV: Smoke and Mirrors – Part II

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Photos by Nicole Havers and Jorden Hutchison

Missed Part I? Catch up here, then read on.

Stop 1: UVA Wine Bar

uvaNot even UVA’s pulsing music, purple lights and funky décor can compete with the story behind your first smoked cocktail of the night. Ask bartender Lauren Mote why it holds special significance – you’re guaranteed a crash course in history, a geographical orientation to the Scottish highlands and one hell of a science experiment.

Cocktail The Rhapsody

Bartender Lauren Mote

Tastes like… History soaked in a sharp, smart drink. Orange and juniper bitters, courtesy of Bittered Sling, round out the smoldering scotch, though it’ll take a few moments after that first silky sip for the underlying smoke to hit you. Don’t be fooled by The Rhapsody’s innocuous golden hue – there is rich, deep history here. The base, Ardbeg Ten Years Old, is the peatiest whisky of them all and distilled on the island of Islay, Scotland – but that’s not as far as Ardbeg travelled. Back in 2011, vials of the spirit were launched into space for the world’s coolest science experiment: testing the micro-gravity of whisky production. Just like its star ingredient, this cocktail doesn’t mess around.

What makes this cocktail magical? “There’s something so mysterious about this beautifully smoky Ardbeg whisky made in Islay. It’s pretty powerful to drink a spirit that you know has been there, a spirit that was first distilled in such an ancient place. It moves me to tears, thinking that what we do every day – people have been doing it for thousands of years before us. Whiskies instantly transport you back to a time and place.” – Lauren

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Christmas Cocktail Crawl IV: Smoke and Mirrors – Part II

Kitchen party shakes up Chef Meets BC Grape wine tastings

The wine will be flowing at the ChefMeetsBCGrape signature tasting. Sarah England photo.

The wine will be flowing at the ChefMeetsBCGrape signature tasting. Sarah England photo.

The grape harvest has started in British Columbia’s Okanagan region, and that means it’s time to get in the sip-and-swirl spirit. You don’t have to visit the vineyards themselves: just grab a tasting glass at ChefMeetsBCGrape in Vancouver and dive in.

The annual fundraiser for the Arts Club Theatre Company happens from September 17 to 23 this year. As you might have guessed by the name ChefMeetsBCGrape, food and wine from British Columbia are intimately intertwined.

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Kitchen party shakes up Chef Meets BC Grape wine tastings

Inside Vancouver’s Summer Patio Party Series

Gastown on a summer afternoon. Photo: HappyBarbers | Flickr

Gastown on a summer afternoon. Photo: HappyBarbers | Flickr

Ah, summertime. That most glorious of seasons that adds extra sparkle to the Pacific Ocean, infuses our West Coast flesh with golden bronze and lures Vancouverites out in droves to sun-drenched patios across the city. But while we tirelessly park ourselves at familiar haunts, pop open craft beers and settle in ‘til October, alternative outdoor oases remain unexplored – to our own detriment. Because for every event life throws at you – from impressing a big client to satisfying your inner hipster to mingling with cute strangers – there’s a patio in Vancouver patiently waiting to deliver.

Today, Inside Vancouver introduces the first of a six-part investigative series that surveys patios spanning the city, puts each to a stringent test and gives you, dear reader, a fresh batch of possibilities for life’s most important situations. Try ‘em out, tell us what you think and help us expand the list – just don’t forget the sunscreen. Cheers!

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Inside Vancouver’s Summer Patio Party Series

Dine On Eight Unique Curries at the First-Ever Curry Cup

Photo credit: Vanessa Pike-Russell | Flickr

If you’ve got a craving for curry, then look no further. The Chefs’ Table Society of B.C. presents the Curry Cup on Tuesday, March 4th. Eight chefs will compete with their own unique curry dish to win the inaugural curry competition. For those who’ve never tried it, curry is a dish with roots in cultures across the world, including Indian, Thai, Malaysian, and Indonesian cuisine. Though it can refer to many dishes, in general, curry is a dish with meat and/or vegetables cooked in a richly spiced sauce. Curry is usually eaten with rice and a flatbread such as naan or roti. For many chefs, curry is the ultimate family-style staff meal and the proud product of their cultural heritage.

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Dine On Eight Unique Curries at the First-Ever Curry Cup

New Restaurant Forage Wins the Vancouver Aquarium Chowder Chowdown

Photo credit: Tallulah Photography

Chef Chris Whittaker of the brand new Forage Restaurant on Robson Street won big at Vancouver Aquarium’s Chowder Chowdown. The Chowdown, which took place the evening of Nov. 21, is among the most noteworthy events on Vancouver’s culinary calendar. Chef Whittaker took home the Best Chowder Award from the judges, while also winning over the bellies of some 560 diners and going home with the People’s Choice Award.

Chowder is a versatile soup that’s been reinterpreted so many ways. It can be super creamy, or mild and milky. You can enhance it with just about anything you can dream up, from root veg to herbs and miso.

Chef Whittaker’s winning Creamy Spot Prawn Chowder with Poached Egg and Smokey Chicharon (a dish made of fried pork rinds), featured white wine, leeks and bacon. Apparently you can never go wrong with bacon. Or zombies. But the latter typically isn’t used for cooking. Continue reading:
New Restaurant Forage Wins the Vancouver Aquarium Chowder Chowdown