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Our travels through the city’s food world for Urban Diner continued over the past 2 weeks capturing Vancouver’s bartenders and their cocktails. Some of the tasty drinks (yes, I had to sample a few) were brand new, only to be found on cocktail programs as of this week, while others are tried and true. My editor, Paul, titled the column “The Rebirth of Cocktail Cool” and these bartenders didn’t disappoint.

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above (L to R): Nick Devine (Habit Lounge), Chris Brown (Beyond Restaurant), Lori Poppe (Voya in the Loden Hotel)

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above (L to R): Steve da Cruz and Justin Tisdall (Gastropod), Jordan Moore (Yew in the Four Seasons Hotel), Jim Shelton (Sanafir)

Some of the shots are above; you can see more photos and Part 1 of the column on Urban Diner here, and Part 2 here. And if you feel so inclined after trying one of the yummy beverages featured, head down to the according bar (being sure to say hello to the cocktail’s creator) and leave a comment below the column to tell everyone about it!

Happy drinking!

~ j

What’s your Favourite Fridays has taken a couple of long weekend holidays…and it sincerely apologizes.

Back into the regular rhythym now though, and due to our recent gloomy and rainy weather we’ve been enjoying a variety of warm beverages. I am more of a dairy-free hot chocolate/any kind of tea person, while my other half can’t live without his twice-daily americanos. But what about this whole Matcha thing? I see matcha lattes everywhere, but they involve milk, and sadly this is what makes them off limits to me.  I noticed them first when we were in China in August, they love their matcha and their Starbucks over there and since ordering anything in mandarin beyond something we could point at was nearly impossible, ‘green tea’ got me 3 scoops of ground matcha powder with hot water. And, actually, it wasn’t half bad and I have since become hooked on it.

So, what’s your favourite soothing comfort drink?

A few evenings ago, we got together with some friends we hadn’t seen in while and ate for hours. About 5 hours to be exact. Funny how sitting down around a table, whether it be your table or someone else’s table, slathered in delicious food, eating and drinking for hours just makes such a perfect get together. Oh, and don’t forget about the wine. Wine helps too. Especially when it is served several bottles at a time.

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Our dear friends at Bistrot Bistro prepared yet another perfect meal amidst a chatter-filled atmosphere which we were certainly contributing to, if not driving. Warm, hearty food just seemed to keep arriving at our table, and more often than not by Chef Laurent himself. Certainly makes one feel welcome when the chef delivers your main course, doesn’t it? The melt-in-your mouth beef bourguignon is always my favourite there, and it didn’t disappoint. I tried something new to the menu this visit, a warm goat cheese gruyere tomato black olive tart, which, if you could eat goat cheese by the dainty, lady-like bucketfull like I can, would make you come back solely for this dish. And I can’t forget to tell you about the brussel sprouts: I have harsh childhood memories about being forced to eat brussel sprouts, as did a few others at the table that eve; of course they were cold and wilted after I had pushed them around on my plate for half an hour hoping that would make them appear less in quantity than I had originally been served, the taste by then resembling something close to paper towel. However, Laurent’s brussel sprouts made with molasses and tiny chunks of, what tastes like, bacon don’t remind me for even a split second of my childhood horrors; they’re amazing.

And isn’t gorging on desserts really the icing on the cake? If the cake was our dinner? Er…not that we ate cake for dinner…or that I ever eat cake for dinner. Oh, well I’m sure you get where I was going there. Specifically, we had the French sundae, Crepes Suzette for two, and the monkey waffle (too much wine actually made us have to ask what the monkey waffle was exactly…”waffles with chocolate and bananas” the patient server replies…ahhh, of course. And bring more wine with those monkey waffles! Right.

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Seriously though, gorging on food with friends is one of my favourite past times. And to our friends that not only served us but also dined with us that night, it was so good to see you all; let’s not let so long pass before we get together again

~ j

A blog is a funny thing, I’ve decided. Some use a blog as a daily dumping ground for their personal thoughts and ramblings; others use their blog for the purpose of growing a group, or an organization of some sort; and others have goals in mind that include google rankings, linking to their website, and a boatload of other techy reasons.

I was listening to someone talk about those of us who use blogs to showcase our work and our clients – essentially we are showcasing ourselves – and his opinion was that we should also share our vision and our creative process alongside the work so our readers learn who we are not only as artists but as people. I wholeheartedly agree. My vision, values and more about my creative process will now be included with every photo-based post starting on Monday and I hope you find it interesting!