Fab Food Photo of the Week: Death of a Dessert

This photo is an oldie but remains one of our favourites, perhaps because of the memories it conjures and the carnage it captures.  Taken during a girls night in a scene that was straight out of Sex in the City.  Think four friends, martinis, desserts and a whole lot of gabbing – our favourite guilty pleasure!  The unfortunate casualty of our ravenous appetites is the Modern Cafe’s Apple Tarte Tatin.  This baked apple served on crispy puff pastry smothered in a decadent butterscotch sauce is sinfully good.  It will definitely keep the doctor away, but not your dentist!

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Meat Lovers Rejoice: Nanaimo Barbecue Festival Wrap Up

Frying pan of pulled pork

Grill masters and barbecue enthusiasts gathered from Canada and the US on July 14th where they lined Commercial Street for Nanaimo’s first annual Barbecue Festival. Officially sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, this two day action packed meat extravaganza featured cooking contests, a show ‘n shine, a rib eating competition, live music, an expo and enough smoked deliciousness to make even the most seasoned of carnivores blush. This is going to be a meat heavy post. Vegetarians…you have been warned. Continue reading

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Fab Food Photo of the Week: Greek Salad

Why should the entrée get all of the attention?  Salads are usually confined to the sidelines, so we decided that it should be the star of this week’s fab food photo.  A nice crisp, cool Greek Salad on a warm summer evening is a perfect light meal if you ask us! Also known as summer salad, this colourful Greek staple is a combination of juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumber, crispy red onions, Kalamata olives, bell peppers and crumbly feta cheese.  This delectable Greek salad comes courtesy of Aladdin’s Café in downtown Nanaimo, one of the best in town!

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We Review Jeffrey Saad’s Global Kitchen: Recipes Without Borders Plus a Recipe for Two Pork Croque Monsieur with Mornay

Taking a cooking course abroad is the great way to expand one’s kitchen prowess while experiencing a country’s culinary culture.  You get learn new skills and prepare authentic regional specialities with the added bonus of being able to eat your homework.  It is also one of Ayaka’s favourite travel pastimes, being a firm believer that anything that ends with food in your stomach must be good.  When our latest cookbook Jeffrey Saad’s Global Kitchen: Recipes Without Borders arrived at our door, it immediately drew our attention as it connected with our shared weakness for travel and ethnic foods.

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Fab Food Photo of the Week: Grilling

Time to refill the propane, dig out the bag of charcoal and clean off those bbq tools folks. It looks as though grilling season may finally be upon us! I’m sure we all know a couple backyard chefs who are pretty thrilled with this change in the weather. So to all you grill masters out there, this weeks photo is for you. We also wanted to take this opportunity to mention the first ever Nanaimo BBQ Festival coming up next weekend, and we’re pretty excited to have our own Ayaka Nagata competing in the rib eating contest. We are still hoping for some more competition, especially of the female variety. If you’re interested in signing up, or if you would like to donate to the Nanaimo Hospital Foundation in our name, you can find more info here.

Kababs, chicken & steak cooking on the bbq

What is your favourite thing to BBQ?

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Recapping the 2012 BC Shellfish Festival’s Chefs’ Dinner

Each year seafood lovers gather in the Comox Valley for the BC Shellfish Festival, the largest of its kind on the West Coast. Celebrating its 6th anniversary, this year’s festivities kicked off on Tuesday, June 12th with a screening of the documentary “Shellshocked” followed by the Mott’s Clamato Best Caesar in Town Competition on Thursday, which we had the pleasure of judging. Next on the festival calendar was a seafood extravaganza also known as the Chefs’ Dinner. We were kindly invited to take part in this wonderful celebration of locally produced shellfish.

As we raced down the highway, rocking out to Van Morrison dressed in our formal wear, our mouths watered in anticipation of eating freshly shucked oysters, clams, mussels and geoducks. With over 200 guests to be treated to a gourmet, six-course seafood feast by an all star chef line-up, this sold out dinner was the hottest ticket in town. Each chef collaborated with a BC shellfish grower and their product to bring their original seafood creations to the guests. Factor in a bottle of BC wine paired with each course, and you got a sense of the urgency we were feeling with a 120 kilometre drive separating us from this seafood gorge fest. Continue reading

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Sweet Potato Poutine With Mushroom Gravy

plate of sweet potato poutine with gravy boat and pepper mill

Happy Canada Day to all our fellow Canucks!  To celebrate our nation’s 145th birthday, we decided to put our own twist on a Canadian classic.  Much like the Caesar, poutine is about as quintessentially Canadian as it gets.  What this dish lacks in aesthetics it more than makes up for in taste.  Our version is made with sweet potato fries, mushroom gravy, and fresh locally produced cheese curds from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks.  We used a combination of crimini, shiitake, oyster, and portobello mushrooms, but we encourage you to use whatever varieties you have available at home.  If you’re not a fan of the fungi, they can be easily strained out, keeping all their lovely earthy flavours in the gravy where they belong.

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