Browsing: Food & Travel

Flip-Regina

November24

I batted two for two on my recent trip to Regina; sitting down both evenings with the creators of the food that I had the pleasure of sampling. At his restaurant Flip, Chef Dave Straub (recent silver medal winner in the gold plate competition), pulled up a chair with his beer to discuss the details of his winning creation and share his passion for prairie food.

Chef Dave is the real deal. Farm to table is not just a passing movement, but Dave’s life. A farm boy from Pense, SK just west of Regina, he was baptised in the hospitality business by washing dishes at Danbury’s. Ironically the building just across the street that once housed Danbury’s is now home to Crave and the Chef that squeezed Dave out of his gold plate was none other than Crave’s Jonathan Thauberger.

In between, he attended culinary school and did his own research at a number of iconic restaurants including Daniel Humm’s Eleven Madison Park in NYC, rated the fifth best restaurant in the world! Hearing him recount that visit, his face took on the appearance of a fan that had caught the puck that was shot by his favourite player to win the Stanley Cup.

But, to the food….

flip1

Our attentive server did such a delicious job of describing the evening’s special that it was ordered before we could blink: a nibble of silky pasta topped with shrimp and pancetta, luxuriating in a tomato butter sauce and crowned with a gently poached egg and fennel pollen . What a fabulous start.

flip2

I was ready to go exotic but when I spied perogies and sausage on the “Comfort” section of the menu, I could not resist. Flip’s premise made sausage had a little bit a heat and worked beautifully with potato & aged cheddar packets. Caraway beets and mustard chive creme fraiche, sealed the deal.

flip3

The short rib plate was selected by one of our guests, but we all had tastes. You know that you are with good friends, when no one is shy about passing their plate around to share the bounty. The ribs were first braised and then slowly roasted to create a fall-off-the-bone taste sensation. Perfect for a meat and potato lover, it came with cheddar mashed potatoes and an arugula salad.

flip5

A brick-roasted chicken looks pretty pedestrian in this shot. Believe me, it was anything but! We had just returned from Tuscany the week prior and Italian families, especially in Tuscany, have been cooking what they call “pollo al mattone” for centuries. From my own research, there are a couple of secrets to this cooking style: 1) you have to ensure that the half chicken is lying as flat as possible in the bottom of your skillet 2) the best fry pan to use is a well-seasoned cast iron one 3) wrap a couple of heavy terra-cotta bricks in aluminum foil and place directly on the chicken. The trick here is weighting the chicken so that the skin makes contact with the hot pan and it cooks evenly. Perfectly executed.

I would drive to Regina just for another taste of this dish!
flip4

D LOVES seared scallops and orders them every chance he gets. As soon as I spied them on the menu, I knew immediately that they would be his choice. The crispy pork belly and lapsha noodles in a vanilla saffron sauce was the delicious icing on the “cake”.
flip6

I have no recall of the name of this chocolate feature but it was an ode to campfire s’mores and we made short work of it.

I feel very badly that even though we moved our dishes under the best lighting in the café, my photos are so lacking compared to the real experience. My niece once shared that a dish was “groan worthy” and that is the only descriptive that adequately describes Chef Dave’s dishes: groan worthy and we did, groan that is.

Flip Eatery & Drink Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well. Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance. Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress.” –Charles Pierre Monselet, French author (1825-1888)

IMG_0260

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

 

 

 

Food Bloggers Canada 2015 Recap-First of Three Parts

October29

I am proud and grateful to be a part of Food Bloggers Canada as a Regional Ambassador representing Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In 2013 I attended their first conference and last year I was unable to do so as it was my youngest daughter’s wedding day. I was very fortunate with the dates this year. I had just returned from Tuscany and New York two days prior and after enjoying a couple of lovely days at home, I repacked and jetted off again. I added a couple of days prior and post-conference for a variety of reasons and as I write this, it is the Tuesday morning after the conference and my 5th day in Montreal.

I speculate that there will be other conference recaps written that will detail the wisdom disseminated by the presenters. I intend to write about, what I always write about, the people I met and how we bonded over food.

que89

Arriving on Thursday afternoon with fellow Manitoban Ashley Fehr, The Recipe Rebel, we checked in and headed up the street to Old Montreal to have a nibble to tide us over until the evening.

A silky bowl of carrot soup and a thirst-quenching local Griffon Blond at Le Bistro Du Magasin did the trick as we got to know each other a wee bit. We had previously me but only briefly in the middle of a Manitoba cabbage patch. Le Bistro is a cozy spot attached to a fabulous gift shop.

That evening Montreal blogger Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz organised a group dinner at BEVO Bar + Pizzeria, within walking distance of the hotel. Even on the walk over, friendships were being forged. Kimberlie aka The Finer Cookie sat kitty corner from me and as soon as we made eye contact, I knew that we would become fast friends and so we did. Also present were my roomie Charmian Christie, The Messy Baker, Marlene Cornell, of Urban Cottage Life and Joann Blondin of Joann Blondin. Little did I know that evening that these fine ladies and I would become new friends.

fbc1

fbc3

An overflowing plate of charcuterie and marinated vegetables not only sustained me that evening but also provided my Monday lunch. BEVO was very accommodating of our large group and I understood that their fennel, orange, pecan salad was a huge hit.

FBC2015 group dinner

BEVO Bar + Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

que66

The next morning I found my way to Maison Charles Faure, a patisserie that I discovered when I visited Montreal in July of this year. A really tough decision was made between the almond croissants and the chocolate one that I ordered. When my fork penetrated the crispy/ flaky exterior the air swooshed out and deflated the pastry like a flat tire. The internal texture was soft and chewy. As I sat with my cafe latte in the beautiful sleek white shop, I watched the neighbours as they nipped in for their croissants to go.

selfie

Thanks to Marsha Knapp of You Gotta Eat This for the her copy of the photo and permission to post it.

I attended Andrew Scrivani’s photography workshop to learn to explore the capitalization of natural light and about how props can assist you in the telling of you tale.

fbc5

Of course we all took photos of the working lunch of wraps that was served.

fbc8

fbc6

fbc9

fbc7

That evening we assembled for a networking cocktail party with a variety of sponsors displaying their products. Eggs, molasses, mushrooms and lentils put out delicious fare including a devilled egg with the twist of crispy bacon, marinated beef skewers, falafel, romesco & Havarti bites, beetroot & lentil bruschetta and mushroom crostinis. I could have just eaten these fabulous treats for supper.

Running out of space for these musings, so see tomorrow for part two.

Kath’s quote: “What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it.”-C.S. Lewis

IMG_0286

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

Isla Mujeres Trip Report-Day 4

October1

day4-1

day4-3

day4-4

day4-5

day4-6

day4-7

As the sun rose on this morning, we visited our Luna neighbours who had arrived from the Canadian province next to us, the evening before. We have stayed next to them at Luna D’Miel for a number of years and had a lot of catching up to do.

Eventually, we made our way into Centro and to Ruben’s for breakfast. See the blog post here for all of those details.

day4-9

We strolled to Playa Norte for a swim. We love the beach in the morning when we have it virtually to ourselves.

day4-11

I love the Islander women, like the fruit lady who we often see by the market in Centro. I asked if I could take her picture and she proudly agreed.

day4-12

At lunch time I made up our favourite Isla sandwich-cucumber, cilantro, manchego cheese and lime mayo on a freshly baked torta. I spent some lovely time shelling and then the rest of the afternoon at “home”.

day4-14

day4-15

We shared happy hour and sunset from our own front terrace. We were walking into Colonias when our old friends (we met on Isla) acknowledged us as the went by on their golf cart. They offered us a ride as they were heading to Bastos. We told them about Bahama Mamas (blog post here) and they decided to join us. They were so ecstatic about their dinner that they were going to return the next morning for an early breakfast before they had too return their golf cart. Jan and Bruce joined us for a night cab under the stars at Luna D’Miel.

We love our stays at Luna D’Miel but in 2016 we are going mix things up a little. We have a week booked at Oceanside Villas San Miguel. This property combines the best of both Isla worlds for us-private views of the Caribbean and the convenience of Centro. On days that are too breezy on Playa Norte, we can hang around the enclosed pool. We’ll also be close to Isla friends and two sets of family members who always stay in Centro. Now that you can access the water’s edge on the Caribbean side I can search for beach glass right in front of the villas. We are so excited!

Kath’s quote: “Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly”. –MFK Fischer

HEART ISLA MUJERES

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

 

Dinner at Bahama Mama’s, Isla Mujeres

September30

We were walking to the Colonia’s to visit Bahama Mama’s when friends of ours drove by on their golf cart en route to Basto’s. When they heard that we were off to try Bahama Mama’s they decided to join us. Bahama Mama’s was another new place which had opened on Isla in our absence and we were excited to give it a try.

bahama1

Our friend and chauffeur for the evening ordered this hearty soup, chock full of a variety of seafood.

bahama2

D tried the stuffed fish and couldn’t believe all of the food on his plate-Mexican rice, rice and black beans AND a baked potato! He loved that he had enough forkfuls of carbs to go with the huge portion of the stuffed fish.

bahama3

When I dine at a new spot on Isla, I often order the Coconut Shrimp, so that I can compare and contrast and then make special note of my favourite place so that I can recommend it to the many, many people that asked me for dining suggestions. Bahama Mama’s was plentiful, lightly battered and greaseless. Was it my favourite? Ten more days of trip reports will tell the tale.

bahama4

Our other friend chose the Cuban Meatballs which was hearty and savoury. I don’t often order beef on Isla. Do you?

Jan and Bruce really enjoyed the restaurant and they should know. They have been visiting Isla for years and stay an extended length of time each visit which means they have eaten many places on the island, many times. They got a chance to look over the $5.00 breakfast menu and knew that they would still have their golf cart in the morning so they headed back to Bahama Mama’s for their very next meal. We would return (a couple of times) for breakfast, tempting other people to sample it with us. It was a hit for everyone!

Kath’s quote: “Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of a culture.” –Mark Kurlansky

islaheart

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

 

Ruben’s, Isla Mujeres

September28

ruebens3

Our breakfast visit to Ruben’s had been long anticipated. We had seen many Facebook posts about a great new restaurant that had opened since our last visit. All the accolades were warranted.

ruebens1

I loved the Heuvos Montuleños. The tomato sauce was so delicious with the breakfast rice. I also really enjoyed the plantain.

ruebens2

But it was the dish that D ordered that actually was the star of the show. I made the mistake of taking this photo before he had a chance to cut into it with his fork, because when he did there was a veritible explosion of shrimp inside. He offered me a bite and I wished that I could have switched our plates because the tender eggs, goey cheese and crunchy shrimp were sensational!

ruebens4

It was more than two weeks later when I had the opportunity to visit again. By this time D had returned home and I spent the morning with a friend from Winnipeg who now lives on Isla for a part of the year (at least I think that she is returning this year). My breakfast was SO good that I was hard-pressed to share it with her as I delighted in every single bite. I understood better, D’s hesitation to share his with me.

ruebens5

She had an omelet too and although she said that it was tasty enough, I couldn’t imagine that it compared to mine. We lingered that day so we could chat about the island and home as well. We agreed that we loved Rubens, loved Isla and loved Winnipeg.

heartjam

The toast we ordered seemed to agree.

Kath’s quote: “Merlin’s beard, what is Xenophilius Lovegood wearing? He looks like an omelet.”-J.K. Rowling

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

 

« Older EntriesNewer Entries »