Tis the season for Christmas brunches, lunches and dinners. Here is a list of Christmas menus from all around BC including Vancouver, Whistler and Okanagan, BC. Check out some Holiday events and activities around town and if your can’t think of what to give for that hard to gift person, check out these gift ideas.
Santa came early this year and compiled a list of Christmas Menus, Events, Activities and a list of Gift Ideas for the hard to please specially for you. He doesn’t want you to be knocked off the good list because you tried to bribe and blackmail your way to a reservation for a last minute Christmas dinner party.
**Elves Status Report**
The elves are working hard, dispatching and rounding up Christmas events, activities, menus and coming up with an awesome list of gift ideas. For more click the icons below
Food Persuasion’s annual 2012 Vancouver Holiday Menus Guideis here featuring Christmas brunches, lunches, dinners and buffets. This is still a work in progress, if you would like to add your Holiday menu on this list please email email@example.com or through the comment section. New this year is my Turkey To Go Section.
The second installment to my demystifying our food series, uncovering truths in the foods we consume. As a host and chef on CBC’s Village on a Diet, and guest on numerous regular TV features, owner of Bittered Sling Extracts and finally Co-owner of Kale & Nori Catering, Jonathan Chovancek has got his work cut out for him. Chef Jonathan – Kale & Nori
I caught up with him at Blenz for a late coffee. What caught my interest other than his abundant energy was his passion when he spoke of promoting a sustainable food culture, its pitfalls and triumphs. We can all agree that the organic, sustainable, ethical food movement has become a political and billion dollar behemoth. There will always be people trying to take advantage, which impedes the movement’s growth by making consumers skeptical.
Champions to the Cause
Jonathan and a few other chefs in Vancouver have to taken it upon themselves to preserve the movement’s core values. Jonathan goes the extra distance to ensure that his clients and guests of Kale & Nori Culinary Arts Catering consume ingredients that supports a sustainable food movement, meaning antibiotics free, free of dangerous chemicals and pesticides and ethically raised. Ethically raised, I don’t mean coddling the animals. They should not be so confined that they cannot move, so fat that their legs give out and pumped up with drugs when they start to get sick or start developing cancers.
Going the Extra Mile
To ensure that the quality of the ingredient is what is promised we need to know the source of the ingredients. “Most food is sold from origin to distributor to sub distributor. Getting to the source, knowing where the food originated and what is was fed, how it was grown is important. How long has it been dead, picked, preserved. Understanding that the quality is at its peak for only a few hours and from that point on it is diminishing.”
The Cheaters and Scammers
There is a colossal difference between “Antibiotic Free” chicken and “Raised Without Antibiotics”. Jonathan compared it to professional sports, where technology has allowed the farming industry to effectively mislead consumers to believing they are buying a healthy product. Chickens may still have been pumped with drugs , it would have been already flushed out during testing. I do want to point out, there are still independently owned farms not controlled by the monopoly food producers. They go the extra mile to ensure their food is sustainably raised.
Chicken Farm Testing and Protocols
Drugs does not refer to hormones or steroids, which were been banned in Canada since the 1960’s. I’ve reached out to Marty Brett, representative for the Chicken Farmers of Canada – CFC for a comment. For conventional chickens, they do not do on-farm testings, during the time at the processing plant random tests are conducted usually by the CFIA to ensure there are no drug residues left in the birds. Each medicine has its own withdrawal time, for example if it is given to the bird too late in the cycle, there will still be residues of the drug left. CFC claimed “to date no random testing has found residues in chickens”.
Chicken farmers will need to abide by the On-Farm Food Safety Assurance Program which includes protocols from our Animal Care Program, which require stringent record-keeping for every flock that is accompanied to the processing plant. Including, grow-out period, type of feed, temperature of barn, water testing. These legal binding forms are then audited by 3rd parties in each province at various intervals, all led by the CFIA. Farmers in violation of these guidelines face stiff penalties like stripping their quota which prevents them from selling chickens. I highly recommend reading CFC’s section on Understanding Your Choices, which compares the different choices, free run, free range, organic chicken. It’s a great read.
What Should Consumers Do?
Ask a lot of questions. While consumers, myself included purchase meats or produce at chain grocery stores and by that point it been re-distributed from the original source a few times, the purchaser will still be able to provide very useful information. “Putting the onus on the distributors to provide consumers with full disclosure is challenging and there a court cases pending right now about labeling our food. We must ask more questions of the people serving and selling our food and make the decision with our dollars to not support unethical industries”, answered Jonathan
To help you get started on your 2011 Christmas festivities I’ve created a list featuring Christmas brunch and dinner menus. This is a working progress, if you have any recommendations please send them to me in the comments section.
December 5th thru 31st from 5-11pm $32 – 47
If you are planning a corporate of private party, consider a set menu such as the two, four-course examples shown below. They will also be open Christmas Eve (Dec 24) and Boxing Day (Dec 26), offering regular dinner service.
Thank you for all my readers who tolerate my sometimes bitchy and often quirky anecdotes. This would be my last post in 2010. I will be busy gearing up for a flurry of new restaurants and promotions for 2011. That’s a lie, I will be attending dinners and parties every day till the end of the month.
Side Tip: A handful of restaurants already have their 2011 Dineout Menu up on their sites.
Food Persuasion Restaurants Best in Show
Best in Show.. Kitsilano Daily Kitchen – Orgasm in my mouth that lingers forever, I can’t stop thinking of it. Corner Suite Bistro – For their encyclopedic drink menu.
Best for Dates.. The Diamond – the space is so quaint and comfortable Nook – relaxed with a hospitable atmosphere
The Disappointments Commune Cafe – Just because your ingredients are local and organic does not give you an excuse to continually serve bland dishes Preston – Dry and undercooked pasta that reminded me of tree bark Don Guacamole’s – Tried to mask the crappiness by adding salsa from the chips and lemon from our water. The crappy still pulled through Gotham’s Steakhouse and Bar – “Underwhelming Piece of Cow”
Have a great holiday filled with delicious plates and fabulous wines, paired with plenty friends that will make you laugh till you choke and cry!