Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Alberta Wellness Innovations

Alberta has been long known as a place made up of mavericks; pioneering folk who quite literally broke new ground to tackle challenges, both new and old. In the latest issue of Apple magazine, I got to explore some of Alberta's lesser known innovations, specifically, those in the realm of health and wellness. Some you may know of, but some I had no idea about! I mean, who knew Alberta was the birthplace of universal healthcare?! Have a read of my story in the Spring 2012 issue of Apple.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Eat, Drink (Water) and Be Merry!

I will heartily drink when the occasion calls for it, such as a toast or as seen here, "researching" a winery for a story.
But for the most part, I keep it virginal.

Most of my close friends and family know that I'm not a big drinker. In fact, I rarely drink at all. But it still comes as a shock to many others when I turn down a bevy at a social event. Sure, I'll have a few sips of wine paired with a fancy dinner out or the occasional cocktail, but for the most part, I prefer to stick to my virgin libations. Nothing against alcohol and those who enjoy it, but I'm just not a big fan of gettin' sloppy. Anyhoo, I wrote a little story about how being a non-drinker makes me a social pariah, which ran in last Friday's Swerve. Gan bei! (Chinese for "cheers"; it literally means "drink it all.")

Monday, August 6, 2012

BC Blueberries and RUSH Bring on the Good Eats

This past week was a good eating week. Scratch that. It was a great eating week! On Tuesday, despite a crazy hailstorm, I took part in a rooftop BBQ hosted by the BC Blueberry Council at Hotel Le Germain. CHARCUT Roast House chefs, Connie DeSousa and John Jackson, prepared a delicious menu, chockful of BC blueberries of course.

Then on Saturday, I tried out RUSH restaurant's delectable Taste of Canada menu in celebration of Food Day Canada.

Let's start with the blueberries. I must confess. I think I ate my weight in food that night. But there was so much deliciousness on hand, and when Connie or John asks if you want ribs or a burger, well the only correct answer is, "Hell yes." The ribs had this amazing sticky blueberry BBQ sauce, and the burger came with all sorts of delicious blueberry fixings. Yes, that's right, I ate both. Plus chicken. Plus spring rolls. Plus goat cheese tarts. Plus blueberry ice cream sandwiches. And cheesecake. But I digress. After all, it was research to taste everything that had been ingeniously infused with blueberries. 
John & Connie working the grill.
That's me to the right inhaling delicious blueberry-laced ribs.
(Blueberry food/event photos taken by PR whiz Kate Colley)

And did you know that blueberries are Canada's most exported fruit and BC is the number one highbush blueberry-growing region in the world? As I continued chowing down on BC blueberries all week long, I could easily see why. These little blue antioxidant power packs are just as good eaten as nature intended. 

Now onto RUSH. I'd never eaten there before, and I was more than pleased with my first time doing so. I had heard it could be a bit hoighty-toighty, but it wasn't. I mean, at the end of the night, exec chef Dave Bohati (who sports some major tats and apparently rolls to work on a skateboard) came and bid us farewell in his hoodie and jeans. There's nothing pretentious about that. 
The RUSH staff that prepared our incredible meal (Dave is 4th from the left; Andrew, 2nd from right)
And there wasn't anything pretentious about the food either. It was all about letting great regional ingredients shine--the whole point of Food Day Canada. My tastebuds were treated to wonderful local fare prepared beautifully such as Innisfail lamb, Broek Farm pork, Sparks Farm hen eggs, Brant Lake Wagyu beef and Sylvan Star gouda. We dined with Vintage Group Corporate Chef Andrew Stevens who is such a friendly, down-to-earth guy, and I'm sure a big reason why RUSH feels more approachable to the average diner than perhaps it did when it first opened.

Every course was scrumptious including the refreshing local harvest soup, served cold (which I'm not usually a fan of), succulent lamb with yummy house-made ricotta gnudi, and the clever crowd-pleasing Canadian breakfast dish that featured miniature-sized brekkie faves such as bacon, brioche toast, and quail's egg. Each was paired with a BC wine including an '08 vintage Mission Hill Occulus that wine director Tonya was actually petting, she was so fond of it. 
The amazing lamb and gnudi dish
The oh-so-cute Canadian Breakfast course

You too can enjoy the Taste of Canada menu at RUSH, available all through August.

Like I said, great eating week. As for my waistline, that's another story.