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Saturday, January 3, 2009

TRADE LUNCH: Launch of cookbook "West", Nov 13, 2008

The Time and Date: Thursday, November 13, 2008  12:30 to 3 PM
The Event: the cookbook launch of "West", by Warren Geraghty, published
by Douglas and McIntyre in Vancouver.
The Venue: The Fifth.
The Target Audience: wine and food writers of the GTA.
The Availability/Catalogue: There were introductions by James Chatto
(Toronto Life) and Jamie Maw (Vancouver Magazine). Did you know that
there are 82 species of seafood off BC coastline? At the end, the chef
came out and described the food.
The Quote: "Everything at lunch can be prepared from the book at home".
West is one of several restaurants run by Toptable (
The Food and Wines: we also had 10,000 BC water from the west coast.
All the food and wine came from British Columbia. Here was the menu –
* Canapes – BC mushroom arancini [top notch]
            Vancouver Island octopus with Pemberton beets (yellow)
            Ballotine of foie gras and Salt Spring Island goat cheese
            Galantine of Thiessen Farm quail and jasmine poached
raisins [top notch again] …and accompanied by Sumac Ridge Steller's Jay
2004 Okanagan Valley (MC Brut, biscuity, 91+, $26)
* Tian of Dungeness crab and saffron cous cous, smoked tomato gazpacho
-- accompanied by Blackwood Lane Riesling 2007 Okanagan Valley (85-87,
* Seared Qualicum Bay scallops with butternut squash – accompanied by
Sandhill Small Lots Osprey Ridge Vineyard Viognier 2007 Okanagan Valley
(88-90, $23)
* Supreme of sockeye salmon with sesame scented white cabbage, smoked
salmon gnocchi, raisin puree – accompanied by Quails' Gate Family
Reserve Pinot Noir 2006 Okanagan Valley (88-90, $35) [needed time to
open, best with gnocchi]
* Loin of dry aged [48 days] Pemberton Meadows beef, oxtail and foie
gras cromesquis [egg shaped rolls], confit Portobello and roasted red
onion – accompanied by Mission Hill Oculus 2005 Okanagan Valley (88-90,
deeply extractive and overpowered the dish)
* Saffron spiced pumpkin panna cotta with ginger cake and orange
saffron syrup – with Gehringer Brothers Riesling Ice wine 2007 Okanagan
Valley, 88-90, good food match here)
The Downside: I wanted to taste the wines against the variety of food,
but the wait staff wanted to clear my places. Also, I felt that the
chef – or someone -- could have come out and describe the dishes as we
ate them.
The Upside: a chance at Vancouver cuisine, plus a signed copy of the
book. See my book review in the December edition of "Food and Wine
Books In Review"
The Contact Person:
The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade): 92.


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