Grill and Vine Summer Series Longtable Dinners

Grill and Vine Restaurant in The Westin Resort and Spa Whistler has one of the best patios in the Village.  This summer, treat yourself to one of its new alfresco suppers, served on a communal 32 seat patio long-table the Summer Series dinners take place July 3, July 31 and September 9, 2015.

Retouched Patio ImageExecutive Chef Bradley Cumming has created three unique dining experiences,using fresh, regional ingredients, each themed dinner will feature a 5-course menu with beverage pairings. To add an educational element to the Series, a winemaker, yoga instructor, and brewmaster will bring their expertise to the experience.

The Summer Series Dinners are:

July 3 – Orchards & Estates
A celebration of white wine beautifully paired with orchard-fresh stone fruit, all from the Okanagan. Dinner begins at 6:30pm.

July 31 – Wellness & Wine
An evening of wellness and nutrition, beginning with a 60-minute yoga class, followed by a dinner paired with antioxidant-packed red wines. Yoga begins at 5:00pm, dinner begins at 6:30pm.

September 19 – Barley & The Beast
Host Shae De Jaray, founder of Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers, brings a twist to this dinner, where craft beer pairings replace wine. This dinner is offered alongside other Whistler Village Beer Festival activities. Dinner begins at 6:30pm.

Each of the Summer Series costs $89.00 per person ($110 including tax and gratuity), advance tickets required. Extend your Whistler experience with special BC/Washington residents room rates at the Westin Whistler Resort & Spa.

Grill & Vine is located within the Westin Whistler Resort & Spa at 4090 Whistler Way. 

Godspell sings the gospel

The final show of the season at The Arts Club Granville Island Stage, Godspell, is now playing, until August 1st.

The award winning musical, based on the gospel according to St Matthew, is a thoughtful, fun and eclectic telling of a series of familiar biblical parables.   The Stephen Schwartz (Wicked) penned show debuted over 40 years ago but Sara-Jeanne Hosie direction and choreography keeps it fresh, making me forget the 2011 Broadway revival minutes into the performance.   The show is designed to be contemporary, each production updating it to fit its time and setting. The Granville Island Stage turning into a bustling Jerusalem Train Station and like a busy station the varied demographic of passengers turn into the disciples of Jesus.  In this show, a female Jesus, played by the charismatic Jennifer Copping, felt completely natural as did a child John the Baptist.  In many productions, The Baptist and Judas Iscariot are the same player but here, Andrew Cohen leant a mature and conflicted nature to Judas.

This show frames the parables with references to Star Wars, TEDx, a yoga class and a game of charades with an audience member, making them relative to a modern audience.
The songs have maintained a familiar timeless quality while being adapted to various styles of pop, rock, swing and rap. Leading off with gospel fused “Prepare Ye” the cast filled the stage singing, dancing and playing the instruments, oft while doing both of the later. The whole cast filled the theatre with their energy and powerful voices but when called for, simplicity and peace reigned as with Craig Salkeld’s touching rendition of the ballad Beautiful City.

While the content may be biblical the show doesn’t come off as preachy, the message of love and community shining through.  Feel the love of Godspell for yourself at the Arts Club Theatre’s Granville Island Stage until August 1st.

Friday Find : Miyabi Santoku Knife

One of my favourite parts of cooking is the preparation, there’s something satisfying about slicing, dicing and chopping.  For years, I thought I had good knives for preparing meat and vegetables but I’ve not discovered they were merely, decent.

MiyabiKnife_4544Since being introduced to the Miyabi Santoku knife at the Cook Culture booth at Eat! Vancouver show, I now know how good a ‘good’ knife really is.

The Japanese made, Miyabi Santoku makes light work of any kitchen cutting needs,. The first thing I sliced was an Asian radish, which can take some effort with my old chefs knife but the Santoku slid through the vegetable with ease.  The Pakkawood handle feels nice in your hand and the Micro Carbide powered steel blade is nicely balanced to make the knife do most of the work and save your hand.
You have to try it to believe that a knife can work so well.

The Miyabi Santoku is available at Cook Culture stores in Vancouver and Victoria. While it’s a pricing addition to your kitchen, any way you slice it, this is an amazing knife and can take over from your whole drawer of dull, unbalanced knives.


Polaris Music Prize 2015 Long List

polaris10en@2xLast week, the Polaris Music Prize announced the 2015 long list at an event at The Carleton club in Halifax.
The non-profit Polaris Music Prize organization annually celebrates and rewards the creativity and diversity of all recorded Canadian music regardless of sales or genre.
From this years 197 eligible titles, the Polaris jury of 196 music journalists whittled down the field to 40 recordings now in competition to make the short list.

The Polaris Music Prize 2015 Long List is:

ABSOLUTELY FREE – Absolutely Free
THE ACORN – Vieux Loup
ALVVAYS – Alvvays
ARKELLS – High Noon
RICH AUCOIN – Ephemeral
BAHAMAS – Bahamas Is Afie
THE BARR BROTHERS – Sleeping Operator
BRAIDS – Deep In The Iris
STEPH CAMERON – Sad-Eyed Lonesome Lady
CARIBOU – Our Love
JAZZ CARTIER – Marauding In Paradise
COLD SPECKS – Neuroplasticity
LOUIS-JEAN CORMIER – Les grandes artères
DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 – The Physical World
DRAKE – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
FRAZEY FORD – Indian Ocean
TOBIAS Jesso Jr. – Goon
B.A. JOHNSTON – Shit Sucks
PIERRE KWENDERS – Le dernier empereur Bantou
LEE HARVEY OSMOND – Beautiful Scars
JEAN LELOUP – À Paradis City
MILK & BONE – Little Mourning
TRE MISSION – Stigmata
JOEL PLASKETT – The Park Avenue Sobriety Test
SISKIYOU – Nervous
COLIN STETSON AND SARAH NEUFELD – Never were the way she was
VARIOUS ARTISTS – Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock and Country, 1966-1985
VIET CONG – Viet Cong
PATRICK WATSON – Love Songs For Robots
WHITE LUNG – Deep Fantasy
WHITEHORSE – Leave No Bridge Unburned
YOUNG GUV – Ripe 4 Luv

Next, the jury’s short list will be announced on July 16th at The Carlu in Toronto with the final 2015 Polaris Music Prize being awarded at a Gala evening on September 21st also at The Carlu.

To listen to all the 40 titles in the long list check out the Spotify Polaris Playlist

Picks of the Week – June 24, 2015

While it’s felt like it for weeks, we are into our first full week of summer, let’s see how the picks of the week can get your temperature rising…

Music: This evening from 5pm – 10pm, Gastown is filled with sounds as Make Music Vancouver returns for another year of great music and fun throughout the streets of Gastown

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre’s Granville Island Stage is filled day by day with the sounds of Godspell until August 1st.

Country: Thursday night, thousands of Kenny Chesney fans gather at the beautiful West Vancouver seaside venue of Ambleside Live

Rock: NYC band, Television plays the Commodore Ballroom on Thursday night.

Opening: After a long renovation, come find out what’s new at Davie Village’s newest nightclub, XY, grand opening event Thursday night with performances by Jane Smoker, Jaylene Tyme, Raye Sunshine and Valynne Vile

Retro: Back It Up Thursday’s & Lux Dance Company present That’s A Wrap on Thursday at Celebrities, with music by Jane Smoke & Lisa Delux and cohosted by Berlin, Tiffany Ann Co and Lux Artistic Director Moses Asher Christen with partial proceeds going to a Lux Scholarship Fund,

King: Broadway Across Canada’s The Lion King continues to roar at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre until July 12

Rap: Acclaimed American rapper, Goldlink brings his brand of hiphop to Alexander in Gastown on Friday night.

Dance: Stereotype Friday’s at Celebrities features the sounds of Russian DJ/Producer Arty 

Soccer: Team Canada is in FIFA Women’s World Cup Quarter Final action on Saturday at BC Place

Jazz: The Vancouver International Jazz Festival continues with free and tickets shows throughout the city, including The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer at The Vogue on Saturday

Folk: The legendary singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot plays the River Rock Show Theatre on Saturday night.

Digital: Chinatown Mall + Vancouver Arts & Leisure present a unique instalation and pop-up shopping experience on Saturday , Digital Shopping Plaza is a social ecommerce space for up & coming artists and designer

Shade: stick around later at Vancouver Arts & Leisure for Shade 95.3 the official Digital Shopping Plaza after party, with performance & music by Buckmaster (PDX), Jane Smoker, Matisse, Jen Kenny and much more

Trumpet: Renowned trumpeter and composer Chris Botti is also at the River Rock, Sunday night

Drag: Displace Hashery’s monthly Sticky & Sweet Drag Show brings out hosts Katy Hairy & Evita Versace with performances by Amber Alert, Miss Understood, Karmella and Hailey Adler

Truffles Fine Foods Cafe Now Open Downtown

Truffles_8556Since 2005, Truffles Fine Foods has been carving itself a reputation as one of Vancouver’s premier catering companies.  Expansion into a cafe at Van Dusen Botanical Garden followed and now their newest kitchen has opened in Downtown Vancouver.

Located at 785 Davie Street (at the corner of Howe Street), the new Truffles Fine Foods cafe is a great addition to the West End.  A perfect location to pick up lunch or dinner on your way to work in the morning or on the way home later, the cafe has a daily selection of salads, sandwiches, pies, pizza and carvery meat as well as sweet baked goods to go with a morning coffee or tea.  A grab-and-go cooler loaded with snacks and drinks, included Truffles awesome signature Lemonades, makes it easy to get a bite and still make it to the office on time.  If you’d rather linger over your nosh, the stylish cafe and sidewalk seating are inviting places to chat and chew with friends.

At the opening #kitchenparty guests were treated to a selection of items from the catering and cafe menus, everything was a treat for the tastebuds.  See for yourself at Truffles Fine Foods Cafe, 785 Davie Street, open from 7am – 9pm weekdays, 8am – 9pm weekends.

Make Music Vancouver 2015

makemusicWednesday evening, the streets of Gastown will once again be filled with the sounds of music. For the fourth year, Make Music Vancouver presents a day of music, hundreds of music acts, absolutely free!

The grass-roots volunteer run event shuts down Water Street in Vancouver and transforms the pavement into a series of stages and performance spaces.  Last year, over 150 acts took part and an estimated 25000 music lovers soaked in the diverse artistry of Vancouver’s music scene. From amateur to established artists, the performers volunteer their time to participate in the event.

Inspired by the French La Fête de la Musique, Make Music Vancouver is part of a global music event, with over 450 cities around the world participating.   Come out and be a part of the event from 5pm to 10pm all along Water Street in Gastown.  Performance stages are spaced throughout each block, acts change at the top of each hour so you’ll be constantly finding something new. Before you go, check out the Georgia Straight to enter to win a Helijet trip to Nanaimo.


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