Author Archives: Westcoast Foodie Blogger
Happy Monday great foodie friends!
I just wanted to share a great read put out by Chef Christophe Bonzon’s PR team. Thank you Sophia Cheng PR. For sharing!
I consider Christophe a friend and and thrilled and amazed at watching his journey of success all well deserved and due to his undying passion for his true art!
A brilliant yet humble chef on the rise to a new higher star!
HIGH FIVE! Chez Christophe celebrates five years in Burnaby Heights
Chez Christophe celebrates five years in Burnaby Heights
High-resolution images available via DropBox
Burnaby, B.C., July 9, 2018 – When Christophe and Jess Bonzon first stepped foot in Burnaby Heights five years ago, they knew it was the right neighbourhood to grow their new Canadian roots and build their new business. Since then, Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie (4717 Hastings Street) has grown to be a destination for award-winning artisanal chocolates and creative viennoiseries. To celebrate half a decade, Christophe travelled to France to create his own custom chocolate, launching in the form of chocolate bars this month.
“The support we have received in the past five years has been incredible,” says Christophe, who first arrived in Vancouver more than seven years ago from Switzerland. “We have moved from a tiny shop to our current much larger space with a patio. We have been able to expand our offerings to include soups and sandwiches and develop our coffee program, but at the same time, keeping up with the creativity and ingenuity our customers have come to know. And, many of our customers we know by name. We love this tight knit community.”
This past winter, Christophe visited the headquarters of Cacao Barry in Paris to participate in the custom chocolate program, Or Noir. Only a handful of Vancouver chefs have done this in the past and Christophe is the first in Burnaby. Christophe tasted a variety of chocolate and tried a dozen combinations before coming up with two blends, “Yverdon” after his hometown, and “Montreux” where he learned his craft. He launches the exclusive new chocolate in the form of chocolate bars this month.
“Chocolate will always be my biggest and number one canvas,” adds Christophe, who in 2015 won four out of five categories at the World Chocolate Masters Canadian Final. “When I invent with chocolate, I feel the options are limitless. Anything is possible if you put your heart and soul into it. And, creating my own chocolate is definitely a highlight of my career as a chocolatier.”
The limited edition anniversary bars are now available. The 63.6% Montreux is a balanced dark chocolate with a hint of smokiness, originating from Madagascar, Ecuador and Papuasie. The 70.4% Yverdon has a bold cocoa flavour with fruity notes, originating from Santo Domingo, and Peru.
Chez Christophe has also launched five other new chocolate bars – 34% Blanc, 35% Blanc Caramel, 42% Pure Lait, 60% Noir Brut, and 70% Noir Intense. All chocolate bars are priced at $7.95.
Chez Christophe has also undergone a brand refresh, courtesy of local agency Arithmetic Creative, as well as an updated website with online shopping capabilities.
For more information, please visit www.chez-christophe.ca.
About Chez Christophe
In 2013, award-winning pastry chef, chocolatier, and Cacao Barry Ambassador Christophe Bonzon opened Chez Christophe Chocolaterie and Patisserie with his wife Jess Bonzon in the bustling Burnaby Heights neighbourhood. Bringing a bit of Swiss flair to Canada, their collection of fine handmade chocolates ranges from artistic chocolate sculptures, creative truffle flavours to signature chocolate bars, and seasonal favourites. Customers can also find an array of macarons, viennoiserie, desserts, and cakes at Chez Christophe. Due to overwhelming support, the pair moved to a larger location in 2016 with more seating, an outdoor patio, and an expanded menu with sandwiches.
Instagram + Twitter: @chengsophia
Copyright Â© 2018 Sophia Cheng PR, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
Sophia Cheng PR
You gotta try this!
Congrats Chef Christophe !
Happy Monday great foodie friends!
It has been far too long since my last blog post!
This dish is a classic and tasty flavor pow for all who like a little kick of spice.
This dish is one that I have loved for years from a favorite restaurant of mine. Quattro’s or Gusto Di Quattro now.
The dish is known as Spaghetti for Italians only. I used fresh linguine but either Will work.
What you need:
1/2 cup of good olive oil
1 lb Ground Chicken (I like dark meat- so much more flavor!)
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tsp of chili peppers
Salt to taste
4 oz Black beans or black turtle beans
1 tsp of Italian parsley funky chopped
1 cup of tomato sauce – ours was chicken based.
Parmigiano cheese to serve with
What you will do:
Heat up the oil on medium high heat & then add the chicken and start to brown.
At the same time heat up your pasta water and make sure to salt the water! The fresh pasta cools quickly, approx 6-8 mins.
Add in the salt, garlic, parsley and chili flakes and stir to incorporate
Then add in the tomato sauce & stir. Cook for another 5 mins on medium low to blend all the flavors.
Now top with your fresh grated parmigiano cheese (to love cheese is to love life for me!)
This pasta is also great to make your own- you can adjust your spice level or garlic to your liking.
You gotta try this!
No Knead Dutch oven Italian 00 Flour bread!
Happy Sunday great long lost foodie friends! It’s been far too long since my last post!
Ever since we got our new Staub Cocotte I have been literally been dreaming about making bread.
I did have some criteria that were a must and 00 flour from Italy was the “Must Have” in the recipe!
I have loved everything we have used this Cocotte pot for and expect it to perform equally in every way making perfecto italiano no knead bread.
I used Molino Favero 00
Why 00 flour? I’m looking for a similar feel to the bread that any Italian would have grown up eating and expect. Typically 00 is best for pasta and cakes.
To better explain:
The names 00 and 0 Flour refer to specifically Italian milled flour that is used for pasta making. You will find that this is also called Doppio Zero just meaning double zero. The grading system is 2, 1, 0 or 00 and indicates to how finely ground the flour is and how much of the bran and germ has been removed. 2 for instance is a wholemeal flour while 00 is the most refined of the three and has the lowest level of bran. It is similar to unbleached all purpose/plain flour, which is a mix of hard and soft wheat, and though while finer, it creates a dough that is silkier and maintains a chewiness when the pasta is cooked.
If you are looking for pasta, bread flour or baking flour, 00 will work for all and you can substitute 00 flour if you run out mid way through pasta making with just plain old high-grade flour. Again this has been refined more so than standard flour making it higher in protein. Pizza dough is perfect with single 0 flour but again it is interchangeable.
Grading systems for flour are used elsewhere in the world as well so the Italian system is not unique. The French have a grading system that is similar but it seems most recipes will call for the Italian 0’s.
To make life more confusing the terms hard and soft get used to also explain flours so to try and put it simply:
Low Protein + Low Starch + Low Gluten = soft flour – 00 flour or high grade flour – use this for pasta, pizza and cakes as you would any high grade flour
High Protein +High Starch + High Gluten = hard flour – semolina flour or standard flour – perfect for bread doughs and most other uses.
In basic the 00 will likely make my loaf not quite as tall and a little more silky and chewier.
I have no doubt that the taste and texture will be good but I may experiment with a few different Italian flours until we find that “just right bite”
What you will need:
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp organic sugar
1/4 to 1/2 tsp of active dry yeast
1 to 1 1/4 tsp of sea salt
3 cups 00 (Doppio zero) Italian flour or 01 or 02 semolina flour
1 cup warm water
What you will do:
Stir yeast and sugar into the 1/2 cup warm water & let sit 5-10 mins or so or until you see a foamy cream start to form.
In your favorite mixing bowl add the flour and salt and stir to mix up.
Add the yeast mixture and the cup of warm water and mix well to ensure that all of the ingredients are mixed together – this is “no knead” so we want to make sure all of the ingredients are well integrated.
When you have finished mixing ensure all of the dough is together in the bottom of the bowl. No cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and place somewhere that is draft free.
When the dough has approx doubled in volume it should be ready to bake. I have learned that this is not the time to rush but instead patience is in order. It could take approx 5-6 hours BUT here’s a bonus, if your not ready to bake it then you can leave it proofing over night and bake the next day, the dreamy bread will be the same either way!
Place your Staub or le Creuset Dutch oven into the oven and pre-heat the oven to 450 F
Now place some parchment paper on your work surface, flour it AND your hands and gently work the dough into a large round ball, tuck in the sides if needed.
When the oven has come to 450, carefully remove the Staub from the oven and equally carefully take off the lid (Hot is an understatement)
Now carefully lift the parchment and place the loaf into the Staub pot and put the lid back on.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 mins.
After 30 minutes, take off the lid and bake for another 15 mins or so until the bread gets a nice golden brown.
Now remove the pot from the oven and the bread from the Cocotte Dutch oven and place your Golden magical loaf on a cooling rack.
Allow the loaf to cool (at least a little) now cut and enjoy anyway that you desire!
I like to cut fresh and dip in olive oil and balsamico or toast and have with butter and jam.
Feel the accomplishment of making something with so few ingredients and so tasty! You might never go back to store bought! Come to think of it, that’s why I love all things Italian… they make magic out of only a few perfect ingredients not to mention real food!
The Italian flour was truly a game changer! Use different Italian flours to receive different textures like more crisp or more chewy (00 makes it nice and chewy with). That said I am sure to try Italian Semolina flour next time to test out the difference.
The Staub Cocotte performed just as expected, Perfecto.
“You Gott Try This”
I’ve been dreaming about this and think I’ll whip up a batch this weekend! Try it, you will Love it!
Bourbon Maple Bacon Jam
I first tried bacon jam this summer from a favorite spot of mine on Granville Island. It was an instant thought of “I can’t believe I haven’t tried this delectable flavor medley before!”
The smoky, sweet, salty combination with an ancho chili kick to finish of the flavor depth along with the main star attraction Bacon is truly a flavor explosion in your mouth.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: approx 1hr. 15-30 mins
Total time: approx 2 hours
Yields: approx 1 1/2 cups
What you will need:
1 large sweet onion sliced
2 cloves garlic minced (more if you wish)
1 pound (good quality bacon) chopped into “bacon bit” size
1/3 cup bourbon
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup Guinness beer
1/3 cup maple syrup (use 100% pure)
1/3 cup brown sugar
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Ancho chili powder…
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This April 27th at 6:30 the Gourmet warehouse hosts the ever popular Chocolate Challenge.
This worthy event is not simply a reason to get together and eat Chocolate (though that is a side benefit) but rather a ongoing generous effort to support the community and the kids.
The focus on ensuring that the local children can Have access to healthy food in the weekends supplementing there school food programs – the Strathcona Back Pack Program now feeds over 350 kids / families every week.
Click here for the website
The second program and one that theory that I completely subscribe to is Project Chef – this is a school program that is aimed at teaching kids how to cook and enjoy nutritious meals. This enables the kids how to make good choices and gives them the tools and confidence how to prepare their own great dishes.
Teach our kids to eat and create a healthier society!
Some of our top pastry chef / chocolatiers will be offering you a taste of their talented culinary magic and submitting their creation for your vote!
This list includes
Greg Hook – Choclate Arts
Peter Fong – Ganache Patisserie
Steve Hodge – Temper Pastry
With other tasty goodies and sips from Earnest Ice cream, the Preservatory, Stumptown coffe, Tacimo, Tartine Tarta, Terra Breads and Yorkshire tea.
If that isn’t enough you have access to great deals at Vancouvers own Culinary Disneyland at your disposal!
I promise you that this is a great event and full of great flavors with good company!
You gotta try this!
Happy Sunday great foodie friends,
Just around the corner is the BC Home & Gardn show! Feb 22-26th at BC Place.
I wanted to write just a quick posting about the show to encourage you to check out the website and be sure to buy your tickets and set the date aside!
Click here to go to the show website
You can either buy tickets by clicking on this link OR comment on this blog posting by answering any of these trivia questions and retweet or reshare the twitter posting tagging @bcfoodieblogger for a extra entries for a chance to win 1 of 2 sets of two ticket to attend the show. BC home and Garden has been kind enough to team up with me to offer this give away.
Click here to buy tickets
Trivia questions to have a chance to win 1 of 2 sets of two tickets to the show:
1- What chefs will be on the cooking stage ? And what restaurant are they from?
2-Name 3 of the key sponsors to the show
3-What is the value of the prize for the Lifespace Gardens Sweepstakes ?
4-Name 3 of the key HGTV speakers
Answer these questions by commenting on this posting and or on twitter and retweet the blogpost on twitter for extra entries.
Winners will be announced via twitter and my blog on Feb 20, 2017
The show will feature well known HGTV celebrity experts as well as many booths showcasing new products as well as cooking stages to showcase local fare from some great local chefs:
BRYAN BAEUMLER will be sure to please the crowd along with some of his co-stars on the HGTV with a list of who’s on stage here
MAIN STAGE SPEAKERS
Baeumler Quality Construction
Bryan doesn’t believe he’s put in an honest day’s work unless he gets his hands dirty. A natural-born teacher, the Gemini-award winning host has been educating and entertaining viewers across Canada and the US since 2007 on the hit shows Disaster DIY, Canada’s Handyman Challenge, Leave it to Bryan and House of Bryan. Bryan’s quick wit and easy-going personality have made him a huge hit with viewers on all of his home renovation shows.
Learning valuable tricks of the trade from his father, a meticulous aircraft engineer, Bryan spent his childhood summers building his family’s cottage from the ground up. After earning a dual degree in Political Science and Business, Bryan was headed towards a career of practicing law. Realizing he’d rather be renovating than being chained to a desk, his innate passion for building took over and he traded in his tie for a tool belt and founded Baeumler Quality Construction.
A few kids and number of hit TV shows later, Bryan continues to tackle home renovation projects, be the spokesperson for numerous products and expand his growing businesses to include Baeumler Approved and Baeumler Custom Cabinetry. Currently filming Bryan Inc. with wife Sarah, viewers will follow the couple on their journey as they flip two investment properties while balancing their busy home lives together. For more information about Bryan, visit bryanbaeumler.com.
List of HGTV speakers here
Exciting for myself and our foodie friends will be an exciting line up at the cooking stage featuring some fantastic local talent cooing up some signature dishes.
Check out the list of chefs and dishes here!
Chefs stage schedule Click here
Keys sponsors and supporters:
Good luck and the more you retweet the more entries you get!
See you at the show!
Think of food in terms of the standard terms that we have always heard, “you are what you eat”
It isn’t hard to ask ourselves why are we as a society getting to heavy, why are we all of the sudden getting allergies when I’ve never had them before?
It’s no secret that if we make things from scratch vs. processed foods or foods from a can or a box, make sure we read what is in it. For example if you buy corn or peas or orange juice, shouldn’t there be only 1 or 2 ingredients? (And the 2nd ingredient should likely be water ?) no guilt honestly, just get back to the basics at the same time as looking out for the chefs that can teach you how to make magic with good natural ingredients! You would be amazed and the benefits of making this one change, for you and your family. Then do the second best thing, teach your kids how to cook with real ingredients and then we can evoke change back to a simpler time.
Happy anew years to all of my followers!
Please know that I realize that sometimes we need to have fun and enjoy something yummy and maybe even not in the “nice” list health wise but that is the or should be the exception, not the rule.
Have a great year of culinary fun, just try and make it a wonderfully happy and healthy culinary journey!
“You Gotta Try This”
Happy Sunday great foodie friends,
This is a great short piece but long enough to make your mouth water and remind you how Italians influence (and beautifully by the way) the culinary world!
Happy Thursday great foodie friends, one wet afternoon I happens upon Cafe Crema in West Vancouver near Ambleside.
1495 Bellevue Avenue
West Vancouver, BC
V7T 1C3 | Map
The atmosphere is cozy and comfortable and the aromas of fresh baked goods, sandwiches grilling and coffee being crafted by the baristas you settle in to enjoy a nice break from the weather or a rest stop / sip after walking the path along the beach. (They are just near Ambleside beach)
My sandwich was fresh and filled just right with the tastes of Montreal smoked meat and soft melted cheese!
The croissant was slightly warm and was the perfect sweet bite to follow the sandwich.
No coffee for us today but it smelled fantastic and we are sure to go back and try a sip or two!
Treat yourself to a nice break at Cafe Crema, you will be pleasantly surprised.
“YOU GOTTA TRY THIS!”
Happy Monday great foodie friends.
The more I see what people consider food (especially the young and young families) the more I realize that we as a society need to get back to the basics.
Don’t get me wrong, fast food every once in a while should be ok but making it the rule vs. the exception begs the term “You are what you eat”.
I fully realize how busy life is and that time is short and a rare comoddity for most families but in some way or another through the generations one could always say the family is busy.
Let’s look at this way, planning and learning are the keys to what I am proposing.
- Stay to the outer 4 walls of the grocery store.
- Watch cooking shows or look through cookbooks and plan out at least 5 meals for the week.
- Go to farmers markets
- A lot of foods or meals freeze well so you can make it ahead.
- Reduce refined sugars, salts and msg loaded seasoning. There are easy recipes to create your own seasoning, sea salts and healthy herbs that will make your foods taste much better.
- Do all of this with your kids!
When you cook with your family it brings us back to our roots. Think about the “family” meal and sitting around the table with friends. It’s what connects us as people and what feeds our soul as well as our bodies.
Teaching the young that hamburgers and French fires are not the healthiest way to eat but rather roasting a fresh chicken and serving it fresh vegetables are the “norm” will pay off for the future.
Please don’t take this as a lecture but rather a friendly nudge to remember to learn where your food comes from. Make things fresh ahead that you can incorporate in your weekly meals (pasta sauce, chicken, beef or vegetable broths) and watch how you reconnect with your family and friends as you sit together, cook together and laugh together.
You gotta try this!