Category Archives: Food glorious food from the heart and soul

Valentine’s ideas

Hello great foodie friends,


As the days grow closer to the day of Love (albeit a little commercial) planning your valentines should come from the heart and soul rather than from something that will last for a day or two but not stand the test of the soul and the heart in your Loves eyes.

When deciding what to do don’t feel that you have to focus on something so daunting that it adds stress to your day but rather something made from Love and care.
This great molten lava cake from Food network & Patrick and Gene Neely is a start.
molten lava cake recipe – click here


Recipe courtesy of Patrick and Gina Neely

Molten Lava Cakes
Total Time:
50 min
35 min
15 min
Yield:8 cakes
Next Recipe
2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for the ramekins
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting (optional)
6 large eggs plus 6 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter eight 6-ounce ramekins and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar.

Combine the butter, cinnamon, cayenne, nutmeg and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Cool slightly. Whisk the flour, confectioners’ sugar, eggs and yolks, vanilla extract and almond extract in a bowl until creamy. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Divide among the prepared ramekins.

Bake the cakes until the tops are stiff and the edges darken, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Loosen the edges of the cakes with a small paring knife and transfer to plates while warm. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Photograph by Gentl & Hyers

Recipe courtesy The Neelys’ for Food Network Magazine

Read more at:

Try this dessert and pair it with a raspberry or multi – berry coulis / sauce with some fresh berries as well topped with fresh whip cream and serve with some Prosecco.

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If if your so inclined could you prepare a wonderful dinner? If not use this dessert and the end of the night show stopper coupled with your sweethearts favourite flower! Many valentines start or end with roses, but was this great marketing by the flower industry or really truly your Valentines favourite flower? Better to know and ask if you need to!
I guess the theme of my posting is truly about doing something from the heart rather than bought at a store!
If chocolate isn’t your perfect Valentine sweet treat, why not making a Tiramisu?
Come on folks, it’s one of the most delectable Italian treats and is truly easier than it looks and I promise smiles.


Tiramisu recipe – click here

You can put the Tiramisu into any cup, dish or pan and serve it how you like but if you can find chocolate cups like these it adds a special extra touch.

Last but not least, I have included a link for those of you wanting to spread sweet love but do it as hea,thy as possible…. 8 desserts 80 calories or under

8 desserts 80 calories or under – click here

Happy Valentines to you all

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our great foodie friends and your families!


Let’s all harken back to the day where we all sat back, took a deep breath and reflected on all that we are thankful for. Take this time to reconnect, slow down and enjoy the moment with your family and friends.
Remember that I always say that it’s the sitting around the table that are the perfect moments and that eating together connects us right to our souls.

Enjoy the fall flavors, create something new with the traditional twist, wow your family!

Happy Thanksgiving

Please share photos or comments on what culinary wonders hit your tables with us!
Stay safe and enjoy the day!


Vikram Vij- A chef to watch and follow

Happy Thursday great foodie friends.
I wanted to share my experience at an event I was l honored to be invited to. #VikramsTour
The very second that you meet Vikram you are captured by his stories, words and demeanor. Vikram is the true balance of being genuinely humble but so charismatic and colorful at the same time.
You quickly realize that this magnate is true example of hard work and true proof that you should never look at a mountain as too high to climb.
In 1994 Vikram and team under his wife and fellow chef Mee­ru Dhalwala opened their first restaurant in Vancouver- Vij’s – a 14 seat flavor and aroma wonder that hit the Vancouver culinary scene with truly traditional Indian cuisine. You can never equate Vikram’s style of cooking as main stream or faddy but rather a true reflection of the unique flavors of his homeland. Flavors and recipes simply from his grandparents, parents and family friends kitchens and true to the ancient heritage and routes of genuine and regional flavors.

Vikram started our tour of his Vij’s at Home take home curries in Langley with several food writers, media and the film crew of Dragons Den. If you haven’t heard yet Vikram will be one of the two new Dragons!


Vikram definitely captures the attention of the group while passionately describing his first steps on the property in 2007 and how important it was to maintain the natural lands he was building on by minimizing the impact of the build out. Vikram also spent countless hours looking at different options to build


back into this new building and opted for a “green” roof and investing in the structural engineering to accommodate that. If you see the building from the air, it would almost look like green space!
We now started our education of Vikram’s at Home and the aromas gently greet you upon entering the building.


One issue that Vikram stayed focused on like a laser was how to preserve the unique and beautiful flavors through the large batching, processing and packaging process. He wants to ensure that when we open the package at home that your kitchen would fill with the tastes aromas and flavors that were intended to show!
Pasteurizing is a typical and lower cost option to preserve the food but can’t ensure that the product would taste the way Vikram wanted it be. Vikram looked at another option that worked just right! Blast freezer
By taking the product from 80 degrees to 4, then minus 32 within approx 35 minutes it preserves the unique flavors and quality that Vikram strives for.
All that said what you quickly notice is that even though you are in a food factory and expect complete automation you will see that the important part of Vikram’s secret weapon is to continue to infuse the passion and love into each and every package through many hand made processes.
The spices are still roasted traditionally and manually every week, and many of the ingredients are still hand cut.



After a great education and reassuring confirmation that this truly respected chef that believes in the same exact core values that I have always believed and found on my culinary journey – “Get in the kitchen and cook, but do it with smiles in your heart, love, soul and passion and it will surely show in your food” Food doesn’t define us necessarily but it does connect us to family, friends and new friends. Even in a “commercial” application of Vikram’s food, this key ingredient is not overlooked.
The tour wrapped up in Chef Vikram’s office and some more intriguing stories of his days gone past.


Vikram showed us one of his prize possessions- a wood menu that he hand carved for his restaurant.

Now off to My Shanti, Vikram’s new eatery in South Surrey. Being that I live in the area I was thrilled to see this flavour train arrive and bring a new twist to the restaurant scene in South Surrey.

From the moment you turn the corner to look for My Shanti, it’s right front an centre and not easy to miss! In True Vikram Vij style the outside of the restaurant is unique and not like any other in the area.

It really is a preview to the wonderment that the diner is about to experience once inside.
Attention to every detail of what Vikram’s wants you to experience is seen everywhere. A successful entrepreneur knows that in these complicated times you don’t win the battle of patrons with a good this or that, but rather you do win when you create an


, a whole feeling from start to finish to relax yet entertain you.
Vikram had this hand woven and hand painted mural commissioned in India specifically for My Shanti

The Tree Of Life

is made from one piece and fills nearly the whole wall that you see once you enter the dining room!


The dining room is comfortable and welcoming leaving you relaxed and ready to experience a culinary flavour ride from Vikram’s kitchen.
Vikram has a unique awareness of balance and humility always recognizing those who are on his culinary journey of life always recognizing that he couldn’t do it or be successful without his awesome team.

The food at My Shanti is unique to traditional Indian fare, not like the North American perception of Westernized Indian dishes. The quality of ingredients is evident and the care in preparing the dishes is present in the depth of flavours, textures and unique presentation.




The dishes we tried were all unique and truly had depth in flavours to set you up thinking what is next!? To truly enjoy Vikram’s new concept restaurant you must go for a great dinner where you will be taken care of his staff who is there to help guide you through the beautiful dishes that Vikarm and his culinary team have created. The attention to detail is evident and furthermore you are likely to have the smiling face of Chef Vikram or Bena drop by your table to ensure that they see you are enjoying the experience. You are not going solely to eat but rather to have a culinary experience- sight, smells, tastes and all around experience.

Take a look at the wonderful bar that Vikram has created that has chosen to serve real drinks from days gone past and new creations all made by hand with fresh ingredients and in the style of “Speak Easy” concoctions rather than the premixed versions you so often find in many other spots.
Do you recall that I mentioned Dragons Den ?
Well in case you hadn’t heard Vikram Vij is one of the new Dragons and will surely be as entertaining with his passion and colourful demeanour in the den as he is in the kitchen.
We are thrilled to have Vikram’s My Shanti in South Surrey and look forward to many great dinners to come.

Remember that just like all of Vikram’s retsuarants- they don’t take reservations, it is first come first serve and true to Vikram’s belief that we all are created equal.


You Gotta Try This!
My Shanti on Urbanspoon}

The 21 Best Sandwich Shops in America

The 21 Best Sandwich Shops in America – brought to us from and Adam Lapetina – thank you for compiling such a great list. How about compiling a Canadian list with a collaboration with me?


THE PERFECT SANDWICH is hard to find. But when you do find it, you have to pay homage. From superior ingredients to the freshest-baked bread and sauces that make you say, “Dammit, I kind of want to drink that!”, the ideal sammie has to strike a delicate balance, and the people who make them have hit upon something way more important than just a portable meal.

So, without further ado, here are the 21 best sandwich shops in America. Prepare to get hungry:

WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: Whatever’s available
The only BYOB joint in Charleston also makes its finest sandwiches, which you can knock back in a dining room that feels like a friend’s place. Their menu, scrawled on a chalkboard, is constantly changing depending on the region’s local offerings, but always features innovative creations such as the General Tso’s-chicken sandwich, with their crunchy version of the distinctly American-Chinese dish, replete with broccoli rabe, jalapeños, and carrot slaw on a crispy roll. Oh, and heads up — they’re also open late on weekends, meaning this is generally where the party will end up anyway.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: Fried chicken + jack
A relative newcomer to the sandwich scene, East Hampton was founded in 2012 by an aspiring lawyer who traded tort reform for torta reform (sorry) and assembled a team of sandwich-crazed artisans to help him advocate for YOU. What resulted is a sleekly minimalistic temple of farm-to-table goodness, with the likes of Southern fried chicken, avocado mash, pepper jack, greens, and cured bacon with a jalapeño cream sauce, where they have quite obviously plead guilty of being totally awesome.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: Jon & Amy’s Double Dip
We already mentioned Zingerman’s in our college sandwich-shop roundup, but that didn’t mean that they didn’t warrant being mentioned again — and here we are! Zingerman’s isn’t just a sandwich shop; it’s an institution, with a creamery, a roadhouse, and a bakery, all rolled up into a package that also happens to sling some of the best deli meats, pickles, and sides in the entire country. It’s a little on the pricey side, but that’s a non-issue when you consider the fact that you’ll be getting piles of pastrami, corned beef, Swiss & Wisconsin muenster cheeses, and two types of deli mustards (when you order their famous Jon & Amy’s Double Dip), in addition to the hundreds of other combinations they have available for revelers.
Putting Northwest Austin on the foodie map, Noble Sandwiches took a gamble opening in the suburbs in late 2010 and quickly garnered a rep for sandwiches worth a half-hour drive. Everything’s made in-house from the bread to the bacon, which you can literally take home thanks to a deli case stuffed with meats and charcuterie. The signature ‘wich is the seared beef tongue (smoked green onions, red pepper relish, aioli) that’s a modern flip on Mexican lengua, but they’re also rocking more traditional fare like the eponymous Noble Pig, stacked with spicy ham, pulled pork, prov, and — of course — bacon.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: The Braised Brisket
Not many chefs open a great sandwich shop and then open a truly great restaurant, but Denver’s Justin Brunson did just that. Making his mark on the Denver scene with Masterpiece Deli (which just opened its second location in town), Brunson won the hearts and arteries of the Mile High sandwich-loving community with selections like a Cubano (slow-roasted mojo-brined pork, Black Forest ham, Swiss cheese, garlic aioli) and a 12hr-braised beef brisket sammie (with Tallegio fondue on a baguette). Be sure to top whatever sandwich you get with Denver Bacon Co. bacon — obviously, if you’re already going to open a great sandwich shop and a great restaurant, you should start your own bacon company, too.
Cemitas are essentially a variation of the torta native to the Mexican state of Puebla, differentiated primarily by the pillowy sesame seed roll, which Chicago landmark Cemitas Puebla gets custom-made at a local bakery. The milanesa (breaded-and-fried pork loin) is the most traditional, but if you’re looking to up your swine intake you can add guajillo-rubbed loin and ham to get the triple threat that is the Atomica. A huge pile of shredded, mozz-like Oaxacan cheese, a generous smear of creamy avocado, and sweet, smoky, spicy chipotle bring all kinds of added flavor and texture, but pros know to take it even further and add a few drops of their trio of addictive salsas to each bite.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: Kurobuta Pork Belly Banh Mi
Mendocino Farms is an LA-based sandwich market that specializes in locally produced and raised vegetables and meats, meaning their stuff is fresher than a certain prince. Step into any of their woody, grass-adorned locations, and you’ll be struck by their natural aesthetic; one bite of any of their seasonal sandwiches or down-home favorites, and you’ll be struck by their pure deliciousness. Folks go especially crazy for their Kurobuta pork belly banh mi, served on ciabatta rather than the typical French roll, and filled with caramelized pork belly, pickled daikon & carrots, cilantro, cucumbers, jalapeños, and a chili aioli.
It’s a special kind of awesome when a place is named after what people will call you after you’ve eaten too much of its wares, but Lardo is indeed a special kind of awesome. The cart-turned-three-restaurant-chain does everything right, from the spicy grilled mortadella to the incredibly flavorful porchetta, the meatball banh mi, and, perhaps, the best Cubano this side of Havana. The secret? Every bit of pork is made in-house, from the ham and mortadella to the pig skin sprinkled in hand-cut fries. When even the tuna melt is exceptional, you’re in trouble. Someday soon, Chef Rick Gencarelli will have enslaved all of Portland.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: The Parmageddon
Cleveland’s got its fair share of interesting people, but not all of them open tattoo-friendly, punk-rock-playing alternative grilled cheese joints, like Matt Fish did when he first founded Melt Bar & Grilled in 2006. Offering patrons who get a Melt tattoo 25% off for life is only the second of his selling points — the first is grilling up insane grilled cheese sandwiches that keep Ohioans coming back time and time again. The Parmageddon, for example, rocks potato & onion pierogi, sauerkraut, sharp cheddar, and sauteed onions and is every bit as face-melting as its name would suggest.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: The Caribbean Roast
This Caribbean snack shack with two locations in Seattle can be identified one of two ways (in lieu of a big, flashy sign, which they’re apparently not all about): 1) the intoxicating smell of caramelized onions and slow-roasted pork wafting out of it, and 2) the line going down the block and beyond. Sure, it’s cash-only and the wait for a sandwich might be up to an hour, but there’s a reason everyone swears by Paseo’s creations — they’re so goddamned delicious. Try the Caribbean Roast with marinated, fall-apart-tender pork shoulder, aioli, cilantro, and Romaine lettuce to get the best possible experience.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: Hot BBQ Roast Beef with American cheese (only available on Wednesdays)
If you grew up in a Western suburb of Boston, the name “Linden” rings out. As in, “I’m getting a Linden,” and “You want to go to Linden?,” and “Who just ate my Linden, because now I have to kill them?” Open since 1933 and owned by the LeBrun brothers — Greg and Mark — the vibe is old-school town deli: stools, communal tables, and a line that often snakes close to the front door during lunch hours. All of the sandwiches are good (try the Hot Italian or the Ryan, and add extra “hots”), but on Wednesdays, they do a hot sub special that usually sells out by noon featuring slow-simmered BBQ roast beef and onions with melty American cheese that will change your life, or at least the notch you use on your belt.
With a history that spans 60yrs and a line that often spans 60 people, White House is a veritable Atlantic City institution whose authentic Italian subs were apparently frequently craved by Mr. Sinatra himself, who would send a lucky lackey down from NYC just to pick some up for him. The original sub shop’s still standing, but you now have the option of going to the Trump Taj Mahal to pick up your fix of capicola, provolone, salami, and chili peppers. Or be a little unorthodox and give their cheesesteak a try. Just go in armed with the knowledge of what you’re getting into — their “half” sandwich is bigger than just about any whole sandwiches you’ve ever eaten. So, you know… get the whole sandwich.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: The Crunchy Chicken
At this sandwich marketplace in Houston, everything is the sum of its parts — and the parts are insanely awesome. The wide-open, retro aesthetic sets the stage for sandwiches crafted with the same care and love that Texans have been accustomed to for generations. Each sandwich purchase nets you two sides, which they swap out based on what’s available/in-season (think crispy slaw with lemongrass vinaigrette), and you’ve pretty much gotta try their Crunchy Chicken sandwich with nut “crumble”, provolone, buttermilk ranch, and pickles on a chewy pretzel bun to truly know Southern comfort.
Hidden away in a pint-sized hole-in-the-wall in San Francisco, Darwin’s small interior belies the huge sandwiches within. Committed to bringing you the best in seasonal ingredients and fresh-baked breads, Darwin’s an intimate backdrop to some of the best sandwiches this side of the Mississippi. In addition to being tender and supremely thin-cut, their legendary roast beef, is also piled high with the complementary veggie du jour, which in some cases is arugula and tomato jam and in others is caramelized onions, peppers, and mushrooms.
In a city with more than its fair share of secrets, tucked-away restaurants, and almost-inaccessible eateries, Animals at The Wayland just might be the most clandestine of them all. Sitting inside The Wayland, an unassuming, cutting-edge Alphabet City cocktailery, Pink Floyd-homaging Animals is only open from 11am-5pm, and only on weekdays, plus to get there you’ve gotta trek over to Avenue C, which is, like, far. But when you do, a pulled bacon sandwich with red slaw, avocado, pickled jalapeños, refried beans, and chili mayo will be waiting to reward you for taking the afternoon off work strictly for a sandwich. Or maybe the Pernil “Don’t Call Me George” Romero, whose pork shoulder is slow-cooked in garlic, fennel & rosemary. The pig on the wing shall be you.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: Pastrami & Cheese
Yet another holdover from our college sandwich-shops list is Primanti Bros., one of the few joints on this list that boasts a profile of its signature sandwich-making style on its Wikipedia page. Founded in 1933 by a few brothers named Primanti, the innovative sandwich shop skews toward the behemoth, opting to add a helping of hand-cut French fries to each one of its already-prime deli sandwiches (such as pastrami, salami & cheese, and even knockwurst). This, as you can imagine, made them pretty popular, and they now boast 16 Pittsburgh-area locations, with a few popping up in far-away Florida, and then… THE WORLD?!
With arguably one of the best cheesesteaks in the city of Philadelphia, John’s Roast Pork stands above the rest for its other sandwiches, which are pretty much all outstanding. It may be in a different camp than some other Philly cheesesteak joints, which use neon-orange Cheez Whiz instead of the sharp provolone of John’s, and it’s their authentic ingredients that allow them to also make an impeccably juicy roast pork sandwich (duh) with spinach, as well as an awesome steak Milano with grilled tomatoes, all on fresh-baked sesame seed rolls. It’s so good you won’t even miss the Whiz, and that’s saying something.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: The Asian Flank Steak
Totally reviving the East Nashville food scene (and possibly setting the bar for full-service delicatessens all over the US), Mitchell Deli was founded in 2008 with the goal of providing customers with all-natural, all-delicious ingredients made into beautiful sandwiches, and on their first day of service, they ran out of food. If that isn’t enough of an indicator of Mitchell Deli’s greatness, check out their legendary Asian flank steak sandwich (once offered only on Mondays, but now available throughout the week due to high demand), which has been featured on Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America and is served on locally made, fluffy ciabatta bread.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: The Cochon Muffuletta
Everyone knows that New Orleans’ muffuletta is the king of sandwiches. That fact is indisputable. What is up for debate, however, is which place in New Orleans serves the finest specimen of this gargantuan stack of olive tapenade, mortadella, salami, mozzarella, ham, and provolone — and the top dog is most certainly Cochon Butcher, a wine bar-butcher counter combo that’s got the city’s best sandwich menu (“bacon melt”, anyone?). Central Grocery may be the original, but it can’t compare to the freshness of CB’s house-cured meats, melty cheese, spicy olives, and soft, gloriously chewy bread.
In addition to being one of the best authentic Cuban restaurants in all of Miami, Enriqueta’s also makes a hell of a Cuban sandwich — but not just the pressed ham, roast pork, cheese, and pickle panini that we’re all used to. They also whip up a Cuban chicken sandwich, stacked with lettuce, tomato, shoestring potatoes, and grilled onions that’s out-of-this-world good. The place is a little hole-in-the-wall where lines can get pretty long, so be sure to venture out and grab your fix before they close at 4pm.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING: The Scuttlebutt
Saltie may look like an ultra-hip temple of Brooklyn coolness from the outside, and that’s because it is. But here’s the rub: they make some of the biggest, best, and messiest sandwiches in the entire world, and they do it all in a tiny space using mostly — GASP — vegetables. Granted, there are a few meaty bites on the menu (mortadella, chicken liver paté, ham, even sardines), but the real move here is to go with one of their funky vegetarian sandwiches, like the Scuttlebutt, a seemingly unholy amalgam of eggs, feta, capers, olives, pickled veggies, and spicy pimentón aioli on perfectly fluffy foccacia, which — if it doesn’t convert you into a believer — will at least preach you the gospel.

Thrill list link to the full list of the 21 Best Sandwich Shops in America

You Gotta Try These!

Chez Christophe – Patisserie

Happy Tuesday great foodie friends.


The Vancouver lower mainland is blossoming into a culinary wonderland.
Just about 1 year ago Chez Christophe opened their doors in Burnaby BC.
Christophe Bonzon is no stranger to Vancouver as he was the head pastry chef at Cin Cin for 2 years then he decided to open his own patisserie in North Burnaby – Chez Christophe
Location: 4712 Hastings Street, Burnaby BC.

Who is Christophe?
Swiss born Christophe first discovered his passion for chocolate and the age of ten while he was helping his mother make truffles for Christmas gifts.

Christophe’s resumé is studded with a decade full of intense apprenticeships and coursework in the fine art of pastry and chocolate, both in his native Switzerland and in France. Amongst many other institutions he has studied under some of Europe’s grand masters at Zurich’s Chocolate Academy, and at l’Ecole du Grand Chocolat Valrhona in France. Various professional postings followed, including as pastry chef at Confectionary Schneider in Switzerland, followed by Choux Cafe in Western Australia. Christophe worked as an Executive Pastry Chef at one of the finest French Pastry Shops in Perth.

Now Christophe and his lovely wife Jessica, along with their great assistants create pastry and chocolate magic everyday (open Tuesday- Saturday with special hours during the holidays)
The quality and aromas are noticeable from the second you walk in the door.

Christophe will always find his way to say hi to all that walk in the door or at the very least a friendly wave from behind the finishing room that you see through the glass.
At Chez Christophe you will find fresh made pastries every morning as simple as a traditional croissant


or one that is filled with extra treats like the double baked maple pecan croisssant to warm your tummy. The pastry is light, flakey and buttery just as you should expect from a traditional croissant.

And enjoy it with a fresh cup of coffee of your liking.

From looking into the pastry showcase your eyes are quickly are pulled to the chocolate and sweet pastry / cake showcase and your mouth likely will start to water at the delectable treats in front of you.
You will surely recognize some flavor pairings but also notice some creative twists created by Chez Christophe.
Christophe only uses the best quality chocolate that he imports from fine European routes in Switzerland and France as well specialty chocolate from Cacao Barry

Some of my favorites are the Treo

Which is layers of light, dark and white chocolate mousse with a dark sponge bottom and a ganache like top all that truly melt in your mouth like chocolate silk.
We had a special occasion that we needed a special cake for and we chose the Treo with a special show piece.



Needless to say it was a


Other favorites are the Duo



As well as good old favorites like eclairs and lemon tarts to name a few.

For special occasions Chez Christophe’s creativity and experience explodes Into exponential ways….







A quality patisserie that will bring you back again and again! Creative, friendly and a chocolate master to be sure!


Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie on Urbanspoon


BBQ bacon-wrapped chicken bites

Out of this world BBQ bacon wrapped chicken bites!

Happy Friday great foodie friends,
I have been putting together a Superbowl menu list and this is a MUST!

What you need:
*6-8 boneless and skinless chicken thighs (you could use chicken breast but the thighs are much more flavorful)
(If you can’t find boneless, the bone is easy to take out!)
*At least 1 lb of bacon (I love and use Geldermans)
*House of Q -house rub
*House of Q – Slow smoke gold BBQ sauce
(You could substitute the rub and sauce if needed but I really suggest you try to get your hands on these two beauties)
*Tooth picks (as many as the bites you prepare)


What you will do:

*If the thigh still has the bone in it remove it (it’s quite easy, just work two fingers down the bone and pull the bone out and down. At this point you can either pull the bone out or cut it out)
*Cut the thigh into bite size pieces
*Cut the bacon in half
*Now put your chicken bite on to the bacon and basically wrap or roll the bacon around the chicken and secure with the tooth pick.


*Now sprinkle both (all) sides with the rub (the amount is up to you)
*Now your ready to grill- I use a Cookina pad (similar to silpat) on my BBQ but you can cook it directly on the BBQ grill.


*Grill until the chicken and bacon are nicely browned and almost caramelized (approx 15-20 mins)
*Now it’s time to brush on the BBQ sauce on both sides and continue to BBQ for another few minutes – look for a perfect color and glaze with an ice caramelized finish.



Now all that is left is to plate these delectable treat and enjoy!
These will sure to be a winner so make sure that you make enough for all to try but be careful, they are honestly addictive.

Thank you as always to Brian Misko (BBQ Brian) of House of Q for the recommendations and tips not to mention the great run and sauces that help create these BBQ treats!

You Gotta Try These!


50 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings 2014 – brought to us by

Wow…what a list!
Happy Friday good foodie friends,
Look at the list of most anticipated restaurant openings coming in 2014 brought to us from and Amy McKeever. Thank you!

Link to the full list on

The 50 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of 2014
Thursday, January 9, 2014, by Amy McKeever


2014 is looking to be a totally insane year of restaurant openings across the country. From city to city, chefs aren’t just opening one big restaurant this year: they’re opening two or three at a time. Rick Bayless is bringing another XOCO in addition to a more mysterious project to Chicago; Daniel Boulud is expanding his empire to both Las Vegas and Washington, DC; and Zahav chef Mike Solomonov is also set to stun Philly with two new spots that explore hummus and the Jewish diaspora.

It’s also shaping up to be a knockout year in New York City, where a slew of big-name restaurateurs are gearing up for new — or revamped — projects across the city. David Chang and Amanda Cohen have found bigger digs for Momofuku Ko and Dirt Candy, respectively. The unstoppable Danny Meyer has another couple restaurants on the way, while Alex Stupak, Cesar Ramirez, John Fraser, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten are expanding, too. Meanwhile, acclaimed chef Enrique Olvera of Mexico City’s Pujol is finally joining the New York City fray this year.

This is going to be a big year for the state of Georgia as well, what with Hugh Acheson’s new pair of restaurants that are headed to both Athens and Savannah. (In Athens, he’s joined by the talented Whitney Otawka doing Mexican fodo at Cinco y Diez.) Atlanta’s Ford Fry has got another restaurant (or three) up his sleeve, as per usual. And former Top Chef cheftestapant Eli Kirshtein is opening The Luminary at the forthcoming Krog Street Market, which is one of two Atlanta developments that is sure to see some serious dining action this year.

Please behold some selections from the crazy year ahead in restaurant openings — with some extra 2014 tracking included — and feel free to point out any exciting restaurants missing from this list in the comments:


Possible Cinco y Diez logos.
Cinco y Diez
Location: 1563 South Lumpkin Street
Chefs: Hugh Acheson and Whitney Otawka
Projected Opening: Late January 2014
This year, Hugh Acheson is teaming up with the well-respected former Farm 255 chef and Top Cheftestapant Whitney Otawka to open a Mexican restaurant in Athens. Located in the former home of Acheson’s relocated Five & Ten, Eater Atlanta reports that Cinco y Diez (get it?) “will serve Mexican food with Latin and Southern regional influences.”


St. Cecilia.
St. Cecilia (and assorted Ford Fry projects)
Location: 3455 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta
Chefs: Ford Fry, Brian Horn
Projected Opening: January 13, 2014
There’s hardly any wait left for the opening of Atlanta restaurateur Ford Fry’s latest, St. Cecilia. This Northern Italian/Mediterranean seafood and pasta-focused restaurant is opening on January 13, helmed by chef Brian Horn. As should come as no surprise to anyone following the prolific restaurateur, Fry has a few more things up his sleeve for 2014 as well, including Superica in the Krog Street Market and reportedly another project in Avalon.

Eli Kirshtein.
The Luminary
Location: Krog Street Market
Chef: Eli Kirshtein
Projected Opening: Spring 2014
People in Atlanta are wildly excited for the opening of the Krog Street Market this year, including this restaurant from Top Chef alum Eli Kirshtein. The Luminary will be an American brasserie that Eater Atlanta writes, “will feature regionalized and updated bistro fare and includes a focus on raw bar offerings.”

Also Tracking for 2014 in Atlanta
Lusca, Ponce City Market, Diner


The future Launderette space.
Launderette/Angry Bear
Location: 2115 Holly Street
Chefs: Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki
Projected Opening: Summer 2014
Chefs Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki are teaming up to open two restaurants in East Austin this year, Launderette and Angry Bear. The bigger project, Launderette, will be an all-day cafe and grocery that a press release says will “feature real food with the notion that the offerings will not be defined by exotic pairings and gastronomical acrobatics.” Meanwhile, Angry Bear is set to be a Chinese takeout with a Sichuan focus.

The team behind Uchi is opening a new Austin area restaurant in 2014.
St. Philip
Location: 4715 South Lamar
Chefs: Philip Speer, Tyson Cole
Projected Opening: Late Spring 2014
The team behind Austin’s beloved Uchi is expanding to suburban Sunset Valley this year with a pizzeria/bakery concept named St. Philip. The group’s Executive Pastry Chef and Director of Culinary Operations Philip Speer will lead this particular project whose menu he describes as “Nostalgic food.” (The name is just a coincidence; St. Philip is the patron saint of cooks and bakers.)

Also Tracking for 2014 in Austin
Olamaie, Unnamed Andrew Curran Project


Alden & Harlow, Cambridge, MA.
Alden & Harlow
Location: 40 Brattle St.
Chef: Michael Scelfo
Projected Opening: January 2014
One of the most anticipated restaurants of Fall 2013, Alden & Harlow is expected to finally swing open in 2014 to the delight of Bostonians. This is the first solo project for former Russell House Tavern chef Michael Scelfo, and a press teaser for the restaurant explains that Scelfo “looks to replicate the honest cooking he does in his own kitchen by preparing humble, unpretentious food that honors tradition of place in its quality.”

Merrill & Co
Location: 1 Appleton St., Boston, MA
Chefs: Jason Cheek, Kevin Mabry
Projected Opening: Spring 2014
The group behind jm Curley and various other Boston restaurants is at it again in 2014 with the addition of Merrill & Co. led by chef Jason Cheek and beverage director Kevin Mabry. Per Eater Boston, expect to see oysters, sherry, and beer at this New England seafood-focused restaurant.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Boston
La Brasa


Edmund’s Oast kegs.
Edmund’s Oast
Location: 1081 Morrison Drive, Charleston, SC
Chef: Andy Henderson
Projected Opening: Early 2014
Folks in Charleston have been waiting patiently for the opening of Edmund’s Oast and that wait should be drawing to a close. Eater Charleston checked in on the forthcoming brewpub this week and though it’s still under construction, “the interior is beginning to look like a restaurant.” Business partners Scott Shor and Rich Carley are focused on breaking ground in the craft beer world, while former FIG chef Andy Henderson is working on a menu that involves whole-animal butchery, but doesn’t shy away from vegetables.

Leon’s Oyster Shop
Location: 698 King St., Charleston, SC
Partners: Brooks Reitz, Tim Mink
Projected Opening: “Soon”
Brooks Reitz, former general manager of The Ordinary and Eater Young Gun in 2013, is opening up his own restaurant this year alongside restaurateur Tim Mink. Obviously, Leon’s Oyster Shop is going to feature a raw bar, but apparently there will also be fried chicken and fish to be had. Also this year, Reitz and Mink will open a cafe named St. Alban.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Charleston
Chez Nous

XOCO Wicker Park
Location: 1471 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL
Chef: Rick Bayless
Projected Opening: March 2014
Rick Bayless is at it again after a few quiet years following his last major restaurant opening. The Chicago restaurateur is opening a new location of his XOCO concept in Wicker Park this year, offering much of the same food as at the original but it will be larger with table service and a bar. Bayless is also working on a second, more mysterious concept that could open in 2014, which he tells Eater Chicago is “super rustic” and “there’s virtually nothing like it in the United States.” Keep an eye out for details on that.

Green Street Smoked Meats
Green Street Smoked Meats
Location: 112 N. Green St., Chicago, IL
Owner: Brendan Sodikoff
Projected Opening: Early 2014
Soon to open in Brendan Sodikoff’s enormously popular collection of Chicago restaurants is Green Street Smoked Meats, a barbecue concept that is going in adjacent to his forthcoming ramen restaurant. Sodikoff tells Zagat that Green Street Smoked Meats will be Texas-style barbecue with a simple menu where you order at the counter.

The Aviary, Chicago, IL.
Mysterious Grant Achatz/Nick Kokonas Projects
Location: TBD, Chicago, IL
Partners: Grant Achatz/Nick Kokonas
Projected Opening: TBD
Nobody is saying exactly what Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas are up to, but the duo behind Alinea, Next, and The Aviary have revealed that they have another Chicago concept or two — including another bar — in the works that they hope to open by the end of 2014.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Chicago
Unnamed Tony Mantuano Project


Hotel Palomar, Dallas, TX.
Location: 5300 E Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, TX 75206
Chef: John Tesar
Projected Opening: March 2014
Dallas chef John Tesar is opening a sister restaurant to his seafood-centric restaurant Spoon with a steakhouse named Knife. Housed on the Hotel Palomar, Tesar tells Eater Dallas that Knife will be a “modern steakhouse” offering regular cuts of meat as well as “artisanal meats, unusual cuts of meat, different techniques, whole roasted birds, bison” and more. He’ll also be sourcing from Texas ranchers.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Dallas


Denver Union Station.
Stoic & Genuine
Location: Union Station
Chefs: Jennifer Jasinski
Projected Opening: July 2014
One of Eater Denver’s most anticipated openings of the year, Stoic & Genuine is the latest project from James Beard Award-winning chef Jennifer Jasinski and her business partner Beth Gruitch. Opening in Denver’s Union Station, this seafood restaurant will call to mind New York’s Grand Central Oyster Bar with a selection of raw oysters, lobster, clam rolls, smoked fish, and more.

The former Argyll is being reincarnated as Argyll Whisky Beer.
Argyll Whisky Beer
Location: 1035 E 17th Avenue
Chef: John Broening
Projected Opening: Summer 2014
Beloved former gastropub Argyll returns to life this year in Uptown Denver two years after its shutter in Cherry Creek. This new reincarnation is dubbed Argyll Whisky Beer and, appropriately, aims to house the largest whisky collection in the state of Colorado when it opens. Chef John Broening (of Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar and Spuntino) will be responsible for the food here.


Selden Standard.
Selden Standard
Location: 3929 Second St., Detroit, MI
Chef: Andy Hollyday
Projected Opening: Mid-2014
Former Roast chef Andy Hollyday is opening up the highly anticipated Selden Standard in Detroit’s Midtown this year. According to Eater Detroit, Selden Standard “will serve a seasonally driven American small plates menu” and will feature an open kitchen, a communal table, a patio, and bar seats for a more casual neighborhood vibe.


The future Killen’s Barbecue.
Killen’s Barbecue
Location: 3613 E. Broadway, Pearland, TX 77581
Chef: Ronnie Killen
Projected Opening: January 2014
Houston doesn’t have to wait too long for its hottest opening of the year: chef and restaurateur Ronnie Killen plans to open his new barbecue restaurant in Pearland as soon as this very month. Look for a custom-made barbecue pit, decor that throws back to a 1950s-era school cafeteria, and quality meat. Killen is aiming high as usual with this one, telling Eater Houston that his plan is to overthrow Franklin as the king of barbecue.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Houston


The future home of DB Brasserie
DB Brasserie
Location: 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV
Chef: Daniel Boulud
Projected Opening: Spring 2014
Daniel Boulud has scrapped plans to bring his DBGB Kitchen & Bar concept to Las Vegas in favor of opening DB Brasserie here at the Venetian instead. This location will be “an updated version” of the DB Brasserie that Boulud closed in Vegas back in 2010, offering French cuisine and “signature brasserie dishes with a modern twist,” as a rep tells Eater Vegas.

Giada De Laurentiis at Giada’s.
Location: 3595 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV
Chef: Giada De Laurentiis
Projected Opening: April 2014
Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis is opening her first restaurant ever in Las Vegas this year at the new hotel formerly known as Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon. The 300-seat restaurant will have an antipasto bar, plus a sizable bar and open kitchen. De Laurentiis tells Eater Vegas that some of the menu “will be traditional family recipes, and others the lightened-up California-style food I’m known for — my lemon spaghetti and butternut squash lasagna.”

Yusho at the Monte Carlo.
Location: 3770 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV
Chef: Matthias Merges
Projected Opening: Early 2014
The Monte Carlo is getting a slew of new dining options, including a monster opening courtesy of Chicago chef Matthias Merges. Eater Vegas reports that Merges is bringing his acclaimed yakitori-inspired restaurant Yusho to Las Vegas in 2014.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Vegas
Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar


Petit Trois.
Petit Trois
Location: 718 N Highland Ave Los Angeles, CA 90038
Chefs: Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook, Vinny Dotolo
Projected Opening: Early 2014
Building upon the enormous success of Trois Mec, chefs and restaurateurs Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook, and Vinny Dotolo have announced plans for a second restaurant just next door. There’s not much out there yet about the new restaurant, but as its name suggests it is indeed going to be even smaller than its big brother.

Roy Choi.
Location: 3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010
Chef: Roy Choi
Projected Opening: Early Spring 2014
Excitement extends well beyond LA for the opening of Roy Choi’s POT at The Line hotel, a new property from the hotel group behind New York City’s NoMad. POT is named after family-style hot pot and will offer “Korean food through the eyes of an American with Korean blood” with a menu of hot pots, barbecue, and more.

Bryant Ng sadly had to shutter The Spice Table, but is gearing up to open a new restaurant with Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan.
Unnamed Bryant Ng Project
Location: Arizona and 7th Street, Santa Monica, CA
Players: Bryant Ng, Josh Loeb, Zoe Nathan
Projected Opening: Summer 2014
Santa Monica is bracing for the exciting teaming of chef Bryant Ng and restaurateurs Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan, who are also behind successful restaurants such as Rustic Canyon and Milo & Olive. Ng — who recently had to close his acclaimed restaurant The Spice Table to make way for a new subway station — announced that the new, unnamed restaurant “will be influenced by the flavors of Southeast Asia.”

Also Tracking for 2014 in LA
Maude, LA Chapter


Central Provisions, Portland, ME.
Central Provisions
Location: 414 Fore St., Portland, ME 04101
Chef: Chris Gould
Projected Opening: January 2014
Chef Chris Gould is slated to open his eagerly awaited international small plates restaurant Central Provisions in Portland sometime in the middle of January as last reported by Eater Maine. Indeed, signage is up and sample menus point to dishes like oysters, boquerones, lobster stew, sweet breads, suckling pig, and more.


Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach.
Morimoto South Beach
Location: 1801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL
Chef: Masaharu Morimoto
Projected Opening: March 2014
Miami has longed for Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto to open up shop along its shores and, lo and behold, this year that dream is coming true. Morimoto is slated to open at the Shelborne Wyndham Grand in South Beach this year serving contemporary Japanese cuisine.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Miami
L’Echon Brasserie


Early renderings of the new incarnation of Travail.
Travail/The Rookery
Location: 4154 W Broadway, Robbinsdale
Players: James Winberg, Bob Gerken, Mike Brown, and Kale Thome
Projected Opening: Soon
Fueled by a wildly successful Kickstarter, Travail is expected to make its return to the culinary scene soon after much anticipation. In its new Robbinsdale location, Travail will offer only a tasting menu, coupled with a sister bar concept The Rookery that will offer cocktails and small plates at a lower price point. Get ready.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Minneapolis
Coup d’Etat


The restaurant group behind Nashville’s popular Holland House Bar & Refuge is opening Butchertown Hall in 2014.
Butchertown Hall
Location: 1416 4th Aven N, Nashville, TN 37208
Restaurateur: Terry Raley
Projected Opening: Summer 2014
Nashville restaurateur Terry Raley has big plans this year to open Butchertown Hall, a biergarten that Raley tells Eater Nashville will be Germantown’s first since 1909. Set in a pretty large indoor and outdoor space, Butchertown Hall is going to have a hearth-fired open kitchen and will be priced to accommodate frequent visits.


Mopho, New Orleans, LA.
Location: 514 City Park Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119
Chef: Michael Gulotta
Projected Opening: January 2014
Former August chef Michael Gulotta is on the verge of opening his hotly anticipated Southeast Asian restaurant Mopho in Mid City. Eater NOLA reports that this restaurant could open as soon as this weekend with boozy bubble tea, slow-roasted meats, a fire pit, and “Vietnamese meets Louisiana cuisine.”

Square Root, New Orleans, LA.
Square Root
Location: 1800 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130
Chef: Phillip Lopez
Projected Opening: February 2014
Restaurant watchers have been looking forward for quite some time to Root chef Phillip Lopez’s forthcoming project Square Root. Eater NOLA writes that the concept here “is pretty revolutionary” in the local dining scene as one of the few tasting-menu-only restaurants out there. Square Root has 16 seats wrapped around an open kitchen, plus a small cocktail-focused bar upstairs.


Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
ABC Home Grown
Location: 38 E. 19th St., New York, NY
Chefs: Jean-Georges Vongerichten
Projected Opening: Spring 2014
Jean-Georges Vongerichten is aiming to thrill New Yorkers once more in 2014 with a restaurant named ABC Home Grown. His third concept in the complex connected to ABC Carpet & Home, ABC Home Grown will focus on vegetarian and vegan food with an international bent. Per Eater NY, JGV is also working on a farm-to-table concept in Westchester this year, The Inn at Pound Ridge.

Brooklyn Fare.
Brooklyn Fare Manhattan
Location: 431-39 W 37th St., New York, NY
Chefs: Cesar Ramirez, Jared Sippel
Projected Opening: Early 2014
Cesar Ramirez’s upcoming Brooklyn Fare Manhattan is what Eater NY calls “the most anticipated Hell’s Kitchen restaurant of all time.” Jared Sippel, formerly of Frasca Food & Wine, is running the kitchen here with a menu “heavily influenced by France and Italy.” A floor plans reveals a handful of tables, counter seating for 15, and a garden area/wine bar.

Enrique Olvera of Mexico City’s Pujol and a forthcoming restaurant in New York City.
Location: 35 E. 21st Street, New York, NY
Chef: Enrique Olvera
Projected Opening: Summer 2014
Mexico City chef Enrique Olvera — he of the world-renowned restaurant Pujol — is headed to New York City this year to amp up the Mexican food game there in a big way. Olvera’s first New York City restaurant will take a casual approach to Mexican cuisine; A Life Worth Eating blogger Adam Goldberg says that the restaurant, Cosme, should open by the Summer.

A very early look at the new Dirt Candy.
Dirt Candy 2.0
Location: 86 Allen St., New York, NY
Chef: Amanda Cohen
Projected Opening: 2014
It’s a big year ahead for chef Amanda Cohen and her acclaimed Dirt Candy. Cohen revealed a few months back that she’s going to be moving her vegetarian restaurant down the street to a much bigger space that Eater NY notes will open up possibilities like lunch service, a full bar, and a chef’s counter. Cohen says the plan is definitely to open in 2014, so watch out.

David Chang.
Momofuku Ko 2.0
Location: 8 Extra Place, New York, NY
Chefs: David Chang, Sean Grey
Projected Opening: TBD
Momofuku chef and restaurateur David Chang dropped a bombshell this Fall that he would be moving his acclaimed Momofuku Ko into an East Village alleyway named Extra Place. When it opens — with chef Sean Grey still at the helm — Momofuku Ko should have tables, a counter, a bigger kitchen, and a waiting room for diners.

Alex Stupak.
Unnamed Alex Stupak Project
Location: 132 St. Mark’s Pl, New York, NY
Chef: Alex Stupak
Projected Opening: 2014
Empellon chef Alex Stupak picked up a third restaurant space just weeks ago on St. Mark’s Place, which a rough sketch he submitted to the local community board indicates will have 18 tables and an open kitchen with dining counter. Hold tight for more details than that, though, as Stupak told Eater NY, “I can’t tell you what it is going to be yet, only because I seem to change my mind every step of the way, historically speaking.”

King & Grove New York is getting a new restaurant from Danny Meyer.
Unnamed Danny Meyer Project
Location: 29 East 29th St., New York, NY
Players: Danny Meyer, Nick Anderer, Terry Coughlin
Projected Opening: Mid-2014
Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group has a couple of new restaurants hitting New York City this year (not to mention a million Shake Shacks everywhere else), the foremost of these being the all-day Italian restaurant headed to the King & Grove New York hotel on East 29th Street. Chef Nick Anderer and director of operations Terry Coughlin will split their time between this restaurant and Maialino. Do also look for the group to open Blue Smoke offshoot Porchlight in the Fall.

The Standard East Village on its plywood removal day.
Unnamed John Fraser Project
Location: 25 Cooper Square, New York, NY
Chef: John Fraser
Projected Opening: Early 2014
Excitement is high for Dovetail chef John Fraser’s forthcoming restaurant at Andre Balazs’s The Standard East Village. Eater NY notes that this restaurant will be vegetable-centric and diners can “expect a lot of grilled dishes” when it opens.


Michael Solomonov
Dizengoff/Abe Fisher
Location: 1605-1627 Sansom Street
Partners: Mike Solomonov, Steve Cook
Projected Opening: Early 2014
Philly favorites Mike Solomonov and Steve Cook are expanding in a big way this year with two new restaurants opening adjacent to one another on Sansom Street. For starters, these restaurateurs behind Zahav and Federal Donuts are opening Dizengoff, a small traditional hummuisiya offering different varieties of hummus and its various condiments. Meanwhile, Eater Philly reports that Abe Fisher will “focus on the cuisine of the Jewish diaspora” with small plates as well as a tasting menu.

Chef Jose Garces.
Location: 300 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19102
Chef: Jose Garces
Projected Opening: Early 2014
Jose Garces is expanding his Philadelphia empire again this year with the long-awaited addition of Volver at the Kimmel Center. The high-end restaurant will have a caviar and champagne lounge, a pre-theatre prix-fixe menu, and Garces himself will be cooking out of this particular kitchen, according to Foobooz.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Philly
Unnamed Stephen Starr/Aimee Olexy Project, Lo Spiedo


Taqueria Nueve, Portland, OR.
Taqueria Nueve
Location: 727 SE Washington St., Portland, OR
Partners: Billy Schumaker, Brent Richford
Projected Opening: January 2014
Portlanders have missed Taqueria Nueve in a big way since it shuttered in 2008, and this year restaurateurs Billy Schumaker and Brent Richford plan to bring it back. Opening in the former Beaker & Flask space, Taqueria Nueve will bring back the original location’s bright pink wall and signature dishes like wild boar tacos and octopus coctel.

Also Tracking for 2014 in Portland
Kachka, St. Jack NW


[Death & Taxes logo
Death & Taxes
Location: 105 W Hargett St. Raleigh, NC 27601
Chef: Ashley Christensen
Projected Opening: Spring 2014
Superstar Raleigh chef and restaurateur Ashley Christensen is gearing up to open her latest restaurant, Death & Taxes, in early 2014 amid much excitement both local and national. Per a press release, Death & Taxes is going to focus on wood-fire cooking with a “low-lit cellar-like” bar. Also opening this year just before Death & Taxes (also in the Spring) will be Christensen’s Bridge Club, a private event space where they’ll host pop-up dinners and more.


Richard Blais.
Juniper & Ivy
Location: 2228 Kettner Blvd San Diego, CA 92101
Chef: Richard Blais
Projected Opening: Early 2014
Former Top Chef cheftestapant Richard Blais relocated to San Diego in 2013, and his forthcoming restaurant Juniper & Ivy has been hotly anticipated ever since. Blais told Eater San Diego to expect the menu to be lighter than what’s available at his Atlanta restaurant The Spence. The restaurant should fall somewhere “between a gastropub and a fine dining destination.”


Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski.
The Progress
Location: 1525 Fillmore St
Chefs: Stuart Brioza, Nicole Krasinski
Projected Opening: 2014
Now that State Bird Provisions has reopened in San Francisco to much relief and applause, chefs and restaurateurs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski can look toward opening The Progress two doors down later this year. Brioza told Eater back in September that The Progress will be “the polar opposite of State Bird,” and will be located in a much bigger space.

Benu. [Photo: Facebook]; Corey Lee.
Monsieur Benjamin
Location: 451 Gough Street, San Francisco
Chef: Corey Lee
Projected Opening: Spring 2014
Benu chef Corey Lee is expanding this year into Hayes Valley with a more casual bistro he’s calling Monsieur Benjamin. With French Laundry alum Jason Berthold in the kitchen, Eater SF writes that the menu will be “inspired by traditional French cuisine, along with the requisite focus on seasonal ingredients and some modern twists.”

Suvir Saran is opening in San Francisco’s NEMA complex.
Unnamed Suvir Saran Project
Location: 14 10th St., San Francisco, CA
Chef: Suvir Saran
Projected Opening: Spring 2014
Chef Suvir Saran, who won the first-ever U.S. Michelin star for an Indian restaurant with New York City’s Devi, returns to the kitchen with a restaurant in his new home of San Francisco. Eater SF has it that the unnamed project will be located in Mid-Market with 100-120 seats and will serve affordable “farm-to-table, filtered through his signature blend of Indian tradition and fine dining.”

Also Tracking for 2014 in San Francisco
Kin Khao, Aveline/The European, The Dock at Linden Street (Oakland)


The Florence [Photo: hughacheson / Instagram]; Hugh Acheson
The Florence
Location: Victory Drive and Bull Street, Savannah, GA
Chef: Hugh Acheson
Projected Opening: Early April 2014
Not only does Hugh Acheson have a big opening coming up this year in Athens, Georgia, but he’s also working on a new restaurant in Savannah. Set in a restored historic ice factory, a press release notes that The Florence “will offer vegetable courses, locally caught seafood, pastas and pizza made with Double Zero flour as well as a bar, patio and biergarten.”


Red Cow Ethan Stowell Restaurants logo.
Red Cow/Noyer
Location: 1423 34th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122
Owner: Ethan Stowell
Projected Opening: Early 2014
Prolific Seattle restaurateur Ethan Stowell is expanding some more in 2014 with two new restaurants opening in Madrona. Red Cow should open first as a brasserie that Stowell’s website says will be “primarily known for steak frites” and otherwise serve classic bistro fare. The more high-end Noyer will open behind Red Cow with just four tables and four counter seats, “an ambitious ode to the very best the Northwest can offer.”

Also Tracking for 2014 in Seattle
Brimmer & Heeltap


China Poblano, Las Vegas.
China Chilcano
Location: 418 7th St. NW Washington, DC
Chef: José Andrés
Projected Opening: Spring 2014
Spanish chef/king of DC José Andrés is opening China Chilcano in Penn Quarter this year, making it his third restaurant on just that one city block. China Chilcano will be similar to his Vegas restaurant China Poblano, except that rather than fusing Mexican and Chinese cuisines, this one will focus on the Chifa cuisine of Peru with dishes like ceviche, fried rice, and dumplings.

DBGB Kitchen and Bar
DBGB Kitchen and Bar
Location: CityCenter complex
Chef: Daniel Boulud
Projected Opening: Summer 2014
New York restaurateur Daniel Boulud is expanding down to Washington, DC, this year, bringing his brasserie-style DBGB Kitchen and Bar concept to the brand new CityCenter complex. Boulud confirmed the expansion to Eater this past Summer, explaining that he got his start in America working in DC and is excited to return.

Maketto, Washington, DC.
Partners: Erik Bruner-Yang, Will Sharp
Projected Opening: Early Spring 2014
It’s been a tease for some time now, but this looks to be the year that wunderkind Erik Bruner-Yang opens his sophomore effort Maketto on DC’s H Street NE. The Toki Underground chef is teaming up with Will Sharp of clothing label DURKL on the project that will channel an Asian night market, with a chef’s table, patio seating, a coffee bar, and more. Get excited.

You Gotta Try These!

To Die for mascarpone Stuffed Lemon Loaf French toast

Happy Friday day great foodie friends,

This delightful twist on French toast was something that I dreamt up before the holidays and I am finally getting around to sharing!
These flavours were literally out of this world!
Of course I truly have to give most of the credit to To Die For foods as the lemon loaf all by itself is incredible.
First search out To Die For Lemon loaf click here for the link on where to buy To Die for Lemon Loaf

Why To Die For Lemon Loaf you ask?

Here is why: (provided by To Die For)
Forget the artificial flavouring and the bottled lemon juice. My ‘LL’ wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot-pole. It will contain the juice of organic lemons, which I will juice myself.
Toasted organic coconut flakes and light organic coconut milk add that hint of je ne sais quoi to the creamy (yet non-lactosey), moist loaf.
The main thing I believe most lemon loaves are missing is texture. Plain old cake texture justdoesn’t do it for me. This new loaf needed something new and exciting. Some crunch. So I added classic poppy seeds and toasted organic millet. Not too much, just enough to add someoomph to each bite. I’m kind of obsessed. You should try it in your home-made loaves.
The loaf is spread with a light glaze and coated with toasted organic coconut. – I updated the recipe to include a lighter glaze (it’s main purpose is to hold the coconut securely on top of the loaf) and organic coconut flakes as opposed to the coconut ribbons, for easier slicing and chewing.)
Like To Die For Banana Bread, it’s made by hand in small batches.


What you need:
To Die For Lemon Loaf
Mascarpone cheese
Two eggs
2 table spoons 1% milk
1/2 cup of vector or corn flakes (crushed)
Juice from 1/2 lemon or Meyer lemon
rind from 1/2 lemon (chopped into small pieces)


What to do:

Pre-heat your oven to 350 (I use convection)
Cut the lemon loaf into approx 1/2 to 3/4″ pcs


In a separate bowl put approx 1/2 cup of mascarpone (more if you are making a larger batch) and squeeze the lemon juice as well as add the lemon rind to the mascarpone and blend together until smooth.

Now spread a healthy amount of the mascarpone mixture on both slices and then put them together.


In another bowl break the eggs and whip it with the milk until light and frothy.
Now carefully dip the already stuffed lemon loaf in the egg mixture making sure that the liquid does cover and soak in enough.


Now take the dipped pieces and push both dipped sides into the crushed vector / corn flake mixture (pressing firm enough so that the crumbs stick to the lemon loaf)
Now carefully place the dipped and coated lemon loaf in a baking dish and put in the oven for approx 10-15 minutes (watch that the coating browns nicely to a golden brown, this may take longer or shorter depending on your oven)

When golden brown remove from the oven, plate and serve with your favourite topping.


I can definitely confirm to you that this was

To Die For

You Gotta Try This!

To Die for mascarpone Stuffed Lemon Loaf French toast

Happy Friday day great foodie friends,

This delightful twist on French toast was something that I dreamt up before the holidays and I am finally getting around to sharing!
These flavours were literally out of this world!
Of course I truly have to give most of the credit to To Die For foods as the lemon loaf all by itself is incredible.
First search out To Die For Lemon loaf click here for the link on where to buy To Die for Lemon Loaf

Why To Die For Lemon Loaf you ask?

Here is why: (provided by To Die For)
Forget the artificial flavouring and the bottled lemon juice. My ‘LL’ wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot-pole. It will contain the juice of organic lemons, which I will juice myself.
Toasted organic coconut flakes and light organic coconut milk add that hint of je ne sais quoi to the creamy (yet non-lactosey), moist loaf.
The main thing I believe most lemon loaves are missing is texture. Plain old cake texture justdoesn’t do it for me. This new loaf needed something new and exciting. Some crunch. So I added classic poppy seeds and toasted organic millet. Not too much, just enough to add someoomph to each bite. I’m kind of obsessed. You should try it in your home-made loaves.
The loaf is spread with a light glaze and coated with toasted organic coconut. – I updated the recipe to include a lighter glaze (it’s main purpose is to hold the coconut securely on top of the loaf) and organic coconut flakes as opposed to the coconut ribbons, for easier slicing and chewing.)
Like To Die For Banana Bread, it’s made by hand in small batches.


What you need:
To Die For Lemon Loaf
Mascarpone cheese
Two eggs
2 table spoons 1% milk
1/2 cup of vector or corn flakes (crushed)
Juice from 1/2 lemon or Meyer lemon
rind from 1/2 lemon (chopped into small pieces)


What to do:

Pre-heat your oven to 350 (I use convection)
Cut the lemon loaf into approx 1/2 to 3/4″ pcs


In a separate bowl put approx 1/2 cup of mascarpone (more if you are making a larger batch) and squeeze the lemon juice as well as add the lemon rind to the mascarpone and blend together until smooth.

Now spread a healthy amount of the mascarpone mixture on both slices and then put them together.


In another bowl break the eggs and whip it with the milk until light and frothy.
Now carefully dip the already stuffed lemon loaf in the egg mixture making sure that the liquid does cover and soak in enough.


Now take the dipped pieces and push both dipped sides into the crushed vector / corn flake mixture (pressing firm enough so that the crumbs stick to the lemon loaf)
Now carefully place the dipped and coated lemon loaf in a baking dish and put in the oven for approx 10-15 minutes (watch that the coating browns nicely to a golden brown, this may take longer or shorter depending on your oven)

When golden brown remove from the oven, plate and serve with your favourite topping.


I can definitely confirm to you that this was

To Die For

You Gotta Try This!

Chef Vikram Vij – Edible Canada Guest Chef Market Dinners

Happy Fall / Winter days great foodie friends,

I wanted to share with you my experience at the latest Edible Canada’s Guest Chef Market dinner – all of their events bring you closer to a great array of talented culinary masters within their respective field, but some guest chefs are so popular that in order to fairly allow for the best opportunity for you to attend the event, Edible Canada is forced to put the ticket purchase process to a lottery style.
Chef Vikram Vij is absolutely one of those highly popular draws and rightly so. I was lucky enough to win one of the coveted tickets for 2 and had the pleasure of attending this wonderful event.

Our city has become a veritable cultural melting pot of culinary offerings from around the world.
The Market dinners are done “just right” with a warm welcome, almost like they are inviting you into their kitchen or living room. You are greeted with a nice house developed sip to start your event.



And then once we were spotted by Chef Vikram we were quickly on our way to the flavour journey for the night!




One can’t fully describe the wonderful blend of complex flavors and textures as they unfold with each bite but let’s just say that these two appetizers were both different in the flavor profile but at the same time made you want another please!
What you see unfold right away is the true passion and personality that Chef Vikram has and what a storyteller / entertainer he is.
I have always maintained that you eat with your eyes and your nose before it crosses the lips, but you cook with your heart and your soul (Basically or actually a love and passion for what you are doing) and it will show through your food. Vikram definitely believes this theory and trust me it showed all night!



After we had time to settle in, Vikram introduced himself and laid out how the evening was going to unfold. Then he says “Come cook with me” and invites us all around the kitchen island.
One thing I must tell you is that I have never met such a bright personality who displays a total humility and thankfulness for what has graced his life. He was very complimentary of his two sous chefs that assisted (actually Guided Vikram somewhat…shhhhh) him through the night and complimented his whole team as they are the ones that makes the magic happen for the Vij’s and Rangoli restaurant family everyday.


To say that the room started to fill with aromas beyond “wow” is an understatement. Chef Vikram did mention that true Indian cooking is full of personal nuance differences but is mostly “In your face” with powerful and delectable flavors.
First up was Coconut Masala Prawns




As the bountiful flavours danced across your taste buds you could only hear a silence except for the veiled “mmmm” sound from many.
Vikram used local spot prawns along with his house-made spices and herbs to create a winner for our first dish.
Edible Canada has some great knowledge in how to pair wines with the guest chefs dishes, and Joiefarm. Noble Blend was paired perfectly with the prawns.

Next up Vikram says “Come cook my family chicken with me” – as a side note Chef Vikram tells us of his upbringing and trips back home. Another belief surrounding great chefs is that your dish should be a reflection of you. To explain further, everyone has their own style and it will show in a slight difference in your dish. Vikram would explain that within family and friends that you will always have an auntie or friend that makes the “best” traditional curry chicken but as it should be, it will be their “own” no measurements, no recipe, just passed on through tribal knowledge and made uniquely your way. “This is a good thing and how it should be”
You might try Vikrams family masala or curried chicken and say that it wasn’t like the one that you tried before at another eatery, and that’s just how he likes it ! You will note that when you visit Vij’s or Rangoli that you won’t see the cliché dishes that are at almost all Indian restaurants, but rather signature family dishes that scream Vij. Vikram still takes trips back home and visits as many different homes and restaurants as possible to see and learn about the different twists on traditional dishes, he embraces the uniqueness with open arms.


Our final savour dish was Cinnamon Stewed Lamb Curry – the flavors that Vikram and his team were able to develop from scratch in a few short hours were “Out of this world! The depth of colour and flavor in each dish with fantastic and delectable.


The lamb dish was served with fresh naan bread for over the top dipping fun! Vikram invited guests to try their hand and proclaimed that this very technique was how they made naan in his restaurants.



After all of our deep rich flavoured dishes, a perfect dessert was served to cleanse the palat, Rice pudding with silver leaf
A great fresh dish that slowed your palate down to clean finish.


Who is Vikram?:
Vikram Vij – Born in India and raised in New Dlehi & Bombay. Vikram moved to Canada in 1984 to work at the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta. (Chef Vikram culinary training is from Salzburg, Austria where he took hotel management, chefs training and became a certified sommelier) in 1994 Vikram and his wife Meeru opened their first restaurant -Vij’s in Vancouver BC. And then in 2002 Meeru and Vikram opened their second restaurant and market called Rangoli. In 2010 Vikram began selling Vij’s gourmet curries now selling across Canada including at Edible Canada!
Vikram has co-written 2 cookbooks and has just received the Enroute people’s choice award for his Latest successful venture – Vij’s Railway Express food truck – awarded as “Best new restaurant”. Vikram has also been a guest judge on Top Chef Canada as well as recently named as one of the judges on Recipe to Riches.

The accolades are countless and certainly there are so many more to come.
Vikram will not tell you about his accolades but if you ask him you will get a humble and warm smile for mentioning it!

Edible Canada Guest Market chef dinners are over the top fun and full of great food. The Chef line up is amazing and diverse so there will sure to be a dinner that you would want to sign up for!
This is my 4th market dinner and surely not my last!
You can find the market dinner listing through Edible Canada’s web site by clicking the link below.

Click here to access Edible Canada’s guest chef market dinners

Thank you Edible Canada for the continued support of Local products and for finding unique and heartwarming culinary journeys for your foodie friends.

You Gotta Try This!

Edible Canada at the Market on Urbanspoon