Category Archives: Food & Beverage

Panning for Gold

The lights are hot…the competition is keen…the pressure is on. It’s the 2009 CCFCC (Canadian Culinary Federation) Western Chef of the Year Competition, and Chris Thomson, executive sous-chef for The Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta is hard at work at the stove. His task is to create a well-balanced, three-course menu for 25 using pre-determined…

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No Vino Babble

“A meal without wine is called breakfast.” As you can tell by one of her favorite quotes, Christine Ansbacher is not your stereotypical wine educator. In fact, Ansbacher (aka “The Wine Diva”) is also an entertainer, and brings this intriguing combination of skills to corporate and association events across the country. “I don’t want to…

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So Continental!

Ask Andrea Aiudi, executive chef at the InterContinental San Francisco, to describe his culinary style and he’ll say, “My cooking is based on real Italian food”—which is what you’d expect from a chef who grew up in Urbino, Italy. Largely inspired as a child in his grandmother’s kitchen, he began culinary school at 15, graduating…

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Eating It Up/ Drinking it Down

During boom times, it’s easy to keep up with restaurant and bar trends—we’re right out there talking to the chefs and mixologists, seated at the table or perched on the stool. In 2009, we may not have the budget to experience new trends first-hand, but we still need to keep our fingers on the pulse….

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Convention-al Trends

Sustainability Green, green and even greener—that’s the direction convention centers will be moving in. Whether they are new builds or expanding, they will be aiming for LEED certification or compliance. If they have been recycling for years, they will be looking at new ways (and materials) to recycle. And if they have been concentrating on…

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Great Expectations

If you’re the executive chef for a hotel that’s a perennial Five-Diamond winner, you have plenty of expectations to meet—those of your diners, your GM, your owners and, not the least, your own. And if that hotel is located in Western Canada’s culinary capital, the expectations are even higher. Say hello to Kim Thai, executive…

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Think Organic, Drink Green

In a nutshell (or, more appropriately, a wineglass) “organic” refers to those wines produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. “Sustainable” isn’t necessarilycertified as organic, but encompasses vineyard and winemaking practices that are environmentally friendly. “Monsanto,” of course, refers to those vineyards treated with the above chemicals—as are the majority of…

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Box It Up

Restaurants and hotel staff are likewise making economic decisions, turning to seasonal ingredients for their price as well as their taste, eliminating an extra layer of garnish on their towering architectural presentations, using standard—rather than premium—cuts of meat, and reducing portion size. But trimming the expectations of your meeting attendees is another proposition altogether, especially…

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Wining, Dining and Back Nine-ing

Or maybe you’re a movie fan to whom Pebble Beach is synonymous with Clint Eastwood? Make our day. But we’ve got a new take on the luxe collection of resorts along Monterey Bay’s picturesque 17-Mile Drive that will have your incentive group salivating for the opportunity to attend: the 2nd Annual Pebble Beach Food &…

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Riding the Rails

On board the Rocky Mountaineer, luxury excursion trains that journey through Canada’s West and the Canadian Rockies, chefs face an additional daunting challenge: getting the guests to divert their eyes from the gorgeous scenery outside their domed railcar long enough to pay attention to the food. But when they do—expectations run high. After all, the…

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