Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It's just the beginning...

What better time to start a blog than on your 18th hour in the airport – the true beginning of tour! Katy and Leah have spent the last two days wrapping up in Vancouver, Canada after a magical dinner on the University of British Columbia Farm. Summer in Vancouver has been non-existent thus far – they’ve seen record amounts of rain in the past month. Consequently, Jim spent the days prior to the dinner glued to the computer screen watching various models of the seemingly unpredictable approaching storm. The way things were going he could guarantee that 6 hours before start time on Sunday he would be able to tell us if it was going to rain or not: not quite enough time to order tenting or arrange for a 130 guest event to be sheltered. Finally on Friday afternoon we got the news we were hoping for:

“There is a change in the forecast for Sunday. Previously, there was a strong low pressure system that was predicted to hit the south coast of BC. The GFS and NAM models now show it will be deflected to the south towards Oregon and weaken, sparing Vancouver.”

We woke up Sunday morning to rain but, as predicted, it cleared up beautifully for the afternoon and the sun shone on our table lined perfectly along the squash row on the farm.

is a copy of the front and back of our menu that was created for the guests in the field.

We do want to add a few more thank yous to the list:

To Mark Bomford and Gavin Wright of the farm for leading the guests around on tour. To Chef David of West, Paul and Dino in the kitchen as well as to DJ Kearny who helped pour and educate the guests about the wine. A huge thanks to our friends, new and old, who helped set up, serve and take down the dinner: Laura, Melissa, Sunni, Erin, Amy, Colleen Tanis and Jordan – you were fantastic!

The day after the dinner Katy and Leah graciously accepted Ian Angus’ invitation to visit his new little operation Finest at Sea (F.A.S.) Seafood Boutique and Bistro on Arbutus Street. Ian, who supplied the albacore tuna for the dinner, is a partner of Finest at Sea, who have a number of off-shore fishing boats based out of Victoria, BC. The salmon, halibut, ling cod, sable fish, albacore tuna and prawns are all caught by hook or trap (no bottom fishing or drag netting) and flash frozen on the boats. FAS has seafood boutiques in both Victoria and Vancouver as well as supply to a number of restaurants including West, C, Raincity Grill, Bishop’s, many more in Vancouver, Victoria and beyond. The F.A.S. shop has a fresh seafood for sale, a beautiful little take-out deli, a grocery section and a bistro with an ever-changing menu. The atmosphere of the shop was great and it even had a video showing some of the action on the boats. Ian put us together a plate from the deli heaping with octopus salad, eggplant, smoked salmon and other goodies. Everything was delicious! Ian opened the shop last October and he said that it has been going really well, we can definitely see why.

Now here we are sitting in the Chicago airport’s Hilton, taking advantage of some internet, food (our third airport meal of the day) and waiting for our fearless trailer drivers Veronica and Ian to pick us up so we can head up to Kinnikinnick Farm.

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