A Fresh Take on Local Markets






Heirloom tomatoes on display at Local Fresh Food Market, credit: Anya Levykh





Drunken Cow


Instead of marinating your steak in wine, why not start with the cow? This was the idea behind Sezmu Meats, an Okanagan-based farm that raises their Angus cows in slightly more relaxed environment. Each cow is fed a litre of Okanagan red wine per day (the equivalent to one glass daily for a human) for 60 days before production. The result is a bright red and aromatic beef that boasts a hint of sweetness on the nose and palate, as well as lots of flavour-friendly flecking in addition to marbling. Find it at The Dirty Apron Cooking School & Deli in Crosstown and Market Meats in Kitsilano, as well as on the menu at Trattoria, Blue Water Café, Yew, Goldfish Pacific Kitchen and Peckinpah.


Farmer-Owned Store Rises from the Ashes

The now-defunct Grow-In Grocer took a toll on the farmers/producers who had trusted the operation with hundreds of thousands of investment dollars, but out of the ashes has now come something good. Several of the initial farmers and producers decided to band together and take over the store as a joint initiative. With no middlemen, and scads of local, organic and sustainable products, Local Fresh Food Market is destined to be a popular neighbourhood stop. Products include meats and poultry from Gelderman Farms, Redl Home Grown Beef, and Thomas Reid Farms; wild, sustainable seafood from Blue Comet Seafoods; produce from Apple Barn Cider Mill and Parsons Farm Market; as well as specialty items like Wild Coast Edibles tea, Cocolico chocolate desserts and sauces (from Wendy Boys, former pastry chef at Lumière and Feenie’s), and sustainable bowls, plates and housewares from DeN-NeM Wood Products, crafted from beetle-killed wood by graduates of the Tradeworks Training Society, a program that supports disadvantaged women in the Downtown Eastside. 3010 Cambie Street | 604.708.0006


An Underground Experience

No, I didn’t crawl into a mine with a picnic basket. A friend invited me to join her and a group of like-minded food enthusiasts for dinner at NFA (No Fixed Address). Technically, there is a fixed address, it’s just secret, and it isn’t a restaurant. What it is, is a communal dinner in a chef’s home (let’s call him “Steve”), and guests offer a “donation” to cover the costs of the food, as well as some of the labour of the chef and his sous. The space is clean, bright and modern. The table is large, with comfortable chairs, and well-laid with flowers, candles and elegant settings. A six-course meal has a suggested donation amount of $65, which, judging by my recent experience, is a ridiculously sweet deal. Each guest brought a bottle of their favourite grape, resulting in way too much wine for our group of 12. Courses like perfectly-poached halibut over a chorizo croquette with crisp bacon and saffron-chive oil caused several moments of dumb wonder. Even the amuse, a simple prawn ceviche over avocado and topped with popcorn, was a great combination of texture and flavour. If you want to try it out for yourself, email nfa.reservations@gmail.com with a little info about yourself, and get ready for a communal—and delicious—evening.

Correction notice: In a previous column, reference was made to a new chef at Lattitude. This was incorrect. The current chef is still Lisa Henderson.

– Anya Levykh

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Anya Levykh was born on the shores of the Black Sea, in what was formerly the USSR. The cold, Communist winters were too much for her family, and, before she was four feet tall, they had left for warmer climes in the south of ...

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