EAT TALKS Round-up…plus new EAT Talks event Announced for Sept 11

Let’s Not Open a Restaurant (June 2017)

The first in the magazine’s Eat Talks Series turns into a lively evening of storytelling and truth telling.

The Northern Quarter served as an intimate venue for the first EAT Talks event on Monday, June 12. The sold-out event, which was limited to 60 tickets, was an evening of storytelling filled with humour, heart, and honesty. The premise of this forum was to bring together people from around the food industry who had opted for the road less travelled. Today, opening a traditional restaurant is harder than ever, fraught with high overhead costs, wage disputes and heavy competition. So many food professionals are turning to smaller yet more inventive ways of expressing their passion and love for the industry. We wanted to highlight the individuals who contribute to the Victoria food scene in unique and innovative ways, keeping the experience here in the city fresh and exciting.

The Northern Quarter kitchen served guests delicious appetizers of fresh oysters, creative flatbread pizza, charcuterie and some addictively good fried risotto balls. Sponsors Hoyne Brewing Company, Tod Creek Craft Cider and Unsworth Vineyards provided complementary libations for our guests as they mingled with our speakers beforehand.

The first of a series of EAT Talk events, the speakers rose to the challenge of being in a spotlight on stage. Host and Eat writer, Jill Van Gyn, set up the evening with an impassioned defense of small, innovative and local food business. As a food producer herself (Fatso Hybrid Peanut Butter), she was motivated to help organize this event by her love of the diverse and creative food landscape of Victoria. Anna Hunt of Bread and Butter Catering shared a heartwarming anecdote of how her mother’s dedication to buying her cucumbers as a child, translated into her understanding of how food shows the people around us that we love them. Daniel Edler of 49 Below announced to the applause of the crowd that he intends keeping his subscription ice-cream program alive in lieu of heading back to his desk job. Well-known restaurateurs David Mincey (formerly chef-owner of Camille’s restaurant) and Sterling Grice (Foo, Foo Ramen, Part and Parcel) provided an education for the eager crowd on just how difficult running a restaurant can be. Difficulties, however, didn’t stop them from translating these experiences into creative and innovative business opportunities, such as Mincey’s bean-to-bar Chocolate Project and the new commissary/test kitchen, spearheaded by Grice and fellow speaker, Mike Rowe of Accio Delivery, that gives restaurants an opportunity to debut their vision for the public before they decide to invest in a brick and mortar.

Corey McPherson and Alyssa Talley of Local Urban Bites guided us all through their decision to create a local recipe delivery kit that is designed to encourage more home cooking. With giants like Blue Apron, springing up across North America, their story was one of unfettered audacity driven by a desire to bring food back into the home. From tech start-ups to small producers to home meal prep, the evening gave our audience a broad view of the diversity present in our vibrant community. The stories were brutally honest, funny and insightful and opened a window for the audience into the inner workings of the conflicts, successes and challenges of Victoria’s complex yet resilient food scene.

Well…That Didn’t Work Out: Failures, Flops and Frustrations (September 11, 2017) NEW

An Evening of Food, Drink and Inspiring Food Talks

Presented by EAT Magazine

On Monday, September 11, EAT will be hosting the second round of EAT Talk stories with speakers tackling the daunting topic of failure and frustration and how they rose above the fray to succeed. The food industry is fraught with all sorts of mishaps and missteps our speakers will rise to yet another challenge: coming clean about how sometimes things don’t always work out as planned.

When your exquisitely plated meal arrives at your table by a server with a refined touch we often take for granted the monumental challenges that go into delivering the final product. Whether it’s designing a restaurant, baking a cake, or simply getting your order out hot and with all of its sum components there is often a rocky road that paved the way to the end result. The food industry and all of its supporting characters are in a messy business. These are stories of people rising to the challenge, meeting failure head on or simply missing a vital beat. In the end, challenging episodes in one’s life can produce the most amazing results and some of the most important and inspiring lessons.

SPEAKERS: Andrew Mavor (Co-owner, Chef – Hank’s *A Restaurant), Joe Cunliffe (Restauranteur – Be Love, Cafe Bliss), Takumi Kitamara (Chef, The Pacific Restaurant, Hotel Grand Pacific), JC Scott (Restaurant Designer), Shawn Soole (Co-owner Foxtrot, Tango, Whiskey Bar, bartender), Cristen DeCarolis Dallas (Co-owner, Pizzeria Prima Strada), Abdallah El Chami (Co-owner and Chef at Superbaba), Jill Van Gyn (Host, writer, Eat).

DATE: Monday, September 11, 2017

TIME: 7:00pm to 9:30pm (Doors open at 6pm)

WHERE: Northern Quarter (1724 Douglas St, Victoria)

TICKETS: $29.95 (includes appetizers and a first drink (thanks to our beverage sponsors Lighthouse Brewing Co.Tod Creek Craft Cider, Unsworth Vineyards & Salt Spring Vineyards).

Below: Images from the first EAT Talks. Credit: Sherri Martins

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