© Carole Hemmings
© Amy Rosen
An Unsung Heroes dish at Blue Water Café.
The Unsung Heroes menu at Blue Water Café is chef Frank Pabst’s month-long initiative highlighting lesser-known coastal ingredients from responsibly managed fisheries. The special menu is usually offered in February, when some of the more popular species (wild salmon, halibut) aren't in season, though many of the Unsung dishes are available year round. I tried a beautiful jellyfish salad mounded on thinly sliced cucumber and grated daikon. A marinated herring dish includes the crunch of green apple and a fresh coriander crème fraîche. But I especially loved the flying squid and fennel “pasta” with a creamy red sea urchin sauce.
Bonus points: The restaurant is offering a free bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte champagne to medal winners. So far Maelle Ricker, Women's Snowboard Cross (Gold), and Mike Robertson, Men's Snowboard Cross (Silver), have enjoyed the celebratory bubbles.
1095 Hamilton St.; 604-688-8078 or bluewatercafe.net.
© Patrick McMullan
Natalie Portman and Tom Colicchio at Hungry in America fundraiser
Here’s why there’s hope. In the 1970s, the U.S. went a long way towards solving the problem of hunger (according to the team behind Hungry in America). And President Obama has pledged to end childhood hunger by 2015.
Here's why else there's hope: Hungry in America involves an impressive stable of people. Tom Colicchio, who hosted the event, is an executive producer of the project, and his award-winning filmmaker wife, Lori Silverbush, co-directed the documentary. Natalie Portman was there: She co-hosted the fund-raiser (Jake Gyllenhaal was there, too, to support the cause). When he wasn’t having a long, animated conversation with Gyllenhaal, Colicchio was at the restaurant’s wood-burning oven, preparing items from T&C’s Tap Room menu, including awesome bone marrow topped with anchovies. Alongside him were Boston’s Michael Schlow, who served ponzu-glazed tuna sashimi and tempura bits, and Rocco diSpirito, who passed out short ribs with truffled taro root. I’m not sure if Portman sampled any of the food—she’s a vegan—but she did spend time near the oven with the Spotted Pig’s Ken Friedman, discussing the fact that his newest place, the Breslin, had a surprising number of vegetarian dishes that she could eat when she was there last week.
And more hopeful news from the NYC event: Some 300-plus people were there, raising $200,000 for Hungry in America. The next fund-raiser is in Los Angeles at Craft on February 28, where Nancy Silverton and Suzanne Goin will cook, and people like Ben Affleck are expected to attend; tickets are still available.
Chad Hedrick, Speed Skating, USA: "Rodney's Oyster House has a laid-back atmosphere with excellent oysters and other seafood." 1228 Hamilton St.; 604-609-0080 or rohvan.com.
Alexa Loo, Snowboarding, Canada: The Richmond, BC, native loves Glowbal
Grill in Yaletown, known for its decadent lobster grilled cheese
sandwiches. 1079 Mainland St.; 604-629-3424 or glowbalgrill.com.
Evan Lysacek, Figure Skating, USA: The gold medalist had brunch
at Yew at the Four Seasons Vancouver before his winning skate. 791
W. Georgia St.; 604- 689-9333 or fourseasons.com/Vancouver.
Debbie McCormick, Curling, USA: The U.S. curling team member plans on
visiting the Cellar Jazz Club, which serves snacks like yam
frites and spicy edamame. 3611 W. Broadway St.; 604-738-1959 or
Shaun White, Snowboarding, USA: The gold medalist has been spotted
celebrating in Vancouver's Granville Entertainment District at the
two-story Republic club, which has a towering, backlit bar. 958
Granville St., 604-669-3266; dhmbars.ca.
Hayley Wickenheiser, Hockey, Canada: The three-time Olympic medalist
was chosen to deliver the athletes' oath at the 2010 opening ceremony.
Wickenheiser loves Vij's imaginative Indian dishes, like marinated
lamb popsicles with cream curry, and Miku's aburi-style
(lightly torched) sushi. Vij's, 1480 W. 11th Ave.; 604-736-6664 or
vijs.ca. Miku, #2 – 1055 W. Hastings St.; 604-568-3900 or
© Danielle Falcone
Bouley's Japanese bites on imari porcelain.
Last night, star chef David Bouley turned his fabulous Tribeca test kitchen into a showroom for the latest interpretations of Imari porcelain, a style of porcelain made in the tiny town of Arita in Japan’s Saga prefecture. Young artists and designers like Tsuji Satoshi are making cool new designs inspired by traditional style. Bouley plans to use many of the pieces at his forthcoming Japanese restaurant. And of course, the dishes weren't left empty. Bouley, along with chefs Isao Yamada and Tadao Miakmi (Bouley Upstairs), Noriyuki Sugie and chefs from the Tsuji Culinary Institute of Japan prepared some ridiculously good dishes using wild Japanese ingredients like barafu, a leafy green that looks like it's covered in dew, with a salty taste and great crunch.