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culinary

October Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

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Held in cities across Canada, the Gold Medal Plates competition showcases top chefs, battling to crown gold, silver and bronze culinary teams. On October 29, eight Nova Scotian chefs will compete in Halifax, including Chef Terry Vassallo of Café Chianti, Chef Bee Choo Char of Gio, and Chef Mark Gray of The Brooklyn Warehouse. Visit www.goldmedalplates.com for tickets.

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At Stories, the intimate restaurant located at The Halliburton hotel on Morris Street, Chef Scott Vail’s inspired menu changes with the seasons. His mainstays include local game, lamb, seafood, and housemade charcuterie.

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A staple of Halifax’s West End dining scene for more than 30 years, Athens Restaurant on Quinpool Road boasts a menu of flavourful classic Greek dishes, including lamb souvlaki, moussaka and calamari. The space seats about 150 people and is a popular breakfast spot on the weekends.

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Baan Thai on Blowers Street has a fresh menu and colourful furnishings from Bangkok. Choose from any number of curries, Pad Thai or a special all-you-can-eat lunch buffet on Fridays. The delicious menu offers spicy noodles, cashew chicken, shrimp cakes and spring rolls, plus much more.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Photo: Kelly Neil

Photo: Kelly Neil

Chef Andrew Farrell of 2 Doors Down is making his mark on Nova Scotia’s dining scene, creating soulful recipes like deep-fried mac and cheese, and traditional potpie using fresh local ingredients. Find the restaurant in the heart of the downtown on Barrington Street.

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• Downtown on Prince Street, the Old Triangle Irish Alehouse is a large, three-room pub with live entertainment nightly and no cover charge. A great place to relax with friends, the Old Triangle has a classic pub menu and serves weekend brunch.
• Celebrating one year on Halifax’s brewpub scene, Gahan House is a popular destination in the picturesque Historic Properties. Choose from a range of Gahan’s own handcrafted beers on tap, including blueberry ale and Sir John A honey wheat ale.

Interview With DobbernationLoves’ Andrew John Virtue Dobson

Dobson at a noodle house in Tokyo, Japan.

Andrew John Virtue Dobson started his blog DobbernationLoves (on Twitter: @dobbernation) after his first solo backpacking trip through Europe. The Toronto-based blogger’s day job is at Planeterra Foundation, the charitable arm of Gap Adventures, the Canadian-based travel company that hosts tours around the globe. The blog’s title is a clever play on Dobber (a nickname) and Nation (which he sees as “an authoritative stance on what I was doing and where I was going”). Dobson describes DobbernationLoves as a “lifestyle blog with an encyclopedia’s worth of information on travel, Toronto-based restaurants, cheese, wine and beer. I post consistently throughout the week all of the things I love, whether it be covering a fashion or arts based event, or some recipe I came up with over the weekend. I share whatever makes me smile.”

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Parks Canada Heritage Gourmet App Lets You Travel Back in Culinary Time

By Annemarie Dooling

Instead of using an app to locate a gourmet restaurant, why not download an iPhone app that will make you a gourmet chef?

Parks Canada Heritage Gourmet is like a trip to dine at the tables of Canadians from the 18th century to today. Browse through more than 70 recipes sorted by ingredient, themed menu, region or period for a list of Canadian traditional and modern delicacies. The app lists both little-known retro plates and old familiar favorites, such as Quebec’s Fort Chambly Pea Soup, an 18th century Halibut and Bacon dish and a recipe for traditional  Sourdough Flapjacks, which were originally cooked over an open flame. The shopping list and bookmarking features make it easy to save meal picks on the go and locate every ingredient you need, and behind-the-scenes videos and cooking tips connect the dots between the past lives of the meals and your current kitchen.

But this isn’t just a standard recipe app, this is a traveling food-lover’s dream. Each recipe comes with a historic biography and timeline, detailing when the dish first made its debut. Plus, a “site” tab lists current travel information on the corresponding national historic site so that you have the most well-rounded and informed Canadian meal possible. Be sure to check the app often, as recipes are improved and added all the time.

The app: Parks Canada Heritage Gourmet (for iPhone)
Cost
: Free
Where to download: http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/parks-canada-heritage-gourmet/id451612819

Feast for the Eyes

Tenderloin at Evil Dave's Grill

Tenderloin at Evil Dave's Grill

Eating can fuel the body and ignite the senses. At Evil Dave’s Grill, diners’ expectations are heightened by artful presentations. Large, square, white plates provide a canvas upon which chefs create. “Each dish is uniquely displayed to draw attention to different aspects of the meal,” notes co-owner Mike Day. Patrons often photograph their dish prior to feasting! —RM