"Women in the Kitchen" Gourmet Wine Dinner

On Friday, July 29, you are cordially invited to "Women in the Kitchen" Gourmet Wine Dinner at the Vancouver Club. This evening celebrates the exceptional talents of women who have excelled in the culinary profession. Barbara-jo co-hosts this starlet-studded evening of guest chefs, cookbook authors and up-and-coming culinary stars. The evening features a 7 course menu prepared by some of our feted special guests with wine pairings.

The evening begins with a reception at 6:00 p.m. with dinner to follow at 6:30 p.m. at the Vancouver Club. Tickets are $110.00 per person and are available through the Vancouver Club. For more information about this event, visit the Vancouver Club Events page.

Public Salon: Barbara-jo Speaks

On Wednesday, November 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Vancouver Playhouse, Barbara-jo will be one of the speakers at the next Public Salon of The Global Civic Policy Society. The Public Salon series offers an opporunity for local influential movers and shakers to present interesting ideas in a forum that inspires and educates.

Tickets are $15 and are available through www.ticketstonight.ca, info@ticketstonight.ca or by calling 604-684-2787.

An Eventful Autumn Day

September 27 marked an eventful day at Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks....

We were pleased to be involved with a fundraising day for UBC Farm with guest, Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm in Virginia. At an early evening dinner, guests were treated to a cozy up close and personal meal with Joel at UBC Farm. Guests sat down to a long table dinner prepared by Andrea Carlson of Bishop's Restaurant. Later in the evening, over 200 guests enjoyed a lecture with Joel and picked up copies of his not-yet-released book, The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer.

Barbara-jo was not able to attend the UBC Farm fundraisers as she was being feted at the B.C. Restaurant Hall of Fame awards. Barbara-jo was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a supporter of the Industry. Congratulations, Barbara-jo...your dedication to the industry is much appreciated!

Photo by Cassandra Anderton, www.goodlifevancouver.com

Paris at Pastis

Feel like a little visit to the City of Lights to get you through Autumn? From October 13 through November 13, Bistro Pastis is featuring a celebration of Paris with special Parisian bistro menus. To launch the month-long festival, Pastis will be featuring Cooking for Me and Sometimes You by Barbara-jo McIntosh.

On Wednesday, October 13 at 6:30 p.m., join Barbara-jo at Bistro Pastis for a delightful menu inspired by Cooking for Me and Sometimes You:
-Watercress salad with Crab, Pancetta, Lemon and Chive Mayonnaise (Domaine de Grachies)
-Roast Pork Tenderloin, Squash and Potato Puree, Apple Cider Sauce (Brouilly George Duboeuf) or Duck Confit, Sauce a l'Orange, Glazed Turnips, Pomme Dauphine (Pinot Noir Louis Jadot)
-Ginger Poached Pear, Coffee Ice Cream

Tickets are $115.00 and include all taxes and gratuities. Please call our shop at 604-688-6755 to register.

Cooking for Me AND You

Throughout the summer, Books to Cooks has been hosting Parisienne lunch salons featuring Barbara-jo's Cooking for Me and Sometimes You. Julie Pegg writes about her lunchtime sojourn to Paris and reviews Cooking for Me in EAT Magazine.

Our next Parisienne bistro salon is Wednesday, August 11 at 12:00 noon. Call 604-688-6755 to register.

Photo by Julie Pegg

A Fine Floating Feast

Last Saturday evening, Barbara-jo was delighted to be one of the lucky guests to embark on the inaugural dinner on the Plastic Dining Room, the creative culinary fundraiser for The School of Fish Foundation. Beginning on Saturday, July 24, and for the following 59 evenings, twelve seafaring diners will enjoy an intimate dinner catered by C Restaurant while floating on board an elegant dining room buoyed by over 1600 plastic bottles. While diners enjoy a menu featuring sustainable seafood paired with wines, they will be supporting the School of Fish's mission of supporting culinary training with curriculum, information and course materials on sustainable seafood.

The inaugural evening's menu included:
B.C Spot Prawn Sunomono Salad
Rare Scallop finished with Dashi Broth
Farmed Tilapia with Lobster Saffron Cream
Northern B.C. Wild Coho
A selection of local cheeses and condiments
Local Berry Fool with Chocolate Shavings

For more information about The School of Fish and the Plastic Dining Room, visit their site at http://www.schooloffishfoundation.org.

Cooking for Me: Falling in love with Paris and books

Cooking for Me and Sometimes You gets reviewed in a couple of local publications this week.

Carolyn Ali includes Cooking for Me in a summer cookbook whirlwind trip around the globe in this article in the Georgia Straight including Barbara-jo's mouthwatering recipe for Pan-roasted rib-eye steak with Roquefort and red pepper butter and Barbara-jo's new classic cocktail, Pink Drink.

Mia Stainsby falls in love with books and Paris in this article in the Vancouver Sun. The article also appears in the National Post and Victoria's Times Colonist.

Cooking for Me and Sometimes You: Recent Reviews

Cooking for Me and Sometimes You is a gem of a book. Part journal, part cookbook, all passionate love for Paris.

Rhonda May reviews Cooking for Me and Sometimes You in this article in City Food Magazine.

And here's review by local writer, Duncan Holmes, whose writing can be found at his site.

With Cooking for Me and Sometimes You, Barbara-jo McIntosh carried us to her Paris flat, and there, in the shadow of Notre Dame, shared her kitchen, her month of supplies, and yes, even it seems, her bed, as her gentle story folded back the covers of a life being discovered. Food is central to all of BJ's tale—a stainless-steel frying pan constantly sputtering with beurre, and a parade of goodies that she gathers along her Parisian way. But it is a tale too of the heart, where her words and feelings are beautifully squeezed, sometimes with tears, onto the pages of Cooking for Me and Sometimes You. As the rain soaks the City of Light in late February, and it feels like her Vancouver, BJ writes of her friend and perhaps lover: "We both have so much to be grateful for in our individual lives, but when one lives too long without identifying one's pain, it is possible to, indeed, become lost." And she continues: "I am beginning to believe that this time we are sharing together is helping to melt the ice that has frozen over the core of both our hearts." Haven't we all been here before? Or at very least close? This is a cookbook—an icon BJ knows so very well—but it also a personal and revealing journal that Paris has inspired in so many who have bared their souls to the city's siren call. There are unanswered questions in Cooking for Me. Hopefully, this lady will soon take 'pen' in hand and write more. I know that we will be glad to be the Sometimes You, as often as she invites us in.

Duncan Holmes
June 2010

A Garden of Earthly Delights

Dear Hungry Culturites,

I am proud to be on the board of the Vancouver East Cultural Centre and very excited about chairing our delicious fundraiser next month.
I do hope a great number of you will be able to attend this evening of Food, Wine and Entertainment.


An Invitation to A Garden of Earthly Delights

The Vancouver East Cultural Centre has been the heart of Vancouver's vibrant performing arts community for over 36 years. After extensive renovations, the Cultch is ready to celebrate with a grand opening gala. On Saturday, November 14, you are invited to A Garden of Earthly Delights Gala.

This evening's festivities will begin with a sumptuous light supper featuring several of Vancouver's top chefs: Don Letendre (Opus Hotel), Warren Geraghty (West), Robert Belcham (Fuel Restaurant and Campagnolo), Chris Whittaker (O'Doul's Restaurant and Bar).

As an evening at the Cultch would not be complete without a performance, a delightful program of theatre, dance and music will follow supper in the historic theatre.

The celebratory evening will conclude with post-performance coffee, a selection of cheeses from Les Amis du Fromage and dessert prepared by Thierry Busset of CinCin Restaurant.

For more information about A Garden of Earthly Delights, please visit the Cultch website at www.thecultch.com. Tickets for this grand gala are $250 and are available through the Cultch Gala Hotline, 778-848-1642 or by e-mail at hilary@thecultch.com.

Tin Fish Swims Home

For quite some time, the shelves at Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks were missing a nostalgic treasure. Author Barbara-jo's very own homegrown bestseller, Tin Fish Gourmet. After teaching many loyal readers how to transform the ingredients from their pantry into quick and delicious seafood-based meals, Tin Fish was no longer in print and nowhere to be found. Just as Barbara-jo was looking into securing the American rights to this longtime customer and staff favourite, the publisher discovered a few lost cases of it. Like all successful treasure hunters, we are pleased to lift the lid on something truly special.

Autographed copies of Tin Fish Gourmet by our very own Barbara-jo McIntosh are available for $13.95. Drop by for your copy and if Barbara-jo is in the shop, she might share a fishy tale or two.

Autumn Leaves Me With Delicious Memories

A seasonal message from Barbara-jo:

This past Monday, I drove to Seattle for an event with Tom Douglas. The event was a cookbook social—great idea. On Tuesday afternoon, I arrived back at the shop. As I walked through the door, I was overcome with joy. Wreaths decorated the windows, ornamental snowflakes were cascading from the ceiling, Sarah McLachlan's holiday CD was playing and Vicki Gabereau was holding court. The Season has begun.

Not that autumn hasn't been especially delightful. We started off another wonderful season with our reading club. And our social club—with its MEAT theme—has enlightened us all. I was pleased to be invited to the amazing lunch in New York hosted by Daniel Boulud. I watched as Daniel spoke to the New York media of a deep affection for Vancouver and his ensuing project here. As a born and raised Vancouverite, I felt a warm sense of pride.

With help from some of our city's best chefs and restaurants, we promoted the season's best books in fine—and sometimes downright exotic—fashion. Jeffrey Alford visited to promote Beyond the Great Wall with an amazing slide show. And we ate a bug—actually a whole bunch of artfully prepared bugs—with the encouragement of Meeru Dhalwala. Other guest authors included Elizabeth Baird, David Tanis, Aliza Green, Raghavan Iyer, Anna Olson, Warren Geraghty, Jennifer McLagan, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, Bonnie Stern, Andrew Carmellini and Gwen Hyman....

We organized a fundraiser for the UBC Farm—a cause that is both near and dear to me. I am so encouraged at how our city is embracing the desire to keep the farm active and evolving.

This past season, I had the privilege of fulfilling a lifelong dream. I have always wanted to pick grapes in Italy. Knowing this, Anthony Nicalo of Farmstead Wines took me to Piedmonte to stay with vinaroon Renato Fennochio. I had my first experience working the harvest with the Fennochio family who are dedicated to growing the finest grapes and producing the best wines.
I enjoyed taking the train from Piedmonte to Paris—a city I hold close to my heart. When I jumped into my taxi at Gare Lyon, I said to myself, "I'm home". As much as I appreciate the country and the people who work the farms and keep us well fed and healthy, I always feel a special longing for Paris.

I came home to a whirlwind of events at the shop. We took a selection of our favourite books to Whistler's annual Cornucopia event. Along with the scheduled guests and authors, I was pleasantly surprised with a wee visit from Michel Roux. Other interesting events? I was invited to a reception to meet Jean-Georges Vongerichten, another celebrated chef who is coming to our city. Richard Jaffray, owner of the Cactus Club, hosted an intimate luncheon, complete with 98 Dom Pérignon Rosé, to introduce new menu items created by Rob Feenie. As I've always said, Rob's food never fails to ensure sweet dreams.

As the New Year approaches, we are surrounded with news of uncertainty and horrendous events. But I am happy—and grateful—just knowing that I keep my bread buttered by doing the work I so enjoy. When I wake in the morning, I cross my fingers and hope that others will be happy with what I do too.

So I now say, CHEERS! Here's to a well RED year. RED is our current mantra meaning we feel the best solution to sustain a healthy world is to READ, EAT and DRINK (responsibly, of course). We just posted our winter events schedule on the website, and have printed schedules available at the shop so you can get well RED this January and February.

Barbara-jo McIntosh

December 4th, 2008