Show 215, March 18, 2017: Celebrity Chef Vikram Vij, Vij’s, Vancouver, B.C. Continues

VIkram VijWhen it comes to star chefs and high-profile Food TV personalities in Canada the top of the class is surely Vancouver’s Chef Vikram Vij. He has introduced the joy of Indian flavors to tens of thousands of fortunate Canadians since he debuted the original (no-reservations) 14-seat Vij’s in 1994. The incredibly popular restaurant has since relocated and expanded to 85-seats plus a bar / lounge area.

Vikram was born in 1964 in India and grew up in Amritsar and Bombay. His most vivid childhood memories revolve around food and family. He pursued this further by studying Hotel Management in Salzburg, Austria. After his studies, Vikram continued working at various fine dining restaurants in Austria and, in 1989, moved to Canada to work at the Banff Springs Hotel.

Meeru was born in India but moved to Washington, D.C. at a very young age with her parents. Prior to marrying Vikram and moving to Canada, she worked with various organizations in human rights and international development projects.

“Along with the kitchen staff’s dedication and our love of experimenting, Vij’s blossomed quickly and won its first award from Vancouver Magazine for Best Asian restaurant in March 1995. In September 1996, we moved to a larger location and Meeru took over the kitchen and the recipes for the most part. Vikram focused his efforts on the overall running of the restaurant, the presentation of the food and the wine list. In October 2001, Vikram became a certified Sommelier.”

Vikram’s biography, Vij’s: A Chef’s One-Way Ticket to Canada with Indian Spices in His Suitcase publishes on March 21st.

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Show 141, October 10, 2015: Chef Andrew Gruel, Mussels and National Seafood Month

Andrew GruelIt’s National Seafood Month and as our Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel points out there is a massive deficit of seafood in the American diet. For example Americans, on average, only consume 16 pounds of seafood a year. Compare that to Japan where the average consumption per person is 170 pounds per year. “The SoCal Restaurant Show” encourages all of our listeners to enjoy more seafood as a part of their regular diet. It’s both tasty and healthy…

Mussels seem to be the forgotten and underappreciated mollusk in the United States. They are incredibly popular in Europe. The meat is a bit tougher than an oyster or clam but it’s still delicious with a mildly sweet flavor.

Mussels are an ancient food of early man going back over 20,000 years.

The “SoCal Restaurtant Show” was recently on Prince Edward Island in Canada. We enjoyed mussels there simply steamed in white wine, craft beer, and with tomatoes. The broth is equally delicious, too.

Our resident seafood authority, Chef Andrew Gruel, will spread the joy of mussels. They are really good eating. There is life beyond oysters !

 

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