Show 562, January 27, 2024: Afghan Kitchen, Surrey, BC with General Manager Zabi Sarwari

Zabi Sarwari of Afghan Kitchen

Afghan Kitchen in South Surrey, British Columbia is the manifestation of a young boy’s dream. He roamed the streets of Kabul in his sandals and saw how hard his family worked to sustain themselves. In the times of war, they moved to different neighboring countries until they finally came to Canada.”

“Afghan Kitchen presents the guest with the vision of the young boy’s very own restaurant since he was six years old. Every corner of Afghan Kitchen is thoughtfully curated. Every dish uses mum’s recipe.” “Mum” Sarwari is also the highly qualified Executive Chef.

“This is a proudly family-owned and-run business that reflects the best of Afghan roots, traditions, and values. Afghan Kitchen is the taste of home.” Upon entering you are transported into a lavishly decorated and spacious residence in Kabul with original art on the walls. There is also a traditional seating area where guest take off their shoes to enter.

Specialties include the Bolani (appetizer, and Mantu which are steamed, minced beef dumplings topped with split peas, tomato sauce and yogurt. Also specialty cocktails like the Gulrang Rose and Afghan Chutney Caesar created with house-prepared ingredients and fresh Afghani spices.

General Manager Zabi Sarwari joins us to embark on the culinary journey that is Afghan Kitchen.

Show 551, November 11, 2023: Chopsticks on Pho, Surrey, BC with Proprietors Steven Lee and Lynn Le

Steven Lee and Lynn Le of Chopsticks on Pho

Steven Lee and Lynn Le are the proprietors of Chopsticks on Pho – Vietnamese Noodle House located in Surrey, British Columbia and celebrating their 11th anniversary this year. We were recently there as guests of Discover Surrey

“Born and raised from two different parts of Vietnam, North and South, Steven and Lynn fled the country by boats with their parents and siblings at a young age. Deeply grateful for the love and care of their new homeland, Canada, they settled in. As fate had, perhaps, already written, they met each other one day in the beautiful yet cold city of Edmonton, Alberta.”

“When they first met, Steven was a college student and Lynn was a high school teenager. He asked “What is your passion?” She replied, “People and food.” Steven nodded, “me too! and what is your dream?” Lynn answered, “Well, growing up in my mother’s kitchen and truly inspired by her cooking, I would love to run my own restaurant someday”.

“Almost two decades later together as a couple going through life, schooling, jobs, and now as parents with two little ones at the ages of four and two years old, Steven looked at Lynn and said, “ It’s time that you go after your dream! ”

“And so Chopsticks on Pho – A Vietnamese Noodle House was born.” They are widely known for their Curry Pho, and Lemongrass Chicken and BBQ Pork Banh Mi Sandwiches that come with a rich dipping broth. Chopsticks on Pho has just introduced a line of premium jarred Curry Pho Sauces (Vegan, Chicken and Beef) along with their signature O-Peanut Sauce. “All you need is love and yummy sauces.”

Steven and Lynn join us to share their realized dream.

Show 231, July 8, 2017: Richmond, British Columbia’s Hop On Hop Off Attraction Tour

Richmond Hop On Hop Off Attraction TourWe’re big fans of Richmond, British Columbia and have visited there twice in the last year. It’s the home of absolutely incredible regional Chinese food. Think every possible variation of dumplings…

New from Tourism Richmond is the Richmond Hop On Hop Off Attraction Tour which allows visitors and locals to make their way through the City’s most popular areas at an affordable price. For this year it runs through September 17, 2017.

“We’re fulfilling a pressing need in our destination for quick and direct routes to our attractions,” said Bruce Okabe, CEO of Tourism Richmond. “This service will provide a richer visitor experience for overnight and day trippers to Richmond, as well as an opportunity to expose more local businesses to tourists, and grow the overall visitor economy.”

The Richmond Hop On Hop Off Attraction Tour stops at various exciting venues such as the River Rock Casino Resort, McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport, the Richmond Olympic Oval, as well as the jewel of Richmond, the historic fishing village of Steveston. Explore everything from national historic sites to authentic Asian cuisine and the most interactive Olympic Museum in North America on this tour that connects the northern edge of the city to Steveston.

For the full schedule, including ticket prices and where to purchase them, please check out the Visit Richmond BC site. Ticket prices start at $20 for children aged 6-12, with family packages for two adults and two kids available for $85.

Tourism Richmond’s Director of Communications, Colin Wong, joins us with all the specifics.

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

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.

The no reservations system is designed to be fair to all. Everyone is a VIP and if you get there at the evening opening the line to be seated moves quickly. Once seated the servers offer chai and complimentary appetizers as a welcome to set the stage for the evening’s pleasures. Nice touch…

In December 1994 Vikram married Meeru, who then joined him at the restaurant. “Our cuisine has stood out from others in that we do not serve what is typically expected from an India restaurant. We prefer to stay away from the tandoor oven since it’s already being used in so many other restaurants. Our philosophy behind the food has always been to keep our spices and cooking techniques Indian – from all regions of India – while using meats, seafood and produce that are locally available. To this effect, we change our menu seasonally.”

Last December 10th in Las Vegas Chef Vikram was one of the high-profile celebrity chefs (along with Thomas Keller, Ming Tsai and Curtis Stone) presenting a standout course at The Venetian’s & Palazzo’s annual Ultimo: A Weekend of Excellence. (The “SoCal Restaurant Show” was there observing in the kitchen.) Chef Vij’s dish for Ultimo’s Grand Banquet (a super luxe extravagance) was Marinated Lamb Popsicles with Fenugreek Cream Curry. (The complex sauce slowly simmered for five hours.) The recipe was published in the December 5th issue of Parade Magazine Daily.

We’ll meet the incredible Chef Vikram

 

Show 211, February 18, 2017: Glen Hutton, Co-Owner, Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, Richmond, B.C.

Glen HuttonYou have to appreciate a young, upstart craft brewery whose slogan is “Keeping Beer Weird.” The talk of Richmond, B.C.’s craft beer enthusiasts is Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks. There is really a “Fuggles” and there is a “Warlock” which Glen explains.

“We try to invent styles, and nothing is done true to style”

The friendly Tasting Room at The Brewery also offers a variety of satisfying local street food specialties including samosas (beef, chicken and vegetable) and a cheese & onion pie.

One of their distinctive and popular styles is Beam Me Up – Espresso Milk Stout. “This is the perfect marriage of espresso coffee and a delicate stout with a smooth, creamy sweetness from Lactose. Made in collaboration with Notch Coffee Co. out of Vancouver.”

We’ll tap a keg of their popular “The Last Strawberry” (a Belgian wit brewed with local strawberries) with co-founder Glen Hutton, a Richmond, B.C. local.

Show 208, January 28, 2017: Show Preview with Andy Harris, Co-Host & Executive Producer.

The Dumpling Trail in Richmond British Columbia“The SoCal Restaurant Show” is going international. On Saturday morning, January 28th the show is live from Richmond, B.C. (“Where the Far East Meets the Canadian West Coast”) for their festive celebration of Chinese New Year.

Now am enticing preview of that Saturday’s fully-loaded show with Co-Host & Executive Producer Andy Harris. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case that’s actually a pretty good thing…

The Pechanga Resort + Casino’s executive chef, Duane Owen, is no stranger to the show. Chef Duane joins us to preview Pechanga’s upcoming Chocolate Decadence Event (February 10th) and the 9th Annual Pechanga Wine Festival on February 11th. Perfect Valentine’s Day gift…

Executive Chef Danilo Ibarra of the Marriott Vancouver Airport Hotel in Richmond. B.C. oversees The American Grille, The Lotus Land Lounge and all other food and beverage provided on-property. We’ll meet him.

Dominique and Cindy Duby are the Chief Chocolate Officers of Richmond’s one-of-a-kind boutique chocolatier, Wild Sweets. They join us in sweet conversation.

Executive Chef Angus An is the proprietor of Maenam, Vancouver Magazine’s selection for 2016 Restaurant of the Year and as the perennial Best Thai Restaurant. He’s had the honor of cooking at the James Beard Foundation in New York. We’ll talk about the flavor balance of Thai cuisine with Chef An as well as his growing restaurant empire.

A popular visitor attraction in Richmond is the River Rock Casino Resort located on the Fraser River. There are eight tempting dining options there including the fine-dining Tramonto and Chinese specialties at Sea Harbor Seafood Restaurant. Karsten Purbs, River Rock’s Food & Beverage Director, is our able guide.

Chinese, Taiwanese, Indian, Greek, Thai, Japanese, Italian – diners can enjoy authentic and delicious culinary styles from across the globe, without ever leaving Richmond. Richmond is home to more than 800 restaurants, half of them Asian and many highly acclaimed. Local food expert Lee Man, founding judge for the Chinese Restaurant Awards, joins us with commentary on Chinese New Year and the diversity of appealing cuisine in Richmond.

There is a burgeoning local wine industry in British Columbia. Sommelier Rachel von Strumer is a passionate wine writer who divides her time between Vancouver and the Okanagan Valley (where 80 per cent of the wine grape plantings in B.C. are located.)

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Show 208, January 28, 2017: Executive Chef Danilo Ibarra of the Marriott Vancouver Airport Hotel

Danilo IbarraExecutive Chef Danilo Ibarra of the Marriott Vancouver Airport Hotel in Richmond. B.C. oversees The American Grille, The Lotus Land Lounge (very popular Happy Hour program) and all other food and beverage provided on-property. We’ll meet him.

The American Grille is part of the Dine Out Vancouver Festival on now through February 5th.

“Let our friendly servers make you feel at home, while our open kitchen concept gives you a behind the scenes look as food is being prepared. With every dish, we use fresh, locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible, giving you a taste of all the flavors the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Our central location on one of Richmond, BC’s busiest intersections makes the Grille a social hub for the community, so don’t be surprised if you run into a friend (or make some new ones). Parking is on us!”

Chef Danilo brought in some menu items to talk about and sample. He had a tasty and well-presented salmon cake and their standout Lobster Mac & Cheese served in a small, cast iron skillet.

Show 208, January 28, 2017: Dominique Duby of Wild Sweets, Richmond, B.C.

Dominique and CIndy DubyDominique and Cindy Duby are the Chief Chocolate Officers of Richmond’s boutique chocolatier, Wild SweetsDominique joins us in sweet conversation.

“As Canada’s only science-based cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate-makers, we turn premium cocoa beans into ‘Haute’ chocolates, novel confections & designer pastry. Located in Richmond, Greater Vancouver Region, BC, Canada.”

The Dubys are world-acclaimed chocolate makers, designer chocolatiers, celebrated authors, foodArt architects, photographers and owners of Wild Sweets. Wild Sweets is an haute chocolate couture concept that specializes in the painstaking multi-step process of making their own vintage chocolate in-house from premium cocoa beans.

Their list of international accolades and major awards is extensive.

Their chocolate lab and production facility in Richmond is a must visit (by appointment only) for serious chocolate aficionados. Try their chocolate tea created from the byproducts of the chocolate making process. They offer a variety of very special Cocoa Bean to Chocolate Tasting & Appreciation classes.

Their line of decadent chocolate products can be purchased via their Website and safely shipped to the United States.

Show 208, January 28, 2017: Karsten Purbs, Director, Food & Beverage, River Rock Casino Resort, Richmond, B.C.

Karsten PurbsA popular visitor attraction in Richmond is the River Rock Casino Resort (with 400 guest rooms in a variety of price ranges) located on the Fraser River. There are eight tempting dining options there including the fine-dining Tramonto and Chinese specialties at Sea Harbor Seafood Restaurant. Karsten Purbs, River Rock’s Food & Beverage Director, is our able guide.

“Nestled along the Fraser River, in a gorgeous West Coast setting, River Rock is Western Canada’s only Four-Diamond Casino Resort, where luxury, ambiance and exceptional hospitality await. As with everything at River Rock, when it comes to accommodations, the choice is yours. Enjoy bright, contemporary, deluxe rooms at The Hotel, or relax in style and luxury in a suite at The Resort.”

“Fill your days with a variety of activities, including a visit to our first-class spa, or take a refreshing swim in the beautiful resort pool. Dine in your room or explore the resort and discover the restaurant that suits your mood. Take a stroll on the marina boardwalk, or sit back and relax on our gorgeous waterside patio at Curve Lounge. In the evening, take in a concert at the Show Theatre, and test your skill and luck at one of the largest, most dazzling casinos in Canada. At River Rock, the possibilities are truly endless.”

Show 208, January 28, 2017: Lee Man, Chinese Food Expert & Founding Judge, Chinese Restaurant Awards

Lee ManChinese, Taiwanese, Indian, Greek, Thai, Japanese, Italian – diners can enjoy authentic and delicious culinary styles from across the globe, without ever leaving Richmond. Richmond is home to more than 800 restaurants, half of them Asian and many highly acclaimed.

Local food expert Lee Man, founding judge for the Chinese Restaurant Awards and contributor to Vancouver Magazine, joins us with commentary on Chinese New Year and the diversity of cuisine in Richmond. Lee is also a judge for the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards.

Lee was the gracious guide to an international group of visiting food, libation and travel journalists (invited by Tourism Richmond) at a sumptuous 10-course, Hong Kong style Cantonese Chinese New Year Celebration dinner at Golden Paramount Seafood Restaurant in Richmond. Lee planned the incredible menu including a steamed, whole Rock Cod that was deboned at the table. Magnificent…