Best of?... Worst of? 

Food flip sides in a parallel universe

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Like a perpetual gift for Whistler buffs at home and afar, here comes Pique's Best of Whistler review this issue, giving the insiders' nod where nods are due and making all kinds of choices — especially those all-important dining and imbibing ones — way easier and more informed to make. It sure beats Yelp! or asking your buddies or some guy on the street where to grab the best bite if you've just landed from elsewhere.

After all, we know how subjective preferences can be. Plus I don't know about you, but it seems whenever I, in the singular, rave about this or that, especially a resto or meal, it's inevitable that whenever I'm taken up on it, a parallel universe unfolds: The usual chef is sick or on holiday or the kitchen gets flooded and everything's a cock-up.

Looking over this year's choices voted on by the far-ranging Pique cognoscenti, I'd be hard-pressed to "out-cognisize" any of them.

But the Best Of's are triggering more than a few associations that have arisen over the past year and could also be seen as the best of, or the worst of, or at least an extension in some dimension — the flip side, if you will, all depending on your point of view.

If, on the other hand, it's true that we might be living in a computer simulation run by our descendents — which physicists at the University of Washington suggest could be tested now or in the near future by supercomputers performing lattice quantum chromodynamics — we may even be multi-minded enough to hold both views simultaneously, however the time-space continuum unfolds or the ultimate web master directs.

So, in parallel pop-up universes, here goes a couple of food flip sides to entertain you for the festive week, which always feels like it's a little off in a parallel dimension itself.

Sheesh, it's shmeat

If French fries topped with gravy and cheese curds — otherwise known as poutine — is the best quintessential Whistler dish (two years running now), I look forward, or is that backward?, to the day when alongside it we all might be chomping down the new quintessential Whistler dish — shmeat.

Maybe the story of bioengineering a thin sheet of meat — otherwise known as shmeat, test-tube meat, Fraken-burger, in vitro meat or even hydroponic meat — had such legs in mainstream media this year because the first In Vitro Meat Symposium was held in Norway and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) offered a US$1 million prize for a commercially viable in vitro chicken product.

Don't get too excited — it's a long way off.

But for nearly two decades now bioartists like Stelarc and Patricia Piccinini have been questioning the idea of corporeal body — human or otherwise — by growing animal tissue on themselves, other mammals and small organic lattices or scaffolds.

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