Table Scraps 

Vancouver Magazine Awards

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Small-scale farming and food production is a viable B.C. industry, said Doug Helmer of Helmer’s Organic Farm at the 14 th Annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards last week.

Chefs honoured the Pemberton Meadows farm with the Best Supplier/Producer Award, touting the organic potatoes and mixed vegetables the farm supplies to restaurants in Whistler and Vancouver, including 2006 Best Restaurant Award winner West and Best Chef Award winner "C" Restaurant. You can always pick up Helmer produce at the Pemberton Valley Supermarket as well.

Araxi took home Gold again in the Best Whistler category. "(Chef) Scott Kidd’s arrival guaranteed that Araxi would stay atop the hill," wrote one of the magazine’s critiques who also praised Araxi’s "out of this world wine list."

The Bearfoot Bistro placed second, recognizing not only the world-class dining room’s hospitality that "dazzles," but also Andre St. Jacques’s marketing talents, namely his debaucherous Cornucopia Wine Rave.

Outstanding staff was a contributing factor to Quattro at Whistler’s third place ranking. Accolades included "Outstanding service and long-term staff who remember not just your name, but your drink" and "a meaty and mighty crab cake" as well as "whacking great grilled game hen."

La Rúa and Val d’ Isere were runners up.

Brunch with mom Sunday

Brunch is a popular way to celebrate Mother’s Day.

New to Whistler’s buffet circuit is Milestone’s spread, served daily from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. What better way to start out your day than with a tall fresh-squeezed orange juice? I was happy to discover poached eggs for the eggs benedict were soft and Belgian waffles hot. The menu includes breakfast standards such as scrambled eggs, smoked Canadian bacon, French toast, yogurt, fresh fruits and pastries. Coffee and tea is served at your table. Brunch is $18 for adults and $9 for children.

The Four Season’s Fifty Two 80 Bistro Mother’s Day Buffet serves breakfast classics with quality ingredient twists. The omelet station includes choices of asparagus, shrimp and chorizo sausage, waffles can be drizzled in warm chocolate with berry compote, and a carving station boasts both baked ham and New York striploin. There are more than nine salads to choose from. Deli picks include smoked fish and Canadian cheeses. Look forward to four main entrees, such as braised halibut and wild-mushroom ravioli, and the sweet shop wields seven desserts – don’t miss the goat cheese cheesecakes and the multiple-flavour-infused brulee shots.

Coupled with live flamenco/Latin jazz from Vancouver’s Kadabra, the Four Season’s Mother’s Day experience is more than just a standard buffet. A kids’ craft station will also be set up and spa gifts for mom will be available. Brunch is $50 per person and $24 for children 5-12 years old.

Another breakfast buffet famous among these parts is at the Westin Resort’s Aubergine Grille, which caters to appetites big and small as well as to health-minded diners.

Fruit plates boast unique items such as stewed figs infused with Star Anise and cinnamon. Eggs are free range and morph into scrambled, benedict, frittata and omelets made to order. Along with fresh-baked pastries, including apple turnovers and Whistler’s best croissants, cold cuts, cheese and candied salmon work their way into the mile-long table mix. A Spa-muesli with fresh and dried fruits, flaxseed, nuts and wild flower honey caters to health nuts: the fresh unrefined food wields no preservatives, colours or additives. Local breakfast sausage, cream-baked Danish pudding and fresh-squeezed orange, apple and grapefruit juices also make this breakfast experience a unique one.

The daily Breakfast Buffet is $24 per person. The Continental Breakfast Buffet, which omits hot entrées such as eggs, pancakes, waffles and breakfast meats, is $18 per person.

Thibault now Hall of Famer

The memory and talents of Whistler restaurateur Joel Thibault were honoured when he was inducted into B.C. Restaurant Hall of Fame earlier this week.

Whistler lost one of the community’s pillars when Thibault, 61, died of a heart attack in May 2005. The Frenchman’s passion for life, food and good company resulted in restaurant adventures in both Vancouver and Whistler, including Chez Joel, Bavaria and Joel’s at Nicklaus North.

The rotund, smiling man never forgot a face. This combination of passion for both food and people are what made his culinary adventures such a success.

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