Top Meals of 2011
Posted by Degan on January 1st, 2012
Yowza, it has been a year. We travelled to Toronto, Montreal, Paris, San Francisco, Salmon Arm, Mexico, Whistler, Camrose, Lummi Island and more, we got married, we got matching Ducatis, we started working together full time at Adience Solutions Inc., and we ate and drank and cooked and created a lot of fine things.
One of the first amazing meals was at Au Pied de Cochon in Montreal. We were back east on business and I had made reservations even before I booked the hotel. Martin Picard is one of my favorite chefs and sitting down to foie gras cromesquies, foie burger, duck in a can and other famous Quebecois delicacies was everything I hoped it would be. It wasn’t too long after my knee surgery (although thankfully after I lost the crutches) and slip-sliding back to our hotel, drunk on wine and foie gras and laughing uproariously at the sky is almost as fond a memory as the epic meal we had.
In March, my favorite women took me to Whistler for my staggette and we had such an amazing time, seriously one of the best weekends of my life. It started off with an incredible meal at Celadon where plate after plate of Korean delicacies were brought to the table with a story for each about the preparation or history or ingredients. Everything was perfect, from the food to the service and it’s such a terrible shame that they’re closed now.
The next day I sabered Champagne! And we went snowmobiling and I jumped my snowmobile into a creek and got a set of giant bruises that were thankfully covered by my wedding dress – but that’s a story for another day.
photo credit: Celadon
Then we got married, and while I barely remember the food or even the custom cocktails, our wedding at The Diamond on April 23rd was one of the best days of my life.
We went to Paris for our honeymoon and we ate so many delicious things that I still haven’t written about all of them, but the meal to remember was at Les Ambassadeurs. There will not be anything like it for a long time, perhaps not until we go back on our tenth anniversary. Sitting in a gilt and marble room of a centuries old hotel where Marie Antoinette learned to play the piano, eating foie gras and caviar and drinking champagne with the love of your life…these are good things.
The summer was spent mostly working and riding our motorcycles but we did take a trip out of town every long weekend and in July we were in San Francisco. My friend Danielle took us on an unbelievably excellent cocktail tour where I had a drink I’m still dreaming about at the Clock Bar. The next day we nursed our expected hangovers with an epic Creole meal at Brenda’s Soul Food Kitchen. Never have I waited 2 hours for brunch without even a coffee, but I have also never had a beignet sampler for breakfast, followed by an oyster and egg fry-up and Caesars with pickled okra. It was incredible.
We ate at Hawksworth’s several times (and had cocktails in the lounge several more times) but the summer tasting menu was a lovely treat and I particularly liked this apricot and hazelnut dessert – something that almost never happens.
Also in the summer, I learned to shuck oysters, we FINALLY ate at La Quercia and it was as good as everyone says it is (but it was a date so no post) and we tried out several underground restaurants around town; 12b, NFA and The Bird’s Nest (ok, that last one was in November).
We took a quick vacation to Mexico where the focus was on sleep rather than food but then when we got back we went to Willows Inn on Lummi Island which, if you haven’t heard of it yet, is a much hyped restaurant opened by a chef who used to work at Noma in Copenhagen (the best restaurant in the world this year, according to the S. Pellegrino awards) that focuses on local, seasonal ingredients – many of which are grown on the farm next door or foraged from around the island. I’ll be writing about it soon.
December was almost entirely work and we ate so many meals on the run or over a keyboard but then we finished up the year with sleeping and Scotch in Whistler. We also ate at Barefoot Bistro which was a hilarious experience I’ll write about soon.
Today we ate jamón ibérico de bellota – as we always do – to usher in many more good eating adventures in 2012.