Friday, April 20, 2018

ICYMI: Halifax Burger Week raised more than $115K for Feed Nova Scotia

Posted By on Fri, Apr 20, 2018 at 1:00 PM


Halifax Burger Week 2018 proved to be the biggest Burger Week yet, raising $115,601. Every $2 raised allows Feed Nova Scotia to distribute three meals to Nova Scotians in need.

Black Sheep Restaurant, Vandal Doughnuts, La Frasca, Rockbottom Brewpub, The Old Triangle and Station Six were among the top fundraisers.

In case you're counting down, next year's Burger Week will take place from  March 28 to April 3.

  • Kylee Nunn

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Bite-Sized Kitchen teaches big lessons to tiny chefs

Claire Gallant's blog and business is turning one.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 4:01 AM

Gallant and a brood of her students, who made a batch of energy bites and a green smoothie - SUBMITTED
  • Gallant and a brood of her students, who made a batch of energy bites and a green smoothie

Never underestimate a small pair of hands. Claire Gallant certainly doesn’t. The longtime chef—she cooked in Toronto and at Halifax’s Fid before its closure—keyed into her own kids’ keenness in the kitchen and grew it into something special, launching Bite-Sized Kitchen a year ago.

“Even at 18 months old they could stand on the stool and help mix, at two-and-a-half and three I could see how capable their little hands were and how excited they got,” says Gallant. “I’ve always been excited about cooking my own food, food from scratch and family dinner was always a big thing. I could see this way that I could try and help families figure out easier ways to bring their kids into the kitchen and help them cook with them.”

Bite-Sized started with private lessons for kids six and up and Gallant’s blog about cooking with her own kids, but quickly evolved to include group workshops at the library, schools, A Tiny Lab For Learning, Girl Guides and at the Seaport Farmers’ Market—and to target kids as young as three. Together, they’ve made stuff like omelettes, hummus, smoothies, cheesecake, salads and pasta.
“All kids have natural inclination to play around in the kitchen and make actual dishes,” she says. “It’s about practice and also about exposure. It’s as simple as seeing your parent or caregiver making food from scratch. Kids just want to be grown-ups—if we can just give them that independence, time, space and appropriate tools—we can have high expectations of what they can achieve.”

In her second year, Gallant hopes to teach more, expand her blog——further and work towards getting her own space.

“One of the things of note in the past 15 to 20 years in the food world in North America is the growth of the local food movement, people are really focused on food,” she says. “I think the element that’s missing there is bringing kids into that conversation. Cooking from scratch and bringing kids into it is something that I hope will start taking off.”
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Very Local Greens' very urban farm

Phil Hatcher wants to make friends with salad via his shipping container crops.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 3:56 AM

Phil Hatcher will soon be planting his first round of seeds on the Dartmouth waterfront - LENNY MULLINS
  • Phil Hatcher will soon be planting his first round of seeds on the Dartmouth waterfront
  • Lenny Mullins
"My agricultural background is planting peas and stealing peas from my grandfather’s garden growing up,” says Phil Hatcher with a laugh. After 18 years in the film industry, he’s switching gears and getting back to the land. Sort of. This summer Hatcher will launch Very Local Greens, a farm that lives inside a repurposed shipping container that’s been plunked at King’s Wharf on the Dartmouth waterfront.

“This was something I haven’t seen before, something Halifax doesn’t have,” he says of the project, which was inspired by a viral video that lead Hatcher to Freight Farms, makers of the “Leafy Green Machine” AKA Very Local Greens’ home. Aiming to create a local version of Brooklyn’s popular curated (indoor) greens farm, Square Roots, he started crunching numbers.

“I’m kind of going through a little fairytale in my head. I had a dream list in my mind and King’s Wharf was one of my first thoughts,” he says. “I wanted to utilize an unused space. We’re portable, we’re mobile, we’re a crane lift away. We have the privilege to be able to move and adapt with the development.”

Very Local Greens’ sustainable space offers a hydroponic, climate-controlled system that grows its herbs and various greens in vertical towers, watering and feeding them on a schedule. It can help 500-1,000 heads of lettuce grow per week.

“The whole thing is 100 percent traceable and trackable and controllable by an app,” says Hatcher. “The great thing is when I’m at home I can see security footage, adjust my lights, temperature, humidity...right in the palm of my hand. It’s just really smart.”

The aim is for his container farm to work with restaurants, not just providing them locally grown greens, but also growing based on need—and want—if there’s a particular, let’s say, arugula a chef is after. A CSA of some kind is also on the to-do list. Mostly, Hatcher says, he’s just excited to see where the project takes him. (Which is, hopefully, the addition of another container.)

“I think it’ll adapt and become its own thing. We’re just trying to find out where our niche is going to be and grow with it. There’ll be surprises along the way.”

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Portland Street Creperie is bubbling over this summer

Ice cream for you, downtown Dartmouth

Posted By on Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 12:26 PM

  • istock
Portland Street Creperie’s dad and son duo has summer on the brain. Neil and Max Cook, who opened the Dartmouth cafe and all-day crepe joint in 2015, are adding a complementary iron-pressed element to their offerings next month when they’ll debut a bubble waffles and ice cream window within their 55 Portland Street location.

The made-daily bubble waffle cones—inspired by the traditional Hong Kong treat—will be available with chocolate or vanilla ice cream, and have the choice of a bunch of delicious toppings says Neil, who was hooked on the cones after a trip to Europe last year. “We were super inspired by what is going on with this delightful food. We actually waited in line for close to an hour at one location to try them and we were not disappointed.”

He says PSC’s bubble cones will retail for $4.50 to $8, depending on how souped up they are. The window will debut May 5.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

HopYard Beer Bar taps into Gottingen Street

Craft beer and cheap eats from PEI arrive this summer

Posted By on Wed, Apr 11, 2018 at 5:41 PM

omg this is a Brussels sprout taco - @HOPYARDBEERBAR
  • omg this is a Brussels sprout taco
  • @hopyardbeerbar

Charlottetown’s HopYard Beer Bar is heading off the Island. The popular pub will open its first Nova Scotia location at 2103 Gottingen Street (the former Johanna B. Oosterveld Centre) sometime this summer, bringing a bevy of craft beer, super-affordable snacks and hundreds of records with it.

Brett Hogan and Mike Ross opened the original HopYard location in 2016. The pair, who’d met through working with PEI Brewing Company, wanted to create a space that celebrated local beer, but scoring internationally trained chef Jane Crawford was what Hogan calls a game-changer. “We spent a lot of time driving around the Maritimes delivering beer and talking about business ideas,” he says of his plans with Ross. “But once we found out we could get Jane, that sealed the deal.” Crawford’s known for her creatively themed $8 menus at HopYard, which encourage sharing and change every two weeks, as well as her work at taco and tequila bar Sugar Skull Cantina.

Hogan and Ross searched for a spot on this side of Confederation Bridge for eight months before settling on the Gottingen space, which is actually larger than the PEI bar, boasting 130 seats. “We absolutely love the location,” says Hogan, adding that the space will be comforting, welcoming and warm. “There are so many good restaurants there, any time we get away from the island we always go to Halifax.”

The second iteration of HopYard will mirror Charlottetown’s location in offerings: 10 taps of craft, an ever-evolving selection of eats and 700 vinyl that customers can thumb through and bring to the bartender to play, effectively DJing for the entire bar. Hogan and Crawford will make the move over to the city to help get the Gottingen HopYard off the ground, Hogan says they’re aiming for a mid-summer opening.

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Binge on The Brood's hilarious new video for "Munchies"

"I had a stack of ones because I'm rich, because I'm on TV."

Posted By on Fri, Apr 6, 2018 at 5:31 PM


If you watch (or hate-watch) internet chef shows, you're going to want to check out the latest from Halifax's psychedelic sweethearts, The Brood.

Yesterday the band released a new video for the jaunty track "Munchies" and it's a cooked to perfection parody of Vice/MUNCHIES series Chef's Night Out, which follows Extremely Important international chefs as they eat and drink their way through their favourite restaurants and bars. (And, like most foodie shows, highlights the cult of personality that the restaurant scene is ripe with.)

"It's like you're the poet of food and God is your ingredients," slurs turbo douche/fictional restauranteur Marky Lake (played by local funnyperson Paul Doucette) as he tours members of The Brood through Halifax hotspots like Fiesta Bowl, Bier Kraft and Coup de Gras (all various angles of The Local and The Seahorse).

Instead of getting butthurt, the real MUNCHIES premiered the video and chatted with bandleader Seamus Erskine about how the band's binge-watching of Chef's Night Out inspired the song.

Check out "Munchies", directed by Jeff Miller, below.

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Just Baked Potatoes interrupts your usual snack plans

You say potato? Head to the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 5, 2018 at 4:00 AM


Being from the UK, Sara Kirk knows the power of a good baked potato. But it's not a nostalgia for home or a craving for a loaded spud that lead to her launch Just Baked Potatoes at the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market in mid-January.

"I would say it's more research-informed than passion at this point in time. But the main idea is wanting to do something to disrupt the food system we have currently," she says. A prof in health promotion at Dalhousie University and mother, Kirk has loads of facts to back up her small business—starting with the idea our environment can both help or hinder us when it comes to healthy eating. "We found when it comes to children and families, people tend to be so over-scheduled," she says.

Just Baked Potatoes—which Kirk runs with her teenage son—aims to support people on the go with healthy eating and promote local farmers and sustainable snacking. Her portable potatoes from Elmridge Farms take inspiration from popular street snacks in Turkey and Israel, and are served in a compostable container, with a buffet-style selection of seasonally-inspired, market-sourced toppings.

Kirk calls the start-up a "demonstration project," and while she and her son are testing the waters every weekend at the market, a long-term goal is to become mobile (the ultimate dream is a solar-powered food truck) so that Just Baked can show up at the sporting events and extra-circular where families need good food, fast. "I think it's about changing the way people think," she says.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Cafe Good Luck strikes gold on Portland Street this summer

Manual Food & Drink Co. is opening a cafe!

Posted By on Wed, Apr 4, 2018 at 1:19 PM

just practicing | #summer2018 #loveagoodbrunch #downtowndartmouth

A post shared by GoodLuck (@cafe.goodluck) on

From the entrepreneurs who brought you Manual Food and Drink Co.’s doughnuts and the Dairy Bar’s frozen delights comes Dartmouth’s newest heartthrob, Cafe Good Luck, a 1,000 square foot “culinary-powered cafe” opening early this summer at 145
Portland Street.

“I think what I love as a diner is when I go into a place with a lot of character and regular customers and it caters to the needs of the neighbourhood. When we’re thinking about where we want to be, the first thing we need to do is think about what sells and what’s missing,” says Emma Adamski who’ll open the spot that’s jokingly dubbed itself a “hangover palace” with her husband/business partner Sonny Adamski and Graham Read.

In the same vein as casual American diners, Good Luck will serve all-day brunch and a selection of fresh-baked pastries and low-key beer and wine (“like, table wine and lagers”) and bar snacks at night. Of course, there’ll be some soft serve and coffee will be taken very seriously, with homemade syrups and tonics elevating it to a more “culinary-inspired” hot beverage. And before you pack up your laptop and start running—there won’t be wifi.

Fear not, the Dairy Bar will be back for its third summer of service, with the cafe being its mothership for prep.

“Dartmouth is having a bit of a moment with new businesses opening on Portland Street—there’s just so many new residential things happening and niche businesses—and most are family-owned and small. It feels to me like the ideal spot to be,” says Adamski, who settled on the spot on the ever-growing strip after three years of searching. Her aim is to offer up food and drinks that are approachable and to create a space that’s a neighbourhood hangout, accessible enough for folks to frequent.

“What I want in my own community is a local watering hole that you can drop in to and have a snack that’s affordable and casual,” says Adamski. “It’s not about us showing how good we are at doing the things we love, it’s about providing something we think is missing.”

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In Print This Week

Vol 27, No 17
September 19, 2019

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