Archive for September, 2010

September 18, 2010

Queen Charlotte Lodge Reels Them In

[Thanks to the folks at the Queen Charlotte Lodge for a very exciting visit in August. Here’s an article from the Saturday, September 18 issue of the Toronto Star headlined “Chasing the Chief”.]

HAIDA GWAII, B.C.—The Haida are a matriarchal society, so it seems fitting that Jessica Eussen and the other women who journey to fish these waters would outperform the men. In one of those momentous, tell-it-to-your-grandkids, I-can’t-believe-what-I-just-pulled-off highlights of life, Jessica, a tiny 18-year-old from Vancouver, Washington, reeled in a 43-pound Chinook salmon while on a fishing trip with her father.

The thing was about half the size of her and coaxed a smile just as wide.

“I’ll never forget it,” she said a few minutes after being congratulated by other anglers in awe of the feat as well as the dockhands at the Queen Charlotte Lodge, which has built a reputation as a world-class fishing destination during its nearly two decades of operation.

It attracts avid sports fishermen who come to chase the tyee, or “chief”, a Chinook salmon that weighs at least 30 pounds. But the lodge has succeeded in guiding novices to trophy catches too, as Jessica’s tyee last month proved, and that’s helped it become a choice spot for families and couples.

Jessica’s father, Remy, chose fishing as the activity to spend time with his daughter before she leaves for university because “there are no electronics. It’s quiet, you can really bond.”

September 4, 2010

Vij’s in Vancouver is Worth the Wait

[From “Vancouver chef reinvents Indian food”, published in the Toronto Star on September 3, 2009]

VANCOUVER, British Columbia–On a damp and grey Saturday, diners line up outside Vij’s an hour before the doors open at 5:30 p.m.

There’s room for nearly 200 diners in the 2,000-square-foot eatery in Vancouver’s South Granville district, which New York Times food critic Mark Bittman has described as “easily among the finest Indian restaurants in the world.”

Those who arrive too late for the first sitting either spill over to Rangoli, a more casual sister restaurant next door with lower prices and smaller portions, or crowd into an alcove at the back of Vij’s to wait 90 minutes or more for a table. There, strangers mingle and wait staff pass around hors d’oeuvres that won’t show up on the bill, treats like cassava fries and puri.