The cafe is closed this labour day!
Have a happy long weekend and we will see you again on Tuesday!
Nature Studies: Vancouver
Amy Merrick is thrilled to announce a new floral workshop and communal dinner hosted in collaboration with Janaki Larsen and Le Marché St George on Saturday August 27th 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, from 3pm-7pm.
Amy will teach both her techniques and philosophy for creating seasonal, effortless flower arrangements using wild and foraged materials found in Vancouver. She will share her experiences working alongside Japan's most celebrated ikebana masters and how those principles of natural floral design shaped how she now works with flowers. Students will gain a new understanding of composition, form, and appreciation of the flora of Vancouver and will have the privilege of arranging in Janaki Larsen’s highly sought-after ceramics, which will be available for purchase at the conclusion of the event.
Amy and Janaki will host a simple family-style meal to conclude the workshop, and attendees will help to decorate our shared table using Amy’s tips gleaned from years of creating magical environments through flowers, ceramics and food. Please join us for a day of creative inspiration, natural observation and celebration of the bounty of British Columbia’s golden days of summer.
WHERE: Vancouver, British Columbia. Exact location TBD and will be emailed to each registrant upon payment.
WHEN: August 27, 3 pm to 7 pm.
INVESTMENT: $165. Includes flowers and meal. Janaki Larsen ceramics will be available for purchase at the conclusion of the event. Payment by VISA, MC, or cash will be accepted.
PURCHASE TICKETS and MORE DETAILS AVAILABLE HERE.
ABOUT AMY MERRICK
AMY MERRICK is a floral designer, writer and stylist based in New York City. Her writings on design, flower arranging, and entrepreneurship have appeared in books, magazines and across the web. As a florist, she creates evocative tablescapes of flowers, foliage, fruits, and branches for weddings throughout the country, often gathering materials herself from the surrounding landscape. Her work as a stylist is botanically focused, and she has provided natural elements for magazine covers and national ad campaigns.
A friendly reminder that the cafe will be closed this Monday, August 1st! Happy BC Day! Enjoy the sun! It's about time that we are experiencing summer! :-)
with love, from the Le Marché St. George team
The Atelier St. George website is currently down.
It will be back up within 48 hours.
In the meantime, please visit the showroom at 11 East 7th Avenue from 11 - 6, Tuesdays to Fridays, and 11 - 5 on Saturdays.
We thank you for your patience and we are sorry for the inconvenience.
The Atelier St. George team
EDIT (July 27): The Atelier St. George website is now up and running! Thank you for your patience!!!
I had certain reservations about this trip. These reservations had absolutely nothing to do with the location, the logistics of my arrival and departure, nor the company I would be keeping over the Canada Day long weekend. My reservations stemmed from my not having gone camping... anywhere, ever. I am talking the whole tent-life, hygiene-maintenance-in-the-bush, bug-spray, outhouse-if-you-are-lucky, no-shower, carting-around-lake-water-to-wash-your-dishes type of camping.
I am a bonafide city dweller. I was born in a big city, I was raised in a big city, I've immigrated from one big city [from Asia: Manila, Philippines] to permanently reside in another big [Canada: Toronto, Ontario] city, and my only concept of any small town, suburban-type, or country living has been sorely influenced by the handful of day trips out to farms and adorable countryside villas where I would don my typical city wear [sans leather oxfords or heels, opting for gumboots or sneakers instead], and prance around happily amongst the wildflowers and the orchard trees. The wilderness in those situations, given my personal experiences in my first ever Oroville away-trip, seemed very much easy to control and predict, and I would still ultimately end those days in my own bed or within comfortable lodgings furnished with a bed, a shower, a toilet, and a sink.
So, yes, I would hail Oroville as my first real experience in the wild. Seasoned wilderness junkies would scoff and laugh at this, yes, but I went into this trip knowing I would be pushing the boundaries of my personal comfort zone, "digitally-out-of-reach", I noted, save for perhaps "through a trained carrier pigeon". I looked at Oroville as my personal Everest of sorts (one of many, at the very least) - a place where I would purposely let go of my obsessive-compulsive need to shower, have smooth legs, tidy hair, and clean clothes.
I jumped into this armed with having only seen instagrams of the place and the joking remarks of Pascal, who told me they would have to arm me with bear spray, mace, and guns in order to be able to "do my business" out in the wild safely and effectively. I laughed these jokes off, though admittedly I was mentally panic-stricken at first, going through the myriad of stored excuses in my head to be able to explain why I will have to pass on this Oroville experience this time.
Lengthy preface aside... going to Oroville is the best thing I have ever afforded myself in what seems like a lifetime. I had forgotten how important it is to get away from it all - the day-to-day grind of life. Because I work full-time and devote my weekends to building my photography portfolio with my freelance photo partner, Oroville provided me with some much-needed and overdue respite from the high-anxiety-ridden existence of a 30-odd-something woman currently obsessed with perfecting inventory systems and developing her burgeoning career. Three days were most certainly not enough and I felt the familiar heaviness of adult responsibility set in as soon as I set foot back in the city.
It was in my days in Oroville that I relished the thick film of dust all over my hair and my body, jumped off small rock cliffs into lake water several times over, shed my usual body-consciousness, felt the juices of ripe apricots, cherries, and watermelons drip down my arms without worrying about the sticky residues that remained long after I have eaten them, laid under the stars with a friend blanketed by a sleeping bag while we played spot-the-shooting-star and talked openly about life and love, and eating simple food prepared and served en-plein-air. The experiences were far too numerous to count in my very limited time there: roadside tacos, hot tamales sold in a humble farmers' market, a ghost town, wild sage plants, a cloudless black darkness pierced only by the light of the stars, the feeling of dry heat on your skin... all of these... punctuated by the absurdly surreal beauty of the mountains. I am humbled by how truly small I am - a speck in the pure vastness of it all.
I am immensely thankful to Janaki and Pascal for welcoming a first-timer like me into their troupe. Sadly, the hard-core credibility that I have obtained from jumping off small cliff-sides into lake water have been erased when Janaki caught me recently lip-syncing to the cheesy tunes of Phil Collins and Peter Cetera at Atelier St. George. Darn! Perhaps the next time I return to Oroville, I will find myself a cowboy to kiss this newly-indicted wilderness woman and gain that credibility back. ;-)
Issha Marie & Janaki Larsen
Mark your calendars! For only two days this month, Atelier St. George is hosting a bread pop-up featuring Annabelle Choi's sourdough loaves, Joseph Ridos' cultured nut cheeses, and Cloth Studio's linen bread bags. You can pre-order your loaves by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, but hurry, as these pre-orders are going fast. Annabelle will be taking only 6 pre-orders per day.
When: July 23 & July 24, 11 am to 5 pm
Where: Atelier St. George, 11 East 7th Avenue (kitty corner from the Mount Pleasant Elysian Coffee)
There will be a limited number of extra loaves that will be sold in the shop, so come early, as we expect they will sell fast. Currently, we accept only cash, VISA, and Mastercard.
Hope to see you all there!
Activated Charcoal Loaves by Annabelle Choi.
Linen Bread Bags by Cloth Studio.
Linen bread bags help keep your bread from spoiling too soon by absorbing any moisture that can cause mould to develop.
Loaves on offer (1 kg):
Kamut Black Charcoal Sourdough Pan Loaf: $12
Green Olive, Lemon, Thyme Sourdough Pan Loaf: $12
Red Fife Oat Porridge Sourdough Pan Loaf: $11
This would need to be an 80-part post to properly convey the scope of our time in Italy with Messors. Since that seems to be a lot to ask, I will try to condense it down to 3 posts over the next little while.
Southern Italy is the place for me: the colour palette, the pace, the olive groves and wheat fields, crumbling stone farmhouses and medieval towns, growing out of cliff sides like barnacles. It is both equally austere on one end and achingly opulent on the other. I found it wildly and endlessly inspiring on so many levels. All these things would be amazing to see on one's own but what made it even richer was spending it with people who have a deep deep love and long established roots in the area: people who are passionately committed to preserving a cultural and culinary history that is not exempt from the effects of globalization.
"Slow Living" and "Slow Food is not a new concept and I thought I understood it pretty well. I grew up in the country, we grew our food, we knew where our cheese came from. We run a store and café that fully supports these ideas... BUT we still live in a city. Somehow the pace of the city has crept up without my even noticing and I was gently reminded how important these things are. It was beautiful to slow down and observe the time, care, and attention that went into the all of the details.
The day began with making pecorino and ricotta with Raphaele and his wife at their farm. We then moved over to a beautiful stone shepherd's house, located in a field surrounded by 3rd century caves, followed with some lessons and insights into the typical cheeses of Puglia: mozzarella, bocconcini, treccia, burrata, and scarmoza with Vito and his son. We had a traditional shepherd's lunch within the cool confines of this stone house, which offered us wonderful respite from the heat outside. After a brief lay-around in the grass discussing the religious aspects of shepherding the the dying art of textile production, we were on the move...
... and we ended the day here, having dinner on a bridge in Gravina!
As I've mentioned before, setting tables is one of my favourite things to do and I got to do a lot of that. In fact, I will be writing a post dedicated specifically to "art of the picnic".
There really is too much to possibly cover without going on forever. I hope these photos are able to give you an idea of the absolute beauty that filled my eyes everyday. Keep watch for the follow up posts! Thank you Tonio, Jennifer, Julie, Francesco, Nicole and Rossana for your hard work, dedication and beauty!
Happy Long Weekend Everyone!
When Heidi Kuhn walked into Le Marché, I threw my usual 'interview questions' out the door and spent some time catching up with her instead. I met Heidi back when we both worked at West Elm Market, with I, as the lead barista at the cafe portion of the store, and her, as a WEM sales associate. Mixers and Elixirs was still in its very early stages; she held a few in-store pop-ups during the weekend community events, and she would use us, her fellow co-workers, as test subjects for some of her up-and-coming flavours. As we both moved on from West Elm Market's environment, she managed to secure regular spots in the Vancouver Farmers' Market list of vendors, before finding a commissary where she can produce and bottle her shrubs. The rest, as they say, is history, though this is still just the beginning for everything in Heidi's world.
Heidi has had the pleasure of collaborating with a few of the city's up-and-coming bartenders, most notably Olivia Povarchook during BC Distilled. Olivia currently works behind the bar at Juniper, but she first cut her teeth behind the stick at UVA Wine and Cocktail Bar, under the tutelage of 2015 World Class Canada winner and co-proprietor of Bittered Sling, Lauren Mote. Olivia has since flourished within the vibrant cocktail scene in Vancouver, and has been recently named the CPBA - BC Chapter's Bartender of the Month (Canadian Professional Bartender's Association). When I asked Heidi how working with Olivia was like, she said, "She's a real pro - she did everything. She did the research, did the tasting, and just came up with a recipe using my quince shrub... and it was delicious. She knew how to talk to the crowd about my product and the spirits she used, and she was charming and extremely professional, even when the rowdier ones in the bunch would try to sass her."
Here's the thing about shrubs - not very many people are familiar with them or their uses. Shrubs - the non-plant definition of the word - are acidulated beverages made with fruit, sugar, and other ingredients. Shrubs are an innovative way to preserve summer's bounty, and are typically mixed with various spirits or soda water to create refreshing sippers and cocktails. One would use shrubs much like one would use cordials - like sugar syrups. Shrubs fell out of popularity with the advent of home refrigeration, but many cities like Vancouver are experiencing a culinary resurgence of small-batch preserving and fermenting, heightening these old-school, artisan techniques by presenting them in new and exciting ways in the form of craft cocktails and sodas, to scratch only the surface.
So, what's next in Heidi's world, then? She is currently working with Biota Fermentation on a series of Mother's Day Blooming Boxes with LongTable Distillery. The boxes are out for pick-up and pre-order now. And for those discovering her shrubs for the first time (as well as current fans of her product), she is slated to release a new shrub flavour - cucumber-black pepper - out in May. I see another gin cocktail using that cucumber-black pepper shrub with my name on it in the future!
For a list of her stockists and market days, visit Mixers and Elixirs for more information! In the meantime, enjoy these two very simple recipes from Heidi using her shrubs. You can pick up a bottle or two of Heidi's Mixers and Elixirs at our cafe! It's shaping up to be a beautiful weekend, and these simple summer sippers are sure to please.
Quince Gin Summer Sipper
1.5 oz. Sheringham Seaside Gin
1 oz. Modern Mixers and Elixirs Quince shrub
quarter wedge of lemon + a lemon twist for garnish
Pour the gin and quince shrub into a mixing glass filled with ice. Squeeze the lemon wedge over it and stir to incorporate and until fully chilled. Strain into a rock glass over a cocktail ice cube or ice sphere and add lemon twist. Sip and enjoy!
I asked Heidi what she thinks every home bar must have... These are her top five picks. Cocktail fans - take note!
HEIDI'S 'HOME BAR' MUST-HAVES
- Sheringham Seaside Gin (her new favourite gin, with notes of lavender and lemon)
- Odd Society East Van Vodka
- Forty Creek Whisky
- Anchor measuring glasses
- and of course... shrubs!
Rhubarb Garden Spritzer
4 oz. soda water
1 oz. Modern Mixers and Elixirs Rhubarb shrub
2 - 3 dashes of Twisted and Bitter Rosemary-Grapefruit bitters
lemon wedges and rosemary sprigs for garnish
Pour soda and rhubarb shrub into a highball glass filled with ice. Add bitters and gently stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge and rosemary sprig for zest and scent.
Story and Photographs: Issha Marie