“Feast in the Mountains” – Whistler’s Unique Celebration

This time being in Beautiful British Columbia, I passed Vancouver and continued driving Highway 99, the Sea to Sky Highway, up to Whistler, the Host Mountain Resort of the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games. Filled with utmost curiosity I was off to an event in Whistler’s Rebagliati Park where I would participate in celebrating the “connection between farm and fork” with a Feast in the Mountains!

In this inaugural year of Feast in the Mountains the Chefs represent Whistler’s brightest culinary talents and some of the finest BC beverages.fairmont2

With the wine glass and a menu received at the entrance, I walked from booth to booth various times, tastingglassesnapkins beautiful arranged tidbits of food in the order they appealed to my palate (and personal sense of menu order). While taking my time, I ventured to the quieter booths of the producers of that bounty. “Amongst the beauty of these mountains lie fertile lands that have long produced food for this valley and beyond. Upon that land a small number of committed farmers toil without glamour or acclaim to ensure the integrity of our food chain. This event is inspired by them – their commitment in the face of great challenges, their passion for the land that sustains us”, writes Astrid Cameron, Co-founder/Co-producer of Feast in the Mountains.playerschophouse

Furthermore, several organizations were represented; I encourage you to check them out:

Slow Food, an international organization that was founded in 1986 as a response to the standardizing effects of fast food and the fast life. It supports good, clean and fair food. Ocean Wise, Canada’s leading sustainable seafood restaurant program, Green Table, a network of sustainable foodservice and their suppliers in the greater Vancouver, BC area (although foodservices from elsewhere are welcome), and Farm Folk/City Folk, an organization that connects farm and city and that focuses on cultivating a local, sustainable food system.

I really liked the relaxed atmosphere full of laughter that comes along naturally with good quality food and drink (especially in an outside setting). Yes, it was a great feast in the mountains – and also a conscious one that celebrated the whole food chain and gives dining out again a meaning of true hospitality.

Find all pictures taken at this event at our flickr site

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Rising food costs invokes creativity in restaurants

Janet Podolak of The News-Herald, Willoughby, the OhioMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News wrote an about the reactions restaurateurs take in order to cope with the constantly rising prices of food.

The rising costs of flours, eggs and produce are hitting independent restaurateurs. Additionally, they are faced with empty tables as dining out is the first thing people cut from their budget when costs of living (such as gas prices high as $4 per gallon and more) raise tremendously.

Charging extra for bread, condiments and carry-out containers might be a solution, yet there are much more, although, some involve some change of habits.

Such as long forgotten or never utilised cost-conscious methods of using ingredients and produces like using broccoli stems for soups or grating them into slaws. Janet Podolak interviewed Randal Johnson, owner-chef at Molinari’s in Mentor, who said that “when he realized that the brine in pickles has vinegar and sugar in it, he used it in his tartar sauce. Delighted diners soon were commenting on the great taste.”

Others chose to discontinue seafood bars or reinventing themselves. Action is taken by joining trade associations and becoming well-connect with the restaurant community to find solutions together, or creating cooperatives in buying produce or ingredients.

Often by customers recognized “too big portions” get finally reduced to appropriate portions (vs. stacking up guest’s refrigerators with to go boxes of leftover food.)

Some owners created backyard gardens and grow vegetable: Fennel, Napa cabbage, Swiss chard, cucumbers, tomatoes.

Podolak writes about Chef Nick Kustala of Lure Bistro in Willoughby who said: “A flat of tomatoes costs me $18, and one plant produces 20 tomatoes. It helps us keep our prices down.”

Furthermore, he says in Podolak’s interview that “he urges diners to support independent restaurants, instead of chains, when they eat out.”

Kustala concludes: “Chains are great and Wal-Mart is great too, but all that money goes to China. It’s better to keep money in the area and keep our jobs here. You can feed yourself and the economy at the same time.”

DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF CULTURES – Part 3

14. The representants of a given culture have the duty to respect the laws of the citizens of the country which have been decided democratically and to respect the Rights of Man.
15. As long as these cultures respect the democratic laws of the citizens and the Rights of Man, their rights to exist cannot be infringed.
16. The mission of the Declaration of the Rights of Cultures is to give the fundamental basis and reference to allow the cultures of the world to know each other.
17. Cultures are alive. They grow and change and keep recreating themselves. It is a crime against them to want to freeze them or to want to stop them from transforming themselves.
18. We solemnly declare that all the cultures of the world have the right to a representation similar to the right of nations, which expresses itself in the United Nations organization. This representation of cultures will be done in an organization named the United Cultures, and this organization will slowly replace the United Nations.
19. We solemnly declare that no globalization of the world is peacefully possible without a deep respect for the Rights of Cultures.

Book source: 7 Secrets of Marketing in a Multi-Cultural World by G. Clotaire Rapaille
visit his website: http://www.rapailleinstitute.com/

DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF CULTURES – Part 2

8. All the human beings of this planet have the inalienable rights to access all the other cultures of this planet.
9. Cultures are not right or wrong, good or bad; they are different. This diversity is what constitutes the richness of the cultural patrimony of the human species.
10. The cultures of the world can only live, grow and flourish in a system of complete separation of powers (i.e. the political, military, religious, legal, and executive branches must be separated from the culture power.) No culture is the exclusive property of a nation or a political, economical, mediatical or military power.
11. As a consequence, the national representatives cannot present themselves as the exclusive representants of a given culture.
12. The political power is temporary. The cultural reality is timeless.
13. Each culture has the right to communicate its constitutive elements, its principles and beliefs, to the rest of the world but does not have the right to impose them.

Book source: 7 Secrets of Marketing in a Multi-Cultural World by G. Clotaire Rapaille

The Welsh language – a torch to ignite the passions

Source: http://icnorthwales.icnetwork.co.uk/

THE Welsh language often carries a torch to ignite the passions both of those who speak it and those who do not. It also possesses a font of goodwill which flows in sufficient quantities to douse those flames before they threaten to consume a national asset.

Tourism bosses believe that the Welsh language is a unique selling point for a country too often confused in the global consciousness with England.

And for those at the Millennium Stadium, able to mouth only some of the words of “Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau”, it is still associated with a welling up of pride in their country.

The Welsh Language Act was deliberately targeted at public bodies delivering a service to Wales in the belief that imposing demands for the language on the private sector was too much of a burden.

As it transpired, many of the former utilities companies – now private companies – adopted bilingual policies, sending Welsh language bills, even providing Welsh language helplines for customers.

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