Saturday, February 06, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead (Friday, February 5, 2010)

Remembering a tragic fire of twenty years ago, slivers of information about Watson Island and the BC Northern Winter Games kick off, some of the items of note for the Friday news cycle.

Daily News, front page, headline story
A LITTLE TOUCH OF FRANCE COMES TO PRINCE RUPERT -- It's an interesting choice for their marquee story in the Friday paper, while the Northern BC Winter Games cranked up the activities on Friday, they were relegated to but a small sidebar item on the front page. Instead of a comprehensive report on the kick off to the games that Prince Rupert is hosting (something that locals might have expected to see), the front page, headline story featured a look at a culinary happening at the Crest Hotel as the hotel celebrates "A Taste of France".

Mayor Jack Mussallem breaks his silence (well sort of) on the ongoing issues surrounding the latest developments in the Watson island situation. Providing some information on the circumstances of a civil suit initiated by the former owner Sun Wave, however, those looking for a detailed review of that suit will be disappointed, His worship fell back on the standard line of no comment on many of the aspects of possible court activity.

Friday's paper provides a look at a cold case file of twenty years ago, as Patty Rochon the daughter of Helga Rochon continues to seek out answers to what happened in the Brooksbank building of February 5th of 1990. Twenty years ago a tragic fire at that downtown location, cost her mother her life along with her sisters Sherri and Pauline and a niece Kimberlee. The Brooksbank fire was one of Prince Rupert's hardest to fight fires and most memorable fires, one which still haunts the community to this day, never solved as a murder by arson, it remains on RCMP files, awaiting more information and day hopefully closure for Ms. Rochon.

Basketball is the featured item in the Friday sports section as the Junior and Grade 8 high school action of the week is reviewed.

(Archive for Daily News Articles for February 5, 2010 )

The Northern View
Sun Wave takes City of Prince Rupert to court over right to equipment at Watson Island -- The Northern View offers up some background on Sun Wave Forest Products move to litigation over issues surrounding Watson Island (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
2010 Northern BC Winter Games Begin! -- CFTK News offers up some early developments from the Northern BC Winter Games as the competitors arrive in Prince Rupert and head out for their first day of events (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Shames Reduces Operations -- Local ski fans have one less day to work with until spring break, as Shames Mountain reduces its days of operation, closing the hill on Wednesday's owing to a lower than average snowfall and a poor economy (see article here)

Queen Charlotte Islands Observer
Airline in for the summer-- Hawkair announces a summer romance with Haida Gwaii, with planned regular service (with the exception of Wednesdays and Sundays) to the Islands for summer months (see article here)
CBC News, Northern British Columbia, Daybreak North
The return of local content on the CBC website continues to experience delays as technical woes appear to be continuing. The CBC has once again revised their start up date for the new service, advising that the site will launch "shortly"

Daily News, front page headline story
A little touch of France comes to Prince Rupert
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Friday, February 5, 2010

A little Parisian culinary light on North Coast nights sounds like a
good idea.

That’s what the Crest Hotel executive chef Willy Beaudry hopes to prove over the next 24 days as he adds a bit of French flare to his already varied menu.

With help from Parisian chef Domnique Dien, Beaudry will provide “A Taste of France” featuring lunch and dinner menus co-created by chefs Beaudry and Dien, showcasing French dishes and desserts, along with French music playing in the background and a selection of wines to compliment the meal and create an atmosphere right out of Paris.

For Beaudry, this is an excellent opportunity to prove to local diners that Prince Rupert can very well provide the type of dining experience that some may believe to be reserved for the beau monde of big city life.

“This is what we are trying to do with these ‘tastes of’ months. We want local diners to have a variety of experiences when they dine out in Prince Rupert,” explained Beaudry. “That’s why Dominque is here this week.”

Scooping Dien for the week was a culinary coup. The man has a pedigree some chefs can only dream of. And on February 4 and 5 he will be preparing French specialties for guests at the Crest Hotel.

Dien spent years preparing French cuisine at famous restaurants such as Maxims de Paris and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and at restaurants at the Four Seasons, and Sutton Place Hotel groups. His expertise in the kitchen also provided Dien with the opportunity to serve as the chef for the Shah, or King, of Iran and his visiting dignitaries.

Dien has brought that experience and earned knowledge to the North Coast so that the team at the Crest can learn from his gifted discoveries.

One thing Dien has already discovered, from two decades of working in Canada, is that while the country does not have the same kind of history of cooking, it is developing quickly into a passionate and quality nation of cuisine.

Dien arrived in the Great White North in the 1980s as a bushy-eyed 20-year old. Having already worked in a variety of signature restaurants in Paris, he had no idea what to expect. A lot of chefs were coming to Canada from Europe at that time, with most hotel kitchens featuring a staff ratio of 90 per cent European and 10 per cent Canadian.

That’s changed, and some of that can be attributed to the arrival of big name, Canadian-bred chefs such as Rob Feenie – the Iron Chef.

“The biggest difference between Canada and France is the long term commitment. In France we begin cooking at a young age and so the love for cooking is not simply a profession as it is here. People here don’t really decide they want to cook until they are much older, into their 20s. But saying that, the passion in B.C. has changed. The quality is getting closer,” said Dien.

One of the most important messages both Beaudry and Dien wanted locals to understand is, the type of dining experience that they are cooking up does not require diners to break the bank.

Among the many delectable meals are salade de canard tiede (warm duck salad), moules a la crème (French island mussels), bouef bourguignon, cote de veau grille (grilled fresh veal) and ravioli homard (lobster ravioli). And a reasonable price won’t upset the quality.

“It’s important that people realize that they don’t need to get a mortgage to have a special dining experience,’ said Dien.

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