Saturday, November 27, 2010

Growing Forward: The Agrimarketing Program

AgriMarketing Program

Overview of the program

The AgriMarketing Program aims to enhance marketing capacity and competitiveness of the Canadian agriculture, agri-food, fish and seafood sectors. The Program assists industry associations to identify market priorities and equip themselves for success in global markets. The Program provides funding for industry to develop and implement Long Term International Strategies (LTIS).


A Taste of Canada

Experience a taste of Canada - our food, our nature and the people in our agri-food industry who bring Canadian food to your table. Enjoy the videos!

Visit 'A Taste of Canada'


A Taste of Canada


AgriMarketing is the successor to the Canadian Agriculture and Food International (CAFI) program. It introduces new elements including support to SMEs, and access to funding to support marketing of innovative products. The Program will leverage the Canada Brand, and starting in 2010-2011, associations will be required to have a multi-year LTIS in place.

Information about the AgriMarketing Program is included in the 2010-2011 Application Guide.

AgriMarketing Program: Funding for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Growing Forward

Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.







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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How To Cook Turkey

Sent in from a Vancouver Food And Wine Reader...Thanks Chris!


I thought this sounded good! Here is a turkey recipe that also includes the use of popcorn as a stuffing ingredient -- imagine that.
When I found this recipe, I thought it was perfect for people like me, who just are not sure how to tell when turkey is thoroughly cooked, but not dried out.

Give this a try.

8 - 15 lb. turkey
1 cup melted butter
1 cup stuffing (Pepperidge Farm is Good)
1 cup un-popped popcorn (ORVILLE REDENBACHER'S LOW FAT IS BEST)
Salt/pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brush turkey well with melted butter, salt, and pepper. Fill cavity
with stuffing and popcorn. Place in baking pan making sure the neck  end is toward the front of the oven, not the back.
After about 4 hours listen for the popping sounds. When the turkey's
ass blows the oven door open and the bird flies across the room,'s done.

And, you thought I didn't cook...

Also...some Tips for A Healthy Holiday Kitchen: 

Click here to read Jane's Holiday Kitchen Tips and learn how easy it is to create a healthy and environmentally friendly kitchen for the holidays.






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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wines for the Top 10 Tough-To-Buy-For People on Your Holiday List

By Natalie MacLean

Pairing wines with personalities for gift shoppers—there’s a Canadian app for that (and a web site)

Natalie MacLean has some Good Gift ideas for your Happy Holiday Season!

“Wine is one of the few presents that makes both the giver and the receiver look good,” says Natalie MacLean, the red-nosed e-sommelier behind, Canada's largest wine web site. “You look like you spent a bundle on the gift (even if you didn’t) and the recipients are happy that you think they know something about wine (even if they don’t).”

This holiday season, anyone can tap into MacLean’s expertise via her free web site and mobile apps for iPhone, BlackBerry, Droid and other smartphones. They help consumers with a whole new type of pairing: wine with the people on your Christmas shopping list. The app and site also pair wines to thousands of dishes, including holiday favourites, such as turkey, goose, duck, and even partridge in a pear tree.

Natalie MacLean's Book. Look for the U.K. and Canadian editions, too.

“When you give wine, doubles are fine, there are no wrong sizes and you can always find something good in stock,” MacLean adds. “Vintage gifts will get anyone into the holiday spirits.”

Natalie’s Top Ten Gift Wines for Your ...

1. Hairdresser: For the person who combines humour and optimism every time she styles your mop. Go for a light, gulpable wine like a dry rosé. It’s versatile and fuss-free—a great quaff for your coif.

2. Psychiatrist: Of course, he’ll analyze whatever you give him so choose a wine that’s all about balance. Easy-drinking pinot noir is medium-bodied yet packed with flavour. Surprise him with a large-format bottle, like a magnum. Big thinking means big progress for you. This wine also works for psychologists, marriage counsellors and bartenders.

3. The Boss: Pick too pricey a wine and your boss will think your last raise was too much; go cheap, and she’ll think you lack judgement. Focus on a label with a lot of white space since that makes the bottle look more expensive. A castle in the distance also works, but avoid fluffy animals.

4. Personal Trainer: Think a muscular, robust red would work? Hold that position. Instead, try riesling: this light white wine pairs well with a health-nut diet of salad and seafood, plus it’s low in alcohol. You can also give it to Pilates instructors, yoga masters and Tai Chi coaches.

5. Financial Planner: You and he both know it’s going to take decades before your portfolio recovers after the crash of 2008. With that long-term view, vintage port makes the perfect gift. This fortified wine from northern Portugal, with its long aging potential, will be around for both of you into your retirements.

6. Travel Agent: She’s been everywhere and seen everything, so go local with your choice of wine. Even better, if you live close to the winery, get the bottle signed by the winemaker.

7. Teacher: If you can’t find a suitably obscure wine with a Latin name, there’s always cream sherry. It’s the tipple of Oxford dons, not to mention the centerpiece of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic short story The Case of the Amontillado.

8. Mail Deliverer: Go for a winery that’s consistent year after year in producing a wine that can be enjoyed in snow, rain, sleet or hail. Try an Australian shiraz or Argentine malbec.

9. Mechanic: Yes, there’s a wine called Red Truck, but try to be more imaginative. Why not give a wine made by Mario Andretti in California or Ferrari in Italy?

10. Online Date: So you’re on your second or third rendezvous with the person you met on eHarmony or If you’re not sure yet whether marriage is a possibility, try something middle-of-the-road, like merlot. Yes, it’s the soft jazz of wine, but until you know, play it safe.

And after all that shopping, don’t forget yourself: even Santa’s little helpers need more than milk and cookies. Try something with high-alcohol like Italian Amarone or Rhone syrah: these big reds easily drown out tone-deaf carolling and pair beautifully with tired feet.

For Natalie’s favourite wineries, tasting notes and recipe matches for all the wine types mentioned above, please visit:




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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Is About Gratitude...And Food!

Thanksgiving Is About Gratitude...And Food!

Everywhere where Thanksgiving is celebrated, we have a favorite recipe that each of us takes out, dusts off, - often from our Grandmother's recipe book - and cooks up each year to share with our friends and loved ones.

Thanksgiving. What was your grandma's favorite Turkey Day recipe?

 And while  Thanksgiving has become a Food Fest for most of us, it is firstly a celebration of gratitude. With gratitude as the cornerstone ingredient for manifesting abundance, this is, then, a powerful recipe:  Thankfulness + Good Food = Abundance.

Thanksgiving is also a time of sharing. Back on Plymouth Rock, it is significant to remember that the Mayflower Pilgrims would not have survived that first winter had it not been for the Native Americans sharing their knowledge and abundance of the land and native foods such as corn and beer. (Yes, beer!)

So, yes, Thanksgiving is a time for families and food. It is also a time of sharing and gratitude.  So...what was your grandmother's favorite recipe?  Mine was whipped yams baked with mini marshmallows.  I think I'll start practice cooking it now again in preparation for the big day...!

Help for the Holidays


Basket of Vegetables


If your family is one of the many struggling this holiday season I would urge you to research the non-profits in your area that can help meet your needs. I have listed just a few of the many valuable organizations serving the residents of the 23rd Senate District.

21st Annual Malibu Pie Festival


Senator Pavley participates in the groundbreaking of the 9-11 Memorial
Kara Seward with her pie entry for Malibu Pie Festival, October.


The Malibu United Methodist Church hosted their 21st Annual Malibu Pie Festival last month. The proceeds from pie sales and silent auction items went to support the church's youth and family programs and service projects. I am proud to announce that my staffer for the Malibu area, Kara Seward, entered her family's blueberry pie recipe and won third place in the Fruit Pie category. Congratulations to all the entries!





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Sunday, November 7, 2010



by: John Schreiner

READ MORE ON John Schreiner's Blog....

Photo: Gildas d'Ollone, general manager of Château Pichon

Bordeaux’s 1975 vintage was one of the most controversial in that decade. Most of the reds were markedly tannic. Tannin will always soften with age but the question is whether there is any fruit left by that time.

I have tasted a number of 1975s over the years. A few were satisfactory but many were lean and dried out.

And then I got to taste the 1975 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. It is a delightful wine, with mellowed tannin and with fruit still fresh and alive. The alluring bouquet shows that perfumed sweetness that happens when Cabernet Sauvignon spends a long time in the bottle. 

Perhaps this is all academic. It would be a rare cellar that still has any 1975 Bordeaux, if only because the wine should have been consumed by now. In his The Great Vintage Wine Book, Michael Broadbent – having tasted the wine in 1978 – recommended drinking it between 1983 and 1995. Well-stored red Bordeaux has remarkable longevity, however.

This bottle of 1975 came directly from the cellars of Château Pichon. Gildas d’Ollone, the winery’s general manager, presented this wine plus some current vintages at a recent Vancouver tasting for members of the Guild of Sommeliers.

He was supposed to be in Vancouver this spring at the Playhouse International Wine Festival. However, he was among the number of European producers who were prevented from coming when the volcano in Iceland basically shut down Europe’s air space. His wines were at the festival, presented by Sid Cross, one of Vancouver’s super-tasters and a friend of the Pichon wines.

Gildas had a second reason for coming to Vancouver this fall. Like most leading Bordeaux producers, Château Pichon is being besieged by buyers from China who would take all of the production if allowed.

“I want to keep our wines in traditional markets,” he says. “I don’t want to have all of our wines put into one basket.”

Château Pichon is one of the second growth estates in Pauillac, a neighbour of Château Latour, a first growth. The winery has records of vineyards from the late 1600s, when it and other properties were all owned by a very large landowner. In 1700 what became the Pichon vineyards formed the dowry when the landowner sent off his daughter to marry Jacques Pichon de Longueville, the president of the Bordeaux parliament.

Ownership has changed several times, usually driven by French inheritance laws. In 2007 the winery was on the market again because the family faced payment of inheritance taxes. A number of offers were made and the winner was Roederer, the great Champagne house.

Aside from making significant investments in the vineyard, Roederer has not messed around with this great chateau. Interested in maintaining the style of the Pichon wines, Roederer kept the staff intact (other than adding to the vineyard staff). The elegant Gildas d’Ollone, a nephew of the previous owner, remains the general manager.

What is the Pichon style? “We are not a blockbuster wine,” Gildas says. “We have never been. The challenge is to get balance with finesse.”

The winemaking has changed a lot since the 1975 vintage but balance and finesse would describe that wine. That was a warm, dry growing season. By September, the grapes hanging in the vineyard were small with thick skins, little juice and green seeds, a recipe for excessive tannin. Then the weather forecast threatened rain. Many producers chose to pick.    READ MORE ON John Schreiner's Blog....






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Okanagan Fall Wine Festival Gold Winners 2010

Okanagan Fall Wine Festival Gold Winners 2010

Arrowleaf Cellars First Crush Rose 2009    Blasted Church Vineyards Chardonnay Musque 2009   Cassini Cellars Pinot Noir Reserve 2007  Cedar Creek Estate Winery Pinot Noir 2008  Church & State Wines Hollenbach Pinot Noir 2007  Desert Hills Estate winery Syrah Select 2007  Domaine de Chaberton Estate Winery Siegerrebe 2008

Hester Creek won gold for Fall Okanagan Wine Fest.
Hester Creek Estate Winery Reserve Cabernet Franc 2007  Inniskillin Okanagan Dark Horse Vineyard Riesling Icewine 2008    Intrigue Wines Riesling 2009    Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate Proprietors’ Reserve Dry Riesling 2008    Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate Grand Reserve Riesling 2008    Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate Grand Reserve Merlot 2007     Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate Proprietors’ Reserve Shiraz 2007     Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate Grand Reserve Shiraz 2006     La Frenz Sauvignon Blanc 2009      Lake Breeze Vineyards Pinot Gris 2009     Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio 2008   Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Riesling 2007     Nk’Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Cabernet Sauvignon 2007    Painted Rock Estate Winery Merlot 2007  Peller Estates Family Series Chardonnay 2009   Quails’ Gate Winery Optima Late Harvest 2008      Road 13 Vineyards Sparkling Chenin Blanc 2007      Rustic Roots MULBERRY PEAR 2008    Sandhill Pinot Gris 2009    Sandhill Small Lots Barbera 2007    Sandhill Small Lots Petit Verdot 2008    Sandhill Small Lots Syrah 2008     See Ya Later Ranch Brut N/VSilkscarf Winery Viognier 2009      Sleeping Giant Fruit Winery Raspberry 2009     Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Oldfield Series Syrah 2007      Twisted Tree Vineyards and Winery Tempranillo 2008




Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Canadian Woman Wins Les Dames d'Escoffier International M.F.K. Fisher Award

LOUISVILLE, KY--(Marketwire - November 02, 2010) - Natalie MacLeanan award-winning wine writer from Nepean, Ontario, won first prize in the M.F.K. Fisher Awards for Excellence in Culinary Writing competition, sponsored by Les Dames d'Escoffier International. In addition to a $1,000 cash prize, MacLean won a trip to the LDEI Annual Conference in Palm Springs to accept the award at the October 23 gala banquet honoring M.F.K. Fisher.

Profile: Natalie MacLean, First Prize Winner

"I was shocked," Natalie MacLean said in response to being told that she had won the 2010 MFK Fisher Award for Excellence in Culinary Writing. "In fact, I'm still convinced there's been a tabulation error in the results, so I'm hoping to collect the award quickly before anyone discovers the mistake.

"On a serious note, winning this award is something you must live up to rather than something you deserve. The point is to remember and honor M.F.K. Fisher and her gloriously sensuous prose."

At the World Food Media Awards in Australia in 2005, MacLean was named the World's Best Drink Writer. She has also won four James Beard awards and six IACP Bert Greene Awards. MacLean is a leader in social media for the wine industry. and

More than 10,000 websites and blogs have posted her Drinks Matcher tool ( In 2008 MacLean won third prize in LDEI's contest for a story about women Champagne makers in France.

Her columns have appeared in more than 60 newspapers and magazines; more than 115,000 subscribers get her free monthly newsletter. In her book "Red, White and Drunk All Over," Natalie chronicles three years of sipping, spitting and slogging her way through the international wine world. The book was chosen the Best Wine Literature Book in the English language at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Rex Pickett, author of Sideways, says that MacLean "writes about wine with a sensuous obsession," and is "laugh-out-loud funny."

A Rhodes Scholarship finalist, she studied 19th-century English literature at Oxford University in England and earned an MBA at UWO, London. However, for her current preoccupation, she credits the long Scottish line of hard drinkers from whom she descends for her ability to drink like a fish -- and for the motivation to write about it -- in a transparent attempt to make it look respectable.

Second prize of $500 went to The Washington Post staff writer Jane Black. And T. Susan Chang of Leverett, Mass., a food writer and regular cookbook reviewer for the Boston Globe, won third prize and $250.

MacLean won with an Internet entry, "Flying High," on her website Her story, about Featherstone Winery in Niagara, chronicles the winery's battle to protect the vineyards from airborne predators and weeds without using synthetic chemicals. It's also the story of a husband and wife team who dream of creating a benchmark wine despite a harsh climate.

"Winning this award is something you must live up to rather than something you deserve. The point is to remember and honor M.F.K. Fisher and her gloriously sensuous prose," MacLean said, in accepting her award.

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Black's award was for "Snob Appeal. Won't Someone Knock Heirloom Tomatoes off their Pedestal?" Black writes, "The best tomato I ate last summer was not an heirloom tomato. If those don't seem like fighting words, then clearly you do not take tomatoes seriously." She adds, "'Heirloom' is not synonymous with 'good.' The key to a great tomato is how it is grown."

T. Susan Chang's award was for "Gather Ye Squash Blossoms While Ye May," a feature on National Public Radio's website, The article details the handling and cooking of squash blossoms that "on the vine... unfurl like a Kleenex crumpling in reverse." Chang writes that picking the blossoms is "a highly effective form of zucchini birth control."

About LDEI's 2010 M.F.K. Fisher Awards

M.F.K. Fisher, one of America's finest food writers, was described by the poet W.H. Auden as the best prose writer of her time. She wrote more than 20 books before her death in 1992.

The 2010 contest in her memory drew 78 entries. "This is the best contest I've ever judged. Very difficult," a veteran food editor and judge commented. "All three of the winning stories are right in sync with the spirit of M.F.K.," noted another judge.

New to this year's competition was the inclusion of works from Internet websites and blogs. Judges did not know the source of the entries, which included 24 stories from newspapers, 22 articles from magazines, 15 excerpts from books and 14 from the Internet.

Representing seven states, the eight judges are food editors at Better Homes and Gardens Magazine (Iowa), Houston Chronicle, New Orleans Times Picayune, Desert News (Salt Lake City), San Francisco Chronicle, and Indianapolis Star. A writing coach from Charlottesville, Va., and a newspaper columnist also judged. None of the judges was a member of LDEI. The 2010 M.F.K. Fisher Awards chair was CiCi Williamson, of LDEI.

To read more about the winners and the prize-winning articles, go to

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Profile: Jane Black, Second Prize Winner

"As a former judge of LDEI's M.F.K. Fisher Award (in 2008), I know how stiff the competition is. So it is an honor to be one of the winners," said Jane Black. "I was also thrilled to win for an essay, a blend of personal experience and real reporting, which I think can be so effective when writing about food."

Jane is a food writer at The Washington Post where she covers food politics, trends and sustainability issues. Her reporting has taken her from Immokalee, Fla., where she wrote about tomato pickers' struggle for better working conditions, to Monterey Bay, where she attended a "secret meeting" of the "Sardinistas," a group of environmentalists who advocate the culinary joys of small, sustainable fish.

Black began her career as a business and political reporter. In 2003, she switched directions and attended culinary school in London. Before moving to Washington, she served as food editor at Boston Magazine. Jane's writing has received many awards including two James Beard Awards for The Washington Post Food section. Her work has also been featured in the collections of Best Food Writing in 2008 and 2009.

Profile: T. Susan Chang, Third Prize Winner

"I'm more pleased than I can say to be recognized by Les Dames d'Escoffier and the judges for third prize in the M.F.K. Fisher Award," said T. Susan Chang. "I think that when we write about food, we share something both intimate and exposed. I don't know if it's hard for everybody, but it's certainly hard for me. In my experience the food writer lives, absurdly, by the following set of axioms: 'We think, therefore we are. We think about what we eat. Therefore, we are what we eat.'

"It's the easiest thing in the world to fall victim to a jaded palate and start over-intellectualizing the act of eating. What I always love about M.F.K. Fisher is that she knew you could fall for what was right there on the plate before you. You could fall simply and forever, and you could live to tell about it. I never dreamed I would have the chance to share just a bit in her legacy. Thank you so much for giving me that chance."

Chang has been a food writer since 2000, when she first began writing for the Boston Globe. Prior to that, she had worked in academic publishing as an acquisitions editor specializing in literary studies.

Currently, Chang is a frequent contributor to the Kitchen Window series on NPR, where she also appears twice yearly with a comprehensive list of seasonal cookbook recommendations. She is the regular cookbook reviewer for the Boston Globe, where her reviews appear about once a month. At the cookbook indexing website, Susan is the host of the Community page and resident cookbook reviewer. She's also the cookbook reviewer for AOL's new website, Kitchen Daily. Links to her newest pieces can be found at, along with a complete list of publications.

In 2004, Chang was named a Food and Society Policy Fellow by the Kellogg Foundation and began work advocating for food sustainability. During her fellowship, she wrote federally mandated wellness policies for her regional school district and started a teaching garden at her children's elementary school. She continues to advocate for kids' nutrition and bringing fresh, local foods to the school lunchroom. Susan lives in western Massachusetts with her husband and her two children. She enjoys gardening and sewing, and is excessively fond of apples.

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