Celebrate Valentine’s Day – How do I Love Thee?

woman in red coat behind metal letters spelling LOVE with locks attached to the mesh
The Machine Shop complex in Sault Ste Marie has turned industrial buildings into a dining and event destination. And the recent addition of a love lock fence already has couples locking their hearts forever.

The North American version of Valentine’s Day has become very commercial – chocolates, flowers, expensive cards. Many other countries have followed suit and are doing the same things. But there are love traditions around the world that have withstood the onslaught of Hallmark and Hershey’s.

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The Perfect Cigar -Cuba’s Gift to the World

Woman with cigar in white - The Perfect Cigar

One of Havana’s famous cigar women poses for me. She is dressed in the traditional white of Santeria devotees.

There are several ways to finish the phrase: Cuban _  _ _.       Revolution!  Music!  Rum! But I’ll bet most people end with ‘Cigar’. Cuban cigars are considered, among afficianados, as among the very best in the world.  Continue reading

Bikes and Brews – Victoria, BC

waterfront at Victoria with Empress Hotel Bikes and Brews in Victoria, BC

The venerable Empress Hotel dominates the waterfront in Victoria.

Delicious sunshine makes this the perfect day to explore this beautiful city on two wheels. I set out to see if Victoria, British Columbia lives up to its moniker of most bike friendly city in Canada. Just a short block from the harbour with its iconic views of the provincial parliament buildings and the Empress Hotel, Shawn, one of the owners of The Pedaler, fits us out with comfortable bikes and mandatory helmets. And we’re off on our tour. Continue reading

A Growing Restaurant Trend

“Irish food guru, Darina Allen, takes students into the field on their first day of cookery school in Ballymaloe. She makes them pick up handfuls of earth and tells them, “This is where your food begins. If this is no good, you can’t be a good cook.” The idea that the food in a restaurant is dependent on the soil where the ingredients have been grown is not a new one, but it’s one that’s gaining favour as both chefs and diners try to make real, concrete connections with the food they consume.”

For many years, farm to fork dining has had chefs around the globe making efforts to source their ingredients locally from known producers. Their menus abound with elaborate descriptions of the farmers and producers who have provided the bounty for the dish. But some chefs have taken it to the next level. They are actually growing the food themselves, on the farm. Continue reading