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Celebrity | Manolo's Food Blog - Part 4
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Beer Bottle Sabrage with Matt Stache

Yes, it’s perilously close to a commercial, but it’s still awfully fun.

This should liven up the ol’ tailgate party, and who’d dare to boo your team when everyone can damn well see you’re armed to the teeth?

But Ossifer!

I haz an alibi!



It seems some people just can’t get enough of Canada’s Second Greatest Export (after that avatar of grace and elegance, Pamela Anderson). Yes, according to TMZ someone in California today hijacked hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of Dan Aykroyd’s Crystal Head Vodka, about which we’ve blogged elsewhere.

“My partners and I are sorry to lose this much vodka to theft and do not condone criminal activity in any fashion, but we are happy that some consumers will be afforded the opportunity of tasting it at significantly lower than retail price.”

Think about it: if they’d hijacked the same volume of Iceberg vodka, they could have saved about $150,000!

Alas Poor Aykroyd

Alas Poor Aykroyd

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Paula Deen at the Royal Wedding!

My god, simply EVERYONE got an invitation. If it hadn’t been laundry day, I’m sure I would have made it as well.

Paula Deen and Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie at the royal wedding

Paula Deen and Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie at the royal wedding

Oh look, she brought a plus one. And you know, that’s what that hat needed: more butter!

By the way, my favorite ridiculous tea accessory (and there are a LOT from which to choose, including my mechanized sugar picker, which reminds me of the claw in that Pick A Toy machine at the Legion) is this delightfully pointless set of Royal Family Hot Tubber Teabags. Pun away!

hot tubbing with the royal family


Karl Lagerfeld and his chocolate lapdog

Karl Lagerfeld and his chocolate lapdog

It’s not as if Krazy Karl ever, you know, eats (or at least he doesn’t swallow), but he has designed an all-chocolate hotel room, including a solid chocolate (and apparently quite startled) roommate modeled on his own pet, Baptiste Giabiconi. He’s a pretty fellow, but really is a pity about the melasma. Still, I would recommend not just a condom but a full-body wetsuit if you’re going to get down and dirty with Blackface Boy here.

To Market, to Market with Jean-Georges

Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Heather Watson

Chef-Owner Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Blogger Heather Watson

Actually, as you can see there were no hogs involved in the Winedown event at Market, the Vancouver outpost of the Jean-Georges empire (unless you count the people who tried to scarf more than their share of the truffle pizza). It’s a strange fact but a fact nonetheless that now that I’ve got a blog with “food” right there in the name (scroll up and confirm for me that I’m not just hallucinating this, okay?) I get dozens of invitations to cocktail events and none at all to foodie events.

Fortunately for my liver, Market changed my luck with their invitation to the Winedown event, at which actual food was served. It still counts, even if the invitation came through the bartender, right?

There were cocktails served, too, and very tasty they were although I have to say the Palaciosour was something I’d order again whereas the Basablanca comes across as just a too-tart, much more labour-intense Tom Collins.If the lemons in yours were sharper than the lemons in the test batch as mine were, you were hooped unless you wanted to go back and ask them to splash in some simple syrup or something, which is a bit like sending your food back to get some ketchup on it. I know it’s heresy, but sometimes making drinks in a pitcher and sampling the pitcher before pouring is more likely to result in consistent quality. At a posh event, people want them made individually; the problem is, there’s no time to test them this way. One must strike a balance between practicality and pizazz.

The Palaciosour was a nice sour (and not too) but the float of rich, hemoglobinesque red wine completely made the drink. The interplay between the bitters, the citrus, the refined whisky and the wine added an almost electric dimensionality to the experience that made it something special. It also looks pretty wicked, as the Rioja remains floating instead of mixing in with the rest of the drink.

UPDATE: added the decimals into the recipes. Darn proofreading!


.75 oz Telmo Rodriguez !Basa” Rueda.

.5 oz Victoria Gin.

.5 oz St.Germain.

.25 oz Fresh Lemon Juice.

2 dashes Fee Brothers West indian Orange Bitters

combine ingredients and shake with ice

double strain into a coupe

*garnish with zested lemon peel


.5 oz Alvaro Palacios !La Vendimia” Rioja.

1.5 oz Centennial Rye Whisky

.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice.

.25 oz Fresh Lime Juice.

.75 oz Sugar Syrup.

2 dashes Fee Brother Plum Bitters

2 dashes Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

combine Rye, citrus juice, sugar and bitters and shake with ice

double strain into an old fashioned glass

top with ice

float wine on drink surface

*garnish with brandied cherry on rim

And, didn’t I say something about food? The food was (as should be the case at one of Jean-Georges’ places) marvelous. Truffles don’t really float my boat, and thank GOD I finally found something expensive that I don’t actually adore, but the first item out of the kitchen was truffle pizza, and it had me reconsidering my truffle position. The truffle gave the cheese pizza an edge, a savory interest that wasn’t as overwhelming as truffles can be.

I remain, however, deeply skeptical of their celebrated truffle burger. I am a devoutly orthodox burgerologist.

For the second item, let me put this as simply as I can: the scallop sashimi with warm crispy rice and chipotle emulsion may just be the nicest thing I’ve ever had in my mouth, including my ex.

The Steelhead salmon sashimi with green chili, crushed pistachios, and mint (whatever happened to giving foods names instead of entire recipes?) was equally marvelous. It’s not easy to do foods that retain their individual component flavours while working together perfectly, and while this sounds strong, it was in fact subtle and perfectly-balanced.

The raw tuna with wasabi cream cheese and pickled ginger pizza was fresh and, again, well-balanced, but it made me wonder why some foods were sashimis and some were just pedestrian old “raw.” I suspect the salmon and scallops slept with the chef. The dish was radical, but very successful.

Rice cracker crusted tuna with a citrus-sriracha emulsion was my second-favorite of the night, even though I am allergic to the word “emulsion” outside of physics class. I’m a big fan of contrasting, bold flavours, and so was pretty much in heaven all night.

It was a good reminder that there is more to wine cocktails than sangria (or that lame excuse for white sangria that’s really just cheap white zin watered down with some orange slices in it, and Yaletown, I AM LOOKING AT YOU) and that less-alcoholic cocktails pair better with food, particularly after the second round.

Vodka: is there anything it can’t do?

Joan Rivers may have bent the elbow prior to this photo being taken

Joan Rivers may have bent the elbow prior to this photo being taken

Joan Rivers is the latest celebrity spokesperson for vodka, taking up the mantle still worn by a no-doubt confused Diddy and Dan Ackroyd (“I thought we had this gig sewn up?”).

I am thinking it’s an improvement, actually.

Diddy, dude, when you distill grapes you get brandy and when you distill dead, post wine-making grape crap you get marc. It doesn’t matter how much you distill it, it doesn’t become vodka: no matter how long you bake a butter tart, it doesn’t turn into a custard tart. And we know you know your way around tarts.

It's crystal clear, my dear Watson

It's crystal clear, my dear Watson

As for Ackroyd and his Crystal Head Vodka, I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret. Well, first I’ll avow that it’s actually not half bad. And it does come in one of the world’s great decanters. But it actually tastes pretty much or entirely indistinguishable from the much less expensive Iceberg Vodka (also produced in Newfoundland, and how many can there be, really?). Iceberg is a perfectly good mixing vodka, quite underrated probably because of the price, but it’s not exactly sippin’ likker. So, if you want to save money and pull an old trick from Prohibition, buy the Crystal Head and treasure the skull, but refill it with Iceberg.

Hey, I never said I was classy, but I never said I was rich, either, knowmasayin’?

A little tacky makes the cocktail go down better, as Tallulah Bankhead knew.

Now, speaking of tacky, we come to the above Joan, delightfully protean siren of stage and screen, all the way back to the days of zoetropes. Today, Joan came out with a Better Housekeeping Tip for the Ages, and not-incidentally tipped us off that she buys cheap vodka. Is she a skull-refiller herself? Who knows? But read on and file this away in your I Want To Be Betty Draper index card box.

“I always spray my costumes with vodka and water. It’s an old Broadway trick — two-thirds water and one-third vodka, spray your armpits and you’ll never smell again.”

via PageSix

And here’s Joan, fresh as a Daisy (a double, though) at an Aussie awards show.


My friend, a cocktail fancier and pharmacist, suggested to me that if I can neither swallow the horse pills that my medicine comes in nor dissolve them in water, that I dissolve them in vodka instead. Yay, Science!

Happy Birthday, Brando!

marlon brando is all about the Strawberry Shortcake

marlon brando is all about the Strawberry Shortcake

Happy birthday to famous foodie Marlon Brando! After all his painstaking prep work, it’s a damn shame his part in “Whip Me! Lick Me! Eat Me! The Untold Strawberry Shortcake Story” ended up on the cutting-room floor.

Sophia Loren Eyeglasses: the first draft

Sophia still looked fabulous, but none of the other models could pull this look off

Sophia still looked fabulous, but none of the other models could pull this look off

Yeah, if you’ve got a face like that, you can pull off pretty much any look including the Axis of Eyeglasses.

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