Tag Archive for video

Monet: from Paris to Vancouver

When I was in High School, I took an art class, and that class was my first introduction to the Impressionists.

I loved how they played with light and paint, and how they captured a moment so beautifully.

Degas was my favorite. He created works no one had painted before–moments that most people would consider insignificant–but yet held unspeakable beauty.

Musee D'Orsay

So, it’s hardly a surprise that at the very top of my “must do” list while I was in Paris was to visit the Musee D’Orsay. The D’Orsay is home to the largest collection of French Impressionist works in the world, and is housed in a beautiful old train station in Paris.

Don’t get me wrong–I loved seeing the art works that I’d looked at in photos my whole life in real life. It was an amazing experience. But I was as in love with the architecture and the building as I was with the work it housed.

Just prior to going to Paris, I visited our very own Vancouver Art Gallery for a little taste of what was to come in Paris. The Monet’s Secret Garden exhibit is on there until October 1, and it’s really worth taking in. These are Monet’s last paintings, and many of them are painted at the end of his life, when he could barely see. They are lovely. I especially loved “Les Roses,” thought to be Monet’s last painting. You can walk right up to it and look at the brush strokes.

VAG: Monet's Secret Garden

I loved the D’Orsay, and highly recommend you visit it if you are in Paris. But if you can’t make it there, check out the VAG before October 1.

Oh–and one last thing–while you’re there, be sure to stay and have a glass of prosecco on the patio at the VAG Cafe. It’s the closest you can come to feeling like you’re in Paris, while still being in Vancouver.

 

How to Shuck an Oyster

I didn’t eat my first raw oyster until 15 years ago. March 26, 1998, to be exact. I don’t normally remember stuff like that, but this was a very special occasion. My friend Don, who is a food journalist, invited me to go to a special dinner he’d been invited to, and the guest of honour was one of my food heroes–Graham Kerr. I know all of this, because I went super fangirl, and brought my copy of Graham’s cookbook for him to autograph, and I still have all the menus in the back of that book.

And I have this.

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Now, I grew up in Newfoundland, where there was tons of seafood, from all kinds of fish (like salmon and cod) to shellfish (like lobster and crab) to a very popular tiny, sardine-like fish called capelin. Mussels grew on the beach. But bivalves were something we didn’t eat a lot of, and I had certainly never had them raw (Don also introduced me to sushi) until I moved back to Vancouver.

I have to say, that night was a revelation. Many people who have never eaten a raw oyster before fear that it will be slimy and fishy, but they are anything but. They taste fresh, like how you imagine sea air might taste. There are many options for garnishing a raw oyster, from hot sauce to mignonette, but I like it plain and simple, with a squeeze of lemon, the best.

I’ve been hanging out at the new Chewie’s Oyster and Steam Bar in Coal Harbour a lot lately. Not only is it a few blocks from my house, but my friend Charles is the new manager there. So, I asked him if he could get one of his staff to teach me how to shuck an oyster, and he happily obliged.

Oysters, by the way, are incredibly good for you. They are high in zinc and magnesium, as well as vitamins A, B, C and D.

They are also purported to have aphrodisiac qualities. Do they?? Watch and find out…