Don and I made it Esquimalt’s Ribfest! Though we met up for dinner elsewhere to sate our appetites (review coming in two weeks), my suggestion to check out this festival was with no regrets.
We saw a new tent that may well be part of the annual show. And, it gave us reason to return since we didn’t want to deal with the long lineup for The Colossal Onion. on the evening we went. We both agree that this event is not the type to return to every year. Our criticism is that the “competitors” hardly change. When compared to similiar shows elsewhere around North America, there’s tons of operations out there who can bbq up a tasty pork or beef rib. Either they’re not as well known to get invited to the island or they’re not into national-level challenges.
Esquimalt’s Ribfest is on this year, and it’s following in the heels of British Columbia’s rollout of the vaccine passport. There won’t be any gatekeeper checks. But for anyone people concerned about catching that virus are best advised not to attend (entrepeneurs would make a killing through Uber Eats or Door Dash should this suddenly pop up), but for those craving the best pork/beef ribs (and chicken too) that House of Q, Prairie Smoke, Gator, Grizzy, and Boss Hog are cooking up–nothing’s gonna smoke ’em out now. The operative word should be stop, but will Two Hungry Blokes be there?
Staff, volunteers and board members from Victoria ’s Belfry Theatre have been raiding some of this city’s best wine cellars to find rare and unusual wines to auction online for Crush 2020 presented by Odlum Brown Limited, the theatre’s premiere wine fundraiser.
This year’s lots will feature wine from France, Italy, California, British Columbia, Uruguay and two rare offerings of scotch whisky from Scotland.
Many of the bottles on offer are not available in liquor stores. Crush is the only opportunity to buy these bottles of wine – they have been held in private cellars, purchased abroad or were released in very small batches and subsequently sold out.
Anyone who wants to learn how to cook over an open fire is best advised to watch the Spanish documentary simply titled, The Art of Cooking with Fire. Chef and grill-meister Victor Arguinzoniz runs Asador Etxebarri, a restaurant in Axpe, Spain, and the food he creates is nothing short of mouth watering even on screen. I’m only imagining how smoked sea urchin in the shell can taste, but when considering this establishment ranked number three in the world’s best restaurants in 2019, I wanna book the first flight over there once this pandemic is over!
In Iñaki Arteta’s presentation about the man, his mission and his life, aficionados of fine cuisine will want to book a reservation and hope they can meet Arginzonz. He’s always busy, either planning the next day’s meal or at the grill, creating magic.
Master Cheung (warmly played by Pak Hon Chu), is a stranger in a strange land. In this film’s case, it’s Finland. Together with his son, Niu Niu (Lucas Hsuan), they travelled here in search of Fongtron, and Sirkka’s (Anna-Maija Tuokko) diner is the only place where he can ask for his whereabouts.
Nobody in the tiny hamlet knows who this person is, and why this Chinese man is adamant on finding him. Part of it is due to how he pronounces his syllables, and it doesn’t make for any comic moments. Chu plays his character up somewhat like Jackie Chan, naïve and strong, but without the fighting prowess and necessity to yuk it up. I feel this direction is intentional to show the parts of his life that he’s closed off.
* w/ Q&A after the film with director Darrell Varga and Festival Host Bob Blumer.
Darrell Varga is a professor by day and baker at other times. His passion for the former began when he took a class in film history, and it opened his mind to the possibilities of the moving image. Many years later, his interest became his occupation, including penning many books and having a tenure at NSCAD University (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design) where he teaches cinema history and documentary film production.
When he’s not in the office, he worked on Hunters and Gatherers, about the world of collectors (and not just geek stuff) in 1994. This work predates the television show Collector’s Call and many other similar documentaries. He followed up with another piece in 1996, Working Days, funded in part by TVOntario, is about the closure of a Toronto factory (the first to close) after the signing of Free Trade with the US in the 80s and the sense of loss the workers had and the community. Not as well known is a video essay, Fire, Ice and Sky (2013) which explored the ideas of time and landscape.