Chuck’s Burger Bar, One Year Later…

Chuck’s Burger Bar
538 Yates St
Victoria, BC

Hours: Tues-Sun: 12–10PM
Phone: (250) 590-9866

While parts of the world are still in lockdown because of a pandemic, a few places remain as busy as ever. At Chuck’s Burger Bar, that overdue visit to see now they are doing more than a year later was a must. I’ve visited a few times prior, mostly for take out but not much has changed since.

Last month, I visited with other friends. We rented Quasars Arcade for some personal retro gaming time (it’s a great deal when split between friends and the machines are set to endless play). We were all experiencing cabin fever when wave two struck Victoria, BC. It was a week later when news about the UK variant hitting the island made me think twice…. For this blog, I’ll be expanding the content to include food product reviews, films about foodie culture and posts about my last adventure in Seattle’s food scene. I’m thankful I saved a few pieces for this eventuality.

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Supporting Local with First We Eat and Where to Find This Doc

UPCOMING SCREENINGS

The Vic
Victoria, BC – Nov 21, 25
(purchase tickets here)

The Rio – Nov 21
Kay Meek Arts Centre – Nov 23
Vancouver, BC

Shuswap Film Society
Salmon Arm, BC – Nov.25

UPCOMING STREAMING
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
Toronto, Ontario – Starts Nov 19

Suzanne Crocker’s First We Eat is an amazing lengthy documentary about truly supporting local farmers and living off the land instead of living off the grid–especially in the harsh climate of Dawson City, Yukon. Not everyone can do both; it really depends on how far detached a family unit (or any community) is from various advances in technology.

Crocker’s family wasn’t convinced at the start. Gerard, daughters Kate and Tess, and son Sam weren’t very enthusiastic and their attitudes changed as this look of their lives played out.

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Devour it! The Art of Cooking with Fire Lays with The Passion

Devour Food & Film Festival

Location: Al Whittle Theatre
450 Main St
Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Date: Sat, Oct 24, 2020
Time: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Buy In-person tickets or online tickets here.

Price: $10.00

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.

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When Cultures Collide in Master Cheng at Devour 9.5 Food & Film Fest

Devour Food & Film Festival
Location: Al Whittle Theatre
450 Main St
Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Date: Fri, Oct 20, 2020
Time: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm

Buy In-person tickets or online tickets here

Price: $10.00

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.

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The Man Behind Bread in the Bones, An Interview with Darrell Varga

Location: Al Whittle Theatre
450 Main St
Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Date: Friday, Oct 23, 2020
Time: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Buy In-person screening or Online Tickets here

* 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.

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Devour 9.5 with Bread in the Bones. It’s a Guilty Pleasure

Devour Food & Film Festival

Location: Al Whittle Theatre
450 Main St
Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Date: Friday, Oct 23, 2020
Time: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Buy In-person screening or Online Tickets here

* includes the short Alchemy.
* physical event includes a Q&A after the film with director Darrell Varga and Festival Host Bob Blumer.

The cultural history of bread is not just about how people come together to bake, but also with its influence in Western Civilization. The analogies made in Bread in the Bones is simply amazing as it delves into different platforms of expression. From edible art by Salvador Dali to poetry by Lewis Carroll, there’s a lot to this loaf’s hold in various aspects of life which I didn’t even realize!

I won’t discuss the politics as it’s not my thing, but I will say many Bakers, authors and historians (sorry, no candlestick makers) are featured in this scrumptious documentary made by baker, professor and film historian Darrell Varga. He’s travelled off the beaten track to gather different stories to feature in his work. Stu Silverstein stands out because while he may look like a stoner from the 70s, he has a lot of far out wisdom to note.

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