Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wood Fired Oven Conference and Celebration at VIU Oct 23-25 2009

Here are some details of the conference and celebration at VIU on Wood Fired Ovens and Artisan Baking.

Your Fellow Vancouver Island Bakers & Pastry Chefs
Baking Association of Canada – B.C. Chapter, Island Committee
Vancouver Island University
(formerly Malaspina University-College)

Are Planning a Celebration of our Brick Oven Friday, October 23, 2009 and
Two Days of Brick Oven Workshops on
October 24 and 25, 2009

At Vancouver Island University, Malaspina Campus
Building 185, 900 5th Street, Nanaimo, BC (

Join us for this inaugural event! Celebrate the completion of our beautiful brick oven and enjoy a complimentary brick oven dinner from 4-8 PM on Friday.

Come back on Saturday and Sunday from 8AM-4PM for workshops on using brick ovens, baking artisan breads and other products in brick ovens, milling and grains and much more. Presenting artisans include Tracy Muzzolini of Team Canada, Richard Miscovich of the Bread Bakers Guild of America and instructor at Johnson and Whales UniversityNick Versteeg of DV Cuisine, Paul McEwan from Slow Rise Bakery, John MacKenzie of Anita’s Organics, and presentations by VCC and VIU Pastry and Baking Departments.
Lunch included.

Space limited to 50 participants max., please register early
Reg Fee:$200 pp including GST or $100 pp for single day. Half-price for students currently enrolled in a baking/culinary program.
Cheques: Payable to B.A.C.
Mail to: B.A.C. Suite 202 – 7895 Tranmere Dr., Mississauga ON L5S 1V9

Or fill out the information below and fax this form to: 1-905-405-0993
Registrant Name:____________________ Company/Bakery/School_____________________
Address:______________________________________Phone Number_________________
Please circle the card type: Visa / Mastercard
Card Number: ____________________________ Expiry: __________________________
Cardholder: __________________________ Signature: ____________________________

For more information about payment please e-mail
Or call 1 888 674 2253 ext 21

Contacts in Nanaimo: or

Back Home and Our Wood FIred Oven

One of the things I was monitoring during my trip was the ongoing progress of the wood-fired oven at VIU. Well, we fired it in April and had some pretty good conflagrations going. Until the fence is built we cant fire it at night so that will have to wait for a few weeks. Results so far have been tasty. She definitely has tamed us!

Below is a mural done by one of the art students at VIU Jeanie Wallace. This detial was inspired (as we all are) by Alan Scott

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Nanaimo Bar Wars?

Unfortunate Accident after eating 12 Nanaimo Bars!

Well, Well, Well. All I wanted to do was defend the Heritage Nanaimo Bar, and now I have to watch out for Amanda Cohen from the so called 'hip' restaurant, Dirt Candy in New York City (oooh la bloody lah!).
(I'm sorry Mum, apparently it IS ok for us to eat dirt after all!)

So, Amanda, the Canadian owner and Chef, is coming to find me in her Barbie Dream Car, and if you don't believe me, follow her blog entry...second link below. The original letter, (first link below) was inspired by an article on the front page of the Victoria Times Colonist (July 18th last link below).

Well, all good tongue in cheek stuff, Amanda and I are now BFFs (baking fiends forever?) and she is invited to my grandson's bar-mitzva, but remember: A Nanaimo Bar is a sickly, oversweet, fattening, unbaked, barely digestable, 3 layered conncoction using custard powder as a base for the center. It has been causing stomach groans and delight for over 50 years...and it is ours, fellow Nanaimoans, ours......any change in the recipe has to be approved by Nanaimo City Council.....
So go and visit Amanda in NYC and check out her wonderful creations, even eat a sweet pea and mint 'whatsitcalled', and say 'hello' from Nanaimo!

Why this blog.....

My photo
January to March 2009. I was on Professional Development leave from my teaching Job at the Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island Universtity. I chose to take a 3 month leave to visit bakeries and teachng institutions in Australia. Thank you to VIU and my union (BCGEU) for supporting this venture. The aim of this blog was to keep an ongoing diary of my experiences and share them with my students and colleagues. This sure beats coming up with a report and slide show months later. I mean "FRESH" is what baking is all about! Learned to bake back in 1978....making granola...but that is another story. .