Yes, 3 lbs of rib eye steak with a HUGE exposed bone!  As my daughters says "nummeeeee!"

My new favorite cut as it WOWS the guests with the size and flavors of rib eye from the great marbling make it a melt in your mouth steak.  Marinated in simply olive oil, rosemary, rock salt, pepper and garlic.  Allowed to warm to room temperatue then hit on the webber charcoal grill.  

Served with our home made canned balsamic organic figs.



Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad

A fun way to spice up your salad.

Organic romaine hearts available at most major grocery stores.  Cut in half lengthwise and grill for a minute or two on each side just to allow some grill marks.

For the dressing, I wing together the following:

One raw organic egg

splash of lea and perrins

Splash of red wine vinegar

Splash of hot sauce

one clove of crushed garlic

one tsp of dijon

squeeze of lemon

10 crushed and flattened capers

squeeze of anchovy paste


Mix well then whisk in grapeseed oil. I find that olive oil is a little overpowering but feel free to use it.

Drizzle over the romaine hearts and top with slices of parmesan reggiano.


Cooking class for the youth

Yes, the kids were off to school and what better way to prepare them for the school year then to teach them how to cook a simple pasta, pan sear and oven roast the perfect steak and whip up a simple green salad.

Hosted in West Vancouver, we prepared a 3 course dinner to which all of the students particpated in.

Savary Island, British Columbia

Flown in to cook for a dinner with friends in family at beautiful Savary Island.  The day started with visiting the local organic farm in Lund, BC where we packed our baskets with fresh organic vegetables, organic eggs, feta and free range organic whole chickens.

Dinner was a magnificent spread of grilled romaine lettuce, local BC spot prawns, an array of organic grilled vegetables, our famous grilled garlic bread with hot chillies and grilled spatchcock chickens.

And lets not forget breakfast.  Savary Island Pie Company italian loaf soaked in cinnamon, 3% milk and organic eggs to make incredible french toast accompanied by local vanilla yogurt and fresh jams.

On a yacht

30 guests on a 140 ft vessel.  It was a wonderful day in vancouver as the yacht headed up indian arm and all was good with a tapas menu ranging from Garlic jumbo prawns, digby scallops with pea shoots and pancetta to and our signature sliders.  Always a good day when sailing!


Al Passo 'red wine'

Well, under $30 for a bottle of wine is doable if you ask me.  So, for the month of October at the Park Royal Goverment liquor store you can buy this wonderful bottle of wine for $28 and change .

Spicy notes of French oak rise above distinct aromas of cherry and berry. The palate has a backbone of Sangiovese, a roundness of Merlot and enhanced body from the oak. The fruit purity and varietal signatures are testament to the meticulous care given to the young vines.

This Sangiovese merlot is terrific with rich hearty fall meals.

I hope you love it!



Truffle pasta

Okay, here's a fall pasta that is to die for:


Truffle oil

Truffle salt

Pappardelle or linguini

Heavy cream

Dried mushrooms

Fresh Portobello or Chanterelle's

Fresh sage and Thyme



Boil water for the pasta

Boil 500ml of water and soak 1 1/2Cups of dried mixed mushrooms.  (let sit for 20-30min)

Strain mushrooms from the water and save the stock and discard the soaked mushrooms.

Sautee 2 finely diced shallots in a pan.  Once soft, add the mushroom stock and 250ml of heavy cream and reduce until half. 25-30 minutes or so.  This is the base to your sauce!

Once reduced, sautee 2 cups of diced fresh mushrooms (either portobello or Chanterelle or both) along with another diced shallot.  Sautee until soft.  Pour in the reduced sauce and stir in 25ml of truffle oil, stir and let simmer.

While the sauce is blending it's flavours, throw your pasta into the pot and cook until al dente.  Strain from the water and toss the pasta into the sauce and mix.  Season with truffle salt.

Garnish with thin slices of parmesan and finely chopped flat leaf parsley.


Enjoy with some italian grape juice ;-)  Perhaps a brunello!

What's with Burrata?

Okay, for those of you that have not tried this 'trendy' new cheese then you must do.  Burrata, has in fact been around since the 1900's but has recently become all the rage in the soft cheese category.  It's the buffalo mozzarella of cheeses.  Hmmmm, what cheese will be next???

Anyhow, a bit about Burrata by wikipedia: It is a fresh italian cheese, made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture. It is usually served fresh, at room temperature. The name "burrata" means "buttered" in Italian.

History: Burrata is a typical product of the Murgie in Puglia, a region in the south of Italy. It is produced from cow's milk, rennet and cream. Burrata was probably first made around 1920 or possibly 1900 on the Bianchini farm in the city of Andria in Murgia, an area in the Apulia region. In the 1950s, it became more widely available after a few of the local cheese factories began producing it. It is generally believed that factories found it a way to utilize the ritagli ("scraps" or "rags") of mozzarella. Established as an Artisanal cheese, Burrata maintained its premium-product status even after it began to be made in a number of factories throughout Apulia.

Now this brings me to my experience.  A friend of mine dropped in the other day and gave me a huge chunk of Bresaola (air cured beef).  What a treat I must say.  That same day, another lovely friend of mine gave me two containers of Burrata.  Well, what to do?  I went over to my friend Jesse's house and as we were watching the kids as the wives went out on the town, I began to build our masterpeice.  Below is a presentation of Bresaola, fresh burrata from Bosa Foods and topped with fresh Arugula and dash of Truffle Oil.  Oh, and how can I forget, a couple of great bottles of Brunello.  Man, life is GOOD!


Pork chops

Here's dinner the other night:

Bone in pork chops from Windsor meats in Edgemont Village.  I tried for Veal chops but sold out!


Render a handful of chopped pancetta and remove the meat from the pan.

Pan sear the previously seasoned (salt and pepper) chops to the high heated pan and sear each side.

Transfer the pan to an oven at 400F and cook till your liking.  

Let the meat rest on a plate (minimum 10 minutes).

While resting, pan fry some shallots in the existing pan and add 250ml of chicken stock and reduce.  Before the stock has evaporated, add 250ml of heavy cream and a TBS of peppercorns.  Add the any remaining juices from the resting pork.  Reduce  until thick and add the previously seared pancetta.

Slice up your pork chops and smother in the peppercorn sauce.

Served with portabello, truffle linguini and fresh sautee'd asparagus.

Oh, and a nice bottle of Piane Delle Vigne 2005 Brunello to go along!

Buffalo Mozzarella, the 'what use to be' trendy cheese

Okay, now that everyone has moved on to Burrata, I thought i'd go back to some Buffalo.

Here's a little creation I whipped up the other night.

Buffalo Mozzarella cheese with fresh cherry tomatoes and panko crusted Zucchini.

For the Zucchini, toss in Panko and sear quickly, toss in the oven at 400 for a couple of minutes and let cool.  We do not want the Zucchini to be mushy but rather slightly crisp.

Present the items on a plate and drizzle with reduced balsamic.


Halibut is back in season

Dinner at home:

Fresh pan seared and oven roasted halibut above grated potato cake, sauteed vegetables and panko crusted red tomato, all drizzled in a citrus butter and topped with crispy pancetta


West Van Catering

June 17th, 70 terrific guests and all the photo's to match:


The Masters 201

As we all know the Masters comes once a years as does the Super Bowl.  This years Masters party was held at my good friend, Morris's house.  The menu was gourmet home made pizzas for lunch followed by veal, pork and beef lasagna with caesar salad and garlic bread.....oh, and did I mention great wine?


Gotta love Italian reds

Here's a gem for $39.99.  Villa Di Capezzana is 80% Sangiovese 20% cabernet and boasts dense and sweet tannins while having well balanced acidity in harmony with both texture and body.  A long and persistent finish with  fruit flavors fromsmall red fruits and ending with spicy tones.  Great with a robust red meat meal.


Available at Park Royal Liquor store in West Vancouver.


Put a 'spring' in your step with Campari

Here's a refreshing drink for when Spring actually kicks wise!

1.5 oz of Campari (an aperitif that is derived from the infusion of herbs and fruit)

3 oz of San Pellegrino Aranciata

Slice of blood orange

Serve over ice

Thank you to all of my friends


Thank you to all of my friends and family for helping me with the launch of Fresh Thinking

Vicki: Thank you for all of your great photography

Tim: Thank you for being my right hand man in the kitchen and always creating a fun environment for us in the heat of the kitchen

Morris: Thank you for always offering Fresh Thinking your beautiful house and for being my most 'honest' food critic

Scott: Thank you for developing this amazing site

Mum: Thank you for inspiring me to cook and for being mum

Katrinna:  Thank you for being my right hand female sous chef.  I'm always inspired by your ideas

Jamie:  Thank you for being my biggest food fan

My wife:  Thank you for testing my food creations every night of the week and thank you for being my best friend

Thank you to all of my friends and family that are my biggest food fans during family Football Sundays

Food, wine and friends.....



When it comes to things I love in the kitchen, I only have a few besides a super sharp GLOBAL knife.  One of the others is my lovely Mandolin which I got for Christmas one year from my mum.  Of course, she bought it at the Gourmet Warehouse, where else?

The one below is the Cadillac of Mandolins but there are many other affordable ones to choose from.

Great for cutting french fries, thinly slicing beets or fennel and the list goes on.

Watch your fingers!


So everybody knows Croc's?!?!  Yes, the casual shoe that allowed people to wear rubber on the shores, streets or in their gardens.  So now there is, Native, a terrific story of a group of local guys that got together and loved the 'concept' of croc but lets be honest, "would you wear them out in public and feel cool?"  That brings me to Native shoes, a comfortable, rubber shoe with style!  Ranging from a the look of VANS, Converse, and Hunter boots that all boast a rainbow of the coolest colours. 

I love to cook in these shoes every night at home and they are always a crowd pleaser at my events.  I highly recommend you pick up a pair for around the house, boat, garden or for the streets.  Available at a few stores that I know of in Vancouver: The Boardroom and or Homewerx.


Tostada's and Patron

We had our close friends over for dinner, Tod and Julie, who are recently engaged. Congratulations!!!

The dinner theme was 'mexican' if you will.  I supplied the dinner and our guests supplied the tequila....wish I had changed the theme!

Tostada is a Spanish word which literally means "toasted."  So, I topped our fried corn tortilla with chorizo sausage, chilpolte, cabbage, and shredded chicken then added a spoon full of guacamole and topped with lime soaked red onion and did they ever pair well with the the 'perfect' marg (recipe below).

Tostada (serves 4-5)


One large breast of chicken

3 chorizo sausages (great from Cioffi's or whole foods)

Half a head of cabbage

Chicken stock 750ml

1 red onion (half chopped and half thinly sliced)

1 white onion (half chopped and half whole)

1 can of Chilpolte

1 can of whole peeled tomatoes

1 garlic clove

1 bag of corn tortillas (usually 12 in a bag)

3 limes

Vegetable oil


Thinly slice half of a red onion or use a mandolin if you have one and place in a bowl.  Cover the onion with the juice from 3 limes and let sit.

Place the breast of chicken in a pot and cover with chicken stock and half of a white onion.  Bring to a boil and turn down the heat to simmer and allow to cook.  Roughly 12 minutes.  Remove chicken and let it cool to handle then shred with your fingers and set aside in a bowl.

Remove the casing from the sausage and cook in a frying pan.  Break the sausage a part in small pieces with a wooden spoon until cooked.  Remove the sausage and place aside.  

With the pan still warm and with the oil from the sausage, add diced white onion and half of a chopped red onion along with one clove of chopped garlic.  Cook until soft then add finely chopped cabbage and cook for 3 minutes.  Add 3 diced chilpolte peppers and a table spoon of sauce from the Chilpolte can.  Also add 4 chopped whole tomatoes from the can and stir.  Pour in 150ml of chicken stock which was used to boil the chicken.  Stir for 5 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated and now you're ready to serve.

While the mixture is sitting, heat vegetable oil in a pan and once hot, add one corn tortilla at a time.  Cook 30 seconds a side or until lightly brown.  Set a side once done and let them sit on a paper towel.  Once you have enough corn tortillas cooked, place on a platter or plate and spoon on mixture.  Top with your favorite guacamole recipe (mine to come one day) and your lime marinated onion.  Pictures below:

My version of a 'cadillac' margarita.

1.5 ounces of fine tequila

.5 ounce of Grand Marnier

3 ounces of sweetened lime juice

A squeeze of fresh lime and fresh orange.

Shake over ice and serve.

Salt optional




joyce's dinner party

Friday, February 11th our friends Joyce and Phillip hosted a small gathering at their beautiful home.  The night was filled with close friends, a 4 course meal and 'great wine' (Gaja Barbaresco, Dal Forno Valpolicella and vintage port) to say a few.  Menu below.

Thank you Joyce and Phillip!