News and links… and a contest!

And lastly, I am happy to announce an official Brûlée Blog contest!

The kind folks at Sobeys have offered to give one of my readers 1375 Club Sobeys points, which works out to approximately $10.00 in free groceries. Yes, I said free groceries!

Club Sobeys is Sobey’s free loyalty card where you can earn reward points through your purchases and redeem them for groceries, appliances, gift cards, and Aeroplan Miles. Since September 2008, more than 2.2 million Club Sobeys members have collected over 6 billion Club Sobeys points, and redeemed them for over $26,000,000 in free groceries. If you don’t already have a Club Sobeys card, you can sign up for a free one right over here. Please note that the points (and therefore also the contest) are only available to residents of Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Ok so how can you win these wonderful points? Simply follow any of these three options:

1. Post a comment here. And make sure to include your e-mail address in the e-mail address line so that I can tell Sobeys who the winner is! If you don’t want to post a comment, feel free to send me an e-mail instead at bruleeblog@{no-spamming} (remove the stuff between and including the fancy brackets).

2. Talk about this contest on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc. and post a link to it here in an additional comment. No limits as to how many of these you do.

3. E-mail your friends and have them mention your name when they post their comment.

This contest closes at end of day May 7th.

Disclaimer: I have not been paid anything nor given anything to promote Club Sobeys.

More Anthony Bourdain

Some photos that I took of the talk. You can read about the event over here.

Anthony Bourdain's podium notes

Anthony Bourdain's podium notes

 Anthony Bourdain and Julie Van Rosendaal

Anthony Bourdain and Julie Van Rosendaal

The excited crowd

The excited crowd

Anthony Bourdain – slightly crude and infinitely entertaining

Yes I drove over 3 hours so I could watch Anthony Bourdain talk. Yes I am slightly crazy.

In my defence, I did use the time to visit with some friends as well, and to go on a mini-food vacation in Calgary (more posts to come).

Julie van Rosendaal introduced Bourdain and recently wrote about the experience on her blog. She’s gotten some flack for the way she introduced him and for the clothes she was wearing. All I have to say about that is grow up people. Julie did a fine job – albeit not with the practiced prattle of most hosts. She was nervous, slightly awkward, self-deprecating, and charmingly REAL. And I thought she did a really great job helping direct the Q&A at the end. I will take her kind of hosting over a plastic person’s hosting efforts any day.

The talk went longer than I thought it would. According to Julie, he spoke for an extra half an hour and extended the Q&A from 20 minutes to 50.

Anthony Bourdain was everything that I expected him to be. Funny, well-spoken and passionate. He did swear, but if you know anything about Anthony Bourdain then you expect that. Apparently there was some grumbling afterwards about the swearing that he did, but to be honest I frankly expected him to swear a lot more than he did.

He had a lot of nervous energy and hardly stood still the whole time he was on stage. There was a lot of pacing back and forth. And unfortunately for me, he spent quite a bit of time facing stage right, and I was sitting stage left. But it was still worth it.

The VIP reception was held after the talk, and I unfortunately didn’t have tickets to that as well or I would have gotten my books signed. There was a nice treat for all of the attendees though – free fancy cheese and wine from Janice Beaton Fine Cheese and Willow Park Wines & Spirits! Everyone was surprised because we had thought that it was only supposed to be served at the VIP reception.

There might be more food talks coming soon so keep an eye out for more announcements. There was a survey at the event that asked people who they’d like to see next. The names on the list ranged from Jamie Oliver and Rachael Ray, to Ruth Reichl and Ferran Adrià. When Julie asked the crowd who they’d like to see, many people yelled out Thomas Keller’s name, which was not on the survey.

I took a bunch of photos of the event (but most of them were blurry because the man wouldn’t stand still). So instead, please enjoy these couple of videos. (At least until some lawyer sends me a notice to take them down.)

Anthony Bourdain talks about Sandra Lee

Anthony Bourdain talks about Top Chef

Edited to add: found another blog with a short entry about the evening

News and links

News and links

My last Vegas post is taking a while to write. So to tide you over, here’s some news and links.

Okay I lied, one more thing. I feel the need to complain about Food Network Canada‘s website and advertising. We all know the new fall season of tv shows are coming. They’ve even been advertising them in their commercials, but did you notice that they don’t give any dates? And they don’t have a feature on their website saying when shows start either. When I asked their Twitter account about it, I got back a reply that I should look at their daily schedule. And then they offered to tell me personally if there were specific ones I wanted to know about. Great for me, but sucks for everyone else wondering about what’s going on. Did you know that Top Chef 6 starts on Sept 7? Well I didn’t either, until I scoured the schedule.

Also, I got tired waiting to find out if they were going to broadcast Top Chef Masters, so I recently started watching it online. Am half way through the episodes, and loving it.