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Food Network Canada’s Project Bakeover Features Surrey’s Lyra Lou Cakes By Catherine Dunwoody In Project Bakeover renowned pastry chef, master chocolatier and entrepreneur Steve Hodge saves struggling bakeries on the brink of losing it all. His expert advice, combined with interior designer Tiffany Pratt’s talents turning ho-hum spaces into stunning showcases really are the recipe for success. North Shore’s Steve Hodge of Temper Chocolate and Pastry and design guru Tiffany Pratt sprinkled their magic all over a Filipino bakery with a much-deserved makeover. West Coast Food’s regular contributor Catherine Dunwoody chatted with the Surrey-based husband and wife team, Lyra and Abe, about their epic experience on the show. Lyra Lou Cakes owners Abe and Lyra appeared in Project Bakeover Season 2, Episode 5 “Cake it to the Limit”. Lyra and Abe! How did you get involved in the show? Did you apply or did Food Network invite you? Somebody from…

By Avneet Takhar Hanukkah celebrations are taking place right now and with Christmas and Solstice right around the corner, we thought it only fair to provide you places with delicious treats to stock up on. Leave the baking to the elves, oops we mean, experts this year!    Even the bah humbugs of the clan won’t be able to resist these scrumptious snacks, we guarantee it. Without further ado, here are just some of the spots you can indulge in of baked goods for a season of joy and good tidings. Elbo Patties 1370 East Georgia, Vancouver Transit: 22 bus, hop off at Venables St @ Clark Dr Chris Boreland doesn’t only make patties! The holiday specialty, Jamaican rum cake, bursting with a sweet yet deliciously bitter twang and a dusting of icing sugar on top, is a no-brainer for entertaining both your stomach and guests. Yum for your…

By Jenni Sheppard As the chilly nights draw in, Metro Vancouver still has plenty of warm and welcoming foodie hubs to keep you filled up this winter—including the inimitable Kozak Eatery & Bakery. This Ukrainian bakery, run by Irina Karpenko and her husband Sergiy Kuznietsov, serves up homemade breakfast, lunch, dinner, and baked goods just like grandma used to make. The couple originally began serving their tasty treats at farmers markets under the name Solodko Bakery, but soon became popular enough to open their first eatery. Renamed Kozak Bakery, their business has gone from strength to strength, and now boasts two locations, in New Westminster and East Vancouver, with a third coming to Gastown. To find out more, we spoke to Irina about the family history of this delicious bakery, where she and Sergiy get their inspiration, and what makes Ukrainian food so good. How did you first become interested…

By Catherine Dunwoody Jenna Perreault has a secret weapon. There’s a reason why her aptly named Delish Gluten Free Bakery in Port Coquitlam has folks from all over flocking to it. The top-secret weapon? Perreault’s grandmother’s gluten-free flour blend that took her 20 years to perfect. See what having celiac disease, and being a lover of baked goods will inspire a person to do? Jenna’s taken that flour blend and uses it to create everything from fluffy focaccia, to dense chewy fudge brownies, to pies with buttery crusts that would fool any discerning palette to believe these pastries surely must contain gluten. As a food writer, and being diagnosed with celiac disease just two years ago, I have tried every gluten-free bakery I can, usually with disappointing results. Textures like sandpaper, or Styrofoam is my motto generally – until I discovered Delish. I chatted with chef/owner, and new mom, Jenna…

By Catherine Dunwoody West Vancouver’s best-kept secret is the bright, airy Temper Café, specializing in European pastries, cakes, and chocolates. Every bite at the café is freshly made in-house by pastry chef / owner Steven Hodge. We got the goods on Temper and  interviewed Hodge himself. Where were you born? Steven Hodge: London, Ontario What was food like in your growing up household? Steven: We are Croatian so mom would always make traditional Croatian food for the family. Did you cook at home during your childhood? Steven: Yes, all the time! Every night I cooked with my mom, and we would bake pies and desserts all the time.  We never went out for dinner. Where did you study culinary and when? Steven: California School of Culinary Arts, when I was 21 years old. Most rewarding experience in your earlier days? Any mentors? Steven: Working with Pastry Chef Regis Negrier in…

By Kristi Alexandra Tucked away just behind Burnaby’s landmark shopping epicentre, Metrotown, where there’s no shortage of food to wares, is a small culinary enclave to satisfy any sweet tooth. Beresford Street, between Dow and Willingdon Avenues, is home to several cafes boasting homemade sweets with the saccharine quality of authenticity. From bubble tea and waffles, to gourmet soups, fresh pastries and handmade chocolates, this gastronomic haven is the gourmand’s secret gem — it’s a place to dine, sip, and study in relative quiet just steps away from the bustling crowds. EStEA Café | 4466 Beresford St.  EStEA Cafe is the eatery to frequent whether you want to stay for five minutes or a few hours. The quaint cafe recalls a Riverdale favorite, Pop’s Chocklit Shoppe, with a modern Taiwanese influence. Seating less than 20, the cafe has an ambiance as adorable as its treats – with spiraling pink art…

By Winnie Tam When Steveston Bakery opened in 1989, the road wasn’t yet paved and there were barely any other businesses nearby. Today, Steveston is one of Richmond’s most beloved and bustling neighbourhoods, with lots to see and eat for locals and tourists alike. And while the surroundings of Steveston Bakery have changed dramatically, husband-and-wife owners Hemant and Bimla Rao’s commitment to quality in their food and baked goods hasn’t budged one bit. The lineups that appear daily in their bakery are the best proof. The shop is the kind of friendly neighbourhood place that every town dreams of. Since moving from Fiji to Canada in the early 80s, the couple has established a regular fan base for their bakery; in fact, some patrons have been visiting nearly every day since it opened (yes, it’s open seven days a week). Hemant jokes that some people call his bakery Steveston’s “second…

Photos by Michele Mateus Words by Alexis Baran The lush fields accented by mountain views in Langley, BC have nestled within them several days worth of exploring. Just a short drive from Vancouver there are farms, vineyards, meaderies, friendly animals, and more. Langley’s Circle Farm Tour has plenty of places to snack and treat yourself along the drive, and we’ve chosen a few favorites to get you started on a full day of getting to know the area’s hidden gems. For breakfast, Milsean’s Tea Shoppe is the place to get your morning tea (or coffee) and get the day off to a sweet start. Prefer something savoury or to-go? Although the waffles come highly recommended, there’s lots more to try. The sunny atrium is a cozy place to have your morning bite. Be sure to take home some of their addictive butter crunch! You’d be missing out in a big…

By Kathy Mak These days, consumers wanting or needing gluten-free and vegan options do not have to miss out on delicious baked products, thanks to a growing number of specialty bakeries in Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. But, the only decidedly all gluten-free and vegan bakery in the Vancouver area yet, is Two Daughters Bakeshop. They provide a large selection of oven-fresh, healthy products that are both gluten-free and vegan-friendly, without compromising on irresistible flavours. Tucked away in Lolo Lane, between 1st Street East and Esplanade Avenue, the cozy artisan bakery is located steps away from Lonsdale Quay on Vancouver`s North Shore. In 2012, Lisa Reichelt opened the bakery, dedicated to making gluten-free-vegan pastries, snacks, breads and desserts. It was inspired by her passion for baking and by her youngest daughter’s need for a celiac diet without eggs, dairy and gluten. Two Daughters Bakershop’s mission is to use the…

By Sheliza Mitha Across a few short, bustling and walkable blocks of Coquitlam is where you’ll find Austin Heights – an unassuming culinary gem that’s home to some of the most delicious and densely concentrated restaurants anywhere in the Lower Mainland. Overflowing with restaurants representing nearly every corner of the globe, the area is relatively small in size (making it easy to explore by foot) but big on taste serving up the height(s) of culinary adventure with almost every step. Here, you’ll find a veritable foodie destination that requires some serious and dedicated exploration – which is just what I set out to do one bright, sunshine-filled day. The goal was to spend a good part of my day in a self-guided food tour of the area. This meant nearly five-hours of restaurant hopping to experience just a few of the area’s tastiest and most unique experiences – only because…