I miss the days when breakfast would be comprised of Nutella-topped powdered doughnuts and milk, or leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. Sadly, they are long gone, as are the times when I could fix myself a smoked oyster sandwich at one a.m. and then crawl into bed, stuffed and satisfied, for a good eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Nowadays, breakfast consists of All-Bran, low-fat all-natural yogurt, whey protein powder, and strawberries, and the only thing I ever eat after 8:00 p.m. is toothpaste (and inadvertently so). I wake up at 6:00 a.m. so that I can work out every morning, eat a lot of low-fat, high-protein snacks throughout the day, and watch my serving portions – not because I’m trying to get into great shape but because I need to balance my occasional culinary splurges. Indulgences like foie gras parfaits, cookie dough ice cream, and Chocoatl.
Chocoatl in Yaletown is the place to go if you’re jonesing for a chocolate fix. It offers decadent chocolate drinks and delectable handmade chocolates and desserts. Owner Themis Velger is a passionate and animated fellow, ever-welcoming and always willing to offer customers the 411 on chocolate, everything from its history to the chocolate making process itself. Like a wine connoisseur educating neophytes on the subtleties of bouquets and balance, Themis offers up a fascinating account of the subtleties inherent in the various chocolates. If you’re hankering for a hot chocolate, Themis will prepare you one based on your taste preferences. You can go spicy or vanilla or sample something with a hint of orange, or go straight chocolate and try a 33% Java or a 70% Santa Domingo. Or, if you’re feeling exceptionally brave and chocolaty, go for the extra thick, extra rich denso. On the night I stopped by with Carl, we WERE feeling exceptionally brave and chocolaty (actually, I was feeling brave and chocolaty AND I was the one ordering) Carl had the 64% Costa Rico while I went with the 75% Tanzania. Both high-quality chocolates were excellent but we preferred the slightly less-sweet Tanzania. We also sampled some of Themis’s spectacular handmade creations: milk chocolate pecan truffles, pumpkin and milk chocolate, hibiscus and Havana-flavored darks, and Carl’s “Holy Smokes kill me now and I’ll die a happy man” favorite the mokachino cups with chocolate-caramel filling.
Any chocoholic passing through town should make it a point to stop by. And, while you’re there, also check out Themis’s incredible chocolate art creations (Yup, the bust in the glass is chocolate as well).
When I host my second ever chocolate party in a month or two, I will again be hiring Themis to preside over the chocolate fountains, various chocolate offerings, and the chocolate/wine pairings. It’s already in the planning stages.
At Fondy’s behest, I include a “less-crazed” pic of myself. And speaking of Fondy, she prepared two types of steamed fish for dinner last night: a sea bass with crispy brown caper butter for me, and Chinese style ling cod with green onions for her.
Let’s see if I can field some questions –
Peter writes: “How many standalone episodes would you say are in the first 10 eps of Atlantis Season 4?”
Answer: Hmmm, hard to say. Although many are standalone episodes, they all have elements that carry over from previous episodes and will carry into others. More than any other season, we’re looking to develop arcs – both big and small – that will run over the course of multiple episodes.
Jenny writes: “In the hopefully unlikely event Atlantis is cancelled after season four, there will be no real resolution to the show, as the final episode will have already been produced before word of either renewal or cancellation arrives. As a longtime Stargate fan, I would hate for that to happen. What are your thoughts on this? Is this something you will keep in mind when you are writing the last script of the season? Or have you spoken about this with Sci Fi?”
Answer: Who knows what the future holds? But when it comes to Stargate Atlantis, given the scheduling shift and the fall premiere for season four, the show’s future may well depend on the strength of the back half of season three. Ideally, of course, it would be great to know about a fifth season pick-up before the last script has been written. We’ll have to see how it goes.
Eloide writes: “If you love european food try “bistrot-bistro” on 4th avenue at Kitsilano …it’s a french restaurant !!”
Answer: We tried it last week on its opening night. In fact, we were the very first customers served. I’m working on the review this weekend.
Anonymous #1 writes: “Hey Joe, any chance that you’ll be in DVD special features?”
Answer: I’ll be hosting the Deleted Footage special feature for the season 10 release.
Anonymous #2 writes: “With the added burden of showrunning, will you be writing fewer episodes than in past seasons?”
Answer: The fact that we will be producing 20 episodes this season, as opposed to 40, means we will all be writing fewer episodes.
Elisabeth writes: “I know that you mostly hate shippers…”
Answer: Untrue. In fact, I’ve always been a supporter of the Jack-Sam relationship and do feel it should be resolved at series end. Whenever that is.
NowIWillDestroyAbydos writes: “I need your opinion, which season of Boston Legal should I buy on DVD, Season 1 or Season 2?”
Answer: Start with season 1. You’ll want to pick up season 2 soon after.
ArcticGoddess writes: “Speaking of children, do you and Fondy have any…besides the pugs, I mean?”
Answer: No because I think pugs are cuter. For my thoughts on little tykes, check out my December 26, 2006 installment.
Dave writes: “Joe was the reason to delayed season 4 to Fall because you guys want SG-1 movies out by then? “
Answer: The decision to push season 5 to the Fall was a network decision. It had nothing to do with the movies.
Anonymous #3 writes: “Scifi is showing a show called “Stargate Mythology” before the Second Half of Season 10 starts. Do you happen to have any information about it? And who would be hosting it?”
Answer: This is something Ivon Bartok put together. It’s an overview of Stargate Mythology that will touch on everything from the Ancients to the Jaffa.
Anonymous #4 writes: “ No ground cherries Joe? Is that because they’re ground, or do you not like cherries?”
Answer: Nope. It’s because I hate most fruit or anything remotely tart.
Anonymous #5 writes: “We heard earlier a rumour, that maybe the story of the new Atlantis attraction in the Movie Park Germany will be in season 4 too as a two partner episode. Is it true?”
Answer: This is news to me.