Chef Rob Belcham welcomes you to Fuel
Chef Rob Belcham welcomes you to Fuel
Fuel's Crispy Duck.  The secret ingredient is staff blasts!
The secret ingredient is staff blasts!
fried chicken and a schnitzel sandwich
Joe's lunch combo: fried chicken and a side of schnitzel sandwich
Chef Rob encourages his staff
Chef Rob encourages his staff
Rob let's me know "This interview is over!"
Rob let's me know "This interview is over!"

Whenever I peruse the menu at a local restaurant, I’m usually thinking: “What would I like to eat?”. On the other hand, whenever I peruse a restaurant menu in some other city, I’m usually thinking: “What would I like to eat?” and “When’s the next time I’ll be back here?”. In my mind, there’s nothing worse than a missed opportunity which is why, when I’m in a strange city, I tend to order an extra appetizer “for the table”, an extra main course “for the table”, and, more often than, every non-fruit-based dessert available. Such a strategy ensures that I get to sample as wide a range of plates as possible – short of ordering everything.

Like I said, it’s a dining approach usually reserved for my travels. However, there are rare occasions when I’ll apply it to one of my regular haunts. Like, say, last Friday’s lunch at Fuel. I’d been tipped off that September 26th would be the last day for Fried Chicken Fridays, so I stopped by to mourn its passing. Only problem was, even though I was looking forward to my final fried chicken Friday lunch, I really had a hankering for Fuel’s schnitzel sandwich. Rather than skip out on either, I opted for my own lunch combo: The fried chicken and schnitzel sandwich platter (pictured above).

Anyway, regulars to this blog know that I talk up Fuel a lot because – well, in my estimation, it’s the best restaurant in Vancouver. And a lot of the credit for that goes to Chef Rob Belcham and his crack kitchen team. So who is Rob Belcham? You mean besides being a Stargate fan? Read on…

So tell us about Chef Rob. How’d he get his start? Where did he do his training? How did he end up at Fuel?

Chef B: I started cooking when I was about 11 years old. I started to see wonderful food being prepared on TV. Justin Wilson, Julia Child and Jeff Smith were some of the people who helped open this new world to me. I only knew how to make a few things at first, with my family as the cautious guinea pigs. As I grew older, I cooked for friends as well (Gumbo was my signature dish).

It was not until I turned 21 that I made the decision to pursue cooking as a profession. I went to cooking school in Victoria, at Camosun college. After the first 20 minutes of my first class I knew I wanted to be part of the food culture. I’d entered a whole new world and I never looked back. My first cooking gig was at Rebar Modern Food, Victoria’s famous vegetarian restaurant. I went there to challenge the skills I had learned in school where the dishes revolved around the meat with vegetables as a careless afterthought. I came to learn about how vegetables behave under different circumstances and how the flavors and textures change through the seasons. I came to embrace how vegetables can be used to enhance the protein element of a dish and how a protein can enhance a vegetable.

From there I went on to cook at the Aerie Resort, a Relais Chateaux resort and restaurant, on Vancouver Island at the top of the Malahat. This was my entry into the world of fine dining. Multi course meals, menu’s written and served on the same day, cooking from the herb garden behind the kitchen and, of course, all of the best meat and fish the Island had to offer. After a couple of years, I did a week long stage (i.e. worked for free) at the French Laundry in Napa California, which led to a job offer. It was an incredible opportunity and eye-opening learning experience. It was like going to the majors in baseball or being asked to play in the NHL. The biggest thing you see at this level is the immense determination among the cooks to do the best they can.

When I left the Laundry I needed a bit of a break (14 hour days will do that to you) and the few waking hours each day that I could spend with my wife were simply not enough, so I became a private chef in the booming bubble of the Silicon Valley. It was a great change of pace, but it really took me out of my element, the professional kitchen. I found myself in various kitchens dealing with kids and dogs and random guests. This was a departure for me as I was a foul mouthed cook and that had to stop immediately (except with the dogs). I did however, work for some really wonderful families and made some great friends.

My wife and I were ready to settle down and start our own family, so we moved to Vancouver to be closer to home. I started working as a Sous Chef for Robert Clark at C Restaurant and I became a Dad after my first summer there. I was the Chef De Cuisine after my second summer and continued on for another three (I also helped open Nu restaurant in 2005). It was Chef Clark who taught me how to be a chef and it was Harry Kambolis who inspired me to open my own restaurant. In the winter of 2006 Tom Doughty, C Restaurant’s sommelier, and I started construction on Fuel and we opened the doors on January 3, 2007. It was a long path, but I knew it was where I was meant to be.

Research is important. I remember hearing that you went to New York and, because of the limited time available and your desire to sample as much as the city had to offer, on some days you ended up having three different breakfasts, three different lunches, and three different dinners. True?

Chef B: I was in New York for 2 ½ days and ate at 18 different places. I had never been to the Big Apple before and had been reading about the restaurant scene for years so I went all in. From the basics, a burger and crinkle cut fries in Madison Square Park, to a lazy lunch at a 5 star restaurant, and everything in between. The amazing thing was that I did not even scratch the surface when it came to good food in New York. I cannot wait to go back.

(On a side note I just got back from 2 and a half days in Las Vegas where my wife and I hit eight restaurants.)

One of the things that I love about coming to Fuel is the kitchen’s willingness to experiment and try new things. Of all of the dishes you’ve created for Fuel, what has been your proudest accomplishment to date?

Chef B: This is a very difficult question as we change the menu all the time. I will say when I made my first really good batch of dry cured sopresseta, I was as proud as a first time Dad.

On the flip side, what has been the most memorable dish that didn‘t work out?

Chef B: We try new dishes on an ongoing basis. I can safely say that for every dish that makes it on the menu there at least 3 dishes that will never see the top side of a table.

The Queen of English is coming over for dinner. What will you be making?

Chef B: A simple roasted chicken.

Many celebrity chefs have cited early influences that helped shape their success. Who or what were your earliest culinary influences?

Chef B: I was raised in an environment where food was a bit of an afterthought. I do have some great early memories of trout fishing with my Father and Grandfather. I never thought of food as anything other than sustenance until I became a cook. Most of my influences came from eating as many different things as I could and working with some really great cooks. I will say it was Thomas Keller who helped me to understand the importance and appreciation of the raw ingredient; that each component was something to be revered and respected.

You’ve won an all-expense paid trip to anywhere in the world. Where are you going? And, more importantly, what are you eating?

Chef B: I have eaten my way all over the US, Canada, France and England (so far). I have learned it’s not about how many stars the critics have rated the restaurant, or who’s name is above the door; it’s about the love and honesty that the cook has put into the food that really counts. (With that being said I would love to eat every roadside Barbecue place from Kansas City to Houston to North Carolina.)

What’s your food philosophy?

Chef B: Take what Mother Nature has presented us and treat it in a way that allows the natural characteristics come shining through. Also, to bring ingredients together in such a way as to have the end product be much greater, and tastier, than the sum of its parts.

You’ve been invited to test your culinary mettle on Iron Chef America. What secret ingredient are you secretly praying for and which of the Iron Chef’s are you going to take on?

Chef B: I would love to do Battle Pork. My chef/combatant would, of course, be Mario Batali. Because I know we would have a good time afterward, no matter who won.

What’s with the tats? Is there some sort of connection between chefs and tattoos?

Chef B: I started getting tattoos before I became a cook. My sleeves came at a time when I was a private chef and I had the time and disposable income to dedicate towards getting them done. As for the connection between cooks and tattoos; they do cover burns and cuts quite nicely.

58 thoughts on “September 28, 2008: Fuel’s Chef Rob Belcham Fills Us In On Kitchen Tats, His Iron Chef Dream Battle, and What He’s Cooking the Queen of England

  1. Hi, Joe.

    Well, I timed reading your blog correctly today. NOW I’m going to fix dinner…of course, it won’t be as anything as wonderful as Fuel. Sigh.

    Thank you for the interview with Chef Rob.

    🙂

  2. Wow, what a nice surprise to wake up to. Thanks Joe for the enlightening interview.

    Next time you’re at Fuel, ask Chef Rob if there is more pressure cooking for a Fuel devotee such as yourself or a newcomer. I imagine there’s a bit of pressure to knock your socks off.

    Anyhoo, first?

    Cheers, Chev

  3. I already feel foolish, for trusting someone in trying out the crepes on the IHOP menu(works for people who have never had crepes before maybe, but even my uneducated palate knows the difference) but you have to go and gloat over your latest indulgences.
    That said, thanks for the interview with Chef Belcham. I admire artists for their abilities, and he definitely has more than his fair share of talent. You forgot only one question; how does it feel to have a willing customer to try your experiments out on?
    One other matter for the day. I’ve been mulling over the “underrated authors” list you’ve been requesting. I’m not sure the following persons can be construed as underrated, but they certainly don’t seem to enjoy the shelf space of some of the other big name Sci/Fi and fantasy authors.

    Mary Gentle.
    Mathew R Stover
    Chris Bunch
    Steven Kent
    Connie Willis
    Timothy Zahn
    Dave Duncan
    I look forward to seeing some other authors folks consider underrated.

  4. Why did you bring a staff weapon into Fuel? Your idea or his?

    I’m pretty hungry right now, so that picture of fried chicken and a side of schnitzel sandwich looks pretty tasty.

  5. I see a career as an E! Entertainment Reporter in your future.
    Nice to see you doing the interviewing Joe 🙂

    Forgot to mention earlier, finished off The Traveler and Chocky yesterday. Have now started on Vellum.

    I had to call and ask my Dad if he has taken to writing novels under the name of John Twelve Hawks. The topic was eerily familiar. I’m going to pass it on to him as I think it is the type of book that will have him yelling at the pages exclaiming “See! Someone else thinks that!”. He’s a crack up.

    Hubby and I were asked where was next on our travelling list. Canada came up as pretty high on the list. When asked why, amongst other things I said “Fuel”. The poor guy was trying to work out why the price of petrol would make us want to head off to Canada.

  6. Ok, I’m sold – next time in Vancouver I’ll go to Fuel, heck with the advertising you’re giving him you should be eating for free!
    Who is the Queen of English?

  7. Great interview! If you ever decide you’re tired of writing, Joe, you could have a future in journalism! 🙂

    @fsmn36 ~ I, too, am fond of Anthony & Nix (haven’t had a chance to read Rawn yet, but I’m told I would like her). And I ADORE Bishop’s Black Jewels books!!!!! I’ve read the the series multiple times — once even right after the frist read-through! She’s getting like Anthony in the mis-naming of it as a trilogy though, seeing as there’s now 6 books & a collection! In fact, I think I love the short-story collection best of all. I’m dying to read the new one, about Surreal (thankfully it still has the other characters in it), but I can’t afford hardcover ….

    Another very fave book series of mine is The Firebringer Trilogy, by Meredith Ann Pierce, about a warrior unicorn and his destiny. Truth be told, though, while I like the second and third books, and two of the characters introduced in them bcame great faves of mine, it’s the first book, Birth of the Firebringer that I love best; it’s probably my very fave book in the world. (Part of this is because I didn’t find the second book until a decade later — and she’d taken 6 years to put it out anyway). I’ve probably read BotF over a dozen times ….

  8. seriously have to say, episode 10 rocked!! i had seen the pictures, knew a lot of the story, and still was surprised and enthralled. what a great story! action, kidnapppings, death, destruction and a speech. oh, and lets not forget John Sheppard. In bed. I can’t wait 2 weeks…and so i watched the spoiler video out there. and now i really can’t wait as my jaw dropped. Who cares about Sanctuary? Bring on SGA!!

    Why did they cancel this show?? this is so good, so very good.

  9. Eep! I meant Bishop’s series’s was *5* books and a collection. XD Hope I didn’t get you excited at the prospect of a lost book, fsmn36! LOL!

  10. Hey Joe!

    I’m back from New York City! 😀 I survived the Big Apple! Did ya miss me? Ha! Silly question… of course ya missed me.

    I’m just glad to have internet access once again.

    Also, I bring news from Broadway. “Young Frankenstein” is FANTASTIC! I recommend every Mel Brooks fan to see it if you can.

    Gotta go read about four days of the blog now.

    Trish 😀

  11. Great interview! What an interesting guy. I really appreciated that he went to work in a vegetarian restaurant to learn how to work with vegies – I wish others would follow his example. Might help stop the bland crap that tends to get served to vegetarians in restaurants which also serve meat. Makes me weep for the meat-eaters who have yet to learn just how damn good vegetables can be.

  12. PS: The secret ingredient is staff blasts!

    This picture made me think of Elzar and his spice-weasel, from Futurama. Bam!

  13. Oh, another first! First comment! Bet that’ll never happen again.

    To be honest, I need anything to cheer me up right now. I don’t want to see like a party pooper or anything but when your new flatmates bring practically the entire building back to your flat at half one in the morning while you’re trying to sleep, it doesn’t half put you in a bad mood.

  14. I’m having one bad, bad day here. And why does the rest of the world have to be asleep when we are awake? It makes it rather difficult to get technical matters resolved during a working day. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

    Please excuse me while I go and tear my hair out and call myself lots of names.

  15. “With that being said I would love to eat every roadside Barbecue place from Kansas City to Houston to North Carolina.”

    I couldn’t agree with Chef Rob more. My best meals have been at roadside joints, mainly down south. Last one was on the way to Florida – we jumped off the interstate for some lunch, and found this great place with a southern buffet. When the place is loaded with locals, you know it’s the place to be. It looked like a shack, and the food…aaaahhhh!! Grits and greens and chow-chow, fried chicken and catfish, sweet potato pudding and cobblers and hush puppies…and everything in between. It was amazing – and very, VERY fattening. But I didn’t care! Seconds! THIRDS! We literally rolled out of the place.

    That said, my absolute favorite bbq is (eastern) Carolina-style pit-cooked pulled pork. The pork is slow-cooked in the pit until it’s all smoky and falls off the bone, then the sauce is added as a finishing touch. It’s basically cidar vinegar, red pepper flakes (sometimes with added cayenne or tabasco), salt and brown sugar (and/or molasses). It is DELICIOUS!! I use a lot of sauce, and kinda suck on the meat before eating it, just because it’s a flavor you really want to have last, and last. It’s the BESTEST pork in the whole world!

    Great. Now I’m hungry. 😛

    das

  16. Hey Joe!

    I loved that interview! Your blog entries about Fuel are always amazing and the photos make me hungry, always. 😉

    “First Contact” was absolutely mind-blowing and had me on the edge of my seat during the whole episode. The new aliens, the Wraith-Human meeting, the backstabbing, the ending, absolutely astounding and the CGI was amazing! I can not wait for the conclusion, you guys are doing a great job this season!

    Thanks as always!

    – Enzo Aquarius

  17. Wow! Thank you Chef Belcham and Joe for the amazing blog entry! I am so eating there the next time I am in town!

    @ Trish! Wow! Glad you had a great time in NYC. Did you meet with Pierre and get to see The Late Show with Conan O’Brien? Tell us all about it!

    Cheers
    Patricia Lee

  18. Thanks for the Q&A with Chef Rob!!!
    Mmmm if I ever do manage to make it to Vancouver for the Olympics, I shall definitely bring enough money along for a meal at Fuel!!! Probably breakfast… that’s by far my favorite meal of the day =)

  19. Hey Mr. Mallozzi,

    “First Contact” is now in my top five episodes (at least) of Atlantis. The Daniel and Rodney’s scenes were priceless, so I hope more are coming in “The Lost Tribe”.

    As for your underrated writer’s, not sure if he can really be considered underrated but maybe you could try something by A. E. van Vogt ? And again, not truly underrated but not mentioned as often as the Clarkes and Heinleins is E. E. Smith (starting my first book by him tomorrow). I’m also planning on checking out Cyril Kornbluth’s “The Space Merchants”.

  20. I wish they had a Fuel in Los Angeles.

    Has MGM ever considered, down the line, a movie or mini-series that truly combined SG1 and SGA? Over time there will be fewer actors from both series available and the audiences for both shows would most likely watch a combo. I know people don’t always like crossovers, but this would be a true blending of the cast that are available. I would think it could be financially more beneficial than continuing on separate tracks for the future movies. I’d love to see a mini-series even more than a movie though.

  21. Hi Joe!

    Just got caught up with SGA. I so did NOT see what I saw at the end of First Contact, did I? OMGed!!!!

    I really have enjoyed The Queen, Tracker, and First Contact – what a mind-blowing ep!!

    Just had to share my first thoughts while still in awe of this ep! FIVE IS NOT ENOUGH!!!!

    eddy

  22. I was just wondering when the next Fuel post was going to be. 🙂

    Excellent interview, Joe. It’s nice to learn about the man behind the food.

  23. Was the release of the identity of the new race something that you guys okayed, or was it something that was more just done by SciFi on the fly? It doesn’t really seem like your MO…

  24. dear joe,

    I guess my earlier post was unappropriate, if that’s the case I’m sorry and maybe you can answer me via email. Thanks

  25. What a great interview! I can’t wait until I get to go to Vancouver. The first night I’m there…it’s all about Fuel! Now if only my mother (whom I’ll be travelling with) can find something on that menu. Pretty sure she’d be all for the “simple roasted chicken”.

    Only open since 2007? I feel like this restaurant has been around for much longer with all your visits. Well, good for Chef Rob!!

    Next time you see Chef Rob, you should ask him what he found in England that he actually liked to eat. I think the only thing I ended up liking there was their cheddar cheese. And one place called Nando’s.

  26. Joe;
    Sorry I haven’t been keeping up with the board. From the nights in the ER with my mom, my car breaking down and being stranded two hundred miles from home, extra people living in my house, money troubles and waiting an extra five hours for my husband to finish his overtime job, oh yeah and my Internet connection going down every two seconds I’ve not be able to read what’s been going on, so please as I’m sure you’ve probably answered some of these before, please be patient for my questions. 1. Why has the intro to Atlantis been cut to a quick flash? Is it to have more airtime. 2. Has any of the fan protest’s made a dent to turn the big wigs incredibly stupid decision to cancel Atlantis? 3. Have the increased ratings in the show helped to un-cancel the mistake the PTB made and bring Atlantis back? 4. Is there anything that we, the fans, can do IN YOUR OPIOION TO SAVE Atlantis? Something you can tell us, someone we can write to? 5. How has the cancellation affected the actors? For example Jason Mamoa who wanted to leave after season six anyway? David Hewlett that said in an interview he loved the show and wanted to stay with it as long as possible. Or Joe Flanigan that had to fly back and forth? Have they mentioned weather they would stay on if the cancellation was terminated, LIKE IT SHOULD BE BECAUSE THE PEOPLE WHO MADE THAT CHOICE ARE BRAIN DEAD AND IMPOTENT. 🙂 Thanks as always and as I’m sure I am being sorry for being a broken record. Nicole.

  27. That’s one hell of a lunch special. I love the Jaffa Chef Rob pics. Very cool. That’s awesome that he’s had so many great experiences working as a professional chef.

    Thanks for the guest blog Chef Rob!

  28. The Queen of England – England can have her. But unfortunately she is also the Queen for the rest of the UK and many, many other places too.

    Thanks for interviewing Chef Rob. And thanks to Chef Rob for allowing Joe to interview you.

    Susan
    new Queen of Scotland

    🙂

  29. We took our friends/tour guides to Fuel as a thank you for putting up with us in Vancouver, and it was fantastic.

    I’m not really a fan of ‘fine dining’, but after all your praise it was more a case of “well it can’t be *that* good, can it?” that made us go.

    And, y’know, you were right; amazing food (so much better than it’s UK counterparts), brilliant staff (as above) and generally a pretty cool night out.

  30. We keep trying to convince the BC Health Department that they need us to come up and consult on the Vancouver Olympics. But they’re already annoyingly well-prepared.

    I guess I’ll have to save up to go on my own, rather than hoping there’ll be an excuse to have the taxpayers cover my repeat meals at Fuel. (You can have nice dinners if you bring snack bars for breakfast and lunch.)

    And please let Chef Rob know that there is probably a whole string of fans who would happily squire him through his Best BBQ of the South Tour.

  31. Furthermore to Robert Picardo’s interview, who were your other candidates for commmander of Atlantis?Will we ever be seeing an actual closure to Weir on one of the Atlantis movies?

    I hope you answer my question.Thanks.

  32. I’ve been reading your blog but not the comments section for the last couple of weeks or so…been a bit tired and lethargic and catching up on some TV shows (um, yeah, online watching, bad girl!) that I’ve missed over the last few years dut to the ME and not wanting to watch stuff (except SGA and a handful of others). So now I’m up to date with NCIS, Bones, on season 3 of Numb3rs, season 2 of House and a few eps behind on Eureka…but gradually catching up!! Oh, and someone’s lent me season 1 of JAG, so we’ll see if I like that as well!

    Anyway, I’ve been a bit quiet on your blog recently, not that you’ve probably missed me, but I just wanted to say hi and that I’m still reading and enjoying!! Also, thanks for all the pics, vids and guest bloggers.

    A great interview with Chef Rob Belcham today, and I love the staff weapon!! His or yours? If I ever get to Vancouver (unlikely in the ear future) I’ll have to check Fuel out.

    As for The Queen, Tracker and First Contact, I’ve enjoyed all three of them greatly. I love the Ronon, Rodney, Jennifer thing as it’s not as in yout face as in some shows and although I’m not normally into ship, this one is being handled in a way I like – no big UST scenes (like in Bones, why do they have to do that? It’s a good job I love the show so much, ‘cos the UST is very offputting to me).

    And Daniel and Rodney together? ROTFL!! I love the interactions there!! Can we have the next episode now, please? Pretty please?!!

    Okay, so I’ve probably bored you enough now. Off to watch JAG…and maybe re-watch Tracker (already watched First Contact twice, and The Shrine (wow, swoon, best episode ever!) three times!! *g*).

    Leesa

  33. Hi, Joe.

    ‘First Contact’ — wow! Okay, why is Stargate Atlantis being cancelled again? So that we can have the stellar entertainment of ‘Estate of Panic,’ and ‘RelicQuest?’

    (I know, I’m preaching to the choir. Excuse me, a senior moment.)

    Joe, I was interested in the similarities in a plot angle between SG1’s ‘Insiders’ and ‘First Contact.’

    In ‘Insiders’, the the situation that Sam was placed in when Ba’al threatened to kill Agent Flemming if Sam didn’t turn over the list of planets from the database to Ba’al; to Rodney’s capitulating to the aliens by turning on the device under threat of death to Daniel, and then of course, to
    himself.

    Daniel didn’t exactly mount a major protest to Rodney’s decision…

  34. @ Joe – A question: Why was Todd’s make-up altered so that he now has ‘worry’ lines? Was it just to give his face more expression (or Chris more flexibility with expression), or simply to suggest that ‘uneasy lies the head that wears a crown’?

    Thankies.

    Das

  35. Coucou =) sa va ???

    Moi oui, comme a chaque debut de semaine je suis fatiguer^^!!

    Sa l’aire super bon =)
    Génial les photos!!!
    Passer une bonne journée, je doit aller révise mon control de Droit/Eco.

    Bisou, bisou!! je vous adore!!

  36. Great pictures!

    Mr. Mallozzi: 1)Where will the SGA Movie be filmed?
    2) How are SGA’s ratings doing for Tracker and First Contact?

    “Why has the intro to Atlantis been cut to a quick flash? Is it to have more airtime.”
    Mr. Mallozzi answered this recently:

    ‘Oh, for those of you asking – no, you didn’t imagine it. That was the abbreviated nine second main title sequence that accompanied last night’s airing and not the cool, VFX-laden full version containing the entirety of Joel Goldsmith’s incredible score. The decision to scrap the uber-cool main title sequence in favor of the truncated blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sequence was a network call. Apparently, prevailing wisdom holds that viewers possess the attention spans of coked-up squirrels who are likely to change the channel if faced with the prospect of investing up to a full minute of their time watching the main title of a show they’ve tuned into. By airing a shorter sequence, it is argued, viewers will be less likely to suddenly grow bored and wander off into the surrounding cornfields or seek out more enticing programming like, say, TVLand’s The Jeffersons/Good Times double-bill. Bottom line: Don’t give the viewer an excuse to change the channel. And, to be honest, it’s sound logic.
    Provided the network rolls right into the show rather than heading into commercials which would, in effect, defeat the purpose of airing a shorter main title sequence.’

    Cutting to commercials is 10X worse. And I’ve always found the beautiful opening sequence to be eye-catching. And SHORT.
    I’ve noticed that a few other shows are doing the same thing.

  37. Wow, how about that reveal? And the news story at GateWorld about it has over one hundred comments. It’s big news, I’m surprised so many people are angry about it. Do you ever feel like you just can’t win, Joe?

  38. thanks for the interview with Chef Rob! I ventured into Fuel for lunch when I was in Vancouver for Gatecon a few weeks ago – you are not exaggerating about that place! absolutely fantastic food, and great service! And the fact that it was mercilessly pouring down outside took nothing away from it. Nice!

  39. Do Fuel do take-aways? If so I’ll call FedEx right NOW!

    Hey, fsmn36 has good taste!

    Nando’s…

    Mmm. 🙂 good chicken done Mozambique Portuguese style. I’m addicted to their chicken cut into 8 with Mediterranean sauce.

    How well do you know your history? Mozambique (bottom right of Africa) was colonised by the Portuguese way back when. This is the reason why Mozambicans speak Portuguese (and cook Portuguese chicken…Nandos style!)

    BTW, Google the Nando’s adverts on You Tube. They are hysterically funny.

  40. Hm, would it be odd to travel to four thousand miles just to have lunch at Fuel? What a great interview, its so cool that Chef Belcham was able to make his dream of his own restaurant come true.

  41. Dear Joe,

    I wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed First Contact. The storyline was well done and I’m excited to see the conclusion. 😀

    There is a small article that talks about Vegas and since this is an AU episode, does this mean that Teyla and Ronon won’t be in it at all? 🙁

    Thank you.

  42. das wrote:@ TAM_MYST – You are the first person I’ve known with a lizard problem. Mostly, it’s spiders (or bugs in general) and snakes. Are you afraid of all lizards, or only a certain type?

    das, I hate lizards in any size, shape or color when there is not a plate of glass between me and them (otherwise they are pretty cool to look at). I’m also paranoid of snakes and limit my outdoor activities to a 2 snake encounter limit – them I head home. But that was back home in Michigan where there’s only one kind that’s venomous and I never saw one “in the wild”. Garter snakes are most common. Again, if they’re outside and keep their distance not so bad. Have the dog pick one up and start chasing you around the the yard or find one in the house and that’s a completely different story. In Georgia there are all kinds of poisonous snakes about (copperheads, cottonmouths, and various rattlesnakes) so I never leave the path.

  43. I have a question that has been bugging me for awhile now…could someone tell me why Major Davis is still just a Major after all these years? I mean what happened was not his fault so what happened?

  44. Hey! FANTASTIC job on First Contact… can’t wait for The Lost Tribe! A couple of things…

    a) What is your opinion on Sci-Fi yet again revealing a MASSIVE spoiler? The two largest twists ever in Stargate history have been given away by them. Is that frustrating?

    b) This used to bug me a long time ago, but I thought it had been cleared up, but while talking on the Gateworld forums I realize it hasn’t. When we first meet the Asgard, they say they are on the planet Othalla, in the “galaxy of Ida”. So, presumably, the Asgard galaxy is called Ida, and Othalla is one world in the Ida Galaxy. In a later episode, someone mentions the Asgard galaxy, and Daniel Jackson responds/corrects him by saying “Othalla”. I always assumed this was a continuity glitch, but some — and at one point even the Gateworld Omnipedia — claim that the Asgard inhabit two galaxies, Ida and Othalla. Which is true? Do both galaxies exist, with a planet in one galaxy named after the other galaxy, or was it just Ida, and Othalla is simply a world in that galaxy?

    Thanks a bunch!

    This may be a bit to ask, but if you don’t post this question and answer it on your blog, can you email it to me? This one teeny question has PLAGUED me ever since season three or so aired.

  45. I should have stayed away from the spoilers; not that I minded what was revealed (pretty cool actually) but I wish I could have seen it in the context of the episode. Bad SciFi. Bad me for having no willpower.

  46. Joe,

    I’m so glad that The Queen brought in such fantastic ratings. I have to agree that Search and Rescue, The Queen and now First Contact are true examples of why I love this show!

    Excellent episodes.

    Please thank the cast and crew for their fabulous work!

    Thank you.
    Camy

  47. I had something wonderful and profound and interesting to tell you, and I forget what it was. I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait for it.

  48. @ shelsfc: you never told me you went to fuel!!!!!!!!!gah hating you even more right now!! (in a friendly kinda way!!)

    burger king have their ‘flame grilled burgers’….
    Fuel have staff blasted meals…i know which one id prefer!!!!

    hows life Joe!!!

    (hahah this comment took ages to write on an ipod touch)

  49. Hi Joe!

    Love, love, love your blog, but I am soooo trying to stay away from spoilers for the next SGA ep – which I heard won’t air until Oct 10? Hmmmm…that means I won’t be able to see it til Oct 13 at the earliest as I’ll be drinking lots and lots and lots of (1 ounce samples of) beer that weekend.

    Even less JM blog?! Damn you, universe and people who openly post spoilers every damn place! *shakes tiny fist*

    Ahem. I’ll give your blog a try, but will have to avoid the comments. *frowns*

    Hmmm…maybe I should just go to bed. Might be best for us all.

    eddy

    P.S. If anyone reading these comments likes hummingbirds, I posted a couple of pics of one that lurks around my hurricane getaway house. http://www.aveddy.com

  50. I’m a little late with the comment, but I’m currently swamped with grad school. Anyone need any cataloging done? Perhaps need to create some MARC records? Appraise an archival collection? No? Oh well. Anyway…

    I will say it was Thomas Keller who helped me to understand the importance and appreciation of the raw ingredient; that each component was something to be revered and respected.

    Thomas Keller must have a set of cult-inducing powers. My bro-in-law also worked at The French Laundry (“TFL”, for the cool people 😉 ) and to sit and listen to him exult the value and quality of every single ingredient just makes you shake your head and think, “Only a chef…”

    My sleeves came at a time when I was a private chef and I had the time and disposable income to dedicate towards getting them done.

    Isn’t it sad how horribly chefs get paid? At least at a certain aforementioned high-end restaurant. You’d think that after dropping $250 on a meal (sans drinks) the chefs would make more than the equivalent of $7.50/hr. (After factoring in the 12-14 hour days). But apparently the “opportunity to work there” is worth more than money. Whatev.

  51. Great interview….I have to confess, Fuel is one of the few restaurants my husband and I haven’t eaten at yet during our 6/7 visits to Vancouver….you have to leave something to look forward to for the next visit I say….*grins*

    However, I did have the most amazing meal at “C” this August…not only was the food exceptional but the service and the special treat of homemade chocolates and the “Happy Anniversary” written in melted chocolate on the plate was a complete delight to both my husband and I…..and all this on a recommendation by a certain Mr Shanks when he was over in the UK and was asked where to go for a special meal…Stargate seems to be home to some excellent gastronomes …*winks*

    That’s what I love about Vancouver – probably the finest and most diverse dining in the world!…and I’d definitely watch Chef Rob do “Battle Pork”!!

    Deeds xx

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