Well, well, well.  If it isn’t my former assistant on that Toronto-based show, finally getting around to sending me a pic of himself enjoying Dark Matter.  Trevor writes: “Look what finally came in! They kept selling out so fast I had to order them special from 1000000 Comix. I was so excited I read them simultaneously!”  Now THAT is impressive.  Apparently, he’s landed a gig as a script coordinator on a new series and is having a terrific time.  Great to hear – although I was disappointed to learn that, despite the Name Trevor’s Baby Contest held on this blog, his wife insists on calling their daughter Ava instead of winning entry Eufemia.

Last night, we were invited to the Cooper house for an evening of pork bellies and Top Chef.  When we arrived, we were ushered into the kitchen where we were greeted by this glorious sight:

According to Rob, when he asked the butcher for pork belly, an older female customer threw him an indignant look and cried: “It’s full of fat!”.  Well…yeah…

Pork belly and steamed buns. Add a little chili oil, some green onions and cucumber and you've got yourself a delicious meal. I could eat ate five or six of these in one sitting.
The daikon mochi. Rob gave the recipe to Akemi and its since become one of her favorite dishes.
Banana-chocolate mini doughnuts. Akemi could eat five or six of them in one sitting!
A Rob Cooper original take on a Greek dessert - phyllo, banana, caramel, cream, and deliciousness.
We brought an assortment of macarons that ranged from Akemi's tasty chocolate ganache to my disastrous greasy matcha.
Le Chef du jour.

After a string of disappointing visits to my go-to Vancouver restaurants, I was pleased that this semi-regular favorite continues to impress.  Highly recommended, but book early to avoid disappointment.

After dinner, we headed downstairs to screen the final two episodes of Top Chef Texas.  My thoughts?









Meh.  When I watched the premiere, I pegged Sara as the one to beat.  As the season progressed, it became clear that Paul was the guy to beat.  So I suppose it was only fitting that the two would meet in the finale, a finale which was, surprisingly, underwhelming.  I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that it took place in my backyard, here in Vancouver.  When I heard that Top Chef was coming to Vancouver, I wondered which of the city’s top restaurants would be featured on the show.  Would it be West?  Bishops?  Maybe somewhere hip like L’Abattoir?  Perhaps they would go with someplace delightfully unexpected like La Quercia?  Nope.  According to the show, the chefs would take over two of Vancouver’s top restaurants: Italian Kitchen and Black + Blue.  Vancouver’s top restaurants?  Maybe part of the top 250!  And what Canadian chef would be making a guest appearance on the show?  Would it be Susur Lee or Chuck Hughes or local fave Vikram Vij?  Nope, it was none other than Toronto’s Mark McKewan, coincidentally the head judge of the unwatchable Top Chef Canada (I’ll save my rant on the crap programming served up by Food Network Canada for a later date.  I used to leave the Food Network on as background noise for the dogs but I think my dogs deserve better than Family Cook Off, Ice Cold Cash, and You Gotta Eat Here).  Anyway, the two finalists faced off and, in the end, the best chef won.

Finally, continuing our sneak peek at Dark Matter #3.

More previews here: Previews – Comic Book Resources

22 thoughts on “March 4, 2012: Dinner at Chez Cooper!

  1. You’re killing me with those food pictures! They look soooo good!! Now I’m hungry! Do you think a peanut butter and jelly sandwich will cure the hunger pains? And always good to see Robert Cooper!

    I’ve never heard of Top Chef Texas and I live in Texas. Maybe I’m not paying attention. I was watching an Animal Planet show called “Too Cute!” last night. They followed 3 dogs and their litters from birth to about 12 weeks. One of the dogs was a pug. The show was too cute! My dog loved the show! She went up and smelled the TV. Prehaps your dogs would enjoy that station more than cooking shows?

  2. Joe, I was thinking the other day about that Toronto show… Wasn’t it supposed to already be airing in N. America? I don’t have Cinemax but at the same time I’ve seen no write ups anywhere about it.

  3. Looking at some of those Dark Matter issue 3 pics, makes me think if this was in TV form you’d probably have to have blue/green screen parts for some of the areas, that’s if you wanted to.

    You’ve certainly peaked my interest anyhow, I think if you can’t get on TV that it’d make a good anime or something. You can just imagine expanding some of those areas/dialogue and really flesh those scenes out to find it’s actually pretty incredible.

    I hope if you do make a TV series out of it that you start off small in terms of budget and increase as the show goes on, like you did with Atlantis and SG1, if only because I would love to see another Scifi show from you that hopefully lasts a while.

    By the way, you might want to take a look at the Broken Blade anime series Joe, 6 episodes. Very good animation and should appeal to you(It’s classed as a movie series, and is 50 minutes per film) I think of it more as an episode but eh.

  4. I became addicted to the Food Network, after viewing it for the first time in December during a free preview. Can’t comment on Top Chef or Top Chef Canada, but I must get my Drive-ins, Diners and Dives fix every day and Eat St. whenever possible. Maybe my tastes are a little low brow, but you gotta love the creativity of the cooks. Still not sure how to take Iron Chef America. Is it serious or goofy or something in between? Have you watched Triple D and what do you think of it?

  5. You are killing me with the page by page sneak peek of Dark Matter #3! I can’t wait until my copy arrives in the mail!!! 🙂

  6. Those desserts need a sign. Will add weight just looking at the pictures. If they tasted a quarter as good as they looked, all parties must have been sated. And great to see Mr. C looking well and happy.
    Too busy working to watch anything, and couldn’t get the tv away from the guys anyways. Duke basketball. meh. Amazing Race and celebrity apprentice for tonight. I’m pegging Penn Gillette as the leading contender to win it all. He’s playing the game to win, and he’s got the talent to pull it off. Amazing Race not quite as interesting, though it’s entertaining to watch the whining of some of the teams. Not sure if I’ll bother to continue to follow the show. Give it another week or two anyways.
    Thanks for sharing and have a great and creative week.

  7. It all looks so delish! You wanna know what I ate today? Lemme see…for breakfast I made a cheese omlette with colby jack cheese – good, but nothing special. For lunch I had guacamole. Yeah, that’s it. Homemade, with fresh cilantro, lime, garlic, and cumin, but still…just guacamole (okay, OKAY, I had it with Tostitos Artisan Roasted Garlic and Black Bean Tortilla Chips..and a DONUT, but that’s all!). Dinner was less exciting…steamed veggies, the last half of a leftover meatball on a piece of Italian bread, cheese, and apples. In other words, I cleaned out the fridge. 😛

    And then YOU show up, with all your fancy food and whatnot, and make me jealous! You’re such a meanie, sometimes! 😡

    A meanie, unless…ya know…you figure out a way to send some of those macarons my way (Akemi’s, not your ol’ greasy ones)! 😀

    That’s all I have the energy for tonight. I did something to my hip/thigh?…all I know is that for no reason at all it started hurting like the dickens! I think I pulled something getting into my car today, since it didn’t hurt when I got up this morning, and I first noticed it getting into the car. It’s like a knife being jabbed right into my upper thigh. Hurts when I walk (feels like it’s going to give out), hurts when I sit down, and hurts like hell when I lie down. I sure hope I can sleep tonight.

    Anyways, my concern, not yours. Have a good night, Joey, and give the pups, and Akemi, hugs for me!


  8. Re the butcher. I had a conversation with our fish and chip outlet that went so:
    Me: So I see you’ve switched to cholesterol free oil?
    Them: Yeah. It’s healthier.
    Me: When I buy fish and chips, I know it’s not healthy, I accept that. So I come once a week. Can I have the oil with cholesterol?
    Them: Sorry, no.

    I know the same of Macca’s, bacon etc. so I moderate my intake.

    Their cholesterol free oil makes everything soggy so I won’t be going back at all.

    I weigh under 50kgs and am 5″7′. The rest of my diet is made up of fresh vegies and fruit. Let me enjoy my bad stuff when I have it!

  9. Joe,
    I FINALLY had some time to pick up issue #2 of Dark Matter, and really enjoyed it, especially the twist at the end. Great new for me is that I don’t have to wait an entire month to see what happens next!

  10. Joe,

    Have you caught any of “Worst Cooks in America”? I’m not sure if it’s shown in Canada. Well worth a watch. It’s a showcase of culinary train wrecks. Vanilla? It goes with chicken. Whole almonds in whipped potatoes? Sure! Walnuts on a pizza? Damn right.

  11. Dammit, now I have to clean my screen again. This whole licking thing is not working out.

  12. Good mornin’!

    Thigh/hip is a bit better. Slept with a pillow betwixt me legs, and that helped. Should be okay. Made an omelette again today – with herbes de Provence and provolone. ‘Twas yummy! Now I’m eating a greasy donut, pretending it’s one of your macarons. 😀


  13. The food looks awesome! Sorry about your matcha macarons but they do look pretty. I’ve never had steamed buns but they look gooooood.
    Thanks for the teaser!

    Narelle: I agree, bring on the fat. I know it’s not good for me but it’s a treat not a diet.

    Das: I’ll take the ol’ greasy ones. He’s very picky so they maybe “just” good instead of excellent. 😉

  14. Wow, Narelle…you are either really short, or REALLY tall. 😉

    RE: Fat. I have bad eating habits. I eat french fries whenever I can (but only out – I refuse to have them in the house because I have absolutely NO self control!), I love those Italian dishes with the butter sauces (like piccata and scampi), and I probably eat a three pounds of cheese a week, I love the stuff that much. Yeah, I’m fat, but my cholesterol is perfect! 😀 Might be because all of the wine I drink to wash down all of that fat. 😛


  15. Not sure where that ‘a’ came from between ‘eat’ and ‘three’ – maybe I was typing with an Italian accent…”I eata three-a pounds ofa da cheese!” 🙂


  16. Have you been to Siena on 12th and Granville yet? It’s owned by the same person who owns CRU. My wife and I went last Saturday evening and it was very good and priced well.

  17. Banana and Rob Cooper, so good together. Loved the greek treat; genius to make banana baklava. All that was missing was pistachio – no pecans, to blend better with the bananas.

    Had the good sense to eat lunch before visiting the blog. I’m not a top chefer, I prefer gentle cooking shows where I learn to people throwing pots and pans.

  18. Hey Joe thanks for answering my question about Daniel & Vala and believe it or not it makes me feel better that one of the writers is on my side. I am ok thanks for asking I got a job at walmart so I am not online as much as before. Good luck with Dark Matter hope it turns into a series for you I am not into comics but I will try to check it out I miss space operas on tv and I am not the only one one of my bus drivers misses it too we were talking about it the other day. My question for you is do you rememember where was Vala in the 3rd SG -1 movie you read the script do you rememember why she wasn’t in the movie? In my mind her and Daniel are married but I don’t know how Brad Wright feels about the Daniel & Vala I get the impression Vala is not his favorite like you and Robert Cooper. My other question is a doosy if you had to pick either Elizabeth or Teyla for Sheppard which one would you pick I know how I would pick but as one of the writers for stargate I am curious how you would pick and you have to pick one of them you can’t say neither or someone else.

  19. I was just watching SGU 2×05 and I was wondering if you have any idea, when Cloe pushed Scott back to bed, did Scott (Brain J.S.) hit his head when falling? 😀 He looked as if he was in pain 😛

  20. LOL @Maggiemayday – yeah me too, again!
    But I am inspired to do the “cheat cook” version of the pork.
    There are a couple brands of seasonings in a bag – one is NOH, cannot remember the other one. Seasong for Chinese red port/char siu.
    Take pork, put in zip lock bag….toss in the powder (I don’t mix it with water) and shake, shake, shake. Put on baking pan and slow roast/bake at 350 for at least 30 min. Turn after 15 and judge time by the melt down of the fat.

    Use, portuguese sweet bread (King’s brand if you can get it), and quick version of red pork buns.

    And, Trader Joes for their cheap version of macarons.
    Now to go shopping cause I am hungry again!

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