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Depth ChargeRegarding Timothy Taylor’s review (“Dining by Committee,” October), in my view there is nothing balanced about it whatsoever. Had Taylor gone into detail or better emphasized the particular dishes that he enjoyed-beyond only his fleeting, cursory mention of the halibut and creamed corn-one might make the case that it was indeed a balanced review. This, however, is clearly not the case.
Taylor writes about approachability and the “tenet of casual fine dining,” but where else in casual dining does one find a dish such as burrata accompanied by peas, mint, frill mustard greens, artichokes, and white balsamic? He also makes only a passing mention of the calamari, but if he had bothered to sample Chef Chen’s inspired Calamari a la Plancha, he would clearly see a beautifully presented and elegant dish-incorporating chorizo, panisse, and beet greens-bearing no resemblance whatsoever to the sort of deep-fried standard one finds at other restaurants. This is far removed from a menu item “written from research, based on the wisdom of the marketplace and not the ineffable idiosyncrasies of the chef.”
In addition, Taylor reveals that he only visited Boulevard once, and in the company of his 10-year-old son-which, I’m sure you would agree, is hardly adequate for one to get a true sense of all that the restaurant offers, especially considering the size, scope, and influence of this article. Perhaps he should have taken his own advice to “reserve that judgment for a second try” before handing down such a negative review.
Certainly, Chef Chen and our entire team have taken note of Taylor’s criticisms and will, as always, continue to look for ways to improve and offer our guests an unparalleled dining experience.
STEVE EDWARDSDirector of Operations, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, Vancouver
You Can’t Make an OmeletteFunny, we sensed that “A Wing and a Prayer” (July/August) was going to be a challenge when we were asked to fact-check a series of messages the reporter, Paul Webster, had planned to include. At that time, it became clear that the magazine was favouring a sensationalized approach with questionable claims about the use of antibiotics in the chicken industry. Among the examples of where you got it wrong:
• The flock visited did not receive fluoroquinolones, nor is this common practice within the industry, nor was the flock being visited receiving penicillin, as suggested.• The story leads readers to believe that chicken farmers are importing and mixing their own antibiotics. In reality, the Chicken Farmers of Canada’s on-farm food safety assurance program does not permit such a practice, and CFC has been vocal in supporting the Canadian government to put in place regulations preventing it.• Webster concludes with “The public will have no way of knowing whether that’s being done.” There will be public reporting on antibiotic use in the chicken sector through the on-farm Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance, which is independent third-party reporting.Instead of making random accusations and presenting falsehoods as facts, this article could have reinforced that all users of antibiotics need to promote and ensure responsible use. It could have highlighted the commitments made by both human medicine and animal agriculture to working with industry and government on issues of antibiotic use and resistance.
If Vancouver magazine would like to advocate for change, it’s entirely within its rights to do so. However, this kind of irresponsible reporting isn’t the way to do it. The magazine could commit to reporting the truth about the tremendous efforts being put into this serious matter. That would be worth reading.
MIKE DUNGATEExecutive Director, Chicken Farmers of Canada, Ottawa