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Star-Tenders: Julia Diakow

Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Highlighted Features, Liquids & Solids | Comments Off on Star-Tenders: Julia Diakow


Joe Leary and Photographer Charles Zuckerman present ‘Startenders’; a exclusive. ‘Startenders’ features Vancouver's next generation of talented star bartenders; each one provided with a spirit from the Corby portfolio as selected by Absolut Brand Ambassador Jacob Sweetapple to challenge and inspire the bartenders to create an amazing original cocktail. Cheers!

She is as stunning as she is talented behind the bar at Tacofino and at 24 years of age, Julia Diakow is quickly leading the charge in the next breed of Star Bartenders around the 604 – Startenders.

“I started hostessing at the Blue Canoe in Steveston; did that for a couple of summers to get my chops on and try and figure out how the whole restaurant scene works. I was 17 then and partying with a bunch of 30 year olds. It was kind of my foray into the industry. I knew this was what I wanted.”

Fascinated with the whole cocktail scene, it wasn’t long before she began to ply her trade and began to jump into the cocktail scene and go all in.

“The same time I was there, I ended up bartending at Earl’s in Richmond too and ended up getting really, really super nerdy into it; buying all the books and nerding out on cocktail recipes.”

Armed with a bottle of Absolut Elyx and drawing inspiration from an ABBA song, the talented Ms. Diakow presents her unique cocktail creation called ‘Honey Honey’.

RAPID FIRE with Julia Diakow

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Favourite place to hang: I like to go to Espana in the West End but honestly if I’m just having a night off, I’ll go to Comox Street Long Bar and Grill and play pull-tabs and drink like, shitty Long Island Iced Teas. That’s a perfect night out for me.

 What’s your go-to drink?

Gin and Tonic

Just a cocktail gal or can you polish off some beers and wine as well?

Actually I hardly ever order cocktails when I go out, I hardly ever make cocktails at home. I’m really into beer and really into wine as well. I was really lucky – I got home from Europe in July and it was just full-on Austrian/German tour and went to all of these amazing 600 year old beer halls where all the monks are inn there creating and using their same old recipes. I’m also obsessed with Riesling and I got to spend three weeks backpacking around the Rhine Valley –that was really incredible to go and see. I think Riesling is really underrated and people give it a bad rap for being sickly sweet but there are so many variations of it.

What are a couple of must-have ingredients behind the bar?

Definitely your go-tos; your Gin, your Vodka – they pay the bills.

And must-have garnishes?

I love lemon peels and I love elaborate garnishes – anything that’s going to bring the cocktail up a step. Everything you make has to be beautiful – just sticking a lime wedge on it bothers me when I see it – you gotta put a little bit of effort into it!

honeyhoneyChill a coupe glass,

In a shaker tin combine 60 ml Absolut Elyx, 10 ml Yellow Chartreuse, 30 ml Lemon juice, 20 ml Golden Beet Honey syrup, 3 dashes Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Dandelion & Burdock Bitters, 1 Egg white

Shake all ingredients

Shake once again, but this time over ice

Fine strain into chilled coupe glass

Garnish with bee pollen 

All Photos by Charles Zuckermann

Star-Tenders: Arthur Wynne

Posted by on Jun 29, 2015 in Highlighted Features, Liquids & Solids | Comments Off on Star-Tenders: Arthur Wynne


From Barista to Bartender would be an apt description of Arthur Wynne, our latest Startender. While living in Dublin in 2006, Wynne was offered a job that brought him to these shores.

I was offered a job to run an independent cafe called Wicked Cafe while I was also judging internationally as a World Barista Judge at the time.”  

 Four years later, Wynne moved to the Cascade Room, followed by stints at the Union Restaurant and UVA before instilling himself in his current role as Beverage Director at Gastown’s acclaimed Blacktail Restaurant and Lounge.

Given his international background, Wynne speaks with praise at the work of many bartenders well-versed craft on the Vancouver cocktail scene.

I think we do pretty well here,” he says. “We have a great pool of talent from overseas and locally that work together to make it a better drinking landscape. We have a pretty good bartending community that support and push each other to be better at our craft.”

Check out Wynne’s tasty creation: ‘Lady Wallflower’!

RAPID FIRE with Arthur Wynne

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What’s your personal favourite spirit to work with?

All of them! It's like asking which one of your kids are your favourite

When and where are you most at peace?

Cooking at home or in the garden

What’s a must-have ingredient behind your bar?

Good ice

What’s one flavour or spirit that’s the hardest to work into a great cocktail?

Anise can be quite hard as it can take over but in the right proportions it's pretty tasty

Where do you spend your off hours?

At home talking to my parents and family on Skype


Add all ingredients into shaker, dry shake hard for 10 secs.

Add ice and shake hard till cold.

Fine strain into a chilled glass.

Spritz the surface with orange peel and sit the peel on the surface of the drink


All Photos by Charles Zuckermann


Posted by on Jun 10, 2015 in Highlighted Features, Liquids & Solids | Comments Off on THE HONEST BURGER


The Honest Burger.

In my humble opinion, the most important factor in achieving a superior burger always remains the same. Sixty percent chuck, thirty percent brisket and ten percent unicorn means nothing unless you begin with basics: good quality meat. There are some wonderful people raising some spectacular beef in BC, so take a trip down to your local farmer's market and talk to them, support them, and enjoy what their tireless efforts are providing.

Yes, there are other important factors to consider when attempting burger magic, at the forefront of that list would be fat content. A solid seventy/thirty grind will generally lead you in the right direction, sixty/forty if you're really feeling dirty.  After that the rest is simple: kosher or sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. If you feel the need to add eggs, breadcrumbs, 5 different sauces and the tears of half a million commercially produced cows in order to save a couple bucks, as usual, do you.

In terms of toppings, the sky is the limit in terms of what, but the key for me is whatever I'm feeling must be sliced paper thin. Onions, pickles, tomatoes, either way keep them thin.  You will find it's much easier to stack on the patty and they won't all fall off as soon as you pick up the burger.


Here is the recipe as well as the how to for my infamous Honest Burger:

-1lb local, grass-fed mince ( Ground beef ) with a 70/30 meat to fat ratio

-Kosher or coarse ground sea salt

-10 cracks of black pepper

Put your mince in a big bowl, add salt and pepper and gently mix together, with your hands. Don't over work your meat, in any situation, as this tends to result in a dense, hard to chew texture. Form your burger; I like a thicker patty in which case this recipe will yield two, but if thin is what you are into this can make four.

Pre-heat a heavy bottomed sauté pan on high heat, I love a good grill just as much as the next guy, but I find that all those lovely juices that drip out of the burger when cooking on a BBQ are lost, whereas in a pan, we can retain all that flavour, and surround and baste our patty with those juices.

Add a small splash of olive oil to the now hot pan and place the burgers in, gently pressing them down when they hit the hot oil. Now, leave them alone, don't shake them around, flip them over or poke at them…just let them cook. By not fucking with them you will form a beautiful crust on the outside of your burger and keep as many of the juices inside as possible. Cook the patty until the under side has a lovely golden brown colour, then flip and turn the heat down to medium, and cook for a further 5-7 minutes. Remove patties from pan and allow to rest for 5 min before building your burger.

Slap it on a toasted bun, top with what you like, and put it in your mouth.



The Honest Butcher.






Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Highlighted Features, Liquids & Solids | 1 comment


Bone Broth.

For those who know me, the topic of bone broth is one that has been the catalyst for many a brain melting conversation. Why must we call it that? More importantly, why can't we just drink stock ? What's the difference? Well, once and for all I am going to shed some light on this nutrient-filled liquid trend.

First we must understand the main fundamental differences between stock and broth to prevent you from being a poser.

STOCK: Consisting of aromatics, bones, meat , connective tissue, joints etc, which release collagen into the liquid giving a thick, rich full mouth feel after being strained. I don't think you ready fo this jelly.

BROTH: Usually a liquid in which meat or fish is cooked and remain in, along with aromatics and vegetables. Without bones, however, a broth will not have any substantial body or as great a nutritional value….  Yeah I said it.

Now that we have that sorted, here is my simple stock/bone broth/what ever you want to call it recipe, I used beef bones for this application but the same process works fine with any other bones. I made it just the other day; it literally took me less than 5 min to prep, and cost virtually nothing.


3 lbs pasture raised, grass-fed beef bones

Basic Mirepoix : 1 onion, 2 carrots, 2 celery, no need to peel,  wash and rough chop

1 Tablespoon of black peppercorns

2 cloves of fresh garlic, lightly smashed

a few sprigs of fresh herbs, whatever you have, thyme, flat leaf parsley etc

Enough cold water to cover.

Put everything in the biggest heavy bottomed pot you have so it all fits nicely, cover with water and bring to a simmer over med-high heat. Skim off the film that comes to the top just before it begins to boil, turn down the heat to the lowest setting, cover and walk away. Trust me, all will be well.

The amount of time you let the stock simmer is up to you, the longer you go, the more flavour and body your stock will retain, and of course more nutrients will be rendered out of the bones, which is what you really want right? I like at least 24 hours. Once finished, pour your stock through a fine mesh strainer to filter out any particulates and let cool. A layer of fat will most likely form around the top of the liquid, simply lift off in big pieces using a spoon or knife and your stock is ready to drink, cook with, or pour all over yourself…. Do you.


The Honest Butcher.





Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Highlighted Features, Liquids & Solids | Comments Off on HERE’S THE BEEF!


Grass-Fed BC Beef Tacos

Who doesn't like taco's? Nobody that's who. Of course you could make vegetarian taco's but come on, this is me, and I'm bout that sustainable meat life. Taco's are tremendously versatile and delicious, and the best part is they can be made using a plethora of different cuts of meat or fish which means this:

Good meat + saving $ = Happy animals Happy people

This time around I went for the skirt, but cuts such as flank, hanger or outside skirt all work for this preparation. Top with a creamy cabbage slaw, pico de gallo and put it in your mouth. Here is what you will need:

Skirt SteakMEAT:

1 Grass-fed pasture raised local beef skirt steak ( 2-2.5 lb.'s )

1 lime, juice and zest

2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1 fresh red chilli , roughly chopped ( dried chilli flakes work just fine )

1 Tablespoon of honey

3 Scallions, roughly chopped

Half a bunch of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

1/4 cup olive

A good pinch of kosher or sea salt

6 good cracks of fresh ground black pepper

Using a clean dry cloth, pat skirt steak dry and place in a large bowl. Add lime zest and juice, garlic, chilli, honey, scallions, cilantro, olive oil, salt and pepper. Now get your ( CLEAN ) hands in there and massage that goodness all over the steak, don't be gentle either. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 min; overnight is preferable.

The grill is a great way to cook this cut, since I don't have that as an option in my apartment, I use a heavy bottomed sauté pan. Remove steak from marinade and using another clean cloth pat dry. Heat your pan on high heat then add splash of olive oil and sear each side for 3-4 min. Remove from pan and let steak rest for 5-10 min before slicing against the grain – this is crucial for a pleasurable eating experience.


1 cup thick organic yoghurt

1 lime, juice and zestcabbage-slaw-tangy-mustard-ck-x

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 jalapeño chilli, seeded, finely chopped

The other half a bunch of fresh cilantro, stem end finely chopped

Half a head of green cabbage, thinly sliced.

3 green onions, finely chopped

A good pinch of kosher or sea salt

6 good cracks of fresh ground black pepper

Mix yoghurt, lime juice and zest, garlic, jalapeño and cilantro in a large bowl. Add cabbage and green onions and toss to mix evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


4 ripe tomatoes, seeded and finely choppedIMG_3679

1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Half of a white or red onion, finely chopped

1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped

1 lime, juice and zest

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

A good pinch of kosher or sea salt

4 cracks of fresh ground pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place your skirt in a warm corn tortilla and top with creamy cabbage and pico de gallo and a squeeze of lime, Be happy.




The Honest Butcher.