Season’s Greetings! Well, we did it! We made it to 2018! You’ll have to forgive me for getting this invitation out so late in the game. I meant to do so before the holidays, but….. that obviously didn’t happen. Instead, I spent my time ravishing in my deliciously beautiful family, listening to live music, and road tripping. You might have read my writing about this before, how I don’t buy much stock in this human construct of the new year. I will say that I do enjoy using it to my advantage regarding goal setting. That said, I also have a notably informal and magnanimous nature as far as goals are concerned! I hope that you move forward into your year with grace and maybe a little mercy. We could all use a little mercy.
Love and Blessings,
CHEF ROB BROWN
Rob Brown spent his childhood in the mountains outside of Calgary. Born into an outdoorsy family imbued Rob with a love of nature. The Boy Scout organization further fostered this penchant. His early adulthood was spent working various jobs to pay for his climbing, hiking, camping and scuba diving in Southern Alberta and Southern California. He spent the better part of a decade deflecting questions as to why he was not a chef. Eventually, it was his Uncle Don who put Rob on the path. After preparing a meal for the family at the time of his grandmother’s funeral, Uncle Don put his arm around Rob and said,“That was one hell of a meal! You have to do what you love in life, and clearly, you love to cook. Go to Culinary School.” The rest was, as they say, is history.
Rob enrolled in the Professional Cooking Program at the Southern Alberta School of Technology (SAIT). While striving for the Red Seal Certification, he had the privilege of working at the Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts in Banff. There Rob assisted renowned chef, Dany Lamote of Todos Santos, Mexico. Later, he spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons as the Sous Chef at the Lake O’Hara Lodge in Yoho National Park. He completed his hours, aced his exams, and received his Red Seal. Rob graduated with Honors in 2012. After that, Rob was set free into the wild world of the Canadian restaurant industry. He subsequently worked as a Saucier at Blink Restaurant and Bar under Chef Chris Dewling (one of the top restaurants in Calgary), a slew of eateries across the land, and lastly at Ox and Angela in Calgary before going to the Num-Ti-Jah Lodge. Rob originally came to Polly’s Paladar with the aforementioned Chef Dany Lamote in the Fall of 2013. It was the very first time that Dany had been to the foothills to cook food for Paladar members. He needed a trusty sous chef, so he brought Rob.
That was nearly four years ago.
Then it was Rob’s turn. In the Fall of 2015, Rob conceived a classical style, multi-course meal utilizing the best available local ingredients. It was a reflection of what he took home from culinary school as well as his time at Blink, where the menu changed weekly according to seasonal produce. This feast was the first time a Paladar chef traveled in to stay for a week and learn the local food scene to develop a menu strictly based on what he found. A worthy challenge indeed.
In the year following his stint in Nevada City, Rob was headhunted to take over at Num-Ti-Jah Lodge (founded by Jimmy Simpson in 1923). Chef Michael Allemeier, who became Canada’s 3rd Master Chef in June of 2017 (also a professor from Rob’s alma mater) collaborated with the current lodge owner for possible chefs to take over. The goal was to have the best food in the Park. Allemeier brought in Rob Brown. He changed what was a heat and serve, pre-made Sysco kitchen into a “from scratch” one. Leaning towards using game meat and going local, whenever possible in their remote location, meant adding in the closest “local” produce available to them, 250 miles away in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. They certainly make the best of it. Rob has just finished his Summer season and is bringing along HIS trusty sous this time: Adam Coates. Thus the enduring heroic saga of Polly’s Paladar proceeds with mystery, intrigue, and a forever pleasantly surprising abundance of talented chefs from across the land.
Brendan Phillips, son of Utah Phillips, wears his influences on his sleeve. For the better part of a decade, Brendan has been traveling and touring with a rotating and eclectic cast of musicians; he dubbed Fast Rattler. Drawing from his pop’s catalog (including songs Utah never recorded or performed) and the universe of American Folk music that he grew up listening to around campfires and at festivals all over the US and Canada, Brendan Phillips and Fast Rattler represents a collaboration of kindred spirits, inspired by all things Utah. Encompassing a wide range of musical influences; from Americana and Bluegrass to gypsy-jamming’ wood-punk, Phillips and Fast Rattler pay homage to the songs of Utah while also adding their spin, reimagining Utah’s songs in a string band format. Sometimes they all play together, and sometimes a song is sung alone, it’s an ebb and flow, tied to the moment, always attentive to what the song needs. This format lends itself to a dynamic performance, at times intimate, at times raucous, but still in keeping with the spirit of collaboration and always true to the music.
Fast Rattler made its record debut on the 2009 Grammy-nominated album “Singing Through the Hard Times: A Tribute to Utah Phillips” which included artists like Emmylou Harris, Ani DiFranco, Pete Seeger and Tom Paxton. The release of 2011“Linger On: Celebrating the Songs of Utah Phillips” marked Fast Rattler’s first full-length debut. In 2006, Fast Rattler played Winterfolk for a capacity audience at Portland’s historic Aladdin Theater. In 2007, they joined Utah at the Vancouver Folk Festival, playing the songs while Utah told the stories. After Utah passed away, Fast Rattler returned to the Vancouver festival to perform as part of a Utah Phillips memorial. In 2011, Fast Rattler played at the annual Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival alongside acts like Mavis Staples, Great American Taxi, and Los Lobos. Since the release of Linger On, Fast Rattler has played on stages large and small all over Oregon, Washington, and California.
Brendan Phillips, guitar, banjo, vocals
Travers Clifford (Dakota Sid and Trav) on Mandolin and Dobro
Cedar Henning (Belfry Brothers) on upright bass.
Heather’s inspiration for her paintings come from lines, patterns and shapes she sees in the natural world around her. She leans toward the decorative and has been dramatically influenced by the Japanese Edo period, especially the panel screens and art of Ogata Korin, Watanabe Shiko, and Sakai Hoitsu. Klimt, Vuillard, Bonnard, and Van Gogh have also influenced her work.
“I love it when a finished painting “feels” right, but it is the process of painting that is my focus. The process is intuitive. I usually start with a basic idea or image, but then let the painting itself and my feelings dictate what happens next.”
Creating art has always been a part of her life. Born and raised in the greater Bay Area of Northern California, both of her parents are artists, and her father taught at California College of Art. She has always leaned toward the unconventional and finding her way, with no formal training except for lessons from her dad. When it came time for college, he encouraged her to keep doing her art. Heather became serious about painting in 2003 and showed work in many venues in Northern California.
She paints acrylic on wood panel. She likes the durability and hard surface of door skin (what is used to make hollow core doors). It also keeps the paintings themselves relatively light. She uses a lot of irridescents, which don’t necessarily translate in the photographs.
What she is interested in is exploring the texture, color, and form of her inner world, dipping her paintbrush into her essence. Heather wants the painting to speak of the emotional tone, the pure and raw perspective of her inner emotions, imagery, and nature. It is not realism that propels Heather, but her interpretation of life.
BEAR YUBA LAND TRUST
Bear Yuba Land Trust is a private, non-profit, membership-supported group promoting voluntary conservation of natural, historical, and agricultural resources in the Bear and Yuba watersheds of the Sierra Nevada. With community support, BYLT has permanently protected and enhanced more than 12,000 acres of forests and meadows, farms and ranches, and riparian areas; built 30 miles of local trails and each year gets hundreds of people outdoors to connect with the natural world through guided treks and lectures. Bear Yuba Land Trust exists to create a balance between nature and the needs of the people who call this place home. BYLT’s mission is to enrich a broad community connection with the land − today, tomorrow, and forever.
Currently, BYLT is working to preserve high country lands in the Grouse Ridge area, permanently protecting these places from future development. In coming years, BYLT will monitor 12,000 acres in the upper watershed protected by conservation easements on PG&E lands: Lindsey Lakes, Grouse Ridge Forest, Bear Valley and Bear River, Fordyce, Meadow, Sterling and White Rock Lakes. Conserving these areas will support the long-term health of the Bear and Yuba River watersheds, providing a place for native plants and animals to thrive, act as a natural buffer against climate change, enhance world-class outdoor recreation opportunities while keeping the cultural heritage of this place intact. Polly’s Paladar is partnering with BYLT to help preserve these wild spaces.
Newfoundland and New Brunswick
A shot of rum.
“Quite fond of the rum they is.”
British Columbia, Nova Scotia & PEI
Smoked Salmon Blini:
Smoked Salmon, Buckwheat Blini, Whipped Chevre, Chive, Roe.
“What maple syrup is to the east of the country, smoked salmon is to British Columbia. Sounded like a srumptralencent way to round out a trio.”
Halifax Style Donair Pita:
Halifax Donair – Pita, Roasted Beef Donair, Onion, Tomato, Halifax Sweet Sauce.
“Made the official food of Halifax, Nova Scotia a couple of years ago! In the early 1970s, a Greek immigrant changed up the Gyro to make it more accessible to the locals. A legend was born.”
Marinated Mussels & Potato Bread:
PEI Style Mussels Escabeche – Marinated Mussel, Potato Bread Crostini, Local Inspired Chutney, Herb Pistou.
“Prince Edward Island is known far and wide for their awesome mussels and potatoes. Thought it would be a fun way to bring those tastes together.”
Pork Meat Pie, House-made Ketchup, Green Onion, Salad.
“Tourtiere was the original nationally known dish from Quebec. Long before poutine was a thing, people have been getting down on this piece of yummy business.”
Manitoba & Saskatchewan
Pierogi with Seared Cabbage & Kielbasa:
Seared Cabbage & Kielbasa in Caul Fat, Golden Beet Pierogi, Crème Fraiche.
“Those two Provinces have high populations of European Settlers and loves them the pierogi and Koo-bah-saw, as the locals pronounce it. Adam is from Manitoba and said this course was a no-brainer.”
“…famous for Carrotfest. We couldn’t refuse.
Strip Steak, Fanciful Potato:
Strip Steak, Horseradish Duchess Potato, Cowboy Butter, Seasonal Vegetables.
“Besides oil, what we are famous for is Alberta beef and the Calgary Stampede (which is a party and a half). Essentially, we are hicks who like steak and potatoes.”
Maple Bacon Beavertail Doughnut:
Doughnut, Maple Bacon Caramel, Bacon Cream Cheese Frosting
“We felt doing the most stereotypical Canadian dessert we could do would finish it up right.”