Liam mayclem

June 12th, 2021- New Spring Releases from Birch Block & Chef Jeff Needs a Miracle!  


New Spring Releases from Birch Block and Chef Jeff van Geest Needs a Miracle!




Its International Rose Day – pour some, buy some, gift some. (It’s a year-round delight, friends)

 First up Block Party 3 from Sarah and Murray Bancroft at Birch Block Vineyard (Kaleden)


The Block Party concept came about when Sarah and Murray told me several garagistes ago that they had located a fruit, lamb, and llama farm in Kaleden that was going to be perfect for vineyards and they were starting their winemaking journey.

Because they are such interesting people who lead interesting lives I thought it would make for a journey I’d like to follow.

The ups and downs of winemaking  – starting from scratch – gathering knowledge as you went – sustainable farming – what wines do you want to make.  So many decisions you have to live with.

We covered those subjects in Block Party one and two. Now comes three…

They’ve released the Birch Block Vineyard Pinot Noir Rose.

“We call this rose Endless Summer to enjoy all year long”

It comes beautifully presented. The color is Provence Pink. Unfined and unfiltered in the regular 750 ml format and a stunning Magnum. Mellon and strawberry on the nose. A palette of various citrus stars. Grapefruit, ripe mandarin, and a mouth full of yummy.


You’re going to have to do some serious seeking on both these releases. It’s hugely popular right out of the box.  It’s well worth the homework.

Murray and Sarah also talk about their new canned release Pop Up Piquette (PeeKett)


It’s a born again Rose. As Murray explains they get their hands on the Grenache/Mourvedre skins  after they’re pressed .  The take the skins and add water, honey and perhaps more rose and leave it soak for a bit.

What comes out is a lighter Rose. 8% alcohol that originally was intended for the field and cellar workers to have with lunch and not get slower as they rest of the day went on.

It’s called a wine “for the people”

The Birch Block Piquette comes in a 473 ml can. $10 each. It’s going to be wildly popular.


Today Sarah and Murray are at a  UBC  fundraising event with Alumni of four wineries pouring Rose.

Sarah and Murray

August 20th they’re pouring at a Joy Road Catering  Al Fresco event on Main in downtown Penticton and a virtual wine tasting for a very cool seniors center in Vancouver.

There’s a Pet Nat coming plus other surprises.

You’re going to really like Murray and Sarah. Whether in person or through their wines.

THIS is a winery you really want to follow. The end result is always delicious!

Check out the website and sign up for the newsletter.

 Executive Chef Jeff van Geest – Miradoro Restaurant. Tinhorn Creek Winery  (Golden Mile)

In the middle of this week Chef Jeff posted on Instagram

Exec Chef Jeff van Geest – Photo The Great Lionel Trudel


“ Friends, I need a miracle”

“Things keep going from bad to worse for staffing. I’m willing to work a lot for my business and my kitchen and my team. But I can’t make any more sacrifices and I don’t want to ask more of the staff that I do have. I need a CDC a junior sous and more line cooks. If you know anyone please put them in contact with me. I hate to sound desperate, but I am.

Ironically, St. Anthony died three years ago today and all I can think about is our collective mental and physical health I just want to create a kitchen environment where people can cook with joy and passion. Where are these people? The people I do have are fantastic, but I don’t want to crush their spirits. Please help me spread the word. I’m Looking for people ready to take the next step. I’m willing to take a chance on the right people.”


The response was immediate. To count almost 150 replies have come in.

However, the post highlighted two serious problems the culinary industry has to overcome.

An almost complete lack of skilled workers are applying and as mentioned in comments. the toxic environment of some kitchens.

That toxicity has been handed down from kitchen to kitchen over many years. It’s disappearing but not nearly fast enough.

We have two interviews for you.

 One with Chef Jeff at Miradoro and in San Francisco, The Foodie Chap Liam Mayclem who has interviewed 100’s of the best chefs.

From San Francisco to Oakland,  Napa, and Sonoma

Liam reveals that these same conditions and problems exist in Northern California.

I’m asking both guests “what is the role – if any – for the food/wine fan to play”

This is serious gritty stuff. It involves people’s careers and lives but a solution can’t be found until everyone involved – kitchen staff, culinary team, and customers – do their part to make things right.

Please have a listen to these hard-hitting interviews and be aware of the crisis in your kitchens.

More interviews on this crisis next week starting with Chef Michael Allemeier –team leader at one of Canada’s premier culinary training institutes – SAIT in Calgary.





Crisis in the Kitchen

Michael Allemeier – Sait Calgary

Anthony Buchannan – Fine Spring Wines from his 2020 growing season.  Fabulous!









January 9th, 2021- David Hawksworth and Liam Mayclem


David Hawksworth –THE COOKBOOK

Liam Mayclem – The Foodie Chap. SF


David Hawksworth – Hawksworth The CookBook

It’s a beauty this one.

Everyone seems to need something different from new cookbooks.

Photos, recipes, stories about the author, and how recipes came to be.

How easy or difficult. How well researched.

There seems to be many potholes that cookbooks fall into.

This is not one of those books because David Hawksworth is not one of those chefs.


“On opening a new cookbook, I get in the passing lane and speed to the recipes. But when I cracked open Hawksworth The Cookbook by David Hawksworth and Stephanie Noel I stayed in the slow lane, captivated by Hawksworth’s story interspersed through the book.”  Mia Stainsby Van Sun

As a leader in contemporary Canadian cuisine, Chef Hawksworth’s restaurants, Hawksworth and Nightingale, have been fixtures of Vancouver’s dining scene for the past 10 years, aweing diners with the intricate, beautiful, and refined dishes that have become synonymous with his name. In this book, he shares for the first time the artfully developed recipes that have brought him unparalleled success over the years, and challenges readers to recreate these dishes for an unforgettable dining experience.


“I have been a fan of Chef David Hawksworth’s precise French school-style, and Pacific Northwest ingredient-driven cuisine for over 20 years. This book is an incredible tool, full of secrets and techniques, for all cooks to up their game—at home and at work. Well played.” —CHEF DAVID MCMILLAN, JOE BEEF RESTAURANT GROUP

Hawksworth is a celebration of Chef Hawksworth’s career to date, with recipes ranging from his time training in London with Michelin-starred chefs, to Ouest, the first restaurant where he served as head chef, to opening his own fine-dining restaurant.

The book’s simpler and more casual recipes reflect the family-style dishes served at Nightingale and the casual fare of Bel Café (a downtown lunchtime go-to destination). The recipes included require varying levels of skill and time commitments. Casual foodies and adventurous cooks alike will find new culinary pleasures with Chef Hawksworth as their guide.

Winner of 2012 and 2013 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year and for four consecutive years, Best Upscale Dining, as well as enRoute magazine’s top three Best New Restaurants, and Maclean’s magazine Restaurant of the Year; Hawksworth has anchored himself at the helm of the Vancouver – and Canadian – dining scene.

This interview takes you through David’s beginnings, how little he knew about cooking when he got to London, the lessons learned from Michelin starred chefs, and how he lived his dream once back on the West Coast.

There’s the great story about Willie Mitchell (then a Canuck) and his wife dining at West with the new owners of the Hotel Georgia, a building David had always admired and dreamt about making it his home base. His life changed that night.

We welcome back a chef, a friend, and fishing partner David Hawksworth.

 Liam Mayclem – The Foodie Chap. San Francisco.

Liam Mayclem

Liam has been on Tasting Room Radio many times. We met when we both did movie junkets together in LA and NY.

In between films and interviews, we talked about food and wine then movies.

Emmy Award-winning radio & TV personality,  Liam is best known as the host of EYE ON THE BAY on CBS 5 and as “The Foodie Chap” celebrating San Francisco Bay Area culinary stars daily on #1 KCBS Radio.

Annually, Liam hosts the main stage at EAT DRINK SF – a gathering for SF food fans.  He also hosts the culinary stage at BOTTLE ROCK NAPA VALLEY. This year he made sushi with Chef Morimoto and Snoop Dog, tasted fried chicken made by Flava Flav, and enjoyed nitrus cocktails concocted by Chef Dominique Crenn.

He’s also the first call made when a charity event needs a host or auctioneer. He’s a very busy guy our Liam.

I wanted to get caught up on how San Francisco’s wineries, restaurants, and citizens are handling the Covid 19 Pandemic.

I also wanted to get caught up on how Liam was doing and what he was doing.

Did I mention he’s a very busy guy?



Ampersand Distilling

New BC releases

Virtual tastings in Portugal and Barossa Valley





October 28th, 2017- Napa Wildfires… how we can help.


Liam Mayclem[/caption]


He’s been hosting fundraising events in the Bay area and gives us an update on what conditions are like in Napa/Sonoma and what we can do to help those in need…

There’s a huge fundraiser coming up next week before American Thanksgiving called ChefsGiving… and all the restaurants will be donating portions of their take.



I’m hoping Vancouver’s culinary teams would consider doing the same.


Chef Kristian Eligh

Kristian Eligh. Browns Social House

Kristian went from being the right-hand guy for Chef David Hawksworth and 5-star dining to being the Culinary Development Chef at the ever-expanding Browns SocialHouse Group.

One job required focused exacting fine dining and the other demanded consistent menu choices across 60 plus restaurants and 60 plus chefs/kitchens.

Both tough jobs. That’s why He’s the Guy!!

Kristian takes us through what is required for that many culinary teams to get it right…the first time.

And what he’s brought to the menu that was a hit from day one.

He also has the best hair in food. No.  Not in food but in the food world!  Sorry!

Pouring multiple wines from Planeta and Boutinot.

and we finally get to air a two label pour that happened when we still had SUMMER.

The location was Cinara..great small Italian bistro in the  300 block Pender.

The bar was completely filled with bottles from Planeta and Boutinot.

The tasting was the brainchild of The Wine Syndicate Group.

Pouring and talking about Planeta are

Jeff Curry and Cameron Walker – Partners at The Wine Syndicate


And taking us through the huge story that is Boutinot is

Megan Cole.. WSET instructor and Canadian Manager for the family label.


  • Crisis in our restaurant industry
  • BC wines making inroad around the World
  • Winter White Wines.



Liam Mayclem Takes You (and Jason Priestley) “Inside the Kitchen” on San Francisco Food Tours


Liam Mayclem, host of the "Inside the Kitchen" tours, at Boudin Bakery at Fisherman's Wharf Photo: Rick Camargo

Liam Mayclem

Liam Mayclem, host of the “Inside the Kitchen” tours, at Boudin Bakery at Fisherman’s Wharf Photo: Rick Camargo
Liam Mayclem covers food in a fun and diligent fashion. He is widely known around these parts for his work as an Emmy award-winning host and a producer for CBS 5 TV’s “Eye on The Bay” and Foodie Chap series. Mayclem is a familiar face because he seems to say “yes” to it all: emceeing food and music events, acting in TV commercials and traveling. Now, Mayclem has a new project that will have him interacting with the public in an intimate fashion. Culinary tours are all the rage now and Mayclem has signed a deal to host “Inside the Kitchen” tours with The Ritz Carlton hotel in San Francisco, a natural fit given his years touring restaurants and kitchens for TV shows. The tours begin this month for the public, but one recent private tour guest was actor Jason Priestley, who was in town filming a Canadian TV show in which Mayclem’s food tour is included in an episode.
Bay Area Bites caught up with Mayclem to talk about his latest project and get his thoughts on current food trends and favorite food haunts. His comments have been edited for content and clarity.
Bay Area Bites: Tell me about filming with Jason Priestley for a Canadian-produced show called “Hollywood & Vines.”
Mayclem: I took the 90210 star for a tasty stretch of 94110 — Valencia in the Mission. Jason loves his food and wine and his knowledge runs deep, especially with vino. We stopped at four spots on our walkabout: Mission Cheese (wine and fromage), Abbot’s Cellar (beer paired perfectly with seasonal offerings), Tacolicious (tequila & tacos), Craftsman & Wolves (sweet ending & vino).
Jason was particularly impressed with the Pasion Margarita at Tacolicious. This bright yellow cocktail sings “drink me” the moment it appears — it’s just so darn inviting. It tickles, then burns, hangs in your chest and overstays its welcome. Jason referred to it as “Deep Spice — the fifth Spice Girl, so lovely when you first meet and then she grabs you by the throat and takes you down.” Needless to say we were all keen to order another after the first one settled but sadly there was filming to be done and we marched on, the grip of “Deep Spice” still with us. This episode featuring my Valencia Street Food Tour will air across Canada and internationally in October.
Jason Priestly, Terry David Mulligan and Liam Mayclem at Chef's Table at Parallel 37. Photo courtesy of Liam Mayclem.

Jason Priestly, Terry David Mulligan and Liam Mayclem at Chef’s Table at Parallel 37. Photo courtesy of Liam Mayclem.

Jason Priestly, Terry David Mulligan and Liam Mayclem at Chef’s Table at Parallel 37. Photo courtesy of Liam Mayclem.
Bay Area Bites: How did you get involved with the food tours at The Ritz Carlton? Can you talk about food tours as a trend?
Mayclem: Joyfully, I have been doing culinary tours of the Bay Area on TV for eight years as part of “Eye on the Bay,” showcasing the best of our culinary universe: food trucks to fine dining, pop-ups to permanent mom & pops. The idea of doing an actual walking tour with a real live group had never really occurred to me. There are many who do it really well (Avital Tours for example) so why crowd the space? However over lunch with Diana Haven, a PR pal and my former booking producer at TechTV, the topic came up about a partnership with The Ritz Carlton-San Francisco and a series of walking tours curated by me. It seemed like a great way to share my knowledge, my passion and my relationships with chefs and purveyors with others. People visit San Francisco by the busload to eat and drink. There is much to show off here and I do it with pride.
So I went away and designed four unique tours, each one with additional elements, such as special guests (such as Ben Fong-Torres for the Chinatown tour), a hands-on experience (for example, Pizza making at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana) and a post-tour chef’s table dinner with Chef Michael Rotondo atParallel 37 at The Ritz Carlton-San Francisco. There will also be a surprise each week, which of course I cannot reveal but you can book a spot on the tour and find out! The first tours are Valencia Street: Gourmet Corridor (August 10); A Taste of San Francisco (August 17); San Francisco’s China (August 24); and The Craft of the Cocktail (August 31).
Liam Mayclem surrounded by tour guests at Tony's Pizza Napoletana in North Beach Photo: Rick Camargo
Liam Mayclem surrounded by tour guests at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in North Beach Photo: Rick Camargo
Bay Area Bites: What are the other food & drink trends you see these days?
Mayclem: The food truck trend continues with a new one popping up every week. They bloomed at a time when the economy was tanking and “cheap eats” became the order of the day.
Then there are pop-ups, where inspired chefs pick a spot for a one-night food event. Ravi Kapur did a series. Other favorites are Rice, Paper, Scissors and Creole night at The Residence.
Being bi-coastal is a trend — Danny Bowen of Mission Chinese, the original pop-up chef, now has a second Mission Chinese in New York. And the New York food festival, Lucky Rice by Danielle Chang, celebrating Asian-inspired cocktails and eats, is coming to the Bay in September, as well as to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Miami.
The “bar chef” is celebrated as much as the food chef by many and that’s a rather cool thing. There is communication between the kitchen and the bar today that perhaps did not occur a few years ago. Bartenders who make crafted cocktails are sourcing ingredients from farmers’ markets in the same ways chefs do and that’s a grand mark of progress. Props to Scott Beattie (Goose & Gander), Greg Lindgren and Jon Gasparini (Rye and 15 Romolo), Jeff Hollinger and Jonny Raglin (Comstock Saloon) and The Bon Vivants (Trick Dog) for leading the charge, raising the bar and staying true to their commitment to quality-crafted cocktails. The reward for us is that many one-time bartenders at joints owned by others now have their own spots to fully express their cocktail flare. Aren’t we lucky? And all their spots have good eats to soak up the cocktails… but it’s cocktails first and then the food!
Liam Mayclem on Check, Please! Bay Area.
Liam Mayclem on Check, Please! Bay Area.
Bay Area Bites: You were on Check, Please! Bay Area. What was that experience like?
Mayclem: Being on Check, Please! was a treat because for once I got to speak my mind as a food fan in a loose space and in the company of my pal Leslie Sbrocco. She is a lovely lady who enjoys food and vino as much as me. I adore her. I spoke of my love for Chef Roland Passot’s La Folie and argued the merits of the tasty voyage of culinary discovery with every dish, as another guest complained about the food at La Folie being bland. Needless to say, it was a spirited and fun experience, and led to the only time a viewer has ever yelled at me: “You are a bully and a snob,” shouted by a female cabbie as she sped away, soon after the airing of the episode. She may have been a pal of the guy at the Check, Please! table with opposing views and taste buds! We taped the show four years ago and people still bring it up. Clearly Leslie has an army of dedicated disciples… I mean viewers!
Bay Area Bites: Do you cook at home?
Mayclem: I do cook, but not a lot. Why cook when I can choose to eat out at any one of the 4,200 restaurants in San Francisco any night of the week? With all the hours I have spent at the side of Michelin starred chefs I should be a culinary whiz in the kitchen, but alas I am not. However, I do cook a mean and, dare I say it, terribly tasty Shepherd’s Pie, a dish my mother cooked often growing up in Ireland and England. I always have to explain to people Shepherd’s Pie is cooked with lamb and Cottage Pie with beef. I once partnered with Chef Roland Passot in a Foodie Chap Shepherd’s Pie cook-off against two Michelin starred chefs Dominique Crenn and Chef Russell Jackson (now on the Food Network). Team Mayclem & Passot took home the top prize — it was the foie gras and truffles that won over the judges. Being a gent I gave my trophy to team Crenn & Jackson. But I will forever enjoy the bragging rights — Best Shepherd’s Pie with Chef Roland Passot.
Bay Area Bites: Who is your partner and how did you meet?
Mayclem: I have been with my partner, photographer Rick Camargo, for seven years. We met at a BBQ at a pal’s house in 2006. It was love over steak and we have not looked back. He drives me, inspires me, supports me and puts up with me. I am a most lucky man.
Bay Area Bites: What are your favorite food haunts and how did you get so interested in food?
Mayclem: Here are spots I have eaten at recently and enjoyed:

  • New spot: Coqueta. Every dish was bangin’ with flavor.
  • At the counter: Slanted Door. Bartenders with tenure and mad bar skills — and you can eat the whole menu.
  • Cheap eats: The Galley at Clooney’s with Chef Justin Navarro– pub grub with flair and surprises. His French onion soup sandwich — wow!
  • Neighborhood spot: Rich Table in Hayes Valley: Solid food with a non-fussy inviting vibe.

My love affair with food began in 1988 when I moved to France for a job as a journalist on an Anglo-French radio station. A dish called Veau et champignon a la crème changed my life. It was my introduction to French food and the culinary love fest was on. However, I credit the 200-plus chefs I have interviewed for “Eye on the Bay” and on KCBS as the Foodie Chap as the real reason I appreciate food and have a love for the culinary arts. These hard-working men and women are steadfast in their commitment every day to quality on every plate at every service. They have taught me to appreciate the purveyors and farmers, without whom we would have no reason to eat out. We are spoiled here, so very spoiled, with the abundance of fresh food, quality chefs and diversity of cuisine. My curiosity regarding all things culinary became an interest, a love and a passion.
Bay Area Bites: You do a lot of charity emcee work and acting. What have you worked on recently and what is in the immediate future?
Mayclem: My spare time is filled with charity commitments and I have my favorites. I recently hosted La Cocina’s Gala Dinner. What a special night in the company of amazing women who came to America as immigrants and now, with a some guidance from La Cocina and a kitchen to work out of, they are in business and thriving. I also hosted events recently for SF & Marin Food Bank, Project Open Hand, SF CASA.
I hope to launch a TV version of Foodie Chap in the next year. A solid local show committed to food and chefs would be great and I hope to be able to bring that to air on TV or your tablet in 2014.