Jamie Mah is a writer, bartender and sommelier in beautiful Vancouver B.C. Join him as he takes comprehensive deep dives into everything food and culture in the city and around the globe.
Predicting the Michelin Stars with James Iranzad, James Langford-Smith and Heidi Noble
In this newest edition of the triple(J) - H series, prominent former winemaker Heidi Noble joins alongside James Iranzad (Gooseneck Hospitality) and James Langford-Smith (Pamplemousse Jus) to help predict who will win, keep, and possibly move up in year two of Vancouver's Michelin guide. Enjoy!
This year's announcement is on October 5th.
Ending Homelessness Through Direct Cash Transfers with UBC Professor Dr. Jiaying Zhao
In 2018, Vancouver non-profit Foundations for Social Change, along with researchers from UBC, set out to do a small experiment: a one-year trial where they gave a lump sum of $7,500 cash, no strings attached, directly to people experiencing homelessness to see whether the direct cash method would provide them with a leg up finding stable housing, or if they would instead spend it on temptation goods (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.). Several local shelters were enlisted to help them find suitable candidates for their study, which was led by Dr. Jiaying Zhao (PhD, Associate Professor, Canada Research Chair, UBC). The results – published only a few weeks ago – shed light on how the homeless actually spend their money while also providing clues for what they need to succeed moving forward.
For further reading on this study, check out the links below...
A B.C. research project gave homeless people $7,500 each — the results were 'beautifully surprising' - CBC
A Canadian study gave $7,500 to homeless people. Here’s how they spent it. - Vox
A Study Showed Giving Money to Homeless People Changes Lives. What’s Next? - The Tyee
The Therapeutic Potential of MDMA With Journalist and Author, Rachel Nuwer
In this episode, award-winning freelance journalist, Rachel Nuwer, discusses her fantastic and revelatory new book, I Feel Love: MDMA and the Quest for Connection in a Fractured World. Featuring the real life stories of many intriguing characters, from ravers to PTSD sufferers, Nuwer's book covers a lot of ground: from how MDMA (aka Ectasy or "Molly") accidentally came to be (in a German lab for pharmaceutical company, Merck), to its use by the US government as a potential 'truth serum' circa the 1950s (spoiler: this never took off), and subsequently by prominent biochemists and pharmacologists as a (legal) treatment for trauma and addiction in the mid-1970s. I Feel Love is at times maddening and disheartening, but also captivating, enlightening and an overall pleasurable read - in the similar vein of Dr. Gabor Maté and Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, who also explore the concept of 'best practice' for those who are suffering trauma. A must-read for those seeking a compassionate journey.
Rachel Nuwer is an award-winning freelance journalist who reports about science, travel, food and adventure for the New York Times, National Geographic, Scientific American and more. Her multi-award winning first book, Poached: Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking, was published in 2018 with Da Capo Press. Her second book, I Feel Love: MDMA and the Quest for Connection in a Fractured World, was published in June 2023 with Bloomsbury.
Edward Slingerland and James Iranzad Make the Case for Moderate Alcohol Consumption
Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to speak with UBC Professor Edward Slingerland regarding his then-new book, Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization (take a listen to the June 16th, 2021 episode here). If you haven’t already read it, Drunk is a fantastic and sometimes hilarious examination of drunkenness, how being drunk enables us to trust and cooperate, and how alcohol consumption has influenced human development over the course of history.
Since then, Health Canada has developed new drinking guidelines for Canadians, amounting to a complete shift from their previous recommendations. For many (myself included), this has caused confusion, apathy, and rigorous discourse – including from Professor Slingerland, who recently published the article Making the Case for (Moderate) Alcohol Consumption (Medium). In it, he argues that Health Canada’s new guidelines overlook many of the causal benefits (moderate) drinking provides and how it factors into the hospitality industry. With the help of James Iranzad (Gooseneck Hospitality), we revisit Professor Slingerland’s book and column to give our thoughts on how the hospitality industry should respond moving forward.
Three Kelowna Entrepreneurs Discuss Okanagan Hospitality
To get a more comprehensive perspective of what’s happening in Kelowna, I reached out to a few local entrepreneurs who’ve helped revitalize the community with many of their brands: David Paterson (Tantalus Vineyards, Vice & Virtue Brewing); Kyle Nixon (BNA Brewing Co., Skinny Duke’s Glorious Emporium, Bernie’s Supper Club and Cinema); and Casey Greabeiel (Greta Vancouver, Salt & Brick, Jack’s Kelowna, Diner Deluxe, Pretty Not Bad).
Among other things, we discuss labour and migrant worker issues, minimum wage hikes, the proliferation of corporate chains, and how they’re dealing with consistent forest fire threats. Their respective – and collective – passion for the hospitality industry is evident and infectious. They want Kelowna to thrive. This chat has all the goods.
Special mention goes out to Ria Kitsch (Kitsch Winery), who was supposed to join this chat but had to drop out at the last minute due to scheduling constraints. She was invaluable in getting us all together.
Talking 'Ranking Culture' with Jacob Richler, of Canada's 100 Best
In this episode, Jacob Richler, founder and publisher of Canada's most diverse and influential restaurant ranking, Canada's 100 Best, discusses his years as a food critic, why he created this list in the first place, how the judging process unfolds, and where he sees things evolving in the year ahead... Enjoy!
Canada's 100 Best launched in 2015. Last year, Vancouver's own Published on Main was ranked Canada's "Best Restaurant" for 2022. See the full 2023 list here.