Famous Chef in the News. Part 1

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Mark and Jill talk about what’s making headlines in Vancouver newspapers. They also discuss a couple of vocabulary questions from LingQ members.

Mark: Welcome back to another edition of the EnglishLingQ Podcast.

Mark Kaufmann here with Jill Soles, as usual.

What’s new today Jill?

Jill: Not much.

Mark: You know, it seems like a lot of the time now we’re having our podcast and the weather is nice out.

Jill: It’s true, even your dad and I did the last couple and it was nice out as well.

It seems like it’s always nice in Vancouver, which is really not true.

Mark: Come on, maybe it is.

Maybe we’re too negative; maybe it’s sunny every day.

It certainly wasn’t sunny on Saturday.

Jill: No, but you know, the weather over here where you live and where The Linguist office is located was a lot worse than where I live.

Mark: Oh, really?

Jill: It barely rained and it was done by the morning and it never rained again.

Mark: Really?

Jill: Yeah, it wasn’t sunny, it wasn’t a beautiful sunny day, but it certainly wasn’t…I heard that it really rained over here and when I looked over here, I mean, you could just see, because of the mountains, all the clouds hanging out over here.

Mark: It was just miserable on Saturday; cold and raining. Fortunately, none of my kids had soccer.

Jill: Why is that?

Mark: For what ever reason, Kyle didn’t have a game and Olivia’s got cancelled.

Jill: Oh, because of the rain.

Mark: I guess.

I mean, it turns out that some of the other kids were there, but I think her team decided that it was cancelled, which was kind of dumb because it actually did stop raining in the afternoon. It wasn’t raining much at that time, but.

Jill: But I guess the field is still really mucky.

Mark: The fields would have been soup, but they’re little guys.

Jill: But that’s par for the course, anyway.

Mark: That’s what it’s like here most of the time.

Jill: Yeah, yesterday was decent, a lot nicer than Saturday.

Mark: Should I close this window here maybe?

Jill: Sure.

We think it’s summer now all of a sudden that the sun is out, so we have doors and windows open all over the place, but it’s really quite chilly.

Mark: Yeah, well, I thought maybe a little background color with the seagulls. What do they do?

Chirping, I don’t know what seagulls do, whatever you call it.

Jill: I don’t know either, actually.

Mark: Yeah, anyway, we were thinking about what’s been notable for the last week here in Vancouver.

Jill mentioned that one of the most well-known restaurants in Vancouver that I guess was started and has always been run by Rob Feeney, who’s a well-known chef I guess from Vancouver, it’s been all over the papers that his restaurant, which is now owned by somebody else, has thrown him out, which is a bit funny.

Jill: He went into partnership with people two years ago, but they owned the majority of the company because he was in financial trouble and so, yeah, they owned the majority and so he says brought in another executive chef.

So, basically, he wasn’t really going to have any say anymore in these two restaurants that he started that carry his name that everybody thinks of as being his.

A lot of people I talked to never even knew there were these other partners, so it’s been very shocking, very traumatic, for the city that our most well-known chef…and he’s internationally recognized; he’s a very well-known chef…that he has basically walked away from these restaurants.

Mark: Right. Now when you say traumatic, maybe for you; I’ve never been to either one of his restaurants, so I’m really not affected.

Jill: You know, I was speaking with Kate today here in the office and she said…because Lumiere is one of the most expensive restaurants in Vancouver, if not the most expensive, and you go there and it’s three or four hundred dollars for two people to have dinner and wine or whatever…so she said if she had reservations there next week and she had just read what we read that she would cancel her reservations.

Mark: Well, I mean, I’m sure that it’s having that affect on their business.

Jill: And all the movie stars that come to town go there.

It’s just a very chichi kind of place.

Mark: Right; but you go there, right?

Jill: Frequently.

Mark: Yes, right.

Jill: Weekly. No, I’ve actually only been there once, but…

Mark: …it’s for all the big wheels.

Jill: Yeah, but actually, interesting enough too, one of our food critics who writes for our main newspaper here in Vancouver went there for dinner last night; basically, the day that Rob Feeney came out and said I’m walking away from these restaurants because I have no say anymore.

She went there and she’s written up in the paper a big article on how the presentation is not what it used to be.

She said a lot of things were still very good, but she said most dishes did not have the same appeal, the same creativity, as it had when he was there.

Mark: And I saw that in the paper too, actually, and, you know, I’ve got to say that I would have expected that would be what she would say.

You know, food critics, judging food, it’s very subjective.

Jill: For sure.

Mark: If you’ve gone into the restaurant and you know that Rob Feeney is not there and it’s this other guy and there’s a big stink going on, already you’re looking for stuff to complain about, basically.

Jill: Yeah.

Mark: Conversely, if you go in to taste Rob Feeney’s food and he just, you know, beat the Iron Chef on TV, you’re going to like it.

Jill: Yeah.

Mark: It’s just about…like it’s got to be pretty bad for you to come away saying, actually, it wasn’t very good.

Jill: Very true.

Mark: Like you’re conditioned already; preconditioned to have a good impression of the food and so I wasn’t surprised to read that.

I’m sure that the food there is still very good.

Jill: Yeah.

Mark: This other guy that they brought in was formerly the executive chef at some fancy restaurant in New York or whatever; some place.

Jill: Ramsey’s; Gordon Ramsey’s.

Mark: Like it’s not like he’s some guy, you know, they pulled out of a dumpster.

Jill: No, no, no.

Mark: He’s a chef.

Jill: A well-known chef.

Mark: A well-known chef, so I’m sure the food is very good, but people obviously like Rob Feeney and people know of him.

Nobody has ever heard of this other guy.

Jill: Right.

Mark: And, of course, there are two restaurants, right?

The other one is called…

Jill: …Feeney’s.

Mark: Anyway, it’s kind of an interesting…

Jill: It’s amazing how this has become the talk of the town though.

Our friends that we were out for dinner with last night, they were talking about it.

I came in to work and Kate was talking about it and it’s just really, I mean, I guess Vancouver is just so boring there’s nothing better to talk about.

Mark: Yeah, I don’t know, like I’ve certainly never talked about it to anybody besides you right now.

Like I read it; oh well, you know?

Jill: But I think for people who go out a lot and go to restaurants a lot it is a big story.

Mark: So maybe you Vancouver people without kids yet go out more often and are worried about that whereas over here I guess we’re busy doing other things.

Like for me the bigger news would be that the Canucks’ top two defensemen went down with gruesome injuries last week.

Jill: Oh, I didn’t even know about that.

Mark: Yeah, Sami Salo got like a shot in the face.

He needs surgery on his face.

I think they put a plate in his nose or something.

Jill: Oh wow!

Mark: He’s out for a while.

Kevin Bieksa got slit with a skate on his calf muscle.

I don’t know, apparently like 40 percent of his Achilles tendon was cut.

Jill: Oh my gosh!

Mark: Yeah, so they’re both out for a long time and they are…

Jill: …key…

Mark: …key guys; two of their top defensemen.

Jill: And the Vancouver Canucks are doing terribly this season.

Mark: They are doing terribly.

This is the local hockey team and so that was big news because they are, basically, their top two defensemen and certainly their most offensive defensemen.

Both are out with major injuries like, I don’t know, six to eight weeks and both were gruesome; like lots of blood on the ice.

It was a bad game; they got cleaned.

Jill: Which means they got killed. They lost badly.

Mark: Yeah, they lost badly and looked bad doing it.

Jill: Oh man.

Mark: But then they played well on Saturday night, so now people are regaining hope again; although, I think they’re going to be in trouble this year.

Jill: Yeah.

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