JOEY employees are passionate about their communities and are always looking for ways to get involved. In 2008, JOEY explored a new company-wide approach to giving back that was accessible to anyone in the organization who wanted to participate. As a restaurant, it was also important to address the issue of hunger in the communities JOEY operated in. Cup of Care was born.
Over the last nine year, JOEY has peeled and prepped approximately 10 thousand pounds of carrots, celery and mushrooms to make a hearty and delicious beef and barley soup. To date, JOEY has served 100,000 hot meals across Canada, Seattle and Los Angeles partnering with local shelters and organizations chosen by our employees in each of our communities.
“Cup of Care is near and dear to our hearts. It`s a way we can all come together to support our communities and truly make an impact,” said Chris Mills, Executive Chef of JOEY Restaurants. “We will be serving over 6,000 chicken pot pies between all our regions based on community needs.”
“At JOEY Restaurants, we are passionate about empowering our communities and making sure that they are provided with the necessary resources to be set-up for success,” said Jeff Fuller, owner and CEO of JOEY Restaurants. “We surveyed partners in each city to determine what causes were most important to them. It`s important to us that our employees have a voice in our community outreach.”
The organization we partnered with this year include:
Greater Vancouver Regional District
Covenant House Vancouver offers a clear exit from life on the street to youth aged 16 – 24. This is made possible through a carefully designed Continuum of Care including a daily drop-in program, a 54 bed residential crisis program, a transitional living program, relapse prevention and life skills training.
Inner City Love works to nourish the body and minds of some of Vancouver’s most disadvantaged children in need. Operating out of Admiral Seymour Elementary School in East Vancouver, Inner City Love takes a two-tier, holistic approach to delivering health and wellness, while mentoring children and creating a special environment that builds confidence and self-love.
Okanagan Boys and Girls Club Kelowna is a leading provider of programs to children and youth that support the healthy physical, educational and social development of more than 7,000 young people and their families each year. We have been helping young people discover, develop and achieve their potential since 1959. Every day at Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs, children and youth get the help they need to learn to develop positive relationships—with peers, family, teachers and the community at large. Clubs offer programs in physical recreation, technology, the arts, personal growth and more. Many clubs also provide meals, emergency shelter, family support programs and other support to children, youth and families at risk. Our mission is to provide a good place to be for children, youth and families across the Okanagan regardless of circumstances.
The FOUNDATION Youth Centre‘s primary purpose is to invest in the lives of every young person in Mill Woods by providing holistic care, mentoring relationships, a safe community to belong to, and opportunities to explore their potential.
The Mustard Seed is a Christian non-profit organization that has been caring for the needs of the less fortunate since 1984. Through its ministry centres across Alberta, The Mustard Seed delivers basic services, housing and employment programs to those in need and partners with the community to address the root causes of poverty. For more information, visit www.theseed.ca.
Ronald McDonald House® Southern Alberta offers a home away from home for out-of-town families with children receiving medical care at a Calgary hospital. Our House provides a warm, compassionate and comfortable environment where families can share experiences, eat a warm homemade meal, and rest while caring for a sick child. Offering 23 private family suites, the House also features a communal kitchen, home-style living rooms, free laundry facilities, play areas and programming for all ages facilitated by our Family Services team. Last year, 283 families stayed at the House.
The Siloam Mission is a connecting point between the compassionate and Winnipeg’s less fortunate, Siloam Mission is a Christian humanitarian organization that alleviates hardships and provides opportunities for change for those affected by homelessness.
Covenant House Toronto is Canada’s largest agency serving at-risk, homeless and trafficked youth – as many as 250 youth daily. A national leader, we educate and advocate for change by influencing public policy and delivering prevention and awareness programs. The agency provides 24/7 crisis shelter, transitional housing and comprehensive services, including education, counselling, health care, employment assistance, job training and aftercare.
Shepherds of Good Hope is the largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to the needs of homeless and vulnerably-housed men and women in the city of Ottawa. We are the only organization to provide around-the-clock, comprehensive services to our clients and residents, most of whom live with addictions, mental health challenges and trauma. From a 254 bed shelter, to our 5 supportive living residences across the City of Ottawa, over 450 men and women sleep in our facilities each night. By offering innovative programs and services in a non-judgemental environment, Shepherds of Good Hope is creating a community for all through acceptance, compassion and care.
Seattle and Bellevue
The Queen Anne Food Bank envisions a community where no one goes hungry, and our neighbors in need have equitable access to enough healthy and wholesome food to meet their needs. Our mission is to provide healthy food assistance to low-income and homeless people in Seattle. We serve every person that comes to our door in need, without discrimination and with respect and dignity.
The Sacred Heart Shelter is located on lower Queen Anne and is a temporary shelter that offers a safe, home-like refuge to homeless families in Seattle. Sacred Heart functions under the premise that every person is entitled to a safe place to sleep. We believe that the transition from homeless to housed is one that takes time, effort and perseverance. Sacred Heart Shelter operates as a support network for people as they go through that process. The staff works with residents to develop goals, obtain health and dental care, job and parent training, childcare and ongoing support and assistance towards the ultimate goal of locating stable, permanent housing.
Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission is non-profit homeless and housing services provider that exists to support the homeless and hungry in our community. Our goal is to restore hope and rebuild the lives of those that are experiencing homelessness, guiding them from the streets to sustainability while meeting their needs physically, emotionally and spiritually.
JOEY Restaurant Group is proud to announce that our organization has been named to the 2017 BEST WORKPLACES FOR WOMEN.
JOEY Restaurant Group received this honour after a thorough and independent analysis conducted by Great Place to Work® Canada, which included the following considerations of the organizations surveyed:
Minimum 50 women employees in the organization
Minimum 90% positive response to the statement “I am treated fairly regardless of my gender”
For eligibility, surveyed organizations provided male/female breakdown by job level (non-management., middle management and senior management)
At JOEY, 52% of the management team are women, with women playing a leading role in all aspects of our business.
Some of these individuals include:
Bar: Carlyn Gill, Manager of Bar Training
Construction: Oriana Vanderboon, Project Manager
Culinary: Kathleen Good, Night Sous Chef
Design: Meghan Pitt, Senior Project Designer
Human Resources: Georgina Boyne, Manager of Human Resources
Information Technology: Elysia Douillard, Retail Systems Analyst
Marketing: Britt Innes, VP of Marketing
Operations: Leah Whitworth, Regional Manager
Payroll: Ivana Mitrasinovic, Manager of Payroll
Procurement: Caroline Smart, Director of Procurement and Supply Chain
Recruitment: Kelsey Bleakney, Manager of Recruitment and Employment Brand
Senior Executive Team: Kathryn Angus, CFO
“This is not only a day to recognize all the great women that make up our organization but an opportunity to illustrate the diverse careers you can have working for a progressive restaurant group,” said Leah Whitworth, Regional Manager for the Lower Mainland. “Many people have pre-conceived notions about restaurant “jobs” and what a career looks like. There’s a whole world of opportunity that exists depending on your interests and skill set. JOEY takes developing people seriously and your performance of sales, people and growth profit directly reflects returns in your pocket. The restaurant industry is a dynamic industry that is constantly evolving. Innovation, growth and the education of our people is critical and allows us to stay on the leading edge. There`s a reason we have a 13 year average management tenure, we invest in our people in every way possible.”
“I can speak to that personally,” said Britt Innes, VP of Marketing. “I’ve been with company for 13 years. I started as a server, studying to earn my business degree at Simon Fraser University. I quickly realized I was learning more at JOEY as I moved up the ranks; formulating budgets, making sales plans, managing a team. Now, I’m the VP of Marketing. At JOEY, you forge your own path.”
As the night sous chef at JOEY Restaurant Group’s Calgary Chinook store, Kathleen Good performs multiple roles and wears multiple hats. She is responsible for ensuring that the 10-14 kitchen staff working under her are ready each night “to execute a flawless dinner service,” as she puts it.
That is her immediate and daily challenge. Long-term, however, she’s responsible for ensuring that everyone under her grows and develops. “There’s no ceiling for anyone who wants to continue to develop and learn new things,” says Good. “The possibilities are limitless and I haven’t seen anything like it in any other organization where I’ve worked. If you’re driving your personal development, management will support you.”
The list of Best Workplaces for Women is based on direct feedback from employees of the surveyed organizations, and Great Place To Work ® confirms that the survey data has a 90% confidence and a plus or minus 5% margin of error.
Jeff Fuller, owner of JOEY Restaurant Group, is committed to making this a great place to work through encouraging growth and rewarding high performance.
JOEY Restaurant Group announces next company-wide location will be the Rideau Centre, opening late spring of 2017. This will be a momentous site in the organization’s history, as it is a landmark site for not only Ottawa but JOEY will also celebrate their 25th anniversary with its opening.
“We were excited about this historic site and being part of downtown Ottawa. It was important that this location embodied the JOEY brand, but was also cohesive with the historic exterior elements of the building,” Meghan Pitt, Designer for JOEY Rideau, “We worked with the city to ensure our patio paid homage to the city’s history while also being unique to us.”
As such interior architectural elements throughout will align with the building’s history, while JOEY Rideau’s patio will emulate a traditional bistro seen on the old streets of Ottawa, complete with café style seating and string lights.
The open concept will include a cozy waiting area, dining room, lounge with central bar, and seating focused around a theatre kitchen. Building on offering world-class hospitality, a custom live edge tasting station near the entrance ensures there`s ample room for guests to wait. A sushi bar at the kitchen ledge and chef’s dining seating in front of the kitchen will offer a new way to be a part of the experience like never before.
The culinary team, led by Executive Chef Chris Mills, continuously explores new flavours, techniques and dishes. Whether the inspiration comes from just around the corner or a continent away Chef Mills believes in offering innovative dishes that are sure to surprise.
Paralleling the experiential, theatre kitchen will be a wine room, custom designed in collaboration with JOEY Sommelier Jason Yamasaki.
“JOEY Rideau is the pinnacle of JOEY design today; cohesion meets individuality. We have really defined the JOEY brand aesthetic over the last few years and guests can expect to see that refined-industrial, yet timeless look we have become known for. There is a fine balance between the strong brand elements that define us while still incorporating new materials and architectural features unique to this location,” said Pitt.
This location is a true reflection of how far JOEY has come over the last 25 years and is a nod to what the future of JOEY will look like.
A Private Event Experience
Jeff Fuller, Owner and CEO of JOEY Restaurants
It’s the season of celebrations. Whether you’re busy traveling to company parties and family dinners or are playing the ultimate host at your own event – this time of year can be hectic. That’s why we want to treat you to a carefree event of your own in 2017, because let’s admit it – you deserve it! All you need to do is pick the day. Stress free for you, and impressive for your guests. Our grand prize (valued at $2,000) is:
Do you have a special anniversary, birthday party or engagement you want to celebrate in 2017? We want to help. Our private event spaces offer an inviting ambiance with warm accents. This prize consists of a private booking at JOEY for 10 guests including a champagne toast, a four course dinner with award-winning wine pairings and a signature handcrafted cocktail station. All you need to do is let us know the location you wish to join us at and the day you want to celebrate and we will do the rest! Our event teams are ready to create the perfect experience for you.
To enter: Follow @JOEYRestaurants on Instagram. In the comment section for today’s Instagram Private Event Giveaway tell us what event you want to celebrate and who you want to celebrate with. Contest closes at 9:30am PST on December 24, 2016. Winner will be selected at random and announced on the Instagram Private Event Giveaway post at 10:00am PST on December 24, 2016.
As the Events Development Manager for JOEY Restaurants I plan a lot of parties! Jeff Fuller, the owner of JOEY, and I like to ensure all guests celebrating feel special, whether they are hosting a party in one of our private event spaces or we are hosting a launch party for a new location. It’s easy to make guests feel special when you have a dedicated hospitality team behind you, but how do you accomplish that same experience at home? Home get-togethers are a great way to get all your friends together over the holiday season but between preparing food and mixing drinks for your guests, how are you going to have any fun of your own? Here are some tips to help make your party a big success.
- Elysse Chaffe, JOEY Events Development Manager
1. The Party Starts When Your Guests Walk In
Greeting your guests at the door with a beverage will make them feel as if they are attending a polished affair. The best part is that it’s much easier than the alternative of inviting them to sit down and asking them what they would like. Having pre-poured beverages will allow your guests to get right to mingling and give you some extra time to put your feet up. Prosecco or champagne are general crowd pleasers and tend to work best — they take only a few seconds to pour and will look great on a silver platter while waiting for more guests to arrive. Create a little station near the entrance so you have everything you need at the door and don’t need to run back and forth to the kitchen.
2. Prepare a Coat and Shoe Area
Often overlooked, your guests will be fighting the rain and snow on their way over to your place and will likely have some extra weather protection such as big boots, umbrellas and big wet coats. Ensuring you have a well setup coat area will help elevate bottle necking at the doorway and ensure your home stays tidy.
3. Serve Both Hot and Cold
Great hors d’oeuvre will keep your guests delighted and snacking all evening, but if you go for dishes to elaborate you will be spending most of the evening cooking and serving meals. Mixing in some timeless cold canapés will give you more time to focus on the more tricky dishes, and then more time to catch up with your guests.
4. Create Stations
The last thing you want at a party is people crowding around the kitchen or doorway waiting for food or drinks to come. It creates clutter for you trying to host and changes the dynamics of the party completely. Before you send out your invites take a look at your space. Think about where a drink station and a canape station could work. Disperse them around the space. This will create areas for people to flow to and from and ensure that people mingle and hang out in the main area of your party. A good tip is to look for corners or edges around your main mingling space.
5. Make Your Stations Interactive
I love to make my stations interactive. This helps in entertaining your guests. Think about it, you can’t talk to everyone all at once so by creating some playful elements at the party guests will feel like they are truly being hosted and the pressure will be taken off you! When I say interactive, think touch, taste, smell and sight.
In our business we always like to remember people eat (and drink) with their eyes as much as they do with their palate. By creating stations where people can build their own drinks or canapes there is an element of playfulness and you won’t have to be crafting drinks all night! A great station for this is mimosas. You can leave the bubbles out and have crafts of different fresh juices for people to make their own. When building stations we like to incorporate the theme of the party or ingredients that go into the dishes or drinks. For instance, if you were serving mimosas at a holiday party, you could incorporate some pine tree branches along the table or showcase fresh pressed juice by having fresh oranges out, some partially cut to create fragrance. You also want to create levels so your station looks dynamic and can be seen from across the room.
These stations also make for great photo opps for your guests!
That’s it! It’s as easy as that. If you incorporate these five tips into your next event I promise you, you will have more time to enjoy your guests’ company! Happy celebrating, everyone!
Happy Hour for All
Al Jessa, JOEY Restaurants President
This time of year it’s easy to get caught up on wrap reports, final projects and ensuring you are set up to take some holiday time. It’s important to remember the people who are beside you throughout the year making your success possible; your colleagues. Corporate culture is dear to my heart. At JOEY we encourage our teams to take time out to enjoy themselves and celebrate their accomplishments whether it’s a brewery tour, a cooking class or a competitive game of flag football. Remember it’s important to have a few laughs and recap your accomplishments with your team and so this Team Building Prize Pack (valued at $380) includes:
FEED Denim Apron
I picked this apron for a couple reasons; it’s important to support the people in our organization and the communities we operate in.
When I saw this apron I was reminded of my own story as a restauranteur. I began working for the Fuller family in 1991 as a dishwasher. In 1996, I became the Executive Chef of JOEY with a CCC designation (Certified Chef de Cuisine). Now, I am honoured to be the president. People development is important to me. I want to provide our people with every opportunity to grow and be successful. Our apprenticeship programs, university partnerships and the JEIT are part of this and foster an entrepreneurial spirit in our people, while rewarding them for their efforts.
Secondly, the proceeds from each FEED apron purchased goes to feed 14 meals for children and families in America. Now that is something I can get behind. In 2009, we created the Cup of Care program, which to date has served over 15 thousand cups of soup to shelters in each of our communities. Last summer, we expanded the program with a new initiative called Scoop of Care. For the month of August, $1 from each scoop of our Spun Daily Ice Cream was donated to local charities and causes chosen by JOEY employees.
At JOEY, we have a saying, “Don`t be afraid of the unachievable, this is what will drive your vision forward.” We put this into practice every day by imagining ourselves a year from now and write about everything we have accomplished. Make these goals big and you will be surprised at what you turn into a reality.
That’s why I am including this New York Times bestseller as part of my giveaway. This book inspired me so much I ensured everyone at head office received a copy. In his autobiography Jack Welch recounts how he defied conventional wisdom and turned an aging behemoth of a corporation into a lean, mean engine of growth and corporate innovation. From his working-class childhood to his early days in G.E. Plastics to his life at the top of the world’s most successful company, Welch tells his intensely personal story with his well-known fire and candor. And although it chronicles billion-dollar deals and high-stakes corporate standoffs, Jack is ultimately a story about people-from a man who based his career on demanding only the best from others and from himself.
As I mentioned, time to celebrate with your coworkers is so important. I am including a $300 JOEY gift card so you can celebrate this year’s success with your team. From 3-6pm every day, including weekends, you can enjoy $4 drinks and $3.5 appetizers. As part of the Super Happy Happy Hour guests can enjoy the JOEY classics like Super Sonics and Sushi Cones or try something new like our Hawaiian Tuna Tacos. Super Happy Happy Hour also continues from 9pm-close Sunday-Thursday giving you ample opportunity to celebrate with your colleagues.
To enter: Follow @JOEYRestaurants on Instagram. In the comment section for today’s Instagram Team Building Prize Pack tag your work family and share your favourite accomplishment of the year. Contest closes at 9:30am PST on December 23, 2016. Winner will be selected at random and announced on the Instagram Team Building Prize Pack post at 10:00am PST on December 23, 2016.
Jessa has had a long history with JOEY Restaurant Group founder Jeff Fuller and his impressive lineage of foodservice entrepreneurs, starting with Bus Fuller in 1954. Jessa started out on his own journey in the restaurant world as a dishwasher for the Fuller family operations back in 1988. Just a few short years later in 1991, Jessa had graduated to chef and by 1996 had become the Executive Chef of JOEY Restaurants, which Jeff Fuller had originally launched as JOEY Tomato Kitchen in 1992.
“This was a big time for us as we grew JOEY from six to nine stores in just three months, transitioning from pizza and pasta to global cuisine,” Jessa recalls. “Continually being given opportunities to grow with this company is a huge reason why I am where I am today. Now, as president of JOEY, it is important to me to continue to offer growth opportunity for our partners.”
Although Jeff Fuller’s initial casual Italian concept proved to be successful, it was speaking more to the family sector where competition was fierce and patrons tend to be more economical. So, the decision was made to re-invent JOEY and in 2000, Fuller moved the concept away from the Italian, family friendly environment with spaghetti lights hanging from the ceiling, to a more premium casual, adult-friendly concept complete with a lush patio, acoustically sound dining room, and hip lounge. Today, JOEY has grown to 26 locations across Western Canada and Ontario, with new locations also opening up in the United States.
Jessa says that despite tough economic times from 2005 to 2010, JOEY was able to grow from $48 million in revenue to $100 million. “It was our biggest challenge to date, at the time,” says Jessa. “A huge part of overcoming this was our ability to create realities that weren`t going to happen for us. Determining what we wanted to be, not what we could be due to circumstances, drove us forward. We created a vision of building a world-class company, famous for developing elite leaders, altering the way business is done and making a positive difference everywhere. This was our mantra and we made every effort to create it, from bringing on and creating great leaders, developing education and apprenticeship programs and always being driven by innovative ideas.”
Jessa says his early passion for the hospitality industry was likely the result of his mother being a good cook. He remembers the joys of entertaining family and friends with meals his Mom had prepared and says it was such memories that kept him gravitating towards the hospitality industry. That early passion for entertaining through food has evolved over the years, developing into an intense focus on innovation and execution.
“I am passionate about only Execution,” says Jessa. “I am not particularly creative. My good friend and colleague Chris Mills (our Executive Chef) is creative. I love execution — every dish going out to the customer the same way, with the same specs, the same flavor and presentation every day, every week. That takes real talent. I am passionate about executing all aspects of hospitality including creating a profit model for the restaurants that gives customers remarkable value, while at the same time respectable returns for our shareholders.”
Having just turned 50 this year, Jessa says his main focus these days is transferring what he has learned during his 20–year history at JOEY to the next group of leaders.
“We have always said we are in the people business and are committed to our employee partners reaching their full potential through training programs, mentorship and continual coaching. We have dozens of cases of people starting as an expo, server or dishwasher that are now Regional Managers, VP of Culinary Operations, or VP of Marketing. There are 73 chefs in the organization who have received their Red Seal, six chefs who have their CCC designation, and 10 staff who received their ACC. The food service business is about much more than food.”
CREATES COMPELLING VISION
Even though JOEY continues to grow, Jessa believes there are more important goals that simply opening more restaurants. He says he wants to leave the company with a secure foundation and with a vision for the future that the next set of stakeholders are completely aligned on.
“I am always looking to be to be innovative and relevant rather than just focusing on expansion. We don’t believe in growing for the sake of growing. We want to ensure that we pick the right new locations and that our current locations are thriving. It’s about relevancy over growth. The soul of JOEY is to strive to be the best in the industry. We are focused on winning the guest vote – we want to earn that. We want to always ensure we are innovating and have great value in what we offer to our guests.”
A Giveaway for the Up-and-Coming Chef.
Kathleen Good, JOEY Chef
At this time of year I like to look back at all I have accomplished and learned over the year. Over the course of 2016 my eyes have been opened, allowing me to distinguish the difference between what I thought I knew, versus what I need to learn. I have been shown what true leadership and support is and all it entails, the abundance of tools provided associated with success, the respect required from one partner to another. I joined this company through the Chef-in-Training program and with that in mind here is a prize pack (valued at $300) for the up-and-coming chef:
Global Cook’s Knife and Sharpener Set
This set is the perfect choice for any at-home chef. The all-purpose Chef’s Knife is Global’s most popular knife. Your top choice for slicing large quantities of vegetables, fruit and meat quickly and effectively. Loved by professional chefs around the world, Global knives are an excellent choice for the serious home cook. The thin and razor sharp Global blade allows the cook to cleanly slice through foods, preserving the integrity of the ingredient and maximizing its flavor. The majority of Global knives are ground to a straight point rather than the western style of beveling the edge. To balance their knives Global uses a hollow handle that is filled with just the right amount of sand to create the correct balance.
The handle has its own unique darkened dimples for a non-slip grip. Because the knives are very light weight they reduce hand fatigue. Global knives have a smooth contour and seamless, all stainless construction that eliminates food and dirt traps. Global knifes are forged in Japan from CROMOVA 18 Stainless Steel, a blend of 18 percent chromium for good stain resistance plus molybdenum and vanadium which gives excellent edge retention.
Minosharp Sharpener – this water wheel sharpener is a hand held ceramic sharpener and no experience or skill is required to use it. Simply fill the reservoir with water and run your knife backwards and forwards a few times. The revolutionary ceramic wheels ensure the blade is sharpened at the correct angle and prolongs the blade’s cutting edge.
At JOEY we have an amazing culinary apprentice program. Whether it`s our signature menu items or a black box challenge we take people development very seriously. I am including a $100 JOEY gift card as part of this giveaway to experience some of our new menu items.
To enter: Follow @JOEYRestaurants on Instagram. In the comment section for today’s Instagram Chef-in-Training Giveaway tag a friend or family member and share the first lesson you learned in the kitchen. Contest closes at 9:30am PST on December 22, 2016. Winner will be selected at random and announced on the Instagram Chef-in-Training Giveaway post at 10:00am PST on December 22, 2016.
A lot of people think of the holiday season as a time of celebration, but there is another side to it. At the end of the year, I like to look back and reflect.
I have been cooking in professional kitchens for the past sixteen years. I joined the JOEY Restaurant Group, in September of 2015. In the first few months, I was enrolled in an accelerated training program towards leadership. My vision, once entering this establishment was to become a Sous Chef at one of our Calgary locations. After eight months with the company that goal was met as I was promoted to the Night Sous Chef at Joey Chinook. Now with that goal accomplished I will not stop, I am going to continue to accelerate and pursue new horizons within this company, and aspire to be signed off for Head Sous Chef before the end of 2017. My new goal is to be the first female Chef with the Joey Restaurant Group.
In my time with JOEY my eyes have been opened, allowing me to distinguish the difference between what I thought I knew, versus what I need to learn. I have been shown what true leadership and support is and all it entails, the abundance of tools provided associated with success, the respect required from one partner to another, the integrity behind what drives and motivates individuals, how teamwork is a privilege and a necessity, and what true empowerment beholds. The people I have been given the opportunity to work with over the past eight months, have inspired me to do my best, and shown me how I can equip others to overcome challenges. It may start with my own personal development as a chef, co-worker, and leader, but there is no ending on where this can take me, and where I can lead others. I have experienced a light, a passion, a commitment and dedication, which I never knew I wanted to be a part of, but can confidently say honored to be included in. This is where I belong.
So watch out, because there is no ceiling for me, and I am going to go places with this company no one has ever experienced. As Chef Justin Rimmer once said, ‘pressure can do two things, it can break you or create a diamond, what are you going to be?”
I am going to blind you with how bright I will shine. – Kathleen Good
Sommelier Prize Pack Now Available!
Jason Yamasaki, JOEY Group Sommelier
Hosting friends and family can be a lot, what makes it even more difficult is selecting the right wine. To accompany my recommendation guide I want to set you up with a couple wines (and a treat for yourself) to get your season started. This prize pack (valued at $200) includes:
jy. An Ancient Method Pinot Noir Sparkling Wine
This is the time of year to celebrate, and nothing says celebration like bubbly. I`m excited to include a wine close to my heart. I was honoured to work on a signature wine with Okanagan Crush Pad through their program called Wine Campus. For 2016, we partnered in creating ‘jy.’ an Ancient Method Pinot Noir sparkling wine. I worked with Okanagan Crush Pad Winery’s sparkling winemaker, Jordan Kubek and this wine is very much a snapshot of the vineyard, and the fruit at the time it was picked. The vineyard is part of their working ranch, and that this was the first picking of the pinot noir grapes from the Garnet Valley. It’s very drinkable with a mid-palate of silky, aromatic fruit.
Chianti Classico – Fontodi
This is a JOEY favourite. Absolutely authentic Italian charm.
Fontodi is located in the heart of Chianti Classico just outside of Florence. They are considered one of the benchmark producers of the region – celebrated for the purity and intensity. The vineyards are planted in a very special site called the “Conca d’Oro” (the golden shell) because of its amphitheatre shape. It’s perfect for capturing the Tuscan sun. What you’ll experience is the warmth and richness of this site through nuances of dark berries, cucina, and sun-baked terra cotta. They also raise a heritage breed of cattle on the site – born next to beef. And that is certainly the best pairing on the plate for this Italian legend. Grill up a rib steak – season simply with salt. You’ll be transported to Tuscany.
To become the ultimate wine kinda-sseur you need to taste an array of different wines to determine what you like. I am including a $100 JOEY gift card in this giveaway to ensure you can taste your way through the JOEY wine menu.
To enter: Follow @JOEYRestaurants on Instagram. In the comment section for today’s Instagram Sommelier Prize Pack tag a friend or family member and share your favourite holiday wine. Contest closes at 9:30am PST on December 21, 2016. Winner will be selected at random and announced on the Instagram Sommelier Prize Pack post at 10:00am PST on December 21, 2016.
Here’s an insiders tour through the BCLDB with JOEY Sommelier Jason Yamasaki.
Hey, I get it. The visit to any wine store can be such an intimidating and daunting task. Not only is wine the vastest of subjects – but each person comes to their glass with their own hopes and desires for what character every bottle will deliver.
The stores themselves are challenging too! They are divided into their own sections as defined by their different origins. Labels are cryptic at the best of times. Grapes sometimes mentioned – though usually not in France or Italy. We often have no idea what to expect right?
This is where experts like me come in. Can you believe that I’ve made it a career to seek out, decode, evaluate, visit, categorize, and taste as many samples as possible in order to make the most delicious recommendations purely for your wine enjoyment?
Follow me on my insider’s guide to our local BCLDB. I will point out the most exciting selections on our store shelves. The wines that you should be taking home to impress your date, your family, and your guests this holiday season. These profiles are rare, delicious, delightful and full of character. They’re sometimes overlooked – but never again. Now you and your crew know exactly what to seek out.
Here are my most delicious recommendations with a small quote of what I’d probably say if I was taking you on a live tour. And of course, I would take you through every section in the store – so here we have eight different countries to showcase!
Medici Ermete ‘Concerto’ Lambrusco – Emilia-Romagna, Italy $19.99
“This is absolutely one of the most delicious and delightful wines in BC. It’s a sparkling red wine from northern Italy. Yes, sparkling red. When you pour it, It looks like it’s going to be horrifically sweet. But try it! And it’s bone dry. Super fresh! And the perfect, and I mean PERFECT, pairing to your nearest takeout pizza. It’s made by a 4th generation family estate – so you know that this is pure Italian heritage.”
Herdade do Rocim ‘Mariana’ Branco – Alentejano, Portugal $17.99
“Who ever goes for the Portuguese wine? Very few, right? Well, I’d love to introduce you to some of the most charming wines on the planet. They are so horrifically unsung that we can find incredible expressions at crazy value. Here’s a blended white wine from central Portugal – the blend doesn’t matter because native Portuguese grape varieties are a whole nursery of history on their own. If you’re intro dry, complex, fragrant and ultra-fresh styles of white – you have to try this!”
Tahbilk Marsanne – Nagambie Lakes, Australia $18.49
“Australia is the source of the most delicious and unique wines on earth right now. And you can quote me on that. Confidently. This is a five-generation, family-owned winery dating back 160 years. On their farm – in the middle of nowhere in southeastern Australia – they have more of a grape called Marsanne than anyone else in the world. It’s honeyed – it’s waxy – it’s fragrant – it’s full of character. It’s a flavour all its own and step back into the Australian wine history.”
Laurenz Und Sophie Grüner Veltliner – Kamptal, Austria $21.49
“Austria has been so hot in the realms of the wine pros for the last few years. It doesn’t show any signs of slowing down either. Really, Austria produces some of the most captivatingly energetic wines. They have such a scintillating and quenching freshness! Their native grape is called Grüner Veltliner. You can think of Sauvignon Blanc meeting a Pinot Grigio and resolving with a Mozart-like finesse. Try this with fresh greens and vegetables and you’ll demand on a bottle always on hand.”
“Its drinky juice.” Short, meaningful descriptions rule.
Santa Rita ‘Medalla Real’ Cabernet Sauvigonon – Maipo, Chile $20.99
“We expect Cabernet Sauvignon to be our big, full-flavoured, broad-shouldered bruiser of a wine right? It’s intense in colour – massive in structure – and unapologetic in its intensity. But sometimes we want some restraint. This very classic Chilean winery crafts Cabernet in a way that is far too rare. Angles, balance, structure, permission. For a different but satisfying time…”
Rodney Strong ‘Knotty Vines’ Zinfandel – Sonoma, California $22.99
“Sometimes I wish there would be no grapes listed on a wine label. I wish that the producer would have the confidence just to say ‘California Red Wine.’ This is what they should have done here. It’s so juicy – so delightful. And honestly, it’s ruined by most other wines labeled ‘Zinfandel.’ Forget about Zinfandel. This is sensational red wine. Doesn’t matter what it’s made of!”
Gonzales Byass ‘Nutty Solera’ Oloroso – Jerez, Spain $15.99
“Sherry is not just for your granny. It’s for everyone. Especially at this price – it’s for everyone. This belongs with every dessert that you serve this season. It’s a whole category of wine worth reviving. Let’s be part of that revolution! Sweeter styles of sherry with unbelievable balance. That’s what we can stand for.”
***Note that these will all be available at the larger ‘Signature’ stores. It is more difficult to find them at the smaller locations. Check www.bcliquorstores.com to see about stock near you!***