Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lots to update

I know its been a while, to be honest its been a really hectic work week. The kick off of the work week was a huge event that Canoe put on for E Tv. This party was for about 90 people, it was open bar, and there was only 4 people serving the event me included. At first it seemed like it was going to be hard to keep track of drinks , since you have to run down to the low bar , we were in the restaurant. Once you get back to the restaurant the person who ordered the drink , or the people where gone, it was difficult to find people in a crowed room . But the whole event managed to run really smoothly. I was very happy to have to more event knowledge under my belt. Plus a person from e news wrote back our event director with rave reviews of the serve .

The next day during the day we had another similar even to put on . This event was for Royal Roads . It was a party for all the Masters graduates and the event was also for 90 people. This time we did it with only 3 servers. It was a buffet style , with open bar. Which meant one person was constantly bring up food, one was en-charge of drinks(me) and the last person was bussing. Although we all took turns doing a little bit of everything. As soon as this event was done I had to go rush out and go up Island. I had two family birthday parties all weekend.
When returning home I started work right away. Lately I have been scheduled for restaurant shifts , which means that I have for sure shifts. This was awesome as I was starting to get sick of on call shifts. Then mid week I had to go into ER with another Kidney stone. This is my second stone in 8 months. It was super lame and very painful. I was in ER for 6 hours , the first 4 I spent basically without painkillers. After my cat scan showed that I have 3 including the one that was giving me pain it my kidney. This news was pretty scary. This means that at any-point one of those Kidney stones could decide to start their journey and which point( because they come with little notice) I could be at work ,driving or school.

After recovering from one of my kidney stones I decided to work a gig again with Truffles Catering. This event was at the Hudson, which was amazing . The event was a party on the roof serving all the executives who helped build the Hudson. The pre work before the event was alot of heavy lifting. Which I was not super pleased about , just having a kidney stone the day before. We had to lift crates for beer, wine cooking things up to elevators , then to the storing room, which was far, then finally to the roof, which was even farther. There was a lot of stuff to bring up because the event was three days long. The event went smoother then the set up, I passed appies, poured wine .

Thursday, September 16, 2010


This last week has been a good week . The start of the week was a bit concerning , when receiving my schedule I was scheduled 5 days on the patio. Patio shifts are getting a bit risky to take on these days due to the weather. To make matter worse when checking the weather forecast they were calling for a week of rain. Lucky , the days that it rained I got the opportunity to move inside and work. It was great, I usually work outside so it was great to work in a different atmosphere. The restaurant is a bit more fine dinning. Which means as a server you have to act more professional, plus you get asked more questions about the menu and wine list, so it is a bit more of a challenge. Its nice because it gives me the opportunity to showcase my food and beverage knowledge.

This weekend I am on my way to a family get together. I am really looking forward to seeing my family before school starts . Plus it is my nephews first birthday , which will be rather exiting. I hardly get the change to see my family when school starts. Therefore I am really looking forward to a good vist, and catch up.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Get blogging

I know I know its been a while since I have blogged, not to much to report . Working , attempting to get some last minute summer stuff in before school starts . Today I took my full license test , and passed! Which is rather exciting! Which means legally I can have a glass of wine and drive now. Work has been going well. We have cut down on patio servers , this means that we have bigger sections now . I am really liking bigger sections . Normally the servers outside have 5 tables , now we have 6 or 7 tables. This is better for tips and keeping busy .

I just found the best white wine. It is by White Bear, it is a Riesling. It tastes like granny smith Apples , yum ! Plus a percent of proceeds go to saving bears. By me enjoy this wine I am contributing to saving endangered species. Yay!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Wow , I cannot believe how fast things have flown by during this last C0-0p . Until completing my midway evaluation sheet I was unaware on how many things I have learned at Canoe. I have improved my multitasking skills like crazy . I am able to think and do so many more things at once. This allows be to spend more time with my tables. Plus I must say my product knowledge has more then doubled. I went into Canoe with very little beer knowledge , what I did know about beer is that I did not care for it . Today I can proudly say I can drink beer and enjoy it . All the beer at Canoe is great . Plus they produce five different types of beer . All five of these beers have unique characteristics which make them easy to break down to tables and find out what they like. I have also taken lately to drinking beer out , not at Canoe . My favorite non Canoe beer lately (because I love all of Canoes beer!) has been Phillips Phoenix , man it is great

My wine knowledge has also improved , not only can I open a perfect bottle of wine at a table but I know all wines my the glass at Canoe. There are about 12 different wines. I know their characteristics , and a idea of what they will pair well with.

I am stating to get very exited about school . I love September , I love fall fashion , student life return to victoria . The influx of youth returning , and of course fringe feast , Rifflandria, and of corse my birthday . Lately however , I am starting to get a little stressed out , will my student loan come in on time? will it be enough money to make it through the year. It is my goal this fall to apply for as many school bursaries as possible. Plus I have given myself till the end of September to decided where I am going to go for my second Co-op. So far I have it narrowed down to 3 places , Whistler ,Banff -Canmore or just staying in Victoria. It can be difficult packing up you life for just four months just to return for another 2 months of school. Choices , Choices!

As Far as work is going they have implemented a new schedule for the patio. This new thing is through shifts. Instead of starting at 11 and working until 5 most of us are scheduled 12-till close. Which sometimes can be until 9 9:30. For myself today working a though on a Saturday it is going to be a very long day . Without any breaks:( . On my plus side you make bank , it will most likely be a good tip day , plus an opportunity to go into overtime. Downside 9 hour days running you butt off , with little food and absolutely no breaks. Arg!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Howard Soon

As you know one of my main goals during this Co-op was to learn more about wine. Today I attended a seminar at Canoe hosted by Howard Soon . Many different people where there some from different hotels around Victoria , and the majority of the people were from Cascada liquor store. Howard Soon is the Master Wine maker for Sandhill winery . This year Sandhill won for best wine in the Canadian wine championships. He was a very interesting man . As a business man he always puts wine quality first . This really came through when he said that the Sandhill winery would rather have a larger yield , because this means that they are only using the highest quality of grapes. Howard has been working in the wine industry for over 35 years and now. As well as teaches other wine makers the art of wine making. Many of his students make wine for other VQA wineries loacated in Okanagan. Some of this wineries are X0X0, Red Rooster and Peller Estates all these companies are under the same company of Sandhill winery .
We all got the opportunity to try many different wine varieties. Here is a list of the wines we got to taste. Pinot Blanc, Pinot noir , chardonnay , unoaked chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc (my favorite) Gamay Noir, and two different types of merlots. Personally I Preferred the White wines over the Reds . Although I have been enjoying wines for the last couple years I still find red wine to be to full bodied and tannins. During the end I got to personally introduce myself to him and ask him a few questions . Then he asked us questions based on his seminar. I answered a few questions right and won myself a prize. A Peller camping chair . It was the perfect ending to such a informative gathering .

Monday, August 9, 2010


A couple days ago I had the opportunity to work my first Catering gig with Truffles Catering . We are both owned my the same company , however, are quite separate. On Saturday Truffles were short staffed so they called Canoe to see if any servers would be able to work for them . Due to the patio being closed I got called. It was great , my job can be very redundant so it was fantastic to be able to mix it up. The event that I ended up helping with was a wedding . The wedding was located near Sydney , right on the water. When I arrived I was put to work right away. I was a little nervous because I had never done anything like this before. I was given the job of bartending . All night long I poured drinks for guests, the majority of the drinks were wine and beer. When the bar was slow I helped re-fill waters and clear tables. After the event was over we had to disassemble all the tables and chairs. This was actually very tiring because the chairs and tables were quite heavy , plus all the caterers had worked a full 9 hour day.
This was a great experience for me. During the event I got to see the fundamentals that went into throwing a event . I learned that the majority of then things catering company's provide are rented. From the tables to the plates. This allows for very little over head. I found this very intreating because you don't need to have a lot of equity to start up a company . The over head is much smaller then opening a restaurant . Perhaps in the future I will first start my career off first starting a catering company rather then a restaurant .
I am going to try and stay on working gigs with Truffles Catering . They apparently are quite a flexible company , they allow you to work your own hours. For example you email them what days you can work , and they will have you work if they have an event . This will allow me to make some extra cash while working at Canoe , and perhaps throughout the school year. Plus will give me the insight I will need if I ever want to open a Catering Company.
Today has been a very productive day for me . I paid my web declaration fees so I can register for school for October , and finally completed my Student Loan. After completing all of this I feel stress free. The only thing I need to accomplish now is my Co-op meeting . The meeting will hopefully take place this week and everything I need to do will be complete.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Half way point

Man, Co-op has already made it to the half way point . The last few months have flew by , its pretty crazy. I was thinking today how far I have come at Canoe, my wine and beer knowledge has enhanced as well as my confidence. When we first started Dunlop I remember serving my first table and how nervous I was . How uncomfortable it can be serving different groups of people that you don't know or have little in common with. I feel the last 3 months at Canoe have really helped me. Lately my tables have even commented on how their service was wonderful. This has been a real confidence boast. Plus the staff that work at Canoe are amazing . Just moving to Victoria a year ago Canoe had provided me a great chance to meet people that work in the industry. Many people that I work with work other jobs , which has given me insight into other places as well. For instance how other places are to work for , and the kind of work atmosphere other jobs provide. Making me feel like part of the industry.

This week has been pretty hectic, although , thankfully non of the drama has come from work . I (again) just returned from up Island . While I was there decided to get my car looked at . It has not been running well . After everything was done and fixed , the final bill was over 1000 dollars which was alarming . This means that I am going to have to save extra hard this summer to start saving for school . :( Plus get my butt in gear for completing all my student loan stuff.