Vista d'Oro jam

Celebrities Pick Foods They Use In a Pinch

Vancouver’s top chefs, cooking instructors and food writers weigh in on the tinned, packaged and frozen products they reach for in a pinch.

Vista d'Oro jamSAVE TIME | Much as we might like to make every dish we eat from scratch, we don’t always have the time to do it. Even top food professionals cheat with premade products on occasion, which is why we asked three top foodies—critics, writers, chefs and instructors—to reveal the tinned, packaged or frozen ingredients they reach for  in a pinch.

3 Top Food Products To Use In A Pinch

Vista d’OroMia Stainsby, Vancouver Sun restaurant critic and food writer, says she loves having Vista d’Oro preserves (pictured above) in the fridge. “When I’m making dinner and I don’t have time to fancy-up the veg course, they make great cheat sauces. I just finished their Green Walnut and Grappa preserves, and I used them with asparagus and with carrots. I’ve even used some in vinaigrettes to jazz them up. And for a weekday dinner, you can dress up a chicken breast with it. Plum with Vanilla Star Anise is another thriller—it’d be great with duck.” —Mia Stainsby
Check out Mia’s blog Follow her on Twitter @miastainsby. For where to buy Vista d’Oro products in Metro Vancouver visit

Organic Fair rubs - Don GenovaOrganic FairDon Genova, noted food journalist and radio personality, says he usually likes to “make up my own rubs for the barbecue, but there are a couple that I use from a Organic Fair, a company nearby [on Vancouver Island], that are so good I keep them on hand in my spice drawer. Their Mystic Mole spice rub is fantastic on chicken, particularly on wings, and their Ultimate ’Que is great on meat. I love this stuff.” —Don Genova
Check out Don’s blog Follow him on Twitter @dongenova, To order Organic Fair products online visit

Vij's prepared mealsVij’s MealsKaren Barnaby, Fish House executive chef and food writer for the Vancouver Sun, says she eats dif- ferently from most people. “Wheat, any form of sugar, ground grains or tropical fruit are not part of my diet. I usually have a few of Vij’s prepared meals in my freezer for when I don’t feel like cooking. And if I’m even lazier than that, I always have canned tuna, salmon and Hellman’s mayonnaise around to make a quick salad. I love Hellman’s.” —Karen Barnaby
Check out Karen’s offerings at The Fish House In Stanley Park at Follow her on Twitter @karenbarnaby. For where to find Vij’s packaged meals visit

Photos, top to bottom: courtesy Vista d’Oro, courtesy Don Genova, courtesy Vij’s

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