Prairie Dog’s 2016 Best Of Food & Drink proudly presents the result of two open polls — a nomination round and a final round — that ran online at prairiedogmag.com from February to April of this year. Hordes of Prairie Dog readers cast precisely 298 bajillion votes for their favourite restaurants, meals, watering holes, food industry people and more, and you hold the results in your hands. Have feedback? E-mail us at [email protected]
Congratulations to all the winning restaurants and people! You serve a sweet plate, Regina. Cheers!
How Chiron Batchlett, time-travelling hipster and purveyor of artisanal tapenade, helped recognize culinary achievements with metal discs of increasing value.
SETTING: 776 BCE. Ancient Athens or other ancient Greek-looking place, with pillars and tasteful vegetation and stuff. Guys in togas hanging out, eating olives, talking philosophy and generally being super Hellenic. Suddenly a ball of light and electricity expands in the middle of the crowd. Out of the ball of light steps our protagonist, CHIRON BATCHLETT, wearing a particularly hipsterish toga, looking anachronistic but projecting an inexplicable air of ironic detachment.
CHIRON: Greetings. I am Chiron Batchios, purveyor of something I call Chiron’s Tapenade. I come from the future, BTW. Would you say that the food makers in the agora (market square) are producing uninspiring olive-based mush?
PAUSANIAS: What are you talking about and how did you get in here?
CHIRON: Well said, Pausanias. Would you not also say that local restaurants would be much improved by using my artisanal Tapenade?
PAUSANIAS: Isn’t tapenade just olive-based mush?
CHIRON: Pausanias, you are an incisive student, but perhaps you underestimate the market-stimulating powers of Chiron’s Tapenade.
PAUSANIAS: Actually, I think an annual ranking of restaurants would improve the local dining skini (scene).
PHILOCETES: (kills a bird with a rock) By Hades’ earring, what a great idea.
PAUSANIAS: I was thinking we could award them metal discs of increasing value.
ALCIBIADES: I came here to flirt with Socrates, but this sounds like way more fun.
CHIRON: What is wrong with you people?
ZEUS descends on a thundercloud. It turns out he’s like 4’10” with a giant bulbous red nose. It’s so weird that everyone just stares. After a while ZEUS clears his throat.
ZEUS: I love that idea, especially with the metal discs. Here you go.
ZEUS scatters discs of BRONZE, SILVER and GOLD before the crowd of awestruck but sort of embarrassed Athenians — awestruck because it’s ZEUS, duh, but sort of embarrassed that the supreme member of the pantheon is a weird tiny man with an alcoholic’s ruddy beak.
CHIRON: And here YOU go!
CHIRON throws a jar of Chiron’s Tapenade at ZEUS. The jar smacks the god in the forehead. ZEUS falls over dead.
PHILOCTETES: Well then.
PAUSANIAS: So where were we?
ALCIBIABES: The Best of Food… um…
CHIRON: And Drink?
ALCIBIADES: That’s such a stupid name. But yeah, let’s go with it.
CREDITS: Best Of Food & Drink 2016 was edited by Gregory Beatty and Stephen Whitworth. The feature was written by Greg and Steve, Chiron Batchlett, Paul Dechene, Amy Couzens, Shane Hnetka, McDuck, Aidan Morgan, Evan Radford, Carolyn Rebeyka, Chris Scott and Mike Shiplack. Artwork by the Myron “The Man” Campbell (notsosimpleton.com). Design by Paul “Awesome” Klassen. Published as always by Terry Morash, our long-suffering leader. You can have that beer now, Terry — it all worked out!