"With the rapid growth of social media in recent years, I feel Calgarians are now more inclined to try new cuisines from around the world," says Calgary's Vincent Law. An active member of the Canadian fashion scene with his popular blog, Binzento Vincente, Law is also a molecular biologist who spends his days working in a cancer research facility. The multi-facted man is one of the participants on the new season of CBC's Canada's Smartest Person which premieres this Sunday, November 13th. The series features a variety of Canadians who compete in a wide range of trivia and tasks to find the all-round smartest person in the bunch.
"Being on Canada's Smartest Person was really a memorable experience," says Law about taping the show in Toronto earlier this year. "It made me appreciate how lucky we are living here in Canada, where we can embrace so many different cultures, ethnicities, and talents from all walks of life. It also taught me that intelligence means more than just book smart. It's also about how you can deal with situations and challenges in front of you accurately with the least amount of time!"
Born in Hong Kong, Law immigrated to Canada at a young age, but has always had a love of international cuisine.
"Aside from homemade Vietnamese dishes, the best tasting Vietnamese pho I've ever had [has been in] Calgary. I don't say this lightly because I have had pho experiences and different versions of Vietnamese soup in other international cities like London, Paris, Boston, San Francisco, and Hong Kong. We have some of the most authentic Vietnamese soups here and they are delicious! I could have one bowl every day," says Law.
Here are some of the fashion expert/scientist's favourite places to eat around Calgary.
I am pretty easy-going for breakfast. I usually just grab and go. If I have to pick a place, then it's probably Calgary Court restaurant in Chinatown. I pretty much grew up there. They serve Hong-Kong-style (where I was originally from) cafe food and snacks. I got used to English-style breakfast (sunny-side eggs, grilled ham, sausages, buttered toast, and tomato beans served with milk tea or coffee) while I was living in Hong Kong. And sometimes, I take soy-fried noodles and dried-scallops congee or ham and eggs macaroni soup, which is also a typical Chinese-style breakfast traditions. They are relatively quick to serve and I love to take it to go.
I usually like sandwiches or salads for lunch, and tend to eat light. The Coup is my choice, given how close it is to my work sometimes. Once in a while, I like to go to Great Taste for Shanghai-style soup dumplings and sticky rice rolls. They are my guilty pleasure and if I don't have self-control, I could probably eat 20 of those by myself.
It's tough to find a favourite dinner place because there are so many amazing restaurants for dinner in Calgary! If I have to choose, at top of my list are Pigeonhole on 17th Ave...if I have visitors, I usually bring them to The Block on 4th Street, Market or Una Pizza on 17th. Ginger Beef in Country Hills is also one of my go-to, they really have the best ginger beef (a Calgary invention, believe it or not) in town. Right now however, I am craving for MIMO in the southeast, the best Portuguese food I would say in Calgary.
Milk Tiger, Ricardo's and Cannibale: all make good cocktails, have a great vibe and I love all of their bartenders!