After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

Charles Macurdy

Charles was born and raised in Vancouver. For over a decade, he worked as a chef before leaving the industry to attend university. Charles has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from UBC. He has written on a range of culinary topics, such as food trends and cooking to restricted diets, and has published numerous original recipes. He has also written extensive criticism, covering television, film, and music, with a particular focus on television comedy as a developing art form. His most recent work is as a culture critic and humorist in his blog, The Red Couch Report. Charles is committed to fostering respectful, intelligent, and rational democratic discourse. Failing that, he is prepared to supplement the conversation with jokes.

Asteroid apocalypse tomato soup

If you lose sleep wondering what you will ever do for soup after the end of civilization, worry no more. This soup is a nice, basic recipe that pairs well with any cataclysm.

Asteroid apocalypse presents unique culinary challenges

A run-down of 5 Asteroid Apocalypse Culinary Quandaries and suggested recipes and solutions.

So, where do your tips go? Ask the tax man

While we have already explored some thorny issues around service and tipping, today’s topic is perhaps the thorniest.

Vancouver's most terrifying food

Where you can find it, what it tastes like...

Who gets the money when you tip?

When you put down your fork and settle up, the story is just beginning. In part 2 of this series, we look at the legal questions around tip pooling.

Where the money actually goes when you leave a tip

In the first of a 3-part series, we explore some of the inner workings of restaurant tip pools.

How much should you tip? Talk to your server

How much do you tip and why? Does the server earn a gratuity or is it simply expected? Veteran server and bartender Nathan Collins has some simple advice for the worry-stricken tipper.

The vegetarian/paleo debate has gone toxic

Healthy snack or bowlful of toxins? One paleo writer would have you believe that vegans and vegetarians eat toxic, diabetes-inducing foods, but is that claim supported by any evidence?

Anti-vegetarian argument misunderstands the vegetarian diet

Science correspondent Fiona Macrae suggests that this pan of veggie sausages does more damage to the environment than their meat counterparts. But is she missing the point?

A story about the powder keg that is a restaurant workplace

The working culture of a restaurant often hangs by a thread. Employees are used to being mistreated within the industry and employers have to constantly guard against cheating, stealing, or...