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SUMMIT NOTEBOOK: Gala on the gridiron

November 22, 1997

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ President Clinton and 1,300 other guests at the Asian Pacific economic summit will dig into an elegant meal of smoked salmon and sea asparagus ... on the 50-yard line of a football stadium.

The Monday night dinner is being staged at B.C. Place, a cavernous building that seats 60,000 for football.

Why a football stadium? A large stage has also been erected on the field for entertainment after dinner.

Tony Heesterman, the chef who has to prepare this mammoth meal, is already hard at work.

``It takes a lot of practice, lots of timing,″ he said.

Heesterman is one of 10 Canadian chefs who are creating unique menus for the various luncheons and dinners that are an integral part of this Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. All the meals will have a distinctly Canadian theme.

A Saturday night dinner for foreign ministers features caribou consomme, venison terrine and Arctic char with truffle sauce.

For dessert? ``Baked Yukon,″ which is similar to a baked Alaska, only colder.

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Jack and Robert play guitars in the foyer of a commuter train station. Bus routes have been switched because of APEC security and more commuters get off at their stop.

They play Simon and Garfunkel’s ``Mrs. Robinson″ and four commuters out of 46 who pass them throw change into the case. They then hit a dry spell and get nothing from about 65 passersby. When they strike up the Beatles’ ``Hide Your Love Away,″ only two of the next 84 people add to their take.

Better to stick with Paul Simon.

Jack says they split about $120 in the winter, $200 during the summer.

``If delegates want entertainment, we’re available,″says Jack.

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There were some hurt feelings after a Quebec regiment was brought to Vancouver to act as an honor guard for APEC.

Col. Roger St. John said the federal government asked the Canadian Forces to provide a ceremonial guard for the arrival of dignitaries at the Vancouver airport. British Columbia’s Seaforth Highlanders, who wear green tunics and kilts, were put on standby.

But then the Quebec-based Van Doos, who wear scarlet tunics, were brought in because the prime minister’s office specified that the guard appear the same as that on Parliament Hill, with scarlet tunics and bearskin hats.

St. John said no slight was intended and the Highlanders were given a role later in the conference.

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