Foodies of the Year
MacKinnon and Alisa Smith authors The 100-Mile Diet A Year of Local Eating. born
1970, Sheffield, England and 1971, Pinawa, Manitoba. essential ingredient
Wheat. "We really missed it, until we found a local farmer. Flour
For a year they lived only on foods that had been harvested, foraged, raised or
caught within a 100-mile radius of their home while they documented their trials,
stresses and successes. The international 100-Mile Diet phenomenon not only inspired
a TV show (debuting in spring 2009), it also encouraged a generation of young
chefs to foster relationships with local farmers and suppliers. But more importantly,
by showcasing what our region produces, MacKinnon and Smith reminded all of us
of the countless food possibilities on our doorsteps.-a.m.
Chef of the Year
Craig executive chef Bearfoot Bistro, Whistler. born 1979, Chilliwack,
BC. memorable meal Rabbit brains and sea anemone at El Bulli
Crowned the country’s top chef at the 2008 Canadian Culinary Championships,
she beat the big boys to become a role model for young cooks and female chefs.
Her girlhood dreams on Vancouver Island of becoming a teacher soon gave way to
a passion for cooking that took her all over the world doing kitchen stages. In
2004, after apprenticing at Vancouver Island’s Sooke Harbour House under
chef Edward Tuson, she landed at the famed and flamboyant Whistler restaurant
that now houses her quietly intense talent.-a.m.
Bearfoot Bistro, 4121 Village Green, Whistler, 604-932-3433, bearfootbistro.com.
Melissa Craig’s recipe for seared scallops
with asparagus soup and orange cream
Restaurateurs of the Year (tie)
Rivard proprietor The Bison, Banff. born 1971, Simcoe, Ontario.
cutting edge Wusthof Culinaire knives. gadget Tongs.
When Rivard came West for a summer stint at Banff’s Magpie and Stump in
1992, little did he realize the resort would become his home. Now, 16 years later,
married and with one of Banff’s brightest new eateries under his control,
this trained chef (a veteran of Calgary’s Mortal Coil) not only champions
local ingredients and Rocky Mountain comfort food on the bistro side, his five
years of experience with Calgary cheesemonger Janice Beaton informs the general
store side of the Bison. Oh, and Rivard says that on a good day, he could still
keep up with the frantic kitchen line at the Stump.-j.g.
The Bison, 211 Bear St., Banff, 403-762-5550, thebison.ca.
Restaurateurs of the Year (tie)
Cousyn and Remi Cousyn owners Calories and Souleio Foods, Saskatoon. born
1969, North Battleford, Saskatchewan and 1969, Loreint, France. off-duty
nosh Nhatrang (#102-216 33rd St. W., Saskatoon, 306-343-1017).
They’ve been in constant motion since they met on a train in Europe, Janis
then a dancer for the Winnipeg Ballet and Remi a chef from the south of France.
In 1995 they bought a Saskatoon bakery-café, introducing local diners to
prix fixe meals, fresh seafood and international delights like beef tenderloin
with garlic-rosemary duck frites and béarnaise sauce. They continue to
innovate with the planned 2009 launch of Souleio, a downtown bakery and store
(with many specialties sourced through Pine View Farms in Osler, Saskatchewan).
One thing they didn’t change the heavily laden pastry case at Calories,
where you can still handpick the perfect dessert after a satisfying meal.-j.p.
Calories, 721 Broadway Ave., Saskatoon, 306-665-7991, caloriesrestaurants.com.
Click to read Remi Cousyn’s recipe
Bartender of the Year
Warner bar manager Raw Bar at Hotel Arts, Calgary. born 1980,
Grande Prairie, Alberta. bar none London Academy of Bartenders
(LAB), the training bar for many of the city’s best mixologists.
The irony of having grown up in a dry town (the Mormon-heavy burg of Cardston,
Alberta) is not lost on Warner. Although he has never served a drink in his hometown,
he has competed globally in flare bartending, finishing as high as fifth in the
world. He’s driven to mix; he lived out of suitcase for two years while
travelling and working in bars to learn the trade. Now he pours at one of Calgary’s
hottest spots, mixing everything from classic Manhattans to his own savoury and
Raw Bar, 119 12th Ave. SW, Calgary, 800-661-9378, hotelarts.ca.
Winemaker of the Year
Noble winemaker Joie Wines, Naramata, BC, and author of Menus from an Orchard
Table (Whitecap). born 1974, Toronto. quick nosh Organic
bratwurst from Dietz sausage truck, Backyard Beans coffee and fresh fruit galette
from Joy Road Catering, Penticton farmers’ market.
This culinary polymath graduated from Ontario’s prestigious Stratford Chefs
School, has worked at prestigious Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver restaurants,
and, for good measure, completed the International Sommelier Guild program in
Vancouver. Today, she is a self-taught winemaker and proprietor, with husband
Michael Dinn, of a winery that has taken the world by storm. Joie’s "A
Noble Blend" was wine of the year at the 2007 Canadian Wine Awards and,
along with their chardonnay and rosé, has been winning medals at the Northwest
Wine Summit, All Canadian Wine Championships and beyond.-a.m.
Joie Wines, 2825 Naramata Rd., Naramata, BC, 866-422-5643, joie.ca.
Sommelier of the Year
Le Goff sommelier and operations manager at Uva and Cibo, Vancouver. born
1973, Nantes, France. off-duty hangout Nuba (1206 Seymour St.,
Le Goff is a details man, an impeccably dressed and calm-under-pressure star who
has run the show at such top Vancouver restaurants as CinCin and Lumière.
Known for his exacting eye, his encyclopedic knowledge of wine and his demanding
expectations from staff, he continues to elevate the industry’s service
standards with unflappable poise at Uva Wine Bar and Cibo Trattoria, new establishments
in downtown Vancouver’s newly boutiqued Moda Hotel.-a.m.
Uva Wine Bar and Cibo Trattoria, Moda Hotel, 900 Seymour St., Vancouver, 604-632-9560,
Producer of the Year
Barmor cheesemaker Carmelis Goat Cheese, Kelowna. born 1970,
near Haifa, Israel. off-duty hangout On a boat on Lake Okanagan.
"Do one thing-and do it great" could be Ofri Barmor’s
motto. Since relocating from Israel in 2003, she and husband Ofer have made it
their goal to produce great goat cheese. There have been more than a few roadblocks
(their shop and dairy burned down in the summer fires in their first year), but
thanks to them the Okanagan is now a goat cheese nirvana. Carmelis offers 16 to
20 varieties (we love the creamy labane, topped with za’atar, served as
a dip) and 24 creamy goat milk gelatos. Soon the cheese will be available in other
Western centres, so we can all see the results of single-minded devotion.-n.m.
Carmelis Goat Cheese, 170 Timberline Rd., Kelowna, 250-870-3117, carmelisgoatcheese.com.
Watson, Cassandra Watson and Becky Watson proprietors Fresh Café, Winnipeg.
born 1979, 1976 and 1980 in Pine Falls, Manitoba. division of
labour Cassandra manages; Becky’s the head server and gardener; Katrina
the juice-bar guru.
The Watson sisters were making jam from backyard-picked raspberries and sausages
from meat their father hunted long before the culinary buzzword changed from "global"
to "local." With parents who "never gave us anything out of
a can or box," Becky recalls sneaking to the neighbours’ place for
Cap’n Crunch. With their healthy, near-gourmet breakfast and lunch place
(opened in 2007, after the three acquired a combined 48 years of restaurant experience)
the sisters have changed the way local diners think about food and the way other
local restaurateurs operate. Cassandra says, "We had a top restaurant email
us and say ‘I want to compost. You make it look so easy.’"-k.b.
Fresh Café, 775 Corydon Ave., Winnipeg, 204-221-5775, freshcafe.ca.
Smith and Dana Ewart chefs and owners Joy Road Catering, Penticton. born
1975, Toronto and 1977, Kingston, Ontario. culinary hero Alice
Before the term grassroots was co-opted by politicians, it described folks like
Cam Smith and Dana Ewart-people who got to know a subject by getting elbow-deep
into it. For this couple, it meant leaving their high-profile culinary posts (at
restaurants like Montreal’s Toqué! and Toronto’s Jamie Kennedy
and Scaramouche) to get back to the land, the Okanagan Valley. They know the dirt
in which their ingredients are grown, the farmer who grows them, the consumer
who buys from them at Penticton’s market and the diner who attends their
inspired summer dinners at God’s Mountain B&B-served outdoors,
often on the grass, naturally.-n.m.
Joy Road Catering, Penticton, 250-493-8657, joyroadcatering.com.
Caracciolo partner Mercato, Calgary. born 1970, Calgary. off-duty
nosh Blackfoot Truck Stop Restaurant (1840 9th Ave. SE, Calgary, 403-265-5964).
culinary epiphany Walking into the original Balducci’s
in New York’s Greenwich Village.
Born into the Italian market business, Caracciolo has been slicing capicollo and
unloading cases of wine grapes since he was seven. He and parents Cathy and Victor
broke with tradition when they closed the Italian Centre and moved from Calgary’s
Little Italy to open Mercato in 2005. Now ensconced in the tiny Mission district
of Calgary, Dominic carries on the family tradition of fine Italian food and hospitality
at this dynamic trattoria and gourmet food store.-j.g.
Mercato, 2224 4th St. SW, Calgary, 403-263-5535, mercatogourmet.com.
Thomas Dolbee executive chef Four Seasons Resort Whistler. born
1970, Inglewood, California. next big thing Umami.
Even with a name like Dolbee, our guy isn’t out to blind anyone with the
science of molecular gastronomy. Instead, fresh off the plane from Southern California,
he immersed himself in Whistler tradition-not mountain bikes and microbrews
but indigenous culture. Collaborating with First Nations chief Andrew George,
Dolbee created a menu of innovative cultural cuisine for the Squamish Lil’wat
Cultural Centre (bannock with smoked salmon and lemon crème) and kindled
the newest old food trend in the West.-N.M.
Four Seasons Resort Whistler, 4591 Blackcomb Way, Whistler,
and Sylvia Kreutzer agri-tourism entrepreneurs Over the Hill Orchards, Qu’Appelle
Valley, Saskatchewan. born 1968, Regina and 1971, Spiritwood,
Saskatchewan. guilty nosh Subway, Cocoa Camino dark chocolate
bars or Doritos.
Dean and Sylvia Kreutzer aren’t just bringing organic cherry trees to wheat
country, they’re bringing a vision of a Napa-style culinary destination.
Theirs is an "if you build it" story: no bank would provide a loan
but, after Dean took horticulture classes at University of Saskatchewan, they
planted cherry trees anyway. Their signature Prairie Cherry Chocolates exploded
on the market in 2004, followed by an organic café and retail outlet in
nearby Lumsden a year later. Drop in for coffee and organic fruit pie and carry
away boxes of chocolates, cherry spreads and cherry juice. Success... how sweet
Over the Hill Orchards, 306-530-9133, overthehillorchards.ca.
Cubelic co-owner Silk Road Tea, Victoria. born 1969, Zagreb,
Croatia. culinary epiphany "When I made the analogy between
tea and wine; tea is just as interesting and nuanced."
Look out, Red Rose. By turning a hobby into a unique shop, tasting bar and spa,
Cubelic has helped changed the way the West sees tea. After 10 years of intensive
training with Chinese and Taiwanese tea masters and herbalists, she achieved tea
master status in 1995 and opened Silk Road Tea in Victoria’s revitalized
Chinatown with business partner and fellow tea master Nancy Larose. Along with
sourcing the world’s finest organic, rare, single-estate and exotic teas,
Cubelic educates consumers through tea tastings and talking up tea’s health
benefits and its terroir. An enthusiastic foodie, she makes tea even more exciting
by stocking the latest in gorgeous serving pieces and prep gadgets and creating
recipes for tea popsicles, ice creams and cocktails.-s.s.
Silk Road Tea, 1624 Government St., Victoria, 250-704-2688,
Zenimaru executive chef Kinygo Izakaya, Vancouver. born 1977,
Osaka, Japan. off-duty nosh Vietnamese pho.
This innovative young Japanese chef is introducing a new culinary vernacular to
Vancouverites that is spreading its influence across the West. His award-winning
open kitchen at Kingyo Izakaya (an izakaya is a casual, sushi-free style of Japanese
restaurant) serves small dishes that ring of whimsy and taste of invention and
is one of the most thrilling in town. Along with some of the best chefs in the
province, he has been chosen to compete for the chance to represent BC at the
Canadian Culinary Championships in 2009.-a.m.
Kingyo Izakaya, 871 Denman St., Vancouver, 604-608-1677.
Cockrall-King author foodgirl.ca and The Edible Prairie Journal. born
1971 in Edmonton. off-duty hangout Da.De.O (10548a Whyte Ave.,
Edmonton, 780-433-0930, dadeo.ca).
What started as an archive for the extensive food and travel writing of this Edmonton
"foodgirl" turned into one of the West’s early go-to online
foodie destinations and a magazine she publishes three times a year (with Terry
Juzak), The Edible Prairie Journal. Today she divides her pursuits between Edmonton
and Naramata in the Okanagan Valley, indulging her passion for promoting the unique
indigenous food culture of our region.-m.b.
Cortez butcher and owner Sebastian & Co. Fine Organic Meats, West Vancouver.
born 1975, Viña del Mar, Chile. off-duty hangout
Vij’s (1480 W. 11th Ave., Vancouver, 604-736-6664).
Word of mouth rules the tony community of West Vancouver and when this organic
butcher shop opened in 2007 on the Dundarave strip, word spread like wildfire.
From house-made pancetta, proscuitto and juicy sausages to sauces, mustards and
flavoured oils, his operation is a meat-eater’s dream come true. With attentive
service and evident passion for his craft (one that is now largely lost to the
big supermarkets), Cortez has endeared himself to the local community and beyond
through the healthy pleasures of ethical, organic meats.-a.m.
Sebastian & Co. Fine Organic Meats, 2425 Marine Dr.,
West Vancouver, 604-925-1636, sebastianandco.ca.
Meens chef and owner Mo:Lé and Café Bliss, Victoria. born
1978, Victoria. protein of choice Hemp hearts.
At various times a runway model in Thailand, an independent hip-hop videographer
and a "highly skilled dishwasher," Meens now runs a hip downtown Victoria
eatery and adjacent juice bar that have garnered a devoted following for hearty
and healthy meals-including weekend menus of raw food, "the most cutting-edge
cuisine at the moment," he declares. His approach has earned him a place
at raw food festivals in the U.S. and a role cooking for the Canadian Olympic
Triathlete team this past summer in Beijing. He’s making the world healthier,
one delicious plate at a time.-s.s.
Mo:Lé, 554 Pandora Ave., Victoria, 250-385-6653, molerestaurant.ca.
Kotelko president Spring Creek Ranch Premium Beef. born 1983,
Edmonton. culinary ephipany Truffled popcorn at Muse (107 10a
St. NW, Calgary, 403-670-6873, muserestaurant.ca).
Under the tutelage of her father (third-generation cattleman and owner of Highland
Feeders, Bern Kotelko) and armed with a degree in food business management, this
poster girl for Alberta beef is changing the way we buy meat. That means changing
the way beef is produced-from a commodity-based system to a 100 percent
birth-to-plate traceable product, one that’s properly aged, chosen for flavour
and raised sustainably to boot. Eventually, she’d like to put the upscale
Spring Creek brand not only in high-end restaurants but into more and more neighbourhood
supermarkets. And by the way, she prefers her own top sirloin medium rare.-m.b.
Belcham and Tom Doughty proprietors Fuel Restaurant and the Cure, Vancouver. born
1973, Edmonton and 1975, Calgary. secret ambition Doughty "wouldn’t
mind" playing pro basketball.
These two not only helped revitalize the restaurant scene in Vancouver’s
formerly granola-saturated Kitsilano neighbourhood, they are leading a new generation
of restaurateurs by demonstrating that sustainable, local sourcing and business
success are not mutually exclusive. They are local hotshots with serious international
cred: chef Belcham did a stint at Thomas Keller’s famed French Laundry in
Napa; Doughty was named sommelier of the year at the 2005 Vancouver International
Wine Festival. He’s also a winemaker, bottling merlot and chardonnay under
his BC-based Montagu Cellars label.-a.m.
Fuel, 1944 W. 4th Ave., Vancouver, 604-288-7905, fuelrestaurant.ca.
Pohorelic executive chef River Café, Calgary. born 1969,
Yorkton, Saskatchewan. off-duty hangout Diner Deluxe (804 Edmonton
Tr. NE, Calgary, 403-276-5499).
As a young chef, Pohorelic tasted a locally grown, organic carrot fresh from the
field at Highwood Crossing Farm and realized he’d forgotten how carrots
were supposed to taste. Now as steward of the stoves at River Café-Calgary’s
original fresh, seasonal kitchen-the former dishwasher brings those flavours
back to the table with the skill and sincerity befitting the simple products with
which he works.-j.g.
River Café, Prince’s Island Park, Calgary, 403-261-7670,
Gair executive chef and co-owner (with husband Mike Western), the Trough Dining
Co., Canmore. born 1974, Northumberland, England. memorable
meals Chicago’s Alinea, Moto and Hot Doug’s ("the
greatest gourmet sausage ever!").
Rosie Gair has helped transform Canmore into a foodie destination for visitors
(from Banff and Calgary and beyond) craving some of Alberta’s most passionate
cooking. The Trough encapsulates all that is great in Canmore right now: locally
sourced ingredients, inventive preparations and, as the name makes clear, an utter
lack of pretension about it all.-n.m.
The Trough, 725 Walk of Champions (9 St.), Canmore, 403-678-2820,
Rosie Gair’s recipe for quick bruschetta
Wolowidnyk bar manager West, Vancouver. born 1971, Ridgecrest,
California. claim to fame Says he makes the best paella in town.
Vancouver magazine’s bartender of the year in 2008 and the reigning Grey
Goose National Pour Master champion
From his spot behind the bar at top Vancouver restaurant West, Wolowidnyk has
been instrumental in transforming our regional cocktail scene from rye and Cokes
to highly sippable and inventive concoctions like the Four O’Clock (recipe
at westernliving.ca). He charms and chats up guests like an old-school barkeep
should, combining his vast, chef-like knowledge and huge array of fresh ingredients
with a graceful ease that few can match. Let him surprise you.-a.m.
West, 2881 Granville St., Vancouver, 604-738-8938, westrestaurant.com.
Pender wine educator Okanagan Valley. born 1975, Canberra, Australia.
off-duty nosh Classic village loaf from the Okanagan Grocery
Artisan Breads (2355 Gordon Dr., Kelowna, 250-717-6813, okanagangrocery.com).
Though a trained chef (Vancouver’s Star Anise), Pender earned his wine stripes
through a diploma from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and by working
for many Okanagan wineries. He is now striving to ascend to the Master of Wine
designation, a mountain only three other Canadians (including BC’s Barbara
Philip) have successfully scaled. His company, Wine Plus+, trains industry veterans
and neophytes in all matters wine and shepherds new wineries towards responsible
growing, making and distribution methods-the ways of the future.-a.m.
Fata president and co-founder Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods, Winnipeg. born
1976, Thunder Bay, Ontario. off-duty nosh Miso soup at Dandelion
Eatery (230 Osborne St., Winnipeg, 204-453-5755).
A dozen years ago, Mike Fata was seriously overweight. He lost more than 100 pounds
on a low-fat diet that compromised his health-but, in studying up on nutrition,
came across a great source for essential fatty acids and Omega 3 and 6: hemp.
Ten years ago he and his partners created a new industry, growing hemp seeds on
Manitoba farms (and, in the process, aiding the re-legalization of hemp growing).
Their hemp oil, milk and butter are premium fuel for the body and the world’s
engine is purring: Manitoba Harvest has been on Profit 100’s fastest-growing
companies list three times, putting hemp on the health-food map.-k.b.
Hawksworth owner/chef Hawksworth (opening Vancouver, 2009). born
1970, Vancouver. kitchen dinner "We invite other chefs
as guests and each prepares a course and brings a wine to match. Yes, it can get
Few other chefs in Canada have risen in international esteem as quickly as this
culinary school-skipper ("I didn’t have the money!"). He trained
in his hometown at Le Crocodile before a lengthy stint at top-drawer restaurants
in the U.K. During seven years at Vancouver’s acclaimed West, Hawksworth
emerged as a powerhouse talent and mentor-and the youngest chef to be inducted
into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame. His eponymous and hotly anticipated new restaurant
is rising in the Hotel Georgia redevelopment in downtown Vancouver.-a.m.
Hawksworth (opening 2009 in the Hotel Georgia, Vancouver),
Read the recipe for the macaroni and cheese
David Hawksworth makes for his one-year-old son, Heston
Mathieu executive chef Willow Hospitality Group, Regina. born
1970, Fort Churchill, Manitoba. off-duty nosh Smokin’ Okies
(2547 Quance St. E., Regina, 306-347-2800).
The culinary road can be delightfully circuitous, so why wouldn’t Moe Mathieu
pursue a wrestling scholarship in North Dakota, and then physical therapy training,
followed by a tour of duty working a lobster joint in Maine? Mathieu eventually
returned to his native Saskatchewan to celebrate what’s in the local larder:
bison rib eye steaks, trout from Lake Diefenbaker, birch syrup, elm truffles and
prairie staples like barley, millet and pink lentils. Sophisticated dishes like
pickerel cheeks with fennel cream, fresh fennel and wild rice are part of his
regular repertoire at the Willow on Wascana, but the Willow group’s new
endeavour, the innovative Regina beer-pairing restaurant Beer Brothers, shows
he’s still a Prairie boy at heart.-j.p.
Willow on Wascana, 3000 Wascana Dr., Regina, 306-585-3663,
willowonwascana.ca; Beer Bros., 1801 Scarth St., Regina, 306-586-2337, beerbros.ca.
Bouffard and Michaela Morris co-owners House Wine, Vancouver. born
1975, Quebec City and 1972, Ottawa. off-duty nosh Bouffard loves
cheese smokies from Oyama Sausage on Granville Island.
These women of wine met for the first time as co-workers at Vancouver’s
Marquis Wine Cellars in the summer of 2003. Their consulting company launched
later that year and began simply, with wine tasting events and parties. It has
evolved into a unique service that provides clients with everything from private
and commercial cellar management to restaurant staff training and successful corporate
team building services. Its growth mirrors our region’s growing, sophisticated
passion for the grape.-a.m.
House Wine, Vancouver, 604-790-3385/604-780-4788, housewine.ca.
Horen executive chef Aura at the Inn at Laurel Point, Victoria. born
1974, Edmonton. top tip Add a bit of lemon juice to any sauce
to reduce the amount of salt required and to bring out the flavours.
Named the Canadian Chefs Federation’s chef of the year during a live cook-off
in 2007, Horen is known for taking Calgary’s Catch to four-diamond status.
A strong mentor to teams of young chefs during such competitions, he’s currently
cultivating new restaurant Aura for the spotlight. His modern approach, using
local ingredients with Japanese nuances and a flair for dramatic presentation,
has all of Victoria taking notice.-s.s.
Aura, 680 Montreal St., Victoria, 250-386-8721, aurarestaurant.ca.
Pateman and Cecilia Leong proprietors Edible British Columbia, Vancouver. born
1974, New Westminster, BC and 1974, Vancouver. liquid asset Pateman
likes Knob Creek Bourbon.
Recipe for an innovative culinary tourism business: mix one chef with 15 years
experience (Pateman) with a pastry chef (Leong), add passion for regional cuisine,
mix well with lashings of tourists. Yield: thousands of satisfied foodies forever
changed by a taste of BC. What began as a culinary concierge service for international
visitors now offers foodie kayaking adventures through the Gulf Islands, market
tours of neighbourhoods like Chinatown and Commercial Drive and exclusive dinners
and classes with chefs. With its local-first store at Granville Island, it has
evolved into one of Western Canada’s most exciting food-centric companies
and a model for other regions to emulate.-a.m.
Edible BC, #565–1689 Johnson St., Granville Island,
Vancouver, 604-662-3606, edible-britishcolumbia.com.
Bell executive chef and co-owner Cabana Bar and Grille, Kelowna. born
1973, Penticton. memorable meal Lunch with his mom at L’Atelier
de Joel Robouchon, Paris.
It turns out that you can go home again. Ned Bell has been a Vancouver chef, a
Toronto chef, a Calgary chef and a TV chef. But last year he heeded his Okanagan
roots and the call to gather the artisanal bounty of the area in a mass-appeal
package. The result is the first Cabana Grille, a slick spot on Kelowna’s
Lakeshore that has the energy of a hip, casually upscale room coupled with the
deft touch of a master chef. If all goes according to plan, you may see a Cabana
coming soon to a location near you.-n.m.
Cabana Bar and Grille, 3799 Lakeshore Rd., Kelowna, 250-763-1955,
Brand co-owner Boneta, Vancouver. born 1975, Dundee, Scotland.
off-duty hangout Phnom Penh (244 E. Georgia St., Vancouver, 604-734-8898).
Brand has long been a legend among Vancouver bartenders (he was formerly at the
award-winning Chambar), respected for his Jedi-like affinity with ingredients
along with his ebullient sense of humour behind the bar. He won the inaugural
Vancouver magazine bartender of the year award in 2005, leading the movement of
Western mixologists crafting drinks with cheffish care and inspiring a new generation
of emerging talents.-a.m.
Boneta, 1 W. Cordova St., Vancouver, 604-684-1844, boneta.ca.
Read Mark Brand’s recipe for a bourbon
Van Geest owner and chef Aurora Bistro, Vancouver. born 1973,
St. Catharines, Ontario. guilty nosh Reese’s Peanut Butter
This gentle giant took a huge risk when he left his sous chef gig at Vancouver’s
genteel Bishop’s in 2003 to open his own restaurant on Vancouver’s
gritty South Main strip. His raw talent and affection for the best ingredients
underwrote the gamble and his investment in promoting a local and seasonal menu-complete
with an all-BC wine list-paid off. The neighbourhood has since gentrified,
and a brace of new, hip restaurants has followed his trailblazing path and his
green cuisine mandate.-a.m.
Aurora Bistro, 2420 Main St., Vancouver, 604-873-9944, aurorabistro.ca.
McDermid coordinator Ocean Wise, Vancouver. born 1971, Vancouver.
guilty pleasure Food Network.
As a child Mike McDermid used to delight in the crabs, seagrass, sand dollars
and fish he saw playing in the sandbars of Crescent Beach in BC’s Lower
Mainland; one year he noticed that they were all gone. Today, millions of Canadians
have been touched by his quest to preserve the ocean’s creatures, a quest
that informs the Vancouver Aquarium’s sustainable seafood program. Ocean
Wise’s fish icons pop out from forward-thinking restaurant menus, giving
conscientious foodies the means to identify sustainably harvested fish and shellfish.
Under his direction, Ocean Wise has flourished to include more than 150 partner
restaurants with 2,000-plus locations in BC, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario. Next
stop: the world.-a.m.
Sirois chef and partner Infuse Catering and Forage, Calgary. born
1971, Prince George. signature dish Alder-smoked elk with Saskatoon
mustard. Because he thinks we should eat locally and seasonally and because he
walks the walk by shopping at the Calgary Farmers’ Market, Sirois is the
Southern Alberta poster boy for the international Slow Food movement. His catering
and take-home businesses (with partner Jaclyn Labchuk) use 70 percent Alberta
products, supporting local producers whenever possible. This food blogger (see
attheroot.ca) even touts the idea of urbanites raising their own chickens in city
backyards, bringing-no, make that returning-culinary sustainability
to new standards.-j.g.
Infuse Catering and Forage, 3510 19th St. SW, Calgary, 403-269-3902,
infusecatering.com, foragefoods.com, attheroot.ca.
Read Wade Sirois’s recipe for his
grandmother Marie’s buttermilk biscuits
Symonds and Luke Young owners and chefs Choux Choux Charcuterie, Victoria. born
1977, Victoria and 1976, Bracebridge, Ontario. off-duty nosh
Daidoco (633 Courtenay St., Victoria, 250-388-7383).
When Young landed a job at Vancouver’s Raincity Grill and learned the art
of meat- cutting under then-chef Sean Cousins, his fate was sealed. He and Symonds
worked and travelled together extensively (with Symonds doing a six-month sojourn
in France making goat cheese) before opening their sweet Victoria deli and lunch
counter. They’ve helped revitalize the art of making cured meats, fresh
sausages, terrines and pâtés, reflecting diners’ return to
old-fashioned food values.-s.s.
Choux Choux, 830 Fort St., Victoria, 250-382-7572, chouxchoux.ca.
Kambolis restaurateur C, Nu and Raincity Grill, Vancouver. born
1968, New Jersey. most overhyped culinary trend Molecular gastronomy.
weeknight nosh Roasted corn, rib-eye steak, baked potatoes and
grilled bread on the barbecue. "Not a splatter of mess in the house-my
wife likes that part."
With three award-winning restaurants in his stable, Kambolis has had a major hand
in shaping Vancouver’s reputation as a world-class food city. He’s
greener than green: his restaurants were early adopters of both the enviro-friendly
Ocean Wise and Green Table programs. All three restaurants are also incubators
for regional culinary talent, with some of BC’s top servers, managers and
chefs blossoming there. His impact on the next generation of restaurateurs is
C Restaurant, 2-1600 Howe St., Vancouver,
604-681-1164, crestaurant.com; Nu, 1661 Granville St., Vancouver, 604-646-4668,
whatisnu.com; Raincity Grill, 1193 Denman St., Vancouver, 604-685-7337, raincitygrill.com.
Ly executive chef Hotel Arts, Calgary. born 1975, Lethbridge.
off-duty hangout Lotus Grill (#100 – 1032 Macleod Tr. SE,
While washing dishes at the Wickaninnish Inn, Ly was fascinated not by the grunge
on the plates but by the food aromas coming from the pots. He decided to create
those aromas himself and now brings a unique Pacific Rim spin to the dining rooms
at Hotel Arts, the Kensington Riverside Inn and the new Olives in Calgary. Soft-spoken
and skilled, he’s the chef with thom everyone wants to work, one of those
talented few who has "the touch." Pot- washers have been sniffing
his dishes for inspiration ever since he helped Team Alberta win two gold and
two silver medals at the Culinary World Cup in 2006.-j.g.
Hotel Arts, 119 12th Ave. SW, Calgary, 800-661-9378, hotelarts.ca.
Gray co-owner and co-founder Mikuni Wild Harvest, Vancouver.
born 1977, Sechelt, BC. weeknight nosh Espelette-dusted
chicken breast, served warm over a salad of mixed greens, goat feta, cherry tomatoes
and toasted pine nuts.
Foraging in the woods has been a lifelong hobby of this Sechelt-raised foodie.
After high school, he spent three years exploring the wilds all across North America,
searching for wild truffles, mushrooms, berries and greens. It was an obsession
that led him and two others to launch his unique wild food-sourcing company eight
years ago. The company (with offices in New York, Portland, Las Vegas and Vancouver)
now delivers ingredients to high-end kitchens around the globe, feeding our hunger
for what is authentic, exotic and rare.-a.m.
Mikuni Wild Harvest, Vancouver, 866-862-9866, mikuniwildharvest.com.
MacKay executive chef Lumière, Vancouver. born 1979, Saskatoon.
dubious achievement Taught Gwyneth Paltrow how to cook fish.
Timing, they say, is everything. In 2001, when 21-year-old MacKay headed to London,
he chose a foul-mouthed Scottish ex-footballer as his culinary Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The apprentice chose well. Chef Gordon Ramsay’s star quotient (and number
of Michelin stars) has since risen-and MacKay’s with it. He held senior
positions at Ramsay restaurant openings from Tokyo to New York and, when he returned
to Vancouver’s Lumière last summer, he boasted the résumé
of a chef twice his age. This fall he’ll be meeting the exacting standards
of Lumière’s new steward, Daniel Boulud. Oh, and turning 29.-n.m.
Lumière, 2551 W. Broadway, Vancouver, 604-739-8185, lumiere.ca.
Michelle Bouffard and Michaela Morris
Vancouver’s House Wine sommeliers favour Jancis Robinson’s wine reference
and tomes on contemporary French (The New France) and Italian (Vino Italiano)
Classic French manuals (Charcuterie, Larousse) and Vij’s for Indian are
the picks of our Saskatoon restaurateur of the year.
Joie’s winemaker of the year wrote the book (Menus from an Orchard Table)
on Okanagan cuisine.
and Alisa Smith
Our foodies of the year no doubt got 100-Mile Diet ideas from culinary heroes
Waters (The Art of Simple Food) and Bishop (Fresh).
Jeff Van Geest
cuisine (The French Laundry, Bouchon) inspires Vancouver’s Aurora Bistro
This Regina chef loves the Wild Sweets of West Coast chocolatiers Dominique and