Earlier this month I attended a dinner event that I have been wanting to do for years; a Guest Chef Market Dinner at Edible Canada.These group events are held every few weeks in the Edible Canada restaurant/store on Granville Island and offer exceptional value. This is your chance to meet a local chef from BC, such as Vikram Vij of Vij’s or Ned Bell from YEW, and over a few hours they will prepare your multi-course dinner in front of you whilst you kick back and absorb the chef’s knowledge. I chose the evening with Jeff Van Geest, who is the Executive Chef at Miradoro in the Okanagan. Although he now lives in the Okanagan, Jeff was based in Vancouver for a number of years when he owned and operated Aurora Bistro and worked at Diva at the Met.
A hands-on cooking class this is not – as a guest you don’t lift a finger – it is purely a demonstration by the chef and a chance to get to know them in their “happy place”. This was absolutely fine with me. After doing a few cooking classes recently, I was happy to leave the work to someone else. The menu was quite simple (it has to be, he is cooking for 24 people!) but the food was all very good. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera so I don’t have any pictures to share (although I have some really shitty ones on my Twitter feed), which means that you’ll have to use your imagination!
Sparkling wine on arrival
Course 1: Roasted olives and almonds – paired with Tinhorn Creek Gewurtztraminer 2011
Course 2: A simply lovely crisp pancetta salad of butter lettuce, egg and caper dressing, finished with sourdough crostini – paired with Tinhorn Creek Two Bench White 2011
Course 3: Smoked ham hock terrine – paired with Tinhorn Creek Rosé 2011
Course 4: Roast Polderside Farm Chicken Breast, finished with fried alpindon cheese and olive potatoes, salsa romesco and mojo verde – paired with Tinhorn Creek Two Bench Red 2009
Course 5: Organic pear upside down cake topped with whipped mascarpone cream – paired with Tinhorn Creek Kerner Ice Wine 2011
All of our dishes were paired with Tinhorn Creek wines because Miradoro is the restaurant onsite at the Tinhorn Creek Winery but this isn’t typical. Usually the wines will be from assorted wineries, rather than just focused on one.
If you are looking to attend a dinner that is different from your typical restaurant meal, then try one of these Guest Chef Market Dinners. At $80 per person, the cost is quite reasonable (remember that includes wine) and I left happily full, with a wine buzz in tow. I am now planning to go back for another dinner later in the year but it will be hard to select the next chef that I would like to “meet” as there are many interesting chefs being showcased. Ahh, foodie problems.