This week, Vancouver Foodster’s Richard Wolak invited a few local food lovers to take part in an afternoon of tasting some of the entries in his Chef’s Dishes Festival.
Just like all the entries in the competition, each of the three venues we visited were very diverse.
Starting at Darby’s Pub in Kitsilano, a nice neighbourhood pub and liquor store at the corner of MacDonald and West 4th. Chef AJ Jackson prepared a Braised Lamb Shank with wild mushroom polenta, green beans and rosemary red wine reduction. The fall-off-the-bone lamb was a perfect bite of comfort food, the polenta was slightly encrusted and the green beans cooked al dente giving the meal a nice variety of textures. Chef Jackson was inspired to create the dish by his supplier of the White Stripe Lamb. Get it for yourself nightly during the Festival at Darby’s Public House, 2001 Macdonald St, Vancouver – Tel: (604) 731-0617 Twitter: @darbys_in_kits
Our next stop was a just a few blocks away at Kitsilano Daily Kitchen, an lovely, intimate bistro on 1st Avenue that doesn’t have a menu as it changes daily depending on what is fresh and in season at the markets. Chef Brian Fowke created Brown Butter Broiled Organic Peace Country Beef Marrow ‘Provençal’ served with fried green heirloom tomatoes, bourbon onion jam, butter potato gnocchi and chanterelle mushroom cornbread muffins on the side.
The crunchy bread crumb topping offset the melting core of the marrow, after it was finished a shot of bourbon poured into the mouth via the bone diffused the liquor with the flavour of the marrow. The signature dish has been available occasionally on the Kits Daily menu and is so popular Chef Fowke gets calls asking if or when it will be a feature again. Now is the time to make a reservation to experience this unique dish as it will be available throughout the Chefs Dishes event. See what else is fresh at Kitsilano Daily Kitchen 1809 W 1st Ave, Vancouver – Tel: (604) 569-2741 Twitter: @KitsDaily
The final stop of the day was across False Creek in Yaletown at Simply Thai Restaurant. Welcomed by affable Chef Siriwan Rerksuttisiridach known as Grace, the smell of Thai curry wafted through the room as Chef had prepared her version of Thai Steak. Having been in Canada for 20 years, running Simply Thai for 13 years, she feels that Canada is known for its beef so wanted to create her signature dish as an homage to both her heritage and current home. Beef strips are marinated first before cooking and served with Thai curry sauce over broccoli and rice. Like each dish at Simply Thai, the meal is made to order when the guest orders is so can always be customised to cater to guests needs. Try it your way at Simply Thai Restaurant 1211 Hamilton St, Vancouver – Tel:(604) 642-0123 Twitter: @SimplyThai4