Category Archives: Cook

Lidia Bastianich An Inspiration and A Gala Guest

Lidia Bastianich Visits Vancouver – Honoured at Les Dames d’Escoffier Gala

If memory serves me right, Lidia Bastianich, the Italian-born American restaurateur, cookbook author and television host, last visited Vancouver in 2013 with her newest book at the time, Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking. This is in fact, exactly how Bastianich presents herself, as a person with a lot of common sense, one who worked so very hard to get to where she is today, because, well, that’s just what one does.

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Life did not begin simply for Bastianich, as a child her family escaped post-war Yugoslavia to Italy and eventually were granted passage to America under the displaced persons act when she was twelve.  She met her husband in 1966 and they opened their first restaurant in Queens in 1971, and a second there before selling both and moving on to Manhattan. From there the Bastianich empire grew and Lidia eventually took over after her husband and she divorced, and he passed his shares on to the two children they’d had. These children eventually became a key part of the Bastianich empire.

Television fame came to Lidia through the beloved Julia Child,  in 1993, when Child  invited her to tape and episode for Julia Child: Cooking With Master Chefs, which featured acclaimed chefs from around the U.S., preparing dishes in their own home kitchens. From their Bastianich went on to have her own show.

Bastianich’s has much success in the restaurant world, and she has managed to do it all; a mother, wife, restaurateur, TV Host and more, all in a world when men were usually, and are still, at the helm. The Vancouver chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, will honour her on September 23, 2016 at a Gala at the Four Seasons Hotel and we can’t wait to spend the evening among her and some of the other chefs and characters that are joining us to present this special evening.

Lidia Bastianich

Bastianich was asked during her last visit, “How did you get your children into the business?” and her answer shows that despite the fact she’d blazed a trail, she still didn’t want this difficult and challenging life for them.

“The children would come to the restaurant and eat. There was always unity. I always told them this is not what you want to do with your life. My son, Joe Bastianich, completed a Master of Business and daughter, Tanya Bastianich Manuali, a PhD in Art History and Joe went on to spend several years on Wall Street.
Every summer the kids came to Italy and they must have just naturally absorbed it, despite my warnings. One day Joe sat at the bar at Felidia (theie flagship restaurant) and told me he was quitting his job to spend time with with me at the restaurant. After a discussion, I gave in and we went to Italy for a year and worked in a variety of kitchens, absorbing the knowledge, and learning much along the way. Back in America, we opened our first restaurant together, and then we meet Mario Batali and I credit a lot of our success to his sense of business.”

Her daughter was a Professor at Syracuse in Italy and, after finishing her degree, moved back to the states to start a family and moved just two blocks away. After Tanya’s first child was born, Lidia asked her to do some of the research and now Tanya assists in production and has alleviated the workload. Tanya’s husband, a lawyer, is also involved.

Lidia’s advice? Know when you need to be Mother and Grandmother and know when you need to be a business women. Something that can’t be easy to draw the line at always, I am sure.

Lidia Bastianich will be in Vancouver for a variety of television appearances, a book signing at Gourmet Warehouse on September 22 and the Les Dames d”Escoffier Gala on September 23.

Les Dames D’Escoffier Present Una Bella Notte Con Lidia Bastianich
Gala Dinner with Chef/Owner/TV Personality Fundraises
For Les Dames d’Escoffier Scholarships

An unforgettable evening of Italian food, wine and song is in store for fans of Lidia Bastianich as the BC Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier honours the Emmy award-winning TV personality, cookbook author and restaurateur. Sit down for a Gala dinner with Lidia on September 23, 2016 at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and support Les Dames d’Escoffier’s outreach and scholarship programs. Now, that’s amore!

Una Bella Notte con Lidia begins with a Champagne Taittinger Brut Reserve reception and is followed by a multi-course dinner prepared by Vancouver’s leading chefs with exquisite wine pairings. The evening closes with an after lounge party. The witty and genial Fanny Kiefer raises a glass or two amidst the dinner party chatter as special guests share their favourite Lidia stories.

In conjunction with the participating luminary chefs, Les Dames member and Executive Chef Margaret Chisholm of Culinary Capers Catering has created the following menu for the magical evening of food and wine.

Lidia Bastianich

Les Dames D’Escoffier Gala Honours Lidia Bastianich

Reception

Lidia’s Octopus Salad on Potato
Frico, Moscato Poached Pear, Black Pepper Mascarpone
Gnocchi with Rosemary Brined Walnut, Roast Squash and Brown Butter
Margaret Chisholm, Culinary Capers Catering
Champagne Taittinger Brut Reserve

Dinner

Albacore Tuna Tonnato
JC Poirier, Ask for Luigi, Pizzeria Farina and Pourhouse
Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Grilled Sea Scallops, Cauliflower Salad and Green Herbs Coulis
Weimar Gomez, YEW seafood + bar, Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver
Tightrope Winery Riesling 2015

Cannelloni of Chocolate with Duck Confit
Pino Posteraro, Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca
Tenuta Olim Bauda Rocchette Barbera D’Asti 2012

Mixed Mushroom Carnaroli Risotto
with Truffle, Parmesan, Cherry Reduction, Arugula Pesto
Les Dames alumni and Season 2 Chopped Canada champion, Alana Peckham,
Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver/Alligga
Marimar Estate Mas Cavalls Pinot Noir 2008

Lo Stock Farms Squab, Painted Mountain Corn Polenta, Lacinto Kale, Anise
Robert Belcham, Campagnolo and Campagnolo Roma
Tommasi Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 2014

Primo Bistecca Tagliata
Jean-Claude Douguet, Gotham Steakhouse & Bar
Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot 2013

Chocolate Almond Torte, Poached Pears, Pecan Wafers, Blackberry Ice Cream
Rhonda Viani, West
Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny Port

After Lounge

Artisanal Limoncello Cheesecake Gelato
James Coleridge, Bella Gelateria
Terra Serena Prosecco – D.O.C. Treviso and Gillespie’s Fine Spirits Lemoncello

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Each guest receives a signed copy of Lidia’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine as a memento of the evening. All funds raised benefit the outreach and scholarship programs of the BC Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, including Project Chef and Growing Chefs. Seating is limited for this one special evening and once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet an iconic personality and fellow New York based Les Dames d’Escoffier member, Lidia Bastianich. Tickets are selling fast for this Italian inspired evening.

Les Dames d’Escoffier Gala
September 23, 2016
Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver
791 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC  V6C 2V4
Reception: 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Dinner: 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm
After Lounge: 11:00 pm onwards

Cranberry, Pecan, Chia Seeds and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Morning Muffins with those healthy, trendy, Chia Seeds

1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup chia seeds – Prana has some great ones with probiotics too
150g dried cranberries
3/4 cup pecans – halves or pieces
1 cup chocolate chips
2 very ripe bananas
2 eggs, lightly beaten
125g butter, melted
3/4 cup milk

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Line a 12-hole medium muffin pan with paper cases. Get pretty.
  3. Combine flours, sugar, cranberries, pecans, chocolate chips and chia seeds in a bowl. Stir in the dates.
  4. In another bowl, mash the bananas and stir in eggs, butter and milk.
  5. Fold into the flour mixture until just combined.
  6. Divide mixture among muffin pans
  7. Bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Great for breaky and afternoon snacks.

Moosemeat & Marmalade Season 2

A Bush Cook and Classically Trained Chef Team Up for Moosemeat & Marmalade

What do you get when you combine a First Nations Bush Cook and a classically trained UK Chef? Moosemeat and Marmalade of course, a show that explores global adventure in the kitchen and out in the wild.  Co-hosts Art Napoleon (acclaimed Bush Cook & Cree Musician) and Dan Hayes (renowned Victoria-based Chef and Owner of the London Chef) tour around the world and dish up humour along with interesting dishes. Now in Season 2 the team takes farm-to-table to the next level, offering a deep exploration of food production and sustainability while providing a unique window into First Nations culture. The Season Premiere of Moosemeat & Marmalade Season 2 will air September 7th on the Aboriginal People’s Television Network (APTN)

Here’s some highlights of the show:

  • Each week, audiences will get an insider look at some of the world’s most noted experts sharing their expertise around distilling, trapping, foraging, ice fishing and more.
  • Recipes from each episode will be posted online for viewers to print and make at home.
  • Online audiences can participate in a parallel interactive experience, giving them access to the personal lives and history of the co-hosts, and the ability to interact with Art & Dan like never before.
  • Moosemeat & MarmaladeSeason 2 premieres September 7- check your local listings.
  • A free interactive e-book (iPad only) offers exclusive additional content and technical step-by-step tutorials for some of the chefs’ favourite dishes from the show: http://moosemeatandmarmalade.com/moosemeatmarmaladebook
  • On social media, viewers can participate in numerous contest giveaways including:
  • A chance to win an exclusive getaway to Canada’s only 4.5 star First Nation’s resort, Spirit Ridge in the beautiful Okanagan.
  • A chance to win a rustic cabin getaway to Mile High Resort, nestled lakeside on Face Lake just outside of Kamloops, British Columbia.

We checked in with the team and grabbed a few recipes for you:

scallops

Dan’s Scallops Dish Grilled Scallops With Seaweed, Chili & Fennel Butter

Chili & Fennel Butter
½ Tsp fennel seeds, slightly crushed
Pinch dry chili
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp crushed or finally cut edible dry seaweed
Few rasps lemon zest
1 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
¼ Lb Room temperature butter
Mix all ingredients together.

 Scallops
18 Live scallops in the shell
Non-edible clean bright seaweed from clean water
 
Shuck scallops, removing the skirt and rinse to remove any grit.  Do not take the meat or coral off the bottom shell. Place a tsp of butter on top of each scallop and put under a very hot pre-heated grill (broiler) until butter is bubbling, slightly browning and the shells seem brittle. This should take 2-3 minutes.  Remove and put straight onto platter of well washed seaweed. Serve immediately.

trout

Art’s Rainbow Trout Dish as on the Show

Pan Fried Rainbow Trout w/Birch Butter & Roasted Roots
8 trout fillets (around 4 med sized rainbow trout)
2 T moose lard
1 T butter
1 handful fresh thyme
1 handful of chives
salt & pepper to taste
¼ cup birch syrup
½ cup Irish ale
sea salt to flavour

Brown Butter
¼ cup butter
¼ Irish ale
1 T birch syrup
1tsp maple sugar

Serve with roasted beets
6-7 med beets red & yellow
fingerling potatoes
1 med purple onion cut into rustic chunks
¼ cup olive oil

Mulled Forest Tea
2T concentrated hoshum (soapberry) juice
1 litre unsweetened blueberry berry juice
handful muskeg (labrador) tea leaves
2 cinnamon sticks & 4 whole cloves
2T maple sugar
1T birch syrup
¼ cup Irish ale

Steps
1. cut up washed root veggies & onion into rustics chunks, coat with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt & place into oven preheated at 375. If your produce is chemical free, there is no need to peel.
2. To make tea, heat up all ingredients (except sugar) along with muskeg tea leaves and bring to a gentle boil in a medium sized pot to extract full flavour of the tea leaves and spices. Stir in sugar until dissolved and allow the mulled tea to simmer over low heat until meal is served.
3. Melt lard & butter in skillet over med/high heat then add a handful of fresh thyme
4. Once butter begins to turn golden, add scaled trout fillets skin side down & sprinkle with sea salt
5. In a separate skillet, heat up ½ cup butter and heat until it begins to bubble
6. Immediately add birch syrup, ale & maple sugar while stirring then remove from heat.
7. In the fish skillet, once fillets begin to brown and crisp on the bottom, add minced wild chives, birch syrup & ale and allow the fish to braise until fish is no longer translucent.
8. Pour the birch butter over the rainbow fillets allowing the hot mixture to cook the top sides.

Serve trout with the roasted veggies & mulled tea. As an option, add previously cooked rice to the fish pan and quickly fry up, allowing the rice to absorb the flavours of the remaining sauce.

Gojoy Goji Berry Muffins

BC Fresh Goji Berries are in season! Whip up some Gojoy Goji Berry Muffins

Did you know that BC grows Goji Berries? They even have u-pick right now out in Aldergrove! Details on Gojoy Berries here.  Do eat these muffins the day they are baked and the berries tend to collapse quickly due to their thin skin.

Gojoy Berries

INGREDIENTS

1 2/3 cup Olympic Dairy Yogurt – any flavour
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large Eggs
1 cup oil or 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup apple sauce
2 cups natural bran
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour + 1/8 cup
3 tsp baking powder
2 cups Fresh Gojoy goij berries

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven 350°.

Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or spray with Canola Oil or Veg Oil

Measure yogurt into medium bowl and mix in baking soda, it will foam and it is supposed too; set aside.

In a large bowl beat together sugar, eggs and oil.

Add bran and vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix togetgojoy Berriesher flour and baking powder.

 

Gradually add the flour and yogurt mixtures alternately to the sugar mixture.
Gojoy Berries

Toss Gojoy Berries in 1/8 cup flour

gojoy Berries

Fold in goji berries and Bake 20-35 minutes in paper lined muffin papers sprayed with canola or veggie oil.

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The Good Stuff – Ready-to-blend superfood smoothies delivered to your door

Start your day or finish it with a Superfood smoothie

I’ve recently been making smoothies, but they’re usually just a couple frozen bananas and berries, as the fresh veggies in my fridge usually expire before I manage to consume them all. Recently, though, I sampled the smoothies from The Good Stuff and I tell you, there’s been all sorts of other goodness in my cup.

The Good Stuff smoothies are packaged individually and can be picked up individually at UBC or in North Van, can be delivered in packs of 6-10 to your door, or in bundles of 20 where you choose from a family, weight loss, or athlete bundle. Prices vary depending on the amount you buy each time, but range from $4-$6.

The prepped smoothie-packs are the brainchild of two guys, Tonner and Mike, that went to University together and found they didn’t have the ingredients on hand to make a balanced smoothie; smartly done boys!

Weight Loss Smoothie Bundle

There are six main flavours with a variety of different ingredients and inspirations. The Diesel Monster is a muscle builder, the Easy Greens a cleanse, the Kitsilano Sunrise antioxidant booster, the Madagascar a stress buster, the Thunderbird a performance fuel and the Wise Ninja an anti-inflammatory. You’ll have to try them all once to find a favourite, I’m fond of the Kitsilano Sunrise, fittingly, it’s a combination of Carrot, Banana, Chard, Spinach, Brazil Nuts, Maple Syrup, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Black Pepper.

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The ingredients come in recyclable paper cups that you can fill with water, juice, almond milk, kefir, coconut milk or liquid of your choice, blend up and serve. They’re so easy and so very nutritious. I’ll be ordering more this week.phpthumb generated thumbnail

smoothie

*The Good Stuff provided smoothie packs for this review.

Roman Countryside Culinary Adventure and Olive Oil Recipes

Join Chef Dana Reinhardt in Tuscania for a Roman Countryside Culinary Adventure

Is their anything better than traveling, enjoying good food and learning to cook better. Well, I think not. We are lucky enough to have Chef Dana Reinhardt in our midst, she’s a friend and a fellow Les Dames d’Escoffier member, and an amazing cook. I’ve take a few cooking classes with her and have the recipes to prove it! Recently I joined a group of food lovers at Siena restaurant where Dana revealed the details of an amazing trip to Italy and served up some very tasty olive-oil based dishes. Recipes below!

Last year she’s sussed out a stunning farm in Tuscania, Lazio, Italy and she is now hosting culinary tours there. You can join Chef Dana Reinhardt in exploring the incredible bounty of Casa Caponetti.  Casa Caponetti, is situated on a stunning 125 acre olive farm and home to an ancient Etruscan necropolis, comprising one of the largest single ruins on private land.  On the tour you will harvest seasonal produce from the extensive biodynamic vegetable gardens (27 varieties of tomatoes!) and use meat from their heritage breed cattle, pigs and chickens located directly on the property.

Learn to make pizza and bread in the wood fire oven; master the tricks of hand-made pasta and forage for wild herbs and mushrooms in the surrounding woodlands.  The trip will also include visits to local vineyards for wine tastings, artisanal cheese makers and the fresh fish market in Civitavecchia.  A whole week of exploration, cooking, learning and laughing.


Highlights
  • Hands-on cooking classes with two master chefs:  Chef Dana Reinhardt of Vancouver and Chef Mark Medina-Rios of Casa Caponetti.
  • Exploring the Roman countryside with amazing trips to local wineries, cheese makers, fish markets and ancient walled villages.
  • Working with sustainable, biodynamic and organic ingredients direct from the farm and learning traditional and modern Roman dishes.
  • Time to wander or hike the pastoral and beautiful grounds of Casa Caponetti and discover the site of ancient Etruscan ruins.
  • Pamper yourself with a massage from the in-house masseuse or a trip to the Roman Papal baths and spa in Vitterbo.


Includes:

  • 6 nights and 7 days private guest accommodation
  • 7 day guided culinary tour
  • Visits to wineries, cheese makers, fish market including transportation
  • Tastings of local cheese, wine, olive oil and breads
  • All lunch and dinners with wine at offsite excursions are included
  • All meals and wine
  • All applicable taxes

 

SEPTEMBER 25-OCTOBER 1, 2016
TOUR: $3099.00

To inquire about the experience, contact Chef Dana Reinhardt directly at: cookitalytours.com or by mail: reinhardtdana19@gmail.com

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Chilled Radish and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Soup Yield: 4 portions

2 pounds          red radishes, rinsed, trimmed and chopped                        (keep 2 radish aside to thinly slice and use as a garnish)
2                      shallots, finely chopped
2 Tbsps            extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp             butter
3 cups              chicken/vegetable stock
kosher salt and pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil for garnish

In a medium saucepot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add the shallots and sauté for 2 minutes.  Add the radishes and sauté for about 8 minutes.  Cover with chicken stock and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for about 10 minutes until the radishes are cooked through.  Puree the soup in a blender and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Chill for 6 hours or overnight.  Serve garnished with sliced radish and extra virgin olive oil.

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Fresh Pea and Basil Panna Cotta  – 6 – 2 ounce portions

1 cup               fresh or frozen peas
1 Tbsp             butter
1 Tbsp             shallots
¼ cup              chicken stock
¾ cup              milk
¼ cup              whipping cream
1 T                fresh basil, chopped
2 sheets           gelatin
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsps            extra virgin olive oil
fresh basil leaves

Soak gelatin in mixture of milk and cream.  In a small skillet, over medium heat, sauté shallots in butter and add peas.  Add chicken stock and simmer for 3 minutes or until peas are just cooked.  Puree in blender with fresh basil.  Pour into a medium mixing bowl.

Remove gelatin from cream mixture and pour into a small saucepan.  Squeeze out excess liquid from the gelatin into the saucepan and set the gelatin aside.  Heat the cream over medium heat until warmed through.  Do not boil.

Remove the cream mixture from the heat and whisk in the gelatin until dissolved.  Whisk into the  pea puree and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.  Pour into tall shot glasses, cover each one with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

Serve topped with extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil leaves.

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Honey Semifreddo Yield:  8 – 2 oz ramekins

120 grams                   egg yolks
150 grams                   honey
300 grams                   whipping cream

In a medium saucepan with a candy thermometer, heat the honey over medium heat until it reaches 115C.  Meanwhile whip the egg yolks until pale in a stand mixer.  Once the honey reaches temperature, whip the honey slowly into the yolks.

In a separate bowl, whip the cream into soft peaks.  Fold the cream into the yolk mixture and pour into the ramekins.  Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

Uncle Ben’s Rice & Grains Recipes

The UNCLE BEN’S® brand serves up new RICE & GRAINS – Uncle Ben’s Rice & Grains

UNCLE BEN’S® brand now offers Rice & Grains, a combination of rice with ancient grains, such as quinoa and couscous and we’ve got some great recipes from local restaurants to inspire you to add more than just rice to your plate.

uncle ben's rice & grains

“Our team is always looking for ways to create gourmet flavours everyone can enjoy, and Rice & Grains has been a strong addition,” says Sommai Gordon, owner and head chef at Super Thai Food. “Canadians will be able to get creative in the kitchen with this product, just like we did with our recipe.”

The UNCLE BEN’S® Rice & Grains product comes in seven flavours:

  • Brown Rice & Quinoa – Roasted Red Pepper
  • Basmati Medley – Savory Herb
  • 5 Grain Blend – Savory Quinoa Pilaf
  • Brown Rice Medley – Roasted Garlic and Herb
  • Spicy Wholegrain & Quinoa – With Chili
  • Wholegrain & Wild – Garden Herb
  • Wholegrain & Quinoa – Garlic Flavour

super thai food

Super Thai Food

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*Sponsored by Uncle Ben’s Rice

Roasted Eggplant Dip

Grab Locally-Grown Eggplants and whip up this Roasted Eggplant Dip

On the weekend we went strawberry picking and on Sunday night were ready for a BBQ. We love dips and served a trio of them this night. Green garbanzo, hummus and this awesome roasted eggplant dip made with locally-grown eggplant.

roasted eggplant dip

5 mini Windset Farms Baby Eggplant
3 garlic cloves, minced;
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice;
1 Tbsp Maille Dijon Mustard;
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil;
1/4 cup cream cheese
3-4 dashes hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste;
4 Tbsp chives plus a few for topping

maille

Preparation

  1. To roast the eggplants, prick the skin with a fork and roast for about 35 minutes in a 400 F oven.
  2. Put the roasted eggplants in a bowl of cold water, wait a bit and then peel off the skin.
  3. Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.
  4. Cool in the refrigerator and serve with extra olive oil on top and fresh chives

Spot Prawn Boil Tips from Chef Glavas of The Donnelly Group

Spot Prawn Boil Do’s and Don’ts

We were lucky enough to gobble up some of the first spot prawns of the season last month at The Blackbird Pub. The Donnelly Group’s head Chef Glavas put on a massive spot prawn boil and it was superb! We asked for his tips to share with you.

spot prawn boil

Spot Prawn Boil Tips

spot prawn boil
Always pick up your prawns day of the boil so they are still alive. Go to Granville island and buy right off the pier.

You can any blanch your potatoes in heavy salted water ( almost like sea water ) first as they take the longest, then add your corn on the cob.

Add green beans only for 90 seconds.

Grill the chorizo sausage separate as it does have a strong flavour profile .

Once you have all your potatoes, vegetables and sausage ready , drop your prawns last. Put everything in a big bowl and pour out on your plastic covered table.

The spot prawn blanching water
Water amount depends on size of your pot, and heavily salt. Add rough chopped onions, carrots and celery . Then a tablespoon of peppercorns and 3 bay leaves. Bring to a boil then your ready to add your spot prawns. The prawns take 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Once the have curled up there ready. Using a wired strainer remove your prawns .


Try different flavour butters on the side. I make a Cajun butter , lemon dill butter and a garlic basil butter.  They compliment the boil without overpowering the star of the dinner the spot prawn.

Mike Glavas Regional Operations Chef Donnelly Group
Follow him on twitter @MgGlavas

Arts Club Cooking Class with David Robertson of Dirty Apron Cooking School

What to cook this spring? We take some lessons from Dirty Apron

We updated this post from 2012 as it’s still so very relevant. Especially with spot prawn season starting this week! The Arts Club Theatre Company is known for it’s theatrical productions, but each spring they produce more than just theatre and host cooking classes.  Each class is put on by one of Vancouver’s renowned chefs at a gorgeous private home and raises money for the company. Over three hours guests enjoy cooking demonstrations, some hands on options and a four-course dinner paired with wine. Unfortunately they aren’t doing these in 2016 but I hope they bring them back!

A few years back we climbed up into the British Properties and joined David Robertson of Dirty Apron Cooking School for a spectacular meal, complete with views, charming guests and left with some new cooking tips up our sleeves and a Dirty Apron Cooking School apron.

First course – Citrus Olive Oil Spot Prawns with Crab Cakes

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Citrus crab cakes, olive oil poached spot prawns, pressed avocado

Citrus Olive Oil Poached BC Spot Prawns

Spot Prawns

1 lb BC Spot Prawns (shelled & deveined)
1 Lemon (Zest & Juice)
1 Orange (Zest & Juice)
1 Lime (Zest & Juice)
6 cloves Garlic
Fleur de Sel
Black Pepper
500 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil (poaching)

Heat the olive oil slowly with all zest and citrus juice to 135F.
Season the spot prawns with fleur de sel and black pepper. Poach the prawns in the olive oil until just cooked through. Remove them from the olive oil and allow to cool.

Crab Cakes

6 oz Dungeness Crab Meat
2 tbsp Plain Yogurt
1 tbsp Chives (finely sliced)
2 sprigs Italian Parsley
1 sprig Tarragon
¼ Lemon Zest
Pinch Espelette Powder
Salt & Pepper
¼ cup Flour
1 Egg (beaten)
¼ cup Panko (coating)

Pick through the crabmeat and discard any bits of shell or cartilage. Put all ingredients into a bowl and gently mix together and season with salt and pepper. Form the mixture into two patties.

Prepare to dredge the patties by placing 3 bowls side by side. In the first bowl place the flour. In the second bowl whisk the egg. In the third bowl, the panko. Dredge the patties in the flour, and then dip into the egg and finely coat with panko.

In a medium sized pan heat the oil over medium-high heat. Carefully place the cakes into the pan and sear each side until the panko turns golden brown on all sides.

Serve immediately with a salad and Lemon Yogurt

1 cup yogurt
1 lemon

Mix the lemon zest and yogurt together. Keep cold until needed.

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Chef Robertson preps beets

Apple cider marinated beet salad. Herb goat cheese, toasted brioche

Golden Beet Salad

3 Medium Beets
1 head Frisee Lettuce
½ bunch Watercress
½ head Radicchio
1 Whole Apple (thin slices)
60 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
30 ml Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt & Pepper

Place beet in a large saucepot and cover the beets with water by at least 2 inches.  Bring to a boil; reduce to a gentle simmer and cook until a small knife inserted into the beet comes out with little resistance (about 40 minutes).

Drain and let sit until cool enough to handle.

Trim both ends of the beets and rub off the skins with your fingers.  Dice the beets into 1/2 inch dice size.  Toss the beets in a bowl with sliced apple, watercress, radicchio frisee lettuce, olive oil and apple cider vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper.

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Spectacular View from the private residence where this class was held

Sumac roasted lamb loin, celeriac purée, red wine braised shallots

Sumac Roasted Lamb Loin on Celeriac Puree with Red Wine Sauce

2 X 4 oz Lamb Loin
1 clove Garlic
30 ml Olive Oil
1 Lemon (zest)
1 tsp Sumac
1 tsp Cumin (grinded)
1 tsp Coriander seed (grinded)

Preheat oven to 400°F
Coat the lamb with the marinade and marinate until needed. Before cooking, season with salt and pepper.
Sear in a pan over high heat until the meat is browned on all sides then place the pan into the preheated oven for 4-5 minutes to achieve a rare to medium-rare doneness. Allow the lamb to rest before serving.

Celeriac Puree

300 g Celeriac (peeled & chopped)
2 Tbsp Butter
300 ml Milk
1 small Bay Leaf
2 sprigs Thyme
Salt
White Pepper
300g

Place the celeriac into a sauce pan and sauté with the butter.  Do not brown the celeriac.  Add the milk and herbs to the sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Gently simmer for about 25 minutes until the celeriac is very tender.
Drain the celeriac and discard the herbs, reserving the milk.  Put the celeriac into a blender or food processor.  Blend until very smooth, adding enough of the reserved milk to give a creamy consistency.  Once the puree is nice and smooth then season with salt and white pepper.
Keep hot until needed.

Red Wine Sauce

1 Shallot (finely diced)
1 clove Garlic (minced)
80 ml Red Wine
80 ml Beef Stock
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter (cold)
Salt
Black Pepper
Vegetable Oil

In a small saucepot sauté the shallots and garlic in vegetable oil until soft without browning, approx. 2 minutes. Add the red wine and beef stock and reduce to mixture to 1/3. Add the chilled butter, whisking in a little bit at a time and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and keep warm until needed.

Hazelnut orange chocolate pâté

Hazelnut orange chocolate pâté

Chocolate Pate

500 g Dark Chocolate
½ cup Unsalted Butter
330 ml Heavy Cream
Fresh Raspberries (for garnish)
Roasted Hazelnuts (for garnish)

Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler.  Add the ½ cup butter to the dark chocolate.  Stir the chocolate until smooth and take the bowl off of the heat to let cool to room temperature.
In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form.  Using a spatula, fold the cream into the dark chocolate.
Put a layer of saran wrap in the bottom and sides of the pan.  Spoon the dark chocolate mixture into the loaf pan.  Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Remove from fridge before serving and carefully remove the pate from the loaf pan.  Then slice the pate with a hot knife and put onto dessert plate.  Serve with Raspberry coulis, fresh raspberries and toasted hazelnuts.

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Martha Perkins

Diners Enjoying the night 

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