Category Archives: Dine Out

Dine Out Vancouver Continues til February 5th

Dine Out Vancouver Offers 3-course Menu Deals

Dine Out Vancouver has one week left and while we wish we had more evenings free for dining out, we did get to a few and have a couple photos and recommendations to share.

Chicha

Chicha

Chalaco Ceviche- albacore tuna, sockeye salmon, pacific ling cod, scallops, prawns, green tigre de leche marinade, fresh oranges and rocoto chili dusted calamariChicha

Yuca Bola- cassava root croquettes filled with asiago cheese, cream cheese, jalapeno, and scallions with huancainianaChicha

Lomo Saltado Medium rare flank steak, peppers, tomatoes, onions, kennebec fries, rich veal demi stir fryChicha

Costillas de Cerdo Orange and panca chili glazed baby back ribs with double smoked bacon, red nugget, and green bean potato saladChicha

Mejillones Claientes mussels and chorizo steamed in rocoto chili, white wine, and tomato broth, with sweet peppers and huacatay butter and quinoa and honey bread crustiniChicha

Dark beer and cilantro slow braised pork cheeks with butternut squash and kale barley risottoChicha

Chicha

Peruvian Caramel Shortbread cookies ~gooseberry and orange curd

Juniper

Juniper

Grilled beets, california burrata, toasted hazelnuts (V)(GF)Juniper

Elk tartar, blueberries, juniper, crispy roots, burnt hay aioli (GF)Juniper

Albacore tuna, nori emulsion, charred broccolini, wheatberry porridgeJuniper

Bison short rib, smoked potato, creamed brussels, onion, bone marrow jus (GF)

DocksideDockside

Dockside Crab & Shrimp Cakes Charred Lemon Aioli, Mango SalsaDockside

Duck Prosciutto Tart House Made Duck Prosciutto, Onion Jam, Arugula & Balsamic ReductionDockside

Winter Green Salad Manchego Polenta Croutons, French Beans & Herb VinaigretteDockside

Linguini Vongole Manila Clams, White Wine Cream Sauce, Reggiano CheeseDockside

Roasted Zucchini Eggplant Puree, Cucumber and Fennel Salad & Toasted Pine NutsDockside

Beef Wellington Truffle Mash Potatoes, Market Vegetables & Red Wine JusDockside

Chocolate and Apricot Mousse Layer Cake Apricot Puree & Fresh Berries

Edible Canada

Edible Canada
Pacific Cod and Pemberton Potato Pakoras jalapeño apple chutney, fresh mint and picklesEdible Canada
Crispy West Coast Humbolt Squid chermoula vinaigrette, white bean hummus, dried olives

Edible Canada
Haida Gwaii Rockfish & Mussel Stew Moroccan tomato broth, heirloom carrots, chickpeas, cilantro

Edible Canada
Char Grilled Alberta Hanger Steak chimichurri, panisse, garlic purée, grilled tomatoEdible Canada
Quebec Rabbit Orecchiette mushrooms, confit onions, shaved brussels sprouts, parmesan

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Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding maple bourbon custard, candied walnuts

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Chocolate Pot du Crème cassis, crystallized ginger

All Edible Canada image courtesy of Dianne Chow of Fabulously Frugal

Kaya Malaysian Bistro

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Tofu Goreng lightly-fried tofu, bean sprouts, cucumber, S.E. Asian dressing
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Winter Squash & Apple Curry Bisque South East Asian soup infused with Malaysia herbs & spices
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Roasted side ribs on jasmine rice cauliflower, Kaya-style green curry
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Singapore Crispy Chicken with Roti Canai Prawn Crackers, coldslaw, sweet chili sauce
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Pandan cheese panna cotta and Berry & plum sugar Crepe

Feast in West Vancouver

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Grilled Squid / Panzanellaimg 20170127 181138836

Albacore Tuna Tataki and Pickled Mushroomsimg 20170127 184626281

Feast Fried Chicken with Confit Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Real Gravy
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Pan Roasted Ling Cod with Hand-cut Farfalle and Smoked Gem Tomato Relishimg 20170127 194613835

Espresso Chocolate Pot de Crème, Peanut Powder and Feuilletineimg 20170127 194628703

Coconut Panna Cotta with Grilled Pineapple Compote

For more check Dine Out Vancouver online.

 

Bocuse d’Or Fundraiser – Wishing Chef James Olberg Well On His Journey

BC Chefs Band Together For Canadian Chef in Bocuse d’Or Fundraiser

Created in 1987 by Mater Chef Paul Bocuse, the Bocuse d’Or culinary competition is now in it’s 30 year. Twenty-four of the most promising chefs in the world go through two days of intense competition and give their very best to secure a top spot. Intense is the key word here – this is MAXIMUM chefness at work (and yes, I do know that’s not a word).

This year’s Canadian candidate is Chef James Olberg who heads to France very shortly to compete in the  Bocuse d’Or. However Chef Olberg has more than just culinary prep to do, as unlike many other countries, that have immense budgets for their chefs to train for the prestigious Bocuse d’Or contest, Canada does not. Our chefs have to work full time, raise families, try to stay healthy and have some personal time AND train for the Bocuse d’Or AND worry about the financing of it all. Needless to say, something has to give.

Bocuse d'Or Fundraiser

This past December I was super impressed, once again, with our local chef community as they banded together to help one of their own. Chef Keith Pears spearheaded the venture at his hotel, the Delta by Marriott in Burnaby. Guests could choose the chef they would sit with and there were some pretty big hitters here! Truffles were shaved, caviar spooned out liberally and there was an amazing sense of community. I hugged many old friends and met new ones.

Bocuse d'Or Fundraiser

Bocuse d'Or Fundraiser

Bocuse d'Or Fundraiser

Marcus Von Albrecht’s generously donated XFour Vodka for the initial Cocktail and a selection of skillfully prepared canapes were served. Then we headed to our chefs tables for the dinner.  I had the good fortune to sit with Chef Sylvain Currier.

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Bocuse d'Or Fundraiser

Autumn Harvest Vegetable Salad – burgundy truffle puree, candied hazelnuts, preserved lemon

Bocuse d'Or Fundraiser

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Pine mushroom custard white alba truffle, caviar, cauliflower topped with hand shaved trufflesBocuse d'Or Fundraiser

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Braised veal cheeks with Perigold truffle, fois gras croquette, parsnip puree, crispy celeriac, parsley puree

Bocuse d'Or FundraiserAmaretto Panna Cotta – BC apple sorbet, candied ginger, carrot puree, crisp meringue, almonds

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Macarons by Panifrance

Bocuse d'Or Fundraiser

We wish Chef Olberg the very best on his journey and thank all that contributed to this amazing night. May the force be with him!

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CCFCC Bocuse d’Or Canada team includes Navjeet Singh as the Official Commis to Chef James Olberg at the 2017 Bocuse d’Or in Lyon.

The Naramata Inn Welcomes Ambrosia Restaurant and Lounge by Chef Victor Bongo

Chef Victor Bongo to Take on The Food Program at The Naramata Inn

It may not be wine touring season quite yet, but it’s just around the corner, and each year there’s a few more spots to both wine taste and dine at.  For one, we’ve just heard there’s going to be a new face behind the fires at the Naramata Inn, Chef Victor Bongo. Knowing Chef Bongo, he’ll be sure to add some of his international flair to the region.

I first met Chef Bongo at the Canadian Chefs Congress in Duncan in 2010, where he was representing the Yukon Territory, and I’ve had the pleasure of sampling his cuisine many times. Once again at Kitsilano’s Establishment, and many times while attending a variety of events he was cooking at, including the launch of his latest cookbook.

naramata inn

Bongo has recently been cooking at a pop up at Rooftop in Vancouver, but he’s packing his knives and heading to Naramata to open Ambrosia Restaurant & Lounge come spring. Bongo describes the restaurants style as “Unique signature global fusion cuisine; plates packed with flavor and whimsy presented beautifully in a casual/semi-formal and welcoming environment.”

There will be three spaces and themes at the Inn and here’s a bit of information from the release:

Ambrosia Restaurant is located on the main floor in the classic and dining rooming seating 91 guests with a patio that seats 17 for a total experience of 108 seats. The semi-formal dining room has two seating’s at 6pm and 8:30pm. You’ll see plated meals consisting of appetizers ($16 – $22), Mains ($26 – $40) and Desserts ($8 – $12) along with a small classic cocktail list and a healthy wine list with unique wine library of local producers expertly matched.

Ambrosia Lounge will is housed on the lower floor and will showcase west-coast décor and a nouveau prohibition style wine lounge that serves up Chef’s signature global fusion tapas. Ambrosia Lounge seats 68 guests and will operate from 4pm to 12am daily with Happy Hour running 4pm to 6pm. The menu is designed for sharing, and will include medium tapas ($8 – $15), large tapas ($16 – $30) and desserts ($8 – $10) along with a unique artisan cocktail program, uniquely appointed wine list and craft beers program.

Ambrosia Patio seats 60 and operate  from 11am to 7pm. When the lounge opens at 4pm the entire happy hour and lounge menu is available to guests on the patio. The Ambrosia Patio offers a unique BBQ Pit with Chef’s signature marinades and rubs at a cost of $25 per person and includes 1 portion of local artisan proteins from and unlimited gourmet sides.

Victor Bongo

Before the New Year I was invited to a menu sampling while the photographer did a photo shoot for the new menu. I did my best to capture some of what’s coming your way should you stop in at the Inn for a formal meal.  This year’s resolutions involve working on my photography (again) so it was great to watch a pro and take note of some tips for the future.

Victor Bongo

Chilled White Asparagus and Truffle Bisque with black truffle, crab and avocado remoulade and golden sturgeon caviar.

Victor Bongo

Chipotle Braised Lamb Cheek Tortellacci with Scallops, roasted chanterelle mushrroms, Frangelico sauce, sweet pea and roasted jalapeno puree, summer truffle

Victor Bongo

Arctic Char and Golden Caviar Tartar with Avocado wasabi mousse, mango habanero sauce, toasted sesame seeds, miso and squid ink sauce and crispy nori

Victor Bongo

Pan Roasted Arctic Char with sweet pea mint risotto, lemongrass and ginger creme fraiche and candied lemon maple butternut squashVictor Bongo

Moroccan Pistachio Crusted Lamb with plantain and habanero pepper puree, butter and red wine braised asparagus, Gruyere potato pave and lamb jus

We’ll be looking forward to stopping in at the Inn this season. Maybe we’ll have to spend a night there before our wedding. Pre-wedding honeymoons are a thing, aren’t’ they? Well they should be. It’s really a darling place to stay with its heritage-style rooms and amazing lake views. I’ve had the pleasure once at Christmas a few years back and always meant to return. We’re wishing Bongo luck on the opening and we’ll see him and his crew very soon. Victor Bongo

Potters Christmas Shop and A Spot of Tea at Honeybee

An Adventure to Surrey for Holiday Shopping and Afternoon Tea

Celebrations of any sort were big at my house, and Christmas was no exception. Our house was fully decorated with a good measure of garlands, ribbon and the occasional poinsetta, and each year my sister and I would get an ornament on the night before Christmas, adding yet another decoration to the tree.  My mother has an eye for creating a festive space, and my parents home is always a welcoming space, at any time of year.

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In Ontario, where we lived until I was eight, we actually lived just down the street from a Christmas shop, so perhaps it just got into my veins at an early age, this Christmas spirit I have. So when I was asked to drop by a store entirely devoted to Christmas, I jumped at the chance and hence arrived at Potters Christmas Store in Surrey.

Potters Christmas Shop

My favourite decoration!

The owner, Ed Holden, met us when we arrived and gave us a bit of a guided tour, after which we were left on our own to peruse the aisles. It’s a good thing I had to keep an eye on the time as I could have spent a good deal of both my day and my holiday budget there.

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There were tree lights of every kind, from skulls to hello kitty, and ornaments for every possible obssession from bacon to golf. There were santa hats and turkey hats, and elves on the shelves, floors and celings.

Potters Christmas Shop

We found a Christmas tree with snow spewing out of the top, snow globes, nutcrackers galore, and hot chocolate in every flavour you could think of; everywhere you turn at Potters something catches your eye. I left with numberous ornaments, a barbeque brush, marinating sauces, and chocolate spreads but did manage to at least leave the silly hats for others.

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After working up quite the appetite we ventured on to The Honeybee Centre, where they’re serving up a festive holiday tea. The shop carries all sorts of things bee related and the cafe has a high tea available year round.

Honeybee Centre

For December  there’s a special Holiday High Tea which includes holiday flavours in the cupcake, macarons, and cheesecake, shortbread cookies, cranberry orange scones and, on the savoury side, a brie and roasted chicken panini, artichoke baguette, and a turkey and cranberry roll, all served with a choice of a variety of teas, or a peppermint honey mocha or egg nog latte should you with. There’s plenty on the plate for those suffering from post holiday-shopping starvation.

Potters Christmas Shop

If you’re up for a little adventure,  pack up a couple friends and plan on a good half day for a little Surrey-based adventure. Make sure there’s room in the car for your packages though, because I guarantee you won’t leave without at least a few decorations and stocking stuffers; you are bound to find something that you just can’t resist. Potters is open until Christmas Eve.

Chef Morgan Wilson Q at the Empress

 

Chef Morgan Wilson from the Fairmont Empress Hotel doesn’t have far to go to compete for Gold Medal Plates, as he’s Victoria-based, but that doesn’t make it any easier. We learn a little more about his thoughts on trends before the competition.

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Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

Q at the Empress is focused on local flavors of the Pacific North West, with a focus on seafood and seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers, fishers and markets.

Where do you eat in your city?

I like to discover smaller restaurants, one that I’m fond of right now for breakfast is Jam Café, great vibe and food.

What would be your ideal food day?

Somewhere in France enjoying all the great cheese and wine

What trend do you wish would die?

Gluten free baked goods, eating gluten free can be achieved by simply avoiding foods that have flour.

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What trend/s do you wish would be next?

A return to simpler cooking. We, as Chefs, with the rise of molecular cuisine, sous vide etc., have gotten very good at the technical aspects of cooking food and have been exploring that for quite some time. I would like to see that better understanding of how to perfectly cook a piece of meat or a vegetable focused into fewer ingredients on the plate, with less fuss the flavors that are there will shine.

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

Onions, this is a building block for so many recipes I really can’t live without them.

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home?

A good old spaghetti Bolognese.

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

Time machine

What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

Give grandma a call and get a copy of her recipes, always the best food at grandma’s house!

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

Quack quack

cab franc

What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Cabernet Frac

Who is coming with you?

Mark Butschler from Tinhorn Creek will be pouring, I will have a great team of our cooks from the Empress assisting.

Chef Sam Chalmers North 48

 

Gold Medal Plates competitor, Chef Sam Chalmers, is based in Victoria, and I just may have to go for the French Onion Soup he describes below.

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

North 48 is a modern comfort food restaurant. We take classic dishes and put our own spins on them. For example, our French Onion Soup: I salt cure half the onions, caramelize the rest, and put them in a mason jar with bacon & duck stock and cook that for 5 hours. We serve that tableside poured over a slice of toasted baguette & melted white cheddar.

french onion

What trend do you wish would die?

Trends are important to keep food interesting to the diner. I don’t overly wish any of them to die. From every major food trend we get pieces of them, ingredients, philosophies or techniques that will stick around and thats how food and cooking keep evolving. The one thing I do wish is that cooks, especially young cooks, try as hard to master the classic techniques and dishes before trying to master new trends.

What trend/s do you wish would be next?

Sustainable food has been a trend for a while now and I hope it keeps growing. People are more aware than ever to where their food comes from. I think its very important to always think sustainable and local as much as you can. I think we need to remove some negativity that is around farmed seafood. There are people out there doing right and we have to make that the norm, not the exception.

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

I will be preparing Northern Divine Sturgeon. I feel its important for people to understand the stress that we have put on our oceans and our seafood population. Northern Divine is farming fish the right way. This is the future of fishing and I want to showcase that.

Chef Nicholas Waters Toque Catering

One more day until Gold Medal Plates in Victoria and prior to this yearly face off, we try to catch up with all the chefs competing.  Chef Nicholas Waters from Toque Catering in Victoria gave us a little insight into his culinary world.
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Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

We are a full service catering company that custom designs each menu to our client’s tastes. We specialize in Vancouver Island Cuisine.

Where do you eat in your city?

Wild Mountain, Relish & Dad’s Soup & Sandwiches

What would be your ideal food day? 

Culinary food trips to a different city for appetizers and cocktails, several places in one day!

What trend do you wish would die?

Scallops & Pork Belly combined and old school buffets!

What trend/s do you wish would be next?

It’s already starting for the 2017 Wedding Season, Family Style Dinners!

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

Lemons

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home?

Green Thai Curry

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

Paco – Jet

What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

Atelier Crenn – Metamorphosis of Taste

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

Prawns on a Plate, inspired by the West Coast!

sea cider

What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

Pommeau Cider from Sea Cider Farmhouse

Who is coming with you?

The Toque Catering Team

From my Facebook we also had some questions:

If you could only have one small kitchen appliance what would it be?

Vita Mix

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Who is your favourite supplier, and why?

My Herb Farmer from Happy Valley Lavender Farms. She is just so happy everytime she arrives and it makes our whole kitchen smile, no matter how busy it is! Not to mention her herbs are the most flavorful you can find locally.

What’s your “ketchup”?

(I don’t mean literal ketchup, I just mean the one ingredient you use most often.) Mayonnaise

Chef Jefferson Alvarez Cacao Vancouver

 

Chef Jefferson Alvarez has had a busy fall as he’s recently opened Cacao, inspired Latin American plates in Kitsilano. We had a few questions for him as he preps for Gold Medal Plates to compete for Gold, but there were no hints as to what he’ll be serving!

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

We are a latin American restaurant style progressive Latin

Where do you eat in your city?

Where chefs are hands on!

What would be your ideal food day? 

Food from my mom

What trend do you wish would die?

ALL TRENDS SHOULD DIE!

What trend/s do you wish would be next?

NO MORE TRENDS PLEASE! We should evolve and progress like normal people use to.

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

Salt & pepper.

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home? 

Brazilian bbq chicken.

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

A real stove top.

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What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

Virgilio Martinez CENTRAL

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

No comments.

What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

THE EXPRESS CIDER

Who is coming with you?

MY LOYAL ARMY

Chef Mark Filatow Waterfront Wines Kelowna

 

Our next interview is with Chef Mark Filatow from Kelowna who’s also on his way to Victoria to compete in Gold Medal Plates Culinary Competition.  He’s competed before and taken the gold so it could be a repeat performance if all goes well! Filatow answered a few questions about ingredients he always has on hand, and who’s coming with him.

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Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

We really focus on the seasons and use our travels and research to combine for new ideas. 

What trend do you wish would die?

Picture perfect food that tastes like nothing!

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

Salt

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home? 

Pizza…or meatballs waterfront wines

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

Wood Oven 

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

Worldy Inspired, locally sourced .

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What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

Tantalus 2014 Chardonnay 

Who is coming with you?

Pretty much the entire kitchen!

Bio – Mark Filatow – Executive Chef & Sommelier

With over twenty years of experience, Mark Filatow represents the pinnacle of culinary excellence and is the driving force behind Waterfront Restaurant and Wine Bar. After graduating with honours from the Dubrulle Culinary Institute, Mark honed his culinary skills at some of the most prestigious restaurants in BC including Tofino’s Wickaninnish Inn, Vancouver’s Bishops and Diva at the Met and Kelowna’s Fresco Restaurant.

In 2001 Mark was accepted into the coveted Sommelier Guild, making him one of the only chefs in Canada with this level of skill in food and wine pairing. By 2005 Mark’s culinary prowess was acknowledged by Enroute Magazine when they recognized Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar as one of Canada’s best new restaurants. With these awards and continual stream of industry accolades from Vancouver Magazine, The Calgary Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, Eat Magazine and more, Mark still manages to keep his feet on the ground… and in the kitchen as Executive Chef/Sommelier of Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar.

Recent Accolades:

  • Western Living Magazine – “Top Foodies under 40″
  • Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards
  • “Gold” Best Restaurant in the Okanagan – 8 years running (2009 – 2016)
  • Southbrook Award for Food Day Canada – “Best Wine Paired Menu”
  • Recommended in Phaidon’s New Restaurant Guide “Where Chefs Eat”
  • Winner 2012 Vancouver Gold Medal Plates
  • Food Day Canada – University of Guelph, Good Food Innovation Award 2013 & 2014

Chef Ned Bell Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise Chef

 

Chef Ned Bell is on his way to Victoria this week to compete for the in Gold Medal Plates culinary competition and we posed a few questions in advance to get a feel for just what he might be preparing.

Chef Ned Bell

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

My Focus is on Wild Seafood from the Pacific Ocean, and responsible aquaculture, farming seaweeds, shellfish and fin fish in a responsible way from a clean ocean.  (Chef Neb Bell is at the Vancouver Aquarium)

Where do you eat in your city?

At home with my family, having 3 boys and a very busy wife keeps me close to the family table.

What would be your ideal food day? 

I am a very early riser, usually 4:30 am, and I travel a lot, so my fitness routine and my breakfast are always the same, no matter where I am, it keeps me on schedule mentally and physically. Breakfast and fitness set the tone for me for the day, after that, I will eat whatever I want as long as its healthy and of course indulgent.

What trend do you wish would die?

‘Trends’ in general, Everyone is trying to create the next cronut, lets focus on food as a pathway to health. I am not saying don’t eat your favorite things, but lets put more energy into eating well, then eating trends.

What trend/s do you wish would be next?

Food as a gateway to a healthy lifestyle, when I eat well and exercise, I rest better, have a happier clearer mind, and I am a better father, partner and son.

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What ingredient do you always have on hand?

Really Good Sea Salt, I never leave home without it. (Van Island Sea Salt)

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home? 

Kate’s (Ned’s wife) Turkey Spaghetti.

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What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

My wife and I are renovating our kitchen at home, and I have lots of fancy kitchen gadgets at our Cookculture shops, so, honesty, I have all the kitchen equipment I need.

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What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

Well, My first Seafood Book is coming out in Sept of 2017, so I’d say that one 😉. (Can’t wait!)

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

Very fall, roasted, caramelized, foraged mushrooms from Tofino, elderberries, fish and lots of tasty business .

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What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

2013 Canyon View Pinot Noir from Haywire

Who is coming with you?

Friends from all over, chefs from all over BC (Ross Derrick from the Table at Codfathers, Andrew Shepard from Vancouver Island Sea Salt, Matt Horn from Cowichan Pasta, Jed Grieve from Cookculture, William Beere, Sous Chef at Oceanwise).