Healthier eating is a good habit to develop. Taking a long hard look at your fridge and pantry is a superb way to kick-start a whole new approach to personal gastronomy. Now is the time to rethink the condiment rack, read food labels a little more closely, and explore the delicious alternatives to be found in your local specialty stores, ethnic food markets, and local community.
Good, honest cooking is not difficult and need not be something you do once or twice a month for friends. It begins with a few new recipes and one or two additions to the standard shopping list. It evolves into regular compliments from guests and a newfound energy in and out of the kitchen. Before long, it simply becomes a habit.
A healthier, more energetic Habit cannot be found than in the so-named, richly hued restaurant on Vancouver’s Main Street. A stone’s throw from the Aurora Bistro (profiled in alive’s June 2006 issue), Habit is yet another glittering gem at the vanguard of conscious cuisine.
As the creation of David Nicolay and Rob Edmonds, both world-ranked interior designers responsible for some of Vancouver’s most interesting dining rooms, Habit might hook with its look, but it is the menu that will have you setting a revamped table in no time. Co-owned by Nicolay, Edmonds, Wendy Nicolay, and Nigel Pike, Habit is very much a family affair, which might explain the basic integrity of the dishes that emerge from Chef Greg Armstrong’s kitchen on a nightly basis.
While globally influenced and suffused with flavours that hop across cultures with edible abandon, the ethos of seasonality is firm. The result is a menu that caters to culinary exploration while grounding the experience with ingredients reflecting the local waters and terra firma.
While serving plates are designed to satisfy and entertain, Habit’s principals have stood by the principles they have chosen for their own lives. As a result, frozen battery chicken fillets, fried food feasts, and farmed fish will not be found; instead, bison, free-range fowl of every wing, and locally sourced ingredients predominate.
Worked into recipes both worldly and familiar, they infuse the final creations with an authenticity that well serves both the taste and nutritional content of every dish. For Chef Armstrong et al., it is merely giving we the people not only what we want, but what we deserve–meals that keep us fit enough to keep coming back for more.
While we often think little of spending top dollar to dine in a restaurant that treats us this well, we often fail to pick up on the life lessons such fresh plates have to offer. For a fraction of the cost, by February we could be eating this way every night of the week, glowing with the benefits of our newly acquired wisdom and ways.