Few dining rooms take the celebration of local terroir to heart as tastefully as does C, Vancouver’s wildly lauded contemporary seafood restaurant. Suitably ensconced across from the False Creek Marina at Granville Island, C has always had a clear view when it comes to matters of freshness.
Credit the forward-thinking philosophy and international success to the shared passion and purpose of owner Harry Kambolis and executive chef Robert Clark. What they have created is decidedly delicious conscious cuisine. As the inaugural participant in the OceanWise program and a 10-year proponent of local producers and sustainable product, C has always been defined by both its style and its substance.
For Chef Clark, the sourcing of local product and championing of local producers has taken him further afield than many chefs dare to dream. Within C’s kitchen, many eco-conscious local products have made their entr?onto the public plate ranging from the sustainable Hawkshaw salmon to savoury clams and spot prawns. C was also the first to free pink salmon from its canned heritage and celebrate both its abundance and its flavour. From ocean deep to forest dark and garden green, Clark’s travels, and finds, have become an inspiration both at C and to an entire industry.
As the success story of C, and its two sister restaurants, Raincity Grill and Nu (recently voted Canada’s best new restaurant by EnRoute magazine), is validated night after busy night, greater numbers of restaurateurs are giving their kitchens the same green light enjoyed by Clark. Tapping into the economics of edible ecosystems, stepping beyond the staples, and delving into the greater diversity of available ingredients has yielded a culinary experience that tastes better the more you think about it.
From thinly sliced albacore tuna wrapped around a medley of Dungeness crab, fennel, and apple, to crispy trout with side-stripe shrimp and endive, to seared Kagan Bay
scallops with butternut squash and coronation grapes from the Okanagan, the taste of C is a direct reflection of British Columbia’s bounty.
Their efforts have yielded C almost every accolade available from local and international media alike, none of which goes to Clark’s head as he journeys from grill to farm gate and from podium to press conference. For Clark, the praise is permanently offset by the same passion and curiosity that propelled him through C’s doors a decade ago.