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Open to Inspiration

What's on the menu at Aurora Bistro

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Open to Inspiration

When Aurora Bistro first lit up the neighbourhood on Vancouver’s Main Street, it gained as much attention for its regionally rooted philosophy as for the freshness of its plates and wine list. Aurora’s chief kitchen creative is a firm fan of sensibly delicious cooking. Moreover, he makes no claims to doing anything other than treating food with the respect it deserves

At Aurora Bistro, source and season are chef Jeff Van Geest’s favoured inspirations, and general manager and sommelier Kurtis Kolt has hand-picked a standout local wine list offering real value and quality.

More interested in making a true plate than a blue plate special, Aurora’s chief kitchen creative is a firm fan of sensibly delicious cooking. Moreover, he makes no claims to doing anything other than treating food with the respect it deserves. A strong proponent of sustainability, Van Geest belongs to BALLE BC (ballebc.com), part of an international network of values-based business owners (toballe.net).

When Aurora Bistro first lit up the neighbourhood on Vancouver’s Main Street, it gained as much attention for its regionally rooted philosophy as for the freshness of its plates and wine list.

“At one time, we looked at food as providing medicine, sustenance, and pleasure,” said Van Geest. “It can still play all those roles if you work with the food around you. You’ll get truer taste and learn a lot about your backyard in the process. Imported goods just don’t offer the same nutritional profile.”

As to what gives him the gusto to whip up a meal in his off-hours, Van Geest maintains that a well-stocked pantry is the key. With the right blend of oils, vinegars, sauces, and salts, good home cooking is merely a matter of picking up the protein and some fresh inspiration.

“Do away with the salt and pepper shaker and get a good grinder and some great fleur de sel for starters,” says Van Geest. “I like to keep a good pantry of non-perishables, but I also have lemons, garlic, ginger, potatoes, organic spinach, aged cheddar, and some soft cheese on hand. It’s all about being dynamic and staying open to inspiration and the sharing of ideas in a kitchen.”

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