A year of delicious dining
Canadian restaurants served up some delicious fresh fare in 2007. We take a look back at the restaurants we reviewed that year from C to Treadwell.
alive had a lot to live up to following The Fresh Sheet’s successful inaugural year. This year we ventured farther from our West Coast base, as food writer Jason McRobbie reviewed fresh new faces and places as well as veteran chefs and established restaurants across Canada’s culinary map. We travelled west to Tofino, BC, and east to Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula, with many city and country stops in between. Throughout our travels, we found exciting restaurants whose chefs are rising to the challenge of buying locally but thinking globally. All of the recipes are available online at alive.com. Another 12 months have passed, and in that time, we have continued to explore the exciting seasonality of Canada’s cuisine. We hope that we have encouraged you to visit your local markets for seasonal inspiration for your own home menus. Next year, we will continue our search for innovative, healthy Canadian restaurants and chefs to find a few more culinary superstars to pin on Canada’s culinary map. Habit - Chef Greg Armstrong We started this year’s culinary journey at Habit on Vancouver’s Main Street. Using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, Chef Greg Armstrong creates healthy seasonal menus that reflect global influences. At Habit, the goal is to create food that keeps guests “fit enough to keep coming back for more.”
Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. - Chef Ralf Wollmann Looking for a warm place, we next huddled close to the domed pizza ovens at the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. in Vancouver, and settled in for some good family fun. When owners Dominic and Suzanne Felden opened their first restaurant in Canmore, Alberta, the goal was to reinvent the North American staple into an affordable, healthy family food. Chef Ralf Wollmann has done just that by working with local farmers and regional suppliers to create organically healthy pizzas, pastas, and desserts.
Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner - Chef Jamie Kennedy In March we visited renowned Chef Jamie Kennedy in his new restaurant at Toronto’s Gardiner Museum. A long-time practitioner of the “think local” school of culinary thought, Chef Kennedy has been shopping his local farms and producers since the late 1980s. Even though his new restaurant is deep inside Toronto, he is still able to “never lose touch with the garden.”
Olson Foods and Bakery - Chef Anna Olson Knowing TV chef Anna Olson’s opinion that baking is an act of generosity and sharing, we headed to her Port Dalhousie Olson Foods and Bakery. The chef with such a sweet life shared some advice about conscious consumption: “I have never dieted in my life. Moderation is the key.” Chef Olson also believes that conscious consumption means that we source what is best and local.
Bymark - Chef Mark McKewan In May we visited Mark McKewan, a chef with a lengthy pedigree. With a cooking show on television, a luxury boutique hotel in the planning phase, and food retail possibilities, Chef McKewan could have his head in the culinary clouds. Instead, he is still quite grounded, focusing his formidable talents on reinterpreting classic dishes using fresh, local ingredients. His goal is to create simply good food.
Treadwell - Chef Stephen Treadwell We found ourselves at the mouth of Niagara’s original canal system in June, looking for some Treadwell Farm to Table Cuisine. In honour of the restaurant’s name, chef and owner Stephen Treadwell proudly lists on the back of his seasonal menus the names of his local producers and suppliers. If there is one important lesson we learned from Chef Treadwell, it’s to not get stuck into buying patterns. Over winter, we sometimes must turn to foreign producers when we can’t get fresh local produce. Just don’t forget to go back to your local producers in the summer.
Glowbal - Chef John Crook July’s Chef John Crook makes a point of elevating ordinary into the extraordinary at Vancouver’s Glowbal Grill and Satay Bar. Inspired by an abundance of available fresh product, especially seafood, Chef Crook has made Glowbal a Vancouver fixture for stars, tourists, and locals with his high-end, yet accessible food.
C - Chef Quang Dang The view from August’s restaurant, C, is nothing but fresh. Looking across Vancouver’s False Creek to Granville Island, the restaurant’s advantageous location–so close to local suppliers at Granville Island Public Market–has inspired Chef Robert Clark, a champion of local producers, to create delicious, conscious, contemporary cuisine.
Nu - Chef Robert Clark We visited Canada’s best new restaurant (according to EnRoute magazine) in September. Nu, a sister of August’s restaurant C, features local, sustainable ingredients such as Fraser Valley duck, Skeena River salmon, and Salt Spring Island honey mussels on its eclectic menu. Like C, Nu is part of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise conservation program, which helps restaurants and patrons make environmentally friendly choices when selecting their seafood.
Reflections Gastronomie - Chef Marat Dreyshner For most people, the perfect menu for a restaurant located in one of BC’s seaside cities such as Steveston would have deep-fried fish. But Chef Marat Dreyshner isn’t like most people. Since beginning his culinary career at nine years old, Chef Marat has become an adventuresome chef who takes his cues from nature, and uses only organic, wild, or free-range food for his menu at Reflections Gastronomie, our October restaurant.
Pointe at Wickaninnish Inn - Chef Tim Cuff In November we went to Tofino, BC, to the Wickaninnish Inn, one of North America’s top five resorts. There, we visited the Pointe Restaurant, which Zagat named best in the country. Executive Chef Tim Cuff is the latest in a long line of exemplary chefs who have been attracted to “The Wick” to be challenged and inspired by the fresh, seasonal local bounty.