Posts Tagged ‘C Restaurant’

C Restaurant Dine Out 2013

Last night I had my first Dine Out Vancouver dinner experience of the year at C Restaurant. My friend Ed Vint joined me for this wonderful dining experience in both taste and presentation. Their dine out menu was one of my picks in this years festival, at $38 it features 3 courses. This years menu features many add-ons to enhance the dining experience and we opted for a few.

We opted to have the VQA wine pairings with each of the courses, though I did sub one for another as a personal preference. Ed and I shared the appetizers in our 1st course as this provided us both a chance to taste 2 of the appetizer selections.

1st Course APPETIZER

North Arms Farm Butternut Squash Veloute

North Arms Farm Butternut Squash Veloute, Spiced Pumpkin Seed, Curried Crème Fraiche (V) (GF)

BC VQA Wine Pairing: See Ya Later Ranch Pinot Gris ($9)

BC Albacore Tuna Cru

BC Albacore Tuna Cru, Pickled Shimiji Mushrooms, Cucumber, Ponzu Emulsion, Micro Cilantro

BC VQA Wine Pairing: See Ya Later Ranch Pinot Gris ($9)

2nd Course –Added Risotto course and added white truffles (Ed and I shared)

White or Black Truffles

They offered us a choice of white or black truffles.

Lobster Risotto

Lobster Risotto ($16 extra) with cognac cream, lemonade foam, crisp parsley along with ½ gram of shaved white truffles ($15 per gram)

3rd Course ENTRÉE

Roasted Sablefish

Roasted Sablefish ($12 extra) Sablefish, side stripe, turnips, carrot purée, horseradish froth

BC VQA Wine Pairing: See Ya Later Ranch “Belle” Viognier ($9)

4th Course DESSERT

Salted Caramel & Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart and Orange Panacotta

Salted Caramel & Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart, Raspberry Fluid Gel (V)

BC VQA Wine Pairing: See Ya Later Ranch “Hunny” Late Harvest Reisling ($10)

Orange Panacotta with Pomegranate Syrup and Pistachio Crumble

BC VQA Wine Pairing: See Ya Later Ranch “Hunny” Late Harvest Reisling ($10)

Sharing is a great way to taste more of the dishes when dining with a friend and that was what Ed and I chose to do. C Restaurant’s Dine Out Vancouver promotion runs thru February 3rd.

Reservations for Dine Out are now being accepted via phone at 604-681-1164. C Restaurant is open for dinner from 5pm daily. For more information visit

By: Richard Wolak

Cooking for a Cause a Celebration

David Suzuki - Keynote Address

On May 11 I attended, Cooking For A Cause,  hosted by King Pacific Lodge and the Gitga’at First Nation, a celebration marking the launch of their co-founded charitable organization: Guarding the Gifts. The intimate evening held at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery brought together a collective of likeminded environmental and cultural advocates, that featured top culinary talent, to draw attention to the risks the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project poses to the First Nation Gitga’at people and the Great Bear Rainforest on BC’s northern coast.

Master of Ceremonies, Vickie Gabereau

Matthew Good performing

Hosted by Vicki Gabereau, Cooking For A Cause featured an evening of entertainment – including an acoustic performance by rock icon Matthew Good, and songs by First Nation singer Ta’Kaiya Blaney. A notable highlight of the evening was a keynote address from environmentalist David Suzuki, who is an adopted member of the Eagle clan of the Gitga’at First Nation.

Chef Michael Stadtlander with his Eigensinn Farm’s salmon, scallop, octopus and sablefish terrine

Brent Petkau – The Oysterman – Produces Courtesans on Cortes Island

Chef Quang Dang and one of his chefs from West Restaurant

West Restaurant’s Chef Quang Dang created this steamed sablefish with blackened mushroom couscous grand fir emulsion

Chef Andrea Carlson and her Dungeness crab wrapped in leak with creme fraiche custard and elderflower ice

Chef Jonathan Chovancek of Kale & Nori

Gitga at Dance Group

King Pacific Lodge Sardines topped cracker with a consomme of cucumber

Chambar with their Mussels Congolaise, Tomato Coconut Cream, Smoked Chili, Lime & Cilantro

Chef Robert Clark and Chef Lee Humphries with their honey lemon glazed octopus with a cuke salad, tzatziki and an oregano cracker

Maenam’s Hot and Sour Soup with Clams

Maenam’s Hot and Sour Soup with Clams

Chef Wendy Boys – Cocolicio Strawberry rhubarb Shortcake

Chef Merri Schwartz of King Pacific Lodige– Chocolate Cremeux preserved cherries seaweed cocoa nibs

Chef Merri Schwartz (r) of King Pacific Lodige

Renowned Canadian chefs presented culinary delights that incorporate ingredients sourced from the Great Bear Rainforest. Chefs who supported the evening include Michael Stadtlander of Eigensinn Farm, Robert Clark of C Restaurant, Nico Schuermans of Chambar, Andrea Carlson of Burdock & Co., Angus An of Maenam, Wendy Boys of Cocolico, Quang Dang of West Restaurant & Bar, Jonathan Chovancek of Kale & Nori Culinary Arts, as well as King Pacific’s own Executive Chef Jesse McLeery and Pastry Chef Merri Schwartz.

By: Richard Wolak

Brunch with Jonny Staub at C Restaurant

Brunch is a favourite past time shared by many and should be an extraordinary experience, one that you will cherish. Vancouver has some wonderful places for brunch. Each of the places I visit is unique for what is offered along with the type of service and selection of dishes. I am on a journey around the city to find these extraordinary places and, at the same time, I will be joined by a notable personality who may be a Film Producer or Director, Musician, Arts Festival Director, Actor or other well-known individual for Brunch at restaurants in and around Vancouver.

For my twentieth brunch in this series, I was joined by Radio Host Jonny Staub at C Restaurant in Vancouver talking about Radio, Music and more!¸

Jonny Staub

Jonny Staub was born in Windsor, Ontario and started his career as a traffic reporter at CHYM-FM in Kitchener, ON, on May 15, 1997. He attended Conestoga College and worked in Top 40 radio and for TV stations Citytv and Shaw TV.

In 2001, at age 22, he was the youngest DJ in a major time slot in the Vancouver market. He was removed from his position at Z95 in May 2002. Soon after, he landed a weekend time slot at Power 92 in Edmonton. In 2005, he was a featured host for the newly airing Edmonton station The Bounce.

He has been a DJ at CHYM-FM, CKGL, CJIB, CKIK-FM, CKZZ-FM (in the evening time), CKNG-FM, CHBN-FM, and CFBT-FM. In 2008 he co-hosted OUTtv’s Let’s Talk Sex, which also aired on its US counterpart. Presently he is the mid-day host on The Beat 94.5 FM in Vancouver and is the nighttime host at Kool 101.5 FM in Calgary.

What got you into Radio, specifically hosting radio shows?

This coming May 15 will mark my 15 years of being in radio. In my final year of high school I did Wednesday morning announcements over the PA and I always got a lot of feedback from the teachers encouraging me to make a career in radio.

What is your show on 94.5 FM in Vancouver like?

When I started we had more time to talk and be creative, now it is more music intensive.

I understand you also host a show in Calgary, how do you do it?

I do have a radio show on our Calgary affiliate on Kool 101.5 FM that airs 7pm-midnight 6 days a week. I am a voice that accompanies the music. I record the segments daily in my own studio that they built for me in my Vancouver studio.

Tell me who some of your most notable guests that you have interviewed on your shows over the years?

  • Destiny’s Child
  • Pink
  • Rihanna
  • Katie Kurek in New York

I imagine you have had some amazing situations on your shows, tell us about two of the most unique ones!

1)    In Edmonton we had a storefront studio where I hosted a morning show – a drunk lady came by and flashed us naked in front of the window.

2)    Someone called in on the radio and told me she thinks her husband is gay and since I was the only gay person she knew she decided to call me. I thought it was very personal and I didn’t air the call.

What do you want your listeners to learn if you will from your show each day?

I want them to have fun. When I walk in to the studio to start it is like being at a party that you want to be at with silly moments, serious moments, it is a privilege to be on the air.

What foods do you like?

  • Clear broth soups
  • Sushi
  • Turkey dinner
  • Baked & gooey desserts

What are your favourite restaurants in Vancouver?

  • Cactus Club for the Raincoast Greens and their Bellini’s
  • Kadoya Sushi
  • Ensemble
  • Cardero’s

Amuse Bouche

3 Egg Omelet

Grilled Flat Iron Steak

Jonny had a 3 Egg Omelet ($12) with double smoked bacon, brie, potato hash and fruit, a glass of Champagne ($19) and a coffee. Richard had the Grilled Flat Iron Steak ($14) with sautéed mushrooms, tomato pancakes and mushroom jus along with an espresso.

What do you do in your off time?

  • Watch Days of our Lives everyday
  • Snowboard
  • Drawing charactures
  • Go to the beach with my dog

What drives you?

The Connection

What are your favourite genres of Music?

  • Funk
  • Disco
  • R & B

Who are some of your favourite Musicians?

  • Stevie Wonder
  • Dal Richards
  • Ella Fitgerald
  • Amy Winehouse
  • Sarah Vaughn
  • Earth, Wind & Fire

Who are your mentors?

  • Ken Rigel
  • Michelle Butterly
  • Kid Carson
  • Joe Leary

What is on the horizon?

  • My biggest goal is to discover how to remain connected and involved, and to support the charities that I love.
  • I would love to learn how to ride a motor cycle.


Style: A La Carte

Attire: Smart Casual

Time: Saturday & Sunday 10:30am – 2:30pm

C Restaurant

1600 Howe Street  Vancouver


For Reservations call 604-681-1164

Stay tuned to my next guest Interview along with the next Brunch in and around Vancouver.

By: Richard Wolak

Brasserie Mystere 2012

On February 2nd I attended this Kronenbourg beer sponsored Mystery dinner of sorts at the Salt Building in Olympic Village. Over 5000 people had entered their name online for a chance to have their name drawn to attend this dinner which seated 176 guests. Everything about this dinner was a mystery including the location of the dinner, the chef, the food etc.

1st course

BC Seafood in a butter broth

BC Seafood in a butter broth paired with 1664

2nd course

Braised Pemberton Shortribs

Braised Pemberton Shortribs paired with 1664

3rd course

Last Course a selection of cheeses from BC paired w/ 1664 Blanc

Last Course a selection of cheeses from BC paired w/ 1664 Blanc

Kronenbourg Beer bread

Kronenbourg Blanc

As the dinner began the surprise chef was unveiled and we were all treated to a delicious and sustainable meal by Chef Robert Clark of C Restaurant. The staff of C Restaurant did a phenomenal job cooking, plating & serving this Brasserie Mystère Dinner.

Kronenbourg beer was the beer sponsor for Dine Out 2012 festival that was sponsored by Tourism Vancouver.

By: Richard Wolak

C Restaurant Dine Out 2012

On Friday night I kicked off Dine Out Vancouver 2012 by having dinner at C Restaurant. Their dine out menu was one of my picks in this years festival, at $38 it features 4 courses, 1 more course than the usual 3 courses which most of the restaurants in $38 category are featuring.

Amuse Buche -selection of morsels

A treat as I discovered was seeing notable Executive Chef Robert Clark back in the kitchen taking over while Chef Lee Humphries is away. Rob will be in the kitchen through-out the dine out festival, say hello to him when you visit. This Dine Out menu that Chefs Robert Clark and Lee Humphries created highlights the best of BC and a commitment to sustainable practices, C’s menu for dine out offers the restaurant’s fine-dining experience at an incredible price point.

My friend Ryan West joined me for this wonderful dinner. To whet our appetite, we were served an Amuse Buche of tasty morsels on sticks. Then for our 1st Course – Appetizer

North Arm Farms Beet Panzanella Salad

North Arm Farms Beet Panzanella Salad, harissa dressing, shaved ricotta salata

BC VQA Wine Pairing: Jackson Triggs White Meritage 2009

Pan Seared Foie Gras

We added an additional course ($15.00 extra) as our 2nd course and had the elegantly served  Pan Seared Foie Gras with Ginger Soda, Toasted Brioche and Cranberry Chutney, the experience alone was a wonderful addition to the menu, our server delivered the silver dome covered plates to the table to us voila!

For our 3rd Course

Seared Albacore Tuna

 Seared Albacore Tuna, winter minestrone, garlic pistau and crisp basil

BC VQA Wine Pairing: SYL Ranch Nelly 2009

For our 4th Course – Entree

Seared Lake Babine Salmon

Seared Lake Babine Salmon, squash puree, almond tapenade

BC VQA Wine Pairing: Nk’Mip Pinot Blanc 2010

Lemon Olive Oil Sorbet

Then to cleanse our palate after the outstanding Lake Babine Salmon we were served a Lemon Olive Oil Sorbet with an almond cookie ($4 additional cost).

Lastly to end this one of a kind Dine Out experience our 5th Course – Dessert

Spiced Chocolate Pudding

Spiced Chocolate Pudding, Crisp Caramel Puffed Rice, Vanilla Chantilly

BC VQA Wine Pairing: Sumac Ridge Vintage Pipe 2006

C Restaurant’s Dine Out Vancouver promotion runs January 20th thru February 5th.

Reservations for Dine Out are now being accepted via phone at 604-681-1164. C Restaurant is open for dinner from 5pm daily. For more information visit

By: Richard Wolak

Pretty in Pink at C

Pink Sangria

On July 9th I attended a taste of summer at C Restaurant. It was the launch of the new Pretty in Pink Rose List and the new Pretty in Pink Cocktails list by Sommelier Kim Cyr along with the new summer menu by Chef Lee Humphries.

Chef Lee Humphries

Chef Lee Humphries has designed a new tapas menu that’s light and breezy, and perfect for summertime noshing: tea-cured Hawkshaw salmon with pickled shallots and tomato jam ($6), squid with pea, mint, parmesan, lemon and olive oil ($6) and a lamb chop with saffron cous cous and raisin jus ($6). C is also proud to present Northern Divine Caviar, with traditional garnishes served in oyster shells ($150). The sustainable caviar is from Target Marine in Sechelt.

Salmon Burgers

Tea Cured Hawkshaw Salmon

C has fashioned the menu so its clients and walkers-by can have a summer fling, with no commitment. Chef Lee has also created a five-course tasting menu that celebrates the exclusive Hawkshaw wild salmon from the Skeena River ($65). And in theme with all of that, sommelier Kim Cyr has composed a rose list, playfully dubbed the “Pretty in Pink” List, which even features a cocktail called The Molly Ringwald.

C restaurant has a new patio cocktail lounge with comfy sofas and a brand-spanking-new bar, that also features a BBQ.

To reserve your spot on the C patio lounge amidst fashionable company as the sun sails west, call the restaurant at 604-681-1164 or email [email protected]

By: Richard Wolak

The C Blue Film Festival May 19

Water quenches our thirst. It cleanses our bodies. It cooks our food. It baptizes our young. We spend the first nine months of our existence in water. Our ashes are spread over water; some are buried at sea. We’re up to 78% water.

Water creates. It gives life. It makes things grow. In Japan, water destroyed, it swept away thousands. Water killed.

Water gives, and water takes; it is a part of our existence. Water makes dew and snowflakes. Water deserves, and demands, our respect.

On Thursday, May 19th, the C Blue Film Festival unspools at Vancity Theatre in Vancouver, screening the short-listed entries to the The C Blue Film Competition. The subject of the movies is water. If you could help us get the word out about our “little festival that could”, we would be very grateful.

The competition and festival evening is a grassroots initiative by the C Blue Foundation, our new organization dedicated to all water: lakes, rivers, streams, oceans and glaciers. The blue movement begins.  General admission is $8. Buy Tickets here.

Join us after the screening for a luxe cocktail and canape party orchestrated by C Restaurant. Chefs Robert Clark and Lee Humphries will serve sophisticated bites that are built with ingredients that are fished, farmed and foraged close to home. Chef Clark and proprietor Harry Kambolis were recently awarded SeaWeb’s Seafood Champion award for their work promoting sustainable seafood. C has an unshakeable commitment to oceans advocacy, and a direct relationship with the fishermen who catch the fish. This is ethical luxury. Tickets are $32. Buy Tickets here.

Chef Lee Humphries

Vancouver is home to some of the best chefs in the world, many have worked for the top chefs and restaurants around the world as well as around the city. Dishing with the Chefs is a series of Interviews with some of the top chefs in and around Vancouver.

Chef Lee Humphries

I spent the afternoon recently with Chef Lee Humphries at C Restaurant in downtown Vancouver. I have known Lee for over a year and have had the pleasure to chat with him about his passion for sustainability, fishing and most of all his love for food.

Growing up he wanted to be a Policeman, he grew up on a vegetable farm in SW England, he became a chef. On this visit Lee cooked up a few of his signature dishes for me to taste, cooking with Lee provided the perfect setting to dish with him and chat about his cooking, and his passion.

How did you end up becoming a Chef?

I lived in a small town and as you know I grew up on a vegetable farm, one day I got a job washing dishes in a local restaurant, one night the owner needed some help as they were short staffed and he asked me to wash the lettuce, scrape the carrots the rest was history so you could say within weeks I was cooking my way into some of the finest restaurants in London. I learned to be a chef on my own, I was lucky!

How did you end up coming to Canada?

After 6 years of working as a Chef in London, I met my now wife who was from Canada and we decided to travel to BC, we spent a month living and fishing on a boat in Desolation Sound, it was an amazing experience.

Where did you begin as a Chef in Vancouver?

I started off as a Sous Chef at West, working with Chef David Hawksworth and worked their for 2 years, I then moved on and was a Chef at Elixer in the Opus Hotel, then as the Executive Chef at Figmint for 3 years. One day I got a call from Sean Heather and the next thing I knew I was the Executive Chef and I oversaw the openings of Judas Goat, Fetch & Everything Café.

How did the Long Table Series come about when you were the Executive Chef at The Irish Heather?

It was timely, the recession was in full swing, people wanted value to go out to eat, Sean Heather and I had an idea, and he also had a long table running thru the restaurant. Hence the Long Table Series was born, we kept it casual, I loved introducing the food and ringing the bell every night and telling everyone about the dish they were about to it. I never knew that it would become so successful as it became, it was a diverse crowd and there were always new people coming for our comfort food.

The First Dish:

Scallop & Duck Consomme

Scallop & Duck Consomme – Bayne Sound Scallops, duck consommé, quince, pine mushrooms, fois gras powder

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

I wanted simple clean flavours, local and sustainable and most of all to keep it simple. When I go out in the winter, I like something light that feels warm and comforting to start and then go into adventurous dishes later on.

What is your Favourite Drink?

I love Whiskey and I like to know the differences between Scotch and Whiskey.

Has the menu at C Restaurant changed since you joined?

Yes, I have now incorporated some meat dishes on to the plate, I like proteins and I like to pair secondary cuts with seafood on the plate.

What do you most love about pairing proteins on a plate?

I like to expose people to trying new dishes. I am fortunate to be able to change the menu on my own.

What is the most risky thing you have done at C lately?

I wouldn’t say this was risky, more so adventurous, I added Black Pudding to the menu.

What was the first experience you had been involved in after joining C as Chef de Cuisine?

I was involved in the Gold Medal Plates on Chef Rob Clark’s team and that was pretty awesome.

The Second Dish:

Steve’s Sockeye Salmon

Steve’s Sockeye Salmon pomme-fondant, “saltimbocca” lamb sweetbreads, spinach, crisp anchovies, jus roti

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Looking at a local supplier for sustainability and sourcing is Steve Johansen, he deserved a dish named after himself. I like the fattiness of salmon, buttery fat. The theme of this dish is buttery goodness and the lamb sweetbreads melt in your mouth. The natural salts from the deep fried capers & anchovy makes this the perfect buttery & salt dish.

What are your Favourite restaurants in Vancouver outside of the company you work with?

I have a few for very different reasons.

  1. Lattitude on Main on my day off
  2. Refuel cause it is just so good
  3. Public on Main to enjoy a pint
  4. Les Faux Bourguois love it and I always sit at the bar

What are the 5 must have ingredients in your kitchen?

Butter, salt, pepper, olive oil, hot sauce

What do you like to do on your off time?

I love to flyfish and I take my wife and our dog.

The Third Dish:

Seared Scallops

Seared Scallops confit pork belly, burnt apple sauce, crab apple beignet, fois gras torchon

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

This is my favourite food, I love crab apples as my parents grew them in our backyard back home in England. Scallops are sustainable, I love the fat on the pork belly and I love the flavour of fois gras.

What was the first restaurant you dined at when you first came to Vancouver?

C Restaurant

What is your style of Cooking?

Simple, clean food using sustainable, local and organic foods as much as possible.

What is your favourite Food City in the world?


What would you like to do on your Culinary Journey in 5-10 years?

I would like to open 4 of my own restaurants

1)    Red (fine dining)

2)    White (caviar jazz lounge)

3)    Black (tapas)

4)    Green (sustainable communal dining)

What is your Favourite food and why?

Fois Gras, I love how flexible it is such as when covered in chocolate, fried or baked.

Are you Hiring for your Kitchen?

Yes I do the hiring for C Restaurant.

Who is the best Chef in the industry?

One of the best chefs is Robert Clark, he is a leader for so many reasons and from everything he does, he is the perfect human being come chef.

Stay tuned for the next chef in the Dishing with the Chef series.

By: Richard Wolak

Ocean Wise Cookbook Launch

On Wednesday November 3rd, I attended “Ocean Wise” CookBook Launch Party at C Restaurant. The book was edited by Jane Mundy who spent a year putting the book together, featuring 139 recipes from top Canadian Chefs.

Jane Mundy

Chef Robert Clark and Chef Lee Humphries team prepared a selection of appetizers some from the book and some of their own recipes. My favourites bites were the Beer Batter Fried Oysters, Tuna Tataki and the and the Sustainable Scallop Canapés!

Tuna Tataki

Beer Batter Fried Oysters

Berry Sockeye

Jane’s cookbook is called “Ocean Wise: Seafood Recipes that are Good for the Planet”

In The Ocean Wise Cookbook, freelance writer Jane Mundy compiles together some of the most popular recipes from chefs and restaurants from all across Canada. Jane shows us that no matter what kind of seafood you need for a recipe, you can help sustain our oceans and the environment by making positive choices.

Ocean Wise is a nation-wide conservation program designed to educate restaurants and consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood. Created by the renowned Vancouver Aquarium, Ocean Wise has an affiliation with restaurants, markets, suppliers and food services, striving to ensure that everyone works together to make ocean-friendly buying choices in an environmentally conscious world.

Now available at local bookstores.

By: Richard Wolak

60 Nights of Floating Dinners

Don’t be surprised if over the summer months you see a different type of ‘boat’ moored in False Creek. This ‘boat’ is actually a very elegant 12-person dining room, floating on a base of plastic bottles. The seaworthy dining room is the first of its kind in the world and is the brainchild of School of Fish (SOFF) founder Shannon Ronalds.

The floating patio;’ designed by Matt Kirk-Buss of Loki Ocean, is constructed entirely of renewable, recycled, reclaimed and/or re-purposed materials, seats only 12 and is a fully outfitted formal dining room complete with fine china, crystal and soft music. Clear walls and ceiling shield patrons from the elements while affording them a very unique perspective on False Creek and the views beyond. Starting July 21st the floating dining room will host 60 nights of exclusive dining. Each candle-lit dinner includes a six-course sustainable seafood meal prepared by multi-award winning Chef Robert Clark of C Restaurant. Mr. Ronalds, a former sommelier, will carefully choose wines to compliment each course. The price for this once-in-a-lifetime dining experience? There is a discount for ordering early ‘ $195 (plus taxes) per person if ordered prior to July 31st (for any date). Starting August 1st the price goes up to $215. Group discounts will also be offered for those who wish to book the entire 12 seats for a private function. Each dinner will be personally presided over by Mr. Ronalds.

By the end of the summer, 720 fortunate people will be able to say they had a hand in shaping the way the world treats its ocean resources. All proceeds raised through the floating dinner parties will be used to continue the development of our curriculum for culinary academies everywhere,” explains Mr. Ronalds.

The use of 1,700 ‘rescued’ plastic bottles as floatation is intended to represent one of the many issues threatening marine life. Without the ongoing recycling awareness programs from organizations such as Encorp Pacific, these donated two-litre plastic bottles could have otherwise joined the rest of the trash in the ocean. Now they will serve one last purpose prior to their eventual journey to the recycling plant.

Reservations are a must and can be made by calling 778-997-6977 or emailing [email protected]Dinners proceed rain or shine and all ticket sales are final due to the limited time frame of the experience. If you find you cannot attend, you may transfer your ticket to someone else.

It will be an incredible experience, floating on False Creek with the magnificent mountain and cityscape views. I could see the dining room being a fabulous venue for a private party to celebrate a special occasion or a wonderful way to meet new people. The dinners will be very intimate, as there are only 12 seats available each night. Once the 60 nights are completed, the dining room will be dismantled.”

Menus will be posted on SOFF’s Facebook page. With a minimum of three days advance notice, those with seafood allergies, or vegetarians, can be accommodated with special menus.

Interview with Harry Kambolis

Restaurateur | Vancouver

I sat down with Harry recently for a chat. Harry opened his first restaurant in 1992 and has been a leader on the local restaurant scene ever since. First it was the Raincity Grill in 1992, then C Restaurant in 1997, then NU in 2005.

What are the most challenging elements of running restaurants?

There’s a balance between running a profitable business, and providing the above-and-beyond experience I passionately wish to deliver. And in this new economy, that balance teeters a lot more. With three properties, I do feel like a juggler from time to time, and that gets a bit difficult because there are always things rushing through my mind, creative, revolutionary things I’d like to experiment with.

Is it a challenge to find good cooks for your restaurants? And how do you go about finding them?

I find that a kitchen is almost like an infantry: their camaraderie is palpable. And when that phenomena is present, the kitchen runs smoothly. So I always let my chefs choose cooks who they feel they want to work with. They don’t always have to be the most experienced or the most talented, they just have to have that team / unit mentality and have a hunger to learn and be useful. I choose the chefs, of course, but I don’t choose the cooks. I think it’s important to allow the chefs to form their own teams. It gives them ownership of their group and really, they’re the ones who are in the “trenches” all day, so they need to surround themselves with the people they mesh with.

When you opened C Restaurant in 1997, what was your vision in regards to sustainability and the seafood you were going to serve?

I really became passionate and focused on sustainability in 1999, when the turn of the century was happening and it really made me, and I think people in general, ponder the future a bit more. In 1997, I was more concerned with the fact that Vancouver, a seaport, had no great, fine-dining seafood restaurants and that we were exporting most of our local seafoods to the East. It’s almost typically Canadian that we don’t appreciate what’s close to home, and glamourize things that are foreign or from far away. So with Chef Soren Fakstorp (Robert Clark was a sous chef at the time) we set about to build a high-end fish restaurant that used local stocks that were prepared and presented in modern ways. We weren’t interested in doing the boring bouillabaisses and the overdone surf-and-turfs. We were enthused about doing contemporary reinterpretations of those dishes, and pushing-the-envelope creations, that we felt Vancouver was finally ready for.

I understand that C Restaurant was one of the founders of Oceanwise before it became Oceanwise through the Vancouver Aquarium. Can you reflect on the successes since it all began?

Well, we’ve always seen the benefits and possibilities of partnering with organizations, whether they be small or large, and getting in on the entry level of something worthwhile is rather sexy to me. I like being the first. I like trying things that are new. And I wanted to be apart of that genesis the Aquarium was conjuring. It felt exciting to me, and it felt necessary. It’s been very satisfying to watch it grow, and see other restaurants adopt the Oceanwise formula and logo. Really, if we don’t make concentrated conservation efforts, I really don’t think there will be any food for my grandchildren to eat.

What do you like to eat when eating outside of your own restaurants?

Vancouver has a lot of great Asian restaurants with those fun and imaginative smaller plates. I usually like to order a lot of those with some sake. I don’t really go to other fine-dining restaurants.

Which cities around the world provide you with culinary inspiration for your restaurants when you travel?

It sounds like such a cliché, and after saying that it’s Canadian to glamourize other places, I’m reticent to say it… but it’s New York. I just really love the amount of thought and care and imagination the New York restaurants put into what they do. And they have the budgets to do things with interior design and general execution that we don’t have here. But the thing about New York, and I think even Toronto… there are a lot of amazing, brilliant chefs there – but I think the ingredients you find in B.C. are better. And I think that’s what gives Vancouver the advantage, I really do.

If you could offer any advice to people wanting to become restaurateurs. What advice would you give them?

Well, I think it’s general knowledge that it is a very risky endeavour. Most restaurants don’t work, they don’t survive… and in this economic climate it’s obviously worse. But, it’s like what I talked about before, about hunger. Without hunger, you don’t have a chance. So I would suggest that if you don’t have it – if it’s not what you really want, what you crave, then don’t go for it. But if you have that feeling in your stomach, and you can pre-visualize every detail, then go. Just don’t look back.

What is on the horizon for you and your restaurants in the near future?

I think every restaurant in Vancouver is still feeling a little shell-shocked from the Recession. Sure, the Olympics were a big boon – but the Recession set us all back a couple years, I think. I think we’re going to play it safe for a little while. That certainly doesn’t mean that things are going to be boring, or that we won’t try anything new or look in new directions, but Vancouverites seem unsure about what they want in this new economy, and Vancouver restaurants don’t seem sure if they should make the first move. At C, we have been developing our catering wing for the last while, and that has been very successful for us. I wrote a cookbook, in tandem with Chef Clark, that has received some accolades, and it was nice to create something that isn’t devoured in an evening, like a meal or an experience, but that will exist in perpetuity. I am interested in making a documentary film about sustainability or the like, and I also have my enewsletter,, which I find very exciting and is garnering a loyal following.

By: Richard Wolak

Eat Ocean Wise and Attend the “Best Party in the City”

Dine at Ocean Wise restaurants for a chance to win two tickets to Vancouver Aquarium’s signature fundraising gala!

From May 7 to 25, dine at a participating Ocean Wise restaurant and enter to win two tickets to Vancouver Aquarium’s signature fundraising gala – Night at the Aquarium! Winners will arrive in style in a chauffeured Mercedes-Benz that picks you up and takes you home!

Starting now until May 25, BC residents who dine at participating Ocean Wise restaurants including Blue Water Café, C restaurant, Cin Cin, Le Gavroche, O’Doul’s Restaurant & Bar, Nu, Raincity Grill, and West, are eligible to enter the contest for a chance to win two tickets to Night at the Aquarium. The winners will be chauffeured to and from the gala on June 11 by Mercedes-Benz.

Executive Chef Robert Clark from C Restaurant is one of the keen Ocean Wise participants for the contest. Clark has trained with Canada’s top chefs such as Jamie Kennedy, Michael Bonaccini and Mark Thuet. Clark now heads the culinary operations for C Restaurant, Raincity Grill and NU Restaurant & Lounge. Clark’s belief in food is pure and simple: “As chefs, our job is not only about serving great tasting food, but encouraging our staff and our guests to learn how to get sustainably produced food to the table.”  Only quality, sustainable products from earth and sea are used as the building blocks of his cuisine.

On June 11, the following Ocean Wise restaurants will be at Night at the Aquarium to serve guests their amazing fare: Bishop’s, Blue Water Café, C5 (Toronto), C restaurant, Cabana Bar and Grille, COAST, Hapa Izakaya, Le Gavroche, O’Doul’s Restaurant & Bar, Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co., Vancouver Aquarium Catering & Events, and Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.

Night at the Aquarium is known as “the best party in the city.” The evening launches with a champagne entrance and features spectacular food from celebrity chefs representing 13 of Vancouver’s Ocean Wise restaurants, complimentary BC wines and great music. Live and silent auctions offer amazing packages and exclusive experiences for the discerning bidder.

Tickets to Night at the Aquarium are valued at $250 (with a partial tax receipt) and 100% of event revenues go to support the Vancouver Aquarium’s conservation, research and education programs.

Contest details and event updates can be found at

Celebrate Earth Hour March 20-28

In commemoration of Earth Hour™, Raincity Grill, C Restaurant and nu restaurant + lounge will shut off more than just the lights on Saturday, March 27th. The chefs at all three restaurants will be promoting raw food menus in order to take the event, one of the world’s biggest climate change initiatives, an environmental step further.

The menus created will consume far less energy than normal restaurant fare based on the cooking techniques. C’s Chef de Cuisine Quang Dang defines raw food as, “A diet based on unprocessed and uncooked plant foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nuts, grains, beans and for us seafood.  By not heating food above 47 degrees Celsius the enzymes can better assist in digestion and absorption. Most cooking techniques diminish the nutritional value and of food as well as burn energy in the process.”

The Kambolis Group has pledged to run the menus from Saturday, March 20th through to Sunday, March 28th 2010 in order to promote climate change initiatives. Look forward to Items like C’s Keta Salmon Carpaccio – grapefruit, compressed cucumbers, tarragon paste and Portabello Mushroom Pave – Oyama Shinken Speck, Salt Spring Island Goat Cheese, Stoney paradise raisin vinaigrette, nu restaurant + lounge’s Beef Tartare – julienne of salad and gazpacho and Raincity Grill’s Hazelnut Mousse.

For more information, or to make your Earth Hour reservation please contact:

C Restaurant 604-661-1164 | Raincity Grill 604-685-7337 | nu restaurant + lounge 604-646-4668

Ocean Wise Mystery Tour

I was invited to take part in the amazing Ocean Wise Mystery Tour on January 21st , a unique event to celebrate 5 years of the Ocean Wise program. The event was kicked off with a champagne reception at the Vancouver Aquarium where we made a toast to the 5th year anniversary for Ocean Wise and their achievements.

Dr. John Nightingale - President & CEO Vancouver Aquarium

The “Ocean Wise Turns 5” Media Dine-Around was very well organized with 6 groups of media along with an Ocean Wise representative sent around on buses to a couple of restaurants that were Ocean Wise certified around the city. Bus transportation was courtesy complimentary from Landsea Tours (sustainable transportation).and they took care of us during the evening. We all attempted to guess on which restaurants we were being taken too. The surprises were well worth the intrigue and mystery. I learned some new things about the Ocean Wise program and why it is such a great model for consumers as well as the suppliers and restaurants.

My group was fortunate to have Dr John Nightingale as our leader for the evening, this gave me a chance to talk to John who is the President & CEO of the Vancouver Aquarium and to learn a lot about their Ocean Wise program. We also were lucky to have Chhaya Jagpal the Marketing & Promotions Manager of the Vancouver Aquarium with us. Our first destination unknown turned out to be to the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co in Lynn Valley in North Vancouver. I hadn’t been to this location and was pleasantly surprised on how large the restaurant was and to the extent of their participation in Ocean Wise. Here we were fortunate to be able to dine with Dominic Fielden, President of Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co and to here first hand about his experiences being a part and supporter of Ocean Wise. We had an enjoyable tasting menu here that included 3 courses and pairings.

Pizza Chef - Rocky Mountain Pizza Co.

Our menu at Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co, 1255 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver

Fresh Baby Shrimp Bruschetta – warm slices of garlic brushed organic bread with fresh baby shrimp and diced marinated local tomatoes, fresh cilantro and asiago. This was paired with beer – the Howe Sound Three Beavers, Imperial Red Ale.

B.C. Pasta Special – hand cut organic pasta with garlic seared Qualicum scallops, yellow onions, portabello mushrooms, roasted B.C. beets & butternut squash in a lemon, white bear wine cream sauce & topped with crumbled goat’s cheese and chopped arugula. This was paired with a B.C. wine – White Bear, Sauvignon Blanc.

Ocean Wise Flatbread Pizza – organic handcrafted flatbread brushed with garlic oil and based with organic tomato sauce & mozzarella cheese. Topped with in-house orange maple cured wild salmon and fresh shrimp, artichokes, red onion, nut free herb pesto & asiago cheese. This was paired with a B.C. wine – Larch Hills Winery, Gewurztraminer, Organic.

Fresh Baby Shrimp Bruschetta

B.C. Pasta Special

Ocean Wise Flatbread Pizza

Back on the bus we all went onto the second stop on the tour destination unknown, all we new was that we were going higher in elevation. Down the highway we went and up the mountain arriving at a wonderful restaurant that is owned by well known Chef Wayne Martin at Fraiche Restaurant. Here we were treated to a menu prepared by Shaun Snelling Chef de Cuisine.

Chef Wayne Martin - Fraiche Restaurant

Our menu at Fraiche Restaurant, 2240 Chippendale Road, West Vancouver

Dungeness Crab Cakes with bouillabaisse, Fennel and tomato ragout

Qualicum bay scallop carpaccio with pickled fennel, preserved lemon and mustard sprouts

These 2 dishes were paired with a French wine – Chateau Guiraud, 2007, Bordeaux Blanc, France.

Dungeness Crab Cake & Scallop Carpacio

Back on the bus we were headed for C Restaurant our last stop of the evening to rendezvous with everyone at the founding restaurant partner of the Ocean Wise program. Here we were hosted by Chef Robert Clark at C and were treated to a wonderful plated dish.

Chef Quang Dang & Chef Robert Clark

Our menu at C Restaurant, 2-1600 Howe Street, Vancouver

Smoked Baynes Sound Scallop – Denman island herring “escabeche” peashoots in multiple textures, compressed cucumbers, shallot vinaigrette. This was paired very well with a wine from Germany – Selbach-Oster, Reisling, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr, 1998.

Salt Spring Island Goat Cheese and Vanilla Mousse – sapo bravo stone fruits, spiced liquid marshmallow.

These 2 dishes were paired with 2 BC dessert wines and both very good and very different.

Forbidden Fruit Winery – “iced apple dessert wine” Similkameen Valley, B.C., 2007 and the

Vista d’oro Winery – fortified port style wine with Walnut brandy, Langley, B.C., 2007.

Smoked Baynes Sound Scallop

Salt Spring Island Goat Cheese and Vanilla Mousse

On our tour the rest of the dine-around groups spent their evening prior at these other fabulous restaurants who worked so hard to treat us all so well: Aria Restaurant – Westin Downtown, Burrard Bridge Marine Bar and Grill, Revel Room, The District, The Edge Bistro, Griffins – Fairmont Hotel Vancouver; Tapenade Bistro and Zen Japanese Restaurant.

By: Richard Wolak

C Food Cookbook Launch Party

Sockeye Salmon on Sticks

Sockeye Salmon on Sticks

The Vancouver Aquarium was the location for the book launch party that I attended with Sheryl Cohen last night for the spectacular cookbook by C Restaurant owner Harry Kambolis and executive chef Robert Clark…

C Food Book Launch 004

The book challenged executive chef Robert Clark, owner Harry Kambolis and photographer Hamid Attie to see ingredients from a unique perspective. The result is a beautiful cookbook that is makes a perfect gift for foodies in their kitchen or coffee table.

Suspended in the Aquarium water. Photo by: Marsha Munsie

Suspended in the Aquarium water. Photo by: Marsha Munsie

Books are available for purchase from C Restaurant (604-681-1164) and Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks (604-688-6755) and at other retailers including Chapters.

By: Richard Wolak

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