Brunch with Bill Richardson at Trattoria

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 eighteenth brunch in this series, I was joined by Writer and Radio Broadcaster Bill Richardson at Trattoria Italian Kitchen in Vancouver talking about Writing, Radio Broadcasting and more!

Bill Richardson

Bill Richardson was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, he received his B.A. from the University of Winnipeg in 1976. After spending a year in Montpellier, he moved to Vancouver, where he completed a Master of Library Science at the University of British Columbia.

He has been a broadcaster on CBC Radio One, beginning in 1992 as a regular contributor and guest host on Vicki Gabereau’s show. When Gabereau left to host a television show on CTV, Richardson moved over to CBC Radio Two to host As You Like It, a classical music request show. In 1997 he returned to CBC Radio One to become host of Richardson’s Roundup.

He was also a frequent guest host of Sounds Like Canada, moderated CBC’s annual Canada Reads from 2003 to 2007, and is the current host of Saturday Afternoon at the Opera and Sunday Afternoon in Concert.

What got you into Radio, specifically hosting radio shows?

Started freelancing at CBC as a childrens librarian in 1984. Ended up getting a job and one thing lead to another and an opportunity opened up on a radio show.

Where did you get the inspiration for the story lines for the books you have written over the years?

Well for “Waiting for Gertrued” I was in Paris visiting this famous cemetery. For “Bachelors Brothers” I was inspired by 2 benches on the seawall. I get inspired by a sentence that I hear, a word in an overheard conversation.

Tiramisu Loaf with espresso marscapone

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

Joan Collins was one and there were many others.

What foods do you like?

Moulle & Frittes

What are your favourite restaurant in Vancouver?

  • Brasserie on Davie
  • Tavola
  • Central Bistro
  • Legendary Noodles

Amuse Bouche


Baked Gnocchi Special


Bill had a coffee and the Cassoulet ($13.95) poached eggs, beans, chickpea, fennel sausage, roasted peppers, orzo, tomato. Richard had the Baked Gnocchi Special ($12) topped with Fior de Latte.  For dessert, Richard had the Tiramisu ($7.95) with espresso creme anglais.

What do you want your listeners to learn if you will from your Afternoon at the Opera show?

For me it is about learning, Opera attracts a certain type of listener. Finding a way to present the operas to my listeners. I am the waiter not the chef. People really know the stuff, they hear something they never knew before. That the opera show is the longest running show on CBC radio. A lot of people learned about opera from the show over the years. The show has a growing number of listeners over twitter.

I understand you had the idea to write “Do You Want What I Have Got? – A Craigslist Cantata” ; which Veda Hille collaborated with you; How did you feel post production? And did the production go as you had imagined it would?

I felt great post production, the show sold out most of the run and it was held over for a week. I had an idea in 2009, then it became a 20 minute PushFest production, then we got some money to do it. The show was then mounted at FUSE at the Vancouver Art Gallery and then it was at the Arts Club Revue Stage earlier this year.

What lead you to writing the Silver Birch Award winning childrens book “After Hamelin”?

It was an assignment to have people who hadn’t written childrens books. For years I thought about that story and it was a way of scratching the surface to write this book and it was a happy experience.

What was it like to be a regular contributor and guest host on Vicki Gabereau’s show?

It was fun, I was new in radio and she was a wonderful colleague. She is a very genuine person.

Why did you leave your CBC Radio show “Richardson’s Roundup” to go on to launch the then new series Bunny Watson?

I was doing the Roundup since 1997, and I found that I was coming to the end of it. So I asked for a change and I wanted to do a show that explored certain random things “Desk Set” by Katherine Hepburn who plays a librarian. I just wanted to do something different.

What do you do in your off time?

  • Take care of my 3 dogs
  • Writing
  • Read
  • Spend time with my partner

How far in advance do you plan your shows?

I go week to week although I know what is coming up to prepare.

What kind of trips do you like?

Urban trips – going to cities and sexy, what is going on in NY, Toronto etc

Do you come from a broadcasting family?

Not at all.

Who inspires you?

Veda Hille


Style: A La Carte

Attire: Casual

Time: Saturday & Sunday 10:00am – 3pm

Trattoria Italian Kitchen

1850 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver


For Reservations call 604-732-1441

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

By: Richard Wolak

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