by Lauren Kramer | Photo © Edible Canada
The ambiance is warm and friendly as some 12 couples seat themselves along two long oak tables, offer introductions and find common ground as they nibble on cheddar-truffle scones and poached clams. The venue is a demonstration kitchen at the Edible Bistro, a cozy dining room on Granville Island, where we’ve gathered for a Chef Market Dinner. This gourmet, seasonal feast is prepared a couple times a month by some of the Lower Mainland’s top chefs and paired with local wine by an expert sommelier.
This evening, it’s Chef Sean Murray’s moment in the spotlight. The Four Seasons Vancouver executive chef arrives brandishing his passion for mushrooms, and, with innovation and culinary flourish, he includes them in every dish. As he and his two fellow chefs grill, sauté and garnish the five course meal, his kitchen is a model of organization and efficiency.
For three hours I feast on scallops and smoked mushrooms, halibut and mushroom broth and the grand finale – caramelized goat cheesecake with maple glazed chanterelles – the finest cheesecake ever to pass my lips. Throughout the meal, Chef Murray entertains and inspires, stopping to engage the group and reflect on his work and his culinary focus.
Edible Canada’s Market Dinners are a coveted affair, and no two are remotely alike. One dinner by celebrated Vancouver restaurateur Vikram Vij was by lottery only and more than 100 local foodies were clamouring for an $80 spot at the chef’s table.
“The goal of the evening is to relax and enjoy the experience,” says Eric Pateman, executive chef and Edible Canada company president.
Pateman is a man dedicated to celebrating the best Canadian culinary artisans. In 2006 he opened Edible BC with a retail store. In 2011 it became Edible Canada and the Bistro opened.
“We’re looking at expanding into other parts of Canada,” Pateman says. “The Canadian brand exemplifies more than what we were doing in BC. There’s been such a groundswell of interest in Canadian cuisine, we just couldn’t ignore it.”
Today, in addition to his bustling bistro, he conducts culinary tours of Granville Island Market, gourmet kayaking weekends, food tours of Vancouver’s Chinatown and whisky dinners. Next door to the bistro, his retail store is packed with high quality, Canadian-made food items from maple syrup to sea salt flavoured with bacon and truffles, to west coast smoked salmon and cake in a jar. ediblecanada.com