With the move from lighter, Summer inspired dishes on to Fall and more robust flavors Vancouver Foodster Richard Wolak has created a new challenge. What is different with this challenge is how the chefs aren’t doing a type of dish (poutine, eggs benny etc) and are in fact creating a unique main course so the freedom of choice and variety is immense. The challenge runs now till until September 30th and diners can vote everyday for their favorite Chef’s creation and you can find a complete list of the Chef’s creations by clicking here . Since thing have started I have gotten to taste a variety of the Chef’s creations and I have to say that this is by far my favorite of the Vancouver Foodster’s Challenges to date.
First up is Darby’s Public House and Chef A.J. Jackson with his Braised Lamb Shank. The dish was all about the lamb shank for me, it was fall off the bone tender. Flavor wise it was seasoned well but I found the sauce could use a bit more red wine punch. On the side was a polenta cake that had a nice crisp crust with a moist inside. This dish is priced at $15.95 and is available during dinner hours.
Tuc Craft Kitchen and Chef Roy Flemming has created a Cherry Braised Paradise Valley Pork Shoulder. This dish is comfort food personified and my description above doesn’t do it justice, its Paradise Valley free range pork shoulder braised in Black Cherry Cola with Ancho Chile’s, Fraser Valley Cherries, clove and red wine, served over a ragout of navy beans, fennel and Merguez sausage. The pork was nicely braised as it still had good moisture to it, the meat was in nice chunks with the cola and cherries imparting a beautiful red hue. Under the meat was the navy bean mixture, they held their shape but were buttery tender. To round things out Chef uses whats fresh at the market, in this case baby zucchini and candy cane beets. This is a dish that is next to be all mixed up and eaten, it is on the filling side despite it’s portion size but is perfect for a cold Fall night. Overall I really loved this dish and it’s something I would recreate at home for the Winter season. This dish is priced at $17 and is available during dinner hours.
Kitsiano Daily Kitchen and Chef Brian Fowke is doing a Brown Butter Broiled Organic Peace Country Beef Marrow ‘Provençal’ with fried green heirloom tomatoes, bourbon onion jam, butter potato gnocchi and chanterelle mushroom cornbread. This is one of the more expensive dishes in the festival but it is available as a starter for $18 (without the gnocchi or cornbread) or main course (2 bones) $32 with the gnocchi and cornbread, special add-on: A complete bone’s pour of White American Bourbon to finish your meal – $12 (bring a bib). The bone marrow was liquified but still had some gelatinous bits, I scrapped it all out and ate it with the perfectly delicate gnocchi. The chanterelle cornbread was delicious, the mushrooms really took it over the top and added a great flavor.
Chef Nourdine Majdoubi of Ten Ten Tapas has created a Moroccan Braised Lamb with 25 Spices with a Mulled wine poached pear stuffed with Gruyère cheese and walnuts, glazed apricots, glazed prunes, caramelized figs and 25 spice jus. This was a great take on the traditional roast lamb with the accompaniments on the plate really accenting the lamb nicely. The lamb itself was stewed really well with it being completely broken down and the spices were really quite mild heat wise but they added a great depth of flavor. To add some sweet and sour flavor notes the prunes and apricots were awesome. The pear was poached in mulled wine that had some of the similar spices in the lamb used with the cheese adding a salty punch. This dish is priced at $13.25 and is available during lunch and dinner hours.
Chef Siriwan (Grace) Rerksuttisiridach of Simply Thai Restaurant has created a Thai Steak, This dish is Prime sirloin steak strips on a bed of steamed broccoli topped with Simply Thai’s red curry sauce and is served with Jasmine rice topped with bell peppers. The curry sauce in this dish was amazing, the depth of flavor with the different chili’s and spices imparting a unique flavor to the steak. The quality of the steak is really good but please specify your preference for cooking doneness as mine came to the table very rare and under done. Coming in at $25 this is a price entrée but with the rice and veggies it’s a great sharing dish for 2 people and it’s only available during dinner hours.
**Disclosure-Some of my entree’s were provided as part of a media tour and some were paid from my own pocket, my experience and thoughts are completely my own.**