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Sustainability Luncheon at C


Daddy-A
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What is it about eGullet events and amazing food? We are a truly fortunate group.

First, both "J" and I want to offer our deepest thanks to Harry Kambolis, Leonard Nakonechny, Rob Clarke & Rob Belcham and the entire staff at C for hosting an absolutely amazing afternoon! They rolled out the sustainable red carpet for us and really put on a show.

Thanks also to the panel ... the reason we gathered ... for an informative discussion on the subject of sustainability. Anyone interested in reading more of the reports from the Suzuki Foundation can check out some publications HERE. Included is the report on shellfish by Heather Deal.

Finally, a huge thank you to Jamie Maw. Without Jamie, this event would not have happened. Organizing guests for an event like this is a piece of cake compared to what Jamie did ... especially when the venue and the programme practically sell themselves.

Now ... I can die a happy man having enjoyed a Kagan Bay scallop. Easily the best dish I have ever eaten.

A.

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I too want to echo a huge thank you to all at C for creating such an enjoyable lunch and afternoon! To Rob Belcham, thanks for explaining about the hazelnut cloud as well as thanks to all the kitchen and FOH staff - an amazing lunch and very fun silmultaneous service.

Also a big thanks to Jamie Maw, Arne and anyone/everyone else who made this event happen! I'm dreaming about various elements of the dishes (mmmn, sablefish collar), and still a bit giddy. We did manage to carry on the sustainability concept both at our table and into our evening meal (which I managed not to have to cook) and it made for a most interesting day, and a lot of discussion about other proteins for which we also need to think about sustainability.

One thought I am carrying away with me is that it doesn't have to be more expensive. Let's keep the concepts afloat and keep pushing the enveloppe.

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Add my rhapsodies to the others': now I see why C receives the praise it does.

I think that may have been the best salmon I have ever eaten. What's really exciting about that is that the slow-roasted method is one I think I might actually be able to duplicate at home (20-25 minutes at 190F, IIRC).

The day was lovely, the food was delectable, and the wines we were treated to...a Turley Whitecoat! how many people can boast of that?

Thanks to the panelists, and thanks to Jamie and our host. I was so surprised to hear Andy Lynes say that this was the first eGullet event of its type--it seems like a natural match to me. In any case, it adds to my sense of privilege at having been able to attend.

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Toto, I have the feeling we're not in Kansas any more. Wow, this is why we prairie chickens flock to Lotus Land: sitting on a patio by False Creek on a sunny breezy day having stimulating conversations about sustainability and the stewardship of our natural resources, while consuming the most gorgeous local seafood. The day I found out I was pregnant with my son, I celebrated by taking myself out for lunch at C. It's been five years since I've been back (such is the way your life changes when you decide to have a child!). Well, it's been such a privilege to return to such a celebration of imagination, generosity, and progressive political action.

Try to describe someone the crispy oysters and Granville Island Lager and they might think you're describing something out of a Doctor Who episode: We shot the Lager into our mouths as we ate the oyster. The creature was fried in batter and speared through with a plastic pod that was like a squirt ring without the ring...You know, I don't even drink beer, but one of my nostalgia sweet spots is the beer batter shrimp that my mom used to make, so I had a deep appreciation of this approach.

The Cranberry Cocktail rimmed with salt, sugar, and lime was very refreshing, and a nice light way to start things off. I'm excited about the new twist to candied salmon: chili, salt, black and white sesame seeds. Do you folks sell that spice mix? You should. I woke up craving something, anything dipped in it for breakfast. I think it's a gold mine.

Raw Albacore Tuna with lemon, shallot, parsley, and capers: the creamy, salty, lemony, crunchy, butter-it's all there. It's so satisfying with the sweetness of the Gewurtz. I would have thought a dry acidic wine would be the complement, but the sweetness was the missing link.

Chilled Sweet English Pea Soup, BC Spot prawn, pickled ramps, almonds, yogurt. The toasted almonds, and the pickled ramps, and the hit of savory protein from the prawns balanced out the sweetness of the soup. First time I've had a ramp. I don't even know what it looks like, so now I have to try and find one this summer.

The slow roasted Hawkshaw of Salmon was so subtle-and the saltiness of the roe and the rice set it off beautifully.

Okay, my favorite combo was the Sablefish Collar, hazelnut bubble, all red potato puree, carrots and sherry vinegar. This was a very fragrant dish that insinuated itself into my heart via my nose (an occasion to celebrate being gifted with a large proboscis). The hazelnut bubble really got under my skin. It was surreal in a De Chirico way rather than a Bob Blumer kind of way. A bubble of pudding around a toasted hazelnut. I was thinking about it all the way home on the bus. What kind of tree do those hazelnuts grow on? It was oddly sexual. Okay...I can't explain that and I'm sure you don't want me to! That potato puree-again very sensuous. The wine that it was paired with-the Marsanne/ Viognier 2001 Turley Whitecoat from California was exactly what Dr. Ruth ordered-dry and elegant, and so seductive I just wanted to dive into that glass.

By this time I was getting pretty full. I would have loved to save the scallop dish for another day, but I lusted after this one too: Seared Kagan Bay Scallop with the crispy roasted pork shoulder, laurel, morels and golden beets. My Scallop, meet Mr. Pork, and have you both been introduced to Mr Morel? They got along quite well, sailing on a river of Margaux. This dish anchored the whole meal, with its earthy mushroomy complexity.

Lovers of sweets. Do you get bored with cheesecake? Do you say ho hum, not another one? Well, go to C and let them inspire you with what they can do to an old standby. Fromage Frais Cheesecake with rhubarb salad, praline, and organic maple syrup: light, creamy, flecked with vanilla bean seeds. The crunchy praline, the tartness of the rhubarb and those little rectangles of ? rhubarb jelly? What were they? I've got to know.

While eating this mind-blowing food we managed to hear from the smart people who are leaders in the area of seafood stewardship. I have many many questions, but most of all I'm wondering why we're always looking to import our food resources rather than developing the Canadian consumers' desire to buy local products. I was in Austria a few years ago, and the town I was in (Bregenz) was very proud of the fact that something like 90% of the food they consumed was Austrian. Why don't Canadians have the same kind of pride? Why are aboriginal wholistic ranchers having so much trouble finding a market for their beef? Why is it so hard to find local produce in our grocery stores? Why don't we grow fabulous organic grain and take pride in our artisanal bakeries instead of soaking grain in pesticide and shipping them off to create processed crap?

I also question how healthy it is to eat seafood on a regular basis, due to concerns with the level of Mercury and other pollutants found in the flesh of tuna, etc. Is testing the flesh of fish part of the Oceanwise program and will you let consumers know which fish are still healthy to eat?

So a big thank you to everyone who organized this event, and I think we should check in on Oceanwise in a year to see how things have progressed so we can do the whole thing all over again! And any time you guys need to open a few bottles of Margaux to see if they're still vibrant, you know who to call!

Edited by Zucchini Mama (log)

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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I'll add my voice to the chorus of thanks for the C Lunch. The panel presented some very interesting discussions regarding the long term future of our oceans and fisheries. Clear rationale discussion ruled the day and the panel laid out a frame work that gave equal weighting to the enviromental and economic health of our province. Very interesting!

Many thanks for Jamie Maw for putting together such a tremendous event. Deepest gratitude to the entire C team whose generosity was so endless. I mean the food was incredible and the FOH was superb. It is amazing to see 'C' really lead the way in demonstrating sustainable practices and fantastic food are not mutually exclusive.

Here are some photos:

Tuna Starter

gallery_25348_1418_1653.jpg

Fresh Pea Soup w/ Spotted Prawns

gallery_25348_1418_432.jpg

Slow Roasted Salmon

gallery_25348_1418_6072.jpg

Sablefish Collar

gallery_25348_1418_2440.jpg

Keegan Bay Scallops, Slow Roasted Pork, Morels

gallery_25348_1418_1441.jpg

Formage Frais Cheescake

gallery_25348_1418_417.jpg

So clearly doing good for the environment is good for the tummy also. Aren't win win situations good?

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That lunch at C Restaurant was honestly the best lunch I've ever had. The dishes were such a visual feast, and the seared scallop on the pork shoulder and morels was probably one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten--so earthy and rich, sweet and briny! Thanks to everyone who had a hand in organizing such a wonderful event. It was amazing to see how the servers working in tandem and the patio couldn't have offered a more beautiful view of Vancouver.

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Bravo to everyone at C - you put on the best lunch I've ever had, bar none. Simply outstanding. The taste of that scallop has spoiled me forever.

Many thanks to Jamie and Arne for their work organizing the event.

To the speakers, thank you for taking the time to come and share your perspectives with us. Your passion for the topic and the depth of your knowledge was obvious. It's a shame that there wasn't time for a more probing discussion and debate.

And to the folks representing the fish farming industry (hopefully there are at least a few of you lurking here): your presence was missed. I for one would have enjoyed hearing "your side of the story". I understand why you might have felt afraid to come, but your voice needs to be heard, too.

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

www.leecarney.com

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That lunch at C Restaurant was honestly the best lunch I've ever had. The dishes were such a visual feast, and the seared scallop on the pork shoulder and morels was probably one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten--so earthy and rich, sweet and briny! Thanks to everyone who had a hand in organizing such a wonderful event. It was amazing to see how the servers working in tandem and the patio couldn't have offered a more beautiful view of Vancouver.

Wow, :biggrin:

I have to agree," that was the most impressive meal and service I have ever experienced." Thank you to Jamie and Leonard for finding a space for me to attend at such short notice. The panel was terrific and very informative; I look forward to working with them in the near future. I hope the slow roasted pork shoulder is on the menu as all I have been doing is raving about it and all the terrific plates we were served. I look forward to my next visit to C.

It was very nice to put faces to all of your names, thank you, it was a pleasure.

Macha

Fish is the only food that is considered spoiled once it smells like what it is. - P. J. O'Rourke

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Once again, I am glad that I hosted the first "egullet Dinner". The bar gets higher each and every outing. A fat fingered tradesman like myself could not hold a candle to what the crew at "C" did this weekend. Chef Belcham's skill, Leonard's organizing and Harry's generousity have made this luncheon an affair to remember.

Thank you.

Neil

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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That was quite possibly one of the most memorable meals I've ever had - in fact, with that many courses I would consider it to be a dinner. Big compliments and regards to the entire staff at C and the various organizers/speakers of the event.

For those of you at my table yesterday, how was the roasted salmon cooked again? (well obviously roasted.. but what temperature/time?)

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

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That was quite possibly one of the most memorable meals I've ever had - in fact, with that many courses I would consider it to be a dinner. Big compliments and regards to the entire staff at C and the various organizers/speakers of the event.

For those of you at my table yesterday, how was the roasted salmon cooked again? (well obviously roasted.. but what temperature/time?)

I wasn't at your table, but he said 20-25 minutes at 190F at our table...succulent, no?

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Yeah, very succulent.. hadn't the slightest evidence of dry heat at all. People at our table thought it could have even been lightly poached.

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

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What a perfect afternoon.

That scallop and pork shoulder is burned in my memory forever.

The staff at C really pulled out all the stops; I can't believe the calibre of the food and service- a great big thank you. And the wine! My God!

I thought there was a good variety of speakers- I thought they brought a lot to the table.

I was really surprised to read upthread that this was the first EG event of its kind.

I would love to see more like it.

This was my first EG event, so thank you to everybody for the warm welcome. I look forward to seeing you all again.

Ann

Edited by annanstee (log)

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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This was a real milestone event for eGullet.org that marked a turning point for the society. Sustainability is an issue of crucial, international importance and the C lunch has provided eGullet.org with an opportunity to help raise awareness of it and spread information about it. Enjoyment of the fine cuisine was balanced well with the educational aims of the event and should serve as a benchmark for all future eGullet.org events. I will be looking into the possibility of re-creating the event in London as soon as I get back home. Congratulations and thanks to all involved in the planning and execution of such a memorable afternoon.

I have the speeches made on Saturday on tape and will transcribe them as soon as I can.

I'll write up my impressions of the food when I have more time, but all I can say now is that I really wish I could have stuck around long enough to taste those scallops, they look awesome.

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Stunningly shocking generousity from C. Amazing. Food, wine, service, hell they even managed to get the weather perfect. I'd usually attribute the fine weather to chance, but seeing how organized the whole event was, I suspect they played a role in it.

Thank you to everyone involved. Finest lunch I've ever had in the city.

And love is been shown to the scallop/pork/morel combo above. My vote for the dish of the event was the oysters to start. How oysters can be made lighter than air so they dissolve on your tongue leaving behind a subtle whiff of the sea I'll never know. They were far and away the best oysters I've ever eaten, second place isn't even close.

And apologies to Leonard, who I'm refered to as Gerald (of Vera's fame) when introducing myself. I don't know why, perhaps the pints at the HSG, or perhaps the hard constanant followed by some vowels ending with a D. Or maybe I'm just an idiot. Sorry.

Thanks again to C.

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The day was lovely, the food was delectable, and the wines we were treated to...a Turley Whitecoat! how many people can boast of that?

Been itching to open the only bottle of this that I have to try it out. I know Parker was lukewarm on it but does anyone think he was off? Is it peaking or over the hill? The lunch sounded like it was a great deal of fun. The last time I was at C was a few years back and it was fantastic. Glad to hear it is still going strong.

officially left egullet....

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The day was lovely, the food was delectable, and the wines we were treated to...a Turley Whitecoat! how many people can boast of that?

Been itching to open the only bottle of this that I have to try it out. I know Parker was lukewarm on it but does anyone think he was off? Is it peaking or over the hill? The lunch sounded like it was a great deal of fun. The last time I was at C was a few years back and it was fantastic. Glad to hear it is still going strong.

I am completely inadequate talking about white wine (yes, even worse than with red :wink:) as I seldom drink it, so I hope someone else will step in.

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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On behalf of all of the staff at C, I would like to thank you for all of the kind comments in regards to the Sustainability Luncheon. It was a fantastic afternoon and we were happy to be a part of it.

A special thanks to Neil for the post beer tasting. Keep up the good work!

Sincerely,

Leonard J Nakonechny

C GM

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A fine luncheon taken in front of one of the most dramatic restaurant prospects in the country; the westerly breezing up the Creek; the menu and service as balanced and calibrated in what it said to the ocean as the guest speakers themselves.

From the first sip of that incisive hibiscus cocktail I learned a lot. I was particularly enlightened by the activist stance that Dr. John Nightingale of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre shared with me. During a recent conference in Boston, he ate at four Boston-area restaurants. Turns out they each had ('Chilean') sea bass on the menu. Rather than remonstrating the server, or calling over the manager, John walked into the kitchen after service and had a calm and explanatory chat with the chefs.

You might have thought thay would have known better there. The coastal seaports of Massachusetts used to support a thriving cod fishery, or, more accurately, vice versa. That fishery is now gone--perhaps forever. Atlantic blue fin are also under enormous pressure which is likely--as someone at our table joked--why George Clooney met Ahab.

Maybe John Nightingale saved some fish in the patent process of explanation. I think that it's high time for us to educate ourselves by studying the base source material (Monterrey Aquarium et al) and then direct others--especially chefs and proprietors--to follow suit, because unfortunately, ignorance about both our own and offshore fisheries runs much deeper than the oceans. And solutions for aquaculture such as the Suzuki Foundation is proposing, certainly seem to make sound sense.

In short, this is not a Birkenstock issue but rather cuts across all political stripes and income brackets. Sustainable food, after all, is what we live for and vice versa again.

Many thanks to Harry, Leonard, Tom and the many others at C for providing such an exquisite vehicle that is absolute proof that what is sutainable and well managed can (as chef Rob Clark so passionately pointed out) and does taste better. Many thanks also to Sue Alexander for organizing the guest speakers.

I hope that many of you have had the opportunity to watch the DVD on the Hawkshaw live-catch salmon methodology.

Cheers, and many thanks to you all for your support of this event. I hope that an agritourism (bus-ride) visit follows shortly.

Jamie

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Jamie,

the agritourism trip sounds like a great idea.

I would really like to see egullet run with the concept of regular sustainability events. I think the C menu is enough of an incentive to come out for future like opportunities for education and advocacy...

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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Exactly! Come for the talk, stay for the Keegan Bay Scallop/Overnight roasted pork shoulder with Morels and a glass of 87 Margaux- I would have paid the ticket price for this one course alone.

This lunch has become, for me, the platonic ideal to which all future lunches must be compared.

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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I think that may be too high a standard - but I guess the bar is set high for the next eGullet lunch/dinner when it comes around. The C lunch was amazing in all respects, but I think some *cough* people should have paid more attention to what the speakers were saying. :smile:

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

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