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Weczeria restaurant


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Junior- it is great to see what this site (egullet) can do, the communication-the multimedia it gives us, bringing together the owner-chef- customer- writer -critic in an honest open venue.

Love the look, the tables, your presentation; the bread is truly awesome- the best thing is having content from other Western Provinces. I wish you and your staff the best fall and look forward too more content from your dinning world.

Steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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I concur with the other posts - great images. What sort of lens and body are you using?

Also, did you notice any of the 'punk rock' touches? They're not as obvious anymore as they once were :)

Edited by espressobsessed (log)

head barista/coffee crusader

caffe sola

saskatoon sk canada

espressolab.ca (blog)

caffesola.ca (work)

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I concur with the other posts - great images.  What sort of lens and body are you using?

Also, did you notice any of the 'punk rock' touches?  They're not as obvious anymore as they once were :)

Hi espressobsessed, and welcome!

I just used my vintage Nikon with its regular lens. I'm intrigued by your allusion to punk rock touches--do tell! Oh, and ask Dan about where he gets his beef. I had an "AAAA" grade steak at La Bodega in Regina, which was very nice. When I told Dan about it he rolls his eyes and says something about that's not what it's supposed to be called. Ha! I'd never seen that many A's beside a menu item! Keep on "espressing" yourself, we need more reports from the prairies.

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

--Mae West

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We get our beef from 2 farms, one outside Regina and one outside Saskatoon. benlock farms outside Saskatoon raises Angus beef through a organic system and the Natural Valley Farms are a Naturalized beef that I think is Charbolis or maybe another breed. Both farms probaley produce the best beef anyone has ever tried. You can get a chart from the beef growers association that shows you how they grade beef. Triple A and Prime have extensive marbling throughout the cuts. The chart only goes as far as AAA then goes to Prime. So I don't know how they get 4 A's.

If all goes as planned you will be able to try Natural Valley Farms beef at Diva. Chef Henry will be testing some of their beef out in the near future. So you won't have to come to Saskatoon to try the beef we use here.

Dan Walker

Chef/Owner

Weczeria Restaurant

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Well, Dan used to write the menu out by hand on heavy stock. Then there were the candies, but that was more emo than punk. Did you see the live to cook/morimoto inspired shirts?

Deformalization of the French restaurant! He's SUCH a rock star and he doesn't even know it!

head barista/coffee crusader

caffe sola

saskatoon sk canada

espressolab.ca (blog)

caffesola.ca (work)

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  • 1 month later...

the teaser for the new weczeria webpage is now live at www.weczeriarestaurant.ca

i also added some new pictures to my flickr account from tonights seafood six course meal.

Edited by espressobsessed (log)

head barista/coffee crusader

caffe sola

saskatoon sk canada

espressolab.ca (blog)

caffesola.ca (work)

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  • 3 months later...

Howdy all. Our webpage will be up in a couple of days. Here is the page under construction. I would appreciate any feedback on where we are at now. You can find it at www.espressolab.ca/weczeria

We will have a new update about what's going on soon.

Dan Walker

Chef/Owner

Weczeria Restaurant

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  • 5 weeks later...

Ukrainian cuisine meets culinary mastery

Please see Dan's flickr photos which correlate with this post. I figured there might be some gulleteers out there that might enjoy hearing about the concept of reinterpreting Ukrainian cuisine in a contemporary French restaurant, especially if you are familiar with Ukrainian food.

Last Sunday, Feb 25, Weczeria Food and Wine (616 10th St E, Saskatoon) put on a Ukrainian themed 7-course meal. In the past, we've been treated to other themed nights, including an Alain Ducasse night, Paddock Wood brewery night, Christies Bakery night, and others. A Ukrainian night must have special meaning for Chef Dan and his wife/pastry-cook Nicole since both are Ukrainian and Polish, respectively. Neither speak Ukrainian, but both were compelled to choose a name for their restaurant which reflected their heritage. They chose Weczeria, which is Ukrainian for evening meal. For Dan, being Ukrainian means feeding people with sense of heart and hospitality Ukrainians are known for in the prairies and in Ukraine.

Of course, there are many people in Western Canada who cite Ukrainian food as their favourite cuisine, without really experiencing its essence, never going beyond the grocery store commodities nor understanding the "deep structure" of Ukrainian cuisine and culture. For many young Ukrainian-Canadians, the only direct bond to their culture they feel comes from food (I have heard this directly from many young Ukes), and even then, this is a surface understanding. I was worried before this dinner how Dan would handle some of the issues. Yet, Nicole and Dan's sensitivity and familiarity for Ukrainian flavours shined through; not a course missed its mark.

The first course was a petit plat of 4 types of vareneky, each a different flavour. The flavours did not necessary explode; instead they were sublime. The level of craftsmanship in their construction provided a unique mouthfeel which set the tone for the rest of the courses that evening.

Second course was a deconstructed cabbage roll, containing the four elements of a Ukrainian cabbage roll: tomato sauce, cabbage, rice and a fourth ingredient escaping my memory. The dish was interactive, allowing diners to explore the composition of flavours and was well received by other diners.

Third course was borscht. Dan's unique take on this dish was instead of using a beet broth, he used a puree, topped by a dollop of smetana. Again, the flavours were well composed and would hold up to a most discerning Baba.

Fourth course was chicken fricasse, with cranberries. I will admit, I was not initially familiar with the technique of stewing in gravy, until I realized later, I've had this dish more than a few times while helping with grain harvest in rural Sask. Traditionally, whole breasts of chicken would have been cooked in an black enamel roaster and brought to the field for dinner. What made me miss this point was the flavours were refined enough to completely defamiliarize the dish. The slightly acidic-but-sweet fresh cranberries balanced the dish further by providing contrast.

The fifth course was the universal favourite of everyone at my table. Smoked Pike with mushrooms and buckwheat, and a herring vinaigrette. The flavours were edgy and challenging, but for me, invoked nostalgia for the flavours of Ukrainian Christmas eve dinner, the smoked fish, herring and mushrooms, but in a re-imagined form. This to me is what Ukrainian cuisine is all about - specific ingredients providing a sense of continuity, thanks in part to family rituals of eating but also in observing the seasonal limitations of ingredients, which is present in most agrarian cultures, including Ukrainian culture. It is about mastery first, controlling the flavours, honouring ingredients and traditions, and only then can individualistic creativity occur second.

Sixth course was Beef, Hetman style on sweet potato puree w/ vegetable medley. For me this was the only dish that seemed out of place, not capturing the imagination or the palate the way the other dishes, however, it was still well prepared and in retrospect, had a tough act to follow.

The final course was fruit quiche, but I thought of it more as a stewed fruit quiche, using familiar ingredients like rum-soaked raisins, all encased in a fine tart crust. Not only did this rank with the smoked pike in enjoyment, but they also demonstrate the amazing power of memory and nostalgia residing in food.

Before I sat down for this dinner, I didn't know how Dan and Nicole would interpret a traditional cuisine deeply rooted in a culture which strives to maintain cultural continuity in an ever-changing and impersonal urban society. For Dan and Nicole to so clearly "get" the cuisine and the culture, while claiming not to be hardcore Ukes themselves, attests to the deep bonds Ukrainian culture has among many people, Dan and Nicole included, in this province.

-Jimmy Oneschuk

Edited by espressobsessed (log)

head barista/coffee crusader

caffe sola

saskatoon sk canada

espressolab.ca (blog)

caffesola.ca (work)

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  • 5 months later...

It's been a while since we have had anything to report but this weekend (Aug 17 + 19) We have Chef Ray Henry coming from Vancouver to host a dinner with us. Both nights are sold out and we are looking forward to having Chef in Saskatoon. I'll post pics after the weekend is over.

This dinner is a part of our monthly theme dinners. Every month usually on a Sunday we host a 7 course dinner with about 5 wine selections. In the past we have done dinners with Paddock Wood microbrewers (very popular), a modern French dinner based on Alain Duccase, a all seafood dinner, and another based around bread.

This September we are back on France's door step. We will have Ted Deller of CBC Radio and his brother Walter regale the diners with stories of their travels in France.

Dan Walker

Chef/Owner

Weczeria Restaurant

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Last Sunday, Feb 25, Weczeria Food and Wine (616 10th St E, Saskatoon) put on a Ukrainian themed 7-course meal. In the past, we've been treated to other themed nights, including an Alain Ducasse night, Paddock Wood brewery night, Christies Bakery night, and others. A Ukrainian night must have special meaning for Chef Dan and his wife/pastry-cook Nicole since both are Ukrainian and Polish, respectively.  Neither speak Ukrainian, but both were compelled to choose a name for their restaurant which reflected their heritage.  They chose Weczeria, which is Ukrainian for evening meal. For Dan, being Ukrainian means feeding people with sense of heart and hospitality Ukrainians are known for in the prairies and in Ukraine.

Of course, there are many people in Western Canada who cite Ukrainian food as their favourite cuisine, without really experiencing its essence, never going beyond the grocery store commodities nor understanding the "deep structure" of Ukrainian cuisine and culture. For many young Ukrainian-Canadians, the only direct bond to their culture they feel comes from food (I have heard this directly from many young Ukes), and even then, this is a surface understanding.  I was worried before this dinner how Dan would handle some of the issues.  Yet, Nicole and Dan's sensitivity and familiarity for Ukrainian flavours shined through; not a course missed its mark.

As a young Canadian of Ukrainian heritage, I definitely second the statement that pretty much the only direct bond to Ukrainian culture is through food (I don't speak the language, although most of my extended family does, and have never actually been to the Ukraine but again, many of the older relatives were born there). For me, Ukrainian food isn't just about cabbage rolls and vareneky, it's about certain flavour profiles, the ingredients used (for instance, northern Alberta, where my Ukrainian relatives live, has a climate quite similar to the Ukraine, and they grow the same vegetables, raise the same livestock, etc...), and the concept/intentions of the cuisine.

As a professional cook, I've definitely tried to create some Ukrainian flavours and dishes at every restaurant I've worked at, whether I'm making borshch, vareneky, or a simple roast dish with Ukrainian flavours, etc... Bread was also important at meals to us, so I definitely take pride in my breadmaking. Because I grew up eating Ukrainian food every single day of my childhood, this cuisine is very special to me, brings back some very fond memories.

Anyhow, it's nice to see a successful restaurant and dinner based on this cuisine. Too much Ukrainian food you see nowadays out here isn't what it should be.

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The weekend is progessing nicely with Chef. The only probelm is the weather is not cooperating. Sever thunderstorms and more rain than you can shake a stick at. It's forecasting more rain tommorow. We make a quick trip to the Saskatoon Farmers Market to see what's up and decide the menu for tommorow night.

We'll post pics and the menu's once the weekend is over.

Edited by Junior (log)

Dan Walker

Chef/Owner

Weczeria Restaurant

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  • 3 years later...

Well this has been a long time since we last posted here. We have moved the restaurant around the corner from our old location. We moved from 28 seats to 52 with 12 bar seats as well. We have been open for 11 days now and are turning people away on the weekend. The kitchen staff and serving staff have been great. We will try to upload some photos of the new place soon or you could check us out on our Facebook page.

Dan Walker

Chef/Owner

Weczeria Restaurant

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  • 3 months later...

Well this has been a long time since we last posted here. We have moved the restaurant around the corner from our old location. We moved from 28 seats to 52 with 12 bar seats as well. We have been open for 11 days now and are turning people away on the weekend. The kitchen staff and serving staff have been great. We will try to upload some photos of the new place soon or you could check us out on our Facebook page.

Good for you!

I will be back in 'toon soon - I will make sure to make a scene.

Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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