Chef in Residence by Butter on the Endive in Vancouver

Posted by on Jun 5, 2012

Every so often, a dining opportunity arises that actually excites me and it’s rarely in a restaurant setting.  Good food comes easily in Vancouver but genuinely engaging culinary experiences are few and far between.

Owen Lightly of Butter on the Endive is the brains and hands behind Chef in Residence: a Collaborative Food Project that took place in May.  Over a span of four days, Owen and his guest chefs collaborated to create one-of-a-kind dining episodes.  The pop-up events took place in private venues located above Le Marché St. Georges Café and Blue Owl Home Boutique.

On the day of my seating, the evening began with champagne sipping and merchandise perusing at the quaint antique store.  After sufficient time to warm up with the other guests, Anthony, Famiglia Creanza Olive Oil‘s proprietor strummed his guitar and welcomed us with a romantic Italian song.

Olive oil tasting  at Chefs in Residence by Butter on the Endive by Melody Fury Photography. Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Vancouver BC and Austin TX

Olive oil tasting

He then explained olive oil production, the terminologies, and how to choose a good oil.  A guided olive oil tasting followed to complete the journey.  The tasting was intimate and educational, propelled by Anthony’s zeal for his craft.

Olive Oil Tasting at Chefs in Residence by Butter on the Endive by Melody Fury Photography. Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Vancouver BC and Austin TX

Olive Oil Tasting

Then, we headed upstairs for the meal that awaited us.

On that particular evening, Owen Lightly partnered up with Adam Chandler of Beta 5 Chocolates to dish up a 4-course menu for two tables full of guests.  In sum, Chef in Residence fed not only our stomachs, but also our curiosities and craving for inspiration.

From listening to Anthony’s passionate insight on olive oil making, to watching the chefs scurry between a home oven to a  portable deep fryer, to observing their scrutinized plating efforts, the entire progression was a nothing short of a work of art.  It was ideal for the group of creatives that congregated that evening; food lovers that desired a meal that’s off the beaten track.

It feels equally obvious and obligatory to say that the team could name the local producers of each element that graced our plates.  The menu was whimsical, light (much appreciated on the hot day), and prepared with thought and precision.  See for yourself below and don’t hesitate to get in touch with Owen to learn more.  I also highly suggest following him on twitter so you don’t miss upcoming events… because you now know what you’d be missing out on.

Table  at Chefs in Residence by Butter on the Endive by Melody Fury Photography. Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Vancouver BC and Austin TX

Making new friends at a simply, but elegantly set table. Pots of fresh herbs acted as centre pieces.

Bread and salami  at Chefs in Residence by Butter on the Endive by Melody Fury Photography. Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Vancouver BC and Austin TX

Bread from Trilussa bakery and D Original Sausage's salami

Duck liver mousse at Chefs in Residence by Butter on the Endive by Melody Fury Photography. Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Vancouver BC and Austin TX

Duck liver crostini with pickled strawberries and celery - the fluffy and earthy mousse paired beautifully with the bright, juicy berries

Pasta  at Chefs in Residence by Butter on the Endive by Melody Fury Photography. Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Vancouver BC and Austin TX

Owen plating the orecchiette with kale, guanciale, and Creanza olive oil that we tasted earlier

Pasta at Chefs in Residence by Butter on the Endive by Melody Fury Photography. Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Vancouver BC and Austin TX

Finishing the pasta with a generous shower of grated cheese

Salmon at Chefs in Residence by Butter on the Endive by Melody Fury Photography. Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Vancouver BC and Austin TX

Spring salmon with fava beans, chickpea fritter, and lettuce purée - I was astonished to discover that this impossibly tender, barely medium-rare piece of salmon was cooked in a conventional oven. (Now I can make it too!) The unapologetic green punch from the vegetables livened the dish.

Dessert  at Chefs in Residence by Butter on the Endive by Melody Fury Photography. Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Vancouver BC and Austin TX

Olive oil cake with rhubarb and yoghurt - dare I say, a happy ending to a wonderful meal. I especially loved the medley of textures, ranging from the tacky rhubarb ribbon, the powdery lemon snow, to the moist and familiar cake soaked in honey.

Beta 5 chocolates  at Chefs in Residence by Butter on the Endive by Melody Fury Photography. Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Vancouver BC and Austin TX

Chocolates and caramel from Beta 5 Chocolates - the owner Adam sent us off personally with exceptional sweet treats.

 

 

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