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.
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.
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.