News from Scout supporter Bishop’s
Vancouver, BC | “It was twenty years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.” Twenty-five years (and one month) ago, John Bishop taught Vancouver about eating local, seasonal and sustainable food and in doing so, helped create a local cuisine culture. Bishop’s Restaurant first opened its doors to the public 25 years ago last month (December 14, 1985) and it is celebrating the occasion with a special prix fixe menu that pays homage to its first menu so many years ago. Priced at $49, the four-course menu includes such Bishop’s classics as Goat Cheese Salad, Dungeness Crab Cakes, Lamb Three Ways and Death by Chocolate. Read all about it after the jump…
A Silver Anniversary is a long time in any relationship, but the love affair between John Bishop and local ingredients could not be stronger or healthier. Very early on Chef Bishop connected with the King family’s Hazelmere Organic Farm who provided the restaurant with its initial supplies of fresh local, seasonal produce. That was a radical idea back in 1985 when most Vancouver establishments served some version of ‘European’ or ‘Continental’ dishes and got their produce from large food-jobbing wholesalers. Bishop’s was at the vanguard of an eating revolution that sees most restaurant chefs today supporting and promoting their local ingredients and producers.
“I wanted to challenge Chef to re-create and re-imagine some of the dishes that were our original signatures,” says John Bishop of the special menu that will be available Sundays through Thursdays starting January 13th through February 10th this year. Twenty-five years ago, it was Chef Bishop in the kitchen. Now the very talented Chef Andrea Carlson leads the brigade – the same Andrea Carlson who created the very first 100-Mile Diet Menu served in a restaurant. How times have changed.
First on the menu is a Warm Goat Cheese Salad. “No one even knew what goat cheese was back then. Now goat cheese salads are ‘old hat.’ This one features cheese that is locally made by Debra Amriens-Boyes and George Boyes of Farmhouse Cheese in Agassiz.” The redux version features petit balls of cheese that have been delicately breaded, sautéed and arranged on a plate with artfully scattered freshly-picked greens and toasted walnut meats. Next up is a signature dish: Dungeness Crab Cake with crisp potato and fennel cream. Fraser Valley Lamb is then served three ways – shredded neck meat in aspic, loin chop and roast, in a red wine jus. Seasonal roasted root vegetables (sweet parsnips and carrots for instance) complement the dish. Last up is ‘Death by Chocolate’ – the decadent confection of a warm dark chocolate cake with raspberry coulis. “There is no way to improve on this dessert, it’s perfect,” says Chef Carlson. “All I’ve done is add a scoop of house-made, buttermilk ice cream to it.”
The special Bishop’s Classics Menu caps off an award-filled year for the restaurant, Chef Carlson and John Bishop personally. It started with Bishop’s winning Gold for Best Regional and Silver for Best Service at the annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. More gold and silver followed in the in Best of the City Awards (WestEnder), Golden Plates (The Georgia Straight) and Stars of Vancouver (The Vancouver Courier). Chef Carlson received the Green Award from the Vancouver Magazine Awards as well as being named a Local Hero by Edible Vancouver Magazine. Mr. Bishop was honoured with the inaugural Nation’s Table Award given by the Governor General and later in the year received Cuisine Canada’s Edna Award for Lifetime Achievement.
BISHOP’S CLASSICS REVISITED
25th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
Sundays through Thursdays | January 13 – February 10, 2011
WARM CRUSTED GOAT’S CHEESE
winter greens, walnuts
Dungeness Crab Cake
crisp potato, fennel cream
FRASER VALLEY LAMB
root vegetables, red wine jus
DEATH BY CHOCOLATE
Open for dinner every evening from 5:30pm to 11:00pm
Proprietor: John Bishop
Executive Chef: Andrea Carlson
Maitre d’: Abel Jacinto
“This is the place for those who want the best of everything without the taint of pretension.”
Tucked away on West 4th in Kitsilano is a legendary restaurant with a big reputation. For more than 20 years John Bishop has led the field in serving food that is organic, produced locally and sustainably. Many consider his eponymous Bishop’s to be Canada’s version of Chez Panisse. With a reputation like that, lots of people don’t realize that Bishop’s is also a cosy neighbourhood haven serving quality dishes at affordable prices. John and Chef Carlson work directly with fishers, producers and growers to source the pick-of-the-crop and menus change constantly to reflect this.
Dining at Bishop’s is like having dinner at the home of an elegant friend. From the warm reception that greets you to a table dressed in “soothing linen” surrounded by spectacular West Coast First Nations art, you know you will be pampered in this urban oasis of calm. The art on the walls a fitting backdrop to the culinary art of Chef Carlson.
Abel Jacinto presides over a wine cellar that features the best of British Columbia with hard-to- find and rare wines from around the world. The list is consistently updated.
John and his restaurant have been honoured with numerous awards including:
- Mobil Travel Guide Four Stars, 2008
- Gold Medal, Cuisine Canada National Cookbook Awards 2008 (for Fresh)
- Inaugural recipient of the Green Award, Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards
- Best Restaurant (numerous years), Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards
- Best North American Cuisine, Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards