One of the great things about working in and around the restaurant business is that you occasionally get to see a chef get his/her first shot at independence. Faizal Kassam has been waiting long enough, having worked his way up to the executive level at Cibo & Uva through stints at Hawksworth, Bacchus, La Brasserie, Bin 941, Meat & Bread, and Val d’Isere. He’s just taken over the old La Regalade location at 2232 Marine Drive in West Vancouver. Ironically, it’s where he got his start in the trade, as a dishwasher 15 years ago. Talk about full circle!
The restaurant is called Terroir Kitchen and the concept is Southern European small plates with a focus on seasonal, locally produced ingredients. Though we haven’t discussed specifics, Kassam tells me the cooking “will encompass French, Italian, Spanish, and North African styles.” The space is being completely renovated as we speak and the thinking is that it will open at some point this Spring. Dinner service will kick things off, with weekend brunches launching down the line (closed Mondays).
What to expect? In a word, deliciousness. I have full confidence in Faizal’s abilities (the last dinner I had at Cibo was superb) and the concept sounds like something we could all sink our teeth into. My only wish is an entirely selfish one: I’d much rather see Terroir Kitchen on my own side of the bridge.
Note: anyone who was especially fond of La Regalade might want to look away at this point…