Upcoming EAT! Pastry Event Promises a Sweet Afternoon of Just Desserts

Photo: Nancy Choi

The GOODS from EAT! Vancouver

If you’re going to indulge your sweet tooth this winter (and really, who can resist?), treat yourself properly by attending the second annual EAT! Pastry event at the Pinnacle Hotel on November 10th. For one afternoon only, fifteen of the industry’s best dessert chefs and chocolatiers will be congregating in the hotel’s luxurious ballroom setting, along with 300 guests, for two hours of tasting, drinking and mingling from 2pm to 4pm. Accompanying the spectacular confectionary spread, will be a selection of cocktails for attendees to sip on, specially created using the best of the season’s ingredients. General admission tickets are $79.99 per person, including treats and drinks, or $99.99 for the VIP option which expedites your entry to the front of the pastry line at 1:30pm. Buy yours here.

The Chefs & Chocolatiers

Photo: Nancy Choi

Delighting palates with their sugary creations are thirteen pastry chefs and chocolatiers working representing diverse culinary backgrounds, educations and inspirations. Of the roster of talent, nine of the participators are currently based in Vancouver, with four guest chefs from BC, Quebec and Alberta.

One notable local included in this year’s lineup is Hawksworth’s Wayne Kozinko. The award-winning pastry chef from Edmonton has spent most of his career making a name for himself as well as various restaurant kitchens in across the city. Kozinko cut his sweet teeth in such highly regarded Vancouver establishments as the The Four Seasons, Yew and the Metropolitan Hotel, where he was under the decades-long tutelage of Chocolatier Thomas Haas.

Another of Thomas Haas’ mentees, Steve Hodge, will also be offering up his unique dessert vision at EAT! in November. The born-and-raised West Vancouver pastry artist honed his skills both locally and afar, at Le Cordon Blue and in several exceptional and award-winning kitchens in California and London, England. Despite his frequent culinary excursions abroad, Hodge has maintained a strong sense of loyalty and love for his hometown of Dundarave, which is the location of his patisserie, Temper Chocolate Pastry.

Ontario transplant, Rebecca Chen, is currently the dessert mastermind at Yaletown’s Ancora Waterfront Dining. However, Chen’s culinary roots began as a child growing up in Bangkok where she spent some time working at a local bakery. The PICA graduate’s global and cultural approach to her pastry craft is rounded out by a degree in Anthropology from UBC. You can count on something that’s a truly intellectual treat from this extraordinary talent!

Beta5 co-owner and Head Pastry Chef/Chocolatier, Adam Chandler, is another local epicurean with some unusual influences, particularly the combination of science and art. The receiver of multiple local and international accolades has made it his personal mission to push the boundaries of pastry, and is constantly sourcing inspiration from the cross-section of Vancouver’s industrial urban and natural surroundings. With an impressive background that encompasses every area of pastry, from bread to haute cuisine, Chandler’s contribution to the event is sure to be a standout both aesthetically and on the tastebuds.

Jeffry Kahle is similarly fascinated with the scientific side of sweets. For Kahle, it was his career studying Chemical Engineering and Material Science at MIT that was the gateway to his eventual career in the pastry arts. Pursuit of his newfound passion for pastry led Kahle away from the American Midwest – he graduated from the French Pastry School of Chicago – to the West Coast states of Washington and California, where he grew his skills from fine dining pastry chef to managing hotel pastry production. Eventually, he landed here in Vancouver where he currently manages the impressive pastry program at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Kahle’s contribution to the menu of delectables will surely be a memorable one!

Beaucoup Bakery’s, Betty Hung, is a truly modern pastry chef. The former Graphic Designer was entirely self-taught until she took on an internship at Beaucoup, which led to a scholarship studying her art in Paris, and eventually baking her way to the position as Head Chef and co-owner of the Kitsilano bakery/cafe where she began her career. Hung’s discerning eye and creativity, combined with her love of baking and a social media savvy are probably best expressed via her Yummy Workshop blog, where she continues to find the time to share her pastry experiments. We can’t wait to test out her baked goods on our tastebuds at EAT!.

The “coolest” pastry chef involved in this year’s event is Mark Tagulao, founder of Kitsilano’s La Glace Ice Cream, which opened its doors in August of 2017. Tagulao is probably best known for his masterful and unique ice cream creations, which he was scooping from his ice cream cart at various high brow locations (such as Holt Renfrew) long before opening his stunning modern-retro sweets shop. However, his repertoire of pastry experience extends beyond frozen treats. Whatever the physical temperature of his EAT! creation, we’re sure that it will resonate in our minds long after it’s left our palates!

Although Ricardo Rosas holds a degree in hotel and restaurant management and has done a lengthy stint in the industry, he eventually couldn’t resist his innate lifelong love of baking, which was imbued in him at an early age by his mother and grandmother. After graduating from PICA, Rosas went on to become one of the first employees at Faubourg Paris in Kerrisdale when it opened in 2010, and has remained Head Pastry Chef at the Patisserie throughout its expansion across Vancouver and West Vancouver neighbourhoods.

Gem Chocolates owner Glenn Knowles embodies the definition of a true chocolate lover. The entirely self-taught chocolatier retired from decades-long careers in international banking and the securities industry to pursue his creative culinary passion, eventually opening his own Kerrisdale shop in 2011 and earning multiple international awards. There’s little doubt that whatever Knowles prepares for this year’s event, it will be truly inspirational!

It took a a lot of soul searching and several degrees before Mon Paris Patisserie owner Elena Krasnova found her niche in pastry. Although the Burnaby-based chef’s philosophy may harken back to her Russian roots, Krasnova’s culinary education is authentically French, with studies at Paris’ acclaimed Ferrandie Ecole de Gastronomie and years spent working in the country’s oldest pastry shop, Dalloyau, under her belt. Krasnova’s EAT! creation is sure to be as impressive as her credentials!

Representing the Okanagan Valley’s pastry community is Julian Helman, the owner, head pastry chef and chocolatier of KARAT. The worldly epicurean has studied and worked at various positions within his industry, both in North America (he was a student of both The Canadian Culinary Institute in PEI and Chicago’s renowned French Pastry School) and abroad in Europe and Asia, finally opening his own shop in 2016. It will be a true honour to taste his passion for showcasing the best local ingredients in their sweet and savoury pastry applications at this year’s event.

Attendees of EAT! Pastry who are curious about the sweets scene beyond BC will be interested to know about visiting chefs Brett Roy, from Edmonton’s Sweet Lollapalooza, and Patrice Demers, of Montreal’s Patrice Patissier.

Chef Roy’s roots extend further afar than his current Alberta base, to the Gold Coast of Australia where he grew up and began his career as a chef. Eventually deciding to focus on the seriously divine art of chocolate and confections, he built the foundation of his art in Quebec and across the United States. Most recently, though, Roy expanded his knowledge at Valrhona’s Grand Chocolate school in France to earn the title of Expert Chocolatier along with dozens of significant international awards and accolades. EAT! is surely proud to host this amazing talent!

Former chef, restaurateur and Canal Vie television personality Demers is one of a generation of game-changing pastry chefs in Montreal’s dessert scene. Since opening the doors to his own pastry shop, located in the Little Burgundy, in 2014, Patrice Patissier has earned a reputation for its phenomenal Kouign Amann. Demers’ philosophy is a fusion of North American flavours and classic French inspiration, created using the finest local and organic ingredients. It will be a genuine pleasure to have this East Coast talent sharing his delicious ideologies with Vancouver.

From his family’s kitchen in the South of France, to various Michelin Star restaurants in Europe, followed by positions at the Valrhona school in Tokyo and Brooklyn – Chef Nicolas Botomisy is a truly exceptional and international talent. Botomisy’s continued appreciation for Japanese culture and interest in developing his culinary presence in the country, initially inspired by his wife, has most recently translated into the opening of ateliers in Japan’s metropolis. This eclectic mix of experience and education is sure to produce equally intriguing flavours at this year’s Eat! Pastry event.

Newfoundland-born Mark Burton stumbled upon his career in pastry purely by accident. A scheduling fluke at an early kitchen job in his hometown turned into a cross-country move in pursuit of his passion for baking, to SAIT in Calgary, and eventually to jobs at various well-established kitchens in Alberta and BC. After years spent acquiring experience divided between the two most Western Canadian provinces, Burton landed his current position as Executive Pastry Chef at PICA, passing on his knowledge to future chefs. We can’t wait to taste the results of this culinary journey for ourselves!

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