Scout works with a lot of local restaurants to get the word out about the cool and delicious things they’re doing, but they couldn’t do what they do without access to awesome ingredients. To get what they need, culinary creatives depend on personal networks of passionate artisans, farmers and producers who often work hard without ever seeing the glory they deserve. Since it’s always good to recognize those who have your back, we bring you the Supplier Shout Out!
This week Wildebeest Chef Ian McHale turns a spotlight on the man searching the local wilds to provide his Gastown kitchen with the region’s most distinct natural ingredients, featured in various applications across their menu…
Which one of your suppliers do you want to give a shout out to? Our forager, Lance Staples.
What does this supplier supply you? Lance supplies us with everything the wild of BC has to offer, and the variety of wild foods out there is so impressive. The most exciting ingredients he brings in for me would be all the tree tips and pine cones; each being so wildly different from the other. Spruce tips, Douglas Fir tips, Douglas Fir cones, Grand Fir, Shore Pine…the list goes on.
How are these ingredients featured on your menu? We utilize each tree tip or cone uniquely. For example, we have infused several of the tips into salts, sugars, and vinegars, where others we cook overnight in a sugar syrup and make Pinecone miso. We season our steaks with a Grand Fir salt, giving the meat a very evergreen flavour. We season our lamb with a Douglas Fir cone salt and that gives off intense citrus and crab apple flavours.
What makes this supplier so special? When Lance delivers it doesn’t matter what I am doing, I always sit down and talk with him. His knowledge of all the wild foods is insane. It’s always very educational for me and important to not only know where our food comes from but also how and why. I’m always excited to use trees in our cooking here. They define the Pacific Northwest and they are a staple here at Wildebeest.