The GOODS from EAT! Vancouver
Vancouver, BC | Get ready to elevate your dessert knowledge to new sugar-induced heights at EAT! Pastry Day. A day devoted to cookies, cakes, chocolates and pastries, this event will be providing a sweet climax to EAT! Vancouver’s week-long calendar on Saturday, November 9th from 3 – 5pm.
The sugary celebration sees the elegant and inviting Vancouver Club transformed into a luxurious dessert arena, featuring 15 pastry chefs and chocolatiers from across BC. Over the course of two indulgent hours, from 3 – 5pm, guests will be treated to all of the confectionery creations while mingling with creators and cohorts alike. Even sweeter: ticket sales from the Grand Tasting directly benefit the festival’s chosen charitable organization, the BC Cancer Foundation.
A general ticket ($89 per person) grants you admission to the Grand Tasting event and all of its gorgeous goodies. Mark November 9th as a day to break up the redundant and drab days of winter with some colourful deliciousness by getting your tickets here now.
The Chefs & Chocolatiers
From the Sea-to-Sky to the Okanagan, this year’s list of EAT! Pastry Day participants represents an outstanding amount of passion and talent widespread across the province of BC.
Of the 15 pastry chefs and chocolatiers, five are returning from 2018: Adam Chandler (co-owner and Head Pastry Chef/Chocolatier of Beta5, Vancouver), Betty Hung (Beaucoup Bakery, Vancouver), Mark Burton (Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Vancouver), Steve Hodge (Temper, West Van), and Elena Krasnova (Mon Paris, Burnaby).
The dichotomy of Vancouver’s environment – a combination of the industrial and natural – and an interest in the scientific and artistic elements of his vocation continue to provide Chef Chandler with unique inspiration and make him a standout on the pastry scene. Add to that a wide-ranged background in bread making and fine dining, and the Beta5 chef is set to contribute a dessert that is technically adept, traditionally defiant and undeniably delicious.
Beaucoup Head Chef Hung is another Vancouver-based pastry chef with an eye for aesthetics, no doubt due to her previous life as a Graphic Designer. We can’t wait to see and taste what sort of tasty three-dimensional masterpiece she’ll be making out of the season’s flavours at this year’s event.
Although well-travelled and seasoned, Hodge’s hometown of Dundarave is nonetheless the locale of his one-and-only pastry shop, Temper. The chef’s worldly education and penchant for adventure may provide him with an influx of inspiration, but at the centre of his passion is an undeniable loyalty for his BC roots.
It’s been roughly three years since Krasnova opened her shop, Mon Paris Patisserie. The short jaunt from her Burnaby base to EAT! Vancouver is nothing in comparison to the existential journey that this Russian-born chef took to realize her passion for the pastry arts. We’re looking forward to tasting the latest product of this unwavering passion!
Also from the Burnaby area, Christopher Bonzon will be bringing Chez Christophe’s award-winning yet quaint pastry philosophy to Vancouver for this special occasion. At his patisserie, a permanent menu of best-loved desserts is complimented by a seasonally-inspired rotating selection of offerings that have earned Bonzon high respects both internationally (including a recent Best Moulded Praline bonbon award at the World Chocolate Masters Canadian Final), as a beloved neighbourhood spot and as a growing dessert destination in BC.
The Whistler pastry scene will also be getting due representation at this year’s Pastry Day event, courtesy of Executive Pastry Chef Anup Chaubal, who has has been working in the kitchen of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler since 2015. Before planting himself in the mountain town, Chaubal accumulated two decades of worldly experience in the art of pastry, including especially memorable stints alongside some of the industry’s most prestigious international chefs. The Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s very own signature chocolate was crafted by Chaubal himself, after being afforded the opportunity to utilize the famous French chocolate factory, Cocao Barry.
Quebec born Dominique Fortin has built his pastry reputation in some incredible local venues, including the mountain backdropped fine dining restaurant Bearfoot Bistro and one of BC’s most remote island wilderness resorts, Sonora Resort. In addition to his adventurous and varied choice of environments, Fortin is known for playfully pushing the boundaries of flavour, texture and presentation in his desserts.
Vancouver-based Eleanor Chow’s pastry career spans two decades and several of the city’s beloved restaurants, such as Chambar, Cafe Medina, the Dirty Apron, Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar and, since 2012, her own cafe and bakery, Cadeaux. However she packages it, Chow’s Pastry Day dessert is sure to be a gift for the senses.
A fateful scheduling error led Newfoundland-born Mark Burton from his humble beginnings as a line cook in a small inn and along a circuitous career path as pastry chef at in high end hotel restaurants in Alberta and Vancouver. In his current position as Executive Pastry Chef at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Burton’s long-winding love for the pastry arts is coupled with a dedication to pass on his deliciously digestible knowledge to future generations of chefs.
Danny Capadouca will also be breaking from his role as teacher to participate as the sole chef from the Okanagan region at this year’s Pastry Day event. Before becoming the Pastry Arts Instructor at Okanagan College, the born Vancouverite built up his personal education firstly by spending his formative years in restaurants, and eventually completing a formal culinary education split between his hometown – at VCC’s Culinary School, followed by an apprenticeship at Chocolate Arts – and abroad in France.
True chocolate lovers will relish the inclusion of none other than the Chocolate Arts honcho himself, Greg Hook, on this year’s roster of pastry talent. Conceived in 1989, Hook’s chocolate shop first opened its doors in Kitsilano in 1992. A full thirty years after its inception, the expanded West 3rd location continues to be a Vancouver mainstay, utilizing only premium European chocolate and the best local, organic ingredients.
Although he completed his first education with a Bachelor’s Degree in Genetic Engineering, chef Peter Fong was seemingly genetically predisposed to the pastry arts – a fact that became undeniable during a post-graduation backpacking trip around Europe. Newly impassioned, Fong became a student once again, this time at the Dubrulle International Hotel and Culinary Institute. An intensive apprenticeship ensued, equipping Fong with the skills that would ultimately lead to the opening of his own Yaletown pastry shop, Ganache Pâtisserie, which has been internationally commended for its creative chocolate and wedding cake creations.
An internationally educated second-generation Squamish chocolatier, Kevin Young’s influences are showcased in the unequivocal artistry and refined wildness of the chocolate selection being produced at Xoco West Coast Chocolates, which he co-owns with his mother. Young’s positive attitude and belief in creativity and individuality are the secret ingredients that make his chocolates especially delicious.
Descended from multiple generations of pâtissiers, German-born and world renown pastry chef Thomas Haas’ titular Vancouver cafes and line of confections have become synonymous with fine, handmade chocolate. In addition to contributing to the Grand Tasting event, the prolific Haas will also be keeping busy imparting his knowledge at the Expert Tasting Panel and Exclusive Demo events. In anticipation of his involvement, we posed Haas with a handful of our most pertinent pastry-focussed questions during a brief interview which you can read below.
Rounding out the list of chefs is the Vancouver Club’s very own Ned Bell. This multitalented chef’s career has encompassed various avenues of culinary success across Canada. Some notable career highlights to date include working in the kitchens of legendary local restaurants like Le Crocodile, Lumiere and YEW; as the restaurant owner of Cabana Grille in Kelowna; on television as the long-running host of Cook Like a Chef on Food Network Canada; and advocating for sustainable seafood practice as the founder of Chefs for Oceans.
Q &A WITH THOMAS HAAS
Tell us the story that inspired your creation for EAT! Pastry Day. Our creation we will feature is called BLAK, a new line of dark chocolate product to emphazise the simplicity and importance of pure dark chocolate. No artificial food colors and fake designs which dominate our industry thru social media channels nowadays. We forget why we do what we do. If visuals take precedence over taste…and that is a dangerous trend.
What is your secret underrated or unexpected ingredient? Fleur de sel…or a subtle salt in almost all of our recipes. It enhances almost everything sweet.
If you had to recommend only one kitchen technique for aspiring/at home pastry chefs to master, what would it be and why? Understanding the temperatures of ingredients before mixing them. Temperatures will determine the air intake, lightness and emulsification necessary to get the best results.
What is the best investment for at-home bakers who want to take their pastry game up a notch? A good blender/mixer and a thermomix.
Beyond making something that tastes good, what sort of experience do you hope to create for the people tasting your desserts? The visual HAS to refer and respond to the taste of the product. It has to be pleasing and intriguing.