PHOTOS // Ten Years Ago, Inside the Last Day of Training and First Night of Service at L’Abattoir

For this week’s edition of Throwback Thursday we go back exactly ten years to the controlled mayhem that was the launch of one of Vancouver’s best restaurants, L’Abattoir.

I was able to get these behind-the-scenes shots because I’d been documenting the restaurant’s construction for months and participating in the front of house training process. That first night (and for many nights to follow) I would work the pass as an expo, running plates out to tables and taking a few photos here and there. Despite it being a full decade since the frantic day and night shown in the photos below, chef Lee Cooper’s West Coast-meets-French restaurant on Carrall Street still looks and feels as fresh as it did back then. Many of the faces have changed, but it remains as reliably excellent a place for drinks and dinner as ever.

  • Lee and Paul, pre-shift
  • Nadia, Kristopher and John during staff meal at L'Abattoir
  • David and Shaun tend the first guest of the night...
  • L'Abattoir
  • Hello Tanis!
  • One of Shaun's cocktails...
  • Romano readies to run...
  • Salad of chicken and lightly pickled cauliflower | Foie gras flavoured mayonnaise, lemon & parsley vinaigrette
  • A chanterelle mountain...
  • Chanterelles
  • The mushroom turnovers with pecorino fondue spiked with black truffle
  • My favourite: mushrooms in filo with chanterelles and morels, broccoli puree and a fondue of black truffle and pecorino...
  • Jack and Lee plating during the rush
  • L'Abattoir | Measuring 5 ounce pours...
  • Staff discussing the food...
  • Mostacciolo pasta with borlotti and housemade mozzarella
  • Lee tweezes garnish on a halibut plate
  • L'Abattoir
  • Confit of albacore tuna | Smoked pork fat, egg, crispy bits
  • L'Abattoir
  • Confit of albacore tuna | Smoked pork fat, egg, crispy bits
  • L'Abattoir
  • Roast flank steak and sweetbread | Potato fondants, charred onion, fried peppers
  • The line...
  • Roast flank steak and sweetbread | Potato fondants, charred onion, fried peppers
  • Post-shift debrief.
  • Lee takes it in...
  • Nadia having a taste...
  • Halibut with garlic sabayon
  • A light moment in the rush...
  • Chef Lee Cooper of L'Abattoir plating a halibut dish
  • Jack and Lee
  • Flank steak with sweetbreads and potato fondants
  • Salad of chicken and lightly pickled cauliflower | Foie gras flavoured mayonnaise, lemon & parsley vinaigrette
  • Jake walking toward the atrium
  • Exterior
  • L'Abattoir
  • Dungeness crab and chickpea toast | Toasted brioche, light crab custard, carrot pickles
  • Opening night at L'Abattoir
  • Cold side action...
  • Hillary's awesome chocolate yogurt
  • Lee and Paul, pre-shift

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