The Goods from St. Lawrence
Vancouver, BC | Jean-Christophe (J-C) Poirier, chef and owner of Vancouver’s Michelin-starred St. Lawrence restaurant, is thrilled to announce the exciting return of Ashley Kurtz to the kitchen team. Kurtz will be taking over as Executive Chef, as well as joining J-C as a business partner.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ashley back to St. Lawrence especially as I’ve known for a long time that I want to partner with him,” said Poirier. “He was my Chef de Cuisine when we opened, and we had a shared vision for this concept since day one. Now, with more experience running kitchens, he’s at the right point in his career to take over this one.”
Fans of St. Lawrence needn’t worry: Poirier will still be in the restaurant for service every day and will work closely with Kurtz on menu development and creation of new dishes. The change will allow him to spend more time in the front of house with guests, as well as find balance at home with his family. Poirier added: “This is my baby; it’s contained my creative content for so long…I know I can trust Ashley with it.”
For Kurtz, who most recently led kitchens at Restaurant Vignette and Bar Susu, stepping into this role feels like coming home. “I can’t think of any other restaurant in the city I would want to work with. I have immense respect for J-C and consider him a mentor – not only for his great culinary skills but also his business acumen and ability to retain staff.” Kurtz fully intends to do the same, with the aim of truly educating and developing aspiring chefs.
Together, Poirier and Kurtz are planning the next chapter in the story of St. Lawrence. They’re expanding the description of the restaurant’s cuisine, from “Classic French” to “French” (and Québecois, of course); and beginning in October, the Michelin-starred restaurant will exclusively offer a seven-course Chef’s Tasting Menu. The menu will be updated regularly as they find inspiration in the seasons, but will always retain an element of surprise depending on what is available from the local farmers, fishers and producers they collaborate with. Guests will have the option of seeing the menu, but the recommendation from the pair of chefs is to put their faith in the kitchen and enjoy the courses as they come.
“A restaurant needs to evolve, change, and adapt. This style of menu is what I’ve always wanted to do, but the trust has to be there first,” said Poirier. “I think where we are now, we have it. The guests will inform us about preferences and allergies, and then we’ll create a story for them. It gives us so much more freedom, it flows very well, and it pushes all of us to get better every day.” Sommelier David Lawson will provide wine, cocktail and zero-proof pairing suggestions for an all-encompassing, elevated dining experience. A selection of St. Lawrence favourites will always be on the menu.
The first iteration of the new menu will be available October 3, with tickets on sale September 1 for $125 per person, plus tax and gratuity, at stlawrencerestaurant.com/reserve.