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By Chef Alessandro Fairmont Hotel Waterfront This soup has been a favorite with guests in ARC since Chef Alessandro put it on the menu – with its rich creamy texture it isn’t hard to see (or taste) why. The mushrooms are foraged on Vancouver Island while their culinary apprentices hand-picked the hazelnuts in nearby Agassiz. INGREDIENTS Portobello mushrooms (500g) White button mushrooms (1kg) Garlic (30g) Carrots (250g) White Onion (500g) Rosemary (2g) Tarragon (2g) Lemon juice Miso paste (60g) Dried Porcini mushroom, in hot water (60g) Vegetable stock (2L) Salt and pepper to taste Sherry vinegar (15mL) Butter (60g) Cream (250mL) Hazelnuts (200g) DIRECTIONS 1. Sweat the onions, carrots, garlic and the rosemary in the butter. 2. Once translucent, add the button and porcini mushrooms, and sweat for about 10 minutes. 3. Add the miso, vegetable stock, cream, porcini mushrooms and the soaking water. 4. Add the hazelnuts and simmer…

By Catherine Dunwoody From one of Vancouver’s favourite scenester hot spots, the Lobby Lounge, to gorgeous new and acclaimed Botanist bar and restaurant, this woman in the wine world is a true game-changer. Where were you born and where did you study to be a sommelier? Jill Spoor: [I was born in] Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. I studied in Vancouver at the Art Institute, studying the WSET program. What was your most rewarding experience in your earlier days? Spoor: Hosting a series of Italian wine seminars when we had our Italian wine bar here at the Fairmont Pacific Rim.  I absolutely love being on the educational side of wine and seminars, which allows me a platform in which to share my passion. Are you involved with any new projects or collaborations at the restaurant or elsewhere? Spoor: It’s been a very exciting year and I have had the honour of…

By Catherine Dunwoody One of downtown Vancouver’s favourite hotels now offers even more reasons to want to hang here. New restaurant and bar, Botanist, has taken over the former Oru restaurant, and has refreshed the palette of the Fairmont Pacific Rim. With four diverse spaces made up of a dining room, cocktail bar, glassed-in lab, garden, and a champagne lounge, Botanist wowed me from the get-go. Executive chef Hector Laguna, formerly of stints at both Toronto’s Susur Lee restaurant and at Vancouver’s Hawksworth, has created a botanical-centric menu that’s bursting off the page and plate with colour, texture and taste. Clearly dialed-in to what our region offers when it comes to its world-class culinary ingredients, organic regional produce, sustainably sourced meat and seafood – Chef Laguna has found his sweet spot running the show here at Botanist. Signature items include roasted root vegetables, perfect micro spring greens, and fresh seafood…