9th Annual “Passions” Fundraiser for Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation

The 9th Annual “Passions” Fundraiser for Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation

A Follow Me Foodie recap of the delicious effort which raised over $110,000.

Amazing! It was an amazing effort and success to raise money for such a good cause. On September 9th, 24 of Vancouver’s well established restaurants and chefs came together to support the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation. The evening was hosted at the Dr. Peter Centre in downtown Vancouver and attracted over 250 guests. It was a night of fine hors d’oeuvres and wine from some of Vancouver’s favourite upscale restaurants.

The Dr. Peter Centre is a cozy and quaint heritage home which provides care, programs and services to those living with AIDS. It operates as a 24-hour residence with palliative care and respite care services and it is the only one of its kind in Canada. Now that is something I’m very proud to say and celebrate. For more information see here.

Talented chefs, cooks and bartenders of Metro Vancouver with organizer Nathan Fong (middle). Photo Michel Chicoine

From the outside the Dr. Peter Centre may look small, but it was big enough to house all of these wonderful people who made the event possible. Having said that I need to take a step back and also add that the size of the house is much too small for its initiatives.

There are a limited 24 private suites (each with bathroom and shower, kitchenette, microwave, fridge, and television), but more than 24 people suffering from AIDS who deserve to be here. What the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation has done is turn a hospital into a comfortable home. Hopefully the centre will grow and expand as Passions continues with its 10th anniversary next year.

Photo Michel Chicoine

Since 2003 the event has raised $900,000 and I can’t wait until they break their goal of 1 million in 2013. A big congratulations to all those who participated and attended. It was an honour to be invited.

Two of Vancouver’s top bartenders – Lauren Mote from Kale & Nori and Danielle Tatarin (named 2012 Bartender of the Year from Vancouver Magazine) from The Keefer Bar. Photo Michel Chicoine.

Although the point of this post isn’t to dwell into the food, I really have to point out the restaurant selection. Well done. There were definitely some creme de la creme in there (some of my personal favourites) and I expected nothing less. Participating restaurants were invited by local food personality Nathan Fong – a man of good taste. It was one of those events where everything was carefully selected and the menu well thought out.

I had actually just come from Metro Vancouver’s Feast of Fields which featured over 60+ food and wine vendors and I have no idea how I made it through these 24 stations. Actually I do… because I’m me, but it was an intense day. The events were complete opposite in style, one farm to table and the other white tablecloth, but I did see a few restaurants which showed up at both events. An extra applause for those restaurants who supported both fundraisers and for feeding almost 1500+ people this day.

The 24 participating restaurants included: Beachside FornoCiboChambarCinCinCoastDiva at the MetForageFraîcheHapa IzakayaKale & NoriLa Belle AubergeLe GavrocheMaenamMarketMiku/MinamiMIX the BakeryOru at the Fairmont Pacific RimProvenceThe ObservatoryTojo’sUrban FareWest, and Yew. The Roaming Dragon food cart greeted guests upon arrival. Party-goers sipped wine from New Zealand Winegrowers and beer from R&B Brewing Co.

On the table:

Beachside Forno  Beachside Charcuterie Platter: Assortment of house made terrines, cured meats and pates and a selection of pickled vegetables and mustards

Chambar – Sweet Corn Budino: Steamed corn sponge pudding with bacon infused crème fraiche and fresh blueberries.

Chambar used to be my favourite restaurant, but I haven’t been in a couple years and I don’t have a current enough update for it. I’m also a fan of sister restaurant and local favourite brunch spot Cafe Medina (if I don’t have to wait too long which is rare). Their sandwich shop Dirty Apron Delicatessen is also very good.

Cibo Trattoria – House cured Bresaola, treviso, celery hearts, horseradish and vin cotto

CinCin – Crostini served with tuna, marinated salmon and black olive purée

Coast – Mango gazpacho served with Dungeness crab salad

Crave on Main – Butter poached Kumamoto oysters with espelette and bacon. To see my post on dining at Crave on Main – see here.

Diva at the Met – Grilled lobster, taramasalata and sunchoke. To see my post on dining at Diva at the Met – see here.

Forage – Hastings Urban Farm beet salad with goat cheese puree and hazelnut and black pepper praline.

I have to give some background on this restaurant because it hasn’t opened yet.

What was once O’Douls Restaurant at The Listel Hotel will now be new restaurant Forage which is set to open at the end of October. Chef Chris Whittaker plans to be the first hotel restaurant in Vancouver to not use any cans in the restaurant. All canning and preserving will be done in house and the philosophy is based on chef’s beliefs and morals. This is a restaurant I’m really looking forward to and he’s also a great chef.

“Forage stands for everything I care about. It represents what I was taught about food preparation both when I was growing up and over the course of my career in the kitchen. To me forage means that we no longer seek out excess and indulgence, but instead revisit a time when we respected the land and oceans and took only what we needed to survive. It is about being stewards of our land and true conservationists, as we conduct our business and live our lives. It is about goodness, about taking care of each other, and bringing together our community over good food.” — Chris Whittaker, Head Chef – Forage

Fraîche – Roasted fig torch homemade mozzarella. To see my post on dining at Fraîche – see here.

Hapa Izakaya – Hainanese Chicken Lettuce Wrap: Sous-vide sliced chicken breast topped with sundried tomato, crispy wonton chip and cilantro-honey aioli. To see my post on dining at Hapa Izakaya Yaletown – see here, Hapay Izakaya Kitsilano – see here, Hapa Izakaya Robson – see here.

Kale & Nori – Spicy Sloping Hills pork, peach and smokey pepper broth with crispy pickled leeks. They are also the creators of Bittered Sling which I featured in my 10 BC Ingredients & Products and my “Devil’s Dream” bourbon dinner at Market by Jean-Georges.

La Belle Auberge – Duck and blueberry terrine.

I’m very sad to say that this world class restaurant is now closed. This hidden gem was owned by one of (if not the) Godfather of Vancouver chefs, Bruno Marti. Chef Marti has retired from his restaurant, but not from the culinary scene (I doubt he’ll ever retire from it). See my posts for La Belle Auberge here, here, and here.

Le Gavroche – Passion fruit and Italian vanilla bean ice cream. Making passion fruit ice cream for “Passions” was a really nice touch. To see my post on dining at Le Gavroche- see here and here.

Le Gavroche – Free-range chicken Galantine with parsnip puree. To see my post on dining at Le Gavroche – see here and here.

Maenam – Oyster shooters with Nahm Jim sauce with cucumber and Galagal foam, Asian celery, lemongrass and Kaffir lime leaves

Market at the Shangri-la – Roasted rack of lamb, jalapéno and sweet pea puree, fall vegetable and balsamic vinegar. To see my post on dining at Market by Jean-Georges – see here and here.

Miku Restaurant’s famous aburi style (lightly seared) sushi.

Miku/Minami – Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi (pressed sockeye salmon with jalapéno and Miku sauce) and soy braised short rib with pickled wasabi and potato fondant. To see my post on dining at Miku Restaurant – see here. To see my post on dining at Minami Restaurant – see here.

The ladies at MIX Bakery. Photo from Michel Chicoine

MIX the Bakery  A mix of petite fours: Cheesecake, Chocolate Cupcake, Almost Fruit Tart, Chocolate Mousse, Creme Brulee, Lemon Tart, Peanut Butter Crunch Bar

The Observatory – Charcuterie of local suckling pig

Oru at the Fairmont Pacific Rim – House-made chorizo and San Marzano tomato cornets with Golden Ears Cheesecrafters’ Neufchatel. I included the Golden Ears Cheesecrafters’ brie in my 10 BC Ingredients & Products too.

Provence – Tarte a la Tomate Cerise

Roaming Dragon – Organic Ocean Togarashi tuna tataki sammy with Masago mayo, no-Unagi sauce and Japanese crackers.

I don’t have a post for Roaming Dragon yet, but I’ve tried their menu a few times and I like what they do.

Tojo’s – A selection of Tojo’s handmade sushi rolls.

He’s always moving, but at least I got Tojo with his eyes open this time. I had just seen him the previous night at Les Dames d’Escoffier’s JULIA IN PARIS Gala Dinner at Four Seasons Hotel and he moved in every group picture with the chefs. Whether it was getting ready to sit down, deciding to stand up, looking at his watch or the ground, closing his eyes or just looking away… I almost had a Tojo flip book. Even the group picture in this post his eyes are closed (I think) and I didn’t even take it! He makes me laugh. What a hoot.

Tojo’s – A selection of Tojo’s handmade sushi rolls.

Urban Fare – Wagyu carpaccio with shallots and spiced apple confit and cranberry, parmesan and hazelnut

West – Charred Cape Scott halibut ceviche, Storey Paradise tomato preserves with fresh basil. To see my post on dining at West – see here.

YEW Restaurant – Qualicum Bay scallops with brown butter & honey, sweet & salty Agassiz hazelnuts.

I tried this at the BC Blueberry Cocktail Competition event at the Four Seasons, but it was recreated and even better this time around. The aroma of toasted hazelnuts just filled the air in the room. It was better than any “white linen” air fresher… and I like the smell of white linens. I also like the smell of fried onions and garlic, chocolate chip cookies, bacon, vanilla, pizza, and truffles though. In general if a dish has a scent that lifts off the plate I tend to like it even more.

When the hardest thing to find is water… it’s a pretty solid event. Photo Michel Chicoine.

If you missed out this year, mark your calenders for the next! The special 10th anniversary “Passions” event is slated for Sunday, September 15, 2013.


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