I attended an Introduction to Indian Cuisine, A Cooking Class with Khalil Akhtar during Feast Tofino, BC. Khalil is a CBC journalist, food writer and culinary instructor in Victoria, BC. During this event he demonstrated a five course Indian inspired seafood lunch, and here is his recipe for Spot Prawns with Potato and Fruit Chaat.
It was the 2nd Annual Feast Tofino and I attended the West Coast Paella on the Beach featuring Vancouver Island Chef Kunal Ghose from Food Network’s Top Chef Canada Season 2. It was the biggest paella party featuring the biggest paella I’ve ever seen in my life. Forget long walks on the beach, I want paella on a beach!
I’m born and raised in Vancouver, BC and I haven’t been to Tofino until now. Taking into account all the travelling time, I ended up having about 48 hours to explore Tofino’s food scene. I felt like I had at least 5lbs of seafood a day and I was surprised I didn’t turn into a mermaid… or a salmon belly. So, how much seafood can I eat in 48 hours?
More often than not I get more excited about a meal and a restaurant when I’m actually in the moment, but in this case it was the opposite. It was a thought provoking meal I appreciated more looking back on it. I did not necessarily remember each course because of how amazing it tasted, but it was the consideration for a concept that had me intrigued.
I did not have that toe-curling moment, but the execution, technique and development of each dish was so intense and fine tuned it was admirable. I could almost taste the determination for a third star. The precision, knife skills, and attention to detail at benu I hold high in regard. It wasn’t necessary my favourite movie, but it was mindfully stimulating.
Some of the courses were very homestyle Asian dishes while others were a test of skill. An Asian chef could spend a lifetime mastering some of those dishes, so at times it was ambitious but nonetheless dedicated.
If you are familiar with Chinese cuisine, or even Asian cuisine, meaning you grew up eating food from these cultures, you will experience and relate to benu’s Tasting Menu differently. For me it was personal and at times nostalgic and even challenging. It started off with a modern play on Chinese appetizers and childhood snacks which I found the most fun.
This city is synonymous with food and good restaurants. People visit just to eat and it is truly a treat to be in San Francisco. It is home to some of America’s “Best Restaurants” and my main purpose for this trip was to judge Cathay Pacific’s Noodles of Asia contest, but I couldn’t help but to extend my stay…