Chef’Stock | Island Living

 … serenity now.

Curator & Writer | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Bodega Ridge · Gear | Leica

Call me enfant terrible, for I have sinned—veering off the beaten path, into the wilderness, navigating the cold waters and meandering roads of British Columbia’s Gulf Islands—in particular the Island of Galiano. I’m partial to cement, cynics and suicidal cab drivers—bonafide urbanite—so it’s always been challenging, if not an utter botheration, to wholeheartedly embrace the serenity of a supposed, idyllic, wonderland. But here I lay, sunken into a chesterfield, penning a dispatch from yonder, my keyboard strokes deafened by ribitting, virile frogs. I’ve long deserved my comeuppance, and this, my friends, became my Falstaffian deliverance.

On promised land I stand—Galiano’s pride and joy, the infamous Bodega Ridge—lingering like a peeping Tom, inside a modest country kitchen housing so much talent, we were lucky the roof didn’t blow. What ever happened to that notion of diminishing returns? And from where stems this effervescent omnipresence of vivacity, élan and grace? Completely self-effacing. No hubris, no nemesis. As my mind eludes me in contemplation; a collective burst of laughter—they’re children again, and this is their playground. There’s really no other answer; It must be this place—this beguiling terroir. It takes a village to sever one’s ties to the manmade, and my allegiances have been assuaged, if not broken completely, by the sole virtue of togetherness.

Even with that degree of loaded subtext, the food, as always, emerged victorious. The culinary phenoms who partook in the festivities of May 12th honoured the bounties of these parts, from fresh caught fish to foraged flowers from the kitchen’s gardens, paying homage to the land, and the folk—those special ingredients that make this place the singular, and majestic, destination that it is.

The Curatorialist would like to extend heartfelt thanks to helmers Jesse Keefer and Chef Deniz Tarakcioglu [Bodega Ridge] for organizing this lovely affair, as well as Chef Joël Watanabe [Kissa Tanto/Bao Bei], Chef Alex Ploughman [Joey Restaurants Group], Chef Graham Marceau [Corduroy Pie Co./ Say Hey], the graceful duo of Haidee Hart and Amrei Hunter [Stowel Lake Farm], as well as Elmark Andres [The Dirty Apron] for their flavours, and brawn. And we’d be remiss not to mention the utterly attentive, hospitable staff of Bodega Ridge who made us feel so welcome, comprised of Nicole Hornsberger, Angie Allen, Hilary Jones, Jeylan Bishop and Paige Dudar.

So here’s to many more debaucherous years, Bodega Ridge. Happy 15th from us to you. And I’ll be back, surely, to show you what it feels like to steal a mad man’s heart.

Sunshine Cabin at Bodega Ridge.

Haidee Hart of Stowel Lake Farm plates her First Harvest Beets, with fresh ricotta and Saltspring fleur de sel.

Amrei Hunter of Stowel Lake Farm forages in the kitchen’s gardens.

Chef Joël Watanabe of Kissa Tanto.

Amrei and Haidee of Stowel Lake Farm.

Haidee preps her Savoury Rhubarb Compote.

Haidee’s Savoury Rhubarb Compote with fresh ricotta, and wild thyme on fresh baked Sourdough.

Haidee’s roasted Hakuri turnips and radishes with homemade miso butter.

Joël & Haidee.

Chef Alex Ploughman.

Charred Pacific octopus.

Charred Octopus with romesco sauce, spring onions and roasted peppers.

Chef Graham Marceau seasons beef tongue.

Graham plates his beef tongue pastrami with grilled salsify, celery root purée.

Graham’s grilled beef tongue pastrami sits on top of a guanciale/golden raisin/green peppercorn vinaigrette.

Paige.

Deniz & Tongue Co.

Blue Corner vs. Red Corner.

Elmark Andres.

Persian saffron water to the rescue.

Joël, Deniz, Alex.

Alex entertains on the job.

Good cholesterol.

The House Spritz.

Family.

Haidee’s Spring Butter.

The kitchen gardens.

Stuffed morelles.

Spicy lentil spread with endive.

The voracious guests.

Summer Heirloom Salad with roasted pistachios and wild arugula.

Rhubarb Clafoutis.

Joël & Deniz.

Nicole.

A Ridge with a view.

Crushed.

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