• KIERAN FANNING

     …on wanderlust, weltschmerz, and wine [grape juice]

    Curator & Writer | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Kieran’s Home & Pepino’s · Gear | Leica

    Life doesn’t come easy for a wunderkind, especially with the countenance of a 13-year old [his words, not mine]. And as is the case with most of his ilk, Kieran, too, vacillates the grey areas between weltschmerz and wanderlust, searching for his place in this world. Otherwise, he’s heedful—tending to thirst—pandering to the baser instincts of impish patrons with burgundy lips, and bubbly spirits. And though he brandishes an unassuming patina, he’s studious—and forever curious—holding a panoply of grape [and classical music] knowledge that is unassailable. This, coupled with his unorthodox ways, imparts a much-needed fleck of sunshine into two worlds that are otherwise rigid, and pantheistic. And for that, he’s deserved of any paean.

    Kieran also holds a dear place in our heart for being the inaugural subject in our newly founded exposé—SpeakEasy. Partial to the life stories of beguiling boozers & belligerent bon vivants, it’ll serve as an insightful, yet electric, echo chamber for those who hail from the world of hospitality. Expect no aphorisms, and assailants to the inviolable. Welcome to The Curatorialist, Mr. Kieran Fanning.

    & & &

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  • LEVANTINE LULLABY LULLS APPETITES

    Menu | Haitham El-Khatib & Fiona Hepher & Ivan Truong · Curators | Hakan Burcuoğlu & Linda Gallo · Venue | Aleph Eatery · Gear | Leica

    That’s a wrap on Levantine Lullaby—two nocturnes of salacious serenade that conjured up a heartwarming—and unapologetically vegetarian—feast inspired by the utterly indulgent, cross-pollinated flavours of the Eastern Mediterranean. From Haitham’s Fatteh & Fesenjan—a sultry concoction disguised as a majestic mash-up—to Ivan’s butter-laced, concupiscent halloumi grilled cheese, and Cheese Boats [shall we say Turkish Pide, with unctuous, bubbling yolks] the size of mini-humans, it was a focused dissertation in Levantine cookery, a masterclass in Middle Eastern hospitality, and two long nights of nostalgic longing—pure romantic revelry.

    Just like all Curatorialist events, Levantine Lullaby was made possible thanks to the collective toil of passionate and dedicated bon vivants who work in the food and creative industries. Our heartfelt thanks goes to helmers Haitham El-Khatib and Fiona Hepher, who delivered a seamless epicurean feast worthy of any paean. We also acknowledge the brains & brawn of Aleph Eatery‘s [cool as a cucumber] incumbent staff, comprised of Ivan Truong, Alex Durrant, Paul Takayesu as well as the magical musicians who serenaded our guests, and made Levantine Lullaby live up to its name—Farooq Al-Sajee and singer/songwriter Shadi Toloui-Wallace.

    East became Feast, sistren and brethren, and we’ll continue to gild the lily to satisfy your hungry minds. Tune in for our next pop-up food phenomenon in August.

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  • [C]hronicled. | MELANIE WITT

     … the anatomy of melancholia

    Curator & Writer | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Mel’s Home & Osteria Savio Volpe · Gear | Leica

    Akitchen clad in forlorn formica, and the poignant perfume of steamed, buttery cake. We’re here to lay bare—victims of vignettes—our visages cascaded by soft, intermittent shadows, of rustling drapes. Pilfered of light, and her alluring gaze, it’s scintillating shadowplay—an ocular tryst. How to posterize this instance… and to elucidate this camera obscura? I now realize it was never about the depiction, but rather the telling imprint of her subdued aversion—magnificent melancholia.

    And that magnificence transcends, evident in her sultry paramour—Vancouver’s boner-inducing, saporous fixture, Osteria Savio Volpe. But she’s no wistful protagonist in this autofiction; instead, she transmogrifies, stoically helming a brilliant brigade of burly, hardknock chefs. Though she’s poised in her passion, and deserved of any paean, there’s always that heart of darkness—that line she’ll never cross. And as is with most chefs cooking at this level, life outside the sanctuary can be one painted in abstractions.

    We’re partial to Mel here at The Curatorialist—she’s the first woman to grace our presence, and a herald for many, many more. So now that we’ve seen the light, let this Falstaffian foray be our aubade for ascension. Welcome, Chef Melanie Witt. [And our apologies for plastering 1000 posters of you around town. Video here.]

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  • RECIPES: Melanie Witt’s Muscovado Cake

    Recipe | Melanie Witt · Curator | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Melanie’s Home · Gear | Leica

    We’ve formed mawkish allegiances to the plasticized heroes that run the pastry cosmos, but Chef Melanie Witt’s Muscovado [aka Khandsari and/or Khand] Cake is anything but parvenu—in fact, its pervasive, buttery perfume is said to induce poignant pirouettes. So ash your cigarette, separate them yolks and put on your apron—it’s steamy cake time. It eats like an Aero, goes down like butter [literally] and smells of majestic molasses. This one’s not chemistry, it’s simple math. Steam it like it’s hot in 10 easy steps, including pirouette.

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  • RECIPES: Haitham’s Fatteh & Fesenjan Mash-Up

    Recipe | Haitham El-Khatib · Curator | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Aleph Eatery · Gear | Leica

    Haitham El-Khatib, helmer of Vancouver’s magnanimous Middle Eastern fixture—Aleph—is a perennial optimist with a penchant for epicurean confluence. Investing years of bonafide brain & brawn into a beguiling concept that’s neither stuffy, nor superfluous, Haitham, and his soft-spoken, ebullient wife Fiona, have persevered in conjuring up a warm-and-fuzzy concept that’s curiously convivial, unapologetically vegetarian, and cosmic-climax guaranteed.

    Their boutique concept which moonlights as the perfect gateway to Middle Eastern food and hospitality is deserved of any paean. So no wonder we’ve joined forces, to bring to you voracious Vancouverites an unparalleled feast that celebrates the Levant, and all things summer—Levantine Lullaby.

    Headlining Levantine Lullaby is Haitham’s Fatteh & Fasenjan—a sultry concoction disguised as a majestic mash-up, bringing into one bowl the best of both worlds—in this instance, Palestine and Iran. Having grown up devouring both dishes as a toddler, naturally, Haitham’s found solace, and his deliverance, in the act of conjoining the two. It’s silky, spicy, and crunchy as fuck. So buy your tickets to our upcoming feast, double-down, and get F’ed up.Eventbrite - LEVANTINE LULLABY

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