• 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.

    Read More

  • Chef’Stock | DAVID WU

     … breaking the fourth wall.

    Curator & Writer | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Rhinofish Noodle Bar · Gear | Leica

    A history suspended in neon-illusion, and an unfounded sense of crimson macabre. I’m partial to these parts—I’ve worked, eaten and [momentarily] relapsed here. And as a [recovering] cynic who harbours a heart of darkness, as well as a soft-side for anything kooky, I’ll be brazen—Chinatown will always be a haven, my safe space.

    Fuck the boilerplate, Chinatown doesn’t need your sympathy. She won’t stand for it—still the most flavour-packed, booze-laden, and beguiling neighbourhood Vancouver has to offer. The nouvelle vague is here, and this time around, they’re doing the razing. Down comes the fourth wall, and up go your illusions. And as far as metaphors go, David’s center stage, staring us straight in the eyes.

    If you decide to glance back, you may have to confront a reality disallowing of daydreaming. The father of a newborn daughter—not to mention a restaurant in its infancy, a love letter to his Taiwanese heritage—David’s journey, in every sense of the word, has been arduous, and full of sustained attrition. Though he’s nursed the convalescence, and reached a point where he’s reaping the fruits of his toil, it hasn’t left him unscathed. But that kind of scar tissue makes bones, after all.

    We founded Chef’Stock with that in mind—an echo chamber for culinary wax poetic, and a sanctuary where chefs get to be human, as opposed to demigods. So here’s to breaking more walls, and to the man of the hour whose eyes do the talking.

    Read More