• RECIPES: Haidee Hart’s Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

    Recipe | Haidee Hart · Curator | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Stowel Lake Farm · Gear | Leica

    What would’ve been a muse to a renaissance painter versed in natures mortes, is now Haidee’s salacious sacrifice to the Gods of Cake. And as far as dessert dalliances go, what humankind have known as “cake” just doesn’t get more velvety than this. It fashions a fragile façade—a timid, meringue shell that fissures with a silent whisper—yet beneath the cracks, there’s a raging tempest of merciless, unctuous chocolate, that eats like the lovechild of a bodacious brownie, and a meritorious mousse cake. It has, what the vanguards of pastry would call, “éclat”. Pastry is chemistry, but we are not chemists. And though you should follow Haidee’s maxims with a careful eye, you should also make it your own—be it with a festoon of gleaming berries, or a virgin olive oil infused with the tears of dessert fiends. Be our guest, pander to your sweet-tooth.

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  • RECIPES: Kieran Fanning’s Toronto Cocktail

    Recipe | Kieran Fanning · Curator | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Pepino’s Spaghetti House · Gear | Leica

    Mr. Fanning’s sure to fracture froideur [via lascivious libation] with his take on The Toronto Cocktail. The lovechild of sweet & spicy rye and [nostrum-typecast] fernet—and effectively, a Fernet Manhattan—it’s the liquid conduit for beguiling botanicals that dazzle fast, and drink slow. Kieran prefers making his with Rittenhouse Rye, and a bit more than the recipe calls for in Fernet-Branca. But Kieran’s an easy-going guy, and we live in a cocktail democracy, so feel free to unleash these ardent aromas at your own peril. Make it nice, and chill your fucking cocktail glass. Please enjoy responsibly.

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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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  • 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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  • CRIMSON CANTEEN ELECTRIFIES CHINATOWN

    Menu | Matt-Murtagh-Wu & Chef David Wu · Curators | Hakan Burcuoğlu & Linda Gallo · Venue | Rhinofish Noodle Bar · Gear | Leica

    That’s a wrap on Part I of CRIMSON CANTEEN—a Taiwanese night-market inspired pop-up food phenomenon that delivered a galvanizing cornucopia of lascivious nourishment to over 70 patrons at saporous Chinatown fixture, Rhinofish Noodle Bar. The evening harnessed the talents of two wondrous wunderkinds—The Wu Brothers—Vancouver’s Dumpling King Matt Murtagh-Wu, and Taiwanese Chef David Wu. Having sworn allegiance to the amicably arcane [and dangerously concupiscent] cuisine of Taiwan, CRIMSON CANTEEN manifested itself as an evening of gluttonous [and drunken] revelling.

    Just like all Curatorialist events, CRIMSON CANTEEN 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 Chefs Andrew Song, Eric Cheng and Bobby Nunez of Coastal Cocktails, alongside Rhinofish Noodle Bar’s [life-saving] incumbent staff, comprised of Adam Schmidt, Alicia Zeng, Kendra Herrin, Eric Chen and the perennially youthful spirit, Mrs. Pin Lin. Also, a special thanks to Jovia Pang for her perplexingly flavourful, silky smooth ice-cream that cold-kissed the fat laden tongues of our loyal patrons.

    We’ll continue to gild the lily, and satisfy hungry minds. Tune in for the next pop-up food phenomenon in April.

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  • RECIPES: Taiwanese 3-Cup Chicken [San Bei Ji – 三杯雞 ]

    Recipe | David Wu · Curator | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Rhinofish Noodle Bar · Gear | Leica

    Its provenance rooted in the Southeastern Chinese province of Jiangxi, the eponymous three-cup chicken is a humble, yet beloved, staple of Taiwanese cuisine, and one of her top epicurean exports. Traditionally cooked in earthenware, where no two renditions are ever quite the same, it’s the textbook definition of a one-pot wonder, an embodiment of savoury & sweet, and a fine exemplar of what umami is, and ought to be. The method or preparation borders split-personality, and hence requires focus and prowess, necessitating on the onset face-melting heat to properly char—almost burn—the chicken, followed by its coup de grâce—a low-and-slow simmer that transforms night into day, manifesting the sweet out of the [otherwise] sordid.

    So, if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the fucking chicken. You’ve been warned.

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  • RECIPES: Hong Kong TV Dinner

    Recipe | Matt Murtagh-Wu · Curator | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Matt’s Kitchen · Gear | Leica

    Necessity is the mother of deliciousness, said Anthony Bourdain back in 2015, downing slabs of SPAM from a gigantic bowl of piping hot budae jigaean overzealous Korean stew of post-war provenance just south of sacrilegein a makeshift army tent prepared by an ebullient podcaster. This blithe segment, ostensibly, became responsible for bringing the venerable SPAM back into our culinary consciousness, and of course, carnage ensued.

    For obvious reasons, Hong Kong has also had its cuisine heavily influenced by [mainly pork] canned-meat products from the West. An ode to Hong Kong and his father’s heritage, this dish warrants strict attention [if not sympathy] as its stupidly simple flavour profile is, in every sense of the word, ambrosial. And that’s trying it without the SPAM. You gotta try it for yourself to see if the hype is real—Matt’s words, not mine.

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  • RECIPES: Shanghai Fried Rice

    Recipe | Matt Murtagh-Wu · Curator | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Matt’s Kitchen · Gear | Leica

    It’s hard to refrain from platitudes with anything fried rice. But this particular recipe comes straight from the heart—an homage, and repurposing, of the ubiquitous bounties from Zhejiang and Jiangsu—the Chinese provinces where Matt’s grandfather and grandmother hail from, respectively. Humble in its complexion, this reverent rendition’s claim to fame is the addition of Jinhua ham—salt-cured hind legs of the venerable “two ends black” pork variety, traditionally used as a smoky supercharger for stocks, stews and braises all over mainland China. Added melodies arrive in the form of sweet aromatics, and modestly mild bok choy that scintillate in the mix like fine jade. And the silky strands of unctuous, runny egg? Edible deus ex machina.
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  • RECIPES: Taiwanese Pickles

    Recipe | Matt Murtagh-Wu · Curator | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Matt’s Kitchen · Gear | Leica

    Agood pickle should always be simple. Any other way would seem redundant, contrary to its disposition; rather ironically, constituting a pickle. Wondrous cultures, dating back to marvellous Mesopotamia, have recoursed to pickling as an ingenious means of preserving vegetables, meats, eggs and fruit. Today’s zeitgeist witnesses a celebration [dare we say, a renaissance] of pickles for its ancillary purposes—its flavour, texture, and in certain cases, the resulting vibrancy in colour.

    Matt’s Taiwanese rendition is the perfect palette cleanser for any [rich in fat] meal—briny, crunchy goodness that also delivers a lashing hit of heat to the drunken tongue. We’d champion anyone who attempts this delicious, no frills recipe, as doing so would result in a hat tip to the venerable tradition of keeping things alive.

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