• 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.

    Read More

  • CRIMSON CANTEEN is Sold Out.

    Presented by indie magazine & hard-knock chefs collective The CuratorialistCRIMSON CANTEEN is a series of curated pop-up food events that aims to highlight—and in the process, transmogrify—the beguiling flavours of China in a convivial and electrifying atmosphere. Our inaugural edition features—and lionizes—the amicably arcane [and dangerously concupiscent] cuisine of Taiwan by harnessing the talents of two wunderkinds; Vancouver’s Dumpling King Matt Murtagh-Wu, and Taiwanese Chef David Wu of saporous Chinatown fixture, Rhinofish Noodle Bar.

    Swearing allegiance to Taiwan’s flavour-packed [Hello, xiǎochī!] night markets, CRIMSON CANTEEN promises to be a galvanizing addition to Vancouver’s pop-up food scene by way of serious food coma, if not sensory overload. So lend your ears to our cri de coeur, and careen to Chinatown.


  • 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.

    Read More

  • [C]hronicled. | MATT MURTAGH-WU

     … Of reverie and reality, and everything in between.

    Curator & Writer | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Matt’s Living Room · Gear | Leica

    I first became aware of Matt—and his self-professed moniker, “The Dumpling King”—in the final days of last summer. Notable outlets had given him prominent coverage, plugging the shit out of his all-you-can-eat dumpling pop-ups. I’d corroborated from the grapevine that his events were a success—lines around the block, no dumpling left behind. It was official—the devotees of dim sum had finally bestowed upon him their blessed anointment. But I’ve never been one for sacrosanct.

    “Fuck him, and his plastic throne” I remember thinking to myself. Especially after watching him continuously thumb-pick his nose, flaunt his possessions, and piss off his girlfriend by secretly filming her around the house, much to her tired, deadpan response—“Matt. Stop”. Stop—I probably should have [but glad I didn’t]. But in the words of Simon Sinek—the charismatic speaker who ostensibly cracked the code on millennials—I was simply, “addicted”. How could my bête noire beguile me this quickly?

    Read More

  • 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.
    Read More

  • 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.

    Read More

  • HardBoiled delivers breakfast blasphemy

    Menu | Chefs Deniz Tarakçıoğlu & Brad Miller · Curators | Hakan Burcuoğlu & Linda Gallo · Venue | Red Wagon Café · Gear | Leica

    That’s a wrap on HardBoiled—a [blasphemous] breakfast-for-dinner event that delivered an electrifying smorgasbord of Mediterranean-inspired breakfast dishes to 80+ patrons, over two nights, at East Vancouver’s beloved diner, Red Wagon Café. The whimsical birth-child of Vancouver’s singular breakfast titans Deniz Tarakcioglu and Brad Miller, HardBoiled patrons revelled in all things breakfast, from Chef Deniz’ eggs & dumplings [a spin on the Turkish sensation, Çilbir] to Chef Miller’s fluffy pancakes canvassed in berry compote, oozing with flambéed butter.

    HardBoiled featured two different crews of chefs and front-of-house staff [Claire Livia Lassam, Greg Dilabio, Elmark Andres, Liz, Kareem Amadou, Thiago Alves, Michelle Kelm, Matt Murtagh-Wu & Eric Krawczy] alongside helmers Tarakcioglu and Miller, delivering patrons food-induced coma with multiple climaxes—a matrimony of hedonism and gluttony analogous to an orgy of Roman provenance. Salacious analogies aside, we’ll continue to gild the lily, and satisfy hungry minds. Tune in for the next pop-up food phenomenon in March.

    Read More

  • [C]hronicled. | DENIZ TARAKCIOGLU

     … Some sort of addiction.

    Curator & Writer | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Chambar · Gear | Leica

    He sits across from me, clad in vintage plaid—disheveled hair, a little twitchy, pushing up the frame of his signature leopard-print Ray-Bans. A hint of nervous nostalgia, and rightly so. This place, Vancouver’s coveted Belgian restaurant Chambar, was where he cut his teeth, and made his bones, after all.

    The pathos is palpable. A life spent cooking on the line—a curious compulsion, a cloistered, cathartic existence. People seldom realize the culprit—the source of addiction—is in fact the life itself. Reality becomes fiction, and nothing but the kitchen starts to suffice—that’s the sacrifice. And who better to indulge us than the best fucking breakfast cook west of Ontario.

    I typecast [and perhaps exaggerate] for effect, but Deniz is so much more—a polyglot of culinary lingua franca. A firebrand—a mad scientist—who holds an astonishing pedigree of pastiche, a perennial passion for food and feeding people, and a profound reverence for the industry and everyone in it. I’m partial, of course—in fact, full on nepotist. He’s a friend, a partner, and a prolific contributor to this platform. But one thing he’s never been, is safe.

    And here, we’re sort of allergic to safe. Start getting used to delving deep into the lives of fiercely talented, non-conformist brains with a “fuck you very much” kind of an attitude. It’s revelatory, bonafide Curatorialist, and it’s fucking [C]hronicled.

    Read More

  • RECIPES: Eggs & Dumplings

    Recipe | Chef Deniz Tarakçıoğlu · Curator | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Commissary Connect · Gear | Leica

    The apotheosis of egg-matrimony—Çilbir—is a ubiquitous staple of Turkish provenance that has taken the world by heart, tongue and soul. Poached eggs laid to rest on a bed of velvety yoghurt [spiked with garlic], topped with generous drizzles of pepper-paste laced beurre noisette—its signature coup de grâce. It’s rich, unctuous, refined, and yet so simple. No wonder it’s even got Nigella tickled pink. It’s undeniable—Turkey’s gift to the breakfast [and brunch] gods is now more than mainstream. And in bigger news, it’s the headliner of our upcoming pop-up, HardBoiled.

    Chef Deniz’ rendition [as always] mercilessly strips this classic from its humble beginnings, resulting in a playful loss of its innocence. Incorporating yet another Turkish favourite—Manti—hand-folded purses [dead ringers for fagottini] that eloquently veil lashing hot merguez—the result is blasphemous harmony that more than gilds the lily.

    Read More

  • Soul Kitchen Surrender

    Menu | Chef Deniz Tarakçıoğlu · Curators | Hakan Burcuoğlu & Linda Gallo · Venue | Café Medina · Gear | Leica

    Our second pop-up food phenomenon Soul Kitchen! took place at Vancouver’s renowned restaurant Café Medina.  Inquisitive guests had plenty of chances to stuff a myriad of tapas, freshly baked bread, plant-based goodness as well as a fragrant paella [à la minute, and the size of a little human] down their gobs. A mystifying Mediterranean medley has induced critical cri de cœur—was this really too much of a good thing? Winter’s looking up, is all we’ll say. Satisfaction guaranteed, or your instagram likes back.
    Read More