• Chef's Scott Vivian and Nick Nutting #fortheloveofGAME
  • Blacktail Restaurant, Vancouver

Canadian Chefs Gather in YVR For the Love of Game

The plan sounded simple enough: connect five top chefs from across Canada to execute a six-course menu based on the best local game from each region and showcase it on one stage in Vancouver March 19. And while we’re at it, why not match each course with cocktails, craft beer and local wine pairings.

OK, so looking back maybe it wasn’t such a simple plan, but the cause was righteous; we’d donate a portion of ticket sales to Food Banks Canada, an organization that supports a network of over 500 food banks across the country. We’d also hang out, have a bunch of fun and maybe even crush a few beers.

The For The Love of Game dinner was the brainchild of Chef Geoff Rogers at Blacktail Restaurant in the heart of Vancouver’s Gastown district. An added twist was many of the chefs had never met face-to-face before.

What we didn’t count on was another storm grounding the East Coast contingent in the form of Fogo Island Inn’s Chef Murray McDonald. This winter has been one giant suckfest for everyone back east. It was pretty disappointing not to have Chef Murray as part of the festivities, but the show must go on!

With Murray on the sidelines, the crew was down to me representing Winebar, Container Bar and Brasserie (Calgary), Scott Vivian of Beast (Toronto); Nick Nutting of Wolf in the Fog (Tofino); and, of course, Geoff Rogers, representing Blacktail (Vancouver).

Geoff’s crew at Blacktail had our backs at every corner, and Wolf in the Fog bar manager Hailey Pasemko was in the house to dial up some killer cocktails.

Chef Scott also tapped some local Vancouver talent who jumped at the chance to fill in a course at the last minute.  Joining the crew were Blaine Robinson, West Restaurant and Gus Stieffenhofer-Brandson, lately of Perch.

The day before the dinner we got together to discuss emergency menu planning for the missing course. Dinner prep was flawless and there were more than enough hands to help out. Dinner was served and it was epic.

Check hashtag #fortheloveofGAME to see how the night unfolded.

These are some of the awesome plates we put up:

  • Boar + Venison Liver Terrine, Oyster Mayo, Fennel Slaw, Kimchi Puree – Scott (Beast Restaurant – Toronto)
  • Elk Leg Carpaccio, Sorrel + Pea Tendrils – Geoff (Blacktail – Vancouver)
  • Beer Brined Pheasant, Gnocchi 'carbonara' with Spot Prawns – Nick (Wolf in the Fog – Tofino)
  • Bison Cheek + Celery –  Blaine (West Restaurant, Vancouver) and Gus
  • Rabbit Sausage with Cassoulet + Mousse - Cam (Container Bar, Wine Bar Kensington, Brasserie – Calgary)
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