Galiano Island's Pilgrimme restaurant hosts pop-up dinner in Vancouver

Forget farm fresh: this restaurant's ingredients often come straight from the beach or the forest floor of Galiano Island.

Dinner is March 22 at 6:30 p.m. at Royal Dinette on Dunsmuir

Pilgrimme may look like a homey cabin in the woods of Galiano Island, but it's actually one of Canada's most talked-about restaurants. (Jesse McCleery)

One of the most talked-about restaurants in Canada, Galiano Island's Pilgrimme, is taking a ferry ride to Vancouver.

Chef Jesse McCleery is partnering up with Royal Dinette, a Vancouver restaurant, bringing his "forest to table" ethos to the big city for a onetime, pop-up dinner tonight.

McCleery told The Early Edition's Elaine Chau that cooking with that ethos — where menu items are almost all from Galiano Island, seasonal and often foraged — can be a challenge.

"[I] start pretty early in the day, usually in the kitchen on a Saturday at 8 a.m.," he said. "Anything from cleaning fish, butchering an animal, picking greens. Usually one of us in the kitchen will take a couple of hours to go down to the beach to look for certain things, depending on the time of year."

"It's a labour of love, but well worth it I think."

McCleery says making food this way — including bread made from scratch and folded every 30-45 minutes over six hours — is an effort in "just going back to the way things used to be done.

"We like going back to the way things used to be because things are moving at such a crazy pace these days and food is so heavily processed," he said.

He says the idea for making food the way he does at Pilgrimme came to him when he first moved to B.C. in 2000.

"I moved to Clayoquot Sound. There was an artist who lived in the bay in a floating house and she would, once a week, twice a week, come by with everything like sea plantains, sea cucumbers, sea lettuces, fur tips, stuff that I had never even thought of using growing up in Winnipeg," he said.

"That was a huge eye opener."

The Pilgrimme pop-up dinner is at Royal Dinette on Dunsmuir Street tonight.

With files from The Early Edition

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Hot 'forage to table' restaurant Pilgrimme holding pop-up dinner in Vancouver


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