World chef exchange aims for more than usual Dine Out Vancouver fare
Chefs flying in from Sydney, London, Düsseldorf and San Diego
It may be the city's largest food festival, but Dine Out Vancouver is setting its sights on the international stage, and flying chefs in from around the world in hopes they will spread the message about Vancouver's thriving culinary scene.
"We don't have a lot of recognition around the world for what it is that we do have to offer," says Lucas Pavan, who manages the festival.
"We have a number of different multicultural influences that all blend together to create something that's very unique in the world."
Typically, Dine Out Vancouver is known as the time of year when some of the city's most popular restaurants offer three-course value menus.
But after more than a decade, the festival is aiming for more.
'It's completely different'
This year, chefs are arriving from London, Sydney, Düsseldorf, San Diego, and Montreal as part of the world chef exchange.
Among them is Four Seasons Sydney executive chef Francesco Mannelli, who is in Canada for the first time.
He's set to cook with executive chef Edgar Kano at Vancouver's Four Seasons Hotel on Wednesday night.
Ahead of their collaboration dinner, the two men — both avid fisherman — eagerly took a walk through Granville Island's markets so Mannelli could get a better understanding of local seafood.
"I mean you can actually leave us here and come back tomorrow, we'll not be bored," said Kano with a laugh.
He pointed out Canadian specialities like B.C. Dungeness crab and Arctic Char from the Yukon to Mannelli, who had never seen the fish before.
"Definitely different kind of a water," said Mannelli, referring to the cool temperatures. "The fish we can find here ... it's completely different."
Despite the differences, he also noted similarities between the two cities.
"It's a mix of cultures as well here with the Asian and a bit of a European ... good people, it's fantastic!"
The meld of influences will be realized on the dinner plate during the pair's dinner event.
Their collective menu promises a range of items, from a smoked and lightly seared hamachi tataki to risotto with black winter truffles.
After learning about just some of what Vancouver has to offer, Mannelli says he's already hoping to come back for fishing in the spring.