Bri­tish Columbia

DINE and Destinations - - DRINK -

Most of the pop­u­la­tion lives on the coast and that's only a sliver of the prov­ince. Sal­mon is the de­fin­i­tive iconic west coast in­gre­di­ent. It's all about sal­mon: sock­eye, pink, chum, Coho, Chi­nook, steel­head, cut­throat, and rain­bow trout. The style of cook­ing in the Pa­cific North­west usu­ally in­volves smok­ing or grilling with cedar, but there is also can­died sal­mon and sal­mon jerky. Tra­di­tional dishes range from steamed clams, and fish and chips, to high­light­ing sea­sonal va­ri­eties like spot prawn. Fish and seafood pro­lif­er­ate the menus: big beach oys­ters, Dun­geness crab, Qualicum Bay scal­lops, Manila clams, steam­ing scal­lops, urchins and Al­ba­core tuna. Sea­weed is also gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity with chefs.

Pa­cific North­west cui­sine also fac­tors in the Pa­cific Rim. (The very first Chi­nese buf­fet orig­i­nated in Van­cou­ver.) There are large Asian and In­dian in­flu­ences with re­spect to in­gre­di­ents and aes­thet­ics. “We have the cre­ative free­dom to in­cor­po­rate in­ter­na­tional in­flu­ences, and still iden­tify it as Cana­dian cui­sine, be­cause they're all part of our cul­ture,” shares Chef War­ren Barr

(Wick­anin­nish Inn). He tells me that the main in­gre­di­ents are the ideals they have. His “surf ‘n' turf, con­nect­ing land and sea, is a steel­head sal­mon poached in hem­lock oil with chanterelles in a broth of beets and black­ber­ries.

For­ag­ing along the coast and in the for­est pro­vides sal­mon berries, thim­ble­ber­ries, and ev­er­green huck­le­ber­ries. BC fruits are ro­bust, and there is a bounty of vegeta­bles. BC'S wine in­dus­try in the Okana­gan Val­ley pro­duces high qual­ity fruit-for­ward wines that are sec­ond to none. Van­cou­ver restau­rants are con­scious of sus­tain­abil­ity, Na­tive and Asian in­flu­ences, and main­tain a vibrant and eclec­tic cock­tail cul­ture.

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