The Globe and Mail (Alberta Edition) - - NEWS - lwa­ver­man@globe­and­ LUCY WAVERMAN

Taste dishes from some of Van­cou­ver’s best restau­rants with these recipes straight from the West Coast.

These recipes recre­ate dishes from some of Van­cou­ver’s tasti­est restau­rants, as well as a gluten-free clafouti

Note to trend spot­ters: I just got back from a re­cent trip to the West Coast, where burnt flavours were abun­dant on menus. I en­joyed some very fine meals and was able to bring home some recipes from my favourite es­tab­lish­ments.

Those in­clude Van­cou­ver’s Kissa Tanto, which spe­cial­izes in Ja­pane­se­and Ital­ian-in­spired cook­ing and has won nu­mer­ous awards. Right­fully so, as chef Joel Watan­abe cooks with both heart and in­tel­li­gence, pro­duc­ing tan­ta­liz­ing dishes in the process.

I whee­dled out of him his out­stand­ing recipe for carne cruda, which is es­sen­tially a beef tartare. The gnoc­chi frito is easy to do and stays firm for a few days, but skip it if you’re so in­clined. Find­ing pick­led Sichuan pep­per­corns proved to be dif­fi­cult, so I used Chi­nese ones tossed in a lit­tle rice vine­gar and then drained.

Some of Van­cou­ver’s tasti­est food also comes courtesy of Os­te­ria Savio Volpe, which serves larger Ital­ian shar­ing plates, fam­ily style. Chef Mark Per­rier has a sure hand in the kitchen and his bagna cauda with veg­eta­bles comes with dip that I could drink. I’m fea­tur­ing his sim­ple but de­li­cious kale salad, which will soon be your new favourite starter.

Last but not least was Stone­house, a won­der­ful B & B on Salt Spring Is­land, where pro­pri­etor Michael Cough­lin se­duces with warm hos­pi­tal­ity and stand­out bak­ing. Cough­lin’s has celiac dis­ease and so only does gluten-free bak­ing, which I did not re­al­ize un­til he told me on the last day of our visit.

His se­cret is Cup4Cup flour, orig­i­nally de­vel­oped by Thomas Keller of French Laun­dry, which you can sub into most reg­u­lar recipes with­out an is­sue. He shared his recipe for clafouti, which is one of the best I have ever had and is gluten-free: He served it for break­fast, but here I of­fer it as an easy dessert. Change the fruit at will.


› Serves 2 (dou­bles eas­ily)

3 oz beef ten­der­loin

1 tbsp burnt soy sauce (recipe fol­lows)

1 tbsp high qual­ity ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

1⁄2 Asian pear, finely diced 1⁄2 tsp Arima san­sho-pick­led Ja­panese pep­per­corns, or Chi­nese Sichuan pep­per­corns

1 radish, thinly sliced

1⁄4 cup finely grated Parmi­giano Reg­giano

1⁄4 cup sun­flower sprouts

Cut meat into cubes about 4 mm by 4 mm. Mix with burnt soy, olive oil and salt to taste. Make a flat­tish mound on a plate roughly like a ham­burger. Cut pear into small cubes. Gar­nish meat with Asian pear, pep­per­corns, thinly sliced radish, finely grated fresh Parmi­giano Reg­giano and sprouts. Serve with gnoc­chi frito.

Burnt soy sauce: › Makes 1 ⁄2 cup

1⁄2 cup Ja­panese soy sauce 3 green onions

Trim root ends of green onions. Broil on a foil-lined bak­ing sheet un­til com­pletely charred, about eight min­utes, flip­ping mid­way. Blend soy sauce and charred green onions un­til com­pletely smooth. Gnoc­chi frito: › Makes about 24 gnoc­chi frito 1⁄3 cup luke­warm wa­ter 1 tsp in­stant yeast

1⁄2 tsp sugar

12⁄3 cup all-pur­pose flour

3 tbsp ren­dered beef fat, duck fat or ba­con fat, chilled

1⁄4 tsp salt

Veg­etable oil for fry­ing

Add yeast and sugar to wa­ter. Let sit un­til foam­ing, about five min­utes. Com­bine flour, fat and salt in a food pro­ces­sor and pulse to­gether. Add wa­ter into mix­ture slowly un­til a dough forms. Trans­fer to a counter, then knead to­gether a few times. Place ball in lightly oiled bowl and cover with plas­tic wrap. Let rise un­til dou­bled in bulk about 11⁄2 hours.

Heat oil to a depth of 11⁄2 inches in a small wok or pot. Heat un­til about 350 F – a cube of bread will brown in 20 sec­onds. Roll dough on a floured board to 1⁄8-inch thick­ness and cut into two-inch squares. Fry un­til golden, puffed and crisp, about three to four min­utes, turn­ing oc­ca­sion­ally for an even colour.


4 packed cups di­nosaur kale leaves 2 tbsp toasted bread­crumbs

2 tbsp grated pecorino cheese

Lemon pep­pery dress­ing:

1 small clove gar­lic, finely chopped 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1⁄2 cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pep­per


cup toasted bread­crumbs cup grated pecorino cheese

Thinly slice kale leaves. Whisk to­gether gar­lic, lemon juice and olive oil. Sea­son well with salt and pep­per.

Com­bine bread­crumbs, cheese and dress­ing. Toss with kale, mas­sag­ing it a bit into the leaves.

Gar­nish with more bread­crumbs and pecorino.


› Serves 6 to 8

But­ter to grease pan Gluten-free flour to coat pan 3 cups fresh berries

1 cup chopped wal­nuts, op­tional 1 cup whip­ping cream

1⁄2 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 tbsp vanilla ex­tract 1⁄2 cup gluten-free flour 1⁄2 tsp bak­ing pow­der 1⁄2 tsp salt

Mint leaves for gar­nish, op­tional

Pre­heat oven to 375 F. Coat a 10-inch cake pan or skil­let with but­ter, then dust with flour. Layer berries or fruit across base of pan. Scat­ter over wal­nuts.

Whisk to­gether cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a mix­ing bowl un­til smooth.

Com­bine flour, bak­ing pow­der and salt then whisk into cream mix­ture un­til com­bined. Pour the mix­ture over the fruit. Place in the mid­dle of the oven and bake for 35 min­utes un­til golden and puffy.

Cool on a wire rack for a few min­utes while the top set­tles. Serve warm slices gar­nished with ex­tra fruit and mint leaves.


From top, Joel Watan­abe’s carne cruda, Mark Per­rier’s kale salad and Michael Cough­lin’s clafouti are some of the de­li­cious trend-set­ting dishes to be had in Bri­tish Columbia.

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