Okay, so I most certainly didn’t think that my second blog post would be about our housemade, indulgent & beautiful pastries and sweets. But we were unexpectedly blessed when Chef Dave Wilson walked through our doors. He has truly made our vision of incorporating the cafe element in the bistro a reality. Two months ago we had barley scratched the surface of desserts – and hadn’t even considered what we’d offer for pastries & baked goods! So when he said it was he forte, we were very happy to let him own it. And boy, did he bring his game.
Everyday he’s creating fresh masterpieces – buttery croissants, smoked salt fudge, raw vegan protein bars and these muffins stuffed with lemon curd that I seriously can’t get enough of. And on top of it all, his tarts are fit for the Queen. Seriously, he has made the lemon tart for Her Majesty. Twice.
I’ll post another blog soon talking about his Apple Tart Tatin separately because it deserves it’s own blog post – hand rolled puff pastry & all. In fact, I thought the dessert portion of our menu was worthy of the title ‘The Best Part’ because this is the kind of dessert that you wait the entire meal to get too. Like mom always said – ‘If you finish your dinner, you can have some dessert.’
And with that being said, I can assure you that finishing your meal in order to get to dessert isn’t going to be a problem. We couldn’t just go naming the whole menu the best part but the dishes coming out of the kitchen are absolutely on point. Chef Dave Hassell has helped next level the menu and deserves so much credit for bringing our vision to life. In fact, he’s been our ‘best part’ – owning the food program and confidently creating almost everything you can imagine from scratch while bringing a modest & genuine style of management to the kitchen.
During one of our first conversations, he confidently claimed that his hand cut steak fries were near perfect. Since then, every single person that has tried those crispy fries has raved; these are definitely what fries are meant to be like. In addition, he’s baking sourdough from a starter he created 4 years ago, deconstructing the whole lamb to utilize all parts, has fresh English Muffins puffing up on the hot griddle for benedicts, is rolling out fresh fettuccine noodles for pasta, experimenting with his own kombucha – he does it all.
Max & I sat down the other day to sample the Steak & Chips (dry aged for 3 weeks in house and now available on the menu.) I’ve never seen Max enjoy a meal so much – he was done his plate in 5 minutes, only stopping briefly for air and praise. It was the best steak we’ve had since we left Australia 4 years ago – and that’s something we are sO freaking happy about. It’s a simple meal but Chef Dave elevates it to the next level. And that’s exactly what we were going for.
And lastly – even though he’s been working full-time in Vancouver, Chef Derek Morris has drove up every single weekend to lend a helping hand. Derek has truly just become an extension of our family and has helped us research & develop dishes since the conception of our business plan. We’ve spent many hours together sitting around the table, brainstorming and taste testing. We’re so thankful that he’s been around during the whole process to lend his advice, expertise and hands (which means his hands have been pretty full for while).
It’s been entirely thanks to these 3 Chef’s (or Triple D, as I like to call them) that we’ve been able to produce quality food out of the kitchen. These boys make us both really proud, beyond our expectations even.
We’re now open daily from 8am to 5pm with dinner to begin in early October – and we are excited to hear what you all think!
See you soon.