For anyone with a passion for plates, the original Vancouver Cooks cookbook, compiled as an initiative of the Chefs’ Table Society of BC, was a must for the culinary collection. With the recent launch of Vancouver Cooks 2, that gem of epicurean publishing has been surpassed with over 100 table-tested recipes from over 70 knife-sharp chefs province-wide. What emerges is an honours class for the home cook–both a loving homage to BC’s top toques and a compendium of fool proof table toppers. Replete with contributions from Vancouver, Whistler, the Okanagan Valley and Vancouver Island, Vancouver Cooks 2 is a timely reminder of the seasonal sustenance that fuels the inspirations of our culinary vanguards.
As for the who’s-who component, Vancouver Cooks 2 boasts an all-star cast of talent, featuring too many to mention and everyone you might expect ranging from Vikram Vij (Vij’s) to Quang Dang (C Restaurant) to Melissa Craig (Bearfoot Bistro) to Tojo Hidekazu (Tojo’s) to…well, hopefully you get the picture of what the full platter offers.
With a focus on fresh and neatly divided into four sections (Local, Seasonal and Sustainable; Innovative and International, Rising Stars, Culinary Vanguards), the recipes range from the sublime simplicity of Sobo’s Fresh Blackberry Pie to dishes for those looking to leap a bit deeper into the game–such as John Bishop’s Oven-braised Venison Ragout. Accompanied by eye-popping photography of John Sherlock and Shannon Mendes and BC wine pairings, the recipes veritably sing the praises of our local fields and waters while providing ample inspiration for home cooks of every aspiration.
Another nice touch–the royalties from the sales of Vancouver Cooks 2 are headed to the Chefs’ Table Scholarship and Bursary Fund: a great way to ensure the talent that fills its pages continues to rise to the top in years (and hopefully, further volumes of VC) to come. Seeing as the inaugural Vancouver Cooks sold over 13,000 copies, this is a show of supreme good taste.