West Coast Wild Harvest Issue 1 Spring/Summer 2016 - Page 34

CHEF’S TABLE JOCELYN ISAAK The team at 293 Wallace meeting before service focusing on cooking more Western food: “Part of the reason is the market in Hope—we have three sushi restaurants here.” He attributes much of his professional success to his upbringing. “I grew up, like I said, in a very strict household where we were expected to have very good grades, expected to work very hard…the discipline of perfecting every little thing that you do, and working hard to become the best at what you’re doing, really influenced cooking in general for me. To push forward and actually learn to cook really well, and open a restaurant, and have that dream come to reality—the origins of that were based on the culture that I grew up in.” “My dad just retired in June of 2014, the same day that I took over the restaurant. So that was a really cool phone call.” aren’t available year round.” Takeda has found a few ways to get around this challenge. One is the restaurant’s fresh sheet, which changes every three weeks to two months. “It doesn’t make sense for us to put stinging nettle on our regular menu because it’s not available all year, and so we use a fresh sheet as an opportunity to feature some of those seasonal ingredients.” Another is his Monday Night Tastings series, where the regular menu is replaced by a set menu that changes every week. The entire team comes together to brainstorm and create new dishes. A collection of wild ingredients for a special dining event The Challenges of Going Wild Many restaurants are deterred from serving wild foods because of their seasonality. An ingredient may only be available for a short period of time each year, which makes it necessary to change the menu frequently. This can be labour-intensive and costly. “In North America, I don’t think we’re really in tune with or appreciate the idea of seasonality,” says Takeda. “All year round, if you want a tomato on your burger, you’re expecting to get a tomato on your burger. But really good tomatoes 34 WEST COAST WILD HARVEST HIRO TAKEDA