“it’s not the world of futurists anymore, its the world of NOW” ~ Jim Mockford, Regional general Manager, Listel Hotels
As I and others went through school learning about carbon footprints, upcycling, sustainable design, clean energy, biomass, life cycles, cradle to cradle and cradle to grave. We all looked at each other wide eyed at how much we didn’t know about environmental responsibilities. We take for granted running water, heat, electric, gas, cars, the ease of everything, until we learn about all the words I stated above and why they are so important in our daily lives. The way we travel, how we spend money, what we need, what we want, what we throw away and what we use, we realize that things need to happen now and not just in the future. Which brings me to an amazing concept in the restaurant industry that takes on a new meaning to being environmentally conscious and sustainably aware.
Forage, a restaurant that is locally sourced and well on their way to setting the standards and leading the path to sustainable dining here in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“Forage stands for everything I care about. It represents what I was taught about food preparation both when I was growing up and over the course of my career in the kitchen. To me forage means that we no longer seek out excess and indulgence, but instead revisit a time when we respected the land an oceans and took only what we needed to survive. It is about being stewards of our land and true conversationists, as we conduct our business and live our lives. It is about goodness, about taking care of each other ad bringing together our community over good food” ~Chris Whittaker, Head Chef – Forage
The more I looked and investigated into this new gem the more I wondered about who knows, who’s interested and who really cares. I know for a fact the most of my fellow alumni would be so impressed and enthused at the
idea of further developing our great city.
This new look on food chooses to take on the responsibility of making sure the food they are preparing and serving is all locally grown, hunted, harvested and/or caught. I always find it great when you sit down at a restaurant and you see the words “pacific westcoast salmon”, but where and when? At Forage every item is infused with locale, creating a story to the diners palette. Their philosophy is a business and a lifestyle. It’s not just about the food but what surrounds it. It’s about conserving water, saving energy, using products that are out there now to help cost savings in the space.
Energy efficiency, through BC Hydro Power Smart, technology and innovation through the Green Table Network. Solar panels were placed on the roof to heat domestic hot water and they looked and took into concideration kitchen equipment, ventilation control, temperature and lighting. They took the time to look at induction burners and how far it’s come and the varieties in efficiency. When it came to “food” they used the space on their roof to create herb gardens and vegetable gardens, reducing carbon footprints, growing organic, cost saving food and neighboring buildings have a bit of green amongst a concrete jungle.
Materials were sourced locally for the design aesthetics, reclaimed wood and FSC wood PRODUCTS were used throughout the space. local stone suppliers, and LED lighting sources were used to ensure productivity and maintaining a better understanding of “green” design. David Nicolay, project manager of Evoke International Design brought his teams vision together and offered their expertise on a concept that showcases initiative in a greener approach. Wood Millwork is consistent through the space, using wood on the ceilings, on the bar and around the perimeter of the space, using FSC wood that ensures a healthy future for our local forests. It’s modern and a space of learning to the rest of vancouver’s culinary life.
One look at the menu and you are taken on a journey through the lower mainland. How about starting off with “pacific provider salmon, Pemberton potatoes, “bread n butter” sea asparagus, pickled huckleberries” then on to “Fraser Valley beets, candied hazelnut black pepper praline, goat cheese purée, wild watercress” then end the meal with “pain perdu – autumn spice brioche, hazelnut caramel, brie Anglaise” and don’t forget a drink of two or three! All local spirits or BC craft beer!
Just the words alone create a fresh intoxicating palette of local food and pairing amazing flavors together. Take a chance and head downtown to 1300 Robson st. here in Vancouver and try the new and improved “O’Douls” now “Forage” you will be impressed, I promise!