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Wrapping up…to look ahead.

There’s a whole lotta toasting going on in this, the final installment of The Next Course video chronicle

As they prepare to toast the completion and official grand opening of forage, the consortium partners share their thoughts on the project to-date, along with expectations for energy savings and other measurable green benefits to come in 2013 and beyond.

As well,  chef Chris prepares to debut his new menu, which features splendid toast made from in-house baked caraway rye bread (his grandmother’s recipe) and served along with other delicious local flavours on FSC-certified wood planks with the forage logo gently ‘toasted’ onto them.

Enjoy this look back at the project, and then come see (and taste) the results for yourself at forage… Vancouver’s newest sustainable restaurant -  by design.



In with the new – part two..

It was a long time coming. But it was worth the wait.

In this episode of The Next Course video chronicle, chef Chris Whittaker celebrates the arrival (and installation) of new energy-efficient equipment from Garland Canada for his kitchen at forage… which is now, by design, one of Vancouver’s most sustainable restaurants.

With everything now in place up front and in back, it’s almost time to celebrate the way ahead… and look back at how we got here.

That’s been a long time coming, too.  Catch it right here.


In with the new…cool.

Things are clearly heating up on the installation work at forage… and the end is deliciously close.

In Episode 7 of  The Next Course video chronicle,  we get a look at the beautiful FSC-certified millwork being used to create the ceilings, walls and banquettes in the dining room and bar.  Choosing this sustainable-source lumber helps ensure a healthy, productive future for local and global forests.

Chef Chris Whittaker is also clearly delighted to welcome the new, ultra-efficient walk-in refrigerator from Master-Bilt. With its extra-thick insulation and state-of-the-art control systems,  this LEED qualified unit will provide the ideal home for his freshly-foraged local flavours… while saving more than 30 per cent in energy costs versus the previous cooling solutions.

As opening day approaches, the next wave of installations, including induction units and other high-efficiency ENERGY STAR equipment from Garland Canada, will heat things up even more (efficiently, of course).

Look for our next video chronicle here very soon.


Bringing back the bacon…

While his new menu @ forage will certainly satisfy the growing number of diners turning to a plant-centric diet, chef Chris is not one to ignore those whose tastes turn to meatier issues.

Episode 6 of  The Next Course Video Chronicle follows Chris on a Fraser Valley foray to Gelderman Farms in Abbotsford.  With owner Jerry Gelderman as his guide, Chris gets nose-to-snout with the ethical, sustainable practices in place at this award-winning facility.

Meantime, the remodeling and upgrades to the restaurant and kitchen are heading into the final stretch.  Check back here often for updates and sneak-peeks at what will be one of Vancouver’s greenest dining experiences – forage at The Listel Hotel.

It’s peak season to forage…


Late summer/early fall is an ideal time to explore the fields and forests of BC for a bounty of tasty edibles, including wild greens, berries and, of course, mushrooms (though the weather’s been so unseasonably dry this year, pickings have been slim).

For Listel Hotel executive chef Chris Whittaker, however, foraging for menu ingredients is essentially a year-round commitment  – one that both preserves traditional flavours and promotes the future-forward value of our regional foodshed. On that firmly grounded kitchen philosophy, Whittaker and The Listel Hotel team made it official on Sept. 9th at Feast of Fields…. their new Robson Street restaurant (formerly O’Doul’s) will be named forage.

As you’ll soon discover in special “sneak peeks” here on The Next Course site,  forage will offer

a stylish, casually intimate atmosphere…serving innovative comfort food and beverages that make the most of top-quality local products.

Indeed, its new-model kitchen aims to eliminate one traditional technology – the can opener – as Whittaker uses his new gear to ‘put up’ seasonal and foraged products to flavour his menu creations any time of year.

In fact, new episodes of  The Next Course Video Chronicle accompany Chris on a few of his foraging farm tours around the Lower Mainland.

A more detailed guide to forage, its menu and features (and grand opening) are coming soon!

Stocking the pantry…

There’s nothing quite like getting your hands dirty to really connect to your food (it ought to be mandatory for anyone who eats).  Chef Chris Whitaker needs no prompting, though. He’s a willing volunteer, especially for those growers who keep his ‘cold pantry’ well stocked with the best of local flavours.

In Episode 5 of The Next Course Video Chronicle,  Chris spends some down-and-dirty time with an original force-of-nature in local dining, Susan Davidson. She and her dedicated partners in the Glorious Organics Co-op in Aldergrove, BC produce an amazing array of delicious edibles, including the now-famous Celebration salad mix. It has been regularly celebrated by chefs and diners for years at discriminating local eateries for its changes-with-the-season blend of as many as 30 varieties of organic greens.

Chris also drops in to see another established supplier of tasty greens, Paul Healey of Hannah Brook Farm is Ruskin (near Maple Ridge) BC.  There is a babbling brook on his land, and Healey’s ingenious irrigation system nourishes many delicious edibles, including Chris’s favourite watercress.

Enjoy your greens. Things get a little meatier next time out.


Foraging for…tradition

In this clip set among the seasonal bounty of a Vancouver community garden,  Chris talks about his commitment to sustainability…and its tradition.


A ground breaking event (revisited)

For many, the evening of June 2nd was a nostalgic celebration of a road well travelled with excellent food and drink.  However, it also marked a sharp right turn to the future.

Episode 4 of The Next Course video chronicle revisits the night O’Doul’s closed its doors and what it meant to Chris and the Listel team as their plans for a stylishly new (and sustainable) restaurant begin to take shape.

Even as the walls come down and staff begin a typically unheard-of summer break, Chris prepares for a slate of road trips to local farms, orchards and other producers as he forages for flavours for his new menu.

Tune in every other week (or so) for another tasty episode of The Next Course.


So, what are the key ingredients in a sustainable restaurant? And what will they look like when you put them all together?

In Episode 3 of The Next Course video chronicle, Chris and the Listel team start looking at some potential answers to these all-important questions with help from the experts.

Project designer David Nicolay of EVOKE International Design offers his experienced perspective on the concepts and materials that define a greener approach.

And Dan O’Brien of Halton Indoor Climate Systems surveys the kitchen to prep for installation of his company’s innovative M.A.R.V.E.L. air flow management system, which delivers improved performance and substantial energy savings.

Tune in every other week (or so) for another tasty episode of The Next Course.


An idea finding flavour…

Tasty discoveries are often conveniently local…with a bit of legwork.

Anyone who’s dined at the late-great O’Doul’s in recent years knows that one of chef Chris Whittaker’s talents is a flair for flavour.  His dishes seem to coax more pure flavour (and tasty combinations) per bite of ethical meats, OceanWise seafood and local produce than most.

Ever the humble cook, Chris will tell you that all those palate-pleasing flavours are already in the ingredients he sources, and that all he does is simply stay out of the way.  Well, there’s some truth in that… but not the whole story.

In fact, as you’ll see in this video and others tagged here as “Foraging for..” Chris’s personal quest for flavour has many roots AND routes.