Indigenous cuisine & Canadian flavours at the Vancouver World Chef Exchange

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If there is one thing that diners look forward to each year, it’s the Vancouver World Chef Exchange. The event, created by Tourism Vancouver and which takes place during Dine Out Vancouver Festival, pairs up international and Vancouver chefs alongside one another to take their most celebrated dishes and infuse them with global flavours and regional ingredients. The result? A dining experience unlike any other that brings Vancouver’s culinary story across the globe.

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Thanks to collaborations with Edible Canada, events like the Vancouver World Chef Exchange have been taking place for over twelve years. Eric Pateman, executive chef and president of Edible Canada shared with Aeroplan that for their team hosting, curating and producing culinary events has always been the common thread to bring together some of Canada’s top culinary talent to tell their own story of Canadian cuisine. “Community is everything and Edible Canada is lucky enough to be a builder of it!”

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For their chef exchange collaboration, Edible Canada’s director of culinary, chef Tobias Grignon curated an eight-course feast dedicated to Indigenous products, stories and people and invited award-winning indigenous Canadian chefs Rich Francis (Saskatoon), Shane Chartrand (Edmonton) and Christa Bruneau-Guenther (Winnipeg).

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In our conversation with Pateman, he shared with Aeroplan that “We are fortunate to have hundreds of nationalities that make up our incredibly diverse nation, but we need to respect and honour the Indigenous people and the cuisine that has formulated the foundation of our country and our national cuisine,” sharing that he was excited to see many of these chefs coming into their own spotlight as of late. Who can forget Chef Richard Francis near-win on Top Chef Canada and more recently, Shane Chartrand’s Gold Medal Plates win in Edmonton.


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As a chef who travels often himself, Pateman knows that his travels inspire him to keep learning about the different cuisines out there and also, sharing the stories of Canadian cuisine. “I am constantly tasting and learning, trying new ingredients, experiencing new people and new places.
Dining is more than ingredients, it’s about the place, the people, the atmosphere and the experience that makes it.” We know that one thing is for certain: food is a storytelling opportunity, no matter where you are around the globe.

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Thanks to yearly events like the Vancouver World Chef Exchange, we have the opportunity to be educated on different food cuisines and cultures without ever having to leave our own backyard. Pateman believes that food educates us in the story of our land and can bridge any cultural boundaries that exist when you share it. We can’t wait to experience the 2019 Vancouver World Chef Exchanges and see all the visionary chefs and what they’ll have in-store for us.

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