he Chef’s Domain is an entertaining eight-part cross-Canada culinary adventure series that follows the journey of one exceptional chef per episode who acts as guide and advocate of the suppliers who provide them with local bounty. Chefs are passionate about two aspects of their profession – how they cook and the ingredients they use. This landmark series shows, for the first time, how the relationship between chef and supplier is revolutionizing what we eat. With only days leading up to an event where these ingredients will be featured, viewers will be privy to the Chef’s favourite (and secret) sources of their great cooking. Ultimately, the chef must create an outstanding meal with the ingredients they have collected.
The twice-weekly series premieres on Tues., Aug. 5 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT, with episode 2 following on Sun., Aug.10 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT (the regular timeslot will be Tuesdays and Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT).
For this series, The Chef’s Domain picked top chefs from around the country, including: Vikram Vij in Vancouver (August 5), Nancy Hinton in Montreal (August 10), Scott Pohorelic in Calgary (August 12), Edward Tuson on Vancouver Island (August 17), Tak Ishiwata in St. Johns (August 19), Ted Corrado in Toronto (August 24), Michael Moffatt in Ottawa (August 26) and Ray Bear in Halifax (August 31).
Renowned and award-winning author James Chatto – who writes about food, wine and restaurants for Toronto Life magazine – narrates the series. An expert on all things food related, Chatto was food editor of Toronto Life Gardens (1996-97) and Gardening Life (1997-2002), was Enroute magazine’s wine columnist for four years and also writes regular wine and spirits columns for the LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine where he is creative consultant and Senior Editor. He is also the author of three books about food, co-author of two more and has contributed to seven other cookbooks.
Highlights from the first episodes of The Chef’s Domain include:
The Chef’s Domain: “Chef Vikram Vij of Vancouver”
Tuesday August 5 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT
Vancouver, British Columbia, is a culinary Mecca on the west coast with an extended growing season and thriving, creative cuisine. At the heart of it all is local legend, Chef Vikram Vij. But this European-trained chef doesn’t hide in the kitchen. He’s not even in charge of the menu. That’s the purview of his self-taught wife Meeru Dhalwala. Vij and Dhalwala adore each other, but that doesn’t mean they get along in the kitchen!
Now, for the first time in years, Vij and Dhalwala are going to cook together professionally – and it’s anyone’s guess how it will go. The prestigious Vista D’Oro Farms has invited the two of them to stage a cooking demo that is in such great demand that some guests have been on a waiting list for more than three years.
Witness this couple’s love for local food as they prepare for the demo. Meet James Walton of Storm Brewing, John Van Der Lieck of Oyama Sausage Company, and Patrick and Lee Murphy from Vista D’Oro farms, who supply the key ingredients to the evening’s success. Hopefully Vij and Dhalwala can keep a lid on their differences and share the stove.
The Chef’s Domain: “Nancy Hinton of Montreal”
Sun., Aug. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT
Canada’s only predominantly French speaking province is famous for its joie de vivre, hidden treasures and bursting conviviality. Just outside of metropolitan Montreal, one of rural Quebec’s best-kept secrets is the woodland retreat À la Table des Jardins Sauvages. The weekly menus are based on seasonally available wild ingredients collected by owner and master forager François Brouillard, who passes them on to his partner in life and business, Chef Nancy Hinton. She transforms shoots of daylilies, hearts of cattails and caramelized tree sap into small masterpieces.
In the world of elite cuisine, a chef is only as good as their last menu, and Chef Hinton set her bar high. In this episode, follow her on a challenge to prepare the Table des Jardins Sauvages annual, always over-subscribed, Spring Fiddlehead Menu. Travelling to a local duck supplier for foie gras, a local cheese-master and an artisanal breeder of milk-fed suckling pigs, meet the suppliers that are integral to Hinton’s success. Hoping that the land offers nothing but the best, follow Hinton into the kitchen as she creates a spring feast celebrating the revitalization of the countryside.