Food not only feeds the body, it also nourishes a culture, according to a Richmond chef.
Executive chef William Lew at Richmond’s Versante Hotel is hosting a dinner event titled the “New Wave” series to showcase the growth of Chinese cuisine on Aug. 30 alongside renowned New York-based chef Lucas Sin and Toronto-based chef Eva Chin.
Drawing on their Asian heritage, the upcoming event is a way of “elaborating and sharing” their visions as Chinese-Canadian chefs with each other and the community at large.
“This is a special collaboration because we have so many people with a variety of talents. They each tell a different story compared to my own,” said Lew.
“We can tell our own individual stories, but this event tells these stories within a collective voice as Chinese-Canadians.”
The dinner will feature a six-course tasting menu created and re-imagined from authentic Chinese recipes and cooking techniques, while the chefs celebrate their individual cooking styles.
Despite people experiencing different upbringings, Lew added, there is a common thread of understanding through food and what it tells about culture, even amongst different generations.
“Everyone’s always listening to each other’s ideas and we’re celebrating them just as much as our own ideas,” he said.
“There’s a different generation of people in the food industry, telling a story with significant meaning in the environment and within our culture.”
While Lew has never trained as a Chinese chef, he grew up eating Chinese food and watched his grandfather cooking when he was a kid.
Lew has had many titles under his belt, including being the former sous chef at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, the former Chef de Cuisine at Notch8 and Black and Blue and the previous executive chef for Ocean Wise, but working with other like-minded professionals in the industry is “always a privilege.”
Now, he oversees all the food at Club Versante and Versante Hotel in Richmond including Bruno, Cask Whisky Vault and Oo La Cha.
Being “surrounded by people” with the same level of passion and working together forms an “equal playing field” in creating artistic and delicious ideas for people to enjoy, “that’s what I really love the most.”