Blue House Organics, a new farm in Pemberton, B.C., and Cacao, a progressive Latin restaurant in Vancouver, are raising funds for Fundació Barriga Llena Corazón Contento (Full Belly, Happy Heart). The volunteer initiative led by several renowned South American chefs, including Carlos Garcia and Francisco Abenante, operates a daily soup kitchen at the Hospital JM de Los Ríos for children in strife-torn Caracas, Venezuela.
Blue House Organics will donate $1 from every $20 harvest box of fresh vegetables sold from now until the end of the growing season. Cacao, using vegetables from the farm, will donate full proceeds from a featured dish.
“We have all these beautiful vegetables growing on the farm and the people in my home country are starving,”
says Blue House Organics owner Alejandro J. Sucre, an economist and corporate turnaround specialist from Caracas, who continues to write a regular column for El Universal, a major Venezuelan newspaper.“This is a small gesture, but it is important that we do something to help the children.”
Cacao co-owner and executive chef Jefferson Alvarez, who is also Venezuelan and recently nominated for Canada’s Best New Restaurants by enRoute Magazine, says he is eager to help his chef friends back home – which is not as easy as it seems. Currently, there are no emergency appeals that would authorize the shipment of food and medicine from international humanitarian organizations.
“Right now, in Caracas, there are a lot of people eating from garbage bins in the streets,” says Carlos Garcia, chef-owner of Alto, one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America. “We’re doing the best we can to help the kids in the hospital and the doctors who treat them, because they don’t have anything to eat either. We make 250 bowls of chicken soup each day. And every day we hope that the country is going to change.” Each bowl of soup costs $1 to make, he estimates.
Cacao’s Venezuelan Freedom Salad, $10
Blue House Organics lettuce, kale, Swiss chard and cherry tomatoes, dressed with cacao nibs, berry scoby (kombucha culture) and chive oil.
*salad (mix will change with the crops as the farm heads into fall) will be available until mid-October
“To contribute to their partnership and fundraising efforts, entitled Venezuelan Freedom Veggies, simply purchase a Blue House Organics harvest boxes or book a table at Cacao.
“We don’t need much incentive to purchase farm fresh vegetables, but when we hear we can support a local farm, while assisting hungry children further afield, we’re even more motivated.”
ABOUT CACAO RESTAURANT
Cacao opened in September 2016 to five-star reviews and is now nominated for Canada’s Best New Restaurants by enRoute Magazine. With celebrated chefs Marcela Ramirez and Jefferson Alvarez at the helm, the Kitsilano kitchen represents a progressive philosophy toward Latin American cuisine that honours their roots with authentic flavours from Mexico and Venezuela. Cacao is open for lunch Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and dinner from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
1898 W 1st Ave, Vancouver, BC, (604) 731–5370, cacaovancouver.com
ABOUT FUNDACIÓ BARRIGA LLENA CORAZÓN CONTENTO
Established in June 2016, the “Full Belly, Happy Heart” foundation has been making daily deliveries of hot, nutritious chicken soup to patients, their family members and staff (enough to feed 250 people) at the Hospital JM de Los Ríos for children in Caracas, Venezuela. The hospitality-industry collaboration, initiated by chef and restaurateur David Akinin, is joined by Carlos Garcia, Francisco Abenante, Victor Moreno, Eduardo Moreno, among others. Donations can be made in bolivars and foreign currency: www.gofundme.com/barrigallena
THE SITUATION IN VENEZUELA
Venezuela, once Latin America’s richest country, is in the grips of a colossal political, economic and humanitarian crisis. As daily headlines around the world attest, the protest-ravaged country with the world’s highest rate of inflation is headed for mass poverty. There are critical shortages of food and medicine. Shelves in government stores are bare and bread lines are common. There is a resurgent epidemic of malaria and children are dying of diphtheria, a disease not seen for two generations. And yet, the government refuses to acknowledge the existence of a crisis and has made only the most limited efforts to obtain international humanitarian assistance.
Joy of Feeding is a roaming feast where you can sample from 13 cooks from 13 countries in the fields of the UBC Farm. Chefs from Vij’s, Cacao, the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts and UBC Food Services have brought together home cooks of different cultural backgrounds – from Cameroon to Colombia, Indonesia to Iran and beyond – to offer a taste of their favourite recipes...
Join us on Tuesday, March 28 as Executive Chef Dan McGee welcomes Vancouver-by-way-of-Venezuela Chef Jefferson Alvarez of Kitsilano’s Cacao for a unique six-course collaborative feast that blends our signature classic French bistro fare with Alvarez’s innovative brand of progressive Latin American cuisine.
Tickets include a welcome cocktail by Cacao Bar Manager Sergio Grandolfo as well as wine pairings supplied by Galileo Wine & Spirits, Liberty Wines and Altus Wines.
$119 PER PERSON
crisp duck skin, comté bavarois, pickled grape
arepa wild mushrooms and soffrito
fondant de saumon fumé
olive oil poached smoked sockeye, fennel, olive, lemon, walnut
bison ceviche, tomatillo sauce, cancha corn, yellow Peruvian chili
roasted sturgeon, green plantain, EL XO sauce
magret de canard
maple and caraway glazed aged duck breast, grilled cabbage, charred cucumber, apple purée
jeu de Paris-Brest
trio of Paris-Brest — praline ice cream, orange, vanilla and almond
HOURS AND RESERVATION DETAILS
Reception begins at 6 p.m., with dinner to follow at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets to this exclusive event are available for $119 per person plus tax and gratuity and may be purchased online via Eventbrite.
Presented by Tourism Vancouver, Air Canada, The Westin Bayshore, and CACAO Vancouver
First seating 5:30pm
Second seating 8:30pm
We are going global again! We've reached out to our friends in the culinary community and have invited them to Vancouver. Five of the world's culinary best will be in our city for a series of delicious collaborations with some of our own city's top talent.
An small intimate setting faces off with cultural flair and exuberance in this exciting pairing of Latin American culinary influences. Join us in welcoming Mexico City's Jair Tellez, and Miami's Nidal Barake for this collaborative dining experience curated by Executive Chef Jefferson Alvarez and the team at Vancouver's newest Latin restaurant, Cacao.
Jair Tellez's craftsmanship and talent as a chef and restaurateur, together with Nidal Barake's credentials designing and delivering culinary experiences to the public guarantee an unforgettable dining experience.
The Vancouver World Chef Exchange is a project initiated and produced by Tourism Vancouver, and sponsored by Air Canada and the Westin Bayshore hotel. The exchange shares Vancouver's culinary story with the world, and brings the world's great restaurant cities closer together by sharing ideas, experiences and talents through collaborative dining experiences.
*All Inclusive - includes multi-course dinner, beverage pairings, tax, gratuity and ticketing fees.
About Chef Jefferson Alvarez
Self taught chef, Jefferson Alvarez left his home country of Venezuela at age 16 for Ottawa, where he attended Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Institute. His wanderlust and ambition shortly took him to Toronto to work at Centro under illustrious chefs David Lee and Mark Thuet.
Determined and hard working, chef Alvarez decidedly absorbed as much knowledge around Toronto and had experiences at Pangea, Adega and Scaramouche, Canoe under famed chef Anthony Walsh, Aquavit and Morimoto. Alvarez took his first Executive Chef role at Tomi-kro.
Chef Alvarez has now become synonymous with amazing creativity and culinary expression, creating unique dining experiences, full of imagination and passion. In 2013, Jefferson because Executive Chef at Gastown's Secret Location. Most recently, he launched his own restaurant, Cacao, in Vancouver's Kitsilano. Its kitchen represents a progressive and fresh Latin American menu, created with a sinuous, steady hand and a focus on high quality, regional ingredients.
About Chef Jair Tellez
Growing up in the border town of Tijuana, Jair Tellez was raised in a melting pot of combined American and Mexican influences and as a result he often struggled to identify with his cultural roots. In 1999 he opened Laja in Valle de Guadalupe, where he set out to invent a cultural and culinary identity that would be unique to his self.
Today, Laja is an international success armed with a healthy manifest of clientele who are more than happy to make the special journey and celebrate destination dining at its finest. Tellez attended he French Culinary Institute, which led to an apprenticeship at Daniel. He returned to open Merotoro in México City in 2008. Following his success, he opened Amaya in 2016 in the rising Colonia Juarez neighborhood.
Jair is not only a talented chef, but also a regular speaker and contributor for the most important food events and publications worldwide.
About Nidal Barake
Nidal is the co-founder and Director of Gluttonomy, an innovation agency that reinvents the future of food businesses, building and implementing conceptual and business strategies for cooks, restaurants and brands.
Nidal directs his passion for food and the culinary world in his blog and app Yo Culinario, where he shares his experiences around the world, and is a regular contributor for printed and online publications his sharing food and travel experiences. He keeps his more than 100k followers informed of his whereabouts and latest food wonders. He also combines his work and passion by participating in conferences around the globe, speaking about food innovation, technology and entrepreneurship.
Sabores CDMX events (Flavours of Mexico City) will see one of Mexico City’s top chefs take over the kitchens of Vancouver restaurants to share culinary highlights from their home region. At Cacao, Chef Jefferson Alvarez will cook with Chef Gerardo Vázquez Lugo.
Our notable Mexican chef will serve a set menu for all three nights: December 8th, 9th, and 10th. Guests can expect to taste regional dishes native to Mexico, featuring specialty ingredients and Mexican delicacies. The high-end chefs will pay tribute to their heritage with traditional methods and authentic recipes, reinterpreting them on the plate to produce innovative modern cuisine. Set menu prices will vary. For additional details visitwww.saborescdmx.com, and to make reservations please contact us.
Chef Gerardo Vázquez Lugo
soup with prawn, tomato, pumpkin, corn dough
Manchamanteles Mole with Duck
confited duck with “manchamanteles” mole, apple, pear, pineapple
Chef Gerardo Vázquez Lugo leads Mexico City’s Restaurante Nicos, named one of San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America in 2016. The restaurant, which has been in the family for decades, was transformed under his influence when he took over the kitchen in 2006. Under Chef Gerardo, Nicos was revamped from a humble family restaurant to a high-end establishment featuring a progressive menu, giving nods to traditional cooking and recipes. Vancouverites will enjoy the cooking of Chef Lugo and Chef Jefferson Alvarez at Cacao on December 8th, 9th, and 10th.
For more information about the Chef Lugo, please visit: http://www.theworlds50best.com/latinamerica/en/The-List/31-40/Nicos.html
CACAO is a new restaurant, in my neighbourhood. Chef Jefferson Alvarez has created a Modern Latin menu that will excite your palates. Crafted cocktails are superb. And you may have heard of a restaurant in PERU called CENTRAL which is the brainchild of Chef Virgilio Martinez. We would love to meet Virgilio one day, but until we do, we would love to offer you an opportunity to celebrate his new book with Jefferson Alvarez at CACAO.
Tonight Jefferson will prepare and serve a menu from CENTRAL. Please join us to experience the warmth of CACAO and the cuisine of Virgilio Martinez.
Cost of this evening is $150.00 and will include your meal, libation and a copy of CENTRAL.
Please telephone the shop at 604.688.6755 to reserve your seat.