Chefs Susur Lee (Susur, Toronto) and David Hawksworth prepared a very special and delicious, one-evening dinner at West recently, with each chef preparing alternating courses. The menu is below; descriptions to follow in a few days.
-- Amuse bouche, Tuna and Wasabi Mousse, Susur Lee (after certain other amuses)
-- First course, Roasted Venison Loin/Uni/Mountain Potato, Burnt Butter Sauce, SL
-- Second course, Mount Lehman Squab with Savoy Cabbage and Foie Gras, David Hawksworth
-- Third course, Braised Oyster/Oxtail, Black Truffle Sauce, SL
-- Fourth course, Alaskan Weathervane Scallop with "West" Berkshire Pork Belly, DH
-- Fifth course, Roasted Marinated Sablefish, Spiced Citrus Sauce, SL
-- Sixth course, Dungeness Crab and Lobster Gelee, DH
-- Dessert, Coconut Kumquat Ice Cream, White Chocolate Coconut Crisp, Toasted Citrus Meringue, Rhonda Viani (West's pastry chef)
At the end of the booklet distributed during the meal (with the above menu), there are bios of each chef. Susur: "Susur Lee was born in Hong Kong. He did his apprenticeship at the Peninsula Hotel from the age of 14 to 21. After finishing his apprenticeship he moved to Toronto to pursue his career. He opened Lotus Restaurant in 1987 as chef/owner. In 1997 he closed Lotus to take a position in Singapore as executive chef of the renowned Club Chinoise. He was also executive chef and consultant to the Ton Lok group's 17 other restaurants. In August 2000 he opened Susur Restaurant in Toronto, Canada. As well as his duties at his restaurant, Susur Lee makes numerous appearances as a guest chef and lecturer the world over."
The bio for Chef Hawksworth: "A Vancouverite by birth, David spent a decade in Europe honing his talents in some fo the finest Michelin-starred resutarants (le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, L'Escargot, The Square and Isola) before returning to open West in December 2000. A year and a half later he debuted at New York's prestigious James Beard House and in 2003, West was awarded the much coveted Vancouver magazine 'Restaurant of the Year' award [my addition: Gold award]; judges proclained 'The level of sophistication and the sheer technical accomplishment of David Hawksworth's cooking outshines every other kitchen in the city.' He maintains a relentless drive for perfection, cooking seasonally and creatively, continually sourcing our region's finest ingredients."