Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pecha Kucha 19 Vancouver

Finally - I made it to my first Pecha Kucha!  For those of you who don't know what this event is about, let me introduce you:

"Pecha Kucha Night was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public.  
It has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world, inspiring creatives rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. It's a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace" - Pecha Kucha website

This was the final Pecha Kucha of the year for Vancouver and the topic was food and drink.  As a growing force in the culinary world, Vancouver is rising in the ranks of cities with edible treasures.  We are blessed with fresh seafood, lush fertile land for fruits and vegetables, wine country just hours away and enjoy the different influences from the various cultures that are brought to us by our diverse population.  

19 presenters shared their stories about what inspires them, their passion, and their personal stories.  

Forgive me for the awful photos - I was using my iphone and taking pictures of the slides.

Guest Host - Andrew Morris of Scout Magazine

Alexandra Gill - Food Critic

Julia Spitale and Shera Kelly - Wheely Slow Cooking Tour

Adam Chandler - Owner and Chocolatier, Beta5 Chocolates

John Neate - Owner of JJ Bean

Sophie Dikeakos - Owner of Sophies Cosmic Cafe

Terry David Mulligan - Host of Tasting Room Radio

Heidi Nobel - Owner and Winemaker of Joiefarm wines

David Robertson - Chef and Co-owner - The Dirty Apron

Chef Todd - Chef at 12b

Quang Dang - Executive Chef at West

Michael Kaisaris - Director of Re-Up BBQ

Some favourites:
Sophie Dikeakos' personality and charm lit up the room as she talked about family and staff, her passion and her fond memories.  

I think everyone just wanted to hug her because she is so inviting, so passionate and so vibrant.  She is eccentric, open and so full of life. And if you know anything about Sophie's Cosmic Cafe you'll know that the people flock to this restaurant and line up all morning to grab breakfast or brunch because because of the food and atmosphere.

I've been to Sophie's Cosmic Cafe and her personality is alive on each wall.  There's always something interesting to see that will put a smile on your face.

John Neate - owner of JJ Bean talked about the business' philosophy - People, Product and Place - The people are the most important thing and without them, the product and place are nothing.  It is the people who make it special, it is the people who breath life and personality into the product, and it is the people make their customers welcomed.

Jeanette Ordas of "Everyone Likes Sandwiches" shared heartwarming stories about her childhood and how these experiences have inspired her to do what she does.  She focuses on simple foods and is resourceful, thrifty and creative.  Cooking to her was very personal and sharing these stories evoked some special memories.  I was very touched and admired her courage to share them with such a large audience.

She even shared a simple but tasty recipe:
Food of the Gods - Chocolate Toast

Quang Dang - young Executive Chef for West, who seems to be the star of the culinary world at the moment shared with us his thought process when he is masterminding a new dish.  Using Uni (Sea Urchin) as his medium, he went on to invite us inside his fast moving mind as he furiously brainstorms ideas to create not only a delicious dish but how he constructs a piece of art.

As a Chef, Teacher and Owner of The Dirty Apron, David Robertson has been instrumental in changing the face of the Vancouver dining and food experience.  He is the man behind favourite restaurants such as Bao Bei, Chambar, Medina (my favourite brunch spot), Calabash and The Dirty Apron.  Andrew, the guest host, described The Dirty Apron is a place that is emblematic of Vancouver's love of food.  

He explained that after years of success as a chef he wanted to share his knowledge to others.  When he approached the owners of Chambar they expressed their interest in partnering with David on this pursuit rather than have him teach at a another school.  Together, they opened up The Dirty Apron where David would be able to teach people in his own space.

David announced that "Cooking is the new yoga" - and that in order to be successful, you need to "Find, Follow, and Fuel".

Listening to these people, I can't help but see the pattern that runs through each speech and story.  Their success is based on passion, diligence, direction and drive, and an acute sense of self awareness.  Their stories weren't interesting because they were giving us their business plan - they were interesting because they were sharing something personal.  

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