Photo by Tanya Goehring, Styling by Robin Del Pino and Jordyn Taylor-Robins
Poke Marinade from Organic Ocean
This award goes not just to this bottle of poke sauce, although the blend of soy sauce, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, sesame oil and rayu is worthy enough. It also goes to what it represents—Organic Ocean, slammed by the loss of restaurant customers in the pandemic, facilitating an entirely new relationship between supplier and customer: one in which a normal schmo might find themselves with an Ocean Wise albacore tuna loin, working on their heretofore nonexistent knife skills, cubing the meat, then marinating it and emerging a short time later having accomplished something once only the domain of the white-toque wearer. Let’s call it power-to-the-people poke.
Parmigiano Reggiano Soufflé from La Quercia
The cardinal rule for a dinner party: never attempt a soufflé. And since there’s no such thing as a ready-made version, we have an entire generation who’ve missed out on the airy delights of the joys of eating a cloud made with cheese. But leave it to Chef Adam Pegg, the quiet genius of behind La Quercia, to solve the problem with these foolproof dinner-party heroes.
$22.99 for two, laquercia.ca
Creamy Coconut Aamti from the Indian Pantry
Truth? Plenty of mortals use ready-made sauces when cooking South Asian dishes. But these pouches have all the convenience of Patak’s while still retaining a hand-crafted ethos. This is an heirloom dish from Chef Tushar’s grandmother that uses slow simmered tomatoes, turmeric, onion, garlic and red chili, all mixed into coconut milk.
Fermented Chili Paste from Scratch
Peak Vancouver, in the best way. Scratch uses the leftover pulp from their barrel-aged hot sauce to create this amazing chili paste, then relies on wild yeasts to continue its transformation into a hot sauce of just the right scoville units to turn all the orange bounty of B.C.—cayenne, habanero and cherry bomb peppers—into a blast of spicy goodness.
Cormorant Cheese from Blue Heron
In the annals of discovery, a vegan cheese that appeals to non-vegans ranks up there with finding the Ark of the Covenant. But this vegetable ash-rinded, cashew-based, blue and white mould-ripened wonder from industry leader Blue Heron has all the complexity and depth of its dairy-based brethren, and can hold its own—or, heck, shine—on any cheese plate.
Left to right, top to bottom: Bake-at-Home Croissants, Wild Sockeye Salmon Wellington, Roulé Jambon Fromage, Fresh Tortillas, Beef Spice Rub from CharBlue
Bake-at-Home Croissants from Bench Bakehouse
A fresh-from-the-oven one-way ticket to France. 4 for $14, thebenchbakehouse.com
Wild Sockeye Salmon Wellington from Shop Intercity
The absolute perfect fancy dinner party hack. $5.75 each, shopintercity.ca
Roulé Jambon Fromage from Merci Boulangerie
The tastiest circular reasoning we know of. $5.25, merciboulangerie.com
Fresh Tortillas from Chancho
We’re calling it: the most authentic in the province. 12 for $5.75, chancho.ca
Beef Spice Rub from CharBlue
An instant spicy-sweet elevation for your fave cut. $9.99, charblue.com