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She knew she wanted to be a chef when, at the age of 13, she fell for a chocolate mousse recipe from Craig Claiborne’s New York Times Cookbook; a couple decades later, Andrea Carlson is cooking in some of the city’s finest rooms. Her joining Bishop’s last fall she calls “serendipitous. The timing was perfect—they were looking for a new chef, I was looking for a new job.” Lately, her mind has been on gnocchi: “I think I’m going through a phase.” It’s her favourite dish to cook at the restaurant, served with Marcella cheese from Salt Spring Island Cheese Company and wild fennel pollen from Mikuni Wild Harvest (870 Aisne St., 866-993-9927, by appointment only). She also makes it at home with handmade Berkshire sausage and fresh dandelion greens tossed with hazelnut browned butter. This spring, kale, rhubarb, asparagus, and overwintered leeks make their way onto the Bishop’s menu, along with herbs such as the cilantro-like Mexican epazote (“It’s actually an antiflatulent, great in bean dishes”) and mugwort, all from Trout Lake Farmers Market (E. 15th Ave. and Victoria Drive). She discovered mugwort while working at Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island and uses it, along with thyme and shallots, to flavour braised lentils. For meaty staples she likes organic duck and chicken, from Polderside Farms in Chilliwack, which she picks up at Armando’s Finest Meats (1689 Johnston St., 604-685-0359), along with Sloping Hill Farm’s pig legs, which she uses to make Bishop’s own cured prosciutto. At home, she likes to pan-fry pancetta from Oyama Sausage Company (1689 Johnston St., 604-327-7407), nibble cheese from Les Amis du Fromage (1752 W. 2nd, 604-732-4218), and sip organic Earl Grey tea and Dark Turkish Roast coffee from Yoka’s Coffee & Honey (3171 W. Broadway, 604-738-0905).
Mini Review: Monde Chocolat
Amedei chocolate from Tuscany? Sure. Zotter treats from Austria? Got ’em. Monde Chocolat houses a world of cocoa under one roof. Owners Fabiana Makon-Flores and Karlo Flores’s truffle case includes flavours—Azteca Chipotle, Madagascar Vanilla—based on recipes that go back five generations. You’ll meet all your choco-nibbling and baking needs with their single-origin bars from around the globe; they have one of the West Coast’s largest selections. And if you’re craving mass amounts of the stuff for a party, Monde rents out fountains that flow enough smooth dipping chocolate to feed up to 300 guests. 2391 Burrard St., 604-733-2462.
Hot Buy: Foodloop Lace, $12.98
Needles and thread belong in a sewing kit, right? Enter the Foodloop cooking lace. It’s got a “needle” on one end to stitch up stuffed chicken, turkey, or duck cavities. And because it’s made of silicone it can be tossed in the freezer, a hot pan, or the oven (up to 675º F) and come out unscathed. Reusable, dishwasher-friendly,
it comes in neon colours so there’s no risk it will hitchhike onto the platter. Available at Ming Wo, 2170 W. Fourth Ave., 604-737-2624.