Get a Taste of Japan…Right Here in Vancouver

Worlds—and palates—collide for Dine Out Vancouver's World Chef Exchange.

Worlds—and palates—collide for Dine Out Vancouver’s World Chef Exchange.

So it begins. The annual Dine Out Vancouver festival is about to begin and buds are salivating across the land. Among the host of restaurants offering prix fixe menus, the food trucks massing for the onslaught, and the not-so-secret suppers, it’s worth casting your eyes on the World Chef Exchange.This popular series has no doubt ignited—or rekindled—the culinary travel bug in many a participant. Each year, a handful of local chefs welcome their counterparts from a distant land for a night or three of cross-cultural feasting and revelry. This year, the visiting chefs hail from Bangkok, Tokyo, Beijing, Nashville and, locally, from Indigenous communities across Western Canada.Leading the pack in what looks to be one of the more exciting events of the festival, is Andrea Carlson of Burdock and Co. This year, she welcomes chef Fumihiro Matsumoto and maitre d’ Kenji Kawamura of Kantera Restaurant in Tokyo.It’s a match made in kitchen-nirvana. Carlson is renowned for her longstanding focus on locavore cuisine and was the creator of the now-legendary 100 Mile menu at Raincity Grill. Matsumoto is known for his carefully-sourced and carved sashimi, and his strong partnerships with local producers. Carlson’s food is known for its delicate-yet-earthy approach and strong technique; Matsumoto for his modern Japanese style based in classic cookery. can even see parallels in their menus and restaurant ethos. A popular dish at Kantera is yuba and uni with yuzu-ponzu jelly. At Burdock and Co., an uni custard is served with pickled kombu and ikura. Both maintain a casual, cozy atmosphere at their restaurants that encourages guests to relax and enjoy the experience with friends and family.The similarities also extend to the wine program. Kawamura shares an enthusiasm for natural wine with Burdock’s sommelier, Jesse Walters. The two have partnered to create wine and sake pairings for the seafood- and vegetable-focused multi-course meal.Of the other four World Chef events, only one is sold-out, Maenam’s partnership with Bangkok’s Nahm, the domain of one of the true legends, Chef David Thompson. That leaves three more choices, including the Indigenous cuisine-based collaboration between chefs Tobias Grignon of Mamie Taylor’s, Rich Francis of Sasktoon’s soon-to-open 7th Fire, Shane Chartrand of River Cree Resort Edmonton, and Christa Bruneau-Guenther of Winnipeg’s Feast Café Bistro.For details on all events visit