Return of the King: Vancouver’s Culinary Behemoth Tells Its Story

To celebrate the release of his new cookbook, David Hawksworth comes out swinging with a new dinner series.

I think we—the dining community of Vancouver—take Hawksworth for granted. We ooh and ahh over whatever new pizza joint combines flour, water and cheese but one of our few (some might say our only) true fine dining establishments goes to the immense trouble and grotesque expense of having a proper sommelier team, proper (pricey) glassware and tableware and we act like it’s a given a city has such a place. It’s not. A lot of cities don’t have a place where servers are impeccably trained and chefs are properly apprenticed such that they can go one to any establishment in the country and get hired thanks to their training. And the argument that it’s too expensive? Their recent prix fixe lunch was $20.20 for 3 courses—that’s legitimately cheaper (by a bit) than Tacofino. 

All of which was on my mind as I thumbed through the brand new Hawksworth cookbook. In non-Covid times, this would have been the launch of the year in Canada—our version of the benchmarks titles like 11 Madison Park or the original French Laundry cookbook—a definitive tome by a definitive chef (and to be fair, while parts of Hawksworth mirror the above duo’s difficulty level, there are plenty that work for mere mortals too). These days, the launch is a bit more subdued, but no less welcome.

So for those who want the high-wire act without, you know, walking a high wire, Hawksworth is launching a weekly series of dinners on every Wednesday in November that translate the classics from the cookbook to your table. In keeping with the weird but welcome underpricing trend—it’s $89 for 4 courses. Not cheap, but given the setting it’s definitely inexpensive to have David himself revisiting classic like roasted duck breast with XO sauce, Carolina gold rice and a macadamia puree or the Manila clam chowder with smoked sablefish. Or the legendary Candy Cap ice cream.

It’s an easy way to nod to the fact that we’re a city that appreciates the effort it takes to do proper dining well—the least you can do if you really care about food in this city.

The menu and tickets are available here. And for VanMag readers who want a signed copy of the cookbook, go here.