The Vancity Theatre had a night of film, food and philanthropy last night with a screening of Spinning Plates, an award-winning documentary about the restaurant world and three very different players within it. After the film, five of Vancouver's finest: Hawksworth's David Hawksworth, Sean Heather of the Heather Hospitality Group, Beaucoup Bakery's Jackie Kai Ellis, Burdock & Co's Andrea Carlson and Angus An of Maenam and Longtail Kitchen spoke at a Q&A session with Vancouver Magazine's John Burns.
Here's a flavour of what they said when asked about their first restaurants.
David Hawksworth: I kept looking at the Georgia and thinking about if I could ever open and do what I wanted to do, but I knew it wouldn't work, say on Cambie and 18th. Then it all happened over fish soup; my best friend bought in the people who were buying the Hotel Georgia and I made up a portion for them.
Sean Heather: The media coverage of Ireland at the time was just always bombs but I knew it was about so much more.. I wanted to draw attention to poets and playwrights and musicians; I also wanted a decent pint.
Andrea Carlson: My partner and I used to have a bakery on one of the Gulf Islands; no electric, all by hand, that gave me a taste of freedom and doing it all yourself, then cooking at Sooke Harbour House piqued my interest in 'of the moment' seasonal cooking.
Angus An: learned to make Thai food by mistake, but I'm so glad I did! I wasn't interested in learning to cook Thai, all I wanted was to cook French, David Thompson was the only Michelin starred Thai chef at the time and he showed me how much I didn't know about food; no-one has explained flavour to me like David.
Jackie Kai Ellis: I baked at night for two years while running my design firm, selling baked goods at the farmers markets; I loved the connection I had with the people who use the drug that I make that is sugar. I decided I didn't want to be 80 and have never tried to make this work; so I went to Paris to study pastry making, I figured if it didn't work out I could always just be that girl who cooks great pastries and I'd be invited to a lot of dinner parties and never have to buy a meal again!
· Vancity Theatre [Official Site]
· Eater Interviews [EVAN]