30 Day Adventures #4–Cooking like a Top Chef Canada with Dale Mackay

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Eat!Vancouver Hosts Top Chef Dale Mackay and I get to tag along

For my 4th adventure I did something a little different. It’s not something that everyone would be able to do but when Chef Dale Mackay asked if I’d like to help him with one of his presentations at the hugely popular food & consumer show Eat!Vancouver how could I say no! Chef Dale is the first winner of the very popular Top Chef Canada that only last night crowned its season 2 winner Chef Carl Heinrich. Dale also is the Executive Chef & owner of ensemble restaurant & bar & his new restaurant Ensemble Tap.

So let’s get started. I met up with Dale at ensemble where we picked up all the supplies needed for his presentation and then headed to BC Place. Getting through the crowds was an adventure all by itself.

Chef Dale Mackay

Once inside we made it over to the Top Chef Canada booth which was right across from the Celebrity Food Stage where we would be cooking shortly. I got to meet some of the producers from the show and found out that they are currently casting for Season 3. Do you think you have what it takes? Deadline to submit an application is June 19th.

But I digress, after touching base with the Top Chef team we caught the last few minutes of David Rocco host of David Rocco’s Dolce Vita.



Now it’s our turn! Look at the crowd assemble for Dale

Crwod assembled for Chef Dale presentation

Time to get to work. Dale is making Mussels with a Curry Cream and spiced with Lemongrass & Kafir Lime Leaves. Simply yummy! Dale has me start off by dicing up some shallots.

Prepping for Chef Dale Mackay

Prepping for CHef Dale close up

What skill I have with a knife

Seriously trying not to cut myself

From this moment on Dale took over and I manned the mic with the Celebrity Stage host Cathy Galbraith. I helped interact with the audience and we gave away tons of great prizes. One young audience member Jack told Dale that he wanted to be a chef one day so we brought him up and put him to work.

Chef Dale with his junior Sous Chef Jack

We finished up the dish and Dale answered the audience questions and then it was tasting time!

Dale answers the audience questions

Now here I have to apologize as I don’t have any photos of the final dish. It was hard to be in the moment and also capture pics so you’ll just have to trust me that 30 + people rushed the stage to taste the mussels Dale prepared.

Adventure done you wonder, well actually a small miracle happened as we were wrapping up and Dale was having his picture taken with the audience members. The co-host Cathy Galbraith came up to me and asked if I had worked at Canoptec years ago. Immediately the light bulb went off! Cathy was a major client of the first company I worked for when I moved to Vancouver in 1989. Cathy was the woman who introduced me to Sushi and in the 4-5 years I worked at Canoptec we became good friends. Of course as often happens when you move on to another job we lost touch.

18 years later www.30DayAdventures.ca has achieved one of my goals and that was to bring people together. In this case it’s Cathy and I.  Success!

My next adventure is also about food and Top Chef Canada. I’m checking out Top Chef Season 2 finalist Trevor Bird’s new restaurant Fable Kitchen located at 1944 West 4th Ave.

Until the next adventure…

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About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.

1 Comment

  1. What a fabulous story Marc! I follow Top Chef Canada and enjoy the show/chef’s immensely! Love reading about your adventures…what a fabulous gig you’ve created! Salute, Wanda

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