Name: Savoury Chef Foods

Location: 1175 Union Street, Vancouver, BC

Year opened: 2006

Chef name: Taryn Wa

Type of cuisine: From innovative, Asian-inspired cuisine to classic favourites, Savoury Chef concocts simple-yet-elegant menus spanning a range of culinary genres.

Signature dishes: Duck with Cherries (Fraser Valley duck breast and leg, burdock, star anise-pickled cherries, Savoy cabbage)—it’s quite classic but also highlights my Asian roots and is always a bit of a pleasant surprise for guests when they sample it!

Signature drink: The Bamboo Brelly, designed by celebrated mixologist and bartender Lauren Mote who is also the creative force behind Bittered Sling Extracts. I always urge my guests to give it a try. It’s a lip-smacking blend of Lillet (French aperitif wine), sake, bitters, lime juice and oolong tea, and I love the sweet pickled citrus garnish so much that I eat it on its own!

Most memorable kitchen mishap: I learned this valuable lesson while in cooking school: a ball of dough can act just like a kernel of popcorn when deep-fried!

Three lessons learnt:

  1. Nurture a strong and passionate team, and one that’s a great fit for your corporate culture. Surround yourself with amazing people and it will not only show in your food, but in the smiles on the faces of your guests.
  2. There will always be a vegan, gluten-free or low-sodium guest request, and it’s important to always make them happy!
  3. Whether it’s a large event like the Cirque du Soleil VIP Rouge tent, a corporate gala or the smallest intimate dinner party, it’s crucial to plan carefully, be prepared for anything and stand by your dishes. Never let anything slide, and always cook what you do best!

Cooking motto: Focused and refined flavours stand out. Keep it simple and cook what you love.

Background: 

After taking centre stage as a professional BC Lions cheerleader, Taryn was inspired to become a chef by her mother and grandmothers, all of whom were accomplished cooks in South Africa. In 2006, she co-founded Savoury Chef Foods along with her partner Kyle Nordman, and has continued to set a new standard of excellence for high-end catering and event coordination in Vancouver. Taryn’s recipe for success is derived from her commitment to providing exceptional service custom-tailored to each client, nurturing a professional and knowledgeable staff, and using premium locally sourced ingredients for her inspired menus.

Now check out these great recipes courtesy of Chef Taryn Wa!

Appetizer: Roasted Carrot Salad

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Mains: Ling Cod with Clams and Beef Ribeye & Braised Cheek

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Dessert: Chinese Five-Spice-Crusted Éclairs

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Taryn-pic Taryn Wa is the Co-founder and Culinary Director of Savoury Chef Foods, a high-end catering and event company based in Vancouver, B.C. To learn more, follow Savoury Chef Foods on Twitter @SavouryChef.

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