Chris Whittaker is fast becoming a well-known name in Vancouver, and not just in culinary circles. Whittaker is the force behind Forage, a vibrant addition to Vancouver’s West End dining scene. “Forage stands for everything I care about. It represents what I was taught about food preparation both when I was growing up and over the course of my career in the kitchen.” With his guidance, Forage has become the pioneer restaurant for BC Hydro, LiveSmart BC and the Green Table Network — a partnership that demonstrates how to save financially, through the reduction of waste, water and energy consumption. Whittaker and the team at Forage Restaurant have been recognized for their outstanding efforts with the Vancouver Magazine Green Award and the Where Magazine Green Table Network Award.
The path to Forage has been an easy one for Whittaker, as conservation and the use of local products is who he is, not what he does. Some of his hobbies include bee-keeping at home, and preserving fruits and vegetables to have a ‘canless’ kitchen at Forage. “To me, Forage means that we no longer seek out excess and indulgence, but instead revisit a time when we respected the land and oceans and took only what we needed to survive.” Whittaker also works with small lot farmers throughout the year, proving that he takes this philosophy very seriously. He has been on several panels discussing the ‘greening of the restaurant industry’, including the HOST 2012 Show (BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference), the BC Food Service Expo, and as the key-note speaker for Metro Vancouver’s Food System Policy conference.
Whittaker has been working on a number of partnerships to promote the sustainability of our food systems. Under his guidance, the Listel Hotel has become an active partner with Ocean Wise; the sustainable seafood program at Vancouver Aquarium, The Green Table Network; providing resources for restaurants to reduce energy consumption, Chefs Table Society, Inner City Farmers, and many more. ““It is about being stewards of our land and true conservationists, as we conduct our business and live our lives.” This commitment is integral to our local food economy, from farmers to consumers, and everything in between.
Check out these tasty recipes courtesy of Chef Chris Whittaker!