For celebrated chef Jonathan Chovancek, great cooking is all about technique, timing, and a balance of the seven basic tastes. A champion of local, sustainably sourced fare with stints at some of Canada’s most acclaimed establishments, Chef Jonathan’s dishes explore the important role that the oft-overlooked “bitter” element plays in achieving a harmony of flavours.
Chovancek and his partner, acclaimed sommelier and mixologist Lauren Mote, are the award-winning duo behind Bittered Sling Extracts—a retail line of high-quality, small-batch cocktail bitters and culinary extracts that has quickly built a loyal following both in Vancouver and across the globe. Chef Jonathan is also a strong proponent of the usefulness of bitters in the kitchen, from savoury to sweet.
Originally marketed as a medicinal tonic, bitters are a concentration of select natural herbs, fruits and spices now used primarily as a flavouring agent for cocktail and culinary creations. A common and indispensable tool of any bartender, bitters have increased in popularity thanks to the recent renaissance of classic cocktails.
Made using homegrown and artisanal ingredients, Bittered Sling’s lineup of flavours underscores a singular and delicious irony that while all of their bitters are extracts, not all of their extracts are bitter. By the dash or the drop, each creation offers an intricate range of complex flavours that perfectly accentuates food, spirits and even sparkling water.
With his bitters ‘spice rack’ at the ready, Chef Jonathan has provided a selection of seasonally inspired dishes for you to easily create at home, while Lauren has contributed some enticing recipes from her arsenal of expertly balanced cocktails.