Tuesday, January 8, 2013

London Chef - A Unique Victoria Experience

                                     The London Chef at work.

We recently had the pleasure of a tour of London Chef, a Victoria business operated by Micayla and Dan Hayes for the last two years.  Primarily a catering business serving Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands,  Micayla manages the business and Dan is the chef.  The store front at 953 Fort Street houses a Café & Pantry next to a show piece Cooking Class Room, equipped for the diverse cooking classes they offer.  Their 600 year old, Douglas Fir table seats 18 for class dinners and private functions. 

Both Micayla and Dan are extroverts who obviously love what they do.  Dan is a passionate and entertaining chef.  Based on our mini-class, Dan’s must be a blast!  He even passed out trivia prizes. Micayla operates a successful business in a tight local market.  They and their staff did an excellent job of making us welcome.

Dan prepared a delicious seafood dinner, starting with Southern Provencal fish soup with croutons and freshly made roasted red pepper rouille.  The soup was followed by Risotto Nero with squid.  This unique dish uses squid ink to turn the rice black and add a distinctive Mediterranean flavour.  Dan turned the presentation into a cooking lesson with lots of great tips and funny personal anecdotes.  He showed us how to easily peel garlic and explained why risotto rice should be stirred in just one direction to develop the starch, how to fillet a squid, and why saffron is sooo expensive.  We now know that many culinary herbs grow wild on Vancouver Island.  It truly was an entertaining evening.  In addition to catering and the café, they offer cooking classes for kids (age 4 to 10), kid's birthday parties, adult cooking classes, private dining events, corporate events, and private cocktail parties.  Check their website at http://thelondonchef.com/ for details. For more pictures, please go to our Facebook Page.