Chef’s Secret Recipes: From Vegas to Vancouver
Honey Salt, Las Vegas (photo: Bill Milne)
I remember the first time I indulged in chef Kim Canteenwalla’s cooking: it was in Las Vegas, and he was dishing out breakfast.
You may not think of breakfast as an indulgence, but Canteenwalla’s fare certainly was. I was satiated for the rest of the day. His mix of formal training at Montreal’s Institute of St Denis with his eclectic taste buds honed in Southeast Asia, including at Raffles Hotel group and back here in Canada at the flagship Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto, a plate of this master’s food is a global treat. If you’re in Las Vegas, stop by his restaurant, Honey Salt. You’ll find it’s a local favourite – the best way to enjoy the city and the people. But we’ve done one better, and asked for some of the chef’s secret recipes.
Since that breakfast way back when, the Karachi, Pakistan-born chef’s teamed up with his wife, and they’ve been named a Culinary power couple – Elizabeth Blau and Kim Canteenwalla of Blau + Associates.
Now, they are bringing their award-winning international culinary experience to Vancouver’s entertainment destination, parq Vancouver.
And Canteenwalla’s not the only one known for his dining room skills. Blau is a James Beard Award nominated restaurateur, who has helped oversee the transformation of the Las Vegas strip to a mecca of top chefs and great cuisine. Canteenwalla’s also partnering with celebrity cooks such as Buddy “The Cake Boss” Valastro, as executive chef of Buddy V’s Ristorante inside the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian/Palazzo hotels. http://buddyvlasvegas.com/
According to parq Vancouver: “The overall program, which ranges from fine dining options to casual fare will give visitors to the new downtown destination many options when enjoying events at BC Place, located adjacent to parq, or simply exploring the many leisure offerings in the entertainment district. The impressive 30,000 square foot ‘parq’ atop the inviting venue integrates restaurants and lounges, which open to structured and natural gardens. Guests will be treated to a one-of-a kind experience in which food, nature and lifestyle unite.”
Blau says, “The restaurants are an integral part of the parq experience, but for us they are also an exciting addition to Vancouver. We see this whole complex, but especially the restaurants, as destinations unto themselves for the community, which is very important to us. More than anything we want this to be a neighbourhood gathering place.”
And, although parq Vancouver is set to open in early 2017, Blau and Canteenwalla have been working for more than five years to develop a creative and original set of concepts inspired by their time in Vancouver, and are excited to introduce their unique brand of hospitality to the city.
My Wife’s Favourite Salad
By Kim Canteenwalla
4 legs duck confit, per salad
1 lb Arugula, washed
1 lb Frisee, washed and picked over
Pomegranate vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Pomegranate seeds, aerials
6 eggs, prepared sunny side up egg (optional)
In large mixing bowl, toss together arugula, frisee, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds (aerials). Add duck confit and toss to combine. Dress the salad with pomegranate dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary with salt and pepper to taste. Divide salad amongst 12 individual chilled serving plates. Garnish with sunny side egg if so desired.
Nana’s Tiffin Vegetable Curry
By Kim Canteenwalla
2 tbsp oil or ghee (Indian butter)
6 eggplant, small dice
10 Yukon Potatoes, small dice
6 carrots, small dice
1 cups yogurt
1 ¼ cups coconut milk
½ bunch cilantro leaves
1/2 cup garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 onions, diced
1/2 cup Madras curry powder
¼ cup red curry paste
1 tbsp Lemongrass
4 cup veg stock
1 lg cauliflower
1 can chickpeas (drained)
Method Heat the oil or ghee in a large heavy bottomed saucepan until bubbling. Add the eggplant, and cook slowly over medium heat until the eggplant starts to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat oil or ghee in a separate large heavy bottomed saucepan until it starts to bubble. Add onions and carrots, cook over medium-low heat until the onions are translucent. Stir in jalapenos, curry powder, red curry paste and lemongrass stirring constantly until thoroughly mixed. Add the vegetable stock, potatoes, cauliflower and chickpeas; simmer mixture for about 20 minutes. Stir in yogurt and coconut milk to combine. Add cilantro leaves, kaffir lime leaves, ginger and garlic and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove the lime leaves and transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour vegetable coconut puree into clean pot and add the sauteed eggplant, stir to combine. Heat over medium-low heat until mixture is warmed through.
½ tbsp cumin seeds
½ tbsp coriander seeds
2 ea cardamom pods, cracked