The month of June is one of the busiest for chefs, as event planners cram as many fundraisers as they can into the weeks before everyone takes off for the summer. Just ask Carl Heinrich. The Richmond Station co-owner and chef has an event just about every night next week (including The Stop’s Night Market) as well as a booked restaurant. And yet, when his friend chef Tyler Shedden asked if he’d like to come over to Café Boulud to collaborate on one of Shedden’s series Guest Chef Dinners on Tuesday, June 17, he knew he couldn’t refuse. As Heinrich explained to GFR this week, “I was going to say ‘no’, but then I just said ‘f**k yeah, I’ll make room.'”
Heinrich’s enthusiasm is based, at least in part on two common factors the chefs share: they’re both from islands off the Pacific coast of the BC mainland (Heinrich from Vancouver Island, Shedden from Quadra) and they’ve both cooked under the supervision of Daniel Boulud. Shedden explained to GFR that, “When you spend time with Daniel Boulud, you learn a certain way of doing things, which should make things go smoothly.”
The pair are cooking a four course meal based on the cuisine of Vancouver Island. Shedden disclosed the menu will be heavy on seafood, and Heinrich emphasized the use of fresh herbs, which can be grown on the West Coast year round. When I spoke to him, he was awaiting a shipment of herbs from his mother, who had picked them from her garden. Café Boulud sommelier Drew Walker will pair the meal to (mostly) BC wines.
Heinrich added that there was one other factor that got him to agree to collaborate with Shedden, “It’s going to be a lot fun!” He added that he thought the Toronto media was slow to recognize Shedden’s talent: “If Tyler were cooking in a 30 seat restaurant on Queen Street, the press would be all over him. I think it’s great he’s reaching out with this series and getting the word out on the level of cooking at Café Boulud.”