Chef Thomas Heinrich is the executive chef of the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. He comes from the land down under – Australia, working at several high-end restaurants before making his way to New York. It’s great that his culinary journey has led him here to Vancouver.
I first met him via Twitter to check out Vaneat’s Art of Taste dining package at Mosaic. What I loved about his style is that he uses amazing ingredients that are in season and I was impressed by the presentation. Of course the taste was amazing, but it was the first time in a few years that I really enjoyed fine dining. A lot of places in town were disappointing, but I love eating here. In the past month, I’ve dined in the hotel at least 5 times. I never knew the Hyatt would have such amazing food. Twice for the #ArtofTaste, once for a company function , once at Grain Tasting Bar, and another time for a chefs tabled prepared by the Chef and his team.
Chef prepared a 10-course meal showcasing 10 unique themes – Oyster, Horseradish, peas, Artichokes, Bacon, Pasta, Foraged, Strawberries and Chocolate. He invited a handful of bloggers to the kitchen and created a meal we wouldn’t forget.
He teased us on Twitter to give us a sneak peek at what was to come. Every time the tweets came, I salivated. All the dishes prepared aren’t on the hotel’s menu, the Chef’s Table is where Chef can create whatever he wants.
What was so cool about this experience is a dining table smack dab in the middle of the kitchen. We could watch every step of preparation happening in the kitchen as we stared at what dishes were going to come out.
Around the table were amazing bloggers from Vancouver – Alvin (Foodimagery), Dee (Gastrofork), Grace (GraceCheung604), Janice (Good Eat), Kevin & Billy (Vaneats), Sean (Sean’s Adventures in FlavorTown), and Sherman (Sherman’s Food Adventures). A great bunch of people I admire and of course we love food. You can image there were lots of cameras on the table.
Fresh oysters with pickled onions and micro greens in an escabeche foam served in a cute tin with giant tweezers.
On the table were potted plants, we thought this was part of the decorations, but little did we know, it would be our next dish.
This is an avocado & buttermilk mousse topped by pumpernickel bread crumbs with wild celery and baby carrots. This dish was inspired his trip to the famous Noma Restaurant in Denmark.
Argentinian Red Shrimp with raw Wagyu Beef, wasabi chips, wasabi foam and freshly grated wasabi atop a kalamansi gel. It’s a cross between Japanese and Spanish influence.
Peas prepared with different techniques skinless pea ravioli (via spherification), isomalt encapsulated pea oil and pea powder served atop black garlic puree.
Seared Halibut with artichoke relish, confit and puree that was sandwiched in a coconut and squid ink macaron. Also a ring of the dried halibut skin. Most people would think the protein in the main focal point of the dish, but in this case, it is the artichoke.
Bacon-wrapped Skuna Bay salmon with citrus caviar, bacon disks, bacon relish and bacon fat powder atop a fava bean puree.
Duck Confit Ravioli atop stinging nettle puree and crispy leaves was served with apple-brined duck and a Maple vanilla gastrique.
Australian Lamb Tenderloin with fiddlehead ferns, pickled ramps and morels with black truffle.
Fresh green strawberries macerated in honey, strawberry chips and a pistachio-strawberry glass with cardamom ice cream. As well as a strawberry and vanilla streusel.
This is made of dehydrated chocolate, a 30 second chocolate cake and a chocolate fondant bar atop streusel with blood orange reduction and white chocolate ice cream. Grand Marnier fluid gel.
This amazing meal was put together by Chef Thomas Heinrich and his awesome team. You won’t find these items on their regular menu, but I wrote it to showcase his amazing talents. Sometimes its easy to forget what happens behind the scenes during your meals. We have amazing chefs in Vancouver that shouldn’t be overlooked. With the Chefs Table, we were able to see Chef’s range of skills sets that were not confined to the menus of the hotel.
One person we can’t forget is Mosaic’s chef-apprentice Tyson Gee. He helped create this amazing meal and is an alumnus of the Vancouver Community College culinary arts program. Tyson was also part of a team that prepared meals for Prince William and Kate Middleton when they were in Ottawa. He definitely has a bright future ahead.
At the end of the day, we all had fun and left crazy full. Thanks Alvin for this picture and Sherman for typing out the menu descriptions. If you get a chance to dine at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, you will know who’s creating the dishes behind the scenes.