Tuesday 21 November 2017

Chef Trevor Bird on Fable Kitchen & Fable Diner

Image curtesy of Chef Trevor Bird

I have been wanting to interview Chef Trevor Bird since I first saw him on Top Chef Canada All Stars. I have dined at his restaurants, Fable Kitchen and Fable Diner, a number of times, but it was only after seeing him on TV and reading Vancouver B.C. beside his name that I was like I need to interview him! Whenever there is a Vancouverite on a competition show, I automatically put my full support behind them. I just have HUGE Vancouver pride because Vancouver is my home.

After multiple emails and rescheduling of meetings with his assistant, I was finally seated across from Chef Bird. Before I could even get a word out, I was ambushed with the idea to live stream the interview on his social media outlets. Trevor probably saw all the colour dissipate from my face and the look of horror that flashed across my face because quickly reassured me that we do not have to do anything I am not comfortable doing.

Meeting Chef Bird in person was completely different from what I expected as my only impression of him is what I saw on the Food Network. Top Chef Canada portrayed Chef Bird to be a no nonsense serious individual with a constant look of anger. The real Trevor Bird wears a big smile and never misses an opportunity to throw in a joke. Really makes you question all of the reality tv shows currently airing.
"It's like a really messed social experiment"
Chef Bird opened the doors to his first restaurant, Fable Kitchen, shortly after his time on Top Chef Canada Season 2. His dedication for farm to table cooking extended into his second restaurant as well, Fable Diner, which opened its doors Summer 2016. Always one to be witty, Trevor could not resist picking a name that embodied his passion using locally sourced ingredients. But the smiliarities between the two restaurants stop at their names as they are completey different entities both in style and pricepoint.
FArm-to-taBLE  hence:    FA - BLE
Fable Diner was not something Chef Bird had anticipated doing; however, when a too good to be true opportunity comes to your door, you take it. I love the rich history that Vancouver has to offer - again huge Vancouverite here - so I find it super cool that Fable Diner resides in the same spot that previously also held a diner since 1949.

Unlike Fable Kitchen which showcases refined flavours, Fable Diner serves up favourite diner foods with a bold taste. The Roast Duck Pancake is Chef Bird's personal favourite from the diner menu. A large fluffy cornmeal pancake is piled high with succulent roasted duck, crispy rice, and spicy kimchi. It is finished with fresh green onion and Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise which brings a lovely sweetness to this savoury breakfast dish. I also highly recommend the much instagrammed Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake because the hype is REAL!
"Deceivingly simple, seasonally inspired technically driven"
From the Fable Kitchen menu, the Spaghetti and Meat Ball is his favourite. Perhaps one of the simpler menu items, but like all of his food, this dish is technically driven. Succulent duck meat balls and roasted mushrooms are poured over a bed of perfectly al dente tagliatelle. Another must try are the Chickpea Fritters that are served with pickled red onion, shoots and curry mayo.

If you are popping in for dinner, ask the hostess if you can be seated at the bar because you will be able to watch dance like synchronization that Chef Bird's team works behind the line. And if you are really lucky, you may catch Trevor plating your entrees at the pass.

Fable Kitchen and Diner have won the hearts of Vancouverite's, but Chef Bird worries about the future of Vancouver's food scene. Many beloved restaurants have shuttered since the beginning of the year and more will continue to do so. Farm-to-Table restaurants are some of the most challenging since food costs are so high, but the stiff competition forces menu prices to be lowered. Food is Chef Bird's life, but to get to where he is has required a huge amount of grit and thick skin. Part of being a successful chef and restauranteur is being able to problem solve - constantly! 

As we neared the end of our meeting, I got a peak at Trevor's new endeavour. Unfortunately I do not think Chef Bird wants me revealing the details just yet, but soon!

I just have one final question for you Chef Bird, will you teach me how to make your favourite burger: 2 thin beef patties cooked medium rare, pickles, tomato, Fable sauce on soft burger buns. Just do not forget, I want to live stream it!


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