When I first looked at Chef Brian Skinner’s Instagram account a picture which displays a table beautifully set with white accents stood out. The panoramic view of the glacier mountains was stunning and visible as this table was set at 9000 feet in a bio dome. Turns out this was a remote British Columbia, Canada fine dining gig for clients who wanted to eat delicious food in an environment where no one had been before. Brian talks about this amazing private experience where he was helicoptered to the location. He reflects on cooking dishes from his surrounding environment, where time is spent foraging for ingredients, thus creating a totally different connection to the food eaten.
All of this is a drastic change of pace from the fast stresses of running a busy restaurant in an urban environment. Acorn was an upscale vegetarian restaurant that he sold to focus on family and time, he now provides consultation services while working on opening his new restaurant, Frankie, We Salute You! Chef Skinner has gone from creating special occasion fine dining experiences to every day food cooked more for daily nourishment. In an infinite world of food, he tries to follow the guidelines of making healthy, delicious food that he would want to share if you were a guest in his home, or a guest in his restaurant. Since the focus is on a plant based diet, he doesn’t aim to replicate a meat dish, but to focus on composing holistic vegetarian dishes.
During this episode we discuss the approach Brian took to learn the culinary arts while being a vegetarian and the considerations he had to make to learn the cookery he was inspired by. How Brian creates a dish without building it around animal protein so that vegetables are the delicious result is touched upon. And we talk about using techniques that are traditionally reserved for cooking meat, like braising and confiting, to elevate his cuisine.
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