Ultimate Gourmets: Karri Schuermans & David Robertson
I didn’t choose to live on Beatty street for two years without reason. Just two little blocks away from my old, Yaletown apartment lies one of our city’s most enticing food empires, headed by a three-star-Michelin-trained chef who’s cooked for Mick Jagger, a dirt biking marketing guru from New Zealand, and a Culinary Olympic gold medalist with an interest in molecular gastronomy.
Since I migrated, a third establishment by the same trailblazing gourmets has opened which caused me to reconsider my move. Medina, Chambar, and The Dirty Apron Cooking School and Delicatessen are simply that good.
Power couple Nico and Karri Shuermans, owners of award-winning restaurants Chambar and Medina, partnered with their former chef de cuisine, David Robertson, to open The Dirty Apron Cooking School — now deli, as well. Together, they’ve created an inspirational learning center where delicious secrets of the Beatty Street hotspots are disclosed. If you’ve yet to try their new deli, let me recommend the Confit Albacore Tuna Baguette — it’s 100% to die for.
Here are Karri and David’s juicy tidbits:
Q: Will you show me your ‘to die for face’? (This is the expression occurring at the taste of ‘to die for food’ – you know the one!)
A: See above.
Q: Name the food you would most often describe as, ‘to die for’.
A: KS – Fresh, ripe plums. DR – I would die to get my hands on one of those Shrimp Spring Rolls that I once bought from a little food cart on the streets of Bangkok. While it certainly wouldn’t score any points with the sanitation department, I could have eaten 50 more of those. Something about the combination of the crispy outside and the explosively juicy shrimp filling made it unforgettable.
Q: What is your favorite Vancouver restaurant other than your own?
A: KS – Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie. DR – My favorite Vancouver restaurant accommodates only a handful of people and is located behind the fifth log, in the first row, on the right-hand side of Third Beach. The menu is limited to juicy steak sandwiches served on Portuguese Buns paired with a couple of ice-cold beers. It’s only open in the summer months and holds a no reservations policy. On the days that my log is taken, I go to Chambar Restaurant on Beatty Street.
Q: What is your trashy indulgence? (i.e. that late night 7/11 or drive-thru treat)
A: KS – Belgian chocolate. DR – Chips. Mostly, I crave them late at night, and sure enough, I have to pass a 7/11 on my way home from work. Once that bag of chips is open, I can’t stop crunching until everything is gone.
Q: Is there a food you refuse to eat because you were sick after eating it?
A: KS – No, it was the alcohol. DR – Overcooked green vegetables. I can’t stand the taste, the smell, or even the look of them!
Q: What is the sexiest food?
A: KS – Bavarois Sale: salted hazelnut praline Bavarois with caramel sour apple, fig compote, and Calvados ice cream. DR – I find natural flavours incredibly sexy. When simple ingredients like sundried tomatoes, olives, and fresh herbs are tossed with pasta and finished off with a beautiful olive oil, my taste buds get excited.
Q: What is your favorite dessert?
A: KS – Anything with pastry & fruit. DR – I usually like to finish off a nice meal with a nice cheese platter; however, when I see a good cheese being incorporated into a dessert, I have to try it.
Q: What is your favorite comfort food?
A: KS – Nico’s campfire stew with at least two kinds of meat, two bottles of red wine, seasonal vegetables, big sprigs of herbs, and a lot of smoke. DR – Pasta.
This article was written for Vancouver View Magazine. Visit their website here.
Ciao for now.