Vancouver’s Juniper, a relatively new (opened in the winter of 2015-16) establishment was anticipated for several reasons, the first being the arrival of Executive Chef Sarah Stewart with her backpack of credentials and secondly the entrance of the other team member, Shaun Layton, who is the curator of a fantastic bar programme.
Stewart’s culinary career began in her grandmother’s vegetable garden where she also helped to tend her grandfather’s beehives. Professionally she had a five year stint in the kitchen with Chopped Canada’s judge Anne Yarymowich at FRANK Restaurant in the Art Gallery of Ontario. Anne has been known as one of Ontario’s most talented (and nicest) chefs and this opportunity was not wasted on the adventurous Stewart. Wanting to be closer to the land, she headed north to Elk Lake Eco Centre where foraging and preserving were an imperative. Now, at Juniper, she is in her element, helping to shape the next incarnation of cuisine for the Pacific Northwest.
Shaun Layton and I met when he taught me to make an Aviation cocktail at his former restaurant, L’Abattoir. As VanMag wrote: “In a city of amazing bartenders, Shaun Layton stands at the very top. He started at George and immediately set about restoring its slightly lagging reputation in short order. But it was at L’Abbatoir where he morphed into something different altogether. He transformed an impossibly small little space into a pilgrimage of watering hole with a reputation amongst those who know that stretched from London to Hong Kong.”
True to the restaurant’s name, Juniper has 35 different gins and a counter filled with garnishes. Shaun’s gin and tonic promotion has been in Layton’s words, “amazing.” In a Province with 35 distilleries (and counting) Shaun’s work compliments the kitchen’s regional focus. Although there’s a great wine list, I’d ask him to do cocktail pairing with Chef Stewart’s seasonally-inspired menus.
FOOD DAY CANADA MENU
JULY 30, 2016
40$ per person
Roasted Sunchokes – organic sunchokes, sunflower sprouts & seeds,
hand cut organic greens, candied ginger, tahini
Smoked Duck Wings – confit & smoked duck, whisky, honey sesame,
sauce, spicy red cabbage
Spring Chicken – seared bird, honey glaze, buttered local grains, rutabaga puree,
roast carrots, fresh shucked peas & garlic scapes
Cauliflower Stuffed Peppers – purple & yellow cauliflower, poblano soffritto,
smoked almonds, local goat feta
Hazelnut Torte – maple chantilly, local berry coulis
Shaun’s COCKTAIL for FOOD DAY CANADA
East Van Bramble…Odd Society Gin with a splash of Cassis.
Juniper is one of about 250 restaurants that celebrate Food Day across Canada. Contact them at the number below to reserve a table.
Juniper est l’un des 250 restaurants à travers tout le Canada qui participent au Journée des terroirs. Contactez Juniper directement, au numéro ci-dessous, afin de faire votre réservation.