What I Did On My Summer Vacation: Andre Natera

by Chef Andre Natera

For our back-to-school series we created an assignment for some of our area chefs, bartenders and sommeliers: what I did on my summer vacation. As these reports are sent back to us we will share them with you. We noticed some are longer than others, and many will be loaded with photographs for extra points.

This summer I had the opportunity to take a culinary excursion to Vancouver in hopes of exploring a major culinary city (and also to see some beautiful Fairmont hotel properties). I stayed at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver in the center of the vibrant downtown hipster scene. It’s an iconic hotel for the city, and much like The Fairmont Dallas, has some of the most beautiful historic ballrooms I have ever seen.   

I had the opportunity to meet up with several of my fellow Fairmont Chefs to have dinner at their respective restaurants and tour the other uniquely different hotels. As my first years of cooking were in the Pacific Northwest in Portland Oregon, I left Vancouver very much inspired and with a “back to my roots” mentality.

While in Vancouver, I tried a different restaurant every chance that I had. Although there are too many to name I will list a few restaurants that really impressed me. As far as street food goes in Vancouver, I had to try the Japadog food cart that gained national fame by being featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. I had the signature Terimayo dog with nori, Japanese Mayo, & teriyaki sauce I added an extra kick of Siracha. I also had an utterly genius ice cream hot dog for dessert – three scoops of green tea ice cream inside a hot dog bun toasted and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.

I experienced the best Charcuterie I have ever had at Oyama Sausage Co. I tried chorizo, wild boar prosciutto, meat pies, foie gras terrines and a variety of different salamis. Touring the market at Granville Island was an amazing experience because the area really shows the diverse food culture of Vancouver. Most of my nights ended with wine, cheese and charcuterie at local hang outs in the Gas Town District, my favorite being Salt Tasting Room in Blood Alley.

Fine dining in Vancouver is amazing with a distinct Asian/Pacific Northwest twist to modernist cuisine. I had wonderful meals at restaurants like Oru, Hawksworth, Market by Jean Georges and Five Sails. In Vancouver, the dining scene is obviously very seafood focused however there is also a nice mix of local, sustainable influence. One favorite was Hawksworth; I was so impressed that I decided to eat there twice for dinner. The restaurant is beautiful and the food is very well executed.

Andre Natera is a Master Chef and works as the executive chef at the Fairmont Hotel Dallas. We appreciate the chef sharing his beautiful story and photgraphs with us today.

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