An acclaimed Vancouver-born chef has established yet another milestone in his illustrious career.
Chef David Hawksworth released his first cookbook Hawksworth on October 13, cowritten by food writer Jacob Richler (Susur: A Culinary Life, Mark McEwan’s Fabbrica) and chef Stéphanie Nöel, with a foreword by Philip Howard, a preface by Richler, an introduction by Hawksworth, and photography by Clinton Hussey.
The cookbook compiles recipes that span the trajectory of his professional journey from his days in the 1990s when he was receiving culinary training from Michelin-starred chefs in London to helming the kitchen at South Granville’s Ouest (which was later renamed West)—the first restaurant where he was the head chef and used his ideas of a new West Coast French cuisine—and on to the launch of his own restaurants: Hawksworth (which he opened in 2011), Nightingale (opened in 2013), and two locations of Bel Café.
Impressive fact: he was the youngest chef to be inducted into the B.C. Restaurant Hall of Fame in 2008. He also operates Hawksworth Catering, the Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Foundation, and has a culinary partnership with Air Canada. In the Georgia Straight's annual Golden Plates, Hawksworth has been named Vancouver's chef of the year and his restaurants have won numerous awards over the years.
In his introduction, he explains that he learned from “great, pioneering chefs” such as Marco Pierre White at the Canteen, Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, and Philip Howard at the Square, and that a good dish always maintains balance and harmony of ingredients.
Chapters cover starters, raw bar, salads, and soups to pizza and pasta, fish and shellfish, meat and poultry, and vegetables, with desserts and cocktails as well.
For those seeking casual fare, there are recipes from the lunch-hour spot Bel Café and family-style dishes from the Californian-Italian–inspired Nightingale.
Meal recipes have differing levels of skill and time requirements, running the gamut from English pea soup with lobster crème fraîche to crispy buttermilk fried chicken and pickled ramps ranch to wagyu beef carpaccio with piquillo pepper, parsley, and beef tendon.
(Of course, for those of us who struggle to follow the instructions to make a Dalgona coffee, there are the beautiful photos in the cookbook to appreciate.)
The 336-page cookbook is available in hardcover and ebook versions.