What’s In Your Fridge: Doug Stephen of DL Chicken

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      What’s In Your Fridge is where the Straight asks interesting Vancouverites about their life-changing concerts, favourite albums, and, most importantly, what’s sitting beside the Heinz ketchup in their custom-made Big Chill Retropolitan 20.6-cubic-foot refrigerators.

      On the grill

      Doug Stephen

      Who are you

      I am one of the owners of DL Chicken, Downlow Burgers, Vennie’s Sub Shop, and the Drive Canteen. Father of Boe and partner of Lindsey Mann (our co-founder). If you’re not familiar with our brands, our goal is to bring a high-quality view using the best ingredients we can get our hands on. And revisiting the foods we grew up with, or have fallen in love with, while focusing on local and fresh, to bring as much health to casual and fast as possible. Although I don’t get to cook in the kitchen as much as I used to, shifting to a mentorship and training role has been incredibly fulfilling.

      First concert

      I don’t think I’m the only one in saying Sharon, Lois & Bram: Canadian staples of the children’s music circuit decades before the Wiggles had even been thought up.

      Life-changing concert

      Goin’ Deep Productions­—Life—April 2000. This was a rave that had booked Eminem during the early part of his career’s stratospheric rise­—seeing a hip-hop artist performing in such a unique venue was pretty incredible. And Jeru the Damaja, sometime around 2002, in a basement club in Toronto. He performed “Come Clean”, splitting the venue into three, and the crowd was pumped­—hammering on the ducting above so that some pieces fell down that night. Great crowd in a super-small venue.

      Top three albums

      Queen Greatest Hits Volume 1  One of the greatest rock bands bringing together some of their greatest songs, first released during my formative years. The impact this band and this album had on me were incredible.

      Wu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)  One of my favourite early hip-hop albums—the lofi gritty production paired with the storytelling and lyricism so incredibly. I was in awe of every song, and still listen to many to this day.   

      Outkast Aquemini  I’d heard some music from the South before, but this was the first album that absolutely caught me. Such incredible production and music and classics like “SpottieOttieDopaliscious”.

      All-time favourite video

      Busta Rhymes “Gimme Some More”  During an era where a lot of videos were shot with a fisheye lens, the imagery and outrageous cartoon-sequel nature of the video floored me. Seeing someone appear to have so much fun while making art was incredible.

      What’s in your fridge

      Greens from Glorious Organics. Mark Cormier and Fraser Valley Coop grow some of the best greens, and I grab at least one bag every weekend from the Trout Lake Farmers Market­—leaves of all sorts make any salad that much tastier.

      HP Sauce. I know this is a bit basic, but this classic brown sauce can make almost any meat that much tastier. If I’ve just visited my sister-in-law, I might be lucky enough to have some of her homemade HP kicking around.   

      Cans of DL Lemonade. An unintentional plug, but ever since Callister Soda took our Lemonade recipe and canned it with some slight changes for scaling and some carbonation, I simply haven’t been able to get enough. A bracing acidity and incredible sweetness pop just that much more with the hit of bubbles. 

      Click through for more deets on DL Chicken, Downlow Burgers, Vennie’s Sub Shop, and the Drive Canteen