October 1, 2023


Travel Adventure

At L’Abattoir, pastry chef Oliver Bernardino is serious about the business enterprise of desserts — Stir

4 min read

The Richmond-born and -raised culinary artist credits his mothers and fathers for instilling in him an appreciation for foodstuff from an early age. The family members made a position of cooking and eating collectively, and as a substitute of ski weekends or camping journeys, they would go to foods reveals at B.C. Area and visit Granville Island often.

“My father was an excellent home cook and drew from so numerous various cultures when getting ready our meals,” Bernardino states. “In terms of desserts, my mom would typically provide house the greatest pastries accessible at the time: apple crostatas from Leslie Stowe blueberry-white-chocolate focaccia from Terra Breads. Thomas Haas’s crispy raspberry cake was, and continues to be, a mainstay celebratory dessert for our relatives. We would also go to seriously awesome places to eat to rejoice unique instances, no matter if it be Feenie’s for my 16th birthday or Provence brunch to rejoice an anniversary. It seems like an extravagant way of life increasing up, but I can guarantee it really was not. My moms and dads just prioritized those types of food items encounters for our family members.” 

While Bernardino has usually been enthralled by the notion of remaining a chef, he also needed to have a school encounter. Obtaining a university degree appeared like a seem concept he figured he could constantly drop again on his education and learning if a job in baking didn’t pan out. Halfway by way of university, having said that, he came to an significant realization: “I wasn’t into it at all,” Bernardino claims.

“Academically, I hardly acquired via that to start with 12 months,” he clarifies. “I just did not treatment about fiscal accounting or microeconomics. As an alternative of taking notes in class, I would be reading meals blogs about new dining establishments and underground supper clubs that were popping up close to Vancouver. I would bake apple tarts and coffee cake at residence and display up to analyze periods with my close friends with the ideal snacks but be scrambling the night time just before every single midterm. 

“At the conclusion of my 2nd yr, as I was registering for summer months faculty to make up for my failed programs, I genuinely considered it was time to just go to culinary faculty so I could do the matter that I essentially appreciated accomplishing,” he suggests. “This was a big wake up connect with.”

You’d assume this would be the section of the story exactly where he deserted his scientific tests. Nope. He was established to see as a result of what he started out and “basically lived in the library for the upcoming two years”. His encounter at Sauder imparted a must have lessons. “It taught me that when you go immediately after a little something you want and take possession of the components you can immediately management, genuinely anything is feasible,” he suggests. 

Besides staying a dessert lover himself, Bernardino appreciates the creativeness concerned in pastry. Having said that, he’s speedy to point out the artwork kind entails numerous far fewer extraordinary facets.

“I like that I’m equipped to make desserts that I’ve been contemplating about considering the fact that I was a child,” Bernardino states. “But in get to do this form of get the job done for a residing, you have to enjoy mundane repetition… Even though cleaning. So a great deal of cooking and baking skillfully is doing the identical process each single working day, above and above once more. You have to uncover inspiration in that repetition—or at the very least have the drive to regularly improve the way you have out these duties, day following working day. 

“I’m a pastry cook, and at the stop of the working day, I’m element of a staff that tends to make food with the intention to make individuals content,” he states. “That becoming mentioned, notably with pastry, and working in a cafe environment where by plated desserts are a enormous aspect of what we do, there is some degree of artistry which is necessary to make food glimpse appealing. We try to eat with our eyes, and I test to discover that sweet place with plating desserts so that they are visually captivating by way of thoroughly clean, sharp lines and fantastic proportions, in which it’s practically far too fairly to take in, although conceptualizing desserts that glance so undeniably mouthwatering, where, as a diner, you’re pretty much drooling and just cannot wait around to acquire the initially bite.” 

Desserts at L’Abattoir change up regularly, regardless of whether for Cooper’s ever-shifting multicourse tasting menu or the a la carte evening meal menu. With the cooks concentrated on culinary creativity, regularity, and refined techniques (along with sector vet Chad Clark having joined the staff as director of functions and), the staff is all about creating a eating knowledge that lingers in diners’ minds extended following it’s over—the type that motivated Bernardino to go after his enthusiasm.

L’Abattoir is participating in Vancouver Cocktail 7 days 2023, with several gatherings on the calendar. One particular is the Esquimalt Vermouth & Apéritifs supper on March 9. Cooper will be collaborating with Vancouver Island mead-maker Quinn Palmer for a cocktail-paired multicourse food. Bernardino is on dessert: he’ll present a new consider on a lemon tart, paired with Esquimalt Vino Miele Limoncello.

Right here, Bernardino shares his innovative process driving a couple of L’Abattoir desserts. 


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