Exploring Our Fall Menu With Chef JJ
The Importance of Food and Wellness at Tapestry
At Tapestry, we believe that food is the backdrop to the stories of our lives. When we break bread, we share moments that become memories. We recently sat down with Tapestry at Arbutus Walk’s Executive Chef Jurgen Jurgens (Chef JJ) to discuss how our award-winning chef and his team create meals that are not only unique and delicious but also healthy and balanced. In doing so we discover how nutrition supports Tapestry’s focus on the seven dimensions of wellness and how he factors this consideration into creating exceptional culinary experiences for residents and guests at every meal!
How do you believe that food and nutrition support the seven dimensions of wellness?
Chef JJ: Healthy food and good nutrition are such an important part of living a wellness-centered life. At Tapestry, we offer a variety of dining venues and a full range of menus that feature freshly prepared, delicious and nutritious meals that support our focus on wellness and help residents live their best lives possible. Be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, we have a lot of different offerings, as well as daily specials. Our culinary team prides itself on working with fresh ingredients and we make almost everything we serve in house-including our new breakfast sausages!
Getting together and socializing over a good meal is such an integral part of life. Is this something Tapestry residents continue to value?
Chef JJ: Absolutely! Our community and our dining venues (pub and restaurant) are designed to encourage social interaction and vibrancy. Our residents have complete choice over when they will dine, where they will dine and who they will dine with. Family members and guests are encouraged to dine with us and experience why food is such a differentiating feature of Tapestry’s offering. Our pub menu is available throughout the day in any area of the restaurant. We also offer room service for those seeking to dine in the comfort of their beautiful suite.
How does your team participate in the seven dimensions of wellness? Is this something you incorporate into your lives?
Chef JJ: Our team is always considering how we infuse our menu options with items that are delicious, healthy and nutritious. We believe these attributes aren’t mutually exclusive! You can eat well to feel well. From a wellness perspective, our team is always working to improve themselves and their skills both personally and professionally. We have a working relationship with some of the culinary schools in Vancouver, so we do have students come to learn about becoming a Chef. Cooking is a very demanding career and it is not for the faint of heart. It is wonderful to be able to bring in students to expose them to what I think is an amazing career opportunity. This also lets the cooks in our kitchen learn mentorship skills that will relate to other facets of everyday life.
It sounds like Tapestry at Arbutus Walk has allowed you to become not only a mentor to your team but also to members of the Vancouver culinary community. What is your background in the kitchen and where do you look for inspiration?
Chef JJ: I have been in kitchens since I was 14-years-old, working with my mother at resorts and fly-fishing lodges before venturing out and looking for my own kitchen to run. In those years I have accumulated several hundred cookbooks that I am always looking through. I also subscribe to many culinary magazines to stay current and see what the trends are in the food industry.
I have also been fortunate enough to travel a bit and eat at some really wonderful restaurants. New York was a fantastic city to eat in. I enjoyed many meals there that inspired various dishes over the years. Currently we have a Seared Duck Breast on the dinner menu that I first had at the Blue Ribbon Restaurant in New York.
What is one of your favourites on the new menu?
Chef JJ: We rotate our menus seasonally to keep offerings fresh and interesting. Right now, our entire kitchen team is united in saying that the Guinness and Lamb Pot Pie on our dinner menu is the favourite. We have had so many compliments from residents about this dish. It is a wonderful comfort food stew that will warm the heart and soul in the winter months.
We would like to thank Chef JJ for taking the time during this very busy holiday season to chat with us about some of the amazing offerings at Tapestry at Arbutus Walk. If your mouth is watering, try out Chef JJ’s Guinness and Lamb Pot Pie for yourself with the recipe provided below.
Guinness & Lamb Pot Pie
3170ml Beef Remouillage
325g Grainy Mustard
800g AP Flour
325ml Canola Oil
Salt & Pepper TT
2300g Puff Pastry (7 sheets)
9 oz ramekins
1 Large Pot
- 1inch dice cut the Veg
- Dredge Lamb in flour and seasoning
- Sear off the lamb and remove from pot
- Add veg to the pot and sweat
- Add seared lamb
- Add Remouillage and beer
- Braise until fork tender
- Portion into 9oz ramekins
- Top with puff pastry and egg wash