Louis Gervais is both a catering company and bistro, located in North Vancouver. I’d met both Louis Gervais (Executive Chef) and Heather Wright (Sales and Event Manager) at the Harmony of Arts Festival in West Vancouver over the summer, while Louis was preparing food for Best of the West, a fine dining and wine pairing event.

Ahi tuna prep

Last night, my husband and I attended a West coast inspired cooking class at the bistro. Class size is limited to 12, however they were able to accommodate two more at the group of cozy bistro tables by the kitchen.

Hanna and Bernie of Louis Gervais Fine Foods

We arrived a few minutes early, watching chef Bernie DesLauriers and his assistant Hanna Okawara prepare the cooking stations. Bernie began the evening by describing the dishes and what role we’d have in each one’s creation.

Albacore tuna done three ways

With the exception of dessert (a wonderful chocolate mousse), our group (broken down into pairs) prepared two courses that evening: Albacore tuna done three ways and rack of Saltspring Island lamb in potato lace with vert jus.

Rack of Saltspring Island lamb in potato lace

After a long day, it’s nice to arrive in a kitchen with all the ingredients prepped and ready to use! Hanna took our dishes to the oven (and in the case of the firecracker tuna wontons, the fryer). Once our dishes were ready, we brought them to our table to enjoy them while warm.

Cooking lesson - kitchen

We learned a lot of great knife and cooking techniques, and chef Bernie was very patient answering all our questions!

Daikon swirler machine

I was fascinated with the Daikon swirler machine that can create thin strings of vegetables for either cooking or garnish and plan to hunt this little wonder down. While Chef Bernie was demonstrating it on a potato, I couldn’t help but brainstorm other uses for it. I had the chance to try it as well and can’t believe that something so simple to operate could create such thin pieces of vegetable so quickly.

Chocolate Mousse, prepared with Callebaut chocolate

Dessert was the only course that we didn’t prepare due to the time needed for the mousse to settle. Chef Bernie created the dish for us just to show how it would be prepared up until the setting stage. Delicious Callebaut chocolate was used, thus sparing no expense and quality in the final outcome of this tasty dessert. It was topped off with freshly whipped cream and local blackberries and strawberries.

Hubby getting his cooking on

In three hours, you may not become a star chef, but at least you’ll learn a few ways of economizing your time in the kitchen and where to purchase some amazing ingredients around town. Though the class is recommended for those who are looking to entertain guests, I’m sure that we’ll try a few dishes at home; recipes are sent to all participants via email.

Bernie explaining the ins and outs of Albacore tuna

Private group cooking classes as well as catered events are also available. Visit the website for details.

Rack of Saltspring Island lamb in potato lace

A three hour course costs $85 per person and can be reserved online. The bistro is open for both breakfast and lunch, serving frittatas, fruit smoothies, delicious sandwiches, soups, salads and other fine foods, from 8 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday, and 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday.

Louis Gervais Fine Foods and Catering is located at 107 – 850 Harbourside Drive in North Vancouver. The outdoor patio faces the Vancouver harbour with great views of the city.


  • Comment by Greedy Guts — October 31, 2011 @ 10:55 am

    I have never seen lamb wrapped in potato lace before! Very cool (and looks delicious!). Looks like a fun class.

  • Comment by arianec — October 31, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

    @GG – It’s due to the Daikon swirler! Magic little machine that I’m going to start hunting down in Vancouver, BC. Have you seen one in your neck of the woods?

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