Executive Chef Dana Hauser, Pastry Chef Stephanie Greenslade

Rare Finds is an annual fundraising cocktail party to benefit the Rare Disease Foundation. The 2013 event will be held at VanDusen Botanical Garden, hosting many of Vancouver’s top chefs and pastry artists in a naturally beautiful setting. Now in its fourth year, this popular event will include both a silent and live auction, delicious bites, and open wine and rare martini bars. I attended last year—it was a fabulous night on the town. Here’s a photo set from that memorable evening as well.

little girl

The Rare Disease Foundation is committed to growing and developing a community that provides a new approach for rare disease research and care. The organization provides funding to inspired clinicians and scientists for their patient-focused projects.

small boys

These studies directly impact the care and the quality of life of a child affected by a rare disease. Event proceeds will benefit these extraordinary children.

As a media sponsor this year, I chose to highlight a few of the chefs that will be creating their rare finds at the upcoming event.

Dennis Peckham

Dennis Peckham, Executive Chef, Seasons in the Park Restaurant

Vancouver born and raised, Dennis Peckham graduated from the Dubrulle Culinary Institute. After completing his schooling, he joined the team at Vancouver’s Lumière Restaurant and was later Chef de Partie at Napa Valley’s French Laundry, one of the most celebrated restaurants in North America.

After establishing himself as a talented and promising chef, Dennis took on Executive Chef roles at Burnaby’s Hart House Restaurant, Coast Restaurant, most recently heading the kitchen at Black & Blue.

Kristian Eligh

Kristian Eligh, Chef de Cuisine, Hawksworth Restaurant

With over 10 years of culinary experience under his belt, Kristian Eligh’s impressive resume includes recent tenures as opening Chef de Cuisine at Market by Jean-Georges, at the Shangri-La Hotel and Diva at the Met in Vancouver.

“Contemporary in technique and presentation and a showcase of Canadian ingredients encompassing the ethnic diversity of our region” says Eligh of the menus at Hawksworth Restaurant, adding “we are striving to create compelling flavour profiles, while keeping the cuisine light, fresh and vibrant.”

As Chef de Cuisine of Vancouver’s highly-rated Hawksworth Restaurant, Eligh’s goal has been to lead a strong kitchen brigade in producing consistently amazing food, helping Hawksworth to become the landmark restaurant that it has to date.

Dana Hauser

Dana Hauser, Executive Chef, Fairmont Waterfront Hotel

Executive Chef Dana Hauser artistically highlights flavours of the Pacific Northwest through her adventurous creations. Complementing our relaxed West Coast lifestyle with an infallible passion for the culinary arts and flawless commitment to quality, her dishes remain true to our region.

Devoted to fresh, sustainable, and seasonal ingredients, she is intrigued by nurturing relationships with local farmers and focuses on building ethical partnerships that foster eco-conscious practices, such as Food Day Canada and the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Program.

Last year, Chef Hauser travelled as an honorary Chef to New York’s iconic James Beard House.

Hauser enjoys dedicating her time to organizations that educate consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable food and makes careful efforts to source items locally within a 100km radius, including Fairmont Waterfront’s own terrace herb garden.

Jackie Ellis

Jackie Ellis, Baker, Owner, Beaucoup Bakery & Café

Beaucoup Bakery & Café opened its doors last fall, offering French-inspired pastries and childhood favourites with a unique twist. The reason for opening Beaucoup Bakery was simple: to leave the world a happier place, even if through something as simple as a cookie.

“There’s nothing like a perfect slice of apple pie but tarte tatin is also heavenly,” says Jackie. “In my mind, neither one is better than the other. At Beaucoup Bakery, we want to share amazing food, prepared with passion. The biggest compliment we can receive is seeing someone’s eyes roll back and hear to them say that it’s the best thing they’ve ever tasted! We strive to make people love food as much as we do!”

Beaucoup Bakery offers sweet pastries, cakes, seasonal tarts, cookies and vienoisserie, along with sandwiches made in-house —all of which can be enjoyed “to go” or in the charming 16-seat café. The café also includes a small retail area featuring hand-picked food and lifestyle items that match Beaucoup’s commitment to quality: coffee from Vancouver roaster 49th Parallel, Mellifera Bees honey, Lovely Home Idea linens, Black & Blum water bottles and Aquaovo thermoses.

Beaucoup’s owner and baker, Jackie Ellis, has loved baking since she was a little girl and is self-taught from books borrowed at the library. It’s no surprise that her childhood memories centre around home-baked classics such as apple pie, cookies, and brownies.

A fellow graphic designer, Jackie closed her successful agency in order to pursue her love of baking and study in Paris at École Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil. Upon returning to Vancouver, she sought a way to combine her love of both the comforting North American baking she grew up with and the delicate art of French pastry-making. The result is Beaucoup Bakery and Café.

Participating chefs will include:
Steve Fecho, Executive Chef, The Cup Bistro & Deli
Kristian Eligh, Chef de Cuisine, Hawksworth Restaurant
Wayne Harris, Executive Chef, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts
Dennis Peckham, Executive Chef, Seasons in the Park
Eleanor Chow Waterfall and Slavita Johnson, Pastry Chefs, Cadeaux Bakery
Dana Hauser, Executive Chef, Fairmont Waterfront
Darren Brown, Executive Chef, Fairmont Pacific Rim
Jackie Ellis, Pastry Chef, Beaucoup Bakery
Shane McNeil, Executive Chef, Bridges Restaurant
with more to be announced.

Rare Finds will be emceed by CTV’s Aamer Haleem.

Rare Finds 2013 Cocktail Party
Date: Saturday, May 4, 7 pm to 11 pm
Dress: Cocktail party/semi-formal
Venue: VanDusen Botanical Garden, Oak Street and 37th Avenue, Vancouver
Tickets: $150; available online
Note: No paper tickets will be issued. Ticket purchases will be recorded on the event guest list; PayPal will provide a receipt after purchase.

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