Rare Finds is an annual fundraising cocktail party to benefit the Rare Disease Foundation. Kitsilano’s Ferrari Maserati showroom will serve as the venue and will host many of Vancouver’s top chefs and pastry artists. This popular third annual event will include rare auction items, a rare martini bar, live art, and fast cars. Guests will also help judge a friendly competition between the chefs.

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. These studies directly impact the care and the quality of life of a child affected by a rare disease.

I focused on five of the chefs that will be creating their rare finds at the event, as well as what inspired them to become part of Rare Finds 2012.

Steve Fecho

Steve Fecho, Chef and Proprietor, The Cup Bistro and Deli
Chef Steve’s Rare Find: Wild Boar and Quail Egg

“I decided to help Rare Finds after I learned of the last major fundraiser. I knew that such a noble cause could do so much better.  

I think Rare Finds can have great events to match the work they do. They help the kids and the families that need it. A very noble organization that helps out the community deserves the community to help it. That is when I thought, let’s get a few of my chef friends together and make a magical event. That is certainly what we will have on April 21. A very special evening put together for a very special cause.”

Chef Steve has graced kitchens such as The Westin Bayshore, Lumière Restaurant, and the Vancouver Club, where he honed his skills as a cook and developed his cooking style. Gathering together some of his pals from Lumière in a contest highlighting a Feast for the Senses was Steve’s brilliant idea.

Dennis Peckham

Dennis Peckham, Executive Chef, Seasons in the Park Restaurant
Chef Dennis’s Rare Find: Halibut Carpaccio with orange olive oil dressing, cilantro, and pickled ginger

“The reason I decided to participate is quite simple. Steve’s a good friend of mine and when he called last year and asked if I would be involved, I didn’t hesitate. As my friend, if it’s important to him then it’s important to me. Also my own Mother is dying of a very rare form of lung cancer, so when I looked into RareFinds, it hit home pretty close to serve as reminder that we all need to do our part in making the lives of others in need a little bit better. Who doesn’t want to do what they can, no matter how small, to extend the enjoyment of life for loved ones and other peoples loved ones? It’s a no-brainer.”

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.

Darren Brown

Darren Brown, Executive Chef, Fairmont Pacific Rim
Chef Darren’s Rare Find: Notch Hill Farms sunchoke soup with a morel chantilly

“We really decided to get involved after I was contacted by Steve Fecho about the event, and he explained that the Rare Disease Foundation was looking for support from local chefs… Anytime we can support the greater good by doing what we love, it’s a good thing all around, and I can’t think of a better goal than supporting our children and our community. I was grateful for the opportunity to get involved with such a great cause.”

Born in Coquitlam, Chef Darren Brown’s big break came in 1990 when he became the executive chef at Whistler’s Quattro Ristorante. After spending four years in Whistler, Chef Brown was Merv Griffin’s personal chef aboard Merv’s private yacht. In 2001, he returned to North America and worked at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, amongst others.

Stephanie Greenslade

Stephanie Greenslade, Pastry Chef, Fairmont Waterfront Hotel
Chef Stephanie’s Rare Find: Honey caramel torched S’mores

“I was eager to get involved with the RARE FINDS 2012 fundraising and cocktail party because I am able to do something I love, and in return, help raise money to support the research and care of those affected by rare diseases. The Fairmont Waterfront is very supportive of my choice to participate, and the evening is a unique and intriguing way to raise money. A little friendly competition between local Vancouver Chef’s and Pastry Chef’s for a great cause calls for a great evening!”

Food and family have shaped Stephanie’s life. Her passion for cooking and baking skills were honed as a teenager, while cooking for her family. Stephanie completed both the Culinary and Pastry Arts programs at the Culinary Institute of Canada. Chef Stephanie’s culinary career has taken her around the world to work at several leading luxury hotels. From the kitchens of Fairmont Southampton to Lake Placid Lodge in upstate New York, she has proven to be a major player in the pastry world.

Chef Will Tse

Will Tse, Executive Chef, The Sandbar Restaurant
Chef Will’s Rare Find: Pan-roasted prawn galette

“Being a Chef in Vancouver and being exposed to so many cultures and walks of life, it is natural to be inclined to create food that is a little outside of the box. Within a restaurant setting, it can be difficult to fit these creative, and sometimes off-the-wall, ideas into your everyday menus. An event with a title of “RARE FINDS” is the perfect place for me to, as they said, “PLAY WITH FOOD”. I am participating in this event to showcase my talent to a vast audience in hopes that it will entice them to come tryout the Sandbar Seafood Restaurant. I enjoy the challenges of creating something new and exciting for offside events, as well as creating awareness for my restaurant and what we at the Sandbar, are capable of. This is great opportunity to do try something a little different.”

Will Tse grew up in a restaurant family in Toronto where he absorbed the international cultures and global flavors of the metropolitan city. He moved to Vancouver in 1992 in order to formally train, developing the art of combining classical European techniques with his passion for Asian cuisine.

The event will be emceed by CTV’s Coleen Christie and is sponsored by both Haywood Securities and Tantalus Vineyards.

Rare Finds 2012 Cocktail Party

Date: Saturday, April 21, 7 pm to 11 pm
Dress: Cocktail Party / Semi-formal
Venue: Ferrari Maserati of Vancouver Showroom, 1860 Burrard Street
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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