No Fixed Address – Secret Dining in Vancouver
– text by Tom McSorely/photos by Jessica Bardosh
Get a text, go to a random private dwelling, eat, drink, and mingle
The idea of underground dining is not something new to Vancouver. With a thriving culinary community leading the charge, the words “secret supper” have grazed many a lucky ear.
Indulging in said meals however, is an art form of its own. After receiving an intriguing call from photographer extraordinaire and fellow Guttersnipe contributor Jessica Bardosh, declaring receipt of an invitation to one of these exclusive get-togethers, I decided to let my stomach experience fine dining sans the restaurant.
Following directions sent via text message we arrived at what could be characterized as a typical, humble dwelling in Kitsilano, a neighbourhood in Vancouver’s West Side. Walking into the quaint apartment with an open mind and an eager appetite, I was immediately bombarded by smells that transcended anything my unsophisticated nose could ever comprehend. It became apparent that I was in for a serious treat.
My feelings of intrigue were amplified by the mystery that came with dining in the company of strangers. Flanking an elegant table waited an eclectic mix of patrons from different social circles with varying levels of “foodie” credentials all brought together by the growling of their stomachs.
After introducing myself to the other attendees, none of whom I knew, I met the man behind the knife. Going only by Chef Steve, our host and founder of NFA aka “No Fixed Address”, explained what he was trying accomplish with this deconstructed dining concept.
“We’re trying to take the pretense out of dining by shifting the focus solely on the food and the interaction amongst the diners,” he said. “Bringing back communal dining by combining like minded individuals with high quality flavors.” Seemed simple enough to this unsophisticated writer, but Chef Steve’s thoughts were driven home with the utterly phenomenal meal that followed.
As each of the lucky attendees gushed over every inch of the intoxicating fare that graced our tastebuds, it became clear that this was by far superior to any “structured” fine-dining I had ever experienced. By keeping these bootleg dining ventures shrouded in mystery I truly felt that I had just been personally catered to. Not only by the fabulous meal but by an ambiance that fostered interaction that added tremendously to my overall experience. Amazing food highlighted with amazing company, everyone needs to drink, taste, and feel what Chef Steve is conjuring in his secret kitchen.
And if you need any more convincing…