Lifestyle & Parenting

Origins of Menu

March 2, 2017

Chef David Hawksworth is no stranger to the small screen. The last time he made an appearance in our living rooms was as a guest judge on Food Network Canada’s Top Chef. Now, the native Vancouverite has teamed with Telus Optik TV on a five-epi program, Origins, that takes him across British Columbia to chat with fellow chefs and discover how they source their signature dishes.

hawksworth origins

“I grew up here and I’m very proud of that. I try, at every opportunity I get, to promote to the world how amazing Canada and B.C. are,” Hawksworth told us in a recent interview. “Beyond that, it’s fun and, in many ways, necessary to get out of the kitchen once in a while and go and experience what’s happening, food wise, in different parts of the province.”

It helps, he added, “to support our philosophy at, for example, Nightingale, to really connect with area producers and form a great relationship with them, so we can highlight and showcase as many of their local products as possible in the restaurant. After all, food really does taste best if it hasn’t travelled too far.”

hawksworth origins

While that may be true, Hawksworth did rack up some mileage to produce the show, journeying from Vancouver Island to Canada’s only desert. In Victoria, for instance, he visits Olo Restaurant chef Brad Holmes to reminisce about their time together as mentor and mentee. In Oliver, at the heart of B.C.’s wine country, Jeff Van Geest of Tinhorn Creek Vineyards’ Miradoro Restaurant is a guest star.

One of Hawksworth’s favourite adventures, however, took him to Galiano Island to check in with chef Jesse McCleery at his celebrated restaurant, Pilgrimme.

hawksworth origins

“I’ve been to Galiano before, hanging out on sailboats and messing around on the water, and it’s always been a lot of fun but to actually see people who farm there, who are living off the land, was incredible. Jesse is a real artist in terms of what he’s doing in his restaurant, and that, along with getting to forage for bull kelp with him, was really interesting to see.”

Talking with fellow culinary masters Normand Laprise, Derek Dammann and Valentine Warner for a “chefs’ jam” on Haida Gwaii was also a highlight.

“We went to the West Coast Fishing Club and did some cooking and reeling—it’s a great relationship I have with those guys,” he said. “I don’t get to see them often enough, so being able to share that bond through this show is also very special.”

hawksworth origins

As for Hawksworth’s list of the top quintessentially B.C. foods? Delicate chanterelle mushrooms, spot prawns, Dungeness crab and, of course, salmon, all make the cut.
“It may seem boring—I know everyone in this province has eaten their weight in salmon—but, if you were to go out fishing today and catch yourself a fish straight out of the water, it’s ridiculous,” he said. “When it’s super fresh, and from B.C. to boot, it simply can’t be beat.” —Noa Nichol

You can watch Origins (no matter where in Canada you live) online at


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


get social


get more out of


Want the best, curated headlines and trends on the fly?

get more out of vita

Sign up for one, or sign up for all!