So, young Chef Heinrich has been getting mixed reviews on his newly opened Richmond Station restaurant in the financial district. If you’ve watched Top Chef Canada, then you know who he is. If you haven’t, then you are about to discover what he is all about and how Heinrich has raised to fame from his former Marben gig, to Top Chef Celebrity status and now to his new baby, Richmond Station.
Let’s talk about Chef Heinrich for a minute, after all, he is a celebrity. Born and raised in Canada, specifically in Sooke, British Columbia; Carl has been cooking since he was 13 years old, accelerating his way to the top by walking the talk alongside renowned Chef Daniel Boulud in New York, season 1 Top Chef Canada winner Chef Dale MacKay in Vancouver; and lastly, landing a gig as executive chef at Marben in Toronto which put him on the radar and placed him on Top Chef Canada.
So what makes him so special? These days, his fame, others his robotic skills in the kitchen. Being one of Heinrich’s biggest fans during Season 2 of Top Chef Canada, I realized he’s not the type of chef that will create from scratch, but instead, re-create on his own terms. Robotic, as in, exactly as; other times, from the heart. The food at Richmond Station is a testament to this notion.
Richmond Station’s menu is predictable. When I visited this hip and trendy restaurant, whose set-up reminded me of Marben (remember, re-create?), I knew right away, even before trying the food, that I will be in for a treat, just a treat I’ve tasted before. Like the polenta fries with house-made ketchup, nice and crunchy deep-fried cornmeal-style french fires. Delectable on the palate, with the right amount of salt. Cooked perfectly, no sogginess, no crumbly effect. The same polenta fries you’d try at one of the Oliver & Bonacini restaurants, just made a tad bit better, with locally-sourced, fresh ingredients.
The wild boar ragu, a braised boar shoulder brought in from Stratford, slow cooked for a day. Almost too cooked for my taste. However the flavours were all there, bringing in comfort to one’s taste buds via an al dente orecchiette pasta, in a juicy tomato broth topped with toscana cheese and celery. Does Woodlot’s wild boar pappardelle ring a bell? Indeed it does.
And then there is the infamous Marben-style burger, the Stn. Burger.A tremendously juice-dripping slider-style burger with braised short rib enveloped in a beef patty, cooked medium-rare with aged cheddar and beet chutney. This one re-creation is close to perfect, though not quite like Marben’s.
And that brings us to Chef Heinrich’s one creation, the decadent, mouth-watering S’mores dessert.The beautifully assembled, delectable soft and sikly chocolate flouerless cake is placed on a bed of red wine cranberry coulis, slightly sandwiched between the S’mores concoction, then blow-torched prior to arriving at the table. Now this, exactly like this, I have not tasted before.
Until next time Foodies!