Friends of the Pier has announced its latest fundraising effort in support of repairs to the White Rock Pier.
The organization will host a ‘Chefs for the Pier’ event Sept. 12.
The event is to feature 12 prominent, and celebrity, chefs from the area along with Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell.
During the announcement, held at My Shanti restaurant Thursday morning, South Surrey/White Rock Chamber of Commerce executive director Ritu Khanna said she was speaking to Chappell and it “slipped” that he used to be a chef.
She invited him to be part of the program.
“Yeah, it slipped out,” Chappell told media at the event. “It slipped out that I used to be a chef. My first job was on the strip. It was actually at one of the small fish and chip restaurants on White Rock’s strip.”
Chappell said he looks forward to the opportunity, which he says will highlight the backgrounds, cultures and diversity of White Rock.
“For me, culturally, I think… sharing a meal is such a great thing. Our elders always told us when you’re lonely, set the table. When you’re sad, set the table, when you need uplifting of the spirit, set the table,” Chappell said.
“There’s magic that happens at the table. If you sit down with a stranger at the table, share a meal, all of a sudden you’ll be able to get to know each other. There’s a real gift in that, and I enjoy that.”
Chappell said the event is an opportunity for him to showcase Indigenous cuisine, to showcase Semiahmoo people and give back to SFN’s neighbouring community.
“Don’t tell my wife that I can cook,” he joked.
My Shanti owner Vikram Vij, who starred as one of the ‘dragons’ on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, said the dinner will be an opportunity to show the diversity of the land, and to show respect to local farmers and wineries.
“Most importantly, to bring awareness to the environment. What is happening? Why are these disasters happening?” he said, adding the dinner will be sustainable.
“We’re going to use produce that is from our backyard. We, as chefs, need to be proud of our backyard. If we are not proud of our backyard, nobody else will be.”
Khanna told media that Save-On-Foods president Darrell Jones, who is a South Surrey resident, has committed to donate – on behalf of his company – all of the ingredients, floral arrangements and wine for the event.
Friends of the Pier chairman Bob Bezubiak told Peace Arch News after the announcement that although the chefs are friendly, he does sense a competitive edge.
Tickets for the Chefs for the Pier, which is to be held Thursday, Sept. 12 from 6-9 p.m. at Oceana PARC, are available now at www.friendsofthepier.com
Bezubiak said tickets cost $300, and the goal is to sell 150 pairs of tickets. He said all money raised will go towards to the pier restoration project.
Participating chefs include Vikram Vij (My Shanti), Matthew Stowe (Joey Restaurant Group), Harley Chappell (SFN), Shaughn Halls (Oceana Parc), Jan Wait (Jan’s on the Beach), Kayla Dhaliwal (Glass House Estate Winery), Jennie Silk (Uli’s Restaurant), Josiah Tam (Barrique Kitchen & Wine Bar), Brian Cho (Sapporo Kitchen), Soo Min Lee (Sapporo Kitchen), Joel Villanueva (Primo’s Mexican Grill) and Christophe Bonzon (Chez Christophe).
Friends of the Pier is also selling 1,300 wood decking planks for the new pier. Each plank will include the name of the person or organization that purchases it, with those names remaining in place for five to seven years.
Although numbers have yet to be confirmed, Bezubiak said plank sales are going well.