Chef Takashi Ito Launches New Menu at AURA

Left: Chef Ito: the happiest chef in town!, Right: Chef Ito demonstrates his ice carving skills as Chef Patrick Gayler catches the shavings for granite. Credit: Rebecca Baugniet

“I brought lunch!” Chef Takashi Ito called, hopping out of a convertible with a fresh tuna in hand. The new Executive Chef at the Inn at Laurel Point’s AURA restaurant made quite the entrance, bursting with an exuberance  which he has obviously channelled into his cooking.  The result is an exciting new menu that assembled friends and media had the chance to sample on June 1st at the hotel’s harbourside patio.  Assisted by Executive Sous Chef Castro Boateng (formerly Executive Chef at The Aerie) and Executive Sous Chef Patrick  Gayler, Chef Ito treated guests to tastes of his Tuna and Tomato Poke, Broiled Sablefish with Aka Miso, Tempura Side Stripe Shrimp with Togarishi Mayo, Grilled Caesar Salad with Soft Poached quail’s egg and Roasted Duck Breast with Cauliflower and Vanilla Purée. For dessert, there was Elderflower Cordial Granita, made as the ice shavings flew from the sculpture Chef Ito created  before our eyes.

From the press release:

Born in Sendai, Japan, Takashi Ito was first introduced to complex and delicious foods at a young age by his father, a chemistry professor who had an appetite for both travel and cooking. During his childhood, Ito spent long, happy hours in the family kitchen, listening to his father’s stories of exploring North America and sampling delicacies like foie gras, blue cheese and paté (foods that were practically unheard of in 1960’s Japan).

In May 2011, AURA’s culinary team welcomed Chef Takashi Ito – an accomplished chef known for preparing fresh, Japanese fusion-style dishes, carving elaborate ice sculptures and pairing just the right wine to the right meal.

The culinary team at AURA prides itself on primarily using fresh, local and organic ingredients. In-action examples of AURA’s homegrown philosophy include using Vancouver Island-raised beef; river and stream-caught wild salmon; locally-tended produce, and fresh herbs grown in the hotel’s gardens.

The waterfront restaurant is hosting a monthly wine series that sees Chef Ito and BC’s best winemakers come together for a fun and interactive food pairing. The Cedar Creek Winery dinner is this evening (June 2nd, 2011) $49 per person. Visit for more information.

Written By:

Rebecca Baugniet is a freelance food writer and editor living on Canada’s West Coast with her husband and their four children. The author of three published cookbooks, Rebecca has also written for EAT Magazine and for Montréal ...

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