Pears: Chef Tips

“Chef Tips: Pears


Simon Ogden of Veneto Tapa Lounge

There’s something so satisfying about a pear. Beautiful to look at, wonderful to taste, pears are sometimes referred to as the fancier version of their fall-fruit cousin, the apple. To offer some inspiration for those of you who would like to try something new with this adaptable fruit, I spoke with four chefs and one bartender who aren’t afraid to “pear-it-all.”


Chef Sheena Hogan, Haro’s Restaurant and Bar:


With a lack of fresh seasonal produce in colder seasons, Chef Hogan often turns to pears to liven up her greens. To give the pears a meaty texture but sweet flavour, Chef Hogan deseeds, quarters, and roasts them with the skin on. She recommends placing them on a bed of arugula with some blue cheese and duck for a warming, wintery salad. Chef Hogan also suggests tossing these ingredients on thin-crust pizza dough for another version of this flavourful combination.


Haro’s Restaurant and Bar, 9805 Seaport Pl, Sidney BC. (250) 655-9700


Chef Max Le Roy, Il Terrazzo:


Chef Le Roy also suggests using this meaty fruit as a salad staple, but prefers his pears poached. Chef Le Roy peels his pears and places them in a pot of port, red and white wine, sugar, lemon juice with rinds, a stick of cinnamon and some cloves. After the pears are removed and cooled, Chef Le Roy reduces the poaching juice and combines it with lemon, garlic oil, mint, and salt and pepper for a dressing to pour overtop of the sliced pears on a bed of romaine hearts with grilled chicken, prosciutto, toasted pecans and gorgonzola cheese.


Il Terrazzo, 555 Johnson St, Victoria BC. (250) 361-0028


Chef Matthew Hinder, Mo:Le:


Pears are Chef Hinder’s favourite fruit, and while he also likes to poach them in port, he favours them in their pure form without the company of greens, meat or cheese. However, if you’re looking for an easy addition to port-poached pears, Chef Hinder recommends a dollop of crème fraiche. He also likes to simply slice them on top of some hot oatmeal for a healthy breakfast.


Mo:Le Restaurant, 554 Pandora Ave, Victoria BC. (250) 385-6653


Chef Chae Clarke, Shine Cafe:


Speaking of breakfast, Chef Clark at Shine Café would also try his pears poached, but prefers to slice them onto an English muffin with some roasted pork thigh and a cranberry hollandaise sauce for a sweet and savoury benny.


Shine Café Downtown Location, 1320 Blanshard St, Victoria BC. (250) 595-2134


Simon Ogden, Veneto Tapa Lounge:


For those on a liquid diet, Simon Ogden has a perfect pear cocktail. Ogden combines London Gin, Giffard Pear Liqueur, and Himalayan salt with muddled cucumber and BC Anjou pear before straining the mixture over a glass and topping it all off with flaming fresh cracked pepper.


Veneto Tapa Lounge, 1450 Douglas St, Victoria BC. (250) 383-7310


– By Ellie Shorrt




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