LBH had the extreme pleasure of spending an evening with Nicolas Hipperson, talking passion, growing up in Regina, inspiration for his work and what’s next. Nicolas, most notably known around Vancouver as one of the co-founders of Gastown’s Underground Restaurant, Farm 2 Fork which Specializes in locally grown, regionally inspired, Pacific Northwest fare.
We at LBH are all about LIFE, living fully with creative passion and positive intention. From the first moment we stepped in to Nicolas’s newest project, Gastown’s current POP – UP, Farm 2 Fork located at 315 Abbot St.
We knew we were in for a alchemic evening.
“As a Gastown resident and purveyor of all things gastronomic, I was dazzled by how Nicholas, et al took a former flower shop venue, glammed it up, and literally transformed it to a swanky space echoing “Pike Street Seattle meeting Meat Packing District NYC”. No stove, no phone, no cigarettes, pun intended but this amazing pop up was truly ‘King of the Road” (corner of Abbott and Cordova to be exact). The 3-course menu was out of this world, presented with elegance and artistry – and the service extra-ordinary. Catch it soon – this restaurant will be gone before you can drink your next bottle of Burrowing Owl….” -Ray Matthews
While learning about the process that was this newest Gastown pop-up Nicolas shared with exuberance:
“That feeling you get when you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning? This was not like that at all!! I feel like a kid & can’t wait to get in here. I’ve felt such excitement and passion for this project every. single. day. As we prepared to open this restaurant it’s been a love affair. Long days, longer nights and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.”
With out further adieu; our tasting experience!
I. Amuse Bouche: An always changing canapé, to awaken your palate. Today, Albacore Tuna, house made mustard seed, pineapple ceviche, garnished w/ micro basil, avocado, watermelon radish, & ponzu.
Each course so should you choose, is paired with a British Columbia select wine.
II. Organic Oceans Albacore Tuna lightly cured, sake kasu emulsion, ponzu, asian pear, riesling sorbet.
III. "Helmers Farm" Sieglinde Potato Veloute buttermilk curd, roasted hazelnut praline, potato chips
IV. Poached Line-Caught Ling Cod, celery root puree, roasted sunchokes, radish confit, green apple & coriander.
V. Braised Angus Short Rib, roasted North Arm Farm carrots, local walnuts, beetroot relish, rutabaga puree, natural jus.
Pairings: Salt Spring Vineyard, Blackberry Port.
VI. Dark Chocolate Cremeux, dehydrated milk foam, dolce de leche, micro mint.
VII. Fromage Frais Terrine, quince jelly, cranberry sorbet, lemon balm.
Ambiance, Ambiance, Ambiance.
The decore has the quality of vintage victorian meets South Hampton’s beach villa. The environment was warm candlelit, with earth tones and rich personality. Wooden lattice curvature backed chairs reminding us of our grandmother’s kitchen. The beautiful art lined walls tell the story of struggle in gastown all of us collectively, trying to make it. The white tulips delicately placed on each table a signature of the food to come. Perfection in purity, local ingredients, fresh inspiration and given the menu, my conversation with Nicholas and his intriguing story, it’s not hard to visualize the effervescent ambiance their team has created.
The inspiration, the man behind the magic, Nicolas Hipperson.
LBH: What moves you? What drives you to do what you do everyday? Where does the spark come from?
- NH: I really am passionate about business, savvyiness, business development, finance. I’ve chosen to pair that with ‘restaurant’. I love food so much and I grew up eating raw vegetables out of my grandmothers garden. I learned to cook in her kitchen. I had really, really good farm fresh food there. That experience growing up in Regina really shaped my goals and ideals in this business, it made me recognize how important to me cooking locally sourced food is. I want that for my business. I like supporting local farmers, entrepreneurs that are trying to do something, I can relate to that. It’s super important.
LBH: Let’s look back a little more. If you could step back in time and have a chat with your younger self: What advice would you give?
- NH: You know, I would have told myself not to be afraid of hiring people that were better than myself, better then you, I’d have said. Something I have learned over the last few years; you should never be afraid to surround yourself with people that have more experience. When you are starting a business and you just can’t be everywhere at once it’s necessary to count on people. It’s nice building team around you that work for the collective good. Building a team filled with inspired, talented individuals, whom excel in different areas. Helping to make the sum of your parts great as a whole. In our business that so important, we can then feed off one another. It’s collaborative. This was a very valuable less for me to learn, one that has led to my own growth as an entrapernuer but also personally.
LBH: What do you absolutely LOVE about yourself?
- NH: SO deep. Hard question. Hmmm. I like the abilities and the passion for what I am doing now that I have been given. I have done a lot of other things and I always had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to do when I was younger. So I love that I was able to find this, I have attracted the support of some great people, I have a great family around me, I’m filled with so much passion. I think that’s important.
LBH: Thank you Nicholas, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you and sharing in your culinary candour.
- NH: Thanks so much for coming in, it’s been a pleasure having you.
Time is of the essence, this pop-up isn’t going to be around long. If you are looking for an experience in food culture this week make sure you call or e-mail for a reservation soon.
Farm 2 Fork, Jan. 10th – Feb. 2nd only. 315 Abbot Street. Call: 604-347-5495 or visit their site.
words by | miss d