Shop with a Chef: Alain Rayé, La Régalade

November 2, 2008

Chef Alain Rayé keeps his recipes in an unassuming notebook. The pages look decades old—and some are: Rayé opened his first restaurant in France in 1975. The book has spent countless evenings next to the award-winning chef and cookbook author; his restaurant, La Régalade (103–2232 Marine Dr., West Vancouver, 604-921-2228; Laregalade.com), has the same time-honoured feel. Rayé uses basic, high-quality ingredients to make traditional fare—with a few mouth-watering twists. One of his departures is his fondness for orange-blossom extract, frequently used in Middle Eastern cuisine. He picks it up at Nancy Bakery (1589 Garden Ave., North Vancouver, 604-987-5544). Crispy baguettes come from Terra Breads (2380 W. Fourth Ave., 604-736-1838; Terrabreads.com). For meats—abundant in French cooking—he shops at Walter’s Exotic Meats (25645 82nd Ave., Langley, 604-910-8460), which stocks free-range chicken, venison, quail, hard-to-find veal liver, and duck. Oyama Sausage Co. (Granville Island Market, 604-327-7407) supplies Toulouse sausage, saucisson, and prosciutto, but not terrine: he makes his own. Rayé uses Gourmet Warehouse (1340 E. Hastings St., 604-253-3022; Gourmetwarehouse.ca) for everything from cinnamon to basil to fleur de sel. From Far-Met (34 W. Seventh Ave., 604-876-2241; Qualifirst.com) he gets escargots and piment d’espelette, a fiery powder that gives any dish major kick. Enough twists: at home, Rayé and his wife, Brigitte, favour a tender roast, with lots of cracked pepper and a sprinkling of salt.

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