Chef Paul’s Famous Curry at the Cafe Pacifica Restaurant

My inspiration for this week’s culinary feature came after my latest visit to the Café Pacifica Restaurant.

A few days ago I sat down for lunch and was recommended the chicken curry, known as Chef Paul’s Curry. At first I was reluctant to give it a try because I often find curry dishes at a restaurant to be either: a hit or miss. But after the server Kristy Haywood gave it her personal recommendation, I figured I’d give it a shot.

So seeing how I’m now featuring the chef in this week’s blog, it’s quite obvious the dish turned out to live up to the hype!

This delicious curry felt like a home made meal or something that came straight from an authentic Indian restaurant. After sampling this tasty dish, I wanted to meet the man behind the curry, the man known as Chef Paul.

Sous Chef Jiju Paul

I sat down with Jiju earlier today and asked about his background, his love for food and his own personal dish.

Where are you originally from and when did you discover your passion for food?

Actually, I was born in Kerala which is on the southwest tip of India. Kerala has a very deep culture and is known for its great food. It was in India where my passion and love for food grew.

When did you leave your mother country?

When I was 21 years old, I left Inida to work for a few years in the UAE [Dubai] and Calgary before I landed here in Vancouver. I’ve now been a Vancouverite for the last 3 years.

How do you like Vancouver and what do you think about the food culture here?

I love it here in Vancouver and I’m proud to call Canada my home. I love how diverse the population is and actually find the food-culture to reflect the people. Vancouver has so many great cuisine choices from Japanese, Italian, West Coast… – and it’s all authentic because their people actually live here.

What do you think of the Café Pacific Menu? What is it known for?

I think the Café Pacific food could best be described as “Fresh”.

We have a variety of cuisines, all which are made in house. For example our Artisan Goat Cheese & Arugula Ravioli is made with fresh pasta which is prepared in the kitchen. We make the pasta, roll it and stuff it just moments before it is served to our guests. Similarly with our sushi, Chef Ryoichi Yamada prepares his rolls fresh in the kitchen. I think our customers really value this and it reflects in the taste.

Tell me about the dish your created – Chef Paul’s Curry.

This dish can actually be prepared in 2 different styles. One is with chicken and the other with prawns.

The Kadai Chicken Curry is made with crushed Indian spices, green peppers and onion tomato sauce. This is a specialty dish from the North of India – Lots of flavour and very filling.

The other choice is the Prawn Balchao. This is more of a dry curry which is made with ground Indian spices. This dish is from Goa and offers a sweet, spicy and sour flavour to it – a very unique taste.

To watch Chef Paul put on the final touches, click here.

Besides your own dish, what is your favourite meal on the menu?

I would definitely have to go with the Seared Halibut as my favourite.  I like it because it comes with fresh avocado and corn salsa with pablana chilli, which is from Mexico.  I would recommend this to anyone looking to try something “outside of the box”.

I took Chef Paul’s recommendation and tried the halibut.   A great choice – very light, flavorful and fresh.  With the avacado and salsa, it’s really different spin on halilbut.

Come down to the Pan Pacific to try out the Cafe Pacifica’s brand new summer menu and weekly drink specials.  The patio is now also open with a great view of the harbor and the cruise ships in the pier.

See you there!