So to make it interesting and to give it a new twist, we decided to do a giveaway, so that two people could win a lunch date with me through Instagram! Fun right?
It was such an easy way to get out into the community and meet new people, something that you don’t always get to do with social media. Everyday you connect to people that you have never met and who sometimes know a LOT about you and you know nothing about them. When we decided to do this I basically sent out the intention that I wanted to have a lunch with people who were interested in diving deeper into their lives and learn a bit more about what intuition means to me and how I work with it everyday. I wanted to have a conversation that reached beyond the weather and food and used delicious, nourishing food as a tool and invitation to go deeper. I wanted to be able to offer an insight into what it is like to work with me to people that might not be able to afford it or invest their time in it right now- but are looking for a boost into their own connection to the divine. I wanted to spend some time re-connecting to the pure pleasure of why I do what I do: because when I am in a deep conversation around truth and consciousness with no other reason other than the bliss that it brings- that is what keeps me moving forward. And so that is exactly what happened.
When I randomly chose the winners through the google random number generator- I saw the name @ellasholistickitchen and knew that my guides had my back. This name is one that I have seen countless times on my Instagram screen but had never had the pleasure of meeting in person. I knew immediately that this was the person whom I had called in when I set the intention for the lunch date. Even better, her chosen date to join us was Christine @peaceandplantfood, whom I have met several times at my various events and had always felt that it would be so lovely to spend some time one on one with her. The perfect lunch dates.
That’s the thing about some social media competitions- they can feel really meaningless. I stopped doing them a while ago, after experiencing a lack of excitement and momentum around holding them for product giveaways and things that didn’t include an actual interaction. So when Erin approached me about doing some type of giveaway, I was so excited when this idea popped up! I just want to say, I am sure that the product giveaways on social media bring some people major excitement- and that’s amazing. I am just speaking for myself, in noticing that the lack of interaction just isn’t for me. In my work, part of my medicine is being able to spend time with the person and connect to their journey and desires. That’s where I thrive. So this was absolutely perfect.
My beautiful lunch dates
As soon as I got to Chau that Thursday (braving the rain in a car2go), I walked into the door to two bright and smiley faces sitting at the table. They were both early (so sweet). After all of the hugs with the Chau team, we found ourselves at the same table that I did my restaurant story the year before (perfect for lighting and enough space away from the rest of the restaurant, so that my photo-taking didn’t interrupt anyone’s meal). After we ordered with the assistance of Erin (she made sure I got a cup of the golden temple curry broth so that I wasn’t missing out), we basically dove right into the deep conversations that this lunch date was all about. I was really moved by how quickly Ella and Christine willingly jumped into their lives and shared their stories so vulnerably with me. It reminded me of how a podcast recording goes- there is something about holding space in this way where there is no such thing as ‘small talk’. We just dive in and get right to the core of what is going on. I have to say, thank you Ella and Christine for being so open and ready to share with me. I did carry some fear when we launched the giveaway- that I would end up going to lunch with someone who had no interest in intuition and was just there for the free food. Not this time.
The ladies behind the idea:
I just wanted to take a moment to introduce you to Erin, aka the marketing/community lead for Chau Veggie. Thanks to Erin- Chau has remained a close part of the Vancouver online community and it’s so fun to work together and see my photos on their website and throughout their marketing. More than that, Erin shares a passion for holistic living and vegan food- and certainly is very heart-centered in her approach to what she does. Thank you for being so helpful, on top of things and so down to create an offering like this, Erin- you are a gem.
SO, for those of you who haven’t been to Chau yet, here is the deal. Chau is a wonderful vegan restaurant located between E 34th and E 35th ave on Victoria Drive in Vancouver. Chau also has a spot at the Granville Island market, which is open 7 days a week 9am-7pm. The Victoria restaurant location is closed on Mondays (when you go to Granville Island) and is open from 11:30am-7:30pm. Aside from it’s AMAZING savoury menu including different pho, noodle dishes and spring rolls- it also is home to an incredible assortment of house-made desserts including cakes, ice creams, cookies and more. There is an amazing range of vegan and gluten-free desserts, all created by chef Andrew Han.
Check out the amazing visual menus below to get a better idea of what they offer:
There is a really lovely bar area of the restaurant where you can sit on bar stools and also enjoy (vegan) vietnamese coffees, wine, kombucha and cider. This is actually my favourite spot when i’m eating in- and I get to bug Andrew and catch up with him while he runs he restaurant. Also, I am a big fan of getting Chau to-go, and eating it at home in pjs.
In case you’re wondering, here is what we ordered (everything is amazing). My absolute favourite is and always will be the Golden Temple Bowl with rice noodles (just trust me and get it).
- #11 Tropical Rainstorm Bowl: Thick round rice noodles, shredded beancurd, spinach, kale, cucumber, pickled carrot/daikon, mung beans, crispy shallots, mint, coconut flakes. served with creamy toasted coconut sauce & lemon vegan fish sauce – gluten free (added extra seared organic tofu on top)
- #17 Golden Temple Soup: Light turmeric coconut curry broth with an assortment of seasonal vegetables, organic tofu, beancurd, mushrooms, taro, yam, kale, herbs. – gluten free
- #14 Candle Lit Lantern Pho Soup: Star anise, cinnamon, cardamom broth, with organic tofu, daikon chunks, beancurd, lotus root, mushrooms, herbs, flat rice noodles, side of beansprouts – gluten free (added extra steamed vegetables)
- #19 Nonla Crispy Rolls – crispy spring rolls paired with a lemon vegan “fish” sauce
- #6 Baisao Beach Chips – hand-cut taro chips, paired with an organic tofu paprika dip
- Lemon Ginger + Blackberry Charcoal Kombucha – Standard Kombucha (a local Vancouver brand)
- Mint Nettle tea (all teas are made in house)
The Dessert & the man behind the amazing desserts at Chau..
So the original idea behind this visit was for Chef Andrew to whip up an amazing new dessert to feature. Since that idea, Andrew has now moved up to General Manager of the restaurant and understandably has less time to be whipping up delicious treats in the kitchen. That being said, when he knew that we were coming he couldn’t help but take a moment (or two) to whip up an original dessert. And he blew us away.
He made… an Iced Tapioca
coconut vanilla bean tapioca over hazelnut heaven ice cream with sour cherry compote and roasted hazelnuts paired with pumpkin spiced snickerdoodles
And that’s a wrap! Another really incredible experience at Chau coupled with the opportunity to really spend time with some of the community who are so heart-centred and passionate about the same things as I. I am so grateful for the opportunity so thank you team Chau for making this happen!
If you are interested in learning more about Chau Veggie Express and the history/story behind this wonderful restaurant, head to my Restaurant Story from last year that covers it all and more!