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Vocal Locavore: Andrea Carlson of Burdock & Co.

By TIM PAWSEY
May 2018

Andrea Carlson, chef and owner of Burdock & Co. (Photo by KK Law)

Burdock & Co. is a bastion of organic dining and locally sourced ingredients. For owner/chef Andrea Carlson, it’s a way of life, a journey she embarked on early in her career.

What’s changed since you started?

One major change is the availability of local food has become much better, with new urban farms, more growers, and year-round supply has increased. It’s also exciting to see some more corporate and chain restaurants purchasing locally.

How about the clientele?

Sometimes we see diners who have a connection to the growers themselves. They shop at the farmers’ market, and see the name on the menu. That personal connection really helps. At the same time, I’m completely shocked by the number of people for whom sustainability concerns and local eating is still a new concept. To some degree it’s generational. For me, a lot of issues are fundamental…like Ocean Wise and sustainable farming…engrained in my youth. But it seems to be something another generation hasn’t picked up on.

Tell us about natural wines.

We have the most of anybody. We started as Vancouver’s first and only all-natural wine list, and we’re still in that position. We have incredible staff, who are able to really help people understand what it is they’re drinking, why the wine is made the way it is, and so on. And the reason we serve natural wine is because it relates to the food we serve…no intervention, regulation or additives, which is very common in industrial winemaking.

What does the future hold?

I think we’ll see a rise in prices. Cost of city living, wages and so on continue to creep up quite dramatically. To continue serving local product and doing the right thing for the environment, we are going to need an increase.

To read more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

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