Botanist x Lazy Bear Collaboration Delights Diners in Vancouver

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Restaurant Vancouver

Lazy Bear and sister cocktail bar True Laurel made their trip from San Francisco to visit Botanist in Vancouver count.

I was invited to attend a memorable collaborative dinner on August 30 at Botanist, a renowned restaurant located on Fairmont Pacific Rim‘s second floor. Botanist Executive Chef Hector Laguna collaborated with Lazy Bear Chef/Partner David Barzelay on a six-course tasting menu that, true to their shared visions, showcased local and seasonal ingredients.

Cocktail Vancouver

Botanist’s Jeff Savage and True Laurel’s Nicolas Torres collaborated on a welcome cocktail called California Gleanin’, a refreshing, beguiling beverage crafted with Spanish white vermouth, foraged black sage tonic, finger lime, and Glendalough Wild Gin.

Collaborative Dinner Vancouver

Their two-part amuse bouche began with whipped scrambled eggs seasoned with bacon, maple, and hot sauce, topped with chives.

Oysters Vancouver

Our amusement continued with broiled local oysters garnished with redwood tip glaçage (glaze) and melting lardo (cured pork fat).

Sea Urchin Vancouver

The dinner’s “Harvest” course presented creamy BC sea urchin atop pommes dauphine with chorizo and chives.

Duck Vancouver

The “Hunt” involved a creative two-part duck presentation, beginning with rosy, fat-rimmed duck breast served on a pancake with strawberry mostarda, exquisite shaved strawberries and coriander flowers.

Duck Vancouver

Longtime Slim Jim spokesman Macho Man Randy Savage would no doubt break down a door to eat this delectable duck “Slim Jim” with raspberry, which joined duck liver mousse with wild fennel pollen and blackberry gelée as we continued the “Hunt.”

Crab Vancouver

Fresh “Catch” paired sweet shelled Dungeness crab meat with sweet corn foam, koji, fermented habanero and decorative flowers.

Fish Vancouver

A “Hook” reeled in luscious pan-seared sablefish (black cod) accompanied with crispy skin, sofrito, epazote and smoked buttermilk.

Steak Vancouver

I’d gladly “Graze” with Wagyu ribeye anytime, particularly when the famously marbled meat gets treated with such a light touch and plated with powerfully flavorful seared sungold tomatoes, oxtail, tomato “raisins,” basil, and shishitos that provided vivid balance.

Dessert Vancouver

Botanist’s talented Executive Pastry Chef, Kate Siegel, contributed to the night’s “Sweet Remedy,” Figs Foster with toasted fig leaf. Our parting gift from the dinner consisted of an almond shortbread cookie inspired by Chef Laguna’s grandma and a Lazy Bear pin.

Bartenders Vancouver

On August 31, Botanist Head Bartender Jeff Savage welcomed True Laurel Bar Director Nicolas Torres and a trusted colleague for cocktails from both bars. They share a similar commitment to crafting seasonal cocktails with local ingredients and deft techniques.


In The Pines, Under The Palms riffed on the Martinez, but unlike that classic cocktail that features gin, vermouth, and maraschino liqueur, this striking version also incorporated toasted coconut rye, arak and California redwood.

Cocktail Vancouver

Love Below combined Solera rum, dry vermouth, lovage, a brilliant indigo kumquat tomato (a cherry tomato hybrid, not a kumquat), citrus, and tequila. As Torres said regarding tequila use “A quarter ounce per drink. It’s really there to support the rum.”

Non Alcoholic Cocktail Vancouver

The Free Spirit menu section featured non-alcoholic cocktails, which are increasingly popular these days in cities across the U.S. and Canada. Botanist takes NA seriously. Heartwood was true to the region, combining cedar, smoked alder, and birch sap.

Botanist previously collaborated with chefs like Julien Royer from Singapore’s Odette, Ryan McCaskey from Chicago’s Acadia, and three top talents from Toronto’s Alo: Chef-Owner Patrick Kriss, Corporate Chef Matthew Betsch, and Alobar Bar Manager Keegan Dolan. These collaborative experiences are great excuses to get creative, energize diners and build community in Vancouver and beyond. I left impressed and hope to experience more thoughtful collabs.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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