Tonight I was invited to attend the fourth annual “Dan’s Legacy”, chef’s charity dinner. This would be a night of fine food and drinks for a worth while cause.

“Dan’s Legacy” was founded by the family and friends of “Dan”, in his loving memory. Their goal is to support those in need, to prevent unnecessary drug overdoses and suicides of young men and women, like Dan. They have been providing “therapeutic counselling and life-skills intervention programs to youth battling mental health and addictions issues resulting from childhood trauma and abuse. These young people, ages 15 to 25, are at significant risk of overdose, self-harm, homelessness, and suicide… In the past three years “Dan’s Legacy” has helped over 150 youths meet their educational, housing and life-goals”.

To give you an example of the need, a $1000 provides 16 sessions for one youth, across four months. This much needed counselling helps get them to the other side. With already much success “Dan’s Legacy” still needs your support, and tonight’s gala was one of their ways of getting it.

To learn more about “Dan’s Legacy” and how you can help, visit their website below.

Tonight the gala was hosted at the “Vancouver Club”, and there was no better place to exemplify and highlight the prestige of the dinner and the importance of its gathering cause. Established in 1889 the club is a place to dine, play, relax and connect with other professionals working to help shape the West Coast. The building is designated as an “A” class heritage building, described as being “elegant and informal, distinguished and comfortable”.

For the vlog version of the event, please visit my YouTube channel: MaggiMei to share in the sights and sounds of the night.


Walking up and in to it, the building is impressive with its cement facade, vaulted ceilings, tiled mosaic, and the many little details you might gloss over being taken in by the atmosphere of it all. Dinners here are the kind where you are being served with white gloves and any beverage pour is done with an arm behind the back.

On this Saturday night, all the rooms were reserved, as we were ushered into the grand ball room. There, we mixed and mingled until our emcee of the night came on stage.

In one corner there were tables dedicated to silent auctions. A series of art and experiences to bid on with minimum bids and the need to beat each at $10 increments. Tours of the city, chocolate gift baskets, paintings, and cravings in wood and glass; to name a few. You were also invited to purchase a rose or carnation for either $20, $50, or $100. And depending on your donation you also got a correlating gift for your charitable contribution.

And the night ended with four grand auctions including cruises, flights and a feast cooked for you by firefighters in your own home. Sadly I wasn’t able to participate in this, due to the fact that the bidding climbed high into the thousands.

Around the room sparkling wine flowed and canapés were served on creative platters.

Gorgonzola cream over a square of sweet pear.

A rosette of smoked salmon on a spongy pancake round.

Spicy sausage and kimchi balancing on a wooden top.

Our sit down meal began with Chef and Dr. Theresa Nicassio’s “Yum” signature nori-rice paper wrap. These were vegan sushi roll that were also gluten free. It was created to highlight inclusion and it showed. The textures of the rice paper and nori together were amazing. A great chew that was a nice contrast the crisp julienne vegetables within.

Chef Sean Cousins prepared a “Curry squash veloute. Each dish was presented with just the cedar jelly and pumpkin seed crumble to start. Then one by one servers approached to pour the actual soup over it all. The soup was as buttery as it smelled. Rich and creamy, with the crumble for texture.

Chef Dino Renaerts prepared “Seared scallops” with port hardy side stripe shrimp ravioli, parsley, spinach purée, and sautéed leeks; all in a shellfish reduction. This was a delicious assemble of tender bites, each delicious on its own; and just perfect piled one on top of the other.

Next, Chef Shay Kelly came out with a “slow braised beef bourguignon “pithivier”” prepared with a cauliflower and cipollini onions soubise, Mille-feuilles aux pomme, watercress, and au jus. This was wonderfully juicy pie. Tender strings of beef hiding within a buttery flaky crust. Although the crispy potato cake made with thinly sliced layers of potato was my favourite part of the plate.

And for dessert Chef Saskia Nollen presented a “Japanese yam custard” as the perfect end. A silken pudding paired with crunchy maple pecans, a hard brown butter shortbread, refreshing pomegranate jus, and a sweetened creme fraiche ice cream.

In short, this was a great night and a great way to bring some attention and funds to a worth while cause. Once again if you are interested in how you can get involved with “Dan’s Legacy” check out their website, and be sure to keep an eye out for tickets to this charity dinner next year. Well worth the $250 ticket price, considering the legacy it fosters.


Dan’s Legacy Foundation
311 – 815, 5th Avenue, New Westminster, British Columbia V3M 1Y1
CRA Registered Charity #84162 1154 RR0001