The Portly Chef

TPC Logo

In light of recent events – I’m so happy to announce my engagement to Jeff Batt, The Portly Chef – I thought I would share one of my favourite written works to date: Jeff’s condensed culinary story!

I have been extremely fortunate to form wonderful relationships with Jeff, his friends and family, and the staff that he has been working with over the years. If it weren’t for the opening of The Portly Chef, and all of the people that made that possible, he and I would never have met and would never have had the opportunity to experience a love this grand.

Jeff’s culinary journey has been an exciting one thus far and I think it’s safe to say that the best is yet to come. Together, we are cooking up a lot of delicious ideas for the future!

Enjoy the read, my Piggy friends – and feel free to come visit us at the restaurant any time!

engaged

Patio

Since opening for business in May 2012, and with a sign on the door reading “you can’t trust a skinny chef”, people have been arriving from all over the city to ask “how portly really is the portly chef?” And although it may seem a tad taboo to ask such a question, you’ll be happy to know it’s actually a welcomed inquiry at our restaurant – one in fact that always makes the staff smile. Chef included.

Now the best answer, of course, is to reply with an invitation to come on down and pay us a visit; saunter up to the kitchen pass and just say hello. But for all of you out there reading this right now, full of curiosity (sorry, but I couldn’t resist the pun), what I can and willsay is that our Chef, Jeffrey Batt is his name, stands 6 feet and 3 inches tall, has a booming voice which makes his Irish relatives proud, and is so passionate about food that he had his favourite fare tattooed on his right arm.

Jeff’s career, like many other successful culinary stories, began at an early age. He avidly watched his Dad BBQ outside and he followed his Mom around the kitchen like a faithful shadow. As soon as it was safe for him to get involved he was allowed to make his own snacks and even attempt to cook meals for him and his brother. Preparing Mother’s Day brunch for the most important lady in his life by boiling an egg in a beautiful china tea pot was the first real sign of Jeff’s culinary creativity. And if you ask his parents they’ll tell you that his passion and excitement for food would only continue to grow from there. Upon graduating high school, confident in which route he wanted to take, Jeff enrolled in the Culinary Program at VCC (Vancouver Community College). There he studied under exceptional teachers, learned to experiment and to compete, and with top marks to his name he would emerge one year later as a rising star. After VCC, Jeff took the opportunity to go travelling around Europe – to explore a bit of the classic culinary world that so very much intrigued him. Along with two of his best childhood friends, Jeff traveled from London to Turkey, Ireland to Spain, Germany, Italy and France. Months were spent exploring markets, touring restaurants and learning how to eat beautifully on a very modest backpacker’s budget. I mean who else could live off of Feta Cheese for an entire week while touring Greece?!

Upon returning home to Vancouver Jeff took his first real kitchen job: garde manger for Chef Steve Myddleton– easily his greatest role model to date – at the Village Bistro in Edgemont Village. Together they moved over to Ambleside Bistro in West Vancouver, where Jeff would take the position of Junior Sous Chef. His eventual first Executive Chef job was at Café el Nido, located in downtown Vancouver, working there until he moved to Marine Drive in West Vancouver. In 2003 Jeff took the position of Executive Chef at Monk McQueen’sand simultaneously helped to open Lift Bar and Grill with Bob Lindsay, another one of Jeff’s most significant mentors. His last position before opening The Portly Chef was the Executive Chef at the Granville Island Hotel.

Since May 2012, Jeff has called the North Shore his place of business as well as his home. He has built a loyal following of friendly customers and has assembled a team around him that operates like one big caring family.  From day one The Portly Chef has offered a collection of dishes that are second to none in North Vancouver, and “word of mouth” reviews in the community will surely verify my positive opinions. With zero intention of ever leaving the North Shore, Chef Jeffery Batt will continue to nurture The Portly Chef, play around with ideas for restaurant number two, and most importantly make plans to start a family of his own with his soon to be wife.

fish duo

Pork Chop

Jeff and Em - kitchen