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La Régalade French Bistro
When his father passed away, 14-year-old Alain Rayé was faced with a decision: continue with school, or go to work in a kitchen. So, over the next few decades, he worked his way up to chef. For a time, he helmed his own acclaimed Restaurant Alain Rayé off the Champs-Élysée in Paris. When he moved to Vancouver, he brought some of his favourite parts of France—and its kitchens—with him, opening La Régalade French Bistro in 2002. This casual North Shore French eatery has since received a good deal of praise from Vancouver magazine. La Régalade won the bronze award for casual French cuisine in 2012, and the gold award for best restaurant in the area in 2013. The man in the kitchen himself was also recognized with the magazine's 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award—in part due to his talent for following "the deeply satisfying combo of classic technique and rustic recipes."
The aromas of provincial cooking mingle with uncorked French and British Columbian wines to waft through La Régalade's intimate, dimly lit dining space and onto a verdant outdoor patio garden, where songbirds lament their inability to hold a fork. In the kitchen, Chef Rayé earns his praise with a mastery of the classics. He prepares steaming plates of escargot with garlic butter and herbs, bowls of hearty shrimp and lobster bisque, and main dishes of boeuf bourguignon and spiced, braised lamb shanks. And yet he doesn't always confine himself to the kitchen—he's also authored a cookbook filled with photography and colourful illustrations.