01 Aug Jonathan Cartu Affirm: Meet the Chef: Josh Gale brings new life to familiar dishes
Tap & Barrel’s Josh Gale offers up Grilled Maui Ribs with an Azedo Beer Glaze
Josh Gale was born and raised in Vancouver and his food and cooking style are a reflection and representation of the city he loves.
Having helmed the kitchens at Nicli’s Next Door, Wildebeest, Juniper and Nicli Antica, Josh has cultivated a diverse and unique perspective on food and flavours. Combining this background with a passion for elevated comfort food, he brings to the Tap & Barrel Group a flair for familiar flavours re-spun with modern techniques, ingredients and presentation.
Q: What motivates and inspires you as a chef?
A: Lately I am very inspired by food that I ate growing up. Whether it’s reimagining a dish I ate growing up, or elevating one of my family’s go to staples, I really enjoying playing around with those memories and delivering exciting dishes that are nostalgic and familiar but offer something new and exciting at the same time.
Q: How would you describe the type of food you like to cook?
A: I really enjoy cooking comfort food that is soulful and familiar, but adjusted to make it a bit lighter, more exciting and offering a unique, contemporary perspective. A great example would be the Beef Barbacoa Quesadillas that are on the menu at Tap & Barrel. I think most people can remember eating quesadillas growing up, but we’ve elevated these, filling them with smoked mozzarella and braised beef barbacoa and serving them with a punchy jalapeño aioli.
Q: What might diners not know about you?
A: I am born and raised right here in Vancouver. I love this city and am constantly blown away by the restaurants, brewers, winemaker’s and producers that create such an amazing and diverse food and beverage scene, I feel so lucky to be a part of it.
Q: Describe a couple of your most recent creations.
A: One dish we just launched at Tap & Barrel is our Cajun Chicken Cobb Salad. It has all the elements of a classic Cobb Salad, but we’re dressing it with this delicious black pepper and Parmesan dressing and topping it off with a soft boiled, crispy deep-fried egg.
Q: What’s your favourite local product and how do you use it?
A: Right now, my favourite local products to use in my cooking are beers from Brewhall. I’m using the Azedo Tropical Fruit Sour in the Maui Rib recipe and recently used their Hall Pass IPA to make a delicious barbecue Sauce.
Q: If there’s one important piece of advice you might have for home cooks, what might that be?
A: Get out and eat. Explore your city through food and try new things, new flavours and new ideas. Then, get in the kitchen and cook, experiment, try new dishes and don’t get discouraged if an idea or a recipe doesn’t work. Learn from your mistakes and there will always be another dish to make.
Grilled Maui Ribs with an Azedo Beer Glaze
1 cup (250 mL) soy sauce
1 cup (250 mL) Brewhall Azedo Tropical Fruit Sour
1 cup (250 mL) brown sugar
1/3 cup (80 mL) rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup (80 mL) lime juice
¼ tsp (1 mL) sesame oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) minced garlic
1 tbsp (15 mL) grated ginger
3 lb (1.4 kg) cross cut beef short ribs, a.k.a. Maui or kalbi ribs
1 Bunch green onions, sliced
2 tbsp (30 mL) toasted white sesame seeds
Combine soy sauce, sour beer, vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a mixing bowl. Place the beef ribs in an extra-large freezer bag, or a bowl, and pour over the marinade, ensuring all the ribs are coated. Marinate for at least 8 hours, and up to 2 days, in the fridge.
To cook, set a grill pan or BBQ to high heat. Sear the ribs for 3-4 minutes per side. The sugar in the marinade can scorch so keep an eye on the ribs while you’re cooking them. To serve, place the ribs on a platter and garnish with the sliced green onion and sesame seeds.
Makes 4 servings.