Mayor's Arts Award for Culinary Arts
Meeru Dhalwala has cooked and run the kitchens at Vij’s and Rangoli restaurants since 1995. Meeru works closely with her all-female kitchen staff – all of whom hail from villages in the Punjab, India – to experiment with recipes at the two restaurants. Meeru also penned the two award-winning Vij’s cookbooks: Vij’s – Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine, and Vij’s at Home: Relax, Honey. The third cookbook, Vij’s Indian: Our Stories, Spices and Cherished Recipes, is to be released in October 2016.
Meeru focuses on forging relationships with local businesses, particularly farmers. She sits on the board of directors for Vancouver Farmers Markets. Meeru also works closely with staff at UBC Land and Food Systems and with UBC Farm on various fundraising initiatives, including “Joy of Feeding,” which features home cooks of various ethnic backgrounds and professions showcasing their family favourite comfort foods, often sourced locally and/or organically.
Arka Lwin is a firm believer in supporting local food systems and sustainability as a catalyst for positive change. As a graduate of the Environmental Studies program at Carleton University, Arka wanted to live a lifestyle closer to the change he wanted to see. After consideration, he decided to support sustainable agriculture and his love of food by becoming a farmer. Along this journey, he and an experienced farm-to-table cooking chef came up with the idea of a farm-to-table food truck.
Their vision showcases BC’s best ingredients within a fine seasonal dining experience but through a casual food truck platform – holding a high standard of dining and placing the most importance on the fresh ingredients.