alex hancock cavu

Alex Hancock, CAVU Kitchen Bar (PHOTO: TARA LEE)


When the weather warms, we start craving fresher, more vibrant fare. During a chat at CAVU Kitchen Bar (Hilton Vancouver Airport, 5911 Minoru Blvd.), Alex Hancock, executive chef, explains, “I like salads to be bright and full of flavour. They’re about contrast — in colour, in texture, in taste.”


Brazilian salad CAVU

Brazilian Salad, CAVU Kitchen Bar (PHOTO: TARA LEE)


Hancock’s latest creation, the Brazilian Salad ($14), consists of mixed greens, red onion, pecans, navel orange and flat iron steak marinated in chimichurri roja (olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, cayenne, smoked paprika). The dish is a lovely play with the crunch of the nuts, the citrusy zing of the orange, as well as the tenderness of the steak. Garlic cream and black pepper aioli pair well with the earthy meat.


Tuna Nicoise Salad CAVU

Tuna Niçoise Salad, CAVU Kitchen Bar (PHOTO: TARA LEE)


Another menu addition is Hancock’s take on the classic Tuna Niçoise Salad ($15). His version features seared albacore tuna, crusted in a blend of fennel seeds and coriander, as well as edamame beans, crumbled boiled egg, cured olives, oven-dried tomatoes, house greens and black pepper aioli.


Living Cafe

Very Veggie Salad, Living Cafe (PHOTO: TARA LEE)


You can’t help but fall in love with the charming Living Cafe (12240 Second Ave.), where sourcing is as local and organic as possible. Particularly recommended is their Very Veggie Salad ($11.95) with spiral ‘noodles’ of zucchini, carrot, and beet, along with dates, red and orange peppers, cranberries, walnuts, and a sweet Dijon dressing. Add chickpeas ($1.50) for a protein boost.


Tapenade butter lettuce

Butter Lettuce Salad, Tapenade Bistro (PHOTO: TARA LEE)


Tapenade Bistro (3711 Bayview St.) has launched their spring menu, with an elegant Butter Lettuce Salad ($11) that includes fried cauliflower, shaved parmesan, pickled raisins, shaved veggies (like carrot and radish), red onion, quinoa and a creamy lemon and parmesan dressing.


Tapenade beet salad

Beet Salad, Tapenade Bistro (PHOTO: TARA LEE)


Beet lovers must try the Beet Salad that showcases raw, pickled, and dehydrated beets atop frisée, pomegranate seeds and goat cheese with a smoked hazelnut vinaigrette ($12).


RiverRock spinach salad

Spinach Salad, Curve at the River Rock Casino Resort (PHOTO: RIVER ROCK)


Relax in the lounge or heated patio at Curve (River Rock Casino Resort, 8811 River Rd.), as you taste the best of local ingredients in the Spinach Salad featuring B.C. baby spinach, Gelderman Farms’ caramelized thick cut bacon, local Chilliwack goat cheese, julienned apple, and roasted spiced pecans — all with a malt vinegar and bourbon dressing ($13).


Kale Salad

Kale Salad, Curve at the River Rock Casino Resort (PHOTO: RIVER ROCK)


For intense colour and a superfoods’ punch, go for Curve’s Kale Salad ($13), with roasted butternut squash, kale chips, B.C. mixed greens, dried cranberries, Chilliwack goat feta and hazelnut vinaigrette. Add grilled Rossdown Farms’ free range chicken breast ($6), sautéed prawns ($8), or grilled salmon ($9) to make either salad a more substantial meal.


Any salads that should have made our list?