The idea for Burdock & Co. came to Carlson right before she started cooking at Bishop’s seven years ago. She was passionate about organic, sustainable, locally grown food, but at the time it was available almost exclusively in upscale restaurants. Carlson has spent most of her life working in fast-paced kitchens. She enrolled at the Dubrulle culinary school shortly after graduating from high school and began her career at the now-closed Star Anise restaurant.
“I was thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could create an environment that was casual, that was more neighbourhood, and that brought everything that I was really enjoying together?’ ” Carlson says. “I spent four-and-a-half years at Bishop’s, which was a fantastic experience, and I learned a tremendous amount from John [Bishop], but my desire to do that was still there.” Carlson certainly gained a loyal following of diners and industry folk alike from her time at bishops.
A passionate gardener, Ms. Carlson has studied landscape design and organic farming. She built a kitchen garden for the on-site restaurant at the Tofino Botanical Garden and spent eight months working at Sooke Harbour House, learning how to cook with all sorts of obscure wildflowers grown in its extensive garden. Ms. Carlson moved back to Vancouver to become chef de cuisine at Raincity Grill, where she created the first Canadian restaurant menu based on the 100-Mile Diet. To do so, she forged relationships with previously unknown farmers that local chefs now take for granted.
Her earthiness, uncommonly combined with exquisite technique, ensures an amazing culinary experience at her Restaurant Burdock and Co located in the very hip neighbourhood of Mt Pleasant on Vancouver’s Main St. The restaurant now in its 3rd year continues to impress its Vancouver locals and tourists alike with its every changing seasonal menu along with its focus on natural and biodynamic wines.