BOTE in the beginning
Butter on the Endive started out as a gritty food blog with Owen Lightly being the main contributing editor and cooking school friend Mark Roberts as the photographer. The duo went on cooking adventures of all sorts, from dumpy Gabriola backyard bbqs, to sitting down at high end chef's tables with wine pairings, to adventuring to their favourite suppliers' fishing or farming grounds, to interviewing industry faces, including dishwashers, servers, chefs, and other food writers. Owen had a flair for writing, and "Butter on the Endive" became a thing all of it's own, not just kitchen slang for a when a beautiful woman walks into the dining room. His posts would explore the industry of food and dining with "a cook's cook" eye for detail, genuine curiousity for all aspects of food culture, and a dry humour. He often embedded links to songs in the text, creating layer after layer of curated engaging material.
BOTE as food events company
Butter on the Endive gained a fairly good following, and many food industry folks supported Owen's efforts to further food culture in Vancouver. It was a natural shift when Owen and Naomi decided to focus more on food events and food experiences open to the public. They would dream up ideas, and some would stick: a take-over of an old cafe in an industrial district of Main Street and do a New Orleans- themed dinner, Chef in Residence dinner series cooking in rented apartments or spaces collaborating with antique furnishings companies, or collaborating with like-minded chefs and bartenders in a fully operating wood-working shop. The possibilities seemed endless, and Owen and Naomi worked well as a team. One of the ones that Owen never got to do was fulfill his contract to be the overseeing chef for an art restoration and cultural immersion program in Puglia, Italy. He was diagnosed with cancer two months before going. As we look back at Butter on the Endive, we remember the wellspring of passion he had to share his love for food culture. He embodied a strong work ethic, embraced light-heartedness, and valued the relationships and people he worked with, above all.
[more pictures to come]
recipe by Owen, 2012
Manila Clam Digging
Gwen (sister) & Owen, 2009
Chef in Residence dinner series, 2012
Tortellini en brodo, Butter on the Endive video, shot by Michael Sider, 2011