NOURISHED: Cooking, Comedy and Compassion

By: The Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair

NOURISHED: Cooking, Comedy and Compassion

By: The Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair

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Join us for this Word Vancouver fundraiser

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February 24, 2022 6:00 PM PST to 8:35 PM PST

NOURISHED: Cooking, Comedy and Compassion

NOURISHED: Cooking, Comedy & Compassion

Help keep Word Vancouver free! Pour yourself your favourite beverage and join us for an exciting night of cooking comedy and compassion online you won’t want to miss! 

Cooking (6 pm)

Cook along or sit back and watch as renowned restaurateur Vikram Vij, that’s right, from Vancouver’s famous Vij’s, as he reveals the nuances of his family’s secret chicken curry recipe! A list of ingredients will be forwarded to those who register.

Compassion (7 pm)

After feasting on food feed your soul! Join world renowned psychiatrist, speaker, and bestselling author Dr. Gabor Maté in a conversation on compassion and caring as the key to healing. Next, enjoy poets Sachiko Murakami Render (Arsenal Pulp Press) and Ash Winters Run Riot: Ninety Poems in Ninety Days (Caitlin Press). This event is moderated by Simi Sara.

Comedy(8:05 pm)

End your evening with laughter as Juno-nominated stand-up comedian, BC Book Prize-nominated author, and two time Emmy winner Charles “Charlie” Demers “Just Demers” regales you with comedy.

Order A Book

You can order any of the books by the authors featured at this event (including Dr. Maté's upcoming book) here:


Bid In Our Silent Auction!

Click HERE to support Word by bidding on our silent auction items!

Join us!

Dr. Gabor Maté

Rather than offering quick-fix solutions to these complex issues, Dr. Maté weaves together scientific research, case histories, and his own insights and experience to present a broad perspective that enlightens and empowers people to promote their own healing and that of those around them.

After 20 years of family practice and palliative care experience, Dr. Maté worked for over a decade in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side with patients challenged by drug addiction and mental illness.

The bestselling author of four books published in over twenty-five languages, Gabor is an internationally renowned speaker highly sought after for his expertise on addiction, trauma, childhood development, and the relationship of stress and illness. His book on addiction received the Hubert Evans Prize for literary non-fiction. For his groundbreaking medical work and writing he has been awarded the Order of Canada, his country’s highest civilian distinction, and the Civic Merit Award from his hometown, Vancouver.

His books include In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction; When the Body Says No; The Cost of Hidden Stress; Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder; and (with Dr. Gordon Neufeld) Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. His next book, The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness & Healing in a Toxic Culture is due out on September 13, 2022. His second next book, Hello Again: A Fresh Start for Parents and Their Adult Children is expected in 2023.

Gabor is also co-developer of a therapeutic approach, Compassionate Inquiry, now studied by hundreds of therapists, physicians, counselors, and others internationally. More on his books and programs can be found here.

Vikram Vij

Vikram Vij was born in India in 1964 and lived in New Delhi and Bombay until the age of 20, when he went to study, live and work in Austria. While he was there he received his chef certificate from the Salzburg Hotel Management School. Vikram moved to Canada in 1989 to work at the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta. Vikram became a certified sommelier from the International Sommelier Guild in 2000, and is passionate about pairing wines with his cuisine. 

The Vij’s Group of Companies

Vij’s Restaurant

In September 1994, Vikram opened Vij’s Restaurant in Vancouver, BC. In early 1995, a passionate and a creative Meeru Dhalwala joined him, and the two began collaborating on the menu. Over the past 20-plus years, Vij’s Restaurant has become renowned in Vancouver, across Canada and globally as one of the finest Indian dining experiences in the world. In 2003, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman said of Vij’s that it was: “…easily among the finest Indian restaurants in the world.” In December 2015, Vij’s moved to a new, larger location on Vancouver’s Cambie Street. 


In 2004, Vikram and Meeru opened a second restaurant and market called Vij’s Rangoli in the space beside the established Vij’s Restaurant in Vancouver’s South Granville neighourhood. It was a more casual dining experience – open for lunch and with a less formal style and décor. When Vij’s moved to their Cambie Village location, Rangoli moved into the space next door, and with a later kitchen and bar offering, Rangoli became a cozy go-to with a late-night vibe for locals and visitors alike. Now, merged with the kitchen at Vij’s Restaurant, Rangoli’s favourite dishes can be enjoyed alongside world-famous Vij’s dishes.

My Shanti

In June 2014, Vikram opened his third restaurant, My Shanti, based in South Surrey. The theme of My Shanti is Vikram’s culinary travels and his influences, and it includes flavours and ingredients from all over the world. Within weeks of opening, My Shanti received a nomination from Air Canada’s enRoute Magazine as one of Canada’s Best New Restaurants and has since won multiple accolades. 

Vij’s At Home

As well as a line of frozen, prepackaged gourmet curries based on popular recipes from Vij’s Restaurant, Vij’s foods are also available as part of his service range sold at BC Place stadium and Rogers Arena in Vancouver. Vij’s hot and takeout foods are also sold as part of the From Our Chefs range at select Loblaw’s City Markets in B.C.

Awards and Accolades

In June 2011, the BC Food Processors Association honoured Vikram with the Rising Star Award. In October 2011, he was awarded The Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Pacific Region’s Hospitality and Tourism category. In April 2015, Vikram was named Chef of the Year in Vancouver Magazine’s prestigious Restaurant Awards. Vij’s Restaurant also received the magazine’s Best Indian Award in 2015; and in 2016, My Shanti won the Gold award in that category. In 2014, My Shanti was named Best New Restaurant by the Globe and Mail. The Surrey Board of Trade named Vikram as Surrey’s Business Person of the Year in 2014, and Drishti Magazine gave Vij’s the Innovation in Gastronomy Award in 2015. Vikram received the Chevrolet Ingenuity Award for exceptional creativity and skill at RBC’s 2015 Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards. In 2017 My Shanti was named Best Restaurant in Surrey, Delta, White Rock and Langley in the 2017 Georgia Straight Golden Plate Awards. In 2016, Vikram was named as a Canada 150 ambassador as part of the celebrations of Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation.

Television, Books and Media

Vikram was a guest judge on Top Chef Canada in 2011 and 2012 and he was the guest of honour in a 2013 Top Chef Canada episode dedicated to Indian cuisine. That episode also featured the Vij’s At Home packaged foods, which were sampled by the contestants. He was also a judge on the first ever Chopped Canada show, which premiered on Food Network Canada in January 2014 and he appeared weekly on CBC’s Recipe to Riches which began in February of 2014.

October 2014 saw Vikram make his debut as the first Indo-Canadian Dragon on CBC’s Dragons’ Den. He took his place in the Den alongside esteemed entrepreneurs: Jim Treliving, Arlene Dickenson, David Chilton and Michael Wekerle. During Vikram’s time in the Den, he invested in a number of new businesses and continues to work with the entrepreneurs involved.

In March 2013, Vikram hosted the world’s first ever live-streamed cook-along, Cook Live With Vikram Vij. As part of Vikram’s goal, to make Indian cuisine accessible to all, people were encouraged to join him live online and cook a family meal at the same time, taking instruction from an award-winning chef. They were able to Tweet questions and photos as the curry was being prepared. The first cook-along received more than 10,000 hits.

Vikram released his autobiography in spring of 2017, entitled Vij: A Chef’s One Way Ticket to Canada With Indian Spices In His Suitcase. It tells the story of his journey to Canada thanks to his mentor Ivor Petrak, former manager of the Banff Springs Hotel, and the growth of his businesses over the past 30 years.

Vikram is also the co-author of three cookbooks with Meeru Dhalwala: Vij’s: Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine, Vij’s At Home: Relax, Honey and Vij’s Indian: Our Stories, Spice and Cherished Recipes. 

Philanthropic Work

Vikram has long been involved with the Chef’s Table Society of British Columbia, Farm Folk City Folk Organization, Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafood, UBC Farm fundraisers and the Green Table Society. As well, Vikram and Meeru’s commitment to the work done at UBC resulted in the funding and opening of Vij’s Kitchen, a state-of-the-art culinary learning facility at the University of British Columbia, dedicated to teaching the chefs and nutritionists of the future about ethnic food and cuisine. 

In June 2015, Vikram and Meeru received honorary Doctorates of Law from Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University and in May 2016, Vikram and Meeru were honoured with Doctorates from the University of British Columbia.


Simi Sara - Our Moderator

Simi Sara is the award-winning host of Mornings with Simi. She joined 980 CKNW in 2010 as host of The Simi Sara Show, a fast-paced breaking news program known for its expert commentary and opinion. In 2020 Simi took the reins of the morning show, where she can be heard introducing listeners to the top stories of the day over their morning coffee.

Simi grew up in Surrey, B.C. and has been in the media business for almost thirty years, with roles including newspaper reporter, producer and news anchor. Before making the move to radio Simi spent the early days of her career in television. Upon making the move to radio Simi also returned to education, graduating from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Arts.

She is passionate about news, having won two national and three regional RTDNA awards for editorial and commentary, along with a Jack Webster award and BCABs.

Her depth of news knowledge, thoughtful interviews, and intelligent, conversational style attracts loyal listeners to her #1 show.

Ash Winters

Ash Winters is an emerging Toronto-based writer. Genderqueer and sober, their work navigates complex and colourful emotional landscapes. They graduated with their BA in English from Lakehead University in 2010. Their poetry and prose have recently appeared in; Existere, Open Minds Quarterly, The White Wall Review, Free Fall Magazine, and Into the Void Magazine. Their first collection of poetry, Run Riot: Ninety Poems in Ninety Days, came out in winter 2021 with Caitlin Press.

Sachiko Murakami

Sachiko Murakami is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Render (Arsenal Pulp Press 2020), a finalist for the Governor-General's Literary Award. As a literary worker, she has worked for trade organizations, publishers, and journals, hosted reading series, sat on juries, and judged prizes. She writes, edits, and teaches in Toronto. 


Dave Seaweed - Event Host

Dave Seaweed is a member of the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation. He has been the Aboriginal Coordinator at Douglas College for over 20 years, supporting over 400 Aboriginal students every semester. His role requires him to provide all of the services in the College as a liaison for his students and to provide cultural awareness to the College and community. Dave delivers guest lectures in PSYC, CRIM, SPSC, SOCI, CFCS and others most semesters. Dave is an elected executive to the BC Post-Secondary Coordinators Council and a Co-Chair for the National Aboriginal Student Services Assembly. He is a member of the Douglas College Indigenous PD committee as the College heads into its 3rd year of the 5 Year Strategic Plan which includes Indigenization. He has also been an elected member of the Douglas College Board for 8 years now.

Charles Demers

Charles Demers is a comedian, author, actor, playwright, & screenwriter based in Vancouver. One of Canada's top stand-up comedians — who has opened for Sarah Silverman, Marc Maron, Hannibal Buress, Bob Odenkirk, and others — he is also a regular performer on Sirius satellite and CBC radio, including several stints on This is That and more than sixty appearances on The Debaters.

He is the co-author, with Canada’s first Poet Laureate George Bowering, of The Dad Dialogues, a collection of epistolary non-fiction on fatherhood. His bestselling comedic crime novel, Property Values, has been optioned for development as a feature film by Pioneer Pictures of Los Angeles, with a screenplay co-written by Demers, and his most recent mystery novel, Primary Obsessions, debuted on the BC Bestseller List and is currently a finalist for the 2021 Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award. 


Cassidy Furman - Prize Drop Host

Cassidy Furman is a comedian and actor based out of Vancouver, BC. Interested in booking her for your next gig? Please email

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Word Vancouver Silent Auction

By: The Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair

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