Vancouver, British Columbia is known for being one of the most beautiful parts of Canada, and it’s also home to some of the world’s best seafood. Opened in 2018 in the heart of Vancouver’s historic Gastown neighbourhood, Coquille Fine Seafood is the place to go whether you want a pint of beer and fish and chips, or a decadent seafood tower with a creative cocktail. We recently stopped by and caught up with Liam Todd, Coquille’s General Manager, and chatted about his journey in the restaurant industry, his go-to cocktail, and his favourite music artists currently on repeat.
Liam - can you tell us a bit about your journey in the restaurant industry? Was this something you always had a passion for?
Meals as a family were always quite important to me – dinner time was a time for us to enjoy quality time together. As a teenager I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my twin brother. Certainly, one of the more enjoyable aspects of food is getting to prepare it. I quickly learned that when you’re proud of a meal you’ve made, there’s nothing better than sharing it with the people around you. As a result, from a pretty young age I’ve always been fascinated by restaurants.
What is one of your favorite parts about your job?
The best part of my job is that it’s never boring. Every day is filled with a new set of challenges. From the moment I walk in the door, till the moment I leave, I’m always on my toes.
What are some of the things you like to do when you are outside the restaurant?
If I’m not at work, I’m definitely outside. I like exploring all the beautiful places that are on our doorstep here in B.C. If not in the mountains, I’m currently trying to learn how to ride a bike, so you might find me on a bike.
What are you watching on Netflix at the moment?
I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t watch much Netflix. There’s a group of people out there that spend their time watching YouTube. I think they’re called nerds…anyways, I’m one of those nerds. But if I was watching something on Netflix, I would probably be watching a documentary.
Were you born and raised in Vancouver? Can you let us in on any of the hidden gems of the city?
I’m a Vancouverite through and through. So many gems, but unfortunately, I’m afraid none of them are all that hidden anymore. Recently I’ve been introduced to this tiny restaurant called “La Belle Patate.’ It’s a rad spot. I’ve also been introduced to a little trail called Fisherman’s Trail/Seymour Valley Trail. It’s incredibly beautiful and so close to the city.
What is your ‘go to’ Summer patio drink?
I’m always happy if I have a Negroni or a crisp dry cider in my hand.
What are your top 5 ‘most played’ tracks on Spotify/Apple music?
If my YouTube comment didn’t make me lose any cool points, My Spotify list certainly will. It definitely includes Dolly Parton, Metallica, Dire Straits, Eric Church, and Fleetwood Mac -I’m a bit all over the place.
And finally – what are three must-try dishes for first time diners at Coquille?
You have to come for the Seafood Platter, Sablefish, and Qualicum Scallop crudo – they are all ridiculous. Although, we do have the best French fries in the city.
Please visit https://www.coquillefineseafood.com/ for more information.