The job perks are particularly delicious when you spend months following chefs around. Director Jordan Lee was lucky enough to sample their creations at the end of the day on the sets of "Secret Suppers of Vancouver."
"I love watching professional people cook too," Lee told The Huffington Post B.C. in a recent interview. "Each one is different, how organized [they are] and how much artistry and mastery they have over their craft."
That fascination sparked a personal project on friend Chef Tom, who runs an underground restaurant out of his ground-floor apartment. The five-minute vignette turned into an hour-long documentary that airs Saturday, July 19 on CBC at 7 p.m. PT.
The secret suppers that are the focus of the show are served in "restaurants" with no official licence.
"I stumbled across this whole culture and community of secret suppers in Vancouver. This story hadn't really been told yet," said Lee. "There are a lot in Vancouver, they're so unique, how they operate, what they offer, the type of food they offer."
The documentary follows four chefs from Nicolas Hipperson, the executive chef of Raincity Grill, who uses his underground Gastown restaurant Farm 2 Fork to "unleash his own creativity, flexibility" to young Chef Tom, who runs a barebones operation to save on costs and maintain creative control, explains Lee.
Tom prefers to use his first name only to stay anonymous, while someone like Hipperson has no problem with the limelight and wants the number of underground restaurants to grow.
Vancouver Coastal Health told Lee that the department knows these unregulated, secret supper clubs exist, but the onus is on the diner to complain if they suspect any infractions. At the same time, officials don't have the resources to actively go after these private dining outfits.
"Some are more legit than others. Some are more underground than others," said Lee, who made the documentary with producer Clayton Goodfellow at Georgia Street Media.
Check out some scenes from "Secret Suppers Of Vancouver":