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Beloved North Vancouver restaurant The Portly Chef closed after eight years

The restaurant had carried on nearly a year after its founder and chef died in May 2019
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A lamb dish at The Portly Chef in early 2019. Photo by Mike Wakefield/North Shore News

A staple of the past near-decade in North Vancouver served up its last meals this weekend, as The Portly Chef closed their doors on Sunday, January 26.

The Portly Chef was the project of longtime local chef Jeff Batt and his wife and business partner, restaurant general manager Emily Caulfield.

Batt was known for his "100 per cent homemade, carefully executed North Shore comfort food prepared with a downtown flare," at The Portly Chef, as described by the North Shore News last year. Dishes like a Pork Belly Carbonara pasta, herb-crusted lamb, fried, chicken, and spicy squid kept diners coming back for more - as did their thoughtful wine list and decadent brunch.

But sadly, Batt passed away in May 2019 at just 46. Caulfield carried on running the restaurant, honouring the legacy of its founder through seasonal, well-crafted menus and an inviting energy. 

portly-chef-jeff-batt-2012Jeff Batt outside the then-brand new Portly Chef in North Vancouver in May 2012. Photo: The Portly Chef/Facebook

The Portly Chef served dinner as well as a Sunday brunch. Over its nearly eight-year tenure on Lonsdale at 12th, The Portly Chef was a local favourite and had many regulars.

"It’s been a Portly sized adventure; one that is sadly coming to an end. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for the support over the years. This neighbourhood, our faithful customers, my amazing Portly staff ... nothing can or will compare," wrote Caulfield on Instagram of the restaurant's closure.

With files from Chris Dagenais/North Shore News