Local Lives: Vanessa Choot, Founder of Modern Mix Vancouver
Ever wonder where Vancouver baretenders drink on their night off, where chefs eat when they aren’t in their own kitchen, or what beauty products salon owners use in their own routine? My new series Local Lives on Modern Mix Vancouver features the LIVES of prominent members of our city and how they LIVE — sharing with MMV readers their hidden gems, how they connect with their community, and where they eat, shop, and play.
I’m kicking off this series by sharing my own answers. In the weeks following, we’ve already lined up some fantastic interviewees including: Simone Grewal of Z95.3, Ella Jotie the founder of Barre Fitness (Canada’s original barre studio), Mary Zilba Philanthropist and former reality TV star from Real Housewives of Vancouver, Megan & Steve Clarke the husband and wife duo behind Tractor Foods, Woody Wu of Origo Club, and Michael Steele, co-founder of Vancouver smoothie delivery company The Good Stuff Co.
In the meantime, keep reading to see how I, the founder and blogger behind Modern Mix Vancouver, spend my time in Vancouver.
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How long have you lived in Vancouver for?
I went to preschool, elementary school, high school and university in Vancouver — I’ve lived in Vancouver pretty much my entire life. I moved with my family to Vancouver, Canada when I was three years old from Hong Kong.
What’s your “claim to fame” in Vancouver?
I’m a marketing professional who has worked eight years in the corporate 9-to-5 marketing world, but the “title” that’s stuck with me the longest, and how I’ve built my biggest network of local connections, is through blogging on my Vancouver lifestyle website Modern Mix Vancouver. I started my blog in 2008, so I’ve been doing this for more than ten years!
Where are your favourite places to eat in Vancouver?
Even though I’m not vegetarian or vegan, my two favourite restaurants happen to be plant-based. I love The Acorn for their creativity in making dishes seem complete even without meat and their beautiful presentation, and Chau Veggie for a modern and healthy take on Vietnamese food. If we are craving pizza we go to Nicli’s (Gastown), Pizzeria Farina (Chinatown), or Virtuous Pie (Chinatown). For dim sum and Chinese food, Red Star, for Shanghainese food (I love dumplings!) Dinesty Restaurant.
What’s your favourite thing to do in our city?
I love picnics on grass!! Picking up a few charcuterie items — salami, fig jam, cheese, dried fruit — from Granville Island Market and eating either on the steps outside the market, or hopping back into downtown and sitting on the grass by the seawall near David Lam Park in Yaletown. I especially love doing this because my dog Teddy Bear can join in on the fun.
What’s the best way to connect with your local neighbourhood or community?
Attend craft and farmers markets — there are so many in Vancouver these days! That’s where you will get a large turnout of local makers most in need of our support.
Where are your favourite places to shop in Vancouver?
Aritzia and The Latest Scoop.
What are your favourite hikes in Vancouver?
Quarry Rock is my all time favourite hike — which I always bring my dog along to. It’s not too far out of the city, straightforward, and I like eating in Deep Cove after the hike.
Any Vancouver hidden gems to share with Modern Mix readers?
Greenhorn Espresso Bar in the West End is tucked away in a residential neighbourhood.