FROM THE ARCHIVE: This taste of luxe indulgence doesn’t come from Russia, where wild beluga sturgeon have gone the way of the Romanovs. It is Northern Divine caviar from sustainably farmed sturgeon, from Target Marine Hatcheries in Sechelt, British Columbia.

Peculiar. Unusual. Odd. These aren’t descriptors that companies generally lean on when trying to sell a product. Hendrick’s Gin, however, hangs its tattered top hat on being delightfully strange.

If the art of plating a dish didn’t already have its own set of challenges, certainly performing under a ticking clock in a room full of observers adds to that pressure. This past weekend at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts on Granville Island in Vancouver, British Columbia, eight of the country’s brightest new talent did just that.

In the culinary world, context is everything. So at New York’s James Beard House, America’s working monument to gastronomy, you can do as David Hawksworth did one recent evening in late September without raising an eyebrow.