EAT Vancouver – Highlights and New Products

**things have been a little technologically shaky here, the pictures will be back up asap**

Another year of EAT! Vancouver took place over the weekend and featured some big name chefs and cooking shows. As part of the media event, we were invited to a number of exhibitors to sample some of their featured treats and to talk to them about their products.

One of the first stands was Urban Fare. We’re all more than familiar with them but they featured a $2,600 bottle of water that was crusted with 10,000 Swarovski crystals! (I wonder how much the deposit is?)
Eat Vsncoucer 2014

There were some other local products being showcased such as coffee, meats and cheese. One of my favourites was the Britannia 5 year aged cheddar.
Next was the Hawkers Market which had a number of interesting vendors. First, we tried some treats from the Wonton Girl which were crispy and moist.

A very unique item we tried next was a Vegan Coconut Bacon which were little crispy coconut flakes. These were nicely smokey and more on the sweet side but would go well sprinkled on top of almost any salad or in a sandwich.

Next we sampled a Mexican spread called Cajeta. It’s a caramel like spread that’s made with goat’s milk and sort of reminded me of nutella. I was told that it’s a traditional condiment that’s found in almost every Mexican home. It’s typically vanilla flavoured but there was also espresso and my favourite…rum! I can put this on anything which is apparently how it’s used, but usually in desserts like crepes or in cookies and on cakes.

We moved onto the Bites section of the event which was setup like a mini food court but many vendors were not up and running yet. We tried many dishes from Max’s Restaurant including the Pancit Palabok and Pork Adobo which were very nicely prepared and very flavourful. The crowd favourite was the Halo Halo though.

Now it’s onto the Sips section which is obviously a nice way to quench your thirst after sampling so many treats. The local craft breweries were well represented but the wineries were noticeably absent. A highlight for me included a Chocolate Stout from Samuel Smith’s which had a really intense chocolate profile and was very well balanced.

chocolate stout
Organic Chocolate Stout

Another brew that stood out was Parallel 49’s Tricycle Grapefruit Radler. This is a light sipper that had a nice citrus bite to start which then gives away to a sweeter body..almost like biting into a grapefruit. This will likely make its way onto a few patios this summer.

Parallel 49 - Tricycle

There were many other interesting products and exhibits to explore. A noticeable trend that has been ongoing for quite some time is the push for vegan and gluten free products which were well represented. Another theme was the focus on understanding the sourcing of key ingredients. It’s always good to see that vendors are more concerned with where their products come from and how they are processed.

EAT Vancouver 2013 Highlights

This year EAT, in particular the Drinking pavilion did not disappoint. Moneesh Reddy, my talented photographer and I went on a surprisingly educational foodgasmic adventure.

Some of our EAT Vancouver favourites:

Karma ffin, has no flour, no additional sugar, no additives and ridiculously moist. They are available at Save-on-Foods and Urban Fare.

Karma ffin

Family run Damiani Fine Foods, imports award winning, luxury Italian foods. I bought a package of saffron and truffle infused pasta.

tartufissima - damian foods

Marco, owner and son was so passionate about his products and business took the time to show me some of their goodies. Not yet available locally but they do have an online store.

damiani fine foods 1

Giddy YoYo – raw food craze, no dairy chocolate.  Instead of cooking the chocolate beans the chocolate is fermented, kept below 115F, leaving all the nutrients untouched. Most chocolates are heated to the point where all the nutrients and anti-oxidents are stripped. The 85% chocolate was so smooth, at this high cocoa percentage found in lower quality chocolates you get the almost chalky finish. The Giddy YoYo bar was buttery smooth.

giddy yoyo

O mission – surprisingly good gluten free beer.

glutten free beer

Thank you to all the exhibitors that took the time to really educate me on their products, from tastings toproduction.

Juan Santos: compared 21 year vs 12 year rum. I am not a rum connoisseur by any means but, after a few tips and sips I fell in love with the 20 year rum.

Juan Santos Rum
juan santos grand reserve
Ungava gin is yellow because of the infusion of herbs and flowers. I’m not usually into flavoured alcohol especially in pure tasting spirits like gin. Ungava has a mellow and surprisingly refreshing taste. No mixing required.

Ungava gin

ungava

Vancouver Oil Company, owner Michealanne brings passion into all her products. She took the time to educate and explain the tasting and production of her products. Video blog to come. Her kits store has over 52 cultivators of oil and vinegars available for tastings. The peach balsamic was intense!

Michealanne and husband Micheal
Vancouver oil company 1

Vancouver oil company 3

Thank you…I don’t think I’d ever be able to try that many premium sake’s all at once. The two main components in sake is water and rice. I tried, Cedar barrel sake, to Sake lover sake, which is a more traditional, dry sake. Kikazakne Sake is a lot lighter because the water is from Nagano, which was much softer.

sake

One of my favourite highlights was Tony Foulkes from Edgemont Village, I went up to him and said, can you teach me the basics of Whiskey, I don’t know much. He replied, “ I’ve been in the whiskey, Bourbon business for decades and I still don’t know much, I’m still learning. Anyone that say that they know all, is an idiot. I made an instant connection. I probably spent close to 25mins at their booth, where he explained the difference in barrels, region of Scotland, process of making a whiskey peaty. Don’t worry I will explain it all in my next blog.

Tony Foulkes from Edgemont Village

Tacofino food truck – owners and cooks Jason Sussman and beautiful helper Che. Jason is actually a lot nicer than he looks.

Tacofino

EAT! Vancouver 2013: 11th Annual Food Event

EAT! Vancouver logo

Get your taste buds ready. EAT! Vancouver, 11th Annual Food Event is almost here.

You get to sample a huge variety of food and spices, and drinks, brush up on your cooking techniques from celebrity chefs like Chuck Hughes on the Celebrity Stage.

I attended the EAT! Vancouver pop-up cooking classes by Pacific Culinary Arts and I can say it was well worth it.  For $28 you get a 1 hour hands-on cooking session on the topic of your choosing eg brunch staples, or how to create perfectly balanced sauces, cooking and baking gluten free, sharpening your knife skills.

EAT! Vancouver 2013
Dates: May 24, 25, 26 2013
Where: BC Place Stadium
Price: $14, adult admissions (online) or $16 at the door

Tickets available
Buy your EAT! Vancouver tickets online and get a chance to win Weber® Genesis® Ep-330™ gas grill. Valued at $1070

Eat! Vancouver’s Roundup – New Foods To Try

Eat! Vancouver’s Roundup. New foods to watch out for in the next few months in your local groceries and specialty food stores.

It was busy as usual this weekend. This year’s Eat Vancouver didn’t leave any hungry attendee unfed. From cheese, soups, noodles, maple candy salmon, spices, to chocolates.

I was lucky enough to participate in a culinary popup class by Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. For around $20 you get a hands-on cooking class that was entertaining, educational and filling. We made marsala spice from scratch and for brunch, stuffed brioche and, hollandaise sauce.

Hello Macarons! Gluten free macarons by Kitchening Co. Carly Wintschel, owner was on hand to answer any questions and pose for pictures.

kitchening co carly

Everything is made from scratch including the caramel in the salted caramel macarons. You can pick them up at your local Urban Fare.

macarons

L.B. EMPORIUM, specializes in creative infused salts. The aromas were just amazing. My favorite was the Hibiscus, a purple tart flower salt infusion. You will be able to buy them online next month.

LB emporium donna

blackberry pepper

Cheese from Switzerland Tête de Moine, Bellelay cheese is a semi-hard, cheese with a silky body which easily melts in your mouth. It was almost too pretty to eat, alas my stomach won.

Tête de Moine cheese

It was definitely one of my favorites at Eat Vancouver. You can buy it at A. Bosa & Co. and Les amis du Fromage.

cheese flower

Giant, ooeey-goooey marshmallows from Magpie’s Marshmallows were sweet.  Magpie’s Marshmallows is based in Agassiz, BC and they are working on getting their products in local groceries in Vancouver.

Magpie marshmallow owners

mango marshmellow galore

Boring Porridge, a natural, Gluten Free instantly-ready porridge.  The coconut breeze was my favorite. Jesse was a whiz.

boring porridge

Finally we finished up with David Rocco, celebrity Italian chef.

david rocco

Photographs are courtesy of Moneesh Reddy, a passionate foodie and hobby photographer. Who idolizes Barney from ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and thinks he’s “Legend….wait for it…Dary”.