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.

Vancouver’s Top Japanese Chefs Combine Forces For Sakura Night – Mar 30

Sakura Night
Sakura Night

VANCOUVER – Gold-winning Tojo’s of Vancouver Magazine’s “Best upscale Japanese 2013” Restaurant Awards has combined forces with five of Vancouver’s top Japanese restaurants for the first ever Sakura Night (Sakura means cherry tree in Japanese), hosted by Tojo’s Restaurant on March 30, 2014. Tojo’s Restaurant, Zen Japanese Restaurant, RawBar at Fairmont Pacific Rim, Seventeen89, Miku Restaurant and Zakkushi will be creating seasonal dishes to guarantee an extraordinary standing dinner experience in the elegant ambience of Tojo’s.

This special evening event opens the 8th annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (VCBF) while creating delicious culinary memories of Japanese cuisine. Nobu Ochi from Zen will entice appetites with Ocean Wise-certified ingredients and RawBar’s Takayuki Omi will create sensory experiences for the palate with flavours of the Pacific Northwest. Daryle Nagata (Seventeen89) will tantalize taste buds with his combination of fresh and seasonal local ingredients, Kazuya Matsuoka will present Miku’s famed aburi (flame-seared) sushi and Masahito Iwamoto will be grilling Zakkushi’s mouth-watering yakitori skewers in-house, sharing the authentic cherry blossom festival experience from Japan with guests.

“We are so excited to be a part of the Festival and celebrate our cherry blossom cultural experience with the creation of Sakura Night ~ a new evening opening to the festival. It celebrates a very important part of our Japanese culture and gives our best local Japanese chefs a chance to share with pride their incredible food with Festival fans” Chef Hidekazu Tojo.

As Canada’s only cherry blossom festival, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is a charitable, not-for-profit society celebrating our urban nature and the fragile, fleeting beauty of the cherry blossom. Funds raised at Sakura Night enable the Festival to continue to deliver meaningful and accessible, quality programming to strengthen citizen’s connection and engagement in our diverse communities. VCBF speaks to multiculturalism, the arts, community engagement, and to the environment by helping to sustain and renew Vancouver’s cherry tree heritage.

Date: Sunday, March 30, 2014

Time: 6:30pm to 9:00pm
Cherry Blossom Martini Welcome followed by a standing dinner reception

Place: Tojo’s Restaurant, 1133 West Broadway, Vancouver

Tickets: Limited tickets at $150 with a $100 tax receipt issued by VCBF for purchase at VCBF.ca

About the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival:

Vancouver’s signature springtime event, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is a month-long celebration of the cherry tree through unique cultural programming including the performing and visual arts, literary, film screenings, design installations, exhibitions, culinary and creative cultural arts. The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is a charitable, not-for-profit society whose mandate is to sustain and renew Vancouver’s cherry tree heritage while educating and engaging community in celebration of the fragile beauty of the cherry blossom.

source: press release

Six Course Discourse

Six Course Discourse
Presented by Follow Me Foodie

January 20
6:30 pm, 3 hours

(6:30pm wine and food reception, 7:30 show)
Stadium Theatre, Edgewater Casino, 750 Pacific Blvd

Vancouver has some amazing world-renowned chefs. Bet you’ve always wanted to hear first-hand what makes them tick, their experiences, their passions… Here’s your opportunity to ‘chew’ on a lineup of Vancouver’s best!

Join Follow Me Foodie’s Mijune Pak as she welcomes six Vancouver chefs; Hamid Samilian, John Bishop, Vikram Vij, Scott Jaeger, Owen Lightly and Tina Fineza, to share what’s on their mind.

Start with a BC VQA wine and canapé standing reception with food provided by Vij’s, Bishop’s, Butter on the Endive Catering, Service Excellence, Next Jenn, The Pear Tree, Maenam, Miku, Chez Christophe and Ebo Restaurant at the Delta Burnaby Hotel & Conference Centre. Then, take your theatre seat for an inspired speaker presentation followed by a question period and aftermath social.

Six Chefs – Twelve minutes each – One epic evening.

* includes standing food and wine reception and speaker series. Taxes and ticketing fees are not included. Free parking available. Please arrive early to allow for ticket collection. Late comers will not be seated. No refunds.

Pelican Bay Fall 2013 Tasting: Feat Over 60 Wines – Nov 7

Coal Harbour Liqour Store Annual Pelican Bay Fall 2013 Tasting is here.  Try out over 60 different wines and tapas from the Dockside Restaurant. Tickets are $30 and you get a $10 voucher for Coal Harbour Liquor store. This event always sells out so get your tickets fast.  I went last year and it was such a great event.

pelican bay fall 2013 wine tasting

Event Details

When: Thursday November 7 – 5 – 8PM

Free transportation between liquor store and Dockside restaurant between 4:45PM to 8:30PM

Where: Dockside Restaurants in Granville Island

View Larger Map

Ticket price and purchase: $30 + 1.74 service charge, you get a $10 voucher for any wines at the Coal Harbour Liquor Store. Purchase on Eventbrite

Vancouver’s boldest, biggest, most social dining experience is #dinnerpartyYVR

Vancouver’s boldest, biggest, most social dining experience is #dinnerpartyYVR

Dining in Vancouver just got bigger, bolder, and more philanthropic with the launch of Social Bites’ “Local Global, Vancouver: #dinnerpartyYVR” on Saturday, October 19, 2013. Presented by local tech start-up Chimp, #dinnerpartyYVR is a 30 individual dinner party behemoth, with up to 30 different hobby chefs across the city of Vancouver creating their own menus, choosing charities, and inviting groups of 4-6 strangers into their homes. Bucking the exclusivity trend and kicking “no-Funcouver” to the curb, #dinnerpartyYVR is an inclusive dining experience in Vancouver with the added feel good charity factor. 100% of each $35 ticket will be gifted back to diners after the event through the Chimp Foundation. Chimp makes it possible for charitable gifts to be donated to any charity that was chosen by the hobby chefs for #dinnerpartyYVR!

 Annika Reinhardt, founder of Social Bites shared the birth and genesis of Social Bites and its goals and impacts with this particular event.

 “I’ve hosted smaller home dining events for a few years now and like think of Social Bites as a ‘friend machine’. With #dinnerpartyYVR I wanted to do something impactful for the community and show how easy (and delicious) it can be to connect the dots between local charities and each and every one of us. I’m excited to have such a strong partner on board in Chimp and look forward to creating meaningful connections between Vancouverites and local charities over delicious meals.”

 Crystal Henrickson, of Yelp Fame, leads the Community Manager program at Chimp, and had this to say on the partnership with Social Bites.

 “We are really excited to partner with Social Bites because an event like this has the potential to not only engage individuals in conversations around charities and causes that are important to them, but can achieve it in a meaningful, personal, and informal way. We really want people to feel that giving is good and can be fun, and #dinnerpartyYVR really achieves this. How better to do this than over a dinner party?”

 The event features menus by someof Vancouver’s most prominent food and lifestyle bloggers including Mijune Pak (Follow Me Foodie), Marc Smith (30 Day Adventures) and Cassandra Anderton (Good Life Vancouver), and members of the Foodists Collective.Meals will appeal to all taste buds: ocean wise, vegan, gluten-free, or pork galore, #dinnerpartyYVR has you covered.

Tickets are available online via event partner HomeDine and tickets include admission to a dessert after party at Hawkers Market. Diners will also enjoy beer and wine courtesy of beverage sponsors Granville Island Brewing and Serendipity Winery.

Harrison Beer Festival Returns – Oct 25- 26

HARRISON BEER FESTIVAL RETURNS ON OCTOBER 25 – 26, 2013

Harrison Beer Festival
Harrison Beer Festival

Harrison Hot Springs is celebrating Craft Beer Month with three must-attend events over two days: Cask Night, Harrison Beer Festival and Oktoberfest Dance. Beer lovers and weekend adventurers alike are invited to partake in the celebrations and stay for the weekend to enjoy scenic Harrison Hot Springs.

The festivities begin on Friday, October 25th with Cask Night, a fun night of song and games with a warm and friendly British pub feel complete with evening piano music.

Participating breweries include:

  • Aldergove-based Dead Frog
  • Chilliwack’s Old Yale Brewery (Gold winner in the Canadian Brewing Awards)
  • Penticton’s Cannery Brewing and local Mission Springs, whose brewery’s quirky memorabilia collection is worth a visit.

Price Admission includes a complimentary sampling glass and three free tasting tokens. Tickets start at $18. Buy Tickets

Where: St. Alice Hall

Price & Events Breakdown

  • Cask NIght Only  $18,
  • Harrison Beer Festival $20
  • Oktoberfest Dance $25
  • Cask Night/Harrison Beer Festival Combo  $35
  • Cask Night/Oktoberfest Dance Combo  $40
  • Harrison Beer Festival/Oktoberfest Dance Combo  $45
  • All three event Combo  $60

On Saturday, October 26th, beer aficionados will compare the finest crafted beers in BC (and one Ontario participant) at the Harrison Beer Festival, including:

• Lower Mainland’s Parallel 49, founded by East Vancouver locals; and Central City Brewing (2012 World Cup of Beer’s Gold & Bronze Medal winner).
• Three breweries from Vancouver Island: Driftwood Brewery, Phillips Brewing Company and Vancouver Island Brewery.
• British Columbia’s interior representatives: Tin Whistle Brewery from Penticton, Mt. Begbie Brewery from Revelstoke (founded by nuclear physicist Bart Larson) and family-run Fernie Brewing Company.
• Eastern Canada’s sole delegate: Mill Street Brewery, hailing from Toronto.
• From Northern BC: Pacific Western Brewing, established in Prince George in 1957, Canada’s longest running, British Columbian-owned brewery and the first Canadian brewer to export to Mainland China in 1991 and to Russia in 1996.

On Saturday evening, the celebrations continue with the traditional Oktoberfest Dance. The traditional saying to start Oktoberfest is “O’zapft is!” or “It is tapped!” The Beer Barrels will add music to the evening with their own blend of oompa-pa and polka music. Complete with beer, pretzels and bratwurst, it will be a true Bavarian party – lederhosen optional!

For more information and to buy tickets, please visit the Harrison Beer Festival website.

Responsible Drinking – This is a licensed event open to those 19 years of age and over. Tourism Harrison encourages all attendees to drink sensibly. Participants are encouraged to:

• Stay overnight, thanks to special festival packages available at local hotels
• Pick a designated driver before you arrive to ensure you have a sober driver on the way back.
• Take advantage of the shuttle bus service to Agassiz and Chilliwack.

CC:Press Release

RE-UP BBQ AND URBAN DIGS FARM UNITE TO CREATE THE BEASTY BOX

RE-UP BBQ AND URBAN DIGS FARM UNITE TO CREATE THE BEASTY BOXOne-of-a-kind meat subscription provides opportunity to join real, sustainable, nose-to-tail food system
VANCOUVER, BC — Conscious consumers now have a new option when it comes to both finding an ethical source of meat and supporting local farmers — the Beasty Box.Created as a partnership between Re-Up BBQ’s Michael and Lindsay Kaisaris and Urban Digs Farm’s Julia Smith and Ludo Ferrari, this “nose-to-tail” butchery box subscription was introduced to offer a no-fuss means of eating right — in every sense of the phrase. Similar to the community supported agriculture (CSA) model that offers weekly farm shares of vegetables and fruit, the Beasty Box consists of meat from a hyper-local collective of farms — Urban Digs Farm (Burnaby), Gelderman Farms (Abbotsford), Rehoboth Farm (Chilliwack) and Pasture Land Farm (Barnston Island) to name a few — which are purposefully and ethically raising animals without the use of antibiotics or hormones, and in an environment that allows them to express their unique physiological needs.
Over the 10-week subscription that begins Nov. 20, 2013, members will receive a mixture of beef, pork, chicken, duck and lamb, and perhaps a few surprises like water buffalo and local Ocean Wise fish. A typical weekly Beasty Box will contain two or more servings of a prime cut of raw meat, cured meat or sausage and a prepared item such as soup, sauce, stew or meat pie.
The winter Beasty Box is priced at $490 and will be available for pickup at a variety of locations across Greater Vancouver, including: Re-Up BBQ at the River Market in New Westminster, Urban Digs Farm in Burnaby, Harvest Community Foods in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood and West Broadway Meat Co. in Vancouver’s West Side. Other pickup locations may be announced shortly to meet the geographical demand of Beasty Box members.
For more information or to subscribe, visit www.beastybox.com. Given the nature of the program, there are an extremely limited number of subscriptions available, so interested parties are encouraged not to delay.

About Re-Up BBQ
The Re-Up BBQ was launched by four passionate partners — Michael and Lindsay Kaisaris, Chester Carey and Jose Rosales-Lopez — who have dedicated themselves to cooking American cuisine and Southern BBQ sourced from local, small-scale farms that practice ethical farming methods. Born from a Food Cart from the City of Vancouver’s inaugural lottery in 2010, Re-Up has evolved into a popular counter-service restaurant located at the River Market in New Westminster. In addition to their line of delicious, ready-to-go food items such as pulled pork, smoked bacon, BBQ ribs and holiday turkey boxes, Re-Up offers custom BBQ catering and often hosts fun food events. www.reupbbq.com

About Urban Digs Farm
Urban Digs is a small family farm based in South Burnaby in a pocket of precious Agricultural Land Reserve less than 20km away from the restaurants and families they grow for. Urban Digs strives to grow good, wholesome food in a way that is environmentally, socially and financially sustainable. In addition to the Beasty Box, Urban Digs supplies meat, eggs and produce to Vancouver’s finest farm-to-table restaurants, and also offers their products direct-to-consumer through farmers markets and their seasonal harvest box programs.  www.urbandigsfarm.com