The #PopUpPatio at The Westin Grand is Back for Another Summer

Westin Grand Pop Up Patio 3

Above the bustling intersection of Homer and Robson is the sun-drenched poolside terrace of The Westin Grand, Vancouver. Once again this space has been transformed into the #PopUpPatio, a bustling rooftop patio lounge open Thursday and Friday evenings. Guests can unwind and refresh after a hard day of work in this relaxed atmosphere with soft seating, green gardens and live DJ music. Continue reading “The #PopUpPatio at The Westin Grand is Back for Another Summer”

Les Dames d’Escoffier Chefs’ Table Dine Around – Aug 24

Les Dames d'Escoffier Chefs' Table Dine Around

It’s one of the most fun and best value culinary fundraisers of the year. The Les Dames d’Escoffier Dine Around.  Over twenty restaurants, vineyards, gardens and cooking schools from Vancouver to Whistler, Victoria to Kelowna, North Vancouver to White Rock each donating one “table” for a concurrent dinner party. Same night. Same time. Same price. Just $69 per person including wine.  You choose the restaurant. We choose the menu and the wine.

Each restaurant is priced exactly the same, with each restaurant donating the food menu and table and a winery donating the wine. Gratuity is not included. Restaurants have designed their menu to highlight their own cuisine, so please note this is a night to celebrate food and although health related allergies will be taken into consideration, the menus are set so no special requests can be accommodated.

Your table may be in the dining room or it may be in a very special location like the kitchen or wine room. For those locations offering an outdoor dining experience, particularly in the form of a “picnic” dinner, guests will be informed so as to dress appropriately.

Choose a new restaurant or one of your favourites. Buy a couple of seats at the table, or take the entire table. Some venues have donated 4 seats, some 6, some 8. Each restaurant is priced exactly the same. Les dames members Sea Cider and Spierhead Winery are just some of the wineries joining us this year.

Both restaurant and winery are donating 100% of the food, service and wine, so all proceeds from the dinners will be donated to Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter, for scholarship and outreach funding. We kindly ask therefore that you do tip your server.

Additionally, a gourmet raffle will be held featuring select Les Dames d’Escoffier member products such as a $100 Shaughnessy Restaurant at Van Dusen dining gift certificate, gourmet baskets, cookbooks, cooking classes from the Dirty Apron Cooking School and tickets to the Vancouver Island Feast of Fields with tickets drawn that night both online and live at an after party at the Hamilton Street Grill in Yaletown. All dames, chefs, restaurateurs and guests are invited!

Buy your tickets here Eventbrite

 

Source:  Les Dames d’Escoffier British Columbia

Vancouver’s Grey Goose Pour Master Challenge Highlights

grey goose pour masters

I was lucky enough to be invited to Grey Goose Pour Masters Competition. 12 handpicked Vancouver bartenders competed for a spot in Grey Goose’s national competition. National winner will then move on to Grey Goose Pour Master’s International Competition.

The competitors had to incorporate distinctively local characteristics into their drinks. Cocktails were judged on inspiration, presentation, appearance, nose and taste.

Vancouver Grey Goose Pour Master Challenge highlights:

Trevor Kailles of the Donnelly Group mixed the Evolution. Very fragrant, with verbena grapefuirt basil.

Winner of the competition, Robyn Gray from Pidgen prepared the Duck Duck Goose. What…hold up yes, that’s egg shells and yes the cherries are fitted with foie gras.

Robyn Gray

duck infused cognac

Cooper Tarvdivel from Hawksworth used Okanagan kirsch infused with cherry wood smoke and rhubarb finished with a cherry bomb ice.

cherry bomb

Grant Scenery from Fairmont Pacific Rim came 3rd with his cocktail that made me think of summer patios. This is by far the best punch I’ve ever had. With home made rooibos soda and grand marnier. I just want to sneak some out to the beach.

punch

Jay Jones of Killjoy created ‘bloodlines’, which was well rounded, made of apricots, beer and misted with sakura flower.

Jay Jones

Evelyn Chick, came second with her Mon Voyage Evelyn Chick

Mon Voyage
Bon voyage

Grey Goose Master Challenge Photo Highlights

Spiced Vodka Cocktail
spices

Cotton Candy Infused Cocktail
cotton candy

Cocoa Butter Cocktail:
cocoa butter

The Les Dames d’Escoffier Dine Around – Aug 14

It’s one of the most fun and best value culinary fundraisers of the year. The Les Dames d’Escoffier Dine Around.  Over twenty restaurants, vineyards, gardens and cooking schools from Vancouver to Whistler, Victoria to Kelowna, North Vancouver to White Rock each donating one “table” for a concurrent dinner party. Same night. Same time. Same price. Just $69 per person including wine.  You choose the restaurant. We choose the menu and the wine.

Each restaurant is priced exactly the same, with each restaurant donating the food menu and table and a winery donating the wine. Gratuity is not included. Restaurants have designed their menu to highlight their own cuisine, so please note this is a night to celebrate food and although health related allergies will be taken into consideration, the menus are set so no special requests can be accommodated.

Your table may be in the dining room or it may be in a very special location like the kitchen or wine room. For those locations offering an outdoor dining experience, particularly in the form of a “picnic” dinner, guests will be informed so as to dress appropriately.

Choose a new restaurant or one of your favourites. Buy a couple of seats at the table, or take the entire table. Some venues have donated 4 seats, some 6, some 8. Each restaurant is priced exactly the same. Les dames members Sea Cider and Spierhead Winery are just some of the wineries joining us this year.

 

Dame Dinner of a Lifetime

Both restaurant and winery are donating 100% of the food, service and wine, so all proceeds from the dinners will be donated to Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter, for scholarship and outreach funding. We kindly ask therefore that you do tip your server.

Additionally, a gourmet raffle will be held featuring select Les Dames d’Escoffier member products such as a $100 Shaughnessy Restaurant at Van Dusen dining gift certificate, gourmet baskets, cookbooks and cooking classes from the Dirty Apron Cooking School with tickets drawn that night both online and live at an after party at the Hamilton Street Grill in Yaletown. All dames, chefs, restaurateurs and guests are invited!

 Come back and visit this page for raffle ticket sales and additional restaurants.

 

**some restaurants area already beginning to sell out.

Hamilton Street Grill, Vancouver
Provence Mediterranean Grill, Vancouver **sold out**
ZEST Japanese, Vancouver
Fairmont Empress Hotel, Victoria
“Picnic in the Vineyard” RauDZ & Spierhead Winery   more info
Chambar, Vancouver
Hart House, Burnaby
Picnic Dinner by Truffles in Van Dusen Gardens, Vancouver   more info
Nicli Antica Pizzeria, Vancouver
Camille’s, Victoria
Chill Winston’s, Vancouver
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Vancouver
Canyon, North Vancouver **sold out**
The Superior, Victoria
Uli’s, White Rock
Fairmont Waterfront, Vancouver

http://lesdames.eventbrite.ca/

 

Inspiring Awesomeness with Food

Inspiring Awesomeness with Food
I visited my blog today and realized my most recent post was on BC Family Day, well over a month ago. I’ve been guest posting on so many other blogs that I have neglected my own. Truth, I am tired of writing restaurant reviews. There are hundreds of Vancouver food blogs writing on the same damn restaurants and the same dishes, with similar opinions and pictures. It gets boring! I’ve been doing this since 2010, something has to change.

Those danm obnoxious food bloggers…who think they are Anthony Bourdain

Food bloggers as a group have been known to be greedy, petty and generally obnoxious. I’ve seen an example, when a blogger sat down and before he ordered said “I am (blog). Personally, I wouldn’t give a shit if you are a food blogger, why would I treat you any differently than other patrons here?  “Fine, I have 3000 twitter followers, so don’t fuck up my meal, or I will send one tweet out and that would end your business” I haven’t actually heard anyone say that but, I can read between the lines. You are no Anthony Bourdain, you are just a prick.

Dining = Food + People

What my blog has given me is a platform to build connections, a network of people who are passionate about what they do, they want to inspire, change and create. They are passionate about cooking and continually test boundaries, create and inspire environmental changes by creating a program to reduce food waste.  This is why I’m still writing, so that I can inspire, change and hopefully create a little awesomeness on the way.

I haven’t moved away from food, I love staying informed, not just about the newest restaurant openings instead, about the people and their stories behind the food they have created.

When I went to Yaletown L’Antipasto, my friend “slipped” that I was reviewing their restaurant. Side note, I really hate when that happens, I feel like I’m being stalked and scrutinized throughout my meal. Instead of just talking about what’s in the dishes, we talked about Matti, Chef and Co-Owner of L’Antipasto. His dreams to one day have his own farm where he could grow his own food, and have a small rustic restaurant at the farm.

He loves local ingredients because he knows how it was grown, packaged and delivered, ensuring that when his produce arrives it’s still at its peak. He understands, not every dish has to be complicated, sometimes it’s better to be simple.

So when my friend mentioned that her dish was a little bland, it was just tomatoes, olive oil and a few other herbs.  I understood, that it was meant to be this way. The quality of the ingredients itself was amazing. Educating her on what a great fresh tomatoes and quality olive oil was supposed to taste like. The olive oil was from a Co-op farm in Italy, who still manually presses. (My explanation went a little deeper than that, I even called Matti over).  With her deeper understanding, she was able to appreciate her food.

Inspiring Social Changes With Food

Another person that I was able to meet because of my blog was Jonathan Chovancek, of Kale & Nori Catering and Bittered Slings Extract. He is very inspiring, his enthusiasm and passion for social and eco change through food.  He has taken upon himself to ensure his clients and their guests consume ingredients that support the sustainable food movement, doing extra due-diligence to track the movement of his food. “Most food is sold from origin to distributor to sub distributor. Getting to the source, knowing where the food originated and what was fed, how it was grown is important. How long has it been dead, picked, preserved. Understanding that the quality is at its peak for only a few hours and from that point on it is diminishing”, Jonathan said.

Our meeting was an eye opener. I am a firm believer that food can create social and economic change. The rise of popularity in quinoa has created an economic and social shift for farmers and consumers in Chile, it also has driven up the price for local consumers. It is a staple, similar to white rice to Chinese but, with the high demand in the western nations, they much rather have it exported then sold locally, driving up the local prices.

So what does this mean for Food Persuasion?

I will continue to blog with a purpose, to inspire people, hopefully to do something awesome. Even something as little as making you pause and think for a few seconds about the food you are about to consume is enough, at least for now.

Things To Do on BC’s 1st Family Day

image source: Victoriawestern.com

In celebration of BC’s 1st Family Day, February 11, 2013, I have compiled a list of special events and attractions happening all over BC.

Ski Resorts
• 50% discount on lifts for BC residents
• Mount Washington
• Whistler
• Big White
• Revelstoke
To see more ski resorts offering BC residents off Lift Tickets for BC’s Family Day

Travel
BC Ferries, kids under 11 will sail for free when traveling with their families.

Events
Vancouver
Vancouver Art Gallery all day music festival, including local Juno Award Winners Said The Whale
• Science World
• Free Skating at Robson square
BC Sports Hall of Fame 50% admission discount
• Vancouver Lookout Family Day Weekend, tours scavenger hunts
• Free activities at a some local recreation centers

Victoria
Inner Harbour All day music festival

Nanaimo
Free skate or swim at the community centre on 3rd st

Prince George
Free admission at the Exploration Place

Kelowna
Free swimming at Parkinson rec centre

Kamloops
Free swim and Family Day Activity Zones at Tournament Capital Centre

Cranbrook
Free swim and affordable activities all over the region

image source: Victoriawestern.com

I Bacon-ated Street Food City II

On the first day of Vancouver’s Street Food City 2 and typical of Vancouver, there was a downpour. Although it was a little slower than the first year it was still bustling with hungry patrons. With 13 food cart vendors to choose from all at the same location, it’s a great way to try out all the street vendors at one go.

Vancouver Street Food City 2 Festival:

January 23, 24, 25, 26, 27
11am – 3pm Wednesday through Friday
11am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday

Location: Vancouver Art Gallery

I figured the pics will be enticing enough that you would want to get food cart grub yourself.

Bacon provolone grilled cheese at Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck @momsgrilledchz
Street Food City Vancouver Maple Bacon
Maple bacon sugar cookies pigs on the street @Pigonthestreet
Lemon Olive Chicken Stew @EatZeBite Street Food City Vancouver
Lemon Olive Chicken Stew @EatZeBite
Cheddar perogies with bacon and sour cream @holyperogy Street food city Vancouver
Cheddar perogies with bacon and sour cream @holyperogy
bacon argula wrap @Pigonthestreet Street Food City 2 Vancouver, BC
bacon arugula wrap @Pigonthestreet