這期的美食巡禮

Live spot prawns斑點蝦節

在廚師餐桌協會(Chefs Table Society)努力經營下,肥美的斑點蝦(Spot Prawn)成為一年一度的珍羞。這個由任職餐館業中的朋友組成的義工協會是斑點蝦節的籌辦組織,也是在現場烹調大蝦美食的單位。負在Granville Island外頭的漁人碼頭,樹起帳篷、搭建烹飪台、聚集斑點蝦漁民、聯絡廚師和協辦單位,再召集你與我,在每年五月中旬的一個周日,齊來揭開斑點蝦季的序幕,讓各位海鮮迷,在第一時間品嘗到卑詩海洋特產的美味。本年度的斑點蝦節,在上周日以雷霆之勢展開,與會人數有三千多,從漁船上購買的游水蝦量有萬磅之多!

現場設名廚烹飪示範台,來自溫市的五位廚師包括W.Broadway 的 Kaya Malay Bistro  的關師傅及Kingsway的南軒總廚梁師傅。

Chef Ken Liang

有關BC斑點蝦

斑點蝦粗圓肉厚、身長可至十吋、味道鮮媚甜美、肉質清爽彈口,絕對是人間極品。被視之為珍貴特產,因為卑詩對維護海裡環境、保育海洋生態十分重視,所以每年只開放八星期;嚴定以不破壞海洋環境方法捕捉之。然而捕獲到的斑點蝦,大部份外輸往願意付高價購入的日本中國杜拜,留在大溫市場中的蝦量有限得很。漁民們當然樂意高價出售,幸好廚師餐桌協會進行交涉,定下合作議案,每季必需留下若干數量,讓本省的食客享受到卑詩的出品。

Chef Scott Kwan

Gyoza Bar

622 W Pender St, Vancouver, BC (604) 336-5563

必試品:手工日本餃子、紅菜頭沙律、湯麵、撈麵、甜品。

特別推介:蒸包套餐(Bao Board)蒸包套餐只在晚餐供應。有單人份亦有分享式家庭蒸包套餐—為三至五人而設,陣容姿態豐盛,色道誘人。在蒸籠中的是圓形厚餅似的熱燙蒸包;方型木板有兩塊,一面放排著多個載著漬菜小吃和蔬菜的小盅;另一面是烤肉與海鮮盆。Bao - a banquetMaxs 揭菲律賓連鎖美食店

3546 Kingsway, Vancouver (604) 435-3505   www.maxschicken.com/maxsNA/Vancouver

與大部份的亞洲餐食一樣,分享是吃菲律賓菜的樂趣之一。桌上的一大堆食品,有我熟悉的也有首次接觸的,菲國人士喜歡香口油炸食品,例如燒炸脆皮豬等自然不欠,但也有展現著中國烹調和美國風味的菜肴。例如那盆圓條狀手指般長短的菜肉炸春卷,便說明源於是「上海」的。肉味濃、夠乾身、用來醮玻璃甜酸汁,是非常可口的開胃菜。本人對那碟切厚片沾粉炸的椰菜花則興趣有限,味道與口感其實不錯,也得到其他同枱吃飯的仁兄們讚賞,個人則認為新鮮菜蔬何必沾粉炸之,白灼或油鹽炒之便是。

Max’s的常客中多的是喜歡吃炸雞的朋友,因為炸雞正是Max’s有名的招牌菜。雖是炸雞,卻充滿菲律賓風味,收費更是相宜,$17元全隻,$12元半隻,另加菲式炸薯條的話,只收$2.5,確實價廉物美。當晚一桌的食品,除了沒有湯外,炒飯炒麵煎鰂魚鐵板豆腐和炒菜,還有精彩的甜品。一客甜度剛好的香滑焗蛋完全是超級製作;讓我想起四果冰的HaloHalo亮麗壯觀,看見也開心。

吃這一頓菲律賓菜一如吃中國飯一般,菜式齊全,不同的是調味方法與烹飪特色而矣。價錢方面倒是十分大眾化,十人套餐有三款,最高收費的每人科款不用二十元。

Fried chicken & sauces

 

 

Okanagan Wine Tour Q & A

BC winery scene

Words/pix: Henry Yuen

Chinese blog: http://blogs.taiyangbao.ca/author/henryyuen/

When my California friends came north to pay a visit last week, the Vancouver sunshine was as good as in California. “Impressive,” they said; and I agreed proudly. Surprisingly, though from California, their main destination was Okanagan Valley. “Where your famous wineries are!” they added. Once again, I agreed and proceeded to tell them that there are wine regions in Fraser Valley and over at Vancouver Islands. I did presume, however, being from California where the winery playground of Hollywood “Napa Valley” locates, they would know what to expect of touring winery. Somehow I found myself answering a whole bunch of questions about Okanagan and the winery visits. “We are just tourists, so indulge us!” my friends urged. So here are the Q&A you or your visiting friends may find helpful before and when at Okanagan wine regions.

Cedar Creek Winery

When is the ideal season for Okanagan Wine Tour? Usually from mid-June to mid-October when interior BC is painted in lush green. June and July will see the vines budding and flowering. They will turn to full bloom in August and early September. Glimpses of grapes can be found on the vines which will soon become voluptuous clusters. The airs and tones change in late September to mid-October announcing the arrival of harvest time. Tourist high season is July to September when the weather is hot and dry and the signs at orchards everywhere waving “welcome!”

Why Okanagan? Beautiful lake views and beaches; orchards and vineyards; scenic drives around the lakes. Gorgeous weather, good wines, great culinary scenes and warm hospitality. Numerous indoor and outdoor activities for the young at heart and families.

Restaurant view at Summerhill Winery

What are the popular wine regions to visit in the Okanagan? Okanagan Valley is divided into sub-wine-regions: Kelowna/Lake Country region, Penticton/Naramata region, Oliver/Golden Mile region, Okanagan Falls region, and further south is Osoyoos/Black Sage Bench region.

What vintage of wines are you drinking at the wine tasting session? The wines you are sampling are usually from the previous harvest. Whites would normally be from the vintage of at least a year ago and Reds from even two or three vintages before. Special vintages are available upon request. All depends on the philosophy of individual winery and the winemaker’s style.

How many hours of driving from Vancouver are we talking about? It usually takes 3 ½ hours to 4 hours depending on which route to take and which wine region to visit. Start early in the morning so it’s lunch time when you get there. A picnic lunch by the vineyards or eat at one of the award-winning winery restaurants.

Cost of normal wine tasting? Average cost of sampling of each wine flight ranges from $5 and up, depending on the wines poured. Normally, the cost is deducted if you buy any wine from the winery.

How many wines are poured per tasting? Normal tasting sessions offer samplings of 4 to 5 wines from each winery who selects which wines to pour, usually includes both white and red wines. The winery usually rotates different wines for each day.

How much wines are you sampling? Normal sampling portion is one ounce pour per wine. You are getting about the equivalent of 4 to 5 oz. or about one glass of wine per winery. An ideal day of touring wineries is to visit around 4 wineries. But if you have 6 to 8 people, some tours can cater to your own choice of wineries.

barrels and bottles

Other ways to enjoy winery tours? There are lots of wine tours you can join, from half day to full day to custom tour for private group or special functions such as bridal parties, birthdays, anniversaries…etc. Price is usually per person and can range from $80 to $120 for regular wine tours and tastings. Cost of private tours will depend on size of party, the length, the service level and the wine-tasting program. Winery tours usually pick up and drop off at your hotel. Some tours could include lunch or dinner.

To get detail information about visiting the Okanagan wine regions and the wineries, drop by any Tourism Offices at the airport, at the borders and downtown on Burrard Street. Booklets, maps and tour information are yours to pick up. Or go online to http://winebc.com , or simply google “Okanagan wine tour”!Quail's Gate Winery

 

 

Spot Prawns, Asian style.

Live spot prawns

I spent 30+ minutes looking up ‘Spot Prawns’ in food dictionaries and food lover’s guides but to no avail. Two possibilities: These are old edition books; the spot prawns are not yet discovered in other parts of the culinary world, except Japan and China.

Spot prawns are adored over Japan and China.  Most of all, our Asian friends don’t mind paying double or triple the price to get them. They have been major exporters of fresh spot prawns when in season and the main reason why only a small portion of BC Spot Prawns stay here for us to enjoy. Japanese name them “Ama Ebi” referring to the sweet flavour.  In China, it’s called ‘Peony Prawns’, aptly so for their large size, reddish-brown shells and long tentacles. Live ones, when turned upside down; do look like gorgeous blooms of peony. Thanks to the Chefs Table Society of BC who had a profound conversation with the Spot Prawn fishermen and came to an important agreement. British Columbians can access to these live-from-the ocean prawns locally in markets and eateries during the annual 6 – 8 weeks of spot prawn season, and to enjoy them under the ocean-wise and sustainability regime. The Spot Prawn Festival was created 9 years ago to work as the platform to educate the general public and as an annual celebration to welcome the season.

Chef Ken with spot prawns

Taken place at Fisherman’s Wharf off False Creek last Sunday, the festival is the gist of the short spot prawn season which would last until early July. For the first time this year, 2 Asian chefs: Chef Ken Liang of Ken’s Chinese Restaurant and Chef Scott Kwan of Kaya Malay Bistro were invited to come on board to cook those fresh-off-the-boat prawns on stage. While Asian chefs demonstration authentic Asian dishes are not a common public scene (even on food network); they did indeed wow the crowd with mystifying Asian cooking technique and unusual flavours.Poached spot prawns on Kale

Chef Liang is known for its creative Cantonese and Hong Kong-style recipes using local ingredients. His restaurant’s popularity reached its paramount when Conde Nast Traveller declared Vancouver’s Chinese cuisine the best in the world and enlisted Chef Liang’s Golden Dungeness Crab as one of the must-have dishes. The magic, according to Liang, is the live seafood tank, the unique seasoning, cooking method and wok energy. Same can be said about the spot prawns.  This time, Liang takes advantage of a locally-grown vegetable, the mighty kale to shine with the magnificent prawns. “Both are sensational! The sweet, succulent and meaty BC spot prawns and the superfood kale! They are easy to cook, delicious to eat and guarantee 100% satisfaction to your palate and stomach.”Chef Kwan #2

The soon to be 3 year old Kaya has managed to collect astounding accolades in a short time, including Best Malaysian Restaurant Awards granted by Georgia Straight and West Ender.  A Canadian with Malaysian and Chinese background, Chef Kwan credits his cooking skill to his mom and a chef friend whom he worked with for a long time. Kwan chose his made-by-scratch sambal sauce using his mom’s complex S.E. Asian spicy paste recipe. Coated with the golden and aromatic sambal sauce, the spot prawns were beyond finger-licking good.

Sambal Spot Prawns & Summer  Hill Cipes

Here are their recipes.

Chef Scott Kwan – Kaya Malay Bistro

Sambal-styled Spot Prawns香芒沙巴牡丹蝦

Serves 3 – 4 with plain rice

Ingredients for Sambal Sauce:

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 lemongrass, white part only, coarsely chopped

1 tsp. chopped galangal

1 tsp. chopped turmeric

1 fresh birds- eye chili pepper

4 pcs candlenuts (can be substituted with walnut)

2 Tbsp. shrimp paste

1 tsp. white sugar

 

Other Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp. dried shrimps peels

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

2 lbs. spot prawns

1 tsp. Sriracha chili sauce

1 tsp. oyster sauce

1 Tbsp. tomato sauce (ketchup)

1/2 cup water

1 tsp. light soy sauce

1 tsp. white wine

1 cup mango, cut into ½” chunks

½ cup chopped Chinese cilantro (optional)

 

  1. For the Sambal Sauce: Place all ingredients in a food processer and blend until it forms into a paste.
  2. Heat wok on high until red-hot. Add olive oil, shrimp peels, sugar, salt and ground pepper. Mix well.
  3. Add paste, stir and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add spot prawn, chili sauce, oyster sauce and tomato sauce. Stir and mix. Using a spatula, gently coat prawns with sauce.
  5. Cook each side for 45 to 60 seconds.
  6. Add water, soy and white wine. Mix well. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until prawns turn red.
  7. Add mango. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
  8. Transfer to a deep dish and garnish with cilantro.

Chef Ken Liang – Ken’s Chinese Restaurant

Poached Spot Prawns on a bed of Kale錦繡牡丹蝦

Serves 2 to 3 as an appetizer or as a main with plain rice

Ingredients

6 to 8 cups water (or enough to cover the prawns)

6 to 8 slices of ginger

2 Tbsp. butter

1 tsp. salt

½ ground black pepper

2 lbs. spot prawns

1 Tbsp. chopped garlic

1/2 lb. kale, into 1” lengths

 

  1. In a large saucepan, bring water and ginger to a boil on high.
  2. In a wok, melt 1½Tbsp. butter on medium high heat, add garlic.
  3. Add kale. Stir and cook for 1 minute, add ½ tsp. salt and pepper. Stir well. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or to your desired softness.
  4. While kale is being cooked, water in saucepan should be boiling, Add remaining butter, salt and prawns. Cook for about 2 minutes or until prawns turn red.
  5. Transfer cooked kale to a dish.
  6. Using a slotted ladle, transfer prawns on top of kale.

 

 

 

 

Dear Mom , this soup is for you!

DIY breakfast or dessert for mom

DIY breakfast or dessert for mom

DIY Sweet Soup for Mom

(Mother’s Day segment on CBC North by Northwest, May 10th)

It is always a big delight to talk food and culture with Sheryl, more so this time because we are both mothers.  I often bring along a sampling of the food and small portions of the ingredients needed. We chit-chat while we sample the food and share the recipe; to me, it is like having friends over for a home-made snack.

A bulb of Jasmine Blossom tea is steeping and blooming in slow-motion in the glass pot. The first cup of tea we pour fills the studio with spring-like floral aroma – we are ready to celebrate Mother’s Day in our own simple but satisfying version.

Enjoy a cup of tea with mom.

Mother’s Day, like any other celebration and festival, has been commercialized. While we don’t see too many ads about taking moms to fast food joints for obvious reasons; commercials of gift-giving and nice dining seem to target affluent sons and daughters or at least those who believe they could afford them and should buy them for Mom. Mother’s Day is, to the busy ones or not, may just be a casual formality to say “Mom I love you” by handing her the gift and/or take her out to brunch or lunch or dinner. The justification? Everyone is busy with work, friends, playtime, social media these days and Mom is only mom who’ll be around all the time, so what‘s the fuss?

What about spending time with her? One day in a year, put down your cell phone; turn off your i-pad; ask your friends to wait! Go sit with her, talk to her and listen patiently. Ask her about her high school days, her romance with Dad; what your childhood was like; or simply, “Mom, how did you spend yesterday, what about last week?”

For this segment, we talk about having tea with mom; cook a simple meal or bake a cake or cookies for her, or with her. Perhaps, all mothers need is YOU, not another scarf, another purse, or another meal in a jam-pack restaurant.

The recipe I am sharing is a dessert soup made with taro, barley, tapioca pearl and coconut milk, one of my favourite S.E. Asian sweet soups.  Enchanting flavour and velvety texture and very easy to make, the cooking time is about 10 minutes. Taro is a good source of dietary fibre, Vitamin C & E, potassium, folate and magnesium; and is sold fresh in ready-to-cook packages in the vegetable section.

A bowl of silky sweet taro and coconut milk dessert

A bowl of silky sweet taro and coconut milk dessert

 

Recipe: Taro Root Coconut Milk Dessert Soup with Barley & Tapioca Pearl

Serves 3 to 4

2 Tbsp. barley

1 Tbsp. tapioca pearl

3 cups water

2 cups taro root, into ½” cubes

60 – 75 gm rock sugar

1 can 400ml coconut milk

  • Place barley, tapioca pearl and water in a medium saucepan, soak for 30 minutes.
  • Place saucepan on stove. Bring to a boil on high heat, add taro and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Turn heat to medium low, add rock sugar. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until rock sugar melts.
  • Turn to medium high heat. Add coconut milk. Stir well. Bring to a soft boil and turn off heat.

Peeled and portioned Taro root

 

 

 

五月飲食賀頌

IMG_9902

(1) 為期一周的2015年度溫哥華飲食烹飪節(Eat!Vancouver) 圓滿結束,留下了幾許美味回憶。Canadian Flavours Gala集合了加拿大15間精英級食肆的創新食譜,和奧根納根酒谷Naramata Bench 的24間酒莊在場獻上特釀。位于Tofino的Wolf in the Fog是2014 全國最佳餐館,當晚的一道香草苗薯絲伴哈利拔,在場中人無不為之傾倒。

Wof in the Fog, Tofino

(2) Rustichella d’Abruzzos新推出90秒意粉 90 Rapida,質感份量口感味道絕無減少,但省時方便得多!

90 Rapida

烹煮意粉基本法:

  1. 煲要大,水要多,夠蓋過意粉,有活動空間,意粉不能堆疊糾纏在一起。
  2. 水必要滾起,加少許橄欖油及適量的鹽巴後才放入麵條。要注意泡煮時間,別放下麵便不管。
  3. 意大利人注重「Al Dente」口感。對他們來說,在煲裡煮至六分熟便可。
  4. 意粉不應泡得過熟,得在口腔中經過細嚼,去享受意粉本身的味道和汁醬的精彩同時,也有助消化。
  5. 意粉汁醬的「鮮」非常重要,不要預先煮好一大煲,用兩吋高鑊烹調是極限。
  6. 意粉不享應「泡」在汁液裡。意粉吃完,汁液也該消失去。
  7. 灼至六分熟的意粉必需在鑊裡先與汁醬結合,期間煮變成七、八分熟方是完美。

(3) 遊奧谷?Okanagan Wine Festivals在等你!

第21屆奧谷春季酒節於上周末揭幕,一直至母親節星期日才結束。春光明媚,不妨帶著母親,齊到奧谷渡周末。那兒有 123 個酒園,已安排好超過90項類節目等候著!網頁查詢: www.thewinefestivals.com

Vineyard beauty

節目預告

(4)斑點蝦節 Spot Prawn Festival – 有牡丹蝦之美譽,粗圓長身的斑點蝦節將于下周日(17號)在西一街碼頭Granville Island 外舉行。蝦船泊岸,漁夫們在上午十時開始出售新鮮斑點大蝦。亦有名廚即席烹煮大蝦套餐出售。收益撥作Chefs Table Society獎學金。現場是嘉年華會,本地廚師輪流在烹飪台上示範烹蝦食譜,包括Kaya Malay Bistro 與南軒。另有夏丘酒莊(Summerhill Pyramid Estate Winery)、 R&B 啤酒廠及Salt Spring Coffee和其他攤位。www.spotprawnfestival.com

Summerhill Cipes BrutPan-fried prawns

(5) 溫哥華國際龍舌蘭節Vancouver International Tequilla Expo www.vantequilaexpo.com

日期:五月三十                                                                                              地點:市中心Burrard 街Hyatt Regency Hotel Vancouver

點祇龍舌蘭酒就咁簡單!這是擁抱墨西哥飲食文化歷史的最佳場合!

Mezcal wines

Argentina Wine Proudly Presents Malbec

Argenina Malbec

Words/Pix: Henry Yuen

Chinese post: http://blog.taiyangbao.ca/author/henryyuen/

Three weeks ago, Wines of Argentina celebrated Malbec, their flagship varietal, with 70 events in 50 countries around the world. Such magnitude of world-wide celebration indicated one thing — Argentina wineries do know, and proudly so, their Malbec! No doubt an excellent promotional and marketing campaign that raises the profile and fame of this varietal, it also draws wine lovers to pay more attention and appreciation.  For example, most wine consumers now recognize Malbec as the predominant and widely grown varietal in Argentina and vice versa. This is a mega achievement for any wine-producing country.

First brought over from France in 1852, it thrives in the Argentina soil and climate. In fact Argentina has the world’s highest acreage of Malbec planted with Mendoza being the largest growing region at about 66,000 acres.  Winemakers there enjoy showcasing Malbec as the dominant and singular grape varietal in the bottle instead of hidden away in a blend. More often than not you can find 100% Malbec wines. Go to the Argentina section of any wine store, sure enough you can find a Malbec easily. The prominent “Malbec “wine label makes it easy for consumers to find.  Competitive price points for different tiers of Argentina Malbec remain so around the world.  All these prove favourable to help the sales and marketing of this varietal.

Argentina Malbec on shelf

The medium to full bodied structure and the taste profile of blackberry, cherry, plum and licorice are savoured by most wine drinkers of Argentina Malbec. It has rather softer tannins and comparatively higher acidity offering juicy mouthfeel and lengthy stay; all are good reasons why Malbec is one of the popular varietals attracting both male and female wine lovers to gravitate with a wide range of food. It pairs nicely with BBQ meats that Argentina is famous for; goes well with slow-baked short-ribs and casseroles; even goes well with moderately-spiced (not hot) S.E. Asian fares and Chinese clay-pot stews. Argentina Malbec has obviously been gaining traction to be one of the household varietals among wine lovers.

Dish & Dazzle

The annual high calibre event raises fund for BC Hospitality Foundation,  a non-profit organization supporting initiatives and events related to the hospitality industry such as offering scholarships and bursaries to culinary and sommelier students, financial aids to sick or injured members and  providing various supports to different worthy causes related to the industry.

When: May 07 Thursday

Time:  6:30pm to 9:30pm

Where: Convention Centre East

Argentina Mendoza criollo 2012 char

Riding on the success of the International Wine Festival and Eat!Vancouver, Dish & Dazzle promises to pamper your taste buds with exceptional food & wine pairing one more time. With 34 wineries from Argentina participating, the event will showcase over 90 premium Argentinian wines to go with decadents prepared by 12 well known BC restaurants. Live music, cocktail competition, raffles tickets and silent auction will round out the great evening.

If purchaser 6 or more tickets, the ticket price of $69 + service charge for this annual event offer great value for attendees. Good fun, good food & wine and good music will make this fundraising evening a not to be missed event in town. Please get your tickets early at www.dishndazzle.com and I’ll see you there.

 

 

 

This Week in Vancouver – No Fun City No More

A rack of divine

 Proudly Canadian Flavours

What a night! We were not just full but were absolutely gratified when we left the   Canadian Flavours Gala where minutes ago, celebrated Canadian chefs across the nation and Naramata Bench wineries gathered to elate hundreds of guests with culinary innovations and local products.

Wof in the Fog, Tofino

An evening of non-stop made-in-Canada delicacies and BC’s fine wines had no doubt satisfied everyone’s palate and stomach but it was our very own Canadian spirit and talents that made me so proud. Thanks to Eat!Vancouver Food and Cooking Festival that created this magical event. There are far much more to come in the 3-day main event taking place at BC Place starting today. Make sure to check it out www.eat-vancouver.com !

Dailo of Toronto

Wait! There is an array of events coming up this weekend. They are not just for food and wine enthusiasts, but will keep the fun-seeking you, your friends and families on the go – a splendid way to start welcoming and enjoying the warmer days of Spring for sure!

 For those heading to Okanagan Valley: Okanagan Wine Festivals

Already in its 21st year, The Okanagan Wine Festival Society proudly unveiled The Okanagan Wine Festivals today. This popular Ten Day Spring Festival celebrating the arrival of Spring in the Valley’s Vineyards & Farms with record number of 123 local wineries showcasing their pride and joy.Vineyard beautyWhen: April 30-May 10

What: The annual Spring Okanagan “Bud Break” Wine Festival, 90 events up and down the Okanagan will officially kick off the wine touring season in the BC interior.

Why: The wine culture of the Okanagan offers a savoury experience for everyone from the foodie to the oenophile to the budding enthusiast.

Where: Okanagan Wine region – Voted the #2 wine tourism region in the world by USA Toda

How: Visit www.thewinefestivals.com for additional information and tickets.

 

THE LUXURY HOME & DESIGN SHOW夢想家園

The 2015 Luxury Home & Design Show is the sole Canadian exhibition featuring curated, exquisitely crafted home products and brands, uniquely integrated into inspirational designs by top interior designers and sheltered in a 45,000 square foot mansion! Join the soiree of industry experts and high-net-worth Chinese and Canadian homebuyers!

2015 Luxury Home & Design Show

When: May 1 – 3

What: Bring home inspiration that no price tag could match and win an ancient Good Luck Charm and  Dream Escape – a 7-day uplifting holiday!

Why: 16 Award-Winning Designers. Design can change your life. Treasure Chest. “Great Walls of China” and much more…

Where: Vancouver Convention Center. 1055 Canada Pl.

How: English Hotline: 888-974-3698.

中文購票電話: (778) 938-2965, (778) 233-2330

Got Craft?

Experience the splendour that comes from the unfettered imaginations of 16 of the West Coast’s most distinguished design leaders, all brought together to create a 45,000 square-foot estate inside the Vancouver Convention Centre West. The first 50 people through the door each day will receive a swag bag full of goods from vendors and sponsors. Also, D.I.Y. lovers will have a great time making their own craft projects at the workshops on site.

GotCraft_Spring2015_Food - preserves

When: May 2-3, 2015. 10am to 5pm

What: Got Craft! Vancouver’s largest indie craft fair celebrating their 17th show.

Why: Savour small batch, hand crafted food at Got Craft? Spring Edition brings a little taste of home with handmade goods. Handmade is the best kind of food, and Got Craft? has foodies covered for all of their cravings. Gourmet handmade butters by The Local Churn, Graveley & Sons’s cocktail infusion kits, and Le Meadow’s Pantry’s old-world luscious jams and bold marmalades are just some of the new offerings that Got Craft?

Where: Maritime Labour Centre – 1880 Triumph Street, Vancouver

How: Tickets are $3 at the door and free for children 10 & under. For more information visit www.gotcraft.com.

 

 

 

 

Canadian Flavours Gala Ticket Giveaway!

Canadian Flavours Gala http://eat-vancouver.com/canadian-flavours-gala/ #CanadianFlavours

Beyondchopsticks is giving away a pair of tickets. This is how: Follow Stephanie on twitter @stephyuenyuen . Follow us on beyondchopsticks.com or email to beyondchopsticks@gmail.com  *** Present blog followers are automatically entered in the draw. (Gala ticket include a complementary ticket to EAT!Vancouver at BC Place, May 01 – 03, 2015)

EAT! Van-2011 054

Spring is no doubt the season to kick off a line-up of noticeable food and wine events. With Eat! Vancouver becoming a week-long Food + Cooking Festival, the coming week will surely be a fun-filled one for food and wine enthusiasts.

No longer just a weekend event, Eat! Vancouver is a world class food expo taking place throughout downtown Vancouver. While BC Place is still the main pavilion to soak in the W5 of today’s food trends and culinary scenes, numerous workshops, collaborative chef dinners featuring top chefs from across the nation, a hospitality symposium and a pastry panel will be unveiled as of today.

One of the main events to take notice is the Canadian Flavours Gals happening at the Terminal City Club this Thursday (April 30th) from 7 – 9:30pm. Famous chefs from 15 supremely-ranked restaurants, including the crowned Wolf in the Fog of Tofino will be flashing their wares and skills under one roof to showcase the best of Canada.

With superb food come great wines. Up the hill from the town of Penticton is the welcoming Naramata Bench, one of the premier wine growing regions in the Okanagan Valley, home to many acclaimed wineries known for their lush vineyards, modern tasting rooms and top-rated restaurants.  The Bench gives visitors luscious reasons to visit and explore. 24 growers-turned; youthful or established wineries teaming up with achieved winemakers to craft wines that represent not only the distinct Okanagan terroir but the wineries’ own characteristics and wine-making philosophy.  Folks come to taste and embrace what Mother Nature has granted to the Naramata vineyards and wineries.Naramata Bench wines For those who may not make it up there in the near future, do not be despair – they are going to the Canadian Flavours Gala this Thursday, thanks to Naramata Bench Wineries Association.  This new event as part of the 13th EAT!Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival promises to be the event-extravaganza that die-hard foodies should not miss.

Participating wineries are: Bench 1775 Winery, Black Widow Winery, D’Angelo Estate Winery, Deep Roots Winery, Elephant Island Orchard Wines, Hillside Winery, Howling Bluff Estate Wines, Kettle Valley Winery, La Frenz Winery, Lake Breeze Vineyards, Lang Vineyards, Misconduct Wine Co., Monster Vineyards, Moraine Winery, Perseus Winery, Poplar Grove Winery, Quidni Estate Winery, Red Rooster Winery, Serendipity Winery, Terravista Vineyards, Therapy Vineyards, Tightrope Winery, Upper Bench Winery, Van Westen Vineyards.

eat vancouver

Sakura and Spring Celebrations

A) Sakura Festival 2015 櫻花節

Japan Fair日本節

www.japanfairvancouver.com

Where: 溫哥華植物公園VanDusen Botanical Garden 5251 Oak Street (37th & Oak), Vancouver

Date: Sat., April 11  & Sun., April 12 , 2015

Time: 10:00am – 5:00pm

Tojo's Sakura menu

Japanese restaurants serving “Sakura menu”

下列十間日本餐館特別推出「應節應景櫻花餐」:

Hapa Izakaya Coal Harbour 909 W. Cordova St., Vancouver 604-420-4272 www.hapaizakaya.com

Special Menu: Laksa Soba $10.99

Juno Sushi Bistro 572 Davie St., Vancouver 604-568-8805 www.junobistro.ca

Special Menu: Two kinds Tuna Tekka Don & Shrimp Mousse Osuimono Soup $15

Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen 2054 Commercial Dr., Vancouver 604-255-5550 www.is.gd/kishimoto

Special Menu: Asparagus Oshisushi $12.95

Kitanoya Guu Kobachi 735 Denman St., Vancouver 604-683-0735 www.guu-izakaya.com/kobachi

Special Menu: Smoked Salmon Mini Chirashi $8, Soy Milk Strawberry Mousse $5, Sakura Kobachi-tini $7.5

Minami Restaurant 1118 Mainland St., Vancouver 604-685-8080 www.minamirestaurant.com

Special Menu: Sakura roll $18

Rajio Japanese Public House 3763 W. 10th Ave., Vancouver 604-558-1679 www.rajiopublichouse.com

Special Menu: Crab & Salmon Roe Hot Stone Bowl $13.20

Seto Sushi 155-8460 Alexandra Rd., Richmond 604-231-9493  www.setosushi.ca

Special Menu: Sakura Sushi Set with Chawanmushi, Miso Soup and Ice Cream $33.50

Shuraku Sake Bar + Bistro 833 Granville St., Vancouver 604-687-6622 www.shuraku.net

Special Menu: 5 Kinds of Sashimi $26.95

Tojo’s Restaurant 1133 W. Broadway, Vancouver 604-872-8050 www.tojos.com

Special Menu: Tojo’s seafood salad with cherry mentaiko dressing $24.00

Zipang Provisions 3068 Main St., Vancouver 604-428-5700 www.zipangprovisions.com

Special Menu: Spring Sweets with Sakura Tea $8.80

Nikkei Centre celebrates Spring 本拿比Nikkei日本文化中心迎春節目

6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby. 604.777.7000 www.nikkeiplace.org

Admission: Free! Info & Bento Orders: 604.777.7000

(B) Glowbal opens 3rd Trattoria in Burnaby意大利餐館進軍本拿比

 

102-4501 Kingsway, Burnaby. 604-424-8779 www.glowbalgroup.com

tratoria entrance

Glowbal Group marches into Burnaby and opens the 3rd Trattoria at an iconic location – the northeast corner of Kingsway and Willingdon.  Within walking distance to Metrotown, Crystal Mall and numerous high-rise apartment buildings, this truly is the “Buzzing spot for homestyle Italian fare”!

(C) Opera Buffet at Café Pacific 泛太平洋酒店周末歌劇自助晚餐

 

  1. Pan Pacific Vancouver, Canada Place, Vancouver. 604-662-8111 www.panpacificvancouver.com/the-hotel/dining/cafe-pacifica/

Opera performing

Still charmingly delicious and entertaining, this long-living Saturday night event takes buffet dining to a higher note.  With the majestic five sails, north shore mountains and glittering ocean painting the evening skyline, the elegant restaurant famously offers the city’s paramount best close-up water front view.

(D) Joey 餐廳集團獻上春日菜單 www.joerestaurants.com

Chef Chris Mills of Joey's

Executive Chef Chris Mills and his passionate team of chefs have been seducing diners with  menu items such as Tandori Chicken Flatbread, Baja Fish Taco and Spanish Paella, but this spring, their Caribbean-inspired menu will be a hit. Don’t forget to sign off with Joey’s house-made naturally-flavoured ice creams. At $4 per pop, do consider getting a double order.

Joey's house-made maple-walnut icecream

 

 

 

Spring is here, so are the cherry blossoms!

Celebrate Spring 2015

This April is “Sweet Dreams Dessert Month” at Cactus Club Café

http://www.cactusclubcafe.com

Everyone is welcomed to take part in tasting feel-good sweetness at Cactus Club Café this month as it marks its 15th year in partnership with Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon.  Cactus Club Cafe locations in B.C. and Alberta will donate proceeds from every dessert sold to Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon.  In addition to raising the funds to grant a child’s wish this year, Cactus Restaurants donates gift cards for families to enjoy a bon voyage meal on their way to wishes coming true.

Banoffee Pie

Meatball Challenge

Presented by vancouverfoodster.com, 14 restaurants across lower mainland are in this month’s Meatball Challenge with their one-of-a-kind meatball creations. Four media judges, including yours truly will be sharing their thoughts and reviews at the end of the month. Be one of the public judges, just send in your votes via social media. For details, log onto www.vancouverfoodster.com.

Asian meatballs

Sakura Benefit Event”

http://nikkeiplacefoundation.org

kohmi_hirose_web2

This Saturday, April 4th, 7 – 10pm. Nikkei Place Foundation presents the first ever Sakura Benefit Event at the Coast Harbour Hotel. This will be an exciting evening of exquisite live music, featuring the performance of Japanese recording star Kohmi Hirose. Having sold over 2.4 million of her album The Best “Love Winters” in Japan, this is indeed a rare opportunity. This intimate concert setting will be accompanied by the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra led by conductor sensation, Kenneth Hsieh. The evening will also feature a special dinner set prepared by Vancouver’s own Chef Hidekazu Tojo of Tojo’s restaurant. Proceeds for this event will benefit the programs and services of Nikkei Place in Burnaby, BC.

Celebrate the 9th Annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival with Aburi Restaurants’s Miku Restaurant and Minami Restaurant

http://mikurestaurant.com  (70 –  200 Granville Street)

http://minamirestaurant.com  (1118 Mainland Street)

Miku and Minami are brightening up their spring menus to welcome the upcoming Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival with the introduction of several Sakura-themed items: two new Sakura Rolls and a special spring cocktail.

Sakura Night

Tojo’s Restaurant on West Broadway.

http://vcbf.ca

A handful of distinguished Vancouver chefs will participate in “The pink tie affair” April 19, 2015.  This is the evening of exquisite Japanese cuisine gathering the city’s renowned chefs from top local Japanese restaurants under one roof as guests partake in a unique dining experience for one-night only.

tojos_headshot_web

Celebrate the Malbec World Day – special tasting events

To celebrate Malbec Day, BC government liquor stores will have Malbec free tastings throughout the month of April. Check with your local BC Liquor Stores for tasting schedules. Everything Wine locations will kick off the celebration on April 11 2pm to 6pm with tastings of different Malbec. Legacy Liquor Store will follow on April 17 4pm to 8pm. April 18, 2pm to 5pm, Marquis Wine Cellar will go all out with tastings of a variety of Malbec to pair with tasty empanadas and DJ music to liven up the atmosphere (RSVP required. (604) 684-0445 www.marquis-wine.com). Donation to the BC Hospitality Foundation is welcomed for this event.

The Osoyoos Oyster Festival

http://osoyoosoysterfestival.com.

The 4th annual Oyster Festival returns to the South Okanagan, April 22-25 and showcases oysters produced by West Coast fishermen, alongside Canadian wines and craft beers.

BC oysters

Programs include:

Miradoro Long Table Dinner, April 22. Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek Winery offers a three-course dinner dedicated to the oyster. $39 pp.

Under the Tuscan Sea – Oysters, Bubbles and Pizza at Terrafina, April 23 Terrafina at Hester Creek Estate Winery invites guests to sample pizza and oysters paired with spring releases from Hester Creek and tastings from the winery’s ‘bubbly’ neighbours. $45pp.

Seaside to Greenside at the Osoyoos Golf Club, April 24 Enjoy oysters paired with exclusive scotch, including Glendronach 2003 KWM Cask 1820 and BenRiach 1997 Cask 4435, along with noteworthy gin from Gallagher Lake-based distillery, The Dubh Glas Distillery. $50pp.

Oyster Catch and Brew Bash at Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa, April 24 An evening of oysters and culinary creations, craft beer and ciders from local breweries and live entertainment. Results from the Oyster Craft Beer Competition will be announced at the event. $32pp.

Oysters in the Garden at Walnut Beach Resort, April 25 An afternoon event held in a beautiful garden setting at Walnut Beach Resort, guests will enjoy freshly shucked oysters with wine tastings from the winning wineries of the Oyster Wine Competition. $30 (Early bird: $25)pp.

Art of the Oyster Pearl Gala at Watermark Beach Resort, April 25 Guests will enjoy oyster creations from South Okanagan restaurants and chefs, wine pairings from Oliver Osoyoos wineries, and freshly shucked oyster and seafood stations. Results from the Oyster Wine Competition will be announced at the event. $48pp.

Amateur Shuck ‘n Suck Competition at The Sage Pub, April 25 Come to compete or come to cheer as teams of two compete to win the coveted title of the Best Shuck ‘n Suck Team in the Okanagan. One team member shucks while the other sucks back the oysters. Registration: $10 per team.

Stay in Osoyoos – Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa, Walnut Beach Resort and Watermark Beach Resort are offering Oyster Festival room rates. Special offer: For every two-night booking at any of the resorts (from April 21-26), receive one complimentary ticket to the Oysters in the Garden event on April 25.