Food & Wine Events – June, 2012

Eat! Vancouver returns to BC Place and celebrates 10th anniversary

When: June 1to 3 (Friday to Sunday)

Where: BC Place

What: Celebrity chefs, culinary competitions and cooking classes.

Highlights:

1)Peru’s Best Tradition Cuisine with a Twist takes centre stage.

2) Three celebrity chefs: Rob Feenie of Vancouver, Bob Blumer ofMontrealand David Rocco ofTorontowill face off on the Food Network Celebrity Stage. Competitors will have 20 minutes to create the lunch dish and must use a secret item of the host’s choice, provided in a black box. Each chef must use one other secret ingredient of his choice that speaks of his hometown.  

3) Pop-Up Trend with Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts’s Pop Up Culinary Centre

This isn’t your typical quiche or cookie baking home economics class. Nine different classes – teaching hands-on fundamental cooking techniques like deboning, knife skills, shellfish shucking, and pastry plating – will be taught by PICA’s internationally-trained Chef Instructors under the leadership of Executive Chef Julian Bond.

4) SuperChefs Cooking for Kids

For programs and ticket details: www.eat-vancouver.com

5th Annual Celebrity Dimsum

When: June 2nd (Saturday) 11 to 1

Emcees: CBC, The Vancouver Courier, the Province and the National Post’s own Fred Lee and Global News’ Sophie Lui 

What: Proudly presented by Caya powered by TELUS!

Local celebrities will serve carts of Dim Sum to special event guests to benefit the AIDS Vancouver Asian Community Outreach Project!

This year’s exciting line up of celebrities are:

Stephanie Yuen –  Author; Food, wine and travel writer, media personality
Deborah Moore – AM1470, Fairchild Radio
William Ho – AM1470, Fairchild Radio
Bowen Zhang – Omni News Mandarin
Karen So – Omni News Cantonese
Gloria Macarenko – CBC News Vancouver
Margaret Gallagher – CBC Radio One
Sheila Peacock – CBC Producer; Writer
Miyoung Lee – CBC News Vancouver
Zahra Alani –  CBC Weekend News Vancouver
Susana da Silva – CBC Late Night News
Quang Dang – Executive Chef, West Restaurant + Bar
Dale Mckay –  Executive Chef Ensemble Restaurant, Top Chef Canada 2011 

Highlights:

  • Chance to win a new Samsung Galaxy Note courtesy of Caya!
  • Chicken feet eating contest – with prizes and a much coveted trophy!
  • Live & Silent Auction – with a special prize from WestJet!
  • Special performances by Michael Arzadon, and the Pentatonics!

 

Food Talk Volume 1  – Presented by Richard Wolak and Vanfoodster

When: June 5 (7:00 – 9:00pm)

Where: W2 Media Cafe (111 WestHastings)

Tickets: $30 or $100 for a 4-person pack.

What:  Appetizers from W2 Media Cafe, talks from speakers from the food, wine and hospitality industry.  A Question and Answer section.  Prize draws. A glass of red or white wine for participants.

Food Talks is a charity event.  Partial proceeds from ticket sales will go to the charity partner for this volumn:  Growing Chefs.

Speaker line-up:

1) Mike Mcdermic

2) Stephanie Yuen

3) Hunter Moyes

4) Trevor Bird

5) Roberta LaQuaglia

For ticket and information:

http://foodtalks.ca/vancouver-volume-1-june-5th/

and the direct ticket link is http://foodtalksvolume1.eventbrite.com/

BC’s Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars FREE Wine Tastings

When: Thursday, June 7 ,4 – 6pm

Where: Everything Wine

998 Marine Drive, North Vancouver

When: Friday, June 8, 4 – 6pm

Where: Marquis Wine Cellars

1034 Davie Street,Vancouver

Who: Blue Mountain winemaker Matt Mavety will be on hand to share his passion for the wines and their places of orgin.

What: Wines featured at the tastings will include – Blue Mountain Brut Sparkling wine, 2010 Blue Mountain Pinot Gris, 2010 blue Mountain Chardonnay, 2010 Blue Mountain Pinot Noir.

‘East Meets West’ Book Signing Event at ShakTea

When: June 9th, 2 – 4pm

Where: Shaktea 3702 Main Street.

Who: Stephanie Yuen – Author of ‘East Meets West’

What:  Tea and snacks, Asian food talk and book signing

For information: www.shaktea.ca   604-873-5151

About East Meets West and Stephanie Yuen

http://www.dmpibooks.com/book/east-meets-west

 

 

 

 

 

JoieFarm Winery

 

Henry Yuen – Wine Columnist (for original Chinese postings please go to:

http://taiyangbao.ca/author/henryyuen/?variant+zh-hans 閱覽中文原稿

Summer is almost here!  The caress of the golden sunray on our shoulders is simply riveting.  So gear up, BBQ lovers, porch dwellers, time to head outdoors! Yes, the arrival of summer also tells us it is time to cool off and sip some refreshing patio wines!

There are many good BC choices, including the 2011 vintages from JoieFarm most folks would agree as great patio sippers; at least that will be what my circle of wine buddies, including my wife, will be enjoying the next few months.  Go pour yourself a glass of chilled Rose, you will not disagree.  With or without food, JoieFarm’s Rose has impressed many wine lovers!

Since JoieFarm surfaced in the BC wine horizon, their wines have been one of my favourites, simply because the ”WOW” effect is never lacking and that they are consistently good year after year.   Take for instance,  their chilled Rose and Riesling can make a sunny afternoon on the patio a relaxing interlude!

2011 is their 8th vintage. Instead of growing bigger in production, JoieFarm concentrates on getting better. The evidence of success is in the bottle where each wine exemplifies the best of the distinctive terrior in the Okanagan region and the attention to detail during the wine-crafting process. While not all grapes are sourced from their own vineyard, JoieFarm does make sure the all harvest meets  their stringent qualitative demand so strong efforts are a must from day 1.  Quantity-wise, their wines are not in huge production and may not be available in every BC government liquor store; you may have to “hunt” for their wines in specialty wine outlets. But I can guarantee you this, they are worth the effort!

Of the 2011 vintages, I particularly like the A Noble Blend. Harvested from older vineyards that averaged 25 years of age, the beautifully-balanced wine is full of weight and intensity. Though the fruit is of Germanic-varietals, the style is of theAlsaceregion ofFrance. The 2011 A Noble Blend is a well-proportioned blend of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Auxerrois and Schoenberger. With its refreshing aroma of Asian spices and concentration of ripe fruits, we paired the wine with a few recipes from Stephanie Yuen’s newly published cookbook “East Meets West “. The first one was the Shrimp Cakes from the Thai House. The pan-fried Shrimp Cakes was served with spicy vinaigrette. A perfect match to tame the naughtiness of the chilli sauce and called out the acidity and full flavour of the wine.  Another dish we paired with the same wine was the Vietnamese Grilled Chicken with Lemon Grass (recipe from Bon Café). The aroma of the lemon grass and the sweetness of the marinade fully embraced by chicken,  whose fragrant, when grilled; danced beautifully with the fresh citrus hint of the wine.  No doubt this is an Asian food-friendly wine.  

Paired equally impressively with Asian dishes are the un-oaked Chardonnay, and the Pinot Blanc. Asian-flavoured baked or barbequed wings, lamb chops, beef ribs… spicy or not, these wines are versatile, well-balanced and will stand up well to most more intense-flavoured dishes.

Fall in love with Le Parisien

Le Parisien 751, Denman Street, Vancouver. www.leparisien.com 604-687-1418

All of a sudden, almost every foodie in town is talking about Le Parisien!

Could be because owner John Blakeley has been showing locals and visitors that he knows what he’s doing when it comes to serving divine French cuisine. His first restaurant, the cozy Pastis Bistro on W. 4th is no doubt the perfect epitome.  Could be the food in this brand new Le Parisien, Blakeley’s 2nd bistro is every bit as good as what everyone is raving about.  After visiting Le Parisien one evening, we are both convinced that the authentic French cooking prepared by Chef Tobias Grignon and his team more than meets the demand of the very savvy, sometimes harsh Vancouver diners.

Located where the beloved Café de Paris was on Denman, Le Parisien reminds us of the casual, welcoming neighbourhood cafés spotted here and there in Paris. The unpretentious and pleasant décor indicates that you can walk into the room in shorts and sandals.  For those who enjoy strolling in the nearby Stanley Park, Le Parisien is the ideal eatery to end the afternoon and begin the evening with a delectable and relaxing home-style French meal.

Favourite dishes we each had a few, but two things we agreed upon that evening: how unassuming and homey the food and the plating style and how friendly, efficient the serving staff were!  Some of the dishes were so hearty and country-like; we used our hands and mouths to do the talking.

We both are big fans of liver, but when the smooth Smoked Chicken Liver and sensational Foie Gras parfait, along with irresistible Pear compote and Toast points  placed side by side to the full-flavoured Potted Duck Rillettes on a wood board was set in front of us, we exclaimed! What a perfect way to start a satiable repast. That totally reminded us of the platter of home-made appetizers we find on the kitchen table at my mom’s!

Two styles of Oysters played homage to the gorgeous BC oysters. Oyster Rockfeller with bacon, leeks and crème fraiche and Oyster Beignet with ginger apple remoulade were served on the same plate.  With the right note of crispiness and tenderness all in one bite, Henry moved to steal all the Oyster Rockfeller and left me mesmerizing with Oyster Beignet whose ginger apple remoulade kept singing to my palate; may I say, very happily!

The Boudin Noir (blood sausage) and Cassoulet de Castelnaudary (duck confit, bacon, sausage and cannellini beans) were devoured by Henry in silence. I did the same with Braised lamb Gnocchi.  Honestly, who could resist the soft yet elastic, succulent yet firm gnocchi?

Henry, who usually has a broken sweet tooth, tasted and loved the velvety Dark chocolate mousse.  His attempt to share the rest with me failed, but he managed to keep on digging into the platter of Citrus parfait, Calamansi curd, Blueberry preserve and burnt Meringue which I hoped was all mine to indulge.

McWatters Collection – Simply Sensational!

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Henry & Stephanie Yuen

As in most cases for award-winning recipes, having fresh, top quality ingredients; blood and sweat hard work would almost guarantee you are half way to success. When making top quality wines, there is no difference!

Having top quality grapes allows the winemaker room to manoeuvre when crafting the final product. The support of an estate winery often ensures sound viticulture practice. The timing of the harvest, pressing, processing, as well as aging can most of the time be carried out in the optimum conditions to metamorphose the grapes to into great wines.

Such is the perfect example with the wines from the McWatters Collection in the Okanagan Valley. Being a stalwart in the BC wine industry, Harry McWatters is in the best position to craft outstanding wines because of his experience and foresight.

Choosing a vineyard in the Black Sage Bench area in Oliver,BC, however small, to grow his grapes wins half the battle. It’s an ideal terrior with long hot days and cool nights, sandy but stone-free earth that drains well; and moisture from the Okanagan Lake and surrounding waters granted this area the ideal grape growing region.

The results are two outstanding wines worth getting our hands on. The 2010 Chardonnay is 100% Chardonnay from the Black Sage Bench that mature in French Oak. The result is an intense, full-bodied, well-made Chardonnay with tropical fruits and Asian spices on the nose. The palate, with a hint of citrus and grape fruit, is  traditional Chardonnay buttery,  A refreshing finish that is well-balanced, this wine has an attractive golden colour that translates to a serious and lovely Chardonnay. Relatively small in production, best to get a few into the cellar, the earlier the better, in case stock runs out – only 125 cases are made! Try this with Chinese soy & mei-gui-lu (cooking wine) poached chicken, a pan-fried Filet of salmon with mushroom cream sauce, Pan-fried pork chop with onion or a Seafood fried-rice.

Equally impressive is the McWatters Collection 2007 Meritage. Meritage is a tricky business that not a lot of BC winemakers are willing to experiment with local grapes. However, this Meritage, with 60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, is well-balanced. We do enjoy this as a big league Meritage for the competitive price of $25. The pleasing nose is of blackberry, dark cherry with a hint of clove and mint. The texture is smooth and velvety. The tannins are soft after 15 months in French Oak and another 15 months in bottle to ensure its structure is typical Meritage. As a 2007, it is ready to enjoy immediately. On the palate, it is rich, fruity with a hint of spiciness and cassis that gives enough depth to the mouth feel, truly a well-crafted VQA wine that puts all the right elements together from a well-respected BC wine industry icon. Pair this beautiful round and soothing red wine with grilled steak, roasted lamb, barbequed ribs or a clay pot of Asian-braised pork slices or ox-tails.

May, 2012 Food & Wine Events

Mother’s Day

Diva at the Met invites families to make Mother’s Day special with its much-anticipated annual buffet brunch. Under the direction of Chef Hamid Salimian, this year’s buffet combines classic brunch items with various culinary stations that showcase regional fare and Diva’s unique Cascadian cuisine.

Recently ranked one of the top three upscale restaurants inVancouver, Diva at the Met will make this Mother’s Day one to remember as families gather to enjoyVancouver Islandoysters and mussels; local artesianal cheeses, and other creatively prepared close-to-home fare. Chef Salimian will also serve up fresh sushi and sashimi, cold rare seared albacore tuna,Chilliwackham and a selection of divine desserts.

Guests will get a peek into the culinary stylings of the restaurant’s chefs as they prepare dishes to order at four unique stations. With oyster shucking and a made-to-order sundae station featuring instant ice cream made using dry ice, guests will not only enjoy fine cuisine, but a feast for the eyes as well.

         Garden of Oysters – Choose and enjoyVancouver Island oysters shucked on-demand and accompanied by a variety of inspired sauces.

         Diva Carving Station – A buffet brunch classic, Diva’s carving station offers savoury honey-mapleChilliwack ham and tender roasted AAA rib eye.

         Omelette Station – Always a favourite, Diva’s chefs will prepare made-to-order omelettes featuring a variety of traditional fixings.

         Sundae Station – Instant ice cream made on the spot using dry ice and ready to be topped with chocolate crumble, caramel popcorn and many more tasty toppings.

Seating for Mother’s Day brunch starts at 11:00 a.m. and runs through to 2:00 p.m. The price for Diva’s brunch buffet is $60 for adults and $30 for children under 12. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 604.602.7788

Mother’s Day 2 for 1 Wild Foraged Lunch – A Swallow Tail Event

A Wild Herb Tour specially for Moms (Tag along for free):

Start with  a guided walk through the forest, learning about native edibles like Fiddleheads, Plantain, Miners Lettuce, WildWillow & more.

Then, lunch will be served featuring Home-Made Kamut Bread, Wild BC Mushrooms, Fiddleheads & Dandelion, plus a delicious herbal tea made with the wild plants we will be identifying.

When: May 13, Mother’s Day

Duration: 2 hours

Price: $69 for guided herb tour + gourmet lunch. (treat mom and you come for free!)

To book, email info@swallowtail.ca.

***Other events:***

VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL TEQUILA EXPO

(Charity beneficiary: BC Hospitality Foundation)

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When: MAY 12th, Saturday

Where: Vancouver Convention Centre
Seminars, tequila pairing and much more!

For tickets and information: www.vancouvertequilaexpo.com


TASTING MENU WITH TEQUILA AT EVENT

Weathervane Scallop and Papaya Ceviche

Gorgonzola and Dried Apricot Popovers

Tequila Orange Marinated Chicken Skewer

Traditional Beef Empanadas

Corn Tortilla Chips, Salsa Fresca

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Dish N’ Dazzle 2012

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The Fairmont Waterfront Hotel will host the Dish n’ Dazzle gala, which is always one of the most talked-about nights of the year, as industry insiders gather to socialize, be entertained, and enjoy outstanding food and drink as they support this great cause.   

All proceeds from the evening, which also includes live music and a silent auction, will go to the BCHF, which provides financial support for hospitality industry members who are facing extraordinary medical expenses and awards scholarships to future industry leaders . 

When: Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Time: 6:30 – 9:30PM

Tickets $75pp  http://www.dishndazzle.com

Where: Fairmont Waterfront Hotel 900 Canada Place Way, Vancouver

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