When my girlfriend Anna asked me if I wanted to join her for the annual Eat! Vancouver festival at BC Place I jumped at the chance to attend. I love to support local eats, retailers and artisans as often as possible (just ask my VISA statement…). I was excited to learn about the latest in cooking and baking products and ingredients.
The festival took place over three days – Friday June 1st to Sunday June 3rd. We arrived around 11:30am on the Saturday, thankfully before the full-on rush of people arrived at the stadium. After getting our goodie bags at the entrance, we got straight to sampling and shopping!
Here are my favourite discoveries from Eat!:
Owner Carol Viau creates these elegant, hand-churned butter selections out of Burnaby, BC. Flavoured butter feels like such a unique idea. Once I tasted it I wondered why someone hadn’t produced and marketed this ages ago! There are two packages to choose from – Savoury or Sweet. I bought one of each. Savoury packs include Peppercorn Brandy, Sage & Shallot and Parmesan Bacon, each individually and attractively foil-wrapped. In the Sweet collection is Tart Cherry & Sherry, Matcha & Dark Chocolate and Roasted Almond & Date. The beauty about these butters is that you can use them simply on a good piece of bread, or incorproate it into your cooking. For example, last night I added the Peppercorn & Brandy butter to my mashed potatoes. Amazing! Just the right amount of flavour without being too overpowering. I love how you can actually see the ingredients – little pieces of chocolate and green matcha powder are swirled into the butter. Imagine how yummy that would taste on crepes, or melted on top of hot pancakes. A great find.
Whistler Cooks is a catering company that also produces their own line of fresh sauces for use at home. There are a variety of sauces available at Farmer’s Markets and stores such as Whole Foods, Capers, IGA and select Save-On Foods locations. I tried a number of their samples before deciding on the Basil Pesto Vinaigrette. So fresh and zingy, it makes a great salad dressing but is versatile enough for use on meats or seafood.
Intuition is an herbal concentrate beverage mix that promotes health and wellness. There are various mixes catered towards specific health issues – “My Stress” for balance, “My Vitality” for caffeine-free energy, and “My Waistline” to stimulate your metabolism and fight food cravings. They are all gluten free with no added sugar AND they taste amazing!! I wouldn’t be recommending them if I they didn’t taste great. Each mix has a different refreshing flavour, such as lemongrass lemonade or wild strawberry. Yummy AND good for you. Who knew? =) Find Intuition at Shoppers Drug Mart locations throughout the Lower Mainland.
After a bit of sampling and shopping, we moved on to the “Bite of Vancouver” section, where visitors could purchase sheets of tickets, and exchange those tickets for plates or “bites” from local restaurants. We enjoyed selections from Maurya Indian Cuisine, Bella Gelateria, Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar, Organic Lives, Salmon ‘N Bannock, and Ebo Restaurant. Also present were restaurants like Glowbal, The Noodle Box, Sanafir and more.
For $14.50, I think the ticket price is worth a visit. However, things can rack up quickly once you purchase food tickets and do a bit of shopping. There were also wine and beer tastings in a 19+ section that could definitely add up at 4 tickets per taste. Anna and I were focused on the food though, and skipped the drinks at noon that day.
Happy eating, Vancouver!
For more about the festival click here to visit their website.