Story by Michelle Hopkins
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA — One of Vancouver’s most exciting food fêtes to hit the city this spring is the much-touted EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival. Come hungry to this week-long culinary event that begins on April 26 and showcases some of the city’s top chefs, workshops and cooking demonstrations. Vacay.ca spoke to Alan Fogel, owner of EAT! Vancouver, to gain insight on his vision for this event and the highlights of this year’s edition.
Vacay.ca: How has the festival format been enhanced?
Fogel: We spent 18 months travelling to leading North American food festivals to determine best-in-class festival formats and content.
Vacay.ca: Why Vancouver?
Fogel: We knew that producing Canada’s national food festival, to be successful, needed to be positioned as a destination festival in a world-class city. Vancouver was our choice, hands down. Vancouver is not only a world-class city it has a dynamic culinary scene that is one of Canada’s best-kept secrets. Local chefs are passionate about collaboration and experimentation. The availability and diversity of seasonal ingredients is unparalleled
So we blew up the old EAT! Vancouver weekend show-only model and in 2015 will launch an eight-day festival, from April 26 to May 3, featuring 35 culinary events.
Vacay.ca: What does the newly minted show include?
Fogel: Fifteen workshops, from Sunday, April 26 to Wednesday, April 29, created by local artisans who will share their knowledge, recipes and skills in small, high-touch classes. For example, Jackie Kai Ellis from Beaucoup Bakery will be demonstrating unique recipes in her home kitchen; Rob Clarke from the Fish Counter will kick off spot-prawn season including the local fisherman; chef Pino will lead an intimate market shop at Granville Island and finish with a private lunch and learn back at Cioppino’s.
Eleven special, collaborative dinners throughout the week, including Canada’s best chefs paired with Vancouver’s hottest chefs and kitchens. …. Great chefs from across Canada are really excited and passionate about coming back to Vancouver where many actually started their careers.
The Canadian Flavours Gala on April 30 will feature guest chefs from across Canada, local culinary stars and 24 Naramata Bench wineries and their spring release. The EAT! symposium on April 29 focuses on issues of sustainability and ethical meats including industry experts, purveyors and chefs.
EAT! at BC Place Stadium, May 1-3, will include new features such as Edible Canada’s Artisan Pavilion, Talk and Taste Stage featuring Vancouver’s hottest chefs engaging guests with their signature dishes, Craft Beer Alley, expanded Celebrity Stage demos, onsite cooking/skills classes and 250 exhibitors offering guests food samples, wine pairings and more.
MORE ABOUT EAT! VANCOUVER
Website: Find complete details at www.eat-vancouver.com.
Dinners: Many of the dinners and workshops are sold out, but tickets are still available for the following:
April 28 @ 5:30 pm or 9 pm: Connie DeSousa of Charcut Roast House and Jessica Pelland of Charbar at Burdock & Co. with Andrea Carlson.
@ 7 pm: Jessie Grasso of the Black Hoof at Wildebeest with Wesley Young
@ 5:30pm or 9 pm: Michael Caballo and Tobey Nemeth of Edulis at Bao Bei with Joël Watanabe
April 29 @ 7 pm: Nick Liu of DaiLo at Maenam with Angus An
May 1 @ 7 pm: Celebrity Chef Susur Lee at Tojo’s with Hidekazu Tojo
May 3 @ 6:30 pm: Celebrity chef Mark McEwan at Cioppino’s with Pino Posteraro
April 27, 29, May 1 @ 10am: Explore the World of Coffee with JJ Bean
April 28 @ 7 pm: Gelatini workshop with James Coleridge of Bella Gelateria
@ 7 pm: Bourbon & BBQ with Darryl Lamb of Legacy Liquor Store and the Belmont Bar
@ 7 pm: For the Love of Bacon with John van der Lieck of Oyama Sausage Co.
@ 10 am: Join chef Pino Posteraro for a private shopping experience at Granville Island Market, followed by a cooking demo and lunch at Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill