1000 Blossoms, Anna Olson, BC place, Blenz, Calli O' Brien, celebrity chefs, Ceramic Knives, chocolate macaroons, Chocome, Coconut macaroons, Cornmeal Crust, Craft Beer, Dave's Killer Breads, Delissio Rustico, diplomatico, Earth's Own Food Company, Eat Vancouver Festival, Harvest Moon, Honey Bee Zen Apiaries, Jamaican Jerk pizza, Keep Food Fresh, Keramikos Kitchen, Mark McEwan, marzipan macaroons, Matcha Tea, My Matcha Life, Ned Bell, Project Chef, Saaman Bakery, Saman Bakery, Superchefs, sustainable beekeeping, teach kids to cook, teaching kids about nutrition, Tito's Handmade vodka, Urban Fare, Vikram Vij, walnut macaroons, wine and beer tasting
One of the main reasons for coming to Vancouver for me was due to the fact I had heard about their diverse and delicious food scene. Therefore when I discovered that the Eat Vancouver Festival was taking place last weekend I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my Saturday than sampling produce from some of the finest food producers in Vancouver. Not only this but Eat Vancouver festival offered a line up of top culinary stars and restaurants from across North America who were there throughout the weekend to participate in hands on workshops, share their cooking expertise and leave their fans with some useful and handy tips to take home with them.
In its 13th year Eat Vancouver is Canada’s largest festival and certainly not one to be missed for any foodie out there. Held at BC Place the festival took place from Friday to Sunday however there were a series of food events that took place across Vancouver from April 26th until May 3rd. Cherfs such as Anna Olsen, Mark McEwan, Ned Bell and Vikram Vij took to the stage throughout the weekend and there was also a Craft Beer Alley where you could discover a new brew. In addition to this for families, Dr Greg Chang from SuperChefs, provided special interactive demonstarions for kids each morning to help build their knowledge about nutrition.
The passion for Healthy eating and sustainability was extremely prominent at the festival and reflects Vancouver life and living in that the majority of people are very conscious of their wellbeing. The majority of the stalls at Eat Vancouver were food producers who were selling delicious foods that had been manufactured in healthier and eco friendly ways. The message for healthy living is one I try to abide by however it is so easy to fall off track which is why having festivals like these are so wonderful.
Maia and I wandered around the expo at least three times returning to many stalls several times to keep sampling. Ones that stood out for me were:
In the past I haven’t had the best experiences when it comes to buying almond products, despite absolutely loving the nuts themselves (espeically covered in chocolate) however this has now completely been turned on its head since discovering Almond Fresh. Offering a varitety of flavours from original, coconut, and my favourite, chocolate almond milk, this delicious milk supplied from Earth’s Own Food Company is one that will be making it’s home in my fridge pretty soon.
Since discovering coconut macaroons at a local market in Yorkshire just over a year ago I can’t now imagine not having them in my life! Little balls of sugary baked goodness, these macaroons, in my opinion, beat the fancy patisserie ones and are just always the perfect sweet treat. Therefore when I saw an array of flavours of macaroons and cookies at Saman bakery stall I couldn’t wait to sample them and I can easily say these were some of the tastiest coconut macaroons I have come across.
Saman Bakery was founded on the North Shore in Vancouver, BC in 2004 and is an authentic Persian bakery. By working just with their hands, their products are freshly baked and delivered to their local stores daily.
Not only were the coconut macaroons heavenly but also the chocolate flavoured ones were mind blowing and the walnut macaroons melt in your mouth. Put simply Saman know how to bake delicious produce and would satisfy any sweet tooth.
I had never even heard of matcha until a couple of weeks ago when my friend Anna told me how she’s grown addicted to the green tea matcha latte from Blenz and now I keep seeing it everywhere. However I had no idea about the history of Matcha Tea or how it is grown which is why My Matcha life is so interesting.
Launched in March 2015 by Calli O’ Brien, My Matcha Life provides a variety of quality matcha products at reasonable prices, available for wholesale and online. Their beautiful website gives information on what Matcha is as well as the history of Matcha.
What’s fascinating is that it takes up to an hour of grinding to produce one ounce of her Matcha green tea. In addition to this her website provides wonderful recipes to incorporate matcha into your meals such as a breakfast parfait or a smoothie in the morning. The matcha coconut and chocolate ice cream recipe definitely looks worth a try!
The bees being part of the display definitely caused people to stop in their tracks and take a look at the stall however it was the enthusiasm and information given that swayed people to stop, sample and listen as Amansa described each particular honey pot, where it had come from and what flower it was made from.
Honey Bee Zen Apiaries, is known for its sustainable beekeeping and a growing list of terroir-based niche honeys. They specialise in the careful production of honey from the fruit fields they pollinate in the rich Fraser Valley agricultural belt, including blueberry, raspberry, blackberry and strawberry. Their honeys are award winning and particular favourites are their 1000 Blossoms and Harvest Moon.
Project CHEF is a non-profit program that partners with Vancouver School Board to teach children about wholesome food. Founded by teacher and chef, Barb Finley, her mission is to reconnect children with the food they eat and to help children discover the process and pleasure in cooking and sharing food together. It is such a fantastic project and the stand was beautiful and colourful with paintings produced by the kids themselves. They were simply selling chocolate chip cookies by donation, which were delicious and crumbled in your mouth. To read more about this wonderful project and find ways to support them, you can check out their website here.
This stall was kept busy all day as with free slices of pizza, who exactly is going to turn that down? They didn’t seem to even mind if you went up twice! Crunchy texture and flavours ranging from spinach and feta, to pepperoni and funghi, I’m pretty sure quite a few people will be taken up their discounted offer of buying their pizza in the near future.
Honestly one of the tastiest breads I have ever tried. I first passed this stall without trying any of the samples, as I was simply too full however the second time I passed they had toasted one of the breads, and buttered toast can never be turned down. The bread they had toasted was called Blue’s Bread, inspired by Dave’s love of Blues music. Rolled in organic blue cornmeal, giving it a distinct crunchy crust and sweet flavour Dave’s killer bread was simply incredible. Nutty, crunchy, buttery goodness, one little piece was simply not enough. Good news is they sell it not just at Costco but Urban Fare too which is good news for me as there’s an Urban Fare close to where I work!
Keramikos Kitchen is a Vancouver based company that manufactures and sells ceramic kitchen knives at Home & Garden Shows/Interior Design Shows and online through their website at http://keramikoskitchen.com. Their ceramic knives are made of an advanced, high-tech ceramic called zirconium oxide which means that the quality of the knife enables to keep food fresh for longer. I was amazed at how certain foods which can discolour quickly such as apples, avocados and bananas were still fresh after being cut into with these knives. The knives themselves look extremely slick and cut finely and would be a fantastic addition to any household.
Wine and Beer Tasting
Wine and beer tasting opportunities at any food festival are always going to be a popular affair and Eat Vancouver certainly didn’t disappoint. Navigated by a ticket system, you could purchase 20 tickets for $20 dollars and then simply walk around and exchange tickets for alcohol. For single samples of say a gin or whiskey (depending on the brand or year) the majority of vendors charged simply one ticket which was extremely reasonable especially with spirits such as gin as they, in my case, can take a while to consume. Cocktails and wine were a little steeper at 3 tickets each but again the price was definitely good value for money.
We arrived at the festival at 1p.m and it was after 6p.m by the time we left. We could have stayed even longer as there was such a fantastic atmosphere and vibe throughout the whole day however our full tummies were telling us otherwise. It’s easy to see why Eat Vancouver is such a success and an event that has been running for 13 years. With extremely passionate producers, talented chefs giving up their time to teach and get involved and a number of incredible projects which aim to inspire people about learning about the nutritional benefits of food it is certainly an event worth attending and one I feel extremely fortunate to have experienced myself.