When it’s comes to drinking wine or eating at one of Vancouver’s top restaurants, it’s a toss-up as to which activity I like more than the other. Luckily, both go hand in hand and when you attend an event like BC Hospitality Foundation’s Dish ‘N Dazzle it’s a sensory overload.
I’ve been an attendee of this event long before I accidentally fell heads over wine glass into become a blogger. But now with 5 lbs of camera equipment paired with the mighty pen, I’m able to record the most memorable dishes from some of Vancouver’s best restaurants, taste more than 90 Australia wines and sip on cocktail concoctions from bar masters vying for the best cocktail title. Note though that as the evening continues my abilities to take photos in focus decreases in proportion to the amount of cocktails/wines I imbibe.
Chef Whittaker never fails to impress me with his food at Forage and the Potato and Stinging Nettles Tortellini was a plump juicy piece of pleasure that exploded with flavour and was so good that I had two.
More than a mouthful, the crispy skin on the steelhead salmon with soba noodles from Bon Vivant Group was an absolute demonstration of how good fish can taste.. A subtle dish, delicately spiced that reaffirms that the best dishes don’t need fancy sauces or a million ingredients but a perfect execution of ingredients coupled with proper cooking technique.
I call CinCin’s dish the dynamic duo of meaty pleasures of veal and pork with an earthy companion of porcini all nestled inside a tortellini that oozes a symphony of meat juices and tomato sauce that reaches up and kisses you from the base of your tongue to the top of your mouth – hmmm a new technique to teach my significant other perhaps?
Pavlovas makes me think I’m munching on a cloud that has been baked as it’s a light airy confection of goodness that is often commingled with fruit so this tart Rhubarb Pavolva from Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts hit the spot. Biting into it was like finding a toy at the bottom of jackpot as the luscious tart rhubarb flavour oozes out releases such a delicious tartness that you’re not quite prepared for.
Wines From Down Under
As for wines here’s my recommendations:
Wakefield Wines Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Rich flavours of cassis, mulberry and dark chocolate, cedar and spice.
Pewsey Vale Dry Riesling seems to be exact opposite of German Rieslings as I found it rather dry with minimum sweetness and very distinct grassy tones which can be a great wine for those wine drinkers looking for less sweetness in a Riesling a $23.99
Yalumba Y Series Shiraz Viognier 2013 – $18.99. With black cherries, violets and Turkish delight on the nose and rhubarb and spiced fruit cake on the palate. This is a medium bodied wine that finishes soft.
D’arenberg Hermit Crab – Viognier Marsanne – Mclaren Vale12/13 – $19.99, Dry palate with nectarine and peach and candied citrus rind. Easy to drink
Killibinbin Scaredy Cat 2009 – H39 Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz – $22.99. Deep crimson in colour with purple plums, black currants and black forest cake aromas. Palate is full of ripe plums and spices with velvet tannins which end in a long finish.
While Classic Currency featuring Bacardi Oakheart Rum, blackberry red wine syrup from The Diamond featured a candy and cocktail pairing:
There was also fabulous items on auction like the overnight hotel stay at a hotel and tasting dinner for two at Le Crocodile which I bid on but didn’t win but plan to cozy up to the winner. And although the raffle prize for a trip for two to Brisbane sounded wonderful, the only thing that keeps Australia off my travel bucket list is my unreasonable fear of insects that are taller than me.
List of Participants
Ann Kirsebom – hazelnut callebaut chocolate & grand mariner Napoleon with caramel sauce & raspberries
Blackbird – Confit lamb shoulder, red chilli, mint chutney, puffed wild rice
Black + Blue – Snake River Farms wagyu short rib with pea purree and bloomed mustard seeds
Bon Vivant Catering – Chile soy steehead salmon, soba noodle salad, crispy vegetables, min, nuoc cham
CinCin – Tortellini of veal, pork and porcini with tomato and parmesan
Forage – Potato and stinging nettle tortellini, country ham gravy
Homer St. Cafe – Smoked Magret Duck Breast, beets, orange,walnut, avocado
Joe Fortes – House cured sockeye salmon, pineapple jam, lemon oil, micro argula
La Grotta Del Formaggio – Primograno Primavera Rustichella d’Abruzza Primagrana Sagne & pazza, whipped ricotta, spring vegetables, crispy Parmigiano Reggiano, Intosso olive oil
Lift Bar & Grill – Smoked BC sable carparccio, pickled shimji mushrooms and seaweed salad, char caviar, spicy squid ink
Mamie Taylor’s – BBQ Lamb loin, smoked gauilla pepper, stilton, cornbread caviar
Notch8- The Devils Egg
PICA – Rhubarb Pavlova
Vancouver Community College – Seared Kangeroo Loin Au Natural and Croc Saute with Gnoochi
Cascade Room – BillyCan Punch featuring Ardberg Scotch
Clough Club – Point Break featuring Glenmorangie Single Malt original
The Diamond – Classic Currency featuring Bacardi Oakheart Rum, blackberry red wine syrup
Juniper – Tanqueray, quince shrub, Yalumba Viognier wine jelly, Bittered Sling Orange & Juniper bitters
Notch 8 – Birds of Paradise featuring Hennessy, Quince Shrub, Fentimen’s Dandeloin & Burdock Soda
Odd Society – Sydney Crimson featuring Bevedere vodka, rhurbarb shrub, strawberry bitters