Picks of the Week – October 24, 2018

Halloween week is upon us, the ghouls and good times are out in full force as the entertainment ramps up for the season.

Eat: Explore the flavours of Gastown as Tasting Plates takes a tour around the neighbourhood for another evening of great tastes tonight.

Fright: Experience the thrills and chills of the haunted houses, rides and ghouls of Fright Nights at Playland throughout the month.

Glow: Opening Friday, Van Dusen Garden invites the whole family to Glow In The Garden. Like Hansel and Gretel follow the breadcrumbs to find Halloween fun for all ages all around the garden.

Improv: Grab your ghoulfriends and enjoy a month of eerie laughter as Vancouver Theatresports presents Spooktober; a selection of themed shows throughout the month

Train: The Stanley Park Ghost Train takes a voyage of the dead to explore a Celtic Halloween until October 31st.

Dancehouse Borderline
photo: Agethe Poupeney

Dance:  The Dancehouse 2018-19 season opens with the Canadian premiere of France’s Company Wang Ramirez work, Borderline, playing October 26 and 27, 2018 at 8pm at the Vancouver Playhouse.

Pucks: The Vancouver Canucks play host to Pittsburgh Penguins on October 27th at 7pm at Rogers Arena

Authors: The Vancouver International Writers Festival may have closed but the events continue as the festival presents an evening with Ian Rankin on October 27th and Yotam Ottolenghi on October 31st.

Play: The Arts Club Theatre Company brings Sweat to the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until November 18th.

Couture: The Vancouver Art Gallery presents Guo Pei: Couture Beyond is the first Canadian exhibition devoted to the work of Guo Pei, China’s preeminent couturière until January 20, 2019

Balls: Vancouver Whitecaps FC won’t make the MLS postseason but you still have one more chance to watch Alfonso Davies take the pitch at BC Place, when Portland Timbers come to town

Pie: Until October 31, The Snapshot Collective has opened Mrs Lovett’s Pie Shop at 348 Water Street to present the musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

The Ones We Leave Behind
photo: Ray Shum

Stage: The Cultch & Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre present The Ones We Leave Behind a mysterious, comedy about the redemptive power of human connection, playing October 24 – November 3 at The Cultch Historic Theatre

 

 

 

Get your tickets now for Vancouver Foodster’s Dumpling Fest!

Almost every society has a form of dumplings, those tasty, comfort food morsels cover the globe.  Vancouver Foodster’s Dumpling Fest Vancouver is bringing all those flavours together for one spectacular bite-sized festival.

Tickets are now on sale for the November 7, 2018 event. Travel the world with your taste buds at restaurants from Olympic Village, Chinatown and Commercial Drive broil, boil, fry and steam up up different kinds of dumplings, from Cantonese soup dumplings, to Russian Pelmeni to Indian Kofta to Italian Gnocchi and more.

Like the Vancouver Foodster Tasting Plates events guests will check in at the first stop (to be announced) to receive their map and menu cards, then venture out to explore the Dumpling Fest Vancouver participants. Each restaurant will be serving up Tasting Plates and Bowls for guests to enjoy.  Get your friends and family together to make it more fun as you visit many different types of restaurants throughout the event, meet some new food loving friends, meet the chefs, and learn about each of the participating restaurants.

A teaser of the participating restaurants in Dumpling Fest are:

Hon’s Wonton House  25 E 2nd Ave, Vancouver
A Chinatown dumpling institution for over 45 years!

Hey Dumplings! 208 Keefer Street
Specializing in Pelmeni – a Russian stuffed dumpling.

Bombay Indian Kitchen and Bar 1018 Commercial Dr, Vancouver
Serving authentic Indian dishes from the Bombay region and Malai Kofta Indian dumplings.

More restaurants will be added in the coming weeks to bring a more of the world of dumplings to your dish on Dumpling Fest!

Tickets for Vancouver Foodster’s Dumpling Fest Vancouver are on sale now via Eventbrite:
Ultra Early-Bird Tickets: $29 per person up to October 23rd
Early-Bird Tickets: $35 per person after October 23rd
Advance Tickets $50 per person after November 2nd
Regular $60 per person after November 4 and at the door.

If you can’t make it to Dumpling Fest Vancouver, check out Vancouver Foodster’s upcoming Tasting Plates Gastown, October 24th. Tickets are also on sale now via Eventbrite.

Vancouver Foodster Sushi Roll Challenge – Results

The Vancouver Foodster Sushi Roll Challenge has wrapped up, and the results are in! From September 18th to October 7th, public and media judges including Deanna Woo, Shelley Hayashi and myself were out and about trying the participating restaurants’ Sushi Roll Challenge entries.

Four diverse entries from around Vancouver tickled our taste buds. As with all Vancouver Foodster food challenges, chefs were invited to be as innovative and adventurous as they desired in order to highlight their skills and establishment, this challenge was on-trend with rolls including aburi, poke, no-carbs to offer something for everyone.
It was a difficult, and tasty, task to judge the entries, I’m sure the public had just as much fun trying to decide their faves, as well.

The result are in:

Judge’s Choice: 

First Place: Uma Sushi
Entry: Dark Magic Roll

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Place: Riz Sushi Bar & Catering
Entry: Sans Riz (rice-less roll)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third Place (tie): Daddy’s Kitchen
Entry: Poke California Roll

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third Place (tie): Kitstaya Sushi
Entry: Aburi Prawn Salmon Roll

 

 

 

 

People’s Choice:

First Place: Daddy’s Kitchen
Entry: Poke California Roll

Second Place: Uma Sushi
Entry: Dark Magic Roll

Third Place: Riz Sushi Bar & Catering
Entry: Sans Riz (rice-less roll)

Looking for more flavour challenges? Check out Vancouver Foodster’s Best Pasta Challenge, on until October 28th, or explore the neighbourhood on Tasting Plates Gastown edition on October 24th.

 

Bubble Trouble is brewing for Halloween

Just in time for Halloween Trick or Treating, artists Helen Reed & Hannah Jickling are launching a new public artwork commissioned by the City of Vancouver, QA CHEW’S BUBBLE TROUBLE chewing gum. 

Gum Open House, the grade 6/7 students share the flavor research wall with primary students. The flavour research wall is inspired by artist Daniel Gordon.
Photo: erry-Dayne Beasley.

The chewing gum is named for Queen Alexandra Elementary School, the home of the artists’ ongoing residency, Big Rock Candy Mountain.  The gum release will coincide with the opening of the group exhibition Mouthfeel at Western Front, on display from November 1– December 15, 2018.

“We wanted our student co-creators to become sceptical consumers and also explore different flavour profiles,” said Jickling. Reed added, “In developing these edible projects, the kids learn about processes of production and the materials that comprise goods. Big Rock Candy Mountain doesn’t promote gratuitous candy consumption, but complicates the relationship to sweets as culturally defined objects of desire. We chose gum because it’s a difficult material: it’s sticky, messy, and even banned from public schools.”

Chewed Gum Archives. Photo: Helen Reed.

The gum was developed through a series of classroom workshops with grade 6/7 students, teachers, support staff, and guest experts such as food scientist Kathrin Wallace. The research compared texture, natural and artificial flavours, and gum ingredients such as sorbitol and xylitol.  The resulting QA CHEW’S BUBBLE TROUBLE contains a uniquely abstract blend of both fruity and sweet notes, with some sharp and earthy tones. Students have variously described it as: “Hello Kitty bubble bath,” “pungent,” and “mysterious.”

At the artist-run centre Western Front, Mouthfeel, will provide further background to the commission, featuring several artworks that were shown to students during the gum’s research phase.  QA CHEW’S BUBBLE TROUBLE will be sold at the gallery and chewing gum in the exhibition is encouraged. On Halloween, the gum will be distributed at select East Vancouver locations, in addition to homes across Mount Pleasant, Commercial Drive, and the Hastings-Sunrise area. The Western Front will serve as the main distribution hub on October 31, 2018, from 5pm–8pm. Further retail locations will be announced on the Big Rock Candy Mountain website.

All proceeds from QA CHEW’S BUBBLE TROUBLE will go towards future art programming at Queen Alexandra Elementary School.

Find out more about QA CHEW’S BUBBLE TROUBLE, the artists and Big Rock Candy Mountain online at bigrockcandymountain.ca

Tasting Plates Downtown Vegetarian Edition – Recap

Last night, a sunny Fall evening brought out a bounty of the season as downtown restaurants participated in Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates Vegetarian Edition.

Dozens of hungry tasting platers, explored downtown Vancouver on the plant-based journey.  Participants checked in and collected their menus and map cards then set of to find that the harvest has put on the plate.  Chefs were invited to be creative and present items that best exemplifies their restaurant’s meat-free options. Don’t let it be said that vegetarian food can’t be satisfying and substantial, the tasting platers were rewarded with a global journey of vegetarian menu to fill their bellies.

Tasting Plates included:

Living Produce Aisle: 1168 Hamilton Street

It’s always harvest season at Living Produce Aisle, the check-in and first stop on this Tasting Plates tour. The fresh greens and produce hydroponically grown in store makes for a fitting location to start of the first Tasting Plates Vegetarian Edition.  A quick shot of wheatgrass was followed by a light salad of fresh picked greens, alongside a creamy PB&J smoothie.

 

Saj & Co: 813 Davie Street

Chef Malik was working the piping hot, domed saj overtime as he cooked a platter of Middle Eastern flavours, a hearty flatbread wrap, beautifully creamy traditional and squash hummus, along with a refreshing chickpea, couscous salad were all packed with taste, textures and colour.

 

 

Firecrust Neapolitan Pizzeria: 808 Davie Street

The choose-it-yourself pizzeria is a dream for any fussy eaters, dozens of selections (veggies and meat) to top your pizza truly customize each crispy crust. Choosing one of the “We Build” vegan selections makes the decisions simple the Salsiccia Vegano consisted of Italian Tomato Sauce, YamChops Vegan Crumbled Italian Sausage, House-Made Vegan Mozzarella, Caramelized Onions, Roasted Red Peppers & Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Davie Dosa Company: 1235 Davie Street

Davie Dosa delivers the flavours, their plant-forward South Asian dishes pair perfectly for a vegetarian menu.  A traditional potato filled dosa, Idly – a rice and lentil steamed cake, Medhu Vada – a savoury lentil donut, vegetable and lentil soup, with tomato and ginger chutney on the side.

 

La Cantina Urban Taco Bar: 722 Nelson Street

Head south of the border in the middle of Downtown Vancouver, La Cantina has almost as many vegetarian options as meat fillings. The Portobello – mushrooms, bell peppers, tamarind sauce topped with coleslaw, and the Mestizo – rice and black beans, avocado sauce and radish, were both substantial, filling and full of flavour.

 

If Tasting Plates tickled your taste buds, get ready for the next edition, Tasting Plates Gastown coming October 24, 2018. Also check out one of the Vancouver Foodster Food Challenges; Best Sangria Challenge, or the Best Sushi Roll Challenge both running until October 7, 2018

Van Foodster’s #SushiRollChallengeYVR rolls out

Get ready to roll! The Vancouver Foodster Sushi Roll Challenge is underway September 18 – October 7, 2018.

Vancouver Foodster has invited a quartet of Sushi Chefs to create their best sushi roll to enter in the Challenge.  The Chefs were challenged to be creative, and present something best representative of their establishment, whether it be traditional Futomaki, Hosomaki, Temaki or any new creative style of rolled sushi.  Above all, taste needs to be the star, fresh, unique with plenty of umami and care rolled into the foll are all to be considered.

Participating restaurants in the Vancouver Foodster Sushi Roll Challenge include;

Daddy’s Kitchen, 2586 Commercial Drive
Instagram @daddyskitchenpoke

Kitstaya Sushi, 3105 West Broadway
Instagram @kitstayasushi

Riz Sushi & Poke Bar, 2887 E. Broadway
Instagram @RizSushi

Uma Sushi, 450 W 8th Ave
Instagram @umasushi_bar

As with all of Vancouver Foodster’s food challenges, a panel of media judges (including myself) will taste and crown the Judges’ Choice Sushi Roll.  The public is also invited to try any or all of the entries, then vote for the People’s Choice Sushi Roll creation at vancouverfoodster.com/sushi-roll-challenge. When you’re out and about tasting the rolls, tag your images on social media with #SushiRollChallengeYVR, and see what others are enjoying along the Sushi Roll Challenge.

Vancouver Foodster Sushi Roll Challenge takes place September 18 – October 7, 2018.

Get out and maki the most of it!

Power To Play Vancouver Challenges Teams

Next Thursday, September 20th , Power To Be hosts their annual fundraiser, Power To Play Vancouver, an incredible team-building event  in Stanley Park.  Power To Play Vancouver also promotes businesses interested in building community. Corporate teams of four will compete in a fun, action packed 10km race through Stanley Park, combining running, obstacle courses and mental challenges, with the goal of raising funds to support Power To Be’s programs, and putting their team name on the Power To Play Championship Shoe.

Since 1998, Power To Be has been helping people living with a disability or a barrier access nature. The idea grew into a community, connecting participants to adventures and supporters to opportunities, collectively redefining the definition of ability.

From their 78 acre hub at Prospect Lake, and other locations around Victoria and Metro Vancouver, the non-profit organization empowers people to explore their limitless abilities through inclusive adventures rooted in nature. Power To Be believes Everyone Belongs in Nature, and finances shouldn’t prevent anyone from accessing nature, and works to remove cognitive, physical and social barriers to the outdoors, supporting participants to explore who they are and what they are capable of achieving. With programs ranging from hiking, kayaking, to snowshoeing, bouldering and surfing or paddleboarding the sky is really the limit for what Power To Be participants can experience. Whole families can participate and share the experiences in multi-day ‘wilderness school’ adventures too.

Power To Play Vancouver Championship Shoe

As you might imagine, events like Power To Play Vancouver requires a lot of helping hands to go off without a hitch, volunteers are needed for this and other events. Donations to the Power To Play teams will directly help support Power To Be’s amazing programs.  If volunteering or a monetary donation aren’t a possibility, you can still show you support by coming out and cheer on the teams from noon – 3:30pm, starting at Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park, on September 20, 2018.