Vancouver Foodster’s Food Talks Vol 15 – recap

Tuesday night, Vancouver Foodster’s Food Talks Volume 15 “From Your Roots” brought food enthusiasts together at Pacific Restaurant Supply.  Attendees gathered early in the Pacific Restaurant Supply Test Kitchen, a unique and surprising food preparation and service, event space atop the restaurant supplies showroom.  Snacking on Cannolis and other baked delights from Italia Bakery and Milano Coffee, guests mingled amongst themselves and the speakers before they spent the evening listening and learning about the food roots of the five presenters.

For Food Talks, Vancouver Foodster always reaches out to his vast network of chefs and food purveyors, and Volume 15 was another impressive line-up of speakers;

Speakers at Food Talks Vol 15 include;

Jason Gilron – President, Pacific Restaurant Supply

Ian Bruce – Founder, Umaluma Gelato

Paul Grunberg – co-owner L’Abbatoir and Osteria Savio Volpe

Caren McSherry – Founder, The Gourmet Warehouse

Brian Turko – Owner & Master Roaster, Milano Coffee

In discussing their roots in the food industry, a common theme for most of the speakers was that their current positions in the food industry came to them after trying other ventures or as a way out from things in their life that weren’t working.  Caren McSherry worked as a Flight Attendant, picking up a love for food from around the world,  while Jason Gilron worked in kitchens until marriage and children prompted a move to more family friendly work hours. Ian Bruce went from fisheries to IT to film industry before finding a passion for Gelato.  Paul Grunberg found a natural affinity to food and cooking while struggling with academics and Brian Turko went from welfare to master roaster. From all their journeys we can discover that it’s never too late to find your passion and pursue it.  Surely a lesson everyone can apply to their lives.

Food Talks is just one of the plethora of foodie events put on by Vancouver Foodster, upcoming Tasting Plates North Van Brunch is coming up on November 25th, Vancouver Foodster Burger Challenge is on until Sunday and Vancouver Foodster Holiday Market – a night of tasting takes place December 6th. For more information visit vancouverfoodster.com

 

 

Oak Bay Beach Hotel – a home away from home

Oak Bay Beach Hotel & Pools

For 90 years, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel has stood overlooking the waters off the Victoria suburb. The current luxurious property is the third hotel to occupy the position after the original was destroyed by fire and the replica closed in its old age.  Since reopening in 2012, the new Oak Bay Beach Hotel was rebuilt to an elevated standard and has won accolades for its service ever since.

For a recent family gathering in Victoria, we wanted to stay out of downtown Victoria and Oak Bay Beach Hotel provided a perfect home, away from home for the weekend. Even though the new hotel is larger it still retains much of the old world charm of the original property.  In fact, the new property retains many original architectural elements and furnishings from the original, including windows, bricks, beams. The original doors of the hotel were reinstalled as the entrance to Kate’s Cafe, the hotel’s cozy, neighbourhood coffee house.  The Snug Pub, was Victoria’s first neighbourhood pub and is still welcoming locals and visitors for a pint and good grub with stunning views over the beautiful gardens and seaside outdoor spa pools.

Our sumptuous corner suite featured stunning views from all sides over Oak Bay Marina and over the pools, looking out to the Chain Islets. We didn’t witness any first hand but pods of Orca has been known to frolic offshore to the thrill of guests.  The suite’s double aspect meant guests can enjoy views from the bedroom and the spacious living room while sitting by the fire. We could make coffee or tea in the kitchenette and enjoy watching the sunrise from the one of the two balconies.  The large bathroom, featured a soaker tub, stand-up surround shower, double basins, heated tiled floors and separate WC.

The Oak Bay Beach Hotel’s location is ideal for a peaceful excursion out of downtown Victoria. There’s not really any need to leave the resort but when you do, Oak Bay and Estevan Villages are close at hand with many shopping and dining options.   We had the pleasure of driving an Acura TLX for the weekend which made the road-trip a driving joy.  The Acura TLX made smooth work of the open highway from Vancouver to Victoria, then hugged the winding coastal roads around Greater Victoria.  The comfort and space of the vehicle was great for the family visit too, having plenty of room to take extra family members out for brunch or lunch. The luxury of the Acura TLX matched the luxurious surroundings of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

After getting a taste of the beautiful property and experiencing the excellent customer services we look forward to returning for another stay at Oak Bay Beach Hotel.  With so much else to do on our weekend, we didn’t get a chance to make use of the hotel’s pools, spa or take in much of the dining options.

Oak Bay Beach Hotel is located at 1175 Beach Drive in the Oak Bay suburb of Greater Victoria. Call 250.598.4556 or visit oakbaybeachhotel.com for information and reservations.

Tasting Plates – North Van Brunch comes November 25th

The burgeoning neighbourhood of Lower Lonsdale in North Vancouver is preparing to welcome Tasting Plates for Brunch on November 25, 2017.  Start your Saturday morning with other foodies, family and friends as you take your taste buds on an exploration of the North Vancouver neighbourhood’s eateries for some one of a kind food finds.

As with other Tasting Plates events, patrons will check in to collect their Tasting Plates Brunch card and map, then set off to visit the area and see what flavours are in store.  North Vancouver diverse food scene is will certainly not disappoint as Tasting Platers dive into everything from baked goods to ice cream.

Participating establishments for Tasting Plates Brunch North Vancouver include;

Maru Korean Bistro – 125 2nd St E, North Vancouver

The Juicery Co – 254 1st St E, North Vancouver

Two Daughters Bakery – 121 E 1st Sreet (rear), North Vancouver

Welcome Parlour Ice Cream – 277 8th St E, North Vancouve

See what the local chefs and proprietors have come up with to show off their best brunch plates on November 25th from 10am to 2pm.  $30 Early Bird Tickets are on sale until November 10th, buy tickets for Tasting Plates North Vancouver Brunch online now.

Vancouver Christmas Market Returns

In just under a month, the 8th annual Vancouver Christmas Market is set to return to Jack Poole Plaza for the second year.

From November 22 – December 24, 2017 Vancouver Christmas Market takes over the 55,000 square feet square creating the largest, authentic German festivities to date. The Vancouver holiday tradition will entertain the whole family with more than 75 huts stuffed with sweets, treats and treasures, festive activities and live entertainment. Last year, the Christmas Market drew a record number of visitors as more than 215,000 walked through the gates.

VCM at Jack Poole
Vancouver Christmas Market at Jack Poole Plaza

“We are delighted to return to Jack Poole Plaza again this season, warmly welcoming new and returning visitors to partake in our wide array of Christmas festivities, while discovering a number of exciting new activities and expanded highlights,” said Malte Kluetz, Founder and President of the Vancouver Christmas Market. “As we move into our 8th season, and continue to grow in popularity, we are also pleased to unveil our revitalized logo and updated website, developed to help guests easily plan their visit. Whether shopping the market for that special, one-of-kind gift or indulging in the mouth-watering array of German delicacies, we look forward to seeing new and familiar faces during the most wonderful time of the year!”

Meet Santa at VCM
Meeting Santa

Highlights of this year’s expanded festivities include;
– Canada’s first-ever Walk-In Christmas Tree: a 30ft tall tree covered with 36,000 twinkling lights that guests can enter to experience a spectacular – and selfie-worthy light display.
– The Christmas Pyramid returns, this year even taller than last with the addition of a brand new ‘Flying Stage’ perched 10ft high above the market.
– The Flying Stage plays host to a lively line-up of festive musical entertainment daily.

While visitors have come to cherish the Vancouver Christmas Market’s signature savouries, including Glühwein (a hot-spiced mulled wine), Bratwurst, Gulasch, Spätzle, Schnitzel, Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), Strudels, and more.
New local vendors will bring the best of BC food and drink including fresh sustainable seafood from Eat F.I.S.H., made-from-scratch Sicilian cannoli by the Cannoli King, award-winning German style wine from Wild Goose Winery, and organic beer made from local ingredients by Persephone Brewing Co.

In addition to the Old World delights, entertainment, and other returning family favourites like the Christmas Carousel and Alpine Haus tent, visitors can wander throughout the market’s quaint pathways of huts, seeking hand crafted gifts and treasures to slip under the Christmas Tree this holiday season.

The Vancouver Christmas Market opens daily from November 22nd until Christmas Eve. Full vendor line-up, information and tickets are available online at vancouverchristmasmarket.com

Middle Beach Lodge, a Tofino getaway

To wrap up the end of summer, we made a road trip to the wild West Coast of Vancouver Island, for a stay at Middle Beach Lodge in Tofino, BC.
Turning off of Hwy 4 on to the rugged MacKenzie Beach Road is a bit of a shock for the first few hundred metres but the smooth access to Middle Beach Lodge foretells what lies ahead.  Lush, verdant forest surrounds you as the warren of cabins and cottages dot the road to the Main Lodge at the Headlands.
Greeted by a row of bright yellow rain slickers, the Lodge holds the check-in desk, and the great room where daily complimentary breakfast and dinners on select nights are served, at other times guests can mingle, read or play board games at the tables or the oversized Chesterfield sofas in front of a roaring fire.  Out on the veranda, nature is out every aspect, with views across Templar Channel to Wickaninnish Island and the open waters rolling onto MacKenzie Beach.   Middle Beach Lodge has a wide variety of accommodation, from rooms in the Main Lodge at the Headlands, the Lodge at the Beach, (another lodge overlooking Middle Beach itself), or duplex and triplex cottages, many with kitchens and kitchenettes.  Couples, families and more can easily find comfortable rooms, and the style of your getaway is what you make of it.  Some rooms have comfortable sitting rooms,and private outdoor sitting areas facing the ocean or forest, or join other guests in the lodge to socialize and make new friends.

Exploring the 40 acre site, guests find a network of viewpoints, roads, trails leading to MacKenzie or Middle Beach.  Low and high tide offer different beach side adventures, Wickaninnish Island provides shelter for Middle Beach, while the vast MacKenzie Beach offers more variety for shore and water sports.  South on Hwy 4, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve opens a whole realm of wild, natural beach and rainforest adventures.
Being one of the closest resorts to the Village of Tofino, Middle Beach Lodge makes accessing the village a quick 5 minute drive, where guests can experience the culinary gems, like The Wolf in The Fog, Shelter, Tacofino, or Sea Monster Noodles.  Book excursions and activities to complete the West Coast experience; stand-up paddleboarding, whale watching, kayaking, hiking,  excursions to Hot Springs Cove and much more.
Whatever type of getaway you’re looking for Middle Beach Lodge makes an ideal spot to base your adventures.

Food Talks Vol 15 coming November 7th

One of the most interesting food events in the city returns this November, Vancouver Foodster’s Food Talks.

Themed “From Your Roots”, Food Talks Vol 15 takes place November 7th at Pacific Restaurant Supply. Meet and mingle with other food fans and spend the evening listening to notables from Vancouver’s food scene.

Speakers at Food Talks Vol 15 include;

Jason Gilron – President, Pacific Restaurant Supply
Gilron shares his years of experience in food preparation

Ian Bruce – Founder, Umaluma Gelato
Umaluma brings a healthy alternative to the ice cream scene with their non-dairy gelato

Brian Turko – Owner & Master Roaster, Milano Coffee
Turko uses brings his family’s rich coffee history in his pursuit of the perfect blend

Paul Grunberg – co-owner L’Abbatoir and Osteria Savio Volpe
Restaurateur and host brings his experience at some of the city’s top dining rooms to his own properties.

Caren McSherry – Founder, The Gourmet Warehouse
A fixture in Vancouver’s food scene, McSherry has been instrumental in bringing gourmet food to the general public.

After the speakers talk, host Richard Wolak, Founder of Vancouver Foodster, Tasting Plates and Food Talks will lead the panel for a question and answer session.

Food Talks Vol 15 “From Your Roots” takes place November 7th, 6:30pm – 9:30pm, at Pacific Restaurant Supply, 1020 E Cordova St. Tickets are on sale now via Eventbrite.

Tasting Plates Chinatown – Recap

Wednesday night, Tasting Plates took patrons on an adventure to find the new tastes of Vancouver’s Chinatown.
While Chinatown is one of Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhoods, it is also home to some of the newest up and coming food locations.  Vancouver Foodster and some of the new locales presented a taste of what makes them an alternative to the traditional neighbourhood Chinese restaurants.

First up, the check in location at Klaus’s Kaffee Haus, the Austrian breakfast & lunch spot, where Tasting Platers collected their tour maps and kick started their evening with tasting cup of Lavazza Coffee.

Just down Pender Street, Umaluma presented a trio of flavours on their Tasting Plate.  The stylish dairy-free gelato parlour impressed with a scoop of rich and creamy Pumpkin Pie Gelato with Coconut Whipped Cream, topped with Roasted Hazelnuts, and a scoop of crisp and clean Raspberry Sorbetto, topped with a freeze dried Raspberry, silver specked Chocolate and Manuka Honey Foam.  In a tasting cup, Umaluma poured a “Shot in the Dark” drinking chocolate with tangy Buckthorn powder.

Around the block on Main Street, the most recent location of Straight Outta Brooklyn Pizzeria was a bustling spot as they cut slices of their NYC style pizza.  Choosing from their pies;
Original – Margherita,
Classic – Pepperoni,
White – Mozzarella, Fior di Latte, Ricotta Grana Padano, Garlic and Oregano
Spice – Capicollo, Spicy Salami
“The Olive and Caper” a new vegan option.

Across Main, Dalina , the grocery, kitchen, coffee house hosted a selection of their vendor partners who dished up some of the locally made offerings sold at Dalina.
Lisa Lou’s Chocolate Bar is a neighbour of Dalina and the pair collaborate on a rich and sweet hot chocolate.
Jules + Kent Food Group, the local producer booked up a rich dish of pasta with their Caramelized Garlic Pasta Sauce.
Naked Snacks, another local company offered up cups of their healthy and wholesome snack mixes; Wholesome Yogi and Hearty Tamari.
Better With Ice Cream, 100% honest ice cream, traceable from farm to spoon, offered a mini-cone of Caramel flavour.

The simple Tasting Plates Chinatown tour offered a great introduction to the  new tastes complementing the Chinatown neighbourhood. Keep your eyes open for the next Tasting Plates – Yaletown Brunch on October 28th and other flavourful Vancouver Foodster events coming this fall.