3rd Annual Pizza Palooza Corners Vancouver Pizza

Wednesday night, the snow was coming down but the pizza ovens were heating up Vancouver Foodster’s 3rd Annual Pizza Palooza.  Guests visited all corners of downtown Vancouver to try out some of the city’s pizzas and flatbreads.  From Neapolitan, to Lebanese, and Indian, to Roman, the ovens and flattops were cranking out the pies for the crowds of guests exploring the world of flavours.

To start off the night, the Pizza Palooza check-in location, Living Produce Aisle in Yaletown brought out some palate cleansing and healthy fresh juices made some some of their wholesome house-grown greens.


Then we were off, and pizza hunting.

One of Yaletown Davie Street’s newest spots Manoush’eh, is a recent winner of the Vancouver Foodster 2018 Flatbread Challenge, and you could taste why from their layers of Lebanese flavours in their offerings.  A dual serving of Falafel Flatbread (house-made falafel mix coated flatbread topped with tahini, tomatoes, pickled turnip and parsley) and Lahm be Ajeen (a thin crust, open face meat pie with organic spiced ground beef, with diced tomatoes and onion)


Just a couple blocks away, a traditional Neapolitan pizza becomes a one of a kind creation as a “You Build” pie from Firecrust Neapolitan Pizzeria.  Starting with a hand-stretched 6 inch dough we chose from dozens of sauces, meats, vegetable and cheese toppings before our own creations were fired into the stone oven.



Further along Davie Street, into the West End, Davie Dosa Company turned their Indian pancakes into Indian pizza by topping their dosa with curried lamb on one half and vegetables (bell peppers, tomato, carrot, cottage cheese and cilantro) on the other half.  Alongside a zesty lentil soup dip, coconut and tomato/ginger chutneys added more flavour to the Indian pizzas.

Crossing the city to Gastown, the recent addition to the neighbourhood, Ignite Pizzeria Express near Waterfront Station offered a pair of slices from their rotating selection of artisan Neapolitan style pizzas.  The Ignite crew was quickly turning out a variety of topping combinations hot from their oven, like Four Formaggi, Spicy Soppressata, Pesto Chicken, Fresh Ricotta and others.

Finally the original Gastown location of Stretch Roman Pizza Co. offered another pizza pair; Pancetta e Scamozza (pancetta parmigiano and smoked mozzarella) plus Caprese Pizza (bocconcini, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil) piled on their signature long stretched soft dough.

With the snow lightening up during the evening, the 3rd Annual Vancouver Foodster Pizza Palooza was a great evening of flavour exploration.  If this sounds appealing join the next Vancouver Foodster event, Tasting Plates Coquitlam coming March 14th

Picks of the Week – February 21, 2018

Even through the current temperatures don’t feel like it, spring is just one month away, let’s see if the picks of the week can keep us warm in the meantime

Pizza: Tonight, find some of Vancouver’s best pizzas on Vancouver Foodster’s 3rd Pizza Palooza, a roaming exploration of the city’s pizzas and flatbreads.

Extended:  At Fly Over Canada the Lunar New Year double-bill of Flight of the Dragon, along with the regular Fly Over Canada experience, now held over until February 25th.

Ania Soul, Kawa Ada & Mayko Nguyen
Photo: Joseph Michael Photography

Moon: The Canadian Classic play, Salt-Water Moon, comes to the Gateway Theatre from February 15 – 24

RingTravel The Road To Wrestlemania with the WWE as they set up the ring in Rogers Arena on Friday night

R&B: Singer/Songwriter Miguel brings some soul to the PNE Forum on Saturday night

A Steady Rain : Daniel Doerksen & David Newham

Rain: 7 Tyrants Theatre starts their 10th Anniversary season with A Steady Rain at the Penthouse Studio Theatre until March 3rd.

Theatre: The Arts Club has a pair of shows on stage, experience the backstage antics of Jitters on at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until February 25 and the Tony award winning Fun Home at Granville Island Stage running until March 10.

performer: Anne Cooper photo: David Cooper

Dance: The Firehall Arts Centre welcomes the movements of From Where We Stand: A Share Evening Of Dance, two individual performances unnecessary and I Can’t Remember The Words For I Can’t Remember

Rock: German rock group at Tokio Hotel takes the Vogue Stage on Saturday night

Clowning: Taking inspiration from classic comedic works from Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin,  Pss Pss by Compagnia Baccalà runs until March 4th at The Cultch York Theatre.

Exhibition: The Vancouver Art Gallery celebrates the opening of Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg with a birthday bash, preview, dinner and party, the day before the opening of the Japanese artist’s first Canadian retrospective.

Toronto Dance Theatre
photo: Guntar Kravis


Mix: DanceHouse presents the Toronto Dance Theatre 50th Anniversary performance House Mix at the Vancouver Playhouse on Friday and Saturday


Join a Free Conversation with Abdullah Ibrahim Tonight

Abdullah Ibrahim

Sunday night, The Chan Centre for Performing Arts welcomed The Jazz Epistles : Abdullah Ibrahim with Terrance Blanchard, an evening with the jazz greats plus the band Ekaya.

The Chan Centre was filled with fans ready to get lost the smooth sounds of the eight performers gracing the stage; Ibrahim on piano and Blanchard on Trumpet.  The Ekaya sextet features; Noah Jackson (cello/bass), Will Terrill (drums), Cleave Guyton (alto saxophone/flute/clarinet), Lance Bryant (tenor saxophone), Andrae Murchison(trombone), Marshall McDonald (baritone saxophone).  Ibrahim took the stage first to set the stage, performing a solo arrangement before being joined by the rest of the players. Throughout the two-hour set each of the other musicians also broke into solos to much applause,  culminating in a lengthy minutes-long standing ovation to close the set.

In addition to Sunday’s concert and pre-show talk, Abdullah Ibrahim is giving the Vancouver audience more of his time.  Tonight, Monday February 19, 2018, the public is welcome to attend, A Conversation With Abdullah Ibrahim, presented by The Chan Centre and VCC School of Music.  The free talk with the artist takes place at 7:30pm at the Vancouver Community College Auditorium at 1155 East Broadway campus.

Get your tickets for Vancouver Foodster Pizza Palooza – Feb 21

Pizza Pizza Pizza! Early bird tickets are on sale now for Vancouver Foodster’s 3rd Annual Pizza Palooza.   Get your fill of great pies as you explore Vancouver’s pizzerias and experience the different styles of pizza and flatbreads from across the world.

A roaming food tour, Pizza Palooza invites food lovers and friends to meet up and register at the to-be-designated restaurant, pick up their Pizza Palooza passport then set off and find what great tastes the participating restaurants are offering for the guests.  From Neapolitan to Roman to NY-Style and even South Indian and Lebanese are some of the flavours to find upon the tossed and stretched dough.

The restaurants featured on the 3rd Annual Pizza Palooza include;

Firecrust Neapolitan Pizzeria – 808 Davie Street, Vancouver

Ignite Pizzeria – 508 West Cordova, Vancouver

Davie Dosa Company – 1235 Davie Street, Vancouver

Manoush’eh – 620 Davie Street, Vancouver

Stretch Roman Pizza Co. – 415 Abbott Street, Vancouver

Find more details about the restaurants and get tickets online 
Tickets for Pizza Palooza are on sale online from Eventbrite
Early-Bird Tickets: $35 per person before February 11, 2018
Advance Tickets $45 per person after February 11, 2018
Regular $60 per person after February 18, 2018


5 Lunar New Year Festival 2018 Events

Chinese New Year is known as the largest mass human migration in the world, as millions of Chinese make visits to their home countries, towns and family, to celebrate the Lunar New Year.  Vancouver and Richmond have many events for those of the Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and other communities who can’t make the trip home or are returning home to visit.

Weeks of events to commemorate the Lunar New Year Festival include:

Lunar Fest 2018 at the newly renovated Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza welcomes the whole family and their four-legged friends with entertainment, exhibits, crafts, markets over two weekends; Feb 18, 24 and 25, as well as events at Oakridge and Vancouver Playhouse.

Fly Over Canada – a spectacular double bill ‘flies’ over Canada and then follows through the peaks and valleys of China’s vibrant landscape in the Flight Of The Dragon, until February 18th

Lanterns in the Garden fill the Dr Sun Yat Sen classical Chinese Garden with lanterns, food, activities of a traditional YUAN XIAO (Lunar Month) lantern festival,  for three weekends from February 16th to March 4th.

International Village Mall, Aberdeen Centre, Oakridge Centre  and other Shopping Centres all around Metro Vancouver are hosting Chinese and Lunar New Year events;  Exhibits, Craft & Flower Market, Stage Performances, Dragon and Lion Dances, Kids Activities, Prizes and more fill the Malls through the New Year.

Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival, rings in the new year with a bang on February 18th as firecrackers crack through the sounds of spectators and revellers lining the route of the 45th Chinatown Parade from 11am, along E Pender, Gore and Keefer Streets. After the parade watch for ‘the Lions’ as they visit and perform for local Chinatown businesses to bring good fortune through the new year.

For more Vancouver and Richmond events and information visit lunarfestival.com

Dublin Old School brings beats to The Cultch

Emmett Kirwan & Ian Lloyd Anderson
photo: Fiona Morgan

Dublin Old School wraps up the final week of PuSh International Arts Festival at The Cultch.  Playwright Emmet Kirwan has created a unique production paints a colourful slice of Dublin life. The television star’s first play is a smash hit, with a hip hop beats and rhymes that feel straight outta the top 40.

Dublin Old School opens with a minutes-long blazing fast rap battle between Kirwan and co-star Ian Lloyd Anderson that sets the tone for the remainder of the 70 minute production.  The rapid fire dialogue that follows tells the story of a hazy drug-fueled weekend in the life of wannabe DJ Jason (Kirwan) and his friends, associates and long-lost addict brother, Daniel, all played by Anderson.  As Jason recounts ‘his’ wild weekend, we meet nearly 20 other friends and revellers, requiring Anderson to brilliantly jump rapidly between physical characteristics and changes to his brogue to embody the passing folk. Homeless but (potentially) recovering Daniel is the most developed character played by Anderson, full of twitches and inflections.  As they rap, rave and race through most of the show is, the moments between Jason and Daniel are like calm bridges in the song of their life, tentative moments between the brothers to sober up Jason as Daniel has moments of clarity to offer big brother advice and reminiscences.   Along with the straight-ahead rap pieces, the dialogue throughout Dublin Old School also has a rhythm and pace that draws the audience in to the story with its steady beat.

Dublin Old School @ The Cultch
photo: Ros Kavanagh

Even through the show is only 70 minutes there is a massive volume of creative dialogue in Kirwan’s script filled with rhymes, metaphors and pop culture references.  The two players, delivery of movement around the bare stage and of the lyrical script entwine to paint a graphic image of the Dublin nightclub/rave culture.  Anyone who came of age through that mid-nineties era will nervously laugh in recognition of the experiences and cheer as the duo make it through the Ironman worthy must-see performance.

Dublin Old School plays at The Cultch Historic Theatre until Saturday February 3rd. Get tickets now online at thecultch.com

JFL NorthWest shares laughs with Vancouver

In just one month, JFL NorthWest, Vancouver’s comedy festival returns, for a third year of laughter, starting Thursday, March 1st until Saturday, March 10th, 2018, and you could enter to win your way to one of the festival’s hilarious live comedy shows. Once again the festival features the best and brightest of live comedy, podcasts and sketch shows. The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah returns for the 3rd year, Comedy Award winning Debra DiGiovanni, Saturday Night Live alums Jay Pharoah and Sasheer Zamata, GLAAD Media Award winners and comedic couple Cameron Esposito & Rhea Butcher to name a few.  The laughter plays out at venues across Vancouver, including the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vogue Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse, Rio Theatre, Fox Cabaret, The Comedy Mix and other spots.

New this year, JFL NorthWest introduces a new comedy film festival. The first edition of the “Vancouver Just For Laughs Film Festival” will run March 1-10. The Film Festival will include short and feature film screenings under the categories; Comedy Short Shorts, World-Wide Shorts, and Feature This! as well as industry speakers, panels, and more. The line-up for the films will be released in February.

The 2018 JFL NorthWest lineup includes:

Bill Burr, Trevor Noah (The Daily Show), Jo Koy, Brian Regan, Maria Bamford, Jay Pharaoh (SNL), Sasheer Zamata (SNL), Anthony Jeselnick, Todd Barry (Flight of the Conchords), Debra DiGiovanni (Last Comic Standing/Match Game), Cameron Esposito & Rhea Butcher (Take My Wife) to name just a few of the performers taking part in 100 plus shows during the festival.

JFL Northwest is also supporting local talent in the “Best of the West Series” with local faves like; Little Mountain Improv, Fox Hole Comedy,  Tinder Tales, The Ryan and Amy Show and many more. Visit jflnorthwest.com for full line-up, show details and schedule and tickets. 

Enter to Win:
Cameron Esposito & Rhea Butcher “Back to Back

JFL NorthWest, presented in association with SiriusXM runs March 1 – 10, 2018 in venues around Vancouver. 

This contest is now closed, thank you to all who entered. 

CONTEST: We are pleased that JFL Northwest is giving a reader & a friend the opportunity to come out to experience some live laughter, with two tickets to see the March 9th performance by Cameron Esposito & Rhea Butcher at the Rio Theatre.

To enter:

Leave a comment below telling us the person who would share the laughs with on your JFL NorthWest evening (1 entry)

Tweet the Following & Tag a comedy colleague (1 entry) :

RT to #Win a @JFLNorthWest experience @RioTheatre via @jminter http://ow.ly/BprZ30i6xwM #contest #JFLNW2018

Like & Comment on Facebook tagging the person you’d bring on your JFL NorthWest evening (1 entry)

Contest entries will be accepted until Noon on Monday, February 26, 2018. One winner will be chosen at random. Please note, you must be 19 years or older to enter; Rio Theatre will require photo ID to enter the theatre and bar service.