Carnaval del Sol fills Concord Pacific Place with Festive Family Fun

Returning for an 11th year, Carnaval del Sol, the Pacific Northwest’s largest Latin-themed festival, takes over Concord Pacific Place, Saturday, July 6th and Sunday, July 7th. 

Carnaval del Sol photo: Hudson Hipolito

A celebration of the diversity and dynamism of Latin American culture, Carnaval del Sol features a vast array of music, dance, visual arts, fashion, sports, plus food and drink. Concord Pacific Place will be transformed to resemble a vibrant urban Latin American plaza, brimming with sound, colour, tempting aromas, and thousands of smiling faces.

Presented by Latincouver, a non-profit organization working to bring together Latin Americans and those who appreciates Latin culture. “All of us at Latincouver are thrilled to be bringing back Carnaval del Sol for its 11th consecutive year,” says Latincouver’s executive director, Paola Murillo. “This is the time of the year where you’ll feel the vast and exciting Latin American culture right here in Vancouver. We look forward to celebrating with you!”

Carnavel del Sol
photo: Marcos Badra

The 2019 edition of this family-friendly event finds more than 450 artists, who have come from around the world to entertain the masses at the Carnaval’s main stage and plazas, celebrating the festival’s 2019 theme “Sharing our Indigenous and Afro-Latin American roots. Let’s shine together.”

Plaza highlights include the following:

  • TIM HORTONS KIDS PLAZA: Hands-on creative activities for youngsters, including face painting, storytelling, games and music.
  • ARTS PLAZA: From sculpture and fashion to photography and handicrafts (including “live” painting, often accompanied by music), browse hundreds of brilliant artworks from talented Latin American artists.
  • YVR TRAVEL PLAZA: Vancouver International Airport brings you dance, music, games and prizes.
  • EXPERIENCES PLAZA: Witness authentic Latin American fare created before your eyes at a variety of live cooking demos
  • DRIFTWOOD BEER PLAZA: From noon to 9pm, unwind while enjoying delicious food and live music in this 1,000 seat, adults-only zone.
  • FOOD PLAZA: Some of British Columbia’s best Latin American restaurants and food trucks bring the flavours of Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Spain, Argentina, El Salvador, and Cuba.
  • FAMILY PLAZA: All ages will be captivated by live music and DJs, an exclusive fashion show, and much more to be announced. 
  • JOSE CUERVO LOUNGE PLAZA: An exclusive area for SuperPass holders, media, artists, and government officials.

Carnaval Del Sol takes place at Concord Pacific Place, 88 Pacific Boulevard, Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7. Gates open 11am to 10pm. 
Admission is $2 per adult (free admission for kids under 12). The $15 two-day SuperPass offers admittance to the Jose Cuervo Lounge Plaza, front-of-the-line access to the Driftwood Beer Plaza, festival souvenirs, discounts on select vendors, and more.
Find details and tickets at carnavaldelsol.ca

6 Canadian Food Inventions To Help Celebrate Canada Day

Happy Canada Day! While you’re out celebrating the nation’s birthday let’s take a look at a few Canadian foods that will make you proud of the place we call home.

McIntosh Red: long before Apple Inc debuted their Macintosh computers, Canadian John McIntosh cultivated the Canadian apple in 1811, perfect for a Canada Day Apple Pie!

Butter Tart: an integral part of Canadian pioneer life, the Canadian pastry tart has expanded from its eastern roots to reach all parts of the country.

Poutine: one of the best known of Canadian cuisine, beyond our borders, the Québécois staples of french fries, cheese curd, and brown gravy, has become a beloved source of national pride as its gained acceptability.

Nanaimo Bar: while it may have other origins, the no-bake, layered bar was first recorded as the “Nanaimo Bar” in a 1953 recipe enshrined in the Nanaimo Museum.

Canada Dry Pale Ginger Ale: Ontario chemist John J. McLaughlin created a ginger ale that was dry, or less sweet, than other ginger ales on the market at the time, which became popular during prohibition to mask the taste of homemade alcohol.

Caesar: celebrating the 50th anniversary of its invention by Calgary bartender, Walter Chell, the Caesar cocktail has become the staple of brunches and ‘hair of the dog’ mornings everywhere!

CONTEST: Swing your sweetheart at Vancouver Alpen Club’s February 9th Valentine’s Dance

Start your Valentine’s week by celebrating with the Vancouver Alpen Club’s Valentine’s Dance on February 9th.

The Vancouver Alpen Club kicks off the season of love with a dance party like only they can produce. Peter Juric & The Continentals, known for Vancouver Alpen Club’s rollicking Oktoberfest will keep you on your toes.

While working up a hunger on the ballroom dance floor partake in some of the comforting food from the Deutsches Haus kitchens, and what would a party at Vancouver Alpen Club be without beer!

You could enjoy the Valentine’s fun for yourself, enter to win a Vancouver Alpen Club Valentine’s Dance Prize Package including: 2 tickets to the dance, plus 2 food and drink voucher. A perfect package for date night!

To enter the contest:

Leave a comment below telling us the person who would take to the Vancouver Alpen Club Valentine’s Dance (1 entry)

Tweet the Following & Tag your Valentine (1 entry) :

RT to #Win an @AlpenClub #ValentineDance #prize package via @jminter http://ow.ly/pbER30nA7K5 #contest

Contest entries will be accepted until Noon on Friday February 8, 2019. One winner will be chosen at random. Please note, you must be 19 years or older to enter; Vancouver Alpen Club will require photo ID to access the ballroom dance.

Make a Dash for Dine Out 2019 Tickets

Since 2002 Vancouverites have been filling their winters and bellies with Dine Out Vancouver Festival’s prix fixe menu deals.  What started with just 57 restaurants has grown to become Canada’s largest food and drink festival, with 300+ restaurants, breweries, wineries, events and more to indulge.

Grand Tasting
photo: Carly Whetter

From January 18 to February 3, 2019 restaurants from South Surrey to North Vancouver welcome guests with $15, $25, $35 and $45 fixed price brunch, lunch and dinner menus.  The restaurant menus are revealed and reservations are open to the public today, January 10th,  visit dineoutvancouver.com to start your Dine Out planning.

In addition to a restaurant menus, a series of spectacular tasting events fill the days and evenings.  The events start off with The Grand Tasting, a preview launch event January 17th at Rocky Mountaineer Station. The World Chef Exchange brings chefs from San Diego, London, Sydney, Montreal and Dusseldorf to work with local chefs in their restaurants. Street Food City, the food truck fest is back for its eighth year.

Street Food City
photo: Carly Whetter

Secret Supper Soirees are are back for mysterious dinners. Food & Drink Tours of all kinds fill the festival dates. Many events are already sold out, so if you haven’t check out the Events listings and book soon.

Coming from out of town, or even if you’re local, why not make a night of it and book a night at the Dine Out Special Room Rates or a Dine & Stay package with one of the participating Dine Out Hotel Partners. 

Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2019 runs January 18 – February 3, 2019. For menu information, restaurant and hotel reservations and event tickets visit dineoutvancouver.com

Give a Foodie Gift from Vancouver Foodster

Perfect for the foodie on your holiday shopping list, Vancouver Foodster has a trio of great events coming in the New Year; 6th Annual Noodle Mania on January 16th, 7th Anniversary Tasting Plates Downtown  on February 6th, and Tasting Plates Mount Pleasant on February 27th.  Any or all of them will appeal to the friend or family member on your list who has great taste.

Noodle Mania – January 16, 2019 is a roaming tour in exploration of the city’s noodle dishes from Cambie Village, to Olympic Village, and Commercial Drive. Along the way, taste all sorts of noodles from chow mein to spaghetti to mac & cheese, pho, pad thai, ramen and more. Restaurants featured in Noodle Mania include; Mangia Cucina & Bar on Manitoba St, Hon’s Won Ton House on East 2nd, Viet House Restaurant on Cambie Str, Pami /Tseng Noodles, and more.

Tasting Plates Downtown – February 6, 2019 explores the neighbourhood restaurants in the downtown core of Vancouver including such locations as La Cantina Urban Taco Bar on Nelson St, Firecrust Neapolitan Pizzeria, and Mumbai Local on Davie St.

 

Tasting Plates Mount Pleasant – February 27, 2019 takes a tasting tour of the Mount Pleasant, Olympic Village, False Creek neighbourhoods to see what’s new and flavourful; like the new PappaRoti location on Columbia St. in Olympic Village.

On each of these Vancouver Foodster events, the participating restaurants will be serving up Tasting Bowls or Plates for guests to enjoy. Along the way the tasters will have a chance to visit many different types of restaurants across the events, meet some new food loving friends,  meet the chefs, and learn about each of the participating restaurants.

Find early-bird and advance tickets for all of these events on sale now. Visit vancouverfoodsterevents.com for links to purchase from Eventbrite.

Vancouver Foodster 2nd Annual Holiday Market December 5th

The Vancouver Foodster 2nd Annual Holiday Market is coming to neighbourhoods near you on December 5, 2018.  Building on last year’s Holiday Market, Vancouver Foodster market locations bring tastes, gifts and more to different corners of Vancouver.

At the Market locations – Main Street Honey Shoppe, Be Fresh Market & Cafe, Espressotec, and Silk Road Tea – multiple vendors, introduce participants to their products, goods and services.  Find out from producers, crafters, and vendors first hand what goes into their products or flavours.  The Vancouver Foodster Holiday Market is a perfect night for your holiday gift shopping, learning about what’s new on the shelves, shops and online, and mingling with your friends while meeting new ones.

Guests will register at Main Street Honey Shoppe to collect their Holiday Market Passport.  Then, they’ll set off to explore the market locations.

Espressotec, 1015 Clark Drive, will feature local food, baristas, coffee-roasters and coffees, along with general gift items including; Bean Around The World, East Van Roasters, Nutmeg Mylk, and Porchlight Press Cards.

Be Fresh Market & Cafe, 2951 W Broadway, will feature multiple vendors showcasing local foods and beverages.

Silk Road Tea, 2066 West 4th Avenue, presents their imported & custom blended organic, premium loose teas, as well as their organic skincare, haircare & bodycare products.

Tickets for Vancouver Foodster 2nd Annual Holiday Market are on sale on Eventbrite now:

Ultra Early-Bird: $29 per person until November 8, 2018
Early-Bird Tickets: $35 per person November 9 – November 28, 2018
Regular: $50 per person after November 28, 2018 until December 5, 2018
Note: Eventbrite fee and GST is extra on all tickets purchased online.
Ticket price includes food and beverages tasting at each of the participating markets throughout the evening.

 

 

 

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.