Feel-good Friday: Fusion

Photos from an afternoon gathering last Friday at Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna amongst interesting people and the most delicious Asian Fusion food...with a twist.

A sampling of creative Chinese, Korean and Japanese delicacies put together by chef Yan Cowan of Lucky Dragon Catering, who is considering to franchise. And lucky us; we were invited which was an unexpected but welcome surprise considering I had booked a reservation at the bistro for myself, my boyfriend and my next door neighbour who happened to be in Kelowna at the same time.

It was a feast for hungry eyes!

gyoza

Yan  (the caterer who prepared all this food) Chris (her commercial realtor friend) and Stephen (proprietor of Summerhill Pyramid Winery – the best all organic winery ever).

rice with eggplant
sesame chicken wings
Sushi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although the Summerhill Bistro is always excellent, it’s not every day that you get to be part of a most yummy experiment. 

The foodie in me will always appreciate times like this. Friends old and new make it all that much more worthwhile.

Look forward to our next meal visit.

spicy green beans

vegetable tempura – exquisite


Sample Menu below.  

 

She’s amazing!

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Food & Agave

There’s nothing a little tequila can’t fix.

If you love something set it free. If it doesn't come back drink some tequila.
If you love something set it free. If it doesn’t come back drink some tequila.

But really, have you ever tried pairing food with agave?  It can be a nice replacement for wine….except you don’t or should not want to polish off the whole bottle.

For all you foodies who also enjoy a little tequila now and again (I’m talking the smooth stuff) here is a listing of some fun events taking place in Vancouver this month.

It’s all part of the 2016 Vancouver International Tequila Expo:

Maybe even something to consider for a Mothers Day gift?

 May 24, 2016

East Van Taco Safari: The Ultimate Taco Tuesday!tequilasafari3

Location:Start and Finish at Taco Bar Gastown, 15 W. Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC

Featuring 100% agave tequilas and mezcals to be announced!
Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2015
Time: 7:00pm – 10:30pm
Cost (including Tickets Tonight fees): $85

Join us once again for the Third Annual East Van Taco Safari! We’ll pickup from Taco Bar Gastown and then we’ll transport you to points east to enjoy tacos with tequila and mezcal pairings at Los Cuervos TaqueriaLa Mezcaleria Tacofino Commissary, and Juniper (new this year!), before returning to Taco Bar Gastown to end the night with…you guessed it – more tacos and mezcal! And you can stick around for some leisurely craft cocktails to cap off your evening if you like…

May 25, 2016

Viva Mexico! Cooking & Tasting Classtequilasafari2

Location: Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, 101-1505 West 2nd Avenue, Vancouver, BC

Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm

Details: 2 persons per workstation, maximum of 24 persons total
Cost (including Tickets Tonight fees): $125.00
For information: Contact Manuel

Join us and enjoy this hands-on cooking class and pairing dinner – a culinary cooking experience at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. You’ll be guided through the process of cooking (and eating!) a delicious gourmet regional Mexican cuisine menu paired with tequila and mezcal and other gastronomic delights from Mexico.

May 26, 2016

Downtown Food and Agave Safari

At Joe Fortes
At Joe Fortes

Location: Start at Joe Fortes Seafood and Chophouse, 777 Thurlow Street, Vancouver, BC

Photo: d. king
At Joe Fortes (media event) Photo: d. king

Finish at Black and Blue, 1032 Alberni St, Vancouver, BC
Featuring 100% agave tequilas and mezcals to be announced!
Date:
 Thursday, May 26, 2016
Time: 7:00pm – 10:30pm
Cost (including Tickets Tonight fees): $95

Join us for the Second Annual Downtown Food & Agave Safari! We’ll be experiencing delicious food and drink pairings as we visit some of Vancouver’s top restaurants and watering holes. We start at Joe Fortes Seafood & Chophouse, and then we’ll board a trolley to culinary nirvana – exploring gastronomic delights at every stop – all exquisitely paired with tequila and mezcal to sip alongside the chefs’ creations!

Stops include: Joe Fortes Seafood & ChophouseLift Bar & GrillBeach Bay Cafe, and Showcase at the Marriott Pinnacle, before heading to Black and Blue to end the night with…more culinary goodness paired with agave spirits! Of course, you can always stick around for some leisurely craft cocktails or fine wines to cap off your evening if you like…

May 28, 2016

Tequila 101:
tequilasafari8History, culture, production and tasting

Location: Hyatt Regency Vancouver, Oxford Room

Date: Saturday, May 28, 2016
Time: 12:30 – 2:00pm

For information: Contact Eric

Tequila, the national spirit of Mexico, is in the midst of a renaissance.  This artisanal spirit is moving beyond its reputation as a party drink associated with lost memories and lingering hangovers.  Learn the difference between adulterated tequilas and 100% blue agave tequilas and enjoy sipping them like a fine Scotch or Cognac.
Join Eric Lorenz, Expo Co-Founder and Canada’s only Master Catador for a journey to the beautiful yet enigmatic blue agave landscape in the highlands, lowlands, and valleys of the tequila regions in the Mexican states of Jalisco, Nayarit, Guanajuato, Tamaulipas, & Michoacán.  In so doing, you will connect with the culture and history of both ancient and modern Mexico. This session will provide a base of knowledge in history, culture, geography, production methods and more. A flight of seven 100% agave tequilas will be tasted.

Mezcal 101:
History, geography, culture, process & tastingtequilasafari6

Location: Hyatt Regency Vancouver, Oxford Room

Date: Saturday, May 28, 2016
Time: 2:30 – 4:00pm

For information: Contact Eric

Join Eric Lorenz, Expo Co-Founder and Canada’s first certified Mezcalier, for an entertaining and educational seminar and tasting featuring a selection of artisan-crafted *mezcals from Oaxaca – Mexico’s most culturally rich and biologically diverse state – and beyond. You’ll learn about the history, culture, and production processes surrounding mezcal, plus the botany, lifecycle, & agriculture surrounding the agaves used for mezcal. Plus you’ll taste a flight of seven 100% agave mezcals!

To Purchase:

Tickets Tonight
200 Burrard Street, Plaza level
inside the Tourism Vancouver Visitor Centre
North entrance off Canada Place Way
open 9:00am-5:00pm daily

Website: http://www.ticketstonight.ca/

What I learned from attending the expo for the first time last year is that there is tequila….and then there is tequila!  You can sip the good ones like you do a fine scotch or cognac. I never liked the taste of hard liquor (just wine and sometimes a cold beer on a hot day) but I surprisingly enjoyed several, especially for a little night cap (do people do nightcaps anymore?).  What I noticed was that the expo did not attract those just looking to get drunk.  It was somewhat of an education and the food was great.

 *I visited Oaxaca last year and had the pleasure naturally of sampling a variety of mexcals from a place that produces them.  I didn’t realize they came in so many flavours like coconut and passion fruit.  I brought some back and they’re nice to pour over ice cream for a light dessert to enjoy with company.  

 

 

Food: ¿am I a Foodie or not?

What’s a FOODIE?  We hear the word a lot but what does it really mean? food1

It started out innocently enough standing in line waiting to sample Torafuku’s slow braised ox tail and tomato ragout paired with Burrowing Owl Estate Winery’s Cabernet Franc.  This was at the Chef Meets BC Grape Arts Club Fundraising evening at the Vancouver Convention Centre.  My third year in a row and my sister was my date.

A new label I really like - their Rosé became a favourite
A new label I really like – their Rosé became a favourite

An older label I really like
An older label I really like

Mingling is all part of this evening and a gentleman in line ahead of me struck up a conversation or did I? can’t be sure, doesn’t matter.  And then I tell this person I’m here because I’m a foodie didn’t really want to say wino.  He asks if I’ve been to the restaurant where we’re now waiting to sample food from called Torafuku.  I say no, not yetI cook at home a lot come to think of it. Then he asks if I’ve been to a few other fairly new trendy you’re nobody until you’ve been there places.   I say no once again.  He says “look, give me your booklet.”  I hand it over and he scribbles down six restaurants all new to me, three of which are at this event (but it doesn’t count because we don’t get to choose from the menu).  He then tells me until you’ve been to all of these restaurants please do not refer to yourself as a Foodie.”

So now I’m stuck because I pride myself on knowing a lot about food I think and I love to cook and thought a Foodie was someone who enjoyed good food, sophisticated or otherwise.  No?

Then I looked up the word in wikipedia really??  which goes to explain:

foodie is a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and alcoholic beverages. A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger.

I don’t know what this guy is talking about….it describes me perfectly! Plus I eat out of convenience as well as being hungry!

Then I met a guy who represents “Dine Out Vancouver” and showed him my list of restaurants and asked him which ones he’d been to (restaurants seem to be popping up almost as fast as cannabis dispensaries – soon I won’t be able to keep up).  He replied no, none of them so far.  Ha!  Sigh of relief mixed with disbelief on my part.  Maybe I’m a food snob after all…which I really equated with being a Foodie all along.  Here’s the real clue …I’ve been making bone marrow broth before it became a trend and didn’t even realize it.

Here were some of my favourite food/wine pairings that were at Chef meets BC Grape:

Chicha Restaurant served Coconut Scallop Ceviche on house made Amarillo Peruvian Chili Rice Crackers paired with BC VQA JoieFarm Winery Riesling 2013.

La Pentola Restaurant (the chef is really cute by the way which also garnered points for this) served Burrata with Grilled Peaches, Crispy Speck, Sungold Tomatoes, Basil semi-gel and Pickled Mustard Seeds (imagine going to the trouble of pickling mustard seeds?) paired with Maverick Estate Winery VQA Sauvignon Blanc 2014.

Tableau Bar Bistro served Pheasant Boudin blanc (oh; I scored a foodie point – I know what boudin is because I’ve been to New Orleans) with Organic Garlic Veloute (a rich French sauce), Sapphire Basil Pesto & Pine Mushrooms paired with Dirty Laundry Vineyards VQA Naughty Chardonnay 2013.

Provence Marinaside Restaurant served Lamb Sirloin slider, grey baby cheese (they didn’t say which kind only that it’s grey and I suppose real foodies would already know what kind), smoked tomato relish (imagine smoking a tomato?) & beet chip paired with Upper Bench VQA Estate Grown Merlot 2012.

The one that got away:

Lift Bar Grill View served Beet Juice Cured Wild Salmon Gravlax, Candy Cane Beets & Foraged Wild Mushroom paired with Haywire VQA Okanagan Crush Pad The Bub NV. I was told it was delicious.

Lift on Thursday evening. I picked up a generous gift certificate for the 65 Roses Gala to be held on November 7th at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel to benefit Cystic Fibrosis (CF).
Lift on Thursday evening. I picked up a generous gift certificate for the 65 Roses Gala to be held on Saturday, November 7th at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel to benefit Cystic Fibrosis (CF).

Once again; take everything with a course grain of gourmet fleur de sel (unless that’s last year’s seasalt.