Having not attended EAT! Vancouver for years, due to commitments in school and then a move; I hadn’t experienced the event since its days of being held at BC Place and wasn’t sure what to expect from the new Vancouver Convention Centre.
What I found was a much larger, all encompassing experience related to food and beverages, much larger than any EAT! Vancouver event I’d been to in the past. They still had the Food Network stage for presentations and demonstrations as well as several booths dedicated to different cuisines.
Three big changes I noticed were the presence of travel agencies on the event floor, restaurant booths and a beer/wine garden as well as different culinary cuisines from Korean to Chinese. Companies such as Marlin Travel and Insight Vacations had their brochures out, even Intrawest Resort & Club Group, owner of time-share properties in Whistler made an appearance. Restaurants like Milestones, Crave and Fleuri Restaurant from the Sutton Place Hotel were on hand to provide food to all the hungry attendees as it was close to dinner time.
Here are some of the highlights from the event that I put together.
Zoku debuted an ingenious popsicle making appliance at the event where you can make and freeze popsicles in 10
minutes! You simply pour the liquid into the device and insert the plastic sticks provided and place the entire unit into the freezer for ten minutes. You could put fruit into the popsicles and extract some of the juice and turned the popsicles into creamsicles. They looked delicious and perfect for a hot sunny day like that Saturday. Unfortunately, samples were not provided in this case.
The Kitchen Cultivator
Next, we saw a really cool home unit named the Kitchen Cultivator designed for any homeowner to grow herbs and lettuce inside their own home. Hooked up to water in the same area that you would place a dishwasher, the unit was self-sustaining, with water being re-circulated and light provided. You would only have to put in a pellet of fertilizer once every ten days and you could use the herbs from the unit like your own personal garden. It’s a really cool idea and much more sustainable than some of the other devices I’d previously seen that allowed you to grow herbs indoors.
Bosa Foods has made an appearance in all the other food-related events and shows that I’d attended in the past, so it made sense that they showed up at EAT! Vancouver. With all kinds of Italian fare from amaretto cookies to gnocchi for sale, we sampled expresso and cheese and in the end, purchased a bottle of sparkling blueberry juice that I’d never seen before anywhere else.
The event was scheduled to close at 9 that night and it was getting later in the day, late enough for dinner. My partner and I both purchased separate food and drink tickets and sampled Milestones’Kobe Beef Sliders. They were delicious, with the right amount of spice. Too bad there weren’t more of them.
Barefoot Wine & Bubbly
We spent most of our food and beverages tickets inside the wine and beer garden as there were several companies and types of wine we hadn’t heard of before like Barefoot Wine & Bubbly. There were the usual favorites such as Sauvingon Blanc and Pinot Gris, but one particular type of sparkling wine caught my eye. I received a full glass of Barefoot’s Moscato wine to sample and it was amazing. It was sweet and not at all dry with some fruity notes and it would’ve been perfect paired with some dessert. It was easily, the best drink I’d had all night.
Splash Vodka Iced Tea
Being a huge fan of vodka and rum coolers such as Smirnoff Ice Twisted, Mikes’s Hard Lemonade and Bacardi Breezers, I initially thought this vodka was another type of cooler. However, Splash Vodka Iced Tea was carbonated vodka iced tea. I tried a full glass of the peach vodka iced tea and it was delicious and a little dangerous because you honestly couldn’t tell there was vodka in it. You could definitely make the mistake of drinking several glasses of it on a hot summer’s day as though it was just iced tea.
Honey Bunny Inc.
Honey Bunny seems more like a term of an endearment for your sweetheart rather than a name for a company, but I will
give them this: they make amazing BBQ sauce. I tried out the original BBQ sauce as well as the Honey Lemon Rosemary that would go great with chicken, lamb or fish and it tasted great. The weekend after EAT! Vancouver I immediately went to the grocery store and bought myself a container full.
So there you have it, those are my highlights for EAT! Vancouver 2011 and I hope this gives you something chew on and some food for thought on the culinary scene in BC.