This is your indispensable companion to all that is hot, fresh and freaking delicious in Vancouver right now
Fireworks! Pride! Eating a billion peaches and drinking far too much rosé on patios with friends! Yay for proper summer! Yay for staying out late! And generally, yay for a lack of rain! All I seem to be eating at the moment is either fresh fruit from the Similkameen and Okanagan or grilled salmon fresh off the BBQ. I love this time of year! Get on out there and hoover up your fair share of the deliciousness, 'cause don’t forget this season—and all its delights—are just too damn fleeting.
As ever, grab napkins, it’s gonna get messy…
1. Go to all the fun events
This sounds fabulous: a collaboration between chef Josh Gale (amazing pizzas!) and the fine folks at Mak N Ming on August 1st. There will be a family-style menu with five courses and yup, this is bound to sell out so don't wait to buy tickets. Buon appetito!
Book your ticket now to Yes Shef! At Chambar Monday August 12th where, “…some of Vancouver’s top culinary talents will come to promote and encourage gender equality within the hospitality industry. On the menu, a five-course longtable dinner with each course prepared by a Vancouver-based, female chef alongside a female apprentice from the Vancouver Community College culinary program. The “Women of Wine,” composed of five of the city’s top female sommeliers, will pour to accompany each dish."
2. Raise a glass of B.C. wine to Harry McWatters
The wine world of Canada and beyond is in shock this week after the sudden passing of a legend. Harry McWatters died peacefully in his sleep on July 23rd, and the world of wine is now mourning his loss. To learn more about this brilliant man’s myriad achievements and the extraordinary passion he bought to the B.C. wine industry, I’ll point you to this from Tim Pawsey, which is a fantastic tribute.
Leeann Frose, his friend and long-time PR sent me this:
“To say that Harry McWatters is a legend in the Canadian wine industry would be an understatement. Harry, who celebrated his 51st vintage in 2018, is widely considered to be the foundation of the B.C. wine industry, the ‘grandfather’ of B.C. wine, a tireless industry leader in moving quality wine growing and winemaking forward, a marketing visionary, and a passionate advocate for B.C. wine.”
I’ll just say that without his vison, it’s likely that the B.C. wine industry would not be the force that it is today/ I’m happy that I was at Time Winery last week to celebrate the launch of his new sparkling wine—so raise a glass of something beautiful from B.C. and toast the memory of a great man.
3. It’s that time again: Get yo’ can on!
As I write this, my fingers are stained with cherry juice and I’m surrounded by the happy results of a canning blitz, so can I just urge you to capture some of this juicy abundance now? Tartine Maple Cuisine is holding a beginners’ class at Trout Lake Community Centre on the 7th, sign up now and learn—I promise you won’t regret it! My new love is Rainier cherries in a rosé syrup (three parts wine to one-part sugar) with star anise… they are freaking amazing!
4. Eat all the cake at Butter Mere
I first had one of Jmi Kastillo’s beautiful cakes at a friend’s birthday, I was dumbstruck by how drop-dead gorgeous it was—and crucially—how light and delicious too! She’s just opened a patisserie café at 636 Main Street and you've gotta go check it out; she’s combining classic French techniques with Asian-inspired flavours (for instance, pandan sponge, matcha and red bean whipped ganache, winter melon pannacotta, lime-chocolate mousse) and stunning modern designs!
5. Hit up the Moet vending machine at Prohibition
This trend is clearly absolutely ridiculous, and you know what? I don’t care. Why wouldn’t you want to buy a mini bottle of Moët from a vending machine? (So many reasons… so very many reasons). Yeah, I know, logical Nikki, but shut up! Fun Nikki wants to do something just for the ‘gram. Tokens cost $30, so do it once and then dine out on the experience forever. Then return to your usual routine of sucking down head bartender Robyn Gray’s phenomenal creations. I’m still straight up obsessed with the Inception Negroni…
6. Take a field trip
Whistler: Celebrate Food Day Canada at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler with talented chef Derek Bendig and Naramata Bench’s Roche Wines. This multi-course wine-pairing dinner celebrates the hyper-local agriculture right in Whistler’s backyard. All of the produce on the 2019 Food Day Canada menu will be collected and curated fresh from the Whistler Farmer’s Market directly in front of Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Take a look at the menu 'cause it sounds terrific!
Vancouver Island: FarmFolk CityFolk are heading to Snowdon House in North Saanich this year for Feast of Fields, a super-fun local food celebration held each year on different farms around B.C. “Feast of Fields is a three-hour wandering gourmet harvest festival that highlights the connections between farmers and chefs, field and table, and between farm folks and city folks. With a wine glass and linen napkin in hand, you'll stroll across a field, travelling from tent to tent, listening to live music, and tasting gourmet creations from some of the Island's top chefs, bakers, food artisans, vintners, brewers, distillers and other beverage producers.” I went to Kelowna’s last year and it was great fun, get a ticket here.
Okanagan: It always sells out and always looks like the most fun in the Okanagan Valley! Welcome back, the Naramata Tailgate Party on September 14th (grab your ticket now!) Join 30 wineries and a raft of delicious restaurants at the beautiful Naramata Heritage Inn to celebrate harvest and tuck into tasty tapas. This year’s theme is the Roaring '20s with prizes for best costumes!
7. Taste the rainbow at Richmond Market
I still can’t work out if the Say Cheeeese Toast guys at the Night Market are completely gross or completely awesome for their condensed milk and rainbow-dyed mozzarella grilled cheese. But one thing’s for sure—of course I want the inevitable damn Insta love from s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g that multi-coloured cheese! On until October 14th this year, go taste the (cheesy) rainbow and let me know what you think!
8. Be your own salt bae with Amola
I was gifted a set of salts last week from Amola. I’m a bit salt obsessed (I have an array of gorgeous salts ranging from Alderwood smoked to blue cheese flavour to give everything that extra little layer of perfection). I’ve been obsessed with Amola’s hickory-smoked bacon salt for a while, which lends just the right amount of smoky bacon-y flavour to everything from fries to omelettes. But new to me is their rosemary and garlic, which could be my new favourite thing. It’s going on pretty much everything at the moment and it’s making it all taste freaking amazing. Oh—and if you’re a #SaltNerd like me, check out the Pacific/Atlantic duo pack too; the taste difference in the two is wild. I think Pacific is a little sweeter than Atlantic. You can definitely taste something different in each one.
9. Hawksworth happy hour
How did I not know that you could get down with a fancy as f happy hour at the Hawksworth Bar at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia every day from 4 to 6 p.m.?! On offer, beers for $6, wine and featured cocktails including Negronis, Aperol Spritz and a delicious sounding sherry tonic with Alvear Amontillado, tonic and orange for just $7.