This is your indispensable companion to all that is fresh and delicious in Vancouver right now
Dear fall, I thought I wasn’t ready for you—but then I sat next to a fire on a crisp evening in late September, sipping hot apple cider while wearing a very forgiving sweater and realized that yes, it is indeed time to embrace the coziest season after all.
The past two years have been so brutal and lacking in any delight that this year I give you permission to slurp up as many #BasicBitch pumpkin-spiced-whatevers as your heart desires—from lattes to cookies, go PSL AF and enjoy.
There is also splendid fun to be had with Cornucopia on the horizon, Van Mag's Restaurant Awards are back, and I’ve discovered an early cure for the winter blues (spoiler alert: it’s whisky).
As ever, grab a massive stack of napkins' cause it’s gonna get messy and, oh—book your bivalent shot—let’s fall into winter like boosted bosses...
1. Awesome event alertUBC
The Joy of Feeding is back at UBC Farm on October 2nd from 12 to 3 p.m., featuring a who’s who of B.C.’s culinary great and good. This unique international food festival and fundraiser offers up 13 cooks from 13 different countries who’ll be dishing up beloved home-cooked dishes from around the world. Roam the fields of the UBC Farm and sample deliciousness from chefs at Vij’s, PICA, Osteria Savio Volpe, Farmer’s Apprentice, Burdock & Co, Nostos Greek Taverna, Gaia Kitchen and many more.
2. Awesome evert alert No. 2: The Van Mag Restaurant Awards are backVancouver Magazine
Eavesdrop on the inevitable gossip over the upcoming Michelin awards in the company of Vancouver’s hospitality community at the Vancouver Magazine 2022 Restaurant Awards, which recognizes culinary excellence in the city and beyond. Before the big ceremony at the Rocky Mountaineer station, you can feast on tasty bites from folks including the Glowbal Group and Good Fish, and sip wines from Poplar Grove, Massey Wines, Phantom Creek and others. Pro tip: Grab a full glass before the ceremony starts, as there are many, many, many categories. Tickets are available now—go on, take the afternoon off and make Tuesday October 4th a deliciously memorable one.
3. Book your Cornucopia tickets nowCornucopia
I am so excited about Cornucopia in Whistler this November for so many reasons: I haven’t been able to attend for what seems like years, and it’s always been one of my all-time favourite food and wine events in Canada. This year it’s spread over three weekends (November 4th to 6th, 10th to 20th and 25th to 27th) with all the usual terrific signature tastings, culinary stage events, seminars, workshops and restaurant and bar events. The much-missed Bearfoot Bistro World Oyster Invitational and Bloody Caesar Battle is back on November 20th along with the ever-crazy Crush Grand Tasting on November 12th. I can’t wait to dive into the seminars on wood-free wine and Christine Campbell’s Chardcore tasting, and obviously, chef Julian Bond’s Hangover Brunch is a must-do too. In short: yay!
4. Believe the hype: Skrewball Peanut Butter WhiskySkrewball Peanut Butter Whisky
I’d seen social media posts about Skrewball Peanut Butter Whisky and assumed that it would be unpleasantly sweet and just plain weird. Oh boy, was I ever wrong. Yes, it’s a little sweet, but think of it as a ‘dessert whisky' 'cause it is freaking delicious and has been featuring way too much in my house cocktail program ever since I suspiciously popped the cap. Try it neat over ice. Try it poured over very good vanilla ice cream. Try it in a whisky sour. Try not immediately buying a second bottle once it becomes clear you will be finishing that first one sooner rather than later.
5. Give butter boards the hard passTikTok
I posted about my disdain for the new trend of butter boards recently ("They’re the new charcuterie board!" say excited TikTokers. "They’re really not!" says me.), and the very next day, Eater.com had a piece questioning their validity too. See? It's not just me who’s the curmudgeon!
I get it: it’s pretty, it’s fun and it’s new. But smearing gobs of butter and scattering flowers over a wooden board and then asking your guests to scrape it off is absolutely nothing like a charcuterie board. Individual plates of flower, herb and honey-decorated butter I could maybe get on board with (no pun intended), but trying to share this? Nope. Think about why charcuterie boards are wonderful: variety, ease of sharing, no buttery fingers, no pieces of torn bread marooned mid-board... but all my protests are in vain, I know. Butter boards will be everywhere by the holidays, the new Instagram-able must-have. But trust me when I say that nothing is better than simply good butter and good bread. You don’t need any additional ingredients if you’re eating Beurre d’Isigny and something wonderful and fresh out the oven from Flourist or Small Victory.
6. Dive into Chianti Classico monthdebyaho
Get a taste of the Chianti region this October with ‘Chianti Classico’ month. There are a couple of excellent opportunities where you can learn more about this Italian wine appellation with Chianti Classico’s wine ambassador, Jason Yamasaki. The BCL is hosting two guided pairing events featuring delicious food from Bon Vivant Catering. Tickets for the two-hour seated tastings are $35 (crazy value) and are available from the customer service counter of the stores hosting the events: 39th and Cambie, Thursday October 13th; and Park Royal, Thursday October 20th. Tickets are limited, so bag yours now.
7. Say cheers to Paris with JulesJules
Jules in Gastown has something new and exciting to offer this fall with a switch to a Parisian ‘Bar à Vin’ experience—think small plates, boards and special weekly features with a tight list of wines from France and B.C. The boards look pretty cool—the Cheese board features some terrific options, including my all-time favourite Dauphin, along with aged Comté, tête des moines and raclette; and the Smoked board has salmon, sablefish, tuna, olive, and duck magret. The Tuesday to Saturday happy hour runs from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. and features lesser-known wines and snacks at discounted prices.