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Are you looking forward to the August long weekend yet? I am and plan on darting over to West Vancouver for some of my favourite annual food + drink events!

The Harmony Arts Festival returns to Ambleside Pier for its 28th year from August 3 to 12. For 10 days, visitors can explore and enjoy art in all its glorious forms to tease the senses.

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Also returning are two of the most sought after culinary arts events of the summer: Best of the West (August 8) and Night on the Pier (August 9).

Both evenings are sure to be a intoxicating cornucopia of scrumptious eats and refreshing libations, but there’s also an exciting new addition to consider: the inaugural Indigenous Feast (August 7), a celebration of Indigenous cuisine.

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Best of the West, sponsored by Grosvenor Americas, seeks to thrill tastebuds in its 8th year with mouth watering creations from 12 of the Lower Mainland’s best restaurants. This year, chefs get to make their own selection of wine pairings, in hopes that their flavour combination can win bragging rights for “best of the west”.

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[2017’s winning duo]

Last year, Mangia E Bevi Ristorante’s sumptuous braised pork cheeks and Burrowing Owl Estate Winery’s smooth Syrah easily walked away with the title. Both will return to compete.

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[Torched Temari sushi]

Night on the Pier is only into its third year but has come to signify that cocktail culture in Vancouver is vibrant and thriving. The evening features eight of BC’s top boozy beverage artists competing to craft a winning creative concoction.

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Vancouver Magazine’s 2017 Bartender of the Year, Sabrine Dhaliwal, returns with Robyn Gray from Prohibition, Max Borrowman from Juniper Kitchen plus five other premier mixologists.

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[Sabrine Dhaliwal]

This year, judging is left to a panel of experts while guests kick back with eight daring aperitifs and catered morsels from Mamie Taylor’s, Feast and Sebastian & Co.

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Tickets for Best of the West is $105 and Night on the Pier is $75. Both events are hot-sellers but a sure sell-out is the $150 “culinary duo” package, which gets you into both events.

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With so much interest and open talk about First Nations reconciliation, the time is ripe for a joyful gathering such as the Indigenous Feast. The evening will open with a blessing of the food, provided by Salmon n’Bannock.

Guests can indulge in traditional indigenous fare while enjoying melodies of a live blues performance, with a Vancouver sunset as the backdrop. Tickets to join this celebration are $90, which covers dessert and beverages (including wine).

Sunset

Don’t miss three extraordinary nights of culinary creativity along West Vancouver’s spectacular waterfront. The Harmony Arts Festival, an extravaganza of visual and performing arts, will also entice foodies this August.

Best of the West Contenders

Cacao Latin Progressive, Laughing Stock Pinot Gris
Earls Ambleside Beach, La Stella Vivace Pinot Grigio
Feast The Neighbourhood Table, Orofino Riesling
Mangia E Bevi, Summerhill Pyramid Winery Spadefoot Toad Sangiovese
Milestones, Cono Sur Rosé Brut
PARC Retirement Living, Black Sage Vineyard Cabernet Franc
Rive Gauche, Chateau Ste. Michelle Rosé
Salt & Earth Catering Co., Stoneboat Vineyards Pinot Gris
Temper Chocolate Pastry, Burrowing Owl Estate Vineyards Athene
Terroir Kitchen, Haywire Canyonview Vineyard Pinot Noir
The Observatory, Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio
Zen Japanese Restaurant, Blue Mountain Vineyard Pinot Blanc

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[Max Borrowman]

Participating bartenders for Night on the Pier

Amber Bruce, Keefer Bar
Robyn Gray, Prohibition
Max Borrowman, Juniper Kitchen and Bar
Matthew Benevoli, Nomad
Skye Haneul Kim, Cacao Progressive Latin
Sabrine Dhaliwal, UVA
Souhail Rostainajad, Milestones
Levon Culbertson-Bottomley, Edible Canada
Daniela Campos, Feast The Neighbourhood Table

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Indigenous Feast Menu

Bannock with butter and/or syrup
Traditional BBQ sockeye salmon
Poached halibut
Steamed clams
Smoked oolichans in a blanket
Bison berry ribs
Corn on the cob
Three Sisters salad (corn, zucchini, black beans, wild rice and mixed organic greens)

About Our Contributor Cora Li

Cora Li

Cora dabbles in arts, technology, food, and travel. She loves that Vancouver offers a vast playground for exploring all of her passions. Cora’s most memorable job to date was working with VANOC during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

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