Flavours of the Festival

Last weekend’s Flavours of the Festival was a wonderful way to sample the cuisine of 10 BC chefs paired with international wines. The two hour Vancouver International Wine Festival luncheon was held inside the Fairmont Waterfront’s ballroom, allowing guests to circulate amongst the 10 tables while a trio of musicians played in the centre of the room.

Flavours of the Festival Flavours of the Festival/Diva at the Met Flavours of the Festival/Team Diva at the Met
[R: Diva at the Met Executive Chef Hamid Salimian]

Guests were greeted with a glass of Hungaria Rosé Extra Dry wine while awaiting the ballroom doors to open.

Flavours of the Festival/Canadian cheese assortment

Along with a Canadian cheese selection from the Dairy Farmers of Canada, the 10 restaurants and their wine pairings included:

Flavours of the Festival/Shuraku's Salmon aburi roll

Shuraku Sushi Bar and Bistro
Salmon Aburi roll: yam tempura, cream cheese, wild BC Sockeye salmon, miso mayonnaise, green onion and tobiko flying fish roe (served torched)
Wine pairing: Miguel Torres Viña Esmerelda 2011

Flavours of the Festival/Diva at the Met scallop salad with radish and olive croutons
[Diva at the Met scallop salad with radish and olive croutons]

Diva at the Met
Scallop salad with jalapeño, radish, and olive croutons
Wine pairing: Giesen Wines The Brothers Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Flavours of the Festival/Mission Hill's olive braised Pacific octopus, Cross Family Orchards apricot and textures
[Mission Hill’s olive-braised Pacific octopus, Cross Family Orchards apricot and textures]

The Terrace at Mission Hill Family Estate
Olive-braised Pacific octopus, Cross Family Orchards apricots and textures
Wine pairing: Mission Hill Estate Reserve Pinot Gris 2011

Flavours of the Festival/Gail Mountain Viognier 2011

House-cured Gelderman’s pork and golden ears, Cheesecrafter’s “Croque Madame”, Rabbit River Farm quail egg, béchamel, house made IPA mustard
Wine pairing: Galil Mountain Viognier 2011

Flavours of the Festival/Jacob's Creek Reserve Chardonnay

Tableau Bar and Bistro
Rabbit terrine with apple compote and toasted baguette
Wine pairing: Jacob’s Creek Reserve Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2012

Zest Japanese Cuisine
Soy maple-glazed Yarrow Meadows duck carpaccio, cranberry quinoa salad, golden beets carpaccio, black sesame balsamic sauce
Wine pairing: Wild Goose Vineyards Blanc de Noir 2011

Flavours of the Festival/La Terrazza table
[La Terrazza table, filled with foraged mushrooms]

La Terrazza
Roasted wild mushroom risotto
Wine pairing: Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Pinot Noir 2011

Flavours of the Festival/Canyon at Edgemont Village's Irish breakfast with black and white pudding
[Canyon Edgemont Village’s Irish breakfast]

Canyon Edgemont Village
Irish breakfast, eggs, black and white pudding and all the fixings
Wine pairing: Wirra Wirra Vineyards Church Block Cabernet-Shiraz-Merlot 2010

Flavours of the Festival/Herons West coast kitchen chefs (middle: Executive Chef Dana Hauser)
[Herons West coast kitchen chefs including Executive Chef Dana Hauser]

Herons West Coast Kitchen and Bar
Applewood smoked meat sandwich with sauerkraut, house-made pancetta, sea salt-crusted pretzel boule, mustard seed crunch
Wine pairing: O. Fournier Alfa Crux Red Blend 2005

Flavours of the Festival/The Pointe at Wickaninnish Inn's dark chocolate, vanilla foam, Cynamoka berries
[Dark chocolate, vanilla foam, Cynamoka berries]

The Point Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn
Dark chocolate, toasted vanilla foam, Tofino-grown Cynamoka berries
Wine pairing: Backyard Vineyards Porch (port style) NV

My favourite pairing was the Salmon Aburi roll with the Miguel Torres. The torched sushi is fabulous, with all the flavours bouncing out at once while the Moscatel and Gewürtztraminer in the Esmeralda were snappy and not as dry as I’d anticipated.

Flavours of the Festival/Herons West Coast Kitchen's pretzel boules, part of an Applewood smoked meat sandwich. Prepared by Pastry Chef Stephanie Greenslade.
[Herons West Coast Kitchen’s pretzel boules]

Herons smoked meat sandwich was another standout, using Pastry Chef Stephanie Greenslade’s delicious sea salt-crusted pretzel boules! The blackberry and dark cherry of the O. Fournier was a good match for the applewood meat.

Flavours of the Festival/forage house-cured Gelderman's pork and golden ears, Rabbit River Farm quail egg, béchamel sauce

forage’s dish of Gelderman’s pork and golden ears, along with that little quail egg on top was also a delight. The entire dish was a feast for the palate.

Flavours of the Festival/Wirra Wirra Church Block 2010

Favourite wine of the event? Wirra Wirra’s Church Block blend of Cabernet, Shiraz, and Merlot was a feast, with velvety tannins and a good body working with the blackberry, raspberry, plum and sweet spice on the palate. This wine has a good long finish as well.

This was a relaxed afternoon of food and wine that offered a nice variety of dishes and wine. There was fresh coffee and a tea selection served in the lobby towards the end of the event. The only thing that could have made this afternoon better was either including a second dessert table or a selection of chocolates with the coffee and tea.

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