Eat Vancouver, an annual food and cooking show held at BC Place, took place weekend – I attended. The show consisted of a large number of trade booths selling or promoting food or food related products, cooking demonstrations, a beer, wine and spirits tasting area, and a smattering of restaurants, many being South Asian inspired, offering a small tasting menu.
The trade show floor was similar to last year and just not all that impressive – how many ready-made frozen curries does the world really need? But there were a few really interesting booths, including Sweet Tree Canadian Birch Syrup. If you haven’t tried birch syrup, do. Finally a natural tree syrup that West Coast Canadians can proudly boast about – move so than maple syrup. Similar to the trade show floor, the beer, wine and spirits tasting area was not overly impressive – too many distributors an not enough brewers, vintners and distillers. However, there were a few great breweries represented, Rogue, Brooklyn Brewery, R&B and Dead Frog to name a few.
The real draw this weekend was not the trade show booths or the food samples, it was the cooking demonstrations and food and beer seminars. Chefs ranging from Food Network Canada hosts to accomplished local and international kitchen veterans teach eager home cooks how to prepare their favourite dishes. The fine people at Just Here for The Beer hosted a series of seminars on beer – I was only able to attend the food and beer pairing session.
The food and beer pairings chosen for the seminar were:
- Vancouver Island Brewing Pilsner with a strong cheddar
- Russell Cream Ale with smoked salmon
- Dead Frog Nut Brown with a nut cluster
- Sapporo Dark Lager with dark(ish) chocolate
- Efes Dark Lager was also thrown in at the end to pair with the chocolate
The pairings all worked well, but I was hoping for a more creative selection- Belgian Ale, the king of food and beer parings, was nowhere to be found. That aside, Just Here for The Beer did a good job promoting beer and proved to many happy beer drinkers that wine is not the only drink that can enhance a great meal.