The wind up event to the Vancouver International Wine Festival at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Center took place on Sunday, March 2nd where us lucky attendees get to sample a variety of food and wine pairings. The brunch is a fundraising event for “Bard on the Beach,” a hugely successful production that takes place in Vancouver every summer for a couple of months.
One of the highlights of the year, we always go with two friends every year and this must be our 10th time, at least, to partake of all the delights the chefs have conjured up for our pleasure, along with a wine pairing for each plate. What great fun! There were offerings from sixteen different restaurants this time, good thing there is a programme handed out at the beginning so one can plan their strategy! I go through and select things I want to try and then select things I don’t but my husband does e.g. oysters, smoked salmon or raw fish. It’s a lot of fun…one of our little group is a vegetarian so she is always coming back to the table bringing tastes for the guys of things neither she or I will be able to eat. Then when I am on my reconnoitring missions, I bring back plates and wine pairings for my husband as well as for myself. We are sort of like birds that must get out there and bring back food to the nest!
The standouts for us this year were:
La Pentola with their duck and foie gras terrine with preserved onion
Dungeness crab “croque madame,” cured ham, leek fondue and poached quail egg from Forage
From the chef of the Vancouver Convention Center, poached egg meurette, braised lamb neck and hedgehog mushroom sauté, honey smoked sakura pork belly crostini
Dungeness crab and arugula crepe, potato and apple pave from The Fish House in Stanley Park
The Blackbird Public House & Oyster Bar, braised beef with quince, black kale, pickles, my personal “best”
Bella Gelateria sent forth a fabulous port gelato, port cassis mousse, stilton cheesecake sphere and raspberry cassis sauce to wrap things up! James Coleridge of Bella Gelateria was recently named 2014 Gelato Master of the Year by Italy’s oldest gelato organization!
And not to overlook one of the best parts of the brunch is the live band! They play throughout but during the last 30 minutes they switch things up and play rock and roll with Mustang Sally, Brown Eyed Girl, Purple Haze, I Saw Her Standing There, Roll Over Beethoven and Satisfaction. Just about everyone gets up and boogies!
Another successful, fun brunch…looking forward to next March!