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Taste the World

20 Jan

I got to check out the media preview for “Taste the World” last week at Calabash Bistro. Above is a yummy Spiced Red Snapper dish that we were served. The batter for the fish was very flavorful and slightly spicy, which I really enjoyed. Read about my experience and find out what other tasty treats will be at  this upcoming event!

Photo Credit: Noam Dehan

Ginger ain’t just a hair color

22 Dec

Season’s greetings!  I checked out the annual “Gingerbread Lane” at the Hyatt Vancouver hotel recently. I’ve always had a fascination with building things, which goes back to my Lego loving days (aka to this very day), and given that gingerbread houses are pretty much edible Lego, I absolutely love making gingerbread houses.

There was no time to make a house this year, but here’s a blurry image of one from 2008:


I was pretty proud of my pretzel balcony and Crunch bar door, but the displays at “Gingerbread Lane” kicked my gingerbread Lego butt. For one, these aren’t even dinky houses anymore. The top one was from the secondary school division and the bottom picture is from the kids at Vancouver Community College (aka THE PROS)

And when you get down to it, it really is all about the details. I love the cyclops chicken and kind of hope that his one-eyedness was done on purpose.

Maybe next Christmas, I’ll find a Mr. Miyagi to my Gingerbread Kid, and upgrade to some gingerbread mansion real estate…

I heart work

8 Dec

Because we do something awesome like an Apple Cider Party and Cookie Exchange during the holidays.What’s that? Your place of employment doesn’t do one?

Fret not. You too can partake in office sugar high merriment this season. It’s as simple as:

1. Find someone in your office crafty enough to make yummy apple cider.

2. Turn your lunch room into a holiday buffet with traditional teats like pannetone bread, Mandarin organges and fruit cake (not always a treat).

3. Throw in a yuletide ringer like homemade Indian samosas

4. Bake 20 cookies to share and receive 20 other cookies back.

5. Try not to pass the rest of the day noshing on your cookie stash (gotta save some for Christmas after all!)

Oh, what did I make? My favorite go-to cookie, of course: the Chocolate Caramel Cookie


Urban Glamour Market

6 Dec

Last week, I attended the Urban Glamour Market at Terracotta Modern Chinese. There was beautiful jewelery, clothing and a photobooth to keep everyone merry and entertained. I also met VckyStxx who turns her doodles into fun and hilarious cards and buttons. The best part of all was Lollicakes by a gal named Kaitlin:


There was the Chocolate Christmas tree, Red Velvet Ornament, Vanilla Snowball (with the sugar topping), and Gingerbread Candy Cane. The inside cake was moist and thick, while the icing shell added the perfect amount of sweetness. Every bite was a decadent treat of absolute deliciousness- especially the Red Velvet Ornament.

Happy Holidays!

CRAVE Vancouver Book Launch

24 Nov

Last week, I went to the launch party for the 3rd edition of CRAVE Vancouver. It was a night to celebrate the over 500 local women entrepreneurs featured in the book- and needless to say, it was also a night filled with events to satisfy every CRAVE-ing.

You could have your eyebrows expertly tinted by Bombay Brow Bar, put on some pretty polish with She to Shic, or glam up with fake lashes from Wink Beauty Lounge…and that’s just a FEW of the featured CRAVE entrepreneurs and vendors that were at the event.

While not a food event specifically, I did spot lots of tasty goodies lying around ready for me to prey on:

Cookies by Steveston Cookie Company (featured CRAVE entrepreneur)

Candy by Frankie’s Candy Bar (featured CRAVE entrepreneur)

Chocolates by My Chocolate Tree (featured CRAVE entrepreneur)

I was also happy to see two of my fave gals at the event @kristieyung and @yellowrainbootz



Event: Peake of Catering Fall 2010 Tasting

8 Nov

Two weeks ago, I was invited to attend the tasting for Peake of Catering’s Fall/Winter 2010 menu at Five Sixty Club. First of all, let me say that 560 is a really cool venue. This was my fourth event here and it amazes me the different ways the seven hundred rooms can be used (okay, not really seven hundred, but there are A LOT of rooms).

I took @followmefoodie as my date and we were pretty much in heaven with all the delicious, free hor d’oeuvres coming at us from all directions.

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Halloween Candy: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

28 Oct

With Halloween only a few days away, I thought it’d be fun to rank the candies and treats that I really loved getting in my pumpkin shaped candy bucket (yup, you know the one I’m talking about!). In no particular order:

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Foodie Tour: Downtown Vancouver

3 Aug

I’m going to be honest: I work in Downtown Vancouver, and, despite my love of food, when it comes to getting lunch or after-work drinks, sometimes I just don’t have the time or energy to find a new place to eat. Most of the time, I’ve got a good ol’ sandwich from home tiding me over as I get through my workday. Needless to say, I was excited to get an invite to go on the Downtown Vancouver Foodie Tour by the owner and tour host- the wonderful Michelle Ng.

Dan Close Food Concepts
604.562.2634

Dan's meal in a bag!

The tour started at Victory Square, where we were only a few steps away from our first restaurant…which turned out to be nothing more than a white delivery van! No, this isn’t a bizarre abduction story. Dan Close Food Concepts is actually an online store the delivers meals made from organic, locally sourced ingredients. Once you get your meal, all you have to do is boil the food (it comes in a vacuum sealed bag) for a few minutes to finish it off.

On the Menu: Grilled Lois Lake Steelhead Salmon with Charred Lemon, Manitoba Wild Rice Salad with barley, dried fruit and curry citrus vinaigrette, and Grilled Asparagus.

I always forget how much I love wild rice. It was hard to believe this meal came from a bag it was so delicious!

Bon Chaz
426 W Hastings Street
604.626,7215

On the Menu: Original with Sea Salt, Banana Walnut and Matcha Green Tea flavoured Bon Chaz.

A cross between the French brioche and Mexican concha pastry, the bon chaz buns were eagerly polished off by my tour mates. I tried Bon Chaz at Eat Vancouver and loved the Original, so I gave the Matcha a try. The green tea flavour was hard to find. Owner, Michael, said that they had originally made the buns with strong matcha flavour, and people had complained it was too strong. Hmm… guess, I’ll stick with the Original for now.

Shangri-La Hotel Lobby Lounge
1128 West Georgia
604.689.1120

On the Menu: Freshly Baked Scones, Clotted Cream, In House Made Compote, Assorted Pastries, Loose Leaf Tea

This was my favourite stop on the tour- afternoon tea at the Shangri-La Hotel! This was my first high tea ever and it couldn’t have been any better. From the tea to the scones to the sinful pastries, everything about this was amazing. Wish my tea parties as a kid had been like this, sighhhh.

Fun facts:

During the construction of the hotel, monks blessed four items and buried them in the four corners of the foundation. These are said to be luck and good omens for the Shangri-La.

Head to the Lobby Lounge for the free tapas hour every weekday from 5-6pm

MARKET by Jean Georges
1128 West Georgia
604.695.1115

On the Menu: Black Truffle Pizza, Rice Cracker Crusted Tuna, House Soda

Dubbed “one of 100 things you have to try before you die,” the black truffle pizza was literally a food orgasm in my mouth. The smell of truffle always does something magical to my senses and it practically melted in my mouth. The house soda’s were made with fresh ingredients not the kind I got on the Refinery stop of the Granville Foodie Tour.

Sutton Place Wine Merchant
855 Burrard St.
604.642.2947

On the Menu: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cremeux with Dehydrated Chocolate Mousse Sable, Elephant Island Framboise 09 Fortified Wine

I’ve been meaning to take a wine course so I can properly understand how wine and food go together. This stop at the wine shop outside the Sutton Place gave me a nice lesson on pairing chocolate with a sweet, fruity wine. It was a great way to end the day and my education on yummy alternatives to the homemade lunch.

I’m going to be honest: I work in Downtown Vancouver, and, despite my love of food, when it comes to getting lunch or after-work drinks, sometimes I just don’t have the time or energy to find a new place to eat. Most of the time, I’ve got a good ol’ sandwich from home tiding me over as I get through my workday. Needless to say, I was excited to get an invite to go on the Downtown Vancouver Foodie Tour by the owner and tour host- the wonderful Michelle Ng.

Dan Close Food Concepts

The tour started at Victory Square, where we were only a few steps away from our first restaurant…which turned out to be nothing more than a white delivery van! No, this isn’t a bizarre abduction story. Dan Close Food Concepts is actually an online store the delivers meals made from organic, locally sourced ingredients. Once you get your meal, all you have to do is boil the food (it comes in a vacuum sealed bag) for a few minutes to finish it off.

On the Menu: Grilled Lois Lake Steelhead Salmon with Charred Lemon, Manitoba Wild Rice Salad with barley, dried fruit and curry citrus vinaigrette, and Grilled Asparagus.

I always forget how much I love wild rice. It was hard to believe this meal came from a bag it was so delicious!

Bon Chaz

On the Menu: Original with Sea Salt, Banana Walnut and Matcha Green Tea flavoured Bon Chaz.

A cross between the French brioche and Mexican concha pastry, the bon chaz buns were eagerly polished off by my tour mates. I tried Bon Chaz at Eat Vancouver and loved the Original, so I gave the Matcha a try. The green tea flavour was hard to find. Owner, Michael, said that they had originally made the buns with strong matcha flavour, and people had complained it was too strong. Hmm… guess, I’ll stick with the Original for now.

Shangri-La Hotel Lobby Lounge

On the Menu: Freshly Baked Scones, Clotted Cream, In House Made Compote, Assorted Pastries, Loose Leaf Tea

This was my favourite stop on the tour- afternoon tea at the Shangri-La Hotel! This was my first high tea ever and it couldn’t have been any better. From the tea to the scones to the sinful pastries, everything about this was amazing. Wish my tea parties as a kid had been like this, sighhhh.

Fun facts:

During the construction of the hotel, monks blessed four items and buried them in the four corners of the foundation. These are said to be luck and good omens for the Shangri-La.

Head to the Lobby Lounge for the free tapas hour every weekday from 5-6pm

Market

On the Menu: Black Truffle Pizza, House Soda

Dubbed “one of 100 things you have to try before you die,” the black truffle pizza was literally a food orgasm in my mouth. The smell of truffle always does something magical to my senses and it practically melted in my mouth. The house soda’s were made with fresh ingredients not the kind I got on the Refinery stop of the Granville Foodie Tour.

Sutton Place Hotel

On the Menu: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cremeux with Dehydrated Chocolate Mousse Sable, Elephant Island Framboise 09 Fortified Wine

I’ve been meaning to take a wine course so I can properly understand how wine and food go together. This stop at the wine shop outside the Sutton Place gave me a nice lesson on pairing chocolate with a sweet, fruity wine. It was a great way to end the day and my education on yummy alternatives to the homemade lunch.

It’s a social world out there and There’s no shortage of Vancouver restaurants that you can follow on Twitter or like on Facebook or become mayor of on Foursquare. The most savvy companies aren’t just

Foodie Tour: Granville Street

2 Jul

Last week, my friend and I were invited to be a part of the media launch for a food tour of Granville Street. Foodie Tour is a great company started by Michelle Ng, a foodie with a love of people. Her company is a marriage of these two passions, bringing people from all walks of life together to meet and eat all in the name of delicious food.

Michelle Ng of Foodie Tour and Charles Gauthier of Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA)

There are three tours you can go on: Granville Street ($10), Downtown Vancouver ($40) and Richmond ($40). The Granville Street tour is sponsored by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA), which sees Foodie Tour as another great addition to this growing entertainment and cultural district within the city.

Each of the three tours takes you to 4-6 different restaurants, where you’re greeted by samples of their signature dishes, cocktails and summer specials. You can sign up for a tour right now here: Foodie Tour events.

(Note: Unfortunately, I was only able to stay for 4 restaurants as I had to go to my friend’s dance show. So I’ll put a link to another review at the bottom of this post)

Michelle took us to 7 restaurants that will be showcased on the Granville Tour throughout the summer. The complete list of restaurants on the tour are: Creme de la Crumb, Culinaria at the Art Institute, ShuRaku, Cinema Public House, Granville Room, Dougiedog, Cafe Barcelona, The Edge, Refinery, SIP, Twisted Fork and Wings

Twisted Fork
1147 Granville St
Vancouver, BC
(604) 568-0749

Weekdays 6pm-12am; Weekends 10am-12am

Twisted Fork samples

Samples: Cured Duck Breast on Brioche crouton; Roasted beet, Grilled pear, Goat Cheese and Arugula atop a Baguette crouton with Balsamic reduction; Frozen Chocolate Terrine with house made Raspberry Sorbet and Fresh Wild Mint. I wasn’t a huge fan of the sorbet, but I’ll still always be a fan of chocolate. We also had a really refreshing strawberry and basil sangria- a first for me!

The Refinery
1115 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC
604.687.8001

5:00pm – 1:00am Tuesday to Thursday
5:00pm – 2:00am Friday to Saturday

Refinery Shandy Cocktail

Resident Refinery mixologist, Lauren Mote, told us the surprising fact that their cocktails are actually good for you! This is because she makes her own bitters from fresh fruits, herbs, roots, etc. I could tell what a difference this made with the shandy she concocted using freshly squeezed ginger beer, rhubarb bitters, sugar cane juice and topped with ginger ale. They have offer a Cocktail Program where you can learn more about making cocktails with bitters as well.

SIP Resto Lounge
1117 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 687-7474

5:00pm-2:00am 7 Days a week
**$10 Brunch available Saturday and Sundays, 12pm

Southwest Kicka** Benny a la SIP

I LOVED the Southwest Kicka** Benny brought up from SIP (it’s located directly below the Refinery). I’ve never had a fried poached egg before, but it was DELICIOUS. Take note everyone: SIP is now open for Brunch on weekends starting at 12pm- and this Benny is on the menu!

Edge Social Grille and Lounge
1100 Granville St. at Helmcken
Vancouver, BC
604-681-EDGE (3343)

Edge Social Grille and Lounge Samples

Boasting one of the biggest patios on Granville Street, this seemed like a great place to chill out with girl friends after a day of shopping. Samples: Flatbread with Beef Tenderloin and Blue Cheese; Flatbread with Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese; Grilled Vegetable Gazpacho; Chocolate and Van Gogh Expresso Vodka Truffles; White Sangria. I especially liked the chocolate truffles made with Van Gogh vodka, which really deepened the chocolate flavor for me (like I said, I’m always a fan of chocolate lol).

Granville Room
957 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 633-0056

Daily: 4pm – 2am

Mr. Pink at Granville Room

Sample: Mr. Pink- Belvedere vodka, muddled watermelon, mint syrup and lime juice. This drink was easily my pick for Summer cocktail of 2010 for it’s sweet, fresh and only slight alcohol taste. We were also served a sample of Seared Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna with Cucumber Tomato Salsa on a Flatbread Crisp (I didn’t get a picture of it unfortunately).

Alas, this was where I had to head off. For the rest of the tour, check out Follow Me Foodie’s review here.

From the sounds of her review, I really missed out. So I’ll have to make it a point to drop by ShuRaku Sake Bar and Bistro, and  Culinaria this summer. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time 2 weeks ago and actually got to sample the Cinnamon bun with vanilla bean cream cheese at  Creme de la Crumb. It’s decadent and oh so sinfully good!

Eat, drink and be foodie 🙂

Vancouver’s First Cupcake Challenge

5 Jun

I’m so excited for this! The first Cupcake Challenge is coming to Vancouver!!! Hosted by Follow Me Foodie and Nicole Marie Events.

From Follow Me Foodie’s website:

You are Invited to…
Vancouver’s First Cupcake Challenge!

We are inviting you, the cupcake connoisseurs and lovers of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, to join us in sampling and judging Vancouver’s Best Cupcake! Through collaboration with notable Foodies and Bloggers in Vancouver, as well as the general public, we will present awards and notoriety for the business voted as baking the most favourable cupcake at the event.

Mix and mingle with yummy bakers and test a variety of cupcake flavours and recipes! With prizes awarded throughout the day, this is a tasty event that you will certainly not want to miss.

Hosting an event or preparing for your Wedding Day? Meet personally with cupcake connoisseurs in Vancouver to discuss your party!

When: Sunday, June 20th 2010
Where: Yaletown Roundhouse Community and Recreation Centre
Time: 11:00am to 3:30pm
Admission: Free!

For media and exhibitor inquiries, please contact Nicole at nicole@nicolemarieevents.ca or 604-836-1614