Eat! Vancouver 2012: Checking out the Food and Cooking Festival

Eat! Vancouver 2012: Checking out the Food and Cooking Festival

 One of the joys of downtown living is that I can walk easily to events held anywhere from Coal Harbour to English Bay and at our civic theatre complex or sports stadia. This weekend I moseyed down to B.C. Place where the 2012 Eat! Vancouver is on. With my recently acquired K-cup coffee machine and my $12 hand-held milk frother I have elevated my coffee preparation to new levels (J is for Java- and Coffee Addiction) so I was particularly interested to check out the rounds of the Western Canadian Regional Barista Championship that is being featured at Eat! Vancouver this year for the first time.

Because I wanted to leave time to check in at the cooking shows and the Barista contest, I decided to start with a systematic approach to the exhibitor section and do a quick check of what new products were out there and come back later for a more detailed look but somehow I ended up acquiring some stuff, and my bag got really heavy.

Here is a quick look at a couple of things I added to my bag.

Because I try to eat low-carb and at home, I tend to live on salads, vinegars and oils are items I seek out. At the Bistro Blends booth, I sampled several of their infused oils and Balsamic vinegars and ended up buying a four pack to try at home.  The ones I picked were the Heirloom Balsamic Vinegar, a thick aged Balsamic that is the base for their fruit Balsamic, like my second choice the Very Berry Strawberry.  I also picked the White Truffle Oil and a Sesame Ginger Oil that should be great for my seafood salads. I noticed several other stalls showing oils and vinegars which I plan to check out later.

Nuts and Seeds feature highly on my nutritional system so my attention was caught by the NaturaPack display. I tasted a sample of the mixed nuts and ended up acquiring a packet ,plus a packet of Pistachios. I always think to myself that getting nuts in the shells will slow my snacking down and lead to me eating less but it's a good theory - doesn't work!

I wandered around the World Culinary Travel Expo Section and stopped off to chat at the Mexico booth. I will be visiting Mexico again later this year and wanted to see if there was anything special happening in the Yucatan Peninsula at that time. With all the hype about the Mayan calendar ending in December 2012 - who knows what mysterious events may occur!

I also checked out a travel booth with information about riverboat cruises. Although I have cruised a lot in the past four years (check out the Ballroom Dance Cruises in my Travel Section) river cruising is something I have not really experienced; except for a trip up the Rhine from Rotterdam to Basle when we took our kids on a European adventure a long time ago.

The next distraction was the quick-talking high energy Chef Al, who was demonstrating the use of grater plates that could be used grating garlic, ginger or just about anything else. I was fascinated by his spiel, and ended up getting a set.

 I wandered back over to the Food Network Celebrity Stage where Alfred Contiga, Executive Chef at Society (one of my neighbourhood restaurants - check out my review) was demonstrating an innovative style of preparing halibut- that he called his halibut rack- like rack of lamb! I really need to learn how to cook fish properly. Apart from a thousand different ways of baking salmon, which I live on together with my salads, I am quite hopeless at preparing fish.

By now I was a tad weary and my bag was getting really full. The walk home is only about twenty minutes but with a heavy bag it seems longer. I figured I should get out of there and continue my exploration of new products the next day.

More to come... check it out.