RBC Run for the Kids

What a great turnout for RBC Run for the Kids! 

As the largest family fun run in Vancouver, RBC Run for the Kids (formerly ChildRun) inspires participants to raise funds for childhood cancer and mental health initiatives at the BC Children's Hospital. Team FreshPoint joined the big group of 6, 600 participants on Sunday, June 5, 2016 to run the scene 5 KM, or walk the 2 KM Fun Run route. A carnival celebration was enjoyed afterwards. 

Thank you for everyone's generous donations and support! All proceeds will go directly to childhood cancer research and treatment, and mental health initiatives at BC Children's Hospital.

Here are some pictures of the event:

Fairmont Culinary Apprentice Dinner 2015

The Fairmont Culinary Apprentice Dinner took place on October 29th at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. FreshPoint was lucky enough to secure 3 coveted seats at the competition’ 10th anniversary. This year, 29 apprentices from six BC Fairmont properties competed for the coveted grand prize.

The “farm-to-plate” themed dinner consisted of each of the 6 teams (Fairmont Pacific Rim, Chateau Whistler, Hotel Vancouver, Vancouver Airport, Waterfront and the Empress) competing against each other in a six course, wine pairing menu. Each team was assigned a course and was paired with a local farm to create a masterful dish celebrating the best the province had to offer.

Guests were greeted at the opening reception by cocktail stations hosted by Fairmont bartenders. All creations were inspired by local farms. The Fairmont Olympic of Seattle provided the Artisan Charcuterie at the reception.

What was not to be missed at the reception was the beautiful display of show stopping plates some of the apprentices had created for the presentation competition. The guests were asked to vote, and the winners were announced at the end of the night.

 The 3 finalists for the presentation competition. 

The 3 finalists for the presentation competition. 

The rustic décor matched the theme of the event perfectly. Images of farms were projected on all four walls with long tables, vineyard chairs, globe string lights welcoming the hungry guests.

 Master of Ceremonies, Coleen Christie interviews apprentice chefs from the kitchen.

Master of Ceremonies, Coleen Christie interviews apprentice chefs from the kitchen.

At the end of the evening, the guests were asked to use clickers to vote for the people's choice award, and the Fairmont Vancouver and their Great Bear Scallop dish (scroll down to see the dish) ended up taking home the grand prize. Needless to say, all chefs did an amazing job and definitely did not disappoint. If this is the future of the culinary scene in BC, we are in for a treat!

MENU

First Course by Fairmont Pacific Rim
Farm: Urban Digs

Urban Digs Fall “Vichyssoise”
golden beet vichy, raw and pickled fall roots mushrooms, poached apple, Neufchatel espuma

Pairing: Blasted Church Sauvignon Blanc

 
Second Course: Fairmont Chateau Whistler

Farm: Yarrow Meadows Farm & North Arm Farm

Foie Gras Jack-O’Lantern

duck ham, confit terrine radish, beet jam, pickles, crisp flatbread

Pairing: Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Noir

 
Third Course: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Farm: Coastal Shellfish

Portrait of Great Bear Scallop

Iberico wrapped scallop, truffled yolk ravioli watercress jaconde

Pairing: Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay
 

Fourth Course: Fairmont Vancouver Airport

Farm: Cache Creek Farms

Cache Creek Beef Duo of Ribeye and Cheek

Porcini and thyme “crusted” ribeye “on the bone” braised cheek, heirloom carrots, foraged mushrooms

Pairing: Burrowing Owl Merlot
 

Fifth Course: Fairmont Waterfront

Farm: Golden Ears Cheesecrafter

Apprentice Crafter Brie

Bread and fondue, macaron and milk

Pairing: Aquinas Chardonnay
 

Dessert: Fairmont Empress

Farm: Brambly Hedge Farm

Empress Honey & Salt Spring Island Goat’s Cheese Cake

spiced Brambly Hedge Farm apple chutney

BC hazelnut snap

Pairing: Steller’s Jay Sparkling

 The 6 courses for the evening. 

The 6 courses for the evening. 

Winners:

1st: Fairmont Vancouver

2nd: Fairmont Pacific Rim

3rd: Fairmont Waterfront

Home for Dinner

The Ronald McDonald House provides the families of sick children in BC and the Yukon with unprecedented comfort and care. Since 1983, the house has welcomed families in their 13-bedroom home in Shaughnessy, but the need for their services was much greater. In June, a new 73-bedroom House opened on the grounds of BC Children’s Hospital, providing a remarkable healing oasis for families.

The RMH offers the opportunity for individuals, groups, or organizations to prepare and serve a meal and clean up for the families at RMH, providing a much-needed break for the families. A night off from cooking, doing dishes, and having to worry about preparing a healthy meal is a huge relief for the thousands of families who call RMH "home."

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This month, FreshPoint participated in the Home for Dinner program. We put together a team of volunteers to prepare and serve a meal for the residents of the house

Cooking commenced in the morning. Trimpac Meats generously donated beef chunks for our beef stew. Our honorary chef at FreshPoint Freshcuts led the way with his expertise. We allowed the stew to cook low and slow with hearty vegetables, bubbling away until the meat loosened. Nothing says comfort food like a hearty bowl full of stew. We served the stew with a bun and a side of mashed potatoes alongside two different salads. The pasta arugula salad was a hit with many families

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For dessert, English Bay Batter Inc. generously donated chocolate chip cookies. We also served our very own fruit salad from Freshcuts. 

We had a great night of team bonding during this opportunity to give back to our community. Our team had an unforgettable experience preparing the meal for the families. Thank you to the RMH for giving us this opportunity to come together and meet the families – and thank you to our team for the hard work to make the night a success.  

Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship

Over the weekend, the Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship competition took place at Vancouver Community College. This is FreshPoint's third year as a sponsor (bronze).

The HYCS Foundation is a culinary arts non-profit organization created to recognize and inspire young Canadian chefs. The winner of the competition receives $10,000, and a stage at a top international restaurant – giving the young chef the inspiration and opportunity needed to develop their professional skills. 

The top eight finalists competed in the black box challenge at VCC early on Saturday morning. The finalists were given three hours to cook a main course and a dessert course using all the black box ingredients. This year, the box ingredients included squab, lobster, pears, oats and sea buckthorn. The finale proved to be challenging as almost all contestants have not cooked squab before. During the judges' critiques, a judge revealed that all but a couple desserts were inedible. The top three were Alec Fraser, Cynthia Iaboni and Ian MacDougall. Ian MacDougall of Calgary's Model Milk was the winner. We're looking forward to Ian's journey as a young chef on his way to excellence in his culinary career. 

Later that night, we attended the fundraising gala as a finale at Hawksworth Restaurant. It was a full house at the Gala Dinner, which was presented by TD Aeroplan. It was a special night as six notable chefs prepared our dinner of six courses. The food was phenomenal. 

We enjoyed a lightly smoked "Hawkshaw" Sockeye salmon with squid crisp sea asparagus tempura with peppered dressing by Chef Scott Jaeger (The Pear Tree in Burnaby). Chef Mark McEwan (The McEwan Group in Toronto) prepared a scallop crudo with green strawberries, tomatoes, serrano ham and marcona almonds. In Italian, 'crudo' means raw. It is similar to a ceviche, with the tanginess of a fresh citrus drizzle and the sweetness of the green strawberries. Chef Normand Laprise (Toque in Montreal) prepared a course of foie gras terrine with brioche alongside finely shredded savoy cabbage with fried leeks. Chef Anthony Walsh (Olivier & Bonacini Restaurants in Toronto) prepared a confit St-Canut porcelet with chanterelle mushrooms and turnips. Chef David Hawksworth and Chef Kristian Eligh (Hawksworth Restaurant) prepared a roast lamb saddle with licorice salsify and fig. Dessert was by Chef Wayne Kozinko (Hawksworth Restaurant). He prepared a peach sorbet, with compressed peaches, crispy choux, and a delicious milk chocolate praline creme.

Each course was paired with carefully selected wines (by sommelier Bryan Mao), which complimented the food beautifully.

It was a wonderful celebration of the talented young chefs of tomorrow, and our current leaders in Canada's culinary scene. Congratulations to Ian MacDougall on his win, and to all the young chefs who competed. 

Golden Dumpling Contest 2015

If you've ever been to Vancouver before, it would be difficult to not notice the abundance of culture and food in this bustling city.

This year's Golden Dumpling Cook Off was the perfect marriage of the two. Eighteen of the city's best restaurants and chefs competed in this year's competition for the coveted Golden Dumpling trophy. There was a full array of restaurants from the traditional Chinese, Mexican, Peruvian, West Coast fusion, Vegetarian, to the hip trend-setting Farm to Table. Each dumpling was judged on taste, presentation and creativity.

We were very excited to take part in this year's contest as a sponsor, as the proceeds from the day went toward the Chinese Elders Community Kitchen, a program on the Downtown Eastside that helps Chinese elders cook and enjoy a meal in a safe environment.

 A picture of all the competing dumplings!

A picture of all the competing dumplings!

The event this year took place on the grounds of the Vancouver Food Cart Festival. A site that attracts thousands of hungry residents every weekend. The crowds quickly filled the grounds and soon there were lineups for each restaurant. Each guest received a dumpling passport that they would take around with them to each of the stalls. Though the tastings were bite-sized, 18 of them were enough to fill even the hungry.

The competition was intense, but the chefs were not the only ones competing as 8 women and 8 men battled it out in the annual dumpling derby. The winner of the women's category managed to finish 24 dumplings in 2 minutes. The men's winner finished an impressive 47 dumplings in the same amount of time!

At the end of the day, it was Executive Chef Armando Brown from the La Mezcaleria team with his Cochinita Pibil Dumpling that took home the trophy. Their dumpling was a traditional Mayan slow-roasted pork prepared inside a banana leaf, marinated with orange and achiote chili, wrapped in corn and topped with habanero-orange jelly and spicy pickled red onions.

 Photo courtesy of  @LaMezcaleriaYVR

Photo courtesy of @LaMezcaleriaYVR

We had a great time at this event and are looking forward to next year's cook off!  Congratulations to all the winners and participants!