vancouver

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

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!