Edible BC – Bacchus Market Dinner – Cooking w/Chef Lee Parsons

Restaurant: Edible BC Event -BC’s Best Market Dinner featuring Bacchus Restaurant – Cooking with Chef Lee Parsons
Cuisine: West Coast/International/American/Canadian
Last visited: August 11, 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC (Granville Island – inside public market)
Address: 1689 Johnston Street
Ticket Price: $89.95 ( +HST and not including gratuities)

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 5
Service: 6
Ambiance: 5
Overall: 5
Additional comments:

  • Cooking with BC’s Best Dinner Series
  • Special ticketed event
  • Open to public
  • Chef guided market dinner
  • A culinary experience
  • Perfect for wine lovers
  • Group rates available

**Recommendations: Book in groups, take a cab, for wine lovers

Edible British Columbia (BC) is a store located inside Granville Island Public Market. It highlights Vancouver’s culinary scene by selling over 800 locally produced productsby some of Vancouver’s finest chefs, restaurants and independent suppliers. Although small, it’s actually the largest retail store of it’s kind offering the most gourmet, sophisticated and unique ingredients.

Edible BC is much more than a retail store and they also have a variety of special events that take place throughout the year. They started the Cooking with BC’s Best Dinner Series which is a private event (with tickets open to the public) that attracts locals and tourists. It’s an intimate dinner that takes place just outside the store, after the Granville Public Market closes. Along with the staff of Edible BC, one of BC’s finest chef’s from a fine dining restaurant will host the evening by showing and cooking the group a multi-course meal paired with BC wines. To top things off Edible BC will offer 15% off all Edible BC products for the evening and also follow up by sending guests recipes from the night’s dinner.

The event is defined as a “cooking class”, but I actually found it more as a demonstration class as the group stands to watch chef cook at a demonstration table. Keep in mind that the chef is a top chef, so the possibility of replicating the recipes at home are pretty impossible unless you’re an advanced home cook. I did find the portions small and by the end of the night several of us weren’t exactly full, but the value went into the experience and wine pairings. If you’re not into wine or watching your food being prepared then you might not appreciate the experience and you might want to just go to a fine dining restaurant for dinner. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the event and the food, however if you don’t drink wine, it is pricey and really more for the overall experience.

The BC Best Market Dinner series I attended was the Bacchus Dinner with Chef Lee Parsons and the tickets were $94.95 each (+GST) at a group rate.

On the table:

The evening started out with bread, compliments of La Baguette also located on Granville Island.It was served with a spot prawn infused olive oil with Pinot Noir balsamic vinegar which are both available for purchase at the store. It was delicious and it tasted like sun-dried tomato olive oil with a subtle prawn aftertaste and a rich and tangy balsamic kick.

Pemberton Distillery Schramm Vodka Summer Cocktail – organic Vodka infused with basil, cardamom, and coriander.

Chilled Essence of Vine Ripened Tomato 6/6

  • It was made from tomatoes, basil and cilantro and he puréed it all together and drained it with a cheese cloth to make the soup.
  • The result was the most delicious and purest soup and unlike any tomato soup I’ve ever tried.
  • It was served chilled and it was so clean, crisp and refreshing and was perfect as a starter or even a palate cleanser.
  • It was sweet and fresh from all the herbs and slightly tart at the end and it just tingled all my taste buds.

Gray Monk Odyssey Brut 2007 – sweet apple champagne.

Olive Oil Poached Snowpass Coho Salmon6/6

  • Served with shaved fennel salad, fennel cardamon puree.
  • This was likely the most buttery salmon I’ve ever had.
  • It was so creamy and well marinated that it was almost like eating mousse.
  • He let it marinade in lemon juice and topped it with fresh herbs and all the flavours just absorbed throughout the salmon.
  • Upon slicing it he removed all the fresh herbs so their flavours just infused right into the flesh.
  • The salmon was tangy, salty and melt in your mouth divine.
  • The fennel cardamon puree was also so creamy and flavorful with a slight floral and licorice hinder.
  • The salad was lightly dressed with a tangy lemon dressing and some sugar which took the bite off the fennel.
  • Overall it was a very light starter with flavours that were so delicate but also complex.

8th Generation Classic Riesling 2009 – made with apples and lemon.

Chef and sous chef making tortellini.

The technique used to make these jumbo tortellini was pretty amazing.

Tortellini of Grain Fed Rabbit4.5/6

  • Crushed sweet peas, mustard cream.
  • Although this doesn’t look that rich, it was very rich in flavours.

  • It was a jumbo size tortellini stuffed with a very firm meatball made from rabbit, shallot puree, bacon and tarragon.
  • It was very tender because of the shallot puree which added a slight creamy sweetness and the rabbit just tasted ground chicken if you’ve never had it.
  • He mixed it with bacon fat for a richer flavour so it had a lovely salty bite that was actually quite dominant.
  • It was interesting to have the creaminess and saltiness without the use of cheese.
  • It reminded me of Pasta Carbonara with the common addition of peas. It would have been even better if he used Pancetta instead of bacon though.
  • The mashed up peas added a sweetness to the dish and there was also some mustard seeds used in the sauce to give it a deeper flavour.
  • If you like rabbit, try Pasparos Greek Taverna or Bistrot Bistro.

See Ya Later Ranch Rover 2007 – bold, peppery and dry wine.

The ingredients used for the next dish were gorgeous! (Fava beans and Golden Chanterelle Mushrooms)

Roasted Bison Striploin3.5/6

  • Golden chanterelles, fava beans, braised red beets, juniper jus
  • The colours were beautiful although the portion was small for an entree. It was the same size as the appetizers.
  • The bison was pretty much perfect and the quality was so high that it didn’t require a spice rub.
  • It was rare, juicy, tender and tasted like a sweet and lean beef.
  • The first time I had it was at the old So.cial at Le Magasin. It has no game taste and I actually like it better than beef.

  • Overall I found the dish to be on the sweeter side and I would have preferred more savouriness as an entree.
  • It was served with braised red beets which were absolutely delicious and the stand out of the dish. They were sweet and very caramelized and almost syrupy.
  • The beets had a slight tang and I used it as a condiment for the bison.
  • I could have used the beets on steak or even in a chocolate dessert like I did for a 15 course Valentine’s Day dinner.
  • The Chanterelles were sauteed in butter with the fava beans and held their texture and shape.
  • I could have used more salt or spices because I found them a bit bland and not memorable.
  • It had the juniper berry sauce which was slightly bittersweet and quite tangy, but not savoury or reduced enough to make enough of an impact.

Quails’ Gate Optima 2007 – this was very sweet like apple juice, but it matched the dessert.

Orange & Cardamom Milk Risotto3.5/6

  • Lavender roasted peaches
  • This was pretty much rice pudding.
  • The rice was not Arborio rice which is typical for authentic Risotto, instead it was a firmer starchier rice that had a bite to it.
  • It was quite creamy and Chef added Mascarpone to thicken it up. It was very mild in flavour but made for the creamy texture.
  • It had enough lemon juice, orange juice and cardamom to make it not as rich, however the flavours were so subtle that I could barely taste them, except for the cardamom which was very obvious.
  • I would have preferred more orange and lemon zest because the dish was just too subtle for me.
  • The peaches were not very tart or very tender and I couldn’t taste their peach flavour as much.
  • There was a faint lavender flavour, but that was also a bit too mild.
  • My favourite part was actually the crispy caramelized wafer roll. It was so nutty and sweet and almost like toffee brittle, but softer and more delicate with the same stick to your teeth quality.

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