A Taste of the 2011 Taste of BC Event from Liberty Wine Merchants

A Taste of the 2011 Taste of BC Event from Liberty Wine Merchants

A recap of the Taste of BC event hosted by Liberty Wine Merchants for The Children’s Hospital – Oak Tree Clinic

So the reason I had to leave the HSBC Chinese Restaurant Awards early was because I had to make it downtown in time for The 2011 Taste of BC event. I had hosted a contest for them (see here) and I was also honoured to be invited to the event. It was definitely a good day, from being able to celebrate Chinese cuisine and well deserved talent and then heading to a charity event to benefit The Children’s Hospital – Oak Tree Clinic. Oak Tree Clinic provides care and services to those with HIV/AIDS and this year the Taste of BC event raised a total of $8669.87.

Taste of BC is an annual one night event hosted by Liberty Wine Merchants and attendees are invited to taste and sip some products from local restaurants and wineries in BC. This was the 17th annual Taste of BC event at The Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown, Vancouver. It was actually my first time attending this year and it was great to see so many people out to support such a cause.

In regards to the event itself, it was definitely more focused on the wine. The wines were pretty standard, but it did showcase what BC has to offer, and I must say we do have quite a selection. It would have helped if there had been more food to help absorb the wine because I did feel it quite quickly, although I am a light weight. In the end all that matters is that the event was for charity, so the wine and food should really be treated as part of the celebration. Due to the nature of the event, I’m not going to comment too heavily on the wine or food.

I do like my wine, but I’m not a sommelier or wine connoisseur, however I appreciate the art that goes into wine pairings and making wine. I also know the flavours I like and how I would pair them, but I do need to taste it before I can do it. I just won’t be able to tell you what wine I’m drinking in a blind taste test or tell you what year was great for grapes. Therefore I’ll stick to what I do know… food. The following are highlights of you guessed it… food.

Of course we have to have oysters. You know I’m a fan of raw oysters. These local BC beach oysters were provided by Rodney’s Oyster House in Yaletown.

Central Bistro provided some appetizers and this was one of the chefs making an organic baby beet, herbed goat’s cheese, rosemary Stilton vinaigrette crostini.

These were provided by Savoury Chef, a local high end catering company in Vancouver. It was a “Best of BC Terrine” – Housemade Sloping Hill Farm headcheese with pickled North Arm Farm baby beets, Okanagan quince preserve and rosemary focaccia crisp. Hey! North Arm Farm! I just wrote about them in my C Restaurant post earlier this week! See here.

This was probably one of the best Blue Cheeses I’ve had to date. It was a Blue Cheese meets Parmesan and it was nutty, salty, creamy, but on the harder side for a Blue Cheese. It was divine. I could eat it all day… but would be obese by the time I finished. Many may think to pair this with a red wine, but I paired it with a crisp semi-sweet Gewurztraminer and it was delicious. It is actually very rich and indulgent so you don’t want to go overboard, but it was good enough to be dessert… well almost… but I still need dessert.

It was from a local and hidden gem I’ve never even heard of before calledthe butcher on West 10th & Sasamat in Vancouver, BC. (I don’t think they have a website). (See comments) It’s an artisan cheese shop focused on the 100 mile, free range, organic, and locally produced beef, chicken, lamb, pork, and turkey. They specialize in local and imported cheeses and locally made salami as well as a shredded pork confit pate that I also got to try, which was delicious.

The Butcher: Address: 4529 W 10th Avenue Tel: 604.224.0602 (When a business deserves to be recognized I have no problem helping them out.)

This was provided by Central City Brewing. (The crostini was actually from Central Bistro though.)

Grilled Cheese with Stout Cheddar, Beer Bacon and Tomato Sauce

You see that silver spoon? That silver spoon is holding the most precious “tomato sauce” ever. My friend said “it was like a water balloon exploding in my mouth”, and I could not agree more. It was an inflated cherry tomato made by molecular gastronomy and it was AMAZING! You put this smooth slippery bubble in your mouth and then use your tongue to push it to the roof of your mouth, and then magic happens. It just pops and out bursts this warm creamy liquid of delicious cream of tomato soup! It was almost like a tomato bisque and it was sweet and savoury and full of flavour! I was in heaven! Seriously if there was a tomato god he would be hatching these… I don’t know what that means, but they were really really amazing.

There were other food vendors and of course lots of wine vendors at Taste of BC. For a complete list or more information please see here.

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