Follow Me Foodie’s Sunday
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The 3rd Annual Food Fight: The Battle for Brunch 2012 Winners & Recap!
Winner: YEW Restaurant + Bar
Runner-Up: Terminal City Club
It’s not the usual Follow Me Foodie Sunday Night Dinner Series, but this time it was about brunch. Last Sunday was The 3rd Annual Food Fight: The Battle for Brunch 2012 at the Terminal City Club, an annual fundraiser for Variety – The Children’s Charity. It was my third year attending this event and it was nice to see some repeat competitors while meeting some new challengers.
So what’s better than one Sunday brunch? Six… and that’s with an “i” although some may argue with an “e”. Anyway, I arrived late and I had to hustle through all the stations in about 20 minutes before they closed. 6 brunches in 20 minutes? It’s doable, but less talking more eating. So off I went collecting plates while trying to eat everything before getting cold. It was quite a challenge and I wasn’t even the one competing. A huge congratulations to the 6 chefs and restaurants and especially Variety BC for putting on another successful event which raised over $40, 000.
Since the event was for Variety Charity, a charity dedicated to helping families and children with special needs, I’m not going to comment on the food too much. Also the event was for fun, although who doesn’t want to win? Losers don’t want to win. There were no losers here though, except for me for showing up late and missing out on the last brunch station. Actually I only half missed it… you’ll see what I mean.
Food Fight competitors included: EBO Restaurant, Save On Meats, Terminal City Club, The Abercorn Hotel & Restaurant, Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort, and YEW restaurant + bar.
Winner: YEW Restaurant + Bar
I actually started off at the winning table just like I did last year. And just like last year the winner was again YEW Restaurant + Bar, except with a new chef – Chef Ned Bell! Well ring the bells and blow the whistles for their consecutive win, and they have only participated in this event twice. Actually wait! Hold your horns. Did you see the picture above? Cute huh? It’s not only for the event, but YEW Restaurant + Bar is now canning their own tuna with sustainable Wild Pacific Albacore Tuna from Organic Ocean. At this point… I wish I had brought a bigger bag. Okay, now you can blow your whistles because this is something to celebrate!
This was Chef Ned Bell’s Crab & Hand Peeled Shrimp Salad with Pickled Ramps & Quail Eggs topped with a Warm Preserved Lemon Scone: This was actually my favourite, and not because it was in a jar, although I do like the jar. It was because of the generous amount of seafood which obviously landed the majority of the votes… except for those allergic to shellfish. It was pretty much an upside down seafood eggs benedict and crab for brunch never hurt.
! I don’t care how “anti-cute” you are, you thought these was cute! They were chocolate truffle lollipops growing in baby arugula! It was reminiscent of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and I was looking for my buttercup where I could remove the centre and use it as a teacup and the petals as my plate… do you remember that part in the movie? If not, refresh the memory!
Runner-Up: Terminal City Club
This was Chef Ben Pernosky’s “TCC Benedict” – Fried Bannock, Salmon Bacon, Labrador Tea Poached Hens Egg, and Huckleberry Hollandaise. Whoa. I didn’t even know there was so much stuff going on until reading the description now. I’m not sure if the flavours translated, but rushing through brunch didn’t help me to remember. If it was for something inventive, this was pretty inventive. It was a well deserved runner-up. I really liked the idea of a Labrador Tea Poached Egg and it was likely inspired by the Chinese tea leaf eggs. The salmon bacon was also very creative and I’ve never seen that before so I really appreciated it. I’m not sure about the bannock, but I was sold on the rest. The second part was an Apple Boar Bacon Fritter with Maple Caramel - it’s the revival of the doughnut – see Vancouver Dessert Trends 2012.
Delta Burnaby Hotel & Conference Centre
This was Chef Brian Wong’s House Candied Steelhead, Airated Goat Cheese, Sweet Corn Blini, Green Pea Crumb. The presentation was competition style and he even did a little molecular gastronomy with the airated goat cheese. It’s a pretty classic combination of ingredients, but interpreted in a creative way. In terms of presentation and style it was at another level.
The second portion from Chef Brian Wong was a Bread Pudding French Toast with Maple Glazed Pork Belly. This was much more rustic and very different in theme and style than the first plate. Forget maple bacon French toast, he really went for it. A chef that loves sweet and savoury. I could tell from the first plate and the second plate just confirmed it. I like sweet and savoury too, but these dishes were even more sweet than expected. I treated this as a dessert even though it had a nice chunk of melting pork belly on it. I could only imagine how good it would be if there were more alternating layers of bread and pork… this had potential.
The Abercorn Hotel & Restaurant
This was Chef Vijay Tigura’s Crepe with Stewed Exotic Fruits on Cointreau Sauce and Rose Perfumed Cream. It was basically crepe with fruit or even almost like Crepe Suzette with so much sauce. It would be nice to see something other than berries since they’re not really in season yet. There was some cantaloupe and dragon fruit, but I was hoping it would get more exotic with lychees, mangoes and belly dancers… just kidding. The paper thin crepe was good though and it was maybe one of the thinnest crepes I’ve had without it breaking, it was almost transparent.
Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort
This was the winner at The First Annual Food Fight: The Battle for Brunch 2010. This year Chef Eric Edwards made a West Coast Seafood Salad, Poached Ocean Wise Prawns and Salt Spring Island Mussels with Peach and Ginger Vinaigrette. I actually didn’t realize it was a peach ginger vinaigrette and I’m not sure if it was due to the presentation that the sauce sank to the bottom, but it was slightly bland. The amount of seafood and presentation was fun, but just flavour wise it fell short. When it comes to table showcase though, they really bring a full spread every year.
The second portion was a Cedar Room Banana Brownie Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Brownie, Tempura Banana with Maple Roasted Walnuts. This was easily the best dessert in the room… minus the few lookers… I kid! But really, this was delicious and it would give me incentive to try the restaurant. I just wish it wasn’t so far! Deep fried banana on a moist chocolate brownie and a light fluffy goat cheese mousse? Give me a side of salted caramel gelato and I’ll take two!
Save On Meats
A new player in the game! Last, but not least was Chef Mark Brand’s Quail Egg and Corned Beef Eggs Benny. I know. Where’s the egg? Remember? I told you I was late and had to hustle through the six stations? Well I got to this one last and chef very kindly made me one with the remaining ingredients, but the eggs were done. So close! The benefit was that he loaded it up with bacon so I basically ate a plate of bacon bits. I missed out on the egg, but got extra bacon. It’s not a bad trade, although I do seriously love eggs. See my Egg Yolk Series.
The event raised over $40,000 and all funds will be used by Variety to support children in BC who have special needs. Again, congratulations to everyone who participated and I look forward to more eggs and teams next year.