Follow Me Foodie to FarmFolk CityFolk’s 18th Annual Metro Vancouver Feast of Fields!
A recap of Metro Vancouver’s Feast of Fields at Golden Ears Cheesecrafters.
Sunday September 9th was the 18th Annual Metro Vancouver FarmFolk CityFolk Feast of Fields at the Golden Ears Cheesecrafters in Maple Ridge, BC. It’s an annual fundraising event for FarmFolk CityFolk which is a non-profit society working to cultivate a local and sustainable food system in BC. The event included over 60 stations of chefs and restaurants, vintners, brewers, farmers, fishers, ranchers and food artisans from across the province. 1200+ tickets made for a sold out and successful event.
Thirteen tents for 60+ vendors were set up on the Golden Ears Cheesecrafters farm which is BC’s newest family owned and operated artisan cheese processing facility. It wasn’t long ago I was raving about their brie which I had tried in Follow Me Foodie to Whistler at Sidecut – Modern Steak. I also listed it in my 10 BC Ingredients and Products so it was nice to finally see the facility and visit their on site retail shop and cafe.
They actually offer 30 different artisan cheeses, fresh curds, butter, housemade soups, sandwiches and an on site bakery and gift shop. Cooking classes and wine and cheese pairings are available as well so it’s a neat place to check out and it is open to the public throughout the year.
I was invited to attend the event and it was so satisfying to see 1200+ people come throughout the day (1pm-5pm) to support and indulge in BC talent. Most of the vendors were wineries and restaurants and all of the food emphasized farm to table.
Family owned and big name restaurants were using seasonal ingredients from small scale producers and processors in Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and the Sunshine Coast. Creating a sustainable food system in the community is a team effort and it is events like these that help raise social awareness about the food we eat.
I was really looking forward to this event until I heard there would be late afternoon showers. It put a damper in my day and even though I should be used to it being in Vancouver, I’m really not a fan of the rain. On that note I’m not the only one and when it started to rain there were groups of people taking off. The line ups for food got shorter, however there were still many people who toughed it out and withstood the rain. Some came prepared with umbrellas. I admit I didn’t come prepared and stayed under a tent until it slowed down.
Reflecting back on the whole situation I’m actually slightly embarrassed. Here I was at this wonderful outdoor event celebrating local farmers and their ingredients, and there I was sheltering myself from the rain. It’s not a ridiculous thing to do, but it made me realize that I could never be a farmer (not that I didn’t know that before). I kept thinking “how do farmers wake up early and do this every single day regardless of rain or shine?” It just put things in another perspective. I watched groups hurry off or duck for cover as the rain started and it made me even more appreciative of our farmers.
Stating the obvious: Farming is hard work. It’s a passion and labour of love and they deserve all the current infatuation and attention they have received over the last couple years. Farming and farmers have always existed, but the admiration for it is certainly more obvious nowadays.
There is a food movement where people want to visit and know the names of their farmers. They want to buy from local farmer’s markets and even go back to growing their own produce. These are not foreign ideas, but somewhere along the way a large majority of the population forgot about the importance of these simple acts. Hopefully this isn’t all just a “culinary trend” though and there is a genuine interest to educate oneself on local and sustainable food.
I can only be grateful for the ethical farmers that work so hard to ensure that we have healthy food on our tables and good quality ingredients at our supermarkets and restaurants.
**My highlights at Feast of Fields 2012: Golden Ears Cheesecrafters brie, Cocolico ice cream sandwiches, EBO Restaurant Soft cured Pacific Provider Pink Salmon, Forage Cured Pacific Provider salmon belly, Vancouver Club crab slaw salad and goatcheese cake pops, Oru Cuisine @ Fairmont Pacific Rim – Terrine de champagne, Wild Rice – Yarrow Meadows Duck Confit, Raincity Grill – Qualicum Scallop Crudo, Seasonal 56 House Made Duck Sausage, Lolita’s “South of the Border” Cantina Ceviche
As I mentioned in my intro, I was introduced to their amazing brie in Follow Me Foodie to Whistler at Sidecut – Modern Steak. I also listed it in my 10 BC Ingredients and Products. They have an on site retail shop and cafe with 30 different artisan cheeses, fresh curds, butter, housemade soups and sandwiches. They also offer cooking classes and wine and cheese pairings so it’s a neat little place to check out and open to the public throughout the year.
Mission Springs Brewpub & Restaurant – Bruschetta made from house made bread with organic flour from Anita’s bakery in Chilliwack and Fraser Valley heirloom tomatoes and cheese from Golden Ears Cheesecrafters. Fest Bier, Bombshell Blond Ale, Trailblazer Pilsner
Sanduz Estate Wines – Dry Gewürztraminer 2009, Merlot 2008, Dry Blueberry Wine, Granny Smith Apple Wine, Black Currant Wine, Cranberry Dessert Wine, Jaguar
Krause Berry Farms is where Feast of Fields was held last year and I’ve also visited their farm myself – see here. I think everyone was eyeing those berries, but too bad they were only on display. The farm offers u-pick fruits and vegetables and also has a cafe and on site bakery.
Artisan Food & Beverage Group – Wine and Okanagan blueberry jam topped with warmed Golden Ears Cheesecrafters brie on crudités. Siren’s Call Harmonious (a varietal Bordeaux style red), Siren’s Call Pinot Noir, Siren’s Call Viognier, Include Rose, include Bordeaux Style Red
T tealeaves.com – Bocuse, Rose, London Fog, Singapore Sling, Seattle Detox
Lotusland Vineyards – Girlsrmeaner, Misty Blue, NV, Devil’s Spit
Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse – Pippins and Rumrunner
Cocolico was one of my favourites and the flavours profile and combination was right up my alley. Owner and Pastry Chef Wendy Boys is phenomenal at what she does and these ice cream sandwiches were as good as they sounded. It was salty sweet and a bit nutty with chunks of Black Mission fig preserves in a honey sweetened ice cream which was unexpectedly a bit boozy too.
Salt Spring Coffee – Byron’s Maracaturra Natural as a cold toddy finished with a local berry puree
Chef Craig is one of my favourite chefs in the city and his cured pink salmon was representable of what he would do at EBO. The salmon was melt in your mouth buttery and there was nice acidity from the crème fraîche and texture from the bacon bread crumbs.
Vista D’oro Farms & Winery – 2010 Pinot Noir, 2010 Murphy’s Law White, 2007 D’oro – fortified walnut wine
The Portly Chef – Hickory smoked pork tenderloin medallion crusted in cilantro topped with Okanagan strawberry stained Qualicum Bay scallop ceviche
Synchromesh Wines – 2011 Pinot Noir Rose, 2011 Pinot Noir Palo Solara, 2010 Tertre Rouge
What was once O’Douls Restaurant at The Listel Hotel will now be new restaurant Forage which is set to open at the end of October. Chef Chris Whittaker plans to be the first hotel restaurant in Vancouver to not use any cans in the restaurant. All canning and preserving will be done in house and the philosophy is based on chef’s beliefs and morals. This is a restaurant I’m really looking forward to and he’s also a great chef.
“Forage stands for everything I care about. It represents what I was taught about food preparation both when I was growing up and over the course of my career in the kitchen. To me forage means that we no longer seek out excess and indulgence, but instead revisit a time when we respected the land and oceans and took only what we needed to survive. It is about being stewards of our land and true conservationists, as we conduct our business and live our lives. It is about goodness, about taking care of each other, and bringing together our community over good food.” — Chris Whittaker, Head Chef – Forage
Neck of the Woods Winery – Non-vintage Blanc de Noir, 2011 Pinot Gris, 2010 Meritage, 2011 Gewürztraminer, 2010 Merlot
R&B Brewing – Sun God Wheat Ale, East Side Bitter, and our newest beer G’ale – Vancouver Pride Golden Ale
FarmFolk CityFolk & Vancity
This tent was an overall favourite for me. Everyone showed up to the table with great bites.
Peacock & Martin – Hester Creek Estate winery Oliver, Wild Food Vineyards OK Falls, Black Widow Vineyards, Boble Ridge Estate Winery Falls, Thornhaven Estate winery Summerland, Lake Breeze Farm Winery Naramata, Elephant Island Orchard Winery Naramata, Ex Nihilo Estate Winery Lake country, Spierhead Vineyard and Winery, Neck of the Woods Winery, Seven Stone vineyard and Winery Cawston
Lolita’s “South of the Border” Cantina – 1) Local watermelon and fresh mint lemonade
Lolita’s “South of the Border” Cantina – 2) Quinoa and pinto bean fritter served with a charred cherry tomato and zucchini relish
**Lolita’s “South of the Border” Cantina – 3) Lolita’s Ceviche: Fresh Oceanwise seafood and citrus Valencia orange with habanero pepper stacked on organic blue corn tostada served with house made guacamole and pickled chayote
Vancouver Club was my favourite station at Feast of Fields. I rarely get excited about salad and cheesecake, but these were excellent! The presentation table was fantastic and the presentation of each bite was lovely.
The Sapo Braco 30 component Dungeness crab “slaw” was made with 30 components including: Dungeness crab, pea tips, pea shoots, flowers, Sun Gold Tomatoes, Mexican Gherkins, chickpeas, red spinach, Nasturtium Leaves, fennel, red carrots, orange carrots corn, chervil, Nero Radish, Watermelon Radish, Shunkyo Radish, Jade Radish, Green Cabbage, Red Cabbage, Golden Beets, Candy Cane Beets, Walla Walla onions, Lemon Cucumber, Green Beans, Romano Beans, Romanesco, basil, cilantro, chives
I thought the salad would have way too many things going on, but it wasn’t at all. It was fresh, crunchy, interesting, simple and just good! I couldn’t tell half the ingredients I was eating, but I would actually go to Vancouver Club to order this if they had it on the menu – and I very rarely order salads.
The Goat Cheesecake was semi frozen so it was almost like rich and dense ice cream with a graham cracker cookie crust. I loved it. I’ve also tried a Goat Cheesecake Brûlée at Lure Restaurant – see here and Cafe Pacifica – see here.
Edible Canada – Curry crusted seared scallops, avocado puree, charred Hazelmere Organic Farm corn salsa, fried corn tortilla
Okanagan Crush Pad Winery – Haywire Crush Pad White, Red & Rose
Whistler Brewing – Whistler Whiskey-Jack Ale, Whistler Powder Mountain Lager
These were essentially steamed pork belly buns or baos. The pork belly was insanely tender and super creamy, but I prefer Sloping Hills or Two Rivers Meats pork belly to Sakura Farms belly just because the ratio of fat and meat is more even. The Sakura Farms belly tends to be too fatty for me.
Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery – 2009 Mistura Branca, 2010 Unoaked Chardonnay, 2009 Merlot Cabernet, 2009 Syrah
It was another table who really showed up in terms of their presentation table and what they were featuring. It was a very well made terrine and two of my favourite animals… to eat.
Blasted Church Vineyards – 2011 Hatfield’s Fuse and 2011 Big Bang Theory
Driftwood Brewery – Fat Tug IPA, White Bar & Farmhand Ale from 650ml bottles
Haney Farmers Market
Victoria Spirits – Victoria Gin, Oaken Gin and Left Coast Hemp Vodka
Church and State Wine – 2010 Gravelbourg Chardonnay
Phillips Brewery – Phillips Brewing Cask Ale
8th Generation Vineyard
Ocean Wise – sustainable seafood education.
Namasthé Tea Co – Tea Sodas & Iced Teas
The pizza was grilled pizza, but the sausage was the highlight and it was moist, tender and very well made. The sausage was made with Fraser Valley Duck & Goose duck, Abundant Acres sage, Glorious Organics garlic, Gelderman Farms pork fat, and Moon Cuser Border Wine red wine. The pizza dough was from Anita’s Organic Flour and the pesto was made with Skeeter Farms Arugula and In Season hazelnuts. The heirloom Tomatoes were from Abundant Acres and Friessan Farm and the feta was from Goats Pride Dairy. Every single ingredient was locally sourced.
Vino Veritas Wine Agents – Oliver Twist Estate Winery French Embrace – Chardonnay/Viognier Blend, Oliver’s Choice Kerner, Pinot Gris, Merlot. Mount Lehman Winery Heartbreak White Blend, Chardonnay, Old Settler Red Blend, Pioneer Reserve.
Aphrodite’s Organic Café & Pie Shop Inc – Fennel & basil coleslaw with pippin-peach vinaigrette and fennel pollen crème fraîche on purple & savoy cabbage leaves. Ingredients from Pitchfork Organics & Golden Ears Cheesecrafters.
Slow Food Vancouver – Herbed buttermilk whole grain crackers (Anita’s Organic Mill Flour) with heirloom tomatoes (SOLEFood and Apple Barn Farm) and basil (Klippers Organic Acres) and Goat Cheese brûlée (Farm House Natural Cheese)
Domaine de Chaberton Estate Winery – 2011 Canoe North Bluff Red, 2010 Canoe North Bluff Wine, 2011 Siegerrebe, 2011 Gamay Noir, 2007 Canoe Cove Cab Sauv/Merlot
Wellbrook Winery & Bremner Foods – Bremners Juice: Blueberry, Saskatoon Winery, Blueberry, Rhubarb, White Cranapples. Plus freeze fried Pomegranate Arils. Frozen fruit: blueberry, strawberries, mangoes. All organic.
Gone Crackers – Gone Crackers blue Cheese & Cracked Pepper topped with Golden Ears Cheesecrafters Quark Cheese and Chef Ann’s Cranberry Onion Confit
Summerhill Pyramid Winery – Cipes Brut, 2011 Gewürztraminer, 2009 Cabernets
Gray Monk Estate Winery – Gray Monk Estate Pinot Gris, Gray Monk Odyssey Brut Rose, Gray Monk Estate Riesling, Gray Monk Estate Merlot
Big Feast Bistro + Catering – Big Feast Country slider freshly ground bison from Hills Foods with local caramelized onions, housemade bourbon BBQ, applewood smoked cheddar, Hardbite salt & vinegar chips on a hand-rolled Portuguese slider bun baked this morning!
This was interesting. Instead of using fried onion rings he used Harbite salt and vinegar chips for crunch!
SIP Natural Craft Soda – SIP Rosemary Lime, SIP Lavender Lemon Peel, SIP Coriander Orange, Sparkling mineral water infused with botanicals + fruit.
This was something I’ve never come across. Deep Fried Bacon. Personally I think if bacon is cured and smoked well it’s good as is and doesn’t need to be deep fried. However we’re living in a bacon obsessed culture right now and I should have seen this coming. It’s a big bacon bandwagon. If I didn’t know I wouldn’t have known it was bacon, but it was nice and crispy and I liked the light fish ‘n chip batter used.
This was pretty cool! It was the most affordable and practical way to approach this food and wine event. She was obviously a Feast of Fields veteran who came prepared. She bought the plates from the dollar store and cut a hole in the middle.
If you missed this year mark your calenders for Feast of Fields 2013 on Sunday September 8, 2013 – Host Farm TBA.