Follow Me Foodie to the Edible Canada Speaker Series!
Dine Out Vancouver Festival features Edible Canada’s Speaker Series at Edible Canada at The Market.
We’re at the half way point for the 11th Annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival (January 18 – February 3, 2013) and there are still lots more events to come. This is one of them. I mentioned in my Dine Out Vancouver post here, that I had a natural interest towards the events over the price fixe menus just because I would visit most restaurants on a regular night anyway. However, the social aspect of it is great and if it gets people excited about the city’s food scene than that alone is worth celebrating.
I was invited to attend the Edible Canada Speaker Series on behalf of Tourism Vancouver. The series of events takes place January 21-31 and February 1 at Edible Canada at the Market on Granville Island. Each event covers a specific food or drink topic led by a guest speaker specialized in that area accompanied with samples of the subject being discussed. In an intimate and interactive class of about 20-30 it’s an informal seminar regarding the topic of interest. The classes are introductory so do not be intimidated, it is appropriate for groups or individuals.
**WARNING – The following material contains mature or sensitive subject matter that is not for all audiences.
? I know. I never used to have to give those warnings, but I am trying to lessen the people I offend. Let’s face it though (literally), this is what it looks like before it turns into delicious sausages, ham, charcuterie and your favourite - bacon. This is a Spotted Pig from Fior Farms which the restaurant orders once a week.
I decided to attend Pork, Pork, Pork… oh, and some wine! Why? Doesn’t the title say it all? Because I love the pig… all parts of it. Out of chicken, beef and pork I’d lean towards pork due to its versatility and flavour.
The class was led by Chef Gregory Reid at Edible Canada at The Market and special guest John Klop of Fiore Farms. That’s Fiore Farms, not Foie Farms… although if you are a fan of the foie, the Edible Canada Speaker Series: Foie Gras, Caviar and Bubbles…. Need We Say More? might interest you. It interests me and I love discussion on controversial matters so I am pleased to see the subject being talked about rather than ignored. If you know this blog, you know where I stand.
Fiore Farms is a 100 acre farm located in Rosedale, BC specializing in organic methods. They produce high quality vegetables and pasture-raised heritage breed livestock. They sell their vegetables at the Vancouver Farm Markets, but the pigs are only being supplied to Edible Canada at The Market during this time.
Chef Reid gave a butchery demonstration and I couldn’t resist volunteering. Not many people let alone chefs get the opportunity to butcher a half or whole pig, and I wanted to learn how to do it. It is not that intimidating once you get into it and have the right tools (a sharp boning knife), but it was actually more tiring than expected and I considered it a work out. I only did one piece too! It was heavy and my arm was pretty tired from lifting parts of the carcass.
I was very impressed and pleased to know that Edible Canada at The Market butchers their own pig. To be honest, I didn’t expect it looking at their menu. The menu is more local and “farm to table” than “nose to tail”, but the pork bones, pig’s head etc., are used for stocks, pâtés and charcuterie. That being said, I didn’t know they made their own charcuterie either. Respecting the animal includes not wasting it and I was reassured that every single part was used at the restaurant.
This is not a full lunch, so don’t expect one. It is simply samples of the subject matter that is being covered. In this case we sampled Edible Canada’s House Cured Guanciale (dry cured Italian bacon, cut from the jowl, cured for two months in house), Country Style Pork Pâté (cut from the shoulders, liver and back fat, wrapped in caul fat, served with a pickle and cranberry on sourdough bread), and Pulled Pork Sliders (cut from the pork shoulder, served with slaw on a brioche bun). These items are available on their regular menu at the restaurant. I will not comment on taste because a bite will not tell me anything and this is not a fair representation of what they do regularly.
The event also included three BC wine pairings: Edible Canada’s House Red: Market Red 2010 crafted with Okanagan Crush Pad. A Gamay/Syrah blend ($10/glass), Crush Pad Rose ($8.25/glass), and my favourite of the three the Tantalus Riesling 2011 ($12/glass). Edible Canada offers a 100% BC wine list with solid selections appropriate for locals or tourists.
I would recommend the Edible Canada Speaker Series for those who are curious to learn more about the subject matter, but want to start at a rather introductory level. Tickets are about $20-40 depending on the class (this one was $30) and I saw the value in education more so than tangible goods. It is not necessarily an eating or traditional “dine out” occasion, but I appreciate the learning aspect and there is always more to learn and questions to ask. This event is catered for the general public and not industry folk. I am not sure how future Speaker Series will be structured, but they will vary slightly depending on the subject matter. See the complete list of Edible Canada Speaker Series.