EAT! Follow this wise word at the EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival and you won’t be hungry by the end of the night. It’s hosted at BC Place from May 24th – 26th. There’s over 250 exhibitors showcasing their unique products, ranging from gourmet foods to kitchen foods – many of them offering free samples. But that’s not all, EAT! Vancouver also offers workshops and cooking lessons to improve your food knowledge. And of course, there are some culinary giants rocking the stage and cooking their butts off. When I went yesterday, some celebrity chefs – Rob Feenie, Trevor Bird and Anna Olson – participated in a 20-minute cooking throwdown.
Tickets are $16 at the door. If you get them online, it’s $14, sparing $2 that you can spend on food later on.
U-Be-Livin-Smart (UBLS) is a new company that just started up this January. However, with over 80 years of combined experience in the food industry among the co-founders, this company has already founded a niche of its own: super nutrient dense foods. Thanks to their patent-pending manufacturing process, UBLS is able to compact 10 lbs of all-natural raw ingredients into just 1 lb of delicious healthy food without any additives or preservatives. What’s better is that all the nutrients stay intact.
Around 60% of their ingredients are sourced from Canadian producers. The other ~40% of ingredients are made up of several super foods that just can’t be grown in Canada.
UBLS is kicking off their company with a line of muffins dubbed “Karma”ffins. They come in four flavours: Apple Cinnamon w/ Chia, Belgian Chocolate w/ Banana, Orange Cinnamon w/ Mango, and Smoothie Berry Medley w/ Coconut. I’ve sampled each one, and my favourite was the Belgian Chocolate one :) It’s rich and moist on the tongue, yet still healthy.
It was great meeting the co-founders of UBLS. With the busy lifestyles that we all live, I’m sure that UBLS’s convenient and nutritious foods will help us eat better – one byte @ a time.
After my interview with UBLS, hippoCHAN and I headed over to the Celebrity Chef Throwdown! The contenders were Trevor Bird, Anna Olson and Rob Feenie. It was super eye-opening, watching the three talented chefs cook. Because of the 20-minute time limit, it was like watching Chopped on the Food Network, but without music and awesome camera angles. I wish they had set up larger TV’s so that the audience could see better… oh well. Ultimately, Rob Feenie was crowned the champion for his halibut poached in Ginja Ninja Ginger Beer!
hippoCHAN and I were famished by the end of the competition. Well, what could we do at this festival but EAT?! After buying some food tickets (20 for $10, 10 for $5), we headed over to Glowbal Collection.
For five tickets, we got a sizeable meatball. It was moist and totally delicious. Some spiciness creeps up after the first byte.
Right beside Glowbal was Noodlebox.
We cashed in six tickets and got the Spicy Peanut Noodlebox.
It was not spicy. It was quite bland, to be honest.
All I could taste was the peanut… it really could’ve used some salt. To salvage this noodlebox, we doused it in sriracha sauce, which made it taste loads better.
Siddhartha’s Indian Kitchen has always been on my radar, so we decided to try out their Butter Chicken. It was an utter disappointment. I’m not sure how, but the butter chicken was overly sweet. The chicken itself was okay-moist. The salad didn’t even have any dressing so it was super plain and flavourless.
Next up, Gramercy Grill!
Again, hippoCHAN and I picked the Meatball, but in Slider form this time. It tasted sooooooo good! It was even more moist and flavourful than Glowbal’s! Plus, they hand out $10 coupon so that’s pretty sweet.
To end off Bites of Vancouver, we visited Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar and ordered the Tiramisu.
It was everything a tiramisu was supposed to be: sweet, notes of coffee and airy. We would’ve ordered another one, but I accidentally lost our remaining four tickets :(
Smack in the centre of EAT!, there was a cluster beverage stands. Each one served up different samples of refreshing drinks. Let’s just say that my water bottle stayed in my bag ever since I stumbled across these stands.
Natural Cabana has a variety of lemonades. They’re good, but the actual fruit flavours are very subtle since the lemonade flavour is very dominant.
Boylan Soda was probably my favourite of all! They’re all sweetened with natural cane sugar. After sampling nearly all of the flavours, my favourite was the Root Beer while hippoCHAN’s was the Black Cherry. They also have an interesting Birch Beer that’s more mild than root beer.
I also loved how they bottled their sodas in glass. I love glass. Old school drinks are the bomb!
MASH is a low calorie water drink, clocking in around ~90 calories per bottle.
The drinks are fruity and bubbly since they’re made with carbonated water. I really liked the mango because it actually tasted like mango.
Steering away from the ice cold drinks, hippoCHAN and I sampled Nabob’s new coffee: Midnight Eclipse. Oh man, it was strong! hippoCHAN ended up pouring hers into my cup after just one sip, which didn’t bother me ‘cos I really enjoyed the robust flavour.
Before we left, we grabbed some chocolate from Green & Black’s.
There were around eight different types. The nutty ones were great, but the fruit ones were gross. Sorry, but I actually spat one of them out… Stick to the nuts.
Yeah… we didn’t have a plate so hippoCHAN’s hand was our substitute. We had to hurry and inhale the chocolate because they were beginning to melt.
Whew! It was a long night filled with food and fun. EAT! Vancouver is open for one more night tomorrow. Check out eat-vancouver.com for more information and tickets.