EAT! Vancouver 2011
EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival
We spent way too long at last Saturday’s EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival, and ate and drank way too much, and before we even got there I bought a Lady Gaga concert T-shirt for five bucks at a thrift store so you know this day was already going to be more or less a write-off.
What is EAT! Vancouver but a three-day bacchanalia of food booths, cooking demonstrations and, even more spectacularly, maybe the best makeshift bar in the city.
The middle aisles of the Vancouver Convention Centre room in which it was held were given over mainly to people hawking everything from mops to yogurt, with many food samples thrown in. Another aisle was devoted to serving up samples of cuisine from local restaurants, including East Indian, Peruvian and Mexican fare.
The bar zone, which occupied the northeast quarter of the room, offered a cornucopia of delights, from several different kinds of tequila and rum to a great selection of local microbrews as well as cider. Hats off to Alexander Keith’s for providing the only seated area in the whole alcohol zone.
Food-wise, we sampled grub from Maurya (chana masala), Gorilla Foods (raw vegan), and the Gramercy Grill (blue cheese macaroni – awesome!), among others. Sadly, or maybe not, we spent the majority of our five hours – five hours! – at Eat! Vancouver in the booze camp and missed just about all the cooking demos, including those by Rob Feenie and the Galloping Gourmet, although we did catch (from a distance) a little of the cocktail-mixing demo, which looked fun.
We didn’t have to pay the $16 admission at the gate because we were covering it as media, but we did spend $40 a piece, which bought us 160 tickets altogether; most items ranged from 4-5 tickets each, so you do the math. We left full and not a little tipsy, which didn’t stop us from crossing the street to the Fairmont Pacific Rim for a pricey cocktail in their gorgeous lobby bar, while some dude played ’90s alt-rock classics (“Creep”, for one) on acoustic guitar.
I can’t say I left EAT! Vancouver dissatisfied, but I’m not sure if next time I would spend most of my Saturday there. But thinking back on the booze zone, I’m not sure that I wouldn’t, either.
And, later that night…