Monday, May 25, 2009
EAT draws Vancouver Foodies from far and wide
This weekend food enthusiasts from across the Lower Mainland rallied at BC Place for free samples and demonstrations at EAT Vancouver, the city's annual food festival.
The event was interesting.
When we attended it was mobbed by thousands of people who packed into the exhibition floor. The event saw dozens of booths ranging from booths by the Shark Club (serving their supposedly gourmet mini-burgers) to Indian booths offering the usual cheap deep-fried pakoras and samosas as well as rich butter chicken. Nearby were dozens of vendors hawking assorted samples of chocolates, yogurt energy drinks, carbonated pear juice, free knife sharpening, and even free chiropractic consultations (what this had to do with food is beyond me).
On the wings of the exhibition was a cheese seminar that taught participants how to tell a smoked Gouda apart from an Elemental. On the other side of the arena was a jammed area with scores of wine taster sampling around a dozen commercially sold beers and wines.
The festival highlighted big time FoodTV stars like Iron Chef Rob Fenie, Ricardo Revicci, and Anthony Sedlack (who like Fenie, heils from Vancouver).
However, by far, the highlight of the event for us was Chef Louie, a first time visitor to Vancouver from Louisiana's New Orleans. Chef Louie probably weighed 250 pounds and had a gut that could fit a pair of watermelons. He proudly waddled about the stage, and candidly chatted with onlookers about everything southern - from the spices he was using to the aftermath of Katrina - while adding enough butter to make Fat Albert blush. The end result was a, unsurprisingly, delicious chicken cream pasta dish and a salty cajun spiced shrimp broth soup served with crispy French bread.
In true cajun fashion befitting a man of his stature, we left only after he had invited my pretty red-headed partner to come by his hotel for the next day or so for a visit while he was still in town. Talk about a "rich" end to the afternoon!