Late last week, Tourism Vancouver kicked off the Dine Out Vancouver Festival for 2013. Acknowledged to be Canada’s largest restaurant festival, Dine Out Vancouver boasts upwards of 200 participating restaurants and a remarkable line-up of events & seminars for fans of all things culinary.
One of the event collections I was personally excited for was the 10-part Edible Canada Speaker Series. Hosted at the beautiful Edible Canada at the Market on Granville Island, the very first seminar of the ongoing series welcomed Arthur Wynne from the Union Bar to present on Asian inspired cocktails.
For those requiring a gentle nudge to their memory, Edible Canada (formerly known as Edible BC) is based right here in Vancouver right by the Granville Island Public Market. In addition to operating a successful bistro and artisan food store, Edible Canada also hosts a series of culinary tours, guest chef dinners and workshops throughout the year. The full list can be found here: EdibleCanada.com
Composition: Sake, Prosecco, Thai basil, Lemon rind
Food pairing: Served with duck spring roll
Thoughts: A beautifully light and refreshing cocktail. Slight carbonation from the Prosecco was outlined nicely by the fresh lemon rind. Named after a type of bronze canon mounted on merchant ships navigating the perilous waters of South East Asia in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Ironically not a heavy cocktail by any means, an ideal summer cocktail.
Tom Yum Collins
Composition: Vodka, Chilli water, Lemongrass, Ginger, Thai Basil, Cilantro
Food pairing: Served with spicy crab confit with crisp shallots
Thoughts: Definitely the most interesting cocktail of the evening from a taste profile perspective. A name play on the well known Tom Collins, this ‘savoury cocktail’ was akin to a glass of alcoholic curry. Phenomenally aromatic and slightly pungent but remarkably flavourful. I have never seen a cocktail comprised of this many herbs but it made for a wonderfully layered but still easily consumable cocktail.
Khe Sanh Sour
Composition: Rum, Chilli water, lime juice, galangal, egg white
Food pairing: Served with spiced braised short rib
Thoughts: Named after a keystone battle during the Vietnam War, this cocktail will definitely find a following among light cocktail drinkers. The composition was interesting in that the rum and lime juice were familiar but the addition of the beaten egg white protein lent a slightly heavier aspect of substance. Chilli water is prepared from scratch using 12 chillies in a litre of water for about an hour for that tempered flavour. Definitely pairs well with heavier meats like beef.
Wrapping up with a few overall thoughts, I sincerely enjoyed myself at this seminar. Not only were the cocktails and canapés tasty but the actual demonstration itself was genuinely informative and engaging. Whether you attend solo or with friends, I think this new Edible Canada series will be enormously successful as more people read about it. A big thanks to Arthur Wynne from The Union Bar for sharing his passion and knowledge with us as well as Edible Canada’s prodigious kitchen for the wonderful food. A final thanks to Vancouver Tourism for inviting us to attend this wonderful series and all of you for supporting the Dine Out Vancouver Festival. Cheers!