For a city still without a major food festival, Seattle is well-positioned—geographically. Three hours to the south, the annual Feast Portland has established itself as a preeminent event for food lovers. And now, three hours to the north, "EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival" holds similar promise, with the 13th annual event offering new culinary opportunities.
Produced by Fulcrum Events Inc. and presented by Flavours magazine, EAT! Vancouver is an eight-day festival showcasing the city's extraordinary culinary culture at venues throughout the city from April 26 to May 3. Already the largest festival of its kind in Canada, the this year the event offers an expanded lineup and features top culinary stars, food producers, and restaurants from across North America and beyond.
EAT! Vancouver includes a day-long symposium on sustainability and ethical meats, a pastry tasting and panel discussion featuring Vancouver's top dessert chefs (Jackie Kai Ellis of Beaucoup Bakery will host Thomas Haas of Thomas Haas Chocolates and Pâtisserie, Christophe Bonzon of Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Pâtisserie, and Adam Chandler of BETA5 Chocolates), and 15 hands-on workshops ranging from terrine-making with John van der Lieck of Oyama Sausage Co., pizza and gelatini-making with James Coleridge of Bella Gelateria, a fermentation class with Jonathan Chovancek of Café Medina, and a butchery course with Sebastian Cortez. April 30 is the Canadian Flavours Gala, a red carpet affair in which top local and visiting chefs present signature dishes paired with first spring-release wines from the Naramata Bench Wineries Association.
And then there are 11 collaborate dinners scattered through the festival that pair Vancouver's best chefs with counterparts from across Canada. Highlights include Michael Caballo and Tobey Nemeth (Edulis in Toronto) with Joel Watanabe at Bao Bei, Nick Nutting (Wolf in the Fog in Tofino) with Lucais Syme at Cinera, Connie DeSousa and Jessica Pelland (Charcut Roast House in Calgary) with Andrea Carlson at Burdock and Co., and Susur Lee (Lee, Bent, and Luckee in Toronto) with Hidekazu Tojo at Tojo's.
EAT! Vancouver culminates with a three-day show at BC Place Stadium, running May 1 to 3, featuring Canada's top chefs along with artisans, farmers, winemakers, craft brewers, and distillers from British Columbia and beyond. Each day brings something different with Edible Canada's Artisan Pavilion, the Talk and Taste Stage, Craft Beer Alley, Celebrity Stage demos, and cooking/skills classes—not to mention the 250 exhibitors offering guests food samples and wine pairings.
Owner Alan Fogel of Fulcrum Events explained the expansion, saying "We spent 18 months traveling to leading North American food festivals to determine best-in-class festival formats and content, then we blew up the old EAT! Vancouver weekend show-only model to launch an eight-day festival featuring 35 culinary events throughout Vancouver." As for appeal to Seattleites, he says "EAT! Vancouver offers world class food and beverage events for exceptional value," adding that "Canada's best chefs are at EAT! Vancouver to engage and provide exceptional experiences."
Tickets for all events are available (until sold out!) a la carte, with VIP availability for the BC Place show. Host hotel Pinnacle Vancouver Harbourfront is offering special packages for attendees.