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Vancouver Magazine has been celebrating the city’s finest restaurants for 25 years (we know, we look young for our age). In honour of our silver anniversary, we invite you to celebrate with us by joining our partners across the city in a series of entertaining culinary events, guaranteed to excite your inner foodie.
Saturday May 10th – BC Spot Prawn Festival – presented by the Chefs’ Table Society of British Columbia
The BC Spot Prawn Festival kicks off the 2014 BC spot prawn season on Saturday May 10, at 11AM, at False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf. Canada’s largest Spot Prawn festival makes fresh, right off the boat, local spot prawns available for hundreds to taste. Highlights of the Festival include cooking demonstrations with Vancouver celebrity chefs, to inspire your own spot prawn recipes, free entertainment and kids’ activities, and a chance to buy your own spot prawns fresh off the boat along with the main event – Canada’s largest Spot Prawn Boil, a chance to enjoy fresh-off-the-boat boiled spot prawns, plus sides, sauces and bread from Terra Breads, and a sample tasting of B.C. wine or beer. Tickets for the 2014 Spot Prawn Boil must be bought in advance. The festival is free but tickets for the spot prawn boil can be purchased at spotprawnfestival.com
Saturday May 10th – BC Distilled: B.C.’s Premier Micro-Distillery Festival
On Saturday, May 10th, 6PM – 9PM, sixteen of the province’s leading small-batch distilleries plus one from the Yukon, will descend on Vancouver along with their gin, vodka, whisky, and other fine spirits and liqueurs for BC Distilled: British Columbia’s premier micro-distillery festival. Bottles of local artisanal spirits have been appearing on shelves at restaurants, bars, and government and private liquor stores at an overwhelming pace. Hosted at CBC Vancouver, BC Distilled provides a single-stop opportunity for craft spirit lovers to taste a variety of these products.
In addition, beverages from Bittered Sling Extracts, Walter All-Natural Craft Caesar Mix and SIP Soda will complement a wide range of spirits. Attendees will also enjoy bites from top local restaurants including Grain Tasting Bar, Forage, Blackbird Public House & Oyster Bar, The Distillery Bar + Kitchen and Edible Canada.
BC Distilled is also a proud supporter of The BC Hospitality Foundation, which provides financial support for individuals within the hospitality community who are coping with a financial crisis arising from a health or medical condition. Partial proceeds from the festival will go directly to the BCHF.
Tickets are $49.99 plus service charge and can be purchased at: bcdistilled.eventbrite.com
Saturday May 10th – Olive Odyssey Book Launch and Olive Oil Tasting
While in Syria to visit her family, Julie Angus couldn’t help but notice the intimate relationship her relatives had with the olive. Curiosity piqued, she and her husband, along with their ten-month-old son began a journey around the Mediterranean to learn more about this precious fruit and hopefully to discover where the first olive tree originated. Now she’s written a book about her adventure, chronicling the history of the olive as she discovered it in her travels: Olive Odyssey: Searching for the Secrets of the Fruit that Seduced the World.
Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks welcomes Julie to their shop today to celebrate the official launch of her new book. After Julie reads about her travels and findings, there will be a Q&A followed by a book signing and olive oil tasting provided by the Vancouver Olive Oil Company. You will taste oil from the regions discussed in the book, and will be also be for sale afterwards in a pop-up shop setting. This event is free, Olive Odyssey: Searching for the Secrets of the Fruit that Seduced the World will be available for purchase during the event. Please RSVP to 604-688-6755 bookstocooks.com/events/
Wednesday May 14th – Public Salon
Enjoy a stimulating and interesting panel of speakers at Sam Sullivan’s 19th Public Salon, presented by Scotiabank on Wednesday May 14th at the Vancouver Playhouse from 7:30 – 9:00 pm. One of the presenters is Lauren Mote – Mixologist / Sommelier of Uva Wine Bar, who is going to speak about Vancouver being a hotbed of mixology in the world. Plus Tasha Guenther, a client from The Looking Glass Foundation which , are dedicated individuals who came together to create a community of support, because they have been touched by the effects of eating disorders and know that together, they can get to the other side of eating disorders. As well as other these other amazing speakers:
Ben Sparrow – Entrepreneur – Saltworks; Sarah Maitland – Literacy Advocate (Writer’s Exchange);, Christopher Gaze – Actor; Omer Arbel – Designer: Shimi Kang – Author – The Dolphin Way and Jack Austin – former senator
The Public Salons originated from dinner gatherings hosted by Sam Sullivan and Lynn Zanatta for over a decade. These dinners were attended by up to 10 people from very different walks of life who each spent 5 to 10 minutes speaking about something they were passionate about. One of the few regulars at these dinners was friend and mentor Prof. Abraham Rogatnick who was the first to recognize that these dinner gatherings were actually salons. Salons came from 18th-century France and featured a cross-section of French society that would gather to discuss ideas. The impact on society was literally revolutionary!
Prof. Rogatnick often encouraged Sam to bring the benefits and pleasures of the salon to a broader public. And so was born the idea of the Public Salon, which has grown from lunchtime events to crowds over 500 at the Vancouver Playhouse and presents public policy ideas and promotes public discussion of them. To purchase tickets or get more information, go to globalcivic.org
Wednesday May 14th – Feasting Days – A Royal Grilling Feast
This year we are choosing to live in celebration of all the good things. One of the good things we can all appreciate is Feasting Days, those days of the year where we eat special things and spend time with those we care about the most.
This Victoria Day weekend, why not celebrate Queen Victoria’s Birthday with a decadent Royal Grilling Feast? Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks will show you at this event, in plenty of time to get your groceries and recreate this special meal for your friends and family on the weekend.
Chef Glenys Morgan will teach us all the tricks to grilling foods with intense flavours, cooked to juicy and/or crunchy perfection over the fire. We will be using Adam Perry Lang’s book Charred and Scruffed as our guide. This book not only covers the basics of meat grilling but also has a fabulous selection of sumptuous sides. Cost: $110, includes your Royal Grilling Feast and a copy of Charred and Scruffed so you can make your own feasts later. 604-688-6755 bookstocooks.com/events/
Thursday May 15th – Salmon Confidential
Sea Shepherd presents “Salmon Confidential” with a panel, including Alexandra Morton at VIFF’s Vancity Theatre. Salmon Confidential is a new film on the government cover up of what is killing BC’s wild salmon. When biologist Alexandra Morton discovers BC’s wild salmon are testing positive for dangerous European salmon viruses associated with salmon farming worldwide, a chain of events is set off by government to suppress the findings. Tracking viruses, Morton moves from courtrooms, into British Columbia’s most remote rivers, Vancouver grocery stores and sushi restaurants. The film documents Morton’s journey as she attempts to overcome government and industry roadblocks thrown in her path and works to bring critical information to the public in time to save BC’s wild salmon. The film provides surprising insight into the inner workings of government agencies, as well as rare footage of the bureaucrats tasked with managing our fish and the safety of our food supply. Go to viff.org for tickets and more information.
For more foodie and culinary experiences, check out the participating restaurants that are creating special menu items or drinks, helping us celebrate 25 years of Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, from April 22nd to May 17th:
Spend $50 on food and you will receive a $5 coupon for your next visit. Remember to mention Vancouver Magazine’s 25 Years Celebration to get this special!
Celebrate Vancouver Magazine’s 25th Annual Restaurant Awards with Cactus Club Café! Snap a photo of you and your friends celebrating at any Cactus Club location. Send them your photo and you could win one of 25 $50.00 Gift Cards. Submit your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Contest runs April 22nd to May 17th. For Cactus Club locations go to
Celebrate 25 years of Restaurant Awards at Chambar with their special item. Call or visit the restaurant for more details. 604- 879-7119
Celebrate 25 years of Restaurant Awards at George Lounge with a Watermelon Agave Julep – Cazadores Blanco tequila (2oz), fresh mint and vanilla sugar smashed up with fresh watermelon chunks, served over crushed ice. This cocktail is a throwback to Summer 2006 when Brix they won their Van Mag Award. It should be priced at $11 but will be available for $8 to Vancouver Magazine readers who mention it.
Celebrate with Hapa’s premium sake “Fukumasamune Tradition Junmai”, served in signature Takezake (frozen bamboo).
Try the Sarawak Sling ( its mixed with Gin , Soho , Lychee juice and Mango Juice). 604-730-9963
Any guest dining at MARKET by Jean-Georges that mentions “Vancouver Magazine 25 Year Anniversary offer” will receive a complimentary cocktail with his/her meal. He/she has the choice between two of MARKET by Jean-Georges’ signature cocktails: Ginger Margarita or Lychee Raspberry Bellini. (Guest must purchase food to receive offer. Limit of marketbyjgvancouver.com
The Restaurant Awards Celebration offer is $10 off with a minimum purchase of $30 (excluding alcoholic beverages and taxes). (Cannot be combined with any other offers.)
The special menu item includes: Potted chicken livers, with Chianti red wine and Italian white truffle, paired with Notturno’s signature cocktail, the Felice. 280 Carrall Street, Vancouver. 604- 720-3145
Celebrate 25 years of Restaurant Awards at ShuRaku with their special item. A 10oz Caraf of Japanese Sake Yoshinogawa Gensen Karakuchi will be on offer for $14 instead of $19. Call or visit the restaurant for more details.
From April 22nd to May 17th, The Fish House has an entrée dish available exclusively for Vancouver Magazine readers! Braised Beef Short Rib, a 72-hour braised short rib, Dungeness crab and wild mushroom arancini, sweet crab bisque for $32. Call directly to book and mention this offer: 604-681-7275
Try The Feather George drink, which was inspired by woodcarver George Yearsley, who spends his days on Chesterman Beach in Henry Nolla’s Carving Shed. The drink contains: Wiser’s Rye Whisky double infused with Cedar, Italian Vermouth, Abricot de Roussillon, a Fidencio Mezcal Rinse, and Orange Bitters. 250-725-3100
Monday April 28th – Spinning Plates: Film, Food + Philanthropy
VIFF’s Vancity Theatre invites you to participate in a night of film, food and philanthropy. The evening will begin at 7:00 pm, with the BC premiere of the acclaimed new feature documentary Spinning Plates, destined to become a firm ‘foodie film’ favourite.
Spinning Plates is arguably the most insightful movie yet about what it means to be a restauranteur. Director Joseph Levy compares and contrasts three businesses: Chicago’s Alinea, where Grant Achatz has perfected his take on haute cuisine; Breitbach’Country Dining, a longstanding community hub in a small town in Iowa; and La Cocina de Gabby, a labour of love for a Mexican-American husband and wife team in Tucson. Each restauranteur has his own remarkable story to tell, but the film also brings out the parallels between these very different establishments, focusing on the way that food brings people together.
After the film, there will be an informal panel discussion with a trio of Vancouver’s chefs to talk about cooking as a vocation, their feelings about high end and low end dining, the demands and rewards of putting food on the table as a way of life. The chefs are invited to bring along a sample of their wares, with all meal voucher proceeds to be donated to a charity of their choice. Mealshare is VIFF/Vancity Theatre’s chosen non-profit partner for the night. Restaurants sign up to donate a portion of proceeds from some items on the menu to Mealshare. Mealshare, in turn, donates to partnering charities. In Vancouver, they have partner with Mission Impossible in the Downtown Eastside.
Tickets for the film are $11 + Meal vouchers (all proceeds to charity). For tickets or more information, go to viff.org.
Wednesday April 30th – Go Barley Around the Clock: A Healthy Grain for Every Meal
Join Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks from 6:30pm to 8:30pm for a book launch to celebrate Go Barley: Modern Recipes for an Ancient Grain. No longer just for soup, barley is equally delicious for breakfast, as a main dish and even in baked goods.
Authors Linda Whitworth (who works for Alberta Barley and is also known as “The Queen of Barley”) and Pat Inglis (a professional home economist and former food editor for The Montreal Gazette) will attend this evening to teach about the health benefits of barley and how we can incorporate barley into our diets around the clock. Cost: $105, includes whisky reception, an education about this healthy grain, a “Barley Around the Clock” dinner and a personalized copy of Go Barley: Modern Recipes for an Ancient Grain. 604-688-6755 bookstocooks.com/events/
*The authors will be in the shop from 5 to 6 p.m. to sign books for those who are unable to attend the dinner this evening. Books will be available for purchase.
Thursday May 1 – David Lebovitz CBC North by Northwest Cooking Club
Two of “Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks” favourites are coming together today: David Lebovitz and CBC’s North by Northwest Cooking Club. Everyone loves David for his sense of humour, his stories of Parisian life on his wildly popular blog and his passion for good food. He is flying from his adopted home in Paris to us to promote his new book: My Paris Kitchen, a collection of stories and recipes gathered over the last 10 years he has lived in Paris.
Sheryl MacKay will conduct a live to tape interview with David for the North by Northwest Cooking Club and we will all gather around and listen with a cup of tea and a treat. Afterwards there will be time for questions and a booksigning. Cost: $45,for the 4:00pm – 5:30 pm event which includes a personalised copy of My Paris Kitchen. 604-688-6755 bookstocooks.com/events/
Friday May 2nd – Cinema Salon
With a salute to the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards celebrating its 25th year, Cinema Salon has invited one of our top chefs to present a favourite film this month. Araxi chef James Park, is presenting the film EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN at Vancity Theatre at 7.30pm. Relying on food as a symbol for love and facing the head-on clash between generations, EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN is a delicious study of the relationship between an aging Taiwanese master chef and his three daughters. As director Ang Lee sums up his film, “I started thinking about families and how they communicate. Sometimes the things children need to hear most are often the things that parents find hardest to say, and vice versa.” Eat before the screening, preferably Chinese roast duck. Go to viff.org. for tickets and more information.
Monday, May 5th – Cinco De Mayo
The Social Concierge invites you to celebrate Cinco De Mayo in style by hopping on a trolley car and sipping on unique craft cocktails at some of the finest establishments in the city.
The course of the event runs throughout one night, beginning at 6:30pm at the first stop and ending with a final destination of a collective party at a select locale at 11:30pm. Once there, the trolley guests combined to revel well into the night enjoying more fine drinks and paired food + entertainment. Many celebrated venues have included The Blackbird, The Keefer Bar, The Emerald and the The Diamond to name but a few. The final stop in our inaugural tequila edition will be at Gesamtkunstwerk, the temporary pop-up gallery at the new Vancouver House site.
100 guests receive a different complimentary signature pour upon arrival at each stop, where they are stationed for one hour before departure onto the next. Each respective drink is custom-designed by the resident celebrity mixologist, with award-winning talents helming the drinks. Tickets only $50. For more information and to get tickets go to, thesocialconcierge.com