Ribfest Canada Day

Five of the city’s top amateur grill masters to get raked over the coals on Canada Day 

RibFest began in 2009 at an East Van backyard BBQ hosted by restaurant industry wine buyer Jeff Curry. Since then, RibFest has been a battlefield where the city’s most ambitious amateur BBQ masters from restaurants across the city meet over the flames of competition.

On Canada Day — Wednesday, July 1stMamie Talyor’s ( and Re-Up BBQ ( are joining forces to bring RibFest out of the backyard and into the street — opening the grill games to the public for the first time.

Starting at 4pm, competitors will fire up their grills in front of Mamie Taylor’s restaurant in Chinatown (251 E. Georgia St.) to win bragging rights and the coveted DIY RibFest trophy.

At 7 pm, a judging panel of three experts (Scout Magazine founder Andrew Morrison, Mamie Taylor’s Chef Tobias Grignon and RibFest founder Jeff Curry) will choose the winner. For $5, a limited number of guests can sample the competition ribs and vote for their favourite on a first-come-first-serve basis. (Judging spots are very limited.)

Throughout the afternoon and late into the evening, Mamie Taylor’s will be serving $12 rib plates, smoked by Re-Up and featuring Chef Tobias Grignon’s signature BBQ sauce, alongside coleslaw and macaroni salad. A $5 beer special is available courtesy of Strange Fellows Brewing (

Mamie Taylor’s x Re-Up BBQ RibFest 2015
Wednesday, July 1 at Mamie Taylor’s (251 E. Georgia Street).
Competition begins at 4pm. Judging at 7pm. After party til late


Vancouver Avocado Showdown Cooking Competition

AFM-Blogger Event Invitation (July 21)

I’m judging this avocado recipe competition and hope to see some of you there!

Get out your best Avocados From Mexico recipe and compete! Create a fun, shareable dish using Avocados from Mexico and enter it in a blind-tasting competition against the best of BC food bloggers.

Come down for some avocado cooking tips with chef Darren Clay, get to taste many snacks and try each others creations and sample cocktails by Justin Darnes!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 5:30 PM at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts

Contact Amy Chen at to register.

Limited spots available. Prizes will be awarded to the top three winning dishes.

 EMAIL for the registration form Vancouver’s Avocado Showdown- July 21st, 2015


WHAT: Create a fun, shareable dish using Avocados from Mexico and enter it in a blind-tasting competition against your fellow BC food bloggers. 

DATE: Tuesday July 21st, 2015 (Event start time: 5:30pm)

  • Please arrive at 5:15pm to check-in and set-up your dish. 

LOCATION: Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (101-1505 West 2nd Avenue, Vancouver BC) at beautiful Granville Island


  • Avocados from Mexico must be used as an ingredient in the recipe.
  • The dish must be large enough to serve 8 people.
  • There will be no preparation equipment (i.e. oven, fridge, microwave) available to use. Please come with your dish ready to be evaluated and served.
  • Send the following to Amy Chen by Friday, July 3rd, 2015:
    • Name of your dish.
    • Recipe, listing all ingredients (for allergy awareness)
    • One-line description of your dish.
    • Any allergies or dietary restrictions you have (because we want to give you snacks while your dish is judged)


  • Upon arrival, you will be randomly assigned a number that corresponds to your dish. Only the event organizer will know who created each dish.
  • Your dish will be placed at the judging table with a tent card in front that has information about the dish.
  • When judging begins, judges will walk the tables to evaluate and blind-taste each dish. Each dish will be judged based on: creativity (10 points), taste (10 points) and presentation (10 points).


  • Once all entered dishes have been tasted and evaluated by judges, the winning dish will be the one with the highest total accumulated score.
  • The winner will receive an Avocado Green Kitchen Aid blender (valued: $200.00) and an opportunity to feature their winning recipe on the AFM social media channels.
  • Second and third place winners will receive a Molcajete (valued: $70.00).
  • All entrants will receive a take-home gift bag of the latest avocado gadgets (valued: $50.00).                             


While judges are evaluating and tasting all entered dishes, you’ll have a chance to:

  • Enjoy avo cooking with chef Darren Clay.
  • Taste an exclusive, VIP cocktail made by bartender Justin Darnes
  • Enjoy other delicious bites from PICA.
  • Participate in photo booth fun with fellow bloggers and Avo-Man.
  • Taste beautiful BC wines from Okanagan Crush Pad (Narrative Red) and Mt. Boucherie Winery (Gewürztraminer 2013).Once judges are done judging, you’ll also have a chance to taste each other’s creation. 




Vancouver Awards of Excllence

Awards of Excellence Entertainment

The City of Vancouver Awards of Excellence takes place on Monday, July 6, 2015 from 6:15pm to 8:30pm at the Orpheum Theatre on 601 Smithe St., Vancouver and is free for the public to attend.

Awards of Excellence celebrate outstanding achievements by local individuals, organizations and youth who make Vancouver a better place in which to live.

Tickets to the Awards of Excellence are available to the public free of charge by reserving online via:

Vancouver Awards of Excellence

Winners of the second annual City of Vancouver Awards of Excellence will be announced at the gala awards ceremony, taking place on Monday, July 6 at the Orpheum Theatre. Presented by Mayor Gregor Robertson and hosted by Riaz Meghji, co-host of CityTV’s Breakfast Television, the gala is free to members of the public and will boast live performances by a roster of local and nationally acclaimed artists.

“For the evening’s entertainment, we’ve searched the city for the best and brightest talents in order to reflect the stature and diversity of the nominees,” says Tyson Villeneuve, event producer and co-founder of The Social Concierge. “The nominees spend every day of their lives making Vancouver a better city, so you really want to honour their commitment with a spectacle that embodies the diversity and character of the city we call home.”

Relive the city’s past with a musical review tracing the its progress from the Jazz age to the pop era. Local recording artists Paige Morgan ( and Amanda Wood ( will bring their powerful and sultry voices together for a medley of jazz and pop hits alongside dueling Steinway pianos, courtesy Tom Lee music, and a troupe of contemporary dancers.

Long a fixture of neighbourhood festivals across the city, The Carnival Band ( is a community marching band based in the Commercial Drive area. They will be performing an tribute to the many nationalities that have settled in Vancouver and the cultural richness the city has benefitted from, complete with elements of samba, calypso, swing, afrobeat, jazz, funk, disco, and traditional music from around the globe.


A four-time Juno Award winner and Vancouver’s very own hip hop ambassador, Prevail ( rose to fame as a member of the platinum-selling Swollen Members. He will be performing an original spoken word ode to the City of Vancouver and its people, created especially for the City of Vancouver Awards of Excellence gala.

Vancouver Awards of excellence



AFM-Avocado Popsicles

Avocados From Mexico Canada Day Recipes

We rounded up some recipes and highly recommend you get making some deliciousness this Canada Day, or sooner!

Celebrate Canada Day with an outdoor summer picnic that includes classic outdoor eats. An added avocado twist to these picnic perfect dishes is sure to delight your guests without compromising the waistline after a food-filled day of celebration.

Give yourself time to be present and reach for these quick, easy, affordable but delicious and nutritious recipes featuring  Avocados from Mexico to round out your Canada Day gathering.


Avocado Cheesecake Served in Glass Jars


Always a classic- Avocado Cheesecake Served in Glass Jars

  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 x 250g packages cream cheese
  • 1 ripe Avocado from Mexico
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 gelatine leaf soaked in cold water
  • 1 cup Graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 45 ml unsalted butter, melted


  1. Mix together all of the crust ingredients. Divide the mixture into the glass jars and press down firmly. Place the jars in the refrigerator while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. In a food processor, blend the sugar, cream cheese and avocado into a smooth purée. Warm the lime juice in the microwave. Add the gelatine leaf and mix well. Whip into the avocado mixture and pour into the glass jars. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  3. CHEF’S TIP: This cake keeps very well in the freezer. It can therefore be made in advance and thawed gradually in the refrigerator a few hours prior to serving

AFM-Avocado Popsicles

Avocado Popsicles (by: Angie Quaale, Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store)


  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 3 Avocados from Mexico, peeled & pitted
  • Juice & zest from 1 whole lime (2 if it is super small)
  • ¼ tsp. salt


  • Bring water and sugar to a boil together in a saucepan; stir continually until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.
  • Pour sugar-water mixture into a blender with Avocados from Mexico, lime juice, zest & salt; blend until smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into 10 ice pop molds.
  • Insert the popsicle sticks & freezing until firm.


Flatbread with Grilled Red Peppers, Shrimp, Arugula and Avocado

  • 1 naan flatbread
  • 60 ml commercial Alfredo sauce
  • 1 grilled red pepper, sliced into strips
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • 5 raw shrimp, peeled
  • 1 Avocado from Mexico, quartered
  • A few arugula leaves
  • Fleur de sel and fresh pepper to taste
  • ½ grilled lemon


  • Brush the bread with the Alfredo sauce. In a skillet over high heat, sauté the shrimp in the olive oil and arrange on the bread. Add the red pepper slices. Bake in a 300˚F oven for 5 minutes. Add the avocado pieces and arugula leaves. Season and drizzle a little olive oil over top. Serve with the grilled lemon.
  • CHEF’S TIP: Garnish with grated cheese and top off your presentation with a few slices of smoked salmon.

Did You Know?

  • Avocado is a versatile and nutritious fruit to incorporate into every meal.
  • There are nearly 20 essential vitamins and minerals in an avocado to help nutrient absorption in the body.
  • An avocado serving contains less than one gram of fat, and zero grams of cholesterol and sodium.
  • 75% of fat in avocado is “good” fat.
  • Eating an avocado a day helps to lower cholesterol and moderate fat levels.
  • Avocados are tasty when baked, fried, grilled or eaten raw.
  • Avocados from Mexico are available fresh, all year long.

About Avocados from Mexico 
Of all avocados consumed in Canada, 80% of avocados come from Mexico. Mexico is the world’s top avocado producer (over 1, 200 growers in the Michoacán region), far outranking the United States and Chile. Currently, Canada is the second biggest importer of Mexican avocados, ranking under the United States and just above Japan.
For more recipe ideas, nutritional information and tips, visit


Taste, Victoria’s Original Culinary Festival is Back

Food and wine lovers hungrily await the Taste festival just a few weeks away.  In its seventh year, the annual Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine, set to take place July 16 – 19, 2015 at Hotel Grand Pacific, introduces wine professionals and dedicated chefs leading interactive culinary events including chef, winemaker and sommelier seminars and dining adventures.  Pure enjoyment – not just for the palate – this variety of events will entertain and intrigue.


Taste the Difference is the grand, opening night event with hundreds of B.C. wines to taste with winemakers and proprietors present to share their stories.  Top island restaurants will be serving tastes of their locally influenced cuisine.  Guests will meet the chefs and suppliers normally behind-the-scenes and will indulge in everything from line caught, local wild salmon and pork belly to maple bacon tarts and house-made gelato.


A special wine tasting for local industry professionals will be held the afternoon preceding Taste the Difference on Thursday July 16th  All proceeds from this event go to the B.C. Hospitality Foundation, a group of food and beverage industry professionals who work together to help the hospitality community at time of need.

Events throughout the weekend are always intriguing with experiences and tastes available only once a year during the Taste festival.  How often do you see a whole pig roasting along the inner harbour?  A seafood boil also joins the fun this year with a special behind-the-scenes tour at Finest at Sea just steps from the wharf.  Guests will see the operation and learn the incredible value of sustainability and 100% known-origin seafood before the boil on the terrace at Hotel Grand Pacific with DJ Primitive setting the beat.

Local sommelier and Cascadia Regional Manager, Pamela Sanderson, loves to baffle her audiences who are often surprised by the quality of Vancouver Island wines.  This year, Pamela will explore the world of bubbles…not just for celebrations!

More in the theme of sparkling wine, “Band, Bubbles and Bennys” is a decadent, multi-course brunch hosted at Chateau Victoria’s Vista 18 Grill & Wine Bar with each course accompanied by an outstanding B.C. bubbly whether it be traditional method, as in Champagne, or Prosecco-style.

For more event and purchase information, visit  Tickets for Taste the Difference can also purchased in-person at Silk Road, 1624 Government Street, in Victoria

Garagiste Wine Festival

#GIVEAWAY Garagiste North Wine Festival #Vancouver

Win 2 tickets for @GARAGISTENORTH #Vancouver Wine Festival JUNE 27 = $100+ 

Enter below with Rafflecopter.

Smallguys_GaragisteNORTH_Logo_2014 (3) copy

JOIN THE GARAGISTE WINE PARTY!  In 2015 the coolest winemakers are hitting are the road! Festivals scheduled in Vancouver & Kelowna!

The first of its kind in Canada, ‘Garagiste North’ (The Small Guys Wine Festival), celebrates the artisan winemaker creating commercially produced small case lot wines (under 2000 cases). An eclectic gang, they are a blend of passion and experience, new and old, the cult and the boutique, the virtual and custom crush—all gathered in one spot.

Meet the winemakers – taste their exclusive wines, chat about their vineyards and celebrate the art of winemaking. Garagiste North Wine Festivals offer a unique and intimate opportunity to experience the true passion of the winemaker and his/her craft.


June 27th Vancouver at Wise Hall! 2-4 pm (Trade tasting 12:30-2pm)

$49 includes awesome wine tastings, food truck schnacks by Roaming Dragon & cool music by Chicken Like Birds.

Tickets on Eventbrite: Click HERE to buy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more information on events, our rockstar winemakers, and how to JOIN THE WINE PARTY (the coolest wine club ever) go to:

GARAGISTE – (gar-uh-jist-uh) noun, Fr. : The garagiste originally refers to a group of winemakers in the Bordeaux region of France, producing “vins de garage” or “garage wine”. They were renegade small-lot winemakers, sometimes working in their garage, who refused to follow industry laws and protocol. synonyms: Rebels, pioneers, renegades, individualists, mavericks, driven by passion.


Les Dames Induction

Les Dames d’Escoffier Induction 2015

I am honoured to announce that our Les Dames d’Escoffier BC Chapter welcomed ten new members from across the province! I am a member and on the board and am super proud of this group and all we do!  Also note we’ve got Summerdine coming up August 12, 2015. More here.

The ceremony took place mid-dinner at Café Medina, where Bartender of the Year Lauren Mote shook up a watermelon-gin cocktail made with Unruly Gin, and Chef Jonathan Chovancek created a special three course menu for fifty attending Dames. President Dame Becky Turner Paris welcomed the ladies and Dame Caren McSherry emceed the proceedings. Generous local wine donations were paired perfectly with dinner from Okanagan Crush Pad, Mission Hill Family Estates, Moraine Estate, and Tinhorn Creek Winery. Each guest was also provided a bottle of flaxseed oil from Dame Alana Peckham.

Les Dames members from all over British Columbia gathered to welcome:

Ali Ryan – Spinnaker’s Gastro Brewpub, Executive Chef, Victoria

Allison Markin – All She Wrote, Founder & Owner, Penticton

Dana Hauser – Fairmont Waterfront Centre Hotel, Executive Chef, Vancouver

Elizabeth Manville – Cactus Club Café, Product Development Chef, Purchasing + QA, Vancouver

Jackie Kai Ellis – Beaucoup Bakery & The Paris Tours, Founder & Owner, Vancouver

Lana Popham – MLA for Saanich South & Opposition Spokesperson for Agriculture &  Food, Owner of Barking Dog Vineyard and Farm, Victoria

Lise Magee – The Listel Hotel & Forage, Director of Marketing & Communications, Vancouver

Mandy Hamilton – Culinary Capers Catering & Special Events, Event Planner, Vancouver

Monika Walker – Okanagan Grocery- Artisan Breads, Owner/Head Baker, Kelowna

Susan Mendelson – The Lazy Gourmet, Cookbook author & caterer, Vancouver

In addition, Dames were recognized for twenty, ten and five year membership milestones.

About Les Dames d’Escoffier:

Les Dames d’Escoffier is a leadership culinary and hospitality organization composed of women who have not only achieved success in their professions, but who contribute significantly to their communities.  The BC Chapter now has sixty-one energetic and influential members to further our volunteer work across the province.

Scholarship Fundraising: Les Dames d’Escoffier’s purpose is to promote the understanding, appreciation, improvement in supply, education and advancement of food, wine, hospitality, nutrition, food technology and the arts of the table.  We have raised over $100,000 over the years and, this year, awarded a record $21,000 in scholarships to twenty-two deserving women.



urban digs summer party

Urban Digs Farm and Market Summer Party

Join URBAN DIGS FARM to celebrate the start of summer and opening of the NEW butcher shop and farm stand! 4992 Byrne Road in Burnaby.

Admission includes a boozy or non-boozy beverage, entertainment and a farm tour. Reup BBQ will be working their magic on local, organic chicken, their world famous biscuits & gravy and they’ll be delicious coleslaw made with local organic cabbage too. Smaller, kid friendly portions & dessert available too. More details to come!

FREE for members.
Kids are half price.
Starts at 5pm!

Proceeds from the event will be donated to Growing Chefs, who are working with some of our favourite chefs to educate children, communities and families about healthy eating and healthy food systems.


(Tickets may be available at the farm gate; however, we encourage you to buy them online asap as you’ll save money and it makes it way easier to organize on our end. Hard to know how much food to make and beer to bring if you don’t let us know you’re coming :) Thanks from the Urban Digs farm hands! Can’t wait to party it up with you.)

Basque Pintxos

Chef Jefferson Alvarez and Txotx Basque Imports Pop Up Basque Pintxos Bar

Walking into a bustling pintxos bar in the Basque Country is an experience. On the counter are dozens of beautiful small bites being enjoyed by groups of friends as they discuss the day’s events. Between bites, txakoli (a light, effervescent white wine) and sidra (an acidic and funky cider) are ordered to cleanse your palate and prepare you for the next delicious pintxo.alvarez

On July 10th, Chef Jefferson Alvarez and Txotx Basque Imports are teaming up to transform Propaganda Coffee into a traditional Basque Pintxos Bar. Bring close friends, and meet new ones as you sip on txakoli and sidra late into the night.

Tickets are limited and will sell out fast, so don’t delay!

WHEN: Friday July 10th, 2015 – 8pm-late
WHERE: Propaganda Coffee – 209 E. Pender, Vancouver, BC


*Each ticket includes: 2 glasses of txakoli, 2 glasses of sidra, and pintxos
*Must be 19 and older.

– A printed ticket with barcode, or download onto your smart phone*.
– A valid photo I.D.


FunDeLentil Tour

For the month of June, 24 Food Day Canada restaurants in 7 cities across the nation are challenging one another in The FunDeLentil Tour. From Vancouver to Halifax they are serving signature dishes using the world’s best lentils on their menus.

Canadians are encouraged to dine then vote online at for their favourite lentil dish/chef for a chance to win a trip for two to one of seven Canadian cities with gift cards to dine at all of the participating restaurants in the city of choice.

Cafe Medina Chef and Me

Food Day Canada’s Anita Stewart and Cafe Medina Chef Jonathan Chovancek

In Vancouver we toured Fable, Cafe Medina, Campagnolo, and Forage with Food Day Canada founder and Canadian Lentils campaign ambassador, Anita Stewart. It was a super fun and super delicious luncheon, with each chef creating a widely different, and ever so delicious dish with the mighty Canadian Lentil.


Incredibly satisfying Chorizo and Lentil Ragout by Chef Trevor Bird of

1944 W 4th Avenue, Vancouver BC, V6J 1M5
Tel: (604) 732-1322    @fablekitchen

FundeLentil Forage

Veggie packed Lentil and Spring Vegetable “Biryana,” Sprouted Lentils, Wild Greens, Raitha and Pickled Mustard Seed by Chef Christ Whittaker
1300 Robson Street, Vancouver BC, V6E 1C5
Tel: (604) 661-1400    @foragevancouver

FundeLentil Campagnolo

Decandent Lentil and Foie Gras Croquette by Chef Nathan Lowey
1020 Main Street, Vancouver BC, V6A 2W1
Tel: (604) 484-6018    @campagnoloMain

Cafe Medina Dish

“Mercimekli” – Turkish Lentil Cassoulet with Roasted Free-range Chicken Thigh and Soft Poached Egg by Chef Jonathan Chovancek
780 Richards Street, Vancouver BC, V6B 3A4
Tel: (604) 879-3114    @CafeMedina

Sadly I did not get to try the Cafe Medina dish as I had to leave the tour early, but I’ll be heading soon to Medina to get it a whirl. The competition is tough with each Chef bringing an entirely different take on the lentil to the table. You’ll have to decide for yourself. As for me? I think I better try them all at least one more time.

Get out and taste and vote, vote, vote!

The FunDeLentil Tour Contest Details

During the month of June, visit participating restaurants to taste their signature lentil dish. Visit to view short videos about each restaurant and to vote for your favourite for a chance to win airfare for two and three nights accommodations in the choice of city (from cities with participating restaurants) with gift cards to each of the participating restaurants in that city.

About Canadian Lentils

Canadian Lentils is an Official Mark of Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, a farmer funded organization that works to advance the pulse industry in Saskatchewan, the heart of the lentil-growing region in Canada. For more information about Canadian Lentils and to see more great ways to cook with lentils, visit