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Chocolate Challenge 2013- The Gourmet Warehouse


Happy Friday great foodie friends,

I can’t wait for the 2nd annual Chocolate Challenge being held at the Gourmet Warehouse!
Date: Oct 10, 2013
Time: 6:30-9:30pm

Are you an aspiring pastry student, confident home cook or just a confident master in the kitchen with an original delectable chocolate recipe?
Then honestly, this challenge is for you!

Click on this link to submit your “original” recipe to submit your chance to compete. Choose either “student” or “home cook” and bring your best to have the opportunity to win up to $1000.00 in each category.
click here to submit your recipe

All recipes need to be in by September 19th and the top 3 recipes chosen will be announced September 26th.

If you were chosen now what?
You will have your opportunity to bring your best effort and to be judged by some of the best chefs in Vancouver!

The judges panel include:
Rob Feenie

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Food concept architect, Cactus Restaurants, First Canadian winner of Iron Chef America

Thomas Haas

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Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, owner of Thomas Hass Chocolates

Greg Hook

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Cacao Barry brand Ambassador, and owner of Chocolate Arts

The MC for the night is Vancouver’s own Jill Crop!

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Lastly I just heard from a little birdie…
That Erin Ireland from To Die For Fine Foods will be attending the Chocolate Challenge and just might be doing tastings of her own To Die For Banana bread (maybe the Lemon loaf too? Not sure but I am hopeful!)

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I attended this event last year and can tell you that is is more than just a chocolate challenge…. There will be unique and fun food served and sips to enjoy all while you are being entertained and enjoying the night.
Besides there being plenty of delectable chocolate temptations, there will be a wine bar as well as tasting stations featuring tasty treats such as New York’s Rao’s specialty sauces…Sable & Rosenfeld’s gourmet foods and pulled pork from Albertan BBQ Master Rockin Ronnie Shewchuck.

The true magic of this evening and the reason that your host Caren McSherry is putting on this event is for the Strathcona Community Centre’s backpack program…. The money earned from this evening will go towards the Strathcona community centre Back-Pack program which delivers backpacks of food to deserving children on the downtown Eastside on the weekends.

This night will prove to be a lot of fun and entertaining all while in a great location! The Gourmet Warehouse is what I like to call a Culinary Disneyland

Come out and support Caren and the Strathcona Backpack program all while having a great evening of fun and entertainment! This is a “Foodies” dream night…..

Get your tickets by calling 604-253-3022
Cost-$50.00 and is a great value as well as for a great cause.

Kick off your fall season with a truly unique and fun event!

You Gotta Try This!

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To Die for Banana Bread


Happy Thursday happy foodie friends,

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To Die For Fine Foods and Erin Ireland are definitely on to something here!

I was fortunate to first try Erin’s To Die for Banana bread on the recommendation of one of my favorite food trucks…. (Yolks breakfast by the way) and I was hooked!
I reached out to the more than pleasant Erin and decided to do a larger sampling and try it a few different ways….

My first bite was

to die for

and it just got better from there…
Lets be honest, you first have to like bananas to want to dive in and then what we do is always compare a traditional banana bread that we may all know from days gone past and ask is it at least as good as mine or possibly even better?!
Did I mention that this was Chocolate macadamia nut banana bread?
The subtle but perfect added flavors from these two ingredients kick up the wow/to die for factor…..

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ahhhh nothing better with my Saturday morning coffee
I tried this wonderful to die for banana bread simply fresh cut and with my favorite coffee and immediate satisfaction overcame me….

The next slice was warmed up with just a little dab of butter….. More heaven!
Wow, could this sweet and healthy treat actually be even better than my first bite?
Oh yes it was……

Hmmmm I wonder……? to die for banana bread french toast?…. Why not!

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The aroma started to fill my kitchen and my mouth truly started to water at the prospect of what I was about to try…..

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Just a little bit of pure maple syrup and guess what!
It was

To Die For!

Truly the flavors just enhanced to new heights and made the best French toast I have ever created in our kitchen…..

I love Erin’s approach to creating her delectable products: “Food is not to be enjoyed without health”
You can read more about Erin’s approach to social causes and attention to using healthy and quality ingredients in all of To Die For Fine Foods products on their website.
To Die For Fine foods -click here
A message from Erin on her new To Die For Banana Bread:
I have been dying to shout these words for months (years?)…
“Gluten Free To Die For Banana Bread has arrived!”
Apologies to the celiac population for taking so long. I promised it would happen and it has, thanks to a wonderful gluten free bakery called Two Daughters Bakeshop. Lisa, the owner and baker of this adorable hidden gem, is mom to a celiac daughter and has mastered GF bread, donuts, muffins, etc. Her baking is egg free, too.
The gluten free loaves will be available on a limited edition pre-order / pick-up basis. They are very freezer friendly, so feel free to stock up as the next bake sale is yet to be determined.
How To Order Gluten Free “To Die For Banana Bread”

How to order: Fill out this form
When: Loaf pick-up is Saturday, July 6, 10am – noon
Where to pick-up: 121 E. 1st Street in North Van (entrance is in the alley between 1st and esplanade – look for yellow balloons and signage!)
Place your orders by: Thursday, June 27
Price: One for $14, two for $26, five for $60, ten for $110
Please note: Gluten free To Die For Banana Bread contains macadamia nuts, milk products (Callebaut Milk Chocolate), and eggs. Have a question? Tweet at me: @erinireland or email: erin at itstodiefor dot ca.

Who is Erin Ireland:
Owner of To Die For Fine Foods | Editor of Vancouver Food Site itstodiefor.ca | Contributing Food Reporter for @TheRushTV & @CTVMorningLive

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Next up…. To Die For Lemon loaf…. I can’t wait!
You Gotta Try This!