The Fraser Valley Food Show
Did you get out to see this years show?
If you didn’t you should definitely put it on your calendar for next year!
This was the 5th year of the food show – formerly called Eat Fraser valley.
The show was very well laid out and seem to have a great balance of booths that either represented their products, their industry or both.
There was also 2 stages (plus 1 educational area and a competition kitchen much like “kitchen stadium” or a “chopped kitchen” atmosphere with great camera work and display TV’s showing all of the action.
Each stage brought its own varying level of entertainment, education and fun all depending on what your interests were.
Were you excited to see any of the culinary masters in the “Master Chef competition?
Or was your interest in watching and learning from a celebrity culinary master?
Either choice or both the Fraser Valley Food Show had it all!
Master Chef competition finalists:
Chef Romeo Oloresisimo – Head Chef of Ora in Kamloops
Chef William Tse -Head Chef of Sandbar restaurant in Vancouver
The winner is? – Chef Will Tse with a close finish right to the end…
The winning dish…..
Both Chefs were working feverishly to beat the clock with the secret ingredients box items when I saw last years winner Chef Romeo pull his perfectly done meat off the grill, turn to put it on his cutting board and ended up bumping something about 6″ from the cutting board only to see the flavorful side of beef fall to the ground! The look of anguish on his face was only there for a fleeting moment as the professional culinary master went right back to the fridge and got a fresh cut with only minutes to spare.
Black box ingredients included black cod, alligator, beef, born 3 eggs
The chefs also had at their disposal a pantry with fresh products, herbs etc….
Chef Patrick Dore- executive chef of Frankie’s Kitchen and Bar
Returning to Vancouver in 2009 marked the completion of a circle for
Patrick. After leaving Vancouver he has been working in some of the
finer hotels and restaurants on both the West and East coasts of the
United States and the Caribbean for the Four Seasons, Fairmont and the
Kimpton Hotel Group.
Upon returning to Vancouver he most recently headed up the
kitchen as Executive Chef at The Fairmont Waterfront and after a brief sabbatical is excited to dive back into Vancouver’s dynamic restaurant scene as Executive Concept Chef for Frankie’s Italian Kitchen and Bar.
Bal Arneson- the acclaimed “Spice Goddess”
Bal had fun with these aspiring cooks teaching them how to make “Roti”
Roti is generally a South Asian bread made from stoneground wholemeal flour, traditionally known as atta flour, that originated and is primarily consumed in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Iran (where it’s called “lavash”), but also now is enjoyed around the world.
Or maybe Chef Chris Remington – Head Chef of the Lakeside Resort Penticton, BC and also competing in the Chefs competition – black box style. Previously a 2 time winner.
Or Reiko Mackenzie – from the “Real Housewives of Vancouver”
Real House Wives of Vancouver star Reiko Mackenzie appeared live on the Food Network Celebrity Stage with Chef Remington to celebrate the harvest season in the Fraser Valley, where much of our local food comes from. A local and sustainable food advocate and cooking enthusiast, Reiko explored what is new and fresh from the cranberry bog as we head into the Thanksgiving season.
The Real Housewife, Reiko Mackenzie has many interests and hobbies, but she is especially passionate about cooking. When her mother was diagnosed with high blood sugar, she really became inspired to take on baking and cooking with a delicate hand. She wanted to help her mother by choosing the right combination of foods but soon discovered that she loved the creative side of food.
When her 3 year old daughter engaged in a local gardening program, food took on an increasing importance in her life.
The program taught young children how to plant seeds, nurture and help grow things such as zucchini, tomatoes and other local vegetables and then how to prepare them to eat.
Reiko said “seeing the excitement and smiles on her daughter face resulted in our family growing our own food” (she can’t imagine her life without her vegetable garden) and experimenting with gluten-free baking and low-carb recipes. She is always looking for new and interesting ingredients to add value both in nutrition and flavour. Being a mother to two young girls, she wants to help them learn nutrition in a way they can enjoy.
In a gracious interview with Reiko I learned her more personal feelings about this great cause and how she has passionately educated herself and her wonderful children, mother and family on healthy cooking and eating.
Reiko pointed out that why it was wonderful to join Chef Remington – Head Chef of the Lakeside Resort in Penticton on stage was that he was no stranger to cooking with local ingredients. In fact Chef Remington enjoys cooking with vegetables grown right on the resort property which allows the kitchen to use the freshest of vegetable picks.
Reiko was excited and humble but also respectfully guarded about her “passion project in the works” from what I can tell we should keep a look out for an exciting new cook book hitting the shelves sometime in the near future. I am sure that it will likely focus on local ingredients, healthy, organic where possible and simple recipes from a preparation standpoint.
A final word from Reiko as we wrapped up our interview…. A meaningful quote:
True happiness is inspiring others
Reiko also added that if her new found notoriety can help get the message out to inspire young women to learn about local crops, sustainable products and coking healthy that is what she is aiming to do.
Follow Reiko on twitter http://twitter.com/reikomommy
Cops For Cancer
As a pre-cursor to their official Tour, Tradex and the organizers of the Fraser Valley Food Show kindly donated staging space to us during their event for them to do an official jersey presentation to their riding team. This event was an informal gathering for our riders and their families, our Jr. team members (children who are currently undergoing, or who have undergone cancer treatment) and their families, as well as key sponsors of our event. It will be an occasion where we have the chance to recognize these individuals for their key roles in making our event happen each year, and we’re very thankful to the Fraser Valley Food Show and Tradex for agreeing to host this event for our group.
The booths showcased many new products and delectable treats.
Have you ever tried “Birch Syrup”?
I never had before this show and after trying it right away can honestly say ill be on the hunt for more! I tried it on salmon and also in a beef marinade and it was a great new flavor to add to my cooking arsenal!
As you walked through the aisles you hopefully had enough time to stop and see each booth that caught your eye, nose or taste buds and at the same time learn from some great talented educators from different industries.
You couldn’t go bye this booth without a double take….
Then If you we’re lucky enough to have a chance to speak with Geraldine, you would have learned a little or a lot about the Cranberry industry and how it recovered and happily sustains itself with creativity of great value added products… A sweet bag of craisins may also have come your way!
You definitely would have had your eyes wander here……..
How about Caramello?……
There were too many booths to mention all showcasing their new or unique products and worth a visit…..
On the Grapes and Hops stage you could learn about wines, beer and spirits and how to pair them with foods, fruits and cheese.
There were many showings of different interests and education on the stage that was just off to the right of the Spirt tasting part of the show.
Local wineries, some imported delectable treats, spirits and beers of all flavors etc……..
The Bite of Fraser Valley
This delectable pulled pork sandwich was from Casalinga foods…
Just a sidebar about the pork industry in BC. I had another meaningful chat with an industry supporter basically trying there best to educate each and every guest at the show. To hear the trials and tribulations of the local producers doing their best to make a responsible living in the pork industry is to better understand all the more reason to buy local and support our farmers whenever or however we can.
Basically the market price paid to the farmer for the “hog” is less than it cost the farmer to responsibly raise the hog.
Foreign product coming into our region at lower prices don’t help the matter.
Just to make sure you didn’t go hungry there were several restaurants, wineries and breweries participating.
The Bite restaurants were:
Wok Box Fresh Asian Kitchen
An Indian Affair Restaurant
Roasted Grape Cafe
Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar
The Dairy farmers had experts on stage teaching all who signed up for a seat about cheese wonderful cheese.
Each place had a plate with several choices on it and the expert walked you through the names, origins, pairings and pretty much anything you would want to know about each cheese.
Okay if all of this wasnt enough entertainment yet…. How about that nail biting Sausage making competition?
The Great Canadian Sausage Making Contest was broken into a few different categories:
Professional: which included many types of sausages
Amateur: also including many different types and finally People’s choice.
click on this link for the results
From my standpoint what is most valuable in attending a great culinary and agricultural showcase like the Fraser Valley Food Show is the invaluable education that we receive on what is involved in our local farms and food production facilities and what hard work it is to grow, create and distribute the quality fresh vegetables, fruits and livestock that create the great foods that we desire to cook with and enjoy.
When you have such a great showcase with cooking classes and demonstrations available what we really learn is that “we” all can cook and make many of the great dishes that we see on cooking shows or in recipe books. The ease of some simple but great recipes becomes apparent when presented by the chefs in such a friendly and informative environment.
Besides all of the great entertainment, education and countless great local products the simple pleasure of wandering the Fraser Valley Food Show brought a smile to my face and was an enriching experience…
Make sure you look for next years event and come out to support the great food industry that BC has to offer!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that these shows also need the support of some great companies like Born 3 Eggs
And Food Network Canada
You Gotta Try This!
Check out the Fraser Valley Food Show for any other detailed information on this years show….