Food Artisans of the Okanagan: Your guide to the best locally crafted fare

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Entries in Vancouver (10)


Vancouver's Draft Food Strategy just released

Vancouver, British Columbia, leads the way again in Canada. The city just released the draft of its Food Strategy, a 150-page document. Click here to go to the Vancouver Food Policy Council (which links to the report).

It seems that Vancouver city council is supportive of urban agriculture. One of the main goals of its "Greenest City" initiative is to become a global leader in urban food systems by 2020.  It already has a vibrant urban food scene thanks to very supportive city bylaws. And now it has a blueprint for an even more edible future. Congrats Vancouver.


Vancouver, Earth Day: Banyen Books & Sound talk today

Hi Vancouver. I'm in your flowering city today for Earth Day. I'll be at Banyen Books & Sound for a free talk, slideshow (of many of the urban gardens I visited around the world) and book signing. The event is free, so come down and say hello.

Urban Beehives on the rooftop gardens at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Waterfront

Here's the link to the event info on Banyen Books & Sound's page.


Meet Your Urban Farmer, short film series from Vancouver, Canada

There's a chapter in my book on Vancouver, Canada. I describe it as being one of the greenest cities I've ever been to:

In other cities, I had grown accustomed to creeping along hte streets looking for a square of green that would let me know that I had finally found the urban food garden I was looking for. In Vancouver, I often had to confirm that I was in the right community garden, on that block!" (excerpt from my book Food and the City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution, p. 162.)

Well, this morning, a friend emailed me a link to a great new short film series from Vancouver called Meet Your Urban Farmer. From the looks of the trailer, this is going to be a look at the people in Vancouver growing food in unexpected places. I am looking forward to the release of the installments starting March 2012. I wrote about SOLEfood farm's on Hastings Street in the Vancouver chapter of the book. Here's a link to the blog posts I wrote immediately after my interviews with Seann Dory. If you can grow tomatoes, peppers and French Breakfast radishes like this on a rehabilitated garbage-infested parking lot on the Downtown East Side, then urban ag is most certainly able to change the world:)



Will Allen, Growing Power's CEO and Celebrity Farmer tonight in Vancouver

I'm going to call Will Allen a celebrity urban farmer. In 2008, Allen received a $500,000 "Genius" grant from the MacArthur Foundation. He has been profiled in the NY Times magazine in 2009. He is one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2010. He has dined at The White House. And he'll be speaking tonight in Vancouver (admission is free but the organizers request attendees to pre-register here), and I'll be there listening.



Vancouver Pt 4: It wasn't just all urban ag, there was some eating too

While Vancouver has some of the most lush urban food gardens and some of the most interesting people working in the urban agriculture sphere, I could have been racing around to farms and gardens 24 hours a day. But I instead I opted to do a lot of eating and drinking when the day of work was done. Here's a little run-down of my off-hours eating and drinking. Just looking at my photos, it's hard to believe I was only there for three nights and four days. (I guess this is the "skill" I have built up after a decade of being a food writer; speed, endurance, stomach capacity.)

On my first evening there, I left Mike soaking in the indoor/outdoor balcony pool at the Four Seasons Hotel. (Talk about a city that takes it's liquid refreshments seriously, I couldn't get over the four varieties of herb and fruit infused waters at the gym/pool at the Four Seasons in Vancouver. Heaven for pool fanatics such as ourselves...)

As Mike soaked and swam, I met up with a group of food writers from Portland, Seattle and New York thanks to a lovely invitation from Tourism Vancouver. I joined the group for drinks and a pre-dinner snack as we nibbled our way through a few menu items at Boneta, a very fun cocktails and tapas bar-resto in the Gastown area of downtown. I started with an El Cabral cocktail: cachaca, passionfruit, ginger syrup, lime and cilantro. A little Lemoncello too. Boneta calls it "a little love letter to Brazil." I call it a love letter to me.

The El Cabral Cocktail at Boneta, Vancouver, BC

Then we sampled various sharing plates off the menu. The Americans were keen on trying poutine, so they ordered and lapped up a plate of poutine. I guess I'm a poutine purist, but it's kind of a "Quebec" thing for a Canadian such as myself. Vancouver, to me, is all about the fish.

Spring Salmon Gravlax, Nugget Potatoes, Avocado, Pickled Cucumber, Crispy Shallots at Boneta restaurant in Vancouver, BC

Smoked Bison Carpaccio, Sherry Vinaigrette, Arugula, Walnuts, Quail Eggs, Pecorino

Two of my lovely dining companions that evening, Emily from Tourism Vancouver and Pete, freelance photographer from PortlandThen we trundled off to the Shangri-La Hotel, which made a huge splash when it opened in just before the 2010 Olympic Games. The foodie attraction at the hotel is of course MARKET by Jean-Georges, the Alsatian-New York chef who is now a global brand with his eponymous restaurant concepts at major destinations around the globe. And Vancouver, if you haven't been there lately, is a major global city, hence the arrival of chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. (Hey look, he's got a blog too.)

We dined out on the patio (the weather was amazing in Vancouver that week) and food just kept arriving, so I obliged by eating and drinking. I was actually more than thrilled to be drinking some Le Vieux Pin Perigee Pinot Noir from the South Okanagan. This is an excellent PN from a great boutique winery...that sells out of most vintages. Now I know where it all very good restaurants in Vancouver like MARKET and YEW at the Four Seasons (more on that soon.)

Hey Vancouver, you're drinking the Okanagan dry! This was quite excellent, a cube of watermelon in robust olive oil, and topped with a dollop of fresh mozzarella Sablefish with Miso-Yuzu Glaze Baby Bok Choy, Sriracha, MARKET by Jean-Georges, Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver, BCWhite Chocolate Pavlova Yuzu Sorbet, Thai Basil Syrup, MARKET by Jean-Georges, Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver, BC

I'm going to stop there for now. Because the meal at YEW, the dining room at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver, was a knock-down, drag-out affair that deserves its own post.