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The 2014 Vancouver International Wine Festival has come to an end, and we were invited to cover two events. We’ll spend the next two posts to give you a recap. First of all, a glimpse of the International Tasting Room. There were various sessions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We went to Thursday evening one; apparently it also tends to be the most “tame” session of all.

Wine Tasting

As I always say, I’m no wine expert and I don’t have the trained palate for it. It’s something I would love to explore more, though. With that caveat, I will list out some wines that we enjoyed at the tasting room while feeling all overwhelmed in the presence of the 178 booths there.

Inside the International Tasting Room

This year’s theme country was France with a global focus of Bubbly. We spent a good amount of time in the French wine area.

VIWF featuring French Wines

There was a fun quiz in the event program that helps you identify the types of French wines you would most enjoy. Guess what, I’m all over the map. I suppose it’s because I enjoy different types of wine depending on the food I’m having, the occasion, the weather, my mood, and every other factor that you can blame on. There really isn’t a go-to wine for me, per se.

We probably stopped by a good 15-20 tables in the French area. Here are our highlights: (more…)

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Last weekend, one young chef was crowned the winner of the inaugural Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Competition. The Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship program is a non-profit culinary foundation created to recognize and inspire young Canadian chefs, while promoting professionalism and culinary excellence within the hospitality industry. To be eligible, they must be Canadian chefs under 28, with a Red Seal certification, and are working full-time in a professional kitchen. 10 finalists across Canada were selected:

  • Mark Andrew Brown – Ayr, Ontario
  • Ross Derrick – Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Arnie Mitchell Guieb – Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Talib Hubba – Sherwood Park, Alberta
  • Carmen Ingham – North Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Hayden Johnston – Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • John Ly – Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Brad Masciotra – London, Ontario
  • Paul Moran – Kelowna, British Columbia
  • Garrett Rotel – Calgary, Alberta

During Round 1 of the competition, these ten finalists competed against each other to create a main course dish for two within two hours, using provided ingredients. The top 3 finalists then moved on to Round 2, the black box challenge. They had two hours and fifteen minutes to cook a main course and dessert using mystery ingredients from the black box.

Welcome to Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Competition

My guest reporter Terence checked out Round 2 of the competition at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts and watched the following candidates compete for a chance to receive a $10,000 bursary, provided by the Chefs’ Table Society of BC, and a stage at a leading international restaurant.

From left: Carmen Ingham, Paul Moran & Brad Masciotra (Photo credit: Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Twitter feed @HawkScholarship)

Top 3 finalists

The black box ingredients were  (more…)

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