Vancouver has plenty of farmers markets. But only one is attached to a five-star hotel.
The Shangri-La Farmers Market is back for another season, offering trendy downtown shoppers a place to find the freshest fruits and veggies and a little something more.
Held every other Sunday in the plaza between the Shangri-La Hotel and Urban Fare grocery, the market has carved out a niche with its specialty prepared foods – everything from organic olive oils to goat cheeses and Italian delicacies.
But this year, the Shangri-La is offering something few markets can boast: cooking demonstrations with one of the top French chefs in the city.
Wayne Harris, executive chef at the Shangri-La’s Market restaurant, will be whipping up recipes featuring products from the day’s market. A veteran of Iron Chef America, Harris trained under Rob Feenie at Vancouver’s legendary Lumiere before moving to Market, where he now works under three-Michelin-star sensation Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The best part: All of Harris’ creations will be available for sampling.
The Shangri-La Farmers Market also features one other popular twist: a specialty brunch. After loading up your basket with greens and artisan foods, head up to Market restaurant for a three-course brunch created using items from each Sunday’s vendors (At $29, it’s a steal at Market, which normally charges the same price for its basic two-egg breakfast).
First course consists of banana bread French toast, with warm vanilla maple syrup. Next comes a goat cheese fritatta, with mushrooms, crispy potatoes and tomato salad. Finish things off with a slice of lemon loaf, with local jam and fresh berries. Just about every ingredient is fresh from the Lower Mainland.
Here’s a peek at a few of the vendors setting up shop at this year’s Shangri-La Farmers Market:
- Nelson the Seagull: artisan breads and baked goods
- Happy Days Dairy: goat cheeses, milk and yogurt
- Erin Ireland’s To Die For Fine Foods: famous banana breads and lemon loafs
- Sandhill Estate and Red Rooster wineries: Okanagan wines, perfect for Sunday sampling
- Lusso Verde: Italian fine foods and flower arrangements
- The Jam Ladies: jams, marmalades and hot pepper jelly
The Shangri-La Farmers Market runs every second Sunday, through September. The next market is Sunday, June 2.
For more updates on Vancouver and beyond, follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza.