Seeds, Tea and Caesars rule at this year’s Eat! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival

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It’s kind of like a stadium-sized potluck.

No where else can you eat cereal made with dandelion and hemp seeds, a blue corn taco with B.C. spot prawns and avocado cream or a summer treat invented by husband/wife doctors. Not to mention learn to make the perfect caesar or receive a cooking lesson from an Iron Chef. Welcome to Eat! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival taking place at B.C. Place Stadium May 30-June 1.

As we mentioned earlier this month, Eat! has a packed agenda, including their ever-awesome 250 plus exhibitors.

Though there are plenty of global flavours at this year’s Eat! there is an emphasis on sustainable, healthy and BC-sourced or produced food. Below you’ll find my recommendations on must-visit exhibitors at this year’s Eat! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival. 

Founded by a doctor duo in search of healthy but fun iced treats for their sons, DeeBee’s Frozen Treats are frozen bars made from organic herbal teas and fruit combos. I recommend trying the Toasted Coconut or Minty Mint ‘teasicles’.

Their product title summons the Kootenays, their ingredients list sounds like a Hogwart’s home economics shopping list. But I can assure you, the Back to Earth Weeds and Seeds Cereal is as flavourful as it is healthy. Hailing from Coldstream, B.C. this mega health cereal includes: plantains, black currants, dandelion, quinoa, cinnamon and buckwheat.

Granville Island’s The Liberty Distillery recently won best in show at BC Distilled for their Endeavour Gin. Liberty’s crowd-favourite gin is a result of blending 12 botanicals and has notes of grapefruit and lemon with a peppery liquorice finish.

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Speaking of seeds, Richmond-based Ra Energy is one of the newest vegan protein source on the block. Ra Energy is a salad, smoothie, soup, you name it additive consisting of all organic chia, hemp hearts, sesame, buckwheat and flax. Ra comes comes in shakers in three flavours: plain, garlic and sweetened (naturally with monk fruit powder).

If you’re favourite part of slurping a Caesar on a Sunday morning is the garnish, then Blaze’s Beans is worth the visit. The Vancouver-based, Mexican-prodced bean pickling company have been in business for more than 20 years and were early adapters of the ‘garnish-with-something-other-than-celery’ movement of Caesar mixing.

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Besides wandering around the exhibition hall, there are a lot of mini-classes throughout Eat! For example, the Sips Stage features how-to sessions like Beer and Food Pairing, How to make the perfect Caesar and Whisky 101.

Meanwhile, the Food Network Celebrity Stage offers 45-minute cooking demos by local wunderkind Ned Bell, media darling Rob Feenie, boss lady of the kitchen Lynn Crawford and Vancouver’s own king of spice Vikram Vij.

Happy eating!

 

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