Le festival de la poutine de Vancouver 2011
One night, 10 rounds of poutine, 1,100 pounds of potatoes and a whole lot of Quebecois culture.
Think you can handle 10 rounds of poutine in one night? I couldn’t. The Festival de la Poutine Vancouver not only tested my French, but my stomach as well.
Sunday was the first official Festival de la Poutine de Vancouver hosted by the Francouver team and La Belle Patate. The festival de la Poutine de Vancouver led a great example by emphasizing a zero-waste event. Proper disposal bins were set out as well as reusable cups and utensils.
Alexandre Brabant and the Festival de la Poutine coordinators
This year’s poutine festival included 10 rounds of delicious and unique poutine creations as well all-you-can-eat traditional poutine. The night featured non-stop Quebecois music and dance as well as a poutine competition and Quebec-themed prizes.
The festival volunteers spent the entire day chopping and deep frying over 1,100 pounds of potatoes generously donated by poutine festival sponsor, La Belle Patate. Competitors were armed with potatoes, cheese curds and a kitchen and were able to whip up 10 of the most bizarre and flavourful poutine dishes ever tasted.
The Poutine Competition
The night kicked off with “Les Plaisirs d’Italie,” a delicious creation sprinkled a myriad of non-traditional poutine ingredients including chicken, bacon, mushrooms, mascarpone cheese and Marsala wine.
Les Plaisirs d’Italie poutine
Next was the succulent “Peking Duck” poutine. Fresh-cut potato French fries were drizzled in a Peking duck broth and a mixture of savoury, traditional Asian flavours topped with real slices of Peking duck.
Peking duck poutine
The Asian theme carried through the night with “O-Ren Ishii’s Sofie Fatale.” A Japanese fusion poutine with Miso sesame gravy topped with shitake and enoki mushrooms, bamboo shoots, served on deep fried taro, sweet potato and Japanese Kabocha.
Next up was a “Thai spice curry” poutine with a fiery coconut curry sauce. A “Classic Montreal” poutine followed next, a delicious concoction with goat cheese and homemade gravy.
Halfway through the competition, the flavours began to change from eastern flavours to more traditional Quebec flavours. “Got Bacon” was next, a smoky, slow roasted bacon poutine glazed with maple syrup and drenched in beef gravy with a mouth-watering garnish of crispy chicken crackling. An equally delicious “Belle Canadienne” poutine came next. This poutine was smothered with Ontario smoked cheddar, Quebec maple syrup, beef stock and beer.
La Belle Canadienne poutine
Just when my stomach thought it couldn’t handle anymore poutine, along came the “Filipino Wrecking Poutine,” a dish with a ground beef, tomato sauce and delicious spices. “La Cochonne” came next with a ham, beer and maple syrup sauce that was brewed for over nine hours.
The “Ole Mole” capped off the competition with a zesty ground beef, avocado, lime and chocolate poutine.
Tickets for the poutine festival sold out well in advance and the day portion ended just two hours after it started because the event attracted so many participants.
And I suppose you’re all wondering which one of these amazing poutines won? It was a tough competition with the scores being only mere points apart. The winner at the end of the night was the Peking Duck poutine created by Team Mew with Chefs Matt, Ejner and Wil. Their unique oriental presentation (and costumes) combined with their fantastic and creative flavours won their poutine creation a spot on La Belle Patate’s menu for an entire year.
All-you-can-eat traditional Quebecois poutine
With such a successful event this year, Festival de la Poutine de Vancouver will surely be held again next year, so keep an eye out and get your stomachs (and your French) ready for even more crazy, delicious poutine.
Check out more great Quebecois events on Francouver's event page.
All photos by John Wu