ChefmeetsGrape: an evening fête with BC VQA wine featuring Ocean Wise local food

Recently, I enjoyed visiting ChefmeetsGrape, a lively celebration of fine BC VQA wine and Ocean Wise seafood by chefs competing for Judges’ Choice Award for Best Dish & Pairing.

Where can you find delicious Ocean Wise oysters to pair with hard-to-find Road 13 sparkling Chenin Blanc in a gorgeous room with other BC VQA Vintners and notable local restaurants? At the 7th Annual ChefmeetsGrape event at the Vancouver Convention Centre West, organized by the BC Wine Institute.

I particularly enjoyed Edible Canada at The Market's Kasu marinated Qualicum Bay scallops, crispy Sloping Hills pork belly, spiced Okanagan peach & apriot compote paired with the delicious strawberry tang of JoieFarm Rose. The prestigious, bold and complex Laughing Stock Portfolio 2008 wowed alongside Fraîche Restaurant's Confit Thiessen Farms pheasant & wild mushroom tart.

Hearts melted at the Miradoro table, with its double whammy of Okanagan's finest Angus beef albondigas, savoured with the balanced, dark fruit of Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Merlot 2008 and a dessert of homemade apple pie ice cream. A crowd favourite was the Vancouver Convention Centre Catering's Duo of Lamb with sweetbread, paired with the multi-layered Black Hills Syrah 2009.

The top Judges' Choice Award went to Executive Chef Chris Whittaker and his team from O’Doul’s Restaurant & Bar for their Pinot Noir cured Pacific Provider wild pink salmon, warm Island chanterelle and bacon salad, which paired well with the 2009 Garry Oaks Pinot Noir from Salt Spring Island.

Not only did the 400 plus crowd get to sample over 250 BC VQA wines and 10 delectable dishes, the event also featured tasty treats from the BC Shellfish Grower’s Association, Ethical Bean Coffee, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Gone Crackers, and Daniel le Chocolat Belge.

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