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EAT! Vancouver

10 Jun

BC Place Stadium
Vancouver, BC

Started on Friday May 22nd and finished up late afternoon Sunday May 24th, 2009

Brief Description: EAT! Vancouver is an annual food and cooking festival held in BC Place Stadium.

On a warm and sunny Saturday, it was with surprisingly little persuasion that B and I managed to drag ourselves indoors out of the much-needed sun. There was really only one thing that could have convinced us to do that…food, of course! We attended our first EAT! Vancouver together and we soon found out that it was quite a unique foodie experience.

EAT! Vancouver is an annual food and cooking festival held in BC Place. A $15 entry fee ($12 if you purchased on-line prior to the event) allowed you to explore hundreds of food and cooking related exhibits. Since the size of the event is actually quite overwhelming, the organizers had sectioned the space into specialized areas so you were able to visit exhibitors based on your interests. Some of these areas were:

• The Wellness Pavilion, which featured exhibitors focused on healthy, organic or nutritional living.

• The Wine, Beer & Spirits Tasting Pavilion, where wineries and breweries offered tastings of wines, beers and spirits from BC and around the world.

• The Bite of Vancouver Restaurant Pavilion, where for a small fee you were able to try appetizer size portions of food from the menu’s of local restaurants.

• World Culinary Travel Expo. A small section of the festival that combined my two loves; travel and food. Exhibitors were showcasing travel and tours for the food-lover. Sigh.

Admission also gave you access to the Food Network Celebrity Cooking Stage, where Rob Feenie, Anthony Sedlak and Ricardo Larrivée were performing cooking demonstrations. If you were lucky enough to catch them, there were also a number of Chef Competitions throughout the weekend. Unfortunately, we didn’t plan our trip well enough to coincide with one.

To taste most of the food and the drinks, you needed to purchase tickets which sell at $10 for 20 tickets. These tickets then work on an exchange basis; you exchange a number of tickets for a small tasting of whatever it is that the exhibitor is showcasing. I thought that this was a little bit cheeky considering the $15 entry fee but it didn’t stop us from buying $30 worth of tickets.

Final Thoughts: All in all it was a lot of fun (thanks to the wine and beer pavilion! ;)). I had been hoping to discover some cool new foodie trends that I might not know about but I found a lot of the exhibitors were fairly repetitive (for example, if you liked salmon, there was plenty of it). It was a little scary dealing with the crowd of attendees, some of which appeared to have not eaten in weeks. At times I felt like I was being swarmed by a flock of seagulls! Definitely worth a visit but try and plan your visit for a quiet time – Saturday afternoon was a mad house.