First table I arrived at was the beautiful Kushi Oyster bar set up by Hamid Salimian of Diva at the Met. What a beautiful presentation of some of my favourite oysters! These were perfectly shucked and very sweet, I think I had about 5 of these!
From John and Christine VanDer Lieck of Oyama Sausage Company, we were served three versions of pork. This is the Pork Pie, served with some English mustard and relish. The pie is pork with a bit of gelatin in a water based crust. The crust isn't flaky, but instead, it's doughy and comforting. The pork is very lean and has a nice salty taste. The gelatin isn't something I enjoyed, but others at my table loved it.
Their second offering was the Prosciutto Cotto. This is leaner than any prosciutto I'm familiar with and I immediately became a fan. A light dusting of horseradish was all it needed for added flavour. Thinly sliced and perfect for snacking. Their last pork item was the Smoked Garlic Pork Terrine with Cornichons. This was, again, less fatty than I had expected. You could really taste the garlic. It seemed more like a sausage, without a casing, than a terrine or a pate.
I could barely contain my excitement as I brought everything back to the table, and yes, I went back for seconds.
The next dish that I tried was from Eric Lee of Damso Modern Korean Cuisine. He was serving up Beef Tongue with a whole host of accompaniments, from edible flowers, various gels and foams to cilantro and green onion. Talk about a dish you can personalize. Oh, and those delicate circles in the back that look like edible jewelry? They're yuca chips! Such a fun presentation and deliciously tender tongue too!
In between eating, we also got to try some wines from Hester Creek, Joie Farm as well as others. Champagne Lallier also was a sponsor for the event.
The event was hosted at the Delta Burnaby Hotel and their very own chef, Daniel Craig of Ebo Restaurant, where I have had dinner many timer. served up a Soft Cured Salmon on a Brioche-like cracker with a chanterelle smoked cream. A light bite, but heavy on taste and texture.
As we were going to table to table, we were greeted with what looked like an army of finely crafted plates. Here is the dish that Chef Alex Tung of Cotto Enoteca plated up for us, a wonderfully fresh Fior De Latte with mushrooms. I have had both lunch and dinner there and loved it both times.
A closer look at the dish showcases the fior de latte, as well as the mushrooms on the plate. But what was the best part? The crispy prosciutto! The earthiness of the mushroom, the fresh creaminess of the cheese and the crunch of the prosciutto, it was a textural feast.
Well what do we have here? It's another army of food, this time, brought to us by Chef Matt Batey of the Mission Hill Family Estate Winery. Called the Forest Floor, this is a savoury Panna Cotta of Lobster and Mushroom, with a sprinkling of porcini dust.
Although I liked the concept of the dust, it was much like cocoa powder, be careful you don't breathe at the wrong time or you're prone to coughing fits. The lobster flavour was quite mild, and I felt that this was more of a mushroom dish rather than a lobster dish.
Perhaps my favourite of the night, freshly roasted Peking Duck from the Chinese Chef's Association! This came complete with all the fixings, sliced carrots, chillies, scallions, cucumber and coriander. Topped with your choice of sauces, this was amazing and I kept going back for more!
And now, onto the sweet stuff, first from Christophe Bonzon of Cin Cin, the Lime and Basil mousse with a Raspberry Confit. This was creamy and smooth with just a touch of tang.
For their dessert, it was an amazing blend of Kahlua Ganache, London Fog, Raspberry Chocolate Mousse all topped with a coffee macaroon! Digging into this, it is a higher end version of a Black Forest cake, but richer and with raspberry instead of cherry.
Many thanks to Brendan Bailey for the invitation!