A couple of weekends ago, I went on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to check out the last day of the EAT! Vancouver 2011 conference, which took place in the new west Vancouver Convention Center. There were thousands of people – both tourists and locals – milling about the area outside the building, taking in the sites and sounds of the city.
This was the first EAT! Vancouver that I’ve been able to attend as I have been out of town during the events for a couple of years now, so it was great to finally make my way there.
I tried to take an efficient route through the ballroom upon arrival, and started going up and down the aisles. There were tickets available for some of the larger tastings available and for the food sales area towards the back. To start, I just wandered from one station to the next, checking out all of the local products that BC has to offer.
A number of stages were also featuring various seminars – for example, there was a session and tasting about cheese in Canada that was taking place in one corner of the room while I was present.
There was also the Food Network Celebrity Stage in another large area. I watched Chef Dale Mackay from Top Chef Canada and his new restaurant, ensemble in Vancouver, teach the crowd how to whip up a soup. There were people filling all of the seats, and many others standing – definitely a popular spot during that hour.
Finally, after taking the chance to try a variety of tidbits, from hummous to beef jerky, and yoghurt to fine chocolates, I made it back towards the Wine and Spirits corner. Although I was refraining from any tastings that afternoon, I walked through the area and will definitely partake next year.
Overall, the EAT! Vancouver conference was a great look at much of the food that British Columbia has to offer, and an easy way to spend a day with friends, eating and drinking the local fare.