Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On the 3rd day of Canada...

9:27 a.m. PST. Vancouver, Canada

The "Taste of Canada," food festival has just kicked off and the first day of the Global Chef Challenge started this morning.  Daniel, competing in the Jr Chef, and myself went over to support the American team in this mornings competition (Chef Mike Matarzzo.)  We make our way through the convention, take a seat in the arena, and here is breakfast...

Meet Chef Von Albrecht, and meet his new product XFour Vodka.  He is also the Canadian host for the WACS "America's," Global Comp.  Apparently vodka is breakfast of champions and he pours us off a glass, now that's a good host!

"Daniel, I got to get out of here, Chef just poured me another glass of vodka and I haven't had coffee, water, food... this could end badly."  He gives me a nod of agreement and we polish off our drinks.  A quick look at all the stands in the show and we decide to hit the streets.  With the help of http://roaminghunger.com/ (catch on Orlando) we find a few trucks and stalls parked near the convention center and now lunch is starting to look like Japanese meets...  

Hot dogs! .....yesss 

What to choose, what to choose.  Brats, Kobe, Kurobuta pork dogs...now that's a hot dog stand. Japadog has its claim to fame trough; Top Chef, No Reservations, the Food Network, and they are worth all the hype. So, what did I get?

Kurobuta pork, cabbage, bonito flakes, and Japanese mayo.  I went with a healthy dose of sriracha to round out my dog.  Ok, so the best dog I have had to date was in Chi Town, but these are competing on a whole other playing field.  Trust me, I would love to give the award of "best hot dog of my life" to these guys, but the other place had duck fat fires.  Sorry Japadog, but your dogs are still bangin'!

Next up, Bun Me, for...you guessed it...a banh mi. 

   BBQ Lemongrass Chicken, extra spicy...thanks!  It's banh mi...on a fresh toasted baguette...on the streets!  What else do you want?!?

Cookies & Cream cupcake anyone?  Good, but don't worry Yum Yum, you still da best.

Back to the convention to watch the Americans take the Silver.  Pressure is on now, Daniel is competing tomorrow and has to put the Canadians in their place.  Good luck bro!  Time to take him out, buy him a few drinks and get him a solid "familiar" meal to calm his nerves so he can do this thing.  Here is what we had at; Cardero's http://www.vancouverdine.com/carderos0experience.aspx "Chops and Wok."

Fried Oysters:  Tarragon, cocktail sauce.  I am falling in love with the bivalves here, and I think I know why.

 This was the view behind me at the "Marina Pub," we decided to eat at tonight.  It just screams, "Eat the Seafood!!!"  Yes, Vancouver...I get your message loud and clear, consider it done.

Mussels in Curry:  Garlic, ginger, curry, coconut milk, and cilantro.  A bunch of mussels and even more sauce, somebody knows whats up, and what I am about to do.  Remember the steam bun technique from "Canada...day 2?" Apply here.

Hummus&Pita: Marinated Roma tomatoes and olives

 Woked Squid: Fried then tossed in a wok with garlic, chilies, onions, cilantro.

This was dubbed the "Vancouver Chop:" Fingerlings, beats, tomatoes, cucumbers, egg, edamame, olives, carrots, shallot vinaigrette and greens.  Dying for a salad?  This is the one.   

Fish Tacos:  Battered fish, cabbage, cucumber relish, chipotle sour, cilantro, and fresh white corn tortillas. 

Solid meal but most certainly the least extravagant that I will be consuming this trip.  Still no complaints tonight.  What we did discover here was Russell Brewery, highly enjoyable line of beers.  (You will be seeing more of them later) Tonight I had their creamed ale. 

Calling it an early night tonight.  Tomorrow is the big day!  

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