My "EAT! Vancouver 2010" Experience

The EAT! Vancouver Food and Cooking Festival was happening this past weekend at the new Vancouver Convention Centre.  I’ve always wanted to check this event out but this was the first year actually going.

The first thing to note is to remember to bring a bag for the goodies you’ll be collecting at this event.  Once we walked through the doors, we were gifted with a bottle of Caesar mix and a box of chicken stock.  Not bad considering the event was $12 if you paid online.

There were a ton of exhibitors displaying everything from knives and cookware, natural foods, a tourism area (weird), a beer/wine tasting area, various ethnic food suppliers, and different stages for chef and culinary events.  The Asians were out in full force – I can say that because I’m Asian.  For you Asians, you know what I mean.  We love food and we love free. Free giveaways, free food, free samplers – it’s a fantasy world for us, really!

The event hall could definitely have been twice the size as it was way too crowded to feel comfortable.  That’s especially true when you’re my brother-in-law standing 6’4″ trying to navigate through the crazy foodies.  We stuck around for probably 2 hours – mainly to stay and watch Chuck Hughes from Food Network’s Chuck’s Day Off whip up a few dishes.

All in all – I think the event will get better next year and it seems like the organizers already recognize that they need a larger exhibit hall.

Interesting side note: on the way into the convention centre, we saw the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld going for a jog. Weird!


Jambalaya, anyone?

Whether it was Emeril Lagasse, or my visit to New Orleans in 2000, cajun cooking has always hit the spot for me.  Deliciously spicy seasonings, crawfish, po-boy sandwiches, beignets and of course, jambalaya!

Here’s a simple jambalaya dish that will make you happy-happy.

Difficulty Rating: 2 out of 5

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 cup of rice
2 cups of chicken stock
4 chicken breast or thighs – cut into strips
2 sausages – sliced (try Italian sausage or Chorizo)
Cajun seasoning (try my Blackening Spice)
Half can of whole tomatoes
2 red or yellow peppers (julienne or thin slices)
Half a red onion – diced

Simple Steps:

1. Heat a large pot on medium
2. Add olive oil
3. Saute onions
4. Add chicken and sausage and saute for a few minutes
5. Add peppers to the pot for a few minutes, then break up the tomatoes into the pot
6. Add rice and stock, bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 20 mins
7. Garnish with some fried shallots or cilantro if you have them handy