Anyone make it to Feast of Fields yesterday? Any favourite tastings?
It was such a glorious day, and after making the crazy-ambitious decision to walk to the event, I worked up an intense appetite. UBC Farm is an idyllic venue, really. I wish I could spend every sunny Sunday lounging around on barrels of hay and eating smoked octopus - mmm thank you West!
Not sure what others thought, but if I had to pick my top 3 items, they'd be:
1. West - grilled octopus, nori reduction, served on a thin crostini. Heavenly. The octopus was perfectly tender and smoked just right, allowing the flavour of the meat to shine through. I had to go back 3 times... and I'm still dreaming about the octopus!
2. Raincity Grill - salad of goat cheese, diced cucumber, thinly shaved beet, and edible flowers. So refereshing on such a warm day. RG wins the award for best presentation. The vibrant hues (deep red, purple, green, white) contrasted so well in the rustic (compostable) wooden bowl, and despite the volume, time was still taken to wrap the generous portions of goat cheese in greens. Absolutely lovely, and well worth a photo if I hadn't forgotten my camera.
3. Tied for 3rd: Terra Breads - wild blueberry pastries. The pastry was golden, flaky, not too sweet, allowing the ripe blueberries to hold their own. Divine. Wickannish Inn: grilled hallibut served on crostini.
Anyone else have any favourites from the day?
The SO and I went, and despite the admitted lure (great weather etc) I think this will be our last FOF for a while. Overall quite disappointing, with a preponderance of wine stands and too many dessert offerings.
Our standouts were the boar "hot dogs" from the Vancouver Club (!), the smoked sablefish/tomato gelee from Mosaic at the Hyatt Regency (!) and the albacore crudo from the Observatory (?! -- it was not seared as per the description).
I agree with your assessment of the West offering, sf, and it would have scored higher if I was an octopus fan (the SO is and loved it). Must have gotten a bad portion at the Wick booth -- my halibut was so bland and I didn't like the cracker, one of my least favourites. The item I liked least was the first one I had -- Salmon House's smoked salmon on a bit of dark rye with some kind of sweet relish -- I very nearly reenacted Tom Hank's reaction to caviar in the movie Big -- really offputting and stale tasting. Another disappointment was the micro slider from Social; the meat tasted like it was off. I did like the frozen beet sorbet though. I'd have made a great dragon :-).
I just remembered another standout which actually was a dessert: the tuile cone but I don't have my list with me to post the resto. Will look it up when I get home.
Overall, there just weren't enough really interesting, satisfying items for us to go again.
The Scallop dish from the Cannery was pretty good, and I was a fan of the spoonful of crab from Coast (had 4), loved the salad from Raincity. Didn't have the slider as per Greyelf it wasn't worth it. I also got one of the smoked sable fish with green papaya salad from The Flying Tiger but they went quickly, I just happened to be pouring beer next to them :)
I agree with the too many desserts, I wanted more savoury food!
I totally agree with the Salmon house's bite I almost spat it out too lol
The Gazpacho from <drawing a blank> the guys next to Coast was tasty
That's all I remember.....
The Gazpacho with the tuna sashimi in it? That was Italian Kitchen, I think... it was yummy.
I wasn't going to add the bad and the ugly, but seeing as you both mentioned it, Salmon House's offering was brutal. I managed to swallow it (and it was totally stale) but mom couldn't stomach it.
I didn't get to try the scallop or the crab (sea creature sensitivity) so can't comment but I chucked out the FT item as the sable fish tasted way too fishy for me -- in contradistinction to the light and fresh prep from Vancouver Club that we loved so much, it was particularly problematic.
Maybe I'm getting grumpy in my declining years but I just expected better from more stands. The servers were a bit too offhand for my taste at several booths as well (even the SO noticed this and he is 'WAY more laid back about such issues) though Gord Martin at the Bin booth actually offered to (and did) make me a sea creature free version of his mussel on spud bite, which was right gentlemanly.
Memory jogged with programme: tuile cone was from Twisted Fork. Also loved Cibo's offering of crespelle, was disappointed by the Rocky Mountain toppings (so good last year), didn't "get" the savoury cupcakes trend at either Zin or Savoury City, had one great pavlovita from Araxi and one "sad" (soggy) one, gave props to DB for a lovely, simple dessert bite, surprised by how much I liked the candied spring from Aqua Riva whose rhubarb chutney was a triumph; would have loved to have washed everything down with a full glass of the 2008 Kerner from Oliver Twist Estate Winery... okay, I'll put a cork in it now ;-).