West coast foodies flocked to Vancouver this past weekend to experience the 11th annual EAT! Vancouver festival.
Exhibitors took over B.C. Place Stadium for the three days, filling it with anything and everything culinary-related. Aside from the feasting for the eyes and mouth, attendees could catch cooking demonstrations on the Food Network Canada Celebrity stage by personalities including Bob Blumer, David Rocco, Rob Feenie and Dale Mackay.
The most exciting culinary event took place on Friday afternoon, when celebrity chefs Bob Blumer, David Rocco and Rob Feenie faced off in a black box cooking competition. Hosted by ET Canada’s Erin Cebula, the trio of kitchen talents faced off to see who could create the best ‘picnic-inspired’ dish with a surprise secret ingredient, kale.
Fans were allowed to get close to the stage to snap photos of all the action. While the men cooked, Erin moderated, asking questions and bringing a few lucky people from the audience to serve as temporary ‘sous chefs’. Blumer and Feenie were whirlwinds on stage, cooking as fast as possible. Rocco took a more relaxed approach and was all winks and smiles to the camera and audience. He’s even more charming in person!
When time was up, Erin was presented with the three dishes. I couldn’t get close enough to snap shots of the plates, but I’ll tease you with a description anyway…
In true Bob Blumer style, he had some fun with his plate, offering up a Chicken, Pecan and Date Salad with Chipotle Aioli with a side of Lemon Fennel Salad and a ‘Bejewelled Date ‘Ant’. However, the only kale on his plate was a garnish, so I figured he was out of the running.
Chef Rob Feenie called his creation ‘Romantic Picnic’. Spot Prawn Ceviche with Fennel, Orange and Deep-fried Kale. He also served a second dish, a thai broth with prawns. Impressive.
David Rocco presented his simple carbonara with a freshly cracked farm egg on top. Shortly after, his traditional carbonara with kale was announced as Erin’s favourite.
The audience applauded and the chefs shook hands. A battle well fought!
Check out some more pictures from the EAT Vancouver festival below!
by Dan Clapson