Category Archives: Vancouver

Dining Out For Life: Breaking Bread and Breaking the Ice

On Monday night, I had the privilege of attending Dining Out For Life, an event hosted by Fred Lee, and dined with the who’s who from different organizations in Vancouver.  My aunt happens to work with Fred Lee, CBC Radio One and the Vancouver Courier’s ‘Man About Town’, so I attended the event as my aunt’s plus one.  Fred isn’t able to attend Dining Out For Life on Thursday with the rest of Vancouver but still wanted to contribute to the cause, which is why he organized an early edition of the event.  Dining Out For Life is an event when local restaurants contribute 25% of their sales to A Loving Spoonful and Friends For Life, two organizations which provide support to people affected by AIDS/HIV.  This year, over 200 restaurants are participating in this event, including Society Dining Lounge, where Monday’s dinner was held (some photos on Fred’s Facebook Album).

*Sorry for the poor photos–Dim lighting situation.

Cotton Candy Whisically Floated Above the Table Settings

The evening began with cocktails and plenty of mingling, which was a little awkward for me since I didn’t know anybody in the entire restaurant except for my aunt.  But, I met plenty of new people on Monday night, most of whom I vaguely remember the names of (forgive me), and received countless restaurant recommendations and tips for this blog.  One person who I did spot from across the room was Stephanie Yuen, who some of you might be familiar with from her work on the radio, published works, or my book giveaway.  Stephanie and I briefly chatted about her book and she also introduced me to her husband, Henry.

Shortly after we were all in our seats, we ordered from the prix fixe menu which had the option of two or three courses.  I ordered the surprisingly large tomato soup, which was served with miniature grilled cheese, as my appetizer.  I generally do not like prix fix menus because I find that the quality of the food suffers tremendously.  However, the kitchen and wait staff at Society were able to serve the entire restaurant at the same time without any salmon drying out or overcooking any steaks.  To say the least, the diners at my table and I were thoroughly impressed and thoroughly smacking our lips.

Desert: Crumbled Black Forest Cake

Since it was my first time attending such an event, it was a bit intimidating to try to socialize with such an elite crowd.  After getting to know many of them, it was nice to learn that even though we may all be from different walks of life we can make a significant difference in the lives of those in need by sharing in a common enthusiasm for indulgence.

Vancouver Cookbook Giveaway: East Meets West (Closed)

For me, the most enjoyable part of travelling is sampling local flavours and cuisine because I think it is the best way to immerse myself in the culture of wherever I’m going.  Before I return home, I search high and low for local cookbooks to bring home, instead of key chains or flattened pennies, so that I can eat myself back into the memories of my vacation.  There are also cookbooks in my possession from continents I have never set foot on, and that’s where I have to fill in the gaps with my imagination.

Although I love to globe-trot and taste new exotic foods, I have always come to the conclusion that there is no place like home.  Vancouver has been voted one of the most livable cities, and it’s no wonder with our picturesque scenery, fresh air, and mild weather.  But, let’s not forget what I think are the most attractive aspects of the city: the food and culture.

Local veteran foodie Stephanie Yuen, who has the titles of publisher, editor, blogger, food, wine & travel writer on her resume has written East Meets West, a cookbook that paints the culinary canvas of Vancouver. (Find out more about Stephanie Yuen and her new book on her blog here)

“The first book of its kind, East Meets West is a celebration of the city’s Asian food and a mouthwatering compilation of distinctive dishes from its most talented—but often unheralded—kitchens. Veteran food writer Stephanie Yuen brings together a collection of recipes showcasing both traditional Asian foods made with fresh ingredients from the Pacific Northwest Coast and modern classics inspired by Asian flavours and techniques.
With an introduction to the history of Asian food in Vancouver, and profiles of the city’s most exciting eateries — many of them hidden gems, elusive to the uninitiated — East Meets West is a delicious glimpse into one of the most complex and fascinating culinary landscapes in the world.”

I will be giving away a copy of East Meets West to one lucky reader. To enter for your chance to win, all you have to do is tell me about a dish you’ve eaten which you think represents a place you have travelled to or the place you live and where it is from in the comment box below.  Additional entries will be given if you ‘Like’ my Facebook page or tweet the following message:

I shared my foodie wisdom with @foodieonthe49th 2 win East Meets West Book by #beyondchopsticks @ U can enter 2 win 2!

The deadline for entry is March 31, 2012, and the official release date isn’t until April 20, 2012, but Stephanie Yuen has provided me with a copy of East Meets West so that the blessed winner will be able to giddily thumb through the pages of the book before any other foodie will.