From local artisan cheese to craft beer and gourmet charcuterie, the Vancouver Cheese and Meat Festival will satisfy food lovers with unlimited sampling of meat, cheese and more.
We were excited to join the Vancouver Cheese and Meat Festival at the Roundhouse Community Centre in early September. This highly anticipated event featured over 36 local and international vendors in two adjacent event spaces, one emphasizing cheese while the other emphasized meat. Aside from the anticipated cheese and meat, it was great to find a large range of beverage options including local wines and craft beer, as well as coffee and cider to pair with the event’s highlighted delicacies.
As we walked leisurely through the event space sampling bite-size items, we were impressed by the quality and standards of BC’s local purveyors and their innovative approach to incorporating local, seasonal ingredients. From a mind-blowing caramelized goat cheese from Dussa’s Ham & Cheese Ltd. that is as sweet and creamy as a caramel fudge, to the unforgettable Pinot Chorizo from WineCrush, there is something for everyone.
To summarize this wonderful event (which we are sure to attend again next year), we rounded up a few of our favourite vendors.
TREVOR BIRD CATERING
Award-Winning Chef from Vancouver’s local favourite Fable Kitchen served up his famous ‘Black Pepper Jam’ that can make anything you decide to slather on taste 200% better. We can’t resist this sweet and savoury jam served with cream cheese crostini-style, and we can already imagine how amazing it will be when served on meat. This delicious condiment is a Fable Restaurant staple and long-time requested recipe for years, and it is exciting to hear that it has finally made its way into retail.
To learn more about Trevor Bird and his Black Pepper Jam, visit here.
RIOT BREWING CO.
What caught our attention in the first place was definitely the vibrant cartoon designs and the quirky beer names. This Award-Winning craft brewery is based in the seaside town of Chemainus, BC, and the brand is definitely true to its origin, incorporating elements from the region’s mural scene and skate parks into the package design.
We enjoyed the hoppy goodness of their Junk Punch IPA, and it definitely hits all the right notes in what we look for in a great craft beer - tropical, floral, delicious. So here’s cheers to a good riot.
To learn more about Riot Brewing Co, visit here.
While strolling through the event space, we noticed a vendor with a long line-up that exceeded every other vendor. Must be good we thought? After a half-an-hour wait in line, we finally got to try the innovative charcuterie creations from BC Penticton’s Winecrush. The long wait lived up to our expectations and we found ourselves savouring every bite of the assorted samples we were given, including Pinot Chorizo, Cabernet salami, Surlee red cheddar, Gamay goat cheese and Merlot wine crisps.
Another Award-Winner purveyor, Winecrush made their name with a very creative approach - infusing artisan food with local wine flavours. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding Okanagan Valley, Winecrush was able to develop a process to infuse the deep and rich flavours of wine grapes into their food products including cheese, crisps and meats. To top it all off, we left the vendor feeling inspired by owner Bill Broddy’s passion and humility as he explained each product to us in great detail.
To learn more about Winecrush Gourmet Okanagan Wine-Infused Food Products, visit here.
FANNY BAY OYSTERs
Every time we passed by Fanny Bay Oysters we were energized by the enthusiastic team at the vendor serving up delectable smoked Fanny Bay oysters on herbed cream cheese and crostini. The beautifully presented finger food was as delicious as it looked, and we cannot help but go back another two times after our first bite into this flavour bomb.
We were surprised to find out that the smoked oysters came directly from the can - canned seafood can actually taste this good? The crostini creation is a wonderful example of the hundreds of different ways you can serve Fanny Bay smoked oysters, and we are definitely excited to discover this new and easy way of eating oysters.
To learn more about Fanny Bay Oysters, visit here.
ARC IBERICO IMPORTS
Whenever we hear Iberico, our ears perk up in excitement. This traditional breed of pig is hailed by foodies and critics alike for its delicate, nutty flavour and melt-in-your-mouth marbling. The only downside? Good cuts of Iberico pork can run anywhere between $100 - $300 per kilo, so even if you can find a place that serves this spectacular indulgence, you do need rather deep pockets. We were over the moon when we came across the slice-to-serve cured Iberico prosciutto station at ARC Iberico Imports. After tasting, we all mutually agreed that this has to be the best piece of prosciutto we had ever tasted.
ARC pride themselves for their quality products and professional catering services. They provide full-service catering including transportation of their ham product and Master Ham Carver to any location in or outside of Canada. Let’s hope that our next event gathering will include a prosciutto-by-the-slice station?
To learn more about ARC Iberico Imports, visit here.
DUSSA’S HAM & CHEESE LTD.
If we were to ever dream about cheese, it will most definitely be Dussa’s Caramelized Goat Cheese. This game changing cheese has the texture of a smooth, creamy fudge and the taste of sweet caramel with a hint of goat cheese. The unique combination of flavour makes this a sure winner amongst all of the cheeses we tasted at the event. After all, who doesn’t love a melt-in-your-mouth caramel fudge with an ever-so-slight taste of goat cheese?
Dussa’s Ham & Cheese is a well-known local purveyor based in Vancouver’s Granville Island Public Market. They are a local favourite for meat and cheese, and has been for more than 60 years. Next time you are in the area, don’t forget to drop by Dussa’s in the Granville Island Public Market to discover their 300+ selection of fine cheese and meat (and maybe bring home a slice of their Caramelized Goat Cheese).
To learn more about Dussa’s Ham and Cheese ltd, visit here.
All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed the Cheese and Meat Event and left with a full belly. We strongly advise our fellow food-loving readers to put this event on your watch list for next year!
To learn more about the Meat and Cheese Festival and all participating vendors, visit here.