The West Coast Culinary Experience

A press release about a very interesting tasting of BC wines and enjoying culinary dishes prepared at PICA on Granville Island.  Enjoy now till Oct 13, 2019.

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PICA (Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts) highlights BC’s best in new culinary activity

Vancouver, May 9, 2019 – The Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts is excited to announce the debut of The West Coast Culinary Experience; an immersive exploration of British Columbia’s vibrant culinary landscape.
From the ocean to the mountains and Okanagan Valley, British Columbia boasts a rich and diverse terroir that produces a vast selection of regional ingredients. The Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) will be highlighting the many flavours of the West Coast in their new culinary activity, The West Coast Culinary Experience is available for bookings now until October 13.
Located at the gateway to Granville Island, one of Canada’s most visited neighbourhoods and home to the iconic Granville Island Public Market, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts is Vancouver’s leading culinary education center with classes for everyone from aspiring professionals and home chefs alike.
The West Coast Culinary Experience is a deep dive into the flavours of British Columbia and begins with a walking tour of Granville Island. The walking tour weaves through the bustling public market where guests will work up an appetite as they take in the many local artisans and food purveyors from butchers and chocolatiers to bakers and baristas. Tour guides are globally trained chefs, certified sommeliers, food writers, and food experts from PICA, who will answer questions and provide cooking tips, while they point out historical details and reveal hidden, cultural landmarks.
A sommelier-led wine tasting follows the walking tour and features four exceptional BC wines: Mission Hill, Quails Gate, Blue Mountain, and Hester Creek. Guests will experience the province’s different wine regions while learning about grape varieties and what’s new in winemaking during this interactive tasting session.
With thirsts quenched and appetites peaked, up next is a cooking demonstration and tasting. The instructing chef will share best practice for selecting the freshest fish and seafood and demonstrate various cooking techniques. This may include an exploration of traditional recipes from West Coast aboriginal nations or how to clean, filet, and debone a whole salmon. Guests will leave with a better understanding of local seafood and insights on current flavours and cooking styles.
three-course meal at PICA’s Blue Hat Bistro concludes the West Coast Culinary Experience. Guests will have two or three dishes to choose from for each course including vegetarian options.
The West Coast Culinary Experience is an interactive and immersive journey through the traditions, history, and trends of British Columbia’s cuisine. Guests will see, taste, and learn what makes the Vancouver and British Columbia world-class culinary destinations.
The West Coast Culinary Experience is available for booking seven days a week from May 1 until October 13. Tours begin at either 10:00 AM or 3:00 and last approximately 3 hours. Each tour can accommodate up to 16 guests and costs $167 per person before tax. For more information or booking, please call: 604.734.4488 or email: wcce@picachef.com or via eventbrite.

Crazy Rich Asians Feast at PICA (Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts) – Saturday Oct 20

Vancouver, October 9th, 2018 – The Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) is excited to host a multi-course Crazy Rich Asian themed Singaporean pop-up dinner with Chef Regina Lee on Saturday, October 20th from 6:30PM to 10:00PM.
In celebration of the recently released and critically acclaimed Asian-American romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, PICA will host a multi-course pop-up dinner inspired by the film and the foods of Singapore. Chef Regina Lee, a PICA alumna designed the menu and will lead the kitchen team. Born and raised in Singapore, Chef Lee’s cooking foundation comes from her deep connection to and knowledge of Asian foods, ingredients, techniques, and dishes. She is excited to bring the authentic taste of Singapore to Vancouver audiences.
Guests are invited to indulge in an evening of dining and music inspired by the energy and glamour of Crazy Rich Asians. The event will bring to life the mouth-watering Singaporean cuisine and extravagant fun depicted in the book and movie.
Festivities begin with a Singapore Sling welcome drink, followed by a multi-course meal. Five appetizers dishes, seven main course dishes, and five dessert dishes will showcase the diversity of South-East Asian cuisine and highlight regional tastes and flavours. Menu items include chicken and beef satay with peanut sauce, crispy fried wontons and rojak, a traditional fruit salad, as appetizers; beef rendang with coconut rice, seafood mee goreng fried noodles, and fried carrot cake as mains; and kueh lapis layered rice flour pudding, nonya kueh dumplings, and chocolate chiffon cake for dessert. Full menu is available here.
Dishes will be served as sharing plates and guests will be seated family-style at long tables of 8 to 10 people. PICA students will support the event as service and kitchen staff. From the menu to the music and decorations, the dinner is a tribute to Crazy Rich Asians and will bring people together over the sharing of great Singaporean food.
 
Date: Saturday, October 20th 2018
Time: 6:30PM to 10:00PM
Location: Bistro 101 at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts
Tickets are $128 per person (including a welcome cocktail, service charge and taxes) and are available online.
Special thank you to our seafood sponsor, FISH (Fresh Ideas Starts Here).
 Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) 
PICA was founded in 1997 and is located at the entrance of Granville Island, one of Vancouver’s most iconic tourism and hospitality destinations. PICA, an award-winning, world-class culinary training institute was recently recognized again as the Best Professional Culinary School in Vancouver in the 2018 Georgia Straight Golden Plate Awards. Offering everything from accredited, professional diploma programs in culinary and baking & pastry arts to certified wine education, casual cooking classes, catering and corporate events along with the popular student run Bistro 101™ restaurant and Bakery 101™ café, there is something for every kind of culinary enthusiast. PICA is committed to excellence and promises the highest standards of culinary education for professional and amateur training.
Chef Regina Lee
Chef Regina Lee is currently the owner of Gaia Kitchen that creates healthy Asian meals for school children on the North Shore. She was an international health retreat chef for ph360, a personalized health company. She has produced and delivered live online cooking lessons for clients, authored an e-cookbook and conducted cooking lessons at ph360 international retreats. Chef Lee has been a cooking instructor while living in Malaysia. As a PICA graduate in both the culinary arts as well as the baking & pastry arts, she is also trained in holistic wellness and health coaching.

Dish N Dazzle featuring Wines of Argentina – Get Your TIckets

Dish N Dazzle

When and Where?

Dish N Dazzle
Thursday, May 7, 2015
6:30 – 9:30 pm
Vancouver Convention Centre EAST in the Parkview Terrace

What is Dish N Dazzle?

This is a fundraising event for the BC Hospitality Foundation and will feature

  • More than 100 wines from Argentina
  • 14 of Vancouver’s best restaurants
  • A cocktail competition with 6 expert bartenders
  • A live Jazz Band – Les is More
  • A Latin DJ
  • A HUGE silent auction focused on hospitality, hotels & restaurants

The Wineries

Below is the list of wineries from Argentina participating in this event.  There are some great ones, like Catena, Colome, Graffigna and more.  Very exciting wines to try from these wineries.

  • Alamos Winery, Amalaya, Bousquet, Casa Bianchi, Catena Zapata, Clos de los Siete
  • Colome, Dona Paula, El Esteco, El Porvenir de Cafayate, Escorihuela 1884, Finca Decero
  • Finca Flichman,    Finca las Moras, Graffigna, Huarpe Wines, Kaiken, La Vuelta
  • Lagarde, Layer Cake, Marcelo Pelleriti Wines, Mascota Vineyards, Masi Tupungato, Pasucal Toso
  • Que Guapo, Santa Ana, Septima, Tamari, Tapiz, Tinto Negro, Vina Cobos, Vistalba, Zorzal Wines

What About the Restaurants?

Here are the participating Vancouver restaurants.

  • Aura at Nita Lake Lodge, Bistro 101 at PICA, Black + Blue, The Bon Vivant Group
  • Café Pacifica at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Chef Ann Kirsebom, CinCin
  • Donnelly Group, Forage at the Listel Hotel, Homer St. Cafe and Bar
  • Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House, La Grotta Del Formaggio, PIER 7 restaurant + bar

Do You Want a Discount on Your Ticket?

Tickets are $75 but because you are reading my article, use promo code WOA15 for $69 tickets.

More information on Dish N Dazzle is on their website.

A Superb Lunch at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts – Bistro 101

My first Dine Out Vancouver meal for 2014 was a magnificent lunch at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts – Bistro 101.  Have you ever heard of PICA?  It is a well-known and respected culinary school for training chefs.  The students today were all eager to show off their talents for Dine Out.  For my $18 lunch menu I picked:

  • Dungeness Crab Salad Shaved Fennel, Lemon Foam
  • Roasted Halibut Spinach Risotto Lemongrass Emulsion
  • Hazelnut Tart Blood Orange (and a cup of coffee to enjoy it with)

Before starting our server brought us some Amuse Bouche, which was an Ementhal cheese tart with cranberry compote.  It had a light buttery/nutty taste from the cheese and a some tartness from the cranberry.  A nice flavour combination and a tasty start to what was to follow.

Amuse bouche - Ementhal cheese tart with cranberry compote

Amuse bouche – Ementhal cheese tart with cranberry compote

Probably my favourite dish was the Dungeness Crab Salad Shaved Fennel and Lemon Foam. Real crab meat was used in this dish, and not just a little bit; a significant amount of crab meat.  The fennel was shaved, not paper thin, slightly thicker so it had some body. The fennel flavour was very light and not overpowering. I liked getting a bit of the blood orange with the crab and fennel as it added a citrus component to the dish.  This dish is well worth $18 on it’s own.  The plating was also quite beautiful.

Dungeness Crab Salad Shaved Fennel and Lemon Foam

Dungeness Crab Salad Shaved Fennel and Lemon Foam

 

 

 

 

My main course was the Roasted Halibut with Spinach Risotto and Lemongrass Emulsion.  The halibut was cooked perfectly, not overdone.  Very soft to the fork. The lemongrass emulsion added that citrus component that goes so well with seafood.  The spinach risotto was also a nice complement adding some texture and green flavour (I could not specifically tell it was spinach I was tasting).  I also like the simply grilled vegetables.  No heavy sauce was needed for the vegetables.  On their own with a bite of the halibut let the flavour of both come out.

What wine did I try with both these dishes?  It was the Calona Vineyards ‘Artist Series Chardonnay. This is an unoaked chardonnay with citrus and stone fruit flavours which went nicely with both seafood dishes.

Roasted Halibut with Spinach Risotto

Roasted Halibut with Spinach Risotto

My last dish, dessert, was the Hazelnut Tart Blood Orange, with a strawberry or raspberry sorbet (sorry couldn’t tell).  The little pearls you see on my plate are made from milk chocolate.  The hazelnut flavour was delicate and was nice with the tartness of the sorbet.  My only complaint was the tart was quite small and I would have enjoyed a larger portion to enjoy with my coffee.  But it was a nice dessert.

Hazelnut Tart with Blood Orange

Hazelnut Tart with Blood Orange

Overall I think the students at PICA – Bistro 101 did an excellent job.  My server Rebecca was very attentive and enthusiastic about food and wine.  Come see the possible Iron Chefs of tomorrow.

If you are interested in trying Dine Out Vancouver at PICA here is the web link.