It's a good time to live in the Sea to Sky corridor, what with the myriad food related events, dinners and showcases going on around town.
Take the upcoming two weeks - there's the kick-off of Meatless Mondays hosted by the restaurant owners and Earthsave Whistler at the excellent Alta Bistro on Monday, June 25. There, there, carnivores, there's no need to stop reading - in fact it would be wise to be bold and venture into this uncharted territory. Eating meat-free (even just once in a while) is a way to significantly combat the environmental impacts of livestock production, which was called out by the United Nations in 2006 for having one of the greatest impacts on the environment (even more, believe it or not, than the transportation sector). Choosing to eat a vegetarian meal just once a week significantly reduces stress on our ecosystems and healthy ecosystems are necessary for all life - including the meat you usually eat - so isn't it better to eat less of it and have better quality than insisting it be a part of every meal? It goes without saying that being exposed to the intricacies of vegetarian cuisine by a top chef like Alta Bistro's Guillaume Gissinger is a safe way to dive into eating green.
"There is a false misconception that food without animal products is bland or boring," said Hayley Ingman of Earthsave Whistler. "Many Whistler restaurants already offer delectable plant-based dishes and prove that this is not the case. Alta Bistro aims to add their culinary excellence into the mix and present meatless specials on Mondays that delight the taste buds and satisfy even the most committed carnivore."
Alta Bistro will be offering a three course, 100 per cent plant-based dinner for $29. To find out more about the event or to RSVP, visit earthsavewhistler.com/events.
Staying in sync with the locavore movement, the Fairmont Whistler is having an alfresco feast based entirely around the 100 Mile Diet-concept on Saturday, July 23.
To sweeten the evening, executive chef Vincent Stufano has created a decadent seven-course meal with each and every ingredient on the menu sourced from within 100 miles of Whistler. Dishes will feature local, organic ingredients from a variety of suppliers including Pemberton's North Arm Farms , Hills Foods , and Les Amis Du Fromage .
"I have always emphasized local foods in my cooking," says Stufano. "When you use what's local it's fresher, you get a better quality product, and the food is more interesting. We have spent a lot of time developing relationships with the local farmers so that we can tailor a menu that best features the food grown in the region."
B.C. specialties of the night include fresh spot prawns, salmon, roasted rack of rabbit and wood burning suckling pig. Wine maker David Patterson will join Stufano for the evening's reception at 5 p.m., where guests will sip a rare 2004 Blanc de Noir. Tickets are $175 per person. For reservations call 604-938-2036 or visit www.fairmont.com/whistler .
Not to be outdone, La Bocca is holding weekly Sunday Farmers' Market dinners where executive chef Danny Winter will create three course meals from fresh, locally sourced ingredients hand selected at Sea to Sky farmers' markets.
"With Whistler being so close to such a great amount of farms in Pemberton and even Cache Creek and Interior regions we're actually quite lucky to be have all these fresh products in such close reach," said Brenton Smith, general manager of O&R Entertainment. "Usually farmers' markets don't have a lot of protein available so what we're doing is working with Two Rivers, an organic and regional meat company, so the last couple of dinners we've had fresh lake trout from Chilliwack, Pemberton raised beef short ribs, and so much fresh west coast fish as well."
Wrap up the month dining under Mount Currie at Araxi Restaurant's Long Table Dinners at North Arm Farm, the next of which will be held on Saturday, July 30 (but subsequent dinners are also set for August 27 and September 11). The masterminds behind the experience also run the award winning West, Cin Cin and Blue Water Café in Vancouver, so know you're in good hands. Araxi executive chef James Walt will be serving up a four-course meal featuring local produce, proteins and wine.
Tickets are $160 per person. For tickets email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Indian food fanatics can get their jollies at an afternoon cooking demonstration at Kitchen Quickies in Squamish with celebrity chef Vikram Vij. The proprietor of the popular Vij's restaurant in Vancouver launched his nation's cuisine into the stratosphere when he opened his doors in 1994. Since then he's won numerous awards, released a number of best selling cookbooks and created an equally popular bistro (Vij's Rangoli) next door to the mothership (Vij's). So it's not a surprise he's on tour promoting his new line of frozen meals. The guru of aloo gobi will be on hand for a live cooking demonstration, cookbook signing and to give out samples of his new product, which will be sold at Kitchen Quickies. The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kitchen Quickie, 40437 Tantalus Road (in the Spectacle building). For more information call 604-218-0777 or go to http://kitchenquickies.com .