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Cornucopia


peppyre
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I'm going to Cornucopia for the first time this year and want to know what is a must do/see? Of course there is the obvious....drink wine....eat food, but that's a given. So, tips and ideas would be appreciated. :laugh:

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I'm going to Cornucopia for the first time this year and want to know what is a must do/see? Of course there is the obvious....drink wine....eat food, but that's a given.  So, tips and ideas would be appreciated.  :laugh:

Peppyre,

After being sponsors of Cornucopia for the longest time, we gave it a break last year. But here's a roll call of the better events:

1. Varietel Boot Camp with Josh Wesson--in fact anything with JW, the author of Red Wine with Fish and very funny--his dad was a Borscht Belt comedian and you can hear the budda-bing in his delivery. The Wine Guys thing with JW and Anthony Gismondi is good value too.

2. The Farm Trip to North Arm Farm (Jordan Sturdy) always sells out fast--see what you can do. It's very interesting (to me at least) how Whistler's hotels and restaurants (promulgated by Bernard Casavant more than a decade ago) collaborated with Pemberton Valley farmers.

3. The Washington Wine Lunch (Dana Reinhard and Mark Taylor from CRU showing Columbia Crest and Ch. Ste. Michelle) looks good.

4. If you have the bucks, the Jazz Night at Araxi promises lots of good seafood from James Walt--I think the wine rave at Bearfoot is already sold out although no doubt you could gain entrance if you dress up as a naked wine bottle.

5. Anything with Mark Davidson or John Clerides--two of the most lucid and down-to-earth wine guys around. Mark's Oregon--Cool Climate and Aussie Diversity seminars sound tasty; John's doing one on New World Meritage, an arena of strong growth.

The most curious (to be polite) "event" is the morning-after "Recovery Room", where, quoting from the catalogue, "Don Genova will be on hand to hear about the previous night's escapades and share morning-after remorse with good humour and light-hearted chuckles."

I'll have to let you make up your own mind on that one.

I hope this helps. You needn't express your profound thanks as Keith sounds thirsty.

Jamie

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Thanks Jamie (this is not a profound thanks, just the regular kind). I think that I am "working" a couple of events on Sat with my mom, so once I figure out which ones we have to be at, I'll look for some other events to go to.

Anyone else going?

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  • 2 weeks later...

My wife and I will be going up for a few events. We would love to stop and say hi - where are your "working"?

Thanks Jamie (this is not a profound thanks, just the regular kind).  I think that I am "working" a couple of events on Sat with my mom, so once I figure out which ones we have to be at, I'll look for some other events to go to. 

Anyone else going?

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Saturday will mostly be spent "Working" at a spa, but on Sunday apparently we are pouring Ice Wine at that event. I'm not sure which product yet. My mom's company just brought in several new lines which are still foreign to me. Look for the two tall blonde women that look identical. That's us. :biggrin:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I will have had the pleasure of meeting you at the Bourdain dinner so I shouldn't have any problem picking you and your Mom out.

See you at the dinner! :biggrin:

Saturday will mostly be spent "Working" at a spa, but on Sunday apparently we are pouring Ice Wine at that event.  I'm not sure which product yet.  My mom's company just brought in several new lines which are still foreign to me.  Look for the two tall blonde women that look identical.  That's us. :biggrin:

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  • 2 weeks later...
Anyone else going?

I'll be there along with five other Dubrulle students. We'll be helping out with food prep for the House Party on Thursday evening and also for the CRUSH gala on Friday night. Hopefully we'll get a chance to taste some wines after our work is done on Friday night.

Leaving tomorrow morning. Should be an exhausting couple of days, but lots of fun and educational too. :biggrin:

-christine

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Anyone else going?

I'll be there along with five other Dubrulle students. We'll be helping out with food prep for the House Party on Thursday evening and also for the CRUSH gala on Friday night. Hopefully we'll get a chance to taste some wines after our work is done on Friday night.

Leaving tomorrow morning. Should be an exhausting couple of days, but lots of fun and educational too. :biggrin:

-christine

Get to the Bearfoot if you can.....a real blast!!!

John

It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.

Hunter S. Thompson ---- R.I.P. 1939 - 2005

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."

--Mark Twain

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Anyone else going?

I'll be there along with five other Dubrulle students. We'll be helping out with food prep for the House Party on Thursday evening and also for the CRUSH gala on Friday night. Hopefully we'll get a chance to taste some wines after our work is done on Friday night.

Leaving tomorrow morning. Should be an exhausting couple of days, but lots of fun and educational too. :biggrin:

-christine

Christine,

Would love to hear a behind-the-scenes report on all the goings on.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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I just got back from Whistler. The other Dubrulle students and I had a fabulous time at Cornucopia. The only disappointment was that everything seemed to be so well-organized this year that we really didn't have that much to do.

Thursday afternoon was spent working in the kitchen at the conference centre to help out with food prep for the House Party. We helped George from Memphis Blues by baking cornbread and cutting up all the meat: rib ends, pulled pork, beef brisket, sausages, and chicken. It was a lot of fun working for George, he's a really friendly and enthusiastic guy. We had enough food there to feed the 400 people who attended, but unfortunately the wine ran out quite quickly (I think they started to run out of wine after the first hour-and-a-half). I got to schmooze a bit while wearing my chef's whites (it's a great conversation opener because people would see the Dubrulle logo and ask me about the school).

We were told to be well-rested before the CRUSH gala because several restaurants would be bringing food and we would be helping with the prep and/or assembly of hors d'oeuvres. Unfortunately for us, everybody was prepared well ahead of time and none of the restaurants needed any help. :sad: Our chef instructor said that last year's Cornucopia was really hectic; he thought maybe it was because last year all the restaurants that were bringing food were from Vancouver and needed to do a lot of prep on-site. Whereas this year it was all Whistler-based restaurants, and they would have completed all their prep in their own kitchens.

But we did have a booth of our own and made some cheese and fruit platters and bread baskets. The chef at the conference centre kitchen did take notice of us, however, and seemed to be impressed because he asked our chef instructor if he could have some students come up to Whistler when he needs volunteers for big events.

There were a lot of students who signed up for this volunteer opportunity to work in the conference centre kitchen in Whistler. So, needless to say, there were lots of students who were really upset that they couldn't go (because we're all looking to get more work experience). Shameless plug: If there are any chefs who need volunteers to work at any special events, just call the school, you'll have at least a dozen of us fighting each other for the opportunity to work in your kitchen for FREE. /end shameless plug

On to the fun stuff: After the CRUSH gala, we helped the crew from the Bearfoot Bistro haul their food and equipment back to the restaurant. One of the guys said he would give us a tour of their kitchen. So we went in the back, up the stairs, and into the kitchen...and we got into the party! We had our street clothes with us and changed into them there. I think I've led a sheltered life, because I've never been to a party like that before. :shock: There was a woman covered in chocolate fondue sauce and you could dip and eat strawberries off of her. It was unbelievable. I had a fabulous time there. In fact, probably too good a time, because I didn't wake up in time to make it to the Recovery Room. :laugh:

I'd like to go again next year and take my husband along so we can go to some of the seminars, and the Bearfoot Bistro party. :biggrin:

-Christine

Edited by KnifeSkills (log)
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I finally have time to catch up on some of the things I have been meaning to post. Mrs. Gourmet and I, along with her sister, headed up to Cornucopia last weekend for Friday and Saturday and had a great time.

We started our Friday morning listening to Memory Walsh and Tim Palsey banter back and forth about wines at “He Said/She Said”. The session was entertaining and more intimate than we had expected with only about 10 people who signed up for the tasting. The most interesting part of the tasting was a blind comparison of the first two wines. We tasted a Chardonnay (RH Phillips 2003) and Merlot (Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Merlot 2001) both from a corked bottle and a screw cap bottle. While there were some similarities between the wines, not one person in the room guessed that the first two glasses of the Chardonnay were the same wine. The nose and flavors were very different due to the closure method. A similar experience was had with the Merlot. The nose on the screw cap bottles was so much more pronounced than that of the cork, and even the finish of the wine was different. It was a very interesting experiment. These four wines were followed up with 8 more wines and some interesting discussions from many of the restaurateurs and writers in the room.

After our tasting we wandered over to Trattoria di Umberto which is one of my favorite places for a quiet lunch in Whistler (quiet being the key word). We had an antipasto plate followed by courses of wild mushroom and truffle risotto, veal stuffed with wild mushrooms and a sausage pasta which I don’t really remember. All of this wash washed down with more wine – a bottle of Chianti if I remember correctly!

My afternoon was spent at the Trade Tasting in the Whistler Conference Center where I was lucky enough to get to taste 100 or so wines, some of which were straight from the barrels and have yet to be released. What a great way to spend an afternoon and it just made me think of how great the Playhouse wine festival will be next year – 3 straight days of tasting!!! If you want details on the wines, etc. please send me a PM. Mrs. Gourmet and her sister spent the afternoon shopping.

We had opted to skip the CRUSH event as I had heard that it was over crowed last year and that you stood in line for everything so we decided to relax in the hot tub and have a quick dinner at Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub. The food was simple, but well prepared. I enjoyed a nice steak with fluffy mashed potatoes and a great demi, while the ladies shared a bowl of butternut squash and almond soup, and a crab and shrimp sandwich which they said was quite good. The prices were a little on the high side ($18 for a plate of Nachos) but no more than expected in Whistler.

We were lucky enough to wrangle tickets to the after party at Araxi on the Friday night called Bubbles, Jazz and the Deep Blue which had amazing food with a sushi bar, Oyster bar (more than 800 oysters shucked), a chilled seafood bar, other assorted hors d’ouvres and an amazing dessert buffet. All this was complimented by more than 12 different types of champagne all rated 90 or higher! A copy of the menu can be seen at

http://www.whistlercornucopia.com/cornucop.../Araxi_Jazz.pdf There was a great jazz band and lots of drinking, eating and dancing into the wee hours of the morning.

On Saturday morning we had hoped to make it to the Recovery Room to listen to everyone recount the events of the past evening, but we did not make it out of bed in time. Instead we opted for a late brunch at Wildwood Bistro at the Whistler Racquet Club which we had continually been told had the best breakfast in Whistler. Well I can report that the place was busy, the food was very cheap (even by non-Whistler standards) but you do get what you pay for. The Eggs Benny and omelets were average at best and the service – what service???

Overall, the weekend was lots of fun and we wish we could have stayed longer. We will just have to plan better next year!

Cheers,

Eric

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  • 2 months later...
I just got back from Whistler. The other Dubrulle students and I had a fabulous time at Cornucopia. The only disappointment was that everything seemed to be so well-organized this year that we really didn't have that much to do.

Thursday afternoon was spent working in the kitchen at the conference centre to help out with food prep for the House Party. We helped George from Memphis Blues by baking cornbread and cutting up all the meat: rib ends, pulled pork, beef brisket, sausages, and chicken. It was a lot of fun working for George, he's a really friendly and enthusiastic guy. We had enough food there to feed the 400 people who attended, but unfortunately the wine ran out quite quickly (I think they started to run out of wine after the first hour-and-a-half). I got to schmooze a bit while wearing my chef's whites (it's a great conversation opener because people would see the Dubrulle logo and ask me about the school).

We were told to be well-rested before the CRUSH gala because several restaurants would be bringing food and we would be helping with the prep and/or assembly of hors d'oeuvres.  Unfortunately for us, everybody was prepared well ahead of time and none of the restaurants needed any help.  :sad: Our chef instructor said that last year's Cornucopia was really hectic; he thought maybe it was because last year all the restaurants that were bringing food were from Vancouver and needed to do a lot of prep on-site. Whereas this year it was all Whistler-based restaurants, and they would have completed all their prep in their own kitchens.

But we did have a booth of our own and made some cheese and fruit platters and bread baskets.  The chef at the conference centre kitchen did take notice of us, however, and seemed to be impressed because he asked our chef instructor if he could have some students come up to Whistler when he needs volunteers for big events.

There were a lot of students who signed up for this volunteer opportunity to work in the conference centre kitchen in Whistler. So, needless to say, there were lots of students who were really upset that they couldn't go (because we're all looking to get more work experience).  Shameless plug: If there are any chefs who need volunteers to work at any special events, just call the school, you'll have at least a dozen of us fighting each other for the opportunity to work in your kitchen for FREE. /end shameless plug

On to the fun stuff: After the CRUSH gala, we helped the crew from the Bearfoot Bistro haul their food and equipment back to the restaurant. One of the guys said he would give us a tour of their kitchen. So we went in the back, up the stairs, and into the kitchen...and we got into the party! We had our street clothes with us and changed into them there. I think I've led a sheltered life, because I've never been to a party like that before. :shock:  There was a woman covered in chocolate fondue sauce and you could dip and eat strawberries off of her.  It was unbelievable.  I had a fabulous time there. In fact, probably too good a time, because I didn't wake up in time to make it to the Recovery Room.  :laugh:

I'd like to go again next year and take my husband along so we can go to some of the seminars, and the Bearfoot Bistro party.  :biggrin:

-Christine

Hi Christine,

I am glad that you enjoyed the party at the Bearfoot Bistro and we were glad that you got a chance to attend it, even if we did sneak you in past security.

(We weren't supposed to do that and we could have been fired for that, so please take care in posting that in this forum as it was the owner who let me know about this web-site)

If you do come back next year, it will be great to see you guys again but I hope the Korean chef doesn't get as drunk at the party as this year.

Our chef was getting pissed at her walking into the kitchen in her street clothes while we were still serving.

But please come back and Hi from the kitchen crew at the Bearfoot.

Take care and try to attend my seminar there called "Oysters 101."

All the best

Oyster Guy

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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Oyster Guy,

I'm so sorry for mentioning that. I posted that right after I arrived home from Whistler, and I was still so thrilled and over-enthusiastic about being able to attend the Cornucopia event, that I was too indiscrete by mentioning details here. Please accept my sincerest apologies. I hope you didn't get into any trouble because of it. :sad: It was, however, great to meet you and the kitchen crew.

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