About a month ago I had the amazing privilege of meeting & dining with my foodie idol- Erin Ireland. I call her the Angelina Jolie of the food world; tall, beautiful, confident & can rock the YSL Rouge Pur #49 like its her job.
I have been following her blog for a few years and have always been so astonished as to how remarkable this food lover, writer & reporter is; let me tell you, she was even more lovely in person!
That night, I not only had the opportunity to meet Erin but also four more of Vancouver’s biggest foodies. Let me introduce you to these wonderful people- starting from the top left: Ned, one hell of an artist, photographer & physics mastermind who is now the perfect pronouncer of the word Gnoochi. Below Ned is Stephen, a quirky food lover, chiropractor, and owner of Jointworks Chiropractic on Main Street. Beside Stephen is the beautiful Jody; a loving wife, mother & rockstar. Yes, I said rockstar! This lady is seriously remarkable, you can check her band Balligomingo out on Youtube. Lastly, above the stunning Erin Ireland is Steven Kinsey, a big time hockey lover, music lover & BCIT student. The six of us were all unique but had one thing in common; the love of food.
We all met for the first time at Earls Restaurant In Bridge Park Burnaby and it was here where our memorable food experience had started! Within a few minutes of sitting down our drink orders were taken and an amazing Potato and Leek Soup was brought to the table. The soup was very creamy & each spoonful held the perfect amount of bacon & potato.
After getting to know each other over a few drinks & some amazing soup- we were next brought back to the pass through of the restaurant where a food journey had been set in place for us. Intrestingly, the back of the restaurant was a familiar feeling for Jody, Erin and I- as we had all previously worked at Earls!
The first station that was set up for us gave us a feel for the quality of ingredients that Earls Restaurant incorporates in each and every dish. We tasted their aged olive olive, fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano, San Marzano Tomato Sauce and 18 month old Prosciutto!
After stuffing ourselves with high quality olive oils & tomato sauces we moved onto the next station where Chef Luke Skrzyniarz presented the new feature item on the Earls Menu; Tuna Poke Nachos. These were simply amazing. Honestly, may have been my favourite thing on the menu. The nachos were these light and crispy togarashi wontons and were topped with tuna, cucumber, avocado, sliced serranos & crushed macadamia nuts. The nachos were then drizzled with a tomato poke & spicy mango coulis. I highly recommend this dish- It sells for $11.50.
We next had the opportunity to watch Chef Luke make the Prawn Dyanmite rolls. Let me tell you, these truly were dynamite! They were loaded with light & crispy panko breaded prawns, mango, avocado and cucumber. They were then drizzled with a maple soy reduction and sriracha mayonnaise. If you know me well and know my obsession with sriracha- you can only imagine how excited I was!
At this point most people would have been full.. but for Vancouver’s six biggest foodies- our appetites had only just be woken!
Brought out next, was yet another new addition to the Earls Menu; Gnocchi with Italian Rose Sauce. Mmmmm this Gnocchi was so light & delicate. It was one of those dishes where a few simple ingredients had come together to create something extraordinary.
After the Gnocchi an intense battle of rock, paper & scissors between Stephen and I had won me the opportunity to cook one of my all time favorite Earls dishes- the Hunan Kung Pao!
Big thanks to Chef Luke for teaching me how to properly hold a wok!
Those veggies look perfectly cooked to me! =)
Next, was the dish I was crossing my fingers for on my way to Earls; The Braised Hickory Backed Ribs with Warm Potato Salad and Coleslaw. Clearly the Ribs Gods had answered my prayers and I was in foodie heaven for the full one and half minutes it took me to lick my plate clean.
My rule? Everything in moderation, except for ribs.
Finally, this whole experience was topped off with a moist & decadent warm gingerbread cake which was accompanied with grilled apples, salted caramel and vanilla bean gelato. In all seriousness, I still think about this dessert on a daily basis.
What an amazing time we all had! I am very grateful to have met all you quirky food loving Vancouverites! Big thanks to the lovely Erin Ireland, Chef Luke Skrzyniarz, General Manager Eric Holland & the best paparazzi I know- Spencrye.
This experience was simply, to die for.