Written By Guest Writer Edibles / Food Events Apr 8, 2013 Culinaire 2013 SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestLeft: Monte Cristo by Bubby’s Kitchen. Right: The line up for second seating.The much anticipated and sold-out Culinaire opened the doors at Crystal Gardens Thursday, March 21 to lucky Victorians who had secured tickets quickly. Approximately 1650 people passed through the venue in two set seatings sampling food and beverages from a wide variety of restaurants, food suppliers, wineries, breweries, bakeries, shops, caterers and private chefs. It was easy to feel overwhelmed by all the sights and smells; the selection of delicious samples seemed endless. Armed with wooden planks and small stemmed glasses, the swarm of Culinaire enthusiasts dispersed throughout the venue eyeing up the delectable offerings.Bin 4 Burger Lounge caught everyone’s attention as it hosted a long line-up of people happy to line-up for a made-to-order “The Encore” elk burger on an Irene’s Bakery brioche bun. Lure Restaurant capitalized on the popularity of the Cobb Salad, compacting their own version of this classic into one delicious bite featuring Dungeness crab, bacon and a blue cheese vinaigrette.Left: Bin 4 Elk Burger. Middle: Truffles Catering elk, yam and yukon gold potato wrapped in double smoked bacon. Right: Vento Tapa Lounge’s chili, white chocolate, and Prosecco cocktail as well as wild sockeye poke with sriracha aioli on a housemade potato chipThe excitement around the event and all of its offerings could be felt as people shared their favourites and sent one another off in determined pursuit of some sumptuous sampling. One such pursuit was the comforting Monte Cristo dished up by Bubby’s Kitchen. The classic sandwich was elevated with green peppercorn braised Rangeland bison, buttermilk fried shallots and Dijon aioli on a cranberry rosemary bread. There was also a lot of excitement around the Veneto Tapa Lounge booth which delivered a characteristically unique cocktail featuring the unusually delicious combination of chili, white chocolate, and Prosecco, paired with a wild sockeye poke with sriracha aioli on a housemade potato chip. An inspired offering came from the beautifully decorated booth of Truffles Catering; a five star entrée of braised elk with Yukon gold potato and yam, wrapped in double-smoked bacon and topped with Silverhill Farms currant gelée – a bite-sized piece of heaven.It wasn’t just the attendants that were abuzz about the home-grown event. The 67 exhibitors clamoured from their booths between seatings to sample their friendly “competition”. The sense of community was palpable as the diverse collection of exhibitors exchanged smiles and samples, indulging in the delectable creations that had brought them all together.The second seating of Culinaire shifted gears from an after work event to an evening destination. The night sky cloaked the glass ceiling of Crystal Gardens and the entire event took on a more intimate feel. Once again the Victorian masses dispersed through the venue anxious to indulge in the freshly prepared tastings. Fireside Grill brought an elegant two-bite dish synonymous with the evening; the first a smoked duck confit with mustard seed demi and cauliflower polenta and the second an espresso bacon jam on a mascarpone puff with a parsnip emulsion. The culinary force at Bear Mountain Resort put together a delicate play on a prawn ceviche with a prawn “bar” topped with citrus and tomato caviar, avocado purée, and herb greens. Ensuring everyone left with a skip in their step, Amuse dramatically served up affogato on their dry ice display consisting of house-made vanilla bean gelato topped with espresso.Left: Lure’s Cobb Salad with Dungeness crab, bacon and a blue cheese vinaigrette. Middle: Bear Mountain’s prawn “bar” topped with citrus and tomato caviar, avocado purée, and herb greens. Right: Fireseide Grill; first a smoked duck confit with mustard seed demi and cauliflower polenta and the second an espresso bacon jam on a mascarpone puff with a parsnip emulsion.The 2013 edition of Culinaire imprinted Victoria’s impressive culinary talents onto the palates of the many that flocked to the experience. Since starting in 2010, the event has continued to expand and evolve as creator Scott Gurney stated “the events always get better – better food, more variety, and a greater all-around feel. The chefs and restaurateurs always set the bar higher!” Culinaire will return to Victoria March 20, 2014.If you can’t wait until then you can always hop the pond to check out the Vancouver debut of another of Gurney’s popular events Brewery & the Beast on June 16. Don’t worry if you miss it in Vancouver – the super-popular event also returns to Victoria September — Jennifer Hopkins amusebin 4bubby's kitchenCulinairefireside grill. bear mountain resortluretrufflestruffles cateringventeto tapa lounge SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Guest Writer We get many people writing guest articles for us, as well as past contributors. This is the Guest ... Read More You may also like Food News October 26, 2023 Rancho Vignola – Vancouver Island Harvest Sale – November 24 & 25, 2023 For the ninth year in a row, Rancho Vignola is setting up its Vancouver Island Harvest Sale here at the Mary Winspear Center in Sidney. Many of you ... 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