Pink Ribbon Teas and Latte Art

left: Winner Masahito Orita's Latte Art, right: pink confections at the Fairmont, credit: Anya Levykh

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and although the CIBC Run for the Cure has come and gone, you can still eat and drink pink all month long in support of the cure. Fairmont Hotels have put together a couple tasty options this month, including their Pink Ribbon Tea. At a recent preview, we feasted on mini sandwiches of smoked salmon on dark rye, chicken and sundried cranberry salad, ham and camembert croissants, as well as raisin scones with Devonshire cream and berry preserve. And, of course, the sweets were all a little pink, including the raspberry mini cheesecakes, chocolate tarts and pink cupcakes. The children’s version is $18, and includes cookies and “bubblegum” tea for pickier palates.

For those who don’t want a full meal deal, Heron’s at the Waterfront Hotel is offering a pink dessert, rose pot de crème with rosé wine-braised fruit. Two dollars from each dessert and tea sold during October goes to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation BC/Yukon branch.

And if you’re more interested in playing host, you can plan your own event. It’s free to register, and you receive free, printable invitations, recipe ideas and sponsorship forms. Get all the info at

Blenz Hosts International Latte Art Competition

It was a first for me. I’ve judged plenty of food and drink competitions, but never one where taste had absolutely no part to play. This was all about the visual, as competitors from Canada, Japan, etc., gathered in the promenade of the Vancouver Public Library’s downtown branch to strut their mad crema skills. Competitors in the free pour competition were judged on aesthetic beauty, definition and colour, balance in the cup, degree of difficulty and creativity, and speed. The winner, Masahito Orita, who works at a Blenz in Japan, won with his complex and elegant tulip design, a form that proved popular with second-place winner John Giannakos of Revolver Coffee in B.C., and 3rd place winner Koji Kozuka, also hailing from a Blenz in Japan. I’ll never look at crema quite the same way again.

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Anya Levykh was born on the shores of the Black Sea, in what was formerly the USSR. The cold, Communist winters were too much for her family, and, before she was four feet tall, they had left for warmer climes in the south of ...

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