Amid a buzz of excited chatter and laughter, Deputy Mayor Andrea Reimer and Tourism Vancouver’s past Board Chair Bob Lindsay cut a “ribbon” made of Oyama sausages while chefs gathered in the background and local media vied for the best vantage point from which to take shots of the scene. The Chefs Photo Opp hasn’t been staged in years, but its resurrection is a public relations dream – after all, where else can you see Chef Ned Bell (Yew at the Four Seasons), Chef Darren Brown (Oru at the Fairmont Pacific Rim) and Chef Jason Labahn (Black+Blue) posing with a giant spoon and fork?
Once the sausage was successfully snipped, Tourism Vancouver’s Lucas Pavan spoke at length about the festival’s history, growing from 57 restaurants in 2003 into one of North America’s top food festivals. Afterward, media mixed and mingled with the chefs and festival coordinators while photographers snapped away and videographers busily filmed. By then, the morning’s excitement and cheery atmosphere had created hearty appetites – but rumbling tummies were appeased at Edible Canada’s bistro, which dished up complimentary breakfast for all.
The day started with an air of festive celebration that will continue at tonight’s signature launch event, Plated & Paired at the Public Market, and onward for the next 17 days. Though Dine Out has flourished over the last 11 years, the heart of the festival remains the same: encouraging people to connect over all things culinary. And with this year’s full-to-bursting menu offering a food-focused experience for every palate, that credo is guaranteed to continue throughout the next two weeks and beyond.
Still haven’t booked your three-course meal, cruised through the list of more than 35 unique events, or taken advantage of special rates and packages offered by hotels around the city? Now’s the time.