Looking for a unique family getaway this summer? Try a west coast food tour, Food Network style! Over the past months and years, Vancouver has been featured on a handful of major food shows, including Top Chef and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Giada’s Weekend Getaways, Eat Street and Gastown Gamble. Now you can have your own Food Network inspired experience by visiting some of the same restaurants and locations you’ve seen on TV.
Top Chef: Finalists of Top Chef: Texas were whisked to Vancouver for the final culinary faceoff where according to judge Tom Colicchio they served up the best food ever served in a finale. Chef-testants Sara Grueneberg and Paul Qi, as well as celebrity judges Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons, Emeril Lagasse and Hugh Acheson stayed at the luxurious Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Ingredient shopping took place at Granville Island Public Market and the locations of the final “restaurant wars” challenge were side-by-side restaurants Black+Blue and Coast. The Asian-themed “quickfire” challenge took place at Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie in Chinatown (of which Hugh Acheson said “we ate like kings there one night”). The “fire and ice” challenge took place at the historic Salt Building on False Creek (location of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games athleteŸs village). Chefs made good use of BC ingredients including Dungeness crab, spot prawns and sea urchin.
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: Guy Fieri the bleached-haired, tattooed host of Food NetworkŸs Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives filmed the first international episode of his hit show in Vancouver during summer 2011. Guy ate smoked turkey pot pie at Save on Meats, helped make the famous salsa verde at Meat & Bread, cooked Yorkshire pudding with chef Anne Zubaidi at The Tomahawk, chowed down on confit pork belly at The Red Wagon and hit up local hotspots Falconetti’s East Side Grill, Jethro’s Fine Grub and famous food cart Fresh, Local, Wild.
Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations: Anthony came to Vancouver to film an episode of No Reservations in 2007 and focused on how Vancouver’s multiethnic population has created some of the most unique cuisine in the world. Anthony cooked with star-chefs Vikram Vij of the famous Vij’s restaurant, Hidekazu Tojo responsible for uncovering local street food secret, Japadog when he chowed down on the now world famous Japanese-style hot dogs (complete with seaweed, daikon radish and wasabi mayo). Since then the likes of Ice T, Steven Segal and Mark Zuckerberg have all waited in line for a hot dog there.
For more information on how and where to visit in Vancouver, head over to the Tourism Vancouver website.