Thursday, 3 November 2011

Report on RIPE!

Meeru Dhalwala of Rangoli with her fantastic tomato paneer appetizers. Credit: Vancouver Foodster

 This year's RIPE Harvest Celebration proved a great success, raising over $16,000 for the Vancouver Farmers Markets! Highlights of the evening included the fantastic market food and drink prepared by some of Vancouver's most exciting chefs and mixologists, a live musical performance by Blackberry Wood, and a visit from our mayor Gregor Robertson!

We'd like to thank all of our generous RIPE sponsors, who helped make our event so successful. Gold sponsors included Golda's Finest Foods, Vancity, Edible Vancouver, Busters Towing, and River District/Parklane Homes. Our silver sponsor was Aquilini Investment Group, and Bronze sponsorship was provided by Fiore Foods, KLS Trademark Services, Peer 1 Hosting, and Renewal.

A further thanks goes out to Image West Graphics and Lonsdale Rentals for their generous in-kind sponsorships, and to our many media sponsors, including CityFood, Westender, Vancouver Foodster and Taste and Sip, Vancouver Is Awesome, Vancouver Observer, and Ariane Design. Special thanks to all of our vendor and community food and silent auction donors - the silent auction raised $3280!

And last but not least, we want to send big shouts out to all of our participating chefs, mixologists, and beer and wine sponsors: Bao Bei, Campagnolo, Meat & Bread, Rangoli, Save On Meats, Swallow Tail Supper Club, Tacofino, Tangled Vines Winery and Good Life Vancouver, and R & B Brewery for their contribution of the Bohemian Lager!

Meat & Bread's delicious braised Moroccan spiced lamb sliders with pickled cabbage, pea sprouts, and labna. Credit: Vancouver Foodster

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Trixie Blümel brings cocktail magic to RIPE dinner

credit: Doug Shanks

Trixie Blümel is a true cocktail wizard. I know this for a fact because I've had the pleasure of trying many of her epic drinks. Whether it's a Ramos gin fizz, and old fashion, or something more exotic she's concocted out her encyclopedic knowledge of boozy ingredients, each of her creations is a careful study in precision and imagination. Trixie is bar manager at the super hip Chinatown brasserie, Bao Bei, and we're excited to add her mixology magic to the RIPE line-up tomorrow night. She's opted for something on the spicy side, one of her newer creations that's become a big hit at the restaurant...

The Jinzi

A ruby-red combo of Gin, Mangalore Indian-Spiced Liqueur, and Fernet Branca, mixed with Fresh Lemon Juice, Rose Ginger Water, and finished with a flourish of Lemon Oils.

For more info on RIPE tickets, visit the website at:

Friday, 14 October 2011

Two days left to get your tickets to RIPE!

With under three days to go until our RIPE dinner fundraiser, the Vancouver Farmers Markets want to send a big thank you out to all of the volunteer chefs, board members, and staff coming together to bring you the food event of the harvest season! In particular, we want to shout out to the folks at Save On Meats and Tacofino who are presenting the main meal Sunday night. The following is a list of what you can expect to feast on at RIPE...

   - Velvet Squash & Apple Soup with Save On's Own Toasty Croutons  
   - Caramelized Brussel Sprouts with Gelderman Farms' Pork Crackling
   - Purist Salad - Mixed Greens with Save On's Own Oil & Vinegar Dressing
   - Marinated Local Tuna with Green Beans and Creamy Roasted Garlic Dressing
   - Roast Broccoli & Fingerling Potatoes with Toasted Hazelnuts
   - Chevre, Chard & Kale Phyllo 'Lasagna'
   - Slow Roasted R&B Brewery Marinated Gelderman Farms' Pork with Fall
     Apple & Pear Compote

 To order tickets on-line, visit our website at:

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Rangoli adds spice to RIPE line-up

Earlier this year, Vancouver Farmers Markets had the pleasure of nominating restaurateur Meeru Dhalwala of Vij's and Rangoli to our board of directors. Meeru's passion for sharing her cooking skills, connection to local food producers, and desire to increase access of farmers markets to lower-income families have made her an asset to the organization. She is also one of the featured chef's at this Sunday's RIPE event, at which she will present a spicy combo of tomato, onion, and homemade paneer on top of a rustic bread from A Bread Affair. Appetizer and cocktail hour will start at 4pm at the Creekside Community Centre, followed up by a buffet-style feast prepared by the folks at Save On Meats and Tacofino. Stayed tuned for more details on the main menu...

For more info and to order RIPE tickets, visit the website at:

Friday, 7 October 2011

Campagnolo at RIPE

For the last three years, Campagnolo has been our casual, yet elegant Italian neighbour-vendor at the Wednesday Main Street Market. They buy at the market, they sell at the market (hand made pasta, in case you didn't know), and prepare a menu exclusive to the Wednesday market throughout the summer months. For this reason alone we would be thrilled to include them in this year's RIPE celebration, but they've also been known to cook up some seriously delicious rustic faire.

For RIPE, Chef Adam plans to present a savory eggplant bruschetta incorporating organic garlic from Klippers Organics, eggplant from Hill Top Farm in Oliver, BC, along with ricotta cheese, chilies, and olive tapenade, all served up on Purebread's hearty baguette. Doesn't that sound delicious? Our mouths our watering already...

For more info on RIPE tickets, please visit our website at:, or pick them up at the market this weekend!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Meat & Bread Bring Tasty Offerings to RIPE Event

If you haven't yet paid a visit to the busy lunchtime sandwich shop nestled into the heritage building at 370 Cambie St, you're in for a treat. Meat & Bread, front runners of a growing trend of local "fast" food delis, cafes, and daytime eateries, prepare a small selection of tasty meat and grilled cheese sandwiches in a warm, communal environment where they invite you to sip local beer, wine, and cider and finish off with bacon maple ice cream.

For this year's RIPE celebration, we're pairing these guys with the folks at Wenger Sheep Farm up in Williams Lake, producers of naturally raised lamb and a variety of other sheep products. Meat & Bread plan to prepare curry braised lamb sliders on mini versions of their trademark ciabatta buns. We're thrilled to have them and our other restaurant participants at RIPE this year and look forward to what will surely be the meal of the autumn season!

For more info on RIPE, or to purchase tickets, please visit the website at:

Grass-fed sheep at Wenger Sheep Farm

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

RIPE has a Play Date with Growing Chefs!

We're excited to announce that Growing Chefs will be hosting kids activities at this year's RIPE event! Helen and crew will help the little ones paint their own garden pot, plant a winter vegetable seedling, and play vegetable exploration games from 4pm - 6pm at RIPE. For more details on RIPE tickets, etc. visit our website at:

Growing Chefs are also hosting an dinner gala of their own: From Farms to Forks, on October 23rd at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. Guests can wander from kitchen to kitchen at the Institute and watch the chefs in action as they enjoy tasting plates, canapes, and cocktails from such restaurants as C, La Brasserie, Pear Tree Restaurant, Vij's, and West, to name a few. For more details on the Farms to Forks event, visit the Growing Chefs website at: