Foodology

Cornucopia 2016: The Culinary Stage – Pembytopia

Nancy C November 26, 2016 Event, Whistler

Look no further than just a 2-hour drive to Whistler, BC for an immersive 11-day (November 10 – 20, 2016) celebration of food and drink, and a much-needed fall getaway.

2016 marks Cornucopia’s 20th anniversary dinners, grand tastings, culinary workshops and more. With range of events to pick and choose from, all you have to do is determine how many days you’ll want to stay and which events you’d like to attend.

With events and accommodation packages based out of Whistler Village, the location makes everything within walking distance. You’ll be able to enjoy all that Cornucopia and the village has to offer.

We were recently invited to take part in a few of their events over the Remembrance Day long weekend.

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The Culinary Stage series at Cornucopia 2016 was held on the festival mainstage at the Whistler Conference Centre and provided a space for both culinary demonstrations and fantastic meals.

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We attended Pembytopia, a 4-course lunch event (with drink pairings), featuring the tastes of Pemberton with hosts Randy Jones, owner and Chef at Mile One Eating House and Tyler Schramm, owner and Master Distiller at Pemberton. Showing off a passion for the region, the hosts tag teamed and took us through an informative experience of both the food and drink of what they call Pembytopia.

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To start the event off, Tyler Schramm prepared a Meadows Punch waiting for us at the table – Organic gin, summerschnops, Hare’s Farm blueberry and hibiscus syrup, Coast Mountain brewing saison, lemon, and absinthe mist.

Tatlayoko braised beef ravioli with Gremolata, ricotta, tomato whisky ragu – paired with a shot of Schramm vodka, the world’s only organic potato Vodka.

Highlights were the perfectly braised beef and interesting pairing of vodka. The vodka was very smooth, cool and cleanses the palette.

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Second course: Sablefish slider with scallion chutney, pancetta, citrus ginger liqueur mayo. Paired with Farma C Mule a cocktail with organic hemp vodka, hopped Farma C Ginger beer, lime, and fresh finger leaf.

Yum! The sablefish was perfectly crisp, moist, and was balanced by the mayo and chutney. The cocktail also paired perfectly with the ingredients in the slider and was very refreshing. You could tell that lots of care was taken to present a drink that would complement the dish.

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BBQ Yarrow Meadows duck leg, apple cabbage arugula slaw, plum liqueur glaze. Paired with a Riley Creek Sour, a cocktail with organic whisky, plum liqueur, roasted plum syrup, and lemon bitters.

By the third course, I was starting to get full but my tablemates were determined to savour every bite. The duck confit with glaze was fall off the bone and the richness was balanced by the slaw on the dish. The drink pairing was again complementary through the use of roasted plum syrup and whisky. The plum syrup in the drink matched well with the sweetness of the glaze and whisky matched well with the duck.

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Sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream and nocino caramel. Paired with the Aged Nut Nog with vanilla infused vodka, nocino, Hazelnut liqueur, farm eggs, milk and cream, cane sugar, chocolate bitters, and  fresh nutmeg.

This has everything I love about dessert! The sticky toffee pudding was warm, drizzled in caramel and contrasted with the cold ice cream. Nocino, a walnut liqueur, was used in the caramel and Aged Nut Nog – both were aromatic and had a warmth like a subtle sweet whisky candy with a nuttiness to it. I’ve never had nocino on its own before but am going to try incorporating it into my Christmas dinner menu this year.

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Overall, I was amazed by this event. For $42, you get a lot of food and drink. You’ll walk away feeling like you got your money’s worth and that you learned a few new things. Randy and Tyler were also great hosts. They kept us entertained and informed us of every ingredient and forethought that went into the dishes and cocktails.

About The Author

Guest blogger on Foodology covering wine, events, and delicious eats.