|Araxi Big Guns Wine Dinner - start the weekend off right with caviar and bubbly - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
Cornucopia - what is this? Held every year in beautiful Whistler, BC, Canada, it's an annual 11-day food and wine extravaganza. They have a wide range of events, from educational workshops and demos explaining wine/food pairing, histories and processes behind distilled spirits, cooking demonstrations by top BC restaurant chefs, to elegant wine dinners held at Whistler restaurants, luncheons cooked by restaurant chefs in private luxury homes, to big gala tasting events. It's an impressive showcase of regional cuisine and wines, a celebration of what's in season (a lot, since it's fall), and held in the beautiful resort town of Whistler, it's a place designed for a city-wide hospitality event.
This was my first trip to Corncucopia. I didn't know what to expect, but we had a great Food/Wine Spirit Guide through Tourism Whistler, who knew exactly how to give a sampling of what the event is like, and also what to pinpoint as a must-do the next time I go to Cornucopia. Because you can bet this won't be my last visit to this festival.
|Smoked sablefish with a mix of dark bitter greens and a ginger/orange sauce fr Araxi - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
|Araxi's wine-paired dinner/cocktail hour is a perfect Welcome to Cornucopia - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
Splurge on a wine dinner, specifically Araxi's Big Guns Dinner. An excellent Whistler restaurant that focuses on locally-sourced ingredients and a longtime proponent for farm-to-table dining, Araxi is like a celebratory Welcome to BC party to your palate.
|Surf and turf at Araxi's Big Guns Wine Dinner - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
And of course - don't forget dessert. A beautiful spiced sugar pumpkin bavarois was a treat for all the senses, and had the autumn flavors of cinnamon, spice, and everything nice.
|You're voted off the Island, Pumpkin Spice Latte - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
There are some small bites at Crush, but I highly recommend having dinner first. You want to enjoy the event, not imbibe to the point where you can't feel your face. And go with a group, it's more fun with friends, so everyone can try a little of everything, share tasting notes, and many of the wines and spirits you can buy at Cornucopia's mini wine/liquor shop set up in the conference center.
|Cornucopia's Crush - mega wine/spirits tasting gala for those who like to explore - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|Beautiful seared scallop over red wine lentils and pancetta from Cibo Trattoria - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
|Welcome to my Whistler abode! (i wish) - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|Apricot wine with cheese and honey - perfect dessert - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|Great wine selections by sommelier Robert Stelmachuk - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|Truffle Envy - Cibo Trattoria dresses their food to impress - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|Red meat, red wine - nuff said - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|Feel the love! Brunch with Medina Cafe (without the wait!) - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|Lamb meatballs in a spicy sauce with a glorious poached egg - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|My new favorite salmon salad... EVAR - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
Like I said, this by no means covers everything that happens at Cornucopia, and I look forward to going again. Which is the sign of a well-planned multi-day event -- you want to encourage people to come back and continue exploring. So consider the culinary gauntlet dropped -- save your pennies, start your planning, and prepare your appetite for Cornucopia 2015!
For everyone who wants to visit Whistler RIGHT NOW, I've got another post coming up to share great local spots that are available year-round, so stay tuned...