By Jenni Sheppard
December is here, holiday festivities have begun, and Christmas is almost upon us! And—if you haven’t already—it’s time to start finding gifts for your loved ones.
Whether you’re trying to tempt the taste buds of a newbie foodie, or you’re buying for the most insatiable gourmet in town, Metro Vancouver has lots to offer.
From tasting tours and cookery classes, to dining dates and culinary celebrations, here’s our collection of Christmas gift ideas for the foodie in your life this year.
Backyard Vineyards sells award-winning wine, created from grapes grown in their own vineyard as well as the Fraser Valley and South Okanagan. They offer a variety of tour packages, including a guided visit of the vineyard and winery production area, and a wine tasting session. Add on a cheese/charcuterie platter, or customize your own private tour.
Backyard Vineyards is located at 3033 232 Street, Langley. Opening hours are Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Dumpling Trail Tour is a guided walk organized by Vancouver Food Tour, visiting six restaurants serving delectable dumplings in Richmond. The tour last about two and a half hours and includes pork and shrimp dumplings and some extra sides at each venue. Along the way, you will learn about the countless regional varieties of Asian dumplings.
The Dumpling Trail Tour runs every day, starting at 11 a.m.
Want to go on a food tour, but don’t like the fixed schedule and big groups? Why not take your loved one on a self-guided food tour? The Railtown Tour, from the people behind Off The Eaten Track Tours, gets you food samples, recommendations, and discounts at hidden gems around this historic neighbourhood. Simply buy a tour, and go at your own pace.
The Railtown Tour is valid every day, except national holidays. It is advised to avoid busy lunch service times between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The Secret Beer Tour takes you into the heart of Vancouver’s craft beer scene in Brewery Creek, the unofficial microbrewery neighbourhood around Main Street. Over the course of three hours, you’ll sample a variety of beers at four different breweries, as well as go behind the scenes to discover how beer is made at each brewery.
Secret Beer Tours begin at 2 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and at noon on Sundays.
Tartine & Maple offers French cuisine classes to help you improve your cooking skills, learn new recipes, and discover the secrets of French food. All courses are created and taught by French cooking instructor, personal, and private chef Valentine Kitamura. Class topics include vegan comfort food, French soups, make your own brioche, and artisan sourdough.
Tartine & Maple classes take place at a variety of locations in Vancouver and Langley.
Vancouver’s Dirty Apron Cooking School offers a wide range of cooking classes and courses for the newbie and foodie alike. At Demo & Dine classes, a chef demonstrates how to cook various courses—and you get to eat them. Or get hands-on experience in classes with imaginative names like The Best Brunch, Plant Power, Meat Eaters Unite, and Ocean Fling.
Dirty Apron is located at 540 Beatty Street, Vancouver. Classes in the evenings on weekdays, and during the daytime and evenings on weekends.
This one’s for the gelato aficionado in your life. This weekly seminar at Uno Gelato’s Kitsilano location will teach them to make sorbetto and gelato. Plus, they’ll get to taste at least 10 gelato/sorbetto samples, and take home a pint of their favourite!
Uno Gelato is located at 2579 West Broadway, Vancouver. Gelato 101 seminars run from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Thursday night through February 27, 2020.
Learn from local chefs at these hands-on instructional cooking classes, covering such varied topics as comfort food from around the world, Asian street food, Mexican veggie fiestas, home sushi making, Indian classics, and rustic Mediterranean—or take a baking bootcamp!
Cook Culture has locations at 377 Howe Street, Vancouver and 1230 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver. Class times vary according to class, date, and location.
At Posh Pantry, classes are more like a dinner party than a lesson. You’ll get to sit back and watch as the chef demonstrates, ask questions, take notes, and of course, enjoy a delicious meal. Classes cover topics including Sunday suppers, seafood dishes, vegan inspiration, homemade gnocchi, Spanish tapas, breads and soups, and Chinese New Year.
Posh Pantry is located at 4548 Hastings Street, North Burnaby. Class times vary.
The Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store Kitchen offers two types of classes – demo-style and hands-on on a wide range of subjects, including dim sum, knife skills, sugar free sweets, Cajun dishes, Hungarian food, French macarons, stuffed pasta, and prime rib.
The Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store is located at #117-20353 64 Ave, Langley. Class times vary.
Don’t forget that Vancouver’s annual foodie fest, Dine Out Vancouver, runs from January 17 through February 2. Across 17 days, you can choose from a myriad of special events across the city, including guided dining adventures, street food markets, guest chef dinners, and BC VQA wine and craft beer tastings. Why not treat your loved one to a seat at the table?
As part of the Dine Out Vancouver Festival, for one night only, Sweetery Café and Dessert is hosting a special family-style feast showcasing British Columbia’s best produce, including gourmet artisan pies, organic grass fed beef, duck raised without antibiotics, Fraser Valley pork, wild caught salmon, plus local vegetables and berries. Vegetarian options available. There will also be live music with country musician Todd Richard.