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Events & Celebrations

SKOOKUM: A Festival of Music, Food, and Art

As our beloved summer season slowly begins to pave the way for autumn, I would like to think that Vancouverites always manage to find a way to make the most out of the situation. Although the weather has not been as sweltering as the heat wave we experienced back in July/August, at least the haze of smoke has dissipated, right? I am always trying to find ways to look for the silver lining as we transition toward the rainy season, and I think I found it!

Are you ready for a last Summer 2018 hurrah? Are you ready for a final get-together with your friends to celebrate the outdoors before the umbrellas are brought out? If so, I encourage you to grab tickets to the SKOOKUM Festival – a weekend filled with music, food, and the arts. Working with the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations and located on the traditional and unceded territory of Vancouver’s beautiful and majestic Stanley Park, the SKOOKUM festival is a weekend filled with good eats, fun, and a host of musical legends.

Truffles Fine Foods and Coquille

Building on my previous blog post on reasons why you should check out Coquille in Gastown, I was delighted to learn that their culinary talent will be present at the festival amongst a whole list of other food vendors! I wish I would be able to disclose what seafood and westcoast treats they will be serving up, but even I am not entitled to those secrets. The only solution to this mystery is buying tickets and paying them a visit! That being said, there are tons of other food vendors present at SKOOKUM, too. From food trucks, to burgers and pizza – cheeses to gelato and donuts. Whatever tickles your fancy, there is bound to be something for you to eat, drink, and be merry. Here’s another secret I will let you in on: Truffles Fine Foods is also catering at the event! So, if you haven’t had a chance to visit us at our locations, this would be the perfect opportunity!

A Rocking Musical Lineup

What is a festival without live music? Not a festival, that is for sure. If food is not a good enough reason for you to attend SKOOKUM, what about an awesome lineup of performers? Check out this schedule and I dare you to tell me that it is not rocking enough for you. Performing live to all festival attendees are award-winning bands and artists including Milky Chance, XAmbassadors, Hey Ocean, The Arkells, Mother Mother, and my personal favourite, The Killers. Needless to say, concert organizers were not messing around when they planned this event!

The Arts and After Dark

Another wonderful aspect to Vancouver and local festivals alike is our vibrant art scene. On location will also be an Art Pavilion showcasing and selling various crafts made by our talented local artists, so be sure to show them some love, too! If you haven’t partied hard enough, there are several events happening after dark, too. Hosted at the Imperial, Rickshaw, Guilt & Co. (to name a few), there will be other events taking place to ensure that your night of fun continues on throughout the night.
So, have I convinced you to check out the SKOOKUM festival yet? Is this enough reason to close off Summer 2018 with a group of friends? I hope so! It will take place September 7 to 9 and tickets can be found on the event website. See you there!

Photo credits: SKOOKUM Festival.

Industry News

Reasons To Visit Coquille

If there is one common thing Vancouverites love reading on the internet, it would be lists – lists about the top places to visit for vacation, top places for dates, best activities for the season, or even the best places to eat in town. The food scene in our lovely city, as we know it, is very competitive. To decide on a cuisine, let alone which restaurant to dine at, can often be a painstaking, indecisive process accompanied with FOMO (fear of missing out) if our meals fail to satisfy our cravings. I will admit that I have been in this situation several times and if you are an epicurious foodie with a robust palate, I am sure you can relate.

Few months ago, Truffles Fine Foods welcomed to Vancouver a new seafood restaurant to the historic Gastown community. After learning of the menu and Happy Hour specials they offered, it was a no-brainer that a visit to said restaurant was imminent. Since their official opening, I have had the opportunity to visit Coquille on a few occasions and I think I am hooked (no pun intended). Keeping true to the lists we all enjoy, here are my top reasons of why I think you should visit (or dare I even say, revisit) Coquille:

Dining In Comfort

I get asked by friends what type of attire is best suited for Coquille. Formal? Semi formal? Casual? Honestly, it is what makes you feel comfortable! Since the restaurant itself is situated in the heart of a popular tourist destination, there is bound to be a variety of visitors who dress however which way they want. That being said, I am a huge fan of smart casual, but at the end of the day, wear what makes you feel comfortable!

Amazing Maritime Décor

The décor of Coquille is one of the true hidden gems of Vancouver when it comes to interior design. Everything within the restaurant reflects the nautical theme if you look carefully enough. As I sat there sipping on a cocktail and observing my surroundings, I noticed the fish scales along the walls, the wooden floorboards similar to the decks of old steamships, the occasional portholes, and comfortable booths with brass light fixtures – very much like those from ocean liners at the turn of the century. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming which sets the perfect tone as I prepared myself for my next culinary adventure.

The Best Seafood In Town

Coquille lets me be me and the ambiance has already prepared me for my culinary journey, which leads me to my third reason for why this restaurant is a must-visit: the food. Yes, the food! Coquille prides itself on the fine seafood it serves, the very freshest of fresh, and the latest creations of the culinary industry. Have you had sea urchin with burrata cheese before? Or jellyfish alongside your freshly shucked clams and oysters? Thinking about their menu gets me excited because it is just that good! Need I say more?

 
So, if you are ever looking to treat yourself to something new and arguably the best seafood in town, I firmly believe Coquille is the restaurant that will address any cravings you have – from food to cocktails. Still not convinced? Then check them out! They are located at 181 Carrall St. in Gastown, Vancouver.

Events & Celebrations

The 2018 Celebration Of Light

It goes without saying that it has become an annual summer tradition when thousands of Vancouverites descend upon the beaches surrounding English Bay to witness the magical show of pyrotechnics. Every year, several countries compete against one another in a spectacle of fireworks, choreography, and music. From the end of July to the first week of August, our city will, once again, be experiencing the extravagance of the Celebration Of Light by welcoming teams from South Africa, Sweden, and South Korea!

A Celebration Of Food

This year, much like the previous years, Truffles Fine Foods has been chosen as the exclusive caterer for the Concord Lounge – a relaxed atmosphere located at the iconic inukshuk on the peninsula at English Bay. This social setting will feature a live DJ, private bar, and fresh summer barbeque eats featuring locally-sourced produce. Tickets are limited, so we encourage you to purchase your ticket(s) today! If you are planning to go with a group of friends, reserved table tickets are also available.

Alternatively, there are several other features available around English Bay for you to enjoy the festivities. Whether you want to catch the show on the beach for free, or pay a little extra for your own private seat, there are plenty of opportunities for you to celebrate the fireworks your own way.

Sticking to this year’s fireworks theme of “Love” (as voted on by Vancouverites), we absolutely love cooking delicious, delectable food. We hope you have the opportunity to visit us at the Concord Lounge and enjoy in the gastronomic experience we guarantee to deliver. If not, have no fear! You can always visit us at our other locations at your own convenience (no ticket purchase necessary).

Best Caterer In Vancouver

“Providing a seamless, memorable food experience is what we do, and have done for the past ten years. Let our expertise help elevate your next event to something special”  – Nin Rai, Founder & President

Truffles Fine Foods is no stranger when it comes to delivering the finest catering experience at major events. What began in 2005 as a catering company for large film productions soon evolved into the niche of serving the same experience to larger corporate events and weddings. Truffles Fine Foods grew in popularity so much that it even selected as the exclusive caterer for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, and the Squamish Music Festival. If you are epicurious, you know where to find us and you know we will never disappoint!

The 2018 Celebration of Light will take play at sunset on July 28th, August 1st, and August 4th.

Events & Celebrations

Questions? We’ve Got Answers!

We understand the stresses that come with organizing a major event. Whether it is for a corporate function or a celebration of sorts, we know how time seems to countdown with little room for error. Our experts at Truffles Fine Foods has been in the catering industry for nearly 15 years and have catered at some of the finest events Vancouver has had to offer (including the 2010 Winter Olympic Games). We have had the privilege to work with some of the most organized coordinators, wedding planners, and even film crews from major Hollywood productions! That being said, the questions we get asked most often are almost always the same. So, here are five of the most common questions we face when people inquire about our catering and event planning in general.

Is it best to book the caterer, or the venue first?

It is best to book the venue first to ensure outside caterers are allowed or to make sure you do not have to pay a percentage to use outside caterers. You should also choose a venue that offers majority of items that are required for your desired wedding day ie. Tables, chairs, glassware for bar, settings – these are big items that are expensive to bring in.

What is the difference between buffet service versus a plated dinner service?

Buffet service is where we will set up a food table that your guests can approach, pick up a plate and then help themselves to the items that they would like. A plated dinner service is where the host(s) pre-select a menu and guests are seated before it begins. The courses are then brought by servers to the guest tables. Plated dinners tend to suit an event where an elegant, formal atmosphere is desired. Buffet service can suit both, however the style can be considered much more comfortable/casual. For plated dinners, please estimate longer timelines for service.

Do you offer a tasting menu?

Yes! Truffles Fine Foods offers a complimentary tasting for two, held at our café at VanDusen Botanical Garden. We typically offer this on a Tuesday/Wednesday evening (unless otherwise stipulated) as we provide a chef to address any questions that may arise.

Can you find a venue for me?

We are happy to send over some suggestions, depending on the style/occasion of your event. We have generated a list of wonderful spaces where he have held successful functions. To view our extensive list of venues, we invite you to visit this page.

Do you have your own rentals?

Need us to take care of rentals? Certainly! We have in-house rentals available for most events held at VanDusen Gardens (except for larger plated or family style dinners). Otherwise, for offsite events, our preferred rental company is A&B Rentals. We are happy to take care of the rentals on your behalf, however, we do charge a 15% coordination fee on top of the rentals fee.

For other frequently asked questions, this page might be of service. If you have more specific questions that we did not cover in this blog post or in our FAQ page, we invite you to contact us today!

Industry News

5 Reasons To Choose Truffles Fine Foods

Whether you need a private caterer for a corporate event, a wedding, or a celebration of some sort, we know the options are endless. We understand that food is the heart of any event which is why our team is dedicated to provide you with the most value. Like every industry, there are so many options to choose from, but if you want to take our word for it, here are five convincing reasons why we believe Truffles Fine Foods is the ideal choice for any event you host.

Wide Range Of Options

Our chefs and culinary team are able to provide you with a wide range of catering services. From canapés and cocktail receptions to buffet-style meals and plated dinners, our list of options are both flexible and can be carefully tailored to the event you are hosting. Have you taken a look at our menu options yet? We can guarantee there will be something that will peak your interest. If there are any dietary restrictions, worry not! Our goal is to create the best culinary experience for you and your guests.

Several Locations To Serve You

In a previous blog post, we highlighted our four locations that serve delicious culinary creations daily. If you were ever in need of sampling our foods before making that big decision to have us cater for you, we invite you to visit us! Our locations are conveniently located in Vancouver, North Vancouver, and New Westminster. If you have any inquiries, we are simply a phone call, email, or visit away!

Highly Reputable

Since 2005, we have been serving the epicurious with our gastronomic delights. We were selected as the official caterer of the Whistler Canada House during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, catered to both Squamish and Pemberton Music Festivals, catered to the cast of Arrow and Once Upon A Time, and have been featured on Real Weddings and Style Me Pretty. People love us and we are elated to be able to spread our love through good eats!

Familiarity With Venues

Ever witness a wedding where the caterers are unfamiliar with the venue? Where last-minute panic sets in because nobody knows if there are specific amenities needed to prepare and serve the food? Unlike most caterers, we are very familiar with several lovely venues Vancouver has to offer and have a history of serving at them. Regardless if it is a corporate event, or taking part in a lovely wedding reception, our team is able to make any event special. Some of our favourites include Vandusen Botanical Gardens, Heritage Hall, and UBC Boathouse, but to check out other venues we enjoy catering at, visit this page.

Flexibility

It is important to emphasize that we are very flexible. Our mission is to work with you and deliver the best catered event you can provide your guests with. Regardless of venue, budget, or number of attendees, our team is happy to assist you in finding a perfect balance. Our culinary experts are also able to tailor your menu items to any specific dietary restrictions. For all kinds of events whether it be corporate or wedding, you can rely on Truffles Fine Foods to deliver a memorable, exquisite culinary experience.
If you have any questions or if we have convinced you to choose us as your caterer for your next big event, we encourage you to contact us today!

Events & Celebrations

How To Prepare For Your Wedding

With spring now in full bloom and summer just around the corner, it is time for us to talk about another season: the wedding season. Yes, the time of year when love is in the air, when the brides and grooms profess their commitment to each other by saying their vows, and when families and friends gather to witness such a wonderful event unfold.

With so much preparation and planning that goes into the actual wedding ceremony and reception, it can potentially bring out the worst in some of us (cue bride and groomzilla). Everything has to go according to plan, vendors need to arrive at certain times, photographers have to get take photos on your good side – the list is endless! At Truffles Fine Foods, we have seen it all and that is why we are here to help.

Our Game-Changing Wedding Checklist

We believe that the last thing any bride and groom should feel on their special day is stress, which is why we came up with this handy wedding checklist to help you stay on top of your wedding at all times! Whether your wedding is over 12 months away or just under a year, this list can help keep you organized and ensure you have everything you need when celebrating your big day. Perhaps you are thinking of hiring a professional day-of coordinator or maybe you just want to voluntell a family friend. Regardless of which route you choose, we are confident that our checklist is there to benefit all; and, as always, so is our catering team.

Wedding Catering With Truffles Fine Foods

Your wedding day will be, without a doubt, filled with joy, toasts, and tears of happiness. After all the weeks and months of planning, you can finally sit back and let it all unfold. For many years, our culinary experts have helped contribute in making the day so much more memorable by providing the catering experience you have only dreamt of. Whether your wedding day is an affair of 200 or more guests, or a small, intimate core of the most special people in your life, we take great pride in making your special day even more special. From the planning process to the execution, our team of culinary connoisseurs is committed to working with you and are settling for nothing less than remarkable. We believe the food we serve should be as creative and unique as the bride and groom. It would be our pleasure to work together with you and create a customized menu for you and your guests. Our menu options provide for an assortment of hors d’oeuvres, main courses, and desserts. You decide what you would like to feed your guests and we will happily work with you and the budget you set!
Are YOU ready to plan your wedding with Truffles Fine Foods? CONTACT US today!

All photos Ⓒ Butterfly Photography

Events & Celebrations

L’Abattoir – An Homage To Gastown

labattoir-restaurant-vancouver

It goes without a doubt that L’Abattoir is among one of Vancouver’s top-tier fine dining restaurants. Situated in the heart of historic Gastown, this “industrial-chic” restaurant has been serving Northwest cuisine with a French twist to patrons since the summer of 2010. Thanks to the amazing vision of Chef and Owner Lee Cooper, this little restaurant has been bustling since its opening and continues to challenge the palates of diners who want to try something exquisite. Although the translation of l’abattoir might seem a bit disconcerting (it means slaughterhouse), there is a reason for it. Back when the building was built in the 19th Century, it was the site of Vancouver’s very first jail. The building was located in the city’s main butchery and meat packing district which makes the name very fitting and a true homage to the history of Blood Alley, Gaoler’s Mews, and Gastown altogether.

Private Dining At Its Finest

If you’re looking for a more intimate experience while dining, I encourage you to consider the private dining room L’Abattoir has to offer. Extending from their main dining area, you will find more brick and beam-style architecture surrounded by industrial glass, steel accents, and classy overhead chandeliers. Windows providing natural light can also be opened to welcome fresh air into the room. With a total of 1,200 square feet available, you can choose to book the entire space or half which can be divided by a noise-reducing barrier. Either room can seat up to 24 guests. Combined, the space can seat a total of 50 seated guests, or host a reception of up to 70 standing guests. Asides from the comfortable seating, the private rooms also come with built-in audiovisual and coat check. The hospitality provided by L’Abattoir ensures that you have what you need to focus on your event and can be customized with enhancements.

labattoir-private-dining

Come For Brunch, Stay For Dinner

L'Abattoir+Food+-+Lightly+smoked+duck+breast,+crisp+confit+leg+meat,+blackberry,+cabbageIt goes without saying that anytime you open the dinner menu at L’Abattoir, it becomes a choose-your-own-adventure story. If you are the type of diner who is willing to challenge yourself, deciding on what to order is not an easy task. The French inspired West Coast menu offers fresh ingredients and all sorts of protein including arctic char, mackerel, duck, and veal. Their appetizers alone are enough to leave you speechless: fresh homemade cheese, foie gras tart, baked Pacific oysters – I digress. As for drinks, needless to say, L’Abattoir has an extensive wine list and several featured house cocktails including the Gaoler’s Mews and the Gastown Sizzle (don’t you just love the local love?). Brunch on weekends showcase a different menu with a variety of pastries and breakfast items including poached eggs with Canadian bacon, steak and eggs, and a delicious breakfast burger. From 10am to 2pm, you can also order from a special selection of bubbles to go with your brunch – the perfect way to end the week and kick-start your weekend!

With so many reasons and opportunities to visit L’Abattoir, I hope I have convinced you to consider making it your choice for your next date or private event. Every visit of mine has been exceptional and I can guarantee you will leave with a very satisfied palate. Reservations are strongly encouraged, so book your table today!

Events & Celebrations

WELCOMING COQUILLE FINE SEAFOOD

WE ARE DELIGHTED to welcome to Vancouver’s diverse and elaborate food scene a new fine dining seafood restaurant, Coquille. Located in our historic Gastown on 181 Carrall Street, Coquille serves up an array of fresh seafood and shellfish dishes created by locally acclaimed chefs Lee Cooper and Jack Chen, and partnered with our very own Nin Rai, founder of Truffles Fine Foods. This new nautical-themed restaurant has already made a huge splash with local foodies. Building on all the positive feedback this eatery has received, here are some reasons why we are so excited to talk about what makes this new restaurant both praiseworthy and a contender for your next culinary adventure.

Upon entering this newly renovated establishment, you will immediately feel like you have just boarded an ocean liner from the early 20th Century – a lovely homage to the rich maritime history we have here in Vancouver. From the plank floors to the mahogany tables and brass light fixtures, no details were skipped to create a warm, inviting atmosphere for diners. I particularly admire their choice of colours – cool, subtle, and relaxing yet elegant.

Come For The Drinks, Stay For The Food

The drink menu features a variety of house-made cocktails (such as the Coquille G&T – a must-try in my opinion), prestigious BC and international wines, as well as locally crafted beers and cider. As for food options, there are several dishes here that would challenge your palate in a very pleasing way. Coquille offers a variety of freshly shucked oysters, small plates, seafood platters, and even soups and sandwiches. If you need some convincing, I encourage you to check out their Instagram feed for some gastronomical inspiration.

Putting “Happy” Back In “Happy Hour”

Happy Hour has really been challenging for myself as of late because Vancouver, simply put, has too many options for me to choose from. As we are a coastal city, finding seafood is not all too difficult; however, finding it at a reasonable price is another story.

Well, friends, look no further because Coquille presents us with offers that are too delicious and tempting to pass on. Available daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. & from 9 p.m. to late, their Happy Hour menu had me nodding and shouting, “Yes! Sign me up and take my money!” Trust me when I say this: It’s worth the visit. Although it has yet to be officially released on their website, here is a sneak peak of what you can expect to find on their Happy Hour menu:

50% OFF ALL OYSTERS & SHELLFISH

Octopus Toast

Fritto Misto, Aioli

Cod Croquette, Malt Vinegar Aioli

Crab & Shrimp Rolls

Tuna Tartare

BBQ Fish Collar

Hand-Cut Fries

Considering coquille is the French word for “shell”, a menu with such an appealing oyster special seems very befitting, right? From Royal Miyagi and Kusshi, to Beau Soleil and Shigoku, diners are presented with several options to select from – all of which are half off during Happy Hour. Perhaps you are just stopping by for a drink? Their cheap beer and cocktail options are a great way to unwind and goes very well with the other menu options.

I digress. Coquille is a truly unique restaurant that has a lot to offer. Regardless of what time of day you are stopping by, the ambiance and food will leave you talking about it for days. Once again, I am more than happy to welcome this new restaurant to the Vancouver food scene. I only hope it does not get too busy otherwise getting reservations will be tough! Check out their website when you have a chance and be sure to follow their Instagram to witness their latest culinary creations.

Corporate

Four Palate Pleasing Locations

IT IS NO SURPRISE that the food scene here, in Vancouver, is a very competitive landscape. Although the food and hospitality industry has its fair share of challenges, it can also be very difficult for diners to decide on their next culinary adventure. For those epicureans and foodies out there who are willing to please their palates with unique gastronomic creations, Vancouver definitely has a lot to offer (but not enough time, naturally).

If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then I am glad you are reading this because Truffles Fine Foods has not just one option for you to satisfy amuse-bouche cravings, but four! Since 2005, we continue to deliver on our reputation of having quality, freshly-prepared foods for a wide range of people, events, and industries. If you are ever in need of a memorable food experience, allow our professionals to satisfy your needs. Here are four locations for you to choose from:

Howe & Davie Kitchen

Situated near the heart of Downtown Vancouver, our Howe & Davie location is the perfect place to grab a quick, delicious bite at any time of the day. Open daily and with menu items freshly prepared by our master chef, this location is perfect for a hasty snack, a gathering after work, or a weekend indulgence.

Truffles Kitchen at VanDusen Garden

Treat yourself to an afternoon of decadence by visiting our unique location within the Visitor’s Centre at the VanDusen Botanical Garden. With stunning views of the exotic flora that the garden has to offer, our café provides a dining space that aligns with the VanDusen Garden Centre’s “Living Building” philosophy. Order from a selection of Fair Trade coffees, handcrafted beverages, and locally-inspired foods – all prepared with the highest quality ingredients. If you desire the next of elegance, Afternoon Tea is also offered. We advise calling head for hours served as it changes seasonally.

North Shore Film Studios Kitchen

Our main catering kitchen and office located in North Vancouver was where all of our culinary magic first happened. Reaching back to how it all began, we are continually humbled and forever thankful to the film industry for helping us to get started. If you are looking to book catering for parties and other events, please give us a call!

Truffles Fine Foods Kitchens

New Westminster Kitchen

Your quest to satisfy your palate isn’t just limited to the City of Vancouver. If you happen to wander through our province’s former capital – New Westminster – we invite you to stop by the new, state-of-the-art Anvil Centre. Our unique kitchen provides visitors with an opportunity to taste our delicious, delectable foods and beverages made with the best and freshest ingredients. The Anvil Centre also makes a great venue to host group events of any size including weddings, conferences, and even board meetings. Truffles Fine Foods is proud to be the caterer of choice for the Anvil Centre.

With 2018 in full swing, finding the the right caterer or eatery shouldn’t be that tough of a decision. If you are in search of something exquisite, we encourage you to pay us a visit. Truffles Fine Foods offers nothing but the best quality ingredients and we invite you to join us on your next culinary adventure.

Seasonal Feature

The 2017 Festival Of Lights at Van Dusen Gardens

Van Dusen Gardens Festival of Lights
Photo © TOTORORO.RORO on Flickr

Vancouver can be a dreary place in the winter, with the constant rain and the nights turning dark around four o’clock. It can be hard to find any cheer among the wet gloom. To ease the darkness of the season there are many holiday themed events around the city, but none light up the night like the Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Gardens.

The festival is currently in its 33rd year, bringing fifteen acres of the gardens to life with over 1 million lights. Perfect for every age group, the beautiful light creations are spellbinding, with some favourite holiday characters brought to life before your eyes. Tickets are $18.50 for adults, $14.05 for seniors over 65 and youth between 13-18, and $10.95 for a child 4-12. All tickets also include a ride on the magical holiday carousel.

Over the past few years the event has raised money for the Make-A-Wish foundation, which is dedicated to making life better for sick children across Canada. To date, the festival has raised over $350,000. From the gingerbread forest and the dancing lights across the lake to the hot chocolates and the mulled wine, there is something for everyone.

The event will be happening from December 1st, 2017 through to January 7th, 2018, and is closed on Christmas Day. Hours are 4:30pm – 9pm until the 15th, when they become 4:30 – 10:30pm. The event is on rain, snow, or shine and is incredibly magical no matter what the weather. Grab your tickets (or stuff some in a stocking!) to the Van Dusen Festival of Lights today and experience a little enchantment this winter.