The Vancouver Branch of the IWFS celebrated its 40th Anniversary in style at the Vancouver Club which was also the venue for the very first IWFS event in Vancouver and also for the 25th Anniversary. The tradition has been established and we were delighted to honour our Past Presidents as well as our Founding Secretary Shirley Dundas and our Founding President Hon. H.A.D. "Bert" Oliver, QC (on the eve of his 86th birthday) who provided a highly entertaining speech about the origins and early days of the branch. The cuisine of the Vancouver Club under the direction of Chef Vanessa Jorgensen was superb and the service and wines were excellent!
It was a delight to meet some of our past members and also several guests at a reception noted for a slide show of our members at past events over the years, and a selection of innovative hors d'oeuvres including a Mini Wild Salmon Burger on Brioche with Shallot Chutney, Braised Beef Short Ribs on a Crispy Tortilla with Spiced Red Wine Pearls, a Sweet Pepper and Broccoli Pakora with a Marsala Curry Pipette, and simple tiny Oysters on the Half Shell with an Apple Cider Mignonette, accompanied by the elegant Pol Roger Brut Champagne.
Following a tasty amuse bouche of Heirloom Tomato Tart with a Basil Sorbet and 50-year-old Balsamic Reduction, our first course was a Salt Spring Goat Cheese Ravioli with an Orange-Fennel Dust paired with a 2006 Nimbus Estate Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc from Vina Casablanca. Served next was a splendid contrast of Pea Shoot Crusted Halibut and Braised Pork Belly with a Gravenstein Apple-Green Onion Salad and a mild Carrot-Ginger Broth with a 2004 Meursault from Doudet Naudin. After a palate cleansing Lime Granité we received an eye-pleasing presentation of Polderside Duck Three Ways, a Wild Rice Smoked Breast, Duck Confit with Arugula Salad and warm Foie Gras with Cherry Parfait with two fine red Burgundies, a 1988 Clos de Vougeot by Faiveley, kindly provided by Sid and Joan Cross, and a 2002 Gevrey-Chambertin by Serafin Père et Fils. After an interlude which included presentations of Certificates of Appreciation to our Past Presidents and Founders, a trio of British Columbia cheeses followed with a 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon from Geyser Peak, kindly provided by Douglas Russell. We finished with a dessert of delicious Caramel Ice Cream, Chocolate Fondant and Hazlenut Cake accompanied by a 2001 Château Roumieu Sauternes with Mignardises and a gift selection of Thomas Haas chocolates generously provided by Milena Robertson.
Our 40th Anniversary was truly a splendid celebration to remember and a wonderful evening to treasure!