With some of the biggest chefs in Vancouver serving dishes created especially for this event it is continuously a unique and mouth-watering experience. I wasn’t surprised to discover that many of the guests have attended Big Night since the inception including Sharon, who is a long-time friend of Vikram Vij.
There was one major change to the event this year, and that was a change of venue. In the past it was held at the Vancouver Club, with this year’s event being hosted by Jewel Ballroom. This was only my second year at the event so I was less affected than others by the new location.
Jewel Ballroom provided an ample amount of breathing room and a simple inner and outer circle layout, which ultimately made for a better experience for guests. However, I preferred the elegance that the Vancouver Club offered with its foyer and winding staircase to the main floor, compared to the elevator at Jewel Ballroom and the chandeliers hanging from a “classroom style” tiled ceiling. These differences are definitely not a game-changer, as in the end it is the sensible layout, easy navigation and comfortable air flow that wins, and in this case Jewel Ballroom takes the cake. The event ended a huge success that will most likely sell out again next year and will have those regulars anxiously awaiting the next one.
Interested in what the chefs prepared and what wines they were paired with? Eat your heart out.
Wine pairing: Painted Rock Estate Syrah 2009
Blue Water Café + Raw Bar
Wine pairing: Evans & Tate Metricup Road Chardonnay 2009
Cactus Club Café
Wine pairing: Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico 2008
Wine pairing: Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2008
Wine pairing: Devil’s Lair Margaret River Chardonnay 2009
Wine pairing: Mission Hill Family Estate Riesling Icewine 2011
Memphis Blues BBQ
Wine pairing: Lanson Black Label Brut Champagne
Wine pairing: Marqués de Cáceres Rosado 2011
Wine pairing: González Byass Nutty Solera Oloroso
Wine pairing: La Chablisienne Chablis La Pierrelée 2010
Wine pairing: 2011 Red Rooster Riesling
My favorites of the night were Cactus Club’s sumptuous ravioli, Blue Water’s immaculately prepared octopus and pork belly, Pied-à-Terre’s flaky plithivier and Thierry’s addicting desserts.
My favorite wines were Mission Hills 2011 Reserve Riesling Icewine,
Painted Rock’s 2009 Estate Syrah 2009, Red Rooster’s 2011 Riesling and Castello Di Gabbiano’s 2008 Chianti Classico Riserva.
Milano Coffee had a booth at Big Night as well, with staff eager to perk guests up with an espresso or macchiato after two hours of drinking and eating. It was my much enjoyed palate cleanser, that unfortunately kept me up until all hours of the night.
As they do every year, Les Dames BC hosted a raffle to benefit their organization and the programs they support; over the course of the night they raised $4000. This year they raffled a “Dame Dinner of a Lifetime”, which included a dinner for eight prepared in the winner’s home by a Dame Chef and her crew, along with a magnum of Champagne and paired wines.
For more photos check out my Big Night 2013 set on Flickr.