Cornucopia’s Twentieth Anniversary

Whistler is shrouded in a layer of white gold as the snow falls and Cornucopia, presented by BlueShore Financial, wraps for another year.  As the gateway to winter in Whistler, Cornucopia ushered in a new season, kicking off winter with a celebration of Whistler’s love for it’s people, love of its village and appreciation for the harvest and bounty of the region.

Thank you to everyone who participated for making the 20th Edition of Cornucopia a success! To all our partners, agents, wineries, breweries, food purveyors, Chef partners, speakers and presenters thank you so much for your support. To all the local businesses, restaurants and hotels, thank you for once again showing the very best of Whistler to all our resort guests. And most importantly, THANK YOU to all our volunteers for your hard work and dedication! It takes a village to make Cornucopia happen… and we love our village.

People from far and wide came to partake in over 150 different events reflecting an entire village coming together in creativity, thoughtfulness and appreciation, meeting its goal of raising money for local organizations doing great work.  As Cornucopia’s 2016 partner recipient, Whistler Adaptive Sports Program provides year round programs for people of all ages with disabilities.  Alongside Whistler Adaptive Sports, volunteers and organizations held fundraisers for the Whistler Public Library, the Audain Art Museum and Ecole La Passerelle.  Cornucopia has raised over $500,000 to help community initiatives. Each year, Cornucopia events raise in excess of $35,000 for its named charity which changes every two years.

Photo: Darby Magill

 

Cornucopia 2016 began with an homage to Whistler’s culinary tradition as the community came together to honour one of its pillars at the Restaurant Association of Whistler’s first ever Hall of Fame Ceremony at The Picnic: Cornucopia’s 20th Anniversary Party. Through speeches, smiles, tears and toasts, they honoured Mario Enero for his outstanding contributions.  In the words of Keeley Higgins, former manager of La Rua and Caramba, “Good food, good service, good people…Mario is a patriarch in Whistler’s culinary and hospitality scene because of simple principles and a gift for sharing his experience and passion with the community and those who work with him.”

Photo: Julie Zoney

 

It was the perfect kick-off to an 11 celebration where ten signature tasting events took place from Crush 20th Grand Tasting, anchoring the first Saturday, to Poured Grand Tasting, anchoring the 2nd Saturday.  Attendees sipped and tasted the craft and passion of wine-makers, brewers, distillers, chefs and more.

Photo: Julie Zoney

 

This set the stage for the region’s restaurant and hotel community to shine.  Bringing their best work and most creative collaborations, over 50 different culinary establishments delighted and amazed attendees at restaurant and winery dinners, Cornucopia’s Chef’s Table Luncheons, Culinary Stage chef demonstrations, and more.

The London Chef. Photo: Julie Zoney

 

Cornucopia 2016 was also an event for the industry.  Through workshops and forums, Whistler held space for the hospitality, wine and beverage industries to share, debate and exchange knowledge.  Holding the WSET Level 1 and 2 certification with vetran wine educator DJ Kearney, as well as the first annual Cornucopia Wine Summit, Whistler saw some of the best mids in wine and hospitality come together.

The Cornucopia Wine Summit. Photo: Julie Zoney

 

And more.  From Cornucopia Junior Chef for teen cooks to the Cornucopia Drink Series, hosting expert panels in over 45 different sessions, to the newly expanded Nourish Health and Wellness micro-festival where fresh ideas abound at Cornucopia it is safe to say the 20th edition had something for everyone.  Cheers to the village that made it happen and the attendees who came to enjoy.

The 21st edition of Cornucopia takes place November 9-19, 2017.  See you there!

Cornucopia Junior Chef. Photo: Julie Zoney

A Foodie’s Ponderings: By GD Maxwell

Beloved local writer, GD Maxwell, deconstructs breakfast for his fellow foodies.

BREAKFAST: NOT AS IMPORTANT AS YOU THINK

Nutritionists, who have proven time and time again how little science actually knows about nutrition and how the human body processes foods, have claimed for, well, ever, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I’m here to tell you it’s simply not true.

This, of course, is good news to those of us for whom the thought of digging into a hearty meal shortly after bouncing out of bed is nauseating.

So what, you ask, is my proof for such a statement? Statistics — which we all know don’t lie — bear me out. In recent surveys, a full 10% of Americans never eat breakfast and an astounding 50% skip it at least once a week. Half of Brits say they regularly skip breakfast, a figure that’s doubled in the past several years. If breakfast was as important as nutritionists want you to believe, there would be bodies piling up in the streets.

Let’s face it, nobody except naughty children skip supper, and it’s not like naughty children have a choice in the matter. Lunch is a necessary break in the day’s grind.

If stark statistics aren’t enough for you, consider this: Breakfast is the only meal humans consume in restaurants that doesn’t have a dessert offering! There is no breakfast dessert menu! Never! Nowhere!

Breakfast is the neglected stepchild of meals.

Oh, I know, there are lots of sweet things people can choose to eat at breakfast. Belgian waffles piled high with strawberries and whipped cream, gooey cinnamon buns, pastries of many varieties and — ugh — hideously sweet cereal adults never confess to eating notwithstanding far more is sold than children could possibly eat.

But those things are breakfast. They’re not dessert. Why is there no breakfast dessert? A separate menu with a few tempting choices to finish off your morning meal and satisfy our ancestral evolutionary predilection for sweet, calorie-rich things would put a bounce in breakfast eaters’ step, make them feel special and, perhaps most importantly, add 10-15% to restaurateurs’ bottom line.

Hello people; opportunity knocking.

Why is there no Breakfast Brûlée?  Breakfast Brownie? Why are eggs a staple breakfast choice but a decent dessert soufflé never hits a menu until lunch? Why is pie a PM thing but never sees the light of dawn?

What’s the matter with breakfast that it’s too ashamed to be associated with dessert?

A skier contemplating a day filled with harrowing steeps, uphill hikes in search of fresh powder and the occasional, interminable lift line, would cheer local restaurants serving up a power-packed breakfast dessert of, say, energy bar topped with a truffle mountain draped in white chocolate ganache glacier and coconut snowfall? Everything you need and nothing you don’t for a hard day on the mountain, all for $7.95.

Don’t thank me — just get to work and make breakfast as important as nutritionists try to make us think it is.

You can find Max’s musings in his weekly column in the Pique Newsmagazine, www.piquenewsmagazine.com