Fork & Finger 2017 featured demonstrations and samples. (Langley Advance files)

Downtown Langley food festival welcomes celebrity chef

The annual Fork & Finger event celebrates food for $5 a plate.

Fifteen eateries have signed on to supply $5 sample plates for this Saturday’s Fork & Finger food festival.

“We are excited this year, as with 15 restaurants participating this is the largest Fork & Finger passport to date,” noted Laura Warren, one of the organizers.

The Downtown Langley Business Association event runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The staging area is in McBurney Plaza, but foodies fan out around downtown Langley City to the participating eateries to try their sample plates.

Participating restaurants:

  • 1 Fish 2 Fish – smoked salmon (3 varieties)
  • Akedo Showten Ramen + Gyoza – five gyoza (dumpling)
  • All of Oils – three ready to eat bread dipping appies.
  • Annora Restaurant – pork belly gnocchi
  • Avishan (Authentic Middle East Grill) – koobideh kebab and kashke badmejan (veggie) with fresh bread
  • Ban Chok Dee – red, green or yellow curry, served with rice
  • Captain’s Galley Fish & Chips – one piece cod and chips
  • Leef & Stem – organic buckwheat noodles, hemp heart and pumpkin seed pesto, roasted yams, beluga lentils.
  • Lemon Bakery – choice of lemon bar or a chocolate walnut brownie and an iced lemonade soda
  • Masala India Bistro – butter chicken or shahi paneer (includes rice and naan)
  • McBurney Coffee & Tea House – Italian soda and mini triple chocolate cookie or cranberry coconut oatmeal cookie
  • Red Velvet Cafe – date square, magic bar, gluten free brownie
  • Rib & Chicken – fried chicken
  • Shiraz – pasta
  • Twins Coffee – lavender lemonade and salted caramel cookie

Be sure to grab a passport at the plaza before heading to the restaurants, Warren said. A filled-out passport can be entered into the draw for Downtown Dollars.

“There are so many delicious options available,” Warren said “Every year we hear back from attendees who are excited to have found their new favourite restaurant in Downtown Langley. Also, what is amazing about the Fork & Finger passport is the size of the portions that restaurants offer when attendees purchase the $5 samplers. Come hungry, as you are guaranteed to leave with a fully belly.”

On this year’s menu are also demonstrations. Chef Bob Blumer is coming.

“Having spent my fair share of time watching cooking shows on the Food Network over the years, I was trying to think of what celebrity chefs would best suit Langley and this event,” she said. The first person that came to mind was Bob Blumer.”

Organizers asked if he would come.

“After explaining what the Fork & Finger event is and how much fun he would have by being here, he agreed,” she added. “Too bad the toaster mobile won’t fit in his luggage.”

The number of people who can attend his demonstration is only limited by the size of McBurney Plaza. He’s making a salmon burder and Mexican grilled corn at 12:30 p.m. His 2:30 p.m. demo is for wild mushroom ravioli, kale Caesar salad, and cauliflower popcorn.

Known for his fun, outgoing nature, Blumer will do two interactive presentations. He will make pan-seared sockeye salmon on a fresh corn succotash in less time than it takes to heat up a can of Spaghetti-O’s. And a few audience members will be able to take part in a skills competition.

McBurney Plaza is also the site for the day’s other demonstrations.

Chef Anya Keefe will be taking people’s tastebuds around the world. She will start with the story of chocolate, then people will sample chocolate grown in many parts of the world to understand the different factors that influence this popular food.

Her presentation is at 11 a.m. and there’s a limited number of chocolate passports available.

Throughout the event, pitmasters Kevin Legge and Colleen Hayes are cooking in the plaza, and yes, there’s samples, Warren said.

“Most people tend to take in a demo and then head out to participate in the passport sampler program, then come back and take in a later demo and drop their passport into the prize barrel for a chance to win some Downtown Dollars, which are drawn throughout the day,” said Sherryl Parsons, another organizer.

Attendance each year since the event started in 2013 runs at between 500 and 1,000 people.

Musician Alex Maher will be providing live music from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and again from 1:10 to 2:30 p.m.

Anyone planning to let their inner foodie loose this Saturday may want to load up on $5 bills and arrive hungry.

• Fork & Finger

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