Go to any of Vancouver’s stellar summertime music- and arts-related happenings and there’s a good chance you’ll find a wide range of topnotch food; we’re a city of foodies, after all. Even at events where the selection is diverse and delicious, though, it’s rare to see fare take on a starring role. That’s not the case at SKOOKUM, where the culinary aspect is just as important as the music and art.
“SKOOKUM is all about celebrating the West Coast,” says festival producer Lilli Clark in a phone interview from fest headquarters. “We want to highlight everything that’s amazing about Vancouver, and food is definitely one of those things. It’s so important to the culture of Vancouver.
“We want to get people out to see, experience, and taste Vancouver,” she adds. “We’re celebrating diversity, locality, and sustainability.”
One way the fest is highlighting sustainability is by offering fish and seafood that is strictly Ocean Wise—not just at flagship events but right across the board. “We’re the first-ever event to be fully Ocean Wise,” Clark says.
A signature component is the SKOOKUM Long Table Dinner series, which includes some kick-ass collaborations: Ocean Wise ambassador Ned Bell joins forces with Edible Canada (killer chefs cooking together the same night that the Killers take the stage); the culinary dynamos behind St. Lawrence and Kissa Tanto will also team up. The Okanagan’s Joy Road Catering is another highly regarded outfit that will be creating flavourful memories for attendees with an evening focused on foods of the Earth.
A handful of local hot spots such as Hawksworth, Oyama Sausage, Bel Café, Honey Salt, and Les Amis du Fromage will create SKOOKUM picnic baskets (including vegetarian versions), complete with a blanket that is yours to keep.
Restaurant pop-ups and food trucks that will be set up on-site include Bao Bei, Coast, Italian Kitchen, Vij’s, Belgard Kitchen, Monarch Burger, Cartems, Fat Mao Noodles, Mr. Bannock, Crab Park Chowdery, and more. Fiasco Gelato and Savary Island Pie Company are among the places serving up sweet treats.
To drink, B.C. craft beers and wines, natch. There will be offerings from JoieFarm Winery, Merridale Cidery & Distillery, Postmark Brewing, Liberty Distillery, Main Street Brewing Company, and Twin Sails Brewing, to name a few; plus, Kafka’s and Green Coast Coffee and cold-pressed juices from Mountain Squeeze.
To order picnic baskets or tickets for the Long Table Dinner series and to find out more, go to www.skookumfestival.com.