Tonight we were invited to a private dinner brought together by JAKs Liquor Stores and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB). This was in support and celebration of JAKs Gives Back. Guests enjoyed a 3 course food and drink pairing prepared by Chef Claire, which featured a curated list of JAKs’ favourite wines and spirits.
Hosted at the Burnaby location of the Food Bank, the warehouse’s stunning volunteer lounge made the ideal back drop for the evening. On this platform JAKs announced that on Saturday, June 25th, 2022 10% of all sales from all 13 JAKs locations across BC will be donated to local food banks, including the GVFB, (which supports those in need within Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, and the North Shore).
Tonight’s festivities was a long time coming. Being in the works for 2 years, it was nice to witness JAKs finally getting to share their passion for giving back to the community, on a stage like this. One of JAKs guiding values is “gratitude”, and this 4th generation family business wanted to partner with the food bank because everything they feel we need to do in the community, starts with feeding those in need. And this action is timely, as the demand for food is now larger than it was during the pandemic.
To learn how far this generous act made by JAKs goes, and the need for such altruism, guests tonight were given a tour of the food bank facility. I, however, felt like an expert having already taken said tour, privately. So tonight was able to recall a lot of the factoids I learned, and too reference in my review. For that read, visit the link below.
But to highlight: the need to help those in need has grown exponentially post Covid. Fresh food is in higher demand, and it is not available through food drives. The resources required to sort through canned food and dried goods donations are too great, and approximately 30% of what is donated is not salvageable due to expiry dates or damages.
Therefore the GVFB is looking to monetary donation instead, and are focusing on different ways to earn it. This is so that they can purchase what their clients really need. Worth mentioning is that their spending power is 2:1. For every $1 you donate the GVFB can purchase $2 worth of food. Fresh food curated into speciality packs for families and individuals based on age group.
Fresh produce and ingredients the likes of what we enjoyed tonight. It felt odd to take in such a feast, while in a facility designed to help those who cannot feed themselves. Although at the same time this definitely well showcased the need for fresh produce and proteins for everyone.
Our evening began with a welcome cocktail prepared with The Woods’ Amaro bitter apéritif, mixed with soda water and lemon. An easy sipper that would carry us through our guided tour, then to our seats for dinner.
During the reception, servers navigated the room offering guests easy snacking items like mini cranberry apple grilled cheese bite.
Lamb Kofta, which a Middle Eastern dish made from ground lamb or beef mixed with onions, garlic, and spices; then shaped into rounds. These were baked into a stick for easy nibbling while mingling.
And my favourite was the Argentinian Garlic prawns in a 10 spice aioli. The prawns were thick and juicy, but it was the dipping sauce that had me eating 4 of these.
Our sit down dinner started with a sparkling wine. This is the Montes Sparkling Angel Brut from Chile. Some lovely light bubbles to set the tone.
The first course by Chef Claire was a beet salad with roasted local beets, whipped ricotta, hazelnut praline, and an olive oil crostini. A light and pleasant start that had me scraping the plate clean of ricotta. Best on the crispy crostini with a cube of sweet yellow beet, and cluster of hazelnuts for crunch.
Our second course came with one glass of red and one of white. The latter was Joie Farm’s “En Famille” Riesling 2017 from Naramata. A dry riesling that was not too sweet, and beautifully dry. It went well for those who had the vegan cauliflower entree.
The Banshee Pinot Noir from California was better suited to the salmon entree I had. An approachable red that came about as a passion project between a group of friends wanting to create a wine that best showcased what California has to offer. The end result, a juicy red that was not jammy, but higher on acidity to cut into the oiliness of our fish.
Miso crusted wild salmon with an early summer succotash. The salmon was a little over cooked, thankfully I had extra cream sauce on my plate to help remedy that. Its garlicky flavour paired well with the fresh and crisp peppers, squash, and king oyster mushroom.
And for dessert our drink partnered perfectly with the caramelized apple tartlet and home made vanilla ice cream. The dessert was premade so the crust has harden from time spent in the refrigerator. But when topped with the butter pecan finish of our amaretto, we had no complaints. The Sons of Vancouver No.82 Amaretto was distilled with the goal of having the least amount of ingredients as possible.
In conclusion this was such a unique dinner idea and a great way to learn more about the food bank. So to do your part, (because you will end up purchasing alcohol anyways), visit any of the 13 JAKs locations to have 10% of your sale (and everyone else’s) to go directly towards providing monetary support to the food bank. So that the team and their volunteers can help purchase and deliver fresh produce, milk, bread, and protein to those who need it the most.