Bite offers up treats, awards

NANAIMO: More than 800 people partaking in the 20th annual Bite of Nanaimo Gourmet Food Fair enjoyed delights for the palate.

Nathan Bigham from Longwood Brew Pub warms up some soft shells for salmon tacos during the annual TheatreOne Bite of Nanaimo held Oct. 19 at Beban Park. The tacos received runner-up recognition in the best use of local ingredients category.

Nathan Bigham from Longwood Brew Pub warms up some soft shells for salmon tacos during the annual TheatreOne Bite of Nanaimo held Oct. 19 at Beban Park. The tacos received runner-up recognition in the best use of local ingredients category.

More than 800 people partaking in the 20th annual Bite of Nanaimo Gourmet Food Fair enjoyed delights for the palate served up by many of the area’s finest restaurants, breweries, cafes, and bakeries.

Seventeen local establishments took part in the Bite Friday at Beban Park, offering sample ‘bites’ and vying for ‘best in category’ trophies awarded based on ballots cast by those attending.

TheatreOne’s most important fundraiser of the year, the Bite also raised More than $360 for Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank, with 50 cents from every entry ticket sold going to the community service.

When the 800-plus ballots from Bite attendees were tallied, the Dinghy Dock Pub lead the way with three first place and one runner-up awards.

Overall, the awards included:

Best meat or poultry – Montana’s pork side ribs, first place; Cactus Club’s double-braised pineapple hoisin short rib, runner-up.

Best vegetarian dish – Rawmbas’s falafel wrap, first place; Amrikko’s, runner-up.

Best seafood – Dinghy Dock Pub’s chipotle prawns, first place; Acme Food Co.’s grillin’ and chillin’ roll, runner-up.

Best appetizer – The Keg’s crab, parmesan and spinach dip served with corn chips, first place; Baby Salsa Mexican Restaurant’s  stuffed jalapenos, runner-up.

Best dessert – Vancouver Island University baking program’s Four Seasons display, first place; Dinghy Dock Pub’s sex in a dinghy, runner-up.

Best refreshment – Longwood Brew Pub’s array of micro-brewed beers, including the seasonal pumpkin beer first place; Cactus Club’s bellini and the Brazilian, runner-up.

Best booth design – Dinghy Dock Pub’s dinghy countertop, first place; Acme Food Co.’s house band, The Big Mess, runner-up.

Best hospitality – Dinghy Dock Pub, first place; Cactus Club, runner-up.

Best use of local ingredients – Rawmbas’s beet-carrot falafel wrap, first place;  Longwood Brew Pub’s Cajun salmon taco, runner-up.

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