Ernesto Ojeda

Downtown Langley City tempts foodies to annual event

Food & Finger is Aug. 27 and gives people a chance to sample from up to 13 restaurants for $5 per dish. There's also food demos.

Saturday offers foodies a chance to taste a wide cross-section of flavours and various international cuisines available in Langley’s downtown core while vying for a $1,000 shopping spree.

For the fourth year running, the Downtown Langley Business Association (DLBA) is hosting its one-day Fork & Finger event.

This event features non-stop food demonstrations in McBurney Plaza, plus offers incentives for food lovers to meander through the streets in search of at least three participating eateries that are offering $5 special sample dishes for the day.

Last year’s event sold out with 3,500 people picking up a passport at McBurney Plaza, explained Teri James, DLBA executive director.

The free passports entitle guests to move around between the 13 participating restaurants for a $5 sample dish. With the purchase of a minimum of three samples, passport holder are in the running for a $1,000 downtown shopping spree.

This event took root four years ago, after DLBA received countless requests to host a foodie event in the core.

Not wanting to detract from the existing restaurants by bringing in an infusion of out-of-town food trucks, the concept for Fork & Finger emerged as a way to spotlighting local eateries.

The event has grown exponentially every year since, and James is anticipating 5,000 people will take part this time around.

She believes the inclusion of public food demonstrations adds to the event, and this year they’ve ramped up those efforts by offering action throughout the entire day and spotlighting the works of Chef John Walls – formerly of Langley’s own Domaine de Chaberton’s Bacchus Bistro.

He is now a private chef and caterer who will leading three of the four demos in McBurney Plaza: Paella, Summer Grilling, and Al Fresco Entertaining.

Another demo will teach the making of chicken Thai curry offered by Ban Chok Dee’s executive chef Parinya Loptson.

There are 13 eateries participating with samples that day, including the newest kid on the block, Quesadillas & Chilaquiles, which opened in early July.

When the opportunity came around to take part in Fork & Finger, the restaurant’s Red Seal chef Juan Gonzalez, along with owner Ernesto Ojeda were quick to jump at the chance “to show the people that we’re here serving a different menu,” said Gonzalez.

They will be serving chilaquiles (corn chips) and the fruit dish for their $5 sampler.

“This is an inexpensive way for people to discover what we have in the way of food and dining experiences down here,” she added.

Fork & Finger runs Saturday, Aug. 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The passports are available in McBurney Plaza, and those returned with at least three stamps are in the running for a $1,000 downtown shopping spree.

More information: downtownlangley.com.

Participating Fork & Finger $5 sampler locations:

1) 1 Fish 2 Fish Fresh Seafood Market

Sampler: Smoked salmon

2) All of Oils, Wholesome Oils & Vinegars

Sampler: Gelato with your choice of selected flavoured balsamics or  flavoured olive oils with Maldon sea salt

3) Ban Chok Dee

Sampler: Choice of red curry chicken, green curry beef or yellow curry chicken – served with rice

4) Captain’s Galley Fish & Chips

Sampler: One piece cod and small chips

5) Coffee on the Coast

Sampler: Coffee samples

6) Hot & Toasty Café

Sampler: Nutella or sugar crepe

7) McBurney Coffee and Tea House

Sampler: Venti (Large) Italian soda and a small cookie (chocolate chip or peanut butter)

8) MCC Meals Catering

Sampler: Selection of salads (Tabbouleh, quinoa, lentil cream, ratatouille & more!) or specialty dessert.

9) Naka Bistro Lao & Thai Cuisine

Sampler: Nem Khao – crispy rice lettuce wrap with cured pork, shredded coconut, fresh lime juice, herbs and topped with ground peanuts

10) Quesadillas & Chilaquiles

Sampler: Chilaquiles, Gaspacho (Mexican fresh fruit snack)

11) Shiraz

Sampler: Pasta

12) Stickie’s

Sampler: Your choice of an ice cream sandwich (made with fresh cookies), root beer float (with 50 root beers to choose from) or hot fresh sugar and cinnamon mini doughnuts (just like the PNE!)

13) Frosting Cupcakery & Bake Shop

Sampler: mini cupcake, mini scone (cheddar/berry), mini GF Brownie, and mini macaroon

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