September 20, 2012

Wanderlust: Lake Louise & Invermere

Our last and final destination is Lake Louise! Lake Louise is actually named after the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and the blueish green glacier fed lake behind me (pic below) is probably the most photographed scene in the Canadian Rockies.

The first morning we came to visit turned into a pretty grey day. We grabbed some hot chocolate and a chocolate croissant from the Deli inside the hotel and decided to just walk the boardwalk. 

Despite the weather on our first day, a lot of our meals at the lake were outside. With such a beautiful view, who wants to be stuck indoors?! Lucky for me, I happen to hang out with some incredible cooks so we were always fed very, very well! We have homemade pizza dough on the open fire with goat cheese & roasted peppers, some Valbella sausage (local butchers using all locally sourced meat and ingredients), yellow watermelon, homemade salsa, tandoori chicken etc.  I pretty much worshipped the sun and ate for hours! 

One day we drove out to Invermere to check out the local farmer's market and I was very adamant about pulling over for this shot. The drive to Invermere itself is quite spectacular but this one part always puts a smile on my face. They literally blew a hole inside this mountain and build a road straight through it. 

The number one reason why we make the drive to Invermere is for the amazing freshly squeezed lemonade. You pick your fruit, and the size, and the lemon and fruit get squeezed right before your eyes. The previous years I've gone to the market, they've sliced and squeezed the lemons by hand, but this year they upgraded to this neat contraption that slices and squeezes the lemon in about two seconds! The same stand also makes really good kettle corn. This year we tried a new vendor making hot bread from a wood fire oven. He was making these delicious open faced sandwiches with cheese bread wrapped in bacon. This was a great way to start the morning before we headed to the beach!

I love this farmers market because the locals really seem to have pride in their product as well as their lifestyle. Everything was about wholesome, healthy lifestyles using traditional, homegrown recipes to produce amazing products. You gotta love your food when you can see the smiling face producing it. 

Hanging out with a bunch of cooks also means a lot of culinary adventures. One of them being Porkfest 2012.  Thats right, a group of professional chefs got together to cook a copious amount of pork. On the menu was two suckling pigs, pork osso buco, ribs, pulled pork, pork belly, pork burgers, bacon lasagna, and about a zillion homemade dips and sauces to slather all the goodness in. Usually a feast like this just means an overkill of bacon and grease but when done by professionals, everything is well balanced and oink oink delicious! 

This was my second plate, the first one was too much of a hot mess to get a shot of. You have chinese bbq pork chop with some slow roasted pork belly and bacon "salsa". This was the most surprisingly enjoyable pork option, it was bacon crumbles and brunoise apple pieces. The sweet and salty played really well together. The bacon lasagna was also a favourite - surprisingly. I thought it would be a little over kill with the layers of bacon replacing the pasta but it was all just cooked so well it wasn't overly greasy or rich.

There was also a dessert table... yep, dessert! This was an all bacon extravaganza cake. The bacon fat was used in the batter, as well as the chocolate ganache. A layer of bacon bits was thrown in the middle and the garnish was candied pieces of bacon dipped in chocolate. When this was being described to me, I puked a little bit in my mouth. I thought, they'd really gone overboard with this one. Surprisingly, the bacon flavour was just enough. The crumble in the middle resembled the crumble in DQ ice cream cakes. The candied bacon was actually pretty good - it tasted like a piece of leather fruit, I swear! The whole cake was really good! There were also red velvet cupcakes and German butter cake. 

After all that bacon, I had to hire a mule to carry me up this mountain. Just Kidding. Not really. Some photos courtesy of Jandary Sok

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