It doesn’t matter whether you call them ‘tomatoes,’ ‘tomahtoes,’ ‘tomates’ or ‘pomodoro’ – everyone agrees that the tomato is the ultimate summer ingredient. Eaten fresh-picked out-of-hand, chopped into salsas and salads, juiced, roasted or sun-dried – there are almost as many ways to enjoy their flavourful goodness as there are heirloom varieties.

 provence tomato festival 2016

For the entire month of August, Provence Marinaside celebrates all things tomato with its Seventh Annual Tomato Festival – offering special prix fixe menu that will satisfy even the most addicted tomato-holic. This three-course seasonal menu is value-priced at $55 with an optional wine pairing which has been carefully selected by sommelier Rachelle Goudreau. The wine pairing is also value-priced at $22 for a different wine with each dish.

“We are fortunate to have local producers supplying us with amazing heirloom varieties. Even though each variety has a different flavour profile, all are very intense. The heirlooms taste so much better,” says Provence proprietor and Executive Chef Jean-Francis Quaglia.

Chef Jean-Francis’s three-course Tomato Festival Menu starts with three choices: Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho – a refreshing summer starter featuring heirloom tomatoes puréed with peppers, cucumbers, sherry vinegar and olive oil (Joseph Mellot Sauvignon Blanc, Loire Valley, France); Tomato and Nectarine Salad with lightly grilled Humbolt squid (Synchromesh Riesling, Okanagan, BC) and Virgin Tomato Tarte with puff pastry, black olive tapenade, oregano and mixed greens (Sables d’Azur Rosé, Provence, France).

The starters set the palate for a trio of tempting Mains. Diners have their choice of medium-rare Seared Bavette Steak with roasted summer squash, crispy pommes paille, smoked tomato and fresh herb vinaigrette (Kettle Valley Malbec, Okanagan, BC) or Tomato Risotto with Grilled Prawns and fresh tomato salad (Le Vieux Pin Rosé, Okanagan, BC) or Grilled Line-Caught Halibut accompanied by a salad of summer greens, grilled confit of fingerling potatoes, fresh tomato puttanesca vinaigrette (La Marimorena Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain).

Dessert is a choice from Provence’s regular menu. Will you choose their signature Lemon Tarte? How about their popular Crème Caramel? Or perhaps you will opt for the Chef’s Dessert du Jour. For this course Goudreau has selected the Eroica Gold Riesling, from Washington State’s Columbia Valley, “This Riesling is not too sweet, balanced with a dry finish. It’s the perfect end to a summer meal.”

Whether you are balmy for Black Krims, rave about Red Zebra’s or go crazy for Camparis – you’ll find them all and more on the menu at Provence’s Seventh Annual Tomato Festival August 1- 31, 2016 at Provence Marinaside at the foot of Davie St. and across from the Quayside Marina in Yaletown.


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