Taste, Travel
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Devour the Rockies – Take Three

In February, I took in the third annual Devour the Rockies Food and Film Festival at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.

Devour the Rockies is a satellite event of Devour, the largest film and food festival in the world held annually in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Devour the Rockies gives guests the opportunity to spend a weekend at the Fairmont JPL celebrating cinema, indulging in wine (as well as beer and spirits), and getting social alongside a stellar lineup of chefs.

Attendance has grown from 125 at the inaugural event in 2018 to 200 people in 2020, but the weekend still feels like I’m attending a private and intimate event in the rockies. I love the itinerary, the opportunity to socialize with chefs in a laid back environment, and of course, a weekend at the stunning Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.

SAVE THE DATE: DEVOUR THE ROCKIES FEB 26 – 28, 2021

The recipe to a successful event has remained the same since 2018; here are five reasons I love Devour The Rockies.

1. A cabin crawl at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

Hands down, the best part of the weekend for me is the kickoff event – a Fairmont JPL Cabin Crawl. Guests walk between signature cabins located throughout the property where chefs hosts themed cabin parties with the help of wine, local beer, and craft hard alcohol sponsors. One of the stops includes the Outlook Cabin – a space that was fit for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1939, as well as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in 2005. The cabin crawl allows guests to stretch their legs between bites, as well as a few sips from the lineup of alcohol sponsors.  Most of all,  I love the surprise of what theme décor, delectable delights, and party entertainment awaits (like Girls Club DJs) at the next stop.

Chef Paul Shufelt hosted a Quebecois Discotheque party – poutine was on the menu

The Italian Trade Commission was on hand at this year’s event, where the Italian Centre’s Gino helped kick off the cabin crawl by cracking a wheel of Parmesan.

Chef Doreen Prei surprised guests by hosting a vegetarian schnitzel house during the Devour the Rockies Cabin Crawl

Chef Doreen Prei’s vegetarian friendly brie cheese schnitzel

Alpine chic – the perfect attire for a JPL cabin crawl

2. Chili Cook-off

For the past three years, each of the Devour the Rockies chefs have gone head to head in a chill cook off. Chefs are set up throughout the ballroom, conveniently staggered between more alcohol sponsors. The event is a stand-up luncheon where guests wander among the stations and receiving their chili sample direct from the chef. Patrons vote for their favourite and a weekend at a Fairmont property is on the line. Congrats to Chef Paul Shufelt who took home this year’s prize – check out his recipe for charred corn & chorizo chili.

Chef Doreen Prei serving up her vegetarian chili

Chef Paul Shufelt’s charred corn & chorizo chili

 

3. A chance to glam up at the Gala

The signature event at Devour the Rockies is the multi-course gala dinner where each of the chefs are asked to create a dish inspired by a short film. The evening starts with a wine reception in the Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont JPL, along with the opportunity to have a complimentary professional photo taken by David and Peggy of A Different Angle Photography. I love any opportunity to get dressed up, so the Devour the Rockies Gala is right up my alley.

4. Bubbles & Brunch

I feel like the event organizers really want guests to feel like we got our money’s worth, so there is one more chance to sip, savour, and watch one more short film. After checking out on Sunday morning, we were treated to a buffet brunch alongside five mimosa stations featuring bubbly delights from the event’s alcohol sponsors.

5. Free time at the JPL

While doing a lap on the skating rink we found this elk hiding along the treeline

Many events I attend at the JPL involve a full program. Itineraries are so good I don’t want to miss out on anything, and sometimes, I feel like I don’t have enough time to relax and enjoy the JPL experience. Thankfully, the program during Devour the Rockies is a little more laid back, and the free morning on the Saturday affords time to hit the hot tub, the spa, or even go for a lap on the groomed skating rink at Mildred Lake. The Fairmont JPL has a variety of winter adventures, or you can just sit back and enjoy the view. We did a full lap of Lac Beauvert on the morning we checked out – a great option for anyone looking to burn off a few calories before hitting the bubbles brunch.

For the past three years Devour the Rockies has been a sell-out event at the Fairmont JPL. Save the date – Devour the Rockies 2021 takes place February 26 – 28.

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