Food Guide: Feeding the troops at Festival du Voyageur

Winnipeg’s winter fete starts February 14 and this year’s edition of the ‘World’s Largest Kitchen Party’ promises loads of French, Métis and voyageur-inspired eats, both on and off site.
Western Canada's largest winter festival gets underway Friday night, and there are new features this year. CBC's Marjorie Dowhos reports. 1:50

There are two ways to find out all you can eat at Winnipeg’s Festival du Voyageur.

You could search for the crumbs in tangled thatch of the festival’s beard-growing contestants. Or, you can take a look here.

Winnipeg’s winter fete starts on Valentine's Day and this year’s edition of the ‘World’s Largest Kitchen Party’ promises loads of French, Métis and voyageur-inspired eats, both on and off site.

mmmFestival - until Feb. 23 at select St. Boniface-area restaurants
Inside Fort Gibraltar in St. Boniface, husband and wife team Connie McKane-Brandson and Shawn Brandson prepare for the onslaught of hungry Festival du Voyageur partiers. The duo, owners of Fort Gibraltar Dining Corporation, are one of several food purveyors feeding the masses during the annual festival. (Robin Summerfield)

In the spirit of Festival, select St. Boniface, Norwood Grove and Provencher Boulevard restaurants and specialty food shops are serving specials inspired by Manitoba’s trading and Métis roots. Some of the participating businesses include Chocolatier Constance Popp, Cocoabeans Bakeshop, Promenade Café and Wine, Joly Friar, Purple Hibiscus, Le Garage Café.

Chef’s Rendevous (aka Pea Soup Competition) - Sunday Feb 23 at 5 p.m. at Fort Gibraltar’s Maison du Borgeois (great hall)

This annual contest pits about a dozen local chefs against each other. The best pea soup is awarded by a judging panel of local food experts. Festival goers can also sample all the soups and then vote for their favourite. That chef is awarded people’s choice.

Festival du Voyageur celebrants can fill up at the mashed potato bar, one of many on-site food options. This tourtiere mashed potatoes—loaded with cheese, gravy, green onions and seasoned ground beef—is for carb and protein lovers. (Robin Summerfield )
Governor’s Ball - Saturday Feb. 15 at the Fort Garry Hotel
This gala dinner celebrates one honoree who demonstrates Festival’s joie de vivre and their commitment to the community. For more information call 204-237-7692.

Chez Sophie Sur la Pont -  Feb. 14 to 23

This new Festival du Voyageur venue will host evening dinner parties and live concerts from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information call  204-237-7692.

Fort Gibraltar - Feb 15, 16, 17 and 22, Maison du Borgeois (great hall)

On select days throughout Festival, Fort Gibraltar will serve lunches and dinners. The venue typically hosts weddings. The menu features French and Métis dishes among other modern meals. Lunches are served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is served from 4 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 15 and 16; 4 to 7 p.m. on Feb 17; and 4 to 8 p.m. on Feb 22.

Snow Bar - on site at Festival du Voyageur

For winter sports lovers, the snow screens inside and outside the bar will air the Olympics. Spirits, wine and beer along with Caribou (fortified wine) are served.

On-site vendors at Festival will serve all the favourites like bread pudding, tourtiere, poutine, maple sugar pie and split pea soup, among other party classics like burgers, fries and mini donuts. Café Postal will be onsite again for the second year pulling espressos and pouring cappuccinos, lattes and hot chocolate.